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post #91 of 137 (permalink) Old 09-14-12, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Kain:

At your words, Thrasius's face corrodes into a sickened, foul state. It is extremely clear that he is doing eveyrthing to push through answering your latter question first,

"It was a practice mission, Sergeant. Practice that you needed. None of your brothers died, there is a very significant difference between them returning alive, and still down there dead. We are space marines, we are always near death. Your squad retrieved a scared relic, recovered Cleomenes, killed the majority of the scavengers, and no one died. You did anything but fail me."

He stands up, eyes narrowed, face pale, walking toward you curling his fists up toward his abdominals, shaking slightly,

"Vermaas...is nothing like Astelan. Do you remember Astelan, Sergeant Scrious? I was with him on the verge of his betrayal. He fought and spat at his brothers with venom."

"When he spoke of hurting his brothers, there was no doubt he would have truly enjoyed it. His eyes, his posture....If I had allowed him to spar Belial to settle their differences, he would have murdered the marine with a salivating mouth."

"You accuse Vermaas, Vermaas, of heresy!? Vermaas, Sergeant scrious!?"

He follows this with a yell of anger, no words nothing held back just a short burst of flared anger as an after thought to the question.

"That is one of the most honorable marines left under my command,"
he says still breathing heavily, "I am no fool, Scrious, I know he could have stopped Izrael in other ways. But his intention to me was clear, he slipped up. All of you slipped up! Why? Because none of you have seen true battle in years!"

He starts to calm himself, "Let me be clear about this. If another one of my astartes shows any signs of heresy, I will take Thorcrya's blade," he says, pointing to the giant power scythe encased behind him, "kill them, decapitate them, and destroy their geneseed!"

He moves over to the power-scythe, and takes hold of it. The intricate force field around its almost biological looking mechanics recognizing his large, rough fingers and allowing them to curl around the weapon's staff. He pulls it free of its prison and activates it. A sharp crack, spark, and flare erupts from the tip of the scythe as a flash of energy shimmers over the blade. Such a powerful weapon, you can see it cooking the air around it as Thrasius walks back over to you.

"So Sergeant, choose your words carefully when you answer this question. Vermaas was with you during your mission to Sotha's surface. You were his commanding officer. Are you telling me, you believe him to be a heretic?"

Give Thrasius what I hope your answer is. After what he has explained to you, you still may think Vermaas should have been punished, though it may seem like bringing it up again isn't such a good idea. Ultimately that will be your call whenever you meet back up with some of the other players. They likely may bring it up to you after all. After you give your answer, he will dismiss you. From there explain your thoughts, where your headed and/or who you want to speak with.


Solaki:

You appear to hang by the banded multitudes of massive chords hanging from the ceiling, connected to your front chasis and backside. It might look like you were floating if not for the massive footlocks propping you up at a slight angle from the floor. Red and orange lights light the room from various technologies and mechanisms. Right now, you may as well just be another one of those pieces of tech, albeit a very large one in center of Laikus's chamber. Several of the techmarine's words over the past few days still echo through your mind as it travels through the odd state of sleep it has been placed in.

An upgrade, we'll call it, yes...

Explain...you....up

The parts....cannon....here...

His final statement the most clear, naturally.

You won't be in full stasis...Dont want you going back to full slumber, we will need you again sooner than that I'm sure. Just enough for me to... necessary changes...systems

The mechanical, deep astartes voice of the techmarine seems to float up and up and up away from you into the air. Never ending mechadendrites encircling you begin to spin apart, swirling and transforming into thin grey clouds as you fall through a red-orange colored sky, Laikus's echoes trying to keep up with your descent, but just cant fall quite as fast as you are. Your hand, in its gauntlet of black ceramite, reaches out above you and clasps onto flat rockrete.

All you can see are people's legs, hundreds of them busily walking past you in silence, the people they belong to failing to notice you at all. They step right beside your reached out hand, so close, but always avoiding you. You pull forward. Through the hundreds of shoes and pairs of legs, you see buildings, tall skyscrapers rising above the heads of the people who continue just walking past you. You motion to stand up, but an excruciating pain erupts from the leg muscles you try to move. Its enough to make you wail in agony.

You continue pulling yourself with your hands, fingers trembling as they dig into the rockrete in front of you, finding purchase through the masses of moving people. Your power armor scrapes and scratches along the rockrete as you drag yourself. You breath crazily, bits of saliva shooting to the ground through gritted teeth, and muted yells of pain coming from your curled lips.

The top half of an astartes in power armor yelling in pain with watering eyes, inches his way forward through the massive, silent, and uncaring crowd as his stub legs leak streams of thick blood behind them. Nothing past the upper thighs remain. A few strands of muscle tissue trail slightly alongside the strips of metal and chord from the suit's ravaged leg armor.

Though you cant feel them, the remaining parts of your thighs wag slowly back and forth, automatically moving in motion with the rest of your body as you army crawl forward. You see something else prone up ahead, writhing like an injured worm with flailing limbs. You cant change direction but soon crawl past the figure. You cant even turn your head to look better, only your eyes as you continue forward. An adolescent boy in casual Sothan clothes, but with an MKVII helmet on his head. The boy is screaming bloody murder, but the voice is muted by the helmet rather than amplified. His hands scratch desperately at the helmet, his nails curled and chipped. You see the shadow of massive wings pass in front of you, and you hear the flap of its wings ascending away, quickly dissipating as you move past the screaming boy.

Now to your right a large figure shows through the crowd of bodies. People slowly stop passing in front of it altogether allowing you to see. Death himself seems to slip away just as your eyes land on the black and yellow armored marine, limp, hanging, heavily shadowed and pinned through the chest against the building wall with a large crystalline spike.

You continue forward toward the rising sunlight and through the pain you hear it, the faintest of whispers passing through your mind like thinned smoke-

Solaki....the shadows must win. Leave the shadows.

The sunlight flares incredibly, and the massive crowd burns away peacefully just before your vision is filled with light and you are looking into Laikus's faceplate.

"How did you follow me here without being awake?" He asks you, obviously dumbfounded despite the emotionless tone. He shakes his head, making it a problem to figure out later.

"Since you made it here, I need you to test your new weapon systems."

You now have two hand shaped dreadnought close combat weapons. So you have two hands basically. On the right arm, is also an under-slung, long barreled assault cannon. It is currently collapsed against the side of your arm but you can cause it to flip forward in order to fire it. its belt-feed going up into your right shoulder which houses an extended munition box for more rounds than the average dreadnought assault cannon armament. Your left arm has a similarly under-slung heavy flamer. You'll notice your chasis is slightly larger, with a new layer of armor plating. On both shoulders you have a hunter-killer missile launcher. Connected to these on your backside below your exhaust pipes, are your missile stocks. They each hold five plus the one in the chamber. That's twelve at a time total. You are in a vehicle test firing chamber. Have at it, whatever you feel like would be targets in such a chamber.


Izrael and Zeiran:

The pole slams into its place behind the lonely altar of the silent Reclusiam.

Zeiran watches and Izrael steps back from it, both taking in the view of it back aboard the Barge where it should be. A clear view this time, with no helmet lenses in front of the eyes.

What does it mean, the banