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Angelos Dante

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Been a while since I've taken a good stab at something like this, thoughts appreciated. I will try to work on making this a series




We are a weapon. We were never  a Legion, not like the others.

We are a tool. A weapon. as potent a death-dealer as a virus bomb or magma rocket.

We cannot be the bulwarks of Terra like Dorn's lot, nor can we be preening High Hands like Guilliman's empire builders.

We are a weapon of last resort, we don't break armies or their worlds, we devour them, we eat them whole.


Author Unknown, M31



"I think we are really going to die this time"

 "Shut. up."

Silence reigned for a few blissful moments in the dark as Sergeant Gannica drew in several breaths, a hand placed against his slaughtered breastplate, one shoulder pad having been torn free in the chaos of the defence; his helmet hung limply at his waist, his falax in one hand and empty bolt pistol glowing in the smoke of discharge in the other. Turning to the huddled mass of his fellow World Eaters a small smile appeared at the desecration done upon them. Bloodied and battered they wore their wounds well, the same couldn't be said for his Captain, his smile darkened as he saw his Captain laid out upon the black earth, opened to the air with apothecary Adulis working feverishly to put the officer's organs back inside him. The cave the Company had fought so hard to get in was a giant hole that led, like a trail of rat runs, through the only active volcano on the planet that even now was spurting and grumbling like some belligerent deity.

Stepping to the entrance of the cave Gannica looked down the rolling slope of the volcano, littered with World Eater dead, a trail of fallen leading up to the cave from the wide expanse of ash wastes, pockmarked with holes that the xenos now waited within. If he peered close enough he swore he could see the serpentine beasts writhing around at their own entrances, fearful to come close to the volcano.


"Don't jump. It'd be a waste, I need a meat shield for when we make our way back down" 

   Gannica half turned, a smile upon his face as Brockus' solid form appeared next to him, a giant in MKIII armour, it barely seemed to fit him, like his brethren he was covered in blood, mostly his own to his chagrin, their pristine white armour taking on a dirty grey colour, mirroring the preaching fools of XVII Legion, an unhealthy similarity he would wash off soon, whether with water or blood he didn't care.


"We are trapped, brother"


Brockus paused for a moment, deep in thought behind the twitching facial muscles of a man carved apart and stitched together so much that Gannica doubted that was the warrior's true face anymore


"then we fight our way out"


"As ever your tactical acumen astounds me"    


"That is why I allow the glory fools like you to run up the promotion ladder. You forget that proud little plume makes you a very attractive trophy for someone's display"


Another spurt of ash filled the sky, blotting out the twin blue suns completely now, mere dots of light in the dark shadow, turning his eyes down to the pot holes at the base of the volcano, thousands of them dotted the ash waste landscape, and for a thousandth time he cursed his Captain for not bombarding the landscape, though he knew the cause. The buzzing and squealing Nails at the back of his mind driving his Captain's own bloodthirsty charge into this planet of death.  

Slamming his fist into the side of the cave in frustration his eyes caught the black ash as it loosened and pooled at the base of their haven. Striding a few steps out he looked back up the slope at the volcano, and then down at the pooled earth, with a dark smile he looked back at Brockus,


"I don't like that smile" Brockus grunted 




Several hours later The thirty remaining brothers gathered together. Battered and bloodied, those that remained bareheaded smiled the same nasty smile that plastered Gannica's face, savouring the carnage to come. As the last officer standing, Gannica held technical command, though it was merely a formality as no one else had an alternative idea to another suicidal charge.

Slapping Yesu, the remaining techmarine on the shoulder, Gannica nodded a greeting


"Is it all prepared, brother?" 


"Aye, you damned madman. Our doom is set" the elder warrior gripped a primer in one hand, slamming a closed fist into the centre of Gannica's ruined breastplate as Gannica mirrored the gesture, a smile lit up each warrior's face as the Sergeant turned, his blood caked blonde hair swept over one shoulder, he had once been called a 'pretty soldier' a 'dancer' by the Primarch; an insult he still failed to live down, but had the sense to not let the comment get to him openly.

Adulis appeared at Gannica's side as he turned


"Captain Galo is dead" the gravelly voiced Apoethcary grunted, at times his voice was deep enough to match the Primarch's in tone


"A shame, I'm sure" Gannica shrugged, already his eyes scanning the remaining brothers, for all the world they looked like hunting dogs, champing at the proverbial bit.


"Eat death, :cuss glory brothers" a chorus of guttural laughs broke out as the warriors checked their weapons one last time, those still clasping projectile weaponry checked their magazines before slotting them back, performing their obsessive compulsive ritual over and over.


No further words as Gannica nodded to the techmarine before throwing himself out of the cave mouth, without turning Gannica felt more than heard the subsonic explosions behind him, the near vertical sprint saw him running down the side of the volcano as several very audible explosions sent black earth sailing across the sky.

The mad charge kept the rictus grin upon his face as Gannica saw a few of his brothers overtake him, Brockus kept to his side as the Nails buzzed in his own skull.

A rumble of earth moving detonations caught Gannica's attention, nearly stumbling as the ground beneath him gave way, reflected in his eyes was the planet's blood spewing and bubbling from the earth. Gushing forward in a sludgy stream, he aimed his staggering run towards the closest serpent nest; A few bounds more and Gannica caught sight of a silver flicker in the darkness before the creature burst forth like a spring loaded piston; a mass that looked like a grossly deformed open hand trailed a tail with a barbarous tip, the beast's flesh caught the light with the shimmering silver. He had personally seen the devastating weapon in use, disembowelling brothers with ease, whilst the tight coils of its body could provide enough power to crush an astartes with a sharp squeeze.       

The deformed head leapt towards him, six spindly arms stretched out to grasp him close in a suffocating embrace, in the centre glared a clutch of black orb like eyes around a fanged maw, an animalistic intelligence drew him in; beneath some primal nest protection there was a hate there. He had seen it enough in his brother's eyes that he recognised it, even in xenos. The novelty of actual recognisable emotion made the rictus grin stretch another few centimetres. His face was manic as he performed one final manoeuvre before the Nails finally took him - with a leap and a twist he matched the three metres of height as the falax blade came down, cleaving in two from - what would be on a humanoid - left shoulder to right hip.


And then the Nails took him.


Standing in the purple gore of his eleventh - or was it twelfth - kill. bathed in blood wouldn't be too strong a word as he hacked left and right, roaring his fury as he ducked below each stab from the flailing limbs to lop one off on the backswing, twisting to the side as its tail passed within a few inches of his face, feeling the sickly heat emanate from its flesh.

He brought the falax down into the silvery tail of the xenos, roaring his pleasure as it released a full body whistling scream, instinctively its tail curled around him, squeezing tightly. Gannica felt the battered ceramite creak, groan then crack, his breathing became ragged as he struggled to suck air into his lungs, primal panic temporarily cleared the fog of war from his mind as he found himself looking into the centre of the beast's head, the clutch of eyes regarding him. He saw his own reflection looking back at him. Covered in purple gore as the fangs opened up into a gaping abyss, the stench of fouled milk made him gag as the creature's mouth widened still, he watched as his head disappeared into the darkness, of the beast's body. He couldn't move as he found himself being swallowed whole. The hiss of digestive acids reached his ears as he finally felt the constrictive force release. Bringing his falax up in both hands he used the monofilament edge as a saw inside the thing's throat, kicking his legs as they dangled half out of the beast's mouth, he felt a spray from its digestive tract as it writhed and bucked, struggling and shuddering as he gutted it from the inside out.

