I was at a disadvantage without my left arm, and many of those that targeted me took advantage of it, coming at me from that side. Nevertheless, I cut them down time and time again, sheer bloody skill making up for the loss of a limb.
I was in a rage at everything, but unlike many where rage reduced them to unskilled brutes hacking and slashing at anything in range, I had honed my anger into a weapon in its own right. Ice cold fury drove me to be faster and stronger, better in almost every way.
The number of men attacking me had declined however, for more of the Eighth Legion were swarming down into the Urrgal Depression. They seemed intent on claiming as many trophies as possible and I shook my head in disgust at the sight of Night Lords tearing their loyalist brethren apart and fighting over the scraps. It was conduct I would’ve expected from animals, not the marines of my once proud legion.
I let myself fall to my knees and skidded beneath the roaring chainblade of a Raven Guard assault marine, swinging my sword back to hamstring him as I did so. A shout of pain was my reward, but I had little time to savour it as a second marine leapt at me, forcing me down onto my back with his weight. He fired two shots from his bolt pistol, but one glanced my pauldron and spun off while the other only dented my chest plate.
I used his own momentum from his leap against him, rolling back and using both feet to kick him off me before coming to my feet. The hamstrung Raven Guard attacked me again. While I’d severely hampered his movement by my actions, he could still fight it seemed. It was the work of a moment to throw his weapon wide and drive my power sword through his breastplate and into his left heart, and it took only a flick of the wrist to slice it through his secondary heart as well.
I kicked his corpse off my sword and flicked the blade to divest it of his blood before bringing it round in a backswing that stopped the second Raven Guard dead in his tracks as it scythed through the air mere inches from his throat.
His second of hesitation was all I needed as I stepped forward, attacking with fast lunges that drove him back. I let my foot slide out from under me on the bloody plate of a fallen marine and cried out in feigned fear as I did so. The Raven Guard roared his victory and raised his Chainsword above his head, preparing to bring it down in a devastating blow that would’ve cut me in half had it connected.
He never got the chance to strike.
The crackling tip of my sword’s blade erupted from the back of his skull, sending a spray of blood, bone fragments and brain matter into the open air.
I pulled my sword free and stepped away from his body, my attention already focussed elsewhere as it collapsed to its knees and keeled over behind me. I found my eyes faced with the mighty form of Brother Shen as he smashed through the Raven Guard lines, laying about himself with his monstrous Power Fist and letting loose barrages from his assault cannon.
As I looked at his mighty form I wondered if that was the fate that awaited me. To be locked in a metal box and driven insane, released only in times of great crisis and simply pointed in the direction of the enemy. For a man such as me, it would be a fate worse than death. To lose all that makes me who I am, to reside in a hellish trap of ceramite and adamantium until Xandrek decides it’s time to tear me from it.
Tearing my mind away from the dark pit it had fallen to, I searched for Xandrek’s iconic helmet in the melee, finding it some distance away as the captain tore through his foes with Veptus by his side. I ducked beneath the slice of a Raven Guard Lightning Claw and activated my jump pack, rocketing into the sky in the direction of my captain, leaving my attacker behind.
I landed on the shoulders of a Raven Guard about to attack Xandrek from behind and drove him into the dirt. Still standing atop his dazed form I deflected the lunge of one of his fellows and flicked my blade out in a counter-stroke that the man had to throw himself backwards to avoid. In one smooth motion I withdrew my blade from the attack and thrust it downwards, slicing deep into the spine of the man I stood on and killing him instantly.
I stepped off his bloody corpse and moved swiftly, striding towards the second Raven Guard. He’d already recovered from his earlier stumble and he swung at me. I paused for a moment to allow it to pass me before taking another step forward and raising my sword so that the tip of the blade was pressed against his chest plate. His eyes widened and he tried one last desperate attack as he brought his weapon back around in a backswing that would have cut my head from my shoulders, but before it could move even a few inches I was pushing my sword through his breastplate and deep into his chest.
His eyes widened and his jaw slackened as I pulled my sword free, and it was in those eyes that I saw the crackling of a Power Fist just a split-second before I heard it. I ducked and the incandescent weapon went over my head and caught the dead Raven Guard in the chest, pulverising it in a wave of force even as I rolled away.
I came to my feet with my sword held out behind me in half of a classic duellist’s pose. Unfortunately, the other half required my left arm.
The marine with the Power Fist was older than all that I had fought that black day save Nirantius, and more skilled too if I was any judge. The Power Fist was a clumsy weapon, but in the hands of a master it was one of the most dangerous tools possessed by the Adeptus Astartes and the man I was facing proved himself one such master.
The trick to using a Power Fist was to always keep your body covered, so that an opponent couldn’t take advantage of the slowness of the weapon. There were certain techniques through which a man could do so, but they were hard to learn and difficult to put into practise on the battlefield, but this man managed it. After our second exchange of blows I stepped away and gave him a slight bow, which he returned.
Then I leapt forward.
I didn’t bother to block his swing at my left side, instead letting it connect and using the force to spin me around and bring my sword around in a scything backswing that decapitated the Raven Guard.
But while it had won me the fight, my move had the consequence of almost completely demolishing the armour of my left side and leaving much of the flesh exposed.
Ignoring this dangerous disadvantage, I hurled myself into the fight alongside Xandrek, knowing that if he fell this day because of his anger at me then I would never forgive myself, nor would I survive what Veptus would do to me.
We stand upon the precipice of change. The world fears the inevitable plummet into the abyss. Watch for that moment - and when it comes, do not hesitate to leap. It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly.
The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.
Last edited by Santaire; 12-27-14 at 01:05 PM.