Webs That Bleed Part One
Webs That Bleed Part One
Laertes slammed his feet onto the metal that held them and walked angrily out of the room and was greeted by 30 people in a large scaled room. Each one was different from race and armor. It was his most loyal band of killers, thieves, soldiers, psykers and more. He glared at them without uttering a word in a room of complete silence.
The silence was soon broken by the sound of a door sliding open slowly. A tall figure emerged from the door and revealed himself to be Bartimus. He was dressed in his robes and held a large book. The man looked tired and angry. "Welcome band brothers." Bartimus' voice was heavy but low as well which was unusual, he was known for having a loud and happy demeanor with a thirst for blood to carry along with it even if he was an old Astartes killer he still loved the thrill of combat.
"Its been a long time since the last raid we once went on but today we have something planned. But we will have to secure a couple of things." Laertes didn't speak and remained quiet as he started to mutter to himself. Bartimus continued to talk: "Today the chaos Gods demand blood and glory on this day. The Apex Nova Oblitorators will once again know victory." Bartimus grew a sharp smile and casted away the angry and tired look. "Laetres and I have founded a large space hulk that holds a valuable man on it and a large scaled warzone.
Images begin to appear in your minds as Bartimus speaks of the space hulk. "A genestealer cult, ork warband, and finally a group of spacers fight over one woman's great and powerful weaponry. Her name is Clementina Maskaly, she has made great weapon cache on this space hulk, at the center of it. The cult wants the weapons so they can destroy more planets effectively and for their tyranid master. The orks truly want a good fight but if they can get their hands on the weapon cache...well lets just say that the warband will be a big problem for us and the imperium. Finally the ship's that collided and became part of the space hulk held only a few that survived. They now live on it and consider it their home, this fight is much more precious to them."
Bartimus leveled the book he was holding to his head as he began to flip through mutiple pages until he soon stopped and grew a smile. He turned the book around and showed you a picture of her. "She is the daughter of a rogue trader and lives a life of adventure and power but now she is stuck in a large battle as her guards and whatnot fight for her safety. You can kill her or take her alive it doesn't matter but get the damned weapons intact!"
Laertes began to speak slowly "This mission is...essential to us...failure is not an option- YOU WILL BE- killed if you fail..." Bartimus closed his eyes and nodded while closing the book as well and putting it by his side. "This mission might will be a hard one but me and Laertes know that the people we send on this mission will succeed."
"You will be entering this space hulk through the opening of it which is where the spacers live, through one of the derelict ship's broken hull. Kill them if you wish or don't but we truly don't care. We also have another mission for the other group who will also need to recover something. The artefact known as Bloody Tooth. It is a dagger that will help us on the task we wish to complete." Bartimus looked at Laertes and nodded as an image began to appear in your minds once again.
"Unfortunately this artefact was discovered by an inquisitor and his group of acolytes. He will need to be killed but we do not know his name or where he is. The dagger was located on the desert planet of Bractus which is also hosted by multiple tribes and is also identified as a death world." Bartimus then leveled the book to his head and began to flip past pages upon pages until he stopped and looked back at the 30 who listened. "Laertes and I have chosen the people that will go on each mission, The ones going to the space hulk will report to the ship's hangar and will use Ganesh's custom made ship to get into the hulk and past the spacer's 'security check'. The ones going on the dagger mission will remain go to the deployment bay and take the drop pods on planetside."
Bartimus then began to bark out names:"Ioana Karth, Mazrim, Sekel Itemar, and Volpex Astrodomious you will go to the space hulk. Report to Ganesh's chambers and receive the ship. Make sure you are ready and may the Gods grant you glory and victory!" Bartimus then flipped through more pages and continued his barking: "Osborn, Juda Bagrosian, Azor Sehkt, and Tilraenen Khaleesi go to the deployment bay and load up in the pods. We will be at the planet in 2 hours so make your time count. Finally the rest of you will go to your chambers and remain here until we call upon you. Good luck battle brothers may the thirst for blood and glory promise you a powerful end in which you remain VICTORIOUS!!!"