Landing in a puddle of spilled entrails and bodily fluids Gannica sucked in a breath, grimacing as each breath brought a sharp stabbing pain to his bone plated chest, quickly the pain dissipated as he watched the lava stream overlap the xenos and pour into their nests.

His smile ached as the xenos screamed. Desperation and what passed for fear overtook them, driving them underground to their nests in a futile need to escape. He saw a few of his own brothers be caught in the stream, the molten substance melting away their own feet before they collapsed to the earth, roaring in their blood hungry rage before being overwhelmed by the flood.

The world disappeared into a flurry of hacks and slashes, at one point he found himself back to back with Brockus, dismembering one of the beasts as lava poured into the holes all around them, forming a hellish river around the World Eaters. Ash covered the sky above, turning the midday light to a hellish nightscape, insane warriors battled thousands of serpentine monsters as the world around them bled and burnt; Leaping from one island to another Gannica tackled a xenos to the ground. Somewhere, sometime ago he had lost his falax, using his bare hands and body strength he kept moving, driving the giant serpent - that towered over him by at least a metre - into a lake of lava, laughing as it screeched, holding it down with one foot as it thrashed and bubbled in terror or agony - if these things could truly feel pain. When the thrashing stopped he used the corpse as a stepping stone to throw himself over to another island, seeing a pack of smaller beasts being circled by a larger xenos, that same feral smile creased his face as his charge carried him through the haze of smoke and death.



With a writhing serpent creature in each hand he used them as a shield as the larger beast struggled and howled whilst he grappled with its younglings before he kicked the nearest one to the side, its brief howl broken as it crunched limply to the black earth, with the other he threw it to one side, betting on the fact that the creature was looking to preserve its youngling over killing him, betting right it seemed, the creature lunged to catch the hurtling adolescent, yet once more Gannica attempted the same trick, tackling the larger beast with his full might, attempting to drive it into a nearby river of bubbling death, but this xenos was tougher, resisting the tackle it dropped the lesser xenos to the earth before swinging a tail at the World Eater, carving a strip of ceramite and flesh from his back in the mania, another swing and he felt something snap in his torso, unable to guess where as blood and saliva drooled from his mouth


"Bastard th...thing. I'm going to make a trophy of your teeth"


his breath came in gasps as he squeezed in desperation, trying to bear hug the creature as it thrashed to throw him off, with a rough shudder he found himself laying flat on his back, another stab of pain in his ribs, a flash of shock as the thing's spear like tail came down into his gut, his hands holding either side as the tip slid slowly between cracked plates, through his black carapace and into his flesh. A hissing groan erupted from his lips, inch by inch the fist sized dagger-like tail pierced further into his flesh, grating along the edges of his fused ribcage, the beast pulled away to plunge the tail back down as he half heartedly rolled to the side. Again and again, the tail coming closer, his head swimming with pain and the bite of the Nails, half rolling he saw the tail bite deep into the earth next to him, grabbing it he felt himself half lifted from the ground before gripping to it tightly, using every muscle in his body to hold it down; over one shoulder he dragged the tail around, a trudging stomp as sweat and blood poured from his scalp, with a staggering step he slowly roasted the tail in the liquid fire, feeding the xenos to the flames, in shock the main body darted towards him, unable to wrestle its spiked flesh form his grip it now tried to swallow him whole, but with a last burst of energy Gannica drove the tail into the thing's maw, feeding itd own barbed flesh to the xenos. His laugh a burst of coughs as the tail speared the body to the earth beneath it, 


"When I'm done with you, I'm going to burn your younglings alive"    


  He hoped the thing could understand him, even if the sentiment wasn't as heartfelt as he wanted.

When the struggling stopped he sat back, eyes turned to the rest of the battle; driven to the banks of the lava flood, the xenos were pushed to their deaths. This was always what separated a World Eater from anything else, even other astartes, they fought as if they were already dead.


Each ragged breath of stabbing pain made all the more difficult with the cloying air that filled his wounded body, it felt like breathing in solid matter, like being buried alive as his third lung constricted, driving him to a hacking cough.

With a shudder he lifted his helmet to his head, feeling the familiar click and whine of connection within the MK IV helm; Scanning for life signs he saw barely a handful of his brethren left, the kill ratio was high, but he knew his brothers would have claimed more of the xenos than the World Eaters they had lost. 


He Marvelled at the topography of the world as his attention elft the dead and dying. Giant sinkholes appeared across the wastes, sucking in thousands of xenos around them, all the while earthquake shudders felt like the end of the world had come to this back water, though this place was what he had imagined hell to be when he finally died, though the Emperor had crushed any idea of afterlife or religion, it existed quietly amongst the astartes Legions. Angron himself didn't care, his was a soul not given over to higher thoughts, not unless murder and destruction was a faith, if so, Angron was the first disciple if not the deity.


Standing in the bloody sludge of death and black earth, Gannica nodded as Brockus appeared from the mist ahead of him, a limp caused him to stumble, as he came closer Gannica cocked an eyebrow at his brother,       


"You look like a mess. Where's your arm?"

Shrugging Brockus flicked his remaining hand in a general direction "over there somewhere. You look like one of those preening III Legion bastards"


"You would be so lucky to find yourself in such august company"


A grunt of dark laughter as the remaining World Eaters appeared from out of the smoke, similarly bloodied, doused in purple gore. A ragged band of warriors all, they milled around, not quite sure what to do now the killing had stopped, the dull thrum of the Nails never truly sated, but allowing a thought pattern to occur behind each set of eyes,


"What do we do now?"

  Yesu appeared amongst the crowd, his buzz saw hanging limply from a suspender over one shoulder, whilst his plasma pistol glowed in one hand, half his face was missing, whilst one bloodshot eye met Gannica's with a ferocity that stunned the sergeant, it was almost...awe? He hadn't seen that look except when his brothers turned to Angron.  


"We wait.  No comms will break through that cloud, eventually the fleet will send down scouts to take a look at what went on" 

Gannica was already turning away, prying the teeth from the fallen xenos with a hard yank, absently he murmured,


"Any of you seen my sword?"



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  • 1 month later...

Bit delayed alas RL gets in the way sometimes...



"You shattered a continent. Increased tectonic activity tenfold and made the land unstable for seeding with Humanity for the next fifty years, is there anything else you wish to add to the report I will be sending back to Command?"



Gannica scratched the stubble across his cheek whilst looking over his shoulder at the grinning XII Legionnaires. The craggy old captain had been sailing the stars since before there were stars so went the story, his face revealed deep ravines and cracks where he had turned away from rejuvenate surgery, his piercing blue eyes met the World Eaters without flinching, matching the underlying black comedy of the Legionnaire with a steel that never failed to impress the World Eaters. Dressed in naval rating grey with a plain officer's cap he kept the multitude of medals in his personal quarters, everyone knew who he was and what he had accomplished, he was not the

type to show off his glories, instead allowing his reputation and position to speak for itself.



