Kaya had been born on a castaway planet somewhere in the galactic west, a boulder of sand and rock that might as well have been nameless, were it not for its artisanal manufacture of weaponry. Like many of her bloodline, she had been taught the art of gunsmithing and had produced many a fine piece. Two of them weighed heavily inside her coat. Countless times she’d taken the magazine out, counted the rounds, put it back in and repeated the process. There wasn’t much else to do.
About a month ago, she had been roused from her sleep by a sharp searing migraine in the middle of a starlit night. Thoughts and unknown memories had unfolded within her skull, memories of a place she had never been to, thoughts that had not been her own. The thoughts, chaotic as they might have been, had one constant: The Alpha and the Omega. Two ancient, Terran letters, one superimposed over the other. The First and the Last. The beginning and the end. The Alpha and the Omega.
Kaya’s mind had led her to a place far from home, into dunes that few dared cross, on account of the beasts that roamed the land. Yet, the path had been cleared, littered with corpses of raiders and animals alike; an easy meal for any starving predator, but few beasts were stupid enough to willingly close in on a charnel house. Something had, after all, caused this massacre. Something bigger and stronger. Eventually, Kaya had reached a camouflaged tarp at the bottom of a sandpit. Pulling it back had revealed a space-capable vessel in deep black colour and a metallic emerald symbol gleaming on its side.
The Alpha and the Omega. She remembered little else between then and now. The searing and the hissing in her mind must have guided her. Or perhaps it had been the internal cogitator of the ship. Kaya didn’t know. She had waited in the dark for two standard solar weeks. Two weeks of absolute silence, dead engines and warmth slowly seeping away into the void. She didn’t know what she was waiting for either. The gunsmith just knew that she was supposed to wait. Then, between the cold stars she saw something shift and cover some of the white specks. Something long, angular; another ship.
The cogitator burst to life and illegible code rolled down the screen. Kaya’s eyes were glued to it; again her mind screamed with new thoughts. She blacked out.
Kaya awoke on the bridge of an unknown ship with her stiff fingers keying in a password into the main cogitator. Where was she? The ship was rather…unadorned. No huge gothic arches, no gargoyles. Barely any servitors either. No decorations in the Emperor’s honour.
Her eyes turned towards the ceiling and there she saw banners upon banners hanging, most obscured by the deep dark of the still dead bridge. She squinted and with a bit of focus a symbol appeared within the dark. A three-headed hydra.
Kaya was walking down the dark hallways, ignorant as to how or why she knew the path but following it nonetheless. It seemed like the only natural choice; like breathing or eating. What else was she to do except walk down to wherever this path led her? The temperature was dropping again, and her breath became thick, billowing vapour in the air. Light, cold and sterile, flooded the hallways and revealed myriads of pods on the walls. She halted to look into one of them. Kaya’s heart skipped a beat.
The huge frame, the wide, layered shoulders, ancient gun in one hand and ornate axe in the other. This was a space marine. An angel of death. The eyes were a flickering, mostly dull-red, still slumbering, but with a faint stirring in the heavy, petrol-blue and emerald armour.
Kaya’s mind compelled her to continue on down the hallway. Where just a second ago the dark had occluded her sight, she now saw a dais rising above the chambers. Even from the bottom of the stairs, she could make out another angel of death. Yet, it seemed titanic compared to the others. As she ascended, Kaya’s awe only grew. The figure was easily twice her height, if not more. Scales, chains and snakes wound around and across the plates. It was seated on a throne, staring down the path she had come from and across its knees rested a two-headed spear. This angel of death seemed different though. Not just in size, but the plate seemed empty. She tapped her fingers against it, and sure enough, there was a distinct, if barely audible, hollow ring.
The dark behind the throne beckoned.
The last pod stood alone, far away from the others. It was bigger, covered in more plates; as if it had been fortified in case somebody else would’ve breached the ship. Upon the plates, emblazoned in black and circled by a chain, was the Omega, but devoid of its counterpart, the Alpha.
