Shield of Emperor; Shield of Dorn
Chapter 1 - The Immaterium spills forth
Brother Onyxl... dearest of brother and worthiest of peer. Proudest of son and sternest of soul. Keeper of our most noble of traditions, most ancient of customs, starkest of truths and a hammer of righteous flame. Dorn... would have been most proud if ever he gazed upon the tome that was your life... Just your presence, so like our Primarch`s immortal reverence. A stoic mountain of faith, a bedrock of zeal, an indomitable citadel of gleaming pride, upon which no heresy could nourish, no darkness could touch, or xenos strike. And... And now you are here... upon my death, but a witness to my undignified demise, as lowly and pungent of solitude as was my birth, centuries ago... and what has become of such creation? My blade has spilt an ocean of crimson, my hammer a mountain of skulls, my bare hands innumerable torsos torn asunder; the pain, such glorious pain! Death in all its savouring splendour… the tang so succulent, so ripe! A virgin fruit to be plucked from the orchard that is the mortal body: its peel the sour enrapture of war, its flesh bulbous and fattened upon arrogance, harvested behest the scythe of Khorne! The splinter of marrowed bone, the sharp crack of ceramic plate, the fountain of arterial blood and moist ruin of innocent flesh... the clamour of countless brazen horns... Blood! For the... the Blood God! Skulls! And Souls! All for He! Oh Onyxl slay thee before it takes me, cast your hammer of justice upon my feverish brow! Dorn be merciful upon your floundering son! Emperor, guide such withering spirit that has forsaken you alas!
'The fall of Brother-Sergeant Grandon’
Self stated ‘Hammer of Dorn’, Captain of the 7th, Imperial Fists (Suppressed by the divine will of the Ordo Malleus. Consent yet to be given)
(841. M41) Of our Holy Imperial Calendar
Sickly light pooled from a flotilla of witch globes set within the towering arches of the chamber, tapered by Gothic finesse. Quarried ouslite masterfully chiseled and duelly bedecked in gold-leaf fineries hung overhead, like girders and pylons of a pious nature. Bountiful depictions, century’s worth of toilage, testimony to the planets economic servitude to a cruel, praise-forbidding master. Throngs of gunmetal iron torqued and twisted in unnatural torsions. Encroaching above stout columns of stone like flexing cables of tungsten. Parasites of mechanical origin, carelessly flaunting a disdain of mortal dimensions, and striving to defy gravitational limits. Rising ever higher and meshing amongst the ferrocrete canopy of purposely forgotten servitors and dusty alcoves. Spanning almost naturally towards the myriads of mosaics of opal and turquoise, to gaze upon their artistic perfection incarnate.
Ornate scenes of old Terra: Azure sea`s, frothing and yet to be boiled away, skies bulbous with droplets of diluted rain, not yet scorched into sulphurous smog, and continental flora. A lush biodiversity quaint and untamed, not banished to atomic molecules of carbon by industrial rule, forever damned to ride the winds, scattered across alkalinic dunes of by-waste. A plush beauty cast down into the infernal abyss of Imperial sovereignty, gripped in the tireless vice of service. Even the gallant sigil of the Aquila and stamp of the Cog, a stark reminder of loyalties and superstitious dominance, amongst tides of High Gothic script littering this ‘Terra’.
For it is no Terra, but this here world. This cesspit gilded by the fineries of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and ungraciously propped-aloft by the strenous labour of billions. Ceaseless industrial output, but one of its only functions to exist at all. And now? My men die in droves to defend a pool of fabricated falsity, by the vile creations of the Warp… eager to gorge upon whatever techno-heresy and resilient souls remain…
Spat the grim Space Marine to his own collective dour his mental reminisces. His half-obscured features, were bathed in ambient shadow, yet more unwitting emphasis upon the sombremity of his nature. A shaven bust of living marble, veined with monofilaments of platinum; tendrils succoring enhanced neuronal systems with vexing interfaces of split-second data, their significance cast down, by the collection of prideful studs adorning his masculine brow like steel stars, forged within the crucible of siege and quenched within the blood of Dorn`s unyielding enemies. Iron testimony to his rank and embrace of company traditions, albeit by biotechnological Mechanicus genius and blessings from the Biomagis sector too.