"No Captain Ideron. That is about right"



"Good. dismissed"



Brockus snarled as Adulis yanked his mutilated arm unkindly from side to side,


"You are lucky the nerves are only partially seared, we may still be able to attach a bionic replacement. Stop your damned whining, you sound like a skewered grox"



Brockus ignored the Apothecary as his hand flicked out, Gannica catching it in mid-flight as he grinned at his falax,



"Where was it?"



"In one of those silver bastard's guts"



Locking the weapon to his side he turned to find the ship Captain standing next to their idling stormbird, turbine engines whining, the familiar red skull painted upon the front always brought a smile to his face


"With Honoured Captain Galo fallen you are the ranking officer of the XII Legion forces aboard this vessel. I'm sure you have some ritual to commemorate this. I will report the news back to Fleet Command"



Gannica grunted in acknowledgement as the Captain stalked away, his retainers meeting him halfway across the deck, waiting a respectful, some would even say fearful distance from the Legionnaires.



"Congratulations brother, for being the last officer standing in our ragged mob is quite a feat"



More harsh barks of laughter as Gannica made a point of examining his hands, only now the killing being done did the thought of being a leader to these men hit him. He was an officer only by virtue of the Nails taking a few moments longer than his brothers' own to consume him.



"To the Blade Dancer!"



another chorus of guttural laughs. He winced at the name, a cruel jest from a cruel Father long ago.



Gannica flicked his hand in dismissal as the World Eaters filed out. Lifting his helm in his hands and turning it from side to side he imagined the red crest that would appear upon it, and all the responsibility entailed.



"Eater of World. You shame us"



Turning with a grin Gannica looked down upon the heavily tatooed mortal before him



"You owe me skulls. I will take yours in reply to this shame"



Gannica shook his head slowly, as if talking to a particularly slow child as the Karnirian Head Huntress, her hair tied in tight dreadlocks, finger bones used to keep her headpiece in check, she was every part the savage, though Gannica knew it was merely a facade she used, it would cow other mortal soldiers, he had even seen the abhuman regiment of Ogryns look the other way when she stalked across the platform.



"Hush Abinetha, now is not the time"



He made to move past her when she held out a hand, an unrecognisable look caught him mid-step as much as the fact the mortal was trying to bar his path


"We won. Yes?"



"Of course. We are still alive"



"What is cause of face?"



he growled a laugh at the stuttering gothic tongue being massacred by the barbarian, though he knew his own speech was just as bad, growing used to speaking Nagrakali with its harsh bark and mumbled words torn from over thirty worlds' languages



"Nothing. I wish to be alone"



He stalked away, what was wrong with him? He was now a Captain, it was an achievement to rise so highly within the Legion, he was unashamedly proud of his abilities, none within the Legion could match his finesse with the falax blades, he had earned his place, yet still felt wrong for it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

More to come just a bit annoying pasting from a word document and the alignments being all weird...Thoughts would be appreciated from those still reading this








"Officer on the deck!" the firm mortal voice barked from the strategium chamber.


Gannica struggled not to look around for the supposed officer as he strode onto the deck, flanked by Brockus and Adulis - the dimming lights flickered as if in acknowledgement of his presence, though the idea was a delicious ego stroke he knew it was more the fact the battleship had not docked with any Imperial support station in seven years, they would need to soon or risk being marooned out here in the dark of deep space.


Gannica didn't acknowledge anyone as he stepped to the holo-table, the eerie blue lights flickered from it already as the dozen mortal officers and two grizzled, semi-mechanized World Eaters officers recently joining the small fleet, their numbers reaching eighty World Eaters now, barely enough for a full battle force. Though no formal recognition of his new rank was conveyed from central command, the fact that junior officers instead of another officer or an appointment from within the ranks were sent to Gannica showed the Primarch at least acknowledged the newly appointed Captain, if he cared at all.


No one made note of his tardiness, the sheen of sweat upon his brow enough a message. For the last two weeks the new Captain had been training alone in the arena, a hold in the bowels of the ship crewed exclusively by servitors, sequestered away from his men as he annihilated the ship's reserves of combat servitors, not having rested in the last three days, a constant trance of bloodletting.


"We have arrived in the Czardus Nexus, Captain"


Gannica grunted, dropping his helmet upon the holo-table, ignoring the plume of red, newly attached to his helm, the only real augmentation to his war suit. Waving a hand for ship Captain Ideron to continue, after a flickering moment the image before them showed a clutch of battle ships in a semi-circle around the northern pole of the orbiting planet, all broadcasting Imperial tags. Without prompting, the image flickered once more to the planet alone, a superimposed image orb, revolving slowly in a gravitational pull of the weak sun, a clutch of statistics and information listed next to the image


"This is One-Hundred-Thirty-Six Fourteen, known as Frax. The  VII Legion and XIV Legions respectively are embattled on the world below with elements of the Mechanicum. They have lay siege to the temple citadels upon the planet. Their siege engines bring down  the fanes one by one-"


"Why us here, old one?"


Abinetha fairly growled the words, asking the question on the tip of Gannica's tongue, for once grateful for her presence, Ideron, on the other hand was not


"Why are you even here, battle-queen? I think it best you wait below deck until-"


Gannica smiled down at her, raising a placating hand before she brought one of the myriad of blades concealed all over her body to bear upon the ship captain


"Captain, please continue, though the auxilia has a point, why are we here, I assume it is not just for my cousins to show off their siege capabilities?"


"Their opponents have apparently...unexpected tactics that have caused an issue for the contingents present"


Gannica looked up at Ideron for the first time, drawing his eyes away from the pale blue scene before him, meeting the unyielding ship Captain's gaze through the flickering holo-map



"In short. They are being beaten, Captain"  

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Gannica grimaced as the stormbird touched down amid the makeshift encampment, already the Headhunters had erected their totems and tepees, strutting across the camp and marking their territory - the World Eaters like-wise loitered, sharpening weapons or engaging in gladiator duels, he had ordered no extremis blood matches to take place, his ranks were thin enough, they couldn't afford anymore to be slain by their own hand before a battle even took place.
Stepping out of the idling war bird, he took in the scene before him. Dozens of mortals ran to cover within the pre-fab iron buildings as the dust storm kicked up by the power transporter's engines as the howl of the craft was slowly drowned out by the crash of the sea upon the beach and the sea air, though the almost tranquil scene sent a stabbing pain through Gannica's brain as the nails punished him for a thought beyond slaughter, he was thankful it was swiftly broken by Brockus growling at any Headhunters that came close as they stalked onwards, emitting a snarl of static from his helm, they in turn sneered and hissed in their tribal tongue, barely covering their modesty let alone protecting themselves from the chill of the sea air that they either did not fear or made a show of not feeling, but when the astartes walked by, they kept their distance.
Turning back, he paused, seeing the great fortress city of the rebel humans upon a cliff top, as dark and foreboding as it was, it still sent a shiver of excitement through his brain to ease the dull ache of the nails, it was something to conquer, perhaps a true challenge that would finally offer him a grand death.

