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Fanfic / Crimson Dawn

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CRIMSON DAWN: The Imperium Comes To 1984 is an ongoing Warhammer 40,000 fanfic by Spartan-168-Django, the creator of Event Horizon: Storm of Magic.

The planet Terra Nova has rebelled against the Imperium of Man. To put down the rebellion quickly and prevent it from spreading to a nearby Forge World, the Inquisition and Administratum sends a large invasion force consisted of three Space Marines companies from the Crimson Fists, Black Templars and Salamanders Chapters, the Sisters of Battle and an Imperial Guard detachment. Their mission is simple: assist the loyalist forces, retake the planet and eliminate the treacherous rebels.


What should have been a typical mission for the Imperium takes an unexpected turn when just before the Invasion Force makes planetfall, the Chaos God Tzeentch, The Changer of Ways, sends the Invasion Force into warp portals that brings them to Holy Terra, also known as Earth. Except it's not the Earth the Imperium knows as it's actually Earth in 1984 during the latter years of the Cold War. Now, the nations of Earth unite to fight off an Alien invasion that wants to kill them under the mistaken belief they are heretics.

Can also be read at Space Battles.


Provides Examples Of:

  • Alien Invasion: To the people of Earth, the Imperium are the aliens.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: The Imperium forces land in several major cities around the world (like Los Angeles, London, and Moscow) but also in less well-known locations (like Dresden, Tehran, and Hawassa, Ethiopia).
  • Allohistorical Allusion:
  • And You Thought It Was Real: Brother Librarian Kuril reads an ordinary Japanese man's mind and mistakes the man's memories of watching Star Wars and Mecha Anime as proof that the "rebels" are being aided by Xenos and the Tau.
    • In the same chapter, the Librarian mistakenly believes that Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" program is already operational and that the "rebels" have powerful weapons to use against the Imperiumnote .
  • Asshole Victim: There are some characters that get killed that the readers won't miss.
    • Bill Tannen tries to escape during the chaos of the invasion and hits a mother and her child with his car, blaming them for getting his way. His is last scene is about to be killed by a Space Marine after crashing his car into a truck of Manure.
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    • Senator Strom Thurmond is a racist who still supports racial segregation, sees any form of Civil Rights as Communism and a hypocrite who had a illegitimate daughter with his black maid. He and his entourage are attacked by a Callidus Assassin.
    • The Black Templars and their Imperial Guard allies, who attack and kill the people of Hong Kong, gets massacred by Karl when he uses his psyker powers. For extra irony, Karl is actually the future God Emperor of Mankind who the Imperium worships.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: The Iranians try to defeat the Black Templars by sending in wave after wave of soldiers, militias, armed civilians and even child soldiers. Since they're fighting Space Marines, it ends badly for them.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: No matter how cool you think of having a gatling gun as your personal weapon, it's still too heavy for a regular person to carry especially the knockback.
  • Badass Normal: the Imperium forces are vastly superior to Earth's armed forces in almost every category, but in spite of this, the latter still put up a heroic effort.
  • Big Good: Karl, a young man who's also the future God Emperor Of Mankind.
  • Cool Plane: Aircraft from that time period are featured heavily, like the MiG-25, F-14 Tomcat, and Boeing 747.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Happens to the young God Emperor Of Mankind when he gets pinned against a wall by one of the attacking Space Marines.
    • A deliberate reference, as the Marine is named Longinus, and blood and water spill from the Emperor's side when the weapon is withdrawn.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: From both sides. Since the story is set during the 1980s, we see the attitudes and lifestyles of the people during that time like Cold War paranoia, rampant greed and hedonistic life of the rich. On the other side, we see the Imperium having no problems of shooting down unarmed planes and killing civilians, which is atrocious and a war crime by our standards, but is considered justified and perfectly normal by the Imperium.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: A group called the Black Templars slaughtering the people of the Middle East.
  • Enemy Mine: Many nations that were once enemies during 1984 (eg. USA vs Soviet Union, Iran vs Iraq, India vs Pakistan, Israel vs Palestine) put aside their difference to combat the Imperium.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • The nations of Earth are disgusted with the Imperium for killing innocent, unarmed civilians which by their modern standards is considered a War Crime.
    • Karl, the future Emperor of Mankind, is disgusted when he sees the Black Templars shot down a plane full of civilians and murder a woman and her child in front of him.
  • Expy: Some of the viewpoint characters are based on famous 80s movie and tv characters.
    • Marty and his girlfriend Jennifer are based on their same name counterparts from Back to the Future while the fanfic's version of Dr. Emmett L. "Doc" Brown, is Dr. Strangelove under the name Herr-Doktor Ferdinand Lothar Maximillian von Braun. Another Back To The Future expy is Bill Tannen whose based on Biff Howard Tannen. Like Biff, Bill is a jerkass and ends up crashing into manure.
