A "short" story about the Fallen, the Unforgiven and a Homebrew Chapter of mine. Enjoy!
C&C are welcome.
It was the middle of the night, heavy rain drops ran down his archaic power armor and everywhere he looked, he saw flashes and heard thunder. Not all of that was from the storm which ravaged the sky. Many more flashes originate from weapon discharges and the thunder were the explosions of heavy weapons and impacting Bolt shells.
While he reloaded his Bolter, he looked behind him. There was a town, which was partly burning with the flames of war. Beside him stood many of the inhabitants of this town, shooting with scavenged weapons and shouting insults at their attackers. There were also some members of the PDF, more disciplined than the civilians, but they remind silent, only their zeal and the last dose of stims kept them on their feet after weeks of combat. All of the humans looked so fragile, while their assailants where the embodiment of nightmares. Not all of them were Traitor Astartes, but even the humans looked more like creatures of a horror novel than members of the destined rulers of the Galaxy.
Once he really believed that humanity would rule the Galaxy. He was part of a great undertaking to cleanse the stars of the filth which stood against the Emperor of Mankind and the advancement of mankind. Now, on this forgotten world and after the experience of his prolonged lifetime, he felt the deep-rooted seeds of doubt in his hearts grow evermore. Was there still hope for humanity?
He fired three Bolts into the face of a Traitor, who was equipped with a jump pack and was diving from the sky to slaughter the heavy weapon team, which secures the street he stood in. The skull of the Traitor was pulverized, his corps crashed into the earth mere meters in front of the heavy weapon team, but he already searched for a new target.
“AVE IMPERATOR! Stand fast and proud! For your neighbors, for your loved ones, for mankind! Kill these abominations in the name of the Emperor!” The call rang through the village and he could not stop the smile which crept on his face. Even if he had doubt, his Battle-Brother had always hope. He looked to the Space marine who rallied the defenders fifty meters to his right. The battle plate of his brother was as old and in the same sorry state as his own, yet his brother looked glorious as ever. He held the standard of the town they where fighting for high enough for everyone to see.
But the battle cry did not only encourage the defenders, also the traitor scum got fired up. One of the Champions of the Traitor Astartes charged at his brother. This abomination hid his bulk under a great coat of flayed skin, the black horned helmet looked like obsidian in the rain and reflected the lightning in the sky. The traitor swathed the human defenders away like flies until he crossed blade with the Standard Bearer.
Concerned with the well being of his Brother, he ran towards the combat. He killed cultists left and right and shouted orders to the defenders, while he draw closer to the combat. While he drove his fist through the ribcage of a cultists, he saw the right shoulder pad of the traitor and under the layers of flayed skin, he saw a well known Legion symbol, a winged blade.
The moment of shock nearly cost his live, as another Traitor Marine came at him with a roaring chainsword. He ducked in the last moment and disemboweled the traitor and put a Bolt through his eye lens. When I looked to his brother, he was horrified. The weapon of the Champion penetrated the chest plate of the Standard Bearer and he sunk to his knees. With a last ditch effort his brothers decapitated the Champion while the traitor was gloating over his most recent kill.
Again the doubts which plagued him for many lifetimes, resurfaced. Was humanity really destined to rule over the Galaxy? Was his Genefather righteous or just as flawed as his brothers? Did his service really help humanity? Would he …
While he struggled through the surrounding Cultists to reach his fallen brother, a Heavy Bolter scythed through his foes and he felt several impacts. The traitors shoot at him, without remorse for their companions. He tried to locate the Heavy Bolter, but before he could retaliate, the onslaught of bullets penetrated his worn Power Armor. Flesh ruptured and blood flow freely while he sunk to the ground. Darkness began to envelop him.
He heard more fighting and it seemed like the noise of war relocated to the lines of the traitors. In his haze, he saw that his brother still held the banner high, but he did not see him move anymore. The sound of heavy boots let him turn his head. He saw a group of Marines approaching him. They seemed taller than normal and they wore a kind of Power Armor which was unknown to him. Yet, in the haze of his massive blood loos, he saw some kind of winged blade on their shoulder pauldron. He tried to raise his bolter and spat “You won’t get me without a fight! You won’t harm the Imperiums citizen! AVE IMP…” and then everything went dark.
“Thank you Brother Apothecary. Without your generous usage of sedatives, he might have shot at fellow loyal servants of the Imperium. Please bring him out of this downpour and treat his wounds and send one of your Helix Adepts to the Standard Bearer, maybe we can save him too. Brother Sergeant Tokhar, start the flanking maneuver and coordinate your strikes with the Reivers, I want this scum eradicated before the Dawn come upon us.” With the assurance that his order will be followed, the Primaris Captain strode onwards to the place of the duel of the Standard Bearer and the Chaos Champion. He saw the duel happening from afar, while they prepared their assault. They tried to contact the surviving Loyalists, but they could not identify their frequencies, which vexed him. It was not enough that the Warp currents around this system delayed their arrival, the heavy storm also made an earlier arrival on this site impossible. He was always in a sour mood when he saw the loss of proud defenders of humanity, especially when he was only moments from their survival away.
