This is chapter 1 from the short novel i am writing ( very slowly writing
) i will probably flesh out the next few chapters a bit more. any comments and/or criticism would be much appreciated
Brother Radixon, of the Angels of Iron 2nd company, traipsed wearily into a clearing in the great forest, searching for the Orks who flanked his assault squad on a routine sweep of the area. He stopped, as his finely tuned neuro-sensors detected movement in the undergrowth, about thirty feet to his left. Again there was a movement, and Radixon sincerely hoped that it was the Greenskins, as he was in the mood for revenge, and nothing would satisfy his bloodlust more than the slaughter of those mindless beasts that dared to call themselves intelligent beings. Despite the situation Radixon laughed to himself, “Intelligent beings, bah!” he thought, just nanoseconds before an Ork, eight and a half feet tall, with khaki green body armour, a massive cleaver and a ramshackle gun came lunging at him from behind a large fallen tree. This ork, however intimidating his size, was obviously inexperienced, and he did not count on the almost impossible reaction time of Radixon.
In the seconds that the Ork was flying through the air, Radixon clasped onto his massive chain-axe, Bone-Eater, unclipped it from his belt and brought it s formidable, destructive power to bear on the Ork warrior. Before he realised what was happening, the ork was staring at the stumps of lacerated flesh, where his legs used to be. Radixon placed his left, ceramite clad boot onto the heaving chest of the mutilated Ork, coldly silencing the dying creatures last guttural insults, splattering his exposed face with a dark, almost black, blood
Radixon never did like wearing a helmet, even in his days in the Scout Company over seventy years ago. He found the helmets’ optical enhancement sensors restricted his peripheral vision. Radixon was about average height for a Space Marine, at almost eight feet tall. What was unusual about Radixon was his remarkable speed and ferocity in hand-to-hand combat. He even defeated Captain Raxellis of the 3rd company at the training area in the Angels of Iron fortress in the Mountains on Meridius XII. His background as an imperial guardsman on Holy Terra served him well as he was screened for induction into the Angels of Iron.
He had been out on a routine patrol of the secured area of forest with his ground assault squad, during the Ork invasion of Ideaos Ultra under Warlord Zanzaagar. They had reached checkpoint 1 when it all went horribly wrong.
They had just reached the checkpoint, when Brother Sergeant Sira noticed a movement behind an ancient stone circle. The circle was about thirty yards in diameter with an enormous quartz altar in the centre. There was a mark of chaos in the middle. “Cortex, Bellos, secure the circle!” commanded Sgt. Sira. “The rest of you come with me! Keep your eyes peeled for the Greenskins!” As the remainder of the squadron turned and went forward, the Orks hiding in the souterrain hidden below the stone circle leashed a brutal assault upon the unsuspecting Brothers, Cortex and Bellos, dismembering and disemboweling them with the enormous rounds from their comical looking, but deadly weapons, as well as their cumbersome cleavers. “Ambush!” roared Sira “Gather in the circle, we can hold them off there!” “No, then the Orks can surround us!” argued Radixon, defying a direct command from his commanding officer, a severe crime among space marines. “How dare you question my authori…” Sgt. Sira never finished the sentence, due to the exploding gun shell in his shoulder.
The squad ran headlong into the stone circle, followed reluctantly by Radixon. Multiple Orks emerged from the darkness of the forest, with two of them wearing mega-armour. There were gun shells flying in all directions as the heavily outnumbered Space Marines attempted to return fire on the Orks. “How the hell did they know we were going to be here? We change our patrol course every day.” commented Brother Garon. He did not live to say much more, because the power-claw of the Ork, with whom Garon was doing battle, crushed the armour around his chest, crushing his internal organs. Garon’s acidic blood sprayed the Ork in the face, dissolving his left eyeball in a pool of green slime. Radixon, enraged by Garon’s death, brought Bone-Eater down in an arc and carved open the Ork’s skull. Another Ork came charging at him, and in an upward sweep of Bone-Eater cut the lunging monster in two. Another member of the squad fell to the blade of an Ork. One of the Marines was calling for assistance, just before his head was lopped off by a mega-armoured Ork. It was made about eleven feet tall by his armour, and was wielding a ferocious looking Power-claw. Radixon was blind-sided by yet another Greenskin. He spun around, grabbed the Ork by the throat and punched it in the face, disintegrating its teeth and jaw with the mighty blow. Meanwhile, Sgt. Sira was locked in battle with the mega-armoured Ork, a battle that was starting to favour the Ork. Radixon attempted to reach the Sergeant in time to save him from the wrath of the heavily armed and armoured Ork. He was seconds too late, the Sergeant was ripped apart by the terrible power of the Ork. Radixon climbed the Orks back and lodged the spike at the end of Bone-Eater into the monster’s ocular cavity.
Bone-Eater was a marvel of craftsmanship. Radixon forged it himself, as was tradition in the Angels of Iron, after his raid on a Dark Eldar inhabited planet in the outer territories of the Imperium of Man. The teeth on the chain-axe were forged from an unknown red crystal found on a planet near the Cadian gate, and were thought to be corrupted stones, created by Chaos. The handle was made from triple hardened adamantium, and tipped with a chain and spike, for decoration and intimidation more than practical us. The grip was made out of tanned Ork hide and studded with rubies. Bone-Eater had proved itself time and time again, and was Radixon’s weapon of choice.
The remaining members of the squad, apart from Radixon, were butchered by the ten remaining Orks. As the ten hulking Orks approached him, Radixon braced himself for the impact of the charging monsters. He dug his heels into the ground and angled his left shoulder towards the nearest Ork. As it ran at him, axe in hand, Radixon rammed it with his massive, ceramite shoulder pad. Things broke, and it wasn’t Radixon’s armour. The Ork’s howl of agony was cut short, as Radixon ripped its head from its shaking shoulders. This was a long enough distraction to allow Radixon to dislodge Bone-Eater from the mega-armoured Orks head. Now, it was Radixon’s turn to attack. He dived into the cluster of baffled Orks and started to hack them apart. The resistance was feeble as blood and viscera were spraying through the air. The rest of the Orks fled into the forest.
Back in the present, Radixon scanned the jungle for any sign of life. He had to make it back to the base and inform the commander of what had transpired. The Commander, Tychus, had never been very trustworthy of Radixon. He said that Radixon was mentally unstable and too unpredictable. Radixon’s eyes were bloodshot and seemed to have slit-like pupils. He went into seisures of uncontrollable rage, lashing out at anyone near him. Yet, despite this, the chapter librarians could find no defect in his mental fortitude. They described his mind as a cerebral enigma, blocked by barriers of immense strength and a labyrinth of clouded visions and memories. This gave Radixon peace of mind, knowing that he was mentally invincible to psychic attacks, though it confused him as to why he alone was like this. He tried not to dwell on the immaterial, as this could cause insanity, even amongst the most powerful librarians.
The forest was vast, the habitat to many creatures, some utterly harmless, others lethal. Radixon strode onwards, wary of the eyes staring at him from the depths of the forest. Radixon did not fear anything, confident in his own abilities. The creatures would not attack him. He was certain of that. As he walked, he heard the gruff voices of two, possibly three Greenskins conversing in the distance. Their rough voices were silenced as another entered the conversation. This was not an Ork voice; it sounded more like a human. The voice was deep and commanding, and Radixon recognised it, though from where he could not remember. He crept silently towards the area where the voice was emanating, careful not to give himself away to them. “You told us dat thirty boyz would be enough to kill dem!” said one of the Orks, sounding agitated. “Calm down,” said the human, who was obscured from Radixon’s view by an enormous, luminous green fungal tree, “I will compensate you for your loss.” The Ork, who appeared to be leader, spoke again, “You’d betta, or else we is gunna tear you apart!” “I have no doubt that you would try, but I am a Space Marine, and would be far superior to you in combat” Radixon was astounded, and now he remembered where he had heard the voice before. It was Veteran Sergeant Ezekiel. “There will be a contingent of about ten Marines on their way, to investigate the assault squad’s disappearance. Get some of your men, sorry, Orks assembled and raid their Rhino A.P.C., feel free to loot and steal all you want.” “Oh, and don’t forget to kill them all” punctuated Ezekiel.
He could take no more, so, without thinking he leapt out from behind the large tree and tackled Ezekiel, bringing him to the ground. The three Orks bolted, leaving Radixon and Ezekiel wrestling in the foliage covered ground. “You!” bellowed Radixon, “you told the Orks where to ambush us!” He demonstrated his anger and animosity by banging Ezekiel”s exposed head on the ground. “Well done, you figured that out all by yourself, did you?” queried Ezekiel, mockingly, spitting into Radixon’s heavily scarred face. “Aaaarrrgghh!!!!” roared Radixon, as he pounded on Ezekiel’s armoured chest. “You betrayed us, why?” he boomed. “ I am taking control of this chapter, and if you try to get in my way, you will die.” explained Ezekiel. Radixon could not hide his rage any longer, and went into uncontrollable shaking. He started laughing demonically, staring into space. “I am challenging you, Ezekiel. Will you accept?” he said, releasing Ezekiel from his grasp.
The two Space Marines stood up and walked ten paces away from each other. Each pace of theirs was twice that of a normal human. Each of them took off their ceramite gauntlets and the armour covering their arms. Radixon’s left shoulder was scarred horrifically. The scar tissue, covering three deep claw marks, was at least an inch thick. “I have been waiting for this, Radixon!” mused Ezekiel. The tension was almost unbearable. An honour challenge was one of the many ways that the angels of iron settled their differences, and was usually a sparring match, watched over by the chapter master.
This was different, the two marines loathed each other, and each was a reputable fighter. Radixon was known among the Angels of Iron for his unorthodox, brutal, but effective fighting style. Ezekiel on the other hand was an expert in martial combat, using strict, disciplined maneuvers to defeat his opponent. They began to circle each other, eye to eye, Ezekiel in a defensive stance, Radixon with his fists by his sides. Ezekiel lunged at Radixon and launched a devastating flurry of attacks, all but a few of which were blocked. Ezekiel then used the heel of his hand to hit Radixon in the jaw and send him reeling across the lush, green forest floor. Radixon was bleeding from his mouth, but the blood flow stopped after a few second. As Ezekiel ran towards him, Radixon sidestepped his uppercut punch and spun around, bringing the tip of his elbow into Ezekiel’s skull with incredible power. Stunned, Ezekiel was unable to react to Radixon’s punches. The blood was streaming from Ezekiel’s mouth and nose. Radixon now had the upper hand. He grasped Ezekiel by the throat and lifted him into the air, crushing his trachea. Ezekiel struggled, but Radixon was far too strong. The veteran sergeant spluttered a laugh, “aaaarrrghh, you…aaarghh…fool,” he spluttered again “they will be looking for me, you will be…..you will be…aaarrrcch!” he reached one hand up to the side of Radixon…Don’t…kill…me…please!!!!” Radixon slammed his fist into Ezekiel’s ear-piece and his eyes rolled back in his head. He went limp in Radixon’s hand, his life force extinguished. He picked up his gauntlets and put them back on.
Radixon breathed heavily, for he had just killed one of the chapter’s most decorated veterans. There was no doubt in his mind that he would be discovered. “Emperor, guide me” he muttered under his breath. He then heard a deep booming voice in his head, “The emperor will not save you now, mortal.” The voice stopped and was replaced with a deep mocking laugh, then it was silent. Radixon spun around, the sweat was dripping off his brow. He began to run, feeling nauseous and light headed. He bolted, lugging Ezekiel’s lifeless body on his shoulders. On and on he ran, through the dense forests, looking both ways, jumping at every sign of life or the rustling of a plant. Eventually he stopped, panting. The voice was utterly terrifying, filled with anger and eternal hatred. “It was just my imagination,” he thought aloud, “ the adrenaline running through me, that’s all.” Under the dense canopy of the forest, Radixon sat down, throwing Ezekiel’s body on the ground. The sky darkened as one of Meridius XI’s violent thunderstorms began. Purple lightning bolts arced across the sky, followed by the cracking thunder.
Radixon closed his eyes, but slipped into a state in which he was neither asleep nor awake. He saw flashing visions of writhing shapes, horrible and unfathomable for any mortal. A a tower of bones hundreds of miles high dominated the macabre landscape. There were lakes of blood, and in the distance, there was a mountain of skulls, shaped into a throne. His mind wandered deeper into this hell and as he stared, a beast arose in front of him, with four knarled horns, and a face of pure anger. The creature roared and brought its talons down across Radixon’s face. A wall of these creatures came marching across the hellish landscape. Then he heard the bellowing roar that echoed through time and space.
Radixon awoke with a shout sat bolt upright. It was dawn, and it had been raining through the night. He looked over at the dead body of Ezekiel, wary of any greenskins catching his scent, then gathered his affects and stood up. He was thirsty. There was a pool of clear, still water from the night’s rain a few metres away. He walked over to it hastily and began to take a drink. He was parched with the thirst. As he finished, he stood up and let the water settle, then looked at his reflection. He leapt back in horror. There were three deep cuts in his face, each of them burned with intense heat and caused Radixon a tremendous amount of pain. He had not felt it earlier, and was insanely puzzled and startled. The three slash marks had obviously been made by claws, but there were no animals, or even Greenskins that in this area that could have done that to him. Furthermore, the cuts were not healing, like they were supposed to. Something was very wrong.
Radixon heard voices in the distance, though not the rough, guttural language of the Orks, but the smooth low gothic tones of his fellow space marines. Scouts, thought Radixon. They were clearly on a mission to determine the fate of the missing assault squad. The scouts were adept at search and destroy missions, their acute senses giving them the ability to detect incoming enemies without the use of sensors. Radixon never got along well with the captain of the Scout company, captain Alastor, one of the members of the council of 7. The council of seven was made up of 5 Captains, the Master of the Forge and the Chapter master, Tychus. In the Angels of Iron, the Master of the Forge was second only to the Chapter master in the hierarchy. Radixon’s gashes burned with intense pain that no ordinary man could cope with, and a stream of thick blood ran down his face. He picked up Ezekiel’s body and began to walk back towards the voices he heard. Captain Alastor stood at the head of 5 scouts, each one bearing silenced bolters and the scars of a thousand battles. Alastor turned his head, staring at the limp, bloodied body draped over Radixon’s shoulder. “You traitor! You murderous dog,” he shouted, salivating. “Bolters fixed on the traitor!” The scouts simultaneously raised their bolters and Alastor raised his sniper rifle, training it on Radixon’s temple. “ Listen to me brother,” said Radixon, staring at Alastor, “Ezekiel planned to betray us all, he collaborated with the Greenskins, sold us out. He was the traitor.” Alastor gave Radixon a smug look, “His blood is on your hands Radixon, we received a distress signal from Ezekiel, and it betrays your innocence.” Alastor played a recording from his helmet-vox. Radixon heard Ezekiel’s voice, “Radixon…Don’t…kill…me…please!!!” then a loud slam and there was nothing but static. “I finally caught you Radixon, I always knew you were a traitor. You always were an arrogant one, defiant of my authority. I told them, But Daenos wouldn’t listen.” He spat on the jungle floor. “ Even the First Captain can’t save you know. Execution is the only fate that awaits you”
They walked through the undergrowth, and it began to rain again, the gentle drops running down the dark silver of his pauldron, coursing over the purity seals and oaths of the moment he had taken before heading out on patrol. Despite his strength and ferocity, Radixon knew he would not be able to escape Alastor and his scouts. He trudged along with Alastor behind him pointing the silenced bolter at the back of his head. Silence enveloped the group the Scouts shocked at Radixon’s act of betrayal, Alastor silently expressing his delight at being able to bring Radixon in for treason. Radixon simply walked, his mind wandering through the endless possibilities of the consequences for his actions. He looked up, his daze broken by the daunting stairway that lead into the Volcano that housed the Angels of Iron’s fortress monastery. There was no escape from his fate. No reconciliation.
again, feedback would be great :D