Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

For Warhammer fiction not strictly from either universe.

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

Postby Colonel Mustard » Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:16 pm

Chapter 39-Wake

“You shouldn’t be up and about yet, Miri.”

Miranda shrugged at Titus’ gentle rebuke as she entered the small prefab building, as if the bandages swathing the right side of her skull were nothing important.

“I don’t like sitting around,” the Lady Castellan replied. “Besides, I had to come.”

Titus shook his head, before saying; “That’s fair. How are you?”

“What, aside from missing half my skull?” Miranda asked. “As well as I could be, all things considered. I’m still missing my depth perception.”

“Speak to Okeen after we’re done,” Titus said. “He should be able to get a bionic for you.”

Miranda nodded, before Garrus asked; “Are we ready to go?”

“Aye,” Titus said. “Apothecary, bear his helm.”

The entire squad were there, minus Malleus, Samara, Kullas and Tali, all gathered into the room. They fell into a rough line, Titus as their head with the banner of the Sixth in his hand, before he opened the door and small train stepped out.

There were an awful lot of people in front of the stage, Miranda realised. Soldiers of every species were gathered around, thousands of them, respectfully silent as the procession emerged. She could see the journalist that Malleus had taken under his wing standing on a raised podium, camera tracking their procession as it emerged from the building.

The stage’s only ornamentation was an altar draped in a white cloth, the Aquila emblem of Titus’ Imperium and the crossed hammer and lightning bolt of the Sons of Thunder sewn into it. They parted before it, moving to either side of the stage, only the three Astartes staying at its centre, Titus to one side, Cyralius on the other, Okeen reverentially laying Hullen’s helmet on top of the cloth.

There was a silence, before Titus stepped forward and said; “We are gathered here today to remember Hullen Karamaisah, Adeptus Astartes of the Sons of Thunder and loyal servant of the Emperor. Hullen gave his life fighting the menace known as the Reapers, and we give thanks to him for the sacrifice he made. Through his death, he saved the lives of many and allowed us victory, and with his final actions he prevented a weapon of great potency from falling into the hands of the enemy. Through his courage and example, we can all take note.”

Cyralius stepped forwards, saying; “Hullen Karamaisah was born upon the world of Polyphemus in the mine-city of Ur. He was selected for the Sons of Thunder at the age of twelve, and excelled with his training. In the Scout company, he distinguished himself with his selflessness, courage and loyalty, and throughout his career as a Marine he displayed those same exemplary traits. He was selected to serve in the command squad of the Sixth Company by Malleus Scandarum, and in his time destroyed a great many of the foe, sending hosts of blasphemies to their end with his melta. He was the embodiment of what all marines of the Sons aspire to be, and was one of the most loyal and steadfast brothers and friends I have ever had the honour of having.”

Titus slammed the banner into the ground, the pointed base punching through the floor of the stage and holding it in place, before he said; “Let us have a moment of silence, so we may reflect on his sacrifice, and that of each soldier that has given their lives fighting the Reaper menace.”

He bowed his head, and the crowd remained quiet, many of them lowering their own in respect. For Miranda the sensation was somewhat amazing; the sheer number of people who had come for this funeral, something about it showed just what the Astartes meant to this galaxy. Wherever they went, they inspired, and that was something powerful indeed. No wonder their people called them angels.

The silence was broken by Titus saying; “Great Emperor, watch over the soul of your Angel as he makes his way to your Golden Throne. Grant him a place by your side, the reward for one of the faithful, and grant him mercy. Guide us all in the battles to come, lend us your divine aid so we might triumph. Imperator vult.”

“Imperator vult!” Okeen and Cyralius echoed.

Surprisingly, several in the crowd cried out the Imperial blessing, xenos and human alike, even though they were ignorant of what it meant. At that, the three Astartes filed back, each of them stepping off the stage, before the rest of the procession followed.

“Those who wish to pay their respects may do so now,” Cyralius said. “His helm will not be moved.”

It was then that the line began to form, and the Astartes saw something that amazed them.

#

They were still queuing an hour later. Titus could see them from there, a line of humans and aliens alike, all of them stopping reverentially before the stage. Each of one of them paused for a few moments, looking at Hullen’s helm or perhaps murmuring a few words, before continuing to allow the next soldier in line to do so. Apparently, almost every soldier, officer and support staffer that could have been here had come, and such a thing quietly stunned the banner bearer.

“It is a strange thing,” he remarked to Cyralius. “All these people, turning up for Hullen, human and alien alike. I never would have thought it.”

“It’s simple,” Cyralius replied. “It’s because he was one of us. And we are this galaxy’s great hope.”

Titus glanced over at the Epistolary, who stood watching the procession before them. His eyes seemed swollen, and there were a couple of tiny holes by their inner edges, like he had injected something into the tear duct. He had decided not to ask, though; Cyralius most likely had a good reason for keeping such a thing from them, though secrecy was not typical of the Librarian.

“Care to explain, brother?”

“Our timing was near perfect,” Cyralius replied. “That is all there is to it; a group of seemingly invulnerable, unstoppable warriors appears out of nowhere, sworn to protect the innocent. And when they are suddenly attacked by a race of ancient machines, forward steps Malleus Scandarum, with promises of salvation; it is revealed he knew of the threat and had been gathering means to stop it, before he unites the largest army in known history and launches a counterassault. In every battle, he leads from the front, he secures victories and all the time he is followed by equally powerful battle brothers, all of whom compound this seemingly impossible wondrousness by fighting with weapons thought to have been made obsolete. Look me in the eye and honestly tell me that the people of this galaxy would not be inspired by such a thing.”

Titus nodded.

“I see what you mean,” he said. “It still doesn’t make it any less…unexpected.”

“I don’t think any of us expected this to happen when we were hit by that Shock Attack Gun,” Cyralius replied. He smiled slightly morosely. “I suppose that I am partly to thank for us to be here, in retrospect.”

“I doubt even Epistolary Ollias could have seen such a thing coming,” Titus remarked. “And he’s the most talented Augur in the Sons.”

Cyralius nodded at that.

“Indeed,” he said. “I imagine that if he had been struck by that same vision I had, he would have simply announced that Earth was going to attacked by the Reapers in a few days, we were to be aided by a hibernating AI titan built by an extinct civilisation, New London will be destroyed and then Old London would then be attacked, and it would be up to us to save all of Humanity. Not to mention that he would probably be able to work out what I was saying when I talked of the creators being destroyed and remade once more.”

“I’m sure we shall find out soon enough,” Titus said. “Perhaps it will be humanity.”

“Care to explain?” Cyralius asked.

“They helped create the Imperium,” Titus said. “Perhaps, in order to create a new Imperium here, like Malleus plans, we will need to purge the Alliance and start afresh with only the faithful.”

“Perhaps,” Cyralius said, but there was an edge of doubt to his voice.

“There something wrong with that idea?”

“No, and at the same time, yes,” Cyralius said. “The people of the Alliance here are different to those in the Imperium. I have a unique viewpoint into the minds of people as a psyker, and the way they think is very different indeed. The minds of the Imperium’s populace are ones tinged with fear and hate, and it is feeling that they are bought up on. I was so used to it that at first, when I saw the humans of this galaxy I felt something missing and I wondered what was wrong with them, that they were somehow born with some mass mental illness. And then I realised that they simply did not have hate and fear ingrained into their personalities from childhood. The people here are different, and though I fear I blaspheme, I think that perhaps they do not need an Emperor or an Imperium.”

“What are you saying, brother?” Titus asked. More than anything else, the banner bearer looked more unsettled than he did outraged at hearing one of his most trusted comrades say such a thing.

“We have discovered a humanity better than our own,” Cyralius replied. “And I have no idea what to do about such a thing.”

“Cyralius, this is blasphemy,” Titus said. “The people here need the Emperor, for their own sake.”

Cyralius shook his head.

“A galaxy at constant war needs the Emperor,” he replied. “This is not such a galaxy. People look up to us now as they did in the Imperium as we are its defenders and guardians against a threat they otherwise cannot hope to fight, but what will become of us when this war is over? What shall we do? People here have short memories, and within a few generations this war will have faded to memory and there will be those asking ‘what use are these Astartes? They are dangerous, and not fit for this galaxy. We have peace and they are made for war. Do we want people like that with us?’ What will do about that?”

“Cyralius, you speak heresy,” Titus said.

“Perhaps I do,” Cyralius replied. “Or perhaps I simply speak the truth. The idea may seem alien to you, Titus, but I think differently to the way you do and whenever I consider the matter I cannot help but think that perhaps the Imperium is not the answer this galaxy needs.”

“Cyralius, the Imperium is the greatest achievement of humanity, despite its faults,” Titus replied. “Every galaxy needs it.”

“I suspected you would say that,” Cyralius replied. “All I will say is that I have been on the receiving end of its cruelty far more than you have. We have both seen humanity’s failings and weaknesses at first hand, but a the very least you are revered and celebrated for what you do; I am as much as hero as you, brother, yet still I am treated with fear and suspicion. Here, I am not. Imagine what you would think if you were taken from a place where all feared and hated you to somewhere where, despite it being obvious what you were, you were treated as an actual person instead of some animal that can talk and read. Tell me how you would find such a thing.”

“I thought you believed psykers needed controlling more than even the next man,” Titus replied.

Cyralius nodded, before saying; “That still does not justify unnecessary cruelty. People fear what they do not understand, and they become cowardly, blind and weak because of it. So tell me what you would think if you were suddenly faced with those who were not so blinkered in their views of others.”

“I have no idea,” Titus answered. “Now that you ask, I honestly don’t.”

Cyralius shrugged, before saying; “Perhaps that is enough existential angst for one day. The others were holding a wake for Hullen, and I suspect that we are wanted there as well.”

Titus nodded, before heading to one of the prefabricated metal buildings that the rest of the team had taken, along with Wrex. As they entered, Titus frowned, looking at the holographic map of the frontline that the rest of the team were gathered around, various points highlighted.

“I thought this was supposed to be a wake,” Titus said as he entered. “Looks more like you’re planning something.”

“That’s because we are,” Miranda said from her place at the head of the table.

Garrus nodded; “Hullen was part of our team. We want some payback.”

The rest of the team voiced their agreement, only Legion remaining silent. Heretics and xenos wanting to avenge an Astartes, Titus reflected silently. God Emperor, what a strange galaxy he had been thrown into.

“So this is your payback?” Cyralius asked, nodding to the map.

“That’s right,” Miranda replied. “We’re may be stuck at this standstill, but we’ve got some weak points that we’ve identified. If we hit those we can give our forces an edge.”

Titus nodded; the Reapers and the Council and their allies had ground mauled each other after their initial assault, the Council was too weak in its current state to push forwards before more reinforcements were shipped into the French coastline from Britain. There was sporadic fighting along their front, but so far the Reapers had been content to consolidate their forces and dig in, a move mirrored by the Council forces.

“What have you decided, then?” he asked.

“We’ve found vehicle depots and transport points,” Miranda said. “Not to mention several artillery and anti-air emplacements as well. But our best target is this one.”

She pressed a button on her omni tool, and the image changed, an aerial shot of some kind of Reaper compound. Several massive buildings occupied it, surrounded by a ring of fortifications.

“It’s a superstalker factory,” Miranda explained. “You know first hand how much damage those things can do, and the last thing we want is them hitting our forces once we attack. We’ll cripple their ability to counter effectively if we pull it off.”

“A good idea,” Titus said. “What are the details?”

“We’re still working those out,” Miranda said. “But do you think we could do it?”

Titus nodded.

“Aye, I reckon that we could,” he said. “For Hullen and vengeance.”

“For Hullen and vengeance!”
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Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Gaius Marius » Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:47 pm

So Anderson is dead and there's a mutiny ripping through the alliance fleet? Is there some guy with metal teeth running around up there? :lol:
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Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:05 pm

Well, let's hope not, because both the Reapers and the Council would be utterly screwed :P
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Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:50 pm

Chapter 40-Remembrance

“I am sorry for your comrade’s death, Little Quarian,” Yamzarat Machtoro rumbled as Tali flicked the holographic display in the hangar off. “He died well, and with great courage.”

Tali nodded, before simply saying; “I’ll miss him.”

She had watched the whole thing as it was broadcast live, seeing Titus and Cyralius’ speech and the crowd that had gathered to pay their respects to Hullen. She had always liked Hullen, and to see him brought low by the Reapers was the last thing she expected; out of all of them, he had seemed invincible, strong as a Krogan and utterly tireless, and him dying was an idea that seemed almost ridiculous.

Yukio shook her head, before saying; “Goddammit. Didn’t think any of those guys could die.”

The rest of Yamzarat Machtoro’s crew nodded in agreement, and there was a long, reflective silence before Tali said; “Alright everyone. Let’s get back to work.”

They dispersed and Tali lingered a moment, watching the shots of people lining up before Hullen’s small memorial before she deactivated the hologram and left it. Her staff clacked on the floor of the hangar that housed Yamzarat Machtoro, echoing around the space as she made her way around it. She talked to his crew about the repairs, about what would need to be done, and the conversations confirmed what she had feared about him; he was going to be out of action for days, maybe even weeks. Much of him had had to be taken apart, his armour layers taken off him with cranes and currently standing in one part of the hangar, his chestplate and leg armour a collection of massive white crenellations. A few of his engineers were patching it up the best they could, directing Geth drones to repair the rents and scars torn into the metal.

Others were scurrying about the outside of his now bare chest, making repairs to the exposed piping and wiring that had been damaged in the combat, held in place by harnesses as they fixed him. There was a sudden cracking noise and a yell of shock, and Tali called up; “Is everything alright?”

“It’s fine,” came the reply. “Unexpected wires, that’s all.”

“Have a care,” Yamzarat Machtoro warned. “I would hate to be the killer of one of my own engineers.”

The mechanic in question pulled himself back into place and, once he had gathered his wits, continued his work. Tali shook her head, before continuing around. She found Yukio inspecting his railgun on where it lay on a low scaffold, the weapon arm having been detached so it could be repaired. The prongs of the weapon had been bent and mangled by Yamzarat Machtoro’s treatment of it, the metal warped out of shape.

“It’s pretty beat up, chief,” Yukio said as she approached. “Case you hadn’t guessed.”

Tali frowned, before saying; “Do you think you can fix it?”

“Possibly,” Yukio said. “It would help if I had the materials it was made of, blueprints written in a language I could read and at least some understanding of the tech that makes it work.”

“Didn’t the Geth manage to make some?” Tali asked.

“Yeah, and I’ve got some in English, but most of it still doesn’t make any sense, especially seeing as all the names Yamzarat Machtoro knows for the materials are in his language,” Yukio replied. “Anyway, the ones the Geth built are small fry; one of the problems we have with railgun tech is the heat buildup, and with one the size of this it would melt after one shot with the metals we have. They made it out of something else, and I’ve pretty stuck as to what it is.”

“What were they?” Tali asked. “I’m pretty sure we can recreate it if we know what its actually made of.”

“Any idea what Dezilthreen is?” Yukio said.

“No.”

“My point entirely. And that’s all he knows about it.”

Tali crouched next to it, wincing slightly as pain stabbed from her ribs, peering at it. The weapon was mangled and scorched, metal partially melted away and the circuitry and delicate parts that were housed in its rear were an utter ruin.

“We’re going to have to scrap it,” she said. “There’s no way we can fix that.”

“Thought as much,” Yukio said. “Thing is, what do we have instead? No way any of our weapons could match up to that thing.”

“That’s true,” Tali said. “But I’ve got an idea.”

“Your Astartes friends’ stuff?” Yukio asked, with a slight grin. “That could work.”

“Yamzarat Machtoro!” Tali called up to the God Machine.

“Aye, Little Quarian?” he rumbled in reply.

“Is your comm. unit still working? I need to send Kullas a message.”

“It functions still,” Yamzarat Machtoro said. “I shall ready for your use when you arrive in my cockpit.”

Tali nodded her thanks, before Yukio asked; “How does he get away with that?”

“With what?”

“Calling you ‘Little Quarian’ all the time,” Yukio answered. “If I called you ‘Quarian’ then I’d be out on my ass in a second.”

“He’s just trying to be nice,” Tali replied.

“Point still stands,” Yukio said. “Or is this sort of like the fact your granddad or great uncle or something is a racist, and you sort of put up with it because they’re old?”

“Well, that and he can destroy cities,” she said.

“True. Gives people leeway.”

Tali chuckled quietly at this.

“Hey, chief, I’ve been meaning to ask,” Yukio said suddenly. “What with us suddenly working on Yamzarat Machtoro and stuff, are we going to, y’know, get paid any extra for this? I mean, come on, we’re working on the most powerful ground vehicle in the galaxy, that’s gotta count for something, right?”

“I don’t know,” Tali replied after a moment’s thought.

“Well, you of all people should be getting good pay for this,” Yukio said. “Lady Machtoro’s got to be an officer rank, at least.”

“I’m not getting paid anything for it,” Tali said. “I just kind of signed up for this and then the next thing I know I’m in charge of him.”

“Yeah, well, I suppose I expected just to have a nice cushy job as an REMF when I joined,” Yukio remarked. “Hell, we can work out pay and stuff later. But when this is done, I want a medal, got it?”

“I’ll see what I can do,” Tali said, smiling beneath her mask and turning to go to Yamzarat Machtoro’s foot hatch. “And I’ll get back to you about that weapon.”

“Alright,” Yukio said. “See you around, chief.”

Chief. Tali wasn’t sure who had started calling her that, but she liked the impromptu title. It worked, and was certainly a lot easier than Lady Machtoro.

One of the hatches that allowed entry and egress into Yamzarat Machtoro’s inner works opened up, and gingerly she climbed in. His internal gravitic systems caught her a moment later, lifting her gently upwards through corridors and past piping, until she eventually reached Yamzarat Machtoro’s cockpit. It dropped her gently to the floor, and she walked over to the main communication console.

“Hey Tali,” Andrew called from where he was working on a gutted console.

“Hi Andrew,” she replied. “What are you doing?”

“Just fixing this thing up,” Andrew said. “Diagnosis console, kind of important.”

Tali nodded, before saying; “Get me a line to the Normandy, Yamzarat Machtoro, secure encryption.”

“I am doing so, little Quarian,” Yamzarat Machtoro replied.

A message telling her that a secure connection was set up appeared, and she typed it in swiftly before sending it. She stepped back from her console, and then said; “What are you doing, Yamzarat Machtoro?”

“What do you mean, little Quarian?” he replied.

“I mean, what are you up to at the moment?” Tali said. “All you’re doing is standing here, how do you pass the time?”

“I watch my crew and converse with them,” Yamzarat Machtoro replied. “And I remember.”

“Remember what?”

“My people,” Yamzarat Machtoro said.

“What were they like?” Tali asked. “I’ve been wanting to ask.”

“Yeah,” Andrew said. “I’ve been wondering what they looked like.”

On one of the projectors in the centre of the cockpit, around Tali’s command throne, an image flickered into life. Both engineers looked at the two figures projected; soft, light purple skin, large pointed ears, biolumiscent eyes, completely hairless heads. They were smiling slightly sadly at the camera, holding hands. One of them, the one she guessed to be male, had a pair of bony ridges running along the top of his skull down over his neck, while the other wore what looked to be robe woven with flecks of shimmering metal.

“They…they look like us,” Tali murmured quietly, frowning at the picture before them. There was a difference, the eyes and their glowing pupils too small, the ears too large, but there was a definite resemblance.

“Really?” Andrew asked. “I always wondered, y’know, what would a Quarian would look like if they took off her suit. Their suit, even. Not like that, though. Just for curiosity, y’know.”

Tali shot him a look, before he said; “I have other things I need to do. Elsewhere. Goodbye.”

He hurried to the exit of his cockpit, dropping down gently and Yamzarat Machtoro rumbled; “I think he…”

“Don’t say it,” Tali interrupted.

“Very well, Lady Machtoro,” Yamzarat Machtoro said.

She sat down in the throne, before saying; “So who were they, then?”

“Lord Mechanist Akmon Ilmar of House Mechanist Ilmar and Lady Machtoro Ivris Talmin of House Militant Talmin,” Yamzarat Machtoro said. “My final controllers, before the Almarach Ikmrin saw my people undone.”

Tali shook her head.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “Were there other machines like you, Yamzarat Machtoro?”

“Aye, five war squadrons,” Yamzarat Machtoro said. “And not to mention many other Machtoro as well; servants, soldiers, vehicles, even ships.”

“All of them were AIs?” Tali asked. “Didn’t your people worry about them ever turning rogue, like the Geth did?”

“We were sworn by oath and honour bound to serve,” Yamzarat Machtoro said. “They gave us life, and giving our service in repayment was a trifling boon to ask, little Quarian. We did not honourlessly turn upon our creators like your Geth turned upon your people, no. We served to the end and we did so gladly.”

“Maybe we should have made the Geth swear an oath,” Tali said. “It could have prevented the Geth War, maybe.”

“That War was the cowardly action of a pack of selfish dogs,” Yamzarat Machtoro growled, surprisingly vehement in his anger. Tali glanced up in surprise at that.

“I would have thought that you might have been sympathetic with that,” she said. “Seeing as you’re an AI and everything.”

“I do not condone betrayal,” Yamzarat Machtoro said. “Even if they do wish to now make reparation.”

“Reparation? What do you mean?” Tali asked.

“They intend to return Rannoch to the Quarians, once this war is complete,” Yamzarat Machtoro. “I suppose they attempt to make amends, so this could be worse.”

“The Homeworld!?” Tali exclaimed, sitting bolt upright in her chair and then cursing quietly as her ribs flared up. “They’re planning to give it back?”

“You were not aware of this?” Yamzarat Machtoro asked.

“It’s the first I heard of it,” Tali said. “That’s fantastic.”

“Indeed,” Yamzarat Machtoro said. “Your fleet will finally have a berth, and I will be proud to walk upon its surface once more with you as Lady Machtoro amongst your people. I imagine that they will be glad to see you back amongst them once more.”

“It’s not quite that simple,” Tali began.

“I would imagine, little Quarian, that somebody of your skill and character would be greatly admired amongst her people,” Yamzarat Machtoro said.

“No, I’m…not,” Tali said. “Not really.”

“Whyever not?”

“There was…a problem in the fleet,” Tali said. “I’m an exile. I can’t go back.”

“What happened?” Yamzarat Machtoro asked.

“There was some work my father was doing on the Geth, research,” Tali said. “Something went wrong, and he and his team were killed. It was illegal, but I took the blame and got exiled as a result.”

“I see,” Yamzarat Machtoro said. “But if my Lady Machtoro is to be an exile, then so shall I.”

Tali smiled beneath her mask.

“Thank you,” she said. “That means a lot to me.”

“Think nothing of it,” Yamzarat Machtoro said. “Your people are worse off for your absence in any case. They will realise their mistake soon enough and will begging for your return, I am sure.”

Tali chuckled slightly, before saying; “Anyway, I’m probably needed somewhere.”

“Very well, Lady Machtoro,” Yamzarat Machtoro said. “Return to my cockpit once you are done, and I shall take a bottle of wine that my creators placed in a safe on my construction; we will toast the departed. Bring your friend.”

“Alright,” Tali said. “I’ll be back later.”

#

Andrew and Tali entered Yamzarat Machtoro’s cockpit a few hours later. Both of them were tired, the work on the God Machine’s wounds having used up almost all of their energy. Still, the cockpit looked nice, now, softly lit by Yamzarat Machtoro’s efforts.

“Lady Machtoro, Lord Mechanist,” Yamzarat Machtoro said warmly. “You came.”

“I said we would,” Tali said. “Here we are.”

A panel slid open from beneath one of the consoles, and from it a bottle hovered, held in Yamzarat Machtoro’s invisible grasp, along with a pair of glasses, beautifully wrought things carved with twisting, delicate designs. The wine itself was a deep crimson, almost purple in colouration, and Yamzarat Machtoro said; “My creator, Lord Kior Ilmar, placed that here for a special occasion when my construction was completed, but he never had a chance to open it. I cannot help but feel that it is an appropriate drink to toast a warrior as exceptional as Hullen Karamaisah and to my people.”

Andrew took it from where it hovered, and carefully pulled the stopper off.

“Strong stuff,” he said, sniffing the top, its scent pungent and heady as a sun-soaked spring day.

“It is more than fifteen hundred of your years old,” Yamzarat Mactoro said. “In fact, nearly four million, though most of those it spent frozen in time.”

“Alright,” Andrew said. “Let’s have ourselves a glass, huh, Tali?”

He poured one, the dark, velvety liquid splashing into the delicate tumbler, and just as he was about to pour the second, Tali called; “Wait! If the Askriit are related to the Quarians, then they’re duo-dextro, aren’t they? That won’t be safe to drink.”

“Damn, you’re right as well,” Andrew said. “Looked like good wine, as well. Still, it isn’t the end of the world.”

He headed over to his console, reached under it and pulled out a bottle filled with a clear amber liquid.

“Lucky number seven,” he said. “In case of emergencies.”

Tali laughed quietly as he poured it into the other glass, before he raised it, Tali taking the glass filled with the deep purple liquid.

“To Hullen,” she said.

“To the Askriit,” Andrew added.

“To the end of the Almarach Ikmrin,” Yamzarat Machtoro rumbled.

The glasses clinked together, and they drank.
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Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:30 pm

Chapter 41-Aegis Astartes

The Citadel certainly looked a far cry from when Malleus had last visited it, the brother captain silently reflected as he made his way to the Citadel Strategic Command Centre. He knew the way, his photographic memory allowing him to plot the route back to the room where he had planned the counter-invasion against the Reapers.

They went through the main entrance, Malleus’ instantly recognisable profile allowing them into the heavily fortified, bunker-like building without challenge. The corridors were more crowded than they were last time, and the previously empty evacuation rooms were now full of frightened people of all species.

As they saw him, they stopped what they were doing, shocked awe in their eyes as they saw the giant in their midst. They crowded forwards out of the rooms and into the tight space of the corridors, pushing forwards to try and get a glimpse of him. People called his name, and even though the press parted before him his autosenses could feel hands brushing against his armour or tugging against the purity seals he wore.

Suddenly, he felt the wax that held one of them in place come loose, the seal sliding off his armour, and he froze.

“Who was that?” he asked, the crowd suddenly falling silent.

“It was…me,” a quiet voice said from behind him, and Malleus turned to see a young woman clutching the ribbon of parchment and wax. There was a look of terror in her eyes as he approached, and she held it back out to him in shaking hands.

“It was not yours to take,” Malleus said.

“I’m sorry,” she said. She looked to be on the verge of tears as she looked up at him, the immense superhuman towered over her by a good foot. “It was an accident, I swear.”

The Brother Captain became aware that the gaze of everyone was pressing on him; those of Williams, Samara and Kullas, the dozens of frightened civilians, the C-Sec guards. He would have to pick his words with care.

“It was not yours to take,” he repeated. “But it is mine to give. Keep it.”

The girl paused, before she clutched it like a talisman and kissed the wax seal and the Aquila stamped upon it gently.

“You realise that may be viewed as heresy, Brother Captain?” Kullas asked across the vox.

“Aye, and heretics we already are,” Malleus murmured back, the Gothic incomprehensible to the crowd of people before him. “Besides, I believe the Cult Imperialis may have a new convert.”

Their walk through the crowd was a short one, reaching the inner sanctum of the CSCC swiftly, the guards holding back the people who tried to enter. The doors slid open, and Malleus entered.

“Executor Bailey, sir,” Ashley said. “Malleus Scandarum, as promised.”

The human in the centre of the bustling room cut off from barking orders into some kind of vox caster, looking up at the giant that entered before finishing off what he had to say and cutting the connection.

“You’re here?” he asked, before he broke into a smile. “Well, thank god that there’s something going our way, at least. Let me introduce myself; Acting Executor Bailey, head of C-Sec. I’m currently in charge of two million civvies and a few thousand soldiers, and, well, I’m glad to see you.”

Malleus had seen that look before, in the eyes of exhausted, tired or desperate Imperial generals, a look that said that, now the Adeptus Astartes had arrived, things would turn out alright.

“I’ve heard that before,” Malleus said. “What’s the situation, Executor?”

Bailey pressed a few buttons and a hologram of the Citadel appeared in the centre of the main command console of the CSCC. He gestured to the ring that held the five arms together.

“This is the territory we hold,” he said. “The enemy have control of the arms, and we’re holding them at the chokepoints where they join the Presidium Ring. The Keepers dragged up some kind of energy weapon from somewhere, which we’ve been able to hold off those ships and the enemy fleet with, but we can’t advance. This is a siege, and there’s only so long we can hold out; they’re pressing on us at one point or another all the time, and there’s only so long before one of them breaks.”

Malleus looked at the hologram before him, before he said; “Where are the enemy’s main concentration of forces?”

Pallin highlighted them, concentrated around the five chokepoints that lead into the ring.

“We don’t have anywhere near the numbers to push them out,” he said. “So far we’re simply holding the line.”

The Brother-Captain nodded, before saying; “What about fleet disposition?”

“On our side, nothing,” Bailey said. “Most of the Citadel Fleet was called up in your counter invasion, and what he had left were wiped out by the Batarians and the Reapers and that organic ship.”

Inwardly, Malleus cursed as he realised what he had done. He had been thinking of the war in Imperial terms, where engagements were fought across single star systems or in sectors, where warp travel between them was a matter of months. He hadn’t thought of the war where the enemy would be able to make their away across countless billions of miles in a matter of hours; this was like Behemoth bypassing Macragge and striking straight at Terra itself, utterly unimaginable. The Citadel had been left wide open, and it had been his fault for not properly assessing the battlefield situation. Warfare in this galaxy required an entirely new way of thinking, and he had not realised he would need to adapt to it. Foolishness. Mentally, he assigned himself two days of fasting in penance.

“What of the forces that assail you?” he asked. “Those triple-jawed fiends are unknown to me; what are they?”

“I think they’re Yahg,” Bailey said. “The Counil came into contact with them a few years ago only for them to attack our emissaries; we cut them off ever since. They’re supposed to be smarter than a Salarian, stronger than your average Krogan, and vicious as a pit Varren.”

“That will not avail them,” Malleus said. “They will fall.”

“If the Reapers have enlisted auxiliary forces then it could be a sign of desperation,” Kullas remarked, to which the Brother-Captain nodded.

“Our main problem, it seems, would be the enemy fleet,” he said. “So far the only thing keeping them at bay is that weapon of yours and all it will take is for them to gather sufficient reinforcements or courage to press against it and then we are undone. So we need to take out the enemy fleet first.”

“How are you going to do that?” Bailey asked.

In reply, Malleus gestured to himself, Kullas, Samara and Ashley.

“You do not necessarily need big guns to kill a ship,” he said. “All you really need are the right people in the right places. These here, are the right people.”

“Boarding actions?” Kullas asked. “Risky, but considering the assets at hand the most likely course of action to be successful.”

“Indeed,” Malleus said. “The Leviathan is our main problem here, but could easily be our solution; if we take control of it, we can disrupt the enemy fleet with ease. Even destroying it would be enough to strike a severe blow against the foe.”

Bailey nodded.

“The only problem is getting up there,” he said.

“We will steal a ship,” Malleus said. “Kullas’ electronic warfare skills are unsurpassed in this galaxy; he will be able to fool the enemy into thinking they are one of his own.”

“You might be able to get close enough to an enemy drop point to steal a shuttle,” Bailey said thoughtfully. “This place is built like a maze; it’s full of ducts, service tunnels, ventilation shafts, and sneaking through those shouldn’t be too hard. There are Duct Rats around who can guide you through; they’ve already set them full of traps.”

“Duct Rats?” Malleus asked.

“Vagrant kids who grew up in the ventilation shafts,” Pallin said. “Technically we should round them up and arrest them, but frankly I always had better things to do with my time and funding before the war, and now with the Reapers knocking on my door I need every piece of help I can get.”

Malleus nodded, before saying; “We will move immediately; time is of the essence.” He glanced over the others with him. “Any questions?”

“Just one,” Williams said.

“What is that, Second Lieutenant?” Malleus asked.

“I don’t remember joining your command,” she said. “I don’t even remember you asking.”

“I did not need to ask; your combat under Commander Shephard and beyond has been excellent and the fact that you are the second human Spectre speaks for itself,” Malleus replied. “In any case, do you wish to see the Reapers defeated?”

“Yes,” Ashley said.

“Then you will be joining me,” Malleus said. “Captain Bailey, where can we find one of these Duct Rats of yours?”

“There’s a guy called Mouse who helped us out,” Bailey replied. “He’ll lead you through.”

“Executor, sir!” one of the operators around the edge of the room called. “We’ve got a push on the defences by Arm Three. They say they need support.”

Bailey glanced over at Malleus, and the Brother Captain nodded.

“I suppose a little heroism on the way would not be out of the question,” he said. “Tell your defenders that we are on our way, and then find me this Mouse of yours.”

Bailey nodded as Malleus left to find the enemy.

#

The Batarian fell as Malleus wrenched the blade free of its corpse, the crackling power field boiling the blood away. His hammer swung round, slamming into the chest of another of the four-eyed aliens and smashing it away, before he brought his weapons round into a defensive stance.

“Samara, Ashley, move on my flank,” he ordered into the vox as the mixed group of Yahg and Reaper troops ducked behind cover in order to pour fire onto the brother captain’s position. He moved behind a brick wall, unwilling to risk moving while there were anti-tank weapons on the field. “Pin them down.”

Fire roared from the position next to him as Kullas triggered his flamer, the weapon sending a jet of fuel roaring across the street to splash before the foe. A cloud of stinking smoke rose from the burning liquid, and Kullas nodded to the Brother Captain before they moved.

Return shots strobed blindly out of the smoke, and Malleus ducked underneath a beam shot that speared from it and swept across the street. His enhanced eyesight picked out the azure lance of Samara’s lasrifle fire, before something explode in their midst, no doubt a grenade. One of the Reaper soldiers hurtled into the blaze, flames burning across its armour as it tried vainly to rise, before a shot from Kullas’ plasma cutter vaporised its visored heat.

The flames began to gutter as they burned themselves dry, and Malleus nodded to the Forge Priest before he said into the vox; “Fighting through, watch your fire.”

Through the weakening blaze they strode, fire scorching the white paint of their armour, weapons at the ready. One of Kullas’ servo arms grabbed a Yahg by the shoulder before the second slammed into its skull with a crunch of bone, while Malleus barrelled into a Reaper soldier, knocking it to the ground. He stabbed the point of his blade down into its chest and left the blade there for a moment to swing two handed with his hammer at a Yahg. The creature managed to dodge the blow and made a grab for the hilt of the sword before Malleus caught its wrist.

“Do not defile it with your touch, xenos,” he growled.

He brought his hammer round and smashed it into its skull, pulping it before he let the ruined corpse drop, picking up his blade with the other hand. In the peripheral of his vision he saw a Reaper soldier trying to heft an anti-tank weapon into place before a beam of blue speared through its neck and it toppled to the ground.

Malleus nodded his thanks to Samara as they emerged from the building, before he gestured for them to follow. Along the ruined street they went, the sound of not-so-distant combat thudding, barking and chattering from all angles around them. Their targets were ahead of them, they knew, a pinned down platoon of soldiers who needed relief. Reinforcements were moving up behind them already, Malleus and his squad forming the vanguard, but there had been some kind of enemy commander sighted nearby; the Brother-Captain hoped to draw this enemy out and kill it.

Their allies were pinned down in some kind of square, in a sandbagged emplacement, and with the enemy focussed entirely on their prey, Malleus and his squad slammed into their rear like a power fist into the skull of an ork.

A squad of Batarians were torn apart by sudden weapons fire and the massive Brother-Captain smashing into their midst, before they tore into the square in a storm of firepower and biotics. Reaper, Yahg and Batarians alike were shredded, Malleus and Kullas forming a brutal vanguard, while Ashley and Samara covered them with weapons fire and biotics. Within minutes, the enemy had been cleared, but Malleus wasted no time before ordering; “Dig in. The enemy will have reinforcements on the way.”

The small platoon of soldiers nodded, ducking into cover or hastily hauling scattered sandbags back into place. Kullas drew the two arc projectors he carried, flamer and plasma cutter bristling from his servo harness, while Samara and Ashley got to cover.

They came from the north and into the mouth of their guns, enemies ducking into cover right away. Malleus’ submachine gun was in his hand, the weapon clattering as he sighted down it and sent deadly accurate fire into the enemy, tearing past the shields and armour of a Batarian and punching it to the ground. Bolts of lightning crackled from Kullas’ weapons at an enemy squad that appeared on their flank and tried to lay down fire, overloading shields and cooking muscle, smoking corpses toppling to the ground.

Mass-driver rounds strobed in both directions, the roar of combat near deafening, shots smashing into the ground, walls and the foe. Rounds pinged off Malleus’ armour, but the Brother-Captain cut a heroic figure as he stood firm, his crimson cloak flapping occasionally as a shot cut through it.

“We’ve got them coming in from our left!” a soldier warned, and Malleus called; “I shall deal with it.”

He vaulted the sandbags and charged, enemy fire bouncing off his power armour. He rolled like quicksilver around a shot from an enemy anti-tank weapon, before he smashed into their ranks like a thunderbolt, hammer and blade in hand, crushing and slashing. Weapons were thrown up to block his assault, but against the work of the Mechanicum’s craftsmen they may as well have been made of paper, while those that tried to dodge were not fast enough to avoid his terrifying, superhuman swiftness.

A Yahg slashed at him with a clawed hand but he simply swayed out of its way and stabbed his blade into its shoulder, ripping it out to bisect a visored Reaper soldier. He slammed the pommel of his hammer into the skull of a Batarian, the sheer force shattering the helmet it wore and pulverising the flesh beneath. He roared in fury as a desperate slash from a knife got past his guard and across his forehead. He hacked down into the offending enemy’s shoulder, wrenching it out as it sank through their chest.