The machinery around the pod hissed to life and glowing cracks appeared along the seams of the plates. Dry-ice clouds billowed out of the container as Kaya closed in to see what rested inside. A dark-blue gauntlet snapped forward and lifted her up by the neck. In the white mist, a red dot and lens glowed with malicious intent.
“Sihmairan-Neverae-Sigvult” The words meant nothing to her, though truth be told she did not even listen properly as a giant stepped from the pod “Report.”
Kaya opened her mouth to plead for her life, to explain that she did not know where she was, when her mind was hit with another wall of information. The words in and on themselves meant nothing. Idioglossia. They were meant to trigger mental sub-routines within her, and only her.
Her mind spun back the events of the past few years; a solid decade worth of events. The Thirteenth Crusade. The Fall of Cadia. The Return of Lord Guilliman. The Great Rift. The Plague Wars. Events she had never picked up consciously, but merely by listening to her surrounding, by occasionally conversing with the individuals that came from far and wide to purchase her goods. Her mouth moved on its own accord as she succinctly summarised all of it.
“Code Zagrabit; threat level Calamity.” She gasped. The hand relaxed and he put her down; almost gingerly.
“Much has changed in the last millennium” The giant uttered with a voice that made Kaya’s torso reverberate “There is much work to be done. This is…unforeseen. Plans need to be altered. Operative, at my side. We must raise the legion.”
“Who are you?” The gunsmith inquired as they passed by the rows and rows of stirring warriors.
“I am Alpharius.” He answered solemnly. Her keen eyes took in the fine details and workmanship of his armour. The chain markings, the twisting hydras and even the Alpha and Omega. Most curiously though, there was a circled, sole Omega on his shoulder. The same symbol that was carved into his pod.
“I do not recognize you, or your chapter from the Ecclesiarchy’s paintings.” She continued her inquiry.
“No, of course you don’t” Alpharius said with a deep chuckle “We were never much for paintings. The Blood Angels and the Emperor’s Children, now those you’d see on murals and canvas alike. The Alpha Legion prefers to stay in the shadows; our hand should be unseen.”
Kaya nodded, though she understood little. The Blood Angels she, of course, knew. Who didn’t? Who was not familiar with their great father Sanguinius; the Angel? But Alpha Legion? Emperor’s Children?
The ship was coming to life around them and sensor-studded servitors emerged from hidden alcoves and chambers. Their flesh was still slick with preservative fluids. Cogitators buzzed up and the faint thrum of vast plasma-generators made the floor vibrate. Like a sleeping predator stretching after long hibernation, the ship felt the renewed pulse of energy in its veins.
“You have done your work well, Operative” Alpharius finally spoke “Each great work begins with the first stone. This one was placed by you. Shame that you won’t see the completion of things.”
“Lord Alpharius?” Kaya inquired as the space marine turned to face her; his burning red eyes like coals in the dark.
“No, not Alpharius” He spoke as his fingers wrapped around her neck again “Omegon.”
She was gone with a dry snap, left there for a servitor to get rid of before the legion fully awoke. No blood, no unnecessary mess. As it ought to be.
Omegon overlooked the armour on the dais that had remained unchanged by time. Was that really his name? Was he the primarch? He was bigger, stronger, faster than his sons. That he knew and remembered well. Still, the legion had experimented much with the genetic material stolen back on Kiavahr, during the age of Horus’ hubris. Was he just a simulacrum? A shell with memories, a gear in a bigger plan?
Omegon did not know. It was not important to know. If he indeed was, who he believed to be, then he needed to consolidate his power and strike out against the gathering dark. He needed to be the blade in the enemies’ ranks. If he truly was just a copy, an experiment of some sort, then he would fulfil his ordained purpose; even if it ended in demise, for many were the ways of the legion.
Perhaps he was Omegon. The Omegon. He certainly was not Alpharius. Yet, he had to become the Alpha, assume the aspect of leader and drive the legion’s spear into the dark heart of those that truly threatened the Emperor and his vision.
Alpharius Omegon took the spear in his hand, like many a time before, and commanded the servitors to help him. There was war to be done.
War was, after all, the galaxy’s hygiene.