Author Topic: The Price of Devotion  (Read 1991 times)

Fallen Angel

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The Price of Devotion
« on: August 14, 2010, 09:09:48 AM »
Stinging particles of ice tore at Brigadier Pullus Fenestra’s face from the moment he stepped off the valkyrie’s boarding ramp. Already the pilots had jumped out of the cockpit and were hastily trying to drag specialised thermocoil tarpaulins over the crafts turbines to prevent them from freezing up in the arctic conditions. As he watched one of the pilot’s feet went from beneath him on the slick aircraft bodywork sending him tumbling down ten foot onto the plascrete landing pad. Over the pilots curses and the howling of the wind Pullus wondered who in the Emperors name would build a shrine in such a place.

Pullus did not appreciate being pulled off manoeuvres to be flown thousands of miles north to Siwa’s pole at an hour’s notice, not even having time to change out of his woodland combats! He tried to consider what possible reason the Ecclesiarchy had to treat a senior officer in the Imperial Artesian Dragoons in such a brash manner! Forcing his body to control the violent shivering that had already set in, he zipped his combat smock further up his neck and strode forward; his five man escort begrudgingly fell in behind.

An Ecclesiarchy guard was waiting for him by the ramp that lead up to the landing pad. Pullus saw he was muffled in a hooded heat cloak and balaclava. Not even bothering to say a word the guard turned and lead them towards a monumental ice cliff face, carved into the cliff were two imposing but exquisite sculptures of Saint Cassander guarding the entrance to an ice cavern.

***

It was still bitterly cold inside, but at least the wind was gone. Stretching out before the party was an awe inspiring sight. The walls of the tunnel were made of glittering, blue tinged glacial ice. The truly breathtaking thing was not the ice itself but what was contained within it. Bodies, hundreds of them, frozen into the walls; their general forms clear but the detailed features impossible to define, like looking at someone through a waterfall. Pullus turned to his men who all stood gawping at the walls, the bone chilling temperatures temporarily forgotten in their astonishment. “Lads helmets off and sling your lasguns, have some bloody respect.” He knew what this place was; it was the Mausoleum of Titus, a thing spoken of almost as a legend around the entire Caleva system, only the senate and above were entombed here, unless you were immensely wealthy, a healthy sum to the Shrine in your will would also earn you a place.

They continued down the tunnel for what seemed like age, finally stepping out into what was an even more staggering sight than the last, if that were possible. Eighty foot pillars, again of ice, supported the ceiling of a truly giant hall where every surface seemed to sparkle with an ethereal energy that Pullus, even if he had wanted to, hadn’t the skill to describe. A raised plinth sat alone in the middle of the hall, but whatever had lain on it certainly wasn’t there anymore. By the plinth were two bulky shapes sprawled on the floor. Pullus walked rapidly towards them, controlling the undignified urge to run. Pain lanced from his heart as he saw what they were. Their delicate, pale features framed in neat bobs of jet black hair were covered in tendrils of blood that blossomed from precise bullet holes in their necks. Slim but powerful figures encased in obsidian power armour, their bolters lying unfired by their sides. He had never seen such beautiful creatures so horribly defiled in all his life. He knew he was looking at the bodies of two sisters of battle and the sight of it filled him with rage. He whipped round to face the Ecclesiarchy guard “Who did this?!” The guard remained silent his face hidden behind his mask. “ANSWER ME!” Pullus half screamed the order. “The truth is brigadier, we don’t know,” A sonorous voice said from behind him.
 

Fallen Angel

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Re: The Price of Devotion
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2010, 09:32:55 AM »
****Document Name: URGENT – Siwa security breach****
****Military ID Tag: 351 628 007****
****date: 1356999.M41****
****Authorization: Brigadier Pullus Fenestra****
****Astropathic duct: ALS duct 126ZT****
****Clearance level: crimson****
****Main text:

My most revered Consul,

It is my regrettable duty to inform you that that body of Inquisitor Uthuron Ventrix has been seized by enemy forces of unknown origin and intent. At approximately 02:00 (CST) last night the body was taken from Titus’ Mausoleum. The two sisters of battle guarding the body were eliminated before they were able to defend themselves. All military and paramilitary forces on Siwa have been placed on high alert and would be ready to go to a war footing at three hours notice if necessary.

Regards,

Brigadier Pullus Fenestra MiD 2nd Brig. Imperial Artesian Dragoons, Officer Commanding.

****End text
« Last Edit: August 14, 2010, 09:35:16 AM by Fallen Angel »

Offline TheWatcher

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Re: The Price of Devotion
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2010, 11:24:54 AM »
Dull, dull and dull.

"Sire Jesh, please, if you don't hold still the servitor will end up sticking pins in you and not the gown." Inquisitor Ulmahek Jesh snapped out of his boredom-induced torpor and gave the tailor a withering stare. The small man bowed his head sheepishly and hurried away to tend to a pile of fabric which, as far as Jesh could make out, required no such attention.

The mourning robes that were, at that moment, being pinned around him were made of heavy, iridescent cloth and cost a pretty penny- but one had to look good, especially in his profession.

“Hurry up…” he muttered to the servitor, who met his gaze with a vacant look, and continued to slowly pin the cloth in place. It wasn’t that Jesh minded being fitted for robes- in fact he liked it very much- he usually found it interesting, watching the tailor at work, and waiting with excitement and trepidation for the inevitable puncture wounds he would suffer at the Manip’s of a badly coded tailor-servitor.

But today his mind was on something- or rather someone- quite different. A woman.

He had seen her stride past the large window of the tailor’s workshop: all legs and cheekbones. Very refined. Jesh had immediately wanted her, and had made to walk out after her, but had been stabbed repeatedly by the confused servitor. He had made a mental note to track her down: a woman that fine, in a dirty, unpleasant spaceport like this one shouldn’t be hard to find.

Finally, the servitor finished it’s work. Paying quickly with his credit slate and ignoring the many apologies from the tailor for the puncture wounds now adorning his torso, Jesh left. He walked over to a nearby food vendor, and asked after the woman.

“Ahem… I say my good…” Ulmahek paused; the person he was addressing had a light, wiry beard- but also had fairly large breasts… “Man…?” He hadn’t been bale to help the upwards inflection at the end of that statement. It really had been a tough call. He ignored the disgruntled look of the unattractive man. Jesh described the woman, laying heavy emphasis on her legs. They had been distinctive legs.

“Sounds like Inquisitor Hallona, sir”. The man/woman replied. Jesh started.

“How do you know she’s an Inquisitor?”

“Wore a rosette on her lapel, stopped at my stand for a bite to eat”, the vendor smiled proudly. Jesh found this hard to believe- a woman of her stature could hardly eat this re-fried street food and maintain that figure, unless she followed a VERY strenuous cardio-vascular routine.

“Thank you very much old... boy”. Another glare from the vendor. Jesh strode off down the road- now he had a name, and perhaps, if he was lucky, a date for this funeral. Funerals are awfully dull affairs without a date.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 10:01:24 AM by TheWatcher »
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