Thursday, July 20, 2017
Hi everyone !!! Black Blow Fly here again with the second part of my report covering the recent American Team Championship (ATC). I don't want to beat a dead horse but then again this horse ain't dead just yet. Today I bring you an interview with the mighty Aaron Aleong who is the coach and player on Team Happy - they came in first place this past weekend and this is the third time they have won this arduous event. Three times is very dominating to say the least and Aaron has won many of the major events at events across the country. To me Aaron is a lot like the Randy Couture of Warhammer 40k in the US... he even kind of looks like him too.
So let's introduce the other members of Team Happy and what roles they all play for three years running:
Tony Grippando - Captain
Aaron Aleong - Coach
Justin Curtis - Rules Master
Aaron Towler - Lore Master
Tim - Finances (aka Chief Bean Counter)
To quote Aaron...
"As a team we all give input on lists and test each other to include playing our lists against each other. Our team mixes well and therefore I believe performs well together. Also in our team no one had an issue with biting the bullet and taking a bad matchup for the team. I have seen many teams that aren't willing to sacrifice in this fashion."
Those word of wisdom are solid gold ! So now onto the interview:
Q1) Why did you decide to run Ravenspam and how'd you learn about it ?
Looking at the matchup opportunities of isolating a small drop list againt a large army guaranteeing first turn (except on a seize), and the damage output of A Stormraven (40-44 shots with up to 6 different targets) it was a no brainer to take two Raven lists. I saw numerous Raven lists that were not optimized to do well.
We heard about the list a few months back from an event out west, tested it, and built two seperate lists that were able to perform well. Though I will say in an event where deploy first go first isn't automatic this list won't do as well and I fully support changing this mechanic.
Q2) What are the best natural counters to Ravenspam and what are its worst matchups ?
Natural counters are the bird list, high rate-of-firepower lists with lots of models (i.e., some guard lists), and of course mirror matches. However I f there is deploy first-go first with no rerollable seize.. ravens are too powerful. I am working on a counter at the moment.
Q3) Did you have to play any mirror matches and if so what were your tactics to ensure the win ?
I did not, but my teammate Tim played a Grey Knight raven list and played three other raven lists which he all beat soundly taking home the award for best GK player. Tim had a definite advantage by having less drops and therefore went first most games. He got seized on one of his game but deployed defensively and was still able to crush his opponent.
Q4) How important is it to go first with Ravenspam and are you willing to burn a command point to reroll Seize the Initiative to still have a chance to go first ?
At ATC you couldn't reroll seize. The go first is too powerful in a list like this. See above. :-)
Q5) What are the best buffs for Ravenspam ?
A Chapter Master equivalent is vital... Dante, Draigo, etc. Being able to keep up with the ravens is the tricky part. Some people took Robby G, but I feel that is a waste since Rowboat can't keep up with the ravens. Any type of probability alteration is extremely valuable with GW limiting the number of re-rolls.
Q6) If you would have had to have fielded a different army what would you have taken instead to ATC this year ?
I would have taken my top secret Nova Open list. Which wont be shown here. My list is imperial and doesnt have flyers... hurrr hurrr !!!
Q7) How do you foresee Ravenspam playing out over the next 6 months with soon to release codices ?
I really hope they are adjusted. It's too powerful the way it is now and I don't really see the new codices fixing them. My hope is GW will step up and alter them... maybe removing POTMS, or increasing costs, etc.
Q8) Will Ravenspam still be competitive at NOVA this August ? If not so much then why ?
I think it will be less successful because of the +1 change. If this list doesn't go first then it's in trouble. Also I feel the missions are better with progressive objectives but then again 5 or 6 ravens cab table most armies quite easily. :-(
So there you have it from the proverbial horse's mouth ! Team Happy had not one but two Ravenspam armies and that's definitely a big deal... so far spam is king.
Hi everyone Black Blow Fly here to stir the... errr bringing enlightenment to the filthy unwashed masses 24-7 ! Last weekend was the first major 8th edition tournament in the US - the American Team Championship (ATC) and wow what a doozy it was. Do you remember when you were just a kid and you found out the truth about ole Santa Claus... BAAAAAAWHAAAAA !!! Tears were flowing amirite ?! Well basically the same thing happened at the ATC. You see lots and lots of people were saying and even believing 8th edition is basically uncheesable (see foot note before you post). But then the unimaginable happened... like almost every team was spamming the Ravenspam !!
