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Grand Master Belial

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The fallen angel winced at the blow, but his enhanced physiology allowed him to suppress the pain. Sepetria walked around the table, standing in near the fallen angel's head. The fallen angel looked up towards the arbiter, green accusing eyes on a the face of death stared back down.

"Do you really think you will beat me to repentance, bastard of the lion?"

Sepetria turned away silently, and walked towards a table laid out with many tools. He chose a small blade, and whispered to himself,

"May His iron provide the way."

With a flick of a button, the blade hummed into life, and a green glow danced across the cutting edge.

"What is your name fallen angel?"

The fallen laughed and said nothing. Sepetria inserted his blade into the fallen angel's right elbow, skin seared but vessels were not cauterized, until he reached the joint

"When I address you will respond!" Sepetria yelled, and with surgical precision he thrust blade into the elbow and separating the fallen angel's radius and ulna from his humorous, and with a flick of his wrist drew the blade out, cutting threw skin and muscle while separating the radius and the ulna as well. The fallen angel screamed as his arm was torn from one into three pieces. He walked over to his other arm,


Arm

 

"Now, once again, what is your name fallen angel?"

He hesitated, but once he saw the blade approaching his left elbow, he replied

"I am Sergeant Imalio, what do I have the dishonor of calling you?" he chuckled. Sepetria was not amused, and stabbed the blade through Imalio's hand, lodging it into the table.

"You will only address me as Arbiter."

Sepetria walked back to the table, making sure to leave the blade on, as to cause a constant burn in Imalio's hand. He reached for the plyer like object. At the center of the pinching point of the plyers was a thick needle like point, so that anything it grabbed, was also pierced.

"Imalio, you lay on the table accused of betraying the Lion, Caliban and the Emperor. You lay there a traitor and a coconspirator to the Arch traitor, Luther. For many years you hid and fled the scales of justice," Sepetria turned to face Imalio and began to walk towards his feet.

"You have conspired against the Imperium, and the Mechanicum. What say you?"

"What say I? I say you are more insane than they make the interrogators out to be!" Imalio yelled. "I served the Lion and the Emperor faithfully until they turned their back on us!"

"Confess your guilt of these sins traitor," Sepetria gripped the pinky toe of the astartes between the jaws of the plyers, blood began to seep from the needle. A loud crack, the breaking of bones, and with a furious twist, a chunk of flesh, powdered bone, and blood was what became of the pinky. Sepetria crawled on to the table, on all fours over Imalio, his death mask mere inches from Imalio's face. "Now you see," Sepetria hissed, "Judgement is upon you, and it tires not!"

 

For hours upon hours, days on days, screams of pain and accusations were heard through the halls of the dungeon until Sepetria finally emerged from the dungeon. His armor was drenched in blood, he smelled of sweat and gore. However, he did not look of victory.

"Dead already, Sepetria?" asked the bronzed armored Arbiter.

"Just about master, but I shall not fail the primarch once again. I will leave him to the servitors for now, his body must heal before I can inflict any more suffering upon him."

"Wise decision Sepetria," the master said intrigued, "wise indeed. Next time an oracle will accompany you, he will remain outside and give you aid. I think you will appreciate this new tool at your disposal."

And so the Sepetria and his master walked away from the dungeon incomplete silence…

 

 

 

 

Part 2 of Arbiters Sepetria's quest to get his Index of Judgement! Hope you guys like it, should I make the torture more detailed? Or was the brief descriptions I gave good enough?  Also, in the Legion of the Iron Lion, an Oracle is a librarian equivalent.  All suggestions welcome. I added the image about the structure of the arm in case I didn't explain myself very well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Even though I've been AWOL from my home here with my Clerics, things are still stirring. I'll have to sit one day and really hash out some stuff. Since the outline is more-or-less completed, it's about time to do some auto-writing. That'll fill in the blank spots pretty quickly. Well, that or the story will deviate into uncharted waters where "Here be Dragons" and all that http://image.bolterandchainsword.com//public/style_emoticons/default/happy.png.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I, Carrack, Scribe of the Unforgiven, in the name of the Lion, make this oath of moment to submit a completed story about Brother Laviel, of the 3rd Company of the feared Dark Angels.

 

 

Note: sorry about the length, I got a little carried away with my first DA story. I broke it down into three more manageable portions.

 

 

The Doom of Magurn

 

In these dark days tragedy knocks on every door and calls out to the young and old, the rich and poor alike. Prophesies of doom are as common as flies over a decaying corpse. Most should be ignored as the ravings of madmen, but some have a kernel of truth that must be heeded at all cost. What befell the snow covered city of Magurn, on the backwater world of Odeanta, may seem insignificant given the scale of the wars fought for the very survival of mankind today, but perhaps they hold greater significance than one would imagine. Certainly their are no known records of what ended all life in that frozen city, and rendered the ground it was founded on uninhabitable.

 

Part 1

The Burning Snow

 

 

 

The city was doomed. If the Arch-Enemy didn't destroy it as they tore themselves apart, the fires surly would. The city, Magurn, had been set ablaze within minutes of the Dark Angels entering the Odeanta system. One faction of the warring heritics had crashed its ship into the city, setting the buildings and timber yards alight. Mutant hordes had poured out of the wreckage of the ship in an orgy of bloodshed and began massacring the populace. Inexplicably, a separate faction of heretics, traitor marines wearing the colors of the Black Legion, had assaulted the city from orbit minutes later, not concerned with the human subjects of Magurn, but instead butchered their way trough the mutant hordes from the crashed ship in a frantic search for something or someone. The city, a port on the northern polar continent, was stocked full of timber from the surrounding forest, awaiting a thaw in the harbor's ice to be shipped to the cities of the south. The lumber provided ample fuel for the fire to burn, but the flood of melting snow slowed the spread of the flames. In any event, if the enemy failed to destroy the city, and the fires burnt out, Brother Laviel and the rest of 3rd Company would raze the city instead. The taint of Chaos must not spread any further, or so Brother Laviel had been told.

 

The simple truths of war were always twisted and frayed when battling the Arch-Ememy. Even the most basic of information was obscured by the lies of the heretic. Brother Laviel didn't know for certain, and would never dare to ask, but had assumed his company had deployed to bring the Emperor's Wrath to the disgusting greenskins. The training rites, the frequent intonation of the hymnal, "One Stands Righteous Against Many", and his squad's armament of heavy bolter and flamer, all were indications of upcoming conflict with Orks, not the Arch-Enemy. It wasn't the first time Brother Laviel had been enroute to do battle with some other menace threatening the Imperium, only to be diverted to chase down some heretic, or even the mere rumor of a heretic's passing. In the balance for Brother Laviel, it mattered not, he was made to destroy the enemies of man, be they alien or traitor, and he would do so without question, now, and for as long as he drew breath. He slapped a fresh magazine into the receiving well of his boltgun, and rushed along the wharf.

 

Brother Laviel's squad had broken into teams at the junction of the last major pier that jutted out into the frozen harbor. Brother Carnadine had taken up a position that had multiple lanes of fire for his heavy bolter, and the fire team supported his position. They had taken no effort to find cover, instead taking an

open position that would require the mutants to charge them, and expose themselves to heavy fire. A dozen of mutants had just attempted to charge moments ago, but their charge had lost momentum in the face of sustained and accurate fire, and the horde had fallen back, scattering again into the tumultuous city. Brother Laviel was following Brother-Sergeant Fuqua towards the lighthouse tower at the end of the wharf. Their objective for this battle was to take the tower, place Brother Carnadine into a position firing from its battlements, spot targets for Ravenwing strikes, and cut the communications antennas and dishes that sprouted from the roof of the tower like bunches of wire hair and and clusters of barnacles.

 

 

Part 2

The Lighthouse and the Ship

 

 

The door to the ground floor of the lighthouse hung precariously on its top hinge, its thick timbers charred and blasted. The remains of the family that operated the beacon lay dead before the door, ripped to pieces by claws and horns, along with a pair of game wardens who were stripped of their weapons and mutilated. One of the game wardens, a rugged and bearded looking man, was pin cushioned with short fat quarrels from a crossbow. The slaughter was evidence of the cultists ferocity, as well as the poor quality of their arms. Brother Laviel doubted the cultists who were poorly equipped to the point of utilizing such ancient weapons, would deliberately crash their ship, there must be another reason for setting their ship onto a terminal course. Such questions briefly crossed Brother Laviel's mind before being dismissed as irrelevant, as he charged into the lighthouse.

