Right from the moment the Golden Warriors arrived, Ariaoin gave off an uneasy undertone. Even for a Hiveworld, the mood was thick with disdain for the Custodes as they stepped forward through the unwelcoming streets. Perhaps it was their Secpod’s contents that fuelled contempt.

These Terran Warriors had been dispatched from the old world as a beacon of hope to the troubled system. Yes, Astartes and Militarum had presence but the Custodes message was clear – NO distance was out of reach for the defenders of the Emperor. Still, the number of disturbances was escalating at an uncomfortable rate in this sector. News that a Space Wolf and Flesh Tearers recon outfit on different planets had been bested and comms lost. Any news of cultists activity must now be taken in full seriousness. Junarerma mass production had been halted and apart from the last garbled transmission, Astraana VoxComs Telco Towers fell silent. Both had reports of cultist activity in the proceeding years.

Much like the others, word had arrived that the Cults had quickly spread like an aggressive cancer throughout the citizens of Ariaoin City, indiscriminately turning the masses towards a different faith. Though not clear on the surface, it could be easily sensed throughout the populace. Strangely though no icons bore symbolism of the dark powers.

Delving deeper into the cities than the resident Arbites would dare, the search uncovered the true scale of the cult that existed here. Not exactly the kind of cult they had anticipated but still, very cunning in their nature, extremely well organised and a thriving one at that. An infestation like these on a cluster of planets would mean the attached hive mind growing in interest and reason to return.

These cultists were everywhere, as was the evidence signifying several attempts to call on the Tendril that littered the concealed subterranean underhives. It was fortunate, well fortunate for the Custodes, not so much their prisoner, that they had discovered another attempt to psychically link back the bio-horrors, mid ritual. The Custodes Guard and Captain made very short work in claiming the central figure, as the congregation slinked back into the shadows. This Acolyte was coerced into admitting that he, she, it was the 2IC to the Brood infested here in Ariaoin city. The perfect bait then to lure out the Patriarch. This was their fifth attempt at drawing out the majors and the whole operation was close to being terminated had it not been for the effort to recapture their imprisoned on the last search mission. A genuine attempt numbering in the thousands to steal back their brethren had reignited the Custodes focus in deleting their leader and eradicating the cult.

The Golden Warriors were on high alert as they proceed towards where their servo probes had gained significant interest.

Barely had the proximity beacons sounded and the Secpod GONE. Engulfed in claw and teeth and whisked away. Severed purple limbs twitched where they were instantly removed but even the lightening reaction of the Custodes power weapons was not enough in keeping hold of their quarry.

Shield Captain, infuriated with these pests, turned, and faced the Acolyte, nonchalantly firing off a single round and made purple mist of what was once the Iconwards head, who had been victory sneering…

No more time to be wasted here. The basket is well and truly rotten. There is all but one option now.