One of the guys in one of the many game groups I frequent online posted this story. I read it in no time flat (it's not so long as to be a bother) and was crying with laughter. Due to that, I decided to sharae this story with you guys and give y'all a chuckle as well. Enjoy!
Written by Scott Leaton
Through his binoculars, Raz Bigspikes surveyed the dusty battlefield far in the distance, perched atop a half-ruined spire of Hive Canis. To the cultist rebellion's dismay, the space marines had been dispatched to quell the planetary uprising, and he beheld the first drop pods as each one screamed through the atmosphere, straight down, before landing in the dusty field with an almost comically abrupt thud. Each pod kicked up an immense cloud of dust upon impact, until eventually he could only hear the pods as they landed, the entire landing area having become a fog of filth and debris.
As the cloud cleared, he saw eleven- no, twelve drop pods. And something else amongst them, in the middle... something tall. No... it couldn't be...
"Oh, piss," he moaned. "It's a primarch! I think they sent a primarch!"
"Give me those," snapped Captain Balphius, snatching the binoculars away and peering for himself. Sure enough, it appeared to be a twenty-foot space marine, grey with dust and standing proud, noble, and completely still.
"That ain't a primarch, you tit!" Balphius said. "That there's an 'Honored Imperium'."
"A what?" asked Raz.
"'Honored Imperium'. It's sort of a big statue."
Raz was confused. "They brought... a statue?"
"Oh, yeah, they do that now," explained Balphius. "See, few centuries back, these Marines was fighting someone or other outside the gates of some city, and the front lines was right at the gates. So these Marines had their backs to the gates, and right behind 'em was this one big statue of some bigshot hero Marine-"
"Which hero?" asked Raz.
"Warp should I know? The ugly one. Anyway, so, the Marines win the fight, and they all come back reportin' that being in front of the statue made 'em fearless somehow."
"They ain't already fearless?"
"Naw, they just tell people that. But when they was near this statue, they really WAS fearless. So eventually they decide that the next time the planet is invade they're gonna steer the fight in front of the statue again, to try and figure out if it'll work a second time. And they do, and it does. And all their tech-guys and such freak out, and study this statue for a hundred bloody years."
"A magic statue!" wondered Raz. "That's amazing. What's it made of? Some ancient crystal, or xeno tech? Is there a lil' brain inside eminatin' weird powers, or-"
"Nope. Turns out it were made o' plascrete and rebar straight through," explained Balphius. "The things had been mass produced on Dortos Eight, that planet that only makes big statues, you know the one."
Raz nodded. "I got a cousin there. She used to paint the eyeballs, till the spraygun blew her arm off. Think what's left of her works as a traffic signal now."
"Er. Right, so, they figure out that the thing ain't what it does or what it's made of. Turns out, it just needs to be shaped like a giant Space Marine to work. Probably some genetic programmin' meant to make 'em all brave around primarchs, they figure."
"Just.. just a rock shaped like a Marine?" Raz was confused.
"Just a bloody rock shaped like a Marine. Don't even have to be plascrete, neither- they made some out of paper an' glue, or matchsticks, and one made outta lawn clippings and rhinox shit, and they all worked a treat, just so long as they was shaped like giant Space Marines. So, big Space Marine statues was called 'Honored Imperiums' and became standard issue fer all chapters. No reason not to take one with ya, know what I mean? They're cheap and durable and work every time."
"Pull the other one!"
"Nope. See for yourself- they drop 'em outta space now. Sometimes a whole pile of 'em. They love the things." Balphius handed the binoculars back, and Baz took a look. Sure enough, there were marines encircling the giant statue of their hero. It almost looked like they were clinging to its ankles.
"Well I'll be," mumbled Raz. "That's... that's kind of sad, even."
"Yeah," growled Balphius. "Tell the artillery crews to aim for its nuts."