As the Primaris Captain stood before the Standard Bearer, he got to one knee and asked the Helix Adept behind the fallen warrior “Is he still alive?” With a static rush, which could have been a cough, a silent voice came from the warrior. “Barley. Who are you? Are you Son’s of the Lion?”
The Captain shook his head. “No, we hail not from the proud First Legion. We are a new breed of warriors, called Primaris. We are from the Chapter of the Dawn Blades and were sent from the returned Primarch Guilliman into this system.”
Another cough came from under the helmet and this time, the Captain saw a trickle of blood dropping from the Vox grill. “Primarch Guiliman returned? What great news for… Imperium. Tell him and those disillusioned cubs of our Legion… still loyal Brothers on Caliban. AVE IMPER…”
Looking to the Helix Adept, the Captain hoped that the Marine before him just lost consciousness, but the Helix Adept just shook his head. He stood up and surveyed the battle ground. The town stood unbroken, and he could hear the sound of fighting further down the valley, where his Company cleared the planet of the last insurgents. He looked to his Lieutenant, who hunched over the fallen form of the Chaos Champion. “Any Information on the origin of our foes?”
“None, Sir. It seems that the initial reports about a Chaos worshipping warband of mismatched Traitor scum was correct. But this one here seems different.” “Why so?” “Because he has the same markings under his coat as the two defending Astartes.” To highlight his point, the Lieutenant lifted the flayed skin on the right pauldron with one of his knifes. Under the skin lay a defaced down striking sword with wings.
“Let no mortal go near this place, until I say so. We cannot let them see who was the leader of this attack. It would tarnish the deeds of these two proud Marines and it would eliminate their hope.” With that, the Captain turned and walked towards the Town center. He had to ensure that these people see the light of a new Dawn for Humanity, but his own mind was clouded with dark thoughts and a new seed of doubt.
Three days later, a Rhino stopped before the town and a troop of robbed Space Marines excited its troop compartment in a battle formation. Behind them, came a captain with a winged helmet and a broadsword at his waist. All of them wore the proud bisected livery of the Angels of Redemption and they came to fulfill their duty.
The Captain could see a standard fluttering in the soft evening wind, it was held by the sunken form of a slain Space Marine. He began to approach the site, but a trio of big Transhumans in unknown Power Armor stood between him and his destination. Two of them where bare headed and the other wore a long cloak with a hood far over his face. He walked to them, his troop spreading out around him. He felt that something here was not as it should be, but he could not determine what it was.
“I am Captain of the Third Company of the Angels of Redemption! I demand the body of this Marine! You will not stand between me and my goal!” His words rang loud through the valley and anyone could feel the authority of one who was used to the fact that his orders would be followed.
“I greet you Cousin! My Name is Captain Kadoq of the Fifth Company of the Dawn Blades of the Ultima Founding. I assure you that we have no intention to stand between you and your goals. Yet I am surprised that you did not even greet us and that you demand the body of one who is not part of your Chapter. May I inquiry your reason to do this?” The one in the middle of the trio bowed slightly with a fist over one of his hearts. The Captain of the Angels of Redemption could see a slight light of humor in the eyes of his adversary. Who does he think he is?
“So you are those ‘Primaris’? I have to say that I am not impressed. Why we lay claim to this one is none of your concern. Let us take him and we will leave this planet. We have no other business on this world.” He seems that he hit a wound point of this new Captain, as he could see how his mind darkened. The honour of the Primaris was probably hurt after saying that he was not impressed.
“No Business? I assume then that you do not see it as your duty that the imperial citizens of this world need your help? That the death of the live blood of the Imperium is none of your concern. That it is not the duty of the vaunted Angels of Redemption to do the Emperors work. Well then enlighten me Cousin, what is the reason you came to this planet, if it is not to save humanity, although it is so far away from your fiefdom?”
The Captain was taken aback at the outburst of the Primaris. Not his disrespectful manner of speaking nor the attempt to tarnish the existence of this new breed of transhuman warrior led to this outburst, but that they did not response faster to the reported traitor attack on this backwater planet? The brute on the right side of the Primaris Captain cleared his throat and spoke while repeatedly throwing one of his many knives into the air. “What my esteemed commanding officer means is, why should we leave the corpse of the saviour of imperial citizens and his comatose brother in your care?”