Burnished yellow plates coalesced and moved like a tight second-skin, the pock-marked ceramite retaining little of its once shining past. Yellowed ceramite and gleaming admantine seals, discoloured and rusted by intensive pollution, spattered by the detrius of war in all forms imaginable. The kneeling figure, leant heavily upon a dais of obsidian, its former surface hewn with mechanical precision, yet now crumbled and worn at its edges. The titanic mass of the Astartes, clad within a Forge-World`s worth of ceramite, bludgeoning such a sacred plinth of the Chapters infamy of righteous prayer, unwittingly, so deep within his lamentation of past sins and a Chapters worth of hate.
Brother-Sergeant Onyxl finished his religious duties abruptly, as if startled or perturbed by an unknowing, yet intriguing irritancy. Centuries of hatred, spilled from the enhanced reaches of his mind, a barely contained flood of raw emotion sluicing away any sensibilities or decencies this pinnacle of human evolution ought to wield as yet another blade of war, amongst the arsenal of faith. Onyxl sought out calmer paths, his twin-hearts slowing their ecstatic rhythm, his latter comatose into secondary hibernation. Until the next drop, or charge or bitter last-stand, he and his company would engage within. Whatever congealed and so called ‘artistry’ war - etched in gold-leaf fineries and gilded in tacky blood - would restore to its simultaneous song, joyous of battle.
The Astartes stood aback, aghast the clogging air of the chamber, broken ventilation shafts sputtering their pathetic draught to no detectable avail. Regal green eyes, their serpentine glaze hued with bionic appendages, piercing and stoic, scoured the colossal statue of Dorn. Primarch of the Imperial Fists, and most noble of the Emperors worthy sons. Dominating the shadowy confines with mere ease, such an ancient formulation of gold and silvery trinkets, cast its stern presence throughout, twinkling despite the dank attire that now enveloped the shrine. Rubies adorned his brow, as admantine studs did his son. A polished sliver of brass coated his tongue, whilst Onyxl`s own bled from a score of bruises and lacerations. Jaded drops testament to tears, sorrowful of intent or brimming with pride, none could dare say, speckling his chiseled orbs for eyes. Glowing with loving warmth, yet ablaze with contempt, a ridiculing gaze strobing harshly down Onyxl`s almost paltry war-plate. Striving for dogged perfection no matter the rugged keep or bloodied field such would be wrestled and won upon.
From behest the curtain of inky darkness, draped heavily along the forecourt of the chamber spilled a mottled throng of Mechanicus priests. Spewing techno linguistic gibberish from oiled mouths and cage Vox receptors as they bustled towards him, shattering the solitude of he and his rose-tinted memories. The grating drivel accompanying the machinations of rotting flesh and blessed mechanics was nothing short of an unholy racket tempering upon the anvil of his bunched nerves, a clear manifestation of the irritancy the Astartes sought to decipher earlier. A prophecy he wished sourly he had never set in motion, if at all.
The lead, scuttled towards him; a constant speed of whirring pistols and neuronal-guided fibers, a gait bodily muscles could only spasm to replicate efficiently. Spider-like and repulsive in the slightest, the dusted flapping of moth-eaten garb the only heraldry visible upon the servant to the Omnissiah, the scarlet cloak billowing to unseen winds, convection currents no doubt conjured by external fan apparatus. A flurry of mechadendrites unsheathed from spinal cavities wet with dripping amniotic pus, socketed mouths corroded from the leak of salted fluids. Such biological desecration sent yet additional shivers of puerile disgust through him, blasphemy of the flesh! Vile as it was unnecessary. Dignitaries won out, and the Astartes, to a sharp mental jerk, abated such loathing, as the hierarchal slave to the Omnissiah splayed his shriveled, liver-spotted lips.
