Birth of Villains

For Warhammer fiction not strictly from either universe.

Birth of Villains

Postby Razhbad » Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:57 am

Birth of Villains


I am a traitor, yet I was betrayed also. I turned my back on the Emperor I loved, why? Because I loved my father more. The Brother closest to my heart died, dear Casius how I miss you. My second brother vandilised my fathers body. Curse Ezekiel Abaddon I hate him more then anything. I was not always this way, and sometimes I wish for those ignorant times. Yet I am what I am, which is the heir of Horus Lupercal and heir to the Imperial Throne itself. I am the true Warmaster of Chaos with a host of allies who fight at my side. With my might, Abaddon will fall, the Imperium will fall. Death to the false Warmaster, Death to the false Emperor. Glory to the true Emperor of Mankind, glory be to Horus Lupercal.
Attributed to Heratio Brutus [Razhbad the Crazy]
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Re: Birth of Villains

Postby Razhbad » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:01 am

Ullanor


The Green Skins were a vast tide as they usually were, but in the wars of Ullanor it had been far different. None of the Legions had seen the green tide spread as vastly as they had against them.

The battles were the toughest and whilst the Emperor of mankind had not found a way to utterly break the Orks hope had come from his favoured son. Horus of the Lunar Wolves had lead the majority of his legion to the heart of the Ork Empire where he planned to deliver the spear tip into the warlord that resided there.

Deep in a cluster on the far end of the Green Skin worlds had been a simple emplacement of warriors. The noble Iron Hands and the devout Word Bearers had mustered on a single world to drive a flanking attack into the Ork counter push in a bid to aid the already hard fought Blood Angels.

These thoughts had plagued the minds of the Lunar Wolves as they sat in their White Armour, which was now stained brown from the dirt of the planet they sat on. They were clad in power armour and members of the Emperor’s greatest legion, yet their Captain had been badly wounded and the Squad leaders ever looked on over the stricken form of Iacton Qruze.

“He is not going to make it”, came the voice of Sergeant Kraken. The venerated warrior was one of the tallest men in the company. He was stern of features and his armour was the dirtiest, for Kraken had been engrossed in the most violent of the battles.

“Of course he is, that half heard fool would not let an Ork bring him down”, replied Veteran Sergeant Araghast in a joking way. Though every one present could tell that Araghast was so sure.

The troop leaders had come to relieve the besieged Iron Hands and Word Bearers. The first engagement had gone wrong and resulted in the wounding of their Captain. Araghast was the second in command of the company, but the warrior had strongly implied that he felt he was not ready to lead the 3rd to victory.

“We need to liaise with the Iron Hands and Word Bearers”, smiled Araghast. Araghast was a mirror image of the Primarch with deep set features, only Araghast had short white hair.

“How”, laughed Kraken. “We cannot even get near the other Legions and the Orks are some how jamming the vox.”

“Simple”, smiled a third Sergeant. “We get closer.” The next individual wore his armour with pride and unlike the others it had recently been cleaned shining with a brilliant white.

He was a handsome man with craggy features and grey eyes. His short dark hair was in a similar style to those of Cthonia. He spoke like a noble from the Lunar Wolves homeworld yet all knew he was not from their planet and his masquerade had earned him no respect.

“Heratio, do you really expect us to get near”, declared Araghast.

“Not with that attitude”, he replied with a voice like honey. Heratio Brutus was one of the most experienced squad leaders, but it was known that his skill with a blade and bolter was barely acceptable by Astartes standards.

“You only want to get so close, because you wish to see your brother”, snubbed Kraken.

Heratio took a step towards his Captain and rested his left hand on the wise features of Iacton. The Company apothecary glared at Heratio who simply ignored the gesture.

Everyone in the Company knew that Cassius Brutus had been part of the Iron Hand detachment and that he was Heratio’s biological brother. Both were Terrans who had attempted to be trained to become Astartes, both had succeeded, only they had joined different legions.

“Last time I checked we were all brothers here”, Heratio outstretched his arms almost in a kind warming gesture. Kraken shifted uncomfortably and looked down, Heratio had been right.

“Kraken does not mean to desert our brothers Heratio; he only acknowledges the difficulty of doing so.” Araghast in peaceful times was a wise man and a clever diplomat, of course in war his wrath was terrible and Heratio had once dubbed him the pillager.

“I know it will be difficult brothers, but I have a plan that could see us win.”

Kraken shook his head whilst chuckling to himself. The Other Sergeants all shifted uncomfortably. Kraken was known to not like Heratio Brutus and it often fell to Araghast to be the peacemaker between the two.

“Last time I checked we took orders from the Half Heard or Araghast and not you.”

“Kraken please this is not the time to debate command”, replied Araghast. Iacton’s second looked almost scared of the idea of leading the company to battle.

Kraken noticed Araghast’s displeasure and shook his head. It was clear to all that Kraken wanted to debate the issue further, but after a few seconds he relented and lifted his hands in an apologetic manner.

“I mean no offence Heratio; I only wish to follow Protocol.”

“There is none taken” smiled Heratio. “I understand your position. Do not get me wrong this will be a tough battle and I would gladly hand over command to Araghast. But I have a stratagem to use and I hope this can be effective in our victory.”

Heratio Brutus then relayed his strategy on how to beat back the huge Ork army that was besieging the landing platforms of the Word Bearers and Iron Hands. Brutus went into intricate detail his plan on how to beat the Orks and it was an extremely bold move which none could deny. Yet most did not believe it would succeed, still they nodded in agreement to his plan.

No matter the mixed feelings the company had for Heratio it was known that he had the highest IQ in the company and many suspected that it was the highest in the Legion, save but Horus Lupercal having a greater mind then that of a simple Sergeant.

Once the Strategy was discussed the company sergeants nodded in agreement and then made their way to discuss the plan to the rest of the company. Heratio was the last to leave lingering over Iacton’s form for many minutes, eventually the Apothecary tired and ushered Heratio out of the tent that housed the Captain.

Moving outside in an almost trance like state Heratio made his way to his squad. Sergeant Brutus was the most senior commander of Devastators within the Company. Heratio knew exactly which weapons to use and where to strike, his squad had one of the greatest success records in the company.

His team were busy practicing with blades for they knew that combat was inevitable with the Orkoid races. The brutish savages were mad of slaughter and desperate to get in close.

“Good swipe Brother Manos”, smiled Heratio as he watched the warrior practice.

“I suppose if you see skilled warriors enough you get use to it”, laughed Manos.

The squad knew that Heratio’s best skill was his mind and not anything else but they often joked about it. Heratio would often laugh with them with simple answers about his intellect being too great to concern himself with how accurate his shots were.

“How is the Captain?” Manos Ectar was concerned like most of the warriors in the company. Iacton Qruze was sometimes seen as annoyance especially in the other companies, but the 3rd held the Captains experience in high regard.

“Who knows”, shrugged Heratio. “Perhaps he will pull through I am not certain. That is not why I am here?”

“Are we to go to battle?” Brother Tiran was the shortest Astartes anyone had ever known. Heratio was considered short by the size of Astartes, yet he was even a head taller then Tiran.

“Aye Brother we are, time for us to mount up, we will need flamers and heavy bolters.”

“I will dispatch Brothers Galon and Arzon to make sure we have all we need”, replied Tiran.

“And I will get us our Rhino ready”, declared Ectar.

Heratio Brutus was proud of his warriors’ efficiency and he often wondered is he would have a chance to command Astartes like this often. Heratio was ambitious he had known that much, but he had a deep seated desire to ensure that every member of the Legion never came to any harm; it had become a terrible burden. Heratio had never voiced the burden he carried and he carried it alone.

His greatest desire was to serve within the First Company under the venerated Captain Abaddon. With a sigh he thought of Abaddon and Horus busy fighting against the heart of the Ork Empire in an attempt to end the Ullanor Crusade as early as possible.

Heratio gazed out over the horizon; the sun was still low casting an orange glow over the brown sand. Due to the strange orbit of the sun at certain times of the year the southern hemisphere had the local star continuously close to it which caused the north to have an almost continuous dawn like days.

“Hold on Cassius I am coming”, he whispered down the wind. He knew in that direction lay the Orks and his biological older brother.

With a roar of engines Heratio realised that the company was now ready to withdrawal and engage the Orks. Squads of hundreds of Lunar Wolves dusted off their white armour and grabbed hold of their weapons.

Heratio smiled as he saw Kraken mount up into his own Rhino, the squad leader nodded to Heratio and then went inside. The commander would lead the forces on the right flanks. Whereas Araghast would be mounting up in his Land Raider taking the combat orientated squads under his wing.

“Heratio we’re ready”, yelled the voice Tiran.

Heratio turned to see Arzon pick up his heavy bolter and move his way into the Rhino whilst Galon clutched his flamer tightly. The two warriors were a perfect team of destruction and it made Heratio smile as he made his way to his Rhino.

Once inside Sergeant Brutus fully relayed his orders to the various squads and commanders who all acknowledged with their confirmation. A skeleton amount of warriors would remain to ensure that those injured would be protected enough from attack.

With a sudden lurch the squat armoured carrier moved forwards with Heratio’s ten man squad sat inside all checking their weapons. Heratio had four warriors armed with Heavy Bolters and five armed with Flamers, all were doing their final battle checks.

Heratio himself was armed with two Plasma Pistols that he often had missed with in his time. Yet he preferred the high yield weapon, for it was far more likely to bring down the stubborn green skins that so often could not accept their own deaths.

