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post #17 of (permalink) Old 04-04-12, 10:31 PM
The Curmudgeon
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Hidden Doom

“For the Emperor!” Sergeant Silinus of the Raven Guard Chapter called out as a rallying cry to his fellow Astartes as he charged forth with his lightning claws at the ready. The rest of his squad surged forward with him, bolters flashing angrily in the direct of the foes that had been arrayed against them. The target of their wrath was a host of Ork who had infested a temple that was the object of Inquisitor Andiron’s visit to such a desolate world.

Several of Silinus’ squad took flight, launched into the sky by powerful jump packs that carried them aloft without apparent effort. Some were equipped with lightning claws while other wielded bolt pistols and chainswords. As they came crashing into the host of Orks, they cleaved the green flesh laid out before them with a fury that was unmatched by the aliens they fought against. Even when one Ork would find himself in a position that might otherwise prove to be the end of one of the Raven Guard, a sudden rush of air could be heard followed swiftly by an Orkish head exploding in a fog of gore and brain matter.

Brother Terenis, unlike the rest of the Raven Guard, was much better at ranged combat, and generally held himself away from the battle. This was by no means a product of cowardice; Terenis would often score more kills from some obscure location on the battle field than his brethren would fighting an enemy face to face. This was one of those times. The Astartes had already depleted several magazines from his stalker bolter before his brethren had taken down half as many Orks in close combat.

“It’s a damn shame,” Terenis muttered as he reloaded his stalker bolter within earshot of the Inquisitor that was leading their little excursion.

“What is?” Lucian asked the Space Marine.

“I thought we were going to have some measure of challenge on this mission. So far, these Orks fight like scared pets… not even worth the rounds I have put in their skulls…” the Astartes grumbled.

“Better we slaughter them then they do the same to us,” The Inquisitor remarked before turning to his Eldar companion, “Remind me what it is we’ve come here for.”

Aeliel, an Eldar Lucian had ‘recruited’ on an Exodite world several months ago, pulled a large book from a sack hanging over her shoulder. The woman pulled open the cover and flipped through the pages of the large manuscript until she found the proper entry for the world they were standing upon.

“It is said this place houses a weapon of the ancients, one that can warp matter utterly and with devastating consequences,” Aeliel replied, turning to the Inquisitor with a frown, “And it was your idea to come here, not mine.”

“So true…” the Inquisitor chuckled. As Lucian turned to regard the battlefield, there wasn’t much left of it to behold. Nearly a hundred green skinned corpses were cast about the ground, most of them eviscerated or their heads blown completely away. The temple entrance was clear of obstructions, given the Inquisitorial entourage ample time to regroup and reclaim some of their expended ammunition from the bodies and weapons of the Orks.

The group of Astartes laughed at the entire ordeal as they entered the temple. Even in the moment of jovial banter, the squad was alert for any further resistance from their enemy. They still cleared the corridors and rooms like a well-orchestrated raiding party should have. The only deviation was the banter, a never-ending string of insults and chiding born from the closeness of the team. Even the Inquisitor and his Eldar companion were included, as they had served a great deal of time together in the months since their first meeting.

The small squad reached the large vault without incident, something that even Lucian was weary of. The last time they had made it to a place of significance they were not long ambushed afterward. Lucian motioned for Aeliel to fulfill her part in the mission, and the Eldar quickly went about unlocking the doors that kept them separated from their prize. Heartbeats later, the door his and groaned in protest before sliding noisily apart to reveal what they had been search for.

Lucian approached the device and found it to be rather… anticlimactic. It was no bigger than a lasgun, and though it looked rather sleek and elegant, it didn’t scream out to the Inquisitor ‘weapon of great destruction.’ Nevertheless, the Inquisitor retrieved the weapon and nodded for his Raven Guard companions to lead the withdrawal. Sergeant Silinus nodded and led the advance, following the same route they had used to enter. All went well until they arrived at the entrance, where an Ork Warboss stood among the bloodied corpses of his horde.

“You humies are gonna pay for dis!” the massive Ork roared.

Sergeant Silinus was about to charge the thing when Inquisitor Andiron stepped out in front of him. Lucian leveled his new weapon against the Ork, engendering quite a bit of laughter from the Warboss and his accompanying troops. Terenis moved up beside the Inquisitor and leaned in to whisper in his ear.

“What do you think that little thing is going to do against that massive Ork?” the Astartes asked.

“No time like the present to find out,” the Inquisitor said with a shrug before pulling the trigger mechanism. The weapon began to hum loudly, several points along the device suddenly bristling with light and energy. Before the Inquisitor could even depress the trigger, a beam of light surged forth from the thing, slamming itself into the Warboss. The blood curdling scream that escaped the thing before he became a ball of light himself was both horrifying and gratifying all at once.

As the Ork dissolved, for lack of a better description, the light began to leap from Ork to Ork, coaxing scream after agonizing scream from each of them until there wasn’t a single bit of green flesh left. The entire host had been taken down in a cascade, and then the light just dissipated. Lucian nearly dropped the weapon in shock at just how powerful it was.

“What in the name of the Emperor is that thing?!” Sergeant Silinus asked.

“I haven’t got a clue… but I doubt the Emperor had anything to do with it. We’d all have one if he did…” the Inquisitor remarked, staring out over the field of gore that had once held hundreds of their enemies, “How about we name this thing an Annihilator?”

“Disturbingly appropriate…” Silinus agreed.

This is 1099 words minus the title.

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