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Planetfall: Alcmene - A Legio B&C story


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#1
Rogue Trader

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+++

The Thunderhawk banked sharply, skimming low through the plascrete canyons of the wrecked hive. Jarrett increased the magnetic pull of his boots, anchoring himself more firmly to the deck as it tilted under him, and looked around the crowded compartment. Thirty marines, each clad in the black and red of the Legio Bolter and Chainsword murmured their final prayers and readied their weapons for planetfall. Marines from some of the most famous chapters in the galaxy, the Salamanders, Imperial Fists and Raven Guard stood shoulder to shoulder, each proudly displaying their heritage on their right shoulder pauldron.

Across the compartment a young marine bearing the heraldry of the Brazen Claws was conferring with Diffido, formerly of the Exorcists Chapter. The Brazen Claw glanced up, met Jarrett's gaze and nodded. Jarrett returned the nod, but couldn't shake the unease he felt about the Exorcist. Diffido's armour bore arcane hexagrams and runes that disturbed Jarrett in ways he couldn't explain. He'd heard rumours of the chapter's strange practices - they all had - and he couldn't help but feel worried about dropping on a Chaos controlled planet with a marine who seemed so close to heresy himself. Jarrett shook his head, and braced himself as the pilot gave the ten second warning.

The Thunderhawk settled in the shadow of a desecrated temple to the Emperor, at the edge of an open plaza. Jarrett leaped from the ramp, his boots kicking up dust as he ran after Sergeant Castor. He skidded to a halt behind a shattered pillar and scanned the square. As the rest of the squad took up positions around him, a mob of chaos marines in burgundy armour burst from an archway and sprinted towards the Gunship, bolters spitting fire. As Jarrett raised his weapon, an icon flashed in front of his eyes and he whirled to see traitors flooding the square from every direction.

Glancing towards the Thunderhawk, Jarrett saw the first group of traitors reach the access ramp, only to be repelled by a counter-charge led by the Brazen Claw, Rhadamanthys. The young marine fought calmly and coolly, wielding his chainsword in both hands, the weapon a blur as he pushed back the burgundy armoured chaos marines. Turning away, Jarrett racked the under-slung grenade launcher that jutted from his antique boltgun and fired a krak grenade towards a squad of traitors entrenched behind a fallen pillar. The grenade flew high over the traitor position, impacting against the base of the temple wall behind them and detonating with a sharp report. Castor's voice buzzed from the vox bead in Jarrett's ear

"Emperor's teeth, Jarrett, at least hit the enemy…"

The wall of the temple, weakened by Jarrett's grenade, slowly collapsed on top of the traitor squad burying them in plascrete and mortar. Jarrett smiled as the cloud of dust rose into the sky and turned to assess the situation.

The black clad Legio marines had formed a loose ring around the Thunderhawk, holding back the tide of Chaos marines and cultists that flooded into the plaza from every corner. The Heavy Bolters on the Gunship opened fire, raking the hordes of traitors with explosive shells. A deep rumbling echoed around the square as a Land Raider encrusted with skulls and leering daemonic faces powered through a ruined wall, crushing corpses beneath its cleated tracks. The twin Lascannon lanced out, striking the Thunderhawk's starboard engine, and raking along the hull towards the cockpit. The beams of coherent light flared as they struck the reinforced plasglass screen, then the cockpit exploded with a blinding flash as the lasers penetrated the protective shielding…

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#2
Aurelius Rex

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Part 2: Golgotha Learns to Fly... :blush: (With apologies to SCC!)

+++

As the cockpit of the loyalist Thunderhawk detonated, Brother Jeremiah of the Word Bearers watched with despondency as his misguided brothers continued to fight. It must be obvious even to them that they were beaten. Surely now they would see sense and accept the Pantheon as their saviours.

His eyes misted as he targeted the fleeing black armoured figures with the Landraider’s heavy bolter turret, tears of heart-felt anguish running down his cheeks as he was forced to turn a brother into bloodmist.

No. It seemed they were beyond the light of Salvation. With a heavy heart he gave Brother Gideon the signal to man the combi-bolter on the top hatch pintle and put these poor wretches out of their misery.

+++

Golgotha took the marble steps four at a time, trusting to faith that the passage of the corrupted Landraider through the building wouldn’t see them giving way under his feet. In another few seconds he was at the top of the staircase, and swinging up onto the window ledge. Ahead he saw his Brothers of the Legio Bolter & Chainsword surrounded, caught in a bloody crossfire between the Word Bearer traitor marines and the overwhelming firepower of their Landraider just below him. Well, he reflected, all that was about to change.

He leapt out into space, and rolled as he hit the top deck of the tank. It faintly repulsed him that there were faces leering out of the metal surface, like trapped souls bound inside the infernal construction. He put it out of his mind. He had seen enough things in his eight decades with the Scions of Dorn, and then another quarter-century with the Legio for it not to even surprise, let alone frighten him. The grinding of actuators from the pintle hatch was more than he could have hoped - he had thought he was going to have to do it the hard way. With a prayer of thanks to the Emperor, Brother-Sergeant Golgotha emptied a full magazine of Inferno bolts through the half-opened access hatch. Relishing the satisfying sound of them ricocheting within the armoured cabin, he followed up with a brace of frag grenades, and slammed the hatch shut.

The sound of the internal heavy bolter magazine cooking off told him it was time to leave. With the target neutralised he leapt down to join his squad as they swept towards the suddenly beleaguered Word Bearer force.

+++

Two miles away from the ambush, sequestered appropriately enough within the remains of a brothel, Veteran Sergeant Weissmann of the Order Encarmine played the sight of his sniper rifle across the scene. The crosshairs stopped on a loyalist marine leaping from a burning Landraider. He stroked the trigger, holding the man’s life in the balance, but held off the kill-shot, admiring his skill with the oversized chainsword. The marine twisted to parry a blow, and with shock he saw the stylised ‘S’ on his shoulder pad.

Weissmann threw the rifle to one side in disgust. Such a quick death was too good for a Scion of Dorn. He remembered the baseless allegations of the Inquisition, and how readily the Scions of Dorn had turned against a fellow Chapter. He remembered how they had declared 'Exterminatus' on his homeworld with cyclonic torpedos, and captured or killed over half of his chapter.

No. After what they had done to his chapter, Weissmann had something far more appropriate in mind than simple assassination.

+++

+++ Edited to include more backstory to the Order Encarmine. +++

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 01 June 2004 - 09:25 PM.

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#3
Aurelius Rex

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Weissmann threw the rifle to one side in disgust.  Such a quick death was too good for a Scion of Dorn.  After what they did to his chapter, Weissmann had something much more appropriate planned.

Aparrently the last line was a bit cryptic for those who haven't read the Order Encarmine background in this thread...Link to Jokers fluff.

Basically the Inquisition got the Scions of Dorn to purge the Order Encarmine chapter as Traitors, and ever since the Order have held a rather large grudge against the Scions. :blush:

+++ Edit: beefed up the Order Encarmine backstory in the original post too.

After the great Exorcists background Chap Laz just has to jump in and do a piece from Diffido's perspective - unless SCC wants to bring Rhadamanthys to the fore? :) +++

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 01 June 2004 - 09:29 PM.

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#4
Rogue Trader

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Time to save this thread from the ignominy of page 6, I think :huh:

+++

Jarrett grinned as Golgotha leaped from the top hatch of the Land Raider and drew his chainsword with a flourish. The big marine had no concept of subtlety, an attitude that faintly horrified Jarrett, who had specialised in covert operations for decades with the Grief Bringers. Everything about the Scion of Dorn was ostentatious, from his brash, boisterous manner and his glossy, almost reflective armour to his customised chainsword, fully twice the length of a normal weapon. Regardless, Jarrett could think of few marines he would rather have next to him in the heat of battle.

True to form, Golgotha’s timely intervention in destroying the Word Bearers’ Land Raider had given the Legio marines fresh hope, pressing the traitors back against the ruins of an apothecarion. The traitor legionnaires had been shaken by the destruction of the attack tank and the loyalists had been quick to press home their advantage, striking down chaos marines with bolter and chainsword.

