Big Game V – Chapter Seven: The Vision

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Kalmsan floated in darkness. A point of light winked into existence out of the corner of his eye. Then another and another, until the sky was lit with stars.

“It always starts slowly like this.” Atrus’ voice was no longer obscured by static. He had a regal, grandfatherly tone. Kalmsan turned to face him. Rather than a huge Dreadnought, Atrus appeared here as a Space Marine Librarian, fully outfitted for war. Strangely, his livery was a dark green with white details. Where his skin was pale before, it was now bronzed and healthy. His arm was an augmentic replacement, which clutched a rune-engraved Force Sword. Atrus looked up at the heavens, ignoring Kalmsan.

“What is going to ha…” Kalmsan was cut off as Atrus’ sword stopped an inch in front of his eye. Too late, Kalmsan flinched out of the way. Atrus’ eyes were wide with surprise.

“How is this possible? How are you here?”

You brought me here.”

Atrus took a second to compose himself. “Let me explain. ALL who have seen the vision have seen it through my eyes. Never before has someone appeared in the flesh.”

Kalmsan did not feel like he was moving, but the stars around him blurred. A World filled his vision, and as he approached, he saw what it was. A hive world, full of billions of people. The Hive world was gone in an instant.

“This is what the Azure Flames Librarium refers to as ‘the Tour.’ Once I thought it was meant to show the Imperium to me, but now I feel that it is symbolic of our wandering the stars. We will see worlds beyond counting.”

And so they did. Agri-worlds, Forge Worlds, mining communities, space stations, Mighty Battefleets, Trillions upon trillions of people. Finally, a blue-edged orb redolent with Hive Cities and familiar continents raced towards them. Kalmsan made the sign of the Aquilla over his heart.

“Holy Terra…”

“Yes. It is always last. Right before…” Kalmsan looked at Atrus, whose face looked to be carved from stone. The majestic views of Terra suddenly swung around behind them and the stars blurred again. A hideous purple blotch was visible off to Kalmsan’s left. It could only be the Eye of Terror. Kalmsan tensed as several shapes began to coalesce out of the darkness. One was vomited forth from the Eye, another rose from worlds, and another came from deep space.

“As you can see, the shape that comes is dark and indistinguishable, and it’s origins unknown.” Atrus whispered

“Unknown? The part from the Eye of Terror obviously represents Chaos.”

“What? I saw nothing come from the Eye! Neither has anyone else who has seen this vision. You must be mistaken.” Atrus made a gesture, waving away Kalmsan’s comment.

“Oh no, I see it quite clearly, Librarian. Also, rather than being indistinguishable, I see several recognizable behavior patterns. Observe there…” Kalmsan pointed at a slimy tentacle that was the color of dried blood. “That tentacle that is devouring those star systems follows the tendrical pattern of Tyranid hive fleets. Can you not see?”

“No, I cannot. There is no color or shape, only darkness and death. Your view of this is seen through different eyes, and I would hear more of it. Please.”

“Well, that green wave of fog is symbolic of an Ork Waaagh.. And these colored swirls that separate from each other even as they work together. The legions of Chaos. Several of them. Interesting…”

“What? Speak!” Atrus pleaded.

“Well, from what I know of Tyranid Hive Fleets, they are of their own mind and have no love of Chaos. But these movements here are coordinated. And here, with the Orks. Dear God-Emperor…” Kalmsan trailed off. The pieces of the puzzle fit together in his mind. All of the enemies of Mankind were working together in this vision.

“This has happened before.” Atrus’ hand on his shoulder surprised Kalmsan. “One man summoned Chaos, Tyranids and Orks. He united the enemies of Mankind, but he died before his forces could assault Holy Terra. His name was…”

“Victor Kalan.” Kalmsan interrupted.

“You know of Victor Kalan?”

“He was my first mentor. But he is dead and now someone else will do his foul work. And they will do it here.” Kalmsan said, pointing to a star.

“Where is that?”

“One of the systems in the Chasma Spica that has been revealed. Look at how the forces position themselves. They want this system more than anything.” Kalmsan watched as the tide of shapes came right at them. “This is truly a vision of doom.”

“That conclusion is a bit premature. Wait.” Atrus’ smile was warm. Suddenly, a lance of white-hot light seared through his vision, slashing at the horrible shapes. The shrieks of pain they emitted were almost unbearable. The light shone against the dark shapes and pushed them back. It washed over Kalmsan, and he felt the undying love of the Emperor for just an instant. It was the most wonderful thing he had ever experienced. Kalmsan turned to Atrus to see that the Librarian’s green livery had changed to the standard dark blue of the Azure Flames. The light returned and washed over everything. Kalmsan found himself standing back on the pedestal, with his palm on Atrus’ forehead.

“Now you know why my chapter has wandered the stars, and why we have come here. The coming conflict will unite the enemies of Mankind and crush the Imperium if we fail.”

“I agree, but Victor Kalan is dead, and his artifacts were presumed destroyed. Who else could amass such a host of all of Mankind’s enemies?”

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