Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

For Warhammer fiction not strictly from either universe.

Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby havoc » Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:27 pm

"YOU! Pull my finger! ;)
You cant have slaughter without laughter
User avatar
havoc
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:17 pm




Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:11 pm

Chapter 22-Sons of Tuchanka

The first ships of the relief force exited the Charon Relay and into the middle of battle.

Around them, a flock of thousands of ships surrounded them, weapons blazing against the monolithic vessels that pressed against them. It was eight hundred against three and a half thousand, and despite the numbers tipped in their favour the Alliance were losing, badly.

Beam fire ripped cruisers and frigates asunder, leaving them as ruins of debris, while the void blazed with thousands of mass-driver rounds, slamming against the mighty shields of the Reapers. Occasionally, there was an immense blast of azure flame as the kinetic barriers of one of the goliaths failed and its armour ruptured, before the fires were devoured by the ever-hungry vacuum.

Chaos reigned as ships darted out of the FTL tunnel created by the Relay and straight into firing lanes, crashing into debris before they could erect their kinetic barriers and being torn apart by impacts from massive chunks of metal and Reaper beam fire alike. Lumbering transport craft, packed with troops and materials, were split open like overripe fruit, vomiting their helpless cargoes into the void, soldiers left to scream silently, choke and freeze in the merciless chill of the vacuum.

The OFC Knife Edge arrived in time to hit a tide of flame from an exploding cruiser. Like some terrestrial vessel, it banked up as its pointed prow was hit, fire blackening its hull, before its kinetic barriers flickered into life.

“Damage report, now!” Aria ordered from her place atop the dreadnought’s bridge.

“Minor,” the reply came up. “Scorching on the hull, a few point-defences knocked out, nothing more.”

“Good,” the Asari said. “Bring us round to fire on the enemy, and open up a comm. link; get me in touch with Anderson.”

A holo-screen image of David Anderson fuzzed upwards in front of her, and the pirate admiral shook her head at him.

“Fine welcome you prepared for us,” she said.

“Reapers saw us heading for the relay,” Anderson replied. “Not much we could do.” He glanced off screen. “Get more power to the engines, bring us round on that thing’s flank!” Once again, his attention was back on the pirate admiral. “They moved to cut us off, and we had one hell of a time trying to break through.”

“Fine,” Aria said as the deck shook beneath her, the main cannons of the Knife Edge opening fire on a Reaper that loomed before it. “I’ll get my people together, we’ll push them back from the relay, give the transports time to make a break for Earth.”

“Good plan,” Anderson said. “Get your people organised, and attack those Reapers, we can’t afford losses like these much longer.”

“Understood,” Aria said. “Time to show these Reapers what Terminus Systemers are made of.”

Across the void, the pirates of the Terminus system began to form up, flitting up and around the vacuum towards the foe as they formed squadrons and miniature fleets. They were a mixed bunch, uniform only in their individuality, each ship heavily customised by captains and crew.

Some launched swarms of torpedoes at the immense goliaths they faced, the smart munitions screaming noiselessly across the void to crash against kinetic barriers or hulls of dark metal. They drove forwards as a great wedge, aided by the Council and Geth ships, led by the Dreadnoughts and pressing against the enemy in a bid to drive them back from the Relay. From it, the mothballed reserves of the Alliance, the Turians and the Asari emerged with them, getting into formation using much more organised comm. channels, swiftly activating kinetic barriers and weapons and adding to fire of that of their comrades. They joined the slipstream of the wedge, flitting to its fringes as they sent fire blazing across empty space into the Reapers. The return fire ripped ships to pieces, but the wedge continued forwards inexorably, Council, pirate and Geth munitions slamming into Reaper shields with the force to level planets.

The fleet’s dreadnoughts led the charge against the heart of the Reaper fleet, the tip of a spear composed of thousands of ships. The Thermopylae and the Knife Edge were at the very front, the squared curves of the Alliance vessel stark contrast to the heavily customised, patchworked pirate craft, each part stolen or bought to make the Knife Edge one of the most unique and deadly ships in space.

Fire glanced off her shields, the Geth-built generators managing to stand firm against beam fire lancing towards it, while its batteries of mass-drivers and torpedoes stolen from ship classes ranging from Batarian frigates to Alliance dreadnoughts blazed into life. Behind it, fire screamed in from more dreadnoughts, the massive ships picking one target at a time and concentrating their ferocious firepower on it until its shields were stripped away and it died.

The Thermopylae was the first into the very edges of the Reaper lines, firing near point-blank into the upper hulls of one of the massive dreadnoughts, before Anderson gave the order and the Krogan ships emerged.

From the heavily armoured and shielded brick-like craft, hundreds of boarding craft leapt out like birds from a nest, spearing towards their prey. Element Zero lined prows slid past kinetic barriers, before drills and augurs span into life, gnawing through thick black hulls. Controlling VIs detected empty air before detonating fragmentation bombs, spraying corridors and decks before them with a storm of razor sharp shrapnel edged with Eezo, slicing through shields and into armour. Armoured doors slid open, and the occupants within rushed free to meet the foe.

The Krogan had been unleashed.

#

Urdnot Wrex, Battlemaster of Clan Urdnot and Grand Warlord of Tuchanka, was first free of his boarding pod, his assault rifle thudding in his hands as he emptied the magazine into the room before him in a spray of indiscriminate fury. Behind him, his Krantt and the most elite warriors of his clan followed, weapons roaring as they opened up.

The small group of Reaper soldiers before them had no chance; already battered and damaged from the boarding pods’ frag blasts, they were cut down in moments by the storm of fire that erupted from within.

“Let’s move, up to the core,” Wrex ordered. “Go!”

The Krogan with him stormed forwards, the bullish clan leader at their head, thundering down the onyx corridors of the Reaper. Enemy soldiers hurried towards, opening fire as they took what cover they could within the stark, bare corridors of the Reaper, but the Krogan ignored such things, simply advancing forwards regardless. Their decentralised nervous systems rendered them almost immune to pain, while most of the enemy rounds glanced off their thick armour, and their weapons blazed as they opened up on the foe. Several stopped to take Reaper weapons, before Wrex ordered the advance once more.

More fire screamed towards him, glancing off his shields, and he raised his weapon to return, rounds thudding free of his weapon. The heavy duty mass-driver bullets punched past the shields of one of the Reaper troops, shattering its visor and knocking it to the ground. Its fellows around it formed up, focusing their fire on the clan leader and forcing him to duck away from it, before a grenade landed in the enemy’s midst, cooking off and staggering the enemy squad.

With a chorus of roared war cries, Urdnot Tenk and his warriors thundered into the midst of the enemy, his shotgun blazing. Wrex charged forwards into the enemy to join the Battlemaster, smashing one of the enemy footsoldiers aside with his sheer mass before gunning it down. A blow from the stock of a Reaper rifle glanced against his jaw before Wrex turned his weapon on his assailant and gunned it down at point blank range.

The foe at the junction cleared, Tenk glanced over to Wrex.

“Where to, Clan Leader?” he asked.

“Up,” Wrex replied, gesturing to the stairwell beyond. “To this thing’s power core. We kill it and bring the ship down.”

Upwards they went, trading fire with the enemy that came down to meet them, rounds zipping along the incline of the stairs from both sides. Another squad of Urdnot’s warriors hit the foe from the top of the stairs, the Krogan tying them up enough for Wrex and his clansmen to advance upwards and finish them off.

Through the great ship they fought, advancing along onyx corridors with implacable, unstoppable fury. Hardy as they were, many Krogan were gunned down, but they kept moving, Wrex at their head, his biotics and fearsome martial progress sustaining the momentum of their meteoric charge. Through corridors they fought, trading fire with the Reapers, the bulky forms, redundant nervous systems and natural regenerative abilities of the Krogan making them fearsome foes in the close quarters of the Reaper ships. Many of them already carried stolen weapons, bulky rifles held with ease by strong arms, and they blazed with azure as they fired into the foe, cutting through shields and armour alike.

They reached the core, held in a large, high-ceilinged room more akin to a hangar than a generator room, spinning rings suspended aloft above a needle of some dark blue metal. Below it, a phalanx of the Reaper’s soldiers waited, along with one of their walkers, fire screaming from their weapons the moment the Krogan rounded the corner. Several of the bulky Tuchankans were cut down as they entered, the rest of them scattering.

Crimson beams erupted from the weapon arms of Reaper tank, melting away kinetic barriers, armour and flesh in moment, scything down those Krogan too slow to scatter out of its way. Fire roared back at it, small arms rippling against its kinetic barriers, but it was ineffective, the walker invulnerable to their weapons.

Wrex ducked aside as it turned its guns toward him, throwing up a bolt of biotic energy to temporarily stun the machine, before moving away. A small group of Reaper solders were before him, their weapons blazing as they opened up on the clan leader, but he simply shrugged it off, throwing up a biotic barrier as he advanced, his rifle picking targets and gunning them down as he advanced.

He dodged to the left as one of the soldiers hefted some sort of heavy weapon, firing off a beam of incandescent crimson towards him. He hit it with a bolt biotic energy, a warp field that mangled its shields and ripped apart its armour, before barrelling into the last two foes. One he finished off with a point blank shot to the head, and a blow from the stock of his rifle knocked the last one to the ground; a stamp from his large, two-toed feet finished it, crushing its metal skull.

He picked up the beam weapon that had nearly finished him, and turned it towards the walker, crimson lances still scything through them despite the fire roaring into its shields. He hefted it into his broad shoulder, took aim, and fired.

The shot overwhelmed its kinetic barriers, impact enough to stagger the machine, and managed to stumbled in his direction despite the fire glancing off its form. Steam vented from the barrel of Wrex’s weapon as he pulled the trigger once more, but nothing happened, too hot to fire.

He cursed as the walker raised its weapons, the vehicle swaying slightly as blast from a missile launcher glanced against its flank. It was enough to throw its aim, the beams instead gouging a steaming, molten rent into the floor next to Wrex, before the weapon in his hand finally cooled enough for him to fire.

It melted the front armour of the walker, metal turning liquid, frying circuitry and wiring within, before hitting the mass effect generator at its heart. An explosion of blue flame punched outwards from the dark armour of the machine as it detonated, before it tottered to one side and fell.

