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Legio Counterstrike Story & Batreps (Part 2)


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#1
Aurelius Rex

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Round 1: (Author: Aurelius Rex)

+++

Two minutes to go… Sergeant Golgotha mentally tuned out the Canticle of Launching that droned from the overhead speaker. He activated the private vox-channel and exchanged a last word with each person in the team. Four boarding torpedoes, twenty souls.

Three, two, one, launch… Even forewarned, he still tensed against the kick that never came. For this mission, the cruiser would simply release the clamps, and the torpedoes would use forward momentum to drift towards the base undetected, while the Spear of Justice would lead the Corsair fleet away.

‘Brother Beyaert,’ he shouted up to the front of the torpedo, ‘remember, don’t use the reaction control systems unless it is absolutely necessary.’

The Fiery Lion laughed, ‘This is what my Chapter does, Sergeant… leave it to me.’

With a sound like thunder the torpedo lurched end-over-end. Beyaert let out a stream of thickly accented profanities as he corrected the tumble. ‘Micrometeorite – inevitable I am afraid… Sorry about that.’

Out of the corner of his eye, Golgotha saw the small figure in the seat beside him smile icily.

+++

Three hours before…

‘There has been a change of plan, Sergeant.’ frowned Captain Aenides, clearly fuming, ‘I will let our guest explain.’

‘Gentlemen, By the Authority of the Immortal Emperor of Mankind and His Holy Inquisition, I am placing this vessel and all aboard under the command of the Ordo Hereticus…’ Inquisitor Holst took off the heavy storm-coat, and outlined what was required.

It was Captain Aenides that spoke first. ‘Forgive me, Inquisitor, but you are in no condition to go on a combat mission - you would be much safer aboard the Cruiser, but if you speak to Codicer Corona he could –‘

‘No, Captain.’ said the Inquisitor in a chilly, even tone. ‘The last time I was aboard a Legio Strike Cruiser it was boarded and I was punched, stabbed and shot. And if you are referring to my “condition”’ she said, rubbing her hands over the heavily pregnant belly beneath her bodyglove, ‘well he has been through the worst the Archenemy can throw at us. Gentlemen, clear me a seat aboard the boarding torpedoes - I am going.’

+++

#2
Aurelius Rex

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WIP - e. Breaking into the Renegade base (+++ File missing +++) (By Aurelius)

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 02 June 2006 - 06:40 PM.


#3
Aurelius Rex

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Round 1, battle 1: Hasoroth vs Lucas Karloth 'The Butcher' (By SCC?) (+++ File missing +++)

#4
Aurelius Rex

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(Author: Joker)

+++

Klaxons blared thoughout the compound.

Tamuk Soto stood, infuriated, in the Command Center. All around him the soft glow of ancient vid-screens showed the cursed sight of loyalists advancing. Already there were several guards dead and a number of the auto-defenses had been taken off-line. He had watched as one of the black-clad insurgents had cut The Butcher's head from his body, despite the Rage of Khorne that was rushing in his blood.

This was not going to be easy, the loyalist lapdogs would need to remain splintered if he was going to have any chance of defending the compound. Keep them seperate, engage them in favorable small battles, that was the key. Soto reach out his hand and flipped a rusty switch on the communications panel and began to issue orders, sending his forces to different parts of the base.

Levels below, the Main Reactor began to flux. Oblivious to the unstable condition, Tamuk sent more power to the remaining security systems, increasing the load on the centuries old power plant.

Out of the corner of his eye, Soto saw a robed Loyalist advancing down an empty corridor. With a deft movement of his gauntleted fist he switched communications channels.

"Onyx, there is a loyalist advancing on your position, kill him quickly and report to the Command Center immediately."

The reply was a raspy voice, barely more than a whisper.

"As you wish, M'Lord."

+++

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 15 June 2006 - 08:26 PM.


#5
Aurelius Rex

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Round 1, battle 2: Abshae vs Onyx (Author: Brother Tyler)

+++

Onyx was still flushed from the exertions of the last few hours. Now his body craved a different type of excitement - that of battle. He exited the slave quarters clad in his power armour. His enhanced mind quickly adapted into battle mode, hyper-attuned senses registering everything within range. He mentally oriented himself within the Red Corsairs' archaic hidden base, assessing likely avenues of approach to be used by the enemy forces. A master at infiltration and terror tactics, he knew immediately where he should go to defend the base and headed in that direction. Onyx' mind dropped into battle-trance, endorphins kicking in and quick-twitch nerves firing in preparation for battle.

Suddenly he heard the fool, Soto, commanding over the vox net, "Onyx, there is a loyalist advancing on your position, kill him quickly and report to the Command Center immediately."

Soto's command had interrupted the Night Lord's battle trance and he scowled in response, then replied in a hoarse whisper, "As you wish, M'Lord." Onyx then cut all communications and set off to intercept the foolish lapdog who dared disrupt his recreation.

+++

Moving quietly down the corridor, Abshae inserted a new magazine, his old being spent in disabling several defense guns as he entered the base.

Click.

The sound made Abshae wince inwardly. Though he had performed the action as quietly as possible, the noise he had made could be heard for several meters. Fortunately, the awkward pipes and stanchions within the corridor prevented acoustic echo for any distance.
Still on the move, he drew his power sword from the scabbard and thumbed the activation rune. The flickering light of the energy field cast a pale blue glow upon his armour and the nearby area. Though the weapon made a sharp hiss upon activation and continued with a dull drone as he continued moving, the seven-foot tall power armoured Space Marine made hardly any other sound as he stealthily moved forward.

+++

Onyx stood within the shadows of the entryway, facing the intersection where he knew his prey would appear. His mind already sang with the excitement of battle. His hand hovered over the activation switch for the overhead lighting, twitching slightly as he awaited the appearance of his foe. Fear was a palpable weapon.

He would teach his enemy to fear Onyx, Night Lord of the 17th Legion of Fear.

+++

Up ahead he could see the turn. Abshae slowed down in order to make a silent approach. Though he could not hear the automech gun sentries, he knew that the base still had mortal defenders. Several of his comrades had reported encountering serfs and thralls in their inroads to the objective, and one had fought a Chaos Space Marine. The Dark Angel approached the intersection slowly and quietly, weapons at the ready.

+++

A faint shift in the lighting gave his adversary away. Onyx activated the lights and felt some small satisfaction as they kicked on immediately instead of flickering as they did in other parts of the base.

+++

Abshae cursed as the corridor lit up and his autosenses adjusted.

He assumed a defensive posture as he heard sibilant laughter and the approach of a heavy opponent. A Space Marine by the shape and sound. As his optics cleared, Abshae could make out the archaic armour of his opponent, a dark blue chased with lightning and decorated with grinning skulls and crimson wings.

Night Lord.

Traitor.

Though he was closing fast, the traitor was still some distance away. Abshae activated the external address system in his armour and challenged, "Traitor, you shall pay for your misplaced faith! By the Lion and the Emperor, your reign of terror ends here!"

Abshae then surged forward to meet his opponent. As they closed within range, the Dark Angel could see the bolt pistol of his opponent raising. Sidestepping quickly, he heard the distinct sound of a bolt weapon firing, the projectile activating and thrusting forward. His sidestep had worked, though, and the bolt flew past him. Abshae's own weapon fired in quick response. His aim was true, although the bolt exploded upon the baroquely decorated pauldron harmlessly.

Mocking laughter challenged Abshae as the two juggernauts charged. Abshae swung high, but checked his attack as he parried a quick thrust. Riposting, the Dark Angel made contact with the helmet of the Night Lord. Ducking quickly, though, Onyx avoided the attack and felt as the weapon cut off part of the wing decoration of his helm. Using his position to advantage, Onyx lashed out with his sword and cut into the upper left leg.

Abshae grunted in pain as he twisted, bringing his blade down into his opponent's and knocking at from his flesh. He felt as his augmented body acted to clot the flowing blood. Striking forward with the pommel of his blade, Abshae struck the Night Lord's helm square on, giving him a moment's respite.

Onyx was a veteran of a thousand battles, though, and swung on instinct. His humming blade cut into the left pauldron of the Legio battle-brother, defacing the Chapter badge as it ripped into the ceramite armour. An adjustment of the blade, though, put Abshae's sword before the Night Lord's, preventing it from cutting into his arm.

The Night Lord pulled his blade back quickly, snarling as he thrust it forward towards the chest of the Dark Angel. Abshae had anticipated the attack, however, and adjusted his body by turning it slightly, the attack missing his chest by a hair's breadth. His own weapon flashed out at the Night Lord's arm, knocking it away and putting the traitor slightly off balance. As Abshae prepared to deliver an overhead attack, Onyx thrust his leg out, connecting with the loyalist's abdomen and stalling the attack.

Onyx quickly followed through with another swing of the blade, cutting into the upper arm just beneath the pauldron. Abshae's bolt pistol fell to the deck as the arm spasmed from the attack.

Quickly pulling away, Abshae dropped into a low crouch, the bottom of his robe touching the pistol upon the deck.

Onyx laughed again, standing straight up and dropping his weapon in mockery of his opponent.

Abshae saw the readiness in his enemy, though, and did not take the bait.

Onyx twirled his power sword like a baton, daring his opponent to engage.

Timing the movement of the sword, Abshae seized the initiative and lunged in, sword thrusting into the abdomen of Onyx. He felt some satisfaction as the blue-armoured traitor's laughter was cut short by a throaty grunt.

His pleasure was cut short, however, as he felt the burning blade of his opponent thrusting down into the vulnerable seam around his neck. Though his own blade was locked in his enemy's guts, the thick blade of the Night Lord cut deep into his vitals, avoiding the fully covered rib cage of the Space Marine and slicing through his lungs and primary heart.

The two opponents were locked in a deadly embrace, each with his sword deep within the other.

Abshae fell to the ground, the grip on his blade slacking and releasing as the life left him.

Though in agony from the blade in his guts, Onyx laughed and stood upright. Dropping his own sword to the ground, he reached down and grabbed the hilt of his opponent's blade, hissing as he pulled it from his own body. The agony multiplied ten-fold as the blade continued to cut him, though the pain subsided as he finally removed it from his body.

Though it pained him, he knelt down and roughly tore his opponent's helm away, looking down in spite upon the dead eyes of his opponent. He then recovered his own blade, leaving his enemy's upon the floor where it dropped.

Soto had commanded him to rendezvous in the command center. Onyx had a gift for the base's commander.

+++

Victory to Onyx

Edited by Brother Tyler, 14 October 2006 - 12:50 PM.


#6
Aurelius Rex

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Round 1, battle 3: GTX vs Inihilus (Author: Brother Tyler)

+++

The hunter watched as his prey moved into position. There were two of them, normal humans judging by their size, but clad in exo-suits that protected them from the vacuum. They ranged slowly, seeking to protect the vulnerable entry point scant meters behind them. One carried a heavy slugthrower of a pattern the hunter didn't recognize. The other was armed with an autocannon. Their bulky exo-suits hindered their movement, making them appear clumsy.

The hunter smiled as they continued to move into proximity with each other, then focused his attention on the targeter upon his Mk IV Godwyn pattern bolter. The weapon had been modified with auto-sense links and the drum-fed ammunition was the Stalker variety used for sniping. The casing of the weapon was adorned with numerous notches, most of them from his recent experiences killing the green-skinned Orks invading the Imperial world of Armageddon. His name unrevealed to the rest of his Legio comrades, the hunter was known only by "GTX", the initials born upon his armour.

Concentrating his aim and awaiting the proper moment, the hunter took his time.

The two were crossing paths, moving in opposite directions as they continuously searched the barren terrain of the asteroid. The hunter had timed them on three previous passes, calculating to a fraction of a second the distance and timing necessary to kill both. His finger slowly squeezed the trigger as his prey reached the critical distance.

There!

Squeeze.

The bolter was a holy weapon to the Adeptus Astartes - a symbol of the Emperor's wrath and the primary tool by which the Space Marines killed the enemies of Mankind. Normally, the report of a bolter firing was distinct and audible for hundreds of meters. The Stalker shells were silenced, though, and the hard vacuum of space ensured that there would be no sound.

From the rocky outcropping of his perch, GTX fired the bolter at the guards.

The weapon kicked slightly as the bolter shell exited the muzzle. The self-propelled projectile immediately fired, launching at the guards at a speed that defied the senses. One of the guards sensed something was wrong, but he was too late and too slow to react. As the guards passed each other, the one nearest GTX looked in the direction of the oncoming round. The guard's eyes widened in recognition.

The bolt penetrated the guard's visor before the hapless man could even react.


The impact of the round launched the guard back towards his comrade, the bolt exiting the back of his skull and continuing into the second guard. Normally the bolt would have exploded as it entered the body of the first target. GTX had reset the fuse, though, ensuring that the projectile would kill both. As the bolt penetrated the side of the second guard's head, it exploded. Even if the fragmentation of the bolt had not shredded the skull of the man, the sudden exposure to vacuum and decompression of his exo-suit would have doomed the man. He was dead even before his partner's body tumbled into him.

In the low gravity, the two bodies fell slowly upon the surface of the asteroid.

