The holographic sensor in the middle of the darkened abyssal room was almost akin to the one Lord Shadowscythe had been stood before what felt like half a lifetime before, on the bridge of the Fist of Scythia, the Emperors flagship in the midst of the hidden fleet hundreds, if not thousands of lightyears away. The components where almost exactly the same, if not for the telltale signs of Immortal Infinitech construction - gun metal grays replacing deep, bloodlike Scythian reds and a slightly cruder and almost marginally larger construction. As Lord Warhead approached with Lord Shadowscythe, Kato and the Immortal Admirals in tow the array burst into life.
It was a sea of color, ever shifting shades and hues - an ocean of nascent data that swam through the core of this one system and one other in the entire universe, Lord Shadowscythe recognized it instantly as Lord Warhead turned to register the frown on Shadowscythe's face.
The sea of color before him could only be one thing - the same AI that the Emperor himself used to divine, plot and plan their schemes of saving the universe from the threat of The Shraag.
The Immortals, the enemy had access to Entity.
"The look of recognition on your face is palpable but this is not the time to further rub salt into the wounds so I will give you the short version of the story" Lord Warhead began "The AI you know as Entity began life as an AI within on of your Goliath battlemecha units, during the conflict with the Undead Calcite creatures both around and within the Solaris it went from Sentience to Transience and became a full life form in its own right."
"The very same Solaris that sparked the Scythian and Britannian conflict when they denied our open intelligence. Intelligence you somehow have" Lord Shadowscythe stated with a look of cold, harsh death on his face.
"The very same, we would expect no less intelligence from our allies." Lord Warhead spat back.
"Even though I am in this room I am not your ally." Lord Shadowscythe spat in turn, fingers edging ever closer to the trigger of the Laser pistol at his side.
"No but the Britannians are, and all intel is worthy intel." Lord Warhead said as yet another curdling grin crept across his bony visage "Now are you going to let me continue or are you finally going to give in to that lust and urge and blast my head off?"
Lord Shadowscythe's fingers edged away from the pistol as he then crossed his arms in silence.
" . . . now then where was I?" Lord Warhead returned "Ahh yes, Entity - The version your Emperor laid his little mitts on was the version from this timeline, young and capable and not yet linked with its future self - its methodology of being so damned useful at telling the future is linked to a technology that he should not yet have had access too - a technology found on the ship used to rip The Shraag a new arsehole on the world you knew as Ereberus Three."
The holographic Dias shifted from the sea of colors into the image Lord Shadowscythe knew all to well, the iceworld of Ereberus Three in the distance, the shredded Scythian fleet, Immortal and Britannian ships being swatted from the sky by implacable Meson Bolt rounds, teleporting directly from the barrels of the guns deep within the Shraag warsphere beneath the surface of the world inside the ships in orbit, shattering ships spines asunder or causing direct generator explosions, a ships surface would explode as the force of an internal blast burst from its skin like some form of virulent parasite and then the entire vessel would explode from the inside out or simply vanish in a sphere of burning bad light.
Then The Scythian re-enforcements arrived and the image skipped ahead by just a beat to when the Emperors secret weapon arrived. A vast black and gray mass a little over ten kilometers long, a non-euclidian ovoid of blades and curves ending in a gaping maw that repulsed a wave of dark energies that wiped out Immortals and Britanians alike before hitting the planet itself and ripping the Shraag to death. The planet shattered and cracked under the damage from the weapon and The Shraags own destructive influence and then the image froze.
"This ship is beyond what is, and what should be in this universe - it is what your S.O.N.I classes as a KINGUNDERTHEMOUNTAIN class artifact." Lord Warhead spoke the words almost as if they where recited "It exists now in two places, the current version is in the hands of your Emperor - in the midst of his fleet and waiting for more sentient sacrifices - it is a psionic weapon that turns the power of the soul into a devastating force. It is the only weapon even capable of harming The Shraag, created by a now extinct race that sundered themselves to extinction before any other life even existed in this universe - they killed themselves to knock it into a psionic coma in the hopes it would either fade to the point of death or simply never awaken."
"Which of course, it did" Lord Warhead finished "And he is now sacrificing thousands, with millions more prepared - to use this weapon as many times as needed to finally kill the beast."
The Impact of this alone shook Lord Shadowscythe to his core, the fact that the Emperor had sent him on an errand to his death was hard enough to stomach, but the fact that the Emperor - the spearhead of the Empire, the shining heart of all thing Scythian - a figurehead beyond question or reason to uphold nobility and paragon through his life and beyond was willing to, and already committing genocide to achieve his goals felt like it had left a taint on his very soul.
"You said this weapon existed in two places" Lord Shadowscythe said slowly and meaningfully.
"Yes, the second is in its hiding place, within a graveyard of vessels from the last Shraag conflict - just beyond the edge of this galaxy in a region of phased space we had discovered not to long ago" Lord Warhead stated as if it was a state of natural fact.
"Then why are the Immortals not using it already? It would be the perfect little weapon for your war of death, and by the looks of it you are more than willing to desecrate life itself for kicks. So why is it not in your stinking little claws?" Shadowscythe mocked.
