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post #25 of (permalink) Old 08-04-14, 01:42 PM
Angel of Lies
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He marched with the World Eaters his eyes scanning the ash-chocked horizon as Sergeant Kyros across the rubble strewn wasteland of Choral City. The buildings around them had been warped by the world-ending heats unleashed in the firestorm in the aftermath of the Life Eater attack. Alaros' eyes kept looking into the sky even though he knew they'd never see any ship exchanges, even in low orbit, through the ash. That small part of him that refused to believe Mortarion could do this was like a blast-door holding back the gurgling cauldron of molten hatred that threatened to fill the void left in him. As much as he wanted to release it, if only for the release, he knew that doing so would taint his mind forever. Once he suspected his Legion of betraying him he would always suspect it. And if this turned out to be the work of the Warmaster he would not allow his loyalty to Mortarion be tainted by it.

The other World Eater, who never introduced himself to Alaros, had moved ahead of them both and was sifting through the debris. He pulled his plasma cannon out with a flourish. Kyros had something right if they were betrayed it was likely that the enemy may already have made planet fall through the ash in hopes of catching any survivors still in shock. He checked the cannon, running diagnostics, heating ventilation checks, and power-cell reservoir checks. Everything came back green. A cursory examination of the reinforced composite piping that ran from the gun back to his customized power pack on his back was still in excellent condition. The use of a plasma cannon was always a dangerous prospect for anyone. They could just as easily burst and immolate you in the very same plasma you intended to scorch xenos ... or even traitors with.

As he did his weapons check he heard Kyros talking over the vox and idly wondered when he'd switched over to the World Eaters' frequency. He dismissed it as probably done subconsciously. What he heard caused him to stop in sudden anxiety.

"Sergeant Tharr, Legionaire Gilgumann, we need to get out of the open now." His voice was a hissed whisper, "It is likely that the Legio Titans are involved. Think," he exclaimed, "They ceased firing before any other warnings went out, they would have issued warnings if they were using normal operational standards, they ceased fire and went completely silent. The blood of our brothers is on their hands as well."

Alaros' mind flashed back to the gore and smoke choked trenches near Choral City's primary gate. The Dies Irae had suddenly gone quiet and Alaros couldn't remember when it'd stopped. Only after that the warning came over the vox of impending biological attack. The gate holding back his molten hatred shook a little in his mind as hammer-blows of doubt came against it.

Then Kyros began to go on about the betrayal he felt was done to them by all of their Primarchs. Alaros was glad his helmet was on because he was grinning. Since when did World Eaters have feelings or emotions? Well beyond uncontrollable rage that bordered on psychopathic serial killer tendencies. To see one whispering and going on about treason in a sensible sentence was almost amusing. Even Alaros' own outburst when questioned about his loyalty hadn't been dramatic. To anyone not a Death Guard it appeared only that he raised his voice.

'Agreed,' said Alaros as he turned and pointed in the direction he knew the Titan would have to be, 'The Dies Irae lies that direction. I'm not familiar with Mechanicum protocols for bio-sealing or unsealing but I suspect it will be operational shortly. If it is, then Sergeant Kyros has it right. Standing here will only let them recalibrate their range-finders.'

Alaros turned the other direction towards the center of Choral City, 'If anyone yet lives than they will be within the city.'

Alaros was a heavy weapons specialist, not a leader of men. He would defer to Kyros to lead them, for now. He began to flitch vox channels to all known frequencies used by the ground forces in the city, checking each one.

'This is Legionnaire Alaros Gilgumann. Fourteenth Legion Death Guard,' he intoned, 'Are there any survivors?'
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