The hunter was upon them before they were even still, his augmented body closing the hundred or so meters in a span of heartbeats. He looked the bodies of his targets over, shaking his head as he noticed the unkempt nature of their exo-armour. The armour had apparently been stolen from the Imperium at some point, for he could still make out the vestige of the aquila upon the chest and shoulders. Renegades. Had his helmet been removed, GTX would have spat upon the bodies. As it was, he had little time to waste on gestures.

The entryway to the hidden base was his for the taking. Before advancing to the drain, though, GTX used his combat knife to carve two small notches into the casing of his bolter.

One shot, two kills.

+++

The green-armoured Space Marine entered the sump with relish. Once, when he was a mere lad named Vidium Hale, he might have balked at the substances filling the sluice. Even as a Dark Angel he might have been reluctant to enter the effluence. He had long ago renounced his loyalty to the Emperor, though, finding a worthy patron in the Lord of Decay. The robes he wore in mockery of his old Chapter were no longer the pure white of the Deathwing. He had never been privileged with induction into the First Company - his masters envied his skill with the blade and called him arrogant. As a mockery of the secret symbolism of the sacred robes, he wore similar garb, although his were now filthy and tattered. The symbols of his former Chapter were defaced, scratched from the surface of his power armour or covered with crimson splashes so as to insult the Imperium and sons of the Lion.

Now known as Inihilus, his very existence was an insult to the Imperium, and his patron favored him for that. The sword he carried in his sinister hand was imbued with the power of sickness, vile plague embodied in the hideous artifact. He felt at one with the sludge through which he moved, gathering strength from the pollutants within the viscous fluid. Though he moved slowly, Inihilus moved with a purpose down the drain sump. Onyx had lost contact with the weakling guards stationed at the drain exit. There was no doubt as to the cause, and the fallen Dark Angel had been tasked with killing any foe who had the temerity to try and penetrate the bowels of the base through its underbelly.

+++

GTX scowled as he climbed up through the drain. Though the pipe was shallow, the foul fluids flowing through it reeked of feces and industrial waste. He was no stranger to such things, having spent years upon the jungle world of Jemadal after his Chapter had crashed upon that deathworld. GTX did not relish the prospect of traversing the sump, though, and worried that the pollutants within the liquid might damage his bolter. As he cleared the fluid, he immediately checked his weapon and shook any fluids out of the barrel. Cursing softly, GTX realized that his weapons had been fouled by the effluence.

He had to move quickly, though, in order for the mission to be a success. Speed was of the utmost importance, especially with the Spear of Justice drawing the enemy fleet away from the base. It was a dangerous gambit Brother-Captain Snides was playing, and relied heavily upon the ability of the strike team to rapidly disable the base's defenses. GTX cleared the barrel of liquid, then moved as quickly as he could up the pipe, being careful to keep both the bolter and his potent chainsword out of the fluids as he progressed. The fluids made the surface of the sump slippery, though, and progress was slow.

+++

The vapors from the fluids distorted visual reception within the sump. Inihilus had visions of the Plague Lord spurring him on, urging him to move forward and sow death in his wake. Feeling the virulent blade within his grasp groaning in anticipation, the renegade surged forward through the muck, a bestial growl bellowing forth.

GTX halted quickly as he heard something up ahead. The noise had not been of the sump -someone was up ahead. Hastily searching about him, he saw some pipes up ahead that would serve as a perch for his chainsword. He sprang forward, placing the blade upon the pipes and readying his bolter to engage whatever defender was approaching him from the depths of the base. As he knelt into the muck, his mind shifted into sniper mode and he thought of himself as the hunter. The vile fluid was at his chest, swirling about him and making his body sway slightly. His bolter was at the ready, aimed in on the depths of the corridor.

Suddenly a shape coalesced out of the vapors. The unmistakable form of a Space Marine took shape, moving toward him with purpose. As the figure moved closer, the hunter could make details out through the targeter. At first it appeared to be Brother Abshae. Then more details became clear and the hunter could see that this was no loyal Space Marine. The robes were stained brown and the armour was pitted and scarred.

The hunter fired two rounds, but his target leapt aside quickly, the bolts glancing off his slime-covered pauldron and exploding further down the corridor.

+++

Inihilus felt the impact of the bolts turn him slightly, but continued his inexorable advance on the attacker. His adversary was attempting to kill him at range before he could be engaged. Coward.

The sniper fired again and Inihilus dodged to the side. His movement was hampered by the fluid, though, and he failed to clear the second bolt. His opponent was a clever one, adjusting his aim in anticipation of where the Chaos Space Marine would be. The bolt struck Inihilus in the upper chest, but failed to penetrate the ceramite armour. Despite this fortune, the bolt exploded, sending shrapnel into Inihilus' cheek and staggering Inihilus in the sump. This was but a flesh wound, though, and the traitor regained his footing. Before he could continue forward, though, the sniper fired again. Inihilus dove forward into the muck, beneath the deadly bolts. As he felt their passage overhead, he pushed himself upright, rushing his opponent.

+++

The hunter cursed himself for fouling his sacred weapon upon his entry to the sump. The spirit of the weapon rebelled against the contaminants upon its surface, and its aim was not true. As the giant opponent charged him, he continued to fire. The traitor was skilled, though, and managed to evade most of the incoming rounds by bobbing and weaving, leaping and diving. Several of the bolts struck the robed enemy, but his defensive tactics were sound and he was able to take these on his pauldrons or at angles, preventing the rounds from striking true and penetrating.

As the corrupted Space Marine came within range, he returned fire with his own bolter. On the charge in the slippery sump, though, his aimed also failed to be true and his bolts impacted harmlessly upon the surface of the fluids in which the hunter crouched.

+++

Inihilus' bolter fire achieved its intended purpose and prevented the sniper from landing a killing shot. As he closed the last meters, he heard the lapdog issue a challenge.

"Let it be known that I am a tool of the Emperor's bidding and I deliver absolution."

This vocalization appeared to give the warrior resolve, though, and he quickly grabbed at the weapon perched upon some pipes at his side. Inihilus heard the familiar sound of a chainsword activating as he brought his own sword down in a deadly arc towards the loyalist Space Marine's head.

+++

GTX brought his chainsword around just in time, blocking the attack of the traitor Space Marine. Continuing the swing of his weapon, he brought it around into the side of the traitor. Unstable in the muck, though, he failed to break through his opponent's defenses.

+++

The two warriors exchanged a flurry of blows - strike, block, parry, counter. GTX struck first blood, the biting blades of his chainsword ripping through the ceramite of his opponent's left arm. The corrupted Space Marine struck back, though, sending his deadly blade into the upper chest of the Space Marine.

GTX felt the attack of the Chaos weapon, felt the pollutants coursing from the blade and into his own body. His enhanced physiology resisted, though, and he continued to fight on.

The savage duel continued in the slippery sump, enemies grunting with the exertion of mortal combat.

As GTX landed an impotent attack on the traitor's left side, Inihilus swept his plague sword around, carving up into the abdomen of the loyalist. The blade penetrated the ceramite, diving deep within and severing the lower spine of GTX.

GTX' leg fell from beneath him as his nervous system lost control. Falling, he gasped out, "Emperor...! come to you," then the vile fluids claimed him.

+++

Victory to Inihilus

Edited by Brother Tyler, 14 October 2006 - 12:51 PM.


#7
Aurelius Rex

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Round 1, Battle 4: Sir Ward vs Nahum (Author: Aurelius Rex)

+++

'We have a problem.' growled Brother Beyaert, pointing down the corridor, 'they've got an autocannon...'

The corridor was choked with the bodies of the Corsair's pirate allies. Ward and Beyaert had elegantly turned the enemy's defences against them, transforming the area into a killing ground, and paralysing the defenders, but the arrival of heavy firepower would turn the tide.

'No problem.' smiled Brother Ward. From the noise coming from the doorway there was more than just the weapon-crew waiting.

'No problem.' Ward considered the shadows cast by the wheeled gun-carriage onto the opposite wall, and sighted.

The shell struck the metal plating on the opposite wall; ricoche'd off into the doorway, and hit the magazine dead-centre. The detonation peeled back the metal of the doorway like a flower.

'No problem...'

+++

Nahum was lost, but it was not the smoke.

He had been lost since he had been cast out by his Brothers and his God. They had even stripped him of his sorcerous talents. He was lost, drifting, and had washed up here like flotsam amongst this rabble.

'You doubt my plans, Nahum?' The words slipped icily into his forebrain. 'You think that you can slip through the Strands of Fate? It is your time, Nahum.'

When Nahum stopped fitting and thrashing, he got to his feet and ripped off his helm, a beatific smile on his face. Tzeentch had not forsaken him.

+++

Another Corsair came apart under the weight of Legio bolterfire, and Ward went back to scanning for the next target. A bestial howl echoed down the corridor, and a brief flash of orange caught his eye through the smoke, but it was gone before he could track it. Ward was knocked to the deck as Beyaert slammed past him, and sprinted down the corridor after the phantom.

Before he could call after the Fiery Lion, or even check his weapon for damage, the Thousand Sons Traitor Marine stepped out of the smoke, and started to run towards him.

Ward opened fire, taking great professional pride in the fact that every single shell found its mark. Again and again and again the renegade shrugged off injuries, even when the Kraken bolts struck where the creature's Primary heart should have been. It was only when Ward put a round through the weak point in the knee armour and near-severed the leg in a shower of gore that he could stall the advance.

+++

From his prone position Nahum opened fire wildly on the Legio marine with his bolt pistol. He was unconcerned - he knew that it was his fate to close his powerfist around the loyalist's helmet and not to stop squeezing... It was Fate. He was protected.

Nahum launched himself forward with his one good leg, but landed badly, the enemy just out of reach of his powerfist. He smiled in the certainty of his own invulnerability as the bolt shell buried itself harmlessly in his shoulder pauldron.

The next bolt took Nahum through the eye, and detonated inside his skull, so he never had an opportunity to reflect that the plans of the Changer of Ways are truly incomprehensible to the mortal mind.

+++

Win for Sir Ward (Legio)... and for the Changer of Ways.

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 15 June 2006 - 06:28 PM.


#8
Aurelius Rex

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Round 1, battle 5: Caius Morgane vs Lukianous (Author: Brother Tyler)

+++

Lukianous stood behind Tamuk Soto in the control room, observing the attack upon the base and determining where his presence would be needed to bolster the defenses. The attacking Space Marines had made short work of the external defenders and had entered the base at various points. Inevitably, though, they encountered the automated sentry guns and were held up. In a few locations they had defeated the guns and entered the base-proper. Most of the remaining defenders had already rushed to various points in order to combat the Emperor's lapdogs.

But Lukianous knew patience.

He was a veteran of the Long War. He had served under Fabious Bile as a chirurgeon and had been there when his Legion had seen the light exposed upon the Emperor's lies. Though a mere seven centuries had passed on his personal timeline, he knew how long the corpse god had sat rotting within his throne, how long the Warmaster had been reviled in defeat.

Lukianous was not one to rush headlong into battle. He would identify the proper moment to fight.

+++

The two Legio Space Marines took cover around the intersection as the sentry gun fired in their direction. The rounds from the heavy bolter impacted sharply on the bulkhead, penetrating for several centimeters before exploding. The bulkhead had been ripped to shreds in the first volleys as Ramage and Morgane took stock of their situation and reported in to Sergeant Golgotha.

The Sergeant's reply was as expected: to the point.

Nodding to each other, Morgane took up position to bolt across the intersection while his partner readied to fire.

"Go!" commanded Ramae.

Caius Morgane charged across the opening, moving slowly enough that the sentry gun could fix and track, but too fast for it to actually hit him. The twin-linked heavy bolters spat out thunderous death, firing a stream of bolts at the running target.

As Morgane reached the halfway point, Ramage quickly slid out from around the corner, aimed in on the sentry gun, and fired a volley. As Morgane reached the safety of the opposite corner, Ramage' s bolts hit home, disabling one of the heavy bolters. Losing visuals on the first target, the sentry gun turned on Ramage.

Timing was essential.

As the remaining heavy bolter swiveled on his position, Ramage tensed to leap back to safety. Meanwhile, Morgane turned back to his corner, readying his bolter. He was vaguely aware of the defense camera mounted above him, dumbly pointed in his direction. Though he could not tell, the camera had been focused in on his face for several seconds.

+++

The camera fed into the defense monitors within the control room. Tamuk Soto monitored the cameras grimly, taking stock of the ever-developing situation and formulating resistance. From behind him he heard an exclamation from Lukianous.

"By Fulgrim's oath! What is he doing here? Why is he fighting for the false Emperor?"

Lukianous was instantly in front of the monitor, roughly pushing Soto aside in order to gain a better view.

Yes, it was most definitely one of his battle-brothers. One of his former battle-brothers now. The armor was different, the sharp purple and gold replaced with black and red. There was no denying the face, though.

Lukianous lashed out at that face, driving his power armored fist through the monitor. "That one is MINE!"

Lukianous of the Emperor's Children left the room abruptly, moving with a purpose toward Caius Morgane, late of the Emperor's Children.