What is Ravenspam:
It is like five to six nearly unkillable Stormravens with some uber buffs (see Dante) and if it goes first well see ya wouldn't wanna be ya ! Yer cherry just got popped real hard... hurrrr !
So this week I have none other than the captain of the third place team Wobbly Modelers here as my guest - yeah you know none other than my man Kelsey Haley ! Kelsey - one heck of a dominant tournament players in the US... I equate him on the Chuck Lidel level of the competitive scene. Something very interesting to note is that his did not bring any Ravenspam and still took home their newly acquired skulls - that's a tall order too.
A lot of people are really up in arms about the Ravenspam and want something done about it because you know... the dream is gone. I'm gonna be completely honest and say I really don't want to see any house rules from sources external to GW. My philosophy is just let it play out to its natural course. Codices will soon be dropping left and right... things are gonna change just like they always do. GW love some change, it's more money in the bank. If and when GW nerfs it I'm totally okay with that - they are the SOLE entity that should change rules.
So let's dive into the interview with Kelsey now.
Q1) I was very impressed your team placed third overall this year ! I have played in ATC several times and consider it one of the most competitive tournaments in the country if not the most due to its unique format. Top players come from all over the country come to participate and the team format is very challenging. Could you provide a quick run down what army you and each of your team mates brought and what was your overall strategy for pairings each round ?
Sure. I ran 2 shadowswords and a stormlord with 5 commanders and 4 man plasma squads with Sergeant Harker.
Ernie ran 8 Nurgle Princes and Belakor with as many Brimstones as he could he fit into his list.
Max ran 32 missile launcher Devs with Guilliman.
Austin ran 98 purestrain genestealers, some characters and 9 armored lascannon sentinels.
Juice ran 7 Crimson Hunters and 4 Ravagers.
Our basic strategy was to figure out which lists on our opponents' teams everybody didn't want to play. If somebody only had one list they didn't want to play then they often became a defender. Past that... we were winging it.
Q2) I was really impressed your team did not bring the much dreaded Ravenspam army list. What was y'alls strategy to counter this list and how did that work out for you ? Did you know going into ATC last week that you needed a solid overall strategy to counter the Ravenspam ?
We knew it would be a thing but never cared too much about it. Going into it we accepted that it was something we'd each have to play at some point. Luckily we planned on playing stormravens with multi meltas... but we only played versus heavy bolters.
As good as they are Ravens are easier to counter than GSC.
Q3) There is a bit of an uproar on the internet about the Ravenspam now. What is your opinion - should TOs change rules to nerf it ?
I like the idea of 0-3 of the same unit, but this early in the game I'm generally opposed to changing the rules at all.
On a side note I think Guilliman and the Yncarne need to be nerfed more than anything else.
Q3) Which round was your toughest and how did it go overall ?
My toughest round came versus Dallas on Quality Control. He had a pretty solid GSC list. I really only played him because nobody else wanted to. I wound up being able to hold the genestealers off long enough to scrounge up 9 points.
Q4) What was your favorite game/opponent and why ?
My favorite opponent was probably Jason from Forgeworld Columbia 2. He played a similar list, though he had extra drops. That meant I went first and took advantage early. The game ended after about 10 minutes with me maxing.
The reason I say its my favorite because Jason exemplified class during brutal defeat. He laughed and we both knew that had he siezed I would've been the one picking up models.
It was also my favorite because we had plenty of time for "beverages". Haha
Q5) How do you like 8th edition so far compared to 7th edition ? Is it better designed for competitive play ?
I think its better designed in the sense that good lists are easier to make. Tactically it's become easier, but its nice that more people are better able to run competitive lists well.
Finally feel free to add anything you like. :D
I'd just like to throw shoutouts to Battlegrounds (our local store in Midlothian, VA that tolerates our drunk playtesting) and The Long War for their endless support.
So there you have it... the Ravenspam can be managed in a tournament environment. Of course the ATC format is unique from other large events but at the end of the day you still have top players versus other top players. I hope that 'The sky is falling' mantra will drop to wayside soon. Of course there is the NOVA Open coming soon which features a more traditional format... it'll be interesting to see what competitive players come up with to counter the Ravenspam and beat it plus there's plenty of time to properly prepare and endless play testing.
Is uncheesable an actual word ? Of course not but it's no big deal irregardless how much it might upset you. :P Get over it.
