Reap the Harvest
Hi all, i wrote this a while back for my DIY renagade chapter and posted it on another site, unfortunatly i found out later my spell check was down and it was filled with mistakes. i have hopefully corrected most of them so my appologies for any mistakes, C&C welcome
Vulker Kul strode up the stair case to the cathedral, its black marble surface now pitted and cracked by the days of fierce urban warfare in the city. One mighty slab cracked under his armoured boot. To his left the burned out remains of a Lemon Russ, the armoured hulk lay on its back, its underbelly torn and rent that releasing steadily coiling plumes of smoke heavenwards, the inferno still ravaged its inside filling the air with the smell of burnt metal, smoke and over cooked meat. Vulker seemed oblivious to the battle that raged around him as his fellow battle brothers harvested the latest offering to ease their corruption. Vulker bore his own stigma, as all his brothers did in some way, his a pair of black leathery wings that punched their way through his crimson armour, they now rested against his shoulders in the illusion of a hide cloak, but they were not his only mutation, for his mind too had been warped by the Dark ones’ touch; he could now perform great psychic acts that would break any other, ‘lesser’ psyker with little effort. Bolter rounds and lasbolts flew to and fro through the air, some biting into the stone steps that he had just stood upon.
As he reached the summit of the stair way he was greeted by twin golden doors of cyclopean grandeur baring the entrance to the cathedral. The doors were engraved and gilded with images of saints and the Emperor smiting down demons and xenos a score at a time. Vulker placed his brushed metal gauntleted hands upon the door, he felt the weight bearing down on the hinges, they were perfectly balanced to such an extent that he could open them with one hand. For a brief moment he paused taking in a deep breath and readying his mental defences for the inevitable conflict within. It was not fear that stayed his advance for he was still a space marine, all be it a fallen one, he did not feel fear merely readiness; and experience taught him to be ready for all things and with that he gave a slight push and the door swung open with contemptuous ease. As he crossed the threshold a sniper’s bullets rang off the door beside him, Vulker twisted to his left just in time to see a missile stream through smoke clogged air before slamming through the window into the room that, moments ago the sniper had taken his shot.
Vulker quickly turned back to the task at hand, drawing and cocking his bolt pistol as he entered the black portal of the cathedral interior. Vulker could hear the chatter of both forces in the city over the com-link, he heard the screeching commands of sergeant Tor’val order his bloated brothers to open fire on a loyalist position. Vulker cared not; he was only concerned with his current mission to slay a holy man. Why the Dark one wanted this man dead was beyond him but it had seen fit to grant the vision to him and thus he had to do so for the Chapter’s redemption. Vulker strode through the dark passage towards the central alter chamber. The death of the Cardinal would weigh heavy in the offering to cleanse the chapter, who knew perhaps the holy man’s soul alone would buy a day of purity to one of Vulkers brethren. But first their was the matter of the cardinals guards whether they be mere guardsmen, skilled warriors of the Adepta Sororitas at best, at worst some true warriors would guard him, Astartes warriors like himself, ignorant though they were to the plight of their brothers in arms. Vulker eyed each shadow his enhanced eyes cutting through the shadows reviling nothing but battle scarred statues of yet more saints and heroes resting in gothic alcoves. All was darkness, all was silent; no light penetrated the gloom, the only sound his armoured foot steps echoed through the hallways.
Vulker came to a small, black marble square immersed in half light from flickering glow panels, thanks to his enhanced vision he could picked out the gothic arches and galleries that intersected and lined the square. In the centre of the square lay a fountain topped with another statue of a great saint, her features were expertly sculpted. Her eyes closed, her posture was one of a martyr walking into the jaws of death, her sword held in a loose but ready grip by her side and in the other a string of silver beads ending with an imperial Aquila dangled from her clenched fist. The water came from the mouths of four gargoyles which supported her. But it was not the beauty of the statue the caused Vulker to pause; it was the piles of corpses. The remains of guardsman and sister butchered together. Their remains littered the fountain’s pool and scatted across the floor, one sister had been impaled, by her standard, over the archway opposite to that which Vulker had entered. Could some of his brothers be responsible for the carnage, no their orders were clear; they were to leave the cathedral to him. The smell of blood, smoke and ozone hung thick in the close air, even his re-breather seemed to cough and gag at the smell. Vulker stepped over the mounds of corpse, their black and green armour stained dark with blood and gore. Then out if the darkness came the whine of gears spinning and the steady thunk- thunk of armoured boots. Vulkger raised his pistol to the shadows just within the archway; his free hand fell to rest the ornate ram skulled hilt of his force weapon.
