The Providence and rest of the Iron Dragons fleet had been wondering for an untold number of years now. The warp storm which engulfed them upon entering this sector of space had been relentless.
Now, on the Miskatonic screens the Astronavigator showed a scene of unbelieved horror.
A vortex, a hole in the very fabric of the warp storm had opened. Through it, an arm was reaching. At the end of this cosmic arm was a large hand grasping and picking up million tonne ships as if they were playthings.
First the Providence, grappled amidships, was dragged stern first into the nothing. The Arkham and The Red Hook followed in short order. Ship after ship was being snatched, disappearing through the hole in the universe. An entire fleet lost into the nihility of space by a creature which treated them like toys. And then, it was the Miskatonic turn.
There was almost no sensation as the hand engulfed the ship. The only sound was the screams of the Astronavigator.
Soon, the darkness gave way to a blinding light as the mighty warship shook with a loud crash. Damage reports came in, no apparent damage but the ship was canted.
Captain Kalmar made his way to the observation decks. Pouring in through them was a blinding light. After his eyes adjusted, a sight of madness met him. There strewn along a great plain were all the mighty ships of the Iron Dragons fleet.
There were jagged mountains in the distance. Some structure, possibly ruins, could be seen at their base.. Already some men from the other ships were descending to the plain. The sensors were useless. Recon was the only way to determine their situation.
What trick of chaos was this, after all the battles with chaos forces, all the xenos, what bizarreness was this?
Towers of various colors bordered the plain. Beyond the towers, figures could be seen, a few emerged, Skraelings from a militia unit, claimed they had been part of a battle when a huge hand scooped them up depositing them here. Their reports indicated some Anarchist marines in the vicinity as well as daemons and Keldaran.
Shadow darkens the sky, the hand reaches out and a grey anarchist marine disappeared into the sky.
As Kalmar read through the scouting reports, he shook his head, what madness? The ships checked out. The power fields were still operating, how could the warp have touched them this way?
Kalmar awoke to a great shaking, the ship was being shaken and even an enhanced could not hold. As he fell though the ship, he prayed the divine dragon to deliver them.
Eventually, he fell along with others, out of the ship, into a palm. Yes a palm, perhaps the same which grabbed them.
All the crew fell in a heap on the plain. Some trickery of chaos paralyzing them so they lay in the heap.
He could see through a gap the same grey anarchist marine. The hand picked it up. After a time, the figure reappeared and it was no longer grey, but a blue with light trim, almost the reverse of the Iron Dragons colors.
Time and again the figure disappeared and reappeared with more detail, more color.
He secretly marveled at its appearance.
Feeling movement, Kalmar realized the whole heap of the men and marines had been picked up, Soon a falling sensation, followed by being engulfed in a cool, viscous liquid and darkness.
Kalmar had no idea how long he and his men were in the liquid. Eventually it drained and after a rinse in a lighter liquid, they found themselves back on the plain, next to a squad of anarchist marines with tentacled heads.
Many cycles of light and darkness pass. Marines began disappearing and reappearing. Each time with some color added. Never did they have the look of anarchy, nor the beauty.
One day an anarchist is placed nearby, and Kalmar’s comm-link crackles. The story the anarchist tells is similar, plucked from their battles and brought here, forced to face and fight others. If they win, they receive more color.
If they do not…
Slowly, Kalmar saw other Loyal Marines, fuzzy looking and armor poorly painted.
A battle comes and with it, life and new paint…..
Captain Kalmar looked up from the Miskatonic ready room at the sound of klaxons.
His equerry entered the room, knocking on the way in, as a brief nod to protocol, obviously excited.
“Sir!, the warp storm has dissipated!, we have contact with ships not in our fleet! Master Kullulu is speaking with them now.”
Shaking sleep and the strangeness of what must have been a warp dream from him, he headed for the bridge.