The Darkness Within
Lucius Rakarsh. A man who had fallen to Chaos many years ago, he served with Huron Blackheart in the pirate contingency known as the Red Corsairs. For years they had pillaged the galaxy, stopping at nothing to please themselves. A small warband, just over three hundred in number, yet they were still a force to be reckoned with. They were once a large legion known as the Astral Claws, but they had been destroyed during the Badab War, and the survivors became to be known as the Red Corsairs.
Lucius stood upon the deck of Battle Barge Sarkanas, surveying the surrounding space. A few planets could be seen, but not much else was in sight. Sarkanas was en route to a small Imperium ship supposedly full of ammunition and other such war goods. Huron had dictated that capturing the ship was of vital importance. No-one dared speak against their esteemed leader, and a small crack force was chosen to take the ship. Lucius was one of the last to be chosen, but he was still grateful of Lord Vorsanas’ decision to take him. He moved down onto the main body of the ship, where fifty or so other marines sat, discussing the up-coming raid. Vorsanas was nowhere to be seen, he was most likely plotting the attack in the main control room. Lucius had access to the room, after being chosen for one of Huron’s elite raids a few years back. Deciding it was probably useful for him to check the room and aid Vorsanas in his planning. The keypad was right next to the large iron door, and as he went to type the code in, he heard voices through the door. “I told you to get the box marked “115” not the one marked “114”! Are you completely incompetent Hart?” yelled the easily distinguishable voice of Vorsanas. Lucius knew Hart very well; he was an incredibly intelligent marine, a mastermind at lightning raids. He had aided Huron many a time, and although he lacked combat ability, he more than made up for it in brains. “But sir, 115 is a better element for use in our weaponry. Remember when we faced the Guardsmen armed with 115 bullets? They almost defeated us, and with all due respect, you’d be a fool not to use it” Hart countered in a sharp, and almost mocking, voice. An evil laugh echoed from the room, and the sound of bullets being fired could be heard. Hart let out a blood-curdling scream, and with that, Lucius ran towards the main hall.
The marines were still talking, oblivious to the events of the past few minutes. Lucius took a seat, speechless. Iron footsteps could be heard approaching the hall, and thoughts raced through Lucius’ mind. Does he know I was there? Will he kill me too? Is Hart still alive? but he couldn’t push these thoughts to the back of his mind. Vorsanas entered the room, looking triumphant in his armour. He was followed by his bodyguard, a Terminator-armour wearing man named Korlashi Haran. Korlashi was a fool; he was the exact opposite of Hart. Incredible skills on the battlefield, but with the brains of an asteroid. Nevertheless, he was still a man to be fearful of. Many marines respected him, others merely acknowledged that he held a seat of power, and was not to be trifled with. “Men, as you are all aware, we are converging upon the Imperium ship known as the Hope. We will be boarding within the hour, and I expect each and every one of you to be ready for the call. If you’re not, I’m sure Korlashi can encourage you to be faster next time.” Vorsanas boomed, and with his final sentence he grinned evilly, and returned to the control room. As he turned he said one last thing, “Lucius, come with me.”
Lucius felt his nerves grow, thinking that this was the end of his life. Vorsanas thumbed the key code into the pad, and strode into the room. Hart was nowhere to be seen; perhaps he wasn’t dead at all thought Lucius. Vorsanas waved Korlashi away, and the bodyguard obeyed. “Element 114. What do you know of it Lucius?” he said as he turned towards a large crate. “It has incredibly destructive properties. If used in a weapon it can double the damage dealt. It also is incredibly volatile, and should be stored with extreme care, lest the wielder be... transformed” Lucius replied, quoting the manual he was given by Hart a few years ago almost perfectly. “So, if I’m not mistaken, you’d say it’s superior to Element 115?” The mention of element 115 took Lucius aback, 115 was an element in incredibly short supply, but it was the most powerful element that could be harnessed without a chance of it blowing up in your face. “No, sir. 115 is far more powerful than 114, but it is extremely rare, and many intelligent minds would try to dis-regard its use for anything other than a full scale war.” So that’s why Hart told Vorsanas to use 114 instead...
“Thank you Lucius. Go get ready for the attack; we’ll be boarding in a few minutes.”
Lucius picked up his bolter, and walked towards the left exit. The other marines stood there too, each ready for the upcoming assault. The huge form of Korlashi was in the masses as well, looking down on a small group of raiders. Sarkanas smashed into the Imperial ship with a thud, and the exit opened in a loud screech. The marines charged into the ship, while one sent a vox-message to the opposing ship. The resistance was fast, a squad of ten or so guardsmen shooting violently at the oncoming marines. The las-shots penetrated the armour of a few marines, and they collapsed to the ground, taking a few other marines with them. The push through into the small space was tiring, with a few marines tripping over the dead corpses and being crushed by the still charging Corsairs. Lucius had made it out of the space, and was firing his bolter madly at the guardsmen. He hit one of them straight in the heart, and the soldier collapsed to the floor in a bloody mess. “Out of my way! Make room for your Lord!” Vorsanas yelled as he pushed a handful of marines down. The guardsmen heard the yell too, and they ran like cowards towards their command room. Vorsanas made it to the front, and with his Storm Bolter, mowed down what guardsmen he could get a shot on. As the group marched into the next room, Lucius looked back to see how many were dead. Ten lay on the ground, motionless. “Lucius! Come with me, and we’ll find the wretched leader of this ship.” Vorsanas said, leaving Korlashi behind and walking in the opposite direction of the other marines. Shooting down an iron door, he strode through into the second room, which was clearly a main hall of commerce. No guardsmen occupied the room; they were all presumably off on other posts. Vorsanas didn’t even stop to scan the room; he merely strode towards another door that had a sign over saying “Control Room”. As Vorsanas stepped into reaching distance of the door, a beep could be heard. Lucius froze, and then it happened. The mine detonated directly under Vorsanas, blowing him up in a whirlwind of limbs, organs and blood. Vorsanas groaned, and crawled legless towards Lucius. “Lucius... take my... post as commander... and kill Korlashi... and... an...” and with that, Vorsanas collapsed to the floor, lifeless. A small group of marines charged in, obviously hearing the explosion. Lucius was kneeling next to Vorsanas, paying his respects to the fallen commander. “You killed him! Prepare to die!” Korlashi screamed as he raised his storm bolter.
“No! There was a mine, and then he was blown up! And he told me to...”
“We know about his requests” chimed in another marine as he stepped forwards. “We heard him tell you them. So, what are our orders Lord Lucius?”
“Kill Korlashi. That was one of them.” Lucius replied, rising to his feet as he said it.
“No! I have to kill the humans! Let me live!” Korlashi yelled as he raised his bolter and fired it into a nearby marine. The battle broke out in seconds, with another marine falling to Korlashi’s wrath. Lucius grabbed the weapons Vorsanas had been using, and fired them at Korlashi. The brute charged Lucius, raising his power fist in anger. Lucius countered, grabbing the nearby power sword and deflecting the blow. The pair were locked in combat, with the other marines chiming in some bolter fire on the bodyguard. Korlashi raised his fist again, this time striking Lucius on the shoulder. Barely even feeling the attack, Lucius grabbed the sword and drove it deep into the head of the terminator. Blood spurted from his head, bits of brain sticking to the end of the sword. Lucius pulled the weapon from his head, and kicked the body of Korlashi to the ground. “You four marines are with me. We’re taking down this ship one way or another.”
Hart stumbled out of the door, escaping his iron bindings and walking towards the control panel. Vorsanas was nowhere to be seen, and with a smirk, he pressed the button to fire up the thrusters. Time to take down Vorsanas’ precious fleet he thought as he flew towards the nearby planet.
Lucius heard the sound of thrusters, and immediately thought it was the Hope moving. But the ship wasn’t moving, and he looked out of the nearby window to see the Sarkanas pulling away. What the hell? Why is the ship moving? Lucius thought as he turned away from the window and continued on the mission. The group entered the control room, and saw a Commissar at the top of a rather large podium. Ten guardsmen surrounded him, each now training their weapons on the group. Lucius charged at them with his power sword drawn, while the rest of the marines gave covering fire. The guardsmen weren’t push-overs, each one incredibly skilled. The group downed one of the marines in a flurry of las-fire, but the Chaos forces wouldn’t give up so easily, and they downed three more guardsmen alongside the two Lucius had impaled earlier. The five that remained still had the emotion of fear, and they ran towards a nearby door. The heretics tried to gun them down, but they were un-successful. The Commissar descended from the podium, and pulled out his pistol. “Heretics. Cease fire on my forces and you can take what you wish. Lest I blow up this entire ship” and he grabbed a detonator from his pocket, his thumb over the detonate button. Lucius put down his weapons, then signalled for his squad-mates to also do so. They obeyed, and then knelt down onto the floor. “Fine. But put down your weapon and the detonator as well.” Lucius countered.
“As you wish.” and the Commissar did so. Lucius then took the advantage, and leapt at the Commissar. Shouting for his marines to join him in the attack, he turned around to take a look at them. He saw the three marines dead on the ground, and came to the realisation that the Commissar had shot them before putting his weapon down. The Commissar countered with a punch, and then reached for the detonator. He laughed, and kicked Lucius square in the face before pressing the button.
Hart piloted the ship closer to the planet, and then he heard a beep. An explosion followed the beep, and the whole ship exploded in seconds.
Lucius smirked, realising the Commissar had failed in his idle threat, and then reached for the Commissar’s pistol. He aimed it carefully at the loyalist’s head, and fired a shot. The Commissar stopped struggling and lay on the ground dead. Lucius rose to his feet and shouted a sentence.
“I commandeer this ship in the name of the Red Corsairs!”