Sunday, July 16, 2017
Large crowds had gathered outside the assassins' Temple. The people were dressed in bright colors and wore their favorite clothes. Citizens from all walks of life made up the masses, high gender stood elbow to elbow with common folk. Vendors lined the streets serving various dishes and many types of different colored spirits. Fireworks exploded overhead and the crowds roared. A large troupe of mimes performed beneath the towering spires displaying their acrobatic skills to the amazement of all who watched. The mimes wore tights cut in swathes of black and white. More fireworks boomed overhead driving the crowds into a frenzy of mirth. Leaping to the top of the Temple entrance the lead mime did a hand stand then crouched down assuming the shape of a gargoyle. The crowd grew quite for a moment then the acrobat leapt back down leering at those closest. Her face was painted like a Harlequin with a bright red tear dripping from her left eye.
"Make way!" boomed a projected voice emanating from from a small cadre of golden warriors at the end of the main road leading to the Temple. They stood taller than even Space Marines and carried long guardian spears. Sensei immediately recognized the Custodes and stepped out from the crowd. The master bowed deeply then slowly righted himself. "It is truly an honor to have you here with us today." his deep voice carried along the length of the suddenly open path between him and the Custodes. There came a dull clanking sound then appeared a dreadnaught looming above his golden brethren. "Continue with the festival!" its voice droned into the crowds.
The mimes immediately sprang back to work again throwing a dizzying myriad of white rose petals into the crowd. People exclaimed in surprise as they touched the petals. They somersaulted through the people then one by one sprang up onto the close by rooftops. Bowing as one the troupe then disappeared.
"I hope you have enjoyed the performance." said Sensei. Everyone clapped and many cheered as another burst of fireworks touched the sky. "Follow your guides and they will take you to the next Temple. May your day be bright with never ending joy." Slowly the crowds began to dissipate until all that remained was the Custodes.
Friday, July 14, 2017
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Friday, July 07, 2017
Thursday, July 06, 2017
The Sensei lead Paragon through the temple showing him various hidden rooms and sealed chambers filled with exotic weapons then some of their secret labs. He talked about their history since he had left so long ago. "Close to two millennia have passed since I last saw you my son." Sensei rested a hand on his shoulder looking up into his goggles. "Looking at you it seems you haven't aged one one bit in all that time. I know you are a super assassin designed to live much longer than normal but still you should have passed on a long time ago. As I said outside our temple I sense you have been enhanced somehow, made into something beyond our originally intended design. Can you tell me about it?"
Paragon gently brushed aside the hand. "What about yourself Sensei? You yourself should have died long ago too."
"We have created a process of perfect cloning here in our labs. My spiritual and psychic entities are transferred from one to another. In fact your own DNA structure is based upon my own helix but of course it was spliced with select others to make you into the ultimate assassin of all times and as I said before you are truly one of a kind my son. Never did I think I'd ever see you again once you departed from here." Sensei clasped his hands together forming a special sign of the Aquila. "Now will you tell me your secret?"
"It's rather hard to explain. I met a man who decided to share a gift of his with me. Suffice to say it has extended my life well beyond the norm." Paragon replied. "That's really all there is to it. Now I have another question for you. What were those daemons posing as children doing outside the temple?"
"Ah a good question which deserves a good answer. They are the pure essence of a certain Chaos God... I feel certain you must be aware of them now too... I wanted to capture this essence here so that it could be studied in great depth so we lured them here. Of course that's not possible now for the mean time since you drove them back to the warp but I understand you did it for all the right reasons." Sensei cracked his knuckles then continued. "Now we will simply have to lure some more of them." He smiled sagely showing his teeth again as he was wont to do when feeling in good humor. "I feel certain it's a sign that you have returned when you did. I'm sure you must have more questions as I said during our encounter outside. I suggest a meal while we talk."
Sensei lead Paragon back towards the main entrance of the temple then opened a hidden room. Inside was a dining facility. "Would you care for a spirit while our food is prepared for us?"
"It will have no effect on me." replied the assassin. "Water is fine." Paragon replied.
Opening a concealed cabinet the master pulled out a jug from a cooler and took an empty glass filling it to the top then handed it to Paragon. The assassin took s long sip. "Water is an essential element." Sensei said while he poured himself a glass as well. He then pressed a rune on the wall and table and two short benches slid out automatically from the interior. "Have a seat with me." he said then bowed. Both men sat down across the table from each other. "Do you actually need to eat now?"