Just as it seemed the traitors would break, the dull thud of great war drums echoed around the plaza. A figure in ornate armour encrusted with skulls and wax seals leapt atop a pile of rubble. Two flaming braziers jutted from behind his shoulders and he flourished an eight pointed crozius in the air. Yet this figure was no Chaplain of the Legio, no upholder of the Imperial faith. No, he was a Dark Apostle of the Word Bearers, a corruptor of the innocent, a heretic of the very worst kind. Activating the power armour’s external vox unit, the mockery of a Chaplain began chanting a blasphemous mantra, rallying the Word Bearers to repel the black clad marines of the Legio. Jarrett and his brothers were pressed back, attacked from three directions and left only one avenue of retreat.

Tranquillity Way was a mighty boulevard, a great artery, running from the outskirts of the metropolis through the industrial and hab districts into the heart of the city and ending at the adamantium gates of the Arbites precinct. In times of peace it had been home to ornamental gardens, delicate fountains and statues of planetary nobles. Now a pitched battle raged along the streets, the gardens trampled by armoured boots, great gouges torn in the soil by missile and plasma. Statues and fountains, pitted from small arms fire were utilised as makeshift bulwarks and hard points as the marines of the Legio were forced back inch by inch down the wide avenue.

+++

Jarrett ran down the wide boulevard, slid to a halt behind a fallen statue and turned to provide covering fire for the retreating Legio marines. Chanting the calming mantra of his parent Chapter, the Grief Bringers, he raised his bolter:

“Pure in thought…”

He scanned the avenue, spotting the Dark Apostle stood atop a pile of rubble, exhorting the corrupted marines onward with fiery rhetoric and catechisms of hatred.

“…pure in word…”

A targeting reticle projected in front of Jarrett’s eyes, magnifying the traitorous orator. He felt his gut wrench as he saw the baroque armour, the distorted octahedral crozius, the blood red seals fluttering in the wind. A wave of anger washed over him as he stared at the mockery of an Astartes Chaplain.

“…pure in deed.”

Jarrett squeezed the trigger, loosing off a trio of explosive shells at the Dark Apostle. The traitor’s head exploded, filling the air with crimson mist as the bolts penetrated the weak spot between plastron and helm. The headless body stood for a moment, the debased crozius falling from limp fingers as the corpse slumped to the ground.

A squad of Word Bearers had worked its way into the ruins of a manufactorium on the north side of Tranquility Way and was raking the Legio marines with Autocannon fire from a first floor window, the heavy shells kicking up dirt as they slammed into the ground. Jarrett vaulted the statue ran towards the building, the Autocannon stitching fire around his feet. He flicked his bolter to full auto and sprayed the window as he ran, seeing one of the traitors fall, shoulder exploding as the bolts struck home. The Autocannon spoke again, and Jarrett felt the hammer blows of the shells impacting against his power armour. He stumbled, pain lancing down his leg as one of the shells penetrated the thick ceramite of his thigh armour. Another volley of shells struck him in the chest, slamming him back onto the rockcrete road…

#5
Rogue Trader

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A klaxon screamed, shredding the tranquil silence in the Librarium.

Brother-Librarian Kruitzfeldt of the Legio Bolter and Chainsword rose from his seat and strode towards the heavy Adamantium doors of the Librarium, collecting his Force Sword as he passed the weapons rack.

As the door hissed shut behind the Librarian, the electrolumens in the Librarium dimmed, the only light provided by the dull glow of the console Kruitzfeldt had been using. Green text glowed brightly against the black screen:

++ Legio Archive Initiated ++
++ Omega Level Clearance Required ++
++ Input passcode: ******** ++
++ Data Access Granted ++
++ Thought for the Day: Learn from the past ++

++ Accessing file: Jarrett, Legio Battle Brother, recruited from: Grief Bringers. ++
++ Pict record: unavailable ++
++ Battle History: begin download ++
++ Scout Company; V'run engagement - File 33% complete ++
++ Scout Company; V'run engagement - File 66% complete ++
++ Error: Data stream corrupted, unable to retrieve remaining data ++

++ Accessing file: Rhadamanthys, Legio Battle Brother, recruited from: Brazen Claws. ++
++ Pict Record: Access Granted ++
++ Battle History: begin download ++
++ LB&C; Defence of Divine Hunter. Cross ref: Captain Draco Euripides (Scions of Dorn), Tomax Hell (Excommunicate Traitoris: Night Lords). ++
++ End of file, all other data unretrievable ++

++ Accessing file: Golgotha, Legio Sergeant, recruited from: Scions of Dorn. ++
++ Pict record: Access Granted ++
++ Battle History: begin download ++
++ Error: Data stream corrupted, unable to retrieve remaining data ++

++ Accessing file: Diffido, Access Denied: Insufficient Clearance., recruited from: Exorcists. ++
++ Pict record: Access Denied: Insufficient Clearance. ++
++ Battle History: Access Denied: Insufficient Clearance. ++

++ Input file name for retrieval:

The cursor flashed slowly in the darkened Librarium, awaiting the return of Kruitzfeldt with the infinite patience of the machine.

Edited by Rogue Trader, 10 June 2004 - 11:03 PM.


#6
Aurelius Rex

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Thanks to RT for a stack of good ideas in the first part. :lol:

+++

Jarrett was alone in a personal universe of agony.

He tried to move, but there was only pain. He tried to cry out to Dorn, to The Emperor, to his long-dead mother but had no breath. He blindly reached up to his chest, dreading the damage he would find. To his surprise he was bloody, but whole, although the same could not be said for his armoured chestplate. Jarrett knew that the mere fact he could feel anything was a good sign - he had seen enough mortal wounds to know that.

His vision returned, but stayed resolutely monochrome, although it was obvious that the ominously flashing warning runes in his helmet display would have been an angry red. Gasping for breath against the fire in his chest and still unable to move, Jarrett looked up at the zealot behind the gunsight of the autocannon. The traitor marine was staring down at him with the same detached interest a small boy might watch an insect struggling in a glass of water.

Glancing to his right, Jarret saw his bolter, magazine empty and just out of reach. He stretched, inching his hand closer to the stock of the weapon, then flinched away as an autocannon shell slammed into the ground next to his outstretched fingers. Silently, without the breath even to speak, Brother Jarrett mouthed the Death Incantation: ‘I fear no evil, I fear no death, for the Emperor comes for me.’

The last thing he expected to hear from behind him was the booming laugh of Sergeant Golgotha.

+++

'Don't worry lad, the heretic was just lucky.' Shouted Golgotha cheerily over the din of the battle spilling into the plaza. He had removed his helmet and was standing in plain view at the other end of the square. 'Y'see, the Lorgar geneseed is defective in so many ways, one of which is that they have lost the ability to shoot straight!'

He slapped his armoured chestplate and locked gaze with the Word Bearer aiming the autocannon at Jarrett. The challenge could not have been clearer. An eerie hush fell over the battlefield, as all eyes were drawn inexorably to the confrontation playing out before them.

'The Emperor is my shield and armour.' The words breaking the unnatural silence. 'I know no fear while he is with me.'

Without a word of reply the traitor marine swung the barrel of the autocannon up, steadied himself, and smiled.

The autocannon roared.

+++

To be continued… :P
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#7
Aurelius Rex

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+++

It was the most awe inspiring thing that Brother Faustino had ever seen. Sergeant Golgotha had just stood there, testing his faith against that of the traitor marine. He had heard some unbelievable stories about Golgotha – barrack room talk - gross exaggeration of course, but there he was, just daring a lunatic with an autocannon to shoot him if he could! All around him the battle had stopped dead. Legio brethren, Word Bearers and cultists, no-one quite believed what they were seeing.

And then the salvo had shredded the unbearable stillness, round after round until all that remained was echoes, the angry whir of the empty belt-feed mechanism… and the hearty laugh of Sergeant Golgotha, standing without even a scratch on his armour.

He had marvelled as the sergeant had whipped up his bolter and fired a single shot at the now glazed-eyed, slack-jawed traitor, who had slumped, and then tumbled out of the first floor window. Both sides knew that the fight was over before the gunner had hit the rubble. With their Dark Apostle already dead, witnessing such a crushing challenge to their faith had proved too much, and the battle had spiralled into a rout.