‘Brother-Sergeant Onyxl, we come from desperation, our qualms of the greatest magnitude’, constructed the High Priest from binary code, turned gurgled speech. The tone monotonous and utterly simple. Detectably humane but rendered of any emotion par a basic program of fundamentals, essential for any possible communication at all. The hooded face, a fleshly mask withered beyond mortal years, carried neither desperation nor stress. But a petty freedom amongst the multitude of other prisons, bondage, mechanical of nature.
Aeodin waited patiently, dendrites beckoning his disheveled accomplices further to towards the gleaming demi-god with a casual flick. His posture awaiting further instruction, instruction gifted to Onyxl upon a platter of ignorance.
‘Your presence sparks the fires of confusion, admittedly. But, you’re… ‘Well being’ delights me as much as it would yourself’, he replied curtly, typical of his contempt for anything but a brother Space Marine. The reply not without blatant vehemence to such a blundering intrusion upon Fist rock. Any imaginable need of subtly whilst consulting such beings, of as much importance and value as pondering the correct fate of every heretic, traitor and xenos. Cleansing, final death.
‘My Lord, with exempt to courteous flatteries and correct titling, my Veneratus ordered me to relay this message to your order. Detailing vital to the ongoing siege-‘, barely had the babbling ceased, as another metallic voice, yet deeper and more guttural and robotically strung, boomed across the dim halls, by vertebrae-lodged relay nodes.
Interference hacked through the transmission, wheezed coughing fraught by the pestilent frailties of flesh, certain components totally unregister able, others only worthy of collectives of syllables – ‘Brother Onyxl… the western ramparts lies shattered. Smote asunder by a cruel blow, traitorous of nature, a foul insult to the practices of the Omnissiah! Fusions of … daemonic hide and warped machinery; constructs by the Dar- Mechanic-, fraught by… of the Ruinous Powers. Urgency… to the sectors Sigorious Primonicus V and VI!’, it rattled on, cut short of whatever other morsels of data or screaming binary its mind-banks had formulated by not transcripted. The torturous buzz of the crackling sound, a hammer blow to the Astartes bio-enhanced ears vanished, only to leave a slowly fading veil of white noise.
As a thrice-blessed shell, Ordinatus of origin would chew its way through a planetary atmospheric haze, a Godly thunder of orbital death, Onyxl crashed through the gallery, ceramite boots chewing clods from the marbled floor, as such implications took their desired toll.
‘Devastator squads to me!’ he roared simultaneously into every Vox channel and sparsely populated hall of the entombing cathedral. The hoarse bark riccocheting noisily from wall to wall, echoing amongst the forest of hewn stone. Glances - if ever biologically possible - portraying mathematical loathing. Distasteful grimaces taunt upon ashen faces, the moth-eaten canvas of tech-priests, their petty loitering spoilt by the deemed usage of such thunderous sound.
+ + +
'Upon this rock brothers! Upon this rock not a single spawn of the Warp shall dare tread!’ bellowed Captain Steelion, his fury a steadfast tower amongst a sea of depravity. Hoisting his imposing frame upon the rockcrete parapet, his chipped ceramite footing baiting a shower of rocky fragments to such a maneuver, as he leveled his sturdy bolter upon the onrushing crimson figures. Biting down upon the full-auto stud and unleashing a torrent of bolter-fire into the oncoming mass of daemonic filth. Streaming shells, whizzed through the damp mist, tracers spitting from their vents as they tunneled rivulets through the fog. Wetly furrowing into emotion-borne flesh and thus detonating within lung cavities. Ripping clogs of wet flesh from vile bodies, the palour of steaming ichor visible wherever bolts burst through.
Beside him, several other Fists, stubbed their bolters from hip emplacements, cracking a blistering hail of explosive-shells into the ruinous beasts. The deadly rain of steaming led, blew limbs raggedly from torsos, messy joints fountained boiled black liquids, steaming lifeblood. Gaping maws bristled with serrated fangs hungering to slice apart hunks of flesh, spitting thick phlegm, internal fluids and putrid curses. Their florescent bodies, a deep crimson imbued with boiling lava, pumping around coiling veins. Slabs of scarred muscle branded by the searing sigil of their God, bound and contained by cables molten copper and torques of bone. Gnarled horns sprouted horrifically from scaled heads, many capped in ingots of brass or sporting racks of split skulls. Slitted eyes, like gargoyles burned into the Fists, an alien hatred rife. Many conjured great blades of flaming steel from their appendages; hefty claymores festooned with savage barbs to trap and tear with animalistic efficiency.
