Approx. 2200 words
All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2015 SJ
The Next Meeting
written by SJ
The next online meeting began when Lana was contacted by Officer Dakota and Officer Dion, there to tell her what they had found on Thanatos-4 and Alshain, which quickly evolved into a full meeting with all the other usual commanders.
Jennifer had already explained about the WARP opening she found on Terra Aurigae, and about the two structures inside the WARP: the Pendulum of Doom and the Chains of Bondage; but, more important, were the associated objects: the Orb and the Link, items that once Chaos had possessed, were supposed to give them a larger available army. It was Marcellus and his scientific team that eventually came up with an appropriate definition for the objects, something to, at least, explain what they were.
“Transdimensional.” Marcellus spoke clearly. “These objects have to be transdimensional...physical items that have the ability to exist in different dimensions. We’ve also found the same definition can be used for the Chaos Crystals--but ONLY if they are fully powered; unfortunately, in that case, the situation is even worse: When they are fully powered, they seem to exist in multiple dimensions simultaneously--a TRUE transdimensional object. That alone, can explain one of the reasons why Chaos is able to pass from dimension to dimension so easily.”
“So, all we have to do in order to stop Chaos is destroy all their Crystals.” Yarrick shrugged. “That’s assuming they don’t have an endless supply of them...and are not able to, somehow, manufacture them like we do with our power crystals.”
“We should make destroying those Crystals our top priority, then.” Major Taliaferro mentioned the obvious.
“LaFong...do you think you can handle that for us?” Yarrick joked, asking.
She raised her eyebrows, thinking he was serious, at first, then made a face figuring it was a joke...but, at the same time, also a compliment.
“Yes...destroying the Crystals.” Marcellus pondered. “Especially the big ones, right?” He paused not expecting anyone to answer before proceeding to propose a hypothetical question. “Yarrick--how would we destroy a TRUE transdimensional object?”
The High Commissar sat, not answering...
Marcellus, assuming his answer was negative, continued. “Neither do we. Even if we hit it with the biggest nova bomb we had, all the Crystal would need to do is exist in another dimension during the explosion...leaving the Crystal completely unharmed. The only way we know Chaos Crystals can be destroyed is when they are unpowered--and I doubt very much Chaos is going to just leave their Crystals laying around that way for us to destroy.”
“So they can only be destroyed when they are unpowered?” Yarrick wanted to make sure.
“That is the only SURE way...as we have already found out.” Marcellus tried to make it clear. “As for destroying the Crystals when they are in a transdimensional state...well, we have no idea. All we have are theories...and that theory right now is that they can’t be destroyed. If you have the opportunity to fire on an active Crystal, by all means go right ahead; hit it with everything you have. But, don’t be surprised if the Crystal remains unharmed...in fact, don’t be surprised at anything: It’s very possible you will simply send the Crystal back to another dimension, where neither we nor Chaos can touch it. We simply don’t know.”
“What about the WARP objects?” Major Taliaferro spoke up, needing to know. “Is it possible to destroy those?”
Marcellus sat and sighed deeply before answering. “As for the WARP objects Jennifer told us about, we have no idea if the same destructive act would work on them; until we are able to have one in our possession to examine, we truly have no idea what to expect. As for capturing one, well, at this point, since we have no idea how Chaos would use one of these Chaos objects, we wouldn’t even know where to find one, assuming it’s even kept in our dimension. We’re not even sure we’d be able to handle one.”
Yarrick became frustrated. “Then what are you saying? Even if we are able to completely destroy one of the armies of Chaos, as long as they have the Crystals and the objects, they can continue coming back again and again?”
“I am saying we have to be patient.” Marcellus remained calm. “We have already learned a great deal. It may be possible that Officer Dakota can destroy these Chaos objects using her special power...or, if nothing else, send them back to the WARP like she does with demons.” He turned his attention to the Cheyenne Ranger CO. “I remember talking to Colonel Gallardo about how he plays tennis. He says, he never tries to do anything fancy, he just makes sure he returns the ball...then, waits for the other guy to make a mistake. We should use the same analogy for fighting Chaos: fight them when they attack, learn...and be ready for it when they make a mistake,” he grinned, “something I’m sure they are too arrogant to think they’ll ever do...or ever admit to.”
Everyone sat silent for awhile, agreeing completely with Marcellus, his words restoring hope for a successful resolution to the Chaos problem.
Eventually, Jennifer decided to explain what she had found on Thanatos-4 and Alshain. “On Terra Aurigae, LaFong was with me when I found that hole in the Universe--leading to the WARP. Afterwards, Marcellus sent me to Thanatos-4 to see if the same WARP hole existed there.” She frowned. “There should have been one. Tzeentch was there looking for it, and we’re assuming Khorne ended up finding it, taking whatever object that was there.” She sighed. “But, there wasn’t a hole there. Nothing. Officer Dion then picked me up and took me to Alshain, the place where Chaos must’ve obtained the Orb from the Pendulum of Doom. But, there was nothing there, either. Finally, after we had returned to Warhammer 40K HQ, I though of something. I asked, Melinda to take me back to Terra Aurigae.” She sighed. “There was nothing there, either.”
Marcellus had kept nodding all while Jennifer was speaking. Once she had finished, he continued her line of thought. “It seems that once these objects have been removed from the WARP, the hole they were taken from disappears.” He looked excited. “That, very well might mean, if we are able to send these objects back to the WARP, Chaos may never be able to retrieve them again.”
