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…
Hm, he wasn't the last one to arrive, surprising. The two forms of the other Mark V user and female filled his gaze as he entered, apparently embroiled in conversation as the Astartes had moved rather close to her. As the door behind him slide closed and the invading light was blocked out, leaving only the rather large room's own light to keep things visible, Volpex noticed the female had sections of her rifle laid out before her, a text-book calming method but he couldn't argue it's effectiveness. Striding to the right and moving away from the two, his gaze lingering on them for just a moment longer than required before he pulled it away, the inquisitive marine gazed around the hall-like structure. It was actually surprising how much stuff was in here, everywhere he looked another new and interesting piece of technology greeted him with flying sparks and dull hums. Off to the side, he noticed a rather large tarp, tattered and worn from use, covering something rather large indeed. He had an idea of what it was, but assumptions were never wise.
Continuing his lazy search of the hall, he came across a figure illuminated only by a small overhead light and surrounded by whirling machines, upon closer inspection and one of the machines spinning around to look at him and the others, the figure revealed himself to be Ganesh. The man's, if you could even call him that at this point, apparent obsession with replacing flesh with metal was disturbingly visible, but his form did raise an interesting question to Volpex's mind; if he cut him open, would he bleed blood or oil? Although before he had any time to fully explore the pondering, the man spoke with the voice of an angel.... Made of metal...
It frustrated him to say but the man's various chimes and dull groans in place of an actual voice did wonders to confuse him, leaving Volpex struggling to figure out what the cyborg even said. Although thankfully his words and actions were self-explanatory, and as a clamp grasped the large tarp he'd noticed earlier, he watched as the form of his theory came into view.
''It appears you are capable of decent cosmetic work, pity this skill didn't show itself while you were working on yourself.''
He said with a sharp hiss, filled with a slight touch of spite as he strode forward towards the craft's already lowering ramp. Transitioning from ship to ship with a loud thud, Volpex entered the one-of-a-kind ship and disappeared from sight behind large metal plates. The interior was only slightly worse than the exterior, the gun-metal grey making up most, if not all, of the colour in here, separated in various places by glowing panels and buttons he'd leave the figuring out of to others. Moving through the fairly easily layout ship towards the bridge, he passed through a pair of hissing doors and found himself before a set of large glass window, placed in front of various chairs and control panels. Sliding into one the lesser seating spots, near the back and overcast by one of the overhead controls, Volpex leaned back into the metal chair and awaited someone else to take the wheel. While he could fly various aircraft, his arrival to Chaos being the main example, he very much doubted the others would agree with putting their lives in his hands, they all seemed to refer to him as, ''crazy'' or, ''lunatic'' nowadays. Honestly he couldn't see why, the Gods he chose to worship had such similar beliefs and ultimately went hand in hand with one another. Was it simply his own ignorance that blinded him to the truth? If so, he would have to find someone to teach him the error of his ways. His thoughts were then interrupted, his head lifting from the slight tilt downward he'd left it at before he started thinking. The sound of sliding metal filled his ears, followed by boots on grate as the female strode past and placed herself in the pilots chair, that delightful groan of leathery skin filling the room. The others followed soon after, their heavy thuds making his chair vibrate as Volpex brought an eye over to Mazim, inspecting the marine's form with a lazy roll before flicking his gaze back to the window.
''Well, let's hope this thing can take a hit, otherwise this will be a very short mission.''
He said to no one in particular, the loud roar of engines overtaking every other noise as they lifted off and exited the hanger.
Next stop, Space Hulk....
The Fifth Rig
"As do yours, Child." The assassin answered back, reassembling her rifle with a precision Sekel would normally associate with trans humans. Looking from the woman, he instead cast his gaze around the chamber. It stretched onward and outward, filled to the brim with machinery, servitors, and thralls running about tending to their business. It was an ugly place, creations of half life and steel working on hybrid abominations.
“I imagine he’ll be joining us shortly. No doubt he has supplications to make and wards to inscribe before we depart.” The assassin said to Sekel's now turned back and he could not help but break into a laugh. "He chases after his god like a pet to its master; he is no true champion of the gods. Very few of them are." Those last words he spoke with contempt he did nothing to disguise.
From his side another entered, the half-kin Volpex. That one was beyond contempt, worshipping both the prince of pleasure and mongrel blood god? Were he to cross Sekel, then his blade would drink well, of that he was sure.
Deep within the workshop chamber stood what appeared to be an emaciated figure in tattered robes. Beside him stood a tech-cherub which shambled towards the group before blurting something in a machine code that was nothing but pain to the ears. Other thralls moved to assist the figure, which then turned around and looked at the group. Ganesh was nothing worth looking at, a garish amalgamation of man and machine.
