Edited by Shinros, 05 August 2019 - 12:00 AM.
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Path to Glory (Emperor's Children's Story Book 2)
Posted 04 August 2019 - 11:58 PM
Alivia watched her brother and sisters relax in the lounge, they were smoking lho-sticks and kicking back cheap homemade amasec while playing pool.Their “base” was more or less their new living space, it was building with four floors and plenty of rooms to rest in. They never actually did any planning within this building for the resistance was stuck in the sewers until the liberators came. Alivia tried to think back to that time, they were in the middle of an operation to assassinate a noble when their flyers landed.
She could still hear the loud discharges from their guns, but the sight that bore itself into her brain was their faith. The Sisters of Battle and those fighting with them did not relent, they didn’t budge an inch or give ground to the enemy. During the war, the resistance was focused on covering their flank. For once in her entire life she saw the degenerates cowering in fear, ironically she didn’t revel in the fact. Instead a sense of peace washed over her like a tide, the assault from the Sisters of Battle showed her how weak the false masters truly were.
Alivia was thankful that their children can grow up free from the heretics depravities.
‘What are you thinking about Alivia?’
She flinched as her name was called, she turned around to see Travis entering the lounge. He was holding a bottle of amasec. ‘Nothing Boss…’
The Boss of the resistance smiled, the scar across his face stretched at the movement. ‘I get it, you’re reflecting.’
Alivia chuckled he saw right through her. ‘Aye, Boss. That’s what I was doing. I am looking back to the past and towards the future.’
Travis frowned, he nodded in agreement. ‘Yeah ...I did a little thinking myself and you’re right.’
‘W-What? I don’t understand.’
‘I should be happy that we won, that’s why I got this.’
Travis lifted up the bottle slightly, it wasn’t the cheap amasec that the resistance normally drink but one of the brands that she has seen nobles partake in. Alivia frowned. ‘We can’t drink that stuff.’
A confused look began spreading across the Boss’ face. ‘Why not? I checked it out with the local medicae teams, there isn’t any additives in it. I raided the stash of one the lesser nobles.’
Alivia rubbed her arm slightly. ‘I..Just don’t trust anything that has to do with the masters Boss.’
Travis chuckled in response. ‘I get it, the liberators superstition is getting to you?’
‘It isn’t superstition!’ she was almost shouting, Travis raised his other hand to calm her down.
‘W-Woah, calm down Alivia. Sorry for pushing your buttons.’
The clacking of glasses stopped, so did the murmurs from the pool table, everyone was staring at her. She held her ground. ‘Don’t you remember the fire!? The faith!? How can you say that after everything we endured!?’
Travis grunted, he folded his arms. ‘So tell me then why do you trust them entirely? Just because they liberated us? They could decide to put us in chains again! Don’t you see the contempt they have for us!?’
‘They saved us!’ she barked back.
‘They are only helping themselves!’
‘How do you know that!?’
The Boss spat on the ground. ‘Her eyes.’ he hissed.
Alivia raised her eyebrow in confusion. ‘What do you mean?’
‘Her eyes are dead Alivia, I saw no warmth in the Canoness’ eyes, she hates us. She is looking down on us. To them we are just fodder, new slaves to build their blasted shrines!’
Her sisters and brothers started to talk amongst themselves, they were agreeing with Travis. After All those who wish to learn the new faith are with the priests or sleeping within the new shrines. She wondered why were they becoming divided after they gained their freedom? She ground clenched her hands, frustration began crawling through her entire body. ‘I’m going to my room.’
Travis was about to say something but she didn’t want to hear it, Alivia walked past her Boss and left the lounge. When she got outside, she wiped her hands down her face. Why? She thought to herself. Why can’t they be happy that they are free?
Travis rubbed his neck, Alivia was always stubborn but that conversation proved she was a lost cause. The angels will come and they will tear apart the Sisters of Battle, it’s been foretold by his queen. He was trying to save everyone from destitution and slavery. He continued with his mission, discarding whatever bond he had with his second. He gestured the bottle up. ‘So who wants first taste!?’
The dourness consuming the room evaporated, everyone became cheery again. One of his brothers approached with his empty glass, it was Calix. He lost an eye during an operation and had to wear an eyepatch. ‘I’ll go first then!’
Travis grinned, he removed the lid and poured Calix a glass, the black liquid had a sweet aroma that pulled more members towards him. He was telling the truth that he found the amasec from a noble house, he just mixed his queen’s essence in afterwards. The only lie was that he didn’t check it with the medicae teams, that would be foolish admit that out loud.
When Calix’s glass was filled he sipped from it, right away his single eye went wide. ‘Woah, this tastes great!’
At the word of his brother his fellow resistance members gathered around him with their own glasses. Travis happily filled them a fellow sister even handed him a glass as well. As he poured himself some amasec he could feel hands pressing upon his shoulders. When he drank some of the amasec his queen’s voice graced his ears.
+Good...Good...Enjoy yourself...Rest easy tonight. I will handle the rest...+
Travis didn’t react, he was the Captain and he was still on the mission. He couldn’t give anything away. He wanted to explode with happiness but he couldn’t do it here, not to the point he will bring suspicion upon himself. He backed the rest of his glass, the warm black liquid traveling down his throat was pleasant. He poured himself a second glass which provoked the right reaction from the members within the lounge, they wanted a second round. He gladly obliged. The merriment continued deep into the night.’
Seraphia raised her blade to the statue of the Emperor ‘Guide my blade o holy Master of Mankind. Darkness has taken hold of the hearts of vile men and women. I shall show you my zeal, my faith and commitment to bringing your light to the entire galaxy!’ She leaned her head forward towards the face of the blade. She then opened her vox link to her entire force. ‘Let the execution of justice commence!’ she ordered.
As she gave the order she could hear the screams of dying heretics through the vox, the barking of bolters was even making it through the walls of the monastery as well.
Canonness Seraphia lowered her blade and turned to her personal guard. Each Celestian was a master of war, a true crusader for the Emperor. She smiled at her sisters. ‘Our work is not yet finished. It seems the resistance is corrupted.’
Celestian Superior Agatha came forward, she wore a habit over head but her most distinguishing feature was her piercing blue eyes which was filled with hatred for the enemies of mankind. ‘We should of killed them after the war.’ she announced flatly.
Seraphia smiled, those were not her words only. Agatha was speaking for the entire squad. ‘I understand your frustration sister.’ Seraphia responded. ‘It seems you were right, no matter if one fights if they haven’t bathed in the Emperor’s light they are beyond salvation. The Resistance leader Travis reacted badly to the blessed water.’
Agatha readied her bolter ‘Apologies canoness I had no desire to second guess your decision, only to give voice to our frustration.’
‘Think nothing of it. I do admit sometimes I am too lenient, a failing I will address through self-flaggation after the purge.’
Seraphia strode past the Celestians, she turned her head back slightly. ‘We will go to the main base, I wish to kill the leader myself.’
Her Celestians said nothing, they saluted and fell in behind her, Seraphia’s gaze then came forward. She exited the temple and as she got outside resistance members were being executed in the streets. Confusion and panic was washing through the heretics, they couldn’t understand why they are being killed.
Seraphia shook her head in disappointment, it was a waste in way. She hoped that the resistance would labour for the Emperor. Her gaze drifted to the heathens being punished, they continued their penance in silence marching down the street, ignoring the executions occuring around them. The heretical nobles spirits most likely has been crushed as was expected. For if the punishment wasn’t working they would be sniffing and drooling over the death being dealt at the moment.
She turned in the direction leading to the resistance base, she marched down the streets in silence, to any of the priests aiding her sisters they would look peaceful and reagle. But deep down she was excited to destroy more heathens.
Alivia twisted and turned on her bed, her brothers and sisters were loud when going to bed but now that it's quiet she couldn’t sleep. Her mind was still lingering on the argument, she wondered why her Boss couldn’t see things and she did? They have a fresh start, no more dangerous operations, living in sewers or feeding their young members slop. Laxim belonged to them now.
She stopped her movement on the bed, Alivia narrowed her eyes. ‘Maybe if I talk to him again? He always sees my side of things after a while.’ A smile slowly crept across her face. ‘Yeah, I’ll do that!’
When she confirmed her path she started to feel tired, her eyes fluttered.
Muffled shouts caused her eyes to flick open she jumped out of her bed and grabbed her stubber which was resting upon it. She bought her weapon up and left the room. Entering the corridor she looked around, everything was normal and no one seemed to be in distress. Everyone was in their rooms resting.
She relaxed and shook her head. ‘What the hell am I doing? I’m jumping at shadows...Am I that stressed out over an argument?’
The muffled sound returned, in a swift motion she raised her weapon again. The sound was coming from the end of the hallway, from Travis’ room. Alivia cursed and ran over to the door. The Boss could be in trouble or hurt.
Standing in front of the door the cry for help was louder, she raised her foot to kick down the door, she didn’t care if splinters would enter her sole. Her Boss was in trouble. Before her foot could touch the door it slowly opened, just by a few centimetres. Alivia lowered her foot, she gulped and reached for the handle and stepped into the room.
What she found caused her stomach to turn and her heart to soar at the same time, it was a ghost or a shade she wasn’t sure. It had four horns protruding from it’s head and it had a form of a woman, at least she thought it was. To her eyes what was terrifying was the shade’s hand was loged into the mouth of Travis. It looked like her Boss was drinking something, his throat was moving like he was gulping something down. She trembled at the sight of this, her Boss’ eyes were also rolled back but she got the feeling he was enjoying this for some reason.
The ghost’s head then turned slightly to her and with the motion long black threads sprouted from their head. When the threads gently fell to it’s back Alivia realised it was hair.
She pointed her stubber at the creature, her hands were shaking. ‘S-Stop what you are doing!’
An oppressive force fell upon her body as she spoke, Alivia dropped her to her knees like a stone. She couldn’t move, let alone speak.
+The fool that seeks to cost me everything.+
The voice was androgynous, but she recognised the authority within it. She had to bend to it, obey it without question. Alivia knew who the voice belong to despite never talking to them. It was Queen Glascia Principor, the shade wasn’t any ordinary ghost.
+How interesting...I wonder how many generations far removed you are from me? Only those with my blood react in such a way to my voice.+
‘I-I d-d-ddon’t u-understand.’ Tears were beginning to fall from her face.
The queen chuckled. +Where my blood grows weak you appear as any other Thrall. At the moment I can’t beget children by conventional means at the moment. So I figured out a different way to do so. The current nobility is too broken, too frail in spirit to give me the power to remake myself. But then I saw my shining knight, my new Captain.’
Glascia’s head drifted back to Travis, she removed her hand from his mouth. Travis groaned in pleasure and sagged down into his bed. The queen turned and walked towards her and crouched. +I can tell right away I will have to correct so many things with you, I don’t have much time since the harlots are now executing all members of the resistance.+
+It’s quite simple the resistance will make poor slaves, unlike them I love my Thralls. I treat them well. You will understand this in a moment.+
The queen reached out and touched Alivia’s cheek, the sensation that graced it was overwhelming. A flood of strange emotions and thoughts filled her heart and mind. Alvia relaxed, her mouth started to hang slightly. Glascia then raised her other hand and rammed into her mouth, breaking several of teeth. She lurched in pain due to the action but she didn’t resist. She was thankful that Glascia was showing her such an attention.
+Know bliss my child.+ Her queen said warmly.
That was when a strange liquid started to fill her mouth, her tongue seized up due to the flavours that were overpowering it. She happily drank the fluid, when it was passing down her throat a sense of ease washed over her. When the liquid hit her stomach? She knew bliss, pointless questions of the future vanished. She now had a new purpose to serve her radiant monarch, the one true leader of Laxim.
Being filled with her blessing her gums began to inch, the teeth that was ruined a moment before started to regrow, she now fully became aware of how foolish she was fighting against someone so powerful and beautiful. Alivia stared at the face her queen, it was blank but what caught her eyes was her hair. The black threads were becoming blonde.
‘T-Th-ank y-y-ou.’ Alivia gurgled. Her queen didn’t respond, but that didn’t matter. Alivia was thankful that she was playing a small part in restoring her, when she became complete they will take the planet back from the dogs of the false Emperor.
Seraphia looked up to the resistance base, it was a shoddy four level building. It matched the resistance, shoddy, weak and pitiful. If their leader fell so easily to the dark powers it proved that the rest were beyond salvation. She walked up the steps with her Celestians, upon reaching the doors Seraphia removed her bolt pistol from it’s holster and kicked down the doors.
The extra strength bestowed upon her by her blessed power armour was useful, it allowed the Sisters of Battle to overpower pitiful heretics easily. The war was won with very few losses since the heretical nobility haven’t engaged in any form of warfare for years. She expects the same from the resistance to fall just as easily. She entered the “base” with her sisters, she wanted to get this over with quickly.
The first area seemed to be a reception where one would accept guests, so this building was most likely a hotel before the resistance took it. Her eyes drifted to the set of double doors ahead of them. Seraphia grunted and strode over to them, like the entrance she kicked the doors down revealing an empty lounge. She frowned. ‘Where are they? I doubt they are sleeping.’
‘They could be, the resistance are drunks, when we won the war they raided amasec stores across the city.’ Agatha added.
Her sister could be correct, she was overestimating the resistance. Seraphia left the left lounge and walked over to the stairs. She refused to use the elevator since it was a death trap, your movements will be limited and the enemy could be waiting in ambush as the doors open.
Seraphia advanced to the first floor, like the ground level it was quiet save she could hear muffled snoring from one of the rooms which meant her sister was correct. The resistance was most likely resting after gorging themselves on stolen amasec. She relaxed slightly, she gave the signal to her sisters to advance.
As she took the first step forward every single door across the hallway flung open, resistance members wielding stubbers hurried out and aimed down the hallway. They all had pink eyes, the mark of corruption. Seraphia grinned ‘Fo-’
She was cut off as a hail of bullets flew past her towards Agatha her face was riddled with bullets. She fell back like a stone. The sheer accuracy and precision of the resistance was uncanny, she cursed under her breath. ‘Kill them!’ she barked.
Her sisters charged, the resistance didn’t break like other heretics. They all drew knives and assisted one another. They piled upon each sister one at a time, Seraphia couldn’t believe what was happening. They were the elite, the best among her army but they were falling to cowards. Seraphia cut down several resistance members who sought to jump upon her. She cursed again her breath.
She was about to call for a retreat until she heard a ding, she couldn’t help but look back to see the lift doors opening to reveal more of the resistance, among them she spotted the leader who also had pink eyes. In each of their hands they were holding frag grenades.
She was about to make the call to take cover but it was too late, the heretics removed the pins and threw grenades. Seraphia’s vision turned white, all Seraphia could hear was the screams of her sisters as she fell to the ground.
She gasped and blinked several times, her mouth started to fill with blood. She tried to clear her vision, but it was impossible. Her vision shifted from white to black. She couldn’t help but reel in anger for her foolishness, she underestimated them. But how did the resistance become so effective so quickly? That was lost upon her.
‘How I longed to see you like this…’
She recognised the voice, it was full of false promises and pure darkness. Even though she couldn’t see it was obvious who it was. ‘I-I s-saw you b-burn w-witch!’
A foot came down upon her chest, the pressure was causing the ceramite to buckle under the strain. ‘I burned.’ hissed the witch. ‘While my family gave up in despair, I pressed on. Our god is a kind master, one that actually answers prayers. I wondered to myself what I will do once I have you in this position…’
The pressure increased, more blood started to fill her mouth. Her gut was on fire. ‘H-Harlot! I-I w-won’t bend!’
‘I don’t want you to bend, I wish to break you. To know that there is no salvation after death, no light to embrace you after you show so much defiance…’
‘L-Lies!’ Seraphia spat.
‘We’ll see.’ the witch replied.
Seraphia thrashed to no avail, her body won’t move but she will resist to the bitter end.
Travis walked over the scattered remains of his brothers and sisters, they all did their jobs wonderfully. They all gave their lives without hesitation, the distraction was a success. He approached his restored queen, she was as he saw in the vision. His heart would flutter whenever he was in her presence.
Her bare foot was planted upon the battered harlot, despite her face being the picture of contempt in his eyes Glascia still looked beautiful.
Travis bowed ‘what are your orders your majesty?’
His queen’s blazing pink eyes regarded him, she gave him a delicate smile. ‘Take the others and go to the second level to rest. The Angels are coming soon.’
He nodded and bowed again. ‘Very well.’ he gestured to the others. ‘Back into the lift!’ In silence everyone followed his order. Once they were inside he pressed the button for the second level, he still kept his eyes upon his queen who was beginning to reach down towards the harlot. When the doors closed, he could pick up the sounds of muffled screams.
The lift carried him up to the second level, when the doors opened, he stepped out. Standing in the middle of the hallway was Alivia who lead the third squad. She raced up to him, her eyes held pink dots, which means she was adjusting well to the queens essence. Alivia smiled at him. ‘So they’re dead?’
‘Yes they are, the main reason why is because they underestimated us. Our queen has made us stronger in both body and mind, but our experience as guerilla soldiers served us well.’
Travis’ ears tingled, the muffled screams of the harlot was a distraction.
His second picked up this ‘she’s lucky isn’t she?’
‘Yes she is.’ Travis replied.
‘So, when will the Angels come Captain?’
Travis liked the sound of his new title, he smiled at his second. ‘Soon, Alivia. They will be here soon…’
Posted 11 August 2019 - 06:46 PM
To Canis it was strange wearing a helmet, he’s never worn one before but he knew how to use all the interfaces of it. All he had to do was blink and the interface on his auto senses would change, it would shift from the squad screen to display damage parameters. He found it interesting how such knowledge to use equipment came to him so easily. It was most likely the indoctrination procedures before he was changed by Phelix. Canis blinked again to return to the squad screen, Phelix’s name was flashing green which meant he was alive, yet that all could change once they go to Laxim.
He looked down to his slave who was shaking, most likely it was due to withdrawal. They had none of the Ambrosia on hand for his brothers might not react well to it, for it was not the appropriate time to avail it. He folded his arms and bought his gaze up to the docking bay, slaves were running around preparing the Thunderhawks for their masters. Canis could see Sirius with his Palatine Blades walking onto their own Thunderhawk while Achilios entered his personal flyer with his guard.
Canis was journeying to the world with Phelix, many didn’t recognise him since he was wearing a helmet but it was obvious that his brothers were fixated with the tithe and the praise of mortals, that was their true concern. The question was how would Achilios react to having the Thunderhawks shot at by the Imperial Navy ship who transported the Sisters of Battle to this world? The fact that the Captain hasn’t engaged showed that they were smart, it was best to remove as much of the invading force as possible when they were vulnerable.
Canis was also fully aware of who was going to die so the designs of the Dark Prince would come to fruition. He thought about warning them in some capacity, so they could join in the future full of suffering and pain but that might cause the plan to go awry.
‘Death is what is needed for the Jester to become a Titan…’ There was a possibility that the Jester would break completely, but that was a risk worth taking. He couldn’t stand the thought of being a small mote in history, that was the most terrifying future.
Phelix strode up to him, his assistants were following his every step. ‘Our Thunderhawk is ready. But I want to know something.’
‘What is it Phelix?’
‘There is a chance we might die on that world right?’
‘Yes, there is a chance.’
‘Okay, can you tell me what is most likely going to kill us?’
‘It’s not going to be the force that’s currently on the world, they are leaderless and will topple easily. The Warband will view removing them as a trivial exercise.’
Phelix started to become agitated, he could smell the fear seeping from his body. ‘Does this relate to Ignatius? I haven’t seen him in a while.’
‘Right, is he going to betray us?’
That question made Canis think about what he should say. He then shook his head. ‘Why does he matter?’
‘He is the Champion of the Warband and he killed you, I think he might be a concern.’
‘He’s ant Phelix, a small one who can’t handle what needs to be done to obtain glory.’
‘So he is going to betray us then…’ Phelix sighed. ‘I hope what we are doing is going to be worth it.’
‘It will be Phelix, trust me.’
‘That’s thing Canis, I trust no one. The thought that the Captain I respected is using us for a stupid vendetta is just...Too much…’
‘Then don’t have faith in me, have faith in our god.’ His answer provoked a reaction from the Apothecary, he started to calm down. What was happening was the reason why he approached Phelix, everyone else's faith was weak and brittle. He needed someone who would trust the path the Dark Prince would give them. It was why his corpse was given to Phelix instead of thrown into an airlock.
The Apothecary turned away from him. ‘Let’s go, I want to get this over with.’
Canis nodded in agreement, he was eager to see this Warband remade into Slaanesh’s image.
Achilios stood over the pilot of his own personal Thunderhawk, the mortal was a noble from Laxim. One who was eager to be shipmaster, her pink eyes were darting quickly around the screens and her hands were moving smoothly among the controls. In a way this was a test, he thought about replacing the current Shipmaster since he delayed their journey and the mortal in front of him was eager to impress.
Albaster has given him too many excuses for his liking, the Shipmaster will be surprised that he is looking for someone to replace him but as with all things, Achilios can change his mind.
His thoughts then drifted from the Shipmaster to his arrival, Achilios smiled to himself, he imagined the announcement, his desire to turn an entire sector into an edifice of his glory. The noble families would gladly offer up their young, they wanted a piece of his glory to be part of their own.
That warm image was filling his mind until an orange flash graced his eyes, the pilot furrowed her brow. The mortal was staring at the screen, it has a picture of a Thunderhawk which was flashing orange. ‘What does it mean!?’ he barked at the human.
The Pilot didn’t flinch, which he approved of. ‘My lord, Lord Sirius’ Thunderhawk is being attacked.’ the mortal answered flatly.
‘What!? By who!?’
‘I will get in contact with the pilot.’
The pilot flicked a switch, a fizzled sound came from a nearby speaker and suddenly the voice of Sirius’ pilot blurted out from the speaker. ‘We’re being attacked! Salvo’s fro-’
The voice was cut off, it was replaced by static. The orange light was now blinking red. Achilios ground his teeth, he’ll kill Albaster for this. How could he not detect a possible enemy?
The mortal pilot flicked several more switches, the Thunderhawk began shaking. ‘My Lord I will get you to the planet quickly. Please hold on.’
Achilios bottled up his rage, he placed his helmet upon his head and blinked several times to activate the mag-locks on his boots. The competence of his current pilot was the only thing keeping his anger locked away. The flyer twisted and turned, while all of this was happening more Thunderhawks were blinking from green to orange and finally red.
Each destroyed flyer was like a stab in his hearts, it was a setback that was sending the warband back years, each Astartes death was delaying his plan to take an entire sector. The Thunderhawk shuddered for a moment and then it became still.
The pilot was now sweating, but she seemed relaxed. ‘We are on Laxim.’ she said flatly.
Achilios nodded, he deactivated the mag-locks on his boots and began walking out of the cockpit. He stopped at the door and turned his head back slightly to the mortal. ‘What is your name?’ he asked.
The human undid her belts and rose from her seat, she saluted. ‘My name is Agatha my lord, first daughter of House Listerguard.’
The formal response and the respect she exuded salved his anger further. ‘I see, I will keep your name in mind.’
Agatha smiled ‘I will keep the flyer primed just in case anything happens.’
‘Good you do that, I suspect the rulers of Laxim have failed me.’
The human said nothing in return, she was most likely fully aware of what failure meant. He continued his journey out of the cockpit and gathered his hand-picked guard. Each was a scion of a noble family from this world, their eyes were no longer pink since Fulgrim’s blood easily overcame the muddied blood of the royal family. He only recruited from nobles for they could only understand the responsibility of being a child of the Phoenician.
Achilios approached the button to lower the boarding ramp and pressed it. As it came down there were a group of people standing before it, mortals wearing black power armour. He cursed and drew his blade. ‘Kill them!’ he ordered.
When the ramp hit the ground, the mortals fired their bolters. Two of his guard fell during the first salvo. Achilios leapt into the mortals, first, he went low severing the legs of one, he rose and then removed the arm of the second. His quick movements didn’t stir the mortals who cried for their Emperor to guide them, it didn’t help them move faster either.
His assault allowed his guard to get mixed in, the shrieking harpies died like humans, no matter if they wearing power armour or holding bolters. He also couldn't help but notice their attacks had strange desperation about them. Once they were dead, he looked around. The city was in shambles, corpses covered the roads and statues were littered everywhere. ‘What happened…?’
The anger resting within his breast was replaced by pure confusion, his tithe world was in his ruins. He glanced down to the mortals he killed, a closer look revealed them to be Sisters of Battle. They must be the culprits but they were desperate, to his knowledge in victory Sisters of Battle are more confident or arrogant.
Achilios shook his head. ‘It doesn’t matter...They ruined me…’ he hissed under his breath. The confusion shifted back to anger, he opened a communication channel to all squads. ‘The Sisters of Battle defiled what belonged to me! They’ve ruined my grand design! Butcher them! Let their screams of suffering echo across the city!’ He closed the channel.
The order didn’t help in the slightest, the only way to calm his fury was to tear apart the leader of this invasion force, he needed her death. He craved it, he wanted to tear her apart. May Slaanesh help those who get in the way of that goal.
Posted 20 August 2019 - 04:08 PM
Phelix watched the Warband die, the lights displaying the Thunderhawks were blinking a bright red on the screen. He loomed over their pilot like a vulture. The mortal was sweating since they were being fired at but ironically they haven’t been hit by a salvo. He suspected that they were meant to survive, out of all those that were dying they get to the world in one piece. He wondered if it was just dumb luck or the will of his god?
His eyes soon became focused upon the light representing Sirius’ Thunderhawk. The fool's life was snuffed out just like that, he wondered if he realized his flyer was going to be blown apart? Thinking of him and his death caused Phelix's anger to build. He began to wonder what were they all dying for? The prefector trained so much and gave up his position just to appease their father. Even though he hated Sirius he didn’t deserve to die this way.
In his mind, so many are to blame, but first the Captain of the 64th company must be dealt with. He’s sacrificing their lives for petty revenge. While on the other hand Achilios dragged them to this world for his stupid conquest. Phelix wanted to do something, but he never had the power to. He never did.
Phelix grunted and left the cockpit, he journeyed to the lower hold area. His assistants along with Canis have congregated near the landing bay. The fool was staring at his assistants who were preparing the medical equipment, it was strange that the mortals were calm even though they were being fired at.
Phelix approached the idiot who gave him a small nod. ‘Is something wrong brother?’ asked Canis.
The question from Canis was annoying, he wondered if the fool was mocking him somehow? Perhaps the confusion in his voice was fake? ‘I’m sure you’re aware of what is happening in the void?’ he replied.
‘I am, people are dying.’
‘Doesn’t that bother you?’
‘No, they’re dying for a good cau-.’
At the mention of cause the anger within his breast exploded, he shoved Canis to the wall and pinned him the fool to it. Phelix pressed his forearm on the idiot’s throat. ‘People keep saying that to me!’ Phelix hissed. ‘You keep telling me that it’s going to be worth it! Achilios thinks his mad quest will bring us glory, but I will only see ruin in our future! Now I find out that the Captain I respected has been plotting his revenge for centuries! Over a stupid slight! How are you any different!? How are the lives of this Warband going to be used in your glorious future!?’
Canis grunted ‘I-I’ve s-seen it.’
‘Who showed you!?’
The fool fell silent, Phelix cursed. He tried to think back, if he spotted or heard anything strange after Canis’ resurrection. Oddly a memory of the lower level Temple surfaced, when the Matron asked who bought Canis back. He wondered why he would remember such a thing now. This moment felt guided, he wondered if he should say the name.
He narrowed his eyes at the fool. ‘Was it Alexian who bought you back?’
Canis chuckled ‘what does it matter? You don’t even know who that is.’
‘Is Alexian a daemon!? A sorcerer!? Which is it!?’
‘As I said even I tell you, it won’t change anything.’
‘You sound like a blasted tzeentchian do you know that?’
‘All the gods plot in their own ways brother, the Raven God is just really good at it.’
Phelix pressed harder on Canis throat, the fool gasped and grasped his wrist. ‘S-Stop!’ Canis shouted.
‘Or what? You know a few tricks don’t you? After all you a witch, so curse me, throw a dark missile or are you bound by something?’ Phelix wished he could see what expression the idiot was making under his helm, he suspected it was desperation.
To his knowledge whenever one works with a daemon there is a price, he wondered what Canis had to pay to be here now. In way the fool was still a child, he didn’t understand what sort of forces he was messing with. ‘Let me tell you something Canis, Slaanesh doesn’t plan, he lives in the present, the moment. Have you ever wondered that whatever this daemon showed you was a lie?’
‘A-Alexian, w-wasn’t lying. I-If you k-knew….’
‘Knew what? I’m all ears.’ Canis fell silent again, Phelix pressed harder which caused the idiot to claw at his wrist. To Phelix, the fool’s silence was an answer. He now had a good feeling on who Alexian worked for and if he was right that meant nothing good will come of this. He removed his forearm from Canis’ throat.
The fool began gasping for air, Phelix shook his head. ‘I can’t believe I fell for your lies.’
Canis rubbed his neck and chuckled. ‘I’m not lying a glorious future awaits us. Just trust me, Alexian also has our best interest at heart. I chose to work with you because you have the right balance of faith and skepticism. ’
‘You mean I was the perfect pawn!’
‘You’re not a pawn Phelix, if you persevere Achilios will turn into the leader the warband deserves, there I was slightly more honest.’
He couldn’t believe what he was hearing, the Warband was dying so Achilios could possibly become “better”? A great laugh erupted from Phelix’s throat. ‘Wait a minute, so we are being ground down so Achilios can become the leader we deserve?’
‘Yes, this is just the start, things will get worse but we will survive.’ the fool said flatly.
‘I am not willing to risk that Canis.’
‘Well we are on a direct course to that path, nothing can change it now. What can you do Phelix? You are just an Apothecary, your breed is dying out. I’ve seen it.’
Phelix narrowed his eyes at Canis, he made a decision never expected to come to. ‘Enough complaining…’ he said under his breath.
He turned away from the idiot and walked back to the cockpit, what he found strange was the fact Canis was following him. When he arrived the pilot nodded. ‘We’ve almost arrived my Lord. Just a few more minutes.’
Phelix folded his arms. ‘Pilot I want you to open a communication channel.’
‘With who my lord?’ he replied.
‘Everyone.’ he answered.
The mortal seemed confused but he did as he asked. Phelix glanced back to Canis who was shaking his head. ‘What are you doing Phelix?’
He shrugged in return to the idiot. ‘I’m living in the moment, for some reason I think I will enjoy this.’
‘T-They won’t believe you and too many are also loyal to Achilios.’
Phelix smirked, Canis’ voice was breaking. He didn’t expect this. ‘then whatever you want to come to fruition will happen no matter what I do.’ his gaze returned to the pilot. ‘Is the channel open?’
The pilot flicked a switch, there was crackle from a nearby speaker ‘Channels are now open.’ the mortal responded.
Phelix sighed, he wondered how he should frame what he should say? He shook his head, it was better to be blunt in his mind. He faced the speaker and spoke calmly. ‘To all of the Idols of Euphoria, this is Apothecary Phelix speaking. It has come to my attention that Captain Theseus of the 64th has been using our misery for his own petty obsession, he allowed our brothers to be consigned to the lower levels, he has also allowed a weak and pathetic leader to take the reins of the Warband. Achilios has been destroying us with his ineptitude, I thought I could control him by drugging the idiot but it was pointless. So I barked at the heels of our vaunted leader, not knowing he was intentionally allowing all of us to suffer. I so desperately wanted one of you to plant the knife in Achilios’ back, I wanted anyone to do it, I didn’t care who. I complained, I yelled but I did nothing. I decided to wallow in the filth Achilios and Thesues provided for us, I chose to sink. But luckily another fool came along to pull me out of the mud, it was only as I got out that I realized he was just as likely to push me back in again.’