There was a pause before the General mentioned another possibility. “Either that...or it’s the object that actually makes the hole.”
“Yes, we thought of that, also.” Marcellus agreed. “I was just hoping to end this meeting on a positive note.”
“Well, still, even if we were able to send one of these objects back to the WARP,” the General followed up, “we, at least, know where it could be found--something that would allow us to ambush them there if they tried to recover it.” He spoke to Marcellus. “There...does that note sound a little better?”
Marcellus smiled. “Yes...I think we are both in tune.”
Once it appeared the meeting was getting ready to end, Yarrick spoke up, asking one more question, one he and many others wanted to know. “Marcellus, have you guys figured out how those Chaos Sorcerer staff weapons work?” He frowned. “Davis and myself witnessed the unmitigated destruction one of those weapons could do in the hands of a big-ass, powerful, demon.”
Marcellus sat thinking, nodding to himself...like he knew, but, also knew no one was going to like it...
The General saw it coming. “I think this is going to be one of those questions we are NOT going to like the answer to.”
Yarrick, sighed, understanding.
Finally, Marcellus answered. “The Chaos Staff weapons...yes. I’m afraid we HAVE figured out what they are.” He seemed to make a dramatic pause. “To put it simply: They are microslug accelerators. And since they all use a Chaos Crystal as a power source, we should accept they can use them to access the WARP with relative ease. In other words: summon demons and make WARP openings for teleportation.”
“The snipers of my team have already made them a TOP priority.” Shaw decided to mention.
Yarrick nodded, already knowing.
“When you say, teleportation...what does that mean?” The General wanted to know.
Marcellus attempted to clarify. “With these Staffs...we are not talking about a WARP gate, something they can keep open to transport a large force. As in the case of Lieutenant LaFong’s capture, they are only able to use these Staffs as a quick way to teleport small amounts of personnel and/or equipment. And it seems, the opening goes only one way.”
“But, it would be enough of an opening to teleport a small crew to set up a WARP gate, right?” The General wanted to make sure.
“Unfortunately, that would be, yes.” Marcellus reluctantly answered.
“Is it true these Chaos Sorcerers have a bunch of Chaos Worms in their heads?” Yarrick had been informed about the autopsies performed on the Sorcerers killed on Terra Aurigae.
“Yes.” Marcellus was quick to answer. “It seems, as these Worms grow, they rewire the Sorcerer’s brain. It probably takes some time to do, but since it all has to be done in the WARP, or, at least, in a WARP environment, we have no idea how long, OUR TIME, it actually takes.” He raised an eyebrow and became serious. “But, that’s not the most disturbing part we found. Whereas the Thousand Sons Chaos Marines are practically nothing more than mindless automatons, the Sorcerers that lead them are not. And they are NOT Chosen.”
“You mean they are NOT someone that happened to get captured and turned into one?” The General wanted clarification.
“Not in the case of the Thousand Sons Sorcerers.” Marcellus was specific. He felt he needed to sigh before continuing. “After many DNA scans, we have determined these Sorcerers to be humans, from Old Earth--”
“Old Earth?” The General was unbelievably surprised. “How can that be? Unless they have a colony someplace, that would make them hundreds of years old!”
“They are?” The General couldn’t believe he was right.
“These Old Earth humans have been kept in some sort of stasis,” Marcellus tried to explain, “where they apparently wait to be used.” He sighed. “Which means we have no idea how many of them they have; they, very well, could have millions of them.”
The General raised his eyebrows at the possibility, “so, you think what’s going on with Chaos might have something to do with the alien invasion of Old Earth--where millions of human beings were abducted? Could we be facing the same aliens, now?”
“No.” Marcellus was sure. “There is no evidence that the same aliens are involved. In fact, all the evidence we have so far is fully against it. It’s like...” he pondered, “...Chaos has found a way to use what those aliens have left behind: the Crystals, the human bodies.”
“Before, you talked about souls.” LaFong spoke up, asking. “Do these suspended human bodies even have souls?”
Marcellus sighed. “As for that we are not certain. In the case of the Thousand Sons Sorcerers, I would say no. But, as for the others...we don’t know.” He pondered deeply before continuing. “We would like to believe only the Universe has the power over our souls, that they can neither be stolen nor held in stasis by any being in heaven or hell. So, in all likelihood, once they are in our Universe, all of them have souls that have somehow been transferred from the WARP. In fact, that may be what the Chaos objects do: they allow souls from the WARP to exist in our Universe.”
Everyone seemed to silently ponder Marcellus’ unbelievable concept each in their own way...
Eventually Shaw asked, “so, you mean all those Cultists we killed on Terra Aurigae were Old Earth humans?”
“Yes...at least their bodies were.” Marcellus answered without hesitation.
Shaw made a face, then spoke to himself. “No wonder they were in such bad shape when we found them.”
“So, does that confirm Chaos has an unlimited amount of troops at their disposal?” Yarrick wanted to make sure.
“Well, I wouldn’t say unlimited.” Marcellus somewhat agreed. “But, quite a lot.”
At this point, it was as if everyone had had enough information to last them and the meeting was long overdue coming to an end. When there were no more questions, the General signed off, which led to everyone else saying their goodbys and signing off also. The meeting was over.