"That is both simple and not so simple at the same time. The only reason your Emperor has the ship is because it was sent back in time from a point when it was repaired and ready enough to be fired - five years from now, by US."
"Our 'little' war has been played out to death my friend in an infinity of other universes that are not ours, in some we won - and our Emperors glorious crusade continued anon. In others you won, Scythians stood supreme as the bloodied shield of this galaxy and soon countless others as you expanded outwards into our galaxies beyond. In a rare but infinite few we joined forces, in others we drove each other to mutually assured destruction but in this one your Emperor sent a message back in time with a machine that should not have existed and was never finished opening a path that only exists in this one line but threatens all others - to save this universe, and then all other universes our paths have to flip like a coin and I need you, Lord Shadowscythe to help me Lord Warhead piece together the items your Emperor will need to save this universe before everything simply ends."
Lord Warhead paused for a moment, he didn't actually need to breath, in his current form he could withstand everything upto and including exposure to hard vacuum, but a small sigh came from between his teeth nonetheless before he then continued.
"That vessel is within a phased bubble that we cannot access, and we need to - we must access it - and to do this we need access to several items and materials, some we have access to - some we do not."
The images on the holographic dias altered and changed.
"The first is this version of Entity - the reason why this exists is because it is the first stage of what your Emperor will come to hold - the Entity twenty seven years from now, conjoined from a crack in the time stream, which will be placed within the vessel and then sent back in time to a point where your Emperor will discover it and join the two to create his method of sifting through timelines. The second are the elements of the time machine your people used to create this very mess to begin with - to allow Entity its pathways of moving through the cracks. The next is Britanian Cavorite - a material we helped them utilize but they guard tighter than a nuns ballerina if you can forgive the expression. To put it bluntly we are going to have to steal it and you are going to help me do so - and lastly a Scythian Anti-matter generator"
"We have one aboard Stormsword One" Kato spoke for the first time during the meeting.
Lord Warhead gaze shifted to Kato for just a moment "A worthy suggestion but this one is going to have to be stolen again, from right under the nose of Lord Hearcer to boot - we need the most powerful generator in existence, we need the Primary generator from his flagship the 'Unbound' so that we can combine the elements together and rip that ship from its phased space using Cavorite and dump it back to the point where S.O.N.I and later the Emperor will find it."
Lord Shadowscythe stood for a moment before he finally asked the questions from the back of his mind "And why could you not simply ask? drop the war effort and help with all of this to save everyone?"
"Good question, well put and to the point - Firstly, your Emperor has other motives in mind, even this version of Entity here will move against us once this path is complete - but we need this being to finish its path and end up where it is needed to save us all. Secondly that path dictates that you need to be dead, which is obviously going to interfere with my goals and be an inconvenience to yourself. Thirdly - simply asking for these materials considering the fact that The Shraag is an all present psionic monster from beyond the universe that will soon have access to all of time and space in every universe throughout infinity is a royally bad idea, right now it is young and vulnerable, its conscious mind is sleeping and centralized, spread through the universe but focused on its thralls - imagine what would happen if these events failed and it spread its reach back, we would all be dead long before we where even born as it retcons this entire galaxy and then moves onto a universal scale - right now the fact that the elements moving against it are as small and localized as it is, anything greater risks awakening or bringing in the eldritch from beyond."
Lord Warhead stopped for just a moment for that to sink in.
"Now, Right now - the timelines are turning, your Emperor betrayed you, now it is time for you to Betray him - working with the enemy to save reality has a flavor to it that is utterly tantalizing but we need to move, our first port of call is a Britanian shipyards on the far side of their empire - one that is mining Cavorite from a nearby asteroid field - chunks of another universe that have encapsulate themselves in non-matter to protect themselves from our own. We need that material and they are not willing to give it - so we are simply going to steal it. We have all the materials we need for you - but we need you, your ship and our resources to get the job done."
"Why?" Lord Shadowscythe asked.
"Well it is rather simple really - we need to steal that Cavorite - and we are not at war with the Britannians, not until they have made themselves weak enough for us to conquer by fighting with you." Lord Warhead stated yet again in his flat, matter-of-factly voice "We give you the kit, you use that gloriously Scythian ship of yours and become the scapegoats and the universe goes on turning, you never know - you may even save some Scythian lives in the commotion!"
"You are a bastard, you know that don't you?"
"All the best ones are." Lord Warhead said with the hint of a chuckle in his tone "Now are you going to stop being a shite in whining armor or are you going to man up and save the universe?"
"Fine, tell me your plan" Lord Shadowscythe gave in to the games, if the only way forward was sideways it was best to go with the flow.
"Well to do that, we need to leave the light show and go see some new toys then don'tcha?" Lord Warhead said almost mockingly as he gestured back towards the teleportation grid behind them.
-- WARNINK -- LINK BELOW IZ KNOWN TO CAUZE HEMMORAGE --
I WARNED YOU, DIDN'T I WARN YOU?! BLAME RAYHAWK DAMNIT.