The command bunker was a hive of activity as Gannica found Yesu standing over a holo-screen with his back to him, clicking mechadendrites upon his back, new augmentations attached to each snake-like appendage, the old Terran was like a rapidly evolving hydra from his birth world's ancient myth, each snapped command from the techmarine sent another mortal running to a terminal or skittering past the Captain, it was a veritable hive of organised chaos.
Gannica smiled at the old wolf, leaning over a strategium tablet, after a few moments the World Eater roared, casting a clutch of parchments and dataslates from the table with a sweep of his arm, turning with a burning rage glowing in his one good eye turning to focus his anger upon until he finally met Gannica's helmed eyes
"Captain. It can't be broken" he made the words sound like a threat as the Captain unlocked his helm and slapped it into Brockus's gut, feeling the chill of the air upon his bare face as it circled the headquarters, meeting the red bionic eye and muddy brown organic of his techmarine as he stepped inside,


"Something has you vexed World Eater?"

Yesu slammed his hand into the strategium tablet, pointing down at the discarded dataslates and scrolls, quickly a runner appeared collecting them and holding them out, to be snatched away without a second thought, offered to the newly appointed Captain

"Impermeable composition...solid light...hermetic void...consortium...I have no mind for mechanicum words Yesu, just give me facts"


"Those fortresses can't be broken, it's impossible, Captain"


"Well that's worrying, I hope you haven't told our cousins that, I would hate to have their overinflated egos grow more wildly with this campaign as they stand in the ruins of previous fortresses upon this world"


"The only way they managed to seize the previous forts was through sheer surprise, but the others were forewarned with enough time to fire up these shields of theirs, they are impenetrable. all of our ordnance-including orbital barrage-does nothing to them, they are unbreakable, Captain"

"What do our cousins say?" Gannica slowly circled the bunker, turning his attention to one thing before quickly forgetting it and examining something else, with all the attention of a child


"They say nothing to us..directly. They send missives for you to meet with them, I am not your equerry Gannica, nor your door keeper"

Ignoring the bite in the words he idly brushed dust from a rune upon the strategium table




Yesu grinned in response "Well, they are being hammered Captain. When they lay siege to a fortress they throw everything at it, nothing works, when they charge it with troops the shields bats them back as if it were living, it seems to be made from some abominable technology from the Dark Ages, it is forged of light, similar to las-weaponry but more refined. More deadly"

Gannica toyed with a holo-rune that, when lifted, became a blue light representation of a spiked halo around an iron skull,


"Well we best go see for ourselves this impenetrable wall. Where are our cousins?"


"As fraternal as we all are they have each taken separate fortresses, the Fists have the south-east of the super continent, the Death Guard the West, apparently no communiqués have passed between the two forces"


with a sigh Gannica looked up at his techmarine, discarding the piece without a thought "Like strutting peacocks, the lot of them" he grunted "come brother, let's go meet the family"



The scene before him was simply the dullest thing he had seen in his one-hundred and twelve years of service. From the cockpit of his stormbird he could see the XIV Legion ringing the city, a mere seven hundred metres between them and the black roads that led to nowhere, there was no glowing shield, no manmade walls either from this deviant human culture, simply a road that stopped short of the beach that the Death Guard  now had made a camp from, a thought occurred to him, resting a hand on the co-pilot's shoulder


"Take aim and fire upon that city"


The astartes looked back, with a moment's hesitation  he nodded, cycling up the hellstrike missiles


"Secondary's primed. Guns, Guns, Guns"


was the only warning before the rockets streaked from the carriage of the ship, streaking with smoking trails towards the city. Following the missiles he watched them near the city before detonating just before striking one  particular black spire- though a small crackle of white light was the only show of an opposing force and not spontaneous explosions causing the missiles to stray from their course, grunting at the experiment's conclusion as a chorus of voices turned the vox into a crackling hiss of static as the XIV Legion below demanded to know what was going on, who they were firing on, why they fired. he felt a smile crease across his face before broadcasting,


"This is XII Legion strike force Captain Gannica, just making sure you are all still awake cousins"


Roaring curses were the only response as he savoured the dark laughter echoing from the troop hold and the pilots as he stomped back into the blood red lighting of the troop compartment to join his command squad.

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Getting closer to the climax, from the views and PMs I'll take it this is still grabbing peoples attention and i'm not too rusty! Final part is close in Gannica's odyssey





"Your theatrics were unwarranted, World Eater. What was the purpose?"

Gannica stood staring up at a dreadnaught armoured Death Guard duo at the rear of the command bunker, each bore a power glaive, held tightly in one fist whilst the other rested upon the stock of their twin-linked bolters, their dirty grey armour wasn't far off his own once pearl white plate, now caked in dirt and rust.

"It was a theory, Captain Draes. I was curious to see if these shields were always erect. Clearly they are and we have all learned a valuable lesson, shall we move on?"

Turning to finally regards the XIV Legion commander he truly saw the gaunt, near death look to the proto-human, garbed in grey plate but for a few ostentatious symbols that Gannica's eyes struggled to focus upon, and a hissing re-breather that gave an odd baritone to the commander's voice, he was to all intents and purposes the image of a corpse wasting away, where Gannica had all the look of a tortured demi-god the XIV Legionnaire was a demi-god rotten from the inside out, he looked sickly enough that Gannica had come close to offering his apothecary to see to his condition.

"Captain Gannica, in the light of this new age of ours, I will forgive the unintended slight, the Primarch, blessings upon him, and the Warmaster demand co-operation in this upcoming venture of ours, so let us start again"

Gannica circled round to the other side of the Death Guard strategium tablet, leaning beneath the swinging flaming censers to meet Draes' eyes,

"New venture?"


The Captain flicked his eyes over to the disorganised mob of World Eaters, then back to his own elite dreadnaught armoured warriors, as if weighing a tactical situation, though the thought wrong-footed him for a moment,


"When was the last time you were in contact with Primarch Angron, or fleet command?"


Gannica cocked his head to the side, letting the wild blonde hair fall over his shoulders as he scratched his cheek


"Not too long ago, we have recently received reinforcements, though not many to be true"


the Death Guard seemed to lose some of his tense disposition, nodding to his elite to leave the room, Gannica favoured his command squad a grunt to do the same.

The sickly legionnaire stepped closer to the strategium tablet in the centre of the room, leaning beneath the swinging censers, a scent of rot made the World Eater's nose wrinkle as he struggled to not lean away


"In truth I thought we would have the Bloody 13th above us right now, or at least Khârn's Berserkers, but I am glad for any allied assistance, the Fists outnumber us somewhat. The order to muster will come soon. We left the tougher fortresses to them but they managed to ransack the mortals here before the shields came up. With a concerted effort I believe we can rid ourselves of an enemy force on our doorstep and gain the Warmaster's favour for our ingenuity-"


Gannica leaned back, holding up a hand,


"What are you speaking of, Captain? Your words tumble into an odd madness"


The opposite Captain leaned back himself, his manner taking on a more stilted nature, Gannica would even go so far as to say it was hostile as they discussed disposition and strategy. In the end the World Eater gave up and walked out, ignoring the glare aimed at his back like the laser sight of a sniper's rifle.




The waiting game carried on for a week or more. Gannica found himself more confused about the Death Guard's worlds than anything else. Several times he had his ignored requests for communication from the Imperial Fists, having his own attempts at communication ignored by the Death Guard as he sought more answers about the ravings from the legionnaire, unable to quite dismiss the fervent words.


