Under the Red Sky Chapter IV
Bailean gazed up at the greater daemon of Slaneesh and cringed, this was not the thing he needed to be happening right now. The Daemon spoke slowly and smoothly, its voice like a cold stream washing through a high, grey mountain.
"Face your doom astartes, your soul is mine!" Bailean spun his sword around his right hand and pointed at the daemon,
"You will try, but you shall be sent back to the hellish home you call the warp."
"Captain, you are wise enough to know that a man such as your self stands no chance against power such as mine." Bailean merely grinned and charged the daemon, his sword up and the energy around the sword crackling with anticipation. As Bailean charged, the howling within the tower grew to such volume that he felt the ground beneath his feet begin to tremble. Though he was only feet away from the Keeper of Secrets, it seemed like an eternity as he charged, time came to a complete standstill as the pair of them rushed each other.
After it was over, Bailean would remember hearing bolter fire from behind his back and seeing the shells passing harmlessly through the warp spawn's body, a swirling crimson flame escaping through all the holes in it's flesh breifly before dissapearing as the wounds sealed over. Bailean saw the monster raise it's massive sword and he dropped to the ground, landing on his side and sliding feet first between the monster's legs. Bailean felt the sword hit the ground and he jumped to his feet, swinging his blade. Bailean felt the blade make contact with something and spun around to see the damage, he’d barely scraped the Keeper of Secrets' left leg, but the energy from his sword had tippled the damage done by the attack leaving the wound open and seeping the crimson flame of the warp.
Ulno' Berthis growled as he saw the damage caused by Bailean's attack and whipped around and ran at Bailean again. Bailean readied himself for an attack but too little too late and he received a hoofed kick to the torso which sent him spinning across the room. Bailean slammed into a wall hard and he groaned as he made contact. The howling of the tower had reached such volume that it was becoming a dull pain in Bailean's head, pounding his brain in rhythm.
“Your foolish attempts to destroy me are to be recognized” said the cool voice of Ulno’ Berthis, the smooth sound washing over Bailean in a wave of malicious desire, “but they are pointless.” Bailean stood up and took up his stance as Ulno’ Berthis attacked. This time Bailean was ready and he deflected Berthis’s massive sword as the greater daemon brought it down to crush him. The force of the blow knocked bailean to his knees, but as he collapsed, he rolled backwards and evaded another attack, the sword burying its self in the ground. Bailean stood up and leapt at Berthis as it dug it’s sword out of the black floor. Bailean brought his sword down on the creature’s back as it yanked it’s sword out of the ground and it moaned in pleasure as the wound seared open, more of its warp energy escaping from the substantial wound.
“Your attacks are very pleasing astartes, but again, they are futile.” Berthis reached around to his back and plucked Bailean off in with one hand and tossed him against a wall. Bailean felt the wall crack as he slammed into it. Bailean crumpled to the ground and staggered to is feet.
“I bet your wondering how before you weren’t able to damage this building” Berthis said as he moved to block Bailean.
“Your right” Bailean said grabbing his sword in two hands and rolling his shoulders, “why don’t you enlighten me.”
“It’s because this tower is impervious to damage from all of your material elements, but it can be effected just as normal by myself and my warp spun companions.”
“How interesting daemon, very interesting.”
“I’m glad one of your plane can appreciate the beauty behind this building, it’s a misfortune that one such as you should have to die.”
“Don’t worry about me daemon, I don’t plan on dying any time soon.”
“That’s wonderful, but unfortunately, you have no choice.”
“I disagree!” Bailean yelled and he charged the daemon, his sword raised. His attack caught Berthis off guard and he managed to score a pair of hits on the daemon before he was kicked aside by one of the monster’s hooves. Bailean skidded and rolled across the floor, dropping his sword along the way. As Bailean stood up he felt a hand grab hold of him, as the hand wrapped it’s long, pink, gnarled fingers around him he unslung his bolter and opened fire. He let off six rapid hots before he was tossed to the ground, one of the shots had slammed into the daemon’s eye and it was groaning in ecstatic pain as more of the crimson warp fire seeped from the wound.
“Very nice shot captain.” said Ulno’ Berthis in it’s cool voice.
“I do my best.” Bailean replied as he darted across the floor and swept up his sword. Just as he grabbed the sword he felt one of the daemon’s claws slam into the ground where he had just been standing and he dove away in an attempt to get beyond the considerable reach of the greater daemon. Bailean spun onto his side as he landed on the ground and saw Berthis reach for him. He got to his feet and leapt backwards, narrowly avoiding one of the monster’s giant claws. As the claw flew past him, Bailean rasied his swornd and brought it down hard the daemon’s wrist, and he ginned with satisfaction as the claw fell to the ground, warp flame pouring from the wound.
Berthis cried out in pleasure as the limb fell away and it clutched the oozing wound with it’s free hand. As Bailean prepared to attack again, Berthis cried out, the cry the most carnal and tainted thing Bailean had ever heard. The monster’s cry along with the shrieking of the tower fused together and Bailean dropped his sword and crumpled to the ground, his hands clutching his ears. Bailean saw through a haze of tears, the others of his group fall to the ground as he did, their hands to the sides of their heads.
Then almost as soon as it began, it was over and the hall was dead silent, no moaning or howling, nothing just the sound of empty space. Bailean stood up, a confused face taking shape beneath his helmet. Seconds passed in dead silence as Bailean looked around the room, then he heard a faint chittering. It came slowly at first, distant and no louder than a whisper, but then it grew louder and closer, growing in volume as the seconds passed. It only took a moment but then Bailean realized what was happening.
“Everybody get ready!” he took off running towards his companions, sprinting the distance. Just as he was about half way, out from every orifice in the walls began to crawl small, pink, fleshy spider like creatures. Each of them had one large red eye in the center of its head and a varying number of legs, they were the color of pink skin and much like the first daemon the group of astartes had fought they were dripping with blood, each of the pink spiders was about a foot square and they moved with lightening speed across the black floor. Bailean and the astartes around him immediately began to open fire into the mass of daemonic monstrosities, several exploding with each shot. Bailean set his bolter on fully automatic as adrenaline coursed through his body and pulled the trigger. He guided the barrel across the floor each bolt blowing three or four of the creatures into pieces
Bailean expended a full clip from his bolter in a matter of seconds and he hastily reloaded the gun. He slammed another clip into the gun and lowered the bolter again. He saw that with every passing moment that no matter how many of them they killed, the creatures continued to get closer.
“Dammit Markus, there too many of them, we’ll expend all our ammo before we kill even a quarter of these damn things!”
“Keep shooting, there’s nothing else we can do!” Bailean took a chance gaze over towards where Ulno’ Berthis was standing but to his astonishment, the greater daemon was gone.
“Where did the keeper of secrets go?” Bailean asked to no one in particular.
“No idea, I think he disappeared when these things started attacking.” Rees shouted back. For several minutes, the group held the daemonic spiders at bay as they emptied clip after clip of ammunition into the fiends. Bailean pulled his trigger one last time and heard the gun click, he was empty. He reached down to his belt to grab another clip of ammo but he had used them all up. Quickly he switched his combi-bolter to its plasma setting and fired off the one shot he had into the crowd. The plasma exploded and burned a score of the creatures, killing them instantly. Bailean threw his gun around his shoulder and drew his sword, ready for the onslaught.
It only took a few seconds before the creatures were on top of him and as soon as he could he started cutting away at them. His sword passed through them, leaving their bodies broken and oozing warp flame as the energy from the blade seared their bodies apart. Bailean cut down scores of them as he swung his sword, each swing snuffing out a dozen of the daemon spiders. But no matter how many of them he killed there were thousands more, appearing from no where as they scrambled over the walls and began to encircle the astartes and push them into a tighter and tighter group.
Bailean swung again, cutting into the swarm and leaving plenty of dead. As he aimed to swing again, one of the creatures jumped past his defenses and I scrambled up his leg. Bailean reached down with his hand and smashed the creature, leaving a spot of oozing crimson flame. Bailean struck out again but found that his feet were being enveloped by the creatures, he began to swipe and kick them away as more and more of them approached him. It took only a few seconds for the creatures to scale the distance from his feet to his waist and before long he was pulling them off himself in fistfuls.
As he tossed bodies aside, he saw many of his battle brothers in a similar state, tearing the small daemons from their armor as the astartes were overwhelmed. Bailean felt their numerous, tiny legs scamper up his body as they got ever higher and higher, now almost up to his chest. Bailean pulled a pair off of himself, but as he reached into the throng, several of the creatures latched onto his arm. Bailean roared as he crushed them with his other hand and began to swipe entire swathes off of his body. But it was no use, in seconds the mass of gibbering monsters had brought him down to the ground, their weigh dragging him to his knees.
Bailean cried out as he felt a piece of his armor begin to peel away and he tried to lift his hand to swipe at the monster but he was to laden with the daemons. Bailean tried to look around but he saw nothing, they had completely enveloped him and were beginning to pry his armor away from his body. Bailean bellowed with frustration as he lay there, helpless against the innumerable creatures of chaos. Just as Bailean lost his last reserves of strength, he heard the doors burst open.
“Sisters! Purge these foul spawn of Chaos!” a feminine voice called over the tsunami of chittering.
“In the name of the God-Emperor!” a score of female voices called back and he heard the distinct sound of flamers igniting. Bailean felt the attention of the spider-things shift to the newcomers and the weight on his body lessen. The arrival of these new forces bolstered his strength and he roared in rage. He threw dozens of the creatures from his body. He forced his way to his knees and he began to grab fistfuls of the creatures from his body, tossing their lifeless forms aside. As he scattered more and more of the creatures he turned to the door way, their inside the tower, the light from the outside shining in behind them, giving them the look of angelic saviors, was a full squad of Sisters of Battle, the militant arm of the Ordo Hereticus.
“Send these monsters back to the abyss” the leader was calling out to her sisters, her flame pistol hot and scorching away at the numerous monstrosities. Bailean saw their flamers and meltas cutting vast swathes through the ranks of the daemons, their bodies dissolving as they were burned to death. Bailean looked to see many of his astartes brethren clambering to their feet and he called to them,
“Form up with the sisters, brothers and prepare to fall back!” the struggling astartes began to fight their way towards the door, kicking and smashing the spiders aside. Bailean reached the group of sisters and said,
“Thanks for the rescue; we should get out of here.”
“We stay until the fight is finished.” The lead sister said to him as she fired off another burst of flame.
“You can’t stay here, they don’t stop coming and we need to get out of here NOW.”
“We cannot leave our work undone, you go, we’ll finish them off.”
“Don’t you get it? You can’t finish them off; there isn’t a limit to these things. The tower makes them. We’d been fighting these things for ten minutes before you get here and they had never even seemed to lose strength.” The sister looked at him, their eyes meeting under their helmets,
“Very well, sisters! Fall back out of here and seal the door.” She called and the sororita and the astartes both darted from the building, Bailean and the lead sister leaving last. As the group evacuated the tower, Bailean slammed the doors shut and he felt a massive weight slam into it.
“Hurry, we need to seal the door before any of them get out into the city!” Bailean called to those around him.
“Brother Deris Relan of the Grey Knights is on his way to secure the tower and to make it ready for destruction.” The lead sister replied.
“How far away is he?” Bailean asked as the creatures slammed into the door again.
“Right here.” Said a calm voice with the quality of a summers eve. Bailean spun his head to his left to see ten Grey Knights armed in their silver Ageis Armor standing before him. Even their presence was daunting to Bailean, they were the same size, but he could see that beneath their skin they were built stronger and tougher. They carried their Nemisis Force Weapons in their right hands and a storm bolter strapped to their left wrists. Their armor was so ornate that it took Bailean a moment to find many of the detailed circles and loops that crisscrossed their shoulder plates, each of them bore a shield on the left shoulder, the shield sporting the wearers personal heraldry. Their crusader helms blue eyes glowed brightly as they approached and many red ribbons and purity seals fell from their armor. Each one had a small, metal box melded to their chest plate, on the box was wrought a tiny golden sword stabbing the pages of an open book. On their left shoulder was a similar symbol, but much larger and on the right were skulls or the occasional capital ‘I’ crossed with three thin lines, the symbol of the Inquisition.
“Get your men out of here captain, we’ll take it from here.” Justiciar Deris Relan said as he stepped forwards. Bailean nodded, daemons were these men’s forte and he knew that even a small group of Grey Knights could take on hundreds of them.
“Rees, let’s secure the perimeter and cover the Justiciar while they clear the building.”
“No captain” said Relan, “you need to leave, none, not even a loyal servant of the imperium such as yourself, can be privy to our ways.” Bailean hesitated for a moment as his brain mulled over what he had just been told.
“Very well” Bailean said after a moment and signaled for the Blood Angels to leave the area. As Bailean turned to ensure that all his men were following, he saw the grey knights fling open the door and charge in, their nemesis weapons spinning and slashing through the air. As the last of the shimmering space marines entered the tower, the door closed behind them and the sounds of battle died with a dull thud.
As the door slammed Bailean heard footsteps approaching him from his right and he looked over his shoulder to see the leader of the sororitas that had rescued them.
“May I help you?” Bailean asked as he turned to face the approaching sister.
“Not exactly” the woman replied with a hint of laughter, “are you Captain Markus Bailean of the Blood Angels 4th company?”
“That’s me” Bailean replied, “You seem to have me at a disadvantage sister, you know my name but I don’t know yours.”
“Sister Preceptor Alena Aris of the Order of the Argent Shroud.”
“Pleased to make your acquaintance Sister Aris.”
“The honor is mine captain, word of your deeds has spread throughout the imperium.” “I am not one to brag about my feats, my fellows would have acted similarity in the same situations.”
Bailean looked down at her, he couldn’t see any of her features being that they were hidden underneath a helmet but he could tell by the way she carried herself that she was an experienced warrior.
“I’m glad we were finally able to meet captain” she said as she turned to rejoin her sisters, “you owe me one.”
“I will not forget what you’ve done today sister, I will repay the debt before this war is over.”
“I’m sure you will captain.” she called to him as her sisters darted away from the tower and headed off towards the center of the city.
WE ARE THE SONS OF SANGUINIUS AND WE KNOW NO FEAR
Back in the 40k saddle after a long break.