Author Topic: Trigger  (Read 2453 times)

Offline Swarbie

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Trigger
« on: October 01, 2010, 02:15:16 PM »
Brother-Captain Aziriel Cronus looked over the mission briefing displayed on his data-slate, and frowned. It was . . . unusual, to say the least. Normally, the investigation and cleansing of a space-hulk would be left to the nearest Guard outpost or Space Marine chapter. Very rarely would a Deathwatch kill-team be summoned from the other side of the subsector to deal with such an issue.

Regardless, High Command had ordered him to answer the summons. The Deathwatch was the best force available, and the hulk’s position near the subsector’s capital world meant there was no room for error. If there was a foe aboard it, they could rock the entire sector’s political and economic fields with a single well-placed assault. Such a thing could not be allowed.

His kill-team was to board the space-hulk, make their way through to what appeared to be the remains of a Dominator-class battle cruiser. The cruiser’s warp-drive was read as still active, and their first objective was to shut it down. Their secondary objectives were to retrieve information from the cruiser’s bridge and main computer, identify possible threats and eliminate any non-Imperial forces discovered. 

He had summoned his team to the armoury, and would brief them soon. He turned to walk out of his cell and found a servo-skull hovering patiently behind him. When its image-sensors identified him, a small projection played out from its right eye socket. A shaven-headed serf’s image appeared. The serf bowed deeply.

“Captain Cronus. I have been instructed to inform you that Chief Librarian Zeus Demattos will be joining your team for your upcoming mission. Ave Imperator.”

Cronus tried not to show his feelings, then thought better of it. The servo-skull crashed against a wall of his cell as he extended his left arm in a swift, crushing movement.

Muttering darkly, he strode through the ship’s corridors towards the armoury. He half wished that the mission was already over.
And I saw her body burning,
With it, my world
To dust returning

Offline Swarbie

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Re: Trigger
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2010, 12:26:10 PM »
The kill-team sat on spartan benches arrayed around the armoury. Cronus entered the room and began to speak.

“Brothers. We have a new mission. A space-hulk, designated as Olympus Mons, has entered real-space less than twenty thousand kilometres from the subsector’s capital world. Our mission is to board it, shut down its warp-drive and then cleanse it. Are there any questions?”

A marine, his armour displaying the insignia of the Flesh Tearers, spoke up. “This is a simple mission, brother. Why have we been chosen when Naval stormtroopers could do it?”

“In truth, I am not sure Ares. We are the best force available, but still . . . Doubtless High Command is playing with politics again.”

All the marines present murmured in agreement. Suddenly, the door to the armoury swung open, and another marine, his psychic hood prominent above his shoulders, strode in. He leaned heavily on a force staff, and he seemed to be old and weary.

“Chief Librarian,” said Cronus. “I had not expected you to be here so soon.”

“I make a point of attending mission briefings, Brother Cronus. Especially if I am to attend the mission itself.” 

One of the marines, an Imperial Fist, stood. “Why do you feel the need to join this mission, Librarian?” he hissed. “We have no need of one like y-”

“Enough!” yelled Cronus. “Demetries, sit down. You will treat Brother Zeus with all the respect he is due. You know what he has been through, and the simple fact that he is a member of the Librarium, a Chief Librarian no less, means he deserves respect. Your hatred of psykers is no reason for such behaviour.”

The chastened marine sat back down, and Zeus strode up to Cronus.     

“My thanks, brother,” he said. “Many would have agreed with Brother Demetries when in your position.”
“I agree with him, brother. No matter how much respect you are due, your Chapter is still a member of the Cursed Foundings. You bring bad luck. If it was up to me, I would not allow you to join us on this mission.

“Understand this, Brother Zeus. I have nothing against you personally, but you are a psyker. Despite your vaunted position, that makes you a risk. You are a member of the Death Seekers. All know of your Chapter’s ill fortune. I am merely concerned for the safety of my men.”

“I understand the basis of your . . . resentment, Brother-Captain, but you will need me on this mission. The Emperor came to me in a dream last night and told me you would all die without me. I believe that this was a true warning; an act of foresight. If I did not join you and you were all killed, I would not be able to live with myself. Besides, one is never quite sure what could be aboard a space-hulk.”

Zeus turned away and sat down on an unoccupied bench. Captain Cronus returned his attention to the rest of his men.

“We depart in three hours. Prepare your armour and choose your weapons. I want everyone armed for close-quarters fighting; no heavy weapons. You should all have a decent close-combat weapon too. I will see you all in the shuttle bay.”