Vulker strode purposefully through into the darkness. The movement caught his eye and with reflexes borne of centuries of warfare, brought the mussel of his bolt pistol down to face the would be attacker. Only at the last second did Vulker realise what had caused the whine, a combat servitor lay beneath the gutted remains of an inquisitor. Its head lay nearly two feet from its body still connected by a tangle of wires and tubes, its programme still trying to lock on to any target that moved but yet unable bring its weapon bare. The Inquisitor had a hole the size of Vulkers fist through his abdomen; his arms, legs, head and inners littered the corridor to the alter chamber, the walls were red and black with the blood of the Inquisitor and his returine. Vulker could see the faint flickering light the lit the wall opposite the Alter chamber’s grand doors. “What in the name of the Dark one did all this? Are their cultists…other fallen marines?” Vulker smiled and stepped fourth towards his target. “Let them come” he thought “ I’ll add their souls to the harvest” Vulker could bearly resist the urge to run he felt like one of the frenzied, crazed brothers who had fallen into madness with mutations and isolation, but he was better than them he could wait, he would savour this kill. He felt the jarring crunch of the servertors’ skull under his boot as he went.
Vulker came upon the grand doors to the Alter chamber, these were like those outside only that these were crafted from polished silver. The doors seemed to have been barred, yet now they were ajar. As Vulker entered the alter chamber he saw the in the flickering light from clumps of candles lining the approach to the alter; piles butchered bodies of yet more priests and guardsmen littered the chamber. Their ruined carrion lay strewn across rows of ebony pews and ally ways, the white marble floor staining it pink with their blood and entrails. Vulker viewed the scene with distain; this was no clean kill even by his bloody standards. He strode through the pools of congealing blood and gore, from the from the corner of his eye Vulker could see shifting shadows within the shadow beneath the galleries from were the planets nobility would sit for mass, each one dissolving into the darkness as it was about to come into focus. Undaunted Vulker strode on his boots sticking to the gore slick marble.
Vulker stopped, he stood in the centre of a large mosaic of the Imperial Aquila, at the base of a grand stair case that rose above the rows of ebony pews, to a gold and marble Alter dedicated to the Emperor. At the foot of the Alter itself knelt a robed figure, whose robes were torn and stained. The Alter was illuminated by a shaft of white light from a great crystal canceller that kept a pillar of light around the Alter at all times. The robed figure didn’t seem to have noticed Vulker’s approach, he sat there in a pool of offal muttering and praying to the gore covered Alter. Spreading his arms wide Vulker called out, unable to stop the grin that spread behind his rebreather, his voice echoing around the cavernous chamber “Farther I have come to repent my sins.” The figure rose from his feet, turning to face Vulker and in a dry, crisp, madness laced voice he intoned “Fear not my son for at the coming of your death your soul will be reunited with…” his words choked in his throat, his large Cyclopean eye went wide at the sight of Vulker.
The Cardinal’s abdomen was split open reviling the razor toothed maw, his white robes stained with the blood and his hair was matted and spiked wildly with gore. Vulker let out a throaty laugh which vibrated around the chamber “The Dark one has a wicked humour, I came seeking the soul of a Holy man and get an Apostate”. As he spoke Vulker could feel energies press down on him, they were palatable, suffocating almost and in an instant all light was expunged, and Vulker realised that he had just entered a mass summoning ritual.
The darkness was suddenly filled with moans, chanting and the crescendo of the crashing chandelle as it plunged onto the alter, even his eyes couldn’t pierce the black vale that had fallen over the chamber. Vulker could feel the presence of those around him before he saw them, as they began to stalk towards him from out of the darkness. Vulker drew his sword and raised it to the heavens and with but a thought a nimbus of purple light danced around the blade as the force weapon dispelling the darkness, in that moment Vulker unfurled his wings, sending several of his assailants flying back, with but a single stroke of his mighty pinions he rose above the mass of demon that now occupied the chamber.
