Author Topic: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion  (Read 25123 times)

Offline Necris

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Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
« Reply #75 on: July 05, 2010, 07:46:57 PM »
"Agreed, pull us back and prepare to track the Warp Telemetry."

Tass turn his attention to effecting repairs across the ship, they'd taken a beating but were still operational and in a combat ready status he issued orders throughout the ship then returned his attention to the view port.

"What of the Eldar ship?"

"Pulling from combat range."

"Bring all our weapons to bear and ready for any signs of attack, make sure they know the outcome should they come within range of our batteries."

++

Raneb crashed against the bulkhead wall buckling the metal under him he came away from the wall ready spear level and in a offensive stance, he's lost his helm during his battle and blood pumped from a wound above his eye coating one side of his face in a red veneer, through clenched teeth he growled a litany of power and sent bolts of lightning down the companion way tearing plating from the walls and striking the hulking form of the daemon prince, the lightning boiled flesh daemonic blood splattering the walls hissing as it touched the metal surface.

The Daemon howled in pleasure as it came at him, his armour was shot the chest plate dented do badly that another blow would see him dead, as he crouched into a defensive stance he gathered his mental strength and thrust the weapon into the chest of the daemon stopping it dead as a new pain racked it's body, gathering itself it drew back one of it's claws ready land a killing blow.

"You will not best me daemon, I am a servant of the Emperor, and you are not welcome on this ship."

Releasing his built up psychic might he directed it down the length of the spear into the tip of the weapon the burst shot into the daemons chest tearing the daemon apart leaving nothing but a howling wail as it vanished, Raned dropped to his knees in exhaustion looking around at his surroundings, he was several levels below the boarding torpedo somewhere near the spine of the ship, he cursed the daemon for dragging out the battle and no doubt causing considerable damage to their surroundings.

"Tass, I have rid the daemon from this ship."

This here is my very favourite gun...I call her rita.

The Order of the Iron Rose - Necris' Inq28 Plog

Offline Draco Silverhand

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Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
« Reply #76 on: July 08, 2010, 09:14:51 AM »
With his forces in disarray, aboard his own ship, and with the Imperials licking their own wounds, Tigurio personally oversaw the few minutes of patching up and repairs before he gave the order to drop into the Warp.

What little of the life support was left was rerouted to the command decks, as most everything else was automated. The Warp spilled through the uninhabited areas of the ship, and some of the inhabited areas, while the command deck and various weapon or housing decks were spared. The maddening lash of the Warp ebbed and rushed for hours, as they made their jump. Tigurio was bound to escape these cretins, they knew nothing of his plans, and would not heed anyways, so he focussed on plotting the exit route through the Warp, communicating psychically with the navigator. Normally this would spell certain doom for an Imperial ship, but Tigurio was no longer in service to the Imperium, as the creatures of the Warp saw it, and they refrained from attacking the navigator in his lapse of concentration.

"All hands on deck." He ordered, and the ship's remaining compliment of Chaos Marines, Black Knights and daemonhosts began to assemble in a briefing hall, originally designed for the Lectio Divinatum, now it was dedicated to blasphemies and heresy. "We have been found out early." He said, pacing. "We must divide our forces, find the root of the problem, and eliminate it. Split the daemon icons amongst four parties of thirty marines. The goblet goes with the World Eaters with us, of course, and the sword goes to our Slaanesh cultists. The dagger shall go with the Deathguard and my trusted sorceror shall carry the medallion. When we drop out of the Warp, debark to locations in system I have already marked with assistance from our navigator. Wait there for instructions."

Each force would be sent to a separate world in the system Kemar. Id Kemar, Ef Kemar, Ot Kemar and Al Kemar, respectively.

As the strike cruiser stumbled from the warp, the drop pods and thunderhawks fired off their engines for each world, and then Tigurio steered the ship towards the system's sun. A dim, bluish dwarf with little life left. Kemar system had been set up in the central galaxy as a science colony in pre-Imperium times, and when the Imperium reclaimed the worlds, they left them largely untouhed, as the worlds embraced the Imperium's science, and then strangely had no trouble transitioning to the Lectio Divinatus' dictates.

Now, Tigurio would show these Kemarans that their God Emperor does not want them, and in the process, sacrifice each world, just before it aligned with the others, generating a massive shockwave that would open a new, smaller warp anomaly, similar to the Eye of Terror or the Maelstrom. The greatest difference though, would be that this anomaly would constantly serve as a portal for Maelstrom and Eye of Terror forces to assault the Imperium, as it would be closer to Holy Terra than either other anomaly.



Draconis sat at the console, puzzling.

"We nearly destroyed him, he somehow survived. How does he figure with a crippled ship, that he stands a chance of accomplishing anything further?" He asked Tass.

Offline Necris

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Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
« Reply #77 on: July 08, 2010, 10:37:50 AM »
Tass rested a hand on his Imperial Fists shoulder

"He has lost his wits young pup, he knows not when he is beaten like all that have fallen he can not see what lies before him, only the deluded goals of his false hope."

Tass looked up as Nero strode onto the bridge his armour caked in the blood of battle he looked across the deck.

"Are we fit for warp transit?"

"One hour captain we are recalibrating the gellar fields."

"Have us drop into warp as soon as we are ready."

++

Brak had retired to the world eaters barracks, he'd removed his armour for cleaning even though the crimson gore appealed to him he would not allow the white of his armour to be diminished by the blood of traitors, sitting in his cell he received the reports of his losses greif taking his heart at the loss of his men.

Once the whole report had been give he dismissed the serf and took his chain axe lifting it to his face he drew the teeth across the flesh of his face cutting deep lines in memory of the men lost.

Pulling on a robe he headed for the bridge.

++

Sol strode the companionways of the ship, ensuring that all trace of the incursion teams had been removed he'd ordered each body piled in one of the hangars and his final desination was there, he'd found Renad and for a while the pair of them had walked together like brothers before the Thousand Son had informed him that something was amiss and headed off on his own search.

The damage to the generators while not being critical would mean they'd not be able to master full power to the engins if they came into conflict with Flazone again they'd be doing it at half speed which would put them on a more even footing.

++

Pavel sat in his cell they had taken no part in the battle, they remained in reserve ready to strike yet even in this reserve they had not remained idle he had all ready dispatched a hunt team it was in pursuit of Flazone and his fallen ilk.

++

Grave extracted himself from the ships sinew moving through the airless sections of the ship he was left unmolested by the manifestations of the warp, for his presence in a dead section of the ship was of little note when the living sections thrived, his belt of plasma and melta charges was still intact but he was low on ammunition, an armoury would need to be found if he was to be of any use.

This here is my very favourite gun...I call her rita.

The Order of the Iron Rose - Necris' Inq28 Plog

Offline Draco Silverhand

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Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
« Reply #78 on: July 15, 2010, 06:25:53 PM »
Tigurio's plan was simple. The daemon or traitor in his midst that was providing his foes with their location would be found out. If there was no traitor to his cause, then Tigurio would be able to act with impunity. As it was, he needed the four daemons dispersed to properly affect the sacrifice of the system. He'd made this matter clear to his lieutennants and in specific, his chief sorceror and onetime Emperor's Champion. The sergeants of each Chaos legion present had far greater experience in battle than even Tigurio, but due to his cause, his rank, and his strength of will, they'd sworn fealty to him for the duration of his quest.

As each strike force readied itself, Tigurio looked on. The Thunderhawks glistened, as if prepared for a funeral rite, and the armor of all but the deathguard and the World Eaters (who preferred their tarnished or bloodied look), glistened in the low lighting of the hangar deck. The traitor guardsmen, the last of his cultists, had lined up in perfect regimental fashion, each platoon set for one of the assault parties. All were ready to die for Tigurio Falzone, confident in the knowledge they would be reborn to Chaos. Tigurio smiled as he thought this. He knew their souls would be recycled, but they did not realize as he did, that Chaos does not recycle you with your whole soul in tact. It torments and moulds each soul to its purpose. The precise reason he cared little for re-incarnation.