Leaning in his command throne within the bunker he ignored the dark laughter from his command squad, Brockus no doubt making a morbid jest to the Telenon the graviton gun wielder, Yesu debated the benefits of  prosthetic limbs to organic with Adulis, placing pieces of granite upon the strategium table, Adulis using his bare hand to crush it into chips whilst Yesu did likewise with his bionic limb, moving to tougher objects.
Gannica spun his falax blade by the pommel in the sandy dust of the bare earth beneath, alternating between staring at it and staring at the entrance and the murky light of the day beyond. Mortals continued their menial tasks, trying their best to ignore the hulking proto-humans that loitered around them, numerous machines buzzed and whined as the mortals tore scraps of parchment from them, before passing them on to another who would then show them to some higher ranking menial. The boredom continued.
A panting mortal dashed into the bunker, stopped immediately by a ceramite hand wrapped around his throat and a activated chainaxe millimetres from his eyes


"L-lord! a-agh-an envoy" the mortal gasped as Brockus snarled down at him, drool sliding down his chin  


"Let him go, Brockus" reluctantly the astartes did so, only after hearing his name called once more. The menial bowed and ran from the bunker as fast as his legs would carry him.
Moments later a clutch of bright yellow warriors stalked into the bunker, two bore standards depicting scenes from some grand battle, whilst two more stepped forward and turned smartly, weapons braced to their chests as fifth member strode in with all the confidence of an immortal who knew he was incapable of being slain, a tower shield in one hand and thunder hammer in the other, his armour coloured in scripture, whilst one shoulder pad was coloured white with a black cross.


Moving his feet down from the strategium tablet Gannica gripped his falax, remaining seated as the final warrior drifted in, with all the surety of a winter's breeze his manner was just as cold. Decorated in numerous awards and insignia, his armour was the freshest off the line, interlocking plates with no cabling access in his midriff, he looked like he was made of ceramite, through and through. A cloak hung over his left side, purple cloth with gold trimming it bore a white winged skull with a sword through the centre, the pommel  a clenched fist.


"Why do you sit here in your bunker? You have been here for a nine days, offering no communication, ignoring all treaties, you simply sit in here doing...what exactly?"


Gannica grinned up at the Captain, waving his arms out wide, a spiteful smile upon his face, though whether it was from misfiring nerves or direct intention was debatable


"Welcome to our home, Imperial Fist. Though I ask you to present your name, then I shall give mine and we can go about this properly"


"You think this a game, World Eater? We have a world to conquer and bring into the Imperium and you sit here making jests like some court fool, is this what the XII are reverted to now? jesters and slavering fools? We called for assistance in bringing this world to compliance, and all you do is sit here?"


Gannica maintained a rictus-like smile as he stood, turning to the side as he swept his falax from side to side to limber his arms up as if for some duel,


"You have yet to tell me your name, Fist. I do hate to slay kin that I don't know the name of"


The tower shield wielding Fist stepped forward, his hammer crackling to life as he aimed the head at the World Eater with all the intention of a man willing, even eager, to use it. The Imperial Fist commander placed a hand upon the champion's pauldron before turning his grey eyes  within a very plain, completely forgettable face upon the World Eater


"I am Captain Arkil, 39th Company, Praetorian Guard, VII Legion, Imperial Fists. Now your name jester"


"Captain Gannica, 23rd Battle Company. I'm sure you know where I'm from"


The Imperial Fist regarded Gannica for a moment, the moment stretched as they studied each other, seeking for weaknesses, or perhaps strengths, in each other


"Why do you sit here waiting?" Arkil asked once more, his tone slower, calmer, though not lacking in steel


"We have been waiting"


"For what?"


"For you, Arkil"


The Captain coughed, it took a few moments for Gannica to realise it was an attempt at a laugh


"I have been sending you missives, calls to meet, you have ignored them all. Why now?"


"Aye, but we warhounds are getting so very old, can't do as much trekking and hiking as we used to. We thought it best you come to us" Gannica turned to look over his shoulder at Brockus who grinned openly, his chainaxe gripped limply in one hand.


"Warhounds? I thought you call yourselves World Eaters now? matches your savage nature so clearly, from what I recall"


"Well that was a citizen relationship building scheme by the Primarch, he never was one for people skills, not like us"


Gannica's smile seemed stapled to his face, looking up at the taller Imperial Fist as they stood opposite each other


"I do not have the time to bandy words with jesters. Charel?"


A marine stepped forward, handing a holo-pad to the officer, who held it out, watching it flicker to life, displaying a series of green dots and red squares upon a field of blue,


"We have discerned that these fortresses are all connected. It was more accident than intent that we managed to slay so many so quickly after the initial assault. We slew one fortress, then a second that we have only just noticed was a part of a nexus, once the second fell, three others circling it did not have the capability to bring their light shields to bear without a direct link to the central hub. The defence fields are fed by a mixture of converted energy measures. Break the links and the cities defences fall. This is where you come in World Eater - we will lay siege here-and throw everything we have at it, we believe we have them, when the shields weaken you can unleash your war dogs to do what your do so very well"


Gannica studied the map, noting the central fortress that had several links attached to numerous other green dots, there is always a heart to be torn out, a brain to be slaughtered, an artery to bleed, everything bleeds those words from the Primarch stuck with him from his first battle, sitting upon a mound of dead as the Primarch stalked past, the firelight of flamers at work catching the hollow glint in his eye.


"I always wondered why your Legion, beyond the others, wanted us disbanded not so long ago" he said instead


"What? what are you talking about?"


"You are a Legion that dresses yourself in fancy titles and claims, but you know the value of achieving an objective with all the determination of no matter what. Yet you demanded censure upon  us for employing the very same methods not so long ago"


"If that is what you think we do then you truly know nothing of us. You are madmen. Slaying everything around you without thought or consequence, you mutilate  the codes of the astartes, the ideals of the Imperium"


"And yet, once more, it is these tactics that will no doubt be a cause for your victory here" Gannica said after looking back at the cracked granite upon the strategium tablet behind him, his eyes drawn to Yesu's bionic arm


"Tell me, what have you used to attack these shields with?"


"Everything we have in our arsenal. from bolters to volkite weaponry to seismic cannons and lance strikes from orbit. They are unbreakable"


"You think too small, Captain. If I and my brothers have learnt anything in our tenure as World Eaters, it is always that you can go bigger, push further than any think possible. Tell me, what ships make up your fleet?"


Gannica grinned to himself as he sat in his harness, his pearl white helm obscured his smile as he looked over at Brockus in the blood red light within their drop pod. For once the World Eaters seemed sedate, pensive even, no doubt at the thought of what was to happen next


"I think we are really going to die this time" Brockus mumbled


"Shut. Up."


Gannica couldn't help the sensation of feeling truly alive.


