I started putting together a story for the competition, but at a third of the way through I've already gone over the 1500 word limit. So I just sat and wrote this. However it's too short! Anyway, i hope you enjoy my first stab at a piece of fanfiction
The Last Testament of Captain Sandeman
Their silence still haunts me.
The terror I felt that day, the evil I witnessed, it has scarred me.
When the 331st first assaulted Scelus it was under a flag of righteous zeal. The Sons of Malice had been declare excommunicate traitors, and their homeworld was to be purged and secured. They weren't home. We found their citadel high upon the snowy peaks abandoned, a silent and empty mausoleum inhabited only by the cold and dread that characterised the planet. The floors were a carpet of skulls, each with one side crudely painted black. The entire chapter had fled to the Eye of Terror.
The tribesmen of Scelus attacked us. They attacked each other. Their brutal and heretical customs sealed their fate. We exterminated the ferals as the men came to call them, leaving nothing of their heinous existence undone.
It was only a month after establishing the garrison and out posts that the true horror of this place became known. The weather is as hard as the planet; fierce, cold, relentless. But there was something else, something wrong
. Morale slumped to a dangerous low. Equipment malfunctioned, communications faltered, animosity took hold. There were two reported outbreaks of fighting amongst the men, and three separate incidents of faithful guardsmen, resolute in the Emperor, committing suicide.
A renewed sense of purpose took hold when word reached us of the war that engulfed Cadia and all nearby systems. The traitor forces had embarked on crusade of death, intent on burning the galaxy.
Scelus was invaded by warbands from the dreaded traitor legion the World Eaters. Our out posts fell to a tide of red. The crazed maniacs slaughtered in the name of their blood god. At the central command post we made ready for a final stand. The Cadian 331st, loyal guardsmen of the Imperium would fight to the last.
They came for us, screaming, chanting, relentless in their assault on our defences. The World Eaters devoured us. I saw gallant soldiers torn like paper, friends butchered. I saw death and I knew fear. My time would soon come. A mighty winged daemon, an avatar of hate descended upon my regiment.
As soon as it had lifted its axe to strike the creature took to the air, swooping like some mighty pteradon of Tarnis.
Looking up I saw what had intervened to save our lives from the beast.
Astartes drop pods rained from the sky, descending into the centre of the World Eaters position. Our prayers had been answered, the Space Marines had come to our rescue.
It was hard to make out what happened next but it was clear the World Eaters were being forced back. The cold winds blew stronger and the horror of Scelus returned as I realised our saviours were our doom. The Sons of Malice had returned.
Their butchery of the World Eaters was appalling. I saw black and white armoured maniacs tear the helmeted heads from their foes, impaling them on spiked back banners, proudly displaying grizzly trophies of their blood-lust. I saw the bodies of the fallen renegade space marines mingled with my own defeated kinsmen being eaten. The Sons of Malice feasted on their flesh.
Most terrifying of all was their silence. not a single sound came from them as they battled the remaining World Eaters. No screams of pain as they fell, no chants of war-lust or howls of triumph, only the empty sound of death. In the centre of the maelstrom of gore the Bloodthirster stood confronting a warrior clad in blue terminator armour. The warrior, clearly the sorcerous leader of the Sons of Malice, hacked the wings from the mighty daemon. Fellow black and white marines circled and chained the bellowing daemon.
It was in pain. Its hatred burned in its eyes. The sorcerer stood, arms raised, face-to-face with the bound daemon. The cry it gave froze me to the core, I threw up. Peering at the scene of torture I witnessed an horrific change. The bloodthirster writhed in agony as it began to change, horns erupted from its head, its snout grew more pronounced and its skin turned a sickly off-white. A third eye opened in its brow and the transformation was complete. The twisted daemon thing raised its head to the sky and let out a silent roar of defiance.
It destroyed the remaining World Eaters whilst the Sons of Malice satiated themselves on the dead.
I lost consciousness.
When I awoke in the medical bay of the Excelsior
and was informed that the three-score survivors had been rescued to weeks before and that I had been relieved of my command until fit for duty. Of the Sons of Malice there was no trace, they had left Scelus as quickly as they had descended upon it.
My will and faith have been broken. What I saw on that cursed planet three months ago haunts me still. The look in the eyes of the daemon that the Sons of Malice had perverted followed me everywhere. It's hate and self-loathing consumed me.
My only escape is to venerate the unholy being that arose and to take my own life.