"No it's not necessary but of course it's an old habit." said Paragon. He took another sip of water then set the glass aside. "I was told during my initial mission that my termination was planned following completion. Is that true?" he asked.
Sensei slowly rolled his eyes back and forth. "Of course not. Who told you that lie? Was it one of the Templars assigned as your escort?"
"It was the man who granted me immortality. I grew to trust him over the course of our time together and found him to be quite honest. I learned many things from him I was never told about here. Everything he said turned out to be true no matter how absurd it might have seemed."
"There could have been those that plotted your death but if that is actually the case I was never informed. The Lords of Terra and their agents are a secretive group indeed. I did fear for your life though. Your Mission was not an easy one. No not at all." Sensei clapped his hands twice then a robed servant appeared carrying a tray with covered dishes. "I have had your favorite meals prepared for you." The servant placed down the tray and removed the covers. One plate was piled high with steaming Udon noodles. Another revealed fresh vegetables. Taking a pair of long ivory chop sticks the master sampled some of the noodles then the ripe produce. "It's all organic which is quite hard to come by these days. Help yourself. I hope you enjoy your meal."
Slowly the pair began to eat and continued their conversation. "What has come of Terra? There must be much change since I was gone." said Paragon.
"Yes there has been plenty of change. In short the Imperium is now ruled by Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines. He is our new Emperor. A new breed of Space Marines has taken over many of the Space Marine Chapters. They are known as the Primaris. I have heard other lost Primarchs have returned as well but it's only a rumor for now. Our temple does not receive nearly as many requests for missions as we once did back at the time you were created. In fact I believe we are now shunned for the most part but we still have our ways and some still are in need of our services. Your return is most fortunate." Sensei smiled and his face looked young again for a brief moment."
"What has happened to the original Emperor?" Paragon asked.
"He still sits upon the Golden Throne and continues to light the Astronomicon. Truly he is more than ever a slave to his own devices now. Some say he is very close to his end. This is what I'm told."
"I have seen the Primaris." Paragon replied. They look almost identical to your Temple Guard in terms of size and strength. I think there's a link between them."
"Indeed." Sensei said. "You were always quite astute. Maybe they are the same. Guilliman too has his own secrets." Placing down the chop sticks the master then took a white cloth napkin and wiped his wizened lips. "Now I must attend to the celebrations. I have a suite prepared especially for you." He pointed over to the servant. "Shoudin will take you there. You can relax. I will return this evening once the celebrations have ended."
"Everything you ever told me I found to be true as well." said Paragon. "I still trust you master."
Sensei smiled again as he stood. "I am honored my son."
Monday, July 03, 2017
Black Blow Fly here again to discuss the Nü Marines and I think they are the awesome. Funnily enough it seems like they are receiving some push back and even more funny it seems to be mostly coming from Space Marine players of all places. Sure their background is a lil wonky but in the world of grimdark anything can and does happen from time to time. Nü Marines remind me a lot of Thunder Warriors and that works for me. My first 8th edItion army is going to be purely composed of Nü Marine units. I realize that some people feel threatened that Nü Marines will invalidate their armies but to me that's a silly outlook and here's why.
First you don't have to use them and until they get some transports I don't see them being all that competitive... but sure they are still pretty good (refer to the 3rd point below). However if you do want to use them then they'll integrate well into any Space Marine army. If you don't want to use them just don't worry about it. It's not like GW is going to stop selling all the Beta Marine units any time soon.
Second I've already mentioned their background is a lil wonky. Some people have gone so far as to claim Roboute Guilliman is going to attempt a coup to overtake control of the Imperium... lol. Remember when Mat Ward was screwing up the lore for chapters such as Blood Angels allying with Necrons and Lord Draigo living in the warp ? How dumb was that but I seem to remember Grey Knights being extremely popular back in 5th edition. How about Phil Kelly and Thunder Wolf cavalry ? A lot of people thought that was silly too but again they are popular irregardless of whether or not these types of things are a good fit in the story line. I'm not saying the lore isn't important as most people say this is what really drew them into the hobby in the first place... BUT things do change and you just can't deny ole Tzneetch his right. Given enough time everything settles down and is accepted one way or another.