+++

Watching Ramage carefully, Morgane prepared to fire upon the sentry. At the moment Ramage dove aside, Morgane leapt back into the passageway and aimed in on the sentry gun. It fired off three bolts in the direction of Ramage's former position, bolts exploding as they penetrated the deck and bulkheads. Morgane, meanwhile, fired off a short burst at the sentry gun, finding satisfaction in destroying the ban-el of the remaining heavy bolter.

Oblivious to the damage done to its weapon, the machine spirit within the weapon continued to fire. The damaged barrel, however, prevented the fired bolts from leaving the weapon. The bolts exploded within the barrel, completely destroying the weapon.

As the remaining fragments of the weapon hung from the housing of the sentry gun, the sensors and mechanisms on the weapon continued to work, moving to and fro to track the two Space Marines who appeared within the intersection and moved towards its position.

Ramage and Morgane passed the sentry gun unscathed, advancing on the point at which they would break up. Silently, the two headed in different directions.

Morgane' s objective was about 75 meters ahead and to the right.

As he rounded the first corner, the corridor was blanketed in shadow. The lights had either been turned off or were no longer functioning. Stopping in order to adjust, Morgane detected faint breathing.

Readying his weapon, Morgane was startled to hear a calm command issuing forth from about halfway down the corridor.

"Helmet light, on."

A face suddenly appeared in the light, approximately forty meters down the hall.

It was a calm face, but the eyes were intense. They stared back at him, challenging him.

Taken aback, Morgane paused in the readying of his weapons.

Slowly, ever so slowly, recognition hit him. As he realized who faced him, he stood up to his full height.

"You."

"Yes, me."

"Fulgrim was wrong."

"So you say. I have seen the results of the Emperor's blessings, though, and I know that I made the right decision."

"By the Light of the Emperor and to redeem the soiled honor of my brethren - prepare to die," said Morgane with a quiet, steely intensity born of the soul-deep need for redemption.

Lukianous snorted derisively as he replaced the helmet, locking the seals.

The two Space Marines stared at each other in challenge. Both had fought in the Great Crusade, conquering in the name of the Emperor under the banner of the Primarch Fulgrim. Once brothers-in-arms, they had fought side by side. Then the Warmaster had come and a turning point was reached. Lukianous had sided with the rest of his brethren, joining Horus in his rebellion. Caius Morgane and a few others, however, had resisted and fled to the Imperium. Along with others of the traitor legions who remained loyal to the Emperor, they had sought redemption for the crimes of their kin.

Once faithful friends, the two warriors were now deadly enemies.

As if by mutual consent, both aimed their bolters simultaneously.

While Lukianous brought his weapon up to fire upon Morgane, the latter knelt down in order to achieve a more stable position. Lukianous' bolt, aimed for the head, was high and flew on past Morgane. The loyalist, however, was dead on with his shot, the bolt penetrating the plastron and exploding within the chest of Lukianous.

Lukianous felt the internal explosion with a mixture of pain and pleasure. A devotee of Slaanesh, any stimulus was taken in as a source of pleasure. Already, though, his augmented body was countering the effects of the trauma on his body, flow of blood stemming and secondary heart increasing performance to make up for the decreased efficiency of his primary heart.

A Legion that ever sought to excel, Caius Morgane had always been one of the foremost marksmen within the squad. Lukianous, however, had always been his better in hand-to-hand. Though he now sported the tools of the apothecary, his implements were as effective in close combat as a chainsword. The traitor charged his opponent, external address system amplifying his battle cry of, "For Fulgrim!"

Firing on the run, Lukianous saw his bolt collide with the lead pauldron of Morgane, knocking him back.

Despite this, however, Caius Morgane's shot was true, flying straight towards the vulnerable chest of his former comrade. Lukianous dove to the side, out of the path of the deadly projectile. The renegade watched as the bolt passed within a hair's breadth of his dodging body, followed it as the bolt crashed into the far wall and exploded.

The sound of the bolter firing again drew his attention back to his opponent. Snapping his head around, Lukianous dove forward in order to evade the bolt.

Right into the path of the round.

Centuries of chasing his former brothers had hardened Morgane to the task, sharpening his skill. He had aimed not at Lukianous, but at where the renegade would most likely move to as a defensive measure.

The bolt penetrated the side of Lukianous' abdomen, ripping through the ceramite and exploding within the Chaos Space Marine's body.

Lukianous' gasped with the ecstatic pain as he crashed heavily to the deck. His vision was obscured by a crimson wash, his breathing labored as his shredded lungs attempted to cope with the damage done to them by the round. Lukianous felt the blood welling within his lungs, felt his enhanced physiology attempting to cope, but he knew full well that the damage done to his body was beyond its capabilities of dealing with. The last expression his face made was a scowl of rage. He had failed.

Morgane stood up slowly, still aimed in on his treasonous brother. When the body stopped twitching, he approached it with chainsword ready.

Prodding the power armored form with his boot, he kicked it over onto its back. When no reaction came, he deactivated the chainsword and knelt down.

Making the sign of the aquila over his fallen foe, Morgane murmured, "One more of the Damned is slain. So very far yet to go..."

He quickly pulled the helmet from the head and hung it at his belt. He then committed the name of Lukianous to eidetic memory, willing a full account of this battle into memory for later recount into the Librarium of the Redeemers.

Without further word, he bolted upright and continued on his mission.

+++

Victory to Caius Morgane

Edited by Brother Tyler, 14 October 2006 - 12:53 PM.


#9
Aurelius Rex

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Round 1, battle 6: Dailore vs Magious Fasciitis (By Ferrata) (+++ File missing +++)

#10
Aurelius Rex

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Round 1, battle 7: Golka vs Baglis (Author: Brother Tyler)

+++

The shadows were deep in this section of the base. Several years prior, the Red Corsairs master of the base had been displeased with the servitors and had, in a pique of fury, destroyed them without thought to replacement. As a result, the area was strewn with rubbish, lights failing. Only in a few fixtures were there the tell-tale flickers of still functioning lights, but these were obscured under a patina of dust that cast an odd luminescence.

Baglis felt at home here. The shadows were his home.

He still did not quite fathom how he had come to be here with this rag-tag bunch of misfits, renegades from a number of Chapters accompanied by a motley assortment of normal men. In a way, it was fitting. He had once fought as a battle-brother of the Wings of Death Chapter, then had been given the "honour" of serving as the Chapter's representative within the Legio, an unusual Chapter that drew its members from the other Chapters. Baglis laughed inwardly at this irony. He had been sent to one Chapter composed of brothers from many other Chapters, then he had chosen to join another group composed of brothers from many Chapters. Then he sneered at the thought that he had not chosen to join the Legio. His masters had called it an "honour" to be sent, but he felt none of that. He felt discarded. Had he failed the leaders of the Wings of Death and been sent away in disgrace, hidden away under the Legio? If so, none had ever voiced this displeasure. Regardless, he had not remained long with the Legio.

His experience in the Legio, however, served him well. When the alarm klaxons sounded and the attackers were observed in pict-recordings, Baglis knew the identity of the belligerents immediately. Soto had immediately dispatched Baglis to this portion of the defenses, perhaps mistrusting this former Legio Space Marine who now fought in the ranks of the Red Corsairs. Yet retaining a sense of honour, though, Baglis obeyed the commands of Soto and made haste to make battle with his former comrades.

+++

Golka had infiltrated the base as part of the rearguard, following the first squad in after seeing to the welfare of his Sergeant. Sergeant Golgotha had improvised the assault plan after making landfall and adapting to the demands of the Inquisitor.

In the wake of the destruction wrought upon the base's defenders, both mortal and mechanical, Golka found a clear path to some of the storage room, beyond which he might find his objective. Reports over the tactical net indicated that renegade Space Marines had remained aboard the base when the Spear of Justice drew the Corsairs' fleet away. This had been expected. The unknown was how many of the traitors remained. Too many and the mission might be a failure. The bad landing of the second drop pod had definitely hurt the mission, seeing one of the Sergeants injured and the other drawn into the task of
protecting the diminutive Inquisitor. Golka chided himself for the budding seeds of resentment he had begun to feel for the woman.

Progressing down a well-lit corridor, Golka came to what should have been a door to the storage rooms. It was sealed mechanically, although it didn't appear to be locked. Taking up position to the side of the door, he cautiously turned the seal, being sure to remain as quiet as possible. When the door was unsecured, he opened it a fraction in order to see what was inside.

Darkness.

Ensuring that his weapons were ready, he prepared to enter the room. Golka always relished the thick of combat, especially the close-confines of boarding actions his Chapter excelled in. A wry smile crossed his face as he tensed for action.

+++

The faint sound of the hatch being opened and the sudden crack of light that appeared brought Baglis from his reverie. Slowly, ever so slowly, he brought his weapon to bear on the door.

Suddenly the room was bathed in light from the hallway as the door was flung open. Baglis' visual sensors barely had time to adjust to the change before a dark shape took form, moving rapidly into the room. Baglis squeezed a round of quickly, hoping to take the attacker before he could find cover in the detritus strewn about the storage compartment. The bolt ricocheted off the thick pauldron of the attacker, though, exploding as it thudded into the ceiling.

+++

Golka dove for cover as he moved into the room at full speed. His senses were dead on when he heard the bolter being fired. Though still adjusting to the gloomy darkness of the room, the muzzle flash gave his opponent's position away and Golka fired on the run. Even as he fired, he felt the impact of the enemy's bolt strike him in the shoulder. The round failed to penetrate, although it knocked Golka off-balance. Golka fell to the deck roughly and knew that his aim had been thrown off.

Reflexes taking over, Baglis moved forward in order to kill his opponent. The sound of the Legio battle-brother falling had echoed in the room, giving the position of the attacker away. Baglis' judgment was backed up when the Space Marine addressed him verbally.

"There be no escape for you this time, pirate!" issued forth in the interesting dialect of the Space Sharks Chapter. The voice was not familiar to Baglis - he had been away from the Chapter for some time. Baglis answered with a bolt aimed as he moved forward. The round penetrated the shoulder of Golka's armour, exploding within and grievously wounding the Space Shark. Golka had detected the position of his opponent and had fired as he challenged, but the sudden forward movement of the traitor included proper defensive movement that caused the Legio battle-brother to miss.

Golka pushed himself to his feet despite the pain in his shoulder. He was no weakling to meet and adversary while helpless. As a jet of pain lanced him, he uttered, "Arrrr." His sensors were quickly adapting to the darkness and the light from the door he had entered shone upon the Red Corsair facing him.

Golka gasped when he saw the Chapter badge of the Legio defaced with a crimson saltire. "Yes," answered Baglis, "I was once like you - a slave. Now I am free, though."

Golka discerned the shape of the combi-weapon, the muzzle of the meltagun, and the heavy chainsword. He thanked his Chapter for the gift of the sacred weapon upon his left arm. Raising his wounded bolter arm, Golka prepared to fire.

The Red Corsair, though, moved nimbly forward, closing the distance and evading the brunt of Golka's fire. The first round glanced the traitor, bouncing off the leg. The second bolt, meanwhile, missed Baglis entirely.

The Space Shark felt the threat of the meltagun and dove behind some nearby crates. He felt the superheated air of the incoming fire melting the crates into burning slag. Some of the fire penetrated the crates, melting the paint upon his armour and making Golka uncomfortable within his power armour.

Quickly carrying his momentum to a roll, Golka came upright in time to see his adversary charging him. The traitor thumbed the activation rune upon his chainsword as he moved in. The Legio battle-brother was horrified when gouts of fire erupted from the renegade's mouth. This one was not only a traitor pirate, he was touched by the Dark Powers! Golka took the brunt of the daemonic fire on his injured arm and shoulder, bringing them up to protect him from the corrupt attack. Though the flames heated his armour up even more, they failed to injure him and Golka uttered a prayer of thanks to the Emperor.

As Baglis moved in for the kill, Golka brought his left arm up in order to eviscerate the traitor, uttering a litany in prayer as the blade swept upward, traces of energy flashing across its surface. The traitor dropped his combi-weapon and caught the attack with his hand, stopping the deadly weapon from hitting and pulling Golka upwards roughly as he brought the chainsword down into the injured shoulder, driving the biting blade down with all his might into the lungs of Golka.

The Space Shark gurgled out in pain, spitting his acid-borne saliva out and cursing Baglis back into the foul Abyss.

Baglis pulled the blade out roughly, still holding the black-armoured Space Shark with his left hand. As blood sprayed from the atrocious wound, Baglis watched the eyes of Golka dull and felt the Legio Space Marine falling.

Letting go as the body fell, Baglis knew that his path was set now. The daemonic fire had been a surprise, a mocking gift from the Fell Powers when he had intended to give a war cry. Inwardly, he felt the change and steeled himself. If he was to be aligned with the forces of Chaos, he would serve on his own terms.

Looking down upon his adversary, Baglis eyed the power blade attached to the forearm. The energy trails had faded and the blade was now a dull color in the darkness. Baglis knelt down and removed the weapon, then scavenged ammunition. He would need more bolters in the defense of the Red Corsairs' base.

+++

Victory to Baglis

Edited by Brother Tyler, 14 October 2006 - 12:54 PM.


#11
Aurelius Rex

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Round 1, battle 8: Haddix vs Leeden (Author: Brother Tyler)

+++

The drop had not gone well, the drop pod landing on an unstable outcropping of rock and falling twenty or so meters. Sergeant Domadeus had been injured in the landing, depleting the already limited strength of the strike force. Haddix reflected on the drop with grim stoicism. Monitors in his helmet indicated that his augmetic legs had been damaged in the drop and were now functioning at 87% efficiency. Despite this, he moved through the base with a purpose. He was not quiet, though he was still significantly faster than a normal human being. His artificial limbs pumping rhythmically, Haddix moved with a purpose, killing the pirate defenders as they exposed themselves. There were only a handful of these remaining in the path he had chosen, most having been killed by the initial team. Most of those who remained had been dazed in the opening onslaught and were hardly worthy of his time. It would not do to leave them behind, though, especially when the team needed to move quickly and efficiently. Most of these he killed up close with his axe, though a few were at a distance and required bolter fire to finish off.

Haddix performed his duty without remorse. The enemies of Mankind deserved to die.

+++

Once he had been a member of the Blood Ravens Chapter, a Chapter proud in its long service to the Imperium. Over time, though, Leeden had grown to despise the fragile Imperium, a galaxy-spanning empire that hinged upon a web of lies and deceit. He had seen the lies being perpetrated, seen the foremost servants of the Imperium oppressing the billions upon billions of souls through false dogma and dictatorial authority.

He had turned upon this monstrosity and fled his Chapter with a handful of like-minded brothers.

After hearing of the destruction of their homeworld, an act ordered by one of their very own, the pragmatic ruthlessness of the Imperium had become too much. They stole one of the Chapter's ships and ran as far as they could. Caught up in the endless war perpetrated upon the cosmos by Mankind, it took the Chapter several weeks before it even realized the act had been committed. By that time, Leeden and his brothers were lost to the Chapter and to the Imperium. They had found refuge with the Red Corsairs, a Chapter whose core was formed by a Chapter that had rebelled as a whole. Though the Imperium had sent a host of Chapters to deal with this erstwhile regiment, they had failed in their endeavor and the Chapter's master, Lufgt Huron, his bodyguard, and almost two-hundred of his Chapter escaped. In the years since they had taken refuge in the Maelstrom and become pirates, serving none but themselves.

Though some had sought solace in servitude to the Fell Powers, many remained free, acting only as they desired and as allowed by Huron, now re-named Huron Blackheart. The Chapter, once known as the Astral Claws, had become known as the Red Corsairs. Their pirate empire practically ruled the Maelstrom and included numerous normal men in addition to the superhuman Space Marines that formed its core.

Leeden and his brothers had been accepted into the Red Corsairs. Free from his oaths of loyalty to Chapter and Iniperium, Leeden had turned to the Dark Gods of Chaos, powerful entities who embodied the true nature of existence, not the false dogma of the Imperial Cult. Though he had pledged himself to none of the Chaos Gods, he served all equally and had been granted the favor of the entire pantheon. His loyalty was rewarded with fortitude, symbolized by a glowing rune upon his forehead. The Raven tattoo of his Chapter had been obscured beneath a mark of the Chaos Gods, a symbol of his new loyalties.

Several weeks ago Leeden had come to this forward staging base in preparation to augment allies of the Blackheart. How this base had been compromised was unknown, but it was imperative that the Red Corsairs forces marshaled here were not destroyed. The allies desperately needed the aid of the Red Corsairs and the materiel staged here was vital in their efforts. When the alarm klaxons sounded, Leeded heeded Tamuk Soto without question, going where he was bidden with alacrity.

He had not had time to explore the base properly, but had a decent familiarity with its layout. Judging by the converging paths of the attackers, Leeden thought he had a good idea of their plan. It was a dangerous gambit, but could be costly to the Red Corsairs if it worked. He was obligated to prevent that. The mortal pirates that served the Red Corsairs were proving ineffective, as were the automatic sentry guns. The only defensive mechanism that seemed to have worked so far, other than the labyrinthine corridors, was the external defensives emplaced by Soto's master. The superstructure of the asteroid had been camouflaged beneath thousands of artificial spires and struts. These constructs helped to shield the base's power output, as well as preventing large vessels from effectively landing upon the surface. Only a handful of stable sites were available, and these were known only to the Red Corsairs. Apparently the attackers had been dispatched via drop pod. Only one of these craft had fallen prey to the defensive constructs, the other fortuitously landing on one of the rare stable points. One or two f the attacking Space Marines had been injured in the landing, although exact casualties and their status were unknown since the survivors had quickly detected the vid-servitors and disabled them. The fact that casualties had been inflicted, however, was a comfort to the defenders.

Leeden took up position, a distraction provided so that he could focus on his purpose.

+++

Haddix dispatched the servitor with a sweeping blow of his axe, decapitating the mindless creature quickly so that he could continue on. The automaton had not been a combat servitor, but its sensory pickups might have been linked into the base's defenses and Haddix couldn't afford to have his position readily known. Something about the servitor's presence bothered him, though, and he instinctively moved away. The precaution proved to be a wise move when a demolition charge concealed near the servitor exploded. Though he was peppered with shrapnel, he had been outside of the kill radius and survived unscathed. As the ringing in his ears subsided he heard a sardonic voice from behind him, "turn and face the might of the Raven!"

The veteran of the Blacksheep Chapter brought his combat shield to bear as he rapidly turned to face his hidden attacker, bolter training in the direction of the voice. He squeezed off a round as a scarlet-clad figure charged forth from the shadows, thought the bolt was not well-aimed and careened off the left greave.

Haddix braced himself for the attack, dropping to a kneeling stance for stability as firing twice more. Though his quickly moving target appeared not to notice the impacts of the bolts as he fired his own bolt pistol, the projectile centimeters above Haddix' helm.

Leeden uttered an imprecation as he charged, bolt pistol firing. The black-armoured Space Marine effectively avoided his shots by rolling to the side, firing in mid-roll and landing another glancing hit on Leeden's own pauldron. The attack failed to damage, him, though, and he launched a flurry of blows with his power sword.

Though Haddix was recovering from a power-armoured defensive roll, he was able to block most of the attacks with his combat shield. Only one of the blows landed, sinking deep into his left leg. Sensors detected only a marginal drop in efficiency in that leg, though, and Haddix countered without pause. Leeden ducked under the first blow, but Haddix had anticipated the move and brought the axe down into the traitor's shoulder, buckling Leeden. He then followed immediately with a short thrust, driving the heavy power weapon through the chest armour and sheering the bony shield surrounding the traitor's vital organs.

Leeden's sword clambered to the ground, his grip slackening as the axe tore open his primary heart. AS the traitor slumped to his knees, Haddix withdrew his axe with an upward motion, knocking the crimson helmet off and revealing the face of his aggressor. Looking up into the eyes of Haddix, Leeden spoke through blood-stained teeth. "My Gods shall avenge me."

Haddix merely shook his head in negation, knocking the Red Corsair onto his back with a back-swipe from the axe. Leeden grunted in pain as he hit. The Legio battle-brother tore the traitor's bolter from his hand, pointed it at the renegade's head, and ended his miserable existence.

Without further word, Haddix got his bearings and continued in his journey to his objective.

+++

Victory to Haddix

Edited by Brother Tyler, 14 October 2006 - 12:56 PM.


#12
Aurelius Rex

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(Author: Comissar Molotov)

+++

Fautor moved through the corridor silently. He reached the first serf. He lay against the bulkhead, his legs twisted underneath him at an angle that would have been uncomfortable had he been alive. A functional nod, and then he moved onto the second serf. He lay in the middle of the corridor. Half his head was missing, vaporised by the plasma shot. What was left of his helmet had melted into his skin. He was dead.
A slight whimper brought Fautor's attention to the third and final body in this corridor. He knelt over the serf and watched impassively as the blood drained from a fist-sized crater in his chest. He stayed with the serf until he slipped away. Not out of compassion. But to ensure that in his last moments, he knew the face of retribution.

These corsairs threatened to tear down everything that the Astartes struggled to protect. It was the sacred duty of the Astartes to defend the Imperium, to confirm the superiority of Mankind among the stars. What did these traitors live for? Destruction, anarchy and terror. These... scum had forsaken their oaths of honour. Worse, they had forsaken the sacred duty entrusted to them by the Emperor Himself. They were an affront to the honour of the Adeptus Astartes and they would be purged if Fautor had his way.

He heard a tone, like the tolling of a great cathedral bell, across his vox-link. He touched the rune of communication to acknowledge his orders. As he stood, the purity seals affixed to his armour fluttered. He moved quickly but carefully towards the steam conduit.

Steam, dust and ash choked the conduit. Within his armour, Fautor felt nothing, but his auto-senses were impaired and the Castigator was acutely aware that this pipe was the ideal location for an ambush.
Fautor glanced down at his plasma pistol. While he recognised the honour he had been afforded in being allowed to carry such an ancient artefact, inwardly he preferred the reliability of blessed bolter weapons. He had heard reports of weapons failing to function closer to the base's power core. He did not wish to suffer a power failure in the middle of battle. He muttered a short prayer to assuage the weapon's volatile machine spirits.

With a deep breath and another prayer, Fautor set off down the steam conduit, prepared for combat. The Emperor would protect him if he was worthy.

+++

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 15 June 2006 - 08:29 PM.


#13
Aurelius Rex

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Round 1, battle 9: Fautor vs Jierdan Orsius (Author: Aurelius Rex)

+++

Fautor paused to wipe the blinding soot and ash away. Even cocooned within his ancient suit of Corvus armour, the temperature was stifling. A lesser marine would have baulked at taking this path - a lesser marine would not even have thought of it -but he was a Castigator, and in his hearts he could not trust any of the others with such an important task.

At the end of this conduit there should be an access hatch that would drop him far behind the Corsair defences, and in a position to cripple the defence laser array protecting the base.

He had the highest regard for Sergeant Golgotha, but he should have been the one chosen to guard the Lady Inquisitor. As a Chapter, The Castigators had an understanding, an affinity with Inquisitors of the Puritan stripe -

Fautor froze. The hail of smoke, ash and steam was cutting visibility to nothing, but through the auto-sense fog, he was sure there was something ahead. A glance down told him that his plasma pistol was in pain; scalding temperatures; ash fouling the mechanism, and this unnatural generator interference. Giving a brief, silent apology to the machine spirit, Fautor prepared himself. While this opponent was a thrice-accursed, warp-spawned oathbreaking traitor to the Throne, he was intelligent enough to have second-guessed him...

+++

Jierdan Orsius was a true Red Corsair. He had stood with Chapter Master Huron at the Siege of Badab long before these rejects and strays had joined them. Orsius cursed as the approaching figure stopped, alerted at last, and he broke into a run. Any kind of battlecry or taunt would be inaudible over the howl of the ash-wind, so he would announce himself in a way that could not be mistaken; a hail of bolt-rounds.

His armoured boots slipped briefly in the ash-slurry and saw the Legio marine backing away. Orsius scrambled to his feet, bolt pistol raised to see the actinic glow of plasma, but knew the gods were with him when the plasma misfired, while his own bolt buried itself messily in the loyalist's shoulder.

The Legio marine staggered back, desperate to get away from the arcing powerfield of his thunder hammer. Behind his helm he smiled as the plasma pistol malfunctioned yet again.

+++

Fautor knew that he should have never given up his bolter. The Corsair was almost upon him, and with nothing to lose he fired, and held down the trigger. Plasma seared across his vision, and his armour as the weapon briefly overheated, but whatever had caused the blockage was finally burned away, and the traitor was wreathed in ceramite-melting, flesh cauterising, cleansing flame.

The monster barrelled into him, and Fautor desperately stabbed his chainsword into the shoulder, but even with the powerfield flickering intermittently the hammer was unstoppable.

+++

Orsius cursed the name of Techmarine Barca. If that hammer had worked properly the Legio marine would be a bloody smear. He leapt after the fool, and felt the chainsword kick as it jammed in his leg greave. With a contemptuous swing, Orsius struck the loyalist, sending him flying down the conduit in a shower of sparks. Perhaps he would let Brother Barca live after all.

He strode over to the crumpled body and nudged it with his foot. If this was the best the Legio had then the attack would be very short. He reached down to take the plasma pistol... a trophy...

+++

Just a little closer...

Fautor couldn't believe he had survived that last blow. It was undoubtedly down to the purity of his geneseed, and gave silent thanks to the Primarch Guilliman. He must have been unconscious for a second, but his blessed chainsword was still gripped firmly in his right hand.

The chainsword started first time, as always. Fautor kept pushing the blade upwards, chewing through flesh and sinew from groin to solar plexus. The hammer discharged ineffectively as it fell into the ashy gruel.

With a final push upwards Fautor bisected the pirate.

Without looking back, he picked up his plasma pistol and hobbled down the conduit. He had his orders to fulfil.

+++

Win to Fautor.

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 15 June 2006 - 07:11 PM.


#14
Aurelius Rex

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Round 1, battle 10: Durus Quatinus Ferrum vs Alpharius (Author: Brother Tyler)

+++

How long had it been? How many centuries had he fought the Long War? Alpharius looked back upon the years of fighting against the corrupt Imperium, the endless battle and test of his military mettle.

Alpharius smiled.

He had not thought to become embattled this soon. The plan had been to provide aid to the Warmaster's forces on Antioc. This base was only supposed to have been a staging point. How the fool Corsairs had been detected was irrelevant now, though their braggart's claims were smashed to pieces the moment the sensors had detected the Imperial vessel approaching. Tomax Hell had taken the vital materiel he needed and made haste to Antioc, leaving a small contingent of his best to aid the Red Corsairs in defending the base. They still needed the base after all, and the Warmaster would continue to render aid as long as the base proved useful. After that, though, Alpharius had no doubt as to the fate of Tamuk Soto and his henchmen.

"Alpharius" wasn't his real name, of course. He had taken the name of his Primarch as a nom de guerre in this campaign for the effect it caused. In some it inspired fear. In others, resentment. He cared not. He had fought under a hundred different names, worn the livery of others. His goal was to sow the seeds of confusion. He would teach these meddlesome Astartes that it was not wise to interfere with the plans of the Warmaster.

Alpharius moved forward to the corridor he had chosen. The approaching Space Marine would have no cover and no way out of the long hallway. Inside his blue-green armor a twisted smile crept across his face.

Alpharius always smiled before he killed.

+++

His name was Durus Quatinus Ferrum and he hailed from the Guardian Angels Chapter. The black and white checkerboard pattern upon his right greave was an anachronism, a tradition handed down by the proud battle-brothers whom his Chapter had granted the singular honor of seconding to the enigmatic Legio. The white kneepad proclaimed his membership in the Light of the Emperor Great Company.

Durus was a product of his parent Chapter, utterly devoted to the art of war. Even for Space Marines, this Chapter showed an unwavering dedication to perfecting their skills. Upon being assigned the mission of tracking down the Night Lord Tomax Hell, Durus had redoubled his efforts, honed his skills with an awe-inspiring intensity.

His progress thus far through the hidden base had been rapid. He had dispatched the opposition quickly and efficiently, leaving a score of pirate bodies behind. He knew that there were more dangerous threats within, though. The Legio had identified this base as the hideaway of the Red Corsairs, renegade Space Marines who had turned to piracy. The presence of Tomax Hell had been a surprise, but his ship had fled when the rest of the Red Corsairs fleet had engaged the Spear of Justice. There were enemy Space Marines within - some of his battle-brothers had already faced them. The Legio had lost only a few battle-brothers so far.

As he had moved further and further into the base, though, reports became less frequent, and were often interspersed with unintelligible static. Interference from the structure, no doubt. Durus did not let this concern him - the Emperor would see them through.

Durus continued toward his objective.

+++

The chosen hallway was up ahead. Alpharius paused, gauging the distance of his target.

There.

The loyalist was about to turn down the corridor. The likely objective was behind Alpharius, a room behind a nondescript door covered in the patina of ages. Alpharius readied his weapons and halted around the corner. He would let the fool reach the point of no return before showing himself. The activation switch for the overhead lights was beside him and he waited, his smile stretching more as he anticipated the dread he would inspire in his enemy.

+++

By his own estimations, the objective should be only a short distance away. Durus stopped at the intersection and used his bolter to peer around the corner. The targeter fed into his helmet display, discerning no enemies within or at the end of the hallway. He checked the other direction, finding no defenses.

He proceeded, moving cautiously. The hallway was about thirty meters long and came to a "y" intersection. A smart opponent could be hidden there.

As he reached the halfway point, the lights along the length of the hallway extinguished. Durus crouched and moved to the side of the hallway. The corridor he had entered from was still lit and he didn't want to be exposed.

Then he heard the voice echoing down the hall, "For the Emperor!"

Was one of his battle-brothers ahead? It was possible that one had reached this far and the two had converged on the same objective. Durus called out on his tactical net to receive the positions of his comrades. He received no response, though, other than a few dead keys.

Best to assume the worst. He inched forward.

"Don't hide, traitor. Come forth where I can deliver the Emperor's Justice" called forth from the other end of the hallway.

Durus stopped again. Which of his battle-brothers could that be? Only Golka and Fautor were supposed to be nearby, yet that sounded like neither.

"By the Emperor's Teeth, you come skulking in the shadows, attempting to back-stab one of the righteous servants of the Emperor. Face me and die, dog!"

The Guardian Angel bristled at this. No man dared to insult him in this way. He continued to move forward cautiously, bolter aimed in on the end of the hallway.

His visual receptors had adjusted in the time the prattle had been going on. A large shape appeared at the end. The armor was dark, but not the jet of the Legio. Durus could make out a verdant "A" upon the left pauldron, a stylized letter incorporating a chain device. A traitor.

Without hesitation, Durus activated the vox-net and reported to Sergeant Golgotha, "Durus here. Contact made with one traitor Astarte. I am engaging."

Durus considered for a moment that the labyrinthine corridors and heavy shielding might interfere with comms when the only reply he received was a brief second of static. There was nothing for it but to press on, though, and he proceeded with all due caution. This was no pirate, but a foe worthy of his skill.

Placing his chainsword to his side, Durus activated the targeter, aiming in on the enemy warrior.

"Yes, fool. Feel the fear of traitor. You have fallen from the Emperor's Grace and now serve the Lords of Shadow."

What was this fool talking about? Durus paused for a moment, shocked by the charge from the Chaos Space Marine. As the dark-armored renegade broke into a charge, Durus dropped prone and squeezed the trigger.

The bolt exploded in the right arm of the traitor, spinning him around.

"Ah, you attempt to harm me, cursed renegade? I will deliver the Emperor's Wrath upon your corrupted soul." The figure continued to run forward, seemingly unharmed by the bolt.

Durus fired again, sending two bolts into the enemy as he returned fire. The bolter fire was ineffective, though, one round missing by a fraction while the other also seemed not to faze the enemy. The return fire from the bolt pistol was likewise impotent, bursting within Durus' leading left pauldron.

"Good!" hissed the warrior. "I see that your servitude to the Dark Gods has not lessened your courage any. Lay there and continue to fight from a distance. I will be upon you shortly. I will kill you and carve my badge upon your chest."

Two more rounds were fired from the silent Legio warrior, with the enemy again returning fire. Durus was astounded when his attack again failed to kill the enemy. The return fire destroyed his targeter, sending shrapnel fragments flying and embedding them into Durus' armour. The traitor was upon him, though, and Durus quickly snatched up his chainsword and leapt to a proper defensive posture.

Durus' upward stroke was parried, a return slash avoided by dodging nimbly to the side. Durus was highly skilled with the sword and had expected the return attack. Blading his body to avoid another strike, Durus swept his chainsword around, bringing it down into the shoulder of his opponent. The teeth of the chainsword tore through the ceramite, ripping at the flesh.

The loquacious warrior merely mocked him in return, "first blood to you, treasonous one. The Emperor will smile upon me when I kill you in His name."

A rapid ducking movement took the enemy out of Durus' reach, though, and the chainsword failed to significantly injure his opponent. The movement was exacerbated by a thrusting kick into Durus' abdomen. Taken off-balance, Durus was unable to block a return thrust and felt the burning sensation as the enemy's power weapon thrust deep into his leg.

"There, traitor. Do you feel the burning anger of the Emperor? I am his hand and will end your motley existence."

Durus was beginning to anger at the mocking parley of the traitor. How dare he take the Emperor's name?
Leaping back, Durus took himself off the enemy's blade. Already his enhanced body was stemming the flow of blood. The Legio battle-brother quickly leapt back in, launching a flurry of blows at his enemy. The warrior ably blocked the attacks, though, taking them upon his blade or pauldron.

"Die, traitor" pronounced the warrior, bringing his sword crashing down into the joint between the pauldron and neck. His blade tore through ceramite, flesh, and bone alike, lodging deep within Durus' chest. Severed muscles caused the arm holding the chainsword to drop and Durus' blood-filled lungs heaved with the effort of breathing.

"Victory is mine!" announced Alpharius as he kicked Durus' twitching body back.

The sound of his power-armored form crashing into the deck echoed down the hallway. Still gasping for breath, Durus tried to report to Sergeant Golgotha. He was unable to muster any words, though. Then he felt his helmet being ripped from the armor and looked upon the helm of his foe with his own eyes.

Alpharius knelt down and ripped the torn power armor plastron from Durus' form. Then he removed his own helm.

Durus' gasped as he felt the blade carving into his flesh. Twin hearts still pumping, multi-lungs still heaving, Durus' form lay upon the deck.

When Alpharius arose, he replaced his helm with the crimson helmet of the Legio Space Marine. Walking slowly, confidently, he left the form of his vanquished foe behind him.

Upon his wrecked torso, Durus bore a large "A".

+++

Victory to Alpharius

Edited by Brother Tyler, 14 October 2006 - 12:58 PM.


#15
Aurelius Rex

Aurelius Rex

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(Author: Commissar Molotov)

+++

Fautor limped down the corridor, cursing the oathbreaking traitors. Every member of the Astartes swore an oath to the Emperor to uphold His domain. Every member of the Astartes struggled to defend the Imperium, to confirm the superiority of Mankind amongst the stars. But these corsairs spat upon their oaths, had fallen. Fautor despised them. They threatened to tear the Imperium down and replaced it with anarchy and death. Fautor would never allow that to happen.

In the last hours he had suffered many injuries. His armour was scuffed and scratched from the draining battle in the ash conduits. The traitor's thunder hammer had cracked his breastplate. A web of microscopic fractures had bloomed in the ceramite. They were insignificant but they were there, and the machine spirits cried out in pain. Blood-red warning runes flashed constantly in front of his eyes. His hearts were beating irregularly and his reinforced ribcage was fractured. But unlike the machine spirits, Fautor would not cry out. He would not submit.

His shoulder pouldron was pitted and scarred, the impacts of bolt rounds from the oathbreaking traitor that had stolen Durus' helm. The most grievous wound had been sustained in his last combat. The power sword had pierced armour, flesh and muscle, stabbing deep into his abdomen. Fautor's superior physiology had rushed to heal the wound. The bleeding had all but stopped, but it would doubtless require the attentions of an apothecary. Pain wracked his body. But pain was good. The pain strengthened his mind and affirmed his purpose. Fautor simply gritted his teeth and continued.

Straight into the ambush.

Gunfire filled the corridor as Fautor sought cover behind a heavy metal crate. From the noise, Fautor recognised that the star-sailors were using snub-nosed autoguns, firing at a low enough velocity not to pierce the station's hull. That was the last of their worries, Fautor realised darkly. The station was tearing itself apart. They were very brave, or very stupid, to oppose a Castigator when certain death was looming.
As time almost seemed to slow, he saw a black grenade come tumbling through the air towards him. A long trail of smoke traced a line back towards a star-sailor holding a grenade launcher.

The traitors had forced his hand.

Fautor raised the bolter - he had acquired Durus' bolter - and moved out of cover towards the traitors. Even wounded, he was far superior to them. He was a Castigator. Roaring his defiance at the whoreson bastards of chaos, he fired.

The sailor with the grenade launcher fell in a shuddering explosion of blood. The traitor beside him, wounded and dripping with blood, tried to fumble for the grenade launcher. The gore-coated weapon slipped through his bloody fingers as he screamed with frustration. Uncaring, Fautor fired twice. The first shell took the man high in the chest, picking him up bodily and throwing him backwards. The second took him in the thigh. Both shots blasted huge, fist-sized holes out of him. The traitor crumpled, gouting blood across the decking.

Fautor was an uncompromising avatar of the Emperor's fury. He stalked through the corridor, his bolter braced against his breastplate. He fired at the traitors, feeling the Bolter's familiar recoil. This was his purpose in life. The destruction of those that defied the Emperor's reign and desecrated His realm. The traitors came apart in the hail of fire, reduced to a fine red mist that painted the corridors crimson. They
were called the Castigators for a reason. They were punishers. Those who transgressed deserved to die. And they would.

Finally he came to two large metal doors, emblazoned with the foul symbols of chaos. Fautor's enhanced eyesight quickly picked out and identified ten defenders. All star-sailors with autoguns. They had set up to defend this location, for whatever reason. Fautor cared not. They stood in his way, in his path, and in defiance of the Emperor's will. The power had failed in this section of the base. Emergency lighting had painted the corridor a dark red. Everything had taken on a sinister air. They had not seen their impending doom.

Fautor fired the bolter, the thunderclap explosions reverberating throughout the corridor. The shells tore two of the star-sailors apart, staining their companions with their blood and insides. Already, the Space Marine was charging down the corridor.

Fautor reached the first star-sailor, swinging his chainsword around with vengeful fury. The howling blade cut through the screaming man's autogun. The marine smashed his bolter into the traitor's face, hearing something crack. He swung the chainsword through the guardsman's mid-section, slicing through armour, flesh and bone, practically cutting him in two. Blood gushed out in a crimson torrent. Battle had been joined.
He brought his chainsword round in a wide crimson arc, slashing through three of the sailors effortlessly. The corridor had become a confused press of bodies. Fautor's natural superiority was evident as he cut a swathe through the traitors.

