The space was grand, the vaulted ceiling a work of near perfection, a panalopy of colours that nearly overloaded the senses. It had been different years ago, before the legions eyes had been opened. That ceiling had once depicted the corpse god leading Sekels legion, the vaulted buttresses wrought in marble with gold trim. Sekel and his squad had been there for the change, some had even given their lives to add to the true beauty. There was a calm to the room, where before it had been a place to make war or bring understanding, now its purpose was solely to excite senses and feed to pleasures.
The slamming of limbs onto the ground brought Sekel out of his memory and back to the present, to an ugly space where he and nearly three dozen others stood gathered before Laertes. The ugly thing appeared to be throwing a tantrum, slamming his feet and glaring at all those gathered. They were an ugly bunch, outcasts and xenos and legionaries alike. Most of them were boring, barely worth more to Sekel than a contemptuous sneer if that.
The grinding of aged gears on stone all but announced the arrival of Bartimus. The former chapter master turned warlord standing beside Laertes; the misshapen brute and the nearly regal warrior.
"Welcome band brothers." Bartimus declared, his eyes seeming to look at nothing and everything all at once. "It has been a long time since last we raided, today that wait comes to an end." The warlord continued, his dog Laertes mumbling to himself while someone of standing, of power and interest, went about the business of laying plans. "There are things we must secure first, the Gods demand blood and glory on this day. The Apex Nova Oblitorators will once again know victory." A sharp smile spreading across Bartimus's face.
"Laertes and I have discovered the location of a space hulk, its contents rewarding enough to turn the space surrounding it into a warzone." At this, Sekel's interest was piqued. Not for what the hulks treasures might be, baubles or archaotech or weapons mattered little to the legionnaire; no what he cared about was the who. Who fought for this hulks valuables, and of what interest were they to Bartimus?
Images flashed into Sekel's head, crude things at first that worked to foul his mood. But Bartimus's illusions eventually resolved themselves, that of Orks and genestealers and the hulk itself. This was nothing surprising, for a hulk was often home to such creatures, living aboard the amalgamations like parasites ready to infect any world they came near.
"A genestealer cult, ork warband, and finally a group of spacers fight over one woman's great and powerful weaponry. Her name is Clementina Maskaly, she has made great weapon cache on this space hulk, at the center of it." Bartimus went on, but whatever he said next was lost to Sekel. So transfixed was he on the image of this woman, this Clementina Maskaly. For something not touched by the workings of his lord Fulgrim or the prince of pleasure, she was a stunning sight to behold. Sharp lines and piercing eyes from a well sculpted face sitting atop a good body, for a mortal anyway.
"She is the daughter of a rogue trader and lives a life of adventure and power but now she is stuck in a large battle as her guards and whatnot fight for her safety. You can kill her or take her alive it doesn't matter but get the damned weapons intact!" Bartimus declared with a smile splitting his face. And if Sekel had any say in the matter, this one would most assuredly be taken alive.
So lost in thought about what he would do to this woman that Sekel did not hear whatever else Bartimus said until the warlord barked out his name. Sekel realized that he, along with the double kin Carcharadon, the assassin, and the outcast Raven Guard were to go after the woman on the hulk. With a sadistic grin of his own, Sekel bowed his head slightly before leaving the chamber for the dock of Ganesh.
He was not the first to arrive, nor did it appear he would be the last either. Against a wall the assassin sat, her rifle laid out before he as she stripped and reassembled it with practiced ease. "Volpex." Her cold voice declared without looking up.
Cocking his head to one side, Sekel advanced towards the assassin, the blade at his side growing hot in its leatherbound sheathe. "Sekel; learn the sounds better child, my movements can hardly be confused for the double-kins stomping."
Stopping several steps away from her, Sekel admired the skill with which she worked. Her body-glove did little to hide her figure, all muscle and control and of little interest to him. "And where is the little raven? Has he found himself a trap to walk into I wonder? His kind do die so well."
Damnation is paved on good intentions; subtle and sugar coated or blunt and honest
A hero is someone who steps up when everyone else backs down.
Popularity is what people strive for when they lack the strength to be themselves.
Seriously, is it really that hard to write reviews without spoilers?
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