Faustino roared with righteous anger after the few fleeing cultists that had survived the carnage. Let them run, let them spread the word that Legio Bolter & Chainsword had come to reclaim this planet in the name of The Emperor.

+++

‘Up you get, my boy,’ smiled Golgotha, pulling Jarrett to his feet. ’Just a flesh wound, eh?’ Jarrett suppressed a wince as the sergeant clapped him on the shoulder. ‘Of course,’ he continued, answering his own question, ‘You are a Grief Bringer, you carry the blessed lineage of Rogal Dorn. It will take more than that to finish you off.’ Then, in a much lower voice; ’Throne, Jarrett, you look like feth. How bad is it? Honestly.’

Jarrett lied - he could not be removed from his squad, his mission was too important - but if the sergeant noticed he made no comment.

As Golgotha turned away Jarrett called out: ‘I thought I saw something, just before the traitor fired on you - it looked like he… jerked?’

Golgotha stopped, paused as if deciding something, and returned, a devilish grin on his face. 'I have faith that The Emperor protects his humble servants, but I also have faith in the aim of Brother Sanchez and his ‘Stalker’ silenced bolter shells. The heretic squeezed the trigger with his death-spasm, the only way he would have hit me is by accident. It was a calculated risk that his armour’s recoil compensators would keep him upright long enough for me to let off a round, but like I said, The Emperor Protects!’

Jarrett was speechless.

‘My squad has done it a couple of times before,’ Golgotha continued with a wink, ‘and I promise you, within the hour there will be tales all over the city of the Avenging Warriors of the Emperor who are all twelve feet tall and are impossible to kill with tank-rounds. I think it is time we stopped running and remembered the reason we came here, Jarrett.’

+++
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#8
SCC

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Rhadamanthys stood up slowly, dusting the plascrete dust from his freshly painted black armour. All around him Legio Marines were rising from what little cover they had been able to find, many still staring at the unscathed figure of Sergeant Golgotha, marvelling at the strength of his faith. Others of his brethren reached for medical kits or ceramite repair tubes, patching up both themselves and their armour.

Rhadamanthys jumped as a single shot rang out, turning swiftly he saw Brother Croeseus raising his bolt pistol from the skull of a now dead heretic. Croeseus looked at him, withering contempt in his eyes,

'Can't hurt you now boy...'

Rhadamanthys felt his twin hearts race as anger and embarassment coursed through his veins. He opened his mouth to reply but a strong hand on his shoulder silently bade him hold his tongue. Turning from the embittered Marine he faced the owner of the hand, Sergeant Castor.

'Rhadamanthys, check the temple for intel. Take Faustino, Krankov and Lethe with you to secure the western flank. Report back to me when you're done.'

Bringing himself to attention Rhadamanthys hammered a clenched fist to his breastplate,

'Aye, Sergeant.'

Turning on his heel Rhadamanthys gathered up the chosen Marines by eye, silently leading them through the ruins of the ancient temple. Quickly assigning his brethren to vantage points to watch for the return of the enemy, he returned to the nave of the chapel. A quick scan of the area revealed nothing more than a broken Aquila and the bodies of a handful of fallen Traitors. Breathing a prayer of purity, Rhadamanthys searched each corpse thoroughly, noting markings, serial numbers and equipment types for the Legio's Librarians to pore over later.

Quickly he searched the rest of the temple, finding only the bones of the long dead parishioners and their priest, slaughtered when the world fell to Chaos sometime in the distant past and the usual filth that accompanied the prescence of Chaos. Returning to the nave he gathered the broken pieces of the temple's Aquila and placed them before him. He removed his helmet and murmured the Emperor's Prayer as he began to assemble the Aquila. A few minutes dextrous work and he smiled, the pieces of the holy jigsaw now resembling their true form once more.

Fishing a ceramite repair tube from a belt pouch Rhadamanthys began to glue the relic together. Another few minutes delicate work and his smile widened, reciting the Imperial Lobgesang while the glue set, he lifted the now whole symbol and hung it on the shattered, blood-spattered wall. Stepping back, Rhadamanthys knelt before the Aquila, breathing a prayer for those of his brethren who had fallen in battle today.

Standing, Rhadamanthys grabbed his helmet and headed back to the town square to report to Sergeant Castor. Jogging through the ruins the vox-bead in his ear crackled, then hissed and fell silent. Pulling his helmet on hurriedly Rhadamanthys toggled vox-channels, fruitlessly trying to clear up the interference. Reaching the outskirts of the square he heard the snap-crack of lasfire mixed together with the deeper sounds of bolter fire. Voxing his brethren at the temple a brief sit-rep he unholstered his Filienostos pattern bolt-pistol and began to work his way around the square, heading for the source of the lasfire...

#9
SCC

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+++

Rhadamanthys crept through the shattered tunnel as quietly as his bulky power armour would allow. Glancing down at a subdued rune-icon on his helmet display, a square with three wavy, vertical lines, Rhadamanthys willed it to glowing green life with a brief mental impulse. Immediately the almost inaudible whirring from the front of his helmet ceased and he heard a faint grinding of gears as his helmet's air purifier cut out, allowing the planet's own atmosphere into the close confines of his helmet. Despite his enhancements he shuddered as the cold air caressed his face, then grimaced as the ages old stink of the sewer became apparent, resisting the urge to switch back to his internal air supply Rhadamanthys pressed on, senses stretched to the maximum, searching for the enemy.

Stepping over the long dead corpse of a huge sewer rat Rhadamanthys' nose gave him the first indication of his enemy, that familiar sting at the back of his throat where the Neuroglottis had been implanted more than a century ago. The Brazen Claws prided themselves on the purity and functionality of each of the 19 organs that made each one of them truly a warrior of the Adeptus Astartes, including those that enhanced a Marine's olfactory senses, and whilst not possessing the acuity of a Space Wolf, they were still able to track by scent or taste alone. Slowing his pace Rhadamanthys inhaled more deeply, trying to distinguish the taint of Chaos from the stench of sewage, a few more cautious paces and he was able to pick the tunnel branch the taint was coming from. Rhadamanthys quickened his pace again as he headed down the eastern branch of the sewer, determined to come to grips with the enemy above.

A sudden increase in the formerly muted volume of lasfire indicated to Rhadamanthys that he was nearing his quarry. Turning his gaze to the ceiling he saw that the sewer grates were too small for him to fit through even if he shed his armour, cursing he looked about for another way to exit the sewers. As he twisted in the cramped environs to look for another exit his elbow bumped a large canister mag-clamped to his hip; with a grin Rhadamanthys remembered what it was…

+++

#10
Rogue Trader

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Nice, SCC :D Good to see the big R making an appearance... As ever, cheers to SCC, Rex and Joker for feedback on this one (and man, did I need the help this time!)...


+++

Jarrett cursed the day he’d set foot on this damned planet. Blood red diagnostic runes flashed in front of his eyes, a scrolling column cataloguing his injuries. The fused rib-plate inside his chest was fractured, and his secondary heart was thumping out an erratic beat that echoed inside his skull like the ancient machinery of his distant homeworld. Blesséd numbness washed over him as his power armour injected a cocktail of stimulants, painkillers and counterseptics into his system.

With a sigh Jarrett noticed the planet's star creeping below the horizon, the moon bathing the city in sombre shades of blue and grey. The howling nighttime winds of Alcmene rose suddenly, sweeping down from the plains outside the city, piercing the ragged remains of his armour, and chilling him to the bone

A bass rumbling echoed along Tranquillity Way, and Jarrett turned to see two ramshackle half- tracks trundle slowly from a side street onto the broad avenue. Cultists, wild-eyed, emaciated men who clutched their las-rifles and autoguns in white knuckled hands, were clustered about the decrepit vehicles. A Heavy Stubber, no doubt pilfered from the PDF armoury many years ago was spot welded to the cab of one, whilst the other bore a jury-rigged Flamethrower. The pilot light of the Flamer sputtered and flared in the rising winds as the half-tracks rolled into position.

