Veteran Brother Marine Ludovicus Beyaert
Legio Bolter and Chainsword, formerly(?) of the Fiery Lions Chapter.
Bolter, Inferno Bolts, CCW
/Chainsword, Bionics, Terminator Honours, Parry, True Grit
A matter of Pride…
The sound of the firefight had become fainter and fainter as he had stalked through the dimly lit corridors of the battered and nearly abandoned Corsair Cruiser. Trying to find a way around the hastily erected barricades and piles of dead bodies, he had slowly and silently strayed away from the main area of conflict, the heavily contested central hallway of the section, in his search for a viable route through the maze of corridors.
Veteran Brother Marine Ludovicus Beyaert knelt down and, holding his bolter and chainsword loosely in his gauntleted hands, lowered his head and calmly listened for any signs of the enemy. Just like he had done on hundreds of battlefields, in his long service with the Fiery Lions chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. The din of battle had been growing stronger again for the last couple of minutes and he knew he was nearing the end of this hunt.
Nimbly, he got up and surprisingly silent, moved towards the source of the sound; the traitor position at junction 17D134F, which was covering the entire bow-side portion of hallway 17D with heavy weapons. His kill team had already lost 3 battle brothers in an attempt to storm the position. The zeal and courage of his brothers had once again proven to be more than admirable, but the unobstructed field of fire, which the hundred plus meters of hallway provided the traitors, had taken its toll nonetheless. Bogged down in side corridors and makeshift cover, his squad -joined by kill team Gamma- had found itself in a stalemate and was quickly running out of options.
None of his brethren had noticed his silent departure from their position. He had glimpsed the very reason for his being there, on the other side of the barricades down the hall. It had made him leave and follow his chapter’s path of reckless abandon. The path, which the Legio had tried so hard to curb, during his six months with that venerable institution. Even if they had been successful though, he still had his orders, given to him by the Admiral himself when he was sent to join the Legio. He was bound to these actions by oaths and instincts stronger than any training he had been given afterwards. He was a Fiery Lion first…
Beyaert sniffed the air. They were close now. The sounds of battle were starting to become earsplitting once more, as he neared the intended junction. The deafening roar of autocannons and heavy bolters, only 30 meters and one corner away, was the reason he didn’t hear his own hunter coming up behind him until it was almost too late. Beyaert, kneeling down on one knee again, gathering himself for the final stalk, saw the shift of a shadow in the blinking red alarm lights of the darkened passageway and instinctively rolled to his right. The massive axe, diagonally aimed at his head, barely missed his left shoulderpad as he moved, but clipped his bionical lower right leg. As he rolled away from the onslaught, the delicate feed from his leg up into his cortex told him that the blow, which would have all but severed a living limb, had done no real damage.
Beyaert came up to a combat stance, a mere two meters away from his would-be slayer. The giant of a man, in battered, once proud blue Powerarmor, which had been crudely and incompletely painted over with a gory red, twisted his double-bladed axe out of the grating of the floor panels and stood, sizing up his opponent. His menacing, twisted rebreather had once been an integral part of his helmet -the rest of it missing- but was now deformed in a frozen, malicious snarl, caked with what looked like dried blood. It probably was. The bare, enormously muscular arms bore the marks of constant self-mutilation in the form of rows upon rows of scars, some recent cuts on the lower arms dripping dark blood on the worn metal of the floor.
With a roar, the brute lunged at Beyaert, hacking his axe in a short swing at the place where moments before his neck had been. The Fiery Lion, anticipating the attack, started his move the very moment the huge weapon began its potentially fatal arc, switching on his chainsword as he whirled away from the axe. His shoulderpad touched and rolled along that of his opponent in his move which momentarily presented him with the back of his unbalanced foe. Pulling his chainsword down over the crudely repaired backpack, he severed a number of cables and kicking out, sent the blood frenzied traitor several meters forward, where he finally regained his balance and turned around.