He turned and strode out of the armoury, heading to his cell. He would gather the holy unguents and blessed oils to cleanse his armour, arm himself, and then head down to the shuttle bay. He was disturbed by Chief Librarian Zeus’s warning, and found himself wondering what Brother-Sergeant Demetries would do if he found out his life could well be in the hands of the gnarled old psyker.

The coming mission might be dangerous, but at least he now had something to smile about. 
And I saw her body burning,
With it, my world
To dust returning

Offline Swarbie

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Re: Trigger
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2010, 06:03:35 AM »
Aboard the hulk, in the darkness that was once the bridge of an Imperial Emperor-class warship, a group of brothers watched the approaching boarding pod with interest. Hades had been right. The time was nigh for them to strike at the followers of the loathsome corpse-god, and show them their true strength. 

* * *

The Kill-Team moved through the hulk’s twisting corridors in silence, the soft whirr of servos and the occasional creak as an armoured foot encountered a weakened decking-plate the only signs of their presence. Brother-Sergeant Demetries took point, the pilot-light of his flamer casting a soft blue light over the rusted doorways and corroding walls.

Three serfs accompanied Hephaestus, the team’s Techmarine. They were loaded with tools and spare parts, their backs bending under the weight. They followed patiently behind the marines, casting nervous glances at empty doorways they walked past. Hephaestus was immediately in front of them, his cumbersome bionic leg leaving him a little slower than his brothers.

++Moving into a new ship++, said Demetries over the marines’ vox-channel. ++It appears to be an Imperial cruiser or warship. The warp-drives are close by++

++Warp-drives read as fully functional, Captain++ said Hephaestus, pausing momentarily to look at a monitor set into the wall. ++Possible risk of rupture. Suggest minimal use of bolt and plasma weapons while in the area++

++Agreed. Marines, switch to close quarters weapons. Demetries, keep a sharp eye. Your flamer won’t rupture the drives. Fire on sight++

There was a flurry of movement as marines all along the line holstered their boltguns and bolt pistols and then drew a variety of melee weapons, ranging from Brother-Captain Cronus’ twin power-sickles to Brother-Sergeant Ares’ massive chainsword. 

After this momentary halt, the line started moving again. They soon paused, as they encountered a large, vac-sealed door.

++What’s in there?++, voxed Apollo, one of the team’s three Blood Angels.

++Structural map indicates that the door leads to the engine-room++ said Hephaestus. ++Proceed with caution++

++Brother Ares?++, asked Captain Cronus.

++Of course++

The massive figure of the Flesh Tearer stepped forwards and brought his chainsword to bear against the door. After several swift strokes, Ares had cut a roughly marine-sixed hole through the door.

Demetries stepped through into the engine-room, keeping low. He scanned the shadows, saw nothing and beckoned the team forward. As he turned to make sure they were coming through, something flashed through the air and impacted against his shoulder-pad, blowing a huge chunk from the metal-bound ceramite.

++Bolter fire!!! Take cover!!!++

The squad quickly ducked behind the barely-adequate protection provided by the engine-room’s various work benches and alcoves, their armoured forms struggling to fit out of sight.

Cronus peeked over a bench and quickly spotted a figure in power-armour wielding a bolter. The firer’s armour was daubed with bloody symbols that hurt Cronus’ eyes and the armour itself was a pre-Heresy version, truly ancient.

++Traitors!!!! Brothers, we fight for the honour of the Emperor!++

++For the Emperor!!!++, came his squad’s roar of affirmation. A pillar of fire extended from Demetries hiding place, engulfing the Chaos marine and hiding him from sight for a second. Taking advantage of this respite, the other marines broke cover, drawing their ranged weapons as they did.

They quickly spotted more Chaos marines striding towards them, at their head a marine whose horned armour was wreathed in psychic energy. As one, the Kill-Team opened fire, a veritable storm of bolt-rounds heading towards the sorcerer.

++No!!!++, voxed Hephaestus frantically. ++He’s right in front of-++

The sorcerer waved his hand and the bolts, a moment ago about to impact against his body, curved around him and smashed into the wall behind him, breaching the reactor-core of the ship’s warp-drives.

The explosion was felt by astropaths almost two sectors away. All evidence of either side was obliterated, and a warp-storm blew up that would last for decades. The fate of Deathwatch Kill-Team Cronus was never discovered by the Imperium.

However, one entity was watching the catastrophic explosion. It smiled as it saw the strands of fate around the marines, both those loyal to Chaos and those loyal to the Emperor. As it watched, it twisted those strands, until the Warp itself allowed them to float on its shifting tides, drifting through time and space.

Waiting for an opening into reality. 
And I saw her body burning,
With it, my world
To dust returning