He stopped speaking for a moment, he looked back to see Canis slowly removing his helm, his face was a mix of horror and shock. The fool’s mouth fell agape slightly, like he wanted to say something but couldn’t. The current pilot was also sweating profusely as well and strangely as all of this was happening he didn’t care. Phelix looked forward again and cleared his throat. ‘So I have come to a decision, all those who are not complete imbeciles should return to the ship in twenty minutes because I am going back there and taking it. I will warp the ship away and start again as head of the Warband. Have a nice day my brothers.’
Phelix leaned forward and flicked the switch to turn off the communication line. He looked down to his pilot. ‘Turn the Thunderhawk around.’ The mortal nodded and as the Thunderhawk adjusted he faced Canis. The fool was shaking his head. ‘T-That w-wasn’t meant to happen.’
Phelix rolled his eyes. ‘So tell me what was supposed to happen then?’
Canis suddenly lashed out ‘Y-You just destroyed the Warband! You idiot!’
‘The great scar would come trapping us on the world! When it clears a fleet would be waiting for us!’
‘That sounds kinda bad to be honest.’
‘We would have survived! Our ship would still be intact! Hiding among the gas clouds! Months to us will only be minutes to the ship crew! The invasion force would have swept most of the warband aside killing Theseus but the defeat will in turn make Achilios a great leader! He would of rose above even Eidolon! You betrayed the Dark prince's will!’
Phelix stroked his chin, but he stuck to what he said before. He wouldn’t risk his life on the words of a daemon. ‘I don’t care anymore Canis, I’ve made my decision. So I assume whoever is on the world won’t make it back in time?’
‘Alright, so who is on the world at the moment?’
‘Theseus, Ignatius, Vicus and Achilios along with almost the whole warband! You’ve also destroyed the human forces we would have taken with us! The slaves would have easily helped us rebuild our numbers!’
‘I see, so nothing of value will be lost.’
‘Excuse me!? You’re the one who has been sulking over the state of the warband! All you had to do was trust me!’
‘That’s the thing Canis, I don’t trust you. S-’
The speakers crackled again, the pilot looked up to him. ‘We are being hailed my Lord, should I answer?’
‘Yes open the channel.’ Phelix replied.
The pilot flipped the switch again, the voice that came through surprised him. ‘Look at that, the Apothecary is pulling up his big boy pants.’ Vicus said coyly.
‘What do you want Noise Marine?’ asked Phelix.
‘Oh? I just came to let you know that I’m heading back to the ship. You see I’ve been getting several angry messages from Theseus and Achilios. What you don’t understand Phelix is that you diverted the song, it’s moving in an entirely different direction. So I’ve come to ask what do you plan to do as a leader of the Warband?’
Phelix wasn’t sure how to answer the question, but he felt the Noise Marine would respect the truth. ‘I honestly don’t want to be the leader, but I saw no other path. Too many lies have been spun and I grow tired of Achilios leading us down the path of destruction. So I decided to plunge the knife first.’
‘Is that how you feel? Theseus would lead us to glory if we just follow him, you are offering me darkness, an unknowable future.’
‘How do you know our future will be full of glory after Theseus used us to get back at Achilios? How sure can you be that he won’t pull the same stunt if someone else offends him?’
‘This is father’s will Phelix.’
‘Father is not here if he wants me to stop he can tell me himself. I’m in charge now and according to my brother who is with me you should stop talking and hurry back to the ship. You will be stranded otherwise.’
Vicus chuckled ‘Very well, my Lord, we will speak later.’
The communication channel clicked off, Phelix wondered if the Noise Marine just gave him his allegiance? He wondered if perhaps his brothers wanted an unknown future full of uncertainty? He could see the appeal, that would be something to think about after he takes control of the ship.
Phelix smiled at the fool. ‘So what about you?’
Canis frowned heavily. ‘You want my loyalty?’
‘Yes, I want it.’
The idiot’s arms sunk in defeat. ‘You have my loyalty, maybe...this was meant to happen?’
‘Stop placing stock in the words of daemons.’
Canis looked up to him, he shook his head and walked away. Phelix sighed. ‘By Fulgrim, what am I’m I doing?
Posted 08 September 2019 - 03:42 AM
Achilios planted his sword into the back of the harlot, she was trying to crawl away after he butchered their unit. He twisted the sword, the human jerked at the action. He found it frustrating that he didn’t know how to react to the news. The fact that he was being manipulated by Theseus, Phelix has now also betrayed him, and worst of all they played him. They all thought he was a dupe, a fool who didn’t deserve their position.
The voice from one of his personal guard cut through his thoughts, Achilios grunted and removed his blade from the dead mortal. He faced the Space Marine. ‘What is it?’
To his eyes his personal guard all appeared distant and troubled, Achilios chuckled to himself. ‘So are you all going to betray me as well?’ he pointed his bloodied blade at the one who spoke up, he didn’t even know their names. ‘Well!?’
‘W-Wait.’ the Astartes stammered. ‘I think we should retreat, Phelix is stealing the ship. If we don’t get back in time we will be stranded.’
Achilios lowered his blade and strode up to the fool until they were face to face. ‘Phelix is a coward, a weakling. Next to my glory he is nothing, my loyal subjects on the ship won’t disobey me.’
‘My Lord, they are mortals he might sway them.’
Achilios drew his fist back and punched the fool for daring to spout such a thing. The Space Marine staggered back, he grunted slightly. ‘I see, so that’s how it is my lord.’
Achilios raised his eyebrow ‘you still want to spout nonsense? You still wish to question me?’
He raised his blade slightly, he took a step forward but froze as a sharp pain graced his gut. He slowly looked down to see a blade tip protruding from it. He opened his mouth to shout at the one who dared to betray him but the blade twisted causing a gout of blood to erupt from his mouth.
The rest of his personal guard moved in with their blades and stabbed him repeatedly, he couldn’t muster the strength to scream as his own lifeblood began pouring from the inflicted wounds. When the traitors stepped back, Achillios fell to his knees. The traitor that was arguing with him before shook their head.
‘A message from the Captain.’ the traitor said flatly. ‘I wear the crown Jester.’
Achilios gasped for air, he fell to the ground unable to respond. He wondered what did he do to deserve this? He was chosen for greatness, handpicked by their father. He was to be the great star that would unite the legion.
When he picked up the sound of the traitors walking away, he tried to give a shout of defiance but all that left his lips was a wet gurgle.
Ignatius ran with his Captain back to their Thunderhawk, he couldn’t believe what was happening. Despite the setback, Theseus and the other Astartes around him were absolutely calm and silent as well.
‘Calm yourself Ignatius.’ Theseus said smoothly.
‘How can I be calm when we are about to be stranded?’
‘You forget that the mortals aren’t loyal to him, we have time.’
The Captain had a point if they had more time then they could get back to the ship, avoiding the imperial navy ship again wouldn’t be much of a problem. The question was what if Achilios returned to the ship as well? He was about to open his mouth to ask the question but Theseus chuckled.
‘As I said before Ignatius, calm yourself. I planned for the possibility of the plan going off the rails. No matter what happens Achilios will die. Unfortunately I am quite said that I won’t see him being reduced to a gibbering wreck, utterly crushed by his failure to lead the Warband. Even if he Albaster tried to begin a warp jump I had the Grand Matron place key agents to disrupt it.’
Hearing Theseus say that it was no wonder Phelix turned against their Captain since he found out a part of the truth. Still the Apothecary was foolish, the lives that have largely been sacrificed are the Astartes of the lower levels. At most those who lived above had to deal with an overbearing lord. The news of the Matron was reassuring as well, she was most likely also making her way back as well but at the same time Thesues used the resources the mortal provided in a wonderful manner.
Yet in the end he wasn’t surprised Phelix made such a choice, he always acts on his passions in the worst way. Now, he will die for it when they return to the ship.
Travis stood in front of the flyer with his queen, he’s gathered fifty of his best. He wanted to question why they were here instead of waiting for the Angels. Queen Glascia approached the flyer and raised her hand, the landing ramp snapped downwards. In silence she walked up the ramp, his second glanced at him. He shrugged back.
They all followed the queen into the flyer, right away the workers reached for weapons but relaxed at the sight of his queen. They all bowed, Travis turned to the rest of his men. ‘Secure the ship.’