Yesu even now stood upon the cruiser's command deck, organising the delicate ballet of battleships, the argument with the imperial Fist had gone on long into the night, until Gannica had convinced him of his plan and that, should the plan go awry it would rid the Fist of an entire World Eater contingent with no stain upon his honour, and at best it would break the deadlock permanently;


"What code do you hold to World Eater? You go too far this time, is it for theatricality? to make the rest of us believe you are all insane? What do you truly stand for here? This will not be victory this will be desolation"


Gannica had been wrong-footed, the familiar biting pain like a jagged claw on his brainpan caused  misfire as he sucked in a breath and hunched forward, if it wasn't for the Imperial Fists resources he would have simply walked away, but his small flotilla had not the means to accomplish his design,


"I have often wondered, if we are the truest dream for the Emperor, when he first conjured the idea of the Legiones, do you ever wonder if you are mere shadows of us? we win or die, we are practically thoughtless in our war-making. Everything He wants in a battle force. What do we believe in? Nothing...Everything. Does it matter? all there is is blood and death, that's what matters, and with this plan I can deliver it, or die trying"

the Imperial Fist was far from sanguine, reluctantly agreeing, seeing no other alternative to break the stalemate in his own logic beholden mind.
He had received a range of responses from his comrades and allies once informed, from reluctant acknowledgements, to hate fuelled insults, to howls of pleasure, eve Captain Ideron expressed his concern for Gannica, throwing the World Eater into uncharted territory before he quietly closed the communique.
The space around Frax was a stellar ballet of ships moving into and out of range, clumsy if viewed by a mortal who had never seen spaceships move before, yet it held a wholly different kind of grace, the ships now resembled some slavering pack of wolves circling their prey, unsure if it was weak enough to attack yet.
After several hours of trudging movement everything was prepared.. No more words were given but for the affirmative and order to begin.
From the pack of ships came the cargo hauler Splendid Aura driving forward like a fat sow, its cargo was as lethal as any battlecruiser payload, if directed properly. Building up momentum it strove to make it as close to full speed as it could get. Ploughing through Frax's atmosphere, its shields up as it slammed into the central fortress city with a world ending roar and a trail of fire as the promethium it hauled ignited with a ferocity to equal any primitive Armageddon description. Every orbital-viewer became static, any mortal who would look upon the scene would be blinded by the light, unable to witness such a storm of chaos.
Then the focussed bombardment began, and just as swiftly the World Eaters were unleashed to do what they were made for, to devour the world below them.

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He didn't quite remember what had happened.


It was a worrisome thought in itself.


His battleplate was seared black, if not for the ceramite there would no doubt be nothing left of his flesh as smoke drifted from the charred plate, hefting his falax in one hand and a chainaxe in the other before pausing


Where had the chainaxe come from?


Looking up from the shattered porcelain road work there was nothing but fire and the occasional glimpse of a night sky


When had it turned to night? We landed in the day cycle... didn't we?


Onyx buildings were like beacons of fire. Mortals fell like cruel rain from the rooftops. As he narrowed his eyes to comprehend the madness he caught a flicker of an Astartes that had occupied one of the main high rises  to the west, slaughtering any mortals within. Others were thrown from a six hundred metre tower, the black windows shattered, creating a jagged downpour on the streets below, followed swiftly by screaming humans.


A ruined tank ahead of him exploded as its fuel source overcooked, raining yet more flaming liquid in all directions; Mortals screamed
and howled as they tried to break for cover amidst the chaos, their squeals of terror and whimpering forced him to shake his head in disgust, his vision was blurred as he tried to take in the scene before him; Reaching up he grunted in surprise as he yanked his helm off, finding it fall into pieces in his hands.


Discarding the wreckage he touched his face, surprised to find no marking but for a single scabbing wound upon his cheek. Looking down he saw that he was standing upon a pile of black carapace wearing humans, who themselves lay upon a large slab of the porcelain roadway , lifted no doubt by some great explosion, as the sound of the madness filtered back into his senses he turned slowly, hearing a roaring echo that sent a shiver down his spine 




"Gannica! Gannica! Blood and Skulls! Gannica! Gannica!"



A crowd of his brethren stood behind him, bathed in the firelight and blood they looked for all the world like deadly revenants of some forgotten faith's vision of insanity and carnage.


The sight haunted him, but for its maddening familarity, as if he had dreamed it once. But that was madness in itself. Astartes didn't dream.


He saw the blood maddened look in the whites of their eyes, or lack thereof. Blood shot eyes circled the black iris. They were lost to the
nails, how then, could they formulate these words and hold back from the slaughter?



Looking to the sky he ignored the flaming shards of metal and glass clatter around him, breathing in deeply he felt his hands twitch with

the dull ache of the nails, the apocalyptic scene made him feel at once tired and alive, every hair on the back of his neck was standing on end as if a static charge ran through him, the chainaxe gunned in his hand, revving throatily, the steady drip drip drip of blood pattered upon the dead mortals at his feet from his falax, catching sight of himself in the mirror edge amidst the blood spatters he was more shocked to find himself looking back, not some dark creature or daemonic apparition.


His voice was a wispy sigh, as if both content and weary beyond words, but a whisper, he did not need to raise his voice over the sound
of carnage for his brothers to hear him, even as a sky touching building crashed to the ground with the force of an orbital bombardment a hundred meters behind him


"Kill them all, brothers"



He only caught glimpses of the savagery unleashed by is few words and own deeds.


An armoured mortal stood by a hollowed out and burning armoured carrier vehicle. Shaking as he faced down the World Eaters, no doubt trying to buy time for the mortals dashing into some underground system behind him. Black armoured and helmed but for a square mark upon his chest with multiple colours within, a bland tag of some kind to denote his cause or
regiment, no doubt. in his hands he hefted a comically oversized single barrel weapon with some form of top loader device. The barrel glowed green before a jet of energy spat from it, diving to the side just in time Gannica heard the sizzling as the energy shot passed by his head, instead striking one of his brothers who collapsed to the ground, writhing in agony as his body went into spasms, torso
being eaten away by the energy as it slowly consumed him, reducing him to nothing.


Gannica reached him first, a back handed swing with the chainaxe took the leg from out of the mortal, as he was lifted off the ground
Gannica drove his fist solidly into the humans chest, slamming him with a crunch upon the porcelain road, finishing him with a swift stamp upon his skull.


He grabbed one running mortal by the shoulder, yanking her back, feeling her collarbone shatter underneath his grip before he discarded her with a flick of his wrist, sending her bodily into one of the wall of a black sky scraping building on the other side of the main roadway.


A hulking metal warmachine stomped towards him - it barked words in a language he found achingly familiar before it lifted a multi-barrelled arm at him, spitting a dozen small projectiles, he found his reflexes reach new heights as he dove behind a cluster of overturned vehicles on fire, catching a glimpse of his brothers with the blinking projectiles lodged in their armour, making a whining noise before, seconds later, they detonated. He turned his head away as he became coated in his brothers shattered ceramite and body parts.


Sneering, more from the nails than actual thought he stepped back from cover as the walker stomped closer, pushing all energy into his legs he leapt upon the burning hulks of road vehicles, using the momentum to throw himself onto the walker.


Standing twice his height and three times his width it was a machine of destruction, he found a grudging sense of admiration for this
culture. Even as he drove his falax down into the metal hull. Swinging his chainaxe wildly and hacking at any exposed fibre bundles. Ignoring the twisting and turning of the bipedal war machine Gannica discarded his newly acquired chainaxe, driving his fist down into the roof compartment of the walker With a force he didn't know he had.


Gripping what he could inside, he found a metal compartment empty but for flickering blue lights on around a silver orb. Gripping it in one hand he tore it away from the connectors and smashed it against the porcelain roadway.