Third and this very important - Nü Marines represent what a Space Marine should be as compared to the old Beta Marines. Nü Marines' stat line is in line with how I imagine a Space Marine should be in terms of game play. Look it all the great units xenos armies like eldar, Necrons and Tau got back in 6th and 7th editions... it's about time Space Marines finally got some love of their own. Also in many ways the Nü Marine is true scale compared to the old Beta Marine. Some people don't want to admit it but it is what it is so just best to get used to it and move on. I remember the first picture of a Nü Marine leaked onto the interwebz... it got passed off as being a shopped photo but turns out it is the real deal.
I could go on but I think I've made my case so I'll let it rest for now. If you love Space Marines then I bet there's a place for Nü Marines in your heart too. Don't be another hater.
Sunday, July 02, 2017
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
The Temple Guard were taller than Space Marines and wore suits of partial power armor light blue with lightning bolts etched into their chest plates. Their helmets were open faced revealing dark yellow faces, their eyes covered by mirrored visors. Some were armed with boltguns while others carried pole arms. Their forearms were bare and bulged with hard muscle. Slowly they encompassed Paragon holding their weapons slightly lowered. The old man stood beside him looking upon into his hidden eyes. "They are Thunder Warriors, the predecessors of Space Marines. The Emperor had the rest of their kind eliminated once had he finished creating his Legions. This temple is their last stronghold and they all faithfully answer to me."
Paragon said nothing silently taking in his immediate surroundings. The assassin had holstered his machine pistols. The Temple Guard stared back silent as well.
"So you have finally returned to the place of your origin. You chose such a prodigious day. I welcome you back my son." The sensei bowed at the waist with open arms. "We have much to talk about and I'm sure you have many questions. All will be answered in time. I want you to know it was I who created you and I still consider you our greatest achievement. Your DNA is a combination cast from all other types of assassin with additional special encoding. Unfortunately the technology used to create you has been lost. You are truly one of a kind and I sense you have been further enhanced. Come with me and I will personally show you our temple."
Paragon lifted his heavy duffle bag slinging the strap over his shoulder again. "Lead the way master."
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Thursday, June 22, 2017
"This is a time of celebration." said the old man to the group of small children. They looked at his wrinkled face and laughed at him then ran away. "Children." he muttered to himself.
"They aren't children old man." said a stranger from behind him. The voice startled him for a moment then he turned around from his sitting position. The stranger was a tall slim man garbed in tight black leather with two rows of silver buttons cresting the trench coat. Each button had been fashioned in the shape of the double headed Aquila. The stranger wore a pair of slim mirrored googles hiding his eyes. His hair was shaved down to silvery stubble and a series of deep lines cut into his face framing his slight smile. "But yes you're right today is a celebration that only comes once each millennium to give glory to this temple."
"Who are you?" asked the old man.
"A pilgrim on a long journey, this is the final terminus." He carried a heavy black mesh duffle bag with the chain strap across his broad chest. He drew a lho stick and lit it then handed it to the old man.
"Thanks." said the old man. "That was unexpected." He smiled as he pulled in a deep drag exposing his long crooked teeth. The group of children had returned and they all silently watched them. "If they aren't what you say then what are they?" He blew a ring of smoke that glided slowly towards the children.
"Daemons." said the stranger as he dropped the duffel bag and opened the top of his coat. Rubber pistol grips bulged out from under his arm pits. The children laughed again as they began to morph. Their arms terminated into claws and their skin grew purple. They were only a few feet away then the machine pistols began to fire. Paragon stepped in front of the old man spraying the daemons with a gout of silver coated bullets. Each shot struck one dead between the eyes exploding their brain pans. "Run." he said as he reversed the pistol grips. A pair of fractal edged silver blades ejected from the guns. Springing back with a quick flip the assassin struck out decapitating a the two closest daemons.
Paragon put his back to the wall of the temple to prevent them from surrounding him. The pistols flipped back as he fired them again at point blank range clearing out a tight space between him and the daemons. Their claws snipped at his face as he blocked them away. Their number was rapidly dwindling. Throwing out his elbows bashing their skulls he thrust out breaking through their diminished line. Again he reversed his pistols raking them with the silver daggers. The daemons flinched as the pair of blades cut into them. The last few broke then evaporated leaving only a cloying scent behind in their wake.
"What just happened?" gasped the old man.
"A cleansing." answered Paragon.