There was another one? The reports only indicated that one would be here. Otherwise he would have brought more troops to this site. The rest of his Demi-Company was still in Orbit as the had to leave fast to follow another lead. Why was their information wrong and why are these abominations here? While these thoughts cruised through the head of the Angels of Redemption Captain, a Sergeant stepped up beside him and demanded “Lead us to him immediately! Don’t waste anymore of our time you brute!”
The Primaris brute seemed ignorant to the importance of the survivor and added one knife to the one which was already spinning in the air while saying “First you should say ‘Don’t waste anymore of our time, Lieutenant brute’ and secondly, why should we? You still did not answer our questions.”
The Captain signed his Sergeant to stand down and addressed the Primaris trio after clearing his thoughts “We are longer in this galaxy then you. We Firstborn know the importance of certain individuals and the information they can provide. So do not stall for time and PLEASE bring us to the survivor, COUSIN!”
That answer brought out a laugh from the Primaris Captain and he walked up to him until their chests where mere inches away from each other. While glowering down on the shorter Transhuman, the Primaris spoke “So you mean because you think you are older than I am, you have superiority over me? Well, let me tell you this: I was born over five thousand years earlier than your mother, and while I stayed in Stasis, it seems that things got only worse with people like you in charge. Tell me, why should I, who is obeying a direct order of the Imperial Regent, follow you, who does not even seem to have any orders he follows?”
A direct order of the returned Primarch? Did the Primarch hear about their hidden agenda? Did one of the many misconducts of his Chapter was the final straw which broke the camels back? He knew that the Inquisition started several investigations, but they could mislead them until now. He needs to mislead these brutes too. But still, why does he feel as something is not right with this situation?
Without breaking the stare of the Primaris Captain, he tried to appease the giant before him “I am on a mission from my Chapter Master. These Marines are part of an order which have vital information for our Chapters mission. So we are here to escort them for further int… for a interview about these matters. We are only a small force on their way home, so we were not ready to attack these priates.”
Kadoq did back up and gestured to the form of the Standard Bearer. “Follow me, Cousin.” Did this Captain believe him so easily?
They walked a few paces until they stood before the fallen marine. Around him lay several slayed enemies, even a Chaos Champion could be seen, with his head some feet away. “This noble warrior sacrificed himself to secure the survival of this town. He slew several Traitor Astartes and this banner never felt the touch of the ground, not even in his death. Our scout probes recorded the battle, but unfortunately we where to slow to save him. But he left a message for the son’s of the Lion.”
“A message? Who did hear this message? What was it about?” Although he was built to not know fear, something akin to this feeling crept into his voice, as he asked this the Primaris.
“Tell our Legion that there were still loyal Brothers on Caliban. Ave Imperator.’ Only my staff and the Helix Adept who currently treats the comatose Battle Brother of this one know of this message. Do you know what it means?”
The inquisitive look of the Primaris unnerved the Angel of Redemption and he answered far to fast “No, I do not.” “Well, then I assume you also do not know what this might mean…?” With that Kadoq pulled back the coat of flayed skin from the beheaded Chaos Champion, to reveal a symbol he has seen far to often on his adversaries. A symbol which was the reason for all the problems his Chapter had to endure.
“Again, I demand that you give us the survivor. After that, you will leave this planet. We will secure the perimeter and ensure that the sanctity of this place remains unburdened.”
The Primaris Captain let out a short laughter and responded “And again, why should I? You had no interest in these mortal lives, and now that you know more about the situation here, you changed your mind and want to help them? We Transhumans can smell a lie, but I am surprised how bad you are at lying. I know that there is a Strike Cruiser with a Demi-Company in Orbit, so you would have had more than enough men to eliminate the traitorous scum from this planet. So please enlighten me, why should we stand back?”
For the second time did his Sergeant sept up beside his Captain before he could formulate an answer and said, “Because you are outgunned.” And with that 9 Bolters and 1 Plasmagun were trained at the Primaris. The Primaris Lieutenant chuckled and asked, “Is that a threat?” The Sergeant spat through clenched teeth “A promise!”.
“Captain, it seems that you need to educate your subordinates better. They did not secure and surveyed the perimeter according to the Standards of the Codex Astartes. Also, they should know to not throw empty threads at Astartes.” Kadoq seemd not daunted by the overwhelming firepower which was directed at him.
Wait, surveying the perimeter? Is the hooded one beside Kadoq a… “Facing such an empty threat, I feel like I should tell you our credo: From the grim darkness, our blades rise from the shadows to bring Humanity a new Dawn!”
At the last word, the Lieutenant moved faster than any Space Marine should be able to and held a knife at the throat of the two officers of the Angels of Redemption. Additionally, something like a vile was lifted and around them stood twenty-five Primaris, all weapons trained at the Angels of Redemption, several of them where some kind of plasma weaponry.