Wrex tossed the beam weapon to one side, before calling; “Someone plant charges on that generator, then we’re getting out of here.”

He flicked his comm. bead on, and said; “David, it’s Wrex here. What’s the situation?”

“They’re pulling back,” Anderson replied from the bridge of the Thermopylae. “We’ve got them running.”

“You’re serious?”

“I am. They’re on the run.”

Wrex laughed aloud at this, before saying; “Good work, David. You pursuing?”

“We’re harrying them, but they’re fast,” the Admiral replied. “We’re keeping a rearguard up, but we’re heading for Earth, we’re going to drop those reinforcements. Get to your ships and join up with the other transports.”

“Understood,” Wrex said. “Urdnot, get back to the boarding pods. We’re headed to Earth!”

This was greeted by a cheer, and they left as the charges on the Reaper’s core cooked off. The spinning rings clattered to the ground, the blue glow of the mass effect field they held fading to nothing, the Reaper swiftly dying as the Krogan returned to their pods.

In the vacuum around the massive vessel, Council, Geth, pirate and Krogan ships moved past it, pounding the retreating Reaper fleet from afar as the warriors of Tuchanka returned to their ships. Swiftly, the fleet got into a new formation, an escort for the transports that carried their reinforcements to Earth, heading away from the Charon relay and leaving the Reapers to flee.

And in the chaos of the battle, nobody had noticed the small squadron of Reapers that had slipped through the immensity of the Charon Relay.
User avatar
Colonel Mustard
 
Posts: 711
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:58 pm


Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:59 pm

Chapter 23-To Glory

Fire rained upon London as the Alliance began their orbital bombardment.

Streets were reduced to rubble by blasts from mass drivers, emplacements for artillery and flak defences smashed to pieces. Buildings were toppled, the elegant skywalks that extended between them split apart. Heavily dug in firing positions were cracked open, their occupants annihilated in a storm of flame and shrapnel, bunkers shattered and left as smoking ruins. The shields of walkers were overwhelmed in moments and their armoured shells proved to be of no aid against the fury of the Alliance’s big guns.

Within minutes, as the soldiers deployed, the southern half of London looked like it had been hit by a hurricane, an undulating sea of rubble broken by a the gutted shells of the surviving buildings, rearing from it like shattered teeth from diseased gums.

Behind the front lines hovered the transport craft, the massive rotund vessels disgorging flight after flight of shuttles. Some carried reinforcements down, other supplies, yet more vehicles. The wounded were loaded aboard, carried up to med-bays, while soldiers were bussed onto Makos, and driven to firing points. Kit bags were dropped off, before webbing was slung on over body armour and they were sent straight to the front lines, ready to fight.

“Now that is power,” Malleus said from the cupola of his tank. Hullen had sprayed an Aquila onto the front of the vehicle, and a few purity seals had been stuck to its hull. “You getting this, Miss Wong? This is what we need for a good boost of morale; the might of the Alliance, unleashed upon the Reapers first hand.”

“I’m getting it,” Emily replied, her camera upon her shoulder as she peered down the lense. “It’s an impressive shot, I’ll say that.”

“Good,” Malleus said. “Well, the reinforcements have arrived, they’re all in position and we’ve successfully bombarded. Get back to the station, you’ll be safest there, unless you’d rather follow me into a warzone.”

He turned his attention to the vox, and asked: “Titus, are you ready?”

“We’re all ready,” came the reply across the vox. “Lifting off now.”

“Good. Kurias?”

“Alliance Air Force prepped and ready to fly,” Kurias replied.

“Cyralius?”

“We’re clearing rubble, but we’ll be up in time.”

“Excellent. All Alliance forces, this is Malleus Scandarum. We’re moving out. Imperator vult!”

#

The VTOL engines of the troop carrier screamed as they swivelled towards the ground, lifting it upwards into the air with hawk-like grace. Titus glanced around at the small fleet of aircraft with it, banner in one hand, the other holding the overhead rail as he leant out to look. Mag clamped to his belt were his shotgun and his bolter, while Urz lay at his feet next to him, the Varren growling slightly at the unnatural sensation of flight.

They rose about a hundred metres into the air before the aircraft dipped their noses and began to move forwards, buildings sweeping by them as they flew between the structures.

Titus paused as heard music over the speakers, something with guitar and piano, and he stepped away from the edge of the craft’s doors, letting the watching be done by the two soldiers on the automatic grenade launchers on each side of it instead, and stepped to the cockpit.

“Pilot,” he said to the man guiding the craft forwards. “Mind telling me what this music is?”

“Sympathy for the Devil, Rolling Stones,” the pilot replied without looking up. “Old family tradition to play it since we flew choppers back in ‘Nam.”

“’Nam?”

“Vietnam War, back in the 1970s,” the pilot replied. “Our family’s been in the US army, then the Alliance, flying helicopters or veetols since then. Bosnia, Afghanistan, China, Second Civil War, Shanxi, we’ve been in all of ‘em. Apparently, my great, great…” He paused for a moment to count on his fingers. “Great, great, great, great grandpa played this song whenever he flew it into a fight. Said it bought him luck.”

“And did it?”

“Hell, he flew more than a hundred missions and came back without a scratch,” the pilot replied without a grin. “Mighta been the song, might not have been, but it’s worked so far for me too.”

Titus chuckled at this.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

“Richard Karawitz,” the pilot replied with a grin. “Corporal, and best damn veetol pilot the Alliance has. Got myself a Star of Terra during the Blitz; got fifty men out under heavy fire all by myself.”

“Glad I’m in good hands then,” Titus said as the helicopter crossed the river, clapping Richard on the shoulder. “Keep listening to that song of yours, a little luck could go a long way.”

He stepped back into the main body of the craft in time to catch a glimpse of the river. On the bridges, he could see the tanks and infantry moving across the stretch of dust-choked, scum-topped water, cannons, rifles and heavy weapons daring any enemy to raise their heads. There was a whooshing scream, and Titus glanced upwards to see a squadron of Alliance jet fighters swoop overhead, watching for any aerial threat to present itself. There were fires nested in ruins of the southern half of the city, columns of smoke rising into the dust-darkened sky, and even from this height the stink of scorched metal and glass was pervading the air.

The VTOL craft began to lower, dropping down onto the rubble-strewn streets, before they touched down. Titus was first out, leaping from the craft, the other soldiers within following, while around him other soldiers did the same.

The VTOLs were about to lift off, when rounds zipped into the Alliance position. Yells of alarm and barked orders went up, and there was a rapid thudding as the chainguns and grenade launchers on the aircraft opened up on the enemy position, stitching bullet holes and explosions across the walls of ruined buildings as the craft headed upwards.

Soldiers were cut down as they dashed for cover, and Titus grimaced as he saw a beam of crimson strike the craft he had been flying in. It tried to rise as smoke poured from the hole rent into its chassis, before it veered away into a building, a tangled mess of metal and flame. So much for luck.

“Move forwards!” Titus ordered, drawing his shotgun. “Two Platoon, flank round to their left, get them pinned. One Platoon, Three platoon, with me; we’re advancing! No falling back!”

Two Platoon was led off by barked orders from one of the greatcoated Alliance commissars that had flown in on one of the other VTOLS, and Titus nodded to the man as they hurried round to the left. Alliance soldiers ducked to cover, behind fallen walls and piles of rubble, returning fire against the already dug in foe.

“Get smoke out,” Titus ordered, snapping of a few shots with his Claymore one handed, the shotgun roaring as it fired. “Up close and personal, that’s how we’ll beat the scum!”

Canisters bounced to the front of the buildings before thick white smoke poured out. As the smokescreen rose, Titus gave the order: “Charge! Clear us a safe landing!”

The soldiers began to run, Titus at their head, weapons blazing as they fired blind into the cloud ahead. Enemy fire came through, but it was ineffective, rounds falling randomly with no way to aim. Titus’ autosenses flicked on as he entered the smoke, cutting through the haze, and he raised an arm as he realised his momentum was about to carry him through a wall.

His momentum punched him through, the weakened metal of the wall screeching as his mass tore a hole within it. He turned on the spot, banner clipping the wall, raising his shotgun and unloading a blast of lead in to the visor of a foe as it turned to face him, smashing it to the ground. Several of the creatures on the upper floor turned as he ripped his way in, and leapt down to face him, rifles blazing as they opened fire.

His shotgun tore the first to the ground, a swing from the banner impaling the second, while a trio of soldiers burst through the hole Titus had torn and opened fire on the third, combined power of their weapons enough to wear down its shields and punch through its armour.

More Reaper roared towards him, and Titus raised the standard high as her charged forwards with a roar.

“FORTH! TO GLORY!”

#

“Targets in sight,” came the alert from their forward scout. “At least three companies worth of soldiers, five stalk tanks. Loose formation.”

“Understood,” Cyralius replied. “All units, hold fire, wait until they’re in the killing zone, wait for the signal. You’ll know it when you see it.”

He glanced down to Jack, crouched behind a pile of rubble and concealed further by a diffraction cloak, a barely visible shimmer covering the biotic’s position.

“Worried, Jack?”

“Why should I be, Cyril?” she replied. “I’ve got you with me.”

The epistolary smiled at this.

“They’re coming up close,” a whispered alert came in his ear. “Nearly in the ambush zone.”

“I hear you,” Cyralius replied.

He drew a deep breath before tapping the well of infinite madness and might that was the Warp, drawing its invisible energies around himself as he cast a glamour, rendering himself invisible to the eyes and auguries of the Reapers. He frowned as he felt a dull ache at the back of his skull, like some mild migraine, stronger than it was yesterday. What was that?

The enemy came into view, one of their walkers in the lead, while the soldiers concealed in the buildings and rubble around them dug into their cover just a little deeper for fear of attracting the dread machines’ notice. Only Cyril remained where he was, concealed by his powers, as the machines moved forwards. They were hurrying, doubtless moving to reinforce their comrades tied up with Malleus’ armoured push into their centre, and it took them a moment to notice Cyralius as he dropped the glamour, his omni-tool active in his hand.

“Greetings,” he said warmly, before pressing the hologram.

The mines in the middle of the road blasted into life, gouts of flame roaring upwards. One of the blasts struck one of the Reaper tanks right in its weakly armour belly, punching straight through before it could bring its kinetic barriers to bear on that point, while Reaper soldiers were sent flying by the explosion, shields overwhelmed and armour melted away.

