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The Imperium of Man Essay

The year is 22,000 AD, and the seed of mankind has spread far into the Galaxy. Great ships bore us down upon alien worlds, where we grew, and prospered. But all was in chaos, for the worlds of man were far between, and communication became impossible over the vast empty void of space. The human race lapsed into isolation, and those lost forgot the wonder that was Terra. Without the Earth to guide them, the lost peoples of mankind fell destitute, and degraded to archaic technology.

However, we began to evolve, and the true potential of human minds became apparent. We, the lost hungered for the earth, our only true home, and we sought ways to close that vast emptiness. Then, when we began to lose hope, a way manifested from the darkness. The first Psyker was born. A mind of such magnitude, the emptiness of space became but a miniscule distance. He united the 1000 worlds of mankind and the Imperium was born.

Venerate the immortal Emperor, for from his golden throne come the words of our God. Destroy the Alien, for they seek OUR destruction. Annihilate the Mutant, for all should be born in the image of our Emperor. Purge the unclean. The galaxy will know our eternal wrath.

Codex of the Psykers, ‘annosus ab Imperium’

Captain Lukas Alexander sat deep in thought upon the Harbinger class cruiser ‘Reaper’, the hum of the fusion drive reverberating around the ship. It had been several years since he was appointed to the rim world Aberon V, and he had rarely looked back. He remembered well the destruction of the Eldar Craft world, for the blackened bodies and twisted metal still weighed heavily on his mind. The light that was Terra would forever be darkened in the memories of Alexander…a madness had surrounded that place, masked by the ferocity if the Emperors regime. The soft clunk of boots behind him awoke Alexander from his reverie. He leapt quickly from his chair, fearing the Librarian, Archasus, had found him napping, but instead a relieved sigh escaped him.

“Hail, Captain,” Sergeant Eliphas exclaimed, stepping smartly to a salute, “we are approaching Aberon, sir.”

Alexander had always liked Eliphas. He obeyed orders without question, and his allegiance to the Empire was profound.

“Thank you, Sergeant, you know what to do.”

Eliphas quickly saluted again, and marched from the room. Alexander smiled, foreseeing a bright, military career for the decorated Sergeant. His eyes scanned his quarters. The shining metal comprising the walls was drab and uninteresting, a simple cot was pushed in a corner, and what was considered furniture was a metal table and chair. He frowned then, his gaze wandering to the large porthole facing out the starboard side of the ship, the planet Aberon slowly filling his view. Even from this far out, Alexander could make out the cratered vistas, and the scorched forests on the planet’s surface.

“Well,” he sighed, “Back to war.”

Since the dawn of the Imperium, the alien race known as the Orcs had plagued the rim worlds. These were savage, merciless creatures that lived and died for war. Their skin was often green, in multiple hues, but recently blue-skinned Orcs had appeared from the depths of space. They were huge creatures, and even the small ones stood a foot above a normal human. Their skin had adapted to the thousands of years of intense fighting and took on the consistency of steel.

The seemingly endless battles on Aberon V had been sparked by a certain Orc clan christened ‘The Green Tide’ by the imperial guard stationed on the planet. Their leader was a savage warlord, augmented by the mismatch technology of the Orcs. The warlord was huge, a full ten feet in height, and when he was seen on the battlefield (which was often), the warlord was covered from head to toe in armour and ballistics, to the dismay of the imperial guard, none of which impeded his movements.

The sounds of gun-fire could be heard to the distance when Alexander stepped out of the shuttle on to the aerial platform of Victory Bay, the last bastion of man in the Aberon star-system. The scene around him was frantic, brigades of Imperial Guardsmen were loading weapons and armour on to the large drop ships which were used to get to the battlefield. Alexander started fuming, if the chaplains saw this, commander Thule would be here with his Marines in a matter of days. He would not allow the guardsmen to be disgraced again. A seemingly idle rifleman spotted Alexander from afar, and he swiftly ran towards him. The rifleman was a Karskin, elite of the Imperial Guard. Alexander didn’t like The Karskin; they were cold and ruthless, and far too similar to the warrior-monks of Mars. The armour was mostly black, and the helmet was slightly pointed, with emerald green telescopic eyes. This was obviously a sharpshooter.

“Hail, Captain,” the Karskin said from beneath his helm.

“What is going on here, Karskin? This childish disarray is beneath the Imperial Guard, where is Herodotus?” Alexander hissed.

“Dead, sir. The warlord led a charge last night, we couldn’t stop them.”

“What of Captain Richards?”

“He led a battalion to impede the Orcs march. We haven’t heard anything hence.”

Alexander didn’t trust himself to speak, he knew what was coming.

“Yes indeed, captain,” a deep voice echoed behind him.

“Librarian Archasus, it is an honour, my lord,” the Karskin bowed.

“That we be all, Karskin. Rally your snipers.”

“At once, my lord.”

Alexander watched the Karskin run to tactical control; he had not yet faced the Librarian behind him. He felt a heavy hand on his shoulder, cold, metal.

“It was inevitable, Captain, It was a long time coming,” Archasus growled.

“Not that long, my lord. Not long enough,” Alexander muttered.

“Nevertheless. Lukas Alexander, in the name of our immortal God-Emperor, I name you Governor Militant of the Aberon system. Congratulations. General,” the Librarian announced.

Alexander felt the heavy hand lift from his shoulder; he could not help but sigh in relief. Hearing the heavy thuds as the Librarian withdrew, he took in the situation. The Orcs were large, but their technology was not very advanced, mostly salvaged wreckage from the battlefield. However, what they lacked in technological strength, they more than made up for in vast numbers. Already, the Warlord had amassed a force fully four times greater than that of the imperial guard.

And men are weak, in alien terms, for the imperial guard were hardly considered diminutive, but compared to the war-like Orcs, they were little more than children. To win this war, Alexander knew he had to rely on the superior fire power and armoured columns of the imperium. Alexander looked towards the west, where flashes of light and rising smoke betrayed the location of the Horde. The ground around him shook slightly, and the sound of pressured steam and the thud of extreme weight on metal revealed the arrival of something mighty.

“General Alexander,” a dreadful, deep, metallic boom said from behind him, “the emperors finest reporting for duty.”

“Honoured, I am, to be in the presence of the Terminators.”

Alexander turned around, standing before him were dreadnaughts of metal and science. Warrior monks who, because of their diligence on the field of battle, were awarded long life and Tactical Annihilation Power Armour. The pride of the Adeptus Mechanicus of Mars. The Armour imbued its wearer with artificial adrenaline and accelerants, a necessity when considering the charged metal plates weighed an access of two tons. The men and women beneath the Armour were super human, in every sense of the word. Genetically enhanced to match the strength of the more capacious of the Alien races. Despite the vast weight, however, the Terminators were lithe and ,imbued with accelerants, quick to respond to any situation.

“We live but to serve, lord General,” the terminator sergeant announced, “where do you need us most?”

“The Horde have settled yonder westward,” Alexander pointed, and simultaneously, the helmets of the Terminators turned to look west, and Alexander cringed as a cacophony of artificial sounds resonated from the Armour. The Terminators we’re more mechanical than human being, perhaps a necessity to drive their cold ruthlessness.

“Ahh yes, there are many of them.”

“Sergeant. Destroy them.”

A deep crackle boomed from the Sergeants’ helmet, the sound of a terminators’ laughter.

“The night will be filled with blood and fire. These Aliens do not have a prayer.” The Terminator battalion marched from victory bay and headed west. The last declaration of the sergeant echoed in Alexander’s mind. He knew the Terminator was right, and for some reason, that terrified him.

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