He sought to bring the Imperium low, that they might rise from the ashes anew, and as he stood, watching each strike force descend, he knew that when this new eye, terrible and bleak opened at the heart of the system, it would engulf the star, and every star system around it in darkness. The galaxy's once bright center would be swallowed by pitch, and from the darkness, daemons and legions of traitor marines would march on Holy Terra herself. The heart of the Imperium crushed would force mankind to turn and worship Chaos, and in doing so, gain the strength of eternity! Tigurio bent backwards in a loud, echoing, roaring laugh that stretched on for minutes as these thoughts passed through his mind. When he stopped, he looked around, all the marines had stopped embarkation to turn and stare. Those from the Traitor Legions didn't seem to notice as much, but all his own fallen Templars and every single guardsmen had turned their head in his direction, the marines tilting their heads sideways, while the guardsmen for the first time since pledging to Chaos showed fear in their eyes. Tigurio straightened himself and shook his shoulders loose.

"BACK TO IT! DOGS!" He shouted, cowing the guardsmen, and making his own Templars take a step back before they proceeded to board their thunderhawks. Tigurio boarded the ship bearing the pendant of Tzeentch, and looked one last time out the boarding hatch, as the guardsmen began to board the drop pods. He smiled. He finally felt as if things were going his way...



The Thunderhawks debarked the strike cruiser and a fourth of the drop pods fired off as they passed the first world, Id Kemar. The strike cruiser fired off a salvo of magma bombs at strategic locations across the planet's surface, and sent a specialized warhead towards the strike force's landing zone, the warhead shot through the atmosphere, firing retro-thrusters and deploying a chute once its velocity slowed enough. The large plasteel shell carried prescious cargo, and Tigurio wanted to ensure it would not activate before everything was in place.

Id Kemar was a cold planet, but had a hearty stock of timberlands that grew robust pines. The entire world was encased in a thin layer of frost, relatively thin, because there was little water to begin with, and when the terraforming process had completed, the world was only tenable to winterized vegetation and wildlife. Large Frost ursines and loxodonts wandered the wilderness, along with smaller rodents and game. The few humans here lived in a single hive at the planet's equator. The hive stretched some distance east and west, but did not span very far north.

The solar panels powering the hive's power systems were networked across the planet's surface, and there was always enough power for heat and air purification, though sometimes the inhabitants had to scrounge the frost wastes for fresh water, which now required drilling operations dozens of miles from the hive, or scavenger teams that would go to the other side of the planet. Id Kemar's population was guarded by a single platoon of Imperial Guard that inhabited the hive's upper spire, with the nobles, as a measure of protection against food riots and insurrection.

To this world, Tigurio had dedicated the World Eaters. A small offering to Khorne, perhaps, but the first blood in this last battle, which should please the Blood God. Tigurio had meant to go aboard this assault, but his daemonhost had advised him against it in the last minutes. He did not know what game the daemons played, but he accquiesced to their suggestion that he go instead with the Thousand Sons and the Medallion of Oxan.

The bombardments struck various power conduits, relay stations and the hive's external shield generators. The drop pods landed only seconds after inside the city walls, and the Thunderhawks secured the dropsite of Tigurio's final stage.



The scene was similar at Ef Kemar, a world closer to heat, but blasted by nuclear war long ago. The few hives that survived thrived off geothermal energy, and the orbital bombardments that ripped into the planet's surface ensured the volcano-power stations went offline before the world even was alerted to their presence. The entire system seemed to lack an early warning network, which was in part why Tigurio had chosen these worlds.

The Emperor's Children and guard cultists made landfall at various cities, but the guardsmen were set to wreak havoc while the Emperor's Children were assigned the actual destruction of the world. They secured their package and began the fight to the spire of the planet's capitol hive. The world had, in a way, recovered from the nuclear war, but all the plantlife and animals in the wildlands were mutated, some with a second head, some with a third eye, some, meant to have four legs, now had eight. The land was still radioactive though, so the human population was small, and neglected. The Imperial Guard mounted a hasty, but ill concieved defensive strategy that was overturned in a matter of hours, as noise marines, raptors and havocs laid waste to barricades and those within them.



The Deathguard descended on Ot Kemar next, though their world was the most formidable. The planet lay in perfect distance to the Kemar system's star, and had a temperate climate untarnished by nuclear war. As a result, the planet had been stripped of many of its natural resources long ago by the Imperium, the Adeptus Mechanicus had built vast subterranean networks and mines, but in the millenia since the world was first habitated, it had grown overcrowded and choked by disease. Perfect for Nurgle. The planet's Imperial Guard compliment was far greater, having an entire regiment, and a tank battallion, but the Deathguard's arrival was heralded by a plague of Nurgle which seemed to manifest within minutes across the whole world. The skies darkened and the dead began to rise, as the world's death knell began to ring in the warp.



Lastly. Al Kemar. Innermost world, Tigurio's final destination in this assault on the Imperium. It was here, he planned to open the portal to hell. Here, he planned to vacate mankind from these worlds in one swift and vile act, and here, he would summon all the hatred of Chaos to subjugate the Emperor himself.

The world was hot. Boiling hot. Three hives existed on its surface, and each was void shielded from the heat of the system's sun. Each housed billions, and Tigurio had chosen to bring the Thousand Sons marines to this world because they could not burn. Each marine was ashes, except their sorcerous leaders. They descended on fire, through fire, in fire. They ran from the assault ramps, their Thunderhawks landing just yards from the void shields. The shields stopped short five yards from the ground, giving the space marines and their land raider plenty of room to pass under. They secured the last of the plasteel packages, and brought it into the capitol hive's shielded air.

"Falzone to all forces. Status report." He sent up the vox to a relay in the strike cruiser.

"Khorne is pleased with your gift, Lord Falzone! The world has fallen to us, and we await your command!"

"It is pleasurable to see these fools scramble their defense. Slaanesh is amused by your efforts!"

"Death Guard here. The world falls in good order, and Nurgle smiles upon your endeavors!"

Each report made Tigurio's smile widen. Soon, these Thousand Sons marines would take down the Imperial defenses here, and then, it would only be a matter of waiting for the worlds to align.

"Strike Cruiser Damnation's Delight. Move to an out-system location and await my contact. Intercept any Imperial Navy attempt to move in-system and keep me apprised of your situation."

"Aye, brother." Came a reply from one of the few marines left aboard the ship.

It was not a matter of odds now, but a matter of time.

Offline Koval

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Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
« Reply #79 on: July 18, 2010, 10:44:48 AM »
The arm had healed quickly. I was impressed. Human bodies are astonishingly resilient, more than one would think, so I was rather concerned that I'd mangled my arm beyond repair. Perhaps as a side-effect of being possessed, it had repaired itself at a rate I could sit and watch. I actually did, but obviously I had to add my own input so that it didn't repair as a nest of vipers, or the armour-plated pincer of a crab.

I think I got it as close to the original as I could manage, but the fingers ended up being slightly longer and the wrist was still stiff when I got the signal to mobilise.

I wasn't entirely impressed by what I saw when I finally reached the World Eaters contingent, but strike cruisers aren't exactly giant battleships, so I was probably wrong to expect a larger army. Nonetheless, a strike force of twenty-seven World Eaters, one Dreadnought, and a couple of Thunderhawks against an entire planet was just asking for trouble, even with the orbital bombardment and the drop pod assault.