Fire roared into the enemy troopers around them as the warriors of the SAS opened up. Grenades clattered down in the foe’s midst, cooking off and slamming more apart, while shields were overwhelmed by a volume of precisely placed shots.

One of the stalk tanks turned its beam weapons towards the buildings where the soldiers of the Alliance were sheltering, before a blast of pure white light, wreathed in crackling lightning, tore into its hull. Its shields were overwhelmed in an instant, hull melting away, and it collapsed to the ground a smoking ruin.

The remaining three stalk tanks turned their attentions to Cyralius at once, and their beam weapons blazed as they fired them towards the Epistolary. A curtain of psychic power sprang up, catching them before they hit home, and he hissed slightly as the ache in the back of his skull began to grow.

Steam curling from their barrels, the stalk tanks curtailed their fire before the weapons overheated. In reply he dropped the shield and raised his hand.

There was a deep cracking noise sounded over the battle. Accompanied by a deep rumble, miniature canyons split the roadway the stalk tanks walked upon, racing towards the machines. The ground roared as it crumbled away beneath their metallic feet, the earth on either side of the vehicles rising up, a great maw of mud, concrete and twisted piping, before crashing closed. Metal screamed as it was bent and torn, and the three blasphemous machines were crushed utterly.

He frowned as he felt the back of his head, before glancing over to his left to see one of the Reaper soldiers with its rifle raised, about to dash it against his helmless skull. He raised a hand, but a flare of pain slowed him, and it passed his guard before he could stop it.

A grasp of azure energy suddenly plucked the xenos machine away from him, sending it spiralling away to clatter against the ground.

“Don’t touch him!” Jack yelled as she stepped forwards, biotic hammerblows raining upon it. “Don’t you dare fucking touch him!”

The biotic’s fury was almost frightening to behold, ripping the construct apart, smashing and ripping and tearing until it was mere scraps of ruined metal and circuit board, utterly unrecognisable.

“You alright, Cyril?” Jack asked, turning to the epistolary with a look of consternation writ across her features.

“It didn’t touch me,” Cyralius replied. “Thank you, Jack.”

“Not a problem,” she replied. She smiled slightly. “Don’t want you getting yourself hurt, Cyril.”

The epistolary smiled and shook his head.

“Don’t worry, I’m quite capable of looking after myself,” he replied, raising a hand towards a squad of Reaper soldiers that had managed to take cover against the ambush that had already gunned down half their comrades. Bolts of flame sprang from his fingertips, wailing as they soared towards the foe, exploding in their midst and immolating armour and shields.

The gunfire died down only a few moment later, and Cyralius flicked the vox bead on.

“Sergeant, I hope that means what I want it to.”

“It does; they’re down. Good job with the earthworks, by the way.”

“A pleasure.”

“Where’s our next location?”

“UAVs say there are reinforcements moving in from the North, about half a mile from here,” Cyralius replied. He noticed an orange glow at the edge of his vision, and turned to see what it was. “We can…we can…Oh, Emperor on Terra.”

The burning ruin of an Alliance Dreadnought was falling from the sky.
User avatar
Colonel Mustard
 
Posts: 711
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:58 pm


Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:07 pm

Chapter 24-Fire and Steel

Their engines roared their prayers as they advanced, crushing the enemy beneath steel treads and armoured hulls. Their machine guns barked litany after litany, bullets spraying their holy fury across the field. Their hulls were their faith, unyielding and unbreakable against the strongest of resistance, their treads their will, overcoming everything in their path. This was no mere battle. Though many of the soldiers driving their vehicles did not know it, this was prayer in its purest, most holy form, and Malleus was exalting in it.

“Thunder Three, move up on my flank!” he ordered, practically roaring into the vox. “We’ve got stalk tanks pushing against the centre, get round them.”

“Understood, Angel,” the commander of Thunder Three replied. “Moving.”

“Good, Angel out. On my target, Okeen,” Malleus said, lasering a building ahead of his vehicle. The turret swivelled and the cannon roared, metal walls crumpled away at the impact of the high explosive shell’s impact. Behind the ruined wall, the footsoldiers of the Reapers were blasted apart, their shields and armour no match for the Somme’s main gun. “We are the lightning of His Wrath!”

The munitions light at the edge of the tank’s control panel winked red as Okeen pulled an empty magazine of shells from the tank’s mass accelerator cannon, before a moment later it changed to green as a full clip was slammed home. Malleus pointed out the same target, the final remnants of the Reaper soldiers, one of them hefting one of their beam launchers into place to fire, before a shell sent from Okeen obliterated it entirely. “We are the thunder of His hate!”

A cry of warning came up from the rest of Thunder One, an alert of incoming Stalk Tanks, and Malleus immediately barked orders to the soldiers around the Sommes to bring heavy weapons to bear. Many of them carried the stolen Reaper anti-tank weapons, and though he could see the logic, the Alliance’s own anti-tank weapons useless against the Reaper’s stalk tanks, such a thing rankled him immensely.

“Thunder One, hold your fire,” Malleus ordered. “Let the infantry have the first few kills. When their weapons need to cool, Delta Section fire on the next foe to present itself, then Charlie Section. Rotate firing, we can hold them off as long as we have munitions to fire.”

At least, until the things came to flank them. Then they would have to adapt. No matter, he was an Astartes brother captain, one of the finest warriors and tacticians the Emperor had; if anything could adapt to the situation, it was he.

The first of the machines entered the impromptu square the Alliance had made with their orbital bombardment from a side street was hit by a volley of heavy weapons fire, crimson beams spearing into it. Its kinetic barriers were overwhelmed in moments, before its hull was melted away. Forced into single file, the second suffered the same fate, a smoking ruin.

The front of one of the buildings over to their left was suddenly ripped downwards as a stalk tank crashed through, weapons aimed squarely at Malleus’ tank. The Somme’s engines roared as Hullen accelerated forwards, not waiting for orders, and once again the brother captain thanked whoever designed the vehicle for its turn of speed as the beam weapons turned the ground he was on to glass. The turret swivelled and the cannon barked as it sent a shell smashing into its shields, the impact enough to stumble the unholy machine, before two more impacts from the rest of Thunder One killed it outright. Another stalked in from their rear, and before the armour could react, its weapons blazed into life, slamming into the rear of one of Thunder One’s tanks and blasting it apart, even as the crew’s comrades avenged them.

“Enemy infantry coming in from our front!” a report crackled from Malleus’ ear.

“Stalk tanks, from both sides!”

“Stand firm, in the name of the Emperor!” Malleus ordered, even as he swung the machine gun mounted in his Somme’s cupola to open fire. “Alliance Air Wing, this is Angel and Thunder One. We have large numbers of armour and infantry on our position, and need immediate close air support.”

“Affirmate, Angel,” came the reply. “Birds are in the air, ETA one minutes.”

The Somme rumbled into life as Hullen gunned its engine to avoid incoming fire, the cannon roaring a retort and blasting into the offending stalk tank. A shot from another member of Thunder One slammed into its shields, knocking them out, before a final one from Malleus’ tank smashed into its side armour, smashing through it before the shell exploded within.

Beside them, a platoon of infantry had taken cover beside some ruined walls, exchanging fire, while one of his commissars, clad in the distinctive greatcoat and cap of his rank over his body armour, exhorted the soldiers with him to fight harder. With the situation as it was, enemy fire zipping from all around and armour on their position, most mortal soldiers would have broken and ran, but the greatcoated warrior with them meant no retreat was possible. Commendable, certainly, and proof that forming the commissariat was not a wasted effort; Thunder One needed their infantry escort. A barrier of biotic force shimmered into existence around them, and Malleus saw Samara standing over the soldiers around them, her palms ablaze with dark energy. Beside her, Grunt stood, grinning now that he could fire without obstruction, emptying the magazine of his rifle into the foe ahead, while a Reaper soldier wielding one of their beam weapons suddenly toppled and fell, a hole punched through its helmet, the work of Legion. A trio of plasma bolts hissed outwards into the hull of a stalk tank, burning past its shields and armour, and Kullas chattered a binaric litany as he turned the flamer of his servo harness upon a nearby knot of enemy infantry. Once again, xenos, abominations and heretics though they were, the team were doing him proud.

The square was swiftly turning into chaos, a swirling melee of tanks as they tried to manoeuvre out of the way of stalk tank fire and return at the same time. Two of the Sommes had been reduced to smoking wreckage, with only another of the stalk tanks downed in return, and Malleus flicked the vox on once more.

“Air Wing, this is Angel. Where’s our air support; we’re running out of time here!”

“We’re here, Angel,” came the reply. “We’re bringing the noise!”

With a shriek of engines, a trio of planes soared overhead. Heavy bore, rapid fire cannons roared into life, sending hundreds of shells slamming into shields and hulls. Mighty as the barriers on the stalk tanks were, they were no match for the sheer volume of firepower screaming into them, the vehicles ripped asunder while explosions scattered Reaper soldiers, tearing them to ribbons of ruptured metal and ruined circuit boards.

“I want one of those,” Hullen voxed up, and Malleus chuckled.

“Thunder One, form up and advance,” he said. “My thanks for the air support. We should be able to handle it from here.”

“Any time, Angel,” the tankbuster flight replied as they pulled away to refuel and rearm. “Just call.”

Thunder One was moving into formation, Malleus ordering Hullen to move their tank to the fore of the group. The squadrons they had formed into were splitting, covering each block, and Malleus was to be the speartip, leading the charge. He flicked the vox bead on, ready to give order, before Alliance comms suddenly came alive with rapid, panicked communication.

Across the radio network, words such as ‘ambush,’ ‘casualties,’ ‘debris,’ ‘mayday,’ and ‘downed’ flitted, growing increasingly panicked with each repetition, before another message came across, this one different in its tone, one that was awed and fearful.

Look to the sky.

Surrounded by a corona of flame, glowing red hot as the atmosphere furiously protested its attempted entry, hull turned crimson, metal twisting and bending out of shape, a ship fell. It was a big one, and Malleus realised after a moment that it was nothing short of a dreadnought, the once mighty ship careering towards the ground like some meteorite of burning steel. It hit somewhere outside the city with a great scream of tortured metal, a great pall of dust being thrown up by the impact, and the brother captain cursed.

