No Matter the Present, the Past Always Plagues
EDIT: I marked the changes/additions I made with red, italic text.
This is a test-piece. If you like it, respond with comments/criticism, and I will continue the tale.
"Warehouse on sight. Awaiting orders, Captain."
Tej'lar, gripped with a sense of intense focus, unlocked the hatch of his bolter clip again to reassure himself it was fully loaded. He had done storm missions many times before, successfully. However, this time was different. He was afraid.
Robust and harsh, the voice on the other end came in, blanketed with static,"Hold your position, Sergeant. Radar pick-ups are still uploading."
The words of the captain cursed Tej'lar with anticipation as he replied stoically, "Aye."
One squad. Seven marines and their sergeant. Extra caution was provided for the one wielding the Plasma Cannon. To provide the most accurate, precise shot, the wielder had to feel secure, protected from all threats, for if he made a single imperfection, the cannon could leak and engulf the squad in its fiery energy. His fellow comrades counted on his aim, so they all focused on their surroundings as much as their sergeant in order to ensure his own sense of concentration. Aside from the path-clearing cannon, each were hoisting bolters, chain-swords, daggers, grenades and enough clips to execute the habitats of a fleet ship. All were geared for utter annihilation of anything that crossed their path.
"Target count is six. Approach with stealth."
Being instructed to move out gave a hint of relief to Tej'lar, "Orders received and understood."
Slowly turning his head back to his men, the sergeant knew the risks that were about to be revealed.
"No fear. No hesitation. No mercy."
All together, the rest of the marines followed his words.
"No fear. No hesitation. No mercy."
One by one, each squad member made their way towards the warehouse. It stood strong with a concrete body and a steel skeletal exterior latched over the stone walls. Only one window was visible. Too small even for a child to stick its head out, it stood high, near the roof. A strong, bright red light beamed from it.
The doorway was made up of two hatches and stood three meters high. The handles had been torn off, perhaps to provide those inside with vision of what was outside. After all, aside from those holes, there was only one window.
The moment had come. The last squad member had taken his final step into position as each of them stood guarded and ready to burst in.
Three. Two. One!
Two of the marines lead the rush. They slammed their shoulders into the doorway and immediately dropped a knee and opened fire in all directions. Doing this provided cover fire for Koras, the heart of the squads strength, the Plasma Cannon wielder.
Koras quickly followed his brothers in. His augmented left eye had a visual of the radar view, provided by the Captain. He relied on it to fire as accurately as possible. The moment he pulled the trigger, nothing fired.
Shivering tingles sprung up and down his spine. He could not believe it did not fire. He held his aim at the targets on the radar and pulled the trigger again. Nothing.
A few seconds had gone by since the first two marines forced their way in. Without the aid of their heavy artillery, those two squad members realized they had become prey for the ones cloaked in the blinding red light.
Nothing was fired at them though. The sergeant saw the fight was one-sided and ordered a halt.
One of the marines, coming out of cover behind an empty barrel exclaimed in confusion, "Was the radar's pick up faulty?!"
Tej'lar, now knowing they had been discovered before the assault, ordered an evacuation. He figured out they had been under attack since they opened the doors.
A hissing sound was heard.
"Out! Out! Move out!"
Before any of them could escape, the marine closest to the door collapsed. Within a heartbeat later, all but the defeated Tej'lar fell to the ground.
A bellowing, sickly laughter came out of one of the corners of the warehouse. Tej'lar knew that what he had feared since before the attack was now a reality.
"A millennium of hunting your own and you still shoot anything but the target," the voice uttered as its laughter faded.
Knowing there was no victory to be had, no mission to complete, no escape from this trap, Tej'lar holstered his bolter and let out from under his breath,
Drenched in thick, pouring liquid, a marine - no! A traitor in rusted Astartes armor limped vigorously forward. His face appeared to have experienced either a horrific acidic accident or the gift of mutation, for the putrid scars on his face flapped with every movement made. His skin had a deeply pale complexion that made his face appear to be that of a dead mans.
Gurgling saliva could be heard rushing down the throat of the Plague Champion, for he grunted as he lifted his foot onto the medical crates that lay before him.
"Let me ask. Has it been guilt? Fear? Are you caught up in the memory of leading us to the massacre that took many centuries to resurrect from?"
Gnarvok's boil-covered dimples rose as his fang-like teeth unleashed a grin that would peal the comfort of any man away and asked with a curious, yet sarcastic tone, "How have you been clever enough to hide your ancient identity?"
"Are you getting this, Marine?!" Captain Hadian begged ecstatically.
The captain could not believe it. One of his own, one of the few, the one he trusted had done the unthinkable.
"Yes, sir!" the radio-marine exclaimed as he too felt shocked - even violated.
Looking up at the ceiling to hold back tears of sorrow, or as he would have thought, tears of anger, Hadian spoke part rhetorically and part sincerely, "Was this prepared? Was it arranged? How could we not see it?!"