The Fifth Rig
The rhythmatic tap of a clawed gauntlet against cold metal rang out across the quiet room, the dull ring following in the tab's wake like the soft chime of a bell. Sounding out from the back corner of the large room, Volpex's odd colour schemed form resided against the rather fleshy wall. With his arms crossed over his chest, the rustic chain pressed in-between the two metal pieces, the Chaos Space Marine quietly awaited his leader to come forward and inform him, along with the rest of the group, the reason for this little meeting. Lazily panning his gaze over the room's occupants with a slow roll of his eyes, the many shapes and colours of various clans and followers filled his mind, as well as an alien. While he didn't exactly despise aliens, he'd never even met one of this species while still within his original Chapter, the invisible barrier between Human and Xeno couldn't help but stop him from viewing them the same as the others in the room. Continuing his slow roll through the small crowd, his eyes dragged over the form of a studded Mark V Heresy Armour user, the small metal domes still parts of his metal places unlike Volpex's own, he'd removed those useless weights long ago. Flicking his eyes down to the man's weapon, he was greeted with a rather Daemonic device, clearly made with the soul of one of his God's spawn trapped within. He briefly wondered what powers the weapon held, as he'd heard stories of great swords and guns made with the souls of Daemons, able to turn flesh to ash and render armour useless to their strikes. If a battle for leadership ever broke out over the ship, he'd certainly side with him. Tearing his gaze away, Volpex didn't pay nearly as much mind to the others as the first two, save for the one oddity standing in the room. A female. While he hardly viewed the opposite sex as inferior, he had to admit this was his first time seeing one not shrieking in fear or begging for mercy...
''It's cold in here....''
Came the low hiss of his voice, an absent thought escaping his lips as he shifted slightly against the fleshy wall behind him, his arm rattling the chain across his chest. With a blink, he brought his eyes back over the room again, simply trying to pass the time with whatever distraction he could find. Scanning the room and the beings within with a slow roll of his solid black eyes, the many colours and shapes of Space Marines filled his gaze for the umpteenth time. Absent mindedly, he found his eyes drifting over and eventually settling upon the lone female and Dark Elder in the room again. Both extremely out of place when faced with the majority of beings present. He found the lack of Chaos symbols and colours on their armour endlessly intriguing; what was their reason for being here? While he held no such interest for anyone else present, that was simply down to what they were. These two on the other hand, were not quite so clear. Had they joined of their own free will? Were they outcasts from their clans? Betrayed by the one's they called brother and sister? Or maybe they were simply just like himself? The many ideas swirling within his mind, each one tantalizing to think about, made him almost forget the reason he was even here. Thankfully the sudden bang of metal against metal brought him back to his senses with a start.
Flicking his eyes up as their 'Lord' entered the room and marched up to the edge of the gantry, his eyes looking over them all like some scientist analysing his newest find, Volpex remained quiet and simply returned the stare. His gaze wasn't held for long however, as soon the metallic groan of opening doors filled the room, followed by loud footsteps. Bartimus's form came into his view a moment later, carrying with him a rather large tome, as he placed himself beside Laertes. Opening his lips and beginning to speak, Volpex perked up slightly as the reason for being here was finally revealed to him. Over the next few, short minutes, his mind was filled with brief but sharp images of a Space Hulk, no doubt the effortless work of Bartimus as he informed them all of what the situation was aboard this mess of metal. A weapons cache was their target, apparently housing something so powerful as to attract all sorts of Xenos and Humans alike. Then the images ceased and his attention was directed to the sorcerer's book, where the page presented to them transformed into a picture of the woman he briefly spoke of. While he didn't exactly care for such things, he couldn't help but drag his black tongue across pale lips as the woman's vestige filled his thoughts. But then the image was removed with a mere twist the of book, and his mind wandered back to the situation around him. Next came something about a dagger, which while it did please him on an aesthetic level as the image flashed in his mind, he couldn't care less about it. Then with a quick explanation about how they would go about retrieving these times, came the assignments. His own name was called rather quickly, along with the female's, he presumed, and two others. Although their names sounded far more Human, so he imagined the Dark Elder wouldn't be joining him. They would be assaulting the Space Hulk, in search of this hidden weapons cache sought after by seemingly quite a lot of people. A smile spread across his lips at the thought, he enjoyed being up close and personal with his foes, he always did enjoy that look on their faces as they doom approached.