An explosion turned the dust-choked clouds above crimson for a moment, before the burning hulk of another of the Alliance’s dreadnoughts broke the barrier of water vapour. This one fell at no angle, but instead straight downwards, threatening to crash atop the city below, and as he realised the path it was taking, Malleus bellowed orders into the vox. Engines roared into life as infantry scrambled to the tanks, grabbing handholds as the heavily armoured vehicles lurched forwards at full pelt. Treads carried the tanks forwards over piles of rubble and through the gutted innards of ruined buildings, Malleus frantically sending out orders as he did so, moving troops and vehicles in shelter as fire began to rain upon the Alliance.

“Anderson!” he shouted into the vox as his command tank lurched forwards. “What in the Emperor’s name is going on up there?”

“Reapers,” Anderson replied. “They jumped us, going after our dreads. We’re getting the hell out, and the Asari are on their way to support us, but we’re getting pounded up here.”

Malleus cursed. Thinking the Reapers were still on the retreat, he had ordered the Alliance’s dreadnoughts into the upper atmosphere so they could line up the best shots, confident they could safely lower their shields with the Reapers currently out of the way. And now the only ships with the big enough guns to be a tangible threat against the Reapers were caught out, thanks to his foolishness.

“Get moving, Admiral,” Malleus said. “Minimise dreadnought casualties; shield them with lighter ships if you have to.”

“I’ll see what I can do,” Anderson said. “Anderson out.”

“Down there!” a voice suddenly crackled across the vox. “I can see railway tunnels, dead ahead. We can shelter there.”

A feed from one of the sensor on the other Sommes appeared on Malleus’ command consoles, showing a tunnel, and Malleus flicked the vox on; “Well spotted, trooper. Thunder One, head for the tunnels, we’ll have to wait this storm out there.”

The tanks rumbled in to their impromptu shelter, wide enough take two Sommes abreast, Malleus’ one last in. From the mouth of it, they could see the sky had been tinged by a deep crimson, an another meteorite fell as a dreadnought was smashed from the sky, ground shaking from the impact and a small rain of masonry clattering from the ceiling. It was a bombardment as effective as any a battle barge could muster, Malleus reflected; anything beneath that would be annihilated, while, as with any good ordnance barrage, the enemy had been sent fleeing to cover.

From the cupola of his vehicle, he called up a map, the hologram displaying the layout of London before him and the position of the forces under his command. Many of them had already taken shelter or done their best to flee the rain of steel and fire, but judging by the green markers that showed disposition of the Alliance forces, he had taken heavy casualties. With a feeling of relief, he realised that both the ambush force that Cyralius had commanded and the assault group Titus was leading from the North had found shelter. Now it was just a matter of waiting for the barrage to halt.

He clambered out of the cupola of his tank, boots thudding against the ground, before he said; “Everyone, on me.”

Curious, the crews of the tanks, his team and the soldiers with them clambered out, or simply came from where they were resting against the tunnel walls, tired from their flight. They formed a semi-circle around him, wanting to know what he had to say, before he spoke.

“We have no option but to wait out this bombardment,” Malleus said. “In the meantime,I say that we pray.”

He got to one knee, Hullen, Okeen and Kullas doing the same without a moment’s hesitation, and the others around them followed after a short while, unsure.

“Hail the Emperor, Lord of Man,” Malleus said, in English for the sake of his audience. His brothers repeated the words, along with a few soldiers. “Master of Terra, Keeper of the Imperium.”

This time, more voices joined him.

“Emperor, look upon the storm and in your wisdom, grant us its strength,” Malleus continued. The prayer had always been a favourite of his back in the Imperium, and hopefully the soldiers of Thunder One and its escort could draw inspiration from it as well. “Grant us the swiftness and the fury of lightning, so that we might smite our foes with such ferocity that they are reduced to ruin.”

Once again this was repeated.

“Grant us the hate and might of thunder, twin of lightning, so terrible in its majesty that our enemies shall quail in terror in its path and be scattered before it. Grant us the cunning and persistence of the rain, so that our foe may be divided, weak and doubtful even before we strike. Finally, grant us the strength of the wind, so that we may topple the foe’s blasphemous works into ruin, and grant them nothing to rebuild with.”

This too was repeated, the uncertainty gone from the soldiers’ words now. Malleus could not help but find this refreshing; even in this universe, the might of the Emperor could inspire.

“Grant us these things so that we might execute your divine mandate, o Emperor. Grant us these thing so that we might slay the foe before us, drive our blades into his black heart and burn the dank pits of his lairs. Grant us these things, almighty Emperor, so that we may triumph in the struggle to come. Ave Imperator deus immortale, rex Terra, dominus hominem. Imperator vult!”

The words repeated back to him had fervour behind them, Malleus saw, and he knew then that he had inspired true faith. Tempered by a soldier’s discipline, such a thing would be lethal in the battles to come; he would have to keep the men of Thunder One close. Only Samara and Legion, he noticed, were not repeating his words, the latter most likely because it believed in no gods, and the Justicar had her own goddess; one prayer, even one led by the Angel himself, would not be enough to sway nine centuries of devotion, he imagined.

The rain of fire outside had ceased, and Malleus glanced over to the soldiers before him.

“Mount up, my friends,” he said. “The day is not yet won.”

Engines roared into life, while the infantry escort got into position with a fresh resolve to their stance. Malleus clambered back into the cupola of his command tank, Okeen already gunning the engine, before he gave the order to advance. His tank was first out, rumbling up the ramp of rubble that had lead into the train tunnel, before he drew it to a halt as he saw what now lay ahead of them in the ruined city.

Titans walked upon London.






Authors note: I may have watched the Mass Effect 3 E3 trailer, yes…
User avatar
Colonel Mustard
 
Posts: 711
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:58 pm


Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:12 pm

Also, sketch of Titus up. Enjoy!

Or I will hurt you...

Image
User avatar
Colonel Mustard
 
Posts: 711
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:58 pm


Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Falkenhayn » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:59 am

A proud, joyful tear rolls down the necrotic cheek of the Emperor each time you post a picture. The Custodes refer to this as the Custard Anomaly.


Gief fontname plx.
User avatar
Falkenhayn
 
Posts: 242
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:50 am


Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:55 pm

:D You're too kind, Falk.

The Gothic font is Kelly Ann Gothic, and can be found on this corner of the interwebs. The futuristic font (the official font of Mass Effect, no less) is called Slider.

The next piece may involve Yamzarat Machtoro being his adorably grouchy self. As will the next chapter, too. Stay tuned, folks!
User avatar
Colonel Mustard
 
Posts: 711
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:58 pm


Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby havoc » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:29 pm

Interesting to see ME turned into 40k scale slaughter. :lol:

Oh yeah first reaction to Titus pic:

Spoiler: Dat ass

(his face looks like that face)
:oops: :?
*Executes himself*
Last edited by havoc on Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
You cant have slaughter without laughter
User avatar
havoc
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:17 pm




Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Gaius Marius » Sat Jun 18, 2011 5:09 am

Read through the last 3 chapters:

A. Wrex! :D
B. Sympathy for the Devil, hells yeah. also, what the heck is wrong with Cyralius?
C. Can the sons of thunder ever attack a city without someone dropping a capital ship/space station on them? I can picture Douglas' response now: 'This time it really wasn't my fault :lol:
Space Cowboy, Spartan II, Specter, Reclusiarch

'I see the fear you have inside.'
User avatar
Gaius Marius
 
Posts: 1044
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:14 pm


Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:55 pm

Gaius Marius wrote:Read through the last 3 chapters:

A. Wrex! :D
B. Sympathy for the Devil, hells yeah. also, what the heck is wrong with Cyralius?
C. Can the sons of thunder ever attack a city without someone dropping a capital ship/space station on them? I can picture Douglas' response now: 'This time it really wasn't my fault :lol:

A: Yay!
B: Hells yeah, inded! Awesome song. As for Cyralius, well, you'll see. It can assure you now that it's not daemon's or Enslavers, but you might be able to guess if you read back.
C: Clearly not. Bet you Douglas still did it, though. :P
User avatar
Colonel Mustard
 
Posts: 711
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:58 pm


Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby havoc » Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:04 pm

B: Red sand from the hammerhead?
You cant have slaughter without laughter
User avatar
havoc
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:17 pm


Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:46 pm

Don't buy Red Sand from the backs of Hammerheads! There's no knowing what those Tau us to cut that stuff! :P
User avatar
Colonel Mustard
 
Posts: 711
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:58 pm


Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:16 pm

Chapter 25-God Machines

Five of them converged upon Yamzarat Machtoro, and the god machine chuckled as he saw the foe.

“So what are you?” he asked the onyx behemoths, stalking towards him on four great legs. Onyx hulls swept back in one smooth curve to a short, pointed tail, an armoured shell, while beneath plates of armoured glass some sort of lense sat, staring at him with a piercing gaze. Auxiliary batteries of flak cannons and missiles clung to their flanks, no doubt for warding off aircraft, while great legs that ended in pointed, sickle claws stabbed at the ground they walked upon. The things were huge, almost Yamzarat Machtoro’s size, but the god machine simply chuckled at this.

“You are pale imitations, Almarach Ikmrin,” he boomed, tone strangely jovial. “Children, playing games with costumes and sticks; you of all things cannot capture the glory of the Akriit’s Machtoro machines. You are thieves and frauds, the lot of you, stealing my people’s technology for your own use. And do you know what happens to thieves? They are caught and they are punished!”

The only reply of the Almarach Ikmrin’s massive war machines was to fire.

Crimson light lanced from the lenses at the centre of the machines’ frontal armour, aimed squarely towards Yamzarat Machtoro’s head. The god machine grunted as they slammed against his forwards shields, and for a minute he held his ground, braced against the impacts. There was only so long the machines could fire before they had to cool their weapons, and then he would make his move.

Fire slacked off, and there seemed to be an edge of irritation about the Reaper machines at the fact that Yamzarat Machtoro had not fallen, before the great walker moved, powering to the left at full speed, stepping over the small army of Geth his feet. His railgun shrieked into life, the shot glancing off the shields of one, before his cannon roared, rapid firing shots smashing against the barriers guarding it.

