Be gentle guys. I've never written a story before. And certainly not in English.
The bridge was a mass of activity, with servitors rushing from workstation to workstation. The fleet was moments away from leaving the Warp. At their exit, they would join a cruiser of the Inquisition that would brief them of their next campaign. There was a certain tension in the air, not uncommon when the Inquisition is involved with campaigns.
An emotionless voice sounded through the ship. ’10 seconds until re-entry’. Magelaen had been waiting for that announcement, and was relieved for hearing it. Warptravel still made him uneasy, even after decades of service.
Magelaen’s relief was short lived however. Upon their exit of the Warp, a massive structure loomed straight ahead of the fleet. The bridge went silent for a couple of heartbeats, while everyone stared out of the window at the monstrosity in front of them.
All at once movement erupted all around the bridge, the activity from earlier redoubled. Scans identified the structure as a Space Hulk of colossal proportions, almost equal in size with the Bringer of Sorrow, a hulk the Dark Angels have dealt with before.
Of the Inquisitional liaison there was no trace.
An hour later, a wave of boarding torpedoes was launched towards the Hulk. Magelaen and his squad were among the brothers send to investigate the state of the structure. The directive was simple: locate any useful equipment and report the presence of hostile forces. The acquisition of ancient wargear while waiting for the inquisition would be a welcome addition for the Chapter.
A warning lighted up on Magelaen’s display, they were almost at their destination. He checked his stormshield and mace a final time, to make certain both were powered correctly. A couple of heartbeats later a gut-wrenching thud ran through the torpedo, indicating their arrival at the hluk.
An explosion in the front announced the opening of the torpedo. Magelaen led his squad out of the torpedo and into the hulk. The view in front of him was of a spacious hangar, filled with Imperial armour. The drill of the torpedo had wrecked the nearest Leman Russ, burrowing itself deep in the tank and crushing the Chimera next to it.
Brother Arcos’ voice suddenly filled Magelaen’s ears through his vox. ‘No lifesigns in this sector, sergeant.’
‘Thank you brother Arcos. Brother Selphion, inform the ‘Pillar of Vengeance’ of our situation. We appear to have inserted into a transport meant for the Astra Militarum. We will now proceed with our search for gear relevant gear for the chapter. ‘
The squad travelled through ship after ship, occasionally spotting a friendly squad during their search. The initial transport ship they had breached was only one ship of many in this space hulk. Magelaen and his squad walked the corridors of freighters, troop transports, frigates, explorators and even a Black Ship. There wasn’t much of use to be found though. Most of the equipment they found was either damaged or irrelevant for the chapter. But the Lion was merciful upon his sons, for they eventually found a prize worthy of admiration: a Battlebarge.
These behemoths were the jewels of the Imperial fleet. Magelaen had no grand illusions, the barge wouldn’t be salvageable, not since it’s fused into the heart of the hulk, surrounded by countless of ships. But there was a chance that the barge was still filled with enough equipment to outfit a legion.
They continued into the bowels of the barge, clearing corridor after corridor towards the armoury. This was a fortunate discovery for the Consecrators. Battlebarges were rare among the Imperium, so this one might have been a ship that disappeared millennia ago. The chance to find older marks of armour was high, and the Lion knows that they need a replenishment of their armoury.
The squad reached a wide room, with the bulkhead of the armoury just ahead. A body lay in the middle of the room, clad in the black Cataphractii armour of their chapter. A black case was right next to the body.
The Apothecary’s voice was filled with dismay. ‘By the Lion! That’s someone from the third squad! How did he get here? Where are the rest?’
‘Silence! Control yourself! Men, keep an eye on those doorways. Brother Venethar, check for life signs.’
‘Wilco, sergeant. Forgive me for my outburst.’
‘We’ll talk about that later, get to work brother.’
The squad had a perimeter set up, while the apothecary studied the fallen Consecrator. Another marine was about to open the black case, when Arcos suddenly cried out. ‘No! Don’t open that case, My scanners are showi…’.
A massive explosion cut of the rest. The blast drowned out Magelaen’s hearing, sight and orientation in a swirl of blinding light, followed by darkness…
Opening his eyes slowly, Magelaen tried to get a bearing on his surroundings. A massive headache made the effort quite taxing. The blast had ripped off his helmet, luckily his head hadn’t come off with it. Confusion of what his eyes were seeing turned into dismay. The room was scorched black. The black case was replaced with a huge hole in the floor and in the ceiling. His brothers were spread around the room in heaps of scrap and flesh, the forms not resembling humans anymore.
Grief for his squad became rage when he saw a shape in rags looming over one of those heaps. Magelaen tried to move his limbs, so he could rip apart the bastard that did this to his men. It proved to be a futile effort, his armour wasn’t responding to his efforts. The figure noticed Magelaen and walked towards him. ‘Stay away wretched creature, before I smash your head through the wall!’
