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TALE - The Second Son (Rough Draft)

Alexandros Vth Legion Primarch

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#551
simison

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Mahtva pictured his tension as an oil. A space marine may feel no fear, but was not immune to other dark emotions. Battle, after all, cared nothing for the differences between human and transhuman. He may have dedicated his life to Alexandros, to humanity, and to the Imperium. But self-preservation was the oldest and most powerful of drives. Tension, anxiety, dread, all of it swirled within him. It stuck to his spirit, trying to drown him in its disgusting, coarse embrace. 


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#552
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"The ignition," Hydinburg had taught. "Is our will. It must be a conscious decision, or you risk the flames self-combusting. Should this ever happen, you can expect a quick death of immolation at the hands of the Immaterium itself. Never let anger be the trigger. Never let the fire form without your explicit permission. You are the master, always!"

 

Mahtva pooled the dread-oil into his hand. He aimed his hand at the Scarans enduring his squad's volley. 

 

Burn.

 

Flame, bring in its orange, coalesced into existence, feeding on Mahtva's dread. In the second of its brief existence, Mahtav gave another command. 

 

Kill.

 

The mind-fire cupped in Mahtva's hand exploded. From a ball, it gushed toward the xenos, tripling, quadralping, quintupling in size. Unprepared, the Scarans bathed and shrilled in the fire. Their exoskeletons, which had provided some protection, betrayed them. It locked the heat in and cooked their soft innards at twice the speed. 

 

A ferocious grin laid hidden within Mahtva's helmet as he left the fire die. The results couldn't have been better as he took a deep breath. The Scaran's sudden flanking maneuver coming from a shaft above the squad had been neutralized. 

 

Mahtva sidestepped as the corpses fell in the middle of the Wardens' push.

 

Hydinburg, no memory this time, observed Mahtva's handiwork and nodded. After a furious fight at the Scaran version of a landing bay, the Halcyon Wardens had followed their cousins from the First Legion into the myriad tunnels spanning the asteroid. The primary objective was to destroy the magma cannons. 


Edited by simison, 15 December 2019 - 02:21 PM.

Project Leader of the Brotherhood of the Lost

 
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#553
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Unfortunately, close-range auspex readings revealed the quickest routes were vertical. And the Scarans did not need stairs. Several secondary routes offered workarounds but doubled the amount of time and combat the Imperial assaults faced. No matter, Mahtva thought to himself as he aimed his volkite pistol. We will overcome.

 

The pistol barked, Martian red burning into another wave of Scaran infantry charging at them. As before, there were too many of the xenos as they sought to bury the Emperor's warriors. The oversized beetles had learned their exoskeletons were of little protection against volkite fire. They compensated by shielding themselves with their own corpses. 

 

A barrier Mahtva attempted to avoid as he aimed his pistol. Again, he ran through the firing fundamentals, supported by years of training. Steady breathing. Check. Use the sights. Check. Squeeze, not pull, the trigger. Check. The last step was the tricky one. Aim center mass, the command echoed in Mahtva's mind through the voices of a dozen instructors.

 

Center mass would do nothing here. The Scaran Mahtva aimed at carried two bodies in front of it in an organic wall of chitin and bone. He aimed low and fired, trying to blow off a leg. The shot went too low, sizzling a few centimeters in front of the bodies. 


Edited by simison, 16 September 2019 - 11:42 AM.

Project Leader of the Brotherhood of the Lost

 
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#554
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A different volkire fired, the ray slamming through a thin opening between frozen limbs. The xeno squealed as its abdomen ignited, joined by the one behind it. Mahtva's target faltered in its charge as it slipped onto the ground. It's limbs thrashed out in agony. Mahtva finished off with his own pistol.

 

Off to his right, Mahtva found Obelius at his side, volkite reaping through a new target. Mahtva nodded his thanks and received a small one in turn. 

 

Together, the Halcyon Wardens fought onward. 


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The Second Son: Narrative of the BOTL Vth Legion Primarch

 

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#555
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~~~

 

Kharkis, curved sword aimed downward, ordered the two warriors next to him, "Now." Each had a firm grip on a pauldron. Anchored to the floor, the two hurled their leader down through the portal. Rock, dirt, and a strange organic residue flashed past the ayatollah. The asteroid's weak gravity field alone could no pull him down through this passageway, forcing him to request assistance. It was a worthwhile endeavor. 