Fire speared towards him once more, but he kept moving, much of it missing and instead blazing through the countryside they fought in. Arcologies were crushed beneath Yamzarat Machtoro’s footfalls, fields and roads left as patches of pulverised mud. Flames sprang up from the burning contrails of the cannon shots, crops set ablaze, but the duelling colossi paid such a puny threat no heed, while the synthetics below them scattered to avoid the rapidly spreading fires.

His railgun hit his target once more, cannon still blazing, but the Reaper machines moved, barrelling towards him, uncaring for the pulse shots of the Geth that speared upwards towards them. Yamzarat Machtoro roared as their fire smashed into his shields once more, readings alerting him that power to his shields was dangerously low; even an organic would have simply needed to look at his remaining power and that depleted by the enemy shots to see they would not last beneath another barrage.

His railgun switched to a porgramat tipped round, took aim, and fired into the weapon lense of one of the machines. The armoured glass that protected it shattered beneath the impact that slid past its shields, and had he lips Yamzarat Machtoro would have sneered; the beam weapons the Reapers used were too fragile to be reliable.

The machine stumbled back, flames billowing from the wound, throwing up great rents in the ground as the impact sent it half walking, half toppling into one of its fellows. It recovered its balance before it moved, scuttling towards Yamzarat Machtoro, a sickle claw stamping down on a colossus and crushing it. The titan raised his cannon in response, shells roaring into its shields, before the kinetic barriers of the Reapers’ behemoth gave, weakened by its collision with its fellow. Explosions rippled across its armoured hull, stumbling the machine, and it fell, a great rent torn up in the earth. One of its legs twitched, a great pointed claw grabbing at the ground, and it tried to raise itself, before a railgun round screamed from the two-pronged weapon, smashing into the joint and slicing through. It fell in a spray of sparks and oil, the machine slamming to the ground, before a second round shrieked into its hull, punching past armour and detonating within. It fell still, smoke rising from its empty shell, and Yamzarat Machtoro glanced at the rest of his foes to see he was outflanked.

He roared as the foe fired, channelling all available power to his depleted shields, cursing them as the beams of crimson slammed into the barriers around him, before a shot on his right broke through, a runnel of blackened and scorched metal scored in the armour on his shoulder. Yamzarat Machtoro shifted his cannon arm to fire, its movement suddenly stiff and arthritic, and he growled a curse.

He fired, backpedalling to avoid the enemy’s flanking attempt, a porgramat round screaming from his railgun to glance against the armour of another Reaper walker, denting the metal, before return shots lanced towards him yet again. Yamzarat Machtoro kept moving, fire tearing at the ground around him, one of them glancing off his leg. He gave a roar of pain, and turned to return fire, the shot slamming into a leg joint. The machine in question tried to step forward, but stumbled, the metallic limb suddenly useless, and the god machine tried to pull itself upwards to fire on Yamzarat Machtoro once more.

Even with hydraulic fluid spraying from the wound sliced into his leg, Yamzarat Machtoro moved, limping enough to put the enemy machine between himself and its comrades. His railgun screamed again, a second shot crippling the thing’s rear leg, laming it entirely, and the machine collapsed to the ground. It shook as it tried to rise, scraping towards him, halfway up before it fell again.

Unfortunately for Yamzarat Machtoro, its beam lense was pointed straight at him.

It fired, the god machine cursing as he forced power into his shields to halt its path, the kinetic barriers struggling to stop the beam of lethal energies being channelled towards him.

The fire cut off, and Yamzarat Machtoro activated his railgun, the round shattering the armoured glass protecting the beam launcher, before he left it as it was; lamed and disarmed, it was of no threat, thrashing helplessly on the ground.

Three remained, but Yamzarat Machtoro was wounded, power levels dangerously depleted, and part of him doubted whether he could win this fight. Even though the Geth valiantly sent fire into the god machines before them, it was ineffective, shots stopped by kinetic barriers, their weapons having nowhere the near the required power to overhwlem the shields.

Light shone at the heart of the Reaper behemoth’s lenses, before crimson screamed towards Yamzarat Machtoro. He moved, limping away as it tracked towards him, glancing off his chest armour. In return, he fired his railgun, the round glancing off the plating that protected one of the thing’s knees, enough to stumble it and ruin its shot, the beam instead scoring across Geth lines.

Missiles from Geth support platforms arced up, exploding upon the shields that protected the weapon lenses of the monstrous Reaper machines, sprays of shrapnel and flame blasting across the primary sensors, blinding the machines.

Yamzarat Machtoro fired once more, the porgramat tipped railgun round, smashing into the eye lense of the machine, but the Titan simply thundered forwards, determined to kill despite the damage that had been wrought by Yamzarat Machtoro’s armaments. It crashed into him with a great shriek of twisting metal, the Askriit’s colossal war machine giving a roar of fury. Both stumbled back, the Reaper titan’s shields overloaded by the impact, Yamzarat Machtoro’s armour dented and battered.

Before it could recover Yamzarat Machtoro raised his railgun and fired, the round screaming forwards to impact the thick armour protecting the machine. The force of the blow was enough stagger it, and once more he fired, puncturing its armour, the round boring through its metallic shell to detonate within. Explosions blasted outwards from vents and hatches, before the machine toppled with a groan of metal, crashing into the ground as a tangle of limbs and twisted steel.

The remaining two fired once more, slicing a rent out of his railgun shoulder as Yamzarat Machtoro tried to limp out of their way, growling in agony. He tried to move the arm, but it was unresponsive, utterly paralysed, and he roared in fury at the realisation.

He turned to face the foe, switching his cannon’s fire to airburst shells before charging forwards, half running, half limping, the weapon thundering as he sent the shells right into the faces of his colossal foes; the airburst rounds would do nothing more than disorientate his enemies, but that was all he needed.

He reached the front one of the two and turned, sending his railgun swinging towards his foe. The armour of his elbow crashed into its curved hull, stumbling the machine, before he stabbed at it with his cannon, the barrel of the weapon slamming against its front. The sheer force of the impact was enough to cause its shields to crackle out, before he opened fire with his cannon, the point blank shots slamming into its armour, blasting it away and leaving its inner workings as a shattered ruin.

The last one fired once more, Yamzarat Machtoro barely managed to throw himself out of the shots way, chunk of metal sliced from the armour of his chest, smashing to the ground with a clang.

He screamed in fury, throwing himself forwards and slamming bodily into the enemy war machine. Onyx scraped against white as they collided, Yamzarat Machtoro cursing his foe, his foe’s ancestors and its construction as they slammed together, but the impact was enough to throw his foe to the floor, Yamzarat Machtoro stumbling but remaining upright, smoke leaking from the rents torn into his armour.

It reached for him with a clawed foot, but he stamped down, crushing the limb, before he turned his cannon upon its prone form and fired. Its armour did not withstand the bombardment.

The foe that he had lamed and crippled did not last much longer; a swarm of mechanical locusts, squadrons of Geth repair drones flocked around it, cutters stripping away seams that held armour plates in place and exposing the mechanisms beneath. Each part was removed systematically for later study, even as the machine thrashed and bucked beneath their remorseless deconstruction. It fell still after a few minutes, gutted and stripped by the mindless drones.

Steam venting from his wounds, wind blowing through his inner workings, oil leaking from gashes and rents, Yamzarat Machtoro deactivated higher cogitational functions and slumped into hibernation mode as the drones began their repairs.

#

“Keep moving!” Malleus ordered. “Don’t allow it a clear shot; keep underneath it!”

Engines roared, guns blazed, machine guns chattered as Thunder One did battle in the shadow of a god machine. Above them it stalked, clawed feet slicing into the ground as it tried to move its lethal beam weapon into a firing line.

Around it, Alliance forces swarmed, battling against the Reaper army that had been dropped with the Titan. Columns of Sommes duelled phalanxes of stalk tanks, Alliance soldiers, accompanied by roaring, bombadistic commissars, exchanged fire with visored Reaper soldiers. In the skies above, Alliance aircraft fought with Reaper planes, cannon, missile and chaingun fire screaming across the air, crimson beams of focussed light blazing back.

Explosions rippled against the leg joints of the Reaper titan as the Sommes fired upon them, trying to cripple the weak, unarmoured points of the immense machine whose underside towered near fifty metres overhead. Its legs slammed down as it moved, trying to position itself so that it could fire upon the vehicles beneath it that dared defy it.

“Kurias,” Malleus called into the vox. “Where’s the thunderhawk? We need that turbo laser.”

Above him, there was a screech as the titan fired, a blood red beam slicing across the ground it touched, a ripple of explosions springing up from where a squadron of Mako tanks were torn apart, annihilated by its apocalyptically powerful caress.

“I’m trying,” Kurias said. “They’ve got wise to it; there are more interceptors than there were when those damn Reapers came down yesterday; I’m having trouble fighting through them.”

“Keep trying,” Malleus replied. “I doubt we’re going to manage to take this thing down with Sommes.”

“I’ll do my best, brother captain,” Kurias replied.

Beneath Malleus’ feet, the turret of his Somme rocked as it fired, a shell exploding against the kinetic barriers that warded the titan’s leg joints. The brother captain glanced over to the left of his position, towards the outer reach of the Titan’s legs, a squad of Reaper soldiers moving towards his position.

“Hullen, keep to evasive manoeuvres,” Malleus ordered, taking the machine gun in hand and opening up on the foe. The tank bumped and jolted along the ground, and such a thing should have thrown a gunner, but Malleus had fought from tanks for centuries, rounds chewing along the ground and into the Reapers before them. Kinetic barriers were overwhelmed by the heavy duty rounds, armour punched through, circuitry and mechanisms shredded.

There was a whistling from above, and with contrails of smoke, missiles flew upwards from racks upon the flanks of the Reaper titan. With a shriek of engines, the Thunderhawk swept overhead, missiles in pursuit. One of them exploded against its engine, and it pulled away, smoke leaking from the damaged component.

“Brother captain, I can’t make another pass with the Thunderhawk in this state,” Kurias called over the vox. “I’m pulling her out before we lose her.”

“Understood,” Malleus said. “We’ll bring this down another way.”

“Brother captain, we can use my melta,” Hullen voxed up. “One shot should be all we need.”

“We’ll be too vulnerable without the cannon or if we’re immobilised,” Malleus replied. “And I need to be able to see if I’m to command.”