Standing upon the Walker, gasping for air he ignored the smoke fumes rising up around him, he felt a pull within him. A rising desire, no longer a desperate need to make the nails' pain go away but a want, the feel of blood upon his face sent a shiver down his spine in pleasure. Slowly his senses returned as he heard his name repeated


"Captain. We have them routed fully. The-the battle is won. They send terms of surrender broadcast on a broadwave band. Reports from command are that the other cities are suing for peace as their shields have likewise collapsed after that stunt of yours"


Gannica wiped his unhelmed face with the back of his hand, dropping down beside Adulis who notably took a step back from the Captain


"What is wrong, Healer? We are winning, yes?"


He struggled to form words, his mind was aflame, not with the rending of the nails upon hi cortex but with a lust for bloodshed that was wholly darker


"You-you are different Captain. You kept howling something as you killed. I heard it through the nails. What is Kharnath, Gannica?"


Gannica shook his head, the confusion only fuelled the bite of the nails, he didn't know what it was, perhaps a subconscious memory dredge up as the nails took over.


Stepping down from the paralysed wreck he shook his head, reaching back and feeling the unhealed scar of the nails beneath his hair, he winced at the thought more than the sensation, apprehension coloured his thoughts, what if they were misfiring? finally taking his life like the older Rampagers? No better than chrono-gladiators, the nails finally taking him in a wash of brain death.




"What?" Gannica growled, irritated at the disturbance to his morbid thoughts


"VII Legion forces inbound. Demanding we cease and desist. They claim they have accepted some sort of surrender from the deviants


Adulis looked wary, even beneath his dirty white helm he looked unsure, though Gannica couldn't pinpoint the cause with any surety.


"Tell them to stand down. We are in the middle of a firefight, when the dust clears the High Hands can get to rebuilding this city"


"They are not listening, Captain. They will land in the main concourse leading to some armoured precinct cross the water. They will be
with us in ten minutes"



Gannica roared, blood coloured his vision. 


What had happened to him? why was he struggling to control himself in such a primal way?

"Contact the brothers. Bring them together in the nearest landing zone. Make them hold there, do not engage any further enemies"


Adulis hesitated before half turning, a soft click from him indicated his communiqué across all networks. When he turned back to Gannica he found the Captain gone.

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  • 2 weeks later...

At the home stretch now, appreciate all the views!


What separates a warrior from a soldier? A warrior fights for the satisfaction of his own preening ego, his desire to be canonized, to be a legend when his bones are naught but dust. A soldier is a being of duty, placing his own desires and yes, his own life behind that of his fellow man, confining his life to one of servitude to a people who do not ask for the sacrifice, nor do they care. We were neither. We have never cared for glory. We have never cared for Man. we are weapons, do you not see? weapons of flesh and blood, of steel and ceramite, we are no more complex that that axe in your hand, through this simplicity our purpose is born.

Seven hours previously...



He had stood in an inferno of his own making.



Promethium poured through the city streets in a flood, cooked by the super heated entry of a haulage ship as it crashed into a world.
A river of fire to rival any apocalypse cult's vision of the end of days had engulfed the first fifty hab-blocks and towers, hundreds of thousands died screaming in seconds. There was no compassion in the hearts of World Eaters. No brotherhood of man lay within their sentiments as they put to the torch the city of men. They knew no fear as they waded in the river of fire. Their howls pierced the heavens as cloud disruption from a star ship's atmospheric entry caused rain to pour down like the tears of the world.

Brockus was at his side, as were the most degenerated astartes within his band, those who would soon be called to join the Rampager formations springing up across the Legion, there were talks of entire companies being dedicated to such fallen brothers. The thought brought an agonising sense of sadness, made worse for the  nails' bite at the weak emotion.

He splashed through the fire, feeling the lick of flame but not quite...feeling it as it flickered across his ceramite shins, a drooling snarl etched upon his unhelmed head, his wild blonde hair knotted with dried blood.

Before them, slowly opening up with each thunderous footstep a plaza appeared, surrounded on all sides by the familiar black glass high rising hab-blocks, metallic tank traps dotted the areas, blocking off other  roadway exits; behind them sat dozens of black armoured humans whilst the centre was dominated by a green space with the statue of some great and noble warlord or well loved leader of these wayward humans, on one knee, one arm of marble stretched up to the sky in supplication, a look of grim determination upon his face whilst his storm coat was caught in an invisible breeze.
Too late Gannica realised that his brothers had stormed into a trap as they scrambled over a miniature blockade of civilian vehicles and into the square, thirty of his brothers roared and howled to the smog choked sky, the once bright sun swallowed by toxic fumes; they caught sight of the first human resistance, and like a violent switch they went from boasting warlords to slavering madmen, the sheer desire to destroy was a near physical heat in their ragged pack, though only a spike of cold shuddered through Gannica as the entire scene played out with agonising clarity.

A buzz of energy and the familiar smell of an energy weapon charging caught his attention as the junction behind the strike force was suddenly turned into a blue wall of dazzling light, almost simultaneously  the collective crack of breaking glass as the sky was suddenly filled with falling windo shards, like a vicious rain that sliced any bare skin. Like shadows in the dark, standing in the black windowless buildings were ranks of the human infantry, weapons primed as the entire scene became the preamble to a slaughter.

It was a perfect kill zone. No doubt something to be studied by the Fists later when they cleared away the remnants of this world and found the obliterated remnants of World Eaters in this square.
There was little in the way of cover as a hovercraft floated serenely on the furthest corner of the square, green jets holding the snub-nosed craft in mid air as rotary cannons thunked out from its hold, pointed directly at the World Eaters.

"Do you think they brought enough for all of us?" Brockus laughed maniacally as the charge stuttered and faltered for a few moments, even the nails couldn't completely drain this scene of its proclamation.

They never truly stopped running towards the closest barricade, whilst the black armoured humans shouldered their oversized weapons, sighting down at the small ragged band of World Eaters, waiting for the optimum moment to open fire on the madmen.
The nails began their rending bite, the signal for them to take over, with his last sense filled words Gannica howled

"Blood and Skulls!"

The charge was the rush of madmen knowing nothing but death. Craving oblivion as much as the desire to deliver it. Their lives built on agony, all they knew was death dealing, it was an art form of a thousand strokes, each one a torment to be delivered. And many would not see the chance to deliver it again as the storm broke.

Carnage rained as explosions tore apart the square, Gannica saw one brother reduced to glowing shards of metal and ash as the wall of green energy bursts struck him from the human weapons, it was a marvel of engineering, their weaponry was easily a match for ceramite, in all his years no human civilisation had been able to match astartes weaponry, it was an uncomfortable truth he had realised as he used a discarded shoulder pad from a fallen brother as a shield.

A green fizzling energy weapon struck his hip, spinning him, making him stagger as warm fluid ran down his leg, another turned large sections of the shoulder pad shield to molten fluid, forcing him to discard it as he half stumbled half vaulted over a tank trap lined with laser wire, seeing the dismembered bodies of brothers who had not tried to bypass the trip lines.