‘Foot soldiers of the Blood-God!’ emanated a brother to his left, disgust rank within stoic words. Steelion took heed, an abrupt nod in acknowledgement from his armoured chin. He stood aloft, and bounded along the trench, knee-deep within pools spent shell-casings, and sooty soils. Alarms chimed within his helmet, his tinted visor adapting light settings for the maddening nature of his foes. A warning voice not dissimilar to the inhuman droning of the Mechanicum, informing his genhanced brain of current dangers, dimensional elevations and current ammunition resources, to accompany his avalanche of steps. A unholy tempest of noise, undecipherable to the lowly man, yet filtered within nanoseconds of any worth by the Astartes.
Steelion leapt from the meandering trench-network into bunker-complex, just as the wave of living gore hammered against the anvil of the Imperial Fists; Chocking mockery spewing from dying daemons, and the white-hot anger of Dorn upon dying Astartes lips. Prayers of righteous battle and its golden honours they would soon receive within the Halls of the Emperor.
The Space Marine slid down a steep slope warily, his heavy exoskeleton scuffing the diagonal mound of industrial waste, his thick boot already corroding from the extreme alkalinity of the cobalt oxides. The loose slag was a by-product of the colossal Manufactoriums of Sigouria 4. The shale fizzing as it chewed its way through the reinforced ceramite capping and admantine sole. Steelion cascaded into the abyssal pit awkwardly, falling the final few meters into the visceral entrance of his intended destination. The mighty bunker of rockcrete, plasteel blast-doors all fronted in a patch-work overhang of iron riveting. Gun-ports peppered the outer barricades, each sporting the ungainly muzzle of a bolter, pumping solid rounds into daemonic flesh from sturdy walls: Sharpshooters puncturing through unprotected jaws and throats. Scalding brass-casings, striking the tiled floor with the occasional twinkle, as yet another monstrosity struck the bluish powdered ground, a dancing melody of perfect slaughter, almost a art to these skillful few, as they reaped their tallies yet higher; A sharp contrast to the rest, who unloaded entire magazines worth into alien bodies, butchered corpses still writhing amongst the charnel pit of death, wiry frames little defense to the judgment of the Emperor made manifest through the merciless justice of his noble sons.
The Space Marine trod through the thick quagmire of slush of ichor and sprawled entrails, through wisps of rotting bodies and the acrid tang of the warp, made reality. His boots, dragging up tacking clogs of congealed blood like petrified gouts of a deep hued fire.
I must take word to sergeant Brock, the dogged fool. The outer causeway is now devoid of defenders, swept aside by the hammer blow of the Fell Gods. The longer I worm around in this infected dirt, the more of my battle-brothers shall die, torn apart by the legions of the Warp! His conscience raged bitterly, groping upon personnel planes for emotional holds over his mentality to sway his body to his unwavering cause.
Steelion`s head propelled forwards sharply, only his carapace plates and sub-consciousness whipping balancing micro-gyroscopes into immediate action, preventing the messy snapping of his spinal muscles and ultimately neck vertebrae. His backpack took the crushing force, its weight to much to bear, as he propelled forwards and slumped into the liquefied ooze, to a will not of his own body or bludgeoned mind. He wanted to snap out of this embrace, over-muscled limbs raging against its ceramite prison, to break free of his armoured restraints and tear apart the primitive creation that had knocked a son of Dorn upon a ground not fit to even yield to his divine presence.
To a herculean effort, with teeth gritted until splintering and eyes soldered so shut, his own skull seemed to be trying vainly to devour them, he brutally forced his muscles to obey. Intensive shocks of pain roiled through every cell and tissue, organ and system of his body, as he rolled upon his back to from the caking clayish of war, to face his attacker. His chest plate little more than a protruding ruin of an Imperial Aquila, its amber eyes and ruby surface spidered from silvery webs of faint cracks. Morose, earth-born sludge clung to his hulking body, his ambience of divinity and stoic resilience as shattered as his Chaptorial and Imperial insignia.