Fautor thrust his chainsword into the chest of one of the men, ripping the blade up and through his head. The blade shrieked as it cut through bone. Kicking the body to the ground he arched perilously to avoid the bayonet charge of a second, who quickly met his end thanks to Fautor's chainsword.

Within minutes the combat had finished. Fautor prepared to continue when he heard a whimpering moan. He turned to see one of the sailors, slumped against the wall. The wounded man had lost one of his legs; it was now a hideous mass of torn tissue. His face was a bloody mess, destroyed by shrapnel. He was coated in the blood of his traitorous comrades.

Fautor knelt beside the star-sailor. The traitor whimpered; clearly he had never been so frightened in his life.
"Know this, Heretic. Every action has a cost. A price we have to pay. This is the price of betrayal."

He put the bolter to the traitor's head and pulled the trigger. Almost before the sound of the gunshot could be heard, the man's head had shattered and its contents had covered the bulkhead. What was left of the body tumbled to the ground.

Fautor stood. The action had cost him more than he dared to admit. The ragged hole in his stomach had torn open again and white-hot pain flared through his body. But pain was good. He looked down at the bolter. The revered weapon was out of ammunition. He would have to utilise the damned plasma pistol. Fautor disliked the weapon. While he recognised the honour of carrying it, he far preferred the simple reliability of bolt weapons. He was a man of simple pleasures.

He thumped the control panel beside the doors and continued onwards to whatever - whoever - awaited him at his mission's end.

+++

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 15 June 2006 - 08:34 PM.


#16
Aurelius Rex

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Round 1, battle 11/12: Lucius Draconis & Ramage vs Abraxius & Alkakronus (Author: Brother Tyler)

+++

The base had been created in the asteroid field millennia before during the Age of Apostasy. When Goge Vandire seized control of the Imperium and began his Reign of Blood, the Adeptus Mechanicus had gone on the defensive. The mad Eccliessiarch spread a dogma of intolerance, crushing all opposition in his megalomania. The Cult Mechanicus had ever been at odds with the Ministorum, shrouding technological information in a shadowy religion that often exceeded the tolerance of the church of the Imperium. Consolidating resources on the various forge worlds, the Adeptus Mechanicus had reinforced those worlds, providing defense in depth through forward observation posts and replenishment points. This insignificant asteroid had been one such base.

Goge Vandire’s death at the hands of his Brides was the death knell for the Age of Apostasy. Despite this, the Wars of Apostasy raged for centuries before the last remnants of Vandire’s minions had been exterminated by those loyal to Sebastian Thor. The various chapters of the Adeptus Astartes had remained aloof during Vandire’s Reign of Blood, but had taken to the field of battle with a frenzy in the campaigns to destroy his forces. The Adeptus Mechanicus, too, had participated heavily in the Wars of Apostasy, and the bonds between the Tech-Adepts and the Space Marines had been cemented in those wars. Some said that the Adeptus Mechanicus had secretly aided in the creation of a new Chapter of Space Marines following the Wars of Apostasy, but none could prove this aspersion.

Once the Wars of Apostasy ended, many of the forward bases used by the Adeptus Mechanicus fell into disuse. No longer needed, they were abandoned or forgotten. Some disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and neither the Ministorum nor the Inquisition could prevail upon the Tech Adepts to reveal their findings concerning these bases (if they even knew of the bases at all).

When the forces of Chaos took the forge world of Antioc in 311.M41, the Adeptus Mechanicus suffered a heavy blow. Had the forge world's forward bases been functional, the fate of the world might have been different. As it was, over a billion servants of the Omnissiah fell to Chaos. The Imperium had attempted to recover the world when Admiral Natanico Paris and his battlefleet journeyed to the Prath Vail Nebula to combat the forces of Chaos. They failed.

In the centuries since, the forces of Chaos have utilized the production of the base to support the Long War. Despite conducting an ongoing battle against well-concealed pockets of resistance, they have made effective use of several of the Tech Fortresses that mar Antioc's surface. While many of the Tech Fortresses remain inaccessible, either through their destruction or ingenious security measures emplaced by the Tech Adepts, the operating Tech Fortresses and Manufactora provide a wealth of materiel to the forces of the Warmaster. Now ruled by the iron hand of Tomax Hell, Antioc provided billions of tones of weapons and ammunition to Abaddon the Despoiler in his most recent Black Crusade.

The hidden asteroid base was discovered by a splinter cell of the Red Corsairs, renegade Space Marines led by the mad Huron the Blackheart, former Chapter Master of the Astral Claws Chapter and now pirate lord of the Maelstrom. Huron's impetus for dispatching the force to the remote base, quite removed from the Maelstrom, was never explained. His accuracy in directing the force to the base, however, bordered on the supernatural. The Red Corsairs discovered the long-abandoned base precisely where their master said it would be. They claimed the base in the decade prior to the Thirteenth Black Crusade of Abaddon the Despoiler, committing acts of piracy from the hidden base. Though they did not know the reason for the base's abandonment, they knew that the Adeptus Mechanicus had once used the base.

Deep within, the base still held its own secrets. The Red Corsairs never mastered the base completely, only occupying a few select areas that were of practical use.

In the bowels of the base, creatures walked or slithered or crawled or flew. A complete ecosystem existed in the depths of the base and it was a foolhardy man or brave group who dared enter the areas inhabited by the products of Adeptus Mechanicus experimentation. Even the Space Marines who led the Red Corsairs forces rarely entered the dark parts of the base.

Four Space Marines stalked the depths of the base now. Two by two, they hunted each other. One pair sought a path to the interior of the base and its destruction; the other pair sought the death of the first. Each of the pairs had encountered the weird denizens haunting the darkness, and the resulting combats had revealed the existence of each pair.

The most dangerous game is that which knows it is being hunted and has the means to resist.

Two pairs of Space Marines hunting each other - a bloody battle was in the making.

The interlopers had entered the dark areas of the base through a long-forgotten access hatch found within the depths of the defense pit into which its drop pod had fallen. Though they had first seen to the welfare of those injured in the fall, the pair had identified the hatch and decided to fulfill their objective through that path.

Their armor was jet black, their helmets bright red. Each bore upon his left arm a different badge of the Chapter to which they now gave their allegiance, the Legio. On their right shoulders they bore different badges, each proclaiming past membership in a different Chapter. One, Lucius, bore the badge of the Blood Ravens, the other, Ramage, the badge of the Grey Death Legion.
Lucius' armor was festooned with seals and litanies. If one looked closely, one might find that most of these covered damage to the armor, damage which Lucius had been unable to repair himself. Idiosyncratic, Lucius was superstitious of the Techmarines whose function was to repair power armour. As such, he had never submitted his armor to the Techmarines within the forge, preferring instead to perform his own repairs. While his attentions kept the armor functional, he lacked sufficient knowledge and tools to restore the armor. Where other Space Marines would have their armor repaired, the artificers of the Chapter lovingly decorating the armor, Lucius' was only able to retain the functionality of the armor and covered the remaining scars of battle with seals and litanies.

His companion, Ramage, appeared much more ascetic in comparison. Though he had served as a Space Marine for several decades, few decorations adorned his armor. He bore several honors granted for acts of valor proudly.

The pair moved as quietly as possible, hunting both for those who hunted them as well as a path to the objective above.

+++

The catacombs beneath the base teemed with unnatural life. Abraxius could feel the taint of Chaos as he and Alkakronous descended further and further into the depths of the base.

Abraxius glanced momentarily over his right shoulder at his partner. Partner. Abraxius smirked at the thought. The simple-minded fool Alkakronous hardly seemed worthy of the Adeptus Astartes and was on some hidden mission of his own. Neither truly belonged to the Red Corsairs, regardless of what Soto thought. Their pairing in this action was a curious insult. Had Soto realized the extent of the catacombs beneath the base he would surely have sent a sizeable force instead of the pair of mis-matched Space Marines.

The two moved through the gloomy tunnels, tunnels that had become overgrown with mineral deposits and lichen. On several occasions they had been accosted by strange creatures, shambling things that resembled flightless birds with eyes the size of meltabombs. These had been dispatched with ease, their hard beaks unable to even scratch the power armor of the Space Marines. Once they had been attacked by a reptilian monstrosity that attempted to crush them within its coils. Their enhanced strength and weapons had cut the creature into steaming lumps of flesh. As the two departed the scene of the battle, they could hear the bird-like things swarming over the remains.

Bolter-fire had reverberated within the tunnels, an obvious indicator that there were other Space Marines coming their way. The darkness and confusing tunnels disguised the distance, though, and they did not make contact when they estimated they would. They

stalked their prey carefully, hoping that the indigenous creatures did not attack them and force them to betray their position to the interlopers.

+++

Lucius and Ramage moved carefully up the tunnel, using bounding overwatch and the strange mineral deposit stalagmites to progress. The visual receptors were barely better than bare eyes. Something in the atmosphere here interfered with vision, reducing visibility to a few dozen meters and confusing the auto-senses and targeters. The two Legio Space Marines were keyed up, ready for instant battle. It was a conflict to keep themselves from firing at ghosts in the darkness.


Lucius was ahead of Ramage by a few meters, minimal cover afforded by a partial stalagmite. Ramage was kneeling down, weapon trained on the darkness ahead.
Lucius' closed power fist raised slowly, directing Ramage to remain in position. The former then raised his bolter, aiming in on some target resolving itself out of the darkness ahead. Slowly, ever so slowly, Ramage could see the targets. These were not the creatures the two had encountered so far. The shape and size was unmistakeable.

Space Marines.

Traitors.

Still aiming in on the two figures approaching them, Lucius lowered his fist and straightened out the fingers, pointing to the right. The two would aim their fire at the renegade on the right. Lucius counted down with his fingers.

Four.

Three.

Two.

One.

Fist - Fire!

+++

The distinct sound of bolter fire and the muzzle flash gave Abraxius and Alkakronous a moment's notice. The two sprang instantly into action. Abraxius dove to the side while Aikakronous lurched forward and down. Abraxius felt enemy fire strike his left pauldron and exhaust vents on his backpack, though neither did him any harm. He realized with self-disgust that his erstwhile partner had made the better tactical decision. Both of the renegades were equipped with bolt pistols and were out-ranged by the enemies who had full bolters. Alkakronous had moved forward into range and had been able to fire upon their ambushers. The closer one was concealed behind one of the many stalagmites in the tunnel, while the other was kneeled down a short distance behind the first. Alkakronous had fired upon the one in the rear, the enemy who presented a more inviting target. The return fire had failed to drop the enemy, though.

Seizing the initiative, Abraxius sprinted forward, attempting to catch Alkakronous. The two were closing the distance fast. They had to engage the enemy in hand-to-hand before they were shot to pieces. As the target in the rear dropped into a compact prone position, the two renegades shifted their fire to the nearer target. The stalagmite protected him, though, and the top was destroyed by the bolts of the traitors.

Though untouched by most of the return fire, Abraxius felt a bolt slam into his leg and explode. Waves of pain wracked his body and slowed his advance. No stranger to poisons, he could feel the toxins within the bolt attacking his body. Abraxius shivered as he felt his own body countering the effects, pain centers shutting down in order to enable him to continue fighting.

Alkakronous closed the gap, his wicked axe whistling as it scythed down towards the enemy. Abraxius noticed that the enemy's power fist glowed dully and intermittently. Could it be that this fool had come into combat with a dead power fist? The thought startled him. Alkakronous' axe bit deep into the shoulder of the loyalist, dropping the enemy to his knee and sending a spray of blood shooting out before the flow of blood was cut off. The enemy warrior struck out with the fist, though, connecting with the chest of Alkakronous and knocking him back a full meter. Low power or not, the power fist was still a threat.

Alkakronous fired his pistol wildly as he regained his balance. The bolts, though, impacted harmlessly on the stalagmite covering the lower legs of the enemy, peppering him with chunks of mineral and shrapnel. Abraxius, meanwhile, dove in to cover his partner while he was vulnerable. While he cared little for the warrior by his side, Abraxius knew that it would not do to be outnumbered. Ducking beneath the bolter fire of the two enemy warriors, Abraxius closed the gap and entered melee range.

Thrusting forward with his glaive, Abraxius forced his opponent to angle his body, preventing him from striking out with the fist. Swinging the large weapon ever so gracefully, Abraxius brought the weapon around into the torso of the opposition, beneath the arm as the enemy warrior brought the fist back in preparation for a strike. The blow sunk deep within the abdomen, crushing through the bony protection of the vital organs and ripping through both primary and secondary hearts. From his side, Abraxius saw the blade of his partner thrust out and enter the throat of the enemy. Transfixed upon the two weapons, the enemy warrior gave a startled gurgle, choking on his own blood. He was dead before he hit the ground.

+++

Ramage realized with grim determination that the balance of power had shifted. Each of the two enemy warriors wielded a power weapon, energy sheathes capable of tearing through ceramite with ease. The two Legio warriors had the advantage at range due to their bolters, but the darkness had prevented them from engaging in time in order to take full advantage of their fire superiority. The two traitors had closed the distance too quickly, and had killed Lucius.