His men nodded and scattered around the flyer. Glascia continued on to what he assumed to be the cockpit. Travis grunted and kept close to her, he doubted she needed his protection but one could never be too careful. When they arrived, the pilot sat up and pointed a stubber at them. She lowered the pistol at the sight of their leader, she broke down and started to cry.
The pilot fell to their knees, but his queen ignored her and took the pilot seat. She flicked several switches and grabbed the control wheel, she then looked up to him. ‘The plan has changed.’
‘The plan?’ Travis was confused, he wondered what she meant.
The flyer shuddered as it began to lift off, Glascia’s eyes returned to the controls, a cold smile crept across her face. ‘Have you failed Herald? You’re not going to give me what you promised?’
Travis said nothing, he had the feeling she wasn’t talking to him. In the end his only purpose was to obey.
Canis walked off the landing ramp, they were back on the ship. He wanted to say something to Phelix who was marching off into the corridor. But no words would come, he didn’t expect this to happen. The plan, so carefully laid out was coming apart before his very eyes.
He closed his eyes and whispered a prayer to the Dark Prince, he hoped he would reveal a path forward.
Canis’ eyes flicked open, he turned around to his addled slave, he was drooling slightly. ‘Did you say something Sarcio?’ asked Canis.
+Don’t play coy boy.+
He winced at the voice, it was extremely delicate but he could easily sense the displeasure lacing it. ‘I-’
+Be silent.+ A sharp spike of pain erupted within his mind. Canis dropped to his knees, he grunted in pain.
The mortals in the docking bay were confused but didn’t come forward to investigate, they wouldn’t dare to. Canis ground his teeth in frustration, it was Phelix’s fault. He did everything that was asked of him.
+But you failed to move the piece in the right direction you fool.+
Another sharp spike of pain drilled into his mind, a yelp wanted to leave Canis’ mouth but he held it in.
+It seems the dice has been cast, let’s hope you land six’s….+
The pain left his mind, Canis got back up to his feet. He shook his head ‘how did things end up this way?’
‘You tried to be the hero.’
Canis narrowed his eyes at his delirious servant, how could he be lucid after all the Ambrosia he ate? ‘Excuse me? Are you criticising me slave?’
Sarcio’s glazed eyes suddenly became focused. ‘I know the feeling, hoping to be the one to carry everything on their shoulders. I thought I was her hope, but she didn’t need me.’
‘Ah, you are still delirious then?’ Canis couldn’t help but chuckle as Sarcio started to look around the docking bay, but he kept talking his laughter slowly grew silent.
‘A dog stolen from his home, it’s family butchered and devoured….’
His slave started to panic, he began clawing at his throat. Canis frowned, he approached and grabbed his wrists. Even if his mind might be slipping Sarcio might have other uses. ‘Enough!’ Canis hissed. ‘Control yourself!’
‘The dog lost the bet for the golden goat, the son of snakes and birds wrings his hands since his favoured cannot take what belongs to him!’
Sarcio was turning frantic in his grip, his eyes were glazing again. Another unexpected situation was hurtling towards him, Sarcio was meant to vomit out a new sister not turn into a rambling fool.
‘The father of snakes laughs at his children! The muse and the horned queen comes!’ He started to weep uncontrollably, Sarcio sagged to his knees. Canis grunted, he hefted up the fool and flipped him over his shoulder. He will have to start again, plans often don’t survive the enemy.
He turned to the hallway and as he took a step the ship started to shudder, the lights were flickering. Blood began to run down his nose, Canis touched his life essence and bought his fingers up to his eyes. ‘What is going on?’ he said to himself.
Phelix marched onto the bridge of the ship, the mortals were panicking but they all fell silent as they saw him. He approached the throne, the shipmaster gulped.
‘My lord.’ the human said weakly.
‘Albaster, prepare for warp jump.’ Phelix ordered.
‘My lord, we can’t. According to the Navigator the warp is turbulent. We might not survive if we make a warp jump.’
Phelix folded his arms, he wondered if Albaster was stalling? That couldn’t be the reason, the mortal was sweating profusely which ruined his powdered face. But he didn’t care, if he waits any longer he will be dead either way.
‘Do I need to repeat myself? Think about it Albaster, who would you rather be in charge?’ The human dabbed his forehead with his handkerchief, he then sighed and stood upright.
‘Prepare for a warp jump! Warm up the drive!’ he shouted. Albaster sat back down and looked over to the cogitator screen built into his throne, he pressed a few buttons and after a moment the fizzled face of Lady Alisia appeared. To Phelix’s eyes she appears to be exasperated. Her pale face was lined with sweat, her eyes were sunken pits and within her green eyes he could see pure fear.
‘You’re not thinking of doing a warp jump are you Albaster?’ she said weakly.
‘Apologies Lady Alisia, my hand has been forced. We will be doing a small one.’
‘I-It doesn’t matter!’ Alisia shouted. ‘We’ll be torn apart! I-I can hear them laughing!’
Phelix looked down to the screen. ‘It will only be a small jump Alisia, nothing more.’
‘W-What? I don’t care for your stupid Astartes politics! We will all di-’
Phelix pushed the button to switch off the screen. She will guide the ship whether she likes it or not. She has no choice.
The Shipmaster gave him a nervous smile. ‘Don’t worry Alisia is good at her job, we’ll be fi-.’
The ship suddenly shuddered, the lights flickered. The Astropaths connected the consoles started to shriek in pain and horror.
Before Phelix could speak, the ship shuddered further causing Phelix to fall to the ground. The shutters to protect against the warp started to close. The frequency of the flickering lights increased until they were trapped in darkness.
‘Calm down everyone!’ Albaster shouted. ‘The bac-’
The Shipmaster was silenced, his calm voice shifted to gurgled screams. Phelix started to panic he wondered if he did something wrong? Was he making a mistake? Should he have listened to the idiot?
The ship shook again, this time it was extremely violent. He tried to rise but as he sat up something pinned him back down. He couldn’t feel any force upon his body, but he couldn’t move either. Phelix’s hearts began to beat frantically, he screamed in frustration. He had no hope, the powers that be wanted him to suffer and worst of all he might have caused the destruction of the Warband.
Ignatius sat in the pilot seat of the Thunderhawk, Theseus was with him. Standing over his shoulder. Whenever journeying he couldn’t trust mortals with the controls, it was why Sirius died. Trash cannot be counted on.
Ignatius smiled he could see the ship in the distance. They were almost there, soon order will be restored and then from there Thesues can take his rightful place. That thought only lasted a moment before a giant purple manifested in between the Thunderhawk and the ship. The sight of the crackling orb caused his hearts to thunder.
Thesues frowned ‘by the Phoenician....What is that?’
‘I don’t know…’ Ignatius answered.
As he spoke the orb exploded, waves of cascading energy was sent hurtling towards them. Ignatius cursed, he twisted the pilot wheel to turn the flyer around but the wheel wouldn’t budge. They were stuck, he looked up to Theseus.
‘Captain! The controls!’
‘Be calm Ignatius.’ Theseus said flatly.
‘This...seems predetermined. It looks like someone wishes to interfere with father’s plot. In the end that won’t matter, Father is absolute. He gave me my path to glory.’
His eyes were frantically darting from the Captain and to their death, everything was being consumed by the wave of energy. When the energy eventually hit them, he was blinded by the light. When it started to clear Ignatius rubbed his blurry eyes, he blinked rapidly to clear his vision.
Ignatius looked around in confusion, Thesues was still standing over him.
‘Look Champion, our target is intact.’ He pointed at the ship in the distance.
To his surprise his Captain was right, everything was normal. Ignatius checked the augur readings and that was when he noticed something strange. They were nowhere near Laxim, it was actually several light-years away. His gaze returned to the ship, it actually looked worse for wear in some areas. Ignatius furrowed his brow.
‘Captain, we are nowhere near Laxim. What did that purple orb do exactly?’
‘It doesn’t matter Ignatius, take me to my ship.’ Theseus ordered.
Ignatius wanted to protest, but orders were orders. Deep down he felt something was incredibly wrong.
Posted 08 September 2019 - 03:50 AM
Achilios gasped for breath, his back was resting upon a wall. He had to drag himself to this location since he was too injured. He tried to call for the wretched nobles to aid him but they seemed consumed with the purple skies. They praising it. He had no idea what this meant, but he could tell this was a bad omen.