Now he knew what seemed of. There were no other Primaris units in the vicinity, although the Angels of Redemption arrived without a formal introduction and as fast as their Rhino was able to. Also the temperature displayed on his helmet was previously far lower then it should have been at such a sunny day. “Witch!”
“He prefers the title Librarian, Captain.” Chuckled the brute, while the Captain could still feel the steel of the Knife at his throat. “Traitors!” spat the Sergeant, but at that moment Kadoq grabbed him by the throat and lifted him up like a child.
“TRAITOR? YOU CALL US TRAITOR? YOU WHO DO NOTHING MORE THEN FOLLOWING YOUR PETTY HIDDEN AGENDA WHILE THE CITIZEN OF THE IMPERIUM ARE SLAUGHTERED? YOU WHO DO NOT FOLLOW THE WILL OF THE EMPEROR IN SAVING HUMANITY FROM THE DARKNESS OF THIS DAMNED TIME? STAY SILENT AND LET THE GROWN-UPS TALK YOU CUR!” Spittle flew into the face of the struggling Sergeant and now he could see the big canine teeth of the captain, as if they got larger with his rage.
While still holding his Sergeant by the throat, Kadoq addressed him again. “Captain, I do not care for your true reason why you came to this place today, so far away from your fiefdom. But what I do care about is, that you left these brave mortals to die, instead of helping them. How should the imperial citizen have hope, if the Emperors Angel are not there to protect or at least avenge them? I will not allow you to steal the last hope they have in the Imperium through stealing them their martyred hero. If you want, you can take the corpse of this traitorous filth with you and I will even allow you your one-to-one Interview with the survivor, if he wakes up. But after that, you will leave this planet immediately!” and with that he let the half unconscious Sergeant fall to the ground, where he gasped for air.
“And a word of advice. Remain true to the oaths you swore onto the emperor, as only he is able to judge your live worthy. If I get a notice that you stray again from the path of righteousness, I will put every ounce of my being into unraveling this hidden mission of yours, and may the Emperor have mercy upon your Chapters souls, if it is a mission that works against the hope of mankind!”
Although outgunned, a knife on his throat and only inches away from a brute that lifted a fully armored Space Marine like child with one hand, the Firstborn officer frowned and asked, “Is this a threat?” “No, a promise! And ask your self this: is this agenda of yours worth the lives and souls of the Emperors objects?”
At the same moment, a Primaris Apothecary ran to the assembly and reported to his superior with urgency in his voice “Captain, we have a problem!” Kadoq inclined his head and said, “Tell me something new Brother Apothecary.”
The Primaris Apotehcary flushed and started “When I returned to the chamber of the surviving Marine, I saw another Marine entering the chamber. It was no Primaris and he wore a great hooded cape, and on his back was a big sword. He seemed like he wore the same or at least a similar livery as my patient. When I reached the camber, it was empty.”
Both Captains shouted in unison “WHAAAT?”
Kadoq sat on the roof of the majors building and looked into the setting sun. While he preferred the symbolic notion, which gave his chapter its name, he always thought the sunset much more beautiful. The whistling of a knive thrown into the air destroyed his solemn thoughts. “What is it Lieutenant?” he asked without looking back.
“A direct order of the Primarch? Really? I know you are a bad liar, but that was really low, even for your standard. As far as I know, the only direct order we ever received from the Primarch was bringing hope and the light of the Indomitus Crusade to this sector.”
“Well, I took the liberty to interpret this order as I saw fit. And in that case, it was to keep the hope of these people up, without shedding the blood of fellow Astartes” chuckled the Primaris Captain. “Now tell me what our Techmarine found.”
“Nothing. No traces of a hidden escape route or of teleportation. If it were not for the blood stains and the message, you could think that they were never there. What do you think about this ‘Leave the Fallen to me, as they are Loyalists and Traitors alike. There is still hope’ Should we have told the Angels of Redemption about it?”
“No, for Thrones sake! They did not even intended to help us in rebuilding the planets defense system, so why should we help them? I am glad they left so soon. Did our Librarian already searched the chamber?”
“No. He had to rest after hiding three troops for so long. He will search the chamber tomorrow.” The Lieutenant sheathed his knive and set beside his Captain. “By the way, the thing about unraveling the Agenda of the Angels of Redemption – was that true or just a threat?”
Kadoq smiled, yet his eyes could not hide a glimmer of sorrow. “There are to many secrets in this millennium. We need to work together to save humanity, but that is impossible if everyone has a hidden mission or secrets to keep behind his back. You know my tribes name, and so I see it as my duty to destroy every secret which hinders that mankind has hope for a new Dawn of the Imperium.”
“Aye, Truthseeker, aye.”