Common sense indicated that the rest would be going off in search of this Dagger, so Volpex reasoned he had no further reason to still be in the room. With a small movement, he pushed away from the wall and proceeded to move towards the door. Strolling past the other Astartes without so much as a flick of the eye to them as those not yet listed continued to listen, Bartimus's voice droning on above him about the Gods granting them luck on their battle or something. Clearing the space between him and the door without delay, he exited the large room and headed down the enclosed hall. With every step he took, a soft clatter of metal on metal followed him, the cause being his two weapons attached to his hips. Their holds allowing a fair bit of give which resulted in them hitting his own armour. This constant clatter, coupled with his own footsteps impacting against the metal grate below, provided Volpex with more than enough distraction to allow him to think about the coming fight. Clearly it would be close quarters, with long, winding passage ways and tight spaces everywhere. Which while it wouldn't be a problem for his Chain-sword, might present a problem if he wasn't able to move about quite as freely as he'd want to. Deciding to take some precautions, he sharply turned to the right mid-thought, deviating off the path quickest to their destination. Making his way towards the ship's armoury, he moved through the ship's many doors and eventually found himself in the large hall, walls bristling with weaponry. Striding over to the nearest ammo storage, he quickly took a few extra clips of ammunition from their stores and firmly attached them to the back of his belt. Of course if his rifle proved ineffectual at such short range against Orks and other melee focused enemies, he did always have his more... Organic, ways of dealing with the enemy, and that didn't require ammo.
Turning on his heel and walking back the way he came, Volpex began to wonder if anyone else would prepare themselves in such a way. From what he spied of the female's weapons, she appeared to be a sniper, hardly best suited to fighting in a cramped environment. But, at the least, it would be amusing watching her attempt to use her sniper's stock as a club against Orks. With a light chuckle, he resigned himself to simply walking, he was going to be late at this pace anyway. Somewhat remembering the way to Ganesh's chambers, Volpex quietly made his way through the ship, glancing at the other Astartes and their corrupted bodies as they passed him on their way to whatever object they had been tasked with. Rounding the corner and spotting a set of large doors just up ahead, Volpex surmised this would be his target's chambers. The entrance certainly seemed fitting of a higher up's quarters, if the set of guards positioned either side were any indication of the fact. Striding down the hall with a slight sway to his walk, he watched as one of the pair briefly glanced at his partner, no doubt asking if that was one of the warriors Laertes told them about. An unheard answer later and apparently he had his answer, as when Volpex approached them and merely strode through the already opening doors, the guard hardly even glanced at him. Finding himself the chamber's main room fairly quickly, Volpex spotted at least one or two beings from the hall already in the room, standing before Ganesh as he brought his gaze over Volpex's body. He didn't say anything, deciding if they wanted to know where'd he gone, they'd have to ask.
[The Fifth Rig]
Mazrim paid rapt attention to Bartimus as he addressed the gathered warriors. It will be good to get back out in the field. He'd been spending far too much time on this foul ship. Anything to bring down the Imperium.
The first mission piqued his interest. It sounds like subtlety would be the key there. Let the xenos keep each other busy while a small team extracts the weapons, and possibly the girl. There could be uses for a Rogue Trader's daughter. Definitely the girl. The second mission also interested Mazrim, not just for the artifact, but for the chance to take down an Inquisitor. What stores of forbidden knowledge would he be privy to?
"Ioana Karth, Mazrim, Sekel Itemar, and Volpex Astrodomious you will go to the space hulk." Well I guess that settles that. Mazrim was pleased that Ioana was chosen. She is clearly capable of a sensitive mission like this. And perhaps he could even learn something from the assassin. The other two would be another story. For all he knew they might try and duel all the orks one-by-one. Surely not. Sekel has been fighting since the Heresy. He's nothing if not a survivor. And the other? Volpex was rife with corruption, his armor was a shambles and it appears he owes allegiance to both Khorne and Slaanesh. Not the best decision making. He will have to be managed or else this will turn into an all out brawl.
The mission to the space hulk didn't really bother Mazrim, though. What did bother him was that Azor Sehkt was going to get his hands on the Inquisitor. What sort of favor would that knowledge gain him from the Architect of Fate. Perhaps one of the other heretics going after the dagger could ensure the Inquisitor doesn't live long enough to be interrogated. But who?
Certainly not the xeno. Who could even attempt to know what a mind like his was thinking? Too alien.
The ratling with the rifle would be a good choice. A traitor from the guard would have a strong fear and hatred of the Inquisition. But he seems too treacherous to confide in, and too wary to manipulate. Best leave that one to his own devices, and hope he does my job for me. Hope isn't much to go off of though.
