A cascade of lightning flashed around Diratai Moonblade’s ceramite fingers. The Librarian of the White Scars lifted his hand and unleashed a scouring tide of warp lightning that drove a handful of the angelic demons back. In the next moment, Diratai whirled around his force staff and crumpled an angel’s wing that flickered by him.
Diratai found himself in a winding, claustrophobic corridor, cloaked in shadows and flickering lights, and beatific monuments of angelic creatures flying around one another. Beneath his feet was a metallic iron-looking grating, drenched in the blood of those innocents who had come before them. Not an ideal location for engaging an enemy, but Diratai refused to give an inch to this vile foe.
Demonic creatures circled around the elegant monuments, alluring figures that pranced fluidly around one another. Figures that possessed the forms of lavender-skinned women with long raven hair. Chitonous crab-claws grew from the stumps where their hands should be, and snapped back and forth with belying force.
Angelic demons clung to the faces of the statues and loomed over the dancing figures.
“Inquisitor.” Diratai parried another swing of a crab-claw and crunched a daemonette’s face with a furious counter-blow. “You should not risk yourself any further.”
“Hah!” Inquisitor Andreas Batsakis flicked his hammer to one side and threw aside several of the servants of Slanneesh aside. Andreas was clad in platinum and ebony armor, emblazoned with a hundred miniature bronze symbols that depicted the Ordo Xenos. Etched into his chest plate was a crimson ‘I’ that pulsed with an eerie light. “Emperor strike me down if I left you here on your own. Not a chance you could handle this yourself!”
Andreas planted one foot forward and discharged the combi-bolter in his hand. The barrel of the melta weapon flashed burning red, a pair of daemonettes half-obliterated by the backwash of atomizing heat. The lance of energy reduced a stone angel into molten slag and nearly clipped the flying daemonic creature perched on it.
A tide of daemonic flesh pressed forward through the corridor and filled between the statues. Diratai knew there were far too many. Even his scouring lightning could burn only so many. Inquisitor Andreas whirled around in a full circle and crushed aside the first gaggle of daemons to reach them. Diratai felt the crackling power field of the Inquisitor’s hammer fizzle off of his armor.
Despite their unleashed carnage, a press of daemonic flesh hammered into them. Diratai ducked beneath a haphazard swing for his grey beard and made an uppercut with his staff. A ringing noise echoed across the core of his soul as the force staff rent through several daemon-forged spears aimed for his heart. The mighty staff, the Wrath of the Eternal Sky, crashed into the metallic grating with enough force to send a gaggle of daemonettes flying backward.
Andreas shielded his helm from several clubbing blows, his bolter cutting through the horde with every dispensed shell. An angelic mockery of a daemon climbed over her own ranks with a furious beating of her wings. She caught the Inquisitor’s hammer on her great spear and with an inhuman strength, turned him aside with a flick of her wrist. Andreas crashed into a nearby statue before a tide of daemons swarmed over him.
“Inquisitor!” Diratai searched for him as he killed the servants of Slaanesh, but could not find him in the swarm. “Hrraahhh!” Wrath of the Eternal Sky bloomed with a fiery light, so radiant and pure that the daemonic tide seethed away from him.
Diratai threw himself toward the spot that Andreas had vanished, burning with holy radiance. Several of the daemonettes who had ignored the light turned from the Inquisitor and pounced upon the Librarian. Diratai struck out once, Wrath of the Eternal Sky made his foes combust into purifying flames. Flesh roasted into cinders, and Diratai relished the scent of burning corpses.
Fire and blood. Fire and blood coursed through the Librarian’s physical form.
Daemonic cackling surrounded him and again the daemonic tide charged. Wrath of the Eternal Sky pointed toward the uncountable hordes and a roiling wave of liquid flames burst from the staff. The flames gushed forward in a great torrent that rolled across the seething horde. All Diratai could hear were the screams of the dying, and primal cries of frustration and rage. But he could not think, such was the concentration demanded of his power.
And so he channeled his psychic energy, until only the mewing of the smoldering could fill his ears. He lifted Wrath of the Eternal Sky off of the ground and the spell ceased to function. The entire corridor was drenched in billows of smoke and cinders, thick enough that Diratai wheezed fitfully.
He was not alone.
“By the light of the Emperor...” Andreas’ voice echoed through the smokescreen. He coughed violently and staggered to his feet beside Diratai. “Remind to me to never cross you, Moonblade. Lest I become nothing more than a pile of ashes. A holy death… to be reduced into not but ashes by the purifying flame. You gave them a mercy they did not deserve.”
“They are the enemy without, Inquisitor.” Diratai rasped. “Even in the cleansing of flame, their souls cannot be purified or cleansed of sin, for they have no souls. I did not spare them. I merely returned them to their eternity of agony in the diabolic realms of their cruel gods.”
“Of course.” Andreas shrugged. “You must forgive me. I specialize in purging xenos, not the minions of the Dark Gods. As do you. Now that I have found you, that is.”
Diratai’s great beard quivered with laughter. “And here we are, agents of the Ordos Xenos, doing the work of the Grey Knights. In truth, I pray that the Ordo Hereticus arrives soon, so our kill team can be done with this miserable wreck. To think that there are no willing chapters in the sector who would volunteer to destroy this abomination. I would have thought it a great honor to bring such laurels of victory to our chapter.”
“Agreed.” Andreas leaned his hammer on his shoulder. “But there is nothing more we can do until they arrive, anyway. I would not suffer any brothers of my kill teams lost in a mission they have not pledged themselves to. This place grows too dangerous. I would not shirk from our duty, as you say, but we are not well equipped to deal with these daemons.”
For a moment, Diratai and Andreas stood in tranquil silence. They looked upon the thickened rug of incinerated bodies with a look of disbelief and pride.
“Still can’t believe you did that.” Andreas smiled and clapped the Librarian’s pauldron. “Is that a common trick most Librarians of the White Scars know?”
The Librarian nodded, his expression thoughtful. “Some tricks in life are gained only through self-reflection and faith of one’s inner self… Shall I take us back to the Flame of Avarice?”
“Permission granted.” Andreas came to stand under the Librarian, who placed a heavy gauntlet on his shoulder.
Once again, Wrath of the Eternal Sky blazed with a brilliant aura and slammed down onto the metal grating beneath them. Behind them, a portal of golden light from the astronomican rippled into reality. The Gate of Infinity could teleport an entire squad of Adeptus Astartes, such was the power of the Emperor’s light. But it would make do with only the two of them, as Diratair led the Inquisitor into the blinding light and vanished from the haunted halls of the Sundered Shield of Crassus.
Last edited by Myen'Tal; 12-03-16 at 12:00 AM.