In The End.
A Renegades’ Short.
HOES Last Stand
Word Count (Not including titles): 1054
The smell of Death hung in the air like a great shroud, the sound of bolter fire joined with the whir of chain blades mingled with the cries of the dying. All around the warriors the dead and the dying lay, Apothecaries, protected by a small squad carried out their grizzly work, saying the rites of passing over the bodies and then extracting the gene-seed so that their warriors would live on in a new generation.
The Imperial Army fell easier than the black and white clad warriors beside them, but to the Captain of the 120th Company Raven Guard, Yantos, felt for them as he would the many of his men that were falling before the onslaught of the enemy. This was no ordinary enemy. This was not the vile Xenos of the Eldar or the Orks. This was not some lost world of Humanity fighting the rules of the Imperium, this was brother against brother. This was madness and as yet another of his battle brothers fell, he began to wonder when the world had gone mad.
When Corax had returned with the word that the Emperor had claimed his previously long denied obsession with godhood Yantos could hardly believe it. He had been born on Terra, he had fought for the Emperor long before Corvius had been found and reunited with his lost sons. The Emperor had always resisted the call to be deified, he had burnt the last church to a faith that had no more place in human hearts, the call of science, technology and independence from faith had been the driving force behind the Great Crusade and the ancient wars of unification. Now it had all been turned around into madness.
He looked overhead as his assault troops screamed into battle with their nemesis, and as he saw the midnight clad warriors he knew that one way or the other, this would be a bloody battle. The Raven Guard had responded to a distress call sent from Oculus Prime, the world of the Imperium had at first welcome the other Legion but when they refused to worship the Emperor as a god, well that had been their death nail.
Josef Yantos was well aware that the Legion he now fought against, their darker opposites, were just as versed in lightning fast attacks as were the Raven Guard. He ordered the Basilisks to target the approaching Assault marines, as they got closer he almost fell off the wall he was standing on. The Raptors had changed their helms to resemble the ancient predators of the same name. The Night Lords truly were something of darkness and as the Raptors flew in fast formation they decapitated the Imperial Army gunners before the humans could even get a bead on them.
Yantos ordered Assault Squad Daimos to intercepted the Night Lord Raptors, to his satisfaction his brothers did as their captain ordered but even Yantos was aware that this was going to go on until there was none of them left standing, the rivalry between the Black clad Raven Guard and the Midnight Blue Night Lords went deeper than any other Astartes rivalry.
Captain Josara Ulies of the 76th Night Lords Company had taken the law of his grandfather seriously. Since the Emperor had allowed Curze to become the justice bringer of the Imperium, the Primarch had revelled in his new status. What the Night Lords had been once condemned for, they were now being lauded for. In the year following the Emperors ascension the Night Lords had brought more worlds under the flag of the new Imperium and remodelled the planets justice system. Specially trained humans were now judges and keepers of the Emperors laws, and recently the Primarch had been named the Lord Justice Marshall of the Imperium. Ulies allowed himself a vicious smile, that meant the law of the Imperium fell under the thumb of the Night Lords and that meant,…he stared at the defenders of this puissant city….that meant he could do whatever the hell he wanted as it fell under the Night Lords remit.
++Brothers, lets finish them off++
The sons of Corax would regret siding with the renegade Warmaster.
The Night Lords moved with fluid and violent efficiency, anyone not in the colours of the Imperium or wearing the power armour of the Warmasters forces were brutally cut down, there was no mercy and there was no quarter. The Raven Guard stood their ground but for every Night lord they killed several more Raven Guard fell. Yantos himself had become embroiled in a head on battle with the Night Lord Command squad. He cursed the laws he had once followed as his brothers whittled down one by one. He ordered the Apothecaries to transport the taken gene seed of the fallen brothers to the Deliverance Child high in orbit above them and that Yantos’s Vessel was to leave orbit immediately and head for Deliverance.
The future of the Legion depended on that Gene seed and there was no way he was going to let that happen, his senior apothecary stood beside him and let him know that his orders had been carried out. The two men exchanged glances with each other as Raven guard runes blinked out on Yantos combat screen.
++Brothers, let’s send these bastards back to the hell hole they came from…For Corax and the Warmaster++
The shout came back and the remaining Raven Guard went into the battle full on.
The carrion birds flew overhead, below them were the bodies of the dead Astartes and humans, with all the blood and mud that had been thrown up with the battle it was hard to distinguish who was who but as the re-enforcements of the Alpha Legion made planet fall in response to a distress signal from one of the now decimated hulk of a Raven Guard ship, they could only imagine the death and destruction.
Captain Ideaus of the Alpha Legion removed his helm as the humans came out of hiding. He crossed to where a body lay, holding the Flag of the 120th impaled into the body of the Captain of the Night Lords he bowed his head. He ordered the banner be respectfully furled and they would return it to the Raven Guard as well as the gene seed. He looked down at the human who stood a little way away from him. There were no Raven Guard Survivors, but they had taken down the Night Lords.
What a glorious battle this must have been, and what honour to the Sons of Corax. Ideaus lifted the body of Captain Yantos and carried him away.