‘I doubt you have the ability to do so, sergeant’ replied the creature. ‘or you would have done so already, instead of wasting energy by threatening me.’
The figure crouched in front of Magelaen. It was bigger than he thought, practically the size of himself. He spotted some kind of armour underneath the red rags, more advanced than the primitive respirator it was wearing. He was also carrying a primitive mace and a bolter slung across his back. The creature was studying Magelaen’s armour. ‘What are you doing, creature?’
‘Impressive armour, sergeant. Too bad it didn’t help you or your brothers against the meltablast. The only reason you survived is probably because you got your shield up in time. Even then, it was a close call. The Lion was with you.’
‘Hold your tongue, scum! His name shouldn’t be uttered by the likes of you! Especially not after slaying his sons like a dishonourable dog!’
‘Don’t utter words in ignorance, sergeant. I have more right to speak of the Lion than you would believe. Also, I am not responsible for the death of your squad. On the contrary, I was on my way here to stop you from entering this room. Alas, I was too late.’
‘Do you expect me to believe you, wretch?’
‘I expect no such thing. For now, let me help you get out of that armour. It seems that the servos are all blocked, so it won’t be of use to you now. I have a suit of power armour stashed away that you can use instead. I need your help with something. Oh, and my name is Mazog. I’d prefer you used that instead of your colourful vocabulary.’
‘Help with what?’
‘Delivering vengeance on the ones who did this, of course. I have my reasons for helping you out.’ Mazog opened the clasps of the armour. ‘There are actually other reasons for stopping them, apart from dealing out revenge. Your fleet is in danger.’
The fleet? That certainly interested Magelaen. Mazog had managed to break Magelaen’s armour was broken open by then. He helped the sergeant to his feet. ‘Okay creat… Mazog. Start your explanation. But if I suspect you’re telling me lies, you die.’
‘It would serve you no purpose sergeant. And I’d have killed you already if I truly wanted you dead. There’s no need for me to go through all this trouble just to deceive you. Allow me to lend you a shoulder, sergeant.’
Mazog carried the sergeant through one of the destroyed doorways, along a couple of corridors until they reached another small room. Mazog told his story while supporting the sergeant along the way. ’A troop of Renegades made their base here a couple of weeks ago. They plundered the armories and collected everything in one hangar so they could load it in a suitable transport. Unfortunately, they found a cruiser with Modalis Missiles…’
‘They found Exterminatus Weaponry?’ Magelaen interrupted with dismay.
‘Indeed, I don’t have to explain the effect of Phosphex weaponry, so you know how dangerous they are. They didn’t have a ship to carry all their weaponry though, so they kept a couple of missiles and hid the rest throughout the hulk. Any ship or fleet that would approach the hulk would be decimated if they came too close to investigate. Two days ago a cruiser of the Inquisition exited the Warp close by. They were foolish enough to dock at the hulk to investigate. They were overrun and annihilated. The renegades took command of the cruiser and loaded all the gear they found onboard.
They were actually about to leave and rig the missiles until your fleet arrived. They can’t leave now, so they’ll wait until your fleet is busy with loading the gear from the hulk. They would detonate the missiles while fleeing, covering their approach and completely decimating your fleet. Even the ships out of the blast zone would be severely damaged by the debris that would be flung towards them. I was planning to hijack their ship, so I could get out of this hellhole without joining those treacherous bastards, but the chance of success was slim. With you at my side, my chances would increase.’
When they reached the room, Mazog opened a case with Mk3 power armour. ‘I managed to steal this one from them. I was going to wear it, but I believe you would be better choice. I can’t compete with a Deathwing Sergeant after all.’
‘When this is all over, you’ll have to tell my how you know so much about our chapter Mazog.’
‘That’s a long tale sergeant, and I’d save it for another time.’
‘So what is your plan, Mazog?’
‘We’ll create a distraction. A big one they won’t be able to ignore. Then we commandeer the ship and get out of here.’
‘We could meet up with the other squads that entered the hulk.’
‘I’m sorry sergeant, but they are dead. The other squads close by met similar fates like yours. That’s why I was too late to warn you, I was looking for survivors amongst the others.’
When Magelaen was suited up, he took the bolt pistol and lightning sword out of the case. Mazog whispered: ‘Time to move sergeant, I hear voices coming from the ambush site. They’ll start searching for us when they find your empty armour, this way.’ Magelaen was still sore from the blast that knocked him out, but it didn’t hinder his movements… much. He followed the figure wrapped in rags through corridor after corridor until they reached a spacious hanger. Several Rhino’s and Land Raiders were parked against the wall. Further down, an open gate was a mass of activity. People clothed in bits and pieced of Imperial clothing were carrying crates through the door.
‘There’s the cruiser sergeant. Most of these people are guardsmen gone rogue. The problem is on the bridge of the cruiser. They leaders took the power armour of the inquisitors and won’t leave that room. Those will be the biggest challenge you’ll face. ’
‘I’ll handle it. Now how about your distraction Mazog?’