As Jarrett slammed a fresh magazine into his weapon, a movement in the corner of his eye caught his attention and he turned to see a huge figure crouched atop a ruined spire of the temple. A tattered, fur-trimmed cloak that might once have been white fluttered around dark, baroque armour, and a leering skull with eyes like garnets stared straight at Jarrett. Jarrett glanced down as he racked his bolter, and raised the gun to aim it at… nothing. The figure was gone, the crumbling spire empty. Jarrett glanced at his brother marines, but none of them seemed to have noticed the shadowy figure.

He shook his head and followed Aiakos, Mirandis and Lindsberg through the decimated building that had housed the Word Bearer squad and into a dank narrow alley, skidding on spilt entrails and bones. Jarrett could hear the spluttering engine and the grinding of metal cleats on rockcrete as the half-tracks advanced. With a gesture, Sergeant Aiakos signalled Jarrett to take point. Glancing round the corner of a building, Jarrett watched the half tracks race past, the driver of the nearest momentarily losing control on the slick rockcrete and clipping the building, rupturing a fuel drum strapped to the side. The driver quickly recovered and the ‘track slewed to a halt, the Stubber spitting a storm of heavy bullets at the marines of the Legio, covering the advance of it’s flamer-equipped companion.

Jarrett frowned - he couldn’t get a clean shot, the rear of the ‘track was obscured by fallen rubble. An evil grin spread across his face as he saw one of the cultists sheltering behind the half-track raise a plasglass bottle with a burning rag stuffed in the neck. Jarrett sighted quickly and snapped off a shot, watched the bottle fall, the man’s severed hand still wrapped round it. The bottle shattered on the rockcrete with a sharp crack, followed by a sighing whoomph as burning promethium sprayed through the air.

As the wind wafted the rancid smell of burning flesh toward Jarrett he watched the trickle of fuel from the damaged barrel run agonisingly slowly towards the burning promethium. One of the half-track crewmen turned to pick up a fresh magazine for the Stubber and sheer horror spread across his face as he saw the trail of fuel from the vehicle stretching towards the flames. He leapt, screaming, from the vehicle as the fuel ignited, the fire racing inhumanly fast towards the half-track, and licked round the punctured fuel barrel. With a dull roar the drum exploded and the ground shuddered as the half track's own fuel supply exploded a second later...

#11
SCC

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Nice work there RT B) The story is really starting to gather some momentum now, so to keep it going here is the next Rhadamanthys piece. This time it's all action and no talk :D

@nicebutdim: I get the feeling we've been at this for a while longer than you, so keep writing, it's the best way (if not the only way) to get better, if you need any help or advice feel free to call on any of the Ordo Literati, we're here to help...

+++

The dull crump of an explosion staggered Rhadamanthys, he stumbled into the nearby wall as the shockwave hit him, covering him in a shower of rockcrete dust and slime, the sound built to a crescendo as a second, larger explosion followed the first, this time throwing Rhadamanthys to the floor and immersing him in the scum infested waters of the sewer tunnel. Standing up, dripping slime and sewage, he waited a moment for his auto-senses to remove the cut-out that had protected his hearing from the noise of the second explosion, twisting, he grasped the mag-locked bundle at his hip and thumbed the mag-lock off. Briefly, he checked the mechanism to ensure it's brief dip in the sewage hadn't damaged it, then affixed it to the tunnel roof, close to the source of the second explosion. Setting the chrono to 15 seconds he muttered the Prayer for Ignition,

' Spirit of fire, Prime this weapon, And blast the foe, From the Emperor's blessed sight.'

then stabbed the detonator button and quickly moved back down the tunnel to safety. The melta bomb erupted with a deafening roar in the close confines of the tunnel, for the second time in as many minutes Rhadamanthys thanked his armour's spirit for saving his hearing as the auto-senses kicked in to smother the sound. Looking down the tunnel he was shocked to see a large vehicle sliding into the hole his melta bomb had opened in the tunnel's roof, as it hit the wall the pintle mounted flamer crumpled in on itself, erupting in a huge gout of promethium fuelled flames as the jury rigged device's pilot lit was driven into ruptured fuel lines. Standing as tall as he could in the tunnel Rhadamanthys sprinted for the flaming vehicle, trusting in his armour to protect him from the inferno, he hauled himself over the front of the flaming vehicle and into the crew compartment, his bolt pistol kicked in his hand as he dispatched the few cultists still alive in the vehicle.

Flames lapping at his heels Rhadamanthys vaulted over the rear of the half-track, landing among the dazed and disoriented cultists who had been following the armoured vehicles. Unclipping his double edged chainsword he set to work, bolt pistol coughing in his right hand, chainsword buzzing in his left, cutting a swathe through the stunned chaos worshippers. Within moments his bolt pistol ran dry, not bothering to reload he deftly holstered the weapon and grasped his Procyon pattern chainsword in both hands, swinging the blade easily, as though in a training room , severing limbs and ripping the spinning teeth through torsos and stomachs with practiced ease. Rhadamanthys stood his ground as the cultists shook off their stupor and tried to overwhelm him with a deadly mix of numbers and savagery.

The distinctive bark of bolter fire grew louder as his brethren took advantage of the destruction of the half-tracks to advance on the hapless cultists, mowing them down with skillfully aimed volleys. Like a rock amid a turbulent sea Rhadamanthys towered over the frenzied cultists, his armour turning aside the weak blows of their crude weapons as he returned each blow with interest, dealing out death at each stroke. He smiled grimly as he saw his brother's fire cutting into the cultists near him, the wretched traitors too far gone in their battle lust to notice their impending doom. The static that had plagued the vox systems disappeared and he heard the voice of Sergeant Castor, his usually grim tone lightened as he enjoyed the one sided battle,

'That's quite an entrance boy, even Golgotha would have been proud of that one!'

Chuckles echoed over the vox as the Sergeant's men enjoyed his joke before he spoke again, this time his tone serious,

'Now get back over here where you belong...'

Through the still open vents of his helmet he breathed in the cold night air, now heavy with the scent of blood and tinged with the reek of burning promethium, taking a deep breath Rhadamanthys let out a wordless roar that was quickly snatched away by the howling wind and abandoned his defensive posture, plunging back into the raging sea of ragged bodies, now intent on battering his way through to his brethren...

+++

#12
Rogue Trader

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What did Rhadamanthys do to deserve the sewers?! :D B)


+++

Aiakos slapped Jarrett’s shoulder,

“Good job, lad, now we need to take out the other one”

As he spoke there was a dull thud and the ground shook. Jarrett peered round the corner to see the second half-track sliding down a gaping hole that opened underneath it.

“What the feth?”

A gout of flame gushed from the crater, pushing back the crowd of cultists who had been following the vehicle. As Jarrett raised his weapon, a figure leapt from the flames, black power armour smeared in slime and filth, and waded into the disoriented cultists swinging a distinctive double-edged chainsword in both hands. Jarrett sprinted towards the mêlée, picking off cultists with cold precision.

Caught in a crossfire and beset by Rhadamanthys’ ferocious attacks, the cultists broke, scattering and fleeing down the network of streets and alleyways off the wide avenue. Castor’s voice sounded across the vox net,

“Let them run… it’s time we move on the objective. Sergeants Golgotha and Aiakos, to me.”

+++

Two more Thunderhawks had been dispatched from the Strike Cruiser high in orbit, carrying taskforces led by Brother Librarian Kruitzfeldt and Captain Lycurgus. Sixty more marines would soon be converging on the centre of Alcmene Proteus, and on the elaborate Governor’s palace that lay inside extensive, carefully manicured, gardens, now fallen into disrepair through years of neglect.

Castor tapped the dataslate mag-locked to the back of his forearm, activating the mapscreen. Pulsing red crosshairs showed the location of the Governor’s Palace some three klicks down Tranquillity Way. Castor tapped an activation rune and pale blue lines flickered across the screen, as the slate linked with the scanners aboard the Strike cruiser in orbit high above Alcmene. Two lines blinked and locked, indicating the best routes; one ran straight down Tranquillity Way, the other cut away at an oblique angle and ran through the decimated industrial sector, rejoining the first at the end of the wide avenue. Castor’s fingers danced over the controls of the data-slate, transmitting the routes to the ‘slates carried by Aiakos and Golgotha,

“Aiakos, you’re with me, Golgotha, you take the alternate route. Throne be with us all.”