 

The cultists had set a crude ambush inside the ground floor of the lighthouse. They had overturned furniture and stacks of firewood, to make a crude barricade behind which they emplaced a flamer, flanked by mutants holding autoguns stolen from the game wardens, and a few even more poorly armed deviants from the sacred human form. The mutants were counting on the assailants to rush out of the bright burning city, and be momentarily blinded by the dark room. They hadn't counted on the Emperor's Finest, whose eyes and optics automatically adjusted to such extremes without pausing. Brother Laviel hurled a frag over the barricade to bounce around unpredictably in a corner of the room as the rest of the team fired bolt pistols and the team's flamer as they rushed the room. After bursting the rectangular skull of one mutant with a mass reactive bolt, and burning the front half of a feathered freak to charred meat, the mutants responded with a desultory barrage of autogun rounds, a blast of their own flamer, and a pink tentacle ending in a bony hook, which snaked over the barricade and the heads of the Dark Angels to strike the backpack power plant of Brother-Sergeant Fuqua. The wretch with the tentacle planted a leather riding boot into the barricade, and put his whole weight into trying to pull the Astartes into the barricade and his ready cutlass. Brother-Sergeant Fuqua didn't budge. Instead the Dark Angels sergeant took a half step backwards and leaned back on his heels. The mutant was yanked roughly across the barricade, the victim of his own maneuver. Before Brother-Sergeant Fuqua brought his power mace down to smash the mutant into the wood pile, the would be ensnarer, said something to Brother-Sergeant Fuqua. Brother Laviel could not make out what was said, his grenade had detonated at the same time, but his sergeant clearly had, and was overtaken with righteous fury, smashing the mutant repeatedly into pulp, along with the wood beneath him.

 

The frag and the Dark Angels flamer did their work. Brother Laviel and the rest of his team leapt the barricade and laid waste to the shaken mutants. Not one remained standing, and the only damage their team had taken was minor singing of Brother Laviel's armor, and a fused fiber bundle in his left elbow joint, that had negligible effect on performance, from the heretic's flamer. The first level clear, Brother Laviel cooked off another frag for two seconds, then lobbed it up the ladder chute to the next floor, to explode into the room above them. A burst from the team's flamer went up after the grenade to help clear the way for their team's advance. Brother Laviel looked to his sergeant to lead the way up the ladder, but Brother-Sergeant Fuqua was busy communicating on the command vox net, and motioned for Laviel to lead the way. Brother Laviel wondered what the mutant could have said that would cause such rage in his sergeant, and for him to pause mid-mission, to make an unscheduled communication to command, but he led the team up the ladder without pausing. The second floor was clear, so after fragging and flaming the third floor they climbed up to find that floor cleared as well. A spiraled stair led up to the beacon of the lighthouse, which sounds of a stubber firing long bursts, and braying calls of mutants could be heard from below. Brother-Sergeant Fuqua caught up with his team to lead the charge up the stair.

 

The sergeant halted his team just around the last turn of the stair before the top of the lighthouse. He signaled for the flamer to move up and wash the level clean with burning promethium before making the final charge. The flames spread around the corner into the open level, lighting the beacon and the mutants occupying the top of the lighthouse. An exchange of grenades went flying to and from the staircase between the Dark Angels and the surviving mutants. The powered armor of the Emperor's finest was proof against the makeshift pipe bombs of the mutants, although the staircase took rather extensive damage, blowing gaps in the heavy timbers. The Dark Angels were able to avoid the gaps with gene-forged reflexes, and instincts honed on numerous battlefields. The top of the lighthouse went silent. Brother Laviel started to rush up the last steps to secure the top level, along with the rest of the team, but Brother-Sergeant Fuqua checked their advance with a hand signal. He told the team to return to the ground floor and consolidate with the Brother Carnadine's team while he secured the top level himself. Unquestioningly, Brother Laviel obeyed.

 

Once Brother Carnadine had brought his team into the ground floor of the lighthouse, a call came across the company vox. A call to brace for impact for orbital fire. Brother Laviel, and the rest of the squad hit the floor moments before a series of earthshaking explosions struck the city. They came from the direction of the mutants' crashed ship. Eye searing light flashed through the ruined door with each blast, along with raining dust and debris from the ceiling with each blast. After the last of the explosions rocked the city, radiation warnings spiked across Brother Laviel's helm display. With the vox temporarily down following the orbital barrage, an amplified shout came from Brother-Sergeant Fuqua to consolidate upon his position at the top of the tower. Brother Laviel and the rest of the squad carefully made their way up the weakened tower to join their sergeant at the top of the lighthouse. As soon as they crested the stairs, Brother Carnadine opened up with his heavy bolter on a mob of mutants scrambling and skittering further up the wharf. Boltgun fire began picking off survivors of the strafing burst of larger caliber bolts from the heavy weapon. Left out of position on the crowded battlements, Brother Laviel began scanning the burning city below for more targets when his eyes tracked over to the wreckage of the mutant's ship. He beheld the fragments of what once was an Astartes strike cruiser, no doubt stolen by the foul abominations. The burning ruin of a once proud ship bore the stigmata of the warp, same as its mutant crew reaving through the city. Armored plates, at one time made of unyielding adamantine, had crusted over with patches of organic carapace. Portholes had morphed into reptilian eyes. Decks exposed by the crash landing and righteous punishment of orbital fire, revealed a bewildering collection of daemonic gargoyles spitting multihued energy at one another, instead of consecrated cabling and conduits. Brother Laviel had seen such corruption before, the curse of the heretics left its mark on the machine as well as the man, but something else about the wreckage of the ship caught his attention, it was the damage wrought by the guns of his chapter's own ship from orbit. They hadn't struck the less damaged and more viable targets of the ship, but had instead scoured the areas of the prow and flanks of the ship which typically bore the identifying markings of such a vessel. They had risked dangerously close and destructive fire to obliterate the origins of a ship that would never threaten the Imperium again.

 

part 3

Blackened Ends

 

 

Brother Laviel took advantage of the lull in activity to reload a fresh magazine into his boltgun. The streets had been cleared of enemies within range of the lighthouse, yet fighting continued throughout Magurn. Heavy smoke from the burning city darkened the sky and made visible the afterglow of the orbital bombardment. Fast moving skimmers and aircraft of the chapter's Ravenwing made strafing runs into the center of Magurn, before returning to their circling containment pattern. No one, enemy or civilian, would be allowed to leave or enter the doomed city, the risk of contamination from the taint of the warp-touched heretics was too great. Cracks formed in the thick ice of the frozen harbor beyond the lighthouse, a testament of the heat and violence tearing apart the city. As he scanned for more targets, Brother Laviel saw his first glimpse of the rival heretic faction fighting in the city. His first glimpse of the Black Legion.

 

The ancient enemies from the dawn of the Imperium had made jump pack assisted leaps to the peaked roof of a two story long house, just out of reach of Brother Carnadine's heavy bolter. There were seven of them, in black power armor that was a mismatch of both older marks no longer easily reproduced by the Imperium, and marks that had never seen use by an Astartes who hadn't betrayed his allegiance to the Emperor, who hadn't betrayed humanity. Their armor was in pitiful condition, rusted and pitted, bronze trim, hooks, and spikes given to verdigris, and leaking fluids from joints and jump packs. Yet they had made the jump without malfunction, and apart from their bestial stances, appeared functioning from the lighthouse. One legionnaire, with one eye lens covered by a bolted plate of unpainted armor, jumped along the spine of the long house's roof to spray hellish green flames into an alley behind the building. This vile traitor was surrounded by a cloud of insects, seemingly impervious to the heat and radiation killing the city. The other six raptors engaged their jump packs to make a daring leap behind a bonfire of a lumberyard at the edge of the wharf. Brother Laviel's squad opened fire on the heretics position with a series of alternating shots from each squad member, punctuated by short bursts from the heavy bolter. The angle was not good to engage the enemy effectively, but their suppressive fire would hopefully fix them in place in time for support from the Ravenwing, or another 3rd company position. The enemy would not be so easily pinned.

 

The Black Legion Raptors paused only long enough to briefly cool their jump packs before making another jump to the lighthouse. The Dark Angels made them pay for this last jump through their fields of fire. Countless hours honing their marksmanship, superhuman reflexes, and most importantly, a stoic sense of duty in spite of whatever the enemy brought to bear against them, allowed Brother Laviel and the rest of his squad to maintain uncompromising discipline with their defensive fire against the jump assisted charge of the Raptors. Two Raptors were shot out of the sky, one bearing a spiked meltagun, and the other a wicked chainsword and bolt pistol. The remaining four took hits from mass reactive bolts, or were sprayed with burning promethium, but kept coming, but the object of their charge was not Brother Laviel's squad at the top of the lighthouse, instead, they landed at the base of the spiral stair on the third floor.

