Brother-Sergeant Moras held a hand to his side, attempting to staunch the blood flowing from a wound in his side. His other hand clutched his sword hilt.
Captain Kornax Volta peeled back his lips into a foul mockery of a smile, despite the gash in his chest.
"Perhaps, but then are we not all?"
"You have dishonored all we stand for, brother"
The Sergeant spat out the last word, the hate for his once commander before him radiating from his eyes.
Lustig bared a laugh, spinning his own blade in his hand as Moras tightened his grip on his own.
"But what do we stand for? What did we ever stand for?"
"Your's perhaps Moras, but never mine"
Kornax interrupted the Space Marine, his body crouching into a fighting stance.
Brother-Sergeant Moras, member of the Golden Sentinels 2nd Company for nearly three hundred years, did not respond. Instead he stepped forward, drew his sword and struck. Once.
The Golden Sentinels journey to Orvar IV was supposed to be a victorious parade for returning warriors. And yet they had all of them been received. For it was not love and respect that awaited them upon that cursed planet. Only death.
But the betrayal came not from the inhabitants of the planet, but from within the Chapter itself. In the midst of the crusade in the Emperor's name the Chaos Gods had spoken to the Golden Sentinels and many had listened. Among them Chapter Master Lustig Wiltag.
It was upon Orvar IIV that the true extent of the Chaos Taint was revealed. More than half of the once magnificent Chapter had turned to the Chaos Gods, tempted by promises of immortality and eternal glory.
Only a handful had remained loyal, and those that had soon found themselves desperately fighting for their lives against the Brothers in streets that were already running with blood.
The roar of death filled the city as bolters barked out destruction from both sides. But the fighting was most fierce within the heart of it, the swirling dance of death that only the most skilled could survive.
There the air was thick with the scent of blood and the screams of dying men. The noise of blades crunching into armor and cutting flesh was deafening and yet those within the melee heard nothing.
There were no set sides, only a blur of golden armor. Those that fought had to rely upon instincts to know when to strike and when to hold back. The Golden Sentinels knew that they had been betrayed, but they had no way of knowing who had been touched by Chaos.
And so it was that Captain Jusion swung to the right and to the left with his sword, wasting no time to take in the faces of those he slayed. Through his eyes he had been betrayed, and it did not matter if he cut down the guilty or the innocent.
All at once Jusion burst free from the combat and, when he was on the verge of turning back, an unearthly scream filled the air. Jusion turned towards the noise and saw the distinct outline of a Greater Demon laying about with a massive sword, knocking aside Space Marines with each stroke.
The Captain knew he was needed there more than he was in a melee that would wear on till not a single man still stood, and so, with a heavy heart, he set off at a run towards the Demon.
He closed with it quickly but slowed as he approached. Moving towards a Golden Sentinel he recognized as a veteran of the chapter he dropped to a knee beside his prone form.
The veteran raised his eyes to the Captain and saluted weakly. It was only one-handed, but the Captain forgave him down to the fact he only had the one. The Captain wasted no time.
"Where is Chapter Master Lustig?"
The Space Marine only nodded his head towards the Greater Demon and the Golden Sentinels around it.
"Well then we must help him banish the Demon"
The Space Marine looked at him oddly, before opening his mouth to speak.
"You don't understand Brother-Captain. He is
Kornax’s grin melted away to be released by a look of surprised pain.. Slowly, his vision drifted from the emotionless face of Moras and focussed upon the sword hilt lodged firmly in his chest. The tip, and almost the entirety of the sword’s length, protruded from his back; dripping dark blood upon the black marble upon which the pair stood..
Kornax breathed, his breath coming in painful gasps.
“It cannot end this way..”
“Repent, Captain and the Emperor may find it in his heart to forgive you”’
Moras commanded, staring into the face of the Captain.
“..I will not allow it!”
When Moras next spoke his voice was low and dangerous.
“It is over, brother. I am sorry.”
“Do not shed pity on me!”
Kornax hissed into the Sergeant's face, his surprise disappearing as his maddened mind took control of his actions. He threw his own sword to the floor and gripped the one protruding from his chest.casting his own weapon away with a clang, taking the pommel of Michael’s in a two-handed grip.
The Golden Sentinel growled, his hand moving to grip his knife.
The Captain, blinded by anger and rage, did not comply.
Moras’ dagger slipped from it’s sheath and moved quickly through the air.
“I am truly sorry..”
Moras whispered, and plunged the dagger into Kornax’s neck.
The Space Marine’s form collapsed to the ground, and Moras sagged onto his knees, weeping even as more Golden Sentinels burst into the palace.