He slammed his chest. ‘Hurry up and heal faster!’ he shrieked.
As he shouted the skies suddenly cleared, Achilios paid no mind to it. He tried to rise but his injuries were too grave. He sighed and relaxed, he just had to be patient. When he has fully recovered he will gather the trash of this world and set out to take back what belongs to him. His eyes returned to the skies and what he saw there caused his hearts to drop.
Flyers were landing, from Thunderhawks to Sister of Battle boarding ships. Achilios cursed he forced himself to his feet, he began limping down the street. Behind him, he could hear the flyers hitting the ground, next came the marching of boots.
‘Kill the heretics!’ a slave shrieked.
Mass-reactive shells started to fly through the air, the wretched mortals scattered. Achilios gave a gurgled curse as several bullets slammed into his back. He fell to the ground, his previous anger and annoyance was shifting to fear.
‘N-Not like this…’ he crawled for safety, he was sure Slaanesh has a plan for him. He was to be a star, he was a king.
A shadow loomed over him, he stopped crawling and looked up to see an Astartes standing over him. He was huge, a giant. Their presence was overwhelming. He couldn’t recognise the armour either, it was a mix of white and violet in colouration and the trim was gold. Their armour was also covered in purity seals and burning candles.
The Space Marine planted the muzzle of their bolter upon his head ‘For the Emperor.’ the slave said flatly.
Achilios screamed as the slave pressed the trigger.
Edited by Shinros, 08 September 2019 - 03:59 AM.
Posted 10 September 2019 - 12:14 AM
The Thunderhawk approached the ship, Ignatius had a bad feeling about this. Upon closer inspection it was clear that ship has been battered, it’s falling apart. It was like the ship was put through a great battle. Pieces of the ship was floating around it, giant claw marks dotted the macro-cannons and the bridge itself was now shaped into a pale androgynous face. It’s Crystalline eyes shifted towards them.
Ignatius almost jumped in his seat, it was like the ship itself was looking into his soul. He gulped and activated the auger readings. The information he got back was troubling, the scans picked up that the ship was made up of both organic and inorganic materials. His eyes drifted up to Theseus, who appeared absolutely calm.
‘Captain, are you sure about this?’ Asked Ignatius.
‘We only have one destination Champion, don’t let fear take hold of you. It’s been ordained that I will rule the Warband.’
‘Theseus, the bridge has become a face. The readings-’
‘Mean nothing.’ Theseus retorted. ‘Even if my ship has become a den of daemons I will take it back. We have the men, Phelix was a fool for trying to steal what was mine.’
Ignatius sighed, he started to recall why he began to dislike the Captain. He took the flyer to a docking bay linked with the upper levels. As the flyer entered the ship right away his skin started to prickle, the sensation only grew as the Thunderhawk landed.
The Captain grunted ‘Come Ignatius.’
He nodded and followed Theseus to the lower deck. As they arrived the Astartes who were with them gathered around Theseus, his Captain then nodded to a few of the Space Marines present.
‘I want eyes open.’ Theseus said flatly. ‘I’m sure you all felt it, your skin prickling and it’s growing worse. That means we are being watched by something. Be on guard as we enter the ship.’
Ignatius watched in shock as each Space Marine gave an acknowledgement, no one protested the decision. Those he considered trash this entire time exuded the same stillness as Theseus. An ill-thought started to cross his mind, he wondered if perhaps the trash of the lower levels were better than him?
He couldn’t remember the last time he has done a training drill or picked up any sort of weapon save his own blade. Maybe, just maybe this was why Theseus was favoured by father? He was loyal to a fault and was still utterly focused on perfection. The goal so many have abandoned. Ignatius clenched his hands, he shook his head. No, I’m better than them. I am the Champion of the Warband.
He kept repeating that thought, again and again. Desperately trying to make that the truth but he couldn’t deny what was happening before his eyes. Theseus nodded to the refuse and walked over to the button to the landing ramp and pressed it. The prickling sensation intensified.
Ignatius gripped the handle of his blade and walked to Theseus’ side. ‘Captain, I...Don’t like this.’
Theseus chuckled, he didn’t look at him. ‘What would you have me do? Cower at the unknown? Fly back into the void and become stranded? If you doubt me then you doubt father. That will make you my enemy Ignatius.’
The threat was made, Ignatius tried to relax but it was unnerving how Theseus spoke in an utterly calm manner as he made his threat. In a way he was trapped, it was either side with the traitor or go against Theseus who could easily kill him. He pushed away his complaints and as Theseus walked down the ramp he followed him.
Right away the difference was clear, the ship has not only changed on the outside. The walls were covered mouths which had thin slavering tongues licking the air. The mouths were also belching out gouts of pink mist, the swaying chandeliers contained the reflections of laughing daemons. Along with all phenomena the docking bay was empty, there were no slaves going about their assigned tasks.
Ignatius wanted to say something, but he held his tongue. Theseus would reprimand him again if he said anything. Theseus shook his head. ‘It will take time to purge these abnormalities from my ship.’
He was about to open his mouth to respond but the sound of footsteps silenced him. The Astartes who left the Thunderhawk pointed their bolters down the dark hallway. Theseus drew his blade. Ignatius also removed his blade from it’s sheath.
The footsteps got closer and from the darkness, an Astartes stepped out. They were wearing a stitched leather coat, pink and blue candles lined their power pack, they each burned with a pink flame. Their armour was also covered with strips of dyed flesh, a strange language was written upon it and if he tried to read it his head would begin throbbing with pain. The fact the blue lenses of their helmet shined with an unnatural light made it evident they were most likely a witch.
Theseus pointed his weapon at the Astartes. ‘Identify yourself.’
The Space Marine stopped, he then bowed. As he rose he said ‘Asterius.’ The voice of Asterius purred through his grille. The prickling sensation Ignatius felt before shifted to a soothing sensation, he didn’t like it. But at the same time, it sounded like the Space Marine was extremely tired.
‘I see.’ Theseus said calmly. ‘Tell me where is Phelix?’
‘The Immaculate One sent me to greet you, he is happy at the prospect of greeting his brothers again.’
‘Happy?’ Ignatius said in confusion.
‘Yes, happy.’ Asterius responded. ‘Now that you are all here he has said that we can walk the path of glory.’
‘You mean my path?’ Theseus interjected. ‘I am the lord of this Warband, I rule this ship.’
Asterius shrugged. ‘He would contest that fact, he’s changed the name of the Warband to The Lords of Bliss and the ship to The Debased Eagle.’
Ignatius had to admit the Warband name sounded better than the Idols of Euphoria and the ship only had its number as its identifier. Theseus never bothered to change it and Achilios cared for nothing save his own delusions. Yet that didn’t change the fact that the Warband rightfully belonged to Theseus.
Asterius rubbed his neck ‘can you hurry up and follow me? He doesn’t like to be kept waiting.’
Ignatius frowned, he’s never recalled someone named Asterius in the warband. What right did this piece of trash have to give him or Theseus orders? ‘You should show some respect Asterius.’ he said firmly.
‘Huh? Do you think the old order matters? I could kill you all here if I wanted to but it would be too much of a bother really.’
‘What!? How dare you!?’ Ignatius was about to walk forward to kill the fool but Theseus used his blade to stop him, he then pointed up towards the swaying chandeliers.
He looked up towards them to see the daemons pressing their faces upon it, their black tongues were moving up and down the glass. It was like they were trapped, it took him a moment to realise what Theseus meant. Ignatius grunted and relaxed.
Asterius sighed ‘see? You have sense, so if you would all follow me.’
Theseus gave him a nod and returned his weapon to its sheath, Ignatius sighed and did the same. They all followed the weary Space Marine into the hallway. Like the docking bay the hallways was largely the same save the silk drapes that lined the walls. They were covered in grime and blood, the tongues were licking the silk violently or the mouths were sucking them.
Looking down towards the ground Ignatius could spot dried blood. ‘So tell me Asterius what has happened to the upper levels? Where are the mortals?’