 

The Raptors had no intention of assaulting the lighthouse's defenders, instead they attacked the lighthouse itself. The enemy leader, obvious because of his more ornate armor and crackling lightning claw, rammed a melta bomb into a split in a support beam while the other members of his flock threw krak grenades into similar openings and rifts in the battle damaged tower. The lighthouse, structurally weakened by the damage it had sustained thus far, could not withstand an attack by weapons designed to destroy armored vehicles and began to topple. Brother-Sergeant Fuqua, closest to the enemy, chose not to ride the top of the tower to the ground, and leapt down off the battlements as the tower teetered before collapsing. He leapt into the Raptor Champion swinging his power mace in a wild overhand arc, adding as much leverage as possible from his downward leap. The mace struck the traitor at the base of the neck and shoulder, jerking the foe's head violently to the side and cracking several vertebrates in his neck. The traitor's body followed the movement of his head, and careened over sideways head over heels before the Raptor's jump pack fired and sent the Champion rocketing into the slushy ground below.

 

What happened to the rest of the enemy would remain a mystery to Brother Laviel, he saw no sign of them as he picked himself out of the burning timbers of the ruined lighthouse. He dismissed a flash of pride that he hadn't lost his boltgun in the collapse, it was expected of him to keep track of his weapon no matter the circumstances, and wrong to feel pride in such a basic accomplishment. It did leave him crestfallen when the first sign of the rest of his squad was the bent barrel of Brother Carnadine's heavy bolter. Sure enough, the crushed helm of his brother was not far from the barrel, beneath a thick timber beam, the grip of his weapon inches from his gauntlet. Only in death does duty end. As Brother Laviel made his way through the ruin, searching for his brothers, his dismay deepened as another tragedy was discovered, the fate of Brother-Sergeant Fuqua.

 

Brother-Sergeant Fuqua had unsealed his helm, probably to silence the damage icons flashing across his helm. Their warnings were pointless, his situation was hopeless. He had been impaled upon a protruding timber after his leap, and even his enhanced physiology had no hope of overcoming the trauma of a log ripping through his abdomen and lower chest. Perhaps if the company's apothecary was at hand, enough of the sergeant might be preserved for interment in a dreadnought sarcophagus, but the company command was fighting deeper in the city. Brother Laviel solemnly walked over to the sergeant, placing his non-firing hand upon his shoulder. The dying sergeant wheezed out his last words, "Brother Laviel, you are the ranking survivor of my squad, you will assume command. My last order is the most important one I will ever give." Brother-Sergeant Fuqua paused for a moment, partly from the overwhelming pain, but mostly from a moment of uncharacteristic indecision, before continuing, "You must keep the nature of the enemy we fight a secret from everyone, even from your own men." Stunned, Brother Laviel asked, "The enemy we fight here?" His sergeant spit out blood before answering, "The enemy we fight everywhere." Brother Laviel asked, "What is the nature of the enemy I must keep secret?" Brother-Sergeant Fuqua merely looked at Brother Laviel, still able to utter a few more words, but refusing to do so. Then the life faded from his eyes.

 

After consolidating the remains of his squad, Brother Sergeant Laviel received word from command that the Dark Angels objectives had been reached, and to commence the purging of Magurn. There would be nothing left of the city but the blackened remains of its burnt out buildings.

 

 

More of the story can be found here. http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/topic/316163-the-wanderer/?do=findComment&comment=4263291

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Chronicle #7: Deathwatch Naaman

 

“I understand you will be traveling with us?”
 
“That is correct, Master. I have taken up the posting for the Deathwatch.”
 
“A noble act indeed, considering being one on the inside.”
 
Naaman winced at the mention of Inner Circle. It has not been that long since he was told the dark truth about those Dark Angels that turned from Lion and the Emperor for purposes that confounded him. “To what do you know?”
 
The marine clad in white started to chuckle, “I know enough. I have come from a meeting with the Supreme Grand Master Naberius and the Keeper of the Book of Salvation and they apprised me of the fundamentals about your mission and situation.” The Master guided the Dark Angel off down a tertiary corridor that barely allowed the marines to pass had they not shed their armor.
 
Master Samson of the 4th Company carried the title of the Master of the Fleet for the Saints of the Angels Chapter and as such was responsible for all the craft that chapter used to transport its brothers around the galaxy. He also held the responsibility for seeing to it that anything regarding the Fallen of the Dark Angels Legion receive his personal attention.
 
Brother Naaman, Deathwing Company, seconded to the Deathwatch was off to undertake a delicate dual mission. The Dark Angels routinely sent members off to be a part of the Deathwatch though it is rare to send one that bore the broken sword that signified the Deathwing. Naaman’s suit of Terminator armor was badly damaged during the battle with the fledgling Tau Empire and the artificers would be working on it for some time. In the interim, Naaman has once again donned power armor though Naaman did not begrudge the move. For its size and bulk, Naaman had difficulty achieving a flowing form within it. Indeed, it seemed the suit was best suited to be used without any sense of finesse and relied on the raw power to see it through a mission.
 
Samson finally guided them into a hidden alcove deep within the vital systems of the Battle Barge. “Although we are not carrying an Inquisitor at this time, it is advantageous to keep Unforgiven matters to ourselves.”
 
“Agreed”
 
“We have suspected that one of our wayward brethren have found their way within the ranks of the Deathwatch or are connected to them in some manner. We are also sending two brothers to join the ranks along side you but they are outside the Circle. They will respect you and listen to you but their loyalty will be to the Deathwatch, as is our way.”
 
Naaman remembered his briefing with Master Gideon before departing the Rock. The Saints of the Angels had a burden placed upon them from the beginning. They do not hunt the Fallen and are meant to be a proof of the loyalty of the Lion’s sons to the Imperium. Their Inner Circle being among the smallest and acts only as observers. “I am no stranger to working alone.”
 
“You would not be a Son of the Lion if you were. Our merits and achievements are accounted on an individual basis as you well know, but by working together we further maintain tactical supremacy. My duties require my attention now, I will leave you to ruminate on this discussion and take this and study it. I don’t need to remind you that it does not exist.”
 
“Understood”
 
Naaman set off down corridors looking for the symbols that would identify special areas of the ship or fortress as being a place dedicated to the Inner Circle. He found the lightning bolt that matched the break shown on the Deathwing badge. Before learning the awful truth, he had noticed the symbol in the past but thought it referred to some sort of high voltage shunt in that corridor; but, the subtle second meaning identified cogitator or logic engine stations that were isolated from other systems and would not show up to anyone but the master of the vessel who would also have been inducted into the Inner Circles of their Chapter.
 
Finding the panel that opened the hidden chamber, Naaman withdrew to review the information that he had been given. A servo skull bearing the Crux Terminatus awoke and set about lighting a brazier within the small chamber before sitting idly by a terminal waiting for a command from the attending marine. There would be no paper or recording devices within this chamber save that which was brought within and even then, the servo skull would likely have been programmed to clear away such things.
 
Naaman stood before the terminal and accessed the data coil. What followed was the service record of a marine that had fought in the Great Crusade and had lived over a century before the events on Caliban and has encountered the Inner Circle at least three times before in its attempts to capture him. Last records had him as a Sergeant in the 93rd Chapter stationed on Caliban after several tours with the Expedition Fleets. The promotion saw him training up a squad of reserve marines in preparation for a post on another ship bound to join an expedition.
 
Committing all of the information to memory, he removed the data coil and noticed that it had already been destroyed by the console. Still, Naaman crushed the remains in his fist and left them for the servo skull to dispose of it. Leaving the alcove, he returned to his quarters and mediated on the information he had received to further lock in the data before going off to one of the many practice halls to hone his skills.
 
The Saints of the Angels had three squads on board and when Naaman entered the bay for close combat training, two of the squads were in mock combat with each other. Off in another area of the bay were two marines also in combat with each other. These were most likely the two others that would be joining Naaman in the Deathwatch. They stood to attention as he approached.
 
“As you were marines. I am correct in deducing that you are the two marines who are to join the Deathwatch?”
 
“You are, sir.”
 
“Where we are going, I will not be your superior. You may call me Brother Naaman.”
 
“I am Brother Stephen and this is Brother Paul.”
 
“Does he not speak for himself?”
 
“Not anymore, an ork tried to take his head and only managed to tear apart his larynx. The bionic device he was given is not compatible with our helmets and has to be removed each time he fights. I can see his comments in my helmet display.”
 
The Dark Angel asked next, “What are your reasons for joining the Deathwatch?”
 
“Brother Paul joined after his squad was nearly destroyed by the Orks. My own squad suffered similar circumstances at the hands of the Eldar. By the Lion, we should never have suffered as many casualties as we did in either of our circumstances. The Lion has shown us that we should be able to defeat any foe even with our bare hands.”
 
Naaman couldn’t help but chuckle, “That is true. The Lion has shown us our potential and our capabilities, but even the Lion was defeated by forces he did not understand at the time. Just as the Lion learned about the ways of the Man and our technology, we must now learn the ways and technologies of the Xenos of this galaxy in order to defeat them.”
 
The two marines took the lesson to heart and were encouraged that a Dark Angel praised them and their decision. Naaman went over to weapons rack and grabbed a chainsword. The gleaming white weapon was bright in his hand but the weapon felt familiar and the weight was well balanced. The diamond shaped teeth allowed the chain to be run in either direction or have the chain flipped in the field after the one side had dulled. Satisfied with his choice, he returned to the two Saints.
 
“Since we are to be brothers in arms, I need to know how you fight. Defend yourselves!” With a roar he engaged the two armored marines but left the chainsword powered down. Stephen was quick to turn to engage the threat while Paul took up a defensive stance and flipped his knife point down. Both were training with their combat knives and were at a disadvantage in terms of reach but Naaman did not have on his power armor and would not be able to endure the strength the suit provided the wearer.
 
Stephen thrust the knife out which the Dark Angel was quick to dodge before bringing the chainsword up under the marine’s armpit. Had the sword been running, Stephen would likely have lost his arm. Once past the first marine, Naaman brought the sword around in a slash towards Paul’s torso. Paul deflected the sword with his knife and followed up with a punch that caught Naaman square in the rib bone. Taking the blow in stride, Naaman dropped to a knee and continued the spin until his blade was aimed at Paul’s knee. Paul was already bringing his fist down on the Dark Angel when the chainsword connected and pulled him off balance. As he went down in a heap, Stephen returned to the fight thrusting his knife towards Naaman’s back who rolled out of the way and came up along side of Stephen. The momentum of the roll brought the chainsword over his head and right on the back of the neck of the Saint of the Angels. The Saints had been bested by the unarmored Dark Angel. Looking back, Naaman could see the other squads had stopped their own training and had watched the quick battle. The Dark Angel withdrew the chainsword from the neck of Stephen and went over to help Paul up.
 
“Brother Paul, you planted yourself in order to receive the attack. This is a sound strategy when defending from an emplacement and you are armed with ranged weapons. But in hand to hand combat, you need to displace yourself so that you are not where the enemy intends to strike. Brother Stephen, you are committing to your actions too early and hailing your intentions to your opponent. There are neutral postures and techniques that will allow you to change up your attack in the heat of battle. Let me show you.”
 
Naaman could hear the two sergeants telling their squads to heed his advice and started to discuss how an unarmored marine bested two other marines in armor. He returned his attentions to the two other marines and worked to refine their skills with a blade. He got his measure of the marines. Paul seemed to be from a tactical squad and was used to holding ground while Stephen still feels the pull of being in the assault squads. Both were competent warriors and were eager to improve themselves just as he did. With an inward smile to himself, he returned to the two marines and started working with them and helping the three of them to be forged into a tight knit unit.
 
In the two weeks of travel to Watch Post Theta, the three marines trained constantly. Naaman was continually the teacher and remained their Sergeant to them through his skill and experience. It was revealed to Naaman that Stephen had been selected by the Chaplains to begin training with them upon his return. The Saint was aware of the appointment and was allowed time to study under the Chaplain stationed aboard the ship. Brother Paul took to Naaman’s instruction well and was outperforming all of the Saints of the Angels station aboard the ship and even provided a challenge for the Dark Angel and Master Samson.
 
The reputation of the Deathwing was upheld by even one of their newest members and that influence will spread through out the Saints of the Angels. Master Samson even sent out a courier back to his own Chapter Grand Master about the possibility to encourage more interaction with the Deathwing even with the risk of the burdens placed on both Chapters. A simple Veteran has been able to best every marine including himself in some form and often with the disadvantage of not having a suit of armor. Watch Post Theta was aware of the need and had already acknowledged the request as well as improved augmetics for Brother Paul to allow him to once again speak while wearing a helmet.
 
The three marines approached the awaiting Thunderhawk that would take them to the watch post. The squads aboard stood at attention on both sides of the ramp with Master Samson standing in his full plate armor at the base of the ramp. He gave each marine a salute as they boarded and the Chaplain aboard also affixed a purity seal to each marine. The bone armored chaplain turned to Naaman, “The Honor of the Lion is in your blood as it is in ours. We are bonded by that blood and the victories of the Dark Angels are shared by all successors. You have already inspired everybody aboard about the strength of that bond our future victories will be further assured by your teachings here today. Let none here doubt the purity and strength of the Lion and his sons and stand ever ready to defend the honor of the each other. For the Lion!”
 
“For the Emperor!” came the reply from all present. Naaman received the salutes of the Chaplain and Master Samson before he turned and walked up the ramp of the gunship. His forest green robe looked a shade brighter with all of the polished white armor surrounding him. He did feel heartened by the Chaplain’s words and the squads of marines staying aboard. The bonds of brotherhood were present even if they were from other chapters. It will be different once they have arrived at the watch post. With a hiss, the ramp closed and the vessel was on its way. Even without the expectation of combat, all three marines sat quietly aboard the vessel in battle meditation. Brother Paul in particular flexed his empty gauntlets. Naaman knew the feeling, he felt unprepared without armor or armaments.

 

With a heavy thud, the Thunderhawk touched down in the hangar of Watch Post Theta. Greeting them at the base of the ramp was a lone Lexmechanic, an affront to most other Astartes Chapters. The apparent slight didn’t bother Naaman but it seemed to irritate his two armored companions. Paul’s gauntlets were bunched tight with suppressed anger. In the time that Naaman had been able to talk to Paul, he had learned that the Saints would typically be celebrated upon their arrival to a system. The lack of anything approaching a warrior’s welcome was disheartening to those used to the accolades. As a member of the First Founding, Naaman was again the de facto representative of the three. “Brother Naaman of the Dark Angels and Brothers …”

 

“Your names are known to me,” interrupted the Lexmechanic. “You will follow me to the Watch Commander.” The member of the Mechanicus turned and left the hangar. The three marines barely caught a glimpse of each other before following the red cloaked figure.

 

Entering a briefing chamber, the Lexmechanic turned toward a marine hovering over a holographic projection. “Query: Where is the Watch Commander?”

 

“Answer: With the Inquisitor,” responded the marine pointing behind him to the sealed door, not once looking up from the projection he was studying.

 

“I smell Lion cubs!” boomed a voice from a dark corner of the briefing room. Naaman’s enhanced vision allowed him to see the Son of Russ as he was sharpening an axe. The Wolf pelts and totems ruffled and jingled with each stroke of the whetstone. Turning to face the newcomers, the Space Wolf chuckled when he caught sight of the unarmored Dark Angel. “Cubs indeed if you do not even have proper armor.”

 

Stephen was quick his own retort, “He is a marine like you or me and better than both.”

 

The grin that crossed the face of the Wolf would have stolen the will of lesser men. “Is that so? I shall have to see this for myself. Perhaps, I’ll finally find a worthy opponent in this swill pit.”

 

Naaman knew well of the animosity that lingered between the Dark Angels and the Space Wolves Chapters dating back to the age of the Primarchs. He had even seen the honor duels take place in the past. The Wolves were vicious fighters and worthy of the fear they instill in their enemies. Naaman had underestimated them in the past, but then they were allies at the time. He would not make that mistake now that he alone would face the Wolf as a matter of honor. The Wolf tossed aside his axe and walked to another door, the other marines already moving to follow. The three newcomers followed along, Naaman taking in every opportunity on the walk to study his opponent. The most obvious distinction was the armor the Space Wolf wore. Instead of the traditional Power Armor, he was wearing Scout Armor. In Naaman’s experiences, those who wear Scout Armor in the ranks of the Space Wolves are Veterans in their own right and very capable solo fighters, only banding together if the need is great enough.

 

The collected group of marines arrived at the battle arena, a square chamber with with a pit in the center and surrounding that a gallery for marines to observe from above. Naaman was already in the pit. He had shed his green robe and stood in the arena in simple garb but still able to allow the Dark Angel to fight unencumbered. The Wolf arrived a short while later. He had shed his armor and was wearing nothing but trousers and boots.

 

“Fear not Lion cub. I have shed my armor and weapons so that it will be an honorable fight. Let it not be said that we are not – civilized.” With that, the Wolf’s mood turned almost feral and the primal instincts that have made the Space Wolves so feared throughout the galaxy were on full display to Naaman. The Angel felt his twin hearts quicken in anticipation of the coming battle but like all Astartes, he felt no fear. And like that historic battle long ago, neither side was killed.