"You are Bartimus'- I mean Laetres' men. I am Ganesh, your creator. I already know what you are here to do." The heretical magos voice, heavy with static, grated from a vox speaker. "The ship is almost ready but let me give you some word of advice..." Ganesh droned on and Sekel's eyes glazed over as he lost himself in a memory, he and his brothers assaulting a xenos fleet through a radiation storm they had been pursuing for weeks.
"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." Ganesh continued, and Sekel returned to the now in time to see the ship revealed.
He was not impressed, in fact he outright loathed what was docked before him. Where he had expected a modified thunderhawk or fire raptor, instead he stared at a bastardized hybrid of human capability and xenos technology. He was not adverse to the use of alien tech, the Mechanicum of old had worked wonders reverse engineering and recreating technology for mankind. But this thing in front of him was a perversion of all the senses and not in a good way.
Ganesh continued, likely not noticing the look of murder Sekel gave him at creating such a thing and expecting them to use it. "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..." Ganesh finished, but Sekel was beyond listening and already walking towards the embarkation ramp.
“I hope you don’t mind if I take the driver’s seat?” The assassin said, she appeared to be of the same mind as Sekel and her stride nearly matched his own. Emerging into the cockpit, Sekel took the copilot seat; he was no dedicated pilot but all astartes had training in piloting spacecraft.
''Well, let's hope this thing can take a hit, otherwise this will be a very short mission.'' Volpex said from behind him, and Sekel could not keep himself from growling. "Such a thing would do well to either improve this abominations appearance or remove its blight upon the galaxy."
Without much hunt of engine startup, the ship lifted off and out of the workshop with little wake. The silence of the engines, smoothness of their motion, did nothing to improve Sekels opinion of their vessel. As they neared the space hulk their ship was hailed to identify or be shot; a crude threat which they could easily call but one in which the assassin took a different approach. “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 authorized to release the cargo of her ship to you in exchange for you aid. Do we have permission to land?” She said and Sekel shook his head.
"We should power up all weapon systems and obliterate some of their defense batteries. Show them the futility in believing they can deny us."
Bractus' Blood Tooth
The aethyr stirred. It did that often when the warband gathered, as if responding to the presence of so many wills of strength collected in the same place. Sehkt allowed the currents to flow through his mind and body, his soulsight taking in the entire room; the sights, scents and sensations of their very essences were clear to him. Each member of this motley association of the lost, the forgotten and the damned... tasted differently, for want for a more appropriate word that wasn't empyreal, and thus extremely dangerous, in origin. Sekht had formed his opinions of them long ago, the instinctive ability to weight a person's worth was a boyhood talent of his that served him well even now so many millennia and so many stars away from the corpse-orb that his home had become after the accursed Imperium had finished raping it and spitefully gutted the already half-dead planet, and very few of them were positive.
'The Son of the Legion That Fled; his body half lost to the whims of Daemons, his soul completely lost to his own poor choices. He is dead and damned already, that he hasn't yet realized only proves what he is. A fool, nothing more.'
'The Dreaming Raven; his soul singing with desires for childhood fantasies to be made real, yet blind to the paradox of bringing freedom through corruption, and beneath pity for believing that the denizens of the dark care a whit for the souls of the mass of cattle that inhabit the bloated empire he and I once called master.'
'The Fallen Bladesman; his aspect one of beauty, but his essence blackened and ruined by ten millennia of pointless indulgence and childish sadism. Seeking a lord who does not remember his name and would not care if he did, his skill is undeniable though he stands deep in the shadow of the Soulthief. He is lost to his own desires, a cycle of hunger and rage that will inevitably destroy him.'
'The Soul-leech; nothing more than a parasite of the aethyr, feeding on the dregs of soulstuff that it can take from the thousands it murders in a pathetic attempt to forstall a fated damnation that was ordained before the flesh-bodies of it's sires were even born into this tenuous reality. A valueless creature beneath my notice.'
'The One With Bloody Hands; a creature of the dark that lives where others die, perhaps he believes it fate or a sign of a destiny, but nought more than random coincidence. He stands apart, his own luck bringing misfortune in it's wake, he knows he will never be one of the trusted, he is a warrior without brothers. I would pity him if I had any of that emotion remaining.'
'The Waking Mind; a weapon that has learned to think for himself and see the truth of the universe without guidance from those who have already born witness to the horrors beneath the gossamar fabric that is real-space. Yet he courts a terrible fate, striding two of the Four Paths and believing that the masters of those paths do not notice his steps. He will choose, either slaughter or hedonism, or his essence will become as nought.'