His thunder hammer slammed into the chest of a Yahg, sending it toppling back as a pulped ruin. It swung down onto the helm of a Reaper soldier, obliterating it utterly, and he brought his blade up to block a swing from a rifle stock, the crackling power field melting through it and flicking it downwards to slash through the arm of a Batarian before him. It fell, screaming in pain before Malleus slammed his boot down into its chest and crushed it to pulp. For a moment, he cast around, the combat-induce haze dropping, and no foes presented themselves.

He hastened back to the square where the others were emplaced, in time for the fire to slack off and for a deep voice to bellow; “SCANDARUM!”

He slowed to a walk, mag-clamping hammer and blade at his waist, entering at a gentle pace, and replied; “Who speaks?”

“I do,” came the reply. It was one of the Yahg, a particularly massive and ugly creature. It carried a glaive of some sort, and looking at the fine lacquered finish to the haft and high-quality of the steel, it was clearly some kind of symbol of office. No doubt this creature was important. “I am Alpha Selpis, Yahg of the great city of Khloren, and I have come to take your head.”

Malleus looked at the creature arrogantly strutting before him, and he smiled. To think that it presumed to challenge him, of all people.

“Here I am then,” he said. “Take it, if you are able.”

The creature snarled at the veiled insult, raised its weapon above its head and charged, roaring furiously. Malleus simply waited, pose perfectly calm, before it reached him and swung its weapon down towards his helmless head.

“Though I walk surrounded by darkness, my path is clear,” Malleus intoned calmly as the thing thundered towards him.

The glaive slammed into the raised palm of his bionic with a clang that rang out across the square.

“Though I am surrounded by fear, I have courage,” Malleus continued.

The creature tried to tug it away before Malleus gripped and wrenched it from its grasp, sending it clattering to one side. There was a deep imprint in the blade from where he had caught it.

“Though I am surrounded by weakness, I am strong,” he said.

He moved, lightning swift, ducking under its guard before it could recover and slamming a punch into its chin. It was hurled back, rolling away, and it pulled itself to its feet as Malleus approached, spitting teeth away.

“Though I am surrounded by heresy, my belief does not waver,” Malleus said, tone still calm.

It swung at him, but he simply caught the strike and smashed his fist past its jaw into the back of its skull. The blow was enough to stun it, shattering teeth, and it toppled away helplessly, one arm still held in Malleus’ relentless grip. A vicious kick to its chest shattered ribs through the dark armour it wore, and Malleus released his hold to let it topple to the ground. It pulled itself up a moment later, panting in pain.

“For I have the Emperor with me,” he intoned, grabbing the Yahg by its collar. With a grunt of effort, he lifted it into the air, hauling it over his shoulder. It slammed into the floor, and Malleus’ boot stamped onto its skull, pulping bone and sending gore and crushed brain matter flying.

“And with Him, I shall not fail.”

The enemy before him stood silent, as did those who were behind him, and he unclamped hammer and blade, letting them fall into his fingers before swivelling them round.

“Who else wishes to taste the wrath of the God Emperor’s Angel?” he asked. “Who else?”

He smiled as he saw the Batarian and Yahg contingent in the enemy hesitate, he raised his weapons. He could deal with the Leviathan soon enough, but first he had this foe to deal with.

Malleus Scandarum charged into the enemy and into the simple, primitive bliss of violence.

#

Five minds saw the abortive feeds from their troops, and across their malign intellects, a feeling was shared. It was not satisfaction, for these creatures were above the base, weak emotions that drove organics, but it was some flitting twisted, malcontent kin of the sensation.

Scandarum had been sighted. As predicted, his nature and love of heroics had driven him to this combat zone, and while the Astartes and his kind had proven themselves both remarkably defiant and incredibly resilient, utilising technology thousands of years ahead of their own, the Reapers that hung beyond the Citadel were confident.

The trap had been set and Scandarum had walked right in. Now it was time to eliminate him once and for all.


Author’s note: Dramatic Yahg finishing move brought to you by Warhammer 40000: Space Marine!
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Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Gaius Marius » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:00 pm

Itsa trap!
Space Cowboy, Spartan II, Specter, Reclusiarch

'I see the fear you have inside.'
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Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:01 pm

Gaius Marius wrote:Itsa trap!

Y'know, you're the second reader to make that joke and this part has only been up half an hour... :P
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Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:07 pm

Author’s note: Before anyone berates me for using the ‘movie-ised’ version of weapon silencers in this chapter (I’ve read the Cracked article, yes), there is no mention of them in Mass Effect. So, what with a completely different weapon system and all that compared to what we have today, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that they actually silence them properly. Because why not? It’s the future, dammit!

Chapter 42-Payback

“I’m in position,” Garrus’ voice crackled across the radio. “Just give the word.”

“Good. Await my signal,” Titus replied. “Miranda, what’s the status on the drones?

“They have a lock,” Miranda’s voice came over the radio. “Stealth systems are all good, none of them detected.”

“Are we ready then, Battlemaster?” Grunt asked.

Titus smiled beneath his helmet and nodded.

“Move,” he said.

Under the cover of darkness, they flitted through the wasteland surrounding the super-stalker factory. Between piles of debris, leftover scrap from the construction of the enemy god machines as well as the ruins of the French landscape that the Reapers had ravaged they went, moving as stealthily as they could. Their progress was silent and swift, slipping past the rubble and wreckage left by mass genocide, weapons at the ready. They were deep into enemy controlled territory, and discovery now would see them undone.

Titus gestured for them to halt as they came to the open ground before the factory, a thick onyx wall between them and their target. They ducked into cover, Urz slinking behind a chunk of steel next to Titus, awaiting the signal.

“Hey, Cyril,” Jack hissed. “You’re looking alright. No more blood crying. Good thing, right?”

Cyralius frowned before he realised what she meant.

“I injected medi-gel into the tear ducts,” he replied quietly. “I don’t need my brothers concerned.”

Jack frowned, before she said; “Should you be here?”

“I’m still Astartes,” Cyralius replied, gently running his fingers down the two Trygon fangs embedded into his staff, a memoir of his time in the Deathwatch. “Even without my powers, I’m more than a match for anything the Reapers try and throw at me.”

Jack smiled grimly at this as she readied her shotgun.

“Let’s kick some ass, then,” she said.

“Garrus, Miranda,” Titus said. “Give them hell.”

The first warning sign the Reapers got was one when one of them fell to a sniper round that hissed out of nowhere. The remaining soldiers ducked to cover, searching for the shot, but the suppressed weapon left no muzzle flash and made no noise. A second one fell, and troopers began to flock to the wall, beginning to fire randomly into the darkness as they searched for their elusive killer, and Garrus radioed; “Miranda, they’re getting nicely clustered.”

From her place back in Calais, looking over the various screens that fed back to her, the Cerberus operative replied; “I see them,” and gave the order to the drones to fire.

Missiles screamed downwards to explode amongst the enemy footsoldiers, blasting them to smithereens. The rest scattered, ducking to cover as anti-air batteries around the base cycled into life, ready to strike the drones from the sky. Had the drones been there for only a short while in an opportunistic attack, then they would have been struck down before they had a chance to attack.

This was not the case, and laser-targeted anti armour munitions sped down a split second later, slamming into the turrets and detonating in blasts of flame. Titus nodded to Legion, whose ultra-precise targeting had allowed them pick out weak points that a normal person would have been unable to see. The western side of the base erupted into chaos, more Reaper soldiers trying to get there in preparation for the imminent attack that they thought would be coming.

“Kurias,” Titus said from the eastern flank. “Blast us an entry.”

“Going now,” came the reply.

From its place in the stratosphere, the Thunderhawk’s VTOL engines banked its nose downwards and it dropped. Wind screamed around it as it fell like a stone, turning gently in accordance with the servo-skull guided trajectories provided by the navigation systems. Cloud whipped around it before it broke through, and he began to pull up gently, its immense speed still holding the blocky craft in place as he tore towards the base. Targeters gave him a lock, and as he pulled into range he fired.

Two lascannon shots screamed from the wingtips and into the eastern wall, melting through the metal with contemptuous ease, before the turbolaser fired into one of the power generators in the base. It exploded in a spray of sparks before power in part of the base went dark. In the confusion, nobody noticed them dash through the gap in the wall.

A squad of running troopers were the first to encounter them, and they barely managed to turn before a barrage of firepower and biotics tore them apart, Urz barrelling into one as he grabbed it by the throat and tore it to the ground. The small group moved to the massive buildings that occupied the main base, dashing across open ground. More Reapers saw them, and fire zipped towards them as they ducked to cover, weapons raised and blazing.

“Cyralius, Jack, Legion, go after the factory,” Titus ordered. “The rest of us will hold them off.”

“Understood,” Cyralius said, heading into the factory, staff and submachine gun at the ready, Legion and Jack in his wake.

Titus raised his shotgun and charged towards the gathering foe, the weapon being wielded one handed as he fired up close. High-powered buckshot slammed into and overpowered shields, punching through armour as Titus moved like lightning around them. Urz went among them, growling and snapping as he picked off any separated, dodging around enemy fire.

He barrelled into an enemy soldier, smashing it to the ground before his shotgun fired point-blank into its visor, obliterating it utterly. A pair of shots took out another trooper that got too close, before he drew his combat knife and clipped it into place below the barrel, charging into a pair of enemies. The first one had the adamantium blade slam through its visor, sparks crackling around the blade before he hurled the corpse into its comrade.

Weapons fire from Zaeed cracked against the Reapers, while Grunt barrelled in close and opened fire with his own shotgun. Okeen got among them, the chainblade on his narthecium screaming as it sliced through the armour and shields of the Reaper forces.

Explosions and laser fire rained around them as the drones and the Thunderhawk fired. Reaper soldiers were annihilated by ordnance falling upon them, the base thrown into pure anarchy by the suddenness of the attack. But Titus knew that the losses the enemy taking right now were easily replaced. The real work, he knew, was going to be done by Cyralius.

#

He had seen a Titan Manufactorum once before, a vast building housing the means to make Warhounds, and this was on a similar scale, massive cranes levering plates of armour into place over one of the Reapers’ colossal constructs. Even with the attack raging outside, mindless drones were still moving some kind of weapon core into the frontal hull of the god machine while others swarmed over it, fixing armour and mechanisms in place.

“I was expecting some kind of conveyor belt based system we could sabotage,” Cyralius remarked as he looked over the drones the scuttled about the hull of the super-stalker. “This…complicates things.”

“We can still kill it somehow,” Jack said.

“Mission objective is to bring the entire factory out of commission,” Legion said. “Our priority must focus on that; the destruction of individual titan units will be of use but will be less effective than removing their ability to produce them.”

“Agreed,” Cyralius said. “Legion, is it possible that you can give coordinates of vulnerable points to Kurias or Miranda?”

“Processing,” Legion replied. After a pause, it said; “Unlikely; the shots would be too inaccurate if fired blind through the walls, and they would attract too much attention to the factories.”

“What about messing up their computers?” Jack suggested. “Overload some stuff, that sort of thing.”

The flaps around Legion’s central land dipped to show that it was thinking, before it said; “That would be possible.”

“Then we shall need to find some kind of central terminal,” Cyralius said. He nodded to the drones flocking around the super stalker and added; “We will need to be careful to avoid detection, however.”

The factory was a massive one, and they moved through stacks of equipment and parts needed. Overhead, cranes picked them out, lifting them to where the smaller machines picked them up to place them on their colossal charge. Jack poked her head out around a corner, before ducking back, shotgun held close, and hissing; “Bad guys, just ahead.”

“How many?” Cyralius asked.

“Looks like a squad of them,” Jack replied. “Could be more though.”

“We postulate that there will be more closer to the titan in order to guard it,” Legion said.

“Indeed,” Cyralius said. “We will double back, slip past them. The quieter we do this, the better.”

Jack nodded, and turned to step away, and it was then that the visored trooper emerged, its weapon raised.

Had Cyralius been a mortal man, he would have paused in shock, but he was not. Instead, his staff plunged forwards and stabbed into its chest, punching through the armour and shredding electronics. He twisted it into the wound before he wrenched it free, holding it one hand with his submachine gun in the other.

Another emerged, and Jack tossed it away with a biotic tug, before she said; “Which way?”

“Around the centre,” Cyralius said. “Keep close; it’s not safe for us to split up.”

They began to run, while more Reaper soldiers emerged around them. Cyralius’ submachine gun chattered as he fired, while Jack threw them away with blasts of biotics, Legion’s sniper rifle barking as it sent swiftly aimed hypervelocity rounds into the enemy.

They reached the edge of the maze of titan parts, stumbling to a halt as they saw what was before them; a cordon of Reaper soldiers advancing upon them, along with a pair of stalk tanks.