I, of course, wasn't going to change my mind about those undignified bombs, so I'd opted to take a lift in Thunderhawk Eta with Brother Scatharax, evidently of a like mind to myself, and rather a lot more devoted to bloodshed than his fellows even if he wasn't consciously aware of it.

We'd taken a blood rite before we'd left. A prisoner -- I can't remember whether we'd taken him from our last planetary assault, or from when we'd boarded a Navy vessel -- had been brought in, and his throat cut (though this being the World Eaters, it was quite a lot messier than that). They'd collected his blood in the goblet, apparently called Blackpraise, and ignoring me completely, their Grand Slaughterer -- a Terminator-armoured giant called Kao Tai -- had drained the goblet of all its contents in a masterful display of drinking, upending it without spilling any blood over his armour. I'm convinced that the daemon within the cup had given Kao Tai a measure of power, strength to match the lords of the Endless Legion, because there was a subtle but very definite shift to how I saw him before and after drinking from Blackpraise.

"To arms!" Kao Tai had shouted, and with a level of discipline I'd not expected from Berserkers, the World Eaters split off into their squads; three clusters of eight Berserkers, the Skull Champion at each squad's head gripping a chain-voulge, headed by Kao Tai, his icon bearer Par Yun, and his second Lo Zan.

They'd filed off into their drop pods with no complaint, bar the odd spasm and gurgling laugh from a Berserker psyching up too early, and I'd been left with Brother Scatharax, the World Eaters' Dreadnought. I'm still rather surprised that Tigurio managed to rustle up a Dreadnought, but as long as Scatharax behaved himself while I was in a confined space with him, I wasn't about to complain.

We'd boarded Thunderhawk Eta, tasked with ferrying Scatharax and a stowaway to the surface (because like me, Scatharax hated drop pods, though I suspect he'd have probably ripped his way out of it in midair had the World Eaters forced him in), and left the servitors to load Thunderhawk Upsilon's launch bay with thermobaric explosives. Came the re-entry, I was under no doubts that Thunderhawk Upsilon's bay doors would open in the middle of a controlled nosedive and the bombs would all come rushing out. They'd probably been set to arm themselves, knowing Tigurio, and when they landed they'd most likely devastate a small chunk of hive that we'd have to avoid on our way up.

"YOU-ARE-OUR-COMMANDER," Scatharax stated, somehow contriving to scream every word in a creepy monotone.

I looked up at the Dreadnought, noticing for the first time that Scatharax actually had a vox-caster grille built into the top of his armour. Largely unembellished, the Dreadnought itself had been salvaged from some campaign centuries ago, stolen from some Loyalist swine, and any Imperial iconography had been stripped from its surface. The only things that the World Eaters had bothered to replace the Imperial icons with had been scars from repeated chainsword impacts, though I could quite clearly make out an icon of Khorne gouged into the ceramite. Scatharax was originally something called an Ironclad, a Dreadnought variant fitted with extra close assault weaponry, but the World Eaters had busted the seismic hammer on the left arm beyond repair. They'd left the oversized power claw on the right hand intact, thankfully, along with its underslung flamer, but Scatharax's left arm had been replaced with a huge plasma cannon ripped off the side of a Leman Russ. Considering how touched Chaos Marines tend to get when they're in a Dreadnought, I wasn't sure that giving Scatharax a plasma cannon was an especially wise decision, but whoever he fired it at would explode in a nice pleasing fireball, so it would entertain me if nothing else.

"What?" I managed, staring at the Dreadnought as he turned his upper section around to face me, straining against his chains to do so.

"YOU-ARE-OUR-COMMANDER," Scatharax repeated. "YOU-ARE-A-CHAMPION-OF-THE-BLOOD-GOD. I-AM-YOUR-SOLDIER."

"Use your brain," I sighed. "They say Khorne cares not from where the blood flows."

"THE-BLOOD-GOD-FAVOURS-YOU! I-AM-YOUR-SOLDIER!"

"Landing in fifteen, fourteen, thirteen..."

"Scatharax, you're a killing machine, not a fresh recruit," I grumbled, observing quite rightly that Scatharax's mind was too simple to progress too far beyond killing (yet in that respect, his devotion to Khorne was rather a lot purer than Kao Tai's, unsullied by pointless rituals and focusing only on shedding blood on the battlefield). "Just follow me."

"I-OBEY! BLOOD-FOR-THE-BLOOD-GOD! SKULLS-FOR-THE-SKULL-THRONE!"

"...seven, six, five..."

I raced over to Scatharax's chains and smashed the first one's wall mount with my hellblade. Rather stupidly, the World Eaters had welded Scatharax's bindings to the wall, perhaps assuming that his rage would help him break free. I wasn't so willing to resort to blind optimism, and moreover I didn't want to risk Scatharax possibly ripping part of the wall away when he exited the Thunderhawk. I needed that thing to get back into orbit, for a start.

The doors opened and no sooner had I broken the second wall mount than Scatharax did the rest himself, thankfully breaking the chains and not the Thunderhawk as he stomped out of the Thunderhawk's passenger bay.

"Where are you going?" I asked him. Outside, gunfire was pattering against his armour and the hull of the Thunderhawk, no more capable of damaging the gunship than slowing an angry Carnifex. Id Kemar had apparently mobilised the vanguard of its defense forces a lot quicker than we'd anticipated; the orbital bombardment must have been a wake-up call for them.

Scatharax ignored the gunfire and turned around to face me. If he had eyes he would probably have tried to stare at me, and if he had a mouth it would have been twisted into a manic grin.

"TO-WIN-THE-WAR!"

Offline Necris

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Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
« Reply #80 on: July 23, 2010, 12:11:00 AM »
Nero stood on embankment deck his officers stood behind him Sol, Brak, Paval and Tass, he watched their respected warbands forming up into four task forces each one fifty strong the majority made up of twenty of their officers legion supported by elements from the others, Nero looked down on his own twenty Luna Wolves stood chatting and preparing with ten World Eaters kitted out with assault packs, combat shields and chain weapons, and a Dozen Emperors Children with bolters and closed combat weapons. Eight Death Guard stood waiting with heavy weapons, Nero looked over his shoulder at Paval.

"Your marines are missing?"

He stepped forward gesturing at the far end of the deck, hidden in the darkness of the deck lurked fifty marines their armour blackened and unlike the Emperors children's blackened armour possessed no reflection, they moved into view from some unseen signal and formed up, as always the Alpha Legionaries remained a separate unit as autonomous to Nero's command as he was to the higher powers.

"We stand ready to do your will Captain."

He nodded he was their commander but he knew their loyalty lied with Paval

"Deploy your marines as they are required, the rest of you know your duties, Tass?"

"My seconds know their duties, I know mind the ship will remain on the systems fringes."

Nero nodded as the deck opened and the Legio marched into five hundred men and women clad in robes and armour they looked untidy and irregular yet they moved with discipline and expertise, each one of them carried a pristine weapon along with a long blade at their hips, they each bore the scars of battle as they joined their respective commands, Nero couldn't help notice that some of the Legio members had coloured the fringes of their robes in the colours of the Legions of old who they felt closest reflected themselves.

He nodded and turned from the sight.

"Made ready for war."

He strode through the corridors leaving the amassing army heading for the Observation bubble. There waited Draconis and Lomak he entered the bubble dressed for war, a long power sword hung at his hip a bolt pistol mirroring it while a bolter hung about his shoulder his helm hung from his hip as he moved into the room.

"We'll be arriving shortly, Orin tells me that Falzone has attacked a number of worlds,"

With a gesture he brought up the system on the holo projector in the heart of the chamber.

He looked at the worlds then at the two others present.