 

Naaman let his eyes lose focus so that he could sense the entire area. He could perceive the nuances of his foe and not be surprised by a hidden attack. The Wolf paced back in forth, judging when would be the best opportunity to strike. The son of the Lion stood there calmly and yet poised to move. Every second that Naaman had to observe gave him more information about the son of Russ and what to expect. The massive amount of scars confirmed his earlier suspicion that the Wolf had seen a lot of combat and would not be easy to best. But he did see an opportunity in a series of scars that looked medical instead of combat related and far different to the ones all marines carry from their various surgeries needed to make them Astartes. The Dark Angel had seen similar scars before and they noted massive injury with likely bionic replacement.

 

The Wolf grew impatient and attacked Naaman’s right side. With a quick shuffle of his feet, Naaman dislocated himself just enough that the low punch failed to connect. In response he did a quick head butt and punch square in the fused ribcage followed by a hook to the damaged side followed by a quick knee to the leg to unbalance the Wolf. The son of Russ, surprised by the quick moves in close, fell backwards into a roll. He was back on his feet before Naaman could close and connected with an attack to the knee of the Dark Angel.

 

Now it was Naaman’s turn to roll away and just like his foe a moment ago. He was on his feet again to receive a flying tackle from the Wolf. He barely got his hands in position to overthrow the son of Russ as they hit the ground of the arena. Naaman leaped onto his feet while the Space Wolf got up a little slower after being tossed into the wall of the arena upside-down. Naaman quickly spun around with a kick to the head followed up by a fury of punches to the damaged side. Howling in pain, the son of Russ elbowed the Dark Angel’s face and threw a cross punch after it.

 

It was the opportunity Naaman had been waiting for. He caught the cross arm and now had total control of it. Every son of the Lion was a master of the sword and each was taught how that training could be used in other forms. Naaman used the trapped arm to spin the Wolf back into the wall before forcing him down on his stomach with the arm pulled back to the point where it would either break or dislocate. He had bested the Wolf.

 

Another voice sounded out, “Has honor been satisfied with this nonsense?”

 

The Dark Angel looked to see who had entered the but did not yet release his grip.

 

“Release my Scout, Dark Angel or die where you stand.” The newcomer had a bolt pistol drawn on him. Naaman released the Wolf. After shaking out the pain in his arm, he broke into a huge grin.

 

“Aye, honor is satisfied and I have finally found someone worthy in this sad lot.”

 

“You are hardly worth my attention Darkhowl. Since the other two are in armor already, this one must be the one in need of a suit of armor. Very well Rolf, you have your new toy. Try not to kill him before our next operation. I will alert the Watch Commander of my decision.”

 

Stephen looked down from above, “That must be the Inquisitor.”

 

“It is.” Replied another of the marines who had watched the fight. His Chapter symbol marked him as a Red Templar. He left the chamber without another word. Behind him was a Storm Lord and he leaned over to the White-clad marine, “You better get back to that Lexmechanic. Those Mechanicus types do not like these kind of diversions.”

 

Indeed, when they returned to the briefing chamber, the Lexmechanic was none too pleased to see his charges walk in with the Watch Commander standing there waiting for them to return. Rolf and Naaman were the last two to enter. Each had blood on their face and torso. The Watch Commander appraised the two combatants. “Looks like an even match. Will we be hearing Rolf sing about it later on?”

 

“Not this time,” replied a Deathwatch marine bearing the heraldry of the Genesis Marines. “The Dark Angel followed the strictures of the Codex and was able to place Darkhowl in a submission hold but the Inquisitor broke it up before we could see who would endure the longest.”

 

“Aye, he would have to knock me out before I would ever submit,” replied Rolf Darkhowl.

 

“Now that Rolf has satisfied his curiosity. It is past time that we begin the formalities. Naaman of the Dark Angels and Paul and Stephen of the Saints of the Angels, you have elected to serve the Deathwatch for a term of service that I deem necessary or that the Ordo Xenos require. You will each undergo a series of drills to determine your skills and areas of training. You will also become familiarized with the equipment and armaments of this facility and their specialized use in destroying the Xenos threat to the Imperium. During this time, your armor will be painted black and the left arm silver in deference to the spirit within the suit of armor. Upon the completion of the training, you will take the Oath of Moment to the Deathwatch and become formal members of this Watch Post and bear the mark of the Inquisition on your armor. Do any of you wish to recind your commitment? No? Then you shall be stationed in lower barracks until your evaluation and training is complete. Lexmechanic, take them to their chambers.” The three marines gave a salute and left with the diminutive figure once again.

 

After they had left, the Watch Commander turned to the group left behind. “Get them ready, we have only two weeks before those accursed orks are in system. Inquisitor Sylvan is very interested in what makes these Blood Axe orks different from the others we have encountered.

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Better late than never eh? That'll teach me to not save my stuff before a Deathwatch game XD
 

 The March of Metal

 

War had come to Castinia, scarring the once beautiful planet with conflict and death. The people cried out for help, their meagre military unable to protect their charges for long. When the first gargantuan vessels landed, disgorging thousands of blood-crazed fanatics and hordes of abhorrent half-beasts they killed unchecked for days. A valiant last stand was made by the Planetary Defence Force, headed by the Governor himself. Just when it seemed they had held back the tide of filth did the tainted drop pods fall amongst the brave defenders. The Governor was slain and his corpse hung from the battlements of the Capitol Fortress-City.

In the depths of space the last cry for salvation was bouncing from ear to ear, waystation to outpost to command headquarters to warriors. The vast behemoth that was the Imperium of Man stirred like a slumbering beast awoken by trespassers upon it's territory. Several regiments of the Astra Militarum were summoned, their might slow but deadly. Tens of thousands of men and women marching in a myriad of colours and heraldries, supported by their war machines. So too did the Angels of Shadow Chapter answer the call, the Strike Cruiser Shadow of Intent gliding through the velvety embrace of space towards Castinia, taking up orbit over the planet. Around the warship a swarm of lesser vessels moved into position, frigates and destroyers supporting the larger vessel. They punched a hole through the invading fleet, wedging themselves in with speed that the Imperial Navy vessels simply could not achieve.

The entire Third Company would march to battle, tasked by the Chapter Master himself, Master of Shadows Nephlyre Phantomkin, to hold a long forgotten Fortress of Redemption from the forces of the vile Dark Mechanicus. Thus a steady stream of Thunderhawks and Storm Eagles passed between the fortress and the Strike Cruiser in orbit, preparing for the inevitable assault.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

From atop the main spire of the fortress, Dark Master Kronos Nightshade watched silently as his brothers prepared for the coming attacks. Thrice already the enemy had come, and thrice they had been repelled with not a single casualty. They were testing the Angels' defence, each time attacking with varying degrees of force at different points.

Kronos watched as his two assault squads finished off the last of the latest attack. Androids. That is what Techmarine Valmeros called them. Heretical mockeries of humanity with flesh of metal. Upon seeing them stride towards the walls Valmeros made a noise that Kronos was certain was a curse of some form. As he ran over the many possible outcomes and the situations that would cause them in the coming battles, Kronos began to absent-mindedly untie and retie the small cord that kept his long hair in check when in his armour. This practice, while tricky with his gauntlets, was a habit he had never truly lost from his days before he became an Astartes.

 'Dark Master?' Valmeros had appeared on the spire behind Kronos as quiet as a whisper, despite his full servo-harness.

 'News on the fortress defences?' Kronos inquired hopefully. Valmeros' helm was as expressionless as the iron that was his craft.

 'Affirmative Dark Master. I estimate that full functionality will be restored to the weapons in seventy two hours, Terran Standard, from turn of midnight tonight.' Kronos stared at the senior Techmarine, dumbfounded.

 'S-seventy two hours? Very well,' he said with a heavy sigh. 'Return to your ministrations, I shall prepare the defence. Dovah meyr qah.' May the Dragon protect.

 'Omnissiah's blessings Dark Master,' replied Valmeros. As the Techmarine descended into the tower Kronos replaced his helm, thinking about how different Valmeros had become. A native of Invalice, the Chapter homeworld, like Kronos himself and yet he refused to speak their native tongue or grow his hair long as a sign of his warrior status. There were Astartes that were not of his homeworld that took up the ancient practices and learned the language. Truly joining the Priesthood of Mars was to forsake many bonds of brotherhood.