    • The Miami drug gang is led by a man named Tony and his second in command named Lance.
    • Captain Roman Alexandrovich Valius is based on Captain Marko Ramius from The Hunt for Red October.
  • Fictional Document: Some chapters feature newsreels, articles and interviews that describes the situation of Earth after the Invasion.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: An Imperium force from the 42nd Millennium ends up on Earth in 1984.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • According to one fictional wikipedia article, due to the invasion by the Imperium, the plot and gameplay in Super Mario Bros. videogame was changed from its original light hearted setting of Mario and Luigi saving Princess Peach of the Mushroom Kingdom from King Bowser to a grimdark setting of Mario and Luigi travelling to the 42nd Millennium to save Princess Andromeda of the planet Zebes from the Daemon Prince Ganonroth. Furthermore, the games and plot that would originally become The Legend of Zelda and Metroid were changed to become Legend of Lileath and Tyrannoid respectively. And the Super Mario Bros movie became an acclaimed hit.
    • Thanks to the invasion, the Soviet Union never fell and continues to exist during the late 1990s.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Karl learns that he is the future God Emperor of Mankind and is horrified what he and those who worship him did in the future.
  • Historical Domain Character: Features prominent public figures of that time period like Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, NASA Astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan and East German leader Erich Honecker.
  • Hookers and Blow: To be expected, given the setting.
  • Hope Spot: Happens twice in chapter 21. Karl sees a passenger plane shot down by the Black Templars and about to crash into some buildings. Karl uses his psyker powers to help make the plane land at a safe area but when it seems like he might be able to save the day, he shot by a Space Marine, making him lose his concentration and letting the plane crash, killing many people. His second Hope Spot comes when he sees a mother and daughter who survived the crash, renewing his hope, until the another Space Marine shots and kills them. This Kick the Dog act finally makes Karl goes berserk on the Black Templars.
  • Hyper-Awareness: Vice President George Bush Sr instantly figures out Adrienne Kovacs isn't Geraldine Ferraro when he first meets her since she's much taller than Ferraro.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: In the Omake chapter, Malcador The Sigilite is this to the (young) God Emperor of Mankind.
  • Irony: The Black Templars Space Marine Chapter strongly hates Psykers, are devoted to the God Emperor of Mankind and will kill anyone, no matter their innocence, in his name. The Black Templars in Hong Kong are killed by a powerful Psyker who's actually the future Emperor of Mankind(who never wanted to be worshipped as a God) for murdering innocent civilians.
  • It's Raining Men: The Imperial forces were in the midst of conducting a massive planetwide landing operation when Tzeentch interfered and sent them back in time.
  • It Will Never Catch On: A group of New York investors mock one of their friends who propose investing in miniature War Gaming which they think will never become popular in the US just like other British stuff like the Metric System, Soccer and British food.
    • One fictional document thought the original plot and setting of Super Mario Bros. before it was changed to this universe's grimdark version was ridiculous and would never become a hit.
  • Karmic Death: The two Space Marines from the Black Templars, a Space Marine chapter known for being brutal, ruthless and showing no mercy, gets brutal and merciless deaths by Karl after they prevented him from saving the crashing passenger plane full of innocents and kill a mother and her child in front of him. For extra irony, the man who killed them is the future Emperor of Mankind, who the Black Templars and Imperium worship as a God.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • The story holds no punches in showing just how ruthless and violent the Imperium's methods for handling rebellion would appear to those at the receiving end, including innocent civilian bystanders.
    • From the Earth's side, the North Koreans, upon finding a South Korean plane crashing at their area, rather than treating the survivors as injured civilians to help, has them arrested as prisoners with one capitalist hating officer almost gunning them down if not for his superior officer sternly dissuading him.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: While Space Marine Power Armor is invulnerable to regular bullets, it still cannot protect them from an Anti-Armor tank shell.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: The nations of Earth are made up of different political, religious and racial backgrounds who are mostly whitish-grey though with some black (like North Korea) against the xenophobic, religious extremist and superstitious Imperium who are mostly black with few light grey within their ranks.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Since the Emperor of Mankind name has never been revealed in canon, in this fanfic, the Emperor's given name is Karl.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Big time. Because the Imperium Forces haven't realized yet that they traveled back to Earth in 1984, don't speak Earth's many languages during that time, and don't bother trying to communicate with the locals first, a lot of innocents are killed ruthlessly by the Imperium under the mistaken belief they are heretics and rebels.