“Malleus, it’s Garrus here. I can drive that tank,” another voice crackled across the vox. “Let me get over to you.”

“You know how to drive a Somme?” Malleus asked. “Since when did a vigilante learn to pilot tanks?”

“Since I hooked up with Shephard,” came the reply, as Malleus saw the Turian clamber over a pile of rubble towards them. “He could never drive the Normandy’s Mako properly, so he gave it over to me, not that I blame him; that thing handled like a drunken Elcor.”

The Turian reached them, Malleus noticing his armour was battered and scarred, dark blue blood leaking from a few cuts across his face, before the driver’s hatch opened and Hullen climbed out, surprisingly agile despite his bulk and the clumsy dimensions of the assault cannon he pulled out with him.

“Look after her,” he said to Garrus as the Turian climbed in. “Damn fine vehicle.”

“They won’t even scratch the paint,” Garrus replied. “Give ‘em hell, Hullen!”

Hullen nodded, and even with his helmet on Malleus could tell he was grinning.

“I’m going to enjoy killing something big as this,” he replied, hefting his melta in one hand. “Come on, you overgrown bastard, let’s see you die!”

He stalked towards one of the massive legs of the vehicle as it slammed downwards into the ground, a small mound of pulverised earth and rubble pushed up around the pointed limb. He lowered his assault cannon, placing it on the ground next to him, before hefting his melta and firing.

There was the scream as the air was rent asunder by the sheer heat of the weapon, and a solid blast of incandescent white, so blindingly bright that a corona of heat and light played around the barrel of the weapon, tore from the barrel of the melta and into the armoured leg of the machine.

Its kinetic barriers overloaded in an instant, armour evaporating away a moment later as Hullen played the weapon across its limb. It cut out only after a second of fire, the adamantium barrel burning crimson, but the damage had been done.

Balance gone, the titan fell, slowly crashing down to the ground, throwing up a great cloud of rubble as its massive hull smashed to the ground, sheer weight buckling and collapsing the metal as it toppled downwards.

No tanks of Thunder One were crushed beneath the titan’s fall, and they turned their cannons upon its belly, shells smashing into armour. Hullen’s melta shrieked its judgement again, metal turning molten and running away in rivulets of liquid onyx, revealing internal mechanisms beneath. Heavy duty shells exploded amongst inner workings, blasting apart engines and pistons, valves, pipes and wiring, tearing them apart in flame and shrapnel. It struggled, trying to rise and fight once more, beam fire helplessly scything from its weapon-lense in futile rage, before a final shot from Hullen, this time to its head, finished its attempts to escape.

Cheers resounded across London as it died, soldiers whooping and yelling in glee, firing their weapons into the air in celebration. Across the Alliance’s comm. networks, news came in of the last of the Reaper forces being mopped up by the Alliance’s assault, the Reapers’ final gambit with their dropped titan not enough to halt them. Jubilation from Alliance soldiers reigned across the city as news of the behemoth’s fall and their victory spread, and despite himself, Malleus smiled.

London had been one, and the chink in the Reapers’ armour had been opened, one that would tear the enemy apart. They would consolidate, swiftly as they could, resupply and reinforce, and then they would move.

London was just the start. The battle for Europe had only just begun.
User avatar
Colonel Mustard
 
Posts: 711
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:58 pm


Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:21 am

Chapter 26-Gift

“I am not happy about this, Malleus,” Deniel Suvat said. “I am not happy at all.”

“I don’t blame you,” Malleus replied as he looked over the figures. “One hundred thousand dead?”

“And most of them the Heirarchy’s best soldiers,” Deniel added. “That machine thing the Reapers dropped took out half our armour before we could bring it down. There’s no way I can advance without reinforcements.”

“You and General Mehriss have hooked your forces up now though, have you not? Are the Asari Commandoes and the Krogan with you not sufficient reinforcement?”

“Not after the casualties we took as well,” the Asari replied from her corner of the screen. “Malleus, I’m going to be honest; I don’t like how you’re trying to fight this war.”

“Really? How so, general?” Malleus asked.

“We’re losing too many people, too quickly,” Mehriss replied. “You may be happy throwing soldiers into the meatgrinder, but I’m certainly not.”

“Mehriss has a point,” Deniel said. “However you fight wars in your galaxy, we don’t just use attritional tactics. We actually fight cleverly.”

“Indeed, General,” Malleus said. “And you fight slowly. This ground war is just a side-show to the conflicts in space, but our success in capturing those guns will be what wins it for us.”

“I know your plan is a good one,” Mehriss said. “But we’re still losing too many people! If we slow down our advance, we can take a lot less casualties and still capture those guns, even if it does take longer.”

“And how much longer do we have?” Malleus asked. “We are losing ships by the hour, and nearly all of our reserves have been deployed already. Speed is absolutely imperative to victory, General, and if we lose the war in pace then we’re easy targets for orbital bombardment.”

“He’s right,” Wrex suddenly said. “We’re fighting to keep our species alive here; we can’t afford to worry about casualties when there’s this much at stake.”

“Agreed,” Yamzarat Machtoro rumbled. “It seems to me that only Wrex, Malleus and the Geth have the right idea about how to fight this war; the Geth do not come pining to me about casualties and losses, they simply go to battle without complaint.”

“That’s because they can back themselves up,” Deniel said. “In case you hadn’t noticed, organics can’t do that.”

“And what of it? Where is your courage, Turian? The Askriit could make no backups of themselves, yet they still fought to the last. If they can summon together the bravery to do so, why can you not?”

Wrex grinned at this.

“I like your robot, Malleus,” he remarked.

“My point is not about bravery or anything like that,” Deniel said. “My point is that we don’t have the numbers to continue our assault on the Americas as it is, and if maintaining momentum is so vital then we need to come up with a new plan.”

“Pah,” Yamzarat Machtoro grumbled. “Die like men. How’s that for a plan?”

“Malleus can we get this thing off the comm. channel?” Mehriss asked. “It’s clearly not got anything constructive to add.”

“How dare you?” Yamzarat Machtoro growled. “I am Yamzarat Machtoro, little blue bazthrocht! I am immortal, victor of a thousand battles, slayer of Almarach Ikmrin, Scion of the Askriit, Lord Commander of the Machtoro host! I was ancient before your ancestors even fell out of a tree!”

“Well if you were a commander in the Askriit’s army, then it’s no wonder the Reapers wiped them out,” Mehriss retorted.

“You…you abominable little creature!” Yamzarat Machtoro roared. “Worm! Whore! Billions, no, trillions of my people died, and you dare make it seem that I was a fault while you whimper and wail about casualties, and I actually go out there and fight the good fight! Have you won the most ground against the Almarach Ikmrin? No, I have! Insult the legacy of my people again and I shall abandon this war, wade across the ocean and kill you myself!”

“Stop it, both of you,” Malleus interjected. “You squabble like children and I will not allow it, do you understand?”

“Alright,” Mehriss said. “I still don’t think this thing knows what it’s talking about, but I’ll let it pass.”

“Your concerns have been noted,” Malleus said. “Yamzarat Machtoro?”

“The little blue whore insulted me,” Yamzarat Machtoro snarled. “I will not let such a thing go unmarked.”

“You will,” Malleus said. “Stand down immediately.”

Yamzarat Machtoro growled, the sound harsh and rasping across the comm. link, before he said; “Very well, Malleus. I shall do this, but only out of respect for you.”

“Good,” Malleus said. “Though I would ask if you would be so good as to not irritate our only friendly god machine, General Mehriss; he does still have his uses, whatever you may think. Still, before you two started arguing, I believe we had agreed we needed a new plan.”

Deniel nodded.

“As I said, there’s no way we can make any progress in North America,” he said. “But we still need those guns. Currently, our best bet lies in taking the ones in Europe, but we need to do that quickly.”

“It sounds to me, general, that you have a plan of some kind,” Malleus said.

“I do,” Suvat said. “I say that we pull out of the Americas entirely; there’s no way we can gain ground, and if you think that Alliance can take Europe then we can do it even quicker with the aid of the Krogan, the Turians and the Asari. I can’t say I’m too happy about abandoning the ground we’ve taken, but the plan we’ve got at the moment clearly isn’t going to work.”

“A consolidation of forces?” Malleus asked. “The idea has merit, certainly. Considering the Reaper armies in mainland Europe are most likely digging in, the greater the numbers of our forces, the better.”

“Moving them across the Atlantic would be pretty risky,” Mehriss said. “We’d need a large numbers of lifters and drop craft to get our people across, and they’re going to be vulnerable. We’ve got our own aircraft, but we’d need a big escort.”

“I can send over Alliance planes, if that’s what you’re asking for,” Malleus said.

“If you will allow me a moment, I shall consult with the Geth,” Yamzarat Machtoro said. “They agree, and will commit twenty five percent of their interceptor craft. That should be more than enough.”

“Quick consultation,” Deniel remarked.

“I am linked in to their neural network,” Yamzarat Machtoro replied. “It allows me easier communication, though their incessant chatter tends to bore me.”

“How soon can you get over here?” Malleus asked.

“As soon as those planes are with us. Mehriss, Wrex and I can make preparations to move out, but we can only move over to Britain once your planes are ready,” Deniel said.

“I shall order the geth craft over to Britain,” Yamzarat Machtoro said. “They can move with the Alliance.”

“I’ll have our pilots prep for movement straight away,” Malleus agreed. “There are a few ports under Reaper control here, but we’re nearly done capturing them; we can launch a landing effort from there.”

“Good,” Deniel said. “They’ll be occupied with the Geth, so hopefully won’t be able to marshal too effective a response. Speaking of the Geth, how far away are you from Beijing?”

“Just a few days,” Yamzarat Machtoro replied. “The Reapers are concentrating their forces there, and our scouts have already engaged. The main body of our army should take it, but I am still undergoing repairs after my combat with Almarach Machtoro.”

“What the hell is an Almarach Machtoro?” Wrex asked.

“The enemy walkers,” Yamzarat Machtoro replied. “I suppose, in your tongue, it would mean Hated Gods. I slew five yesterday, but I was grievously damaged, and the repair drones of these Geth are stumbling and blind when working on my systems; I need organic engineers, one with initiative and skill, not simpleton machines.”

“I can fly some Alliance Engineers over to you, see who I can take from the motor pool,” Malleus said. “They might be able to repair you.”