"We've received word from your ship Draconis they will rendezvous with us in system and deploy to your location, I suggest you if Inquisitor Lomak can take you deploy with Lomak while me and mine strike at the Falzone's forces with Lomak's ship you'll be able to get close enough to your uncle and strike at the source of the corruption."
This here is my very favourite gun...I call her rita.

The Order of the Iron Rose - Necris' Inq28 Plog

Offline Draco Silverhand

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Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
« Reply #81 on: July 23, 2010, 06:21:00 AM »
Draconis looked at the holographic image in the room's center. Stepping towards it, he lifted his hands towards the planets, then stretched his arms wide, a universal gesutre to zoom in on wherever his indexes had touched. He did this twice more, before circling Al Kemar with his right index. The world highlighted, and the planets all came back into view as the viewfinder recalibrated the hologram to show the entire system once more, Al Kemar glowing in a slow-pulsing white over its hot orange hues.

"This world." He turned towards Nero and Lomak. "It is hot. Too hot for human colonization, yet the Imperial record states the world pays an Adeptus Tithe of roughly 10,000 guardsmen every year. Clerical error?" He turned towards Lomak. The Inquisitor shrugged.

"I am not one to busy myself with the Administratum's many functions, Sergeant Falzone. But I see what you are saying. The world has the largest listed tithe in the system." Lomak glanced at Nero, who already understood.

"And that would mean it also has a significantly larger population than the other worlds of the system." Nero nodded as he quickly examined the data from the other planets. "Here." He pointed at the data next to the fourth planet. "The ice-world is home to an Imperial Guard training post, hidden caverns, various military bases. The world is reading as having lost most of its power supply, but there are a few hot spots of activity. Military bases, perhaps." He frowned as he brought up the listings of each world in turn in silence. "Each world, in fact, has a large military presence. These worlds are harsh environs for the Imperial Guard to train in... Tigurio stands no chance of winning with what little he has left. My boarding parties report that the traitor's forces were dwindled to less than two hundred marines, and maybe twice as many cultists, before they returned here."

"Which means, they cannot possibly be planning to conquer each world through sheer force or violence." Lomak spoke up. Bringing up the mining world's statistics, energy readings and mapping details. "They must have some ulterior motive."

"Sacrifice." Draconis spoke with a hateful spit of the word, his face compressed into a mask of rage. "He intends to sacrifice these worlds to the Ruinous Powers."

"He can't hope to." Nero shook his head, puzzled. "He doesn't have the might of force to accomplish complete slaughter."

"He doesn't need it." Falzone said. "He doesn't need military might. He was a Marshal. A crusade leader first and foremost before his fall. The Black Templars abhor ranged combat, preferring to strike the opponent in bloody melee. However, every Black Templar Marshal is tasked with the care and maintenance of a number of weapons to be used in the event that the odds truly are insurmountable. If the enemy is all that remains, and there is no world to be saved, save for a world in enemy hands, the Black Templar High Marshals long ago authorized the use of these weapons. The Imperial Fist chapter command told me the full compliment of Tigurio Falzone's arsenal. He had five such weapons."

"Five what? Cyclotronic warheads? Those might be enough to kill a continent, but not a world." Lomak said. "Unless..."

"Virus bombs." Nero spoke, his face a mask of rage now. "The bastard fell to the taint of Chaos, and he has five virus bombs!?" His cold glare passed over Draconis.

"It is not up to me how the Black Templars arm their Marshals, but I am sure they were warranted in doing so at the time. The Black Templars never saw a Marshal fall to Chaos. Especially not one who had served in fifty eight crusades as an Emperor's Champion at every consecutive battle." Draconis shook his head, unable to truly ammend such a grave injustice. "I am sure High Marshal Helbrecht has been reviewing chapter conduct and weapons distribution since this black stain on their honor came to the open."

"It is not known of such a thing happening before." Lomak said. "But like so many others, the Black Templars keep their secrets better than their honor in battle." Draconis shot him a dark look.

"You besmirch the honor of Dorn." He said flatly.

"I merely question the honor of secrecy." Lomak said in a level, almost teacher-like tone. "Your primarch once called for all his sons to stand up and fight without stealth or subterfuge. Keeping secrets, no matter how good your intentions, is still subterfuge." Draconis backed down for a second before returning his attentions to the planets.

"By the looks of these planets, Al Kemar is the last in line to join up in synchronous orbit with the others. It will be the last world to die." Draconis waved his hands to bring the world up into view, but the exact layout and power scans would not clarify, as the planet was too close to the yellow giant star, and there was electromagnetic interference blocking the view. "I suspect my great uncle's vile plot hinges on that world's destruction. I am almost certain that he will be there personally to oversee the world's destruction. There are two hives listed as having massive power generators on the surface. The rest of the hives are strictly underground, and protected by the two surface spires. I have no doubt that he will strike at the one whose power generator is stronger. We need to scan the planet from up close to identify which one is more powerful, make our descent quickly and put a stop to this madness before that bastard opens another rift in the Warp."

"Agreed." Lomak said in brief.

"I will alert my forces of the danger." Nero said as he strode out the room.



World Eaters advanced through halways choking with smoke. The Imperial Guardsmen had put up a ramshackle defense, and each world eater laughed with madness as he assaulted further into the subterranean hives. Several cultists accompanied each World Eater, each grinning with hateful glee as they took scalps and skulls, and were sprayed with the blood of their hated foes. A bloodthirsty cannibal Champion of Khorne flew over the bastion walls of an above ground hive, weidling a giant goblet of blood, and tearing throats with his long incisor fangs while snapping necks with his free hand. Guardsmen fled shouting "Vampyr! Vampyr!" As he advanced, seemingly immune to the weapons levied against him. The World Eater champion dove off the bastion wall into the hive streets, and began to rip apart civilians, hurling blood from the never-empty goblet of Blackpraise. Each civilian hit would crumple as their flesh began to boil. Some burst in explosions of flesh, blood and bone, killing those around them who remained untainted by the goblet, while others morphed into bloodthirsty daemons that began to stalk, then run off into the panicked crowd.



Noise Marines melted plasteel and armaplas with their noise weapons, liquefied faces and brains, and began singing perverse and inaudible hymns to the Prince of Pleasure. The Emperor's Children and accompanying cultists ravaged each city block, raising hymns of slaaneshi glee, while a champion led the spearhead of their assault. He had mutated, growing twice as large, spiraled horns from the side of his head, and an excessive mutation protruded just beneath his belt which seemed meant for something other than battle. The champion danced through crowds of panicked guardsmen, some put up a fight, some because the Commissar said so. All died. All screamed in pain. All screamed in pleasure. Some all at the same time.



The Deathguard advanced slowly through the mine complexes. They had run into heavy resistance, armor and infantry they had not been informed of, but this merely made them laugh and gurgle praises to Nurgle for the gifts they were about to bequeath. The Champion of Nurgle had at the outset of the battle, fallen to his knees and, knowing how virulent the plague Nachtsterben carried was, plunged the dagger through the hard ceramite belly armor of his suit. He'd cut his own gut in a long gash under the armor. His armor had rotted, as if melted by acid, and the flesh beneath was festering black and bilious. As he limped through the mining complex, he breathed zombie plague onto the dead, and even the ground itself to rotted as he passed. Even the skeletal remains of the dead miners from millenia ago began to arise, grow protrusions from their skulls and bodies, as muck from the ground advanced up their bony frames, and formed the basis for plague bearers. Each grinned with a dull, stupid face, and hefted an immaterial blade of rust and rot which was quickly solidifying.



Falzone watched in silence as the Thousand Sons marines advanced up the levels of the hive. He smiled as he cracked guardsmen open like nuts, sliced them in twain with his power sword, and blasted them back with his mind. He fired a plasma bolt into a squad of guardsmen, splashing two of them with the supercharged shot, and killing both in an instant. The Thousand Sons marines were carrying the procession of the virus bomb to the next level of the hive when his vox crackled.