Casting aside his moment of melancholy, Kronos moved to the edge of the tower. Below, the warriors of the Third Company were preparing the defences for the battle to come. That every single battle-brother was working to set up heavy weapons or to organise the armoured might of the present vehicles caused a swell of pride within Kronos' breast. Despite being the youngest Dark Master Kronos still commanded the veteran Third with all the skill of one centuries older. He drew a cable from the nearby vox-caster and plugged it into the side of his helm, allowing his voice to reach every one of his brothers.

 'Brothers! Hear me now!

 'Each and every one of you are counted amongst the very best of the Astartes. Each and every one of you has a long and glorious history, won with blood and fire. The horrors you have faced, the battles you have fought have placed you alongside the greatest heroes of Humanity.

 'So when I say the coming battle will be the toughest yet I want you to appreciate my full meaning. The mechanical horrors we face are not like the legions of the Necrons, though they may look similar. These Androids are vile, they are soulless and they are spawned of heresy. They are mockeries of Humanity and their very existence is an insult to all we stand for.

 'We must hold them here for three days, and we must do it alone. If you can stand firm, Techmarine Valmeros will have the fortress' defences operational. Reactivating this Fortress will give our forces a stable defence point and drastically improve our ability to retake this planet.

 'So I ask you, Brothers of the Third, to stand firm. Dovah meyr qah!'

 'VAAT ZAHKRII HAAL! VOKUN SARAAN BAHLAAN!' cried the Third Company. By the sword in my hand! Shadow awaits the worthy!

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Sergeant Malerai Dreadreaper stood in front of the massive fortress, his brothers of First Squad, the Nightmares, preparing their weapons. It was an hour past midnight and still the enemy had not made a move, nor had it been seen by the Neophytes searching the surrounding areas. Malerai hated the quiet, the knowing something was coming. Give him a surprise or leave him alone.

Looking over the barren plains, broken up by rock formations, Malerai watched as the telltale lights from jump packs darted over rocks and grass. The Assault Squads were returning from a perimeter sweep.

 'Brother-Sergeant? What's wrong?' inquired Apostin, Malerai's second in command. As always Apostin was able to see the emotion in what remained of his leader's face.

 'The enemy is coming. Ready the defences,' Malerai replied flatly. 'Small force, likely the first to try and punch through our defences. They will come from one direction, focus their damage.'

 'How do you know that? Sergeant Tabris hasn't reported in, nor have the scouts.'

 'Think, Apostin. The Neophytes may either be dead or unable to risk exposing the position. As for the Lokpaagoliikke, count them. How many do you see?'

Malerai pointed into the gloom, their enhanced eyesight easily spotting the approaching figures. Apostin was momentarily worried.

 'I count five Assault Marines, Brother-Sergeant. Where are the other fifteen?'

 'Standard procedure would be to perform a rearguard action, sending five Lokpaagoliikke to return with information. The enemy is allied with the Dark Mechanicus and likely has ways of intercepting our secured vox signals.'

Sure enough, the powerful searchlights upon the main tower illuminated the five Assault Marines as they bounded across the plains. With each leap they barely touched the largest of the boulders, appearing to leap across the gathering fog. Apostin smiled under his helm, seeing how Assault squads were called sky walkers in the tongue of his people.

 

Squad Leader Kilreus Tempest, second in command of Squad Eight, the Eliminators, growled as he made a final leap. Pushing his jump pack to it's limit, the Lokpaagoliik vaulted the high wall of the fortress. Landing heavily, he ran towards the Command Squad standing in front of a Land Raider.

 'Brothers! Ready the defences at once!' Kilreus cried. 'A host of one hundred and eighty androids approach from the north.' Veteran Markus, leader of the Command Squad stepped forwards, his power fist's fingers flexing.

 'You seem worried that such a small numbers of foes could best us, Squad Leader. Where are Sergeants Tabris and Zaazenach? I wish to hear their counsel.'

 'They sent us back to warn you. The rest of my brethren were to try and hold back the enemy for as long as possible to allow the Neophytes to escape unnoticed. The enemy is as hard to put down as they are relentless.' Markus clenched his fist, smiling widely.

 'Then they are a challenging foe? Excellent. Rejoin your brothers over the wall and let no heretical machine-man cross the threshold.'

Kilreus bowed deeply before reigniting his jump pack. Leaping up the the walkway he stopped, nodding to Sergeant Malerai, dropping to stand between his four squad members below. Already he could see shadowy figures darting between rocks.

 'The Neophytes made it safely then?' asked one of the Marines.

 'Looks like it. I count all present,' replied another.

 'Draw weapons and prepare to move out!' snapped Kilreus. 'Our Lokpaagoliikke brothers are returning at speed. We may have to grab the Neophytes and rush them back.'

The first Marine was about to ask when the night air was split by an unnatural roar, followed by what sounded like a vulkan-megabolter firing. Tracer fire danced across the night sky as a Company wide vox transmission met Kilreus' ears.

 'This is Sergeant Zaazenach! Projected enemy strength was wrong, repeat, wrong. Enemy numbers are estimated to be a thousand strong. They have a daemon engine! Classification; Forge Fiend, double Hades loudout.'

 'Dovah zahnir mii,' growled Kilreus. Dragon protect us.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Malerai felled another android, a bolt taking it's metal head clean off. A wisp of something otherworldly flowed from the hole exposed, the trapped daemon within escaping it's metallic prison. The very thought that these things contained the most foul of beings sickened Malerai.

His company had fought the legions of the Necron Dynasties before, Malerai himself had even faced one of their Lychguard. He felt truly alive in that fight, his foe a real challenge. Each movement was stiff but only because it was perfectly calculated. Even the lesser Necrons moved with a calculated precision, every step perfectly in sync with one another. These androids may look like Necrons, albeit as if designed by a human trying to recreate them, but they were nearly nothing alike.

There was no precision to their movements; they were like badly animated caricatures. There was no synchronisation of their troops; they bustled forwards, some stumbling and others trying to run. Some carried massive rifles, barrels adorned with bayonets, while others wielded swords that resembled shards of iron torn from some vehicle and given a hilt.

The early morning was lit up as First Squad's plasma cannon fired, a small star arcing through the air. Ten or so androids were vaporised in the impact, the magnetic field around the super heated plasma failing in a vibrant reaction. Dozens more were felled by the disciplined bolter fire of the other Tactical squads upon the walls, as well as more heavy weapons and the occasional crack of a sniper round from the Neophytes. Still the Forge Fiend had yet to appear, worse still that the androids seemed to be a continual wave.

Below, the first androids were met by the Lokpaagoliikke, falling to the brutally fast Assault Marines. Chainswords screamed as they tore through metal, pistols barked as they threw mass-reactive death and the bodies of slain androids sizzled as the power swords wielded by Zaazenach and Tabris. Some of the rifle-armed androids had charged forwards but were comically ill equipped to fight in close quarters, but the sword carriers were faring little better.

The twenty Lokpaagoliikke stood shoulder to shoulder, cutting down every mechanical abomination with righteous zeal. Zaazenach decapitated an android as it tried to bring a rifle to bear while one of his squad members punched a hole through a metallic rib cage. For the moment they were holding the line, but as more and more androids charged forwards the Lokpaagoliikke were slowly being pushed back.

 'Hi los nid veistul sivaas!' screamed Tatrasiel, Zaazenach's second in command. You are nothing vile beast! He activated his jump pack, the rocket propelled charged knocking down dozens of androids. Several other Assault Marines followed suit, their bulk smashing apart as many androids as their weapons felled.

 'Tatrasiel! Form ranks!' Zaazenach snapped. 'We hold them here!'

 'But Brother, we are pushing them back!'

Too late did Tatrasiel see the error of his manoeuvre. Surrounded on all sides by androids the overly eager Assault Marines were set upon. One brother went down, his helm split by a shard-sword. Another dropped to his knees as the weight of several androids piled on top of him.

The break in the line created by the charge allowed more androids to push into the remaining defenders, seemingly in an endless stream.

 'The line is lost! Fall back to the wall!' ordered Tabris.

 'Fall back? Cowardice-' began one of Zaazanach's Marines.

 'I said fall back! We cannot hold these numbers. Brother Kilreus, lend assistance to our brothers caught out.

 'Neophytes! Focus your fire around our position. We have wounded and need cover to extract them.'

Instantly high calibre rounds obliterated skulls and torsos around the fallen Assault Marines. As a space opened in the melee it was clear that of the six Marines that followed Tatrasiel only three still stood. Kilreus and his combat squad smashed apart any who dared get close to their dead, pulling the bodies back towards the wall.

A ripple seemed to flow through the horde. Dozens at a time turned and walked away until but a few androids stood. When the Neophytes above shot down any who strayed too close the rest turned, one looking back like a bested hound looking for a weakness in his opponent before he too fled.