“I would appreciate that, Malleus,” Yamzarat Machtoro said. “What of your Astartes technician, and the little Quarian, Tali? The Geth tell me that the platform named Legion says they are engineers of great skill.”

“They are…preoccupied here,” Malleus said. Tali, he knew, would probably have no problem working on Yamzarat Machtoro; indeed, when the machine had met her it had seemed fond of the young Quarian, and she of him in return, but Kullas would probably go at so blasphemous a proposition. Besides, he wanted some progress on those lasrifles before he let Kullas go, not to mention the fact that the Forge Priest was the only one who knew how to the fix the Thunderhawk.

“Anything else to discuss?” Deniel asked. “We can plan the actual assault once we get there.”

“Agreed,” Malleus said. “Ave Imperator.”

He cut the connection, and stepped out of the armoured, prefabricated bunker that made up the communications room of the Alliance command camp. There was the smell of salt and burning in the air as he looked upon Portsmouth, a few miles away over green fields. Smoke rose from the small port city, while the sound of distant explosions and gunfire filtered to his ears. For an enemy at only a few company’s strength, the Reapers were being remarkably difficult to shift, and while Malleus could probably have shifted them swiftly had he taken the time to, he had needed to meet with the other generals; besides, Titus was still present, leading the assault.

“Titus,” he said into the vox. “How goes the assault?”

“Well, brother captain,” Titus said. “We’re pushing towards the ports, nearly got them wiped out.”

“Good,” Malleus said. “Keep it up, brother.”

“And I’ll be sure to take all the glory while you’re stuck back there planning,” Titus retorted cheerfully. “Have fun poring over maps, my friend.”

Malleus chuckled.

“Just try not to get yourself too badly beaten up in my absence,” he replied. “I won’t be there to drag you out should you decide to swallowed by some abomination like you were on Talavis.”

This time it was Titus’ turn to laugh, before he said; “No more time for chatter, I’m afraid. Portsmouth isn’t going to take itself, Brother Captain.”

“Very well then,” Malleus said. “Lightning of His wrath.”

“Thunder of His hate.”

The connection was cut, and Malleus could not help but smile as he walked away to start planning his next move.

#

More maintenance needed doing, it seemed, Tali thought as she entered the Alliance’s motor pool that had been set up near Portsmouth. The Quarian looked for some way she could make herself useful, before she noticed Andrew by a half-raised Mako which was under repair. He was leaning against the vehicle as she approached, flicking through a message on his omnitool.

“What’s that?” she asked as she approached.

“Message from command,” Andrew replied. “I’m being transferred.”

“Transferred?” Tali asked. “Where to?”

“Asia,” Andrew replied. “You know that big machine, what’s it, Yamzarat…Yamzarat Mach…what’s it?”

“Yamzarat Machtoro,” Tali said. “Remember that, he gets angry about it if you don’t.”

“You’ve met him, er, it?” Andrew asked.

“Yep,” Tali said. “What are you doing with him?”

“Repairs,” Andrew replied. “Apparently it doesn’t like the Geth’s repair drones. I’m surprised they didn’t ask you along, if you know him. Hell, you’re one of the best engineers we’ve got.”

“Kullas,” Tali muttered.

“What?”

“Kullas,” she said again. “He hates AIs. He’d never work on him.”

“Oh, right,” Andrew said. “His cult thing?”

Tali nodded.

“That’s right,” she said. “I don’t get it; I quite like Yamzarat Machtoro.”

“Pity,” Andrew said.

“I don’t know,” Tali said. “I’m not sure I’d be too happy about being surrounded by Geth, though.”

“Right, of course,” Andrew said. “So, I guess we won’t be seeing each other for a while, unless you get sent over to Asia.”

“Yeah,” Tali said.

There was a slightly awkward silence between the two, before Andrew spoke: “Hey, Tali. If this ever blows over, you want to get a drink?”

Beneath her mask, Tali smiled.

“I’d like that,” she said.

Andrew grinned.

“Alright,” he said. “I’ll message you once we’re done stomping all over the Reapers in Asia.”

“Cool. I’ll keep an eye on them. Thanks.”

“Apprentice Adept!” a call came over from by the Thunderhawk, the distinctive buzzing voice of Kullas. “May I request your presence?”

The Thunderhawk was an ugly thing, Tali thought as she stepped underneath one of its wings towards Kullas. Twice the size of any of the other fighter craft the gunships had, the plane was square and blocky, built more like a tank than an aircraft. Brutish weapons, massive versions of the bolter that Kullas sometimes carried before he had abandoned it due to lack of ammunition, and the craft’s beam cannons bristled from its flanks, while the turbolaser jutted from its back like some piece of artillery.

Yet despite all of this, the thing still never failed to amaze her. For a start, the fact that it actually flew was a novelty unto itself, but the grace with which the gunship flew was something that took her breath away. She trailed her hand along its white flank, the rubbery fabric of her enviro-suit catching slightly against its armoured side as she walked.

“Kullas,” she called. “You said you wanted to see me.”

“Ah, Apprentice Adept Zorah Vas Normandy Nar Mechanicum,” Kullas said. “You are correct.”

“You want a hand with this thing’s engine?” she asked, rapping her knuckles against its hull.

“That? No,” Kullas said. “The machine spirit of this craft is a proud thing, and it would not accept being worked on by a mere Apprentice Adept of the Mechanicum, I am afraid.”

“I’ve seen Kurias working on it,” Tali pointed out, gesturing towards the elderly ship captain. “He does maintenance on it all the time, as far as I can tell.”

“I’m her pilot,” Kurias said. “The spirit will let me, because she knows me.”

“Alright,” Tali said. “Anyway, what did you call me for?”

“A gift, and a request,” Kullas said. “This way, if you will.”

He gestured for Tali to follow, and she headed across the prefab hangar that sheltered the Thunderhawk to the workbench that occupied the far corner. Atop it was the shell of a half assembled rifle, innards lying beside it. It was a strange thing to look at, the mass-effect generator hooked up to a strange looking driver core, nothing she recognised. She peered at it, before Kullas reached beneath the bench and pulled something free.

“I understand that part of the tradition of giving gifts amongst people of the Council races involves the element of surprise,” Kullas said. “So, I was working on this discreetly for you.”

He extended his arm, and Tali looked at the weapon he held.

It was a beautiful thing, a long handled greataxe of silver metal, the blade sleek and sweeping, razor edge segmented by square chunks taken from it, in the shape of half a cog. On one side of the flat, there was the motif of a skull, on the other, one with a bionic encrusted cranium. Kullas held it out for her to take, and she took it, feeling its weight. It was light, remarkably so, and she swung it slightly, the blade whistling as it sliced through the air. She was no expert on melee weapons, but the balance of the thing was perfect.

“This is…this is amazing,” she said, quietly awed. “How did you make it?”

“The expertise of the Mechanicum is a great thing,” Kullas said. “Do you see the port there? It allows you interface with it via the NIU in your bionic.”

“Didn’t you say you needed surgery and things to do that properly?” Tali asked.

“I configured it so that it would be safe for you mentally interface with,” Kullas answered. “Try it.”

She pressed the palm of her bionic into the port on the haft of the axe, before she gasped, data being fed directly back to her brain.

“How much stuff can this thing do?” she asked, momentarily staggered by the flow of information.

“Allow a safe interface for neural hacking of security systems, multiple hardware systems such a drill with multiple bits, a blowtorch for welding, wrench, and spanner, all of which are modular, and a working power field.”

“A power field?” Tali asked. “Isn’t that the same thing Malleus has on his weapons? I though you couldn’t make those here.”

“I had to adapt it to mass effect power generation, but power fields are relatively easy to make,” Kullas replied. “After all, they tend to overload on impact with other power weapons; it would hardly be practical for us to have them in limited supply.”

Tali pressed the activation rune on the weapon’s haft, lightning crackling around the axe head of the halberd. She eyed the miniature storm raging around the head of the weapon with a slightly cautious awe.

“You are adequately acquainted with the weapon, now?” Kullas asked.

“I suppose so,” Tali said, still feeling its weight. “How can I carry it?”

Kullas passed her a leather belt, a sling long enough to fit over her upper body. She slipped it on, placing the axestaff into the hoops of tanned cow skin.

“Now, I require your assistance,” Kullas said. “I do not suppose you are familiar with the lasrifle, are you?”

“Lasrifle?” Tali asked. “That’s a laser weapon, isn’t it? I though those were impossible.”

“With your technology, yes,” Kullas said. “But not with the Imperium’s. I have to reverse engineer it with your Mass Effect tech, but it is certainly possible. And from then, lascannons, turbolasers, lance batteries!”

“I see,” Tali said. “You want me to help you with that?”

“Indeed,” Kullas said. “What do you want me to do?”

“Help me acquire an essential component,” Kullas said. “2E measurement glass lenses to refract the light through. It turns out that a shipment of them had been delivered to Portsmouth below us, which we can obtain and use for prototype models.”

“Why not just call in a dropoff of them?” Tali asked.

“We are trying to deliver fragile components in the middle of a warzone,” Kullas replied. “Such thing is impossible; our only chance of making the weapons any time soon is obtaining those from the town below. We’ll wait until the Titus has cleared the town out, and then we shall begin our search.”

“Alright,” Tali said. “I’ve got some things that need doing.”

“Very well,” Kullas said. “I need to continue my repairs on the Thunderhawk in any case. Ave Omnissah, Apprentice Adept. We’ll move soon.”
User avatar
Colonel Mustard
 
Posts: 711
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:58 pm


Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:21 pm

And finally, the pernicious machinations of the Reapers that slipped through the Charon relay are revealed! Dun dun daaaaaah!

Chapter 27-Gathering of Force

It had hung in they skies of Parnack for nearly an hour, and from his place in Gharezia Square, such a thing was beginning to anger Prime Alpha Gharex. Huge and forbidding, the immense ship of dark metal had simply floated above Capital-Gharezia without doing a single thing utterly inert and unmoving, disdainful of the city below it. His mouth, an inverted Y of needle fangs, splayed outwards in a grimace, and he could not shake the feeling that this thing, whatever it was, was mocking him. Either that, or it was some trick of that weakling Council.