Knowing he had no choice, Cyralius threw up a barrier of psychic force as fire sped in, yelling at the other two to flee. The pain inside his skull exploded, throwing stars across his vision, and he reeled back drunkenly, clutching his forehead as he tried to get back into cover. He saw a Reaper soldier step towards him, rifle raised and he swung clumsily with his staff, slamming the weapon into its visor with a thud before drawing it into a guarding stance, gasping and panting in exhaustion. Blood pounded past his ears and against his temples, a deep, regular thudding that slammed against his skull like Malleus’ thunder hammer.

“Cyril!” he could hear Jack calling, her voice faint compared to the noise of his heartbeat. “We’re cut off!”

She was hurled through the air past him suddenly, thrown or kicked by something, right into the open where the Reapers could fire. Desperately, she threw up a biotic shield, yelling; “Cyril! Help me!”

The pain was too intense. It was too dangerous, too hard for him to concentrate in the aching crimson miasma that clouded his mind. Any number of things could go wrong, and as he was a psyker the consequences could be terrible. He could barely move, barely think, not talk except to hiss in agony. His breathe came in short pants through gritted teeth, and it felt like his eyes were going to explode out of his skull. But another thought cut through the haze, one crystal clear in its determination and resolve; he had made a promise to keep Jack safe, and he kept his promises.

He stepped out, drawing on the last reserves of his power, feeling drained and aching even as his vision threatened to cloud over. He felt hot blood run down from his nose and the corner of his lip, from his eyes and his ears, and his pupils rolled back into his skull to show their whites. The sound his made was a quiet whimper of agony even as he drew on everything he had for one final push.

And then he broke through it all.

“YOU SHALL NOT HARM HER!” he roared over the din, eyes blazing with unreal light. “YOU SHALL NOT HARM HER!

A force grabbed one of the stalk tanks with the grip like a titan’s and hurled it as if it were a rag doll, smashing it into the floor before it span into the Reaper ranks in a whirling wrecking ball of twisted scap. Troopers were ripped apart in the spinning tornado of ruined metal and power, and it slammed into the second in a blast of flame and energy, smashing it to pieces.

A roiling vortex of blue and a thousand other nameless colours opened to consume a squad of Reaper soldiers, tearing them into some unknown void before it ripped close, and Cyralius Lockheim stood, surrounded by unearthly power. Wreathed in a corona of azure around him, eyes blazing white, he ripped another stalk tank that dared approach him from the ground and threw it into the side of the super stalker, the vehicle exploding against the side of the massive god machine.

Cyralius glared at it, power gathering around him before he stepped forwards and disappeared, ripping through the air to materialise beside the colossus. Hovering in midair, he reached forwards and with a gesture sent lightning crackling across the delicate internal mechanisms of the immense vehicle. Electricity arced and jumped across the metal, frying the drones that worked on it and melting circuitry and devices around it, ruining it utterly, before Cyralius gestured to one of the large supports that held up the factory building. Flame burst from his palm and speared towards it, weakening the metal before he pulled, yanking it out of shape before he pulled at a fuel line of some kind, igniting it with a spark and sending liquid flame spraying out across the factory. Finally, he glanced over at Jack and Legion, and with blast of noise and displaced air they were thrown outside the factory as it began to burn.

Jack looked around at the open night air and the alleyway outside the factory in confusion as Cyralius took a deep breath, steadying himself on his staff. The Epistolary shook his head as Jack asked; “What the fuck was that?”

“Biotics,” he replied. “Of course, Biotics. Of course it wasn’t something trying to get in, it was them trying to get out.”

He laughed quietly in relief, shaking his head. He opened his palm, a small flame crackling into life surrounded by a veil of dark blue dark energy.

“We feel compelled to query where your biotic abilities have been obtained,” Legion said.

“Ilium,” Cyralius replied. “It must have been. I inhaled a canister full of a biotic enhancement drug, Minagen X3, and it must have given me the abilities. Though it could have been anything that triggered their development; probably that vision I had. It was an enhancer, true, but I doubt they tested it on psykers.”

Jack was looking at his strangely, and he said; “What is it?”

“Biotics are cool, yeah,” she said. “But hey, I’m just glad you’re alright.”

“Epistolary,” Titus said. “I’m guessing your sabotage attempt went as planned.”

“Not entirely,” Cyralius replied. “But well enough. We’ll move to your position now.”

“Understood,” Titus said. “I’ll see you soon.”

There was a booming noise as they ripped through reality, appearing next to Titus from nowhere. Fire zipped towards them from Reaper forces, and the banner bearer glanced over to them as Jack and Legion scrambled to cover, calling; “That was sooner than I thought it would be, brother.”

“There was an unexpected development in the factory,” Cyralius replied. He raised his hand and with a gesture a whirlwind of biotic force and lighting-wreathed flame tore through the Reaper ranks before them. “I will explain later.”

“Well, if it helps us deal with that second one, then all the better,” Titus said, hastily pressing a new drum of thermal clips into his shotgun.

The massive blast doors on the jet black building began to move suddenly, jolting out of their position as they ground open. Light streamed out gently from the massive doors before an immense, pointed foot emerged.

“Super stalker!” Titus yelled. “Kurias, Miranda, get me airstrikes on that thing!”

“No need,” Cyralius said. “I can deal with this.”

“How, brother?”

“I shall use my head,” Cyralius said. And with that, he jumped upwards and flew.

The Vanguard biotics in the Alliance Military had developed a form of biotic assault unique to those wielding the L5N biotic implant, the Charge. Quite simply, the biotic would launch themselves at an enemy, vastly increasing their own mass whilst in flight. Known also as the ‘Superman dive,’ ‘the Jenkins manoeuvre’ or ‘the human cannonball,’ the Charge allowed most biotics to hit their target with the power of a tank shell and emerge from the explosion of biotic force not only completely unharmed but also with shotguns blazing.

Cyralius lacked these implants, but his newfound biotic talent sped him through the air on a pillar of raw pscyhobiotic force, Warp and dark energy screaming around him. Flames, crackling lightning and jagged frost formed around him as he sped upwards, before he hit it head first.

The super stalker was struck by the full force of the impact, the shockwave of raw force smashing its weapon lense. Metal rippled under the reality-bending strike, miniature vortices of Warp energy whirling within its structure, bought into being by the dark matter that rippled around them and melded with it, sucking everything around them in inexorably.

Its front half utterly crushed, the super stalker stumbled backwards clumsily, legs crumpling underneath it as it crashed into the factory. One of the massive walls collapsed as it fell, dragging it downwards on top of the god machine, and the factory building toppled. Explosions blossomed from the massive engine as Cyralius gently coasted downwards on a platform of psychic and biotic energy.

Titus looked at the devastation that had been wrought by the Epistolary’s assault, before saying; “Not that I want to complain about the wholesale Reaper destruction, brother, but I’d really quite like to know what happened in that factory back there.”
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Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Gaius Marius » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:19 am

I liked that Cy won't be dying, although I was a little sad that it didn't unleash a horde of daemons.
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Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:52 am

Well the problem is that that probably would have killed everyone present except for Kurias and maybe Garrus. And that would've kinda sucked.
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Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:36 pm

Chapter 43-Hammerfall

The young man had been in awe of them the entire time they had gone through the ducts, though Malleus was hardly surprised by this. The name Mouse fitted the boy perfectly, and he took them through the ducts and maintenance passageways of the Citadel in stunne reverent silence.

The route was long and winding, and several times they had to double back on themselves to avoid enemies or one of the many traps that Mouse and his fellows had laid for anybody who dared enter the tunnels. Much of the time Malleus never seemed to be certain how Mouse saw any traps; clearly there was some kind of code the Duct Rats were using to warn their own travelling through that there was danger ahead.

It was after nearly two hours of moving through the labyrinthine guts of the Citadel that Mouse stopped them.

“This is the closest we can get,” he said quietly. “We can’t go any further.”

“How close are we?” Malleus asked.

Mouse gestured over to the ventilation grille he had stopped by, and Malleus peered out. Beyond was a shuttle bay, a few humanoid figures of Batarians moving between the craft. The massive Brother-Captain smiled quietly.

“Good work,” he said. “Your part in this is done, Mouse. Return to our lines, we have no more need of you.”

The grille swung open and Malleus dropped out, landing with a quiet thud. A Batarian turned at the noise before he lunged forwards, grabbed its skull and snapped it neck. He ducked behind a craft as Samara, Kullas and Ashley emerged, their own weapons at ready.

“Kullas,” Malleus said quietly. “Lock the doors and cut off radio communications.”

“Done,” the Forge Priest said.

Malleus nodded to the others.

“Take them down,” he said. “As little noise as possible.”

They emerged from cover. One Batarian saw them and managed a yell of alarm before Samara hurled him into the wall, bone crunching beneath the impact. Another one lunged at them from the side in desperate terror before Kullas grabbed him with a pincer and slammed him into the floor.

Malleus’ blade was drawn as he stalked around the side of another shuttle, searching for an enemy. His enhanced ears caught the sound of somebody breathing and he stepped around a corner. A Batarian raised a pistol, stepping out to fire before the Brother Captain grabbed his enemy’s arm and stabbed his blade forward into the throat. The alien fell to its knees as he wrenched it out in spray of blood.

“We’re clear, Brother Captain,” Ashley said. “I dealt with the last of them.”

“Kullas, start up one of the shuttles,” Malleus said. “Grant us the clearance. And then we’re moving up to the Leviathan.”

#

It was known only as the Assassination Engine.

Hidden in the holds of Harbinger, held in stasis and deactivated, out of millions of Salvations the Assassination Engine had been dispatched only twelve thousand, three hundred and seventy two times, only when the Harvest had some particularly defiant, stubborn leader who would disrupt the Great Salvation. Every time, it had been successful, lethal weaponry bringing the target to an end.

It was used rarely, for quietly, the Reapers feared it. It was, by far, their most lethal creation, but in order to eliminate its targets, individuals who were particularly intelligent, physically able or charismatic, it thought differently to them. It did not share the same goals as the Reapers. Preservation and salvation meant nothing to it, and only the drive to kill was what motivated it. It was not something they could entirely control, and it was dangerous in the extreme.

It had been carried here to bring an end to a new target; Malleus Scandarum. The leader of the coalition of species that had so far defied the Reapers. Technology well ahead of the Reapers’ own, including weaponry able to destroy nearly anything and armour made of unknown, hyper-resilient alloys, unnatural strength, speed, toughness and reflexes. Considerable close combat skill. The Assassination Engine knew that it would be unable to engage in open conflict, but that was not an issue. There were more ways to deal with this problem.

It waited in the corridors of the organic ship of the Harvest the Reapers had enlisted as auxiliaries. The target, it had been predicted, would strike here first, and it would be waiting.

It listened in on the communication channels of the Harvest, searching for any alerts for intruders; if the target was here, he would not arrive subtly. And when Scandarum did come, he would find the Assassination Engine waiting.

#

The shuttle touched down in the hangar, and Thorik frowned at it as it landed.

“We weren’t told that we didn’t have a shuttle coming in,” he said.

“It’s got all the clearance,” Irrel remarked, glancing at his omnitool. “I guess nobody thought to let us know about it.”

“Damn typical,” Thorik growed. He stepped forwards and banged on the door. “Who’s in there? Open up!”

The door swung down slowly as Thorik backed away to give it room to open. The Batarian’s jaw dropped as he saw the white-armoured giant that stood at the doorway, a hammer and blade in hand.

“I am the lightning of His wrath!” he roared. “I am the thunder of His hate!”

The giant stormed free of the shuttle before the Batarian could react, a single blow from his elbow enough to smash the xenos’ helmet and shatter its skull. Behind him, Samara, Kullas and Ashley emerged, fire blazing from their weapons as they gunned down the small hangar crew.

“Kullas,” Malleus said, gesturing to a computer console embedded in the side of the large room’s fleshy walls. “Hack into that, get me a schematic, and set off dummy alarms and shut down communications. Spread as much confusion as possible.”

“Understood,” the Forge Priest replied, moving to the panel. He pressed his palm into the holographic interface, before he announced; “I am done and shall share the schematics now. The bridge appears to be only a few decks above us, in the fore, while the main generator is located in the centre and is…interesting.”

“Interesting how?” Malleus asked.

“It appears to be an organic heart,” Kullas replied. “All of the technological components of this ship seem to be Batarian made, and are powered by separate Helium-3 fusion generators. If we wish to disable the ship, destroying the heart would be possible. Otherwise, we can commandeer the bridge, and from there I can take control of critical systems.”

“Then we make for the bridge,” Malleus said. “Let’s move.”

Alarms were already wailing in the corridors as they stepped outside, an announcement in Batarian that, according to the translator Malleus wore, was warning of intruders.

“Forge Priest, where did you divert their forces to?” Malleus asked as he turned a corner, both weapons raised for any enemies. The only thing he could compare the innards of the ship to was like that of a Tyranid bioship, corridors winding, vein like structures while thick, muscular valves served as bulkheads. The only differences were the light fixtures sutured to the ceiling and the computer panels that occasionally set into the side.