"Lord Falzone." The voice was familiar. Jansen?

"Report." He said in corrupted Black Templar battle cant.

"Ivar reports the ship which almost destroyed our strike cruiser is now in system, long range sensors indicate assault parties are readying to launch as launch bays are opening, but there is no indicator that they have detected our ship. Another, smaller ship. Sword class frigate. Just came out of the warp alongside them. Orders?"

"Do not engage. Remain hidden. It is crucial that you deliver your pre-designated shots at the appointed times." He canted out, the Thousand Sons apparently unaware of what he was saying, or uncaring. After all, most were simply ash, but the sergeants were sorcerors, and he suspected they could divine the meaning of his communicae.

The Thousand Sons fought with efficiency, despite the automatons having no personality, and made for good soldiery. Perhaps, he thought, if I am successful, I will accquire a small force of Thousand Sons for my next campaign.

Tigurio looked to the skies, as he could not help but wonder who it was who was so persistent.



"Nero." Falzone caught up with the ancient captain. "I have one favor to ask of you." Nero turned, considering before asking his own questions.

"What favor? Don't let Falzone live? Take him prisoner? Make him suffer? Put him out of our misery?" Nero's voice hinted at derision and aggrivation.

"No. I simply ask you stay out of the final confrontation. Only step in if I die." Draconis looked straight into Nero's. "I want your oath of moment that you will not take my honor from me by dispatching my great uncle Tigurio Falzone, fallen Marshal of the Black Templars, unless I die in service to the Emperor. I want you to swear here and now to that." Draconis held out his hand, in it, there was a ceremonial dagger. A combat knife ornamentally decorated. "It is a relic from our chapter." He unsheathed it, revealing a dull red coating of blood. "I took an oath when my chapter sent me. An oath of moment to hunt down and kill Tigurio Falzone myself, and not let anyone else do my duty for me." He indicated with the knife where it was drawn down from one shoulderblade to the opposite hip, like an honor rope or sash. "I took that oath, and I may not wash the blood clean from this blade until I fulfill that oath, and return with the head of the traitor heretic." He stared up at Nero, who was a full four inches taller, before carefully wording what he said next, while drawing another ceremonial combat knife.

"I, Draconis Falzone, ask you Nero Vipus of the Luna Wolves. Swear to me, in the name of the Emperor, that you will not intervene, nor rob me of my honor. That you will not kill Tigurio Falzone unless I die, and you will not raise a hand against him in challenge until I have had my chance." He unsheathed the blade, flipped it in the air and caught the sharp end on the flat sides. "To this oath, do you swear?"

Offline Necris

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Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
« Reply #82 on: July 28, 2010, 11:27:38 PM »
He took the blade looking over the weapon a smile crossed his face as he turned it round in his hand.

"I saw Dorn do this once when he took an Oath of Moment with the Warmaster, it is good that some traditions remain from our golden age."

He drew the blade down one side of his face.

"I swear Draconis Falzone, that neither my warrior nor I will strike against your uncle unless you fall to his hand."

He drew the blade down the other side of his face.

"And I swear that should you fall I will see the end of your uncle myself, and I will return you to your chapter."

He offered the blade back to Draconis, taking an item from his belt he offered it to the young sergeant.

"You should be finding Lomak and making your preparations with his ship you'll be able to get close while me and mine give Falzone food for thought."

He slapped Draconis on the shoulder and stepped past him striding onto the embankment deck as he entered he sent out a pulse command to his officers and they joined him in the centre of the deck.

"Updated mission status, Falzone had virus bombs."

There was a hiss from each of them for good reason they had all been there on Istvaan.

"Enough, Brak you get  Ef Kemar and the Emperors Children there, Sol you have the World Eaters on Id Kemar."

"I should have them."

Brak growled his fingers flexing in anticipation.

"You know I would normally allow you that pleasure but we can't risk the virus bombs being set off by mistake, you're too valuable to lose Brak."

They all chuckled as Nero turned to Tass.

"You get your lost brothers on Ot Kemar, but be careful they are the most likely to set their bomb off at the first sign of trouble."

"I have no fear of the virus bombs."

"Paval use your strike ships an make a stealth strike against their strike cruiser."

"What of you?"

"I have Al Kemar..."

He pause turning as a dreadnought strode into the deck, the place fell silent as the Legio dropped to knees and the Astartes bowed their heads in respect as it covered the ground.

"You woke 'The Mourning One'?"

Sol's voice was shocked and awed as the massive dreadnought came up towards them.

"He awoke himself, word reached him somehow that we were marching to war."

+Indeed brothers, to war against out hated kin!+

The voice boomed out from the might ancient.

"It is an honour to have you at my side again brother."

He looked back at the officers.

"No one is to make an attempt at Falzone himself, if you see him vox the location to Lomak or Draconis. I have made an oath on this and any the break it will answer to me."

There was a series of nods and they parted Nero headed for his stormhawk his honour guard of nine Luna Wolves forming behind him, the space left by Grave had yet to be filled and would remain empty until they could confirm his death.

"We ride to war brothers, we ride for revenge and to put an end to Chaos."

They boarded and took their seats as the assault boat prepared to launch.
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Offline Kallidor

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Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
« Reply #83 on: July 29, 2010, 02:40:29 AM »
Behind Lomak the Sentinel silently materialised on the deck, like a great shadowy predator about to leap on the old Inquisitor's back. Lomak had observed the ship-board fighting with detached interest, examining the crew for Chaos Taint. Despite how far-fetched their claims might be, these Astartes certainly carried themselves with an ancient nobility that the Astartes of current times seemed to lack. As a man out of time himself Lomak recognised kindred spirits, well, perhaps. Maybe they were merely superlative liars.

Spreading a dirty cloth over a greasy workbench Lomak had reverently placed a long steel case. His bionic fingers clacked over the surface as he entered the codes that unlocked the electrum clasps, psychically activated so that only he could gain access with destroying the contents. He pushed the lid open and the melta charges, discretely built into the upper lining dis-armed with a whine.

Inside was a weapon Lomak had not used, not even seen, for six thousand years. It was a unique rifle, master crafted by the artificer Nelock Shane a man Lomak had had the honour of calling friend so many ages ago. It was constructed along the same general principles as an Exitus sniper rifle but Lomak's was so much more elegant, so much more refined. The gun was massive by any standards but even so, as Lomak deftly put it together, it sat on the filthy work top with a poise and grace befitting the finest rapier.

Scenes, copied directly from the Eternity Gate, were etched along the barrel in a beautiful tarnished bronze finish, every minute detail painstakingly crafted by hand. The muzzle brake was a stylised eagle head, the rail inscribed with litanies by Brother-Captain Denos of the Grey Knights, chosen by him from the Libra Daemonicus. The scope was an .M33 AR14 ‘Specto’ gunsight, another device that responded to the user via a psychic connection, needless to say it was a priceless relic that the Mechanicus would undoubtedly no-longer share with Imperial servants.

“Interfector Rex; King Slayer.” Lomak ran a hand down the barrel and over the bolt carrier. With a frown of recollection Lomak opened the chamber. Inside was a specially crafted round whose intended victim had been dead for sixty centuries. Lomak had been lost in the warp before he had been able to put to death one of the most vile supporters of Cardinal Bucharis. Never mind he thought, the bullet would find a target soon enough.
Be Pure!
Be Vigilant!
BEHAVE!