'The Living Weapon; a naive thing who believes that the touch of the aethyr will bypass her because her voice and body have not accepted the Primordial Truth, yet her soul is as corrupted as the rest of this patchwork assortment of monsters and madmen. She simply does not see it, either through wilful blindness or laughable denial. And yet, she reminds me of my younger self, arrogantly believing that because I did not will it, the darkness could not touch me. But the truth was shown to me, mercilessly and painfully, and eventually it will be shown to her as well.'
'The Mutant; a creature of base desire and even baser thoughts. His mind looks to nothing but survival, as if simply seeing tomorrow is enough of a goal. Fickle and easily changed, he will eventually betray the wrong lord and end as an example. He does not live, he merely exists and yet is content with that, for which I despise him utterly.
They were indeed a strange association, and yet Sehkt called himself one of them. A sign of his own desperation? Perhaps, yet where else could he go at this moment. He was without direction for this stage of his wandering existence, and this place was as good as any. Sehkt did not expect to find the purpose that would restore his desire to wage the Long War again in the company of these renegades, but unlike the Ratling he still sought to find that purpose. And perhaps in the service of the demagogue that even now made promises of a better tomorrow that Sehkt highly doubted he believed himself, he would find that purpose.
Laertes's words engaged Sehkt's minds; a triad of enemies each with their own petty goals standing in their way; the daughter of one of the star-treading Rogue Traders guarding a cache of weaponry that could change the fortunes of the warband, a dagger of mystical owned by one of the Imperium's self-destructive watchdogs known as an Inquisitor, lost on a world of death and primitive humans barely a step beyond animals. And of course, the obligatory death threats that all insecure leaders felt the need to make, a real warlord did not need to voice such threats, they were unspoken and always-known. But it mattered little, Sehkt had not sworn service to Laertes because he respected him, but because the warmonger might help guide him to a cause that he could believe in. And if not... Sehkt put that thought aside for another day, Laertes had not failed him yet.
As his name was called Sehkt suppressed a sneer, though why he had no idea as nobody could see beneath the cyclopean gaze of his warhelm, at the names that preceeded and followed. The ratling, the hound and the xenos worm. Allies that he would prefer to be distant, but nought could be done. The promise of an Inquisitor however was motivation; something he welcomed fervently. Inquisitors had not existed when Prospero was burnt and murdered, yet it was their ilk that had made it happen; those human sheep that believed themselves wolves and sought to usurp the galaxy that Sehkt and his brothers had bled and died to take light-year by light-year. What secrets he might learn, only a high-ranking member of that haughty cabal would be trusted to bear an artefact of the empyrean, or even be in close proximity to it. Sehkt allowed himself a slight upturn of his mouth, not a smile, but perhaps a small smirk. Laertes could have the dagger, no doubt he would use it to wage war on others who walked the Path to Damnation as most of their shared kind did. Sehkt cared nought for prestige in the eyes of the Eight Legions, his own was gone and theirs had been the only opinions he cared about. Hurting the Imperium that betrayed he and his brothers for their attempt to warn them of the False Warmaster's treason? Now that was Sehkt truly cared about.
And a Master Inquisitor would be aware of many things that could hurt the Imperium of Man. Many, many things.
Sehkt walked from the antechamber, barely acknowledging the "blessing" that Laertes's pet spoke over them, and returned to his chambers to prepare for the mission ahead of him. His Rubricae, once Sergeant Adar and Brother Hez'aq of the company that Sehkt had commanded before the Razing of Prospero and the Battle of Terra had destroyed them, took position at either side of the only door into the room. Once Sehkt had commanded hundreds of soldiers, but now only these two remained in his service, the others now slaves to other Sorcerers of his shattered Legion or their metal casings destroyed in battle and their souls lost to the Great Sea. As he did he observed the tides of the Immaterium shifting without cease, over the millennia he had become an adept at reading them and in a few minute changes in what mortals would insufficiently term "colour" and "shape" he felt that someone nearby was conversing about him. Recalling the memory of the meeting Sehkt stilled the recollection and looked at each member of the warband; eventually he noticed the Raven's gaze flicker to him as the Inquisitor was mentioned. Clearly the initiate knew what a Sorcerer of Sehkt's calibre could do with an Inquisitor of the False Emperor, did he seek to prevent that? Sehkt let the memory fade into the past and the present to re-establish itself, knowing that his Rubricae would have killed anything that dared approach him while he lingered in a fugue state. The former loyalist would not be able to directly impact Sehkt's mission without abandoning his own, an act that would see him butchered by Laertes without delay. And yet the Night Lord, Laertes' hound and informer, would be.
Sehkt inhaled softly, knowing that he should expect somebody to attempt to prevent him from taking the Inquisitor's secrets; either out of fear of what he would do with them, or a spiteful wish to keep him from becoming more powerful through them. Feeling the small smirk pull at his lips again, Sehkt spoke aloud for the first time in the day.
"Let them try."
The Fifth Rig
A loud noise comes from the communications and a distorted voice starts to speak. "...We read...does this mean...negotiate...for the people-" it shuts off quickly and another noise blasts the communications. After 5 minutes another voice comes out of the communications, this one is clear and loud. "Hello, this is Lord Kraskol. We understand that you want to retrieve that damned woman. Sadly she is not in our company but at the center of our home. We will help you though but we must go over a couple of things." The mans voice is heavy but has a strange accent. "You said you were a strike force...that was a very unwise decision to send more soldiers instead of a diplomatic force. We request that you leave you arms on your ship also when you arrive on board, you will follow our men to the mobile station and you will talk with your 'trader' so we negotiate the prisoner and the big men that came into our grand station and ruined our people."
A ship that has attached on the space hulk is slowly being open as pieces of scrap fly out and the ship's hangar is revealed, broken and barely functional. Another loud noise goes off on the communications and a radically different voice greets you, "Slowly move into the station and stay at one course. Failure to follow these instructions will result in you being blown to bits in 2 minutes. Now execute your actions and don't try anything!"
Bractus' Bloody Tooth
You have all been placed into your deployment pods. Under your feet the hangar opens up and people begin to flee from the hangar as the floor opens up slowly and the oxygen is vaporized. Your pods then fall into free space and you explode out of the ship. You move closer to the planet and the other pods begin to diverge off course and you are soon separated.
The planet starts to turn into a blood red color below you and you begin to fall unconscious as you fall closer to the planet you hear a sharp whisper in your ear before your eyes shut. "This is my planet and it's under my rules, little ones."
Osborn you land close to a small hut with two tribal men advancing onto your position and one pulling off the scrap from your broken down pod. Juda, you land next to Osborn and another one of the tribal men runs out of the hut and proceeds towards your pod to do the same. Azor you land on a small vicious jungle booming with wildlife and two beats converging on your pod about to rush you while a man points his finger at your pod yelling angrily. Tilraenen, you are being dragged by a man as you see another pod and two beasts rushing to get to it in a wild jungle island.
Volpex leaned back into the chair, his black arms crossed over his chest and head tilted down slightly, a passing thought turning into a chaotic storm of questions and ideas. His mind was flooded with the build up of so many years of hushed, and not so hushed, insults throw at him because of his choice of worship. Had he merely joined the wrong warband? That would be the simplest answer, and most favourable, but fate never was quite so easy. Then what was the problem? He knew better than anyone how little he knew about the Dark Gods and their followers, so was it really just a matter of ignorance? A long breath turned into a anger fuelled growl, rage beginning to boil within him as his own lack of knowledge and understanding. He lifted his gaze, black eyes glaring at those around him with contempt hidden behind an emotionless helmet: A Raven Guard who thought he was crazed, an Assassin who couldn't care less and a fellow worshipper of Slaanesh who despised him. With his bunch as his back-up, he'd personally take the damned Rattling, at least that thing was scared of him...
The voice of the Assassin then awoke him from his inner thoughts, her words directed into the vox as they neared the all encompassing Space Hulk before them. A few dim lights here, a smoking section there, a barely held together mass of twisted metal and broken ships.... Yep, definitely a Space Hulk. The vox growled into life soon after the Assassin's words, what sounded like a bang echoing through before a voice, not unlike Ganesh's, came through. A few disjointed words poured through, sounding rather desperate which wasn't really surprising when you considered the state of the place they called, ''home''. Another sharp bang cut off the voice, that was starting to get annoying, and a silence followed. Volpex took this pause to voice himself, present his views on things.
''It would appear our 'Lord's' intel was incorrect about this place, seems the rouges have been reduced to the deprived and insane.''
