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[Being a study of the horrendous war between the Old Ones and the Necrontyr]

Dark Encounter

Lucius glanced around, nervous. He held his bolter at the ready, hoping he'd have no need to use it. But something didn't feel right about this place. Something made it seem evil, and brooding. It made a man feel fear, even a man enhanced to be superhuman.

Around him, other members of Squad Leviticus moved nervously through the darkened chamber. The ship they were aboard was dark, with no internal lights. Its design was foreign to the identification scanners on the Gladius. No one knew what it was, so a squad of Space Marines had been sent to investigate. A squad of the Emperor's Finest...

And now those finest were skulking about, unknowing what they feared, or why.

Lucius took point and led the way down a long corridor. It ended in a large room, hexagonal in shape. The walls were black, but seemed to glow with a dark light.

Behind them, the room's entrance slammed shut. Brother Tenius spun around, blasting at the sudden sound with his bolter. Explosive shells impacted on the door, leaving no mark, and briefly illuminated the room before their light was snuffed out by the all-pervading darkness.

From the other side of the room came another sudden noise, like a single beat of a drum. Sergeant Leviticus held his hand up to signal the squad not to fire. Another drum beat followed.

Then another.

Then another.

Then another.

The door on the side of the room opposite the Marines' entry point opened suddenly. Lucius squinted to try to see what was on the other side, but in the darkness he could see nothing.

In an instant, he found out what was on the other side.

Into the room came a monstrously sized creature, almost human in appearance, but cloaked in a veil of darkness. Its face held a sneer of anger, its eyes glowed a cold blue. The creature lashed out with arms that shone blue with dark energies, dispatching two Marines with cold fire in a heartbeat.

Lucius' training kicked in, and he took up a firing position. He aimed his bolter at the aberration and began to fire. Bolt rounds came at the creature from six bolt guns, impacting harmlessly on an unseen field as it effortlessly murder two more of Lucius' brothers.

The creature turned toward the surviving Marines. The hatred in its expression made Lucius stumble backward in surprise, then he raised his bolter and kept firing. The creature made a gesture as if backhanding someone, and a flash of blue light swept out toward four Marines to the right of Lucius. They let out a short scream before their bodies were burned down to their charred bones.

Sergeant Leviticus, now angered, charged the creature, pulling his chainsword from his scabbard. "For the Emperor!" he cried out.

It was to no avail. He was thrown backward with a gesture, the force of his impact with the wall such that his torso flattened, blood and bone fragments showering outward.

Lucius stopped firing. He stared at the creature. This was no mere alien.

It was a cold, cruel god, angered by the mortals who had disturbed its realm.

He looked up at the creature, and barely managed, "W-w-what are you?"

The creature stopped its movement toward him. It seemed lost in thought for a moment, then replied. Its voice was as dark as its appearance. "I have had many names, Man. Stardeath, Souldrinker, Lifestealer... My own call me Outsider. I am the doom of worlds and the eater of stars. I have been here forever and shall be here forever. I have seen the births of galaxies and the deaths of galaxies. And I will be the death of all infidels who meddle in my plans, including you Men."

And with that, the creature reached out toward Lucius. Before he died, Lucius felt an extreme cold.

Then, nothing.