Temple Guard had come out surrounding the immediate area.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Tuesday, June 06, 2017
Thursday, June 01, 2017
Is there a way to roll more 6+ fairly ? The answer is yes there is. The answer is counter intuitive to many though... straight (precision) edge dice are considered to roll more consistently compared to rounded edge dice since they don't tumble as much when you roll them but in fact the latter type can actually produce more natural rolls of 6 - here's why.
Casinos use straight edge dice because they roll the most consistently... there should be an equal chance any face (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6) will land up as the final result. Of course casinos require that you actually roll the dice and they must hit the back of the craps table... so if you think about it this is not as easy to do on a table top for wargaming. Some people use smaller dice such as Koplow and a dice box but still it's not the same.
-ROUNDED (PRECISION) EDGE-
Rounded edge dice are more economical to produce due to the manufacturing technology since they are tumbled to smooth the edges which in turn rounds them as a result. The end effect is that these dice roll more as opposed to straight edge dice. The more back spin used to roll these dice results in even more rolling. If you look at the asymptotic curve shown above it shows the distribution of the face landing up as more spin is applied. Of course it's not possible to apply an infinite amount of spin but there is the practical end result - the face that lands up tends to be a 6 as more spin is applied to the roll. This is because the face of 1 naturally has more weight (remember that true casino dice apply lacquered pips to even the overall weight on each face).
Is This Technique Paramount to Cheating ?
The answer to this question really depends on who you ask. Some people don't even realize the applied science but just come upon it naturally. It's surely not the same thing as deliberately using weighted dice but then again some will say if it's intentional then it's obviously cheating. So it's okay if someone does it without realizing why but not okay if they do ? If you read the rules for any war game there's really not much detail provided how to actually roll dice. Rounded edge dice are much cheaper to buy too so there's that as well.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
McGregor lead the way. They first passed by the remains of the dead Avatar torn apart limb from limb by the Templar. Most of the ship looked intact but there was no eldar anywhere to be seen. The hallway came to an end and split into a junction of three paths. McGregor chose the middle way. Glow globes embedded in the walls lit their way. Quickly the pair made their way forward cautiously moving at half march. McGregor had reactivated both his combi weapon and power fist. A double headed Aquila had been etched into the outer surface of the power fist and one of the heads had been chipped off showing bare adamantium armor underneath the voided symbol. Paragon carried both his needle pistol and power sword at his sides. The assassin had replaced his skull mask with the oblique lenses in place. The body glove still shimmered under the dim light devoid of any Imperial marks or means of identification.
The path finally came to an abrupt end leading into a bridge. The bodies of dead eldar lay about, some still sitting while others were strewn prone across the floor. "The psychic backlash following the destruction of their Infinity Circuit must have been too much for their feeble minds. I felt it too while fighting their daemon. No pity." said McGregor as he flattened an eldar skull with his left boot defiling their dead. "It gave me an edge versus that ancient monstrosity for even it too was momentarily adversely affected."
An alien beacon began to chirp. "The White Scars have made translation into the sector. I reckon they'll begin boarding actions soon enough." said the Perpetual.
"Where's the webway portal?" asked Paragon.
"It is close by but seems to be locked." replied McGregor. "You can see its etheric shrouding over there." He pointed to a dark spot over in a corner of the bridge. "We will just have to make the best of it if we can't access ingress to the portal. I reckon we have no more than 10 minutes before they launch their assault pods. The best course of action is to remain hidden and try to counter board their battle barge.
"I've been thinking about this possibility and our alternatives. As a Perpetual I can transfer this state of being to mortals... a transformation if you will."
Sunday, May 28, 2017
Saturday, May 27, 2017
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Paragon stared at the smoky remains of the mainframe for a moment as he finished absorbing the last bytes from the new dataset. His mind felt bloated and his vision blurred. Slowly his zealous hatred culled while he rested mentally ingesting the sampled data.
"You have accomplished your goal." came the voice of McGregor from behind. The assassin quickly turned to see the last Templar entering the inner sect. His armor was scorched and cracked in places and he had removed his helm revealing a face that looked as young as his own. A vibrant tattoo of the triple cross was etched into his forehead. His icy blue eyes seemed kind and shown with an inner light.