Now it was Beyaert’s turn to attack and he swung his roaring chainsword in a high arc towards his opponent’s pallid, bald cranium but the massive axe struck up and blocked the descending weapon with ease. Having used his trusted sword as bait, Beyaert jabbed the muzzle of his bolter into the stomach of the crazed psychopath and pulled the trigger.
The bolt penetrated the relatively weak abdominal armor and buried itself deep in the traitor’s gut. Dark blood spurted out of the entry wound as Beyaert stepped away. His assailant staggered backwards, into the bright white square of light shining in from the left corridor of this junction, which connected with the barricaded crossing. The axe head scraped over the metal floor, held by one unsteady hand as the other reached for the ragged, two inches wide hole, aortal blood spouting through the grasping fingers. Already it began to clog, closing the wound and turning the puddle on the floor beneath from dark red liquid to an almost black, sticky mess in seconds.
As the traitor recomposed himself, steadying his stance, he once again lifted his axe, bloodshot eyes full of burning hate locked on his elusive opponent. For the second time he charged, swinging the mighty weapon with only his right hand. Beyaert parried the swing with ease, his opponent’s reflexes dulled by the near fatal wound in his abdomen. The roaring chainsword bit into the haft of the axe, just below the massive blade, and with a protesting shriek and a shower of blazing sparks, the adamantium teeth cut through the rusted metal of the blood-covered weapon, the head of the axe clanging loudly on the floor. The disarmed traitor clawed at Beyaert’s face with his left hand, still covered in his own blood. Leaping back, Beyaert swung a second time. The Fiery Lion’s chainsword cut through the unarmored lower arm, sending the amputee staggering back again in obvious disbelief and shock, the severed hand left twitching on the rusted floor.
This was taking too long.
The traitor, once again standing in the bright light from the corridor to the left, raised both his arms as blood frenzy wrenched the last shred of control from his warped mind. Beyaert intently strode forward towards his dying foe.
‘Blood for the bl…’
Beyaert smacked the magazine of his bolter down between the eyes of the crazed traitor with enough force to break his skull. While the finally dead Corsair slumped to the ground, the Fiery Lion didn’t even break his stride as he passed the corpse, rounding the final corner to his target.
There they were; 30 meters away, six vile traitors -his quarry amongst them- firing an autocannon and a heavy bolter down hallway 17D, pinning his brethren. As the oxy-phosphorous gel in the bolter-round embedded in the dead berserker behind him finally erupted into flame, the marine reactivated his chainsword. Halting his stride, he bellowed the Fiery Lions’ battle cry; ‘Emperor’s will, Lion’s wrath!’, followed by the customary roar of defiance, at the top of his lungs.
The traitors down the hallway finally took notice of what had transpired so close to their, now unprotected, left flank and turned their attention to this unexpected target, too close for comfort already. The heavy bolter lazily swung in his direction, the autocannon more cumbersome on its mount. The rest of the traitors lunged forward to get to grips with, what they believed to be, an easy target. Already, his brethren in corridor 17D were firing away at the crumbling defense. No doubt their charge would follow in moments.
Sprinting the remainder of the distance between him and his enemies, Beyaert focused his attack on the one traitor he had come to seek out and as bolter rounds screamed past him, he swung his chainsword at the blood red armor, which still had patches of bright orange shining through…
At the end of the 13th Black Crusade, the Fiery Lions chapter, which had only been involved in a support capacity safeguarding supply shipping, had become painfully aware of the fact one of their escort ships, containing a full squad of marines led by a 1st company veteran, had gone traitor during the conflict.
The Flaming Claw VII had been escorting an inquisitor and his retinue to the war zone on his specific request. The Flaming Claw had originally been an Imperial escort corvette, part of a squadron which had gone missing approximately 650 years before. About 15 years after the incident, the Fiery Lions Cruiser Fire of Justice was blatantly attacked by the same squadron of corvettes, a mere 10 light years from where they initially disappeared. The Fire of Justice destroyed 3 of the vessels and damaged the 4th without sustaining any substantial damage itself.