A short time later, probably filled with more of Sekel's suggestions to destroy parts of the mass in front of them, the vox roared into life once more. This time it projected a voice far better than the last, clear and strong, probably the leader of whatever fraction of intelligent life remained aboard this thing. 'Lord Kraskol' eh? Even in the darkest reaches of space these people still clung to their worthless titles, Volpex would enjoy removing this blight from the face of the galaxy. Although his words were odd, he seemed to believe the Assassin's little lie almost too easily, telling them it was an 'unwise decision to send more troops' and they should have sent a more diplomatic group. A harsh laugh escaped Volpex's mouth at the one, probably sharing the moment with Sekel, the idiot had no idea what they really were, nor what they were capable of...
An instruction or two later, an empty threat echoing through the vox in the place of final words, and they were entering the Space Hulk's hanger. Or rather, the shambled mess of cargo claws and scrap metal. The landing was smooth, unsurprisingly, and the craft's landing struts touched the cold metal below, the engines powering down with a hum. With a small motion, Volpex was out of his seat and stood at the exit to the bridge, his arms crossed over his chest and gaze cast to those within.
''We find ourselves at a crossroads, surprise is at our back and the beings out there believe we are but a simple force. So how do we act? I'm sure one or more of you would agree with my idea of merely hunting down whatever excuse for a leader they have, this 'Lord Kraskol' being the best guess, and torturing the location of our quarry out of him.''
He took a pause, a roll of eyes or smack of lips filling the room at the prospect of torture.
''But, undue fighting could attract more... Potent, creatures to us. Namely, that Gene-Steeler cult. And if we do battle against them and the rouges, no doubt the Orks will sniff out the large conflict.''
He ended with a hiss, the prospect of fighting all three of the groups aboard this place at the same time both exciting him and annoying him. He preferred a cleaner way of battle, systematically destroying one threat at a time until nothing but the object remains. Simply fighting everything in one massive brawl, while effect at leaving no survivors, was just necessarily messy....
She continued to approach, mindful that at any moment a fire-fight could break out and she would have to take evasive action. Sekel suggested their blast their way in. “If they do think they can deny us we shall, but I’d rather not fight when there is an easier method of insertion.” Ioana retorted. Volpex mussed about the stability of the ship to himself and she felt no need to comment further. Once they were inside the hulk, this ship could burn for all she cared. Ganesh seemed exceptionally proud of it, but if he took so much joy in its creation then surely the opportunity to recreate it would elate him. Hopefully it would drive him to improving it too.
Suddenly, the vox crackled into life, but too intercut with static for her to pick out anything. “Say again, we do not copy. Repeat we do not copy and are continuing our approach.” Five minutes went by before they heard anything else. Ioana listened to this Lord Kraskol as he barked his terms and conditions at them. She turned to Sekel “How quaint. Still, this will be easier than forcing our way in.” She wondered if the woman she was impersonating would have paid them any more mind than she was. Perhaps.
The side of the hulk opened, the vacuum pulling out loose debris from the ‘hangar’ of the spacers. Volpex came forward, commenting on the state of the spacer’s abode. “Funny. I was just thinking in dim lighting you could mistake this for our vessel” She said flatly, keeping her eyes forward. The hangar was circular and ahead of them was a large door, presumably where the rest of the spacers dwelt. Only 20 soldiers surrounded their ship, their weapons crude and likely useless against the four of them. It was almost insulting.
Had she been alone she might have continued this ruse further, but the instant they stepped out of the Spearhead the lie would unravel. Three Astartes was hardly a small strike force. Volpex, unsurprisingly, suggested hunting down the leader and torturing the information out of him. “Let them come, Sharktooth. The more we draw into a brawl here, the less there will be elsewhere to guard the cache and we can slip away in the maelstrom. That is…” she peered behind her seat to look at him “…if you can tear yourself away from it.” Ioana began to cycle down the engines and cycle up the weapons systems, setting them to automatic where possible. “As for Kraskol, I imagine once his people are dying and his home is aflame he will be forthcoming enough. Now, shall we begin?”
The Astartes readied themselves as did she, her rifle suspended in one hand and her sword at her waist. She began lowering the assault ramp and stood over the command console, opening the vox once more. “You misunderstand. This is not a negotiation.” The main cannon on the Spearhead fired forward, the shot tearing down the doors in front of them. The shockwave reverberated round the hangar and the men arrayed before them began to frantically fire their weapons as the ship, doing little damage, if any at all. The Astartes spilled from the assault ramp and she followed after them, staying close to the Spearhead, it’s looming form providing shadows for her to use to obscure herself. She didn’t bother to fire at the spacers. The Astartes would tear through them in short order, and her ammunition was better spent on more elite foes. Her synskin became a hue of shaded metal and she used her relative obscurity to try and spot and hidden gun batteries or weapons systems. Equally she watched to see what, if anything would come through the hole they had just blasted…
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