 

The mood was sombre within the walls, the Angels unsure how to react to the actions of the enemy. After the main attack the androids stood about a kilometre away, the horde rippling with activity. More and more seemed to join the mass of mechanical bodies with each hour. Occasionally a number would break away, charging the walls only to be cut down by bolter and sniper.

Two Lokpaagoliikke had been killed and another had gone into a protective coma after suffering nearly a dozen massive stab wounds from the androids' crude weapons. Tatrasiel stood quietly, the deaths of his men weighing heavily upon his shoulders.

Dark Master Nightshade called his sergeants to a war council, his cold steel eyes boring into their very souls.

 'Zin zeymah,' he began. Honoured brothers. 'As you have probably guessed we are about to be overrun with the forces of the enemy. Our walls can only hold them back for so long and we lack the numbers to sustain a protracted fight. I need ideas and I need them quickly.'

Champion Aloysius stepped forwards, the emerald blade of his Blade of Caliban sparking with energy. 'I say we take the fight to the enemy. A swift counter charge to break their back!'

 'Duly noted my Champion,' Kronos replied, unable to suppress a smile in the face of Aloysius' zeal.

 'Perhaps a defensive strategy may be more viable?' inquired Sergeant Onoel of Ninth Squad. 'We are still at optimal strength.'

 'That we are zeymah. However we are outnumbered with the odds stacking against us with every minute. We have not the firepower to hold this fortress indefinitely nor reinforcements coming. Retreat is simply not an option.'

 'What if,' said Sergeant Malerai, his metallic features catching the morning sun, 'we break the enemy by breaking their leader. A daemonic host of that magnitude must be held together with a leader and will surely break if we slay him.'

Kronos thought for a moment, idly fumbling with a sword pendant hanging around his neck. He mumbled to himself, inaudible to all assembled.

 'Brother Valmeros, set the fortress' long range vox to an open frequency. Draw out the enemy with a challenge. We'll take him off balance, question his quality as a warrior. Make him act irrationally. He'll send his best too early then lead the final charge himself.'

 'We'll have to weather a lot for this to work,' pointed out Sergeant Lyrex Mournlight of Fourth Squad.

 'We are the Angels of Shadow! Sons of Invalice and descended from the Angels of Absolution, we bear the blood of the Dark Angels and ancient Caliban!' roared Aloysius, his sword held high. 'No foe can claim the ground we defend! No fortress can stand before our might!'

 'Vokun saraan!' cried Kronos as he drew his massive sword. In response the brethren of Third Company all drew their swords.

 'Vaat zahkrii haal!' they roared as one. By the sword in my hand!

 

Sergeant Mournlight was indeed right. Roughly an hour after the vox signal was sent did the android horde break into a sprint, eager to shed blood. At first they were little threat, those able to climb the high walls were quickly thrown back down by bolt and blade. Sergeants Onoel and Rufael ordered their Devastator squads to bring down the enemy ranks before they reached the wall in an attempt to prevent the dead being used as a ramp but the foe was too numerous.

Sooner than expected were the Lokpaagoliikke having to counter-assault androids as they crested the walls. Aiding them were the Neophytes high in the tower with their sniper rifles.

Despite their efforts several Battle-brothers had fallen, gaps beginning to open up on the walls. Within the walls the Company's armoured vehicles stood in a line, their engines growling loudly. Eight Rhinos in two columns with two Land Raiders and a Crusader up front and another two Land Raiders bring up the rear. Kronos and Command Squad Ezekiel waited within the Crusader Brother of Steel, Kronos himself with his eyes locked onto the tactical display within the tank.

His face was lit up as a screen flashed an angry red, a huge explosion rocking the Land Raider.

 'This is Sergeant Sereph! My squad is down to sixty percent, heavy weapon lost. Wall is breached! Repeat, the wall is breached!'

 'Affirmative Sereph. All squads fall back to transports and prepare to execute counter attack.' Switching channels to the tower, the central screen was filled with the face of Techmarine Valmeros. 'Is it ready?'

Valmeros nodded. 'All warheads armed and ready Dark Master. I will enact the firing rites then gather in the armoury vault with the Neophytes as ordered.'

Another explosion rocked the tank, shrapnel pinging from it's hull. 'The gate is breached!'

 'Are we loaded up?'

 'Affirmative.'

 'CHARGE!'

 

The fortress gates exploded outwards, crushing dozens of androids as they rushed to exploit the breach. Those not crushed by the gates were either cut down by hurricane-bolters or under the treads of the Land Raider spearhead.

Incandescent light reached out from the left and right machines, scything down the larger daemon engines. Invalacian battle hymns blared from vox-casters, deep bass notes and roaring electrotars the rivers that ancient words of valour, strength and glory rode upon.

Against the sudden charge the android horde could only run or fall, the slow daemon engines unable to react to the armoured strike. As the tanks moved further out they spread apart, the mounted Astartes firing from open hatches or manning pintle-mounted storm bolters.

Alone in the sea of mechanical monstrosities stood a massive figure, his armour polished to a high shine. Burnished iron, chevrons of jet and gold. Four servo-arms flexed with his every breath, each tipped with a three-taloned claw. A huge axe protruded from the ground, it's jagged edge burried in the ground.

 'Angels!' he screamed. 'Cease this pointless slaughter. These are my people and they deserve life!'

The Brother of Steel ground to a halt before the warpsmith, its assault ramp slamming down. Kronos strode out, flanked by his Command squad.

 'Iron Warrior, your people are dead. You burned Olympia yourself. These are daemon machines, or has your sanity degraded so far?'

The warpsmith stepped forwards, his servo-claws flexing. 'You wound me Angel. I am well aware that we are surrounded by artificial bodies, but they are no daemon vessels. I have given the souls of lost Olympia new bodies, inspired by the Necrontyr and helped by the Dark Mechanicus. Would you slaughter the innocent again?'

 'Warpsmith, do you not hear your words? The innocent of Olympia died long ago.'

 'I KNOW! WE MURDERED THEM!' the warpsmith screamed, his rage echoed by his four claws. 'THEY TURNED ON OUR EMPIRE AND FOR THAT WE BURNED THEM!'

Kronos hung his head sadly. 'I've studied the ancient reports, the stories and myths. You didn't kill the innocent-'

At that the warpsmith drew his axe and charged, a nerve struck. Kronos stared him down, steel eyes boring deeper than a turbolaser. As the axe came down Aloysius' blade came up to meet it.

 'Attacking Dark Master Nightshade when he was about to forgive you heretic is very poor form,' hissed the Champion.

 'Raising your blade to your betters is offensive welp!' the warpsmith retorted, a claw-arm swinging wide. Aloysius deflected the attack with his combat shield, following up with a thrust of his long blade. The warpsmith parried with the haft of his axe, another claw stabbing at the opening but it too would be batted away by Aloysius' shield.

 'Aloysius is our Champion,' called Kronos. 'I advise that you stop your playing lest he end this too quickly.'

Growling with frustration, the warpsmith launched into a whirlwind of attacks. His servo-claws stabbed, slashed and punched with a blinding speed all the while his great axe constantly hacking and swinging. Despite it all Aloysius stood firm, his shield sparking and his blade an unseeable blur as it deflected every blow. The Angels cheered as their Champion stood unmoving in the face of such a brutal assault. Surely the warpsmith had no chance against the stubborn determination of the Angels' greatest swordsman?

The eyes of the Dark Master saw what they could not. With every deflected blow Aloysius' shield was dented and torn, with every failed strike his sword was chipped and bent. Aloyisus might be the best swordsman in the Third Company but this Iron Warrior had ten thousand years of experience and his servo-claws moved with a fluid grace such experience afforded him. He could hear the exertion in Aloysius' exhales, see the fatigue setting in. The duel had lasted several minutes, both fighters trying to end it quickly.

 'Enough!' cried the warpsmith, jumping back with a flourish of his axe. 'This is pointless. Have Astartes fallen so far as to wear down their opponent with a, albeit talented, juvenile? Give me a real challenge Dark Master. Let me fight for the right of my people to live again!'

Aloysius looked back to his commander, his arms shaking and breath shallow. If it were ordered the Champion would press the attack as was his duty. Kronos shook his head, stepping forwards.

 'I take no pride in your death, Iron Warrior,' he said plainly.

 'Poor last words boy,' the warpsmith spat, and battle was met.

As before the warpsmith begun with a flurry of blows, attacking from multiple directions at once. Despite his sword's large size, or perhaps because of it, Kronos was able to deflect every blow. He was not on the defensive, the Dark Master was simply toying with his foe. Sparks showered from the emerald blade as it deflected and parried, an extension of Kronos rather than a weapon.