+++

#13
Joker

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“My Lord, I have an update.”
Tomax Hell sat on his throne, glaring at the vid-monitor floating in front of him.

“Continue, Noctus.”

“I followed Heinlein’s shuttle. They landed here on Alcmene at daybreak and have been shadowing an Imperial unit. The members of the Order Encarmine have taken no action, but they appear to be stalking the Imperials. I placed a locator beacon on one of the vehicles, they can go nowhere without my knowledge.”
Noctus Cain’s voice was clear over the vid-link, but the Warmaster suspected there was more to the tale.

“The Imperial unit, who are they?”

“Well, My Lord, you were correct in your deduction. It is the Legio Bolter and Chainsword. I have been following them since midday. Currently I estimate their strength at thirty men, and I have noted there is only one officer; the squads are lead by senior sergeants.”

The Warmaster’s patience was wearing thin.
“I know their tactics, the data link I provided for you before you left contained that information. Get to the point, Noctus.”

“Of course, My Lord. Included in the members present are Rhadamanthys and one called Golgotha. Golgotha bears the insignia of the Scions of Dorn.”

There was a long pause, and when Tomax spoke, Noctus could hear the barely restrained fury in his voice.

“Lord Cain,” Tomax seethed, “I am no longer interested in tolerating these Loyalist dogs continuing to draw breath. Send them a message.”
Abruptly the transmission ended.

“As you wish, My Lord,” Noctus Cain smiled behind the ancient skull faceplate of his armor.

**
With an enraged roar, Tomax Hell erupted from his throne. In a firestorm of anger, Tomax proceeded to rend his servants from their respective limbs. In seconds only one remained. The techno-servant stood silently in an alcove by the chamber’s main entrance. This one was a full automaton, and unable to fear the fury of the Warmaster.

As quickly as the rampage began, it was over. Tomax was once again in control of his temper. With a wave of one massive paw, he beckoned to the automaton. The servant stepped from its appointed place, and its video receptors turned toward the Warmaster expectantly.

“Send for the Brothers Grimm and the Stygian Vampyres. I want to see them before tomorrow’s sunset. And get someone to clean up this mess.”

++edit++ You can find parts One and Two of the Chaos side of this story HERE and HERE. The stories are concurrent.

Edited by jokersminis, 12 July 2004 - 03:05 AM.

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#14
Joker

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****
Darkness fell.
Noctus Cain stood in the deepening shadows outside the temple. There were three loyalist Space Marines inside. The Warmaster had demanded a message be sent, these children would do fine. Noctus glanced at the arcane imagery inside the ancient suit of Terminator Armor. The tech-savants had done masterful work. The ten thousand year old armor was currently operating better than it ever had before. It would serve him well.

Noctus quickly surveyed the scene in his mind. The main force of the Legio had moved toward a large explosion under a tracked vehicle only moments before. Noctus peered through a crack in the temple wall and with a thought; activated his armor’s optic enhancements. With a swirl of evil green energy the darkened interior of the temple became as bright as day. He could even read the names inscribed on the power armor of the Marines inside. Faustino, Krankov, Lethe. They would do. Noctus readied himself for the ambush.

Battle Brothers Faustino, Krankov and Lethe were standing in a standard tri-angled watch pattern. The temple was decent cover and allowed them to cover the Legio’s flank. Static was interfering with Medium range communications and they were unable to raise the main body of the assault force. After a brief discussion, all three Battle Brothers decided to remain in position until they received orders other wise. Brother Faustino glanced up at one of the walls of the crumbling temple and saw the house of worship’s Aquila hanging proudly for all to see. As he looked closer, Faustino saw that someone had repaired the Aquila and hung it back on the wall. Seeing the beauty of the repaired symbol in such a desolate and ruined place touched Faustino, and he closed his eyes and began to quickly recite the Litany of Thanksgiving. He never finished. The wall bearing the Aquila exploded, and a nightmare erupted into the temple.

They never had a chance. The shaped charge blew a hole in the temple wall, and Noctus was already moving. As he cleared the wall, Brother Faustino was laying on the ground, having taken the full force of the shaped concussion blast directly in the chest. He continued to move across the sanctuary as Lethe and Krankov turned toward the explosion. Brother Lethe raised his bolter and fired as Krankov activated his chainsword and charged at Noctus. Noctus raised his left arm to aim his wrist-mounted combi-bolter at the stationary marine as he reached under his cloak to draw his sword. Rocket-propelled bolter shells raced past Noctus’ head as he continued forward. The Daemon trapped in his sword moaned as he pulled the Dark Blade free. Simultaneously Noctus fired his combi-bolter and Brother Krankov swung his chainsword. As the caseless rounds flew toward Lethe, Noctus parried the chainsword with his own blade. A howl escaped from the daemon sword as Krankov’s chainsword was shattered by the arcane power trapped within. An explosion rocked the temple as the two bolter shells hit exactly where Noctus had aimed, the magazine of Lethe’s bolter. With a deft backhand swing of his Dark Blade, Noctus eviscerated Brother Krankov. As Krankov fell to his knees, Noctus surveyed the situation. All three loyalists were incapacitated, badly wounded, but still alive. Perfect.

Noctus admired his artwork from the spire of the Governor’s Palace.
The three members of the Legio Bolter and Chainsword were pinned to the side of the building. Shafts of plascrete reinforcement bar impaled their arms hands and feet and secured them to the wall. Each now bore a deadly gash across his midsection and their lifeblood was quickly draining away. To further desecrate the bodies of his foes, Noctus had used the blood of each Marine to draw a large eight-pointed Star of Chaos around each of the dying marines. They would die soon, but they would last just long enough to be found by the other loyalists. His finger hovered over his teleportation beacon. As soon as the members of the Legio saw him, he would teleport to his shuttle and deliver his report to the Warmaster in person.

The night winds ripped at Noctus Cain’s cloak as he crouched on the top of the spire. At the bottom of the tower written in the blood of dying Space Marines, was the Warmaster’s message.

“Foolish Servants of a Corpse God, Turn Back Now, HELL is Coming!”
****

Edited by jokersminis, 14 July 2004 - 02:38 AM.

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#15
Rogue Trader

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Ask...and thou shall recieve :D


+++

“Throne, Rhadamanthys, you smell like a Grox Farm” Jarrett grinned at the young marine as he tried in vain to remove the sewer scum from his power armour.

“Sounds about right for a Brazen Claw.”

Jarrett turned to see Brother Croeseus spit in the dirt then smirk at Rhadamanthys as the Brazen Claw’s hand flashed to the hilt of his chainsword.

“You think you can take me, boy? No Ultramarines to help you out this time.” Croeseus beckoned him on, his left hand radiant, the highly polished bionics reflecting the light of the fires still burning across Tranquillity Way.

Rhadamanthys gritted his teeth and took a step forward, then stopped as Jarrett laid a restraining hand on his arm. Croeseus snorted and turned away, flicking a speck of dust from the spread hand embossed on his shoulder pauldron.

“Ach, what does he know, Rhad? I never met an Iron Hand that didn’t have a chip on their shoulder.”

Rhadamanthys groaned at Jarrett’s feeble pun, and grinned, his hand falling from the hilt of his chainsword and the tension melting from his frame.

“Right, lads” Golgotha’s voice boomed across the voxnet, “Time to move out; don’t want to keep the damned heretics waiting, y’know!”

Golgotha’s squad moved off, Brother Sanchez taking point, their coal-black power armour melting into the darkness as they moved quickly through the ruins flanking the wide avenue.

+++

Squads Castor and Aiakos advanced along Tranquillity Way, leaving behind the burning half-track and the smoking crater that had heralded Rhadamanthys’ dramatic entrance. Waves of static washed over the voxnet, rendering it all but unusable. The marines communicated using the hand signals learned decades before as scouts. Castor raised his arm, hand vertical, calling a halt. He pointed at Jarrett, then Rhadamanathys and beckoned them forward. Removing his helmet, he said

“I can’t raise Faustino, Krankov or Lethe ‘cause of this fething static. You two detour through the temple and collect them, then catch up to us.”