Offline Draco Silverhand

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Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
« Reply #84 on: July 29, 2010, 05:06:57 AM »
Draconis stepped through the bulkhead. The shadows did little to hide his massive frame, but he'd waited patiently while the Inquisitor inspected what seemed to be a priceless relic. He could see there was heavy attention to detail in the gilt body of the gun, but could not make out what imagery had been placed upon it. The beauty of the weapon was not lost on the Imperial Fist, but he had not seen such an artifact outside the Hall of Remembrance aboard the Phalanx in a very long time. As he approached, he made out some remarkable etchings in the brass that made him stop.

"It has been some time," he began, "since I saw a relic such as that." His voice quiet, reverent as if speaking to a saint. "Nearly a century," He continued, "I had thought that between the various chapters and the Mechanicum, most weapons of this calibre had been secured away in stasis fields and vaults."

"For a good reason, it seems." Lomak replied, looking up from his rifle. "I have not touched this rifle in ages, and indeed, if it were to fall into the wrong hands, I would probably launch my own private war to re-acquire it."

"As would the Adeptus Mechanicum or any Astartes chapter, were it theirs, I'm sure." Draconis bent slightly to glance over the bronzework." Whoever did this must have seen the Eternity Gate in person. "He observed." It has been a long time since I was on Holy Terra. I was only a boy, but I still remember those gates."

"A memory none of us truly forget." Lomak nodded. They both stood in silence, pondering the images on the rifle and their own private thoughts for a moment.

"Might I travel aboard your ship?" Draconis finally spoke up. Orin looked up, for a second, with a puzzled look on his face for a moment before he resumed a passive face.

"Ah, yes. Your tactical squad is aboard the sword frigate in tow." He seemed slightly amused. "I forgot. Yes. You may board my ship. I will coordinate with your thunderhawk to re-unite you with your men. Once we are on the battlefield, though, I must depart your company. I work best alone."

"Very well." Sgt. Falzone said. "But, I have one favor to ask."

"Ask, but you may not like my answer." Was his reply.

"It fell to me to hunt down Tigurio Falzone. As I am heir to his lineage, and heir to his shame. The traditions of my chapter permit me to take leave, and even take any force under my command, should I need it, to rectify this perfidious heresy." He locked eyes with the Inquisitor, who stood several feet from him, so he barely needed to look up to meet his gaze. "I only ask that you leave the task of claiming his life to me." The Inquisitor locked eyes with the marine sergeant for moments before giving his reply.

"I serve the Emperor, and I seek His foes. I do not promise to spare the life of a heretic. If you can, take him down, but if you falter, even one step, I will do what I can. That is all I can promise." He finally spoke. Draconis closed his eyes, holding back his slight anger at Lomak not promising to leave Tigurio's death to him.

"Very well." The sergeant opened his eyes, calm once more. "I will do my finest, and you shall do yours. Emperor be with you always, Inquisitor Lomak." Draconis put his fist to his chest in salute, before walking to the embarkation ramp for Lomak's ship.

Offline Necris

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Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
« Reply #85 on: July 30, 2010, 02:02:44 PM »
Nero sat as they assault ship cycled to life he'd donned his helm for the assault but had every intention of discarding it once he'd made planet fall, for now it served as a means of communication.

"Paval are you prepared?"

"Indeed Captain, our shroud is ready to be deployed on your command."

"Open the launch hatches and ready the engines, Paval you may begin."

Across the system electrical systems faulted or shorted out on the bridge of Falzone's flagship the bridge went black for a second as power rerouted through alternative systems, vox networks vanished in screeching static only to return moments later distorted, in the distraction the assault ships of Nero's force fire from the sides of the ancient cruiser and hurtled towards the surface of their designated worlds now was not the time for caution and each ship pushed their engines and the protective re-entry plates as they plummeted to landfall.

++

The Sentinel however made a much more dignified and subtle departure it's own shroud raised before it had even left the larger ship, it turned gracefully in the void before it continued on it's heading, within the ship Draconis sat at the rear of what could be called the bridge the space barely big enough to contain him, in his hands was the gift Nero had given him, no bigger than a grenade it was wrapped in an ork hide, carefully he unfolded the hide to reveal a emblem of his chapter a clenched fist of Dorn, enamelled in gold and inlaid with terran obsidian the outline of the fist was inscribed with the teachings of Swordsmanship written by Dorn himself, the item was a relic Draconis could see this he turned the emblem over in his hands pausing at the inscription on the reverse.

Presented to Argentus Nero Vipus Champion of the Sword Ullanor Crusade 932.M31

He looked at the date then turned the emblem back over in his hands looking at the fine workmanship that had gone into the item.

++

Nero's ship banked hard as it levelled off

"Head for the Hive, the upper levels we'll cut Falzone's advance off."

He received an acknowledgement and turned to the marines under his command
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Offline Koval

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Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
« Reply #86 on: August 06, 2010, 02:19:37 PM »
I wasn't aware Terminator armour could even do what Kao Tai was attempting, but evidently his communion with the daemon within Blackpraise transcended the limitations of his armour.

Scatharax had breached a hole in the wall quite easily, ignoring where the other World Eaters had forced their way through the hive's outer shell, and I'd followed him inside, watching the World Eaters go about their work as we penetrated through about a mile of heavily defended tunnel. Lasguns don't have it in them to penetrate Astartes power armour, though, and apart from a few lucky shots making the World Eaters falter slightly (and, of course, the odd heavy weapon to give the Berserkers trouble), the defenders had very little success in stopping the World Eaters. I think I passed a grand total of two dead Berserkers out of an original twenty-seven.

I wasn't keeping track of time, but after what felt like hours of having my job done for me by the World Eaters, I rounded a corner and rushed into a small plaza only to watch Kao Tai come crashing down next to me, Blackpraise in one hand, the head of an Imperial defender in the other. Briefly, I found myself wondering where he'd left his weapons, before dimly noticing the paired scabbards on his belt, each one housing what looked like a feudal-worlder arming sword, but which radiated Chaos energy and was probably a much better weapon than a powerblade.

It didn't occur to me that he didn't need them until he sloshed Blackpraise's contents over another knot of defenders and drenched them in more blood than could feasibly fit into the cup itself; evidently Blackpraise itself was replenishing its own supply, or had some hidden extra-dimensional reservoirs devised when it stopped being a mundane cup.

I stopped caring about ten seconds later when some idiot decided to take a pot shot at me. Unfortunately Scatharax got there first, and with a scream of "DEATH-TO-THE-FALSE-EMPEROR!" he disintegrated the errant gunner (and, as it turned out, about five others in his squad) with a blast from his plasma cannon. If there was anyone left over nearby, I'll warrant that they didn't last long, either fleeing for their lives or being cut down by other World Eaters. I wasn't paying attention.

All around me, the World Eaters were carving their way through the defenders, still suffering only the most minimal of casualties in the face of massed gunfire. Off to my right, the Grand Slaughterer's second, Lo Zan, hacked a hapless officer down the middle with his chain-voulge, the oversized battle-axe shredding flesh, bone, and armour alike with all the savagery of a warhound tearing into a paper package. Past Lo Zan, a diminished squad of Berserkers under Lord Gorvuich was rushing an abnormally large PDF unit, one of Gorvuich's Berserkers going down to plasma fire before he could close, but I didn't get to see the combat play out because Scatharax managed to blunder past me, his flamer drenching an autocannon emplacement in liquid fire, before turning to face me. Inwardly, I was grateful that he'd had the sense to deactivate the flamer before he could get me as well.

"ORBITAL-SCAN-REVEALS-PRESENCE-OF-IMPERIAL-LOYALISTS-IN-SYSTEM!" Scatharax screamed, and I found myself wondering exactly how he could know that, but a wayward glance in Par Yun's direction revealed that our standard bearer was also charged with relaying the Grand Slaughterer's orders and, among other things, further developments from orbit.

"So soon?" I queried, before the coin dropped. "They've been following us..."

"WHAT-ARE-YOUR-ORDERS?"

