Hello Heretics, I have returned, after a long writing rut. Firstly, I would like to apologize for those who were reading Bleak Eternity, because I said it wasn't dead and then vanished. Not sure if I'm going to return to that, don't want to do two stories at once. For some reason I am having trouble finding inspiration, which is why I have returned back to the glorious realm of 40k to seek that inspiration. So without further ado, here is a deathwatch story.
A Dirge of the Lost
Emperor shield me against the maelstrom of my beating heart. The blood of my vanquished brothers courses through my veins, the only standard left for these frail fingers to carry into the light. In my divine fury, I can see them all, Elidion the Lion, Alaric the Twin-Tailed Comet, Loki the Black, Averon the Grim, and Librarian Diratai Moonblade.
Something tells me that this could all be a deception, something to trick me down the unending path of damnation. That brothers may yet live. And then I see them, lost in my memories, smiling down on me from the golden throne. They do not crave vengeance or absolution, they carry only pride, as if I had done everything I could possibly do and that the time has come to welcome me home.
I long for that greeting once again, but in the event that I should die, then I know that the Deathwatch has truly failed.
Never shall I relent.
My foes break upon my mailed fist like the breaking of the tide.
Never shall I surrender.
I would gladly follow those who have served Him on Terra into the Gates of Oblivion, it is the reward for a task well done.
Never shall I fail.
Deathwatch. Inquisitor. Chapter. Homeworld. Terra. Emperor. By them all I solemnly swear, and they shall judge my oath when fulfilled.
This I swear as a Brother of the Deathwatch.
An angel. A messenger of the Golden Throne, carrying the word of an authority that answered to no one. Brother Elidion of the Celestial Lions emerged from the dreary abyss of another corridor into a room filled cascading light. It was uncharacteristic of a Space Hulk, usually the power generators were so worn and depleted that every portion of the ship was painted in shadows. He ignored the crumbled statues of ancient primarchs that flanked either side of the walkway.
Elidion ducked beneath the half-jammed doorway and came out onto a tattered crimson rug that lined the aisle. The visor slits in his helm traced the carpet as it ascended upon a flight two-pronged staircases, which curved around a statue of the old Thousand Son Primarch Magnus the Red.
For a moment, the illusion of something greater than a mere Astartes almost came to life. Magnus gazed down upon him with his one eye, crimson skin glinting in the limelight. A tall plume of hair waved in an non-existent wind, and his hand was planted onto the hilt of a great sword.
The Primarch smiled down on him, then shifted back into lifelessness.
Elidion hesitated, and once again his gaze found the angel who was perched atop Magnus’ monument. The angel possessed the appearance of a young, pallid-skinned woman. She could rival the height of a Space Marine and wore pristine armor befitting one of her stature. Elidion examined the segmented armor and knew that it had not originated from ceramite.
Short locks of raven hair spilled over her ears and small hazel eyes, which seemed alight with a holy radiance. In her arms was a great spear, too fine and advanced to be anything made in the forty-first millennium. She cloaked her shoulders , arms, and thighs in great black-feather wings.
Elidion blinked as if he could be imagining things and yet the angel still existed. Her gaze studied the room with a vigilant intensity as if she searched for something to kill. Yet as her gaze found Elidion, she made a gentle smile and remained on her high vantage point.
“Elidion… where in the name of the All-father’s ball sack are you?... Elidion? I know you’re over there, little man! Don’t make me come and find you, Loki out.”
Elidion sneered and shut off his communication link. He ascended the twin-pronged stairs until he stood directly beneath the statue of Magnus. The angel remained unmoving, content to look on and maintain vigil over this dilapidated hall.
When the Celestial Lion sheathed his power sword, the angel looked down upon him again… And he noticed how her eyes had changed into large glittering pits of black. She smiled again, her teeth razor-sharp fangs. And her armor yawned with the face of a writhing demon.
Elidion leaned away from the first thrust of the angel’s spear. The second strike sent a scattering of sparks off of his pauldron and cleaved through the hallowed runes and scripture of the Deathwatch insignia. He whirled around, his power sword between his fists again, and slashed through Magnus’ leg. Elidion scrambled backward and then ran back toward the doorway.
The daemonic creature took flight as Magnus toppled forward into a pile of rubble. Her eyes were fixated on the Celestial Lion as she swooped down for another attack. Elidion parried another strike over his head. He ducked beneath the flying knee approaching his face and grabbed her foot before she could ascend again.
The daemon twisted with surprising strength that belied her fragile form. Elidion cried out as his hand twisted until he was forced to let go. Elidion made an overhead cut that bit deep into the armor around the daemon’s ankle. The creature gasped, more in surprise than pain and finally landed before him.
Sparks leapt from the clash of their blades. The angelic daemon feinted and then carved a gash in his greaves from a low cut. She followed the attack with a fluid sweep of the haft of her polearm, which she used to knock back Elidion’s free arm and then to pitch his helm backwards.
Elidion smashed his elbow across the daemon’s temple and reversed his blow into another cut that sliced a gash around her neck. He brought his fist down upon the daemonic spear, reclined his blade, and made a thrust into the daemon’s torso. The crackling power field sundered her armor and destroyed half of her ribs, but still she fought on.
The daemon howled in fury, and crunched her teeth into Elidion’s helm with enough force to crack the visor. He made another cut across the torso, this time horizontal, and registered warm innards that spilled onto his boots. The daemon let go of his helm and swung haphazardly with her spear. The blow slashed a neat cut across Elidion’s chest, but the attack was robbed of much of its former strength.
Elidion looked into the creature’s furious eyes as it fell to her knees. He raised his power blade for the final blow.
The daemon’s skull exploded like over-ripened fruit, before Elidion could even register that he had swung his blade. In fact, he was certain that he did not swing it. As the corpse collapsed in a pool of its own blood, he looked up and saw Loki-the-Grim halfway beneath the jammed door.
The Space Wolf grinned at the Celestial Lion.
Loki looked down on the daemon and spat as he pushed through the door. “I told you, don’t make me have to come find you. Lucky for you, little cub, I had your back this once.”
“Had my back?” Elidion asked. “Did you not see that I was in full control? I did not need your help, little-pup.”
Loki wheezed with laughter from under his helmet. “You know, they say that only the weak fall prey to daemons… and the stupid. I wonder which one are you, Elidion, to almost fall on one of their blades?”
“Neither.” The Celestial Lion snapped. “I was deceived, but only for a moment. Rest assured, Loki, that had I been ambushed, I would never have relented against them until the very end.”
“Good to know.” Loki chuckled. “But then the Deathwatch would be absent another brother, even if he did suffer from a large shaft stuck up his arse. Perhaps a daemon shoved it up there! But in any case, you should remove it.”
Despite himself, Elidion smiled beneath his helm. Not that he would ever let Loki know that. “Who sent you? Diratai?”
“Who else.” Loki shrugged. “The Inquisitor wants a report on our explorations. We should not keep him wanting.” He clapped Elidion’s pauldron. “Let’s get back to the others. I’m sure there are some interesting tales to go around.”