40k What If - Where Angels Fear to Tread. An alternative view of the Climax of the Dropzone Massacre
I always loved the concept of alternate universes and parallel worlds. These concepts open up new interpretations to things we see as black and white - it can be a lot of fun if you're a nerd. I like to write science fiction when I have some free time which isn't all that often... So here is something I've been thinking about for awhile. It's fan fiction - oh well. If some people enjoy it that's great. The story retells the tale of Ferrus Manus the Iron Hands Primarch versus Fulgrim during their martial bout on Ivstaan.
Ferrus Manus sat upon the throne within the command bridge brooding as he watched the calamity down upon the surface of Ivstaan. His mercurial blood boiled inside as he gazed upon the vidscreen with an icy glare. His rage was so strong he could not speak. Everywhere he looked images of the violet traitors savaged the display. It was unlike anything he had ever seen and his mind was overwhelmed by the brazen acts of treachery.
Ferrus felt the heavy pull of a pair of eyes upon his back. Tearing his trance he slowly spun the throne about to see Techmarine Ing standing there behind him. He held something in silence not daring to speak. "What is it?" asked the Primarch. Img averted his eyes from the deep searching gaze. "Tell me what it is, speak." he commanded.
"I have brought you an ancient helm artificed back long ago during a darker time." The Techmarine held up a stunning helmet worked in pitch black ore with a single embossed iron skull. Deep filigreed patterns depicting an ancient Gorgon had been carefully worked into the hard surface by long dead artisans. "We have reworked the inner collar to exactly match your gorget." Ferrus could see the threaded collar descending from the bottom of the culled hasp. "It must be screwed into the outer collar of your upper breastplate. The threads are deep and will all lock into place once fitted."
Ferrus rose up from his throne stooping over to examine the dark work. The eye lenses were set wide with polished Emerald set tight into sockets and came close together underneath the iron skull. The adamantium sleeve had been refolded many times until it shone with a life of its own under the dim light and the knurled pieces seemed to swirl like a turbulent maelström upon the black ore. "It is only fitting our liege wear this helm in battle versus the new found traitors below. It was crafted for Titan."
Ferrus lifted the heavy helm from the clutching grasp of Ing. The Primarch lifted it over his broad head forcing it down upon his wide skull. Slowly he spun it about as the inner collar threaded into the inside of the outer collar until it smoothly locked into place. He could sense the great depth of the two collars interlocking. Hidden servos were set in place so he could quickly turn his broad head from side to side. "Feels now like I have eyes in the back of my head too." He chuckled as the last of the threads locked into place one after another. "It's a fine piece of martial art. Thank you for this gift my brother." The Primarch stood up at full height seemingly even taller now that he wore the anointed helm. "It shall serve me well. Prime the nova shells and target the coordinates I've entered."
"Nothing and no one can survive within the immediate blast radius." said the helmsman manning the targeting array.
"A quick death is better for our brothers below than what the Emperor's Children are meting out. We will leave our eternal mark upon them. Now do as I command." Ferrus said calmly. The Primarch returned to the center of the bridge striding beside an iron sarcophagus embedded into the grated flooring. Passing one of his silvered fists over the tomb it hissed in response and the lid began to unfold. The Forge Breaker slowly levitated rising up against the dense gravity well within the sepulcher . The great weapon gleamed like the scales of a dragon underneath the pale shrouded light. Everyone could feel the groan of the ship as its cannons unleashed their payload. Blinding light lit up the bridge as the destruction below came about upon the vidscreen. "Remember them well. It is the very treachery of our disloyal brothers that cost them their life this day."
Ing looked upon the sudden images — the very ground had fused together into a myriad of burning glass as far as the eye could see. He watched in silence as every single standing of crouched form dissolved then disappeared.
Ferrus Manus lifted up his weapon grasping its haft tightly within the steely grip of his silver hands as he took it from its iron tomb. Rivulets of Mercury pooled upon his bare arms like quick silver as he opened a comm link "Morlocks with me now. We shall teleport down into the heart of the storm." The doors of the lift quickly shut behind him sealing him off from the bridge as he descended to the lower depths of the battle barge.
There came a discordant boom one after another like a reciprocating phantasm of death as each Iron Hand materialized into the heart of the very hell unleashed upon the planet Ivstaan. Burnt fragments of spent armor littered the fused ground glowing with the nuclear fire left behind by the Gorgon's death strike. The Primarch spoke into the comm bead fitted inside his inner collar. "Fulgrim show yourself. Your time has come to pay for these atrocities you have committed against the Emperor, mankind and our brothers. I will hunt you down if you seek escape." The Morlocks made a broad ring around him baring their trained weapons.
Almost instantly in silent answer a host of the Emperor's Children emerged upon the outer perimeter of the burning plains. "I know you think me a traitor." came the supple smooth reply of Fulgrim over the open channel. "You have slain many more in number than my Legion could ever claim with your ranged strike from above. You were always one to act impulsively upon your childish emotions."
"We have the high ground." came Ferrus' immediate response. "Come to me now."
So quick was the Emperor's Children charge they seemed to vanish for a brief moment as the violet Phoenicians made their way up onto an open side of the bluff. The Morlocks were ready unleashing round after round of bolter fire into the purple ranks then the hand to hand combat began in ernest. Ferrus struck like an uncoiling viper laying waste to the traitors as he entered the battle. The Forge Breaker came swinging down in a sudden strike smashing the head of the closest Phoenician pulping the skull like a piece of overripe fruit. The squared blunt face of the hammer struck like a tidal wave again and again. Each precision strike found its mark claiming the life of another traitor.
The Iron Hands Primarch spied Fulgrim taking quick aim with the plasma blaster fitted onto his left shoulder. Each blast met its mark bathing the tainted Primarch in a super heated envelope of of energy. Fulgrim shook them off dancing across the open ground separating him from Ferrus Manus. Glowing tendrils of plasma bathed him as they constricted around his vast form. His long blade snaked out striking down one Morlocks after another, each one stepping into Fulgrim's path to impede his rapid ascent. "Stand aside now." commanded Ferrus. The two Primarches met head to head quickly eying each other over.
Fulgrim wasted no time unleashing a quick strike with his fell blade. It struck out bending about like a giant serpent. The Forge Breaker came crashing down in immediate response deftly deflecting the swift blow. Ferrus drove his armored face plate straight into Fulgrim's brow smashing the proud aquiline nose. Thick gouts of crimson blood spurt from his flared nostrils as the cartilage was crushed. He gasped at the sudden pain and stepped back in an attempt to open the immediate distance between them. Taking the initiative Ferrus drove the spiky pointed end of the haft flaying through one of Fulgrim's boots piercing the thin armor and severing the fibulae. The head of the hammer then shot up catching Fulgrim underneath the chin shattering teeth and it buckled the lower jaw. Spitting out the broken bits of teeth Fulgrim cursed him in vain.
The fell blade snaked out again striking at a joint in armored collar and harmlessly bounced off the super dense armor. Ferrus released the grip on the haft of the Forge Breaker with one hand from the Forge Breaker snatching at Fulgrim's mein of long white hair. Pulling as hard as he could he ripped loose a long locket of hair tossing it aside. "You're done." he said as Ferrus let loose the shorn hair. Again the Iron Hand lifted his hammer above his head then brought it down smashing the blunt hard face crushing the skull like an egg shell. Fulgrim toppled over withdrawing into a defeated fetal position.
What is your favorite single moment you imagine "what if it went the other way?" in the 40K universe?