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The Cryptek Khutakh

Count Vashra

Lord of Shadows
True Blood
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
1,557
#1
Here's a Necron story about intrigue and manipulation featuring Overlord Phakep and the titular character, his 'loyal' Cryptek Khutakh (I'm just using Egyptian-esque names for Necron characters. Easiest way to do it).

Chapter one:
The Cryptek's Chamber

The Canoptek Scarabs swarmed over the Cryptek's chamber of the Selkleth Crownworld. Crownworlds, the capitals of the Necron dynasties and therefore the richest and most powerful planets, had the resources for the best stasis crypts. This ensured that the Phaerons, the rulers of the dynasties, and their best warriors, including the fearsome Lychguard, and highest Crypteks, survived the millennia, if at all, in near-pristine condition, their crypts not subject to malfunction.
On Selkleth, the crypts containing the Phaeron and his best were in as perfect condition that could be maintained. As such, when the Crownworld's stasis timers indicated that the prescribed time had passed, and it was time for its inhabitants to stride forth, it was a simple matter for the Crownworld's master program to activate the reanimation protocols.
The protocols activated, the Scarabs swarmed into the Cryptek's chamber and deactivated the stasis fields.

Khutakh awoke to the mechanical clicking of his Canoptek Scarabs. On mechanical legs that had not been use for millennia, the Cryptek rose, staff in hand and walked to a view screen on the wall. 'Show me the timer,' he instructed in his monotonous voice.
A date appeared on the view screen. 60 million years? Khutakh thought to himself. So the Crownworld had awoken after the correct time, at least.

He dismissed the timer and looked around him. The other Crypetks were stirring. As they came to, they stood before him. He was the highest of them, the Phaeron's best, and they were subservient to him. 'Assist the Crownworld in awakening the legions,' he instructed in a monotonous, metallic voice. 'I will awaken the Phaeron and his guards.' The Crypteks moved to obey his commands, and Khutakh walked to the Overlord's chamber.

The Overlord's Chamber

At regular intervals on the side walls, a dozen Lychguard stood, their massive Necrodermis frames far more imposing than his own body. That had been part of the curse - lacking the resources to equally rebirth all the necrontyr, the C'Tan had prioritised resources. Szarekh the Silent King, supreme ruler of the necrontyr, had of course received the best body the 'gods' could make, along with his co-rulers on the Triarch. The Praetorians, the guards of the Triarch, had received slightly lesser quality, and it had gone downhill from there, with the civilians having to make do with being essentially automatons, capable only of following orders and fighting. They were not intelligent enough to feel fear, true, but still, they were only shells. Sometimes Khutakh thought they deserved better. He himself was fortunate to be a Cryptek. He did not have the massively powerful body the royalty and their guards shared, but his line of work did not require such power, and with inbuilt self-repair protocols to protect him from dangerous experiments, and the inherent resistance of even a lesser necrodermis shell, this body, which allowed him to retain his intelligence and memories, was sufficient.
The Lychguard wielded giant Warscythes, two-handed energy staves which could slice through battle tank armour like paper. Some Overlords equipped them with the weaker yet still deadly Hyperphase Swords, trading killing power for the near-invulnerability granted by Dispersion Shields. Khutakh was pleased these Lychguard retained their Warscythes, which he thought made them look more impressive. Also, their bodies, capable of sustaining and repairing more critical damage than his own, reduced the need, at least in Khutakh's mind, for such protection. It was one advantage of being a Necron. A Necron's inbuilt protection allowed him to concentrate purely on attack; any damage inflicted upon him would soon be repaired.

Behind the Phaeron's still active stasis field was a large throne, upon which he received dignitaries and...not much else, really, considering that the nature of the Necrons eliminated both the need and ability for commoners to make petitions, and there was no longer the need to hold court.

'Awaken the Phaeron and his Lychguard.' At the Cryptek's command, the stasis fields deactivated. Phaeron Phakep of the rose to his full height, and his Lychguard moved to stand beside him. The Phaeron was huge, even amongst his already impressive guard, and clad in the remnants of royal cloaks. He held his rod of royal office, his Staff of Light, in his giant hands. Green electricity crackled as the staff recharged after millennia of dormancy. When he spoke, it was in a voice which, though monotone, had lost none of its regal authority.

'Cryptek Khutakh. Thank you. How long have we slumbered?'
'60 million years, Phaeron.'
'That long? Too long. The galaxy will have changed much by now. What is the status of my legions?'
'My Crypteks are awakening them, Phaeron,' Khutakh answered.
'Have them assemble at at the muster fields when they are awake.'
'I will, Phaeron.'
'And when everything is awoken, I want an inventory of everything. Even if we've lost a single Scarab, I want to know.'
'Not to question your wisdom and authority, Phaeron, but to what purpose?'
'I need to know what forces we have, so as better to plan our strategies,' the Phaeron answered.
'Yes, Phaeron.'
 
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Count Vashra

Lord of Shadows
True Blood
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
1,557
#2
Chapter two:
The Muster Fields

The legion of Selkleth was sizeable, as befitting a Crownworld, and took some time to be fully awoken. Through it all, tireless legions march into the grand square under the planet's surface. Legion upon legion came, their awakening determined by their importance. First came the Warriors, civilians given what was left of the necrodermis once the rest of the necrontyr had been Biotransferred. Their inferior bodies gave them no intelligence, no memories, save the knowledge of fighting and following orders. Their saving grace was that they were expendable, for there had been many civilians, and their lack of intelligence both made them fearless - rather, unable to register they should flee - and easy to give a new body to, should they phase out. As they had no individuality, all that was needed for repair was their almost-non-existent minds, and more necrodermis. Also, their ignorance of fear made them able to shoot unhindered by distractions such as explosions, hopeless odds, and fierce war cries. Next came the immortals, those who had been soldiers. They had been given bodies that again robbed them of individuality, but allowed them to retain tactics, and the ability to give and receive orders, and give reports. They couldn't learn, so were hopeless if in a situation they had not encountered when alive, but all that changed generally was the weapons, not how the battles were fought, all but eliminating the problem.
Above the fields were Tomb Blades, small, nimble, open-topped vehicles that could be described as jetbikes. For efficiency, they were piloted by Warriors, who were given strictly scripted flight paths, though the speed at which they moved and the hyperlogic used in the calculations would make the pattern impossible to predict, let alone be realised, by other races.
Behind the host stood a star god, one who had strode amongst the stars and made the necrontyr into the Necrons. Or, at least, a shard of one. It was a C'Tan, an etheric being that the world-breaking weapons of the Necrons had only been able to break into countless shards, each a fraction of their progenitor's power, yet still a terrible foe to face. Energy writhed across its necrodermis frame, a body forced in the form of the necrontyr's own gods to house the celestial beings who were too powerful to take physical forms of their own, and so had been housed in constructs twice the height of a necrontyr to contain their massive power. Though only shards, they were still strong, and were usually locked away in secure Tesseract Labyrinths.

Khutakh and Phakep stood facing the assembled army. Phakep was loosely accompanied by his Lychguard and a few other minor Lords. Khutakh stood beside the Phaeron, away from the other Crypteks.
Phakep glared at Khutakh when he saw the Shard. 'What in the Silent King's name is the meaning of this?' he demanded. The Silent King was the supreme ruler of the necrontyr, or Necrons as they were now, so named as his will was spoken by his two co-Phaerons on the ruling council called the Triarch.
'I thought it best to show you what power we had hidden on this Tomb World.' A swarm of Scarabs filled the field behind the Crypteks, whilst Canoptek Spyders, giant arachnid robots that controlled the Tomb World whilst its inhabitants slept, patrolled along with a group of Canoptek Wraiths, serpentine constructs that could dimension shift at will to bypass shielding and armour, or avoid shots and blows. Khutakh was displaying all his creatures - a Cryptek maintained a Tomb World's robots - to show Phakep his power.
'Then imprison it again! Look! it's straining at your control!' Khutakh had established a mental link with the C'Tan, to keep control of it and give it orders. When released from their Labyrinth prisons, Shards were liable to attempt to destroy its captors and seek out other Shards, whether remnants of its own progenitor or not. The mental link was one precaution to prevent this from happening. Phakep could see the Shard visibly straining to escape the Cryptek's control.
'Is there a need? I have it perfectly under control. And it will exponentially increase our strength.'
'I'm not risking it breaking free and destroying half my army before its restrained again. Or destroyed. Which I may in fact do now.'
'That would be unwise,' Khutakh said.
'Why?' Phakep asked. Though a Necron's voice was emotionless, Khutakh detected his Phaeron's feelings all too well.
'First, it hasn't broken free yet, and I am confident it never will. Second, it would be an unnecessary blow to our power. My Crypteks have told me the galaxy has changed. Eldar are no longer the only threat.'
'Eldar...' Phakep grated. The Eldar were the race that had forced the Necrons to hide in their Tomb World all this time. They had been the only race with the power to resist the Necrons after they had destroyed the Old Ones and broken the C'Tan. 'What is their status?'
'Unknown,' Khutakh admitted. 'But we will find out soon.'
'Find out. And these other races. What are they?'
'The Orks, who have always been around. They are as random as ever. They are no threat. The Tau, a young race, even younger than the others. They are advancing their technology at a massive rate. The humans. They span the galaxy, but have too many enemies. Their collapse is inevitable.'
'Is that all?'
'As far as we have been able to establish in the short time we have,' Khutakh answered. 'We will learn more as we explore this new galaxy.'
'Good. But we still don't need that C'Tan. Remove it from my sight.'
Understanding that his Phaeron would not give up, Khutakh assented. 'Yes, Phaeron.' He turned to his Crypteks. 'Prepare the Labyrinth.' He turned to the Shard. My Phaeron wants you back in your prison. He could feel the Shard's raging through the link, but could do nothing, for now.

The Cryptek's Chamber

Khutakh followed his Crypteks and watched as they sealed the raging, fragmented god in its extra-dimensional prison. They were about to seal it when he stopped them. 'Let me enter.'
They turned in surprise. 'Master, it is too- '
'Dangerous? I know. I'm still going in.'
'Why?'
'Your knowledge is not required.' Khutakh walked past the protesting Crypteks and went into the Labyrinth.

The C'Tan's Labyrinth

Khutakh wandered through the Labyrinth, looking for the C'Tan. The Labyrinth was a maze, and soon he was lost. The Shard, however, had had 60 million years to explore and remould its prison, having been imprissned before the Great Sleep. It could be anywhere, and in any form it liked.
Eventually Khutakh saw what looked like Phakep ahead of him. He laughed.
'You think appearing as the Phaeron will intimidate me? You should have remained as yourself.'
'That form is inconvenient for a conversation,' the Shard replied. 'This form is the best compromise between size and intimidation.'
'Size yes, intimidation, no.'
'I am a god. Are you not intimidated?'
'Of a full version? Yes. Of a Shard? No. You're imprisoned. If I die, this Labyrinth will seal forever. You need me alive,' Khutakh stated.
The Shard made to respond, but then decided it wasn't worth the risk to find out if the Cryptek was bluffing. He probably wasn't. 'Then what do you want?'
'Your help.'
'What help could I give you?'
 
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