When a boarding party gained entry to the disabled corvette, they discovered its crew, covered in all matter of blasphemous tattoos, symbols and mutations, had committed mass suicide prior to the boarding. It was subsequently towed to the Fiery Lions main fleet, re-consecrated and retrofitted for use by the chapter, as per their ancient charter. The corvette was issued to the 5th company and assumed patrol duties with the 5th company fleet as a picket ship immediately after.
During its service though, it had always been considered an unlucky ship and was never really popular with its crews and its marines. A large number of strange occurrences have taken place during its service with the Fiery Lions, with Astropaths and Navigators going mad, freak accidents becoming almost common and the highest peacetime death toll in recorded chapter history.
When the Inquisitor, whose name will be withheld by order of the Ordo Hereticus, came to the Fiery Lions for aid, he found the chapter willing to comply for the right price, as it had been with other Inquisitors before. He was granted the use of a corvette, the Flaming Claw VII, and a complement of 9 marines from the 5th company, led by Veteran Sergeant Mossert of the 1st company to escort him to Cadia.
According to Imperial records, the Flaming Claw VII made it as far as Uralan, where it was last sighted. When it was next encountered by the Imperial Navy several months later, it was adrift near the system of Kato. Most of its crew was found to have committed suicide, while the rest had been savagely slaughtered, including six of the Fiery Lions marines, which had been especially mauled to the point of being barely recognizable. Blasphemous sigils and vile sentences were streaked in the blood of the dead on the walls. Of the other four marines and the Inquisitor, no trace was found.
A nearby Fiery Lions detachment was warned by the Naval Task Force commander and made great haste to reach his fleet. Upon their arrival though, the Navy guards onboard the Flaming Claw VII had been pulled back, as several had been found dead, having committed suicide. The Fiery Lions’ Librarian accompanying the detachment investigated the corvette and after a lengthy contact with the Fiery Lions Admiral, he ordered the Flaming Claw VII destroyed.
The Naval Task Force made short work of the small escort craft and resumed its patrol, while the Fiery Lions on the scene, with the recovered bodies of their brethren, returned to their main fleet.
Not long after that, reports started to come in of a small group of powerarmored brutes hijacking and raiding nearby shipping, slowly making their way towards the Maelstrom. They were identified by the color of their armor; a bright orange. The Fiery Lions had in the meantime never stopped investigating the disappearance of four of their brethren and had recovered the broken body of the missing Inquisitor on an abandoned space station near Kato. A multiheaded snake tattoo stripped from his back and stuffed in his mouth, he was hung upside down from a barbed hook in the ceiling, another dead Fiery Lion was found in a room nearby, apparently poisoned. A faint Warptrail, the only evidence of the others leaving, was headed straight for the Maelstrom.
Fearing the worst, the Fiery Lions began a desperate search for their wayward brethren, undoubtedly knowing there could only be one outcome to the situation, when they were contacted by the Legio Bolter and Chainsword. The Legio, having suffered grievous losses during the last Black Crusade, was requesting the chapter to send them one or more marines to bolster their ranks. Traditionally however, the Fiery Lions had never detached marines to the Legio, save for a handful of extraordinary occasssions.
When the next target of the Legio became known though, the Fiery Lions Admiral, Van Speyk, decided to send one of his men after all, in the light of the evidence found on the space station. The Fiery Lions addition to the Legio Bolter and Chainsword is under orders from the Admiral himself to report on, seek out, and if possible kill, all Fiery Lions traitors encountered. Only when all blemishes on the Fiery Lions’ honor have been erased, is he allowed to return to his own chapter. If the Legio will let him, is another matter altogether though…
Edited by daeothar, 12 August 2005 - 01:37 PM.