Ramage focused his fire on the traitor he had already hit in the leg. If he could drop one of the enemies now, he might have a chance. Taking careful aim, he fired the bolter twice.

The canny warriors had anticipated the attack, though, and had spread out to opposite sides of the tunnel. One of Ramage's bolts glance off the greave of the traitor in the black armor, but failed to drop him. Both of the traitors fired upon Ramage, but his prone position and the micro-terrain within the tunnel provided enough cover to prevent them from hitting him. As Ramage quickly jumped up into position, the two were upon him.

Rolling quickly to the side, Ramage evaded the storm of blows. One managed the contact him, but his own blade prevented it from biting into his flesh. His own attacks were futile, intended solely to throw his opponents off-balance. If he could position himself properly, he could put one of the enemies in front of the other, interfering with their attacks.

Ramage succeeded! The dark-armored one was immediately before him, the traitor in red unable to make his full attacks without killing his own partner. Ramage worried that this might happen - the servants of the Fell Powers cared as little for themselves as for the servants of the Emperor. Thankfully, this one seemed less bloodthirsty than some traitor Marines.

Ramage and his immediate foe exchanged a flurry of blows, striking and parrying. The renegade howled with unnatural power, shocking

Ramage's senses. Blocking instinctively, Ramage defended himself adequately from the attacks. Neither was able to land a decisive attack and Ramage had to contend with several stealthy attacks from the enemy in the rear.

The attacks forced Ramage into an awkward position and the closer adversary drove his immense blade straight into Ramage's chest. The Legio Space Marine was thrown back by the blow, shocked at the sensation of his body being violated by the weapon. His limbs spasmed in paroxysms of pain, both weapons falling to the ground as the weapon continued to tear his insides apart.

"Yes!" hissed the traitor.

+++

As the two traitor Space Marines left the carnage behind them, they could hear the bird-like things pecking at the remains of the two corpses.

"Abraxius to Soto..."

"Come in, Soto..."

No answer. Tarnuk Soto would have to wait in order to find out that Abraxius and Alkakronous had defeated the two loyalists.

+++

Victory to Abraxius & Alkakronous

Edited by Brother Tyler, 14 October 2006 - 12:59 PM.


#17
Aurelius Rex

Aurelius Rex

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Round 1, battle 13: Ramiel vs Moloch the Tempest (Author: _______)

+++

Moloch listened intently to the reports coming over the comm-net, it appeared the suprise of the initial Loyalist attack had worn off and the Red Corsairs defence was now holding the Legio at bay. All around him steam and sparks swirled as servitor drones worked to bring the secondary generator online as a precaution against any Legio sabotage attempts. Moloch had been assigned guard duty in this sector of the base and he now paced through the darkness waiting for his chance to teach the Loyalists the folly of their ways.

+++

Brother Ramiel checked the map on his data-slate once more, if the scans of the base were accurate he was only a few corridors away from the secondary power supply, his target in the initial assault. He picked up his pace, jogging through the corridors, ducking overhanging cables and leaping piles of refuse and debris, his brothers' attack was faltering and he knew if his strike was successful he could swing the battle's momentum back to the Legio.

He rounded a final corner and was confronted with a steam filled, spark infested room full of servitors mindlessly repeating their programmed tasks. Rasing his bolter he unleashed a hail of Inferno bolts into the room, cutting down the twisted drones and starting a handful of small fires, their smoke adding to the confusion in the room. Moving slowly into the room Ramiel cursed, none of the generator equipment was STC standard and without a TechMarine's training he had no idea where his melta charges would do the most damage. The former Angel of Desolation mag-clipped his chainsword to his armour and started to move around the room, placing charges on the largest, most important looking machines, praying to the Emperor he was doing the right thing.

+++

Moloch had dived for cover, squeezing his bulky form behind a series of overhanging power cables, as soon as the bolter rounds had begun exploding, narrowly avoiding being hit by several rounds. Raising his own weapon he searched for a target, finding it in the form of a black armoured Marine he tightened his finger on the trigger, tracking the Marine as he carefully entered the generator room. Moloch centred his sights as the Marine stopped, then released the trigger as the Marine started placing demolition charges around the room. Moloch stifled a cackle, the Loyalist didn't know he was there. The Corsair lowered his bolt pistol and slowly drew his power sword from it's sheath, in a few moments the Marine's course would take him right by his hiding place.

+++

Ramiel fished the last charge from his pouch and looked around the room for one last target. Noticing a thick duster of power cables he headed that way, if he hadn't picked the right machinery he could at least stop the energy from being sent anywhere useful. Ramiel fiddled with the melta bomb's timer setting, dialling in 15 minutes and reached up to plant the final charge, as he did so he felt a blade of ice rip through his back and saw the coruscating tip of a power sword emerge from his chest. Coughing up thick black blood inside his helmet he turned his head to see a horned helm decorated with blashpemous icons.

The Legionnaire staggered forward, sliding off the blade, desperately trying to raise his bolter as he fell awkwardly to the ground. The impact drove pain through him like he had never felt before and drew more coughing, choking sprays of blood from within his helmet. The last thing he saw as the Traitor raised his blade in a mock salute was the timer on a melta bomb slowly ticking down as the Red Corsair swept the sword down one last time...

+++

"Your time has come, lapdog... death awaits you."

Moloch pronounced his sentence on the Loyalist as he swept his blade down, ending the fool's life more swiftly than he deserved, but Moloch had no choice, for he now saw the flaw in his plan to wait and ambush the Legionnaire. The Loyalist had not, as he'd expected, set the charges to detonate at his remote command, but rather had used their timer function to arrange their detonation, Moloch had less than 15 minutes to defuse the charges the Marine had laid or face the wrath of Soto...

+++

Victory to Moloch the Tempest

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 15 June 2006 - 07:53 PM.


#18
Aurelius Rex

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Round 1, battle 14: Quadras vs Brutus (Author: Ferrata)

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A dark shadow slumped down behind one of the larger sacrifice tables in the Ruinous Temple; it was empty from the other Chaos lackeys. Some of them had been here before the boarding by the Legio forces, but they had run off to fight somewhere or other. All he had to do was sit here, wait for most of the action to kick off and he'll be out of here. He looked down at his data-sheet; it showed a map of his currently location and possible routes out of this damn base. Round the side of table, pass all types of artefacts of the gods; he watched the only entrance to this room bar the air-duct.

The shadow heard a noise come from behind him, swinging round, pistol out ready to fire. On the ground, shackled to the wall, was a slave girl. The shadow thought to himself, "Must had been one of Onyx's, wonder if he needs her anymore?" He considered if the Ruinous forces did have any advantages over being alone, he certainly would not have been allowed a slave girl in the Dark Angels. He unsheathed his power sword, and leant across to the slave girl. As the large sword reached towards her, her eyes widened with fear. The sword got ever closer to her chest, Brutus smiled with twisted delight. Jerking the sword down, he smashed the shackles into pieces.

"Shut up, and keep behind me. I could have some use for you, later."

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Quadras strode down the dusky corridor; he watched a small iron door about seven metres down the corridor. He slowly approached the door, making little sound for an eight foot, eight hundred year old killing machine. His pistol held at his side, his aim had faulted little over the centuries; he could still keep up with the best of the young sharpshooters. His sword's power section humming slightly. It was a good sword, not a fancy sword or an arcane sword, just a killing sword.

Quadras rested himself against the wall, trying to listen out for movement. He reached towards the door activation panel, clipping in two prongs into the side of it. A quick, immensely large electrical current burst into the circuits of the panel. Short-circuiting, the door slid open. Quadras heard several serfs' power-up, their power supplies increasing output to put the serfs in combat mode. After a few anxious seconds, cumbersome auto cannon ripped into action. Its heavy bullets smashed into opposite wall, ripping the concrete its metal frame. Slowly filling the corridor with choking smog, possibly deadly to normal lungs.

Calculating the time until the auto cannon will need reloading, Quadras sheathed his sword, and unlocked a grenade from his belt. Pressing gently against its activation rune, he waited. Instantly after the heavy rounds had stopped, he tossed the grenade into the room. It landed right at the feet of one of the serfs, but no explosion. Predictably, the dim-witted serf picked up the grenade, Quadras smiled. Flipping round the corner, he levelled his pistol on the grenade. He squeezed the trigger, the bolts spat out of barrel. The bolts sped across the distance between the pistol and the grenade. As the bolts bedded themselves deep within the grenade, the serfs hadn't realised their fate. The core of the bolt detonated, setting off the grenade. The grenade teared trough the arm and chest of the serf, splattering the others in a deep crimson blood. With one third of the gun team incapacitated, Quadras drew he sword.

The ancient giant sprinted across the room; his speed had lowered over his time in the Legio. His joints had became stiffer, his muscles weaker. Under his helmet his face showed his age, his forehead dominated by service studs. He didn't tell his brothers, but age had started to creep up on him, he could feel it. He had been in the Legio longer then most of his commanders, he had been in the Legio longer then most of his commanders had been alive. His speed increased as he raised the glowing sword.

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Brutus slumped further behind the table, completely hiding his bulky mass behind it. The slave girl, still shaking from the trauma, crouched next to him wondering if it was worth the chance to flee. Brutus' gun still was aimed at the singular entrance to the temple; his sword lay next to him. The key to his victory would be deceit, trickery and cheating. Sometimes, he really considered how the Space Marine chapters without them three traits, maybe that honour had something about it after all. He glanced at he faded symbol on his left shoulder pad, the winged sword. Once a member of the Dark Angel chapter, the first Legio, the sons of Lion El'Johnson, now an enemy of the Imperium he once stood to defend.

There was a deep repetitive rumble somewhere in the labyrinth of corridors. Some kind of sentry gun, either mechanical or serf operated, probably auto cannon. He listened as the sound stopped, its echo continuing for a few more seconds. He listened as there was a small explosion, followed by the screams as the serfs where cut down in combat by the intruders. His time was close; soon battle would be upon him.

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Quadras swiped the blood of his visor; the serfs had caused one or two problems. The first being the blood on his visor, the second being the loud screams as his sword had cut through their weak skin. Stealth was all by lost now in this part of the base, and anyone following him would find three broken bodes in numerous different parts of the room. He still waited for the day that he would find a suitable opponent to die fighting. He would hate to be retired to some menial task due to his age. Even worse would to be sent back to his parent chapter, old and decrepit. He got to the last corner of this section, all that was left was the temple. Here chaos would spawn.

He reloaded his pistol, shoving a new magazine into the gun and clicking it into place. His sword held against his chest, its surface passing inches from his visor. He focused his mind on the task in hand. His sword became part of him, each swipe with sword would bring justice to the Imperium, handing one more soul of a traitor to the Emperor's wrath. Saying his final pray to the Emperor, he stepped round the corner.

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Brutus watch as the marine stepped round the corner, not firing, not charging. This marine had honour that would be his downfall. Brutus stood up from behind the table, shoving the slave girl in front of him. Staring at the new comer, Brutus weighed up the situation. The slave girl stared at the new giant, was he one of them or a saviour. Either way, she didn't want to see what as about to happen. Brutus, sword and pistol at his side, removed his helmet.

"Brother-marine, I am not your enemy. I am Brutus of the Dark Angels"

Quadras tried to remember the quick briefing they had before the battle, he couldn't remember any mention of Dark Angels in the area. Why was this marine alone, not many forces operated in singular members. Brutus' armour looked old, extremely old.

"Where is your squad? Your ship? Your force?"

"Your brothers have been neutralized. You are all alone and are the last of this pathetic attack. You will choose to fight and die but know this; I would have accepted your surrender and given you clemency. You however follow a predictable path to your extinction!"

Brutus had little time for this talking, but it was required. He was slowly advancing on the marine, and if he could keep him talking for long enough, that battle would have started before his foe knew. Brutus wondered how many of the Legio he would have to kill to get himself of this damn asteroid and out of the pirates.

"I am not some young rookie your fighting. I have served the Legio for nearly seven-hundred and twenty one years. I will not be fooled but your trickery, your dishonour."

With these words, Quadras pushed of his back foot and once again sprinted into battle. Seeing his foe charging, Brutus clipped his helmet back on and charged as well. The two giants closed in on each other, spitting bullets from their pistols as they did. The slave girl watched, memorised by the armoured titans which fought. Two bullets smashed into the wall behind her, she was not so iucky with the third as it embedded itself into her skull.

The two giants where metres away from each other, still sprinting. Brutus slammed his legs into the ground, stopping nearly instantly. Dropping his shoulder, bracing himself for the collision. Quadras, unable to stop himself, collided with the stopped marine, rolling over his foes armoured back. Skidding along the floor, finally coming to a stop near the far wall of the temple. As he raised himself to his feet, he quickly glimpsed behind him, and the slave girl he had just crushed against the wall. This was not going to be an honourable battle.

Quadras slowly approached Brutus this time; he was not going to fall for the same trap. The two marines brought their swords round, sparks flying as their paths clashed in mid air. Brutus brought his sword down, heading towards Quadras' right greave. Quadras stepped back, just quick enough, and swung his sword across. Unable to get his sword back up in time, Brutus had to use his pistol to black the shot. The sword lodged into the side of the sword, it wouldn't work again.