“Remember to stop out side weapons range”, voxed Heratio to the warriors of the company. “Once outside, Tactical at the front, Devastator just behind.”

The vehicles continued to move further and further forwards. Heratio placed his helmet on and looked at the map display on the visor of his helmet. He noticed that they were only a few miles from the Ork warriors and it would be under five minutes time when they would have to stop and disembark.

“Araghast are you in position”, he voiced into his vox.

“Affirmative all Assault squads are at the ready and awaiting your word.”

“Kraken are you all set?”

“Of course I am Brutus, this is war after all and I know it well”, clearly Kraken was annoyed at just being asked.

With three minutes to spare Heratio tried his best not to think of his brother. Last time he had seen Cassius his brother had become the second in command of his company, whilst Heratio had been just a battle brother. That was over twenty years ago and Heratio had longed to see his brother.

“Lets kill some green skins”, roared an excited Brother Manos. Tiran slapped his brother on the shoulder with an excited laughter.

Manos Ectar and Tiran would be used as a team just like the other battle brothers; one was holding a Heavy Bolter and the other had a flamer. It was a risky tactic, which could go horribly wrong.

“Beats bringing human worlds compliant”, agreed Heratio who knew that they now only had just over a minute until the Rhinos would be in position for the attack.

The veteran Terran breathed in deep as he felt the Rhino drive up a hill and slow its pace to a stand still. Heratio voiced the order to disembark and then moved to the back of the Rhino whilst others in the squad slid open the side doors.

A beam of orange light sprung into the Rhino, which the Lunar Wolves ignored as they moved out into the light to step onto the brown dirt below them. Heratio was the last to leave and he unclipped his two pistols and gazed out before him.

The Lunar Wolves had stopped on the top of a hill just a few metres away from the maximum range of the Ork weapons. The ground was dead, void of all life, the harsh sun had killed it all, and only in the far south in the tropics was life found on this world. It made no difference to the Lunar Wolves for they were there to hunt Orks.

Down further towards the east was the largest Ork Horde that any Astartes had seen before, and yet it was still a fraction of the size of what the other warriors in the Ullanor Crusade were forced to fight.

The Orks were huddled around a dug up mound with make shift trenches and tanks used as barricades. The mound itself was filled with Thunderhawk gunships, that could not risk take off in the event that they became a more tempting target to the Orks below.

Even from this great distance the Astartes warriors of the Lunar Wolves could see the black and gun metal armours of the Iron Hands and the Word Bearer Legions. Both were filled with great and worthy warriors who deserved to survive and fight another day. Heratio though was only concerned with a single warrior.

“All warriors, move as quietly as possible”, he voxed. “Stealth in this open landscape is impossible, but the longer the Orks do not notice us the better.”

The Lunar Wolves moved quietly down the hill and onwards towards the Orks. Tactical Squads at the front, with the Devastator Squads situated just behind them.

Heratio knew the Rhinos had been loud, but the roar of battle was louder and he hoped the Orks had just concerned themselves on that. The Orks’ battle lust was so great that the beasts would be mainly concerning themselves with getting closer to kill their enemies, it gave the Lunar Wolves a chance, but it did not mean they would go unnoticed.

They moved carefully and Heratio was determined to get his warriors within flamer range before he fired. Several Astartes from across the company were anxious to fire their weapons; it was not fear that gripped them, only the need to bring death to the enemies of mankind.

Heratio thought he nearly succeeded when a single Ork turned around and bellowed to his nearest comrades. Who likewise turned to face the new threat, the more and more Orks that turned the more they further alerted until the entire back line of the Orks had turned around and charged towards the Lunar Wolves firing their weapons.

“Lupercal”, yelled Heratio. “Tactical squads engage.”

The front line troopers moved forwards two lines deep in a long stretched line and they stood firm awaiting the Ork counter charge. The Lunar Wolves soon returned fire opening up holes and dropping the first Orks. The shots from the Orks were badly aimed and the armour of the Lunar Wolves protected them from most of the shots it was just unfortunate that the numbers of Orks would mean hand to hand combat would result in heavy casualties.

The Orks were nearly upon them and Heratio smiled as his plan was almost ready to work.

“Tactical Strafe left, all front lines drop.”

Following the orders that had been given by the Squad Leaders before each Astartes knew exactly what to do. In perfect discipline and unison the squads of the Tactical Marines all moved left with the front line dropping to their knees. This opened up holes in the line with the Devastator Marines standing behind, this allowed those with the Heavy Bolters to mimic those in the tactical squads.

Once complete all Astartes opened fire, with two lines of bolter fire firing into the Orks and the Heavy Bolters and Flamers firing through the gaps killing huge groupings of the Green Skins. Then the squad leaders of each Devastator squad filled their own role whilst they were on their knees. Each one hunted out for that tallest and biggest Orks aiming for their heads and killing them. It was known that the bigger Orks kept the smaller ones in line so Heratio helped to bring these brutes down.

Several of the Orks actually reached hand to hand combat and the Orks found themselves killing a few Astartes. But with the combined fire power of Flamer and Heavy Bolter many found that their huge sizes were counter productive and many Orks received glancing shots whilst in combat which resulted in their deaths.

“Grenades”, ordered Heratio.

Those on the back lines seized fire and threw a grenade over the heads of the Orks aimed to land just behind them and to have a short fuse. With a series of explosions those Orks on the front lines took heavy losses and dropped as they were killed or seriously wounded from the grenades.

“Fall back and reform the line”, came his next order.

With quick movements the Lunar Wolves moved back a few spaces away from the pile of Ork bodies and moved into positions with the Tactical units being at the front and the Devastators being at the back. The line was not as long as it had been to make up for the deaths of battle brothers that had naturally occurred.

Heratio had the Lunar Wolves repeat the same tactic a further three times, which killed large groups of Orks in huge numbers. The problem was with each charge the Orks made it resulted in more and more Astartes being slain.

After the final time they used the successful tactic most Lunar Wolves were either out of ammo or running extremely low. They had pushed back all the way to the hill and things were looking bleak for the Astartes on this planet.

“Stage two”, voxed Heratio.

Just as the Orks were making ready to do another charge a roar of engines sounded from behind the hill and huge white shapes shone brightly in the orange sky. The display caused the Orks to halt and stare in wonder at the shapes coming onto the hill.

The entire of the 3rd Companies armoured element rolled forward. Dreadnaughts of venerated warriors, Predators tanks, Vindicare artillery battle wagons and even the transports with simple weapons all moved into position and fired into the approaching Orks.

The blasts of huge fire power were so immense that the Lunar Wolves could feel the heat of the explosions from where they were standing and several battle brothers were moving backwards to avoid the heat.

The Orks in the far left flank were furthest from the vehicles and looked set to strike in the side of the tanks and Astartes, it was this point that Araghast made his move. Launching from the Company Land Raider and alongside large groups of Assault Marines he came smashing into the Orks filling out and engaging them in hand to hand combat.

Araghast was a veteran of combat and he hacked Orks to pieces whilst the Assault Marines revelled in the destruction they brought. The few minutes of combat saw a huge amount of Orks die.

Heratio felt a humour descend over him, it was quite maddening and he burst out laughing at the destruction of the Orks. Several Green Skins watched in dismay as this Lunar Wolf strode forward laughing at the death of hundreds of Orks.

Once the line of Orks had been slain the vehicles turned their attention to the Orks busy fighting the Word Bearers and Iron Hands, who by the looks of things had thrust into a counter attack. The Lunar Wolves all made their way to their vehicles knowing that in a few seconds they would lead a charge.

Yet all watched in amazement as a single Lunar Wolf already ran towards the Orks. Soon afterwards his own squad joined him and the others shook their heads in disbelief. He had commanded them, been the most calm and yet he had run off like a mad man.

Heratio Brutus was growling in rage and laughing as he ran towards the Orks who looked confused by the display of the Astartes whilst his fellow Space Marines mounted their vehicles.

Further and further he ran, with Galon, Arzon, Manos, Tiran and the others quickly catching up with the slower Space Marine. The ten men Devastator Squad did not talk to each other, or discuss the madness that had come over their squad leader, they all just discarded their guns and pulled out chainswords. Only Heratio kept his guns.

Just as they were about to reach the Ork lines a huge warlord marched towards the Lunar Wolves. He was more armoured then his brethren and he had a huge axe. Standing to his sides were four smaller Orks, but still far taller then most of the Orks present.

Heratio just stood before them and laughed at the Ork warlord. It seemed to infuriate the beast that went to charge; just as it did Heratio raised both pistols and fired at the warlord. Two blasts of plasma impacted onto the Ork’s eyes killing the creature.

Before the other four could take in what had happened Heratio spread his arms out firing both pistols twice, which delivered head shots to the four body guards killing them instantly. Heratio Brutus had never made such good shots in his life and all the time he was laughing.

The green skins that had seen this stood frozen wondering what to do next. Manos Ectar however decided not to wait and the warrior charged in slashing his chainsword left and right cutting Ork throats. He roared in anger with each beast he killed.

The rest of the squad dived in to support Manos who now looked like a blood angel with all the gore that had splat onto his armour. Heratio moved in to support his squad continuously firing his plasma pistols at the biggest Orks whilst his squad hacked them to pieces.

The Devastators cried oaths of hatred and death upon the Orks, whilst Heratio laughed like a mad man. All the time they kept on surging forward, narrowly avoiding the blast weapons of both sides and the counter attacks the Orks launched.

No Astartes could have survived this manic charge but Heratio and his squad did, he knew exactly where to direct them. Which Orks to attack, and how best to use the green masses as cover them from the weapons fire. The further and further they got the more manic they became with Heratio’s war cries becoming more and more deranged.

As they moved forwards killing more and more Orks they heard a single word cried out in their savage tongues. The beast kept on pointed at Heratio and avoiding his gaze in the event he directed his warriors towards them. Ever yelling the same word over and over again.

“Razhbad”, the Orks yelled as they ran.

Still Heratio pushed on enjoying the slaughter of filthy aliens that would dare to harm the Emperor’s warriors.

“Razhbad”, they grunted as they died from the blades of nine gore stricken warriors or from blasts of super heated plasma.

With just moments of reaching the Iron Hands and Word Bearers saw the Green skins scatter in every direction to avoid retribution. The Space Marines found with the Orks resolve broken that they were much easier to slaughter and Heratio was in the middle of it all never ending, just listening to one word ‘Razhbad’.
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Re: Birth of Villains

Postby Razhbad » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:03 am

Discovery


The mint green armour gave off a perfect shine. It belonged to a huge vehicle one that would bring ruin to those who had betrayed the Imperium. The squat rectangular tank belonged to a Predator Tank which was nicknamed Strike of Cthonia. The warrior had missed his homeworld, but had enjoyed his time battling in the Great Crusade. With this vehicle he had been Captain Aximand’s Tank Master. The Twin linked Lascannons had brought down the walls of Gearon the Lascannon sponsons had protected the 5th from any counter attack from Alien Tanks.

Merryn Trekale was a bear of a man. He was stocky and bore the similar features of the Warmaster Horus. Many had said he was almost as like Horus as his Captain was in appearance. The difference was that Trekale had allowed his dark hair to grow long and shaggy, this was joined by a fierce beard that he rarely trimmed.

“You are a thing of beauty”, he smiled at the Tank.

“Only a fool would think that”, growled a heavily accented voice behind Trekale.

Tank Master Trekale recognised the voice and he turned slowly to see who stood behind him. The form before Trekale was also Astartes, only he was not in the mint green armour of the Sons of Horus. This warrior was in a dark grey and wore a wolf pelt and strange bone like talisman’s over his form.

He was Uli of the Space Wolf Legion. He was said to be a Wolf Priest and The Wolf King’s representative to the Warmaster. The truth was far from that, despite what Uli had said. Trekale stared at the Space Wolf intently. When he had joined them so many years before he had looked wild and barbaric and too a degree he still did. Now though Uli had shaven his head and was completely bald which fully revealed his yellow eyes and fangs. The Space Wolf was lean and Trekale knew how agile he was.

“What do you want Son of Russ?” Trekale had enough of putting up with the Space Wolf.

“I wanted to see you off before you land on Istvaan III, it is rumoured to be quite a battle.”

“Do you miss battles, I am sure you do.” Trekale smiled and Uli growled in response. The truth of everything was that Uli had been exiled from his Legion, no one knew for sure but it was believed to have happened not long after Russ and El’Johnson had battled each other. It was known that Uli had a close relationship with a Dark Angel, perhaps this lead to his exile.

“I will leave you now, who knows if we will ever meet again.” The Space Wolf was laughing as he left Trekale.

Merryn did not care that Uli had gone, he just turned and went back to admiring his battle tank. Things had changed ever since they had left Davin. Trekale was not certain how but there a clear divide within the Legion was. Even his own Captain had avoided Trekale in recent days, he shook his head. Trekale hoped to win honour and glory for Horus on the battlefield.

Trekale moved inside the Predator to ensure that everything was ok. He was not an expert when it came to technology, but Trekale had picked up enough to understand what it should all look like. The Son of Horus veteran started checking all the eternal systems of the tank, he wanted to be absolutely certain that it was operating to full battle readiness.

He was proud of his honour and of the Legion he had served in. The Sons of Horus were the greatest Legion in the Great Crusade. The Emperor’s favourite, it is why Horus had been made Warmaster. It still felt weird to say it felt even stranger that the Emperor had retired from campaigning; Trekale had often wondered why the Emperor had made that decision.

“Yeah I know”, laughed a huge booming voice.

Trekale peered out of the visor of his tank to see that two Sons of Horus were talking in hushed voiced. It was only the out burst that had made Trekale actively aware of them. Of course he had the skills to hear them, but his concentration had be elsewhere. Merryn did not know why but he decided to listen in to these warriors discussions.

“We will finally be rid of the weak elements in the Legion”, said one.

“That we will and I will no long have to put up with that smug git.”

“Careful Kraken, I know of who you speak of. He was my commander and friend.”

“It does not matter Ectar, he will be dead. They will all die below the planet. Everyone who was not part of the Lodges will be dead, then the Emperor will be next.”

Trekale froze to the spot, he could not believe what he had heard. This was what had been discussed in the Lodges. Trekale had been invited once to join, but his attentions were too engrossed with the running of his tank to join. Yet somehow these warriors had been given instruction to kill those who were landing on Istvaan. Trekale’s head swam with information he did not know what to think, he was not a thinking man. He did know one though, from the First Company.

After a few minutes Trekale waited for the Astartes to leave, he was careful to be absolutely silent. He almost smiled at his silent skills, Legions like the Raven Guard and Night Lords were masters of it. Whereas the Sons of Horus were not.

Trekale moved out of his tank and looked around for any signs that he was not alone. He then listened, hearing only the usual sounds that accompanied the Vengeful Spirit. The hum of power, the odd noises of lifting servitors get munitions ready. Once he was certain that he was alone Trekale made his way off out away from his tank.

Trekale moved quickly through the Vengeful Spirit. He had learned the layout of the Warmaster’s Flag Ship by heart. The corridors were filled with the movements of soldiers moving in different directions, accompanied by servitors and the odd remembrancers who were eager to capture Trekale’s likeness. None of these people mattered to Trekale he only wanted to reach a single destination.

It took him nearly an hour of wandering before he found what he wanted to. He was in the training cages and a warrior in mint green armour was busy fighting a combat servitor. His skill with a blade was poor, worse then Trekale’s which was strange as this warrior spent more times battling with a sword then Trekale did.

“Merryn”, his honey voice came out of his warm smile. The warrior turned and smashed his chainsword into the head of the servitor killing it.

The warrior left the cage and banged his left hand onto Trekale’s chest. He was shorter then Trekale and had chisled good looks. His hair was dark with hints of grey and he was the perfect example of a Cthonian.

“Heratio”, he said bowing in respect. “I have some terrible news?”

Concern flooded across Heratio’s face and for a moment Trekale felt the same emotion enter his mind. He was not certain, but he believed that it had been forced into him from an outside source.

“Speak your mind my friend.”

“Are you part of the Lodges first?” Trekale wanted to be certain he could trust his friend.

“That uncultured little fraternity”, laughed Heratio as he shook his head. Trekale felt the humour of Heratio’s mood also.

“I heard two lodge members talking; they said that all those who are going to be on Istvaan III are going to be killed, it was discussed in their lodge meetings. Then they said the Emperor would be next.”

Heratio’s face became one of pure horror and Trekale wished that what he had told his friend was a lie. The small Astartes started to shake his head in disbelief. “It cannot be true.”

“I am going to Istvaan III, Little Horus ordered it. I will be dead.”

“No brother, I would never let you die. But I am not being dispatched to Istvaan, Kaddon had given us the order to remain here.”

Caligula Kaddon was said to be an honourable man and Trekale had met him once. He respected the warrior and his skill with an axe. Yet he should not have commanded Heratio. Heratio Brutus had once been a veteran sergeant, but his request to join the First Company had seen him demoted and inducted into Kaddon’s squad.

“There is a theory”, whispered Heratio. “All these changes going on in our Legion occurred when that Word Bearer, Erebus joined us.”

“Yes you are right”, he replied.

“Look at Davin, where Horus was brought low. What if it was an Assassination attempt. The attempt clearly has failed and so perhaps Erebus is using members of our Legion to destroy others. If Lodge members have sided with Erebus, then we are outnumbered. Horus could still be in trouble we have to warn him.”

Trekale turned straight away to race off and warn the Warmaster. He knew a simple warrior like himself would not be admitted to see the Warmaster, but he would make damn sure that his gene father heard the truth.

Standing in the door way to the combat cages was a familiar sight. Lean and in grey armour, Uli the Wolf Priest stood holding a chainsword in his hand. He had a sinister smile on his face which exposed his fangs. Trekale only now realised what the Space Wolf had meant. Uli had been aware, he was a lodge member and had betrayed them all.

“Uli?” Heratio was puzzled. “Why do you have a Chainsword drawn?”

“I think you both need to be silenced.”

The Space Wolf charged activating his chainsword and he swung it straight at Trekale. In his haste Trekale had not gone with a weapon. Unarmed the warrior knew he could not beat Uli and sooner or later the Space Wolf would kill him.

Before a blow could be delivered Heratio activated his own chainsword and brought it up to defend Trekale. He only just parried the blade and with a shove he moved Trekale away from Uli.

“A combat fight Heratio, do you think you can win”, Uli growled and dived at Heratio Brutus.

His lightning quick strikes came at Heratio quickly and he only just parried the weapon strikes. Heratio gave a counter strike only to have the nimble Space Wolf dive to the side and swing his chainsword into Heratio side. His armour held but the force caused Heratio to stagger.

Trekale run into combat and punched Uli in the face. The Space Wolf had not expected it and took the blow hard. His head snapped back and he growled in response. With a quick kick Uli sent Trekale to the ground.

Uli was cursing has he approached the fallen form of Trekale he slammed his chainsword into the warrior and the armour started ripping apart as it bit out chunks desperate to get to his flesh.

Heratio ran forward and swung the side of his chainsword into Uli face. The impact broke the warriors nose and he fell off of Trekale letting his blade fall to the floor. It was just in time as well for Trekale was certain that the Space Wolf had just breached his armour.

Heratio dropped his sword and dived on top of Uli. He proceeded to punch the Space Wolf in the head breaking bones and sending frothy blood spraying to the ground. There was a mad light in his eyes and Trekale moved cautiously towards the two warriors struggling against each other.

Eventually Heratio relented and he grabbed Uli’s Bolt Pistol whilst Uli was gasping in pain. He held it against his head and the Space Wolf stared into Heratio’s eyes with a defiant look in his face. Heratio sat for a long while just aiming the weapon at Uli’s head.

“Why should I let you live”, he hissed at the Space Wolf.

“Kill him, or he will come for us again.” Trekale was adamant that Uli would not forgive what had just happened.

“I cannot kill a brother”, gasped Heratio. “You may not be from another Legion but I cannot kill you.”

Heratio punched the Space Wolf one last time knocking Uli unconscious. Standing up Heratio Brutus moved towards Trekale, there was a guilty look across his face and Trekale could not help but feel guilty for suggesting on killing Uli.

Heratio gestured for Trekale to follow him. The Sons of Horus made their way out of the combat cage whilst the Space Wolf lay on the ground. Trekale shook his head at what had happened within the Vengeful Spirit. This was not the type of behaviour that should happen.

The Warmaster Horus would be located at the other end of the ship and the Vengeful Spirit was the master flag ship of Horus Lupercal’s armada. Even now this huge vessel was hung in orbit above Istvaan III where a Governor had turned his back on the Imperium.

Four Legions had answered the call to war. The World Eaters, Death Guard and Emperor’s Children had their own fleets and would be deploying their own troops the battles below. Trekale wondered about the other three Legions. He also thought of Heratio’s theory, and a dark thought entered his mind. Trekale did not want to believe it but he somehow suspected that this Erebus would use this battle to attempt to assassinate Horus again and perhaps he wanted to bring down Angron, Motarion and Fulgrim at the same time.

With a gulp and fire in his belly he continued to move. He was ever following his friend, he knew that Heratio would rather die then see Horus betrayed. He remembered the dark mood that had befallen Heratio when his gene father fell on Davin. They had all felt it, but some how Heratio had given the impression of feeling worse.

The vessel had become a hub of activity with so many preparing for a major battle engagement that was inevitable to begin shortly. Trekale saw all their faces and he wondered with each stare, who was loyal? Were they traitors? Who could he trust?

Heratio knew exactly where to go, because unlike Trekale, Heratio had actually stood close to Horus. There were rumours that he had be saluted by the Warmaster and shook the hand of the Emperor himself. Of course no one knew for sure if it was true, he certainly had won a major battle with few casualties.

One they both went, they were so eager to reach their destination. Blood was pumping hard in their bodies as twin hearts worked to keep their super human forms going. A regular man would not be able to maintain the pace these two Astartes did, but haste was their mission. They both believed that treason could occur at any minutes and that the Warmaster’s life was in imminent danger.

After awhile of running and manoeuvring down the various corridors they came to the door they wanted to. It would lead to the Warmaster’s sanctum, where he would discuss matters with his Mournival. Standing outside the door in mint green armour was a bald head Astartes with surprisingly pale flesh for a Cthonian. He stared in curiosity at the fast approaching warriors.

“Heratio”, he said. “You are in quite a hurry.”

“Kaddon I must speak with Horus.”

Caligula Kaddon veteran Seargeant of the First Company laughed. The warrior was said to be Ezekiel Abaddon’s right hand man, he was certainly one of the most decorated squad commanders in the First Company and one of the few to survive the Ullanor Crusade.

“My friend I don’t even speak to Horus”, he said smiling. “Besides he is inside with his brother Angron, they are discussing the battle to come.”

“It is a matter of life and death, please Kaddon do you trust me”, said Heratio sounding desperate.

Kaddon seemed to be weighing up his options but then he opened the door. Heratio bounded inside and Trekale found himself quickly following. Kaddon followed them both soon after and shut the door which gave off a loud bang, which alerted the occupants inside they were no longer alone.

Trekale nearly gasped for he had rarely been in the presence of such legends. Lord Angron, a giant with wild hair and a huge axe stood close by he was keenly looking at an holo himage of the planet they orbited. Around the Primarch were several World Eater Commanders. Horus Lupercal the Warmaster stood close to his brother with a strange look on his face. He was clearly surprised to see such an intrusion.

Captain Ezekiel Abaddon was clearly furious at the intrusion and he glared at Kaddon for letting people enter. When his gaze fell upon Heratio it slowly turned into one of respect. Trekale’s own Captain, Aximand was standing close also with a confussed look as to why Trekale was there.

The final form was standing away from the others, he was in gun metal armour with parchment on his armour. He held a book and his bald head was tattooed with what looked like religious scripture. Trekale had not seen Erebus yet, but he had worked out that this was him.

“What is the meaning of this?” Growled the huge voice of Angron who turned looking straight at those who stood before him. A psychotic look was on his face and Trekale could not shake the feeling that the Primarch wanted to kill him where he stood.

“We have grave news”, blurted out Trekale. Heratio was surprised that Trekale had spoken, no doubt he had expected to have done all the talking. “There is a plot of betrayal against the Emperor and I believe their might be assassination plots on the Warmaster and the other Primarchs.”

Trekale glared at Erebus when he mentioned the assassination plots, he knew that everyone caught his meaning. Erebus himself just smiled an evil smile that did not make Trekale feel any better.

“Keep that smug look off your face”, yelled Heratio pointing a finger at Erebus. “You brought harm to my Primarch on Davin and I know you and your lodges are behind this, I will kill you.”

“Enough”, yelled Angron. “I thought you would keep your sons inline brother”, the giant warrior sneered and then look back towards Heratio and Trekale. “My father the Emperor has betrayed us all, and he will meet his doom on Terra. First we have to dispose of the weak elements in the Legions.”

Trekale felt sick, he could not believe it. He looked around the room and realised what he saw. A room of plotters, they were all in on it. Angron, Erebus, Abaddon even Horus, they all planned to kill loyal Astartes on Istvaan III and then to go to war with the Emperor.

Heratio had clearly heard enough and he drew the bolt pistol he had taken from Uli. His left arm wavered as if the bolt pistol was surprisingly heavy. He moved his arm scanning between Angron and Erebus on who to shoot. This motion angered the Primarch of the World Eaters. Angron swung his axe straight at Heratio in a motion quicker then the eye could follow.

In one moment Heratio was pointing a weapon at Angron, the next his left arm had been cut off and blood was pouring from the wound. The force of the strike sent Heratio falling onto his backside with a stunned look upon his arm. Angron moved forwards to bring about a killing strike.

Trekale felt compelled and he stood between Angron and Heratio with a defiant look upon his face. He knew that the Primarch would easily kill him but he still stood. What shocked him more was that Caligula Kaddon took a stand by his side making sure that Heratio was completely covered. With this First Captain Abaddon moved over to the Primarch’s side trying to weasel his huge form to stop Angron.

“Brother you do not slay my sons within my sanctum”, declared Horus. The Warmaster’s face was one of annoyance and a hint of sorrow. “Ezekiel I want you to clean up this mess.”

Abaddon turned to Trekale and Heratio with conviction in his eyes. Whereas Kaddon hung his head in a guilty way as if he had been part of the conspiracy too.

“Brothers we are making war with the Emperor”, he said. “Erebus showed us the truth, whether you like him or not does not matter. Horus is to become Emperor of Mankind and we will see this done.”

“This is treason”, said Heratio who was now acting half dazed by the situation.

“It is a simple decision for you both. Who do you wish to serve the Emperor or Horus?”
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Re: Birth of Villains

Postby Razhbad » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:04 am

Recruits


He was a glorious fury, they had all known it. Most of all he was honourable, honour and the skill with the blade had been part of their lives for a long time. His form was huge, he was big perhaps the biggest, save from the Emperor or Magnus.

In rich Golden Armour he stood, with red gemstones and a pale haunted looking face. The face of a hurt son. Few could see the pain that he was feeling, most only ever saw his fury. Yet he had been betrayed non stop by his father, and now he was going to be forced to kill his own sons to bring retribution against the treasonous Emperor. It was a silent pain, not even the Eighth Assault Captain had seen it. Yet he had, Ares had seen it in the eyes of his Primarch.

Lord Angron did not want to take this action; he only did because he must. He needed to preserve his honour that his father had stained many times. He needed justice for all the wrongs done to the strongest of all the Primarch’s but most of all he need to stand before his father and say that he would take no more.

“You are Ares”, boomed a huge voice.

Ares nodded towards his monstrous father. Like most of the Legion Ares was Terran born he had come from the ruined pits of Siam. His face was dark skinned and his eyes were slightly squinted showing his Terran origins. His black hair was platted and greased to stay in position. He looked nothing like his Primarch and he stood in white armour with blue shoulder pads and legs.