Jarrett nodded and moved off, followed close behind by Rhadamanthys, both marines mag-clipping their helmets to their belts as they went. They quickly reached the temple and skirted the wreckage of the Thunderhawk and the burnt out Land Raider, the disturbing iconography of the Word Bearers still visible even through the smeared soot. Rhadamanthys indicated a high archway leading to the nave and the marines quickly entered the temple, the buttresses curving overhead like the ribcage of a long dead megasaur.

The nave was still, empty, the night winds whistling through the ragged hole in the wall where the aquila had been hung. The same aquila that now lay in blood spattered pieces on the floor. Instinctively, Jarrett and Rhadamanthys turned back to back, raising their weapons and sweeping the empty temple.

“Clear.”

“Clear.”

Moving through the ranks of toppled, shattered pews, Jarrett could see a dark pattern on the mosaic tiling of the floor. Free of the ranked benches, the shape became clear: an elaborate eight-pointed star marked out in congealing blood on the flagstones. In the centre of the star lay three blood spattered helmets and the remains of a chainsword that had been cloven in two. Fragments of black-painted ceramite lay arranged in obscene patterns about the octahedron. Images of a leering skull with blazing red eyes flashed through Jarrett’s mind. Turning to Rhadamanthys, he quickly described the dark figure he had seen atop the spire on Tranquillity Way. Rhadamanthys muttered the Prayer of Warding and scuffed the obscene patterns on the floor, breaking the outline of the Chaos Star.

Noctus Cain. Throne, Jarrett, Castor needs to know about this now.”

+++

Edited by Rogue Trader, 18 July 2004 - 08:29 PM.


#16
Aurelius Rex

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+++

‘Father, grant me the sight of an eagle…’

The crosshairs of Veteran Sergeant Weissmann’s sniper-sight tracked across the black armoured marines of the Legio, lingering on each in turn. The head of a marine from the Grief Bringers filled the sights, another Chapter from the accursed Dorn line. It would be so easy to punch a shell through the weaker armour of the eyepiece, and have the bullet ricochet around the skull a few times… but the scope always moved back to the Scion of Dorn, close enough to read the name engraved below the chapter symbol, Golgotha.

‘… the calm of the breeze…’

The idea that these marines could call a Scion of Dorn a Brother, even admire him as these seemed to churned his stomach. His scouts had hailed the Scions marines as Brothers, reinforcements, and thirty-two years later he still couldn‘t close his eyes without seeing their faces. His brothers might say that he was the only member of the Scout company to survive the Scions treachery, but he had died that day - and every night since.

‘… the patience of a Saint…’

The Inquisition had accused the Order Encarmine of being ensnared by the daemonic, of being traitors to the Emperor, but Weissmann knew the truth. The Order was pure in thought, word and deed, even three decades in the fringes of the Eye of Terror could not corrupt them!

‘… and the skill to smite the foe from afar.’

Weissmann slowly released his grip on the trigger of his rifle, realising that he had been whispering the Litany of Accuracy. The thought of removing the head of that self-righteous hypocrite had almost overcome him... No, patience. Deferred gratification makes the morsel all the sweeter.

The rifle was his link to the ghosts of the Tenth Company. Once it had been a simple Astartes Umbra pattern, but one of the Chapters artisans had transformed it into both a thing of beauty and wonder. He had found it inside the burned out shell of his Thunderhawk gunship, unbelievably whole amid the destruction, as if the Emperor Himself had forbade the fire to touch a thing of such purity. It was not surprising that the Brother-Captain kept requesting that he be allocated a new rifle, he clearly wanted to claim it for himself! With care he blew a few stray specks of brick-dust from the stock before lowering his eye to the sight once more. His heart jumped as he saw that the Legio marines were separating. This is what his Brothers had been waiting for.

'Brother-Captain Heinlein, Squad Golgotha has separated from the main force. Coordinates are as follows…'

+++

Captain Heinlein removed his helmet and mag-clipped it to his belt, enjoying the feel of the chill night air. His company, the Third, knew what to do, even now he could sense them moving through the darkness to encircle the Scion of Dorn’s Legio squad. The rising hiss of static on his vox-link sounded like rapturous applause, and he looked up towards the clock tower, where Techmarine Dorff was coaxing the spirits of his machines to smother the ether with white noise. The Scion of Dorn would be surrounded, outnumbered, and unable to call for help.

The Captain made a mental note to personally thank Weissmann when this was over. The old man’s mind had cracked when his company was destroyed, but he still had the sharpest pair of eyes in the chapter. If only he could be convinced into use a working sniper rifle rather than that useless and twisted remnant he insisted on carrying everywhere...

+++

+++EDIT: Thanks to Rogue Trader for the feedback and help! +++

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 23 July 2004 - 12:42 PM.

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#17
Rogue Trader

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+++

Rhadamanthys sprinted up the aisle, and glanced back to see Jarrett still standing in the nave, a strange expression on his face,

“You coming, Jarrett?”

Jarrett shook his head,

“You tell Castor, I’m going up the tower to see if I can spot that grox-fondler Cain”

Rhadamanthys paused for a moment, then nodded and ran through the archway leading to the square. Jarrett willed himself to stay upright, only allowing his knees to buckle once his friend was out of sight, hoping the crack of shattered flagstones wouldn't reach the Brazen Claw's ears. He clutched at the nearest heavy wooden pew, and dragged himself onto the low wooden bench.

Jarrett looked at his hands, seeing the shaking magnified by the servos of the power armour and clenched his fists to stop the tremors. His mouth was dry and tasted like parchment, he could feel the thumping of his secondary heart becoming more and more erratic, and with every movement he could feel the crack in his rib-plate grinding. Jarrett disengaged the mag-clip securing his helmet to his hip and winced as he lifted it over his head, locking it into the neck ring of his armour and watching the heads up display flash into life in front of his eyes. The display confirmed what he had feared – the additional heart implanted decades earlier had been damaged by the autocannon round and the limited narthecium built into the ancient armour was struggling to cope with the coronary trauma.

Jarrett lowered his head into his hands and offered a prayer to Dorn, the pain in his chest growing like ice-cold hands squeezing his hearts as waves of static washed over the vox net…

+++

#18
Aurelius Rex

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Cut Off - Part 1.

+++

In the clock tower, high above the shattered landscape, Techmarine Dorff of the Order Encarmine invoked the final supplications to the spirits of the Device. In response, the static on his vox-link rose to a crescendo, as the city was blanketed in broad-spectrum white noise. With communications down, the squad led by the Scion of Dorn would be cut off, unable to call for aid when his Brothers attacked.

He ran his fingertips across the fine silver filigree on its surface, and with regret whispered the Litany of the Contrition, knowing that it was only a matter of time before the Device would be found and its noble spirit destroyed. Begging the Omnissiah for forgiveness, Dorff turned and hurried down the stairs to join the hunt.

+++

'Will you shut up about Golgotha.' snarled Croeseus, 'You two are as bad as Faustino.'

Danvers and Enverado fell silent, exchanging knowing looks. In the four years since Brother Croeseus had joined the Legio he had never settled, keeping himself aloof from the rest of Squad Castor. It had been clear from the start that he saw himself as superior, only restraining the resentment of his fellow Legio marines in the presence of the sergeants and senior officers, but in the last month his vitriol had become near intolerable.

Brother Danvers hefted his heavy bolter and got to his feet. 'I have never seen you offer to take an autocannon round for a brother marine, Croeseus. Come on then, out with it, how has Golgotha failed to measure up to your high standards?'

'Or is Sergeant Golgotha just another person keeping you from your Emperor-given right to promotion?' added Enverado with a venomous smile.

A flicker of annoyance clouded the Iron Hand's face. 'I can't think of anyone better at getting us out of a difficult situation than Sergeant Golgotha, but then I can't think of anyone better at getting us into a difficult situation either. You know as well as I do that it is all misdirection and cheap tricks, not proper tactics. Golgotha is an arrogant, risk-taking 'jhaarka', and it is only a matter of time before one of his glory-seeking gambles kills everyone around him.'

+++

The sky had fallen, and Brother Jeremiah was alone in the dark.

