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The Ultio is the name of a starship used by the Imperium by the time of the Horus Heresy.[1a]


This page contains spoilers for: Nemesis (Novel)

It had been in the use of the secret order of Assassins known as the Officio Assassinorum and thus served as a black ops vessel. In order to maintain its disguise, the ship was registered on beacons as the Hallis Faye; an oxygen tanker out from Ceres and part of the Belter Coalition habitat. By the end of the Great Crusade, Warmaster Horus turned against the Emperor and gathered an army on the march for Terra. Despite repeated attempts at assassinating him, the Officio's various Clade agents had failed in their objectives at which point a bold new strategy had been adopted. At the advice of the hidden Legio Custodes Captain-General Constantin Valdor and insistence of the Master of Assassins, it was decided that an Officio Assassinorum Execution Force was to be assembled in order to eliminate the renegade Primarch at Dagonet. This strike force was under the command of the Vindicare Assassin-at-Marque Eristede Kell and consisted of Fon Tariel of Clade Vanus, the Protiphage Iota of Clade Culexus, the Garantine of Clade Eversor, the shade Koyne of Clade Callidus and secluse Jenniker Solam of Clade Venenum. After recruiting Tariel, Iota and Garantine, the Ultio was presented to the group without ceremony at Jupiter.[1a] The ship later journeyed among the moons of Jupiter in order to arrive at Saros Station in order to find the Callidus assassin Koyne.[1b] From the Auspex magno-scan, Tariel determined that the shapeshifter had come under attack from combat mechanoids of the Legio Cybernetica after the Callidus had assassinated Gergerra Rei.[1c] Despite refusing the help of the Execution Force, the Ultio moved in to extract him after he was blown into space and the Callidus cocooned its own body in its skin to survive temporary exposure to space.[1c] After retrieving him, the Ultio journeyed back to Terra for the Execution Force to recruit Soalm from Clade Venenum.[1d]

Once assembled, the strike team recieved their instructions from Captain-General Valdor via hololithic projection to the Ultio that briefed them on their assassination mission on Dagonet.[1e] Before departing the Solar System, the Infocyte Tariel was provided with a cargo pod filled with weapons that was transported to the starship in order to equip the Execution Force for its mission. The ship later departed into the warp and exited the boundaries of the Segmentum Solar where the Navigator took the vessel down barely-charted passages in the Immaterium that was known only to the higher echelons of the Imperial government. These routes were too small for larger vessels to travel through as their larger crews tended to attract the attention of entities within the warp. However, the Ultios much smaller size along with crew allowed it to be a phantom-ship with its Geller-field protecting it from the predatory intelligences of the Immaterium.[1f] After passing into the Taebian Sector and entering the Dagonet system, the vessel went into an the hulk of an abandoned space station where the drive section was detached with the Astropath along with the Navigator remaining behind whilst the pilot-cyborg took the crew section towards the target world.[1f] Among the components in the cargo pod in the crew section included the Lance which was to be used by the Vindicare Kell in eliminating Horus.[1g] Following the failure in the mission, Tariel returned to the Ultio in order to rearm with weapons to better combat the seemingly supernatural assassin known as Spear.[1i] Being the only survivor of the team, Kell later transmitted all the contents of the mission to the crew on the drive section and gave the a Protocol Perditus priority command that was to be released only under Omnis Octal authority.[1j]

After recieving this command, the Astropath and Navigator departed the Dagonet system whereupon they took the drive section on a direct route to Sol to report the failure on the mission. The drive section managed to avoid weaponfire from the traitor fleet of the Sons of Horus as it entered into a warp gate.[1j] In the mean time, the main body of the Ultio engaged in a suicidal attack against the Vengeful Spirit which served as the command ship of Horus.[1j] The Imperial Fists later discovered the drive section of the Ultio under the name of the common freighter Hallis Faye which was found on the edge of the Oort Cloud on a course for Sol. The Primarch Rogal Dorn had the datum capsule salvaged from the mnemonic core and used the evidence in order to challenge the secret heads of the Officio Assassinorum at the Shrouds over their covert activities. This saw Malcador the Sigilite being unveiled as the Master of Assassins alongside the heads of the unmasked heads of the various assassin Clades who listened to the reports of the dead Execution Force.[1k]


