Hope ya like chapter 1!
As before, all constructive criticism is welcome!
Chapter 1 - Taking the fort
“He is a marvellous creature. Ruthless, powerful, yet driven by a diabolical cunning. And always prepared to appreciate the nature of fine art, whether it be a monumental structure or defiled corpse. A true follower of Slaanesh, completely devoted to the one, true goddess. And my creation.
Yet it had not always been so. No, his beginnings were quite small, humble. No one else could have imagined the greatness he was destined to become.”
Malkor. A jungle world, located dangerously close to the Ultima Segmentum's edge. Still an untamed, primal place, filled with poisonous plants and exotic, yet deadly creatures. A place of little importance to the Imperium, with only small amounts of minable resources and an equally minimal human population, housed within a small fortress in the only deforested area on the planet. There, the people lived simple lives, devoted to the Emperor, but oblivious to the dangers of the galaxy.
Oblivion lead to downfall.
All contact with the planet was suddenly cut off one day. No warp storms, or anything. There was simply no reply. A small detachment of the Imperial Guard's troops was sent to investigate. And was never heard of again. Several psykers, however, reported feeling a strange, corrupting force around the entire planet. Chaos.
Upon hearing this, the nearest Space Marine Chapter was sent to foil their fallen kin's plans. Those brave warriors, were part of the Scorchers, a successor Chapter of the White Scars. Experts at lightning-fast and brutal assaults. Their mettle would be tested, yet again.
A battle was raging around the planet's only fortress. Countless heretics shot at the Emperor's finest time and time again, with lasguns or outdated bolters. Grenades landed all around the marines, but the marines did not slow down. Nearly a hundred stood before the walls, returning fire, keeping the traitors within occupied.
Their power armour made all of the enemies' attacks useless. Split in half, the suit's left half was a bright orange, while the other was a pure white. On their shoulder-pads, the head of a dragon could be seen. Its scales were green, with solid blue for its eyes.
A thunderous sound filled the area, as assault marines took to the sky, landing behind the cultists mere moments later. Chainswords tore them apart mercilessly, spreading the Emperor's judgement.
Battlecries suddenly came from the jungle and several dozen figures appeared from among the flora. The fallen ones wore black armour, with hints of purple and tainted by Chaos. Their weapons were also enchanted by the dark energies. Some merely caused more damage, but specialised servants of the Mistress spread the very wails of the Warp across the battlefield with their sonic blasters.
The loyal ones were caught unawares and several fell to the chaos marines' assault. But the disadvantage was only temporary, for the roar of engines soon came, louder than the heretics. Attack bikes rode from the jungle, their riders eager to enter the fray. Upon seeing this, the slaaneshi troops paused for a moment contemplating their options. As a hail of rounds was unleashed from the bikes' twin-linked bolters, it became apparent, that there was only one solution. A very rapid tactical retreat, during which, they would have to try not scream like little girls.
And so, the battle was won, with the last remaining traitors scattering within the jungle, yet again. But the war for Malkor had just begun.
Several groups of marines made their way through the fort's insides, searching for more heretics. Now and then, shots could be heard, proving, that the search was successful. One of these squads was unusually small, consisting only of two marines. No, not mere marines. Two battle-brothers, whose friendship had been forged during a few dozen conflicts in many distant parts of the galaxy. Both were also experts in fast assault, on bikes, of course.
Every pilot or rider needs to stretch his legs and make sure he can still aim a bolter correctly, which is why they were in the rather narrow hallways, ready for a filthy sinner to run at them any moment. But no such scare came, rather, the corridors were eerily quiet, with no signs of life. Finally, they reached the end of the long path and a steel door stood before them.
With a brief look at each-other, one moved to the right and approached the door's console, while the other stuck to the opposite wall, his weapon ready. With a few clicks, the metallic plates slid to the side, permitting entrance. And nothing else happened. No battlecries from cultists, no enemy fire.
Cautiously, they entered the room, twisting in every direction, looking for danger. The oval room, however, was empty. Lowering their bolters with relief, one of them spoke, both t his comrade and every other marine in the building, via comm-link:
“This is Dualshell. Sector B clear. No enemy resistance,” no response came, which was typical of the sergeant. The marine turned off the link and turned to his brother, “well, seems like we're done for now.”
“Yeah. Good think, too. I need to clean all the tainted blood off my bike.”
“Same here, heheh. Is the air here safe?”
“Sensors are not picking up anything strange. Safe as can be, Damien.”
Without another word, the other marine unlocked the safeties on his helmet and slowly removed it. A face belonging to a rather young man was revealed, with short, black hair and light blue eyes. Damien breathed in the air, before speaking yet again:
“Aaaah, nothing like some rather fresh air. Try it, Algar.”
“Very well,” the second man was older, with many wrinkles on his brow and a strange wisdom in his brown eyes. He scratched the skin on his bald head, before continuing, “you are right, breathing without a respirator is much better.”
“Indeed,” Damien's eyes looked around the chamber. The steel floor was covered by a simply, white carpet and a single light hung from the ceiling. Nothing special. But the walls were covered by things quite extraordinary. Paintings of all kinds and styles were all around, some good, some terrible. And it became apparent, why none had stayed here. They wished for the gallery to remain intact, “interesting.”
“I suppose. I've never been one for art.”
“You have to admit, even though they do all those disgusting things, they know how to spend their free time.”
A booming voice suddenly filled the halls:
“Perhaps you'd like to join their ranks and experience it?”
Both marines turned towards the gallery's entrance and saw a new figure approach. The figure's armour, unlike theirs, was completely black and heavily decorated with skulls and holy inscriptions. The skull-shaped helmet was turned to them, a bit frightening even to the seasoned soldiers. Algar spoke, quietly:
The old space marine moved closer and looked straight into Damien's eyes.
“What are these heretical words, which leave your mouth?”
“I assure you, brother, that I still despise the slaaneshi scum just as much as you.”
“That is good to hear. I'd hate to torture such a promising pilot,” Isaac's stance became much more relaxed and he raised his crozius, “sergeant Barius is leading a group of flamer-equipped brothers on a small purification run. I need one of you to stay here and make sure no one gets into the room.”
The youngest of them smiled.
“I guess that's me.”
“Yes, you were a probable candidate. Now, then, Algar, go to the mech-bay and clean your vehicle, before its machine spirit gets angry.”
With a nod to the chaplain and his friend, the bald one left. The chaplain spoke one last time to Damien:
“And feel free to shoot one of the paintings, if you want.”
“Wouldn't that be a waste of ammunition?”
“True. Cut them with your knife.”
“Orders acknowledged,” Isaac silently chuckled, before turning and slowly walking away. The only marine left stood there, at the gallery's entrance, mumbling to himself, “I just had to open my big mouth.”
Fly on the dragon's wings,
fly to endless glory.
You shall see a fate most gory,
which his breath brings.
Enemies of the Emperor, have fear.
For the dragon's teeth are near.
- folk song from the Scorchers' homeworld, Yucatan. Sung before battle by all battle-brothers.