Author Topic: Duty Never Ends  (Read 2576 times)

Offline Kallidor

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Duty Never Ends
« on: August 25, 2009, 01:51:00 AM »
CHAPTER ONE


The Animal, Part i


Feel the rage, the fascination, feel the hate, and the retaliation.
Hide away in your lies, a necessary evil to silence your cries.
Born a beast, a sinful thing, born an angel with broken wings.
Live in fear.
Live in hate.
Live in agony.
This is your fate.



Rain lashed down, spearing the cracked concrete like iron rods hurled by some baleful and mindless godling. A brilliant flash of lightning struck the towering form of a skyhab, an ugly, lumpen conglomerate of tower blocks and municipal buildings crushed and crammed into every available space, and the jaundiced yellow lights of ten thousand windows flickered and blinked out before sputtering uncertainly back to life.

The inhabitants of this dire and squalid place were as mishappen in both body and mind as the buildings they infested. They did not live, for to call what these creatures had 'lfe' would be a travesty, they existed, caked in the grime and filth of their own mortality and crawled along blindly, picking over the detritus like insects on a mountain of guano, a great heaving mass of vermin. They were human debris this carrion breed of city-dwellers that fought and rutted like beasts, devouring the weak and naïve with rapacious appetite.

An overhead rail-wagon screeched past, doleful, pale faces staring out over the roofs just a few steps below them. Along the length of an entire carriage in bright red graffiti gangers had scrawled 'Last Stop: Hell' and the words seemed to dance and shiver in the air long moments after the thundering, clattering beast had gone, following its silvery tracks like a slug. It had kicked up sparks as it went that chased it lazily along the rails like a pack of hoodlums stalking a young mother and they sent fitful shadows dancing like wild phantoms that cackled madly, scattering discarded cans and papers like confetti that rattled and hushed their observers into complicit silence.

A low, ebbing throb stuttered up out of the wretched earth and stamped its way through the mortar of the building as if the very planet itself churned beneath the parasites that feasted and defecated upon its surface. A transformer sizzled and howled and a twisted knot of electricity lashed the air like a fist before flooding back over the machine, killing it, and plunging the poorly illuminated rooftop into stygian blackness.

The brief searing pulse had backlit a hulking silhouette that crouched like a malefic gargoyle on the edge of the crumbling hab. Slicked with greasey rain it stared down into the abyss, just a simple alleyway, rivulets of water pouring down the long, thick strands of its hair that hung past the living mask it wore; the Nomad.
Be Pure!
Be Vigilant!
BEHAVE!

Offline Kallidor

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Re: Duty Never Ends
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2009, 02:11:41 AM »

The Animal, Part ii




Below, a pink neon light buzzed above a battered entrance. Two squawking harlots rapped upon the observer's slit which was drawn back with an impatient thud. A few grunts issued forth and the hateful whores babbled back, tottering about and laughing like hyenas. The portal opened and a languid fog fell out of the entrance wrapping itself around the two women like a sleazy lounge lizard. The two tarts bobbed inside and the doorman, a heavy set brute wearing a lobsided leather mask with a grinning zip mouth slipped a packet down the inside of the garish, fishnet top of the more buxom of the two, his thick gnarled fingers lingering over her breast. The women were not repulsed at the gesture, merely continuing with their aweful, gleeful laughter and the portal swung shut with a heavy thump mercifully cutting the noise off.

The respite did not last long before the portal, a wide heavy metal door, swung open and two more human dross exited the establishment. It was a male and a female, the latter looking anxious. The female was pulled along the alley, centemptably ungraceful on her high heels, the male tugging her at such speed she looked sure to fall. As they almost reached the pavement at the alley's end he backed her up against the rough brick wall, her feet rustling through heaped bags of trash and he smiled luridly as he crushed his lips against hers.

He pulled up one of her legs, her short skirt unable to contain her modesty and though she protested feebly it was only a matter of moments before she was mounted. The two fornicated unabashed and heedless of the rain and as the girl's pittiful moans of pleasure escalated the male reached into his waistband and pulled out a long knife.

The Nomad could tell by means of the Mask of Azarath-Naraseethe that while the girl was on the verge of orgasm the male was not. To the enhanced site and hearing of the Mask the male's brain pulsed a pale blue, alpha waves stuttering like rotary blades. He was calm, despite the physical activity, and the Mask whispered his thoughts into the Nomad's mind. He was going to slay the girl mid-orgasm and as he drew back the knife his brain activity finally began to spike.

It would have been a simple matter to save the girl from such a loathsome fate but such hollow human lives as these were not worth saving and their suffering meant little. The knife slipped into her flesh with far more tender affection than had the male's other weapon and then more rapidly until it was possible to hear ribs cracking like tinder under the force of the blows. She moaned all the while until finally she was done and her fragile, delicate body, ragged and torn, slumped into the garbage at her feet; where she belonged no doubt. The eyes of the Mask were black, unblinking and expresionless as they took all this in, beads of rain running down the unfeeling lenses which reflected the scene in shades of grey.

The male bent over and cleaned his weapon on the girl's soiled clothes. It was a gentle action but more for the respect accorded the blade than the corpse. He pulled his blood drenched trousers down and with a grunt leant back preparing to lose himself over the body and this was the moment the Nomad chose to make his presence known. The great, solid mass of him dropped to the ground like a cannon ball, throwing up a geyser of puddled water.

The male fell sideways onto the corpse and hurriedly pulled up his garments, brandishing his knife at the squatting figure in the shadows. The lupine snout of the Mask snarled and its sibilant voice hissed through the Nomad's mind. At times he had lost himself, his personality so blended with the Mask it had driven him insane, many times, over and over and over again. Madness and sanity depended on time and madness found some quicker than others who often died before their sanity could return. The Nomad was ageless and so he had experienced these changes on many occasions throughout his lifetime. The Mask was a supreme weapon but it was only ever meant to be donned in battle, to enhance the senses and lend its formiddable abilitites to a warrior's own strength. But the Nomad wore it always and invariably when a weapon possesses a mind it directs it to do only one thing.

The Nomad stood and allowed his immense frame to loom in the shadows for a second, the fuzzy pink glow of the sign shimmering across the snout of the Mask like blood. The male's heart and breathing rate began to increase and adrenaline flooded his system, all picked out in minute detail by the enhanced vision of the Mask.
Be Pure!
Be Vigilant!
BEHAVE!

Offline Kallidor

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Re: Duty Never Ends
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2009, 02:25:56 AM »

The Animal, Part iii




He didn't know what it was but it was big and fear ripped through him as if his scalp had just been peeled back over his skull and his eyeballs had burst. It stepped forward with a low growl, placing its foot with deliberate heaviness, splashing in the filthy, filmy water that sent ripples skittering away, reflecting its awful, inhuman features. A thrill of pure dread washed through him and the last dregs of jacked fizzed in his brain making a wonderfully intoxicating mixture.

He threw his knife from one hand to the other and crouched low, ready to pounce, his face splitting in a lunatic grin. If he could just get in around the side, he could slip the blade into its guts, he loved the way his knife pressed into a stomach, the way the skin puckered, like lips, before opening for a kiss, the feel of flesh as the blade plucked at it, the pressure on his hand as it hit belly, and the gentle force of blood rustling over his knuckles. He began to circle and the creature turned its head to follow him, its lip curling back, revealing long canines that seemed to glint dully, like metal. Just a little closer he thought and then he would have it.

*****

The Nomad watched the human approach. The acrid tang of adrenaline tinged with some other odour, a sharp, bitter smell; narcotics. The male seemed to respond, his pupils dilating wider and his brain activity peaked, higher than normal human levels the sound washing in and out like the hum of electrical wires. The human didn't realise that his every thought was laid bare by the Mask and that his feeble attempts to gain ground upon the Nomad were about as camouflaged as the storm that boiled overhead. The male began to grin. The Nomad watched, in painfully slow detail, as the human got ready to throw his knife back to his other hand, a poor attempt at distraction to conceal his attack. He flicked the knife across and the Nomad let it get half way.

It would have been an easy matter to use the Ahggatar, the shadow gun, but the human would not have seen it and would have been left confused and the Nomad wanted him fully aware of exactly what was going on. Arzjen-Kai, a blade he himself had forged aeons ago, was in his hand in an instant, slicing the knife in half from tip to haft. The two perfect halves fell to the ground with a tinkle like music and the human looked down aghast. Such vermin might expect to be shot or stabbed at some point in his miserably short life and by that meet his end but this was where the Mask came into its own. Few expected to be eaten alive by a monster of myth and deepest nightmare.

The Ahggatar rearranged with a thought, internal irises opening fully. It was like black light when it fired, a cone of darkness that stripped away all the forward facing garments of the human and left his skin raw and tender. He cried out and staggered backwards but the Nomad was upon him, leaping forward. The Nomad tucked his legs in so that he hit the human feet first directly in the sternum. Steel clad fingers bit deep into the man's shoulders, bones grinding. They hit the ground and the male's guts squashed like a jelly, a fatal, but lingering blow. 
The muzzle of the Mask buried itself deep, scissoring through skin and gristle. The man did not scream, he whimpered and moaned a terrible and pitiful sound as long gobbets of flesh tore free, the wet sounds of eating underscoring his every gasp of pain. The Nomad chewed through his throat while he still lived and even as the head was severed away the mouth and eyes worked, soundless with no breath to power them. The headless body twitched, fingers clenching and unclenching and the Nomad stood to his full height. He observed the head, the eyes staring vacantly.

*****

There were three knocks on the door and Brice pulled back the viewing slit. It was that damned fool Jarreth, back again already.

“First one not enough for ya?” The imbecile just stared blankly, mouth hanging open. Moron. Still, he would be easy to control and use in this state so it made little difference. Brice opened the door and had about two seconds to make an absurd double-take that saw the slabs of fat that covered him wobble, sweat dribbling down his throat from beneath the leather mask he wore. There was a giant, a giant stood in the doorway, Jarreth’s severed head stuffed onto one fist.

The Nomad punched the disgusting, fat, doorman with the head, which split down the middle under the force of the blow. He shook it off and Arzjen-Kai cut through the tumbling human with a whisper, practically turning him inside out as his guts emptied over the floor.

There was another human in a gimp costume, all vinyl and chains, another obese blob of a man who vomited, brown slop oozing from his mask. It blinded him and he pulled at his mask, mewling in panic but the Sword sliced through his bulk, the body disintegrating spectacularly as if a grenade had gone off, limbs flying theatrically.

The Nomad was statuesque as he held the last pose of his attack, half crouched and the Sword held in a reverse grip under his arm. There was silence and after several moments the Nomad unwound. He crept down the gloomy, fog filled corridors of the club, his massive bulk indistinct, wraithlike. There would be much more killing to do before this night was out but it was necessary and the Nomad’s world narrowed as the Mask boxed his thoughts and took control.
Be Pure!
Be Vigilant!
BEHAVE!

Offline Kallidor

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Re: Duty Never Ends
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2009, 02:52:21 AM »


The Animal, Part iv




The lupine figure of the Nomad stalked further into the club. Pounding music and the hubbub of voices rolled through the walls and floors like waves. Scents, emotions and lingering thoughts clung to the place like a miasma, the Mask reading each one as a different colour, a different sound, a different vibration, tasting the minds and lives of all those who had walked through these corridors and rooms, piecing together their movements and their lives.

Outside in the world even a single mind contained so much conflict the resonances were distorted and difficult to decipher and resolve but here there was much more focus, less distractions and pre-occupations. Here minds were centred on only one real thought; pleasure.

It was so primitive it was infuriating. So much time and effort spent chasing after such a temporary thing. Such pursuits were vacillation, they achieved nothing and were not even an end in and of themselves for each high or low ultimately faded. One needed to move beyond levels, to beyond the tedium of constant change; desolation, destruction, oblivion, emptiness. Pursuits of the self were all ultimately worthless and in the end the only thing that was pure and with meaning was extermination.

These were more the ponderings of the Mask than of the Nomad himself. As a construct the Mask’s inherited spirit was without the emotions or memories of the Nomad before the great upheaval that had changed his people forever. It was a product of the Nomad’s kind styled after what they had become and not what they had been.

His, ‘people’, for that was all they would ever be now, time robbing the Nomad of the name of his kind, had been peaceful and had had no notion of war or battle. They had been re-made into warriors so powerful that any such claim that they had been anything but seemed laughably ridiculous. What had seemed to his innocent, his naïve, his ignorant kin, as gods, had taken them and reshaped their hardy physiques into tools of battle, weapons used in a war that had threatened to shatter the heavens.

These Ancient Ones had sought to further enhance the psychic abilities of these primitive beings by suffusing them utterly with the warp but that other realm was already corrupted by the bloodshed that spilled across the galaxy and it was this malignant force that re-forged the Nomad’s kind, their burning souls quenched in carnage and hatred, making them hard in a way they had never been but twisting them into something dark in the process. They removed their mortality and created beings that killed without motive, emotion or remorse.

The Nomad watched the humans for a few moments. A fog, laced with narcotics billowed through the dance hall. Scores of humans danced, laughed and many of them were fornicating openly. Some of the dancers looked like they were about to pass out from the exertion, those that clustered around the edges were stuffing their faces, grabbing handfuls of food and downing it with jugs of wine, proffered by servants twisted by hideous mutilations. Those that rutted on the floor, though they moaned with pleasure were glassy eyed and blank as if they barely registered what they were doing. Everything was done to excess until what should have been a joy became a torture, pleasure became pain, perverted and debauched.

Those stood nearest the Nomad slowly registered his presence and as they realised what exactly was right behind them they began to run and scream in blind terror. He watched them from the sides of his eyes for a few moments and then crashed into their midst like a wrecking ball. Strobe lights picked out sprays and floods of blood as Arzjen-Kai sliced through soft human meat. The Ahggatar irised open fully and span around on its mount like the dilated, roving eye of a stim-junky taking a hit. It lashed out like a petulant child, black light annihilating flesh, gristle and bone.

Some were not so helpless and rushed in gleefully, just as the Nomad suspected they might. Their attempts were all ultimately futile and they had no chance of delivering any meaningful damage. Never-the-less the Nomad, under the command of the Mask met them cautiously destroying them with quick efficiency until a score of corpses littered the ground, the thumping music suddenly clear in the silent space. These meagre scraps were not who he was here for and it was foolhardy to play with them when his mission was so vital and so the Nomad moved through quickly pursuing those that had fallen back or fled.

Though it had not been his original purpose the Nomad had come to hate the malign forces of the warp. For him and many of his kin hatred had been one of the few emotions left to them and unable to revenge themselves upon those who had truly distorted them they focused on what had been used to distort them, the turbulent warp powers that had turned them into monstrous killers. When their natural defences had been taken away by the Ancients so that they might be charged with warp energy their souls had been released into the warp becoming one with that place until they were little better than the mindless predators that dwelt there.

The Nomad could feel waves of disturbance within the warp, sensing even the most insignificant ripples that radiated from the souls of the living and of other warp creatures. He could feel this soul presence like a man might feel changes in wind or rain but he could also taste and scent each soul. The soul he had pursued across this world and into this sordid den was like a stinging rain in a harsh breeze. It was sickly sweet but was cloying like leaf mould; a soul wholly given over to the powers of the warp.

Two burly humans leapt at him as he moved into a narrow corridor. The Ahggatar punched a hole through the first with a screeching cough. The human carried on, stumbling and crashing to his knees, blocking the path of his compatriot who got pressed back into the alcove he had hidden in. The Nomad lifted the man in one hand and the jaws of the Mask clamped down around his shoulder, worrying at the flesh and tearing away a massive chunk. Black arterial blood bubbled from the wound and the man collapsed onto his arse, arm scrabbling at the damage but his strength faded fast until all he could do was twitch and then lay still.

