- rename characters with new established naming conventions
- check for continuity of lore (its a 3 year old story, much has changed since)
“Only in Death Does Duty End”
Loading dock was teeming with life. Chapter serfs and servitors moved frantically, attempting to complete their tasks quickly. The loud clank of pistons and gears grinding against each other, air pressure being let out in puffs of steam. Chaos. Loud claxons sang their song, while the squads of astartes were directed to their landing vehicles. Righteous Respite. It has delivered squad Carmelio into battle twice before, and for the third time, it will be delivering us again into the maelstrom of battle. The 7 battle brothers stood in formation in front the drop pod, Honored Sergeant Carmelio, paced in front of the formation. His voice was like a guilded bolter, and elegantly crafted machine of booming terror with one purpose, bloody war.
“Into deaths very own hand we dive once more brothers. For this very purpose the Iron Lions have been founded, because no other chapter can smite down the green tide like the sons of Invictumos!” Sergeant Carmelio observed us as we all stood in silence, unmoving figures of discipline. His voice dropped from loud and charismatic, to a low speaking tone. “Now, this menace has decided to spring to life on our very own home world once more. This time they have managed to lay waste to many fortresses of Invictumos.”
Brother Victor raised his voice, “What about the warhound pack pledged by Crilia III Honored Sergeant? Have the servants of the Omnissiah, blessed be His iron, abandoned their duties?” Sergeant Carmelio shook his head.
“No brother, this is a Waagh the likes of which has never been seen by Invictumos. Warhound pack Burning Absolution has been nearly destroyed. Only one god machine remains, and it has been rendered immobile. It has stood sentry in front of the gates of Liamane for the last 3 days. It will not hold much longer.”
“Liamane?” spoke out Genevia angered. “Have the orks really pushed as far as our fortress monastery?”
“Have the Lions of the Cassari really become so weak?” spewed Leon.
“Silence you two!” shouted Sergeant Carmelio. “Do not disrespect our fellow legionnaires again! They may just be men, but they too are Lions nonetheless. Is that understood?”
“Yes Honored Sergeant” they humbly replied.
“Very well. Our task is too to provide much needed relief to the forces defending Liamane. This will be done via drop pod assault. Lions of the 4th century will be deployed in full force behind the main line. We will crush the orks between the walls of the city and the wall of bolter fire. Once we land, clear the immediate area of threats. Our squad will be deployed with a heavy bolter and flamer. Apothecary Fillion will be joining us as well. Our specific task will be to overrun the ork artillery pieces, then advance towards the east wall, and isolate the orks attempting to breach the walls. Squads Devian and Quatria will be operating to our left. Squad Angelo will be to our right. The other four squads will be deploying on the opposite end of us, and will pincer the green skins between us and them. The Centurion and his praetorians will be joining them. We will be receiving close support from an aerial contingent of the Lion Guard. Are there any questions?”
“Will we be able to witness the Knights of the Lion Guard in battle, Honored Sergeant?” I asked inquisitively.
Sergeant Carmelio chuckled to himself. “How long have you been a full battle brother? 2 years?” He laughed once more. “I don’t think your quite ready to witness them yet. They have their own tasks to accomplish, far far from us. May the Emperor grant you long enough life to witness them.” I heard footsteps approach us. The astartes wore dark gray power armor just like ours, but his arms and helmet were white. His helmet had various optics attached to it, and his arm carried a tool with drills and other fine instruments. His right shoulder pad had been recently painted to white, but a bright red helix adorned it. An apothecary, a newly trained apothecary.
“Ah, welcome Apothecary Fillion. Honored to have you join us.” The apothecary simply nodded. “Are there any more questions?” There was brief silence. “Very well. Ensure your war gear is properly anointed and say any last prayers to appease its machine spirit. Stand by for boarding.”