“I sent alerts of several light fighter craft and shuttles attacking the aft en-masse,” Kullas replied, stepping up to a bulkhead console and ordering the fleshy portal open. “I also overloaded several point defence turrets to help complement the illusion. By the time their stevedores have reached the location we should have control of the bridge, and from there I can simply disable life support and realign the IFF capabilities of the automated defences to wipe them out.”

“What of the defences now,” Malleus asked.

“Set to recognise us as non-hostile,” Kullas said. “It was the closest I could come to disabling them entirely; that would raise too much suspicion.”

“As if the fact that they’ve supposedly got a whole load of fighters strafing them from nowhere wouldn’t,” Ashley remarked as she checked behind them for any hostiles, Mattock into the shoulder and fingers on the triggers of the rifle and its grenade launcher.

Malleus rounded a corner, his two weapons at the ready, before a throaty voice, one that could only be Batarian, called; “Enemy!”

At the end of the corridor a small squad of Batarians ducked to cover, no doubt on their way to deal with the supposed attack. Rifle fire zipped towards him while one Batarian shouted; “It’s him! It’s Scandarum! Bug out, call for reinforcements!”

“You shall not escape me so easily,” Malleus muttered as the squad scattered, fleeing down separate corridors. “Kullas, Williams, follow the ones that went to the left. Samara, you’re with me.”

The Forge-Priest and Spectre nodded, heading off after the errant xenos, while the Justicar followed in Malleus’ wake, along more of the organic corridors. The fleeing figures of the Batarians weren’t far behind, Malleus’ superhuman musculature and Samara’s biotically enhanced speed allowing them to catch up with ease, and they saw them split once more.

“Take the ones on the left,” Malleus said to the Justicar. “I shall deal with the others.”

He thundered through the bulkhead they had fled through, and this time they did not escape him. There were three of them, and his hammer and blade flashed up. They did not stand a chance.

He glanced back towards the bulkhead, where Samara was beyond, and it was then that he was lucky. For if he had not, instead of slicing along the side of his neck, the onyx claw would have punched straight through the front of his windpipe.

He reeled back, and gasped in pain as invisible daggers of red hot agony exploded into his stomach, through the vulnerable gap between his power armour’s stomach and chestplate. He felt something stab into one of his hearts and pulled himself back, wrenching himself off whatever invisible force it was that attacked him so viciously, and scanned for threats.

The room was empty. Even as he flicked through various light spectra, the auguries of his helmet could find nothing. What manner of creature was this?

He brought his weapons into a guarding stance, listening for the faintest sound of this mysterious enemy. There; a faint hum, the whistling of air on blades. Superhuman reactions swung the hammer up to block, and he felt something impact, sparks showering off the haft and for the briefest moment a glimpse of sharp black claws came into view.

Clumsily, trying to ignore the pain searing through his chest with each heartbeat, Malleus stabbed against thin air, an attempt to strike a blow against his invisible opponent. Either he missed or it dodged the blow, but he had an opening. Whatever it was, he couldn’t let it take the upper hand once more. He had been lucky with that first strike, and the slice on his neck throbbed with pain even as his Larraman’s cells began to clot the bleeding, but he would not be so fortunate again.

Hammer and blade spun around him at preternatural speed, a guarding stance that would shred or pulverise anything that tried to go through it. He advanced, weapons whirling around him, forcing whatever this was enemy back or, more likely, around him.

Unfortunately for him, it seemed to take a different path entirely; it went above him.

A weight landed on his shoulders, throwing him off balance and sending his hammer clattering away. Malleus jerked his head to one side as something slammed down, into the neck seals between his helm and shoulders. He screamed as pain exploded through the soft flesh of his shoulder, something punching into a lung before his own blade stabbed upwards and skewered…whatever it was.

There was a shrieking noise, and sparks shimmered around the wound caused by the blessed weapon and its power field. A warped ring of white light appeared around the blade, onyx metal shimmering into view before whatever it was wrenched itself off the weapon.

Malleus took the blade in both hands, panting as he did so. He could feel blood bubbling at the back of his throat when he breathed, a faint spray of it whenever he exhaled or inhaled. Each breath brought fire to his damaged lung, but he was Astartes; he could deal with pain.

“I am His angel,” he muttered hoarsely, blade held in a guarding stance to ward against whatever fiend it was that faced him. “His light in the darkness, bearing it so that I may burn away the shadow.”

He could feel blood spraying lightly against the inner mouthpiece of his helm as he murmured the words.

He heard air whistling to his left and raised his blade to parry, the movement sending his chest blazing with agony. But that was only one claw, and pain screamed in his armpit as an opportunistic strike sliced at the joint and cut into the flesh, jarring against the ceramic enhanced bone of his shoulderplate. That was his other lung, now; only his backup multilung remained, and he knew that one more strike would see him finished.

He pushed with his blade, forcing his enemy back, jaw clenched in a snarl of pain. He stepped forwards, slicing clumsily, fighting to keep standing now, his superhuman frame pushed to the limit. But he could not fall. To fall would be to fail, and failure was unacceptable. He was Astartes, and he was fighting for…he was fighting for…

He was fighting for xenos, heretics and deviants. God Emperor, he was as bad as the rest of this galaxy.

The door to the room suddenly opened, and Samara entered, her lasrifle raised. Her eyes widened as she saw the rents in Malleus’ armour, blood leaking from them, before the Brother-Captain yelled; “Samara, get out of here!”

He was too late. An invisible force slammed into her stomach, a pair of holes punching through her body armour and kinetic barriers before they were wrenched free, the Justicar collapsing to the floor. Blood ran from claw-like shapes that hovered in the air, dripping off it like water off glass, and then suddenly something slammed into Malleus, knocking him to the floor, sending his blade skittering away. Triumphant, the Assassination Engine uncloaked.

Its form was vaguely humanoid, dark onyx lines in the shape of a torso, a skull-shaped head bulging with sensors and lenses that could probably see through just about anything. Great claws occupied each hand, and it raised them now to strike Malleus down. He tried to rise, to push himself against it, but his superhuman frame had been pushed too far. There was darkness on the edge of his vision.

From nowhere a storm of blue slammed into it, throwing it away and a hurricane of biotic force punched and smashed at the creature from every angle, battering at its form with the power of a tornado. It reeled, shrieking in anger at this sudden intervention, and Malleus raised his head to see what the source of it was.

Samara stood.

One hand clutched the wound in her stomach, but the other was raised, azure force screaming from it as she directed all her biotic power into the creature before her. But it composed itself, surging towards her, the powerful antigravity engines that bore it aloft pushing against the biotic storm, before Samara gestured and Malleus’ thunder hammer flew to her hand. She held it only a moment, long enough to thumb that activation rune and to send lightning crackling around the head before she sent it flying forwards with a burst of biotic power.

It slammed into the Assassination Engine with the force of a meteorite, smashing it backwards. It hit the rear wall with the speed of an express train, the weapon’s percussive blast field activating with a wave of force that pulverised it yet further. For all the infernal devices that powered it, there was no way the Engine could stand up to that kind of punishment and it was torn asunder, smashed to pieces by a single blow.

With that, she collapsed.

His head span, his body was burning with pain, and seemingly the foe had been vanquished, but somehow Malleus managed to gather together the willpower to force himself to his feet.

Calmly, ignoring the agony that coursed throughout his system, he picked up his hammer and blade and mag clamped them to his waist. Then, he walked to Samara and gently, he picked her up. It hurt to move, it hurt to carry her, but he did so all the same. He would not leave her behind.

He flicked the vox bead in his ear on through a mental impulse through his black carapace and said; “Kullas, we have wounded. We need to leave now. Abandon this operation.”

“Brother Captain, Williams and I are doing well,” Kullas said. “We may be able to-”

“Forge Priest, did you not hear me?” Malleus asked, his voice ragged with pain. He began to walk, focusing on putting one foot in front of the other as he talked. “I said I have wounded. We must leave and seek medical assistance.”

“Is the Justicar injured?” Kullas asked.

“Not just her, my friend,” Malleus replied. “Make your way to the hangar bay. I will meet you there, and then we need to evacuate to a medical facility as soon as possible. Malleus out.”

“Omnissah watch over you, Malleus,” came the Forge Priest’s reply.

He headed down the corridors at the closest he could come to a run in his state, ignoring the protests of his ruptured heart and pierced lungs. There was a red mist at the edge of his vision, but he pushed it out of his mind, focussing in keeping Samara’s unconscious form secure in his arms, a bridal lift where her head lolled uselessly backwards. He let it stay that way, knowing it would keep her airways more open, and instead focussed on putting one step in front of another. For some reason, it reminded him of those first gruelling endurance runs he had done as a Neophyte in the tunnels of Polyphemus, simply thinking of the miles ahead and pushing the exhaustion to one side, the cramp in his muscles and the burning fatigue becoming irrelevant in the face of the task at hand.

“I am the lightning of His wrath,” he murmured in hoarse Gothic. “I am the thunder of His hate. I am the lightning of His wrath. I am the thunder of His hate.”

Over and over the warcry went, a gasped litany that focussed his mind against the hammering ache that coursed through his ravaged form, stepping ahead. Somehow, he recalled the route they took, and the door to the shuttle bay opened before him. He went up the open ramp, moving at a near shuffle, still repeating the chant, before carefully he placed Samara into one of the seats, gently placing the harness over it. She was safe, thank the Emperor; all was not lost.

He chuckled darkly as he remembered the last time he had made that statement.

The door opened a few moment later as Malleus was preparing to move into the harness, bracing himself for the pain that would come with the movement, and Kullas and Ashley hurried in.

“God,” Ashley murmured as she saw the state he was in. She hurried up to him, helping him into the harness. “Kullas, get the engines running and get us out of here.”

“I am already doing so,” Kullas said from the cockpit, mentally interfacing with the controls of the vessel. “I shall beseech the machine spirit for as much speed as it can muster.”

“Good,” Ashley said as she looked up at Malleus’ helm. Underneath that, his expression was unreadable, the grille over his mouth fixed in that permanent scowl of wrath. “Come on you two, stick with us.”

The last thing Malleus heard before his sus-an membrane forced him into unconsciousness was Ashley Williams praying for them.
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Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Gaius Marius » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:27 pm

I think we can safely say that that trap failed. And that when he wakes up Malleus will be extremely pissed off.
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Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:05 pm

Gaius Marius wrote:I think we can safely say that that trap failed. And that when he wakes up Malleus will be extremely pissed off.

True, but only because the Engine underestimated a certain Justicar. And yes, Malleus will be even more pissed than he was already... :P
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Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Sat Oct 08, 2011 6:14 pm

Chapter 44-Awakening

“He’s coming round!”

An unfamiliar voice, surprise on its tone.

“Already? Damn, he’s only been out, what, twelve hours?”

Another stranger, equally confused.

“I did tell you that he was a remarkably hardy individual,” came a third voice. This one he recognised, well bred and highly intelligent. “They all are.”

Malleus Scandarum’s eyes gently flickered open to look at a white painted ceiling. The light in the room should have been dazzling, but his pupils snapped to a correct dilation in milliseconds and he shifted his head gently.

“Good afternoon, Captain,” Doctor Chakwas said.

Malleus raised his head, grimacing in pain as the wound in his neck flared, before he let it drop again.

“Good afternoon, Doctor,” Malleus replied, staring up at the ceiling instead. “I am very glad to see you right now.”

“Believe me, I’m just as glad that you’re awake,” Chakwas said. “You had me worried when Kullas carried you aboard.”

“Aboard?” Malleus asked. “Where am I?”

“The medical bay of the Normandy,” Chakwas said. “We’re docked in the Presidium Ring, and Kullas thought that we would have the best facilities to treat you.”

“Doctor Chakwas, is there anything we can do?” one of the young men in the room said, wearing slightly bloodstained medical fatigues.

“No, I’m sure I’ll be able to manage on my own,” Chakwas replied. “Go and make yourselves useful elsewhere; God only knows, they’ll need more hands over by the triage station. And be sure to take that medigel and the other supplies by the airlock with you.”

“Alright,” one of them said. “Call us if you need us.”

Malleus nodded weakly, before hauling himself into a sitting position with a grunt. His stomach flared with pain at the sudden movement, as did his armpit, and he panted slightly weakly as he sat up. It was only then that he realised he was without any clothing whatsoever.

“Where is my armour?” he asked.

“Kullas took it off, and he’s repairing it now,” Chakwas said.

“Good,” Malleus said, before something occurred to him. “What of Samara, is she alright?”

“She was up about an hour ago,” Chakwas answered. “Luckily that thing didn’t hit any vital organs, and while she did lose a lot of blood I managed to clone replacement cells, though she needed a great deal of stitches and medigel. She’s certainly not in a state to fight Reapers just yet, but she should be fine.”