Obviously, we needed to actually do our job and gut the hive. If there were loyalists counter-attacking from behind us, though, then there was simply no sense in pushing forwards and letting them take us by surprise, but as we were, we couldn't fight on two fronts at once.

If Scatharax was coming to me, it suggested firstly that I was better at making decisions than Kao Tai would be in his frenzied state, and secondly that he'd only take orders from me, command structure be damned.

Looking for each squad's champion in the melee, I assessed our numbers. Gorvuich's squad stood five-strong, and Padan had also lost a Marine (apparently to a meltagun, as there wasn't a lot left of Brother Maruvion to constitute a casualty). Gao Yong, on the other hand, hadn't taken any casualties yet, but I didn't know whether that was likely to change any time soon.

"Clear the plaza, then hold it with Gao Yong and Padan," I told the Dreadnought, at first unsure if he'd even heard me over the noise of his plasma cannon charging. He didn't reply at first, opting to discharge the enormous weapon into a third-floor hab (and, apparently, taking out a sniper I'd not noticed), but when he turned back to face me, his answer was about as blunt as his modus operandi.

"I-OBEY!" Scatharax declared, leaving me the unenviable duty of relaying Padan and Gao Yong their new orders.

Gorvuich's squad, on the other hand, would probably be best off sowing further anarchy and devastation further in the hive, so it remained to see what Kao Tai would do. Obviously, he'd be best served defending the plaza from a loyalist counter-assault, but leaving Gorvuich to snatch up all the glory wouldn't be especially high on his agenda. I also doubted he'd want to split up from Lo Zan, even though the lieutenant would probably be able to command the World Eaters just as well as Kao Tai could.

Par Yun on the other hand carried the banner, and I could easily convince him to make up for the loss of Maruvion in Padan's unit. That didn't make the job of giving the World Eaters their new orders any easier, though, and to make matters worse I hadn't actually been able to kill anything yet. I suppose the World Eaters were hogging the glory and didn't think I was capable of putting up a fight (they were quite incorrect, of course, but you try telling a frothing berserker that).

The only thing nagging at me, though, was whether I'd have the chance to fight the loyalists themselves.

Offline Necris

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Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
« Reply #87 on: August 06, 2010, 04:05:11 PM »
The ship was quiet all hands having withdrawn to combat station or headed towards the planets below, he chose to move his armoured foot crumpling a service grate and sending it tumbling across the companionway beyond, stepping from the dark innards of strike cruiser Grave covered the passage with his bolt pistols before stepping off to his right, the ship followed the standard layout and he knew it's layout as if he'd been walking it for years, moving quickly he stormed down the companionway towards the command deck.

He met a group of armsmen on one corridor coming upon them like an avenging angle he charged into the heart of the group their few shots from their weapons doing nothing against his armour, he chose not to fire instead using his weapons as clubs smashing the men to their deaths, collecting himself he made to move off again but paused as his vox link went dead then came back to life.

With a thought he recalibrated the vox link and listened for the follow up, short sharp clicks that followed, they'd be lost in the static that followed from on of Paval's typical attacks. He transmitted a response.

+Grave active, respond.+

+Paval confirmed, ident, respond.+

+No time, mission+

+Boarding+

+Aft docking deck 1, rendezvous+

+Confirmed+

He changed direction heading for the primary docking deck moving to remain unseen as he entered the deck he scanned the area servitors worked under the gaze of a lone rating with a almost dismissive action he fired killing the rating as he strode to the bulkheads, opening the emergency releases he triggered them and withdrew to the observation bubble watching as the bulkheads blew out and the deck emptied as the oxygen flooded out, alarms sounded and he smashed his fist into the console silencing them in the bubble knowing full well that an alert would have be raised on the bridge he wondered if they'd notice an alert over the rest of the battle preparations.

He watched as the strike ships of Paval landed waiting as the marines under his command came out on full readiness weapons raised, they moved across the depressurised deck with ease followed by the legio rebreather helms over their heads their body gloves proof against short term exposure, entering the airlock Garve stepped back as they entered the bubble.

"Thought you were dead."

"You think these pups could kill me?"

"So what's their disposition?"

"Light but they maybe aware of your entry now, we need to act quickly."

"Agreed. Midian take the engines, Kestor the warp drive, Foss take your legio and strike at the weapon controls."

They all nodded as Paval turned to Grave.

"Lead the way commander."

Grave nodded and turned to leave the bubble.
 



This here is my very favourite gun...I call her rita.

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Offline Draco Silverhand

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Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
« Reply #88 on: August 07, 2010, 04:54:29 AM »
+Lord. Grath. 1109DK7.+

+Situation.+

+Delta compromised.+

+Theta?+

+Viable. Recommend Gamma backup.+

+Execute+

+Both?+

+Affirmative+

+Thy will be done+



"Change of plans." Tigurio said to a nearby sorceror. Ir Amon, if he remembered correctly.

"Change is always welcome with Tzeentch." The sorceror said, turning to the Black Marshal. "What is thy bidding?"

"Imperial forces have followed us to our current location. Begin the ritual as soon as the cathedral is secured." Tigurio's voice was laced with venomous hate, but his rage was kept in check by the knowledge that his mission was not yet forfeit. "I have something to keep them at bay, but we will have to make haste for our preparations to be effective."

Tigurio had not forgotten that the timing needed to be precise. This new threat jeapordized things, as the virus bombs could not be detonated until the worlds came into perfect alignment. Before that, sacrificing the world's populace would just mean a lot of death.



Draconis watched the system through the porthole, minutes passed into hours as the sub-space engines pushed through. Faster than a thunderhawk could fly, the Inquisitor's ship hurried the Imperial Fist sergeant and the Inquisitor towards their destination. The view was cluttered with data projections that highlighted the location of each world, and as Draconis watched them slowly drift towards the right, he saw one planet highlighted in the dead center of the screen.

In the hours that passed, Draconis used the time to meditate on his objective, but found himself constantly distracted. His great uncle had turned traitor, and must die, yet this Legio Nero... Headed by a Luna Wolf from before the Horus Heresy, if such a thing was to be believed... fought on the side of the Emperor. Traitors who had never really turned traitor. It disconcerted him to think about it, but as he fought through the logic, he found he understood these men. They were not traitors, merely branded as such, and fought on for their Emperor, and for the Primarch who died to them long before the Emperor slew him. This much he could understand, and as he looked upon the golden and obsidian medallion, he smiled. Argentus Nero Vipus. This warrior shared a name with Draconis. Argentus. Perhaps their chance meeting was not so chance after all.

Draconis Argentus Falzone wrapped the gilt icon in the leather he was given, and gently placed it in his own belt's pouch. Looking up, he found the watchful gaze of Orin Lomak locked on him.

"A gift from an old friend?" Lomak mused.

"A gift, from a kindred brother." Sgt. Falzone replied.

"You seem to have a penchant for accepting things at face value, Brother Falzone." Lomak pointed out.

"Perhaps it seems that way," Draconis looked up at the compartment ceiling, "but I never felt quick to accept a truth if it was not true..." He returned his gaze to the Inquisitor, with a slight smile on his face. "Something that perturbs the chapter Librarium and intrigues the Reclusiam staff." His eyes glossed waxy for a second. Lomak might have assumed some vacancy within Draconis' mind, perhaps some thread of mental defect ran through the family line, which caused a level of absent-mindedness that grew into insanity. He only could hope this was not the case.

"The Librarians of your chapter are disturbed that you have this ability?" Lomak asked, feigning curiosity, at least to seem polite.

"They dislike any situation wherein a person presents psyker-like qualities, but is not a psyker. They believe that my choices have been either guided by an external force, other than The Emperor, or are simply luck, and are bound for disaster. This, I think, is why they sent me on this mission."