The rest of his Host was gone, the bonds of Faith that had united them since the time of Fortrea Quintus torn apart in a collective moment of despair. It had not been the sight of the Imperial Marine testing his faith against the autocannon of Brother Obidal and remain standing that had broken Jeremiah, it had been the realisation the faith of his fellow Word Bearers was so fragile. They had become weak, pampered, reliant on cultists and faithless wretches like their so-called allies, the marines of the Order Encarmine. They deserved to be cut off from the Divine Light of the Pantheon. He deserved to be cowering amongst the ruins like a beaten dog.

Jeremiah's ears pricked, even miles off the sound of the loyalist Thunderhawk's engines was unmistakable. He lifted his head to the sky and found the tiny pinpricks of its running lights high above. A cold sense of dread twisted in his gut as it hovered over the plaza before him in preparation to land. The enemy had come for him.

With a flash of epiphany Jeremiah understood! His Host had been broken by a leap of faith, and it fell to him to re-forge it with an act even greater. His mind expanded, filling with oratory of such eloquence and force that Lorgar Himself must surely be smiling upon him. With a click of his vox-link he opened a channel to all the Word Bearers left in the city to rally to his call, to rise up and sweep away the enemy and the unbeliever in a tide of cleansing fire. Brother Jeremiah's hearts swelled as his words were greeted across the comm-net by a susurration of what could only be rapturous applause. Without pausing in his sermon he slammed a fresh magazine into his bolt pistol and strode into the blinding landing lights of the gunship, firing as he went.

With enough faith, a single man can change the course of history.

+++

Thanks as always to SCC, RT and Joker for the great feedback and ideas. ^_^ Part 2 coming soon.
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#19
Joker

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Cut-Off Part 1a-
For Aurelius Rex, who is a bit on the busy side, trying not to get his butt kicked in the Painting Contest :tu:

++++
The ruined cityscape, scant meters below, rushed by in a grey blur.
The twin Thunderhawk gunships moved in a deadly ballet of precision, weaving in and out of the destroyed hab-towers and burning factories of Alcmene Proteus, as they rocketed toward the landing zone. Altitude warning systems long disabled, the Legio transports hid themselves among the radar returns of the ground clutter to avoid detection by the Traitor forces. Brother Captain Lycurgus stood calmly on the control deck of the lead gunship, staring out the reinforced plasglass windscreen. There, the landing zone was just ahead. A few deft movements on the controls and whispered prayers to the Thunderhawk’s Machine Spirits, and the pilot had the gunship in a quick flare, bleeding off airspeed, for a fast, yet smooth landing. Lycurgus smiled; he knew that behind them in Brother Librarian Kruitzfeldt’s transport, the same actions were being conducted with unerring accuracy.

The loading ramps of both Thunderhawks slammed down at the same instant. Power Armor rang on the deck platings, as the two assault squads ran down the ramps, activating their jump packs as they cleared the noses of the gunships. The twenty marines spread out in a wide fan, jump packs roaring as they cleared the rubble-strewn ground to set up a defensive perimeter. The unloading continued as two full tactical squads, one led by Brother Captain Lycurgus and the other by Brother Librarian Kruitzfeldt, met between the two aircraft. The two officers quickly began to discuss routes to the palace, and the final two squads disembarked from the Thunderhawks. Heavily laden with blessed ammunition and the heaviest of the Emperor’s man-portable weapons, the two full Devastator squads would pour a withering hail of fire on any who dared step in the Legio’s path. With shouted orders in their ears and determination on their faces, The Legio Bolter and Chainsword reinforcements set out for the Governor’s Palace.
++++

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#20
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****
“My Lord Warmaster, they are all here.”

The heavy doors of Tomax Hell’s throne room grated open. The chamber’s floor quivered at each step of the Brothers Grim. Legends inside the Legion of Fear, long ago the two Chaos marines had been infused with the Obliterator Virus. Mutated flesh burst through the ancient Terminator armor, forming and reforming with each heavy step. As the two hulking giants stopped at the Warmaster’s feet, the sound of evil wings could be heard approaching. The Stygian Vampyres burst into the throne room in a cacophony of wings, teeth and dark laughter. Unrecognizable as the Marines they had once been, Viktor the Craven and the Stygian Vampyres had allowed themselves to be possessed by daemons of Chaos. The foul pact between the Marines and the daemons that inhabited their bodies had grated them unholy strength, wings for flight and horrifying visages. They were now pure animal predators, clad only in tattered remnants of power armor, and delighting in the hunt. Woe be to any loyalist these monsters would come upon, they were known to torture and maim victims as the Vampyres slowly killed them by slaking their evil thirst on the victims’ lifeblood.

“I have a job for you.”

The new arrivals waited expectantly for the Warmaster to continue. When he spoke, his voice was edged in restrained fury.

“Lord Cain is on Alcmene. I want you to go there and support his efforts to stop the advance of the Loyalist dogs of the Legio Bolter and Chainsword. We have all fought these servants of the Corpse many times before, and I want you to teach them a lesson they are not soon to forget.”
“My illustrious brother, Xamot, has grown quite adept at manipulating the subtle ebb and flow of the Warp, and the Great Powers have gifted him with a priceless ability. While not granting him the gifts they have given me, they have allowed him the power to transport himself and others over great distances in the blink of an eye. Go to his chamber, he will accompany you on the journey and you will all be on the surface of Alcmene within the hour.”
“I will not tolerate failure.”
****

****
Just under an hour later, as the twisted mists of the Warp dissipated around them, Xamot Hell, Sorcerer of Chaos and Lieutenant of the Warmaster stood in a crater in Alcmene Proteus, surrounded by the Viktor the Craven, the Stygian Vampyres and the hulking forms of the Brothers Grimm. Tomax Hell’s reinforcements had arrived.
****

Joker
 

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#21
Rogue Trader

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Time for some thread necromancy, I think....Rise! Rise, my pretty! :ph34r:

Thanks as always to Rex, Joker and SCC for feedback...


+++

Jarrett squeezed his eyes shut and tried to block out the insistent flashing of the red warning icons. He gasped out the litany of stillness, as memories from the ten decades of his life rose in a series of strobing images inside his eyelids…

…Lacrymata, his home world…polluted and decaying, the claustrophobic network of tunnels and chambers that made up the only habitable place on the ash-smothered prison planet…

…The gut-wrenching fear as The Dimmetaar led him out of the warren-like caves to the surface, led him away to become a Space Marine...

…The first initiation test, the endless trek across the polluted ash wastes, half blinded by the tears that streamed from his eyes, the ash vultures circling overhead, waiting for him to stumble…

…His first mission - V’run – watching Raines falling to the ground, run through by the Ork chainsword, as Ramius bellowed at him to move…

…His chest cleaved from collar to navel, as the precious progenoid glands carrying the geneseed of Dorn were integrated into his body…

…Smashing the alien sword aside and slamming the combat knife into the gut of the Eldar Warlock, cutting through robes and wraithbone, twisting the blade for maximum damage…

…Stalking the darkened streets of Tharaciau Prime, hunting the leader of the Chaos coven that plagued the peaceful planet…

…Chapter Master Bale’s quarters - he had been selected to join the fabled Legio Bolter and Chainsword…

…Training aboard the Divine Hunter, knocking Rhadamanthys to the ground, only for the young marine to sweep his legs from under him…

…The dark figure atop the spire, red eyes glaring from the grinning skull…

…The plasglass bottle of promethium falling, the hand still wrapped tight around it, and the sigh as the fuel caught…



A rapid clicking snapped Jarrett’s head up, his hand reaching for his sidearm as decades of training overrode the pain. The rictus grin of a death’s head mocked him, just out of reach. A shock of fear and anger raced through him - Cain! The traitor was here! Jarrett raised the bolt pistol and squeezed off a shot…

The roar of the pistol was deafening as Jarrett watched the grinning skull drift lazily to one side to avoid the bolt. Wires and cables swayed gently, hanging like a mockery of a spinal cord below the disembodied braincase. Jarrett blinked, noticing the metal lens clamped over one empty eye socket; the medical implements that jutted from the temporal bones. Aerials sprouted from the occipital bones and emblazoned upon its forehead was the skull and crossbones insignia of the Legio...

