Author Topic: Gnar値axx Entrapped  (Read 901 times)

Offline Thade

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Gnar値axx Entrapped
« on: January 08, 2013, 10:11:16 PM »
泥aemon! Show yourself! Fight me, Emperor damn you! Lucifer Thade revved his chainsword and gritted his teeth. 徹r are you too scared to face a mere mortal?

The inquisitor stood twenty metres from the tree line in the tall swaying grass of the field. The sky overhead was thick with swirling clouds that formed and reformed faster than any he壇 ever seen. Sickly yellow lightning arced between them, lighting the field in all directions and casting sharp, twisted shadows amongst the bent and stunted trees. The forest rose before him, climbing up the side of a low mountain. In the darkness, the field went on as far as he could see.

The daemon was here, Thade knew. He could feel the beast clawing at the edges of his mind. Even blunt, he could sense its malign presence, the tendrils of warp-thoughts trying to break into his subconscious. Thade furrowed his brow and hardened his thoughts, using techniques he壇 learned from Eois, ones which he had ultimately mastered far better than his mentor.

He wondered about Eois, wondering if his old master was still alive. Their strike teams had been separated during the descent, his shuttle landing somewhere on the other side of the mountain. Thade痴 own had made an emergency landing in the field, several kilometers from the forest. His pilot was good, Clyne managing to furrow the earth and stop their momentum. Everyone had survived, even if the shuttle would never fly again. But Clyne...

Clyne was dead, his corpse lying several meters from Thade, black and charred. So were the other members of his strike team: four inquisitorial stormtroopers, Izzy, Xanide, Tara...

There had been a brief transmission from Eois, but it had fizzled to static as quickly as it had come in. But it had been enough to know that he was alive.

He isn稚, a voice said inside Thade痴 head. The voice was warm and soft, smooth like a fine vintage amasec, delicious like the kiss of a lover. There痴 just me and you, Lucifer, the way it was always meant to be.

Thade ground his teeth and took a step forward. Thinking of Eois was letting the monster in, opening a chink in his mental armour.

Just you and me...

擢ace me! he shouted. 鄭re all warp-scum such cowards?

I shall be yours, and you mine. We shall do such great things together, we shall-

Thade shut his eyes and emptied his mind as best he could, slowing his breathing and meditating. He began speaking the Canticle of Protective Faith.

滴allowed be thy Emperor, blessed as the Father and the Savior, the One True Master of Mankind and the Lord of the Stars and Skies, may thee fill my mind and soul with thou courage and sanctity until there is nothing but the shining light of thou holiness within my body and spirit. Undying Lord, I beseech thee to grasp my heart with thou divine fire and keep the darkness at bay. May thee, the God-Emperor of Mankind, protect and defend thou most dedicated servant...

He could feel the scratching of the daemon at the edge of his mind, but the creature couldn稚 enter. The clouds moved faster, the lightning coming more frequently, but Thade kept incanting the words, raising his voice over the sound of the rolling thunder.

Forked lightning crashed in front of him, not ten metres away. Thade ducked, holding a scroll tube aloft in front of him. The tube contained the articles of protection against the daemonic, written with and on sanctified materials, penned by a holy Eccelsiarch and properly dedicated to the Emperor. They were meant to be protection against the damned and the wicked, but other scroll tubes lay shattered and burnt amongst the corpses surrounding Thade. Every member of each strike team had been issued one, but they had been of little use to the others.

Nevertheless, Thade couldn稚 think of anything better to keep between himself and the daemonic.

Three more times the lightning crashed ahead of him, each accompanied by a peal of thunder. Thade痴 incantation faltered, but he hurriedly picked it up again.

...and defend thou most dedicated servant in his time of need, help him fight the battles in thou name against the unholy forces of evil and destruction, while-

徹h shut up, Thade, a voice said. The sound was audible, not a thought in his mind. Though it had some similarities to the soft telepathy of before, this voice was rough and brittle, as if said through sharpened teeth and articulated with a tongue forked more than once. 典he Canticle is just words, not a shield or a real defence.

添ou prove yourself wrong by speaking, daemon, Thade said. 哲ow show yourself!

There was another crash of lightning, the thunder hammering like a deep laugh. 釘ut I have shown myself. Can you not see?

Thade realized that he could. A bestial face, bent horns twisting around and crowning it, was before him. The lightning had left an afterimage, half visible in the darkness. But it was there, and as the daemon spoke its jaws moved.

的 don稚 seek ghosts or phantoms, Thade replied. 的知 here to destroy you.