The Night Lord might enjoy taking part in the interrogation. Mazrim had heard tales of the grizzly deeds of the Night Lords. But Juda does have a reputation for taking care of Bartimus' dirty work, and for reporting members of the warband who got too ambitious.
Mazrim voxed Juda privately as he made his way towards Ganesh's hangar. "Juda. Good luck on your mission. A mutant, a xeno, and that shifty sorcerer, huh? I guess its good you're there to make sure the objectives are met. I've got a little bit of experience with the Inquisition. Inquisitor's are bad business, they've got too many secrets up their sleeves. Better to just kill them and be done with it before they turn the tables during an interrogation. Because they will."
Ioana stood still as stone, the weight of the rifle on her back familiar and comforting. She was dwarfed by many of those around her, but that was irrelevant. She was perfectly secure around the more physically imposing Astartes, their martial prowess familiar to her by now. Their foolish devotion was another story, but expressing such thoughts aloud would be foolish. Given the present company, even thinking such things was not necessarily private. Her mental conditioning was hopefully proof against such invasions, but possessing no psychic talent herself she could never quite be sure.
Bartimus spoke on about the nature of their targets and the warzones they would be entering. Their leader was fond of using mental images and such things were useful for Ioana to have stored and so they passed through to her with ease. A space hulk, a ravishing Rogue Trader heir and a cursed dagger. Each of them targets, along with the leaders of the factions that opposed them. Without their leader, the greenskins would likely fall upon themselves and the genestealer cult was no better. Her eye’s gleamed at the thought of such prey, even as Laertes began to level meaningless threats at them.
Ioana’s name was called out alongside the Raven Guard, the Emperor’s Child and the Carcharodon. Each of them marked. From what she knew, the Carcharodon had chosen to walk a certainly lethal path by splitting his soul in two. At least the other two had the common sense to put their fate in the hands of only one fickle god each. Bartimus spoke a brief blessing over them, but Ioana mentally dismissed it. Luck and blessing were nothing compared to consummate skill, and she trusted to have lasted this long her compatriots were not lacking.
Ioana felt more comfortable carrying her weapons with her and so, having anticipated they were about to be deployed, brought her gear to the briefing. She made straight for the Ganesh’s chambers and was the first to arrive. She sat cross-legged, rolled out a cleaning mat and began to disassemble, clean and reassemble her rifle. The routine soothed her and her spy mask fed her a steady torrent of information regarding the current state of the hulk, the information on the forces there and the state of the ship. The door slid open and she heard the harsh growl of Mark V armour, weighed down by trinkets. “Volpex” she said without looking up from her work. She continued as she waited for the others to join them...
Bractus' Blood Tooth
Juda stalked from the meeting chamber towards the mag-lift. He was not a happy man.
A xenos, an abhuman and a witch on a deathworld. Is this the start of some sick joke being played on me, thought Juda. Curze's balls, this was not good. He preferred to have a substantial meat shield between him and incoming fire, a role not best suited to the weakling Eldar and dirty little mutant. At least the witch's pets would prove useful, so long as the witch himself stayed on mission and did not get distracted by something shiny catching his eye, as had proved the case in the past. This might yet prove one of those missions from which only he returned.
As the mag-lift doors closed, his vox chimed, incoming on a private channel. The voice of the Raven Guard rang in his ear. "Juda. Good luck on your mission. A mutant, a xeno, and that shifty sorcerer, huh? I guess its good you're there to make sure the objectives are met. I've got a little bit of experience with the Inquisition. Inquisitor's are bad business, they've got too many secrets up their sleeves. Better to just kill them and be done with it before they turn the tables during an interrogation. Because they will."
Juda grunted, as close to a laugh as he got these days. "I think there might be a touch of witch in you, Raven Guard. You echo my thoughts about this band of misfits. There is some consolation though. At least I don't have that lunatic Space Shark with me. As for the Inquisitior, I will leave him to Sehkt. He seems to have an unhealthy interest in the Imperium's most loyal servants." he said with a sneer.
"For one so in love with your own skin, Juda, you take a misguided pleasure in goading Astrodomious with that name. One day you will go too far."
Juda grunted again. "That day he will learn a valuable lesson in self control. Until then, I will take small pleasures where I can." He closed the vox channel at that as the mag-lift halted, and the doors slid open on the deployment bay. The abhuman had somehow managed to get there before him, and sat on a crate sucking from a tube of nutrient paste. Juda ignored him, making for the arming benches and loading up on bandoleers of extra bolt rounds. Any mission involving the Inquisition was bound to require all the extra ammunition he could carry.