  • Red Herring: At first it seem like the old man traveling with Ahn Soonae on Flight 69 is actually the God Emperor Of Mankind, only to be revealed later that he was just a proto-Psyker and died using his psychic powers to land the plane safely.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: In an Omake chapter, the Emperor during the 80s is depicted as a young man enjoying a hedonistic lifestyle, nightclubbing, doing drugs and womanizing rather than using his wisdom and intellect to guide humanity.
  • Roswell That Ends Well: In this universe, the Roswell Crash in 1947 was an Eldar spacecraft. The U.S. Government is keeping Eldar artifacts, including weapons and armor, stored in a Secret Government Warehouse.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Just prior to the invasion, a high school history teacher gives a lecture about the Fourth Crusade and how instead of retaking the Holy Land, the Crusaders ended up "destroying the largest city in all of Christendom"note .
  • Shared Universe: With Event Horizon: Storm of Magic, with both fanfics penned by the same author and with the Wham Episode below.
  • Shout-Out
    • There are various shout outs to other franchises throughout the story.
      • In chapter 1 when the crew of Space Shuttle Challenger see the Imperial Invasion from their Spacecraft, Commander Robert contacts NASA and says "Houston, we have a problem."
      • In chapter 2, the history class scene is similar to the beginning of Red Dawn (1984) and just like the film, the students sees foreign soldiers dropping from the sky and the teacher of the class is the first person killed.
      • In chapter 4, Brother Librarian Kuril reads an ordinary Japanese man's mind named Miyagi who has watched Star Wars, Mobile Suit Gundam and Super Dimension Fortress Macross which the former mistakes as real.
      • In chapter 6, there's shout out to A New Hope when Inquisitor Tarkien orders his Stormtroopers that he wants the crew of the Space Shuttle Challenger alive and no disintegration.
      • In chapter 7, one of the New York Investors is named Jordan.
      • In chapters 17 and 21 feature the Kobran Legion, a shout out to G.I. Joe.
    • Many of the chapter titles are named after famous 1980s songs:
      • Chapter 1. "This Is Not A Love Song" by Public Image Ltd..
      • Chapter 2. "It's Raining Men" by The Weather Girls.
      • Chapter 3. "I Ran (So Far Away)" by A Flock of Seagulls
      • Chapter 4. "Living On Video" by Trans-X.
      • Chapter 5. "We Are The Earth", a parody of We Are the World.
      • Chapter 6. "Major Tom (Coming Home)" by Peter Schilling.
      • Chapter 7. "Sharp Dressed Man" by ZZ Top.
      • Chapter 8. "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins.
      • Chapter 9. "Aces High" by Iron Maiden.
      • Chapter 10. "Forever Young" by Alphaville.
      • Chapter 11. "Kaltes Klares Wasser" by Malaria!
      • Chapter 12. "Hell Is for Children" by Pat Benatar.
      • Chapter 13. "Africa" by Toto.
      • Chapter 14. "Two Tribes" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood
      • Chapter 15. "The Touch" by Stan Bush.
      • Chapter 16. "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds.
      • Chapter 17. "Smalltown Boy" by Bronski Beat.
      • Chapter 18. "Drive" by The Cars.
      • Chapter 19. "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" by Journey.
      • Chapter 20. "One Night In Hong Kong", parody of the song "One Night In Bangkok" by Murray Head.
      • Chapter 21. "Twilight Zone" by Golden Earring
      • Chapter 22. "Push It To The Limit" by Paul Engemann.
      • Chapter 23. "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" by Eurythmics.
      • Chapter 24. "Fox On The Run" by Sweet.
      • Chapter 25. "Immigrant Song" by Led Zeppelin.
  • Token Good Teammate:
    • The Salamanders are shown to be this as they are have done no or the least violence with the locals in Africa by helping Ethiopian refugees and in Sudan, they help South Sudan rebels against the oppressive Sudanese Government forcesnote .
    • Major Gwak is one of the few reasonable North Koreans to be shown so far. Unlike his comrades, Lt. Namgung, who is rather naive and believes North Korea can do anything under their "Great Leader" and Capt. Dongbang, who has a strong hatred with capitalists and tratious South Korea, Gwak is a realist on what North Korea is really like, manages to convince Captain Kim of Flight 69 to cooperate with him peacefully and orders his men that the "prisoners" of Flight 69 are to get medical attention.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Karl goes berserk on the Black Templars who shot down an a passenger plane, prevented him for rescuing said plane and killing an innocent mother and her child in front of him.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 4. Vice President George Bush Sr is visited by Adrienne Kovacs of The Company™ whose has disguised herself as Geraldine Ferraro and has come to his universe to offer her help in fighting the Imperium.
    • Chapter 23. Adrienne is revealed to be an Eldar in disguise; Karl learns that he is the God Emperor Of Mankind.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Imperium has no problem of hurting children or killing them.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: After Inquisitor Tarkien reviews the information he has from his forces over how the map and number of enemies they faced don't match with the original intel, he correctly figures out that the Invasion Forces has travel back in time. However, what he got wrong was that the planet they land is not Terra Nova but Earth.