“They say you are one of the finest masters of distance weaponry.”

“I am honour my Lord.”

Angron waved his hand dismissively almost ignoring Ares. Angron did not have the greatest patience and Ares decided that it would be best to just hear what his master had to say and do whatever task was needed of him.

“Much of my 16th Company were loyal to my father and were on Istvaan III. As a result it is extremely depleted, I am adding several new recruits I want to turn this entire company into a pure Devastator Company, what is more you are to be its new Captain.”

Ares gazed upon Angron’s face to look for some deceit. There was none, Angron told things how they were. He was the most honest of all the Primarchs all Ares saw were battle scars and the respect of a violent war leader. Ares bowed in respect to his master.

“Show me to my men my Lord and I will whip them into shape for you.”

“Kharn”, barked Angron. The equerry to the Primarch stepped forward, his armour was stranger. For Kharn wore a helmet that reminded Ares of the ears of a small animal he saw once whilst saw when bringing a world to compliance. “Show Captain Ares to the recruits.”

Captain Kharn took by the shoulder and lightly pulled him gesturing for the warrior to follow. Ares had not liked Kharn much in the few times he had met him, he did not know why. Kharn had been polite enough and was an extremely skilled warrior, but there was just something about him that had always made Ares feel like he needed to watch his back when Kharn was around.

Kharn took Ares through several twisting corridors of the huge vessel they were on. The battle for Istvaan III was over and the battle for Istvaan V was just around the corner. Every warrior would be needed to show his worth in the glory of Angron. It was falling to Ares to help do this for his Primarch and it was something he felt honoured to do.

A few twists and turns of silently walking Kharn opened up a door to a main cargo room. Ares stepped in to take a look at his recruits. He stopped in his tracks and cursed his stupidity as he saw what he had been given. Angron had said they were recruits but Ares had assumed they were newly inducted battle brothers and not Initiates.

Standing in disciplined ranks were close to three hundred initiates. They wore lighter armour then their full battle brother counter parts. This was the youth of the Legion and Ares had believed that they would make good for scouting missions but not a full battle like the one that was intended.

“Have they even been given the chip”, sighed Ares. Captain Kharn shook his head and left Ares with his recruits.

Most of the World Eaters had been given a chip in their brain. It was a copy of the one that sat in Angron’s own brain. This chip had been designed to heighten aggression within the Legion and Ares had found that thanks to the chip it made him and his battle brothers better warriors, despite what the treacherous Emperor had thought.

***


They were running left and right across the barren plains of Istvaan V. Each time they reached a destination the warriors in white armour with blue fatigues practiced firing heavy weapons at targets. They were careful to limit ammunition to the recruits for when the other Legions came to Istvaan every single piece of ammunition would be needed.

“Move faster”, he yelled at the Initiates. His anger was rising thanks to his chip and Ares pushed it deep inside himself.

Standing behind the World Eater Captain was close to twenty battle brothers, warriors that Ares had fought beside many times. They were to be part of Ares command squad and they were all honourable warriors skilled with distance weapons. Ares had known them all for a long time; he had battle beside them many times.

Amongst the recruits were the remnants of the 16th Company, just two squads worth. Each warrior from these squads had been promoted to sergeant and would be commanding squads of initiates. These drill commanders were barking threats and encouragements to the initiates to do a better job.

Ares strode forwards and walked toward the nearest of the initiates. He was carrying a heavy bolter and was moving quite fast. When he stopped he gave a quick bust which hit a running tank a little wide of the centre mark that had been set out.

“You there”, yelled Ares pointing at the initiate.

A bald headed youth stared at him. He had dark eye brows that arched into points and he had a thing black strip of facial hair on his chin. His flesh was pale almost grey like, clearly this youth had grown up within the slums of some hive city, barely seeing natural light.

“What is you name”, his rage was beginning to take hold of him and Ares pushed it down.

“Craytos”, he replied.

“Do you know what that is?” A white gauntleted finger from Ares pointed out the form of the ruined tank.

“The target I just hit.”

“Was it in the centre?”

“Erhm… Yes, yes it was.”

Ares yelled in rage which caused the Initiated to jump in surprise to Ares outburst. The Captain of the 16th Devastator Company was losing control of his anger and he was working extremely hard to keep it inline.

“No it was not you fool”, he yelled and he got right into the face of Craytos. “If that was the enemy you would be dead by now. Remember we do not fight basic humans or stupid Orks, we are facing fellow Astartes.”

“Astartes?” Craytos was shocked, and Ares noticed that several of the initiates had stopped what they were doing and were staring at Ares, much to the annoyance of their squad commanders.

“Yes foes foolish enough to stay loyal to the Emperor. All those who betrayed Lord Angron will feel his vengeance soon enough.”

“We are fighting the Emperor.” Craytos was clearly shocked and judging by the reactions of the initiates none of them knew of what was occurring.

Moving away from Craytos he went. Captain Ares sent a silent vox to all full battle brothers of his new Company. One by one they all followed Ares whilst the initiates had started whispering amongst themselves. Several of the initiates were clearly distressed and once more Ares felt anger.

He moved with purpose until he manoeuvred into the mini citadel that the Emperor’s Children had devised for Horus. It was well built enough and Ares knew it would never fully hold against a prolonged attack, if Perterabo’s forces were around it would be much tougher stuff, but when it came to Fulgrim he was not as skilled as his brother.

It took a few moments for every battle brother to join him and he looked at them all one by one. His staunch gazed glared at them, Ares was furious he wanted it shown. He hoped his brothers felt his anger, for his honour as a warrior being able to train soldiers was now in question. Especially if the warriors had no idea who they were fighting.

“None of those damn recruits knew, not a single one. How can we even trust them?” His blood was pumping high, his chip was pulsing sending signals to his brain that made him more and more angry. His rage was beginning to consume him and he desperately held on.

Ares was about to speak again when the sounds of battle sounded, he wondered at first if the initiates had started training again. This time though it sounded a lot more fierce and several cries of pain were sounding in Ares hears.

Turning and looking back to his new warriors he growled his hate. The initiates were fully fighting each other, no doubt several of the warriors had picked to side with the Emperor and not Angron. It was the battle for Istvaan III all over again. Ares would be forced to kill brothers, like earlier and just like his Primarch he felt the silent pain of it.

With a yell of rage Ares charged towards his new company. The rest of his full battle brothers joined the chase eager to slay those who were now fighting amongst themselves. Blood and hatred was filling the ground and Ares rejoiced at what he saw. He bounded further and further forwards desperate for the kill. He wanted to destroy them.

It took a huge amount of will power for Ares to stop. He tugged at the Plasma Cannon that was tied to his back. He brought it before him and was pleased to see his fellow Devastator Marines do the same. Those battle brothers who were combat based charged forwards screaming there hatred at the initiates.

Ares had no idea which ones had sided with Angron nor at this stage did he care. With a cruel smile the World Eater unleashed his blasts of Plasma into any initiates he saw he fired again and again, whilst his battle brothers fired there own weapons.

Groupings of initiates took it upon themselves to fire there own heavy weapons upon Ares and his men. These were the targets that Ares had been waiting for and he re-aimed his shots at these foolish enough to try and engage him. Should all the initiates have turned against Ares he would have had no chance, but the confusion of battle meant that Ares could enjoy the slaughter.

After a few seconds of firing boredom settled in with Ares, his battle lust was high and he had a great desire to kill his enemy before his very own eyes. Ignoring his Plasma Cannon Ares cast it onto the ground and charged off towards the initiates screaming oaths of loyalty to Angron. Many of his fellow Devastators gave in to their battle lust with Ares resolve having been the only thing keeping them back.

Ares only had a small combat knife but it made no difference. He dived amongst the initiates carving them apart with the force of his blade. He slit throats and took of heads with mighty strikes. The initiates were skilled warriors having been genetically altered, but they lacked power armour, they lacked the experience and most of all they lacked the anger that fuelled Ares movements.

“Blood and Skulls”, he howled. The words had seemed natural to say, he had no idea as why that was.

Ares jumped onto the back of a initiate holding an Auto Cannon the warrior had slain a full battle brother and judging by the heaped bodies he had killed a few initiates.

“Turn your back on Angron, I cannot allow.” Ares took hold of the warriors head and smashed it constantly against the armoured bodies that had become the warriors mounds. After a few impacts Ares stabbed his knife into the warriors head and poked around his brains for a bit.

Ares looked up to see the initiate Craytos run up, Ares knew the warrior had tactical superiority and he believed that if it came to it perhaps Craytos would kill him. Ares planned to make him pay for it. Before he could Craytos opened up with his Heavy Bolter and brought down two initiates who were also charging towards Ares.

“Did not miss that time Captain”, he said lending his hand to Ares.

Ares rage was high, but he ignored the battle lust and took Craytos’ hand. The initiate had shown he was honourable and on Ares side, he deserved to live and serve under Ares command.

“Any threats to Angron’s succession must be dealt with the utmost punishment”, he growled.

Craytos clearly did not fully agree with the sentiment, but then he did not have the chip in his head. All the same Craytos nodded and marched down with Ares over the mound of bodies back into the fray of battle.

The smell of blood was easily to distinguish and Ares could even taste a thin tang of iron on his lips. The slaughter on both sides was horrendous and Ares wondered how many would be dead by the end of his battle against those foolish enough to question Angron’s decision of fighting the Emperor.

Ares charges into a warrior and throttled the warrior whilst slowly twisting. Whilst this was going on Craytos dived to make sure he was back to back with Ares. He fired his Heavy Bolter into more foes and the vibrations carried all the way through his body into Ares back. With a sickening crunch Ares twisted the head of the warrior clean off.

He roared in savage pleasure as he hurled the head into another warrior. Who turned and fired a bolt pistol into Ares knee dropping him. He had not issued bolt pistols too the initiates, he wondered who had to have died to get that weapon under the initiates grasp. A group of five initiates dived onto the warrior and brought him down, one of them brought a combat knife and slit his throat.

“You five with me”, yelled Ares. “All battle brothers converge on me”, he voxed. Ares did not think that most of his battle brothers would, they were far too engrossed in the killing of their own foes.

The five warriors took a step beside Ares and Craytos. The World Eater Captain growled and surged forwards, pressing further into the enemy. The problem was most of the fighting was between initiate and initiate making it impossible to tell which side traitor and loyalist.

Taking no risks Ares had his mini squad kill all, any that caught sight of them soon joined with Ares. A few of the battle brothers joined Ares and within a few moments he had brought up an impressive throng of warriors who were killing those against them.

“Push forwards”, he howled.

“Death to our enemies”, replied Craytos and many joined with his war cry.

Ares saw many World Eaters, initiate and full battle brother, Loyalist and Traitor, living and dead. One by one the two sides formulated until you had one huge press sided with Ares and the remaining initiates tightly together. The initiates against Ares were severely outnumbered and Ares laughed at how pathetic they looked.

With a simple order he had all warriors fire upon the survivors. Auto Cannon and Heavy Bolter rounds tore through warriors like they were nothing, Missile blew chunks of body matter high in the air, Heavy Flamers burnt the flesh right off the bone and Plasma Cannons disintegrated warriors into smoking craters.

After just a few salvos of fire power Ares gave the order to charge. The dazed, injured and near dead initiates had to finally contend with an up close slaughter as one by one they were ripped apart by the hands of those they had called brothers. Ares howled his frustration and anger into every single warrior he killed until eventually every single one was dead.

After a few minutes of battle it was all over and the rebellion was quickly averted. Many of the initiates on his side had looks of shame upon them, some looked grim. The full battle brothers however were still raging and crying out for more to slaughter, Ares felt the call of battle like the others. Yet he grabbled with his will power and supplanted his rage deep inside himself once more.

He look around him gazing at the number of warriors he had. There were barely a hundred left after the battle that had engaged, he cursed the idea that it had happened. Still he was proud of his warriors skills and honour.

“You have fought well”, he said panting heavily like a dog. “You have passed your training.”

“Captain”, voiced Craytos. “According to this auspex I’ve picked up we have shuttles on route.”

Ares gazed out to where Craytos was pointing too, after a few minutes he saw several shuttles making their way towards his position. They were the same shuttles as he had boarded and they were marked for certain purposes within the Legion. Either his forces were to leave the planet or more recruits were coming.

Ares gave a sick smile of realisation. He would soon have an impressive battle company with all the experience it needed to defeat Astartes on the field of battle.
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Re: Birth of Villains

Postby Razhbad » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:06 am

Darkened Sleight


Istvaan a system that would change much history, it was a time of reckoning and betrayal. They had come in huge numbers, the largest fleet gathering in the history of mankind. The mighty fleets of seven Legions, which had moved into position.

These fleets had gone past the third planet of the system, a grave world. It was filled with the bodies of those who would never forsake their oaths to the Emperor and his Imperium. The planet where treason was seen, and the horror that had become Warmaster.

The fleet ignored the dead brothers that lay so near, it kept on going. Some had arrived earlier, yet all were present now. In orbit on the fifth planet they had gathered, the mightiest fleet ever arrayed all with symbols from Legions which had honours stretching for miles.

One fleet in particular stood out more then the others. A fleet of ships borne to terrify they were arrayed with the symbols of fear, death and punishment. The terrifying Night Lords were aboard those vessels, the Emperors darkest warriors who had the blackest of hearts. Yet even with this fleet a single ship stood out.

It was like a small dagger compared to its bigger cousins, thin and agile. This vessel had few markings other then a white skull on the prow over its midnight blue armour. This vessel bore no scars of war, for it was the most unusual vessel to the Astartes. It was the Nox Vigilia, one of two important vessels that had a single purpose. The survival of the Legion itself.

Deep in its depths past the blacked out rooms and lightless corridors was a single impenetrable room. It was a master safe, designed by the greatest adepts of Mars at the orders of the Primarch himself. Behind those doors was no darkened room, only one of light. White marble walls and bright steel tables, frozen chambers filled with fleshy organs. This was the inner sanctum to the Senior Apothecaries, Konrad Curze’s chosen medics who would forever ensure that the Legion had its recruits.

Vali was sat at a table going over the date slate, as always the results were good. The geneseed was pure, perhaps the purest there was. It would be greatly needed these stock piles, of that Vali was certain. The Night Haunter had made the decision to turn his back on his father and join with Horus. Vali did not care, he had never cared, Emperor, Horus it was all the same to him.

Vali sighed and noticed the vapour of his breath. It was strange for the sanctum’s temperature was to always be regulated at a certain point. He looked up and his twin bionic eyes buzzed taking in readings from the sanctum itself. As he watched the Senior Apothecary noticed a significant temperature drop and what was more, it was still declining. Vali even notice several areas frost over and start freezing to the walls and ceiling.

A klaxon sounded in Vali’s ears one he knew would be repeating throughout the entire vessel. It was an alarm he had never heard before, but he knew what it was. Someone somehow had broken into the sanctum. Vali picked up a curved dagger, and stood up listening past the alarms for sounds of intrusion. By now the ships master would be sending message to the other four Senior Apothecaries and Konrad Curze himself of this intrusion.

A pain struck Vali in the side, he had no idea where it had come from but the Night Lord in white armour thundered into a cryo chamber smashing it and destroying the Geneseed inside. Vali fell to the floor in a flood of pain, he turned as his attacker made himself known. A tall individual stepped forward in deep black armour coloured with deep crimson and he bore a skull mask.

“Chaplain Eliakim”, he wheezed in a puzzled movement. “What is going on?”

The Word Bearer Chaplain launched a blast of purple energy straight into Vali and his body spasm in pain before his body shut down into a suspended animated state.

***

His mind was dark like a sea of blackness. He saw nothing yet he could feel as if he was surrounded in a deep abyss. He tried to perceive it but his bionic eyes would not function. A whisper fell into his ear, almost like a voice talking from a great distance away, he strained to listen.

“Wake him up”, it said sinisterly.

Vali felt a sharp pain enter the back of his neck going through his spine directly into his bone marrow. Then he felt a burning hot liquid course through his body, the pain was horrendous and Vali did not konw what could cause such agony.

His bionics eyes whizzed back alive and he could perceive the room that he had fallen. Sweat covered his brow and he wiped his white hand through his stubble on his chin.

Another Night Lord stood above him like Vali he was clad in white power armour. The mark of the Apothecary. Senior Apothecary Jarl looked a typical brute with his bald head and scarred features. Jarl’s soulless black eyes looked down on Vali with contempt, on his wrist was his Narthecium and a long needle pointing out of it.

“Wake up brother”, he said with no joy in his voice.

Vali looked around and realised he recognised all who were present. He was surrounded by four Apothecaries, all of them in White Armour only their shoulder pad indicated the Legion they were from. It was midnight blue in colour with a pale skull that had red bat wings on it. All of them were not just an ordinary Apothecary, like Vali they were Senior Apothecaries. This had been the first time that these five individuals had been together at the same time.

“Tell me what happened?” A growled voice sounded and Vali realised it was the one he heard in the sea of blackness. It was also a voice he recognised very well.

The huge shadowy form of the Night Haunter stepped forward into Vali’s field of vision. He was huge, far taller then the Astartes. His armour was deep midnight blue and his presence seemed to almost absorb the light of the room. His pale face was one of a terrifying murderer who was looking intently at Vali.

“The Word Bearer”, he sighed. “Chaplain Eliakim, who I have been meeting with. He somehow gained entry into the sanctum and incapacitated me. I think he used psyker witchery against me?”

“Are you not meant to be that smartest of us”, laughed an accented voice. Jakob stood apart from his brothers with his braded hair and his Terran voice. Jakob often gave the visage of a kind noble styled man, yet Vali believed him to be psychotic and manipulative.

They had all been picked for their unique roles and character flaws. Like Jakob had said Vali was the smartest of all the Apothecaries yet he was withdrawn and had the minimal amount of battle lust. Jakob on the other hand was diplomatic and at the same time a sociopath. It was known that they had been hand picked by Konrad for these reasons and Vali had always believed it was also to keep them away from the main troopers.

“Perhaps the internal systems were compromised” said the only Apothecary wearing a helmet. “Funny how that happens, right Jakob.”

Vali looked left and right, he did not know what had occurred between Jakob and Traian but they had in recent years been more at odds with each other. Vali nearly shook his head, the five of them were a weird combination at one time they were the closest battle brothers in the Legion at others they were enemies that despised each other, the latter was becoming far too more common.

