"Velkath. Report your status." A dark voice spoke from within the squad leader's mind. This voice was very much unlike the patchy vox communications that Velkath was used to getting from his other superiors. It sounded foreboding, ominous and undeniably clear. The voice belonged to the Shadowcursed, a being so above his followers, he did not need to communicate with them through traditional channels. "Events are progressing as planned, Lord."
It was the first time this battle that Velkath had been able to speak such a sentence. Up until the last twenty minutes or so, the battle had deviated as far from the plan as had been possible. The goal of the battle was to gain access to one of the great vaults of Gorhna Spire III. The door to the vault had been protected by ancient force fields, which were controlled by pair of consoles. In a stroke of bad luck the thrice cursed Ultramarines (choir boys of the Imperium as Hathos liked to call them) already appeared active at the scene. Apparently setting up a base camp at the site before going after the consoles.
As soon as the presence of the Emperor's lap dogs had been detected, the entire Shades of Tranquil warband was thrown into a frenzied rush towards the vault doors. Exploiting the fact that one of the Ultramarine's librarians had temporarily disabled the force field, Chaos Lord Tyrin had led a small group of fighters straight to the vault. Realising their librarian's mistake and possibly afraid of what Tyrin might uncover, the Ultramarines sent out a massive vanguard of army commanders, dreadnoughts and veteran marines.
What happened afterwards was lost in the maelstrom of combat. Velkath's squad had been sent after the first console and the Ultramarine librarian. Getting rid of the librarian with bolter fire, they managed to reach the console. It was then that they recieved their first order from the Shadowcursed himself to bring the force fields back up again. Apparently, the daemon had secured the second console himself and his plan was to trap their foes within the force fields and the vault itself. This would leave the rest of the warband free to raid the base camp. Figuring out how to work the ancient consoles had proven to be quite a task for Velkath's squad. When they had finally managed to re-activate the force fields, Hathos's torrent of rage-fueled remarks gave Velkath the impression that it had been a very close call indeed.
"You have my persmission to engage. Velkath." The Shadowcursed spoke. "Hathos has confirmed that there are no more enemies at his position and will assist your unit in assaulting the base. I am returning to the Gift and I am leaving the battlefield in his hands."
"As you command, Lord." Velkath replied back through his mind, feeling great disgust at the thought of having to take orders from Hathos again. Velkath's next thought then automatically went to: "How much of mythoughts are actually being heard by the Shadowcursed?", which then led him to "Wait a minute... Did the Shadowcursed hear that thought as well?". Realising eventually that this reasoning was leading him nowhere, Velkath glared with frustration at the Ultramarine commanders trapped within the force fields. However he hated to admit it, he sometimes envied the loyalists and the blissfull unencumberance of their minds.
In the meantime I'll be keeping myself busy assembling the following:
Going to need to build the terminators especially if I want to finish my new tournament list in time. The Island of Blood set was acquired mainly for the Skaven. I still plan on restarting that army during the summer holidays. But before that happens...
Death to the False Emperor!