I looked down and examined my heavy bolter. I spoke to its machine spirit and prayed to the Omnissiah that it may fire true. It was a beautiful creation. Its intricate mechanisms carefully blessed and anointed by many brothers before me, each name engraved along its side. it was an honor to carry this weapon. Should I fall in the execution of my duties, may my name be inscribed as well. A loud claxon rang. It was time. The doors of Righteous Respite dropped down. The inside was painted bone, with a silver navigation console in its center. A red light dimly lit the interior. From the top hung a storm bolter. It swiveled to the left, then to the right, up, then down. Finally it rested in its home position. One by one we filed off into the drop pod. I stood in front of my harness and backed into it. My power pack connected with the harness, and a brace came down over my head to secure me in place. The doors were raised. The red light dimly lit the interior, but my helmet adjusted its visual sensors to account for the dimness. On the outside I could hear the explosive bolts being attached by the servitors. The next time those doors would open, we would be on the ground. The pod shook as it was lifted up by mechanical arms and placed into the launch tube.
“Lions,” Sergeant Carmelio roared over the vox, “Invictumos shall not fall!”
“For Invictumos is invincible!” we all shouted in reply. The red light turned yellow. The engines began to fire inside the drop pod. "Honor the Legion!"
The pod was then ejected from its launch tube and blazed towards Liamane. The pod shook violently as we went from high orbit into low orbit. The heat began to rise inside the pod, atmospheric friction set the pod ablaze from the outside. High pitched pings could be heard coming from the outside. We were taking fire. I worried not however. This was not the first time I dropped into fire laden skies. The armor of the pod would hold... Two high caliber shots managed to pierce the armor, and struck brother Leon in the chest. It left a very deep scar on his armor, but the round had lost most of its velocity, and he remained uninjured. Suddenly a loud explosion was heard and the pod began to spin violently. The yellow light was flashing red now and warning sirens were blaring. We were not coming down upright anymore. We were tumbling through the sky. I could hear the thrusters outside engaging and disengaging. The machine spirit was desperately trying to correct the trajectory and stabilize the pod.
“Lions!” bellowed Sergeant Carmelio, “What is your duty?”
“To serve the Emperors will!” we replied
“What is the Emperors will?”
“That we fight and die!”
“What is death?
“It is our duty!”
The thrusters under the drop pod fired and attempted to slow our descent, but it was not enough. Righteous Respite crashed into Invictumos. I could not see for a moment, but I knew something wasn’t right. I felt… pain, a sharp pain, and could feel my torso was becoming wet. I looked around me and could see what remained of Brother Genevia. The control console had had broken loose and crushed him against his harness. I continued to look around, and could see my brothers unbuckling their harness as best they could. Then I heard a loud bang. The explosive bolts activated. The doors shot open and it was then that I realized we were laying sideways. I attempted to move too undue my harness but noticed that I could not. I noticed, I… I had been impaled through my chest by the storm bolter’s pintle mount. My armor had begun to deploy coagulants and pain killers to help me cope with my injury and fight on, but it was not enough. Breathing began to become labored, and I could feel that my primary heart had failed.
A scream was heard, “Apothecary!” It was Brother Leon. The apothecary moved towards me. The roar of ork shootas and boltguns filled the sky. The fighting had begun.
“Where is that heavy bolter?” shouted Sergeant Carmelio.
“He’s been critically injured Honored Sergeant!” responded Leon.
“Do what you must! Just get me that weapon!” Sergeant Carmelio ran off to find better cover and employ the other battle brothers.
The apothecary looked at me, he shook his head “You cannot be saved.” He bent down next to me and stared at me. “It was once said, pain and death are illusions of the weak mind. While his gene-seed returns to the Chapter, a Marine cannot die. Without death, pain loses its relevance. He that may fight, heal him. He that may fight no more, give him peace. He that is dead, take from him the Chapter's due.” He turned to Brother Leon. “You will need my help. You must carry his weapon; it is needed on the battlefield.”
“Yes apothecary.” Leon solemnly replied.
“Brother, I will give you the Emperors peace, so that you may be useful to the Legion once more.” He stood and drew his bolt pistol. He raised it and leveled it with my head. I closed my eyes and began to whisper to myself,
“Glory to the Emperor on Terra, may His will be done. Praise be the Omnissiah, may His iron provide the way. Honor the Primarch. May He always guide us. Only in death, does duty…”
Edited by jbaeza94, 05 July 2019 - 11:05 PM.