Traian’s flaw had been loyalty, unquestionable perhaps he was far too loyal. He would be the most likely to compromise another Night Lord Commander for the benefit of the Legion and the Dark King. It had been part of the Senior Apothecaries original remit to kill any threat to the survival of the Legion including if it was another Night Lord.

“I have reports of a Word Bearer ship leaving the Istvaan system”, said the final Apothecary. This one like Jakob had been Terran, he had long dark hair and his image was similar to the Night Haunter. Aristotle did not sound Terran and Vali had highly suspected that Aristotle had deliberately tried to look more like a Nostromo Night Lord then a Terran one.

Aristotle was the most unique, his character flaw was his lack of change and no desire for such. Aristotle had taken on the role as facilitator to the Senior Apothecaries; it was he that had kept their bickering in check. The problem was Aristotle could never stop doing it and it got extremely annoying.

“Then it is simple”, growled Jarl. “We will blow them apart and rip their legions skin from the bone.”

Vali stood up now and looked at the most disliked Senior Apothecary. Jarl was the youngest of them all and an utter thug. Jarl was a blunt implement and he of all the Senior Apothecaries felt the call to war the most strongly, he was not as sadistic as Jakob yet he was far more dangerous.

“The Legion will live” replied Konrad. “For now at least. We have other concerns, firstly I want to know what he was up to and then for this individual to be punished.”

Vali agreed as did the others, he turned to look around the room and where he had crashed. The cryo pod was utterly ruined and yet the fleshy organ that his form would have torn apart was no longer present.

“The Geneseed”, gasped Vali. “He took it.”

Traian came forwards and barged past Vali to take a closer look and check that the Senior Apothecary had not been mistaken. His brother apothecary simply shook his head.

“That is what the Word Bearers were after”, growled Jarl who clearly had a desire to slay his enemies.

The Night Haunter took a step closer to his sons, he had a sombre look on his face. This was one of the rare times that Konrad Curze did not display a terrifying aura that would cause lesser men to squeal in terror.

“I will be leaving this vessel shortly. I want you all to find this Eliakim and I want you all to kill him.”

The Dark King did not linger, such a venerated warrior had no desire to remain amongst his Senior Apothecaries. Within seconds the inner medical sanctum was a place that had just the five of them. For the first time in the history and existence of the Senior Apothecaries they were all together and they would be going on a mission as well.

They did not converse, there would be no need for such a thing, not on a day like today. They were often a silent brotherhood and now would be a time when silence would need to be averted. The Senior Apothecaries would have much to discuss and what was more they were a unit of warriors all the same rank and a pecking order would need to be followed.

***

The arguments had been never ending and Vali had long lost his patience for such things. Jarl and Aristotle were at each others throats, whilst Traian and Jakob kept a close eye on each other. Every so often they all made snide comments too each other, it got them nowhere, as far as they knew the drop site massacre was over. The Night Haunter had left the vessel 3 weeks ago and they had gone in chase of Eliakim and his Word Bearer fleet.

A moment of silence had entered the sanctum and for the first time Vali felt at peace, it rarely did. His mind was like a box that could not shut up, every intricate detail he found compelled to memorise and anything that was out of place he obsessed over, it was part of his imbalance the price of being the smartest of all the Senior Apothecaries.

“What are you up to sightless”, hiss a thuggish voice.

“Jarl”, he simply replied.

He turned his head and looked Jarl up and down. His bionic eyes whizzed displaying potential weak points on how to deal with Jarl. One loomed around by the Night Lord’s cheek bone, it had been shattered in an engagement. Vali himself had repaired the work as such Vali understood best how to undo his work.

Jarl noticed the way Vali was looking at him and simply smiled a sinister smile. Jarl was too blunt to be like Jakob and far to stupid to rival Vali. Still out of all the Senior Apothecaries he trusted Jarl the least.

“Weaknesses, to our Astartes kin.” Vali had no plan on engaging Jarl in conversation he did not desire to talk to anyone.

“What kind of weaknesses?”

“Biological, it is difficult though due to an Astartes genetic superiority.”

Jarl started to laugh and when he did his pauldrons shook with an almost violent fury. Vali could never tell when the thug was being serious or making a joke at all.

“Is that all”, he smiled wickedly. “I have a chemical compound that disables Preomnor and Oolitic Kidney, this will give you the critical aid to bring down an Astartes biologically.”

Vali sat shocked it seemed impossible that the dullard Jarl had come up with some kind of compound that would hinder and Astartes immune system making them more vulnerable to Vali’s own toxins that he had created in an attempt to bring down the Word Bearers.

A vox chimed in Vali’s hear from a micro bead and judging by Jarl’s reaction he received the same chime. It was a simple summons for all senior members to come to the bridge. Aristotle and Traian had attempted to take command, Vali did not care he just wanted to find the Chaplain straight away.

“You go Vali”, said Jarl. “I have no plan of sharing my secrets so I can adapt your weaknesses.”

Vali got up and left Jarl to his own devices. He knew that Jarl was deliberately not attending the summons as a statement. Jarl took orders only from Konrad Curze and rumour had it that Jarl had once almost come to blows with Captain Vandred when he had attempted to order him about.

Vali left the perfect white room that he had resided in for almost the entire journey after the Word Bearer’s ship. He watched as Jarl took a seat where Vali had been sitting he gazed long and hard at the screen before he began his work, Vali ignored it and made his way towards the bridge.

He made his way carefully knowing the journey well. It was rare that Vali left an inner sanctum out of all the Senior Apothecaries he was the most rarely seen by other Night Lords. It was the way he liked it, he had never been close to any battle brothers and the Night Haunter had seen that in him.

Vali put his hand out in front of a door and it whirled open. Most of the ship was locked down with various gene locks, it was all part of the idea of keeping the geneseed of the Night Lords completely safe. Vali entered onto the bridge where the others were waiting for him.

“No Jarl I see”, sighed Aristotle.

“Well we can do without him”, snubbed Jakob.

“Jarl is completing a joint project to poison Astartes”, said Vali in the most direct tone he could.

Traian walked out from the shadows and Vali had been impressed with how his brother apothecary was able to hide himself even from Vali and his bionic eyes.

“Poison Astartes has it really come to that.” Traian shook his head in what could be shame.

“Have you not seen brother”, laughed Jakob with his arms spread out for all to see. “We are at war with Astartes. We need to kill Astartes, this is how it is so accept it.”

“Jakob has the point despite his theatrics”, said Aristotle. The oldest of the Senior Apothecaries put his white hand through his black hair and gestured for all to follow his hand. “Behold the Word Bearer ship and behold its end.”

Vali looked upon the view screen and saw a single gun metal ship. It was smaller even then the Nox Vigilia and reminded Vali of some kind of make shift rusty blade. It was clear the ship was ancient beyond reckoning, Vali assumed that the Word Bearers did not want to risk a valuable so used this one.

In a display of light a heavy lance weapon fired from the prow of the Night Lord vessel it impacted upon the grey starboard of the enemy ship. The Word Bearer ship buckled and swayed in violent ways. A huge hole had ripped the vessel open and it was dead in space. This did not stop the Night Lords and a salvo of torpedoes sped from the Nox Vigilia and smashed into the vessel obliterating what was left of it.

The vessel continued forwards and they all knew what it would mean. They would be engaging whatever was upon the ground and battle them. Vali now for the first time looked upon the world it was a ball of whitish blue that was so bright. Ice and water he guessed as the ship sped further and further forwards.

Orbital Bombardment was out of the question, they could easily do it and wipe out the Word Bearers. Yet this was not what they wanted not what even Vali wanted. Each Senior Apothecary desired a single thing and that was to watch Eliakim pay for his transgression before their very eyes.

“Summon Jarl now”, Jakob attempted to order. “We will board the Thunderhawk and land where they did.”

Vali noticed the scared human crew comply, none of the serfs ever wanted anything to do with Jakob or Jarl and when both names were mentioned they often cringed. Vali would have found it amusing, if he found anything funny at all.

Turning away the four Senior Apothecaries left the bridge. Vali checked his bolt pistol to see that it was loaded. He rarely fired the weapon upon enemies and he hoped that a life time of firing in practice ranges would have done something to him.

They weaved left and right with the other three Apothecaries being more certain of their footsteps then Vali. The other Senior Apothecaries had no qualms with mixing with others within the Legion. Even the hated Jarl had contacts within the Legion. These Apothecaries often left the sanctum for various reasons, not Vali. Vali the most unique of all the Senior Apothecaries.

As they went to round the corner and opened a further gene locked door were they greeted by a welcoming and unwelcoming sight. For the Thunderhawk was primed and read within the embarkation deck, only for Jarl to be standing at the entrance way holding vials of a black liquid in his hands.

“Brothers load these into your Nartheciums”, he declared venturing out his hand. “It will bring down those treasonous dogs.”

“Thank you Jarl”, smiled Aristotle. “Now if you take your seat then we are ready.”

“We are ready when I say we are”, boomed Traiain.

Vali ignored Traian and barged past him. He had enough of the leadership bickering that had been going on in his absence. Vali noticed by Traian’s actions he was close to hitting Vali for the action. Yet instead Traian had to endure with Jakob bursting out with laughter at the disrespect of any command Traian wanted. Jarl smiled and patted Vali upon his shoulder pad.

“You see even Vali cannot stand you as leader”, gloated Jarl.

Traian took a step closer and locked eyes right with Jarl. They were the biggest two of the Senior Apothecaries and both were formidable in close combat. Clearly Traian was weighing up his options on whether or not he should strike Jarl down where he stood.