There were more humans scrambling for a way out and the Ahggatar scourged them into raw lumps as the Nomad approached. A woman tried to flee past him, to get out the other way but a hard punch slammed her into the wall. She struggled to get away and the Nomad reached down and grabbed her by the heading, smashing her face first into the brickwork. Those humans who were left surged towards the Nomad but this time as they fled from something cutting through them from the other direction.

His quarry hacked through the press with static howls and screeches of pleasure. It purred feedback and for a second it stood at the end of the corridor, a dark silhouette, backlit with red light from some distant light. The glowing eye-pieces of its helmet leered from beneath metallic eye-brows and then the thing leapt at him. It was armed with a flickering sword and a heavy pistol but its fiercest weapon was the amplifier that sprouted from its head, replacing much of its throat and all of its jaw.

A Noise Marine of the Rapture Lord brought to this world to carry out some irrelevant mission or other. Waves of sonic power that could melt steel pummeled the Nomad. The Mask saw them like azure spinning discs and they gouged into his skin like heavy talons. The Ahggatar returned the attack and silenced the weapon, the Noise Marine’s face now a sizzling mess of glistening black metal. It writhed and howled but whether in agony or ecstasy it was impossible to tell. The Mask listened to its brain-waves but there were many all at once, over-lapping each other and jarring together, a confusing mess of emotions.

The two charged as one and their blades clashed. The energy field of the Noise Marine’s power weapon sizzled and played down the length of Arzjen-Kai but the Nomad’s blade bit through the body of the Chaos Servant’s sword. Locked, the Nomad slammed a fist into his adversary, cracking ceramite plate. The Ahggatar closed its irises and the internal barrels span, cycling up to high speed until the weapon screamed and then fired an obsidian needle through the Marine’s armour.

The Nomad’s cannon continued to self-arrange, using the needle as a pivot, sending more energy stamping into the Marine. The Chaos impregnated armour resisted but not for long and it was quickly stripped away followed shortly by the Chaos Warrior’s chest, revealing the twin hearts there. The Nomad pinned his opponent to the ground with Arzjen-Kai and tore off his arms. He had acquired the Chaos Champion and now all he had to do was perform the ritual.
Be Pure!
Be Vigilant!
BEHAVE!

Offline Kallidor

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Re: Duty Never Ends
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2009, 07:42:24 PM »

The Animal, Part v




A rank odour filled the deserted dance hall, a stink like wet dog and rotten chicken. The Noise Marine's innards boiled under the psychic glare of the Nomad as he performed the ritual. For long aeons he had prowled the galaxy, raging against the very forces that had created him. But these forces were not at odds even with themselves and one such as the Nomad was too useful to allow to wander alone.

He had been patronised by a thing of the warp, a creature that valued his hate and his wrath. This power which had not fully revealed its nature purpose to him yet had bid him take on this quest and in so doing attack the fell powers he had sworn himself to stand against.

The Noise Marine, Champion of the Pleasure God was the first and easiest target. As the ritual proceeded it took on a life of its own until it no-longer required the Nomad's aide. The Nomad leant back from the corpse as an invisible vortex plucked at the body. Flesh, bone and ancient ceramite melded into one as the unleashed forces blurred reality. From the shredded chest of the Champion a sickly, slug-like thing oozed. The Nomad captured it into a container and observed it.

The Psychically impregnated glass of the vessel throbed ever so slightly with a pale blue light where the slug thing probed the confines of its new cell. This was the shadow-self of the Champion, the dreggs of his soul. The Nomad wondered at what power this warp entity possessed that it could deny the Pleasure Lord a soul from one of his own foresworn warrior.

What was left of the corpse was a twisted, steaming mess that hissed and creaked like hot metal as the body within crumbled to ashes. He stood, no-longer mindful of the Noise Marine, instead looking into the beyond, drawn to the next target. Summoning his power the Nomad tore open a rift in the warp a tunnel to whatever world the next vile follower of Chaos resided. The Nomad stepped through his gate and vanished.
Be Pure!
Be Vigilant!
BEHAVE!