The False Necrons are the ai.
Bright light skewered the lords seconds later from Valnyr’s staff. From behind her, lightning flickered and killed other hunched, flayer-touched necrons. Lychguard heads turned to identify the new threat.
The false necrons marched from their tombs, ornate weapons flashing as they obliterated the flayed ones.
‘Cryptek,’said the warlord Nuensis. He inclined his head in respect and greeting. ‘We have been waiting to remind the tomb world of our worth.’
‘Your intercession is appreciated, warlord.’
‘What afflicts these Dynasts?’
‘Such slavish devotion to the star gods,’said Nuensis, his eyes shifting to regard the hunched and hiding figure of Maantril. Several of the false necrons began to make sigils of obeisance to the star gods before ingrained engrams prevented the motions from completing.
‘It is beyond that,’ Shaudukar said.
Valnyr added, ‘They are afflicted by the curse of Llandu’gor.’
‘We should relieve them of this affliction,’ Nuensis said without hesitation. He hefted a great, curved sword. He sketched the posture for bloodthirsty and anticipation. He was clumsy and awkward, lacking the poise of a true necron. He had never needed the postures and poses in life.
‘There is no time,’ Valnyr asserted. ‘The world is lost to this curse.’
‘Your plan, cryptek?’ asked Maantril.
‘We head for the surface, to find succour or relief.’
The false necrons shared knowing looks. ‘What of the Dolmen Gate?’ one asked.
‘No,’said Valnyr. ‘Such technology was fickle in its prime. After all this time, to trust that it would still function is madness.’
‘For all we know,’ added Shaudukar, ‘the eldar still haunt the twisting paths. They were mighty of old and while they are frail compared to the strength of our kind, we lack the comfort of numbers. The eldar are cunning creatures.’
‘How do we know the eldar linger into this age? Perhaps they have earned their final extinction,’ insisted Maantril.
Nuensis hissed a laugh. ‘I wish that it were so, but they were persistent creatures. It is equally likely that they rule the galaxy now. Have you had access to updated knowledge since your awakening, cryptek?’
‘No,’said Valnyr. Her thoughts were distracted, still lingering on the option presented by the Dolmen Gate. Further technology granted to them by the wiles of the c’tan, the Dolmen Gates had been stolen from the Old Ones and their eldar servants. There too lurked tricks and turns not anticipated by the naïve necrontyr. Like the biotransference that had ensured their unending half-life, the Dolmen Gates offered the unexpected and the unwelcome. They were access points to the webway, a means of travelling across vast distances at great speeds and without touching reality.
But to move so close to the nightmare dimensions of the otherrealm, to tempt the beings that dwelled therein, was madness.
‘A last resort, then,’said Maantril. ‘I may be no more than a simulation, but I have no wish to face the darkness of the real grave.’
Valnyr surveyed the gathered necrons. She nodded. ‘A last resort.’
Nuensis grunted his agreement. ‘We make for the surface. We shall stride Kehlrantyr once more.’