He snarled through clenched teeth at his attacker, though couldn`t resist the uncoiling dread, as tendrils of fear consumed any hope he still withheld. A lean, yet dominatingly tall Bloodletter, strode down the shingled trench, deftly skipping from boulder to rock, and transversing the heaped slag, just as he himself had thrown himself down it. The daemons skill bit into the flanks of his brain as pangs of jealously. The beast sported the same sinewy musculature as its other damned kindred, such warped and plump pectorals, and biceps and scaled thigh muscles. Its crimson body clad within thick bronzed plates around shins, arms and shoulders, ingots of hell forged brass beaten upon bloody anvils, and imprinted by the same stylised figure of a brazen skull. Such armour merely to deny any attacker’s sword, to notch its blade and blunt its once keen edge, grafting openings for swift counter-attacks, each thrust of a glowing Hellblade for the throat, each stroke deigned to claim the fallen head as a trophy to Khorne. The beast loped forwards, its gait and arched brow, reeking of boastful confidence, to an inevitable victory. Its gnashed maw slavering for Steelion’s hormone-rich blood, its crude shape jutting forwards as the Bloodletter closed in upon its sundered prey.
‘It is you who shall die within this blood-bathed pit. Its dank confines your eternal tomb’, retched the Astartes, plucking his bolt-pistol from his brown leather bag professionally, like a dueler would draw his favoured pistol to slay his combatant. The daemon raised its six-foot sword of death incarnate, a mock salute to its own superior combat prowess, to Steelion’s pathetic succumbing and most of all – to the Lord of Battle.
Steelion raised his gauntleted fist, aiming down the inscribed barrel and barking of a staccato of shots, the burst of bolts tearing ragged holds through the scarlet hide of the Bloodletter.
And yet it came on. Its hands pierced by a nest of hooks inlaid upon the handle of the blade, the thin wires drawing steaming droplets of blood. Blood of a champion and blood of Steelion’s executioner. Panic strung its frosty hand around the Space Marines throat, chocking him of life, even before he had yet befallen to his killer’s blade. Steelion snapped of a flurry of desperate bolts, many hitting their mark and founding rents with hide and plate.
‘Dorn accept my failure!’, he roared in compassion, his tone fiery, as he barked of the floundering remnants of his magazine, the bloodletters blade raised aloft, reading to begin its arc of bloodshed; lightening forking down its balanced length.
Suddenly cutting through the fogging clamour of war, the imposing gate of the bunker growled, rumbling lowly. An imposing plasteel Aquila spattered by tacky ichor and marked by giant rents and deep gouges, parted briskly revealing the deathly silhouettes of automatons, their admantine bows under slung by twin-assault cannons. Steelion snapped back towards the chosen of Khorne, its swagger now toppled by the solid, simple, efficiency of the Adeptus Mechanicus. The Astartes now feverish of joy fell back into the pestilent squalor as relief clouded his brain, uplifting his mind.
Almost immediately, heavy-duty shells howled from the multitude of oiled barrels in a vortex of never-ending, never-ceasing, mechanical fury. The daemon didn`t even balk at its impending ruin, distaste rank about its defeat, bereft of its certain victory. The first wave of shells buzzed across the prone Fist, shattering its puny plate armour, and cutting through scaled hide, snapping horns and decorative chains and blowing apart atrophied skulls. Secondary impacts reduced its body to giblets of steaming flesh. The sheer magnitude of fire, creating friction-forces so intense, the coating residue set ablaze, combusting within milliseconds.
The stench of burnt oils a charred incense, balefully saluting to the Adeptus Mechanicus for their omnipotent mechanical might, the iron hand of the Emperor himself. After what seemed as long hours, drawn out and stretched to possible levels, only registering as seconds, the guns chattering decreased. The raging torrent slackened its wrath, and the accompanying high-screech dying to more low-pitched bursts, and then eventually falling silent.
Last edited by bobss; 04-02-10 at 06:36 PM.