While he was loading up, one thing kept running through his mind, and it bothered him greatly. This was the first mission for which Bartimus had not given him specific instructions, be it to watch one of his squad mates, or even eliminate one of them. Which led him to the conclusion that he himself could be the one being watched. Or eliminated...
The space was grand, the vaulted ceiling a work of near perfection, a panalopy of colours that nearly overloaded the senses. It had been different years ago, before the legions eyes had been opened. That ceiling had once depicted the corpse god leading Sekels legion, the vaulted buttresses wrought in marble with gold trim. Sekel and his squad had been there for the change, some had even given their lives to add to the true beauty. There was a calm to the room, where before it had been a place to make war or bring understanding, now its purpose was solely to excite senses and feed to pleasures.
The slamming of limbs onto the ground brought Sekel out of his memory and back to the present, to an ugly space where he and nearly three dozen others stood gathered before Laertes. The ugly thing appeared to be throwing a tantrum, slamming his feet and glaring at all those gathered. They were an ugly bunch, outcasts and xenos and legionaries alike. Most of them were boring, barely worth more to Sekel than a contemptuous sneer if that.
The grinding of aged gears on stone all but announced the arrival of Bartimus. The former chapter master turned warlord standing beside Laertes; the misshapen brute and the nearly regal warrior.
"Welcome band brothers." Bartimus declared, his eyes seeming to look at nothing and everything all at once. "It has been a long time since last we raided, today that wait comes to an end." The warlord continued, his dog Laertes mumbling to himself while someone of standing, of power and interest, went about the business of laying plans. "There are things we must secure first, the Gods demand blood and glory on this day. The Apex Nova Oblitorators will once again know victory." A sharp smile spreading across Bartimus's face.
"Laertes and I have discovered the location of a space hulk, its contents rewarding enough to turn the space surrounding it into a warzone." At this, Sekel's interest was piqued. Not for what the hulks treasures might be, baubles or archaotech or weapons mattered little to the legionnaire; no what he cared about was the who. Who fought for this hulks valuables, and of what interest were they to Bartimus?
Images flashed into Sekel's head, crude things at first that worked to foul his mood. But Bartimus's illusions eventually resolved themselves, that of Orks and genestealers and the hulk itself. This was nothing surprising, for a hulk was often home to such creatures, living aboard the amalgamations like parasites ready to infect any world they came near.
"A genestealer cult, ork warband, and finally a group of spacers fight over one woman's great and powerful weaponry. Her name is Clementina Maskaly, she has made great weapon cache on this space hulk, at the center of it." Bartimus went on, but whatever he said next was lost to Sekel. So transfixed was he on the image of this woman, this Clementina Maskaly. For something not touched by the workings of his lord Fulgrim or the prince of pleasure, she was a stunning sight to behold. Sharp lines and piercing eyes from a well sculpted face sitting atop a good body, for a mortal anyway.
"She is the daughter of a rogue trader and lives a life of adventure and power but now she is stuck in a large battle as her guards and whatnot fight for her safety. You can kill her or take her alive it doesn't matter but get the damned weapons intact!" Bartimus declared with a smile splitting his face. And if Sekel had any say in the matter, this one would most assuredly be taken alive.
So lost in thought about what he would do to this woman that Sekel did not hear whatever else Bartimus said until the warlord barked out his name. Sekel realized that he, along with the double kin Carcharadon, the assassin, and the outcast Raven Guard were to go after the woman on the hulk. With a sadistic grin of his own, Sekel bowed his head slightly before leaving the chamber for the dock of Ganesh.
He was not the first to arrive, nor did it appear he would be the last either. Against a wall the assassin sat, her rifle laid out before he as she stripped and reassembled it with practiced ease. "Volpex." Her cold voice declared without looking up.
Cocking his head to one side, Sekel advanced towards the assassin, the blade at his side growing hot in its leatherbound sheathe. "Sekel; learn the sounds better child, my movements can hardly be confused for the double-kins stomping."
Stopping several steps away from her, Sekel admired the skill with which she worked. Her body-glove did little to hide her figure, all muscle and control and of little interest to him. "And where is the little raven? Has he found himself a trap to walk into I wonder? His kind do die so well."