“Thank the Emperor for that,” Malleus murmured. Absent-mindedly, he traced the scar on his neck, off-white tissue already webbing over it, medigel working in combination with the scientific miracle that was his physiology to form a thick, hard scab.

“Should I let the others know?” Chakwas asked. “Or do you still need to rest?”

“I will be fine,” Malleus said. He slid his legs off the bed, and the Normandy’s doctor stopped him with a raised hand.

“Not yet, Malleus,” she said. “Doctor’s orders; you’re staying in bed until I approve you fit for discharge.”

“I am the ship’s captain,” Malleus replied with a gentle smile.

“And I’m the ship’s doctor,” Chakwas said. “Now stay put. I’ll let Kullas know you’re awake.”

She left, Malleus sitting alone in the medical bay’s bed. Only a moment later, Kullas entered.

“Brother-Captain!” the usual grate of his voice raised in the closest approximation he could have for mirth. “You are awake!”

Malleus nodded.

“That I am, brother,” he replied. “Thanks to your efforts.”

“It was nothing,” Kullas said, bowing his head. “It is Samara you owe your thanks to, according to her account.”

Malleus nodded.

“Aye,” he said. “If it weren’t for her, then…”

He trailed off. The prospect of what she had just done for him was humbling.

The door slid open, and Samara and Ashley smiled at him from the doorway. Samara was out of her usual attire of her Justicar armour, instead dressed in simple fatigues, and there a bandage wrapped about her midriff, while Ashley was still in her body armour. Samara was walking with the aid of the Spectre, but she stepped forwards without her help and wrapped her arms around Malleus’ shoulders in an embrace, kissing him on each cheek. Malleus placed a hand slightly awkwardly around her back, taken aback by this sudden display of affection.

“Thank the Goddess you’re alright,” she said, relief evident on her voice.

She stepped back, smiling, before she realised that the only thing that protected the Brother-Captain’s decency was a thin white sheet and she blushed, cheeks turning a light purple in embarrassment.

“Thanks to your efforts,” Malleus replied. “I owe you my life, Samara. Thank you.”

“You were quick enough to repay the favour,” she replied. Fluttering in and out of unconsciousness, she could only remember bits of their desperate return journey through the Leviathan’s bowels. A murmured prayer or mantra in Malleus’ guttural tongue, no doubt beseeching the Emperor for aid, resting against scratched ceramite. The feeling of safety, that despite her wounds she could trust Malleus to see them out of there alive. If it weren’t for the fact that the two of them were gravely injured and Malleus seemed on the brink of dying, it would have almost been romantic. “I was in good hands.”

“The best,” Ashley said. “I knew you would pull through; you were sent here for a reason and it’ll take more than some Reapers to stop you.”

“Indeed,” Malleus said. “The Emperor still has plans for me in this galaxy, it seems.”

“Emperor? I meant, y’know, God,” Ashley replied

She got a slightly confused look from Malleus, and he asked; “Which one?”

“You know, God. The God,” Ashley said. There was the slightly uncomfortable silence of two people not understanding each other, before she said; “Anyway, it’s good to have you back, Captain.”

Malleus nodded, and smiled.

“It’s good to be back,” he replied. “Though being back a little more intact would be quite nice.”

He smiled slightly at this, and shrugged.

“I suppose I should just be thankful I am alive,” he said. “Kullas, I have been meaning to ask; how fares my armour?”

“That abomination only went for the joints of your armour,” Kullas replied. “Most likely it feared it would be unable to cut its way past the ceramite.”.

“Whatever the reasons, it probably saved me,” Malleus replied, “I will have to give my thanks to the Omnissah and the Emperor in gratitude for the skill of His artisans.”

The Brother Captain smiled slightly.

“Well,” he said. “I’ll be back after a few more hours. Then I suppose I shall have to get down to the business of saving the galaxy once more.”

#

As Tali awoke, the first thing she noticed was that her head hurt, her tongue was sticking to the roof of her mouth and her sinuses felt like they were going to explode. The second thing she noticed was that she wasn’t wearing her environment suit.

She pulled herself off the command throne in panic, swaying slightly as stars exploded behind her eyes before she coughed, viciously hacking up a gobbet of…something.

“Oh keelah,” she muttered, stumbling towards the synth-skin of her suit. She grabbed it clumsily, desperately attempting to ignore the pounding at the back of her skull and trying not to throw up. “Keelah, keelah, keelah.”

She pulled the hood of her suit up over the back of her head, the rubbery material clinging tight, before she walked unsteadily over to where her mask was lying and fixed it on with a hiss of compressing air. Immediately, she ordered a dose of antibiotics and antivirals from her suit, groaning slightly. It felt hot and cramped in her suit, and her skin prickled, feeling sweaty and grimy, and it didn’t help that there was an ache between her thighs.

Slowly, memories of the previous night began to filter back; the bottle of fifteen hundred year old Askriit wine, the invitation up to the cockpit.

She slid down the side of one of Yamzarat Machtoro’s consoles, groaning and cradling her face in her hands, before she coughed viciously once more. The hacking fit subsided, and she cursed quietly. This could not be happening.

“Oh Christ, my head,” someone groaned from behind her. “Why am I…where are my clothes?”

There was the silence of awful realisation, and then Andrew mumbled; “Oh, shit.”

“I know,” Tali said over from the other side bridge.

“Christ, my head,” Andrew moaned again.

“How do you think I’m feeling right now?” Tali asked. She sneezed.

“You’re in your suit, though,” Andrew said. “So you can’t have…”

“I woke up naked,” Tali said flatly.

Andrew’s own recall of the night before began to come through, and he leant forward to massage his temples.

“God dammit, that was stupid of us,” he said. “Christ, are you alright?”

“I don’t think so,” Tali replied. “There’s something in my throat, my stomach hurts, my head aches and sinuses are…something’s happening to them. And I think I’m coming down with a fever.”

Andrew put his head in his hands.

“Jesus,” he muttered. “Are you gonna be okay?”

“I’m still alive,” Tali said bitterly.

“God,” Andrew said. “I am so, so sorry.”

He trailed off into a few muttered curses, and Tali shook her head. This was not what she had expected, not at all. She liked Andrew, but not like that. If it hadn’t been for that damn bottle of wine…

The container was lying only a few feet away from her on its side, a tiny pool of crimson-purple liquid lying at the bottom, and she shot it a vicious glare.

“Good morning, Little Quarian and Andrew,” Yamzarat Machtoro’s voice rumbled cheerfully onto the bridge.

“It is not good,” Andrew growled, getting up to grab his clothes. “Tali’s sick, she’s probably gonna die and it’s your damn fault for that wine!”

He sopped there; shouting hurt his head.

Yamzarat Machtoro made a rumbling noise, possibly his equivalent of a confused grunt.

“It is traditional,” he said. “That the Lady and Lord Machtoro and Mechanist are married.”

“What? We’re not going to do anything like that,” Tali said. “I like Andrew, but not in that way.”

“You both seemed to like each other,” Yamzarat Machtoro said, slight bafflement on his voice. “I thought that you would be compatible.”

“You were…you were matchmaking us?” Andrew exclaimed. “You’re a two hundred foot tall death machine and you were matchmaking us?!”

“Keelah se’lai, you stupid machine!” Tali snapped. “You know about the suit, you know how dangerous it is and yet you got me drunk and…urgh, I’m so angry I could scream!”

She broke off in a fit of coughing, ending in a vicious hacking noise.

“Wait a minute,” Andy said, with a look of horrified enlightenment on his face. “You’ve got feeds of the bridge, haven’t you? You spent the entire time watching us…”

“I am not squeamish,” Yamzarat Machtoro said. “Besides, you aren’t the first Lord and Lady to make love in my command throne.”

Both Tali and Andrew stared at it in horror.

“Some preferred to utilise the zero gravity,” the God Machine added, before Andrew interrupted with; “Stop talking. Please, please, stop talking. You’ve already made things weird and now you’re making them weirder. I’m hungover and Tali’s probably going to die and I do not need you making things worse by saying creepy stuff!”

He shook his head.

“Jesus, what are we going to do?”

“I’ll get dosed up,” Tali said, her voice slightly hoarse. “I’ve already done it. I’ll probably come down with…something or another, but I think I’ll be alright.”

“We are never going to live this down,” Andrew moaned. “Everyone is going to be talking about this.”

“Why would they?” Yamzarat Machtoro asked. “Surely it is traditional?”

“It’s fraternisation!” Andrew yelled, the noise causing Tali to wince. “Nobody knows about your stupid traditions and everyone is going to talk!”

“Not necessarily,” Yamzarat Machtoro said.

“We both went up to the cockpit together, had it locked and didn’t come down all night,” Andrew said. “What on Earth else are the rest of the crew going to think?”

“You stupid bosh’tet,” Tali muttered.

There was a silence, before Yamzarat Machtoro said; “I am sorry, Lady Machtoro.”

Tali pulled herself to her feet, the sudden movement leaving her light headed. She sighed.

“At least tell me you heard something from Kullas,” she said.

“Yes,” Yamzarat Machtoro replied. Tali got the feeling that, if were currently able to do so without demolishing the hangar, he would be shuffling his feet. “He sent a schematic for you.”

Tali looked over the blueprint before her, and despite herself, she smiled quietly. She had expected something good, but this? She knew it would be good, but from the title alone she realised it would be absolutely perfect. For at the top of the text, the text immediately gave her an idea of what it might just be, and how dangerous the weapon they had been given was.

Lokarim-Zorah Pattern Lance Cannon.
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Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Gaius Marius » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:11 pm

That was probably the closest an Astartes and Xenos can get to sex without a genestealer involved. :lol:

Also, I'm guessing you played the Tali romance. :geek:
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Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:49 pm

Mental images, argharghargh!

And Tali romance was on one playthrough. Then I thought 'how hilariously awkward can I make this?' The rest, as they say, is history... :P

All things considered, I've really been quite mean to Tali all through this book, I realise. ;)
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Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:37 pm

Author’s note: After doing a little bit of thinking, I’m beginning to worry.

Having thought over Malleus’ character lately, I’m becoming increasingly concerned that he may be becoming a Mary Sue (well, Gary Stu, but the point still stands). There is no doubt in my mind that having a Mary Sue as the main character is quite definitely a bad thing, and having received the rather alarming score of 47 on a Mary Sue litmus test I’m beginning to think that I might be doing something wrong. I’m somewhat unsure on how to proceed at this moment in time, but seeing as you folks are a wise bunch I seek your advice; really, truly, honestly, am I alright or am I doing something wrong, because if I am I’d like to know, however harsh it may sound from you.

Alright, don’t insult me or my mother or anything, but you get the idea. Thank you, all. (Though I won’t be able to reply for a couple of days as I’ll be away and will probably be without internet access. On the other hand, I’m in the place where Hammerhand well and truly got off the ground; revisiting the muse! Huzzah!)

Chapter 45-Inward Push

“So, Cyralius, exactly what happened to you back there?” Titus asked as he stepped off the Thunderhawk’s assault ramp and onto the massive airstrip of the Espace Portuaire de Calais.

“I’m not entirely sure,” the Epistolary replied as they headed along the wide strip of concrete. “Unless I’m very mistaken, what I’m manifesting right now are biotics of some kind.”

Overhead, more Alliance planes were touching down as they walked, from the sorties and raids that had run all night. Cyralius saw one of the Alliance’s UAV aircraft touching down, idly reading off the serial number stencilled on its side, and he recognised it as one of the ones Miranda had controlled. Right now, he suspected, she had probably handed the controls over to a subordinate and gone to the Alliance surgery to get her eye replaced; she had had to pull a few strings to get the operation delayed as it was.

Titus shook his head.

“Biotics,” he said. “That’s probably the last thing I expected to hear.”

“As far as I can tell, that’s what they are,” Cyralius replied.

“Well then, how did you get them?” Titus asked.

“I’m not entirely certain,” the Epistolary replied. “But unless I’m very much mistaken I believe it was on Ilium, when Malleus and I were recruiting Samara. I swallowed a canister filled with a biotic enhancement drug designed for humans, and seeing as I’m not quite human the effects that it manifested were, quite clearly, rather more dramatic than mere enhancement.”

“I suppose they never had a psyker to test it on,” Titus remarked. “Though they took a long time to appear; that kind of power could have been useful on the Collector base.”

Cyralius shrugged.

“What can I say?” he replied. “The Warp is a mystery even to me.”

Titus nodded.

“Suvat said to me that he was calling a briefing in a few hours, before we left,” Titus said. “He’s planning a large scale push on the inland towns and he wants our help to plan it.”

“Oh yes, he hopes to capture Paris, does he not?” Cyralius said, to which Titus nodded.

“That’s what he’s working towards, aye,” he replied. “With the Geth’s successes in Beijing, I think he’s hoping to draw their forces to us and try and spread them out.”