‘Ah yes, give me a minute.’
Mazog moved towards the Land Raiders the wall, Magelaen followed. Mazog was muttering while inspecting the vehicles. ’This one will do nicely. A fiery spirit in this one.’ He knocked his primitive mace against the ramp, upon which the ramp opened. He knelt in front of the engine in the back of the Raider, held his mace in front of his mace and started whispering:
'Oh raging spirit, I require your fiery wrath.
To vanquish the enemies of the Imperor.
A river of traitorous blood is to be had.
Deliver upon them a sea of terror.
Sate your bloodlust with the lives of this vermin.
Crush their bones under your unforgiving track.
Blow away with your holy fire the existence of their sin.
May your spirit never crack.'
Nothing happened. After a couple of hearthbeats of silence, Magelaen started to speak. ‘Well, that didn’t wo…’ Mazog suddenly lifted his mace and banged it against the engine. *Bang* ‘What are you doing!?’ *Bang* ‘Stop!’ *Bang* ‘Mazog! I’m telling you to sto…’ Magelaen was interrupted by the Raider’s engine powering up.
‘Time to move, sergeant.’
The commotion at the Land Raider attracted the attention of the renegades. Two dozen men walked towards the commotion, when all of a sudden a Land Raider launched itself from between the parked tanks, right into the group of renegades. Anyone fortunate enough to evade the roaring tracks became a victim of the Raider’s gunfire from the sponsons. Leaving shredded bodies behind, it drove straight ahead towards the bulkhead. There it was met with massed fire from the Renegades guarding the bulkhead. Missiles hammered against the front hull of the Raider, but had little effect. The Raider responded in kind with a volley of his Assault Cannons right through the defenders. The Land Raider crashed in the middle of the group, a stray grenade wrecking its tracks. It did not aid the defenders. The sponsons on the flanks swung towards the remaining people, shredding them down with stunning efficiency.
Magelaen and Mazog watched the slaughter with disbelieve. ‘Well, that was quite the … distraction.’ said Mazog ‘It actually worked better than I hoped.’
‘I don’t know what you did with that Machine Spirit, but I’ve never seen one so bloodthirsty.’ responded Magelaen. ‘It seems that our way is clear now.’
They made their way towards the closed bulkhead, opened the door and slipped inside. Unalarmed sentries patrolling the hallway made Magelaen confident that the traitors inside haven’t heard about the clash in the hangar. These sentries were easily disposed of, while they made their way towards the bridge. Just before entering, Mazog said. ‘You’re up sergeant, time to show these bastards the Lion’s Wrath.’
Magelaen stormed out of the hallway into the bridge. He spitted the first opponent from behind with his power sword. Before the screaming body hit the floor, Magelaen was already on his next victim. With the element of surprise gone, Magelaen started his chant while delivering death.
‘With blood anointed swords aloft, we advance into Dread’s dark shade.’
A horizontal slash took away the throat of the nearest opponent.
‘Punishment divine with hate,’
He kicked the fallen traitor right into two approaching enemies, staggering them.
‘A wrathful storm of bolt and blade.’
Leveling his boltpistol, he fired two shots at the staggering men. The first bolt took off an unfortunate head, the second bolt blew the heart out of his companion’s chest.
‘Purge with sword, fist and shell, bring cleansing fire’s righteous breath.’
A renegade with a sword jumped at Magelaen from his left flank. The sword glanced of Magelaen’s armoured pauldron. Magelaen responded with a backwards slash, ripping through the attacker’s armour and chest.
‘For the Emperor, Knights of Caliban! The Lion’s anointed Angels of Death!’
Light caliber Bolts bounced of Magelaen’s armour, shot from the last traitor standing. Magelaen walked towards him while the traitor desperately emptied his clip.
Magelaen took the head of the last man and bashed it against a nearby console, again and again until a steady stream of blood was streaming from the console.
Mazog took controls of the Inquisitional Cruiser and made a course towards the fleet, while Magelaen contacted the capital ship about the situation. Back at the fleet, the Inner Circle decided to scuttle the Hulk with the detonator of the death traitor leaders. The risk of losing more men and gear to explore to Hulk wasn’t appealing, especially with the captured cruiser from the renegades.
The cruiser was filled to the brim with Heresy-era weaponry, armour and Exterminatus-ordnance. The new gear was a welcome gift for the armoury of the Consecrators, since the latest campaign wasn’t forgiving for the chapter. The ordnance would become an offering to The Rock. Mazog surrendered himself to the questions of the Interrogator-Chaplain’s, who found him worthy. Mazog joined the techmarines of the chapter, keeping the chapter’s revered armour functioning in the field, with his trusty mace close at hand.
Edited by GreyRavenC, 02 December 2016 - 12:03 PM.