Nothing heard…….The sound of silence…..

It had been days since he had issued the challenge. The warp spawned fire had carried its message across the continents, and out over the vast expanse of space to other systems. He knew this from the Warp eddies that rebounded back to him like the echos of a scream in a canyon.

Yet there had been little response. Broadcloak knew that the challengers had received the message and he knew they would be champing at the bit to get to the field of battle but he had received no defiant messages, no scorn filled rebukes, no laughing taunts. The candle light cast flickering shadows on the yellowing paperwork strewn across the table in front of him and his eyes flicked to a small piece of parchment he had not noticed before. He reached out, pulled the fragment into the candle light. The few scribbled words appeared as he read them and just as quickly disappeared as his eyes moved on.

What could it mean and how did it get here? mused Broadcloak. His voice boomed as he shouted for Rastan Nofriends, his chief of security, who appeared almost immediately from the corridor outside, stooping as he entered through the timbered doorway. “How can I help you, General” he growled.

“Has anyone had access to my chambers Rastan?” Broadcloak kept his voice level with no hint of malice although inside he was furious that his inner sanctum had been breached. “No, my lord. Well, there was the girl…”

“What girl?” snarled Broadcloak, he could feel his anger rising. “The girl that wasn’t a girl, the envoy from Slaanesh, the daemonette that said she had a proposition to make” stuttered Rastan as he became aware that he had made a huge mistake.

Suddenly Braodcloak seemed to relax. He dismissed Rastan who disappeared with some relief. The General opened his fist to reveal the fragment of parchment. It made sense, he thought. The Daemonette had been an astral projection, controlled from many light years away. Moving large items, like living bodies, through the warp without the aid of a Gellar field was almost impossible, but transporting a small piece of psychicly protected parchment was possible. The daemonette was a signature of one of his oldest rivals and the scrawl was as clear as crystal. The purple ink had simply read. ‘Castigators Inbound. Prepare to die’

Broadcloak smiled a secret smile and crushed the message in his fist before watching it arc into the flames of the fire. If the Castigators were on their way the others would follow.

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