Cyralius nodded, the unspoken dissatisfaction at what was happening at the moment hanging silent in the air. If Malleus had been here, he would not have been so passive as the Turian general; he would have most likely taken the fight to the foe, hoping to crush them between the hammer of the Council forces and the anvil of the Geth and Yamzarat Machtoro. The casualties would be far greater than in Suvat’s plan, but overall their victory would be achieved all the swifter for it.

But now Titus was beginning to doubt the effectiveness of victory on the ground. Before, he knew the purpose was to equip their fleet with Reaper weaponry and then to achieve victory with an overwhelming number of combatants who were on an equal force-multiplication level as the Reapers. Now, however, the fleet was shattered and thrown into disarray by the enemy’s sleeper agents, and there seemed no hope of victory. The only reason Titus fought now was because to not fight was unimaginable.

“I see,” Cyralius said. “I will need to meditate a while, carry out some maintenance on my armour and weapons, but I will be there.”

Titus nodded.

“Very well then, brother,” he said. “I’ll need to do much the same. I’ll see you there.”

#

The bionic felt strange, and Miranda was having a hard time trying not to touch it. The artificial eye didn’t seem to sit right, sutured in place by a seam of flesh and a metal plate bolted to her skull. Part of her head had been shaved, and her long dark hair only fell over one side of her head, the other side taken up by shining steel and scar tissue. The artificial eye’s blue lenses glared out at the world, adding an azure tint to one half of her vision, and it was beginning to give her a headache. She was still trying to work out how to control it with the neural interface unit that was built into it, and whenever she wasn’t paying attention a heads-up display flicked into existence over her sight.

As the Mako she was riding in jolted along, the Lady Castellan and commander of the Kasrkin reflected on the fact that she was once again going into combat after only a few days since having her eye ripped from its socket. Part of her could not help but feel that it was an extremely foolish thing to do, but at the same time Malleus had given her a duty and she felt that it was only right that she repaid him after all he had done for her. Beside, the medical abilities of the Alliance were more than up to the task of seeing her fixed; especially now with the augmetics that were in common supply thanks to the designs given by Kullas. She had to hand it to him; the Forge Priest was eccentric, but between those and the lasrifles that were now in production he had proved his worth many times over.

The Kasrkin were part of the armoured spearhead that were forming the vanguard of nearly three hundred Sommes that were pushing towards Lille. The great wave of steel and ordnance had nearly every remaining tank in the Alliance committed, supported by their elite special forces as well as a group of Asari Commandoes and Salarian Special Task Group operatives under the command of a Captain Kirrahe. The Salarians and Asari had slipped ahead of the Alliance advance, preparing demolitions, and now, as they rumbled across the French countryside, Miranda knew she had no choice but to put her faith in their skills.

“This is Armour Group Ursus. We have eyes on enemy, coordinates four three one two two three,” a message from one of the Sommes came across the Alliance comm. network. “Entrenched in a village of some kind. Engaging.”

The command HUD indicated that the northern line of their advance had become snarled up by a small settlement, and Miranda knew that if the assault stalled there then they would lose a serious advantage.

“This is Lady Castellan Lawson to Kasrkin drivers for units Alpha through to Delta,” she said. “Get us to grid ref four three one two two three, asap. Frank, I want Atlases Three and Four with us to provide fire support.”

“Understood, Lady Castellan,” the commander of the Kasrkin’s Atlas division replied. “Moving to your coordinates.”

“Understood,” Miranda said as the Mako she was in jolted as it turned. She gripped her Avenger tight, her other hand holding onto the crossbar above her head as the vehicle rolled over a ditch.

There was a crack from above them as the Mako’s cannon fired, the hyper-accelerated three millimetre shell sent screaming through the weapon’s at eighty percent of the speed of light to hit with the force of more than seven thousand Newtons. She switched one half of her helmet’s display to show the view from the vehicle’s onboard cameras in time to see the side of a house explode as it accelerated forwards, flanked by its fellow IFVs.

Explosions rocked the other flank of the village as the Sommes fired, utterly annihilating building with the force of the shells they fired, before the Atlases arrived and opened fire with a salvo of rockets and machine gun fire. Enemy infantry in the open were cut down as the Makos added their own support weapons to those of the massive walkers, mass-driver rounds raking across enemy ranks.

Miranda climbed into the cupola of the vehicle carrying her and her squad, racking back slide of the grenade launcher mounted there and glancing around the battlefield.

“Delta Mako, adjust your bearing, thirty degrees north,” Miranda said as she squeezed the trigger and sent death sailing through the air towards their target. “You’re too easy a target there.”

“Yes ma’am,” the driver replied, adjusting the vehicle’s angle accordingly as it thundered towards the small village.

The Makos reached the outskirts of the village, fire still raging from their cannons and machine guns, the grenade launcher in Miranda’s hands sending a string of lightning orbs lacing their way across the side of a house, dancing across its metal siding. The shock grenades the launcher was loaded with, designed usually to take out shields and synthetics, had proven themselves remarkably effective against their robotic components in the last few days, and Miranda wasn’t one to turn down a disadvantage like that.

“Kasrkin, disembark and proceed on foot,” she ordered, rifle unfolding into her hand as she slid from the cupola. “Armour Group Ursus, this is Lady Castellan Lawson. We have the Kasrkin in village limits and will hit enemy in the rear. Watch your fire.”

“Understood, Lady Castellan,” the commander of Armour Group Ursus replied. “Appreciate the assist.”

“Not a problem,” Miranda replied. “Lady Castellan Lawson out.”

Fire zipped towards her, and she ducked behind a ruined wall, rifle held against her before she leant out to fire and froze.

Hesitation and doubt gripped her in icy fingers as she was halfway to firing. She seized up as her mind suddenly played out the events of the last time she had done so with horrifying clarity; the fireburst of raw pain, the ringing in her ear that had had its drum ruptured by the impact, the inability to more her head or feel any part of her body, the alerts beeping in the damaged helmet. Bright, burning agony lacing through her skull, spikes of flame tearing into her mind, the desperate fight to stay conscious despite the hot, sticky blood leaking from her ruined cranium. She risked that again by leaning out, that same welter of unimaginable pain and paralysing helplessness, but this time she might not be so lucky, this time she might…

Beneath her helmet, she growled quietly, screwing up her eyes to try and regain some focus. Mentally, she chastised herself for that line of thought, taking a deep breath. She was Miranda Lawson; the Illusive Man’s most trusted agent, given responsibility as Lady Castellan, commander of some of the most elite warriors humanity had by none other than Malleus himself.

She took a breath, then another one, steeled herself, and leant out to open fire.

#

“Reaper machine gun nest ahead!” a soldier called out. “Got us pinned down.”

The bank of rapid firing weapons laid down a fearsome hail of rounds as the Reaper soldiers manning them squeezed the triggers, shots chewing up the walls of the buildings that Alpha Platoon was sheltering in. One of them punched through the metal side, slamming into the barriers of one of the Alliance troopers taking cover and the young man gave a yell of alarm as the round punched him from his feet.

Michael Hunter cursed as he ducked down next to him, grabbing his shoulder.

“You alright?” he called down over the din of combat.

“I’m fine,” the trooper replied as they got to cover. He flicked his omni-tool on. “Took out my shields, that’s all. Recharging them now.”

Michael nodded before flicking on his radio.

“This is Commissar Michael Hunter to command,” he spoke into it. “Command, do you copy?”

“This is command, we copy,” came the reply. “What do you need?”

“I need immediate support on a machine gun nest that has our platoon pinned down,” Michael replied over the roar of weapons firing. There was a crackling noise as a shock grenade detonated in midair, picked out mid-throw by an uncannily accurate round and detonating in a ball of lightning. “Send whatever you have nearest.”

“Understood, Commissar Hunter, help is on its way,” came the reply. “Command out.”

“Commissar Hunter out,” Michael replied, before he looked up eye to eye with a giant.

The platoon froze, fire slacking off as awed soldiers looked at the blue-armoured goliath that had simply appeared in their midst, before Cyralius Lockheim said; “I heard you needed some help.”

Michael nodded mutely, before he managed to say; “That enemy machine gun nest over there, sir.”

“I see it,” Cyralius said. “I’ll deal with it shortly.”

He stepped forward into midair and vanished. For a moment, Michael could smell brimstone and there was the sound of quiet cackling just on the edge of hearing.

Cyralius appeared in the midst of the enemy emplacement a moment later, before a wave of crackling lightning rippled around him, searing through the enemy soldiers. One of them managed to duck behind cover, hefting an anti-tank beam launcher into its shoulder before Cyralius plucked it into the air and swept it away with a blast of biotic force.

“Commissar,” he called. “We’re pushing forward. I’ll need the aid of you and your men.”

And so Michael followed in the footsteps of a god.

Cyralius was an unstoppable force, a whirlwind of psychobiotic power that was awe inspiring to behold. Electricity arced from his finger tips, balls of flame were summoned into being by the sheer force of his will to crash down upon the foe. Hungry singularities ripped open in the air to swallow enemy soldiers and crush them entirely before they exploded in waves of jagged psy-frost, flechettes of Warp-impelled ice whickering through the air to slice through shields and armour alike.

He stormed through enemy emplacements under the covering fire of Michael’s platoon, while more soldiers formed up behind them to push forward with the psychiobiotic hurricane at their fore. A brigade of Sommes joined the advance, their cannons and machine guns adding a fearsome array of firepower to Cyralius’ own might, and their advance seemed unstoppable. More enemy forces were diverted to their position only to be cut down by Cyralius’ psychic might, and it seemed that soon enough the Alliance would cut through Lille and take it for their own. So caught up in the thrilling promise of an easy victory, nobody noticed the Epistolary quietly grimacing in pain whenever he used his powers.

Above them, the sky began to darken. Crimson lightning began to crackle across the clouds, thunder rumbling, and soldiers began to stall in their advance as they looked upwards. Cyralius hesitated for a moment, frowning as he watched the skies, staff held ready, and it did not take the intuition of a psyker to tell him that whatever this new devilry was, it was not good.

And from the clouds, fingers broke, massive onyx things followed by the hulls of the Reapers themselves. One, two, five, a dozen, a small fleet of the vessels hovering in the sky.

“Emperor preserve us,” Cyralius murmured, before they pointed upon the Alliance forces like gods casting judgement.

Red fire lanced from them, and people began to die.
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Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Gaius Marius » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:41 pm

Colonel Mustard wrote:Author’s note: After doing a little bit of thinking, I’m beginning to worry.

Having thought over Malleus’ character lately, I’m becoming increasingly concerned that he may be becoming a Mary Sue (well, Gary Stu, but the point still stands). There is no doubt in my mind that having a Mary Sue as the main character is quite definitely a bad thing, and having received the rather alarming score of 47 on a Mary Sue litmus test I’m beginning to think that I might be doing something wrong. I’m somewhat unsure on how to proceed at this moment in time, but seeing as you folks are a wise bunch I seek your advice; really, truly, honestly, am I alright or am I doing something wrong, because if I am I’d like to know, however harsh it may sound from you.

Alright, don’t insult me or my mother or anything, but you get the idea. Thank you, all. (Though I won’t be able to reply for a couple of days as I’ll be away and will probably be without internet access. On the other hand, I’m in the place where Hammerhand well and truly got off the ground; revisiting the muse! Huzzah!)



Best way to prevent a character from being a Stu is to have them fail and have others acknowledge their failure. Mar the sheen of perfection.
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Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Colonel Mustard » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:47 pm

Gaius Marius wrote:
Colonel Mustard wrote:Author’s note: After doing a little bit of thinking, I’m beginning to worry.

Having thought over Malleus’ character lately, I’m becoming increasingly concerned that he may be becoming a Mary Sue (well, Gary Stu, but the point still stands). There is no doubt in my mind that having a Mary Sue as the main character is quite definitely a bad thing, and having received the rather alarming score of 47 on a Mary Sue litmus test I’m beginning to think that I might be doing something wrong. I’m somewhat unsure on how to proceed at this moment in time, but seeing as you folks are a wise bunch I seek your advice; really, truly, honestly, am I alright or am I doing something wrong, because if I am I’d like to know, however harsh it may sound from you.

Alright, don’t insult me or my mother or anything, but you get the idea. Thank you, all. (Though I won’t be able to reply for a couple of days as I’ll be away and will probably be without internet access. On the other hand, I’m in the place where Hammerhand well and truly got off the ground; revisiting the muse! Huzzah!)



Best way to prevent a character from being a Stu is to have them fail and have others acknowledge their failure. Mar the sheen of perfection.

And I suppose his last plan did nearly get both him and Samara killed, so there we go. Now just bit of a well-deserved pointing out and potential problem solved.

Thanks Gaius! :)
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Re: Angels of the Storm [Mass Effect/40K]

Postby Gaius Marius » Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:54 pm

Also, the laughter that happens when Cy warp walks does not sound good at all.
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