He hung in the air the dark light of his psychic hood pulsed in time with the beats of his wings, adding an aura of angelic wonder to the fell warrior. He took aim and his bolt pistol and it began to bark as he loosed burst of bolter rounds into the pack of demonic fiends, with each round came the scream of tortured soul that heralded the demise of the warp spawn as they began to melt back into the warp but such were their numbers that that his bolt pistol was soon spent and with a grunt of frustration Vulker was forced to discarded the weapon.
Taking his sword in both hands he fell upon the mass of warp-fiends, like an avenging angle of death, his first strike split one of the warp spawn in twain shattering the mosaic into a cloud of ceramics and dust, banished another score of the warp fiends back to the shadows, with psychic shock wave. His second a rising slash caught a frenzied demon in midair as it leapt for him, its two handed blade raised over its horned head. His glowing blade left a trail of purple light that lingered in the blades wake tracing the path; each cut, each thrust flowed to the next wrapping Vulker with in a web of death an adimantium. Each move scythed through the fell ranks of Vulkers assailants pressing from all sides.
The dark light of the blade gleamed off the rotten skin of the demons Vulker struck and with a clap of thunder yet more demons were banished to the empterine. Vulker parried blow after blow from of their fell blades and with his free hand struck one of his assailants in the chest with the flat of his hand, unleashing all his hate for the Dark one, all his anger in being used by some fell being and being unable to prevent it. The demon and those behind it were scythed down by a bolt of black lightning that carved a path through the assailing demons and through the wall of the chamber, destroying one of the supporting pillars to the gallery and the stone structure collapsed upon a score of warp spawn yet their numbers remained beyond counting. The smell of ozone now over powered the smell of the demons and the candles, static from the blast lashed out at anything that came close to the fading purple aura that remained.
A blast of white hot pain scorched the edge of Vulkers left wing causing the sorcerer to pivot 180 on his heels to face its source, felling another abomination with a back handed blow. As he faced the source of the blast as he faced the Apostate. Vulkers’ blade continued to deliver a backhand blow that, relived another dozen abominations of their heads. Vulker saw the smoking power coil begin to glow as the outstretched plasma pistol began to charge for the next blast. The Apostate cardinal stood upon the top step in one hand held the charging plasma pistol, the other began to flow taking on a new larger form, yet he was laughing madly, his one eye wild with bloodlust.
Vulker flapped is dark wings and leaped up the stair in a single bound, bringing his blade down and in a burst of light, the half reformed body fell apart in a shower of blood and twisted limbs. Vulker’s skin tingled as the pent up power sustaining the demons ebbed away and before the first demon reach the top of the steps they faded into nothingness. Vulker now stood alone the aura around his blade and hood faded, the chamber was now filled with the grey light through the hole he had made in the wall. He sheathed his blade and bent down and picked up the now recharged plasma pistol. “Not even the dark gods can halt me in my quarry, and soon you to shall meet your end by my blade Dark one!” he challenged into the darkness. Vulker was sure that he could hear a mocking laugh in the darkness but not even his enhanced senses could be sure.
Guardsmen in the district poured fire into a line of tenements, within which Vulker could make out the red shadows of his brethren. A hellhound rolled passed the bottom the stairway oblivious to Vulkers presents. Levelling the plasma pistol he fired the ball of liquid fire into the Hellhounds fuel tanks, the tank exploded cutting a bloody swath through the supporting guardsmen those who survived the shrapnel of the burning hulk were burned alive or mowed down by disciplined bolter fire from the Soultakers squads. Vulker holstered the plasma pistol.
His retinal display flashed as his brothers registered his return. As Vulker slowly negotiated the now totally demolished stair way, as he descended the slope of shattered marble he realised something was missing, the sense of nobility from doing the Emperors work, even if forced to do so for a demon but now there was nothing just a numbness, a hollowness and this realisation gave him cause for pause. As his brethren began to converge on his position he realised that he just didn’t care about the Emperors’ work any more only that the Dark one would pay, and pay by his hand. As Vulker collected himself he began to cross the corpse field that had once been a grand plaza. As his brothers fell in behind him he gave but one command to those who followed him “Target silenced move on to next target.”