+++

Jarrett paused at the archway leading from the temple, and scanned the icons flickering in his faceplate. The servo skull had interfaced with the narthecium in Jarrett’s power armour, stabilising the erratic rhythm of his secondary heart - for now, at least. The full extent of the damage would be determined in the apothecarion upon his return to the Strike Cruiser… assuming he made it back alive. The ‘skull had also injected a fusing agent into his blood stream that even now was knitting together the fracture in his rib plate.

The avenue outside was dark, silent, as Jarrett moved soundlessly out from the archway, blending effortlessly into the deeper shadows that ran along the street as he slowly made his way after the other members of his squad…

+++



C'mon guys, time for the OL to get back in gear... :lol:

RT

#22
Aurelius Rex

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The Ordo Literatus have not forgotten about Planetfall: Alcmene. :) Here comes the next installment.

To recap:

The Imperial planet of Alcmene has fallen to a chaos cultist uprising, and Marines of the Legio Bolter and Chainsword have been dispatched to the scene. On arrival they have routed a host of Word Bearer Marines and their cult allies, and are converging on the Palace.

However there are other Chaos powers on Alcmene.

Rhadamanthys and Jarrett of Squad Castor have seen the bloody handiwork of Noctus Cain, Night Lord and right hand man of Warmaster Tomax Hell, and the squad led by Sergeant Golgotha formerly of the Scions of Dorn is being stalked by a company of renegade marines of the Order Encarmine. The Scions purged the Order Encarmine on the orders of the Inquisition, and the survivors are eager for retribution.

Rogue Trader is well known for his love of flashbacks, well we start our tale with a flashforward...



+++

Thirteen hours later…

‘Why did you do it? Why did you betray your Brother Marines?’

Golgotha stared fixedly past the silhouette of his interrogator and into the harsh lights beyond, not even registering that the man had spoken. His legs and arms were secured firmly to the wooden beams behind him, the ropes chafing his bare skin and digging into the black carapace of his torso. The man reached down and picked up the right shoulder pauldron from the pile of power armour, and with a sneer of contempt spat a glob of acidic saliva onto the stylised ‘S’ of the Scions of Dorn chapter symbol, blistering the lovingly applied paintwork.

‘Golgotha, tell me why you did it.’ Again, silence. The silhouetted figure let out a snort of satisfaction. ‘Oh, I hoped it was going to be like this.’

Golgotha felt teeth break as the iron-hard fist connected with his jaw. Slowly, Golgotha turned his head to the full extent of his bonds, and spat the mess of enamel shards and blood onto the floor, and with a calculated air of vague annoyance, returned his gaze to the lights behind the left shoulder of his captor. Even without being able to see past the glare, he could still hear breathing, and the multitude of tiny sounds that power armour made even when at rest.

The interrogator was irrelevant. Golgotha was focussed on the Captain.

+++


It was an itch, an irritation. Like there was something important that he was missing.

From the first second he had set foot out of the drop pod onto the devastated city of Alcmene Proteus the feeling of unease had been dogging him. Initially he had dismissed it as the melancholy sight of a city, once-bustling with humanity, reduced to a wind-haunted a shell. The place was deserted, either fled, turned to the ruinous powers, or put to death for the sport of the cultists and Word Bearer marines.
The Word Bearers and their sycophants had been routed, broken, and yet the feeling remained…

‘Sergeant,’ said Brother Jaworski ‘this comm-link static is definitely not natural interference.’

Golgotha called the squad to a halt. ‘Are you saying the comms are being jammed intentionally?’ He removed his helmet, feeling rain in the stiffening wind from the mountains.

‘Without a doubt, and it is definitely not a Legio operation. The algorithms have a highly modified Astartes fingerprint, but they just feel… wrong.’

The interference had cut all communications just after they had split from the rest of the force. He knew Captain Lycurgus saw him as an egotist who thought the universe revolved around him, but Golgotha had learnt to trust his instincts, and those of his squad. He wished now that he had trusted them more. ‘Polonius, get everyone into cover - defensive positions. Sanchez, Fortis, Krantz - check the area for movement - I don’t want any surprises.’

‘Guildenstern!’ he barked, summoning the Black Templar with the squad‘s missile launcher, ‘If you were going to blot out communications then you would need to broadcast from somewhere high. I need one of those ‘special’ missiles you have been hiding from techmarine Harkuss…’

A look mixed between injured innocence and glee spread across Guildenstern’s crumpled face.

+++

More soon.

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 21 December 2004 - 05:57 PM.

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#23
Aurelius Rex

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+++

Captain Heinlein cursed. By the time his first squads made contact with the Scion of Dorn’s Legio squad any hope of a carefully coordinated encirclement had evaporated, seemingly along with his company’s self-discipline. The Order Encarmine had been cast out by the Inquisition, a victim damned politics and power-games, falsely accused of treachery, abomination, heresy, but for every day of the three decades of their exile they had retained their honour and dedication to duty and to the Emperor.

Until now. The thought of getting their hands on a Scion of Dorn, a member of the Chapter that had struck without warning and killed or captured more than seven hundred of their Brethren had driven his men into a kind of mania.

He saw the Sergeant Goethe lead his squad unsupported - unsupported! - against the abandoned arbites precinct building the enemy were holed-up. This was not how he had planned it. The enemy was supposed to be caught out in the open, not staring out from behind gun ports. On reaching road junction, he saw Goethe get within five meters of the front steps before being near-cut in half by bolter-fire. What remained of his squad was still dragging itself doggedly on hands and knees into the firing lines in their determination to reach the Scion of Dorn.

‘Sergeant Kreutzmann,’ he shouted to his Command Sergeant over the rising wind ‘where are the devastator squads? I want to see suppressing fire before we attack a-’ He was cut off at the sight of squad Von-Reise charging out of a side street, letting off a wild volley of lascannon shots into the arbites building, and then charging headlong into the enemy guns. If Von-Reise survived, then the Devastator sergeant was going to wish he hadn’t.

Heinlein cursed again, and broke into a sprint, with squad Kreutzmann falling in behind. Disrupting the comm-net citywide had seemed like the ideal plan, but without being able to coordinate his own forces it was turning into a disaster.

The bass roar of turbofans, and the dark shapes of his assault squads making huge powered leaps from building-to-building along the street finally raised his spirits. So did the hail of bolter fire as five more of his squads converged on the doomed building.

Heinlein just hoped that after all this they would remember the point of the action, and take Golgotha alive.

+++
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#24
Aurelius Rex

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+++

The sight of the red and black armour of the Order Encarmine had been like being kicked by a bull-grox! The action against the oath breakers had been the final major engagement before Golgotha had been re-assigned to the Legio more than thirty years ago, and while it was known that several crippled Strike-Cruisers had never been found…

This was more than a coincidence. They were cut off from the rest of the Legio, surrounded by overwhelming traitor forces that had sprung from no-where. Lycurgus could call him self-obsessed - in fact it was part of the swaggering, exaggerated persona he intentionally projected - but it didn’t alter the fact that they were here for him personally.

A wave of traitors swept into the courtyard in front of the gutted precinct building. Too many, even with the surprises he had hidden out there. They had to break out and fire that missile.

+++

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 22 December 2004 - 11:28 PM.

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#25
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+++

With the arrival of Captain Heinlein some semblance of order was finally imposed. Sergeant Kreutzmann stalked amongst the squads who had pulled back into cover and were systematically reducing the building to rubble. With the enemy suppressed, he led three squads closer, close enough in fact for Brother Aachen to cut a gaping hole in the front of the building with his multi-melta. As he rose to advance into the pall of dust and smoke the courtyard erupted in a hail of fire and razor-edged shrapnel. The dampeners on his auto-senses had prevented him from being blinded and deafened, but as his senses returned it was clear that he had been one of the lucky ones. Someone, he supposed Wagner, dragged him to his feet and into what little cover there was, before the unfortunate was thrown to the ground by a bloody hail of bolter-fire.

It took him several seconds to realise that the Legio was out of the building. For a moment he saw a black armoured marine track a loaded missile launcher straight at him, but the Emperor must have been smiling on him that day, as the tube continued past him, and upwards on its arc, to inexplicably fire uselessly into the gathering storm above. Heinlein gratefully accepted the gift, and leapt at the marine, powersword raised.

‘Order Encarmine, to me! For The Emperor and the Seven Hundred!’

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