"You must be wondering what's next and I will tell you." McGregor looked grim as he deactivated his power fist and sealed his combi weapon. "Your name should be etched in stone within the Emperor's throne room in honor of you and what you've accomplished here but unfortunately that is not to be. You are a great weapon, too great to be trusted by the small the minds of those who created you. So... they have sent another company of Imperial Marines to silence you. They are of the Legion known as the White Scars... falsely informed that you are the product of a violent experiment gone wrong in league with a rogue sect of Templars. They will shoot on sight and no questions are to be asked. We cannot bargain with them."
"How do you know this to be?" asked Paragon.
"I am derived from a clandestine species known by a very few as the Perpetuals. Our kind is immortal for I have lived just as long as the holy Emperor." confided McGregor. "You know me by my true name too. Unfortunately those of my kind are often drawn to the dark side because simply absolute power corrupts. I have spent the last millennium of my life as a Templar and was one so very long ago before the coming of the age of technology. We live by a simple code to serve mankind, it is a duty we freely choose. Surround yourself with a beacon of good faith, it will serve you well.
"So to answer your question indirectly I was able to ascertain the true meaning behind your creation, your task and your final culmination. I have access to secrets highly guarded by those who formulated this plan. To you it does not matter how I came to find out but to heed my advice. There is not much time left before the arrival of the White Scars. If you want to survive then follow me." McGregor held out an open gauntlet. "Do I have your trust?"
Paragon looked down upon the open gauntlet. Dried blood and bits of fleshy gore clung to the finger tips. "I trust you." He gripped the gauntlet feeling the crushing power of the servo enhanced grip. Paragon squeezed tightly forming a symbolic bond with the Templar.
"Some where within the confines of this ship is a portal we can access to escape."
Monday, May 22, 2017
Paragon slid against the wall and activated his camofield. His eyes were two points of jet black staring into the void ahead. McGregor knelt down taking the last melta bomb and set the timer to a short count then he hurled it around the bend. There came the flash from the explosion and bright light filled the hallway. They heard hard steps clanking against Wraithbone. A tall silhouette appeared framed by the burning air. The gigantic figure carried a spear which it held out menacingly stabbing into the dark ether. McGregor broke into a charge firing his combi weapon at point blank range. The Avatar smashed a closed fist into the Huscarl knocking him into the wall. "Attack!" shouted the last Templar as he righted himself and struck back with his power fist.
The assassin slipped past the tussle unseen entering the final parameter. There before him lay the Infinity Circuit unguarded. "Who approaches?" came a voice of alien tongue. Paragon ignored the question as he approached the waiting console. Quickly he slipped his finger tips into the runic panel. "Shea nudh Asuryanish ereintha Asuryanat!" came the unseen voice again. "May the blessings of Asuryan protect the children of Asuryan from abomination." said Paragon mentally translating the alien phrase. His black body glove shimmered as the nanobytes broke free streaming down his arms racing into the tiny hidden apertures. The panel began to trimmer as the nanobytes sluiced into the circuit. Paragon felt sudden elation as he stood over the circuit bare now that the glove had taken its true form. A symbiotic link grabbed at his mind filling his ears with the tortured screams of thousand souls consumed by the man made virus... soon it would be millions.
Long black tentacles erupted from the mainframe grasping him by the arms. They quickly slid around his forearms cruelly twisting about as the alien suckers bit at his exposed bare flesh. It burned like fire, the pain was intense. He could feel the tentacles drawing him into the living circuit. His bones began to crack from the extreme force exerted upon his arms. Slowly more tentacles unfolded from the mainframe reaching down to grasp at his legs. Paragon went rigid driving the pain from his mind as he continued to listen to the many screams and hopeless wailing emanating from the Infinity Circuit. Some of the voices cried out begging for mercy as they were consumed. "Nil ann ach cleasai, agus tá an iomad measa aige air féin." he said to no one in particular. "It is done now." He could not help but laugh as he continued to listen until there was nothing but utter silence.
His left hand broke free clutching the long hilt of a hidden dagger girded to his chest. Quickly he cut across the thick ropey tentacles grasping his other arm. Poisonous black ichor spilled from the deep wounds filling the air with a putrid toxic miasma. More tentacles erupted from the circuit lashing out at his face. Again he drove the dagger down hard sawing at its monstrous clinging grasp.
The nanobytes returned rushing back out again sated from their immediate task. Slipping through the tight grip of the many tentacles the nanobytes reattached to his body bringing renewed vigor. Paragon felt the energy seeping back into his body as he tore away the last of the long slimy boneless limbs. The mainframe collapsed falling apart in a steaming wreck.