Zeppelins and biplanes had been sent up to investigate the thing, but no openings seemed to present themselves to the scouting craft. A few explorative bursts of rockets had been fired against it, but some sort of shield had sprung from nowhere and stopped them even before they had exploded against the craft’s thick armour. And that, combined with the unmistakable air of menace that the massive machine exuded simply through virtue of being present, was making him nervous.

“Prime Alpha,” one his subordinates said, peering through a pair of field goggle with his primary set of eyes. “A hatch has opened.”

“Give me those,” Gharex growled, snatching them from his lietenant’s three fingered, meaty hand. He peered through the glass at the panel of metal that slid along the massive craft’s flank, before something hovered free of it. It looked like its master in miniature, sleek dark metal built to look almost organic, tapering to a pointed tail, while metallic fingers reached downwards as it flew.

“Give me a weapon,” Gharex said, holding out his other hand. “If the arrogant whelps of the Council have come to try and reassert their authority upon the Yahg then they shall not see the Prime Alpha unarmed when they disembark.”

The questing fingers of the landing craft touched ground, the vehicle still seeming to hover as the tips of them rested against the paved floor of Gharezia Square, before a ramp extended out of the rear of the craft. He expected delegates of the Council to walk free, the blue skinned Asari, the avian Turians and the willowy, insubstantial Salarians, but instead what stepped from the craft looked to be soldiers of some sort, shorter than the Yahg but broad shouldered nonetheless. They were protected by armour of the same blackened metal as their drop craft and their mothership, covering them from head to foot, and their faces were hidden by smooth, blank visors that merely showed the reflection of any who tried to look at them. They carried rifles of some kind, heavy, bulky things that looked a far cry from the bolt action and semi automatic rifles the Yahg used, far more graceful than the weapons of steel and wood, and far more deadly looking.

Gharex stepped forwards, his eight eyes scanning over the soldiers before him, the height of his towering bulk enhanced further by the two horns of muscle that stretched up from the back of his skull.

“What are you?” he asked, lowering his rifle and pointing it directly at the chest of the front soldier. The visored face met his own, and it said in a deep, rasping voice; “You are Gharex Alsaxin of house House Gharezia. You are current controller of the largest section of territory of the planet Parnack, that being the Western hemisphere and a notable majority of the Northern hemisphere. We are enlisting you. You will gather the other leaders of the Yahg and you will organise your forces into one coherent body. They will depart from Parnack under our command.”

This got a growl from the Yahg assembled around the emissary, but Gharex could see no sign of it being intimidated.

“Who are you to order us, little creature?” Gharex argued. “We are of the Yahg! We are of a far superior stock to whatever you may be. You will act the subordinate in the face of your superiors or there shall be consequences.”

“We are not named,” the emissary said. “We do not require names. We are vast, powerful beyond your very imagining; we have no need of names. But if you must give us a title, name us Reapers.”

“Reapers?” Gharex said. “Reapers? Hah! Your game of posturing is amusing, Reaper, but you will show us the respect we are due, now.”

“You are due no respect,” came the reply. “We are your superiors, in every sense imaginable. Get upon your knees and worship, should you find it fitting; other lesser races have done so as well.”

The emissary remained quite calm as Gharex tracked the barrel of his rifle upwards to the centre of the Reaper’s visor.

“If you are an emissary for these Reapers, you are quite the terrible one,” he said. “We shall kill you and your fellow Reapers and take your ship for ourselves. From there, the galaxy will be ours! Yahg, kill these intruders!”

He fired his rifle, the bullet ricocheting off the visor with a ripple of light, not leaving a mark, before he smashed the stock of the weapon into the emmissary’s faceplate. It stood there quite calmly, just like the others, as angered Yahg bulled forwards to tear the transgressor’s apart.

They are not Reapers.

The voice paused them as one. There was something in it, some dreadful ancient malice that had the frozen in the moment, paralysed by sudden terror that screamed incoherently from some corner of their hindbrain.

They are tools, implements, pieces of metal and circuitry used only to fulfil the tasks their masters assign to them.

“Who…who are you?” Gharex managed to say. “Who speaks? Show yourself at once.”

I am in plain sight, Prime Alpha. Simply look skywards.

Despite himself, Prime Alpha Gharex looked upwards at the massive vessel above him.

“The ship? The ship is a Reaper?”

You are correct. Yahg. I shall repeat the request made. Comply. Serve.

“And why should we, machine? We are the Yahg, apex of life and superior to all, the greatest predators existence has ever known. Why should House Gharezia follow you?”

We are your superiors. Do not question us. Cultural studies of the Yahg show you’re your people follow those who are above them. We are above your species as a whole.

“Bold words,” Gharex said. “Prove them.”

In reply, one of the fingers of the craft was raised, pointing towards a patch of fields beyond the brick buildings of Capital-Gharezia. There was a screaming noise before a beam of crimson, so bright that Gharex was forced to squeeze shut his eyes, tore from the massive appendage and into the target. The barrage of deafening noise and blinding light continued for only a moment, before cutting short.

Where it had hit, fields of grass used to feed the herds of Alkroxk, the staple diet of the Yahg, had been reduced to a great blackened crater, ground cracking beneath the heat, while fires were already beginning to burn around the impact site. A great chunk of earth had simply disappeared, evaporated beneath the sheer heat of the weapon, and despite himself Gharex could not help but feel a stir of fear in his heart; the thing above them was monstrously powerful.

We are your superiors in every sense, Yahg, the Reaper said. We are more ancient than you can imagine, more powerful that you are able to comprehend. Each of us is a nation, all unified in one cause, a pack that is truly unstoppable.

“What do you want of us?” Gharex asked. His rifle had dropped, the solid slug weapon suddenly pathetic in comparison to the monstrous might of the massive voidcraft’s own armaments.

We have begun the Great Salvation once more, came the reply. We wish to save the peoples of this galaxy, but they have proven to be more stubborn than we anticipated. We are using you to aid us; do so and you will be granted immortality as people of our race.

“Save the peoples of this galaxy?” Gharex asked. “Do you mean those of the Council? I refuse to help those who are too weak to help themselves.”

We save them from themselves, grant them salvation in annihilation, but they fight, blindly attempting to halt the inevitable. The Council insulted the Yahg gravely by the actions of their emmisaries, and doubly so when they withdrew instead of doing fair battle. We shall facilitate the due justice that you no doubt wish to dispense.

It was not the way of the Yahg to question those who were dominant, and though the thing above them was not of Parnack, it was far, far superior to anything that the planet used. Even the technology of the Council’s emissary beings paled in comparison to the thing in the skies above his world.

“I am yours to command, Reaper.”

#

“Do you think we will simply comply?” Prime Minister Thallen asked the machine before him. “Your demands are preposterous, Reaper. We know your true nature; we may have halted the messages sent across the galaxy by Scandarum before they reached the citizens of the Hegemony, but believe me, we are not so poorly informed.”

“Our demands are reasonable,” the Reaper platform before his desk said. “We request the support of your military and your fleets, as well as the use of your slave population.”

“Ridiculous,” Thallen replied, waving a hand in dismissal. “I know what you things want; extinction of all life in the galaxy. Why would you spare the Batarians?”

“The speech made by the one you call Malleus Scandarum was an act of propaganda, wrapped in hyperbole and exaggeration,” the Reaper replied. “Our intentions and motivations are not as simple as he suggests.”

“Alright then,” Thallen said. “What are they?”

“Our goals are incomprehensible to an organic mind,” the Reaper replied. “All you need to know is that we desire the Council races and their allies gone. If you do not aid us, the Batarians will also be driven to extinction.”

“You’re being evasive, machine,” Thallen said. “I don’t like that. And I don’t like all the threats you are making.”

“I am not making threats,” the Reaper said. “I am simply stating facts. And I am not privy to your demands; I am not required to answer one of your questions. That I answer any at all is a gift I grant to you.”

Thallen glared at the thing that stood in his office, before he said; “You’re beginning to anger me, you know. What’s to stop me calling my guards in here and having you shot?”

“Your irritation does not concern me,” the Reaper platform said. “Before you eject me from the premises, I would like to say that we have a dreadnought in orbit over four of your worlds, this one included. It is currently targeting this office. The extinction of your people would be a certainty should you refuse.”

“That will kill you, though,” Thallen said.

“I am a vessel for their will, here to act as a mere mouthpiece,” the platform replied. “My destruction is inconsequential.”

“Fine then,” Thallen said. “Besides from not being nuked from orbit, what’s in it for the Batarians?”

“Revenge,” the Reaper answered. “The Hegemony has been persecuted and oppressed by the council for centuries, and forced your people into exile. We can grant you the means to enact the justice that you deserve. After we have wiped the council out, we can grant the Batarians the technology needed to make them immortal and all powerful, make you eternal.”

“So why are you enlisting our aid?” the Prime Minister asked. “If you Reapers are all powerful, what do you need with the Batarians?”

“The Council and their allies are proving more stubborn than expected,” the Reaper said. “They have disrupted our plans. You will aid us in defeating their forces.”

“Fine,” Thallen said. “I’ll get our generals together, though this isn’t because I trust you, machine; I’m doing this for the good of the Batarians and that only.”

“Your motivation is of no concern to me,” the Reaper replied. “All I care is that you fight the Council and their allies.”

Thallen shrugged.

“Just let us win this,” he said. “If not, then I’ve no idea how badly my people are going to suffer from this.”
User avatar
Colonel Mustard
 
Posts: 711
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:58 pm


Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:08 pm

Concept art update! This time of Tali, with her new axe. Or, to give her her full title, Apprentice Adept Tali Zorah Vas Normandy Nar Mechanicum.

Quarian names are wonderful things, don't you think...

Image

A fully coloured version should be up soon.

P.S. Apologies if the anatomy is a bit off; it's pretty tricky to do.
User avatar
Colonel Mustard
 
Posts: 711
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:58 pm


Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Gaius Marius » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:35 am

So, its like Mordor calls for aid? ;)
Space Cowboy, Spartan II, Specter, Reclusiarch

'I see the fear you have inside.'
User avatar
Gaius Marius
 
Posts: 1044
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:14 pm


Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:54 am

Holy crap, that makes the Batarians Uruk Hai! :P
User avatar
Colonel Mustard
 
Posts: 711
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:58 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Board index

Return to Warhammer Adrift

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest