"This is Inquisitor Iosef Danilov. What is your status?"
Ragged breathing hissed out of his helmet as the grey-armored figure tapped his Vox-caster.
"We are currently unsure. The terrain is most confusing, as it bears little... coherence. The surface I am on can only be described as... springy. This place appears to be artificial, sir."
The sound of battle erupted around him as the lead Knight began firing his Storm Bolter, ripping a ragged line of holes in the cliff face. A slim, armored warrior stood before them, its spear crackling ominously with eldritch powers as it faced the four Grey Knights.
"You are outnumbered, xenos! Prepare to die!"
Then suddenly, there was a popping sensation as oddly armored figures emerged from nowhere.
- - -
"Alright, see ya 'round, Michael."
"Yeah. Tomorrow, then. Later, Vincent."
Trudging up the path to my house, I looked up at it. It wasn't a large house, but it wasn't small either. Four bedrooms, two bathrooms on each of the two floors, a lounge, kitchen... you know, the stock standard thing for a growing family, except that I was in here alone. My grandfather had left me this house to piss off his sons, seeing as they were all married and sucking up to him so they could get the house. And... my father had left marks on me. So I was shipped in, and I had lived here with a few cousins going through the local colleges, but otherwise I was simply going to ply my trade as an aspiring artist.
Unlocking the door, I opened it as a marble-sized, bright blue sun arced across the room, instantly vaporizing a CD wide section of the carpet. Chattering gunfire, self-righteous shouts, litanies of hate and cries for medics filled the room. What. The. Fuck.
I recognized that small, miniature sized figures were running around; some fighting in brutal hand-to-hand combat while others stayed at a distance in exchanged of brutal volley-after-volley barrages that more than damaged the furniture around the house. Good thing I had given most of the older stuff to aunt Linda, then. Still in shock, I watched on as something settled into my stomach. I had played Dawn of War before. I had also tried (badly) at getting a hang of the tabletop games. I occasionally did a few sketches for friends. The little figures around me were from Warhammer 40k. One of the most violent universes in the world had just deposited their most brutal warriors into my living room.
My knees buckled and I had to lean against a wall as Assault Space Marines traded blows with Eldar Banshees, Tau Fire Warriors snipe Imperial Guardsmen (which were occupying the doorway into the kitchen/hallway area, the closest force to me), and... an Inquisitor strangling his Vox-operator. A bright maelstrom of glowing skulls drew my attention to the Sisters of Battle, Grey Knights and other Inquisitional forces that were locked in combat with the other colorful Eldar and Tau forces around the couches.
"WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON IN HERE!?"</i>
Everyone stopped as the booming voice above them demanded explanation. Several heads turned, seeing me for the first time. Okay, I'm not quite that much of a person in real life; blond hair that was rather long at the back, tied into a ponytail and blue eyes, which were right now more worried than angry, as well as some rather plain, mostly second-hand clothes. If I bumped into you on the street, you're most likely to forget me in about two minutes. These guys looked like they needed sunglasses. But then again, I was about the size of the Empire State building when you thought about scale, so yeah.
The Inquisitor stopped strangling the poor vox-operator, and began to shout at the nearby tank - I recognized it as from one of the few factions of the game that I was familiar with: The Imperial Guard; this was perfectly identical to one of the tanks that my Warhammer 40k fan of a friend Vincent had shown me: An Imperium Leman Russ, the steroid enhanced T-34 of the 41st Millenium. It swung its massive cannon around to shoot at my knee. I panicked, and fell back to Isaac's an old friend of mine, irrelevant to the story usual lectures about idiotic things to try; such as shoving an umbrella into a gun to stop it from killing you.
An umbrella was ripped from the stand beside the door before I rammed the tip of the umbrella went down the primary barrel. Inside, something clicked There was a muffled *Phomph!* from inside, I felt the handle shudder and blacken as hypersonic gases escaped. and the hatches opened to reveal blackened tank-crews opening hatches, w retching up cordite. I picked up the tank - it was maybe the same weight as couple bricks - turned it upside down and gave it a shake. Screams and the sound of vomit and clattering high-explosive shells squeaked out from inside. A few Imperium tank-operators fell out screaming as they dropped the six inches/sixty feet to the ground. I hefted the tank in my hands, and looked around. Most of the figures around the living room were stock still in a tableau of shock.
That incident, if anything, steeled my confidence; I was much, much larger, and therefore could handle more people at once.
"Okay, if anyone else gets the idea of shooting me, I can and will throw this tank at you." A red-robed, half-machine man squeaked and fainted behind the Inquisitor. For the moment, I ignored him. "So... I assume you all have leaders. Those leaders will tell their respective warriors to stand down and go sulk in a corner and then meet me in the center of this room, now. And if you so much as sneeze in the wrong direction, I will introduce you to a HyperVac 3200."
The human soldiers at my toes all began to wonder what the HyperVac (my rusted old vacuum cleaner) was, but decided that it was better to ask me when I wasn't angry, so they all began to mill about, shouting orders and organizing themselves into their companies and taking shelter in the kitchen. The Inquisitor and his retinue quietly fell in behind me (but I could feel the hate being bored into my ankles). I sat down on the sofa, waiting for the others to come along.
An angled, yellow-and-red armored suit flew on plumes of brilliant blue light as it hovered in the air as below, a large, hovering vehicle with very fish-like characteristics skimmed over the charred carpet. There was a faint 'pop', and a walking armored bear, painted in royal blue and gold stalked in, his massive left fist crackling energy even as he hefted a massive double barreled cannon. Glowing eyes and smoking scorch marks on his armor gave him a fearsome appearance. His retinue ran or jumped up to meet on the hard, wooden coffee table. Something disturbed the air behind him, and a tall, elegant warrior armed with a glowing spear and swirling cape appeared. Holding a (geometrically) curvy pistol and moving with unnatural grace, I again was struck by the polarity of the two races: the Space Marine, of course, was brutally stocky and looked like he could barrel through any combat situation. The Eldar here, however, was tall and lithe, slim and... fragile. The large, dozen-and a half members of this one's council took me aback, though. There were simply so many!
Other warriors appeared around them, but it was they who grabbed my attention the most. Trawling through my mind, I recognized them as a Space Marine Force Commander and Eldar Farseer, respectively. The Farseer looked up at me, and I could see that it was visibly annoyed at me.
"We are here, as you have so kindly asked us, mon-keigh. Now speak and let us be back to war."
The blue suit of armor whipped around, snarling something incoherent as it swung a mighty fist around. Coneheaded and willowy simply ducked under the blow, laughing with its rather odd yet regal voice. It brought its spear back up.
"Now that's more like it!"
Both of them were audibly pained as I slammed the Leman Russ down on them. Half the assembled leaders flinched from the impact. Shouts of frustration and agony came out from underneath the treads.
"Like I said; no fighting, damn you."
I lifted the tank off the two leaders, and they straightened themselves up, considerably chastened but probably uninjured, considering their mastery of combat. Scanning the faces before me as I sat on the battle-scarred couch, I considered my situation. There were characters from one of the most grimdark universes that humankind has imagined; military officers from the Imperium of Man (as Imperial Guard and Inquisition), Space Marine, Tau and Eldar factions were all assembled before me.
"Well, at least I don't have to deal with any Chaos or Orks." I muttered, rubbing my temples in frustration.
The races in front of me nodded rather cautiously, wondering what kind of game I was up to.
"Alright... So... Introductions first, along with who ever is your command squad. I'm Michael, I own this house and can crush you with a tank. Repeatedly, if necessary. Or with something heavier. How about you?"
I pointed at the now very nervous Imperial Guard General and his command squad. After all, he was the most squishy one out of the heavily armored Space Marine and Inquisitor, the battlesuit-equipped Tau and the elegantly armored Eldar warrior.