The Fifth Rig (Space Hulk)
Ganesh's chamber was a rather very very large room filled with gadgets and machines running around and completing tasks. The whole room also held small and large machines moving and standing on two legs and using their tools located on their body to do whatever they have been told. Finally the room smelled of oil and contained sparks flying out of the air and landing onto the ground near more machines.
In all of the madness a figure stood in the middle of the room covered by a torn drape. Next to this figure stood a small machine. It turned around and showed moved awkwardly towards you and the others. It was a tall machine and was covered in torn rags along with metal. It stood and stared at you for a quick second and let out a long painful noise. After this two machines started to sprint to the draped figure and adjust the drape so they could work on whatever he ordered.
"You are Bartimus'- I mean Laetres' men. I am Ganesh, your creator. I already know what you are here to do." His voice was deep and robotic. "The ship is almost ready but let me give you some word of advice. Don't trust anything on the hulk. Everyone and everything is out to kill you or take that precious gear you hold dear and use it for scrap. When you arrive at the hulk you will contact them on the radio frequency: 8.1783. Afterwards you will attempt to gain entry somehow through the spacer's side, if you fail you will have to take the dangerous route through the other side of the hulk, the Red Zone."
Another machine appeared and walked up behind Ganesh making a loud noise followed by constant beeping. Ganesh nodded and spoke once again. "Unveil the beast and let its strength shine across my creations." The machine moved away and grabbed the drape and revealed a ship with an unfamiliar design. The room went silent as the machines looked at the ship and stared at it as one collective mind. "Its called: Spearhead. Not the best name but its something. It fires off explosive acidic rounds that can burn the hull of a ship and will destroy the matter overtime. I made it with Necron technology with the infusion of imperial tech. It took me years to perfect but now I have done it."
"The ship has an easy control scheme as well. Just move the handle forwards to go forward and backwards to backwards and to move it left push to the left and so forth. Its easy to use and has a simple communication system and firing system. It also has a radar system that can guide you to the space hulk...your close by it right now but after you finish the mission we will come by to pick you up."One of Ganesh's machines released an opening to ship and revealed the insides of the ship. It was rather empty but left enough room for you and the others to enter.
"Fly the ship to the space hulk and get inside. Find your way to the center of it and get the weapon cache, pretty damn simple. We don't know much about the weapons or the people in the hulk but they probably wont be able to best any of you. If you have any use the communication systems to communicate with me on the ship. May the Gods grant you victory!"
Ganesh walked away slowly as the noises returned along with the machines working once again completing their goals.
Bloody minded savages. Mon Keigh were brutish enough to begin with, but those aligned with the gods of Chaos even more so. He could sense it everywhere, bloodlust for its own sake rather than for the more refined pleasures it could provide. He listened to his orders with minimal interest. A dagger? Wonderful. Simply magnificent, his latest task set him as a mere errand boy among a gaggle of trained monkeys. Bloody Tooth be damned, it was a dagger tainted by fickle human touch as much as the blasted warp gods that Tilraenen so despised.
The command was given. Tilraenen left the room after a few quiet moments, waiting until most of the others were clear themselves. Whatever agenda each of them had wasn't worth the trouble of getting on their bad sides. Stupid, clumsy, short sighted brutes that they were, they were still brutes in every sense of the word and Tilraenen knew enough about astartes in battle to know he was better off not taking his chances. Not yet at least. Once he had drunk in the suffering of the unfortunate Inquisitor and his retinue, things could yet be different.
The bay of this vessel was a inelegant as everything of human design. Dull metal, crude shaped and sporting hideous signias of corruption and misguided devotion. There were too few of his fellow eldar on board this vessel but given the environment and conditions he could hardly have blamed his kin for keeping away. The dim lighting of the vessel was uncomfortable. Adequate lighting would have only made the ship's flaws even more apparent however, all considered the former kabalite would have been far more comfortable in true dark.
It wasn't time yet. Tilraenen found himself a secluded spot in the shadows, in sight of the ugly human drop pods and sat down. The astartes he had been assigned alongside were about, but he made no effort to talk, not yet. Shifting his cloak into a more comfortable position he drew his knife. Taking off a gauntlet, he started to draw shallow cuts in the back of his hand. A mild pain to relieve a mild boredom...
Bractus' Blood Tooth
Osborn sat on a crate inside the deployment bay and waited for the others on his team to arrive. It was interesting team, to say the least. An Eldar, a sorcerer, his pets, and the Night Lord. Osborn mentally reviewed what he knew of his teammates. He knew little about the Eldar, Tilraenen, though he respected his fighting prowess. What motivated the Eldar and how loyal he was to the Warband remained unknown to Osborn, though he doubted Til was fanatically devoted to Chaos or Laertes.