"To prove you're a psyker." Lomak posed the statement openly.

"No. To prove that I am either a fool, or a puppet. Draw out the witch they feel has guided me, or give me a task where my quick actions will prove fatal to me, and few else of my chapter. My squad was sent with me to assist in my task, but should I fail, or prove a fool, the chapter has readied itself to write them off as a minor loss, compared to what my actions could cost a full strike force." The Inquisitor sat down on the bench next to Draconis, sensing a slight feeling of hurt emanating from the marine. "I have not yet been wrong, so if I am wrong now, I would rather die now, for my failure to ascertain the truth than return to my chapter and lead them into harms way with another abstract choice."

"What kind of choices have you made in the past that led to this situation?" Lomak asked after a moment of pause.

"Many. In one battle, I was in pursuit of an Ork battlewagon, full of looting warriors, when I felt it pertinent to stop the Rhino we were in, order my marines out into the open, and set up two weapons teams on either side of the Rhino. I ordered brother Makerus to fire a missile after the battlewagon. He loaded a krak missile and missed the tank, firing past it into the rockface. Seconds later, the canyon began to rumble, a spidervein crack had spread from the impact point and raced ahead of the wagon. In moments, the Orks were crushed, and the canyon cut off." He paused. "At first, we thought this might be problematic for extraction and re-enforcement, but as it turns out, closing off the canyon boxed in a large re-enforcement of Orks who were waiting to spring a trap on us. We bombarded their camp with vengeance and castellan missiles until the orbital strike cruiser was in position to fire its lance batteries. They stopped firing when the planet's crust cracked, leaving a red hot crater for the remaining Orks to burn in." A hint of relish as he retold the story became apparent.

"Was this not considered a victory?" Lomak interjected.

"It was, but we had no intel on the ork camp, we thought the battlewagon was simply escaping to sow the seeds of Orky chaos, to cause infestation once more. We simply sought to kill them to prevent having to come back years later." He recounted the situation as if it were his daily bread and butter.

"Then, how did you find out about the camp to bombard it?"

"After chastising me for sealing us into a canyon space that was difficult to maneuver Thunderhawks into, Captain Eschar ordered scout squads, to seek out high ground, land speeders and assault squads wearing jump packs were also sent out, to expedite our evacuation off the barren rock of a world. We were there to secure a lost relic, which, as it turns out was almost completely looted by the Orks before we arrived. A warhound titan had stood sentinel over the world's mines and the Skitarii and PDF had secured the world for millenia without trouble. The titan was half dis-assembled when we arrived, and we had to fight a long campaign to re-acquire the missing components, before the Mechanicum could re-awaken its machine spirit." He looked at the Inquisitor beside him.

"My action, to call off the pursuit, and order use of a krak missile in those circumstances, would have resulted in my exile, had events played out differently... This was not the only occasion where I broke with tactical doctrine, and was not the last either. Each time, it has been something where chosing what I chose would have left us at a disadvantage, but for whatever reason, doing so when I did it wound up saving us from greater losses... Can you explain that?" The Inquisitor kept a neutral expression.

"I think I might." He finally said. "Your subconscious mind is a very powerful logic engine..." He began. "Very few in this millenium seem to understand this about the human mind. Yours being an astartes mind, would have been implanted with various modifications, including a technology piece to allow you to rest your awareness, without resting your alertness. To do this, your brain must be worked doubly the amount a normal human brain must... Usually, a space marine has half his mind in a locked shut-down mode, while the other half remains alert. The two portions of brainmatter involved switch between one active and one resting, but seldom are both active at the same time except in extended battles, when the switch occurs. During normal resting periods, you can afford to shut both down during a meditative trance, but in a prolonged engagement, you must switch them without this meditation. It is part of what makes space marines so cunning when they are outnumbered. The switching of active brain portions leaves both active for a short duration, where creativity spurts, and the marine in question can modify his tactics according to his needs." He paused, Draconis nodded, indicating he understood so far.

"I think your brain must be operating on a different cycle than it's supposed to. Perhaps both halves of your brain working in tandem for longer than they are supposed to." Lomak finally said. "It's possible that your mind shares awareness in both halves for a total of eight hours for every twenty four hour cycle, as each may be only operating on eight hours of rest per cycle. It explains how you might have had a gut instinct to take those orks out at range, rather than pursue them down a long and winding corridor, where you might have eventually led your men to their deaths." He paused. "But I still don't see how you can trust Nero so quickly." He raised an eyebrow.

"Perhaps only time will tell." Draconis said as he returned his gaze to the viewscreen ahead.



As boarding parties entered Tigurio Falzone's crippled ship, they found resistance sparse, as they'd expected, but from bays not harmed by the Warp, nor by salvoes from enemy ships, four squadrons of thunderhawk gunship launched into the void of space. Each gunship squadron operated on silent running, with as little energy expenditure as possible. Each squad had a planetary destination, and as they came closer to their destination, the gunships spread from their squadmates, preparing to enter orbit at various positions, to avoid detection, as well as ensure that at least one would survive until it was time to fire upon the virus-bombed world beneath.

Back aboard the defiled strike cruiser, the last Black Knight punched in a series of command runes aboard the bridge. Around him, and across the ship, the remaining slaves, serfs and cultists dropped to their knees and began singing hymns and supplications to the glory of Chaos. Red lights flashed and claxons wailed. Over the ship-wide vox, a loud, deep voice welcomed the intruders, inviting them to stay for a few minutes... and assured them it would be their last, before breaking into a long, ear-splitting roar of laughter, the cultists joined in the laughter, and continued laughing. As the intruders encountered one coven of cultists, they launched themselves onto the marines, laughing maniacally as they swung blades and claws at their hated foes.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2010, 03:59:03 PM by Draco Silverhand »

Offline Necris

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    • The Order of the Iron Rose - Necris' PLog
Re: Fallen Paladin, Traitor Champion
« Reply #89 on: August 16, 2010, 11:05:13 PM »
Nero looked up as the assault boat roared away turning from the upper spires of the hive an out of sight. Looking round at his gathered force the marines had fanned out weapons ready the humans stood in formation special weapons and heavy weapons to the fore.

"Chaste, take your legio up to the higher levels if any of the traitors make it past us lay an ambush for them."

He waited until the legio had gone before speaking again.

"Auspex?"

"I read a force of marines six sectors distance."

"Disposition?"

"Twenty, maybe more there is some disturbance."

"Vox Lomak inform him that we will engage and delay their progress."

He turned to the Dreadnought as it came up beside him.

"To war again my old friend."

+AYE TO THE DEATH+

They moved out

+

Sol ordered his assault craft into a strafing run watching as rockets streaked from the ship blossoms of fire lighting up the area he knew the world eaters occupied, as the assault ship banked he ordered the assault troop to deploy watching as the world eaters under his command threw themselves from the ship their jump packs lighting up as they fell into war.

"Take us down to a safe drop level, Heavy units be ready to lay suppressing fire auspex suggests they have a dreadnought locate it and take it down. Tactical fan out into Phoenix Alpha assault pattern."

He collected up his weapons a finely detailed bolter and a long single edged scimitar which he hung about his body before collecting his final weapon a long hafted power lance, as the assault ship dropped he leapt from it igniting the lance as he free fell the blade burned bright orange and red as he landed his weight shattering the marble flags under him, stepping through the dust he parried a chain axe with the haft of his weapon slamming his elbow into the world eaters helm he twisted the blade and took the traitors head from his shoulders.

"Show no mercy!"

He swung his bolter round holding it one handed he fired into the traitor marines as the marines fell to the ground behind him.

This here is my very favourite gun...I call her rita.

The Order of the Iron Rose - Necris' Inq28 Plog