"General Ulrich Faust of the Cadian 938th. Commissar Tomas Sturm, Father Bennedict, Kasarkin Leon Cadiasson, and Sanctioned Psyker Ishabeth." The man muttered, his hands resting on the hilts of his weapons; a sword and pistol. His retinue was composed of a black-greatcoat wearing man who fit the Soviet Russian Commissar stereotype perfectly, a helmeted warrior who looked about as heavily armored as a human could get, and a woman who looked about the youngest of the group around me, cradling a staff with an eagle on its tip in her hands and gently whispering to it.
I moved my gaze to the armored bear. His voice was the modulated kind you get from someone trying to speak from the insides of a very echoey helmet.
"Eizak Arelius, Commander of the Angela Crusade. Ultramarines Chapter. With me is Chaplain Morteus, Librarian Vasili and Assault Sergeant Vinters." The other three Space Marine leaders were less armored, but not by much; the black-armored 'Chaplain' wore a mask that looked almost like a skull, and eyes glowed red as they bored into my soul. I quickly turned to the Librarian, who had a massive hood of metal and wiring mounted on his head. The man's eyes also disconcerted me. The last of these was perhaps the lowest ranking, his armor with very few decorations past a few lines of prayer engraved upon his shoulder-pads. What was striking was the large jetpack on his back and the chainsaw-meets-sword held loosely in his left hand.
A pointed look at the Inquisitor got me a very hard stare back. Thank goodness I couldn't make out his eyes; they would have made me piss myself if I wasn't careful.
"Inquisitor Iosef Danilov of Sebiska. Ordo Malleus. Also Canonness Ludmilla of the Sisters of Battle and Justicar Amadeus of the Grey Knights, as well as Arbites Judge Phobias." Phou-bai-ahs. Nodding at the three others mentioned; a black-armored female with a rather incendiary theme about her, a grey armored knight with a crackling blue halberd and a man who looked like Judge Dredd after a shave, I quickly moved on to the Eldar, which met my gaze from the glowing vision slits of her conical helmet. She had, by far, the largest retinue of the forces around here.
"Farseer Zara, Ulthwe craftworld. My protege here is Councillor Alvus. Those standing around me are the Exarches of the Howling Banshees Lyndia... " She glanced behind her.. "Shining Spears Iyanshir, Warp Spiders Gladosh, Striking Scorpions Yandeer..." I held up my hand for her to stop, and shrugged. There were still probably another twelve or so to go.
"Thanks for introducing me, but... I think I can learn their names later on. I was, also, on the verge of laughter at the sheer size differences and variety among them. They looked more like a troop of clowns, rather than warriors! Although I was probably going to have to ask her to introduce us again, it would have probably taken too long. I moved on, and looked at the battlesuited warrior.
"And last but not least..."
I believe my personal name means in your language means 'Firestrike', and that will suffice.. Ethereal Aun'ui accompanies and guides us... I believe you can also learn the names of our other leaders later." The Fire Warrior replied, eyeing me with the tricolored visual sensors embedded on its helmet. The smaller Tau who had accompanied him was simply robed, and probably the only one among them who weren't unarmored. Judging by the thinness of the neck joint, that wasn't the guy's actual head.'
"Alright. Its... interesting to meet you all, but now that you've shot up my hous~"
The three-dozen leaders all erupted into frenzied arguments, summing up their varied arguments as 'those people did it!'. I placed the Leman Russ on the ground, grabbed the coffee table and gave it a good shaking. The artificial earthquake subsided after a few seconds.
"Look. I'm pretty sure you all have your respective differences, but this is my house, understand? Please show some decency, since you are all such 'advanced' civilizations."
There were subtle murmurs in the tune of 'alright' chorusing around. I sighed.
"Good. Now lets find you some bases, and we'll draw up some kind of agreement and... " I paused, sniffing the air. The others noticed, and did the same themselves.
"Wait... what's burning?"
I looked from one face to another, before we all turned to look at the smoking cabinet of DVDs. A large hole was burned into the paneling. I noticed several soldiers nervously tuck away tubular weapons and flamethrowers. Inside, something flickered. My DVDs were burning.