Brutus, preferring the use of cheap tactics over normal ones, brought his knee into Quadras' stomach. The old marine buckled over under the force, and collapsing to the ground as an elbow connected with the back of his helmet. His helmet buckled under the pressure, and digged into his neck. Rolling away from the downwards blow of a sword, Quadras unlocked his helmet and chucked it aside. This was not going to plan.

Shooting his pistol at close range, Quadras once again entered battle. The bolts hit the side of Brutus' shoulder pad, but harmlessly ricocheting off. Thrusting his sword forward, Quadras attempted to impale his foe on the end of his sword. Brutus, still as flexible as he used to be, stepped aside as Quadras lunged passed. Spinning round and slashing downwards, Brutus cut a deep wound in his foes back. Stepping back, he knew the battle was over.

Quadras turned to face his foe; he couldn't feel the end of his fingers. First his pistol dropped, then his sword. The sound echoed around the room as the weapons clattered against the floor. He starred at his enemy, he tried to move but his power pack was broken. He could see white dots appearing from behind the traitor, growing larger. They became faces, laughing at him for his weakness. The faces became bodies as the dots became daemons. A tide of white ghosts rushed towards the old warrior, swirling around him. Suddenly they all vanished into his wound, and peace was found.

Quadras went to say some final words, something redeeming him. If there was a scribe around to write his final words, he could be proud of them. But instead of words coming out of his mouth, blood drooled out. Brutus watched as the lackey of the corpse emperor exploded into millions of pieces of metal and flesh. Splattering the walls of the temple in blood and flesh, Brutus smiled. At least Khorne would be happy for a short while. He picked up Quadras' pistol and stepped out into the corridor.

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Once the drama of battle had passed, a scuttling noise could have been heard, It would have grown louder and more numerous as the pack closed in. If anyone was around to see them, they would have seen the horror as a pack of mutant rats scuttled from several holes in the walls. Spreading out to cover the whole room, they set into the feast that the gods had given them. Some mounted the slave girl, nibbling out her flesh. Others went for the shattered remains of the god in the black armour. Some of the rats where large then the others, their bodies mutated with large muscles and bulkier mass. Some had extra limbs, or longer teeth. They all stopped, and turned towards the main alter. From behind it strode one of the large rats, with the shattered remains of a sword to support himself, for this rat walked on two legs. The rats all spoke in unison, and then continued their feast.

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Victory to Brutus

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 15 June 2006 - 08:10 PM.


#19
Aurelius Rex

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Round 1, battle 15: Eshara vs Prefect Gallows (Author: Pantherrex)

The darkened hallways betrayed shadows against all the interior surfaces, eerily making the ship's halls resemble innards of some hideous beast. Eshara glanced across the hall, searching for a sound or a whisper. He instintively looks up and above himself in a familiar visual search pattern, check the shadows, look for contrast, look for movement. A drill he has repeated thousands of times before. Search the dark areas, look for difference, a moment's laxity is a sin against the Emperor.. He has seen a battle brother eviscerated by a slashing barbed tale. In his mind, these chaos-worshipping bastards could be cursed with worse heretical "blessings". He spits on the floor with detesting malice. His saliva bubbles against the decking, almost as if it too is repulsed by the very materials that made this ship.
A hiss and a creak give away one of the excommunica tratorous. A white flash of armor is met by a barrage of flung bolter shells. Eshara reloads his blessed weapon before the last casting rolls into the darkness. A slurpiness alerts the brother that he has hit something wet. "Corsair bastard son! Face Me Coward!" The targeter flashes wildly on it's mount. Eshara training activates. He spins and drops into a roll. A shell bursts against the wall panel were Esharas' head was a moment before. "Blasted damnation..." scolded the embattled Marine.
A flashing light sparks on and the siren squeals alive. The blast door covering the ejection port slides open, his quary is stunned and blinded by the sudden shock of the arlarm. Eshara's preparedness, and faith in the emperor have prevented him from suffering the same fate. The emergency protocol is active, the Marine thinks. Eshara tracks his laser sight onto the recovering abomination. It looks more alive than dead. IT hisses and growls, rushing towards him with wildness in its unmatched and watering eyes. ITs bolter roars, unleasing a spatter of un-effective fire towards the steady marine. "Eat this, chaos spawn!" Emptying half his dip into ITS chest, a mess of bile and roting blood explode against the wall beside IT.
IT doesn't pause in ITs run.
Eshara moves and fires and so does IT. IT forms a mocking gesture as it's large fetid powerfist absorves the bolter shell shocks. The Blast door swallows the explosive shell as it spews past Eshara's head. "Emperor's Teeth!"
ITs swollen eyes laugh silently as it charges Eshara like an enraged Emesorian Bull beetle.
Eshara reflectively down-hands his chainsword against the flailing fist before him. Twirling his wrist, he violently upslashes and heavily downstroks against the elbow of the Corsair warrior. The sword biting hard, activates in Eshara's hand, and jams against stone-like bone and sinew. Rotting skin and flotsam from IT are sprayed violently into his face and his Legio shoulderguard. Unafraid and un-stymied by this, he withdraws his sword. The large cobalt-like archaic fist slams against his knee and almost removes it with a stroke. The armor holds, but the force of the strike drives the hurt Marine to the deck, Eshara feels his armor starting to get lighter.
The helm-alarm sounds in his ear and he knows the monster will space both of them. Talking as if to the pet quarnak back at his old base, Eshara announces, "this will stop NOW!". Grabbing the fetid marine's outflung weapon, he reels IT towards himself.
At point blank range, the bolter shells make a loud crack in the quickly escaping air as the offending creature's head explodes. The
suction draws most of
it's grey-green matter out into space before it touches anything inside the hallway.
Eshara releases the now-limp armored body of the evil malfesian menace, the lifeless body is sucked into space and disappears, The heavy door efficiently slides closed.
One of ITs eyes, caught on debris upon the floor, stares up at the grimmacing marine. Eshara stomps on the offending organ. "Go to the Eye, Traitor".
Eshara thinks he hears a small squeal. He keeps moving for there is more battle to look forward too...

Victory to Eshara

Edited by Aurelius Rex, 15 June 2006 - 08:21 PM.


#20
Aurelius Rex

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Round 1, battle 16: Samael vs Kekmeses of the Twilight (Author: Brother Tyler)

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Samael sighed deeply as he leaned heavily on the storage containers serving as cover, pausing only a few moments to load another clip into his still smoking bolter. He had to admit that although his senses were as sharp as ever, he did look a little worse for the wear. His armor was missing several sizeable chunks from where it had deflected the bolter shells minutes before, plus a few odd gashes where an enemy close combat weapon had penetrated his defenses. The wound had already ceased bleeding due to his enhanced physiology, and he detected negligible loss of combat efficiency as he moved his limbs.

He had paused behind the cover of the storage containers in order to reload and to take stock of the situation. The STC plans of the base rolled through his eidetic memory. He had progressed rapidly through the defenses so far, finding his way through the corridors of the Red Corsairs' base with ease. Defenses had been predictable, the automated sentry guns emplaced in likely positions, and easily countered. The defenders he'd encountered so far had been normal humans, likely riff-raff who had been pirate servants of the Red Corsairs. Sergeants Golgotha and Domadeus had cautioned the strike force about the likely presence of traitor Space Marines, though, and Samael felt an insistent anxiety about not having encountered any so far. When Sergeant Domadeus and several members of his squad had been injured in the drop pod's fall, both of the sergeants had adapted the battle plan. The Legio battle-brothers had split up, entering the base from various locations and attacking a number of objectives. The strike team's insertion had been stealthy enough that the number of traitor Astartes was probably low. With the basic layout of the base known in advance and likely layout of defenses accurately predicted, the effectiveness of dividing the team was deemed worth the risk. It seemed to have worked up until the point where Samael lost comms. It would not do to get overconfident, though.

Samael rapidly searched about the corridor for signs of living defenders. He had destroyed the sentry gun with ease, then dispatched the handful of pirates who attempted to ambush him. His eyes moved quickly about the hallway, searching. The right eye, wounded in battle long ago, saw despite its milky whiteness. The battle-brother muttered the litany of hate quickly and quietly, steeling himself for action. The path to his initial objective was through an opening five meters away. Cautiously emerging from his temporary refuge, bolter at the ready, he continued on down the blasted hallway. He had wasted enough time already.

Stepping around the remains of the sentry gun, Samael moved with a speed that belied his size. The broad corridor still reeked of ozone and bolter fire, a faint haze lurked in the air. Apparently neglected by maintenance servitors, only a few of the light fixtures seemed functional. Several flickered irregularly, ghostly shadows strobing along the bulkheads. Samael carefully ducked under low-hanging cables, exposed wires thrusting forth. As he brought himself upright upon clearing the cable, a form appeared at the end of the corridor, bringing Samael up short. The figure halted at the end, assuming a calm position as if challenging Samael to attempt to pass.

Samael evaluated the figure in a fraction of a second. The size of the figure revealed it to be a traitor, one of the Space Marines who had turned from the light of the Emperor and who now waged war upon the Imperium he had once sworn to protect. The first thing Samael noticed was the pair of eyes that peered at him from beneath a cowl. They weren't normal eyes. Instead, they were entirely of a burning crimson, as if lit from within. Those eyes bore down upon him without emotion or intelligence, lending the traitor the appearance of an automaton. Samael shuddered at the depths of heresy to which this one had sunk, falling so far from the Emperor's Grace that he was now so consumed by the powers of the Dark Gods. The archaic armor of the traitor was blue chased in gold, remnants of battle marring its surface. The immense weapon was a glaive with a curious sickle shape about an arm's length from the blade. The glaive was barely able to fit within the confines of the corridor, having scant meters to spare in both the height and width of the hallway. Samael smiled at this - the traitor would be limited in his attacks.

Samael brought the bolter up to fire, targeter aiming in on the space between the unnatural crimson orbs. The distinctive bark and thunderclap of the bolter reverberated in the corridor, deadly inferno bolt launching toward the blue-armored traitor. The bolt exploded harmlessly in the wall though, as the blue-armored traitor rapidly moved to the side. Samael dropped to a knee, assuming a more stable position as the traitor exploded into motion, charging the Legio battle-brother.

Samael's next bolt exploded in the wall as the blue-armored warrior again dodged to the side. The traitor was moving forward at full speed, wordlessly charging Samael. The strobing lights continued to flash irregularly, the enormous warrior closing the distance in fragmentary moments. Now only twenty meters away, the traitor revealed the firearm cleverly incorporated into the glaive. The traitor's bolt struck Samael in the leg, knocking the supporting limb out from beneath him and fouling his aim. Samael's first bolt was knocked off by a fraction, ripping the cowl as it grazed the side of the traitor's face. The mask that had thus far covered the traitor's face fell away, revealing a face that betrayed no emotion or sensation. Samael's second bolt passed harmlessly off the renegade's pauldron.

Recovering his position, Samael looked up into the face of his enemy, still a dozen meters away. The crimson eyes continued to burn intensely. The mouth broke into a small grin, then opened, revealing no teeth or flesh, but more crimson light. As the mouth opened as if issuing a war cry, the warp-spawned light launched forth, seeking to engulf Samael. The Legio battle-brother quickly jumped to the side, firing his bolter in order to suppress the enemy. The daemonic fire had no heat, passing by Samael and consuming a container.

Still firing his bolter, Samael thumbed the activation rune on his chainsword as the enemy charged him. Mouth still open, the enemy jumped over the bolter fire, sorcerous fire sweeping to cover Samael. The former battle brother of the Holy Seraphim of the Emperor rolled in the opposite direction, avoiding the crimson energy and bringing his chainsword up to intercept the thrusting blade of the enemy's glaive.

The chainsword screamed as it contacted the enemy blade, Samael straining with all his might to push the blade aside. The deadly blade drove past his body, the chainsword parrying the blade by a centimeter. As the red-eyed warrior brought the blade back in preparation for another strike, Samael's chainsword bit into the leading arm. A quick jerk of the arm freed the blue-armored warrior of the chainsword, though, and instead of crimson blood, the eerie red light shone forth from the wound. Samael barely had time to register the light before the enemy's glaive slammed into his chest, energy blade smashing the ceramite plastron and driving the blade deep into the body of Samael. The power of the attack drove Samael to his back, chainsword flying from his hands and clattering across the deck, blades grinding to a halt.

Samael brought his bolter up feebly, but the silent renegade kicked the weapon away with disdain. Blade still lodged in his body, Samael felt the warrior bearing down on him with all of his weight.

In his last few moments, a vision appeared in Samael's dying mind. Across the span of many light years, he could see the Emperor on the Golden Throne. A single tear rolled down the cheek of the Immortal Emperor for the fate of mankind, and then only darkness...

Without a sound, without any trace of emotion, the blue-armored warrior withdrew the glaive from the chest of the Legio Space Marine. He turned his head mechanically, keen ears picking up a sound in the distance. Silently, he moved toward the noise. Another servant of the false Emperor would meet his blade.

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Victory to Kekmeses of the Twilight

Edited by Brother Tyler, 14 October 2006 - 01:02 PM.