 

Kharkis' sword pierced the next Scaran warrior attempting to crawl up through the vertical passageway. As weak as his inertia was, the sword's power field sliced through chitin and organ like parchment. Kharkis rode the corpse as they came to a soft landing on the level below. A swarm of the foul bugs surrounded Kharkis as he was the sole representative of the Imperial military in sight. 

 

With calm deliberation, Kharkis pulled out his blade, a scimitar, out of the dead foe before swinging through the warrior charging at him. 


Edited by simison, 01 October 2019 - 04:51 PM.

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#556
bluntblade

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I think we've played enough Skyrim to make the "curved" description redundant tongue.png I'd actually suggest it be cut down to Mahtva retrieving his scimitar.


Edited by bluntblade, 29 September 2019 - 05:06 PM.

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#557
simison

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That's Kharkis' scimitar


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#558
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All the same

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#559
simison

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Tweaked.


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#560
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The smell of burnt ichor filled the air as Kharkis bifucated the attacker. It was merely the first of a wave as the xenos sought to bury him with their corpsees. Pushing his transhuman abilities to their limit, Kharkis countered by charging the nearest xenos as he sprayed volkite beams into a different portion of the swarm. Appendages flew as Kharkis' blade thrummed. Two warrior-forms bulldozed into Kharkis' back, driving him into another at his front. 

 

All four of them hit and then bounce off the wall in the weak gravity. Although the two Scarans scratched and clawed at his armour, he ignored them as he killed the one in front. He kicked the body, using the force to speed a spin that cut through both attackers. 

 

Three more warriors replaced them. 


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The Second Son: Narrative of the BOTL Vth Legion Primarch

 

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#561
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Before they reached him, a Drowned Man landed on the center one, disrupting the attack. "There will be more drills," Kharkis declared even as he took advantage of the intervention. He eliminated the one on the left, while his companion countered the one on the right. 

 

"My ayatollah, I was supposed to go first," the Drowned Man reminded Kharkis. Kharkis recognized Yaz's voice as the two immediately put their backs together as the Scarans pressed the assault. "How are we to form proper honor guards if you insist on killing the foes before we reached them?" He asked, amusement and exertion mixed into his tone. 

 

Kharkis burned through two more Scarans before one slammed a claw against his chest, narrowly missing a weak spot between adamantium plates. He grunted, "Be a better warrior, and you won't be left behind." 

 

Another martian beam, this one from above, chipped at the Scarans' attacks. To their credit, or mindlessness, the xenos did not relent as the Drowned grew in number. For that, Kharkis was thankful. It would waste much less time than having to hunt them down throughout the asteroid. 


Edited by simison, 09 October 2019 - 05:54 PM.

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The Second Son: Narrative of the BOTL Vth Legion Primarch

 

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#562
bluntblade

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*Drowned Man for the singular.

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#563
simison

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Fixed


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#564
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Rumbling waved through the corridor. Kharkis kept one eye toward the source as he slew more of the insectoids. From the end, a Scaran beast, five times the size of its smaller kin, erupted onto the battlefield. It buzzed before unleashing a piercing shriek. 

 

It filled half of the corridor with its bulk. Stretching its eight limbs, it gripped both walls. It charged forward, propelling itself through the low-g environment at full speed. 

"Priority target!" Kharkis commanded as he fired against the giant. His legionaries attempted to obey, but the xenos pressed on them. Only a few red beams burned against the Scaran war-beast. None of them hit a critical point. Only infuriated the alien further. 


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#565
bluntblade

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Time to call up them Devastators, I say.

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#566
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The Scaran war-beast cared nothing for its fellow aliens as it bowled into the melee. In the weak gravity, both marine and xeno went flying, bouncing around the corridor. Kharkis was thrown against the asteroid's wall and pinned there by one of the beast's legs. Another alien landed and impaled itself on Kharkis' scimitar. This boon turned out to be poisoned as he couldn't shift the bulk off his sword to cut off the limb pinning him in place. 

 

Kharkis wished he had brought a squad of heavy support with him, but he had deployed those to other asteroids. His honour guard would simply have to make do with what they had. As he continued his private struggle to free himself, his warriors fought back. 

 

Malka was the unluckiest. The war-beast snatched him as he flew away. Its mouth may have been small compared to the rest of its bulk, but it bit off the marine's head in an instant. 


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#567
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He's only brought a squad? You making the scale feel very small here.