“Enough” yelled Aristotle. “Last time I checked we were the Senior Apothecaries. The most flawed and unique in the Night Lords Legion, hand picked by the Night Haunter. We are eternal brothers in arms stronger then that of the rest of the Legion. Loyalty is what drives us together.”

“Always one”, smiled Jakob, which was soon repeated by the other Apothecaries.

The slogan was the motto of the Senior Apothecaries and it indicated that at least one of their number was to always accompany the Primarch thus no one was more senior then the other. Yet this was the first time in their lives that the motto had little meaning.

The five of them entered the shuttle where a human pilot and co-pilot had been waiting within the cockpit. They all took positions close to the entrance and strapped themselves in. Within a few seconds the door gave a faint hiss and it slowly slid closed. One by one they took a breath and checked their weapons ready for combat.

The wait was the worse thing for Vali and he greatly desired to be on his way straight away. He did not have long to wait until the huge armoured shuttle thrust outwards and made its way towards the icy planet below.

It was a silent journey with just the large humming of the Thunderhawks engines sounding in their ears. Vali had never known the Senior Apothecaries to be so silent before. Perhaps they had all spent far too much time together, perhaps it was the lack of battles they had thought. Vali believed it was a moment of clarity, nothing would stop them now. Whatever was awaiting them would soon come.

Taking a look out of the window Vali gazed upon the planet they were entering. It was one of huge frozen seas and snowy dunes that dotted all around the place. There was little cloud cover accept in one location. Vali used his bionic eyes to zoom in closer to get a better look at what he was seeing.

Underneath a huge storm cloud of vicious lightning were three huge mountains. Tied to each of these mountains were the largest metal chains that Vali had ever seen. Each of these chains hung across the air connected to a huge stone slab that lightly swayed in the wind. Upon this was a large group of people and Vali knew with out a doubt that this was where they were going.

With a lurch of sudden speed the Thunderhawk raced to its destination and Vali was thrown upright within his seat as the huge forces of the quick movements brought them closer and closer to their target. He bit his tongue in anticipation and blood started to leak into his mouth. He tasted iron and concentrated on the pain before his advanced chemistry repaired the damage.

The shuttle slowed and then finally stopped. Once it had all five released their harnesses and opened the door of the Thunderhawk. They were greated by a wave of hot air. Vali could not understand it, they were on an ice world and yet it was unbearably hot. His skin was stinging and sweating from the heat and his physiology was finding it hard to keep it up.

One by one the Night Lords in white armour jumped from the shuttle and landed upon the stone tablet held up right be the mountains. It barely recognised their weight as they all landed.

Vali looked around to see about seventy humans in sweaty rags staring back at him with hate and suspicion. Within the centre was the same Astartes he had seen not too long ago. Clad in Black Armour with a hint of Crimson stood an Astartes. He had a skull mask and in one hand held a book whilst in the other he clearly had hold of a bag filled with fleshy organs.

Vali used his eyes and advanced photography movements to work out that there was a total of nine organs within the bag all about the size of geneseed. Vali took a guess that it was the geneseed of the nine Legions who would now be enemies of the Emperor and the Imperium.

“I knew you would come”, yelled Eliakim. “I invite you to join my new warband.”

“Warband,” laughed Jakob. “We serve the Night Haunter.”

“You have no need to. He will be dead shortly a long with Horus and others. This war will never end and your Legion will be shattered without its Primarch keeping it together.”

“How dare you”, Jarl took a step forward with his Narthecium pointed straight at Eliakim. “You no nothing, the Night Haunter is eternal and we will kill you.”

With these words the various humans took a step towards the Night Lords and brought out crude looking knives and clubs to deal with them.

“I know the future”, sighed Eliakim. “The Chaos Gods are playing the long game. Once I have my prize I will carve an Empire you could follow me.”

“God worship”, sneered Traian. “Such pathetic creatures you Word Bearers are.”

“I suspected this would be your answer. It makes no difference I need blood for my ritual to work.”

The human followers of Eliakim charged forwards and the Senior Apothecaries charged into them. Vali was the most hesitant but even he charged. Vali fired his bolt pistol left and right killing swathes of the humans with the blasts of the weapon.

Traian had a small hand held flamer and sent flames of liquid into the humans. It did not last long due to the lack of feul ammo. Traian did not care he turned to his hands, Jakob came in to support him. Both battled side by side against an endless tide, each blow they shattered heads and ripped men apart.

Aristotle fired a bolter at these deranged slaves, it was at point blank range where he must have killed at least ten within the first few seconds of fighting. The Terran then smiled and he kicked a large grouping of humans that sent a further four flying off the edge of the tablet and falling to the ground far below.

Vali and Jarl were surging forwards pushing against the almost unstoppable tide of fanatics. Where as Vali opted to use his bolt pistol as often as possible Jarl was having too much fun engaging in hand to hand combat. A mad light would linger in his eyes as he ripped apart men who stood before him his Narthecium was tearing human organs, from their bodies. Hearts, lungs and lives were ripped from bodies and men were left to die as Jarl growled.

Vali felt disgusted as he watch the bald headed thug endure more attacks then any else with his armour and pale skinned flesh coated in blood. He was a hurricane and he felled the most of the enemies.

An Astartes is a deadly weapon, but one that understood the biology of a human perfectly was an even worse one. For the Senior Apothecaries knew of weaknesses that not even the humans knew, even the slightest touch brought them down.

Vali noticed that the vast amount had surged into Jarl registering him as the greater threat to Eliakim. With a smile Vali saw an opening and he charged forwards shoulder barging a couple of humans out of the way.

Eliakim turned to meeting, he was in the midst of a chant when Vali came behind him. Vali fired his bolt pistol only to realise he was out of ammo. He threw the bolt pistol into Eliakim and charged forwards. The weapon bounced of the Chaplains head and Eliakim brought his combat sword up and swiped into Vali side drawing blood.

“Pathetic”, he said as he kicked Vali to the ground. “You five can beat simple humans but you are no match for me.”

“Want to bet”, roared a voice and Jarl charged out of a press of bodies.

Vali noticed that the ground around him was frosting over like mad despite the heat. He brought his gaze away for a split second and when he turned to look up Jarl was impaled upon Eliakim’s combat blade. The Chaplain was laughing like mad.

“Within a few seconds I beat two of you do not make me laugh”

Vali thrust his Narthecium behind Eliakim’s knee joint. Vali knew it was a softer part in the armour and the Adamantium needles of his multi medical instrument pearced through the gaps in the armour. Instantly the black liquid injected into Eliakim’s leg.

Eliakim turned and gave a sharp boot to Vali’s head. The force of the blow broke his left bionic eye as it crumpled up. His vision went black briefly as he jerked his head back. His vision returned and he noticed that already Eliakim was shaking a little. The early signs of Vali and Jarl’s combined virus were taking effect and the Word Bearer looked unsteady on his feet.

“Clever”, he wheezed as the toxin took more effect.

Eliakim staggered towards the frosty ground and muttered some words in a language that hurt Vali’s eyes to hear. More sorcerer witchery he thought to himself. In a sudden swift movement the hilt of a sword thrust up from the ice. Vali lay shocked with what he saw and he noticed Eliakim drunkeredly try to take the sword.

Before he could a red stained warrior crashed into his back and wrestled him to the ground. Blood poured from his gut and yet he still battled with a renewed fury. Eliakim was losing the strength to keep Jarl from killing him and the thuggish Apothecary swatted Eliakim’s hands aside taking the sword for himself.

Jarl pulled the weapon free of the ice and stood to attention. Vali noticed that Jarl’s body heat rapidly dropped when he grabbed the black looking blade. Jarl also jerked in a shocked movement in no doubt response to taking the witch like weapon.

“Your corruption ends today”, spat Jarl.

“Mine”, laughed Eliakim in a weak tone. “You are all fools, you think your Legion has no corruption why you five are perfect example that is not true. Konrad will die, your Legion will shatter and there will be little point to the Night Lords in the years to come.”

Jarl yelled in hate as he thrust the sword into Eliakim’s head. It went straight through the armoured helmet and out the other side. The small droplets of the Word Bearer’s blood froze instantly and Jarl seemed to grunt in pain when he delivered the death kill to Eliakim.

He stood panting for awhile with frosty breath before the remaining Senior Apothecaries came forwards looking at the dead form of Eliakim. Aristotle pulled Vali up from the ground and as he was lifted he looked upon the slaughter the others had unleashed upon those foolish humans loyal to Eliakim.

Traian looked cautiously towards Jarl keeping his hand on his weapons almost anticipating that Jarl would attack him at the moments notice. Jakob looked withdrawn like a haunted man who had awoken from a dream to discover he had killed his family, it was strange to see Jakob in this way. It was not the slaughter Vali was certain perhaps it was Eliakim’s words.

“Could he be telling the truth”, voiced Vali.

“Of course not it is all lies”, grunted Traian.

“I have learnt a lot from tales of foresight, it afflicts those within our Legion if you remember”, said Jakob sounding hollow.

“None the less I think we need to keep what we always do”, replied Aristotle. “To ensure the survival of the Legion and its beliefs, no matter what even if it brings as at odds with the Legion itself. This was the Night Haunters edict to us.”

“Always one”, said Vali which was soon repeated by Jakob and Traian.

“No”, growled Jarl. “Not always one, always us.”
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