Erratically turning knobs and pushing buttons, the radio-marine slowly brought his actions to a pause. He was not sure if he should stay silent or risk his life by responding with a theory.
Taking in a moment to gather himself, the captain said with a tone that showed both sorrow and acceptance of what he saw, "Zoom in."
Koras' augmented eye began shifting silently. Both Tej'lar and the mysterious,disease ridden traitor were in full view of the monitor Captain Hadrian was watching with a disgusted glare.
"Once the building is cleared, I want scout-squad: Regnar to recover the sound data from Koras' body."
Hadrian closed his eyes intensly and whispered to himself, "We can't hear you. Not yet."
"Delivering objective now, Captain." the radio-marine confirmed, as he typed out the orders, still recovering from witnessing the act of betrayal.
"What are you two saying, Tej?" Hadrian muttered, leaning in, towards the screen.
"No fight. No weapons drawn. Hands hanging loose at their sides... Their speaking to each other as though they were comrades." the captain thought to himself.
"Send Vilaria too."
Forced to speak his opinion out of logic, the door-stationed marine replied, "Sir, she -"
"She will only follow Tej's trail, whether or not he returns! Do not question me, Marine!" out of an authoritative tone, the captain blasted.
"We've lost vision, Sir!" the radio-marine yelled.
"What?! What happened?!"
"Sir, it was -" the radio-marine cut his sentence halfway, appearing to be in further shock than before.
"What was it, Cirex?! I order you to tell me what you saw!"
Struggling to understand what happened, the radio-marine pieced his thoughts together and replied, "It was Tej'lar, Sir. He unhinged Koras' cannon, lifted it from the body, punctured it with his dagger, gently set it back down, then him and the plagued one walked away."
Taking in one long, deep breath, the captain asked, "Did anything else happen?"
Nodding his head side-to-side to symbolize a negative answer, the radio-marine said, "I assume the cannon leaked. The feed died seconds after they moved on."
A realization hit the captain.
The scouts were moving forward to the warehouse, and there is no visual for headquarters to guide them.
"Helm! Servitor! Helm!"
One leg with a foot, walking, the other with dual-set of wheels, rolling, the servitor whose only purpose was to secure the captain's helm when not in use came hastily to his superior, offering the sacred head piece.
The captain swiftly grabbed at it and put it on.
"Squad Regnar, do you read me?" Hadrian asked calmly and quietly, for if he spoke too loud while the scouts were in infiltration mode, he could jeopardize their hidden position.
"Aye, Sir. Squad Regnar approaching warehouse."
Hadrian attempting to hide his bursting reaction of worry responded, "Break infiltration mode and reform as kill mode. We lost visual. I repeat we lost visual."
Infiltration mode broken. Reforming as-" the scout's voice was cut off by gunfire.
"Emperor save us!" Captain Hadrian cried out.
"Sir, what course of action should we take now?" the radio-marine wondered.
Throwing his helm at the lifted drop-ramp, the captain, trying to think of a productive, secure plan, found himself drawing a blank. "That was the remaining scout squad. The one thing we can do now is hold our position and wait for pick-up."
The radio-marine and the door-stationed marine turned to each other and exchanged a look of agreement.
"There is one other option we could look to, Sir."
The confusion, sorrow, fear and anger the captain had felt from the moment he saw Tej'lar exchanging words with the enemy until this moment had been pin-pointed into a ball that had now exploded.
"We! Will! Not! Call for them!" the captain screamed.
"They do not have a purpose here! They were not assigned this region! They are not back-up!"
Whipping a look to kill at the radio-marine, Hadrian's frustration only grew, "They are not meant to correct our mistakes. They are meant to correct the mistakes of traitors!"
"Tej'lar... He... is a traitor, my Captain." the door-stationed marine choked.
Quickly stomping his way across the floors of the dead Thunderhawk, the overly-emotional captain raised his hand to beat the marine who dared to utter those lying words.
But then there was static! Out of the captain's helm there was static!
"Captain?" More static. "Captain are you there?"
Hadrian lost all motive of disciplining his damning marine and ran with immense speed to retrieve his helm.
"Squad Regnar, is that you?!" the desperate captain demanded.
"Aye, Sir. We encountered the enemy." the breathless scout groaned.
Continuing on his litany of questions, Hadrian asked, "What is your casualty count, soldier?"
"Two, Sir." the scout disappointed and tired said.
It came down to it. The one question Hadrian had been guessing the answer to in his mind for the past several agonizing minutes. It took courage, strength, and in his mind, acceptance to ask this question he felt he knew the answer to.
"Was Tej'lar with the enemy?"
"No, sir. No he was not." the scout on the other end replied.
Blissful relief overcame the captain. He had hope now. He had hope that maybe his comrade, his friend did not betray the Emperor.
Static blew across the waves again. "We do have something, Captain."
"What, Scout?" the curious, nervous captain asked.
If your shadow grins in the presence of the Despoiler, then you know your true allegiance is to Chaos.
Last edited by Gnarvok; 06-25-10 at 08:08 AM.