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#568
simison

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He brought about twenty warriors with him for this push. The asteroid assaults should feel small-scale since they're more focused on small unit action. 


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#569
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Although taking their first casualty stung, the fate rapidly proved her capricious ways. The war-beast's charge had flung all of the combatants everywhere. Yet it was the Drowned who recovered first. Freed from the press of melee, Kharkis' bond-warriors concentrated fire against the rampaging xeno. For all of its bulk, its armored hide was no better at deflecting the energy beams as its lesser kin. It absorbed the first volley in shrieking pain; its bulk keeping it alive long enough to retaliate. 


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#570
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It stabbed with its forelimbs. With pure luck did it find the weak point between plates and stabbed another of Kharkis' warriors into the asteroid. A beam, Kharkis didn't see who made the shot, sizzled through the limb pinning the Ayatollah. He shoved the detached limb off of him before freeing his scimitar from the corpse. The rest of the Scarans recovered and surged again to the legionaries. Kharkis ignored them as he focused all of his attention on the war-beast. So long as it prevented them from reforming into a cohesive unit, they were doomed to be dragged down and slaughtered as individuals. 


Project Leader of the Brotherhood of the Lost

 
The Second Son: Narrative of the BOTL Vth Legion Primarch

 

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#571
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He crouched before shooting himself off the rocky wall. The war-beast did not react before the scimitar jutted into its thorax. It screeched and twisted and turned. Kharkis held on, but he knew he could not remove his sword without dislodging himself. Instead, he pressed his volkite pistol against its exoskeleton and squeezed the trigger. He did it again and again as the beam dug deeper and deeper into its body. With each blast, its shrieks grew sharper. It slammed itself against the rock walls. Kharkis' armour protected himself from the crushing pressure as he continued his barrage. 

 

Finally, among the smell of burnt organs, Kharkis hit something vital. 


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#572
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A death shriek erupted out of the beast's mandibles as its struggles came to an end. Kharkis pushed off before the new corpse drifted to the asteroid floor. He did not revel in his victory as his attention switched to his warriors. His honour guard fought in formation as they covered each other in the melee. Two warriors, as Kharkis had foreseen, had been overwhelmed before the unit could reform. They laid in pieces, bodies torn by the aliens in what had to have been slow deaths. However, the end of the Scaran horde was in sight, their numbers finally exhausting against Imperial might. 

 

Kharkis did not dally as he rushed forward to fight alongside his brothers. 


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#573
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~~~

 

"Kneel!" Muniza ordered, his in-built vox extending his voice throughout the new cavernous room. As one, the Lightning Bearer's line knelt. For the briefest of moments, they were exposed before the Scaran defenders. The xenos surged forward.

 

As if the First Legion would ever allow such a gross opening.

 

"Fire!" Roared the captain. The Rakurai poured another brutal fusillade into the aliens. It hammered them back with a second and then a third round. Only then did the Rakurai fire slacken.

 

"Charge!" Muniza commanded the second the last las-beam crossed above the heads of the Lightning Bearers.


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#574
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Sizzling power katanas sliced through alien flesh as they repeated a dance started in the landing bay. The Lightning Bearers would push their enemy back in the melee. The moment Scaran numbers threatened to overwhelm them, the Lightning Bearers made one last opening in the enemy mob before the Rakurai fired volleys to erase whatever progress the Scarans were gaining. Once completed, the Lightning Bearers took up their blades once again to repeat the cycle for every contested metre. The Rakurai may not have been Astartes, but the two forces worked with a grace worthy of Lord Anasem himself.

 

The dance, however, would soon be coming to an end. Muniza saw this as his helm's optic sensors saw their objective: the asteroid's volcano cannons. Counting the number of remaning xenos, Muniza estimated the battle for this particular asteroid would be over in as little as four minutes.


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#575
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He also saw twin disasters he had to prevent to maintain their quick victory. "Priority target," he declared as he picked out a Scaran worker among the final defenders. The worker was of a unique sub-type. Far hardier than the ones killed previously, this and its kind had much thicker armour. For these were the ones who were responsible for the Scaran's propulsion and volcanic weaponry. Before Muniza's eyes, a ring of them manipulated a series of miniature calderas. While other workers provided raw rock and earth, the unique types formed them into magma with a combination of natural and Warp heating techniques. 

 

It was almost obscene the level of control the Scarans managed their Warp energy for all of their lack of true intelligence.


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