His roar of pain and anger mingled with a laugh of madness, as adrenaline and an almost suffocating array of chemicals pumped through his system as the nails bit their deepest, the world slowed, he saw himself as if he were standing to the side of all the chaos. His bolt pistol released a dull bang and a flair of fire with each round, not looking where each round fell though knowing their marks one black armoured warrior crouched behind a makeshift barrier of civilian transport vehicles slowly rose from cover after reloading to lose his head in a splatter, showering two of his compatriots with brain matter and bone; A second round took a soldier in the groin, removing everything below his waist as his torso went in the other direction, a jet of blood and entrails following him; two more rounds detonated against one human's deadly weapon, exploding in a flare of green energy that ate him alive, his scream dying before it began.

His falax came down now as his failed leap sent him into another mortal - Like an avenging angel his face was caught in a rictus grin, spittle flying from his lips as the human could only stare in sheer horror at the giant immortal. With an explosion that was almost comical Gannica brought the sword down to bisect the stunned defender, blood gushing everywhere, covering Gannica as he howled, lunging forward to drive his shoulder into another black armoured human, driving him from his feet, momentum carrying them both into the tank trap behind him as every bone within the mortals torso was shattered against the steel and driving ceramite. Yet still the green flares of energy rained down.

The scene was anarchy, Brockus was gone from Gannica's side as he knew he would be, lost in his own melee, the thought for his comrade stopped short as a twin-barrelled hover-tank twisted its elongated nozzles towards him, spitting twin beams of purple light that missed him by scant feet, setting the edges of his hair ablaze as the air cooked around the energy - twin trails were gouged in the roadway as if someone had driven a particularly lethal plough through the hard packed surface.
Grabbing the nearest attacking mortal Gannica slashed down, taking the man's arm before driving the stock of his pistol down upon his black visored head, driving the mortal to the floor, blood and bone coating the stock as he twisted to the next, squeezing the trigger but hearing only the dull click of an empty magazine
He hadn't fired that many rounds, had he?
A brief, awkward moment rained as the two warriors stared at each other before Gannica threw his pistol at the defender's head, a crack of broken visor and a bleeding face beneath, rushing forward and driving both fists into the human's gut and lifting him high before throwing him bodily into a cluster of firing brethren.
More fizzling green energy drove the World Eater to his knees as the weight of fire from above overtook the initial charge.
Gannica watched one World Eater be blown back over the mangle of civilian vehicles, before a mortal leapt upon the warped metal mound, firing down into the roaring World Eater on his back, reducing him to a heap of glowing sludge.

The hover-tank spat its energy weapons again, reducing the statue and the World Eaters huddling behind it to molten ruin, the marble statue creaked and groaned as it slowly toppled to the desolate earth with a thud.

The chattering rotary cannons from the hover craft spat death upon a small combat squad of World Eaters, creating a macabre dance as they were riddled with holes from searing energy blasts, before collapsing to the ground in steaming chunks of flesh and ceramite.
Breaking the whine of the rotary cannons enfilade came the howl and whine of ill maintained engines as half a dozen blood covered transport ships of primitive design descended into the packed square - great harpoons of jagged creations shot into the floating hover-ship of the enemy; the wrenching noise of metal on metal as the new aircraft pulled away, ripping large sections of the ship in two, raining green fire upon those below as the bulk of it collided with a tower before slamming with earth shaking force into the road below.

Brief cover was offered as the chaos continued, plumes of green fire burst from the broken craft as Karnirians threw themselves from the roughshod crafts, performing insane feats of valour and madness as they threw themselves into the buildings themselves, dressed in nothing but loincloths and blood soaked feathers or animal hides, wielding hatchets, clubs, axes and any piece of weaponry they could use that required little maintenance. Their carriers were the only exception being offered, allowing them to more swiftly enter battle.

They were savages of the lowest pedigree. Being quickly brought into the folds of the fledgling Imperium by the Word Bearers previously, they had fought a hopeless campaign, knowing no surrender, until finally a truce was agreed, the details of which was lost on Gannica, equally how that particular superlative diplomat had convinced such madmen to join the Crusade.

He watched as the carrier-crafts were blown from the sky, crashing into the buildings in the tight press of hab-towers - it didn't matter now.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Like a wave of unrelenting blades the World Eater survivors and the skirmish of Karnirians washed over the defenders, to their credit they stoically defended their chokepoints. Physically at times the World Eaters had to dismantle the barricades, the myriad of makeshift weapons Gannica's brethren created as they stormed over the defences like blood drenched gods of war, though that wasn't far from the truth of their violent explosion into the defender's lines.


Gannica himself drove his fist into a destroyed civilian vehicle, using a roughshod square of the strange metal compound as a shield, slamming it into the face of one human before flicking it high, lifting one particularly stunned mortal into the air for a moment before the pommel of his blade snapped ribs and plate as he drove his fist down.


Taking a moment to suck in a breath Gannica hawked a glob of blood and roared to the flame drenched sky in violent pleasure, they were winning, as he knew they would-


An explosion not of physicality but of sound and sensation made him stagger - he was struggling to breathe, struggling to think other than to feel an undying sense of hopelessness. This was not fear. This was despair. He was not meant to feel this. They promised him he would no longer feel fear, that was the bargain when
they took him all those years ago. He could feel the despair sucking him down. He vomited acid and bile, but the sheer overwhelming sensation was too much, he
felt like he was drowning.

It felt like dying.


In a moment it was gone. He rose from his knees, unaware of the moment he had fallen to them, a chaotic chorus of astartes voices tore across the vox net, demanding answers, asking for orders, he had none to give other than to curse them. The throb in his skull was a wholly unpleasant sensation, not the bite of the nails but something akin to several burst blood vessels pulsing, his skull felt fit to bursting, pouring his own blood over his lips, mingling the richness with that of the mortals' own splashed across his features.


Brockus appeared beside him. The shock of the moment more numbing for the fact that his hand was shaking, his steps tentative, reaching out to Gannica like a lifeline 


"Wha-What happened?"


Gannica grimaced, sniffing as he looked down at the mortals that, moments before, had been standing ready to repel their charge. Several had used their own weapons upon themselves, others had savagely attempted to rip their own eyes from their sockets 


"Put them out of their misery" he gargled through his own blood


"Captain, what was that?"


"Some new weapon maybe. Ill-conceived by the looks of them" Ignoring his comrade he brought the orbital vox link online with a thought


"Yesu, what in Terra's name was that?"


The grizzled Techmarine's voice grumbled over the vox, his voice rolling with its harsh Terran accent


"We don't know Captain. We sensed nor felt any energy spikes, though we seem to be having an a series of identifiable issues up here"


The crack of a bolter unmistakeable


"Report, World Eater!"

static filled the response before the Techmarine growled back into the vox link

"An attempted mutiny seems to be underway, Captain"


Gannica looked to the sky, as if his vision could pierce the flames and thousands of miles into orbit. Before he could speak further the Techmarine was cursing in several languages that were none of them Nagrakali


"It seems to have coincided with whatever that was that occurred planet side"

"Can it be contained?"

"Yes Captain, we have those that have compose themselves working as death squads to quash any resistance, it seems to have affected the mortals more radically than astartes, from the sounds over the multi-network link the other legions suffer the same. I can't seem to pinpoint the source of the phenomenon before you ask, Captain"


"What do you mean? Can you not hear that sound?"


Yesu huffed in a breath over the vox, though the crackling static failed to hide the genuine confusion in his voice

"Hear what, sir?"

"Laughing, Yesu. Someone is laughing" 

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