‘Oh them? Well, they are warring with each other for resources. The slaves of the upper levels have divided into cults or gangs. Sometimes Phelix offers Ambrosia as a large some of Ambrosia to those who win a battle. That’s when things get really messy.’
‘What is Ambrosia?’ Asked Theseus. ‘Is another one of Phelix’s drugs?’
‘It’s both a drug and a source of food. It can leave one satisfied for days if one eats just a piece of it. But the taste, the rush it gives is intoxicating so the slaves always want more. At the same time sometimes people are changed by the Dark Prince. After all, it is the food of the gods.’
‘This proves Phelix is a poor leader, he’s reduced my Warband to...This.’
‘What are you talking about? Everyone is quite happy actually, far more happy than being lead by Achilios.’
‘I doubt that.’
‘But it’s true, if people wish for more order they go to the lower levels to serve Glascia. But that comes at the price of being utterly enthralled to her. The slaves of the upper levels enjoy their freedom.’
Ignatius furrowed his brow as he heard that, how did the Queen of Laxim get to the ship? He was about to ask the question but Theseus got ahead of him.
‘What of Vicus? Is he here?’
‘Yes he is here Theseus, he swore fealty to the Immaculate One thirty years ago.’
At the mention of thirty years Ignatius’ eyes widened. ‘W-What? Thirty years?’
‘Yes thirty years, when the ship was going to make a warp jump a great charge of warp energy overwhelmed us. It appeared out of nowhere, we were trapped in the warp for over thirty years. The Gellar field was being strained greatly and sometimes it would flicker out for a few seconds. We lost a great many people to the daemon invasion, so when that situation was contained and the Gellar Field returned I decided to ward the ship and create prisons that would draw in any unwanted visitors if it ever happened again.’
‘I assume the prisons are the chandeliers?’ Theseus added.
‘Yes, they are.’ Asterius answered.
‘You are quite resourceful, you should work for me.’
Asterius cocked his head slightly. ‘Hmmm, maybe. If you can kill the Immaculate One I will gladly work for you.’
Ignatius raised his eyebrow. ‘You would betray him so easily?’
‘I don’t really like him all that much, but I doubt you can kill him so I wouldn’t recommend you try it.’
Ignatius scoffed ‘Phelix could barely swing a sword. It’s why he became an Apothecary.’
‘But he’s not an apothecary anymore.’
He was about to ask what Asterius meant, but he stopped before a set of double golden doors. They were quite familiar, he could only assume these were Achilios’ chambers. Their escort then sighed heavily and pushed the doors open. Pink smog was bellowing out of the lower crevice. Asterius turned to them. ‘Be on your best behaviour, It would be quite annoying if any of you die.’
‘Why would that be a problem?’ asked Ignatius.
‘Oh, he would make me clean your corpses up and I don’t want to do any work at the moment.’
Asterius turned forward and walked in, Theseus followed in after. Ignatius took a deep breath, he then sighed and walked in.
Entering the room itself it was covered with wine cupboards, tables repleted with odd-coloured food and fruit. There was also soft beds full of laughing daemons and white-haired mortals playing a soothing piece of music. In the middle of it all was a rather tall space marine with long white hair that reached their back. They were wearing nothing but a pink robe that was somewhat see-through. Ignatius could tell underneath it all they were wearing was but a loincloth.
The Space Marine was swaying a glass of wine filled with a deep purple liquid while looking up to Cogitator screens nestled across the roof of the room. On the screens mortals were killing one another.
Asterius approached the Space Marine and whispered into their ear. The Astartes seized up, they dropped the wine glass and twisted around towards them.
Ignatius was stunned as he saw Phelix’s face. It seemed to be chiselled by the hand of God, his light blue eyes smouldered with eldritch energy. But despite all of that Ignatius recognised him, it was still Phelix. His perfect face distorted into the picture of true sadness, just for a second his hearts dropped seeing this. He actually felt sorry for upsetting him. Phelix ran over and embraced him in a great hug.
A strange smell began to fill his helmet, it was utterly intoxicating. ‘I missed you so much Ignatius!’ Phelix shrieked.
The Apothecary’s grip became tighter, Ignatius grunted. ‘S-Stop…’ Ignatius pleaded.
The strength of his grip grew further, Ignatius could hear his power armour straining at the pressure applied to it. His auto senses started to flash with warning signs. ‘W-Wait…’ Ignatius gasped.
Phelix continued crying, screaming for forgiveness.
‘That’s enough.’ a voice cut through Phelix’s tirade and assault. Ignatius could feel his grip loosening. He breathed out a sigh of relief as Phelix released him and faced Theseus. The Apothecary’s tears dried instantly, just for a moment he saw a long tongue flick out of his mouth.
Phelix walked over to Theseus, he tutted. ‘Why are you interrupting me?’ he asked.
Ignatius rubbed his arms, seeing Phelix standing over their Captain was strange. It’s becoming clear that while Phelix was trapped on the ship the Dark Prince has been giving him gifts, but he doubted that would deter Theseus.
‘Stop acting the fool.’ Theseus said firmly. ‘You don’t care for him, you were about to crush him.’
Phelix smiled warmly. ‘Come now Captain, let’s not fight. You bought my brothers back me and I do care for Ignatius we both have a wonderful friendship.’
‘Only poison and vice falls from your lips Apothecary!’ Theseus hissed. ‘Step in line or I will cut you down!’
Ignatius didn’t know what to do exactly, at the back of his mind he had a feeling it would be a bad idea for Theseus to fight Phelix at the moment. The warning from Asterius was clear. ‘Captain wait a moment.’
‘Be silent Champion!’ his Captain barked.
Ignatius frowned, he closed his mouth and kept silent. Theseus thumbed the activation rune on his power blade, the field sparked with energy.
Phelix shook his head in dismay. ‘Why are you doing this? Now that we are al-
The Apothecary didn’t get to finish, Ignatius could barely see the movement as Theseus slashed sideways.
Phelix sighed and caught the blade in between both his palms, the energy from the blade wasn’t scalding his hands or separating the flesh from his hands. ‘Theseus, please stop this!’ Phelix pleaded.
His Captain was attempting to pull the blade from Phelix’s grip to no avail, the Apothecary then snapped the blade stunning every Astartes in the room. Ignatius couldn’t believe what he just saw.
Theseus staggered back and bought his shattered blade up slightly. ‘So the Dark Prince has been piling his gifts upon you?’
Phelix dropped the other half of the blade onto the ground. ‘I had to do much to bring order back to my ship. I will ask again, surrender to me Theseus.’
Just like his Captain did to Phelix, he didn’t let him speak. In but a few steps Phelix was a few breaths away. The Apothecary bought back his fist and punched Theseus in the stomach. Phelix’s fist smashed through the ceramite, destroying Theseus’ breastplate completely.
Ignatius picked up the squishing sound of Theseus’ organs as his life blood poured upon the floor. Phelix then store out Theseus’ intestines and threw them over to the daemons resting on the bed, they gnashed and tore at each other with their claws to get their hands on the organ.
Phelix then pushed Theseus over, he fell to the floor like a stone. Ignatius couldn’t believe what he just saw, the Apothecary turned to him and smiled. ‘So...Where were we Ignatius?’
He didn’t say anything, he dropped to one knee in an instant as did everyone else. Phelix’s strength was clear to everyone.
His new lord folded his arms and as his bloodied hand touched his robe he began to panic, he ran over to Asterius. ‘Oh no! Look Asterius I got blood my robe! Fix it! Quickly!’
The slothful Space Marine sighed heavily. ‘That was self inflicted my lord.’
‘I know! But use your sorcery to fix this! This is my favourite robe!’
Asterius sighed again and clicked his fingers, the blood on Phelix’s robe evaporated, so did the life essence on his hand. ‘There my lord, you are now clean.’
‘Wonderful! Now please get rid of the corpse.’
Asterius groaned in annoyance, he walked over to Theseus’ corpse and grabbed his legs he then dragged him out of the chamber leaving a long blood trail.
Phelix then turned towards him, he nodded. ‘We have a lot to do my Champion.’
Ignatius gulped he didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t see how Phelix would be a better leader than Achilios or Theseus. Yet what choice did he have? Now he was actually trapped.
Edited by Shinros, 10 September 2019 - 12:22 AM.
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