With a flash of light one of the warpsmith's servo-claws was sliced clean through causing the foe to howl in agony as the sparking stump spurted a thick oily substance. The warpsmith swung wide with his axe, a maddened wild blow. Kronos stepped aside and sliced off two more servo-claws eliciting another louder yell of pain.

 'Damn you welp! I'll end you yet!' roared the warpsmith. Kronos, however, remained silent. He rolled under another wild swing, bringing his blade diagonally upwards to sever the last servo-claw and slice deep into the warpsmith's power armour.

 'I can't die! The Olypians will perish again!' the warpsmith growled, swinging with blind fury at Kronos.

 'The Olypians died because the Iron Warriors rightfully put them to the blade. They betrayed all the Iron Warriors had built and so were punished. The innocent you claim to stand for did nothing to stop their fellows. There were no innocent on Olympia. Only betrayers.'

As his words cut into the warpsmith's soul, Kronos' sword glowed brightly as it's power field reached maximum strength. With a lightning crack and a surge of light Kronos swung his blade high and cleft the Iron Warrior in two. The haft of the huge axe was smashed to splinters, the entrapped entity screaming free back into the Warp.

The warpsmith mouthed a silent denial as his dying torso hit the ground, his last sight that of all the androids and daemon engines falling into piles of scrap as the pacts that held their daemonic essences were broken.

The warpsmith's death rattle was the last sound that would be heard upon the battlefield. The Angels of Shadow had won, and the Iron Warrior's noble yet heretical plans had been foiled.

 'Third Company! Return to the fortress and rearm. This planet isn't ours yet.'

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I added a link to your story to the first post and called it complete even if it is after the deadline. The purpose always was to generate fan fiction to continue to expand the depths of the Grimdark. This is the tougher of the two competitions that I run and so I am more flexible in those able to show a decent amount of work. 

 

@jbaeza94, can you merge what you have into a single post so I can link to it and add it the first post?

 

If you would like me to run this event again, please let me know in a comment or PM.

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Footsteps echoed through the halls of the dungeon, loud and metallic. To the untrained ear, it would sound like one man, but in reality it was two, in near perfect synchronization. One wore a bronze suit of armor that glimmered with the torch light, and a black cloak that seemed to absorb all light. On his head sat a beaked helmet, but this was not the corvus, it was different. It was shaped after the mighty Invictumos eagle's skull. The other wore a dark gray suit of armor, a black, floor length loin cloth hung from his belt. On his head was a helmet with the face of death. Atop his power plant sat a silver and bronze balance scale.

 

 

 

They had been walking in complete silence for quite a while, until the bronze armored warrior finally spoke

 

"Something is bothering you Sepetria. You are unusually silent, speak your mind"

 

"It is nothing master. I am just reciting the Litanies of Justice"

 

"Ah yes, preparing for the fallen angel. Even still, you remain very silent."

 

"Master," Sepetria hesitated, "my first encounter with a fallen angel did not go as planned. "

 

"I remember. You killed him in 3 hours."

 

"I was disgusted to see the traitor master, I was a bit heavy handed, all I wanted was to see him dead"

 

"Sepetria, you are now an indoctrinated Arbiter, your job is not to kill, but to bring judgment to the fallen angels. You are to draw a confession by any means necessary, so that we may restore the primarch's honor," said  his master harshly.

 

"Yes master."

 

"Sepetria, you are feeling doubt in your abilities to lead the fallen angel to Final Judgment, am I correct?"

 

"I am an Arbiter of the Legion of the," Sepetria was interrupted.

 

"You are an astartes, you were once a man. We all feel doubt, that is the reason the chaplaincy was established, to maintain high spiritual health."

 

"Master, I only worry to fail the primarch once more."

 

The bronzed armored astartes stopped, and Sepetria stopped as well when he noticed him, confused. The astartes raised his right hand and showed it to Sepetria.

 

"What do you see Arbiter?"

 

Quickly Sepetria said "Master, those are five your Indices of Judgement! The most of any Arbiter. A true blessing of the Omnissiah's iron"

 

"You miss my point Sepetria," the master shook his head, "you are amazed by five bionic fingers, while I see only five bionic fingers."

 

"I don’t understand."

 

"Do you really think I've only interrogated five fallen angels? Most fallen angels brought here will die in this damp dungeon before they confess." The master continued to walk. "This fallen angel will die here too, but whether he confesses before hand, that is up to you."

 

Sepetria quickened his pace to catch up to the senior Arbiter, and fell in step besides him. And once more, two sounded like one. Screams and curses could be heard getting louder as they approached their destination. When they reached the cell, Sepetria reached for the key hanging from his belt. He stepped in front of the door and inserted the key, and everything, including the fallen angel, fell silent

 

"Glory to the Emperor on Terra," said the master

 

"May His will be done," said Sepetria

 

"Praise be the Omnissiah,"

 

"May His iron provide the way."

 

"Honor the Primarch,"

 

"May He always guide us."

 

And with that, Sepetria turned the key and entered the cell, shutting the door behind him.

 

"Ah yes," laughed the fallen angel strapped to the table, "I have heard of your kind, the so called Interrogator Chaplains. I was wondering when you would arrive"  he said smugly.

 

And with a powerful strike that broke the astartes' cheek, Sepetria responded,

 

"I am no interrogator. I am an Arbiter of the Legion of the Iron Lions. I am a judge of Invictumos. I am justice. And you will face Final Judgement."

The fallen angel winced at the blow, but his enhanced physiology allowed him to suppress the pain. Sepetria walked around the table, standing in near the fallen angel's head. The fallen angel looked up towards the arbiter, green accusing eyes on a the face of death stared back down.

 

"Do you really think you will beat me to repentance, bastard of the lion?"

 

Sepetria turned away silently, and walked towards a table laid out with many tools. He chose a small blade, and whispered to himself,

 

"May His iron provide the way."

 

With a flick of a button, the blade hummed into life, and a green glow danced across the cutting edge.

 

"What is your name fallen angel?"

 

The fallen laughed and said nothing. Sepetria inserted his blade into the fallen angel's right elbow, skin seared but vessels were not cauterized, until he reached the joint

 

"When I address you will respond!" Sepetria yelled, and with surgical precision he thrust blade into the elbow and separating the fallen angel's radius and ulna from his humorous, and with a flick of his wrist drew the blade out, cutting threw skin and muscle while separating the radius and the ulna as well. The fallen angel screamed as his arm was torn from one into three pieces. He walked over to his other arm,

 

"Now, once again, what is your name fallen angel?"

 

He hesitated, but once he saw the blade approaching his left elbow, he replied

 

"I am Sergeant Imalio, what do I have the dishonor of calling you?" he chuckled. Sepetria was not amused, and stabbed the blade through Imalio's hand, lodging it into the table.

 

"You will only address me as Arbiter."

 

Sepetria walked back to the table, making sure to leave the blade on, as to cause a constant burn in Imalio's hand. He reached for the plyer like object. At the center of the pinching point of the plyers was a thick needle like point, so that anything it grabbed, was also pierced.

 

"Imalio, you lay on the table accused of betraying the Lion, Caliban and the Emperor. You lay there a traitor and a coconspirator to the Arch traitor, Luther. For many years you hid and fled the scales of justice," Sepetria turned to face Imalio and began to walk towards his feet.

 

"You have conspired against the Imperium, and the Mechanicum. What say you?"

 

"What say I? I say you are more insane than they make the interrogators out to be!" Imalio yelled. "I served the Lion and the Emperor faithfully until they turned their back on us!"

 

"Confess your guilt of these sins traitor," Sepetria gripped the pinky toe of the astartes between the jaws of the plyers, blood began to seep from the needle. A loud crack, the breaking of bones, and with a furious twist, a chunk of flesh, powdered bone, and blood was what became of the pinky. Sepetria crawled on to the table, on all fours over Imalio, his death mask mere inches from Imalio's face. "Now you see," Sepetria hissed, "Judgement is upon you, and it tires not!"

 

 

 

For hours upon hours, days on days, screams of pain and accusations were heard through the halls of the dungeon until Sepetria finally emerged from the dungeon. His armor was drenched in blood, he smelled of sweat and gore. However, he did not look of victory.

 

"Dead already, Sepetria?" asked the bronzed armored Arbiter.

 

"Just about master, but I shall not fail the primarch once again. I will leave him to the servitors for now, his body must heal before I can inflict any more suffering upon him."

 

"Wise decision Sepetria," the master said intrigued, "wise indeed. Next time an oracle will accompany you, he will remain outside and give you aid. I think you will appreciate this new tool at your disposal."

 

And so the Sepetria and his master walked away from the dungeon incomplete silence…

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