Juda, on the other hand, was extremely well known to Osborn, having made his true colors quite obvious. He was Laertes's lapdog, reporting overly-ambitious and traitorous members of the war band to his master. Having him on a team like this might mean he was tasked with eliminating one or all of his squad mates. Or perhaps Laertes didn't trust them, and decided to send his Hound along to keep a close eye on the team. Either way, Osborn decided that it would be prudent to watch Juda closely, just in case.
Speak of the devil Osborn thought as Juda stomped into the Deployment Bay. He raised his hand to greet the Chaos Space Marine, but Juda stomped by without ever acknowledging Osborn. "Awwwwwwwww, looks like someone didn't get what they wanted." Osborn taunted. "Don't worry, we may all be freaks, but at least we don't bite... Or at least, I don't. I don't know about the others." He laughed and vaulted off his perch, hitting the floor with a cat-like grace.
Outwardly, Osborn may have seemed calm and relaxed, but inside, he was rather nervous. This team seemed like it had the potential to be quite volatile, and if shots broke out mid mission, Osborn knew he wouldn't last long. He was a good shot, but the other members of the team were stronger and faster than could ever hope to be. The ratling shook his head and began to methodically disassemble and clean Malice, trying to empty his head of such bleak thoughts. Despite his focus on the task, one question kept reappearing in his mind, no matter how hard he tried to banish it. Are we being sent out to die?
Sekel… Ioana suppressed an increased heartbeat and a shiver of surprise at the Astarte’s words. He was not who she thought he had heard and though she kept her head in the same position and finished reassembling her rifle, under her spy mask her eyes darted around the room. Volpex was there, quite on the opposite side of the room and Sekel was making his approach to her. Had she really mistaken the footsteps of the Carcharadon for his, or had she simply missed Sekel’s approach entirely. Either one was cause for concern and she resolved to not make the same mistake again.
"And where is the little raven? Has he found himself a trap to walk into I wonder? His kind do die so well." Ioana slotted the last pieces back together and slung her rifle over her shoulder again. “As do yours, Child.” She said sternly. In truth she’d never actually slain an Emperor’s Child, but that was of little consequence. All the targets she’d slain tended to die in much the same way, quietly and instantly. This close Ioana could feel a slight warmth from Sekel’s side. She’d heard whisperings about his blade possessing some sentience and she wasn’t sure if the heat meant it loathed her or yearned for her. In either case, she would rather not find out.
“I imagine he’ll be joining us shortly. No doubt he has supplications to make and wards to inscribe before we depart.” Her tone was neutral, even if she silently held these heathens in contempt. Soon enough the Raven joined them and Ganesh began briefing them shortly after that. She wasn’t sure if his claim to creator was arrogance or some sign of madness, but she was nothing of his creation. For such a barbaric ship, the technomancer seemed awfully pleased with himself for it. Ioana doubted such a vessel was capable of stealth, so they would have to rely on duplicity to get them into the hulk.
Ganesh finished his speech with more hollow blessings that Ioana cared nothing about. “I hope you don’t mind if I take the driver’s seat?” she said, moving before anyone had a chance to object. From her knowledge, most Astartes were trained to fly ships, but she suspected she was more skilled than them. She also supposed she would get more luck with the control station on their approach than most of them would. She took the cockpit seat and prepped the ship for take-off as the rest of the strike force bolted themselves in. She peered round the back of her chair “Ready?” They seemed it, whether they confirmed it or not.
The vessel took-off smoother than she would have expected it. She flew them towards the Space Hulk with ease and immediately began scanning for the radio frequency. Soon enough she connected and was immediately greeted with frantic hails and orders to identify or be shot. “This is a strike force under the command of Julia Sanska, bond-servant of Rouge Trader Maskaly. I am under orders to retrieve Clementina Maskly from your Space Hulk and authorised to release the cargo of her ship to you in exchange for you aid. Do we have permission to land?” Between the Orks and the Genestealers, the spacers were hardly guaranteed to have accesses to the weapons cache. She hoped the security of obtaining it, combined with additional aid to their cause would be enough for them to let her land with ease. Then, all hell was sure to break loose, but at least they’d be aboard…
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