In design, the ship resembled a light bulk transport ship similar to the thousand of different sub-light intrasystem space lanes of the Imperium. As the design is commonplace, it meant that the Ultio became almost invisible due to the commonly seen design mking it perfect for the purposes of the Officio Assassinorum. Whilst small in comparison to the mammoth starcruisers of the Imperial Navy or even Rogue Trader baronages, the stubby trident was much more stealthier. The design featured a stubby trident with the shaft of the main hull present which appeared to be space for cargo but was in fact filled with mechanisms as well as a power train for an advanced interstellar warp motor. This vessel had been built around the old engine and its origins were lost to time whilst the arrowhead forward section being the actual place for the cabins along with compartments. The forward module that was swept back and curved as an aerodyne is capable od detaching itself from the massive drives in order to make planetfall with similar characteristics of a guncutter.[1a] Among its primary and most impressive features included an advanced stealth system designed to shield it from the eyes of its enemies.[1f] This system was known as an aura cloak and it was possible to increase power to this system to better its capabilities though such an act diminished the vessels void shielding.[1j] The aura cloak itself was in fact generations ahead of common Imperial Navy technology.[1j]

The crew sections were cramped and narrow with the sleeping quarters being no larger than prison cells. Hexagonal corridors and a flight deck were all configured with advanced gravity simulators to allow every centimetre of the surface area to be used.[1a] A number of small crawlspaces were spread across the ship and it included a medicae compartment with a therapy pod to help injured individuals recover.[1e] For the crew, a number of rations were stationed onboard the vessel to help with nutritional requirements.[1h] One portion of the ship, known as the "staging area", was in fact a converted storage bay which highlighted the strange characteristics of the vessel as it had been assembled from rare technologies along with secrets that had been stitched into a single body.[1e] Part of the crew included an Astropath and a Navigator both of whom are able to remain at the rear drive section as well as place themselves in sense-deep slumber in order to avoid contact with Pariah assassins of Culexus.[1a] The drive section is able to operate independently from the crew section and is capable of using its thrusters as well as warp engine to depart a system.[1j] The Ultios crew section also possessed last-chance protocols that allowed the crew to enter into saviour pods located beneath the cockpit in case the ship faced destruction.[1j]

Of the three crew, the last member was a pilot-cyborg who was the least human of the ships complement as this individual had no actual body. Instead, their form was similar to the venerable Dreadnought's of the Adeptus Astartes in the sense that the organic pilot had been interned within a body of iron and steel. Within this block of computational hardware that filled the rear part of the crew deck sat parts of the brain along with preserved skeins of nerve ganglia that served as all that remained of the human. This bonding merged the pilot with the ship in the sense that they were both the Ultio with the pilot-cyborg being the fusion core of its bearing heart.[1a] It consisted of clever subordinate machine-brains that linked with any electronic items and uploaded their contents together for a data-transmission burst to the drive section where it would be recieved by the Astropath who in turn would transmit it further.[1j] The pilot-cyborg responded under the name of Ultio and communicated through a synthetic vocoder that is capable of being broadcasted from a speaker grille. Such was the pilots control that it could manage the gravitational plates of certain sections and increase the gravity thus pinning individuals under their own mass.[1a] The pilots cybernetic nature meant it was capable of feats far beyond an organic human pilot and had the capacity to reconfigure the gravity field for any surviving crew to withstand the g-forces without them dying in the process.[1j] The pilot helmsmen also provided advisory data on threats and possible results of certain actions.[1j]

A short circuit surge from weapon fire is capable of boiling away the higher brain functions of the cybernetic pilot. However, so long as the core brain remained intact, it was capable of still following its commands.[1j]