釘etter men than you have tried, boy. Men like Eois. He was the first to reach me. The face smiled. 的 won稚 lie to you, he didn稚 beg or cry, though his men did. No, he was true to the last, even as I broke his back and pitched him from my mountaintop.

Thade stood there, silent.

添ou seem unimpressed, the daemon said.

的 didn稚 come here to trade tales.

滴mm, no, you致e said as much. You don稚 want to hear about how I burned that fool Barne and his merry band of followers?

Inquisitor Barne was leading the third strike team, being the Ordo Malleus inquisitor who had been in charge of interrogating the daemon and who ultimately was responsible for its escape. He had volunteered for the mission in hopes of redeeming himself, but Thade had heard nothing from him since they had breached the atmosphere.

典heir crash was worse than yours, the daemon continued, clearly reading Thade痴 surface thoughts. 典here were hardly any left to play with.

的 clearly underestimated you, Thade said.

徹h yes? The face grinned, crooked teeth showing in the yellow half-image. 添ou池e beginning to realize your stupidity in facing me?

添es, quite, the inquisitor said, 的 never once thought you could bore me to death.

The grin twitched but didn稚 vanish entirely. 鄭 pity: I thought we壇 do such great work together. Fine then, have it your way.

Lightning struck not three metres from Thade. Then it struck behind him. Then it struck him.

He went to his knees, holding the scroll tube above him in his right hand, shouting the words of the Canticle so loud his throat hurt. The heat from the warp lightning was immense on his fingers, but the lightning itself didn稚 touch him. Instead it arced around and beside him, detonating on the ground with black flames smouldering where it struck.

The lightning became constant, laughing thunder roaring in Thade痴 ears. But he continued his words of protection until his mouth was dry and his larynx scratched. The scroll tube began to grow hot and his fingers burned as they clenched tight. He didn稚 dare drop it, nor for a second stop his incantation. When he reached the end of the Canticle, he started over without a moment痴 hesitation.

Thade didn稚 know how long the lightning continued, but he restarted the Canticle several times. The glove on his right hand began to burn away, the fabric falling like ashes before his eyes. But the storm finally began to abate, the lightning becoming less frequent, the clouds evaporating before his eyes to reveal a grey morning sky.

Slowly he lowered his hand. The tube was blackened and broken, some of it having fallen away. The scroll was miraculously intact, scrunched in Thade痴 damaged hand. Shards of the glass were embedded in his palm, blood trickling down his fingers and staining the sanctified paper. Pinching the scroll between finger and thumb, he shook off the remnants of the tube and stuffed the remains inside his coat. He raised his right hand and, using his teeth, peeled away what was left of his glove. The inquisitor stood and drew his second sword, a wide but short broadsword, the runes and writing etched along its blade flashing as the sun rose behind him. Blood from his damaged hand ran along the sword痴 edge.

泥evout, for a heretic, the daemon said.

This was a real voice, not a telepathic one or one manifested through lightning.

Thade raised his head. Before him was a group of thirty or so people, all of them local humans clothed in leather and rags, carrying dirty axes and blades. But one hovered above the ground before them. It was the possessed host-form, the only way the daemon could manifest for so long in the material dimension. It had chosen a tall, tanned, well-built male, but he would hardly be recognizable. Multiple horns had sprouted from his forehead and temples, twisting along and above his face, destroying the natural symmetry of the human features. His eyes, whatever colour they had once been, were now dark maroon, steam rising in lazy swirls from the burnt sockets. The daemonhost was clothed in regal robes of many colours and wore a number of gold necklaces and pendants. It was smiling.

添ou sound tired, daemon, Thade replied. 泥id that little squall take a lot out of you?

的 still have plenty of energy left to tear you limb from limb. But, yes, your valiant little display was a touch draining. Again, great job. For a heretic.

的知 no heretic, Thade said.

滴mm, no, you are, inquisitor. I致e read your future, seen what you will become. Already you go down the 喪adical path, as you like to call it. That will consume you, turn you against the Imperium and your fellow humans.

Thade shrugged. 溺aybe. But if that痴 true, then today I am pure and strong and I will triumph over the Warp. You are mine, Gnar値axx, prisoner of Namen, and today I shall bind you to my will as you have bound so many others.

Gnar値axx was no longer smiling. 典hat is one of many futures, mortal. In most of the others you die. Today. You two: kill him.

The nearest two locals charged forward, swinging heavy claymores. They were mind-slaves, puppets bound to Gnar値axx. Their eyes were milky and blank, not really seeing the world. The two moved with a certain sluggishness, as if wading through a thick, viscous river. But, as Thade discovered parrying the first down stroke, they were inhumanly strong.

He dodged the second attacker and spun between the two so he was behind him. Stabbing with his chainsword, Thade pushed the revving blade between the local痴 shoulder blades, the whirring teeth carrying it forward. He flicked the throttle and the sword痴 teeth reversed direction, the blade flying loose and letting Thade dance away from the blow of the rallying warrior. The man followed up with an overhead swing that Thade caught with the chainblade, again reversing its throttle and throwing the strike away from him. He stabbed in with his other sword, the blade biting through a leather vest. As the man died, the blade痴 runes burned white, the daemon痴 hold on the man releasing forever.

Gnar値axx began sending in more of his slaves, piecemeal at first, but then many at once as Thade slaughtered them. In the beginning, the inquisitor kept up, his two blades whirling around him like a hurricane, killing anything that came too close. Then an axe stroke came from behind and cut into the meat of his calf.

Thade cried out, half-turning and cutting down the axe-wielder. But another came from behind and stabbed into his shoulder. There were too many. His swords leapt and sang out bloody death, but they kept coming, blades swinging down from all directions. The inquisitor registered that his left arm was bleeding, though he hadn稚 felt the cut. He spun, his calf screaming with pain, just in time to see the quarterstaff twirl low and take out his legs. The daemon began to laugh.

He hit the ground hard on his back, his head smacking against the scorched earth. Barely, he managed to block the down stroke of a sword before boots pinned his arms to the ground, their owner痴 strength immense. One woman, her eyes blank like the rest, stood above him holding an enormous two-handed great axe. She raised it high.

A blast of light seared over Thade and took off her head.

泥idn稚 your mother ever tell you not to play with your food, warp-filth? someone shouted. Gnar値axx turned.

Behind him, running out of the forest, was Inquisitor Eois and his team of red-clad stormtroopers. Several of his troopers were firing from the shoulder, deadly hellgun rounds cutting down the locals with precision accuracy. Eois was ahead of them, armoured in carapace plate and carrying his force halberd aloft. The symbol of the inquisition was mounted behind his head.

Some of the troopers began firing on Gnar値axx itself. The daemon shrieked in rage, raising its clawed hands and deflecting lasbolts with nothing but bare palms. It met Eois head on, the force weapon shredding the beast痴 robes as it tried to parry the weapon with its arms.

Driving forward, the daemon grabbed the haft of the halberd and clawed at Eois shoulder guard with its free hand. Tearing away the armour, it struck at the exposed arm and gouged deep wounds with its ethereal claws. Eois gasped, staggering away as his blood spilled down to the earth.

泥on稚 worry, inquisitor, Gnar値axx purred, 的 won稚 play with you.

哲o; you won稚. Thade stabbed the daemon through the spine, gripping his sword with both hands. The monster howled, thrashing around, trying to pull itself free. Thade pushed harder, the tip of the runed blade punching through the other side of the host痴 chest. Smoking ichor dripped from the wound.

Thade began the words of binding, Gnar値axx writhing on the blade that had split its host痴 spine. 釘egone from thy body and bind to my blade, Thade finished, 吐orever to serve me till I release thee.

The daemon tried to scream, but out of its mouth shone only pink light. It flung its arms wide and it arched its back, the whole host shuddering and beginning to glow. The runes along the blade, though only a few were visible as much was buried in the host, shone white. There was a horrible howl, neither audible nor psychic but both at the same time, and the host crashed to the ground, the pink light fading rapidly. Thade waited for several minutes, the troopers around him rounding up the remaining locals who were sobbing with the break from Gnar値axx痴 will. Finally, he withdrew the blade and wiped the blood and gore from it.

The runes no longer shone white: they glowed pink.
***

Eois was standing by their transport, having signalled it the moment the storm had abated. More inquisitorial personal were running around, taking samples of the scorched earth or seeing to the dead. As Thade approached, his mentor shooed the medicae away.

典hey池e here to help, you know, Thade said.

Eois snorted. 的致e had worse, much worse. He looked at the scabbard his pupil carried. It was black leather, branded with runes and wrapped with bronze chains. Several totems hung from it, totems, Eois knew, of imprisonment. 添ou池e sure you値l be able to handle it?

徹h yes, quite sure. I much prefer it to be with me where I can see it. Though I知 afraid Barne won稚 be able to continue interrogating it.

釘arne痴 dead, Eois said, his face turning dark. 滴is shuttle crashed during the descent. No survivors. What is it?

Thade was frowning. 典he beast, it said as much.

Eois shrugged. 的 guess it was right about one thing.

的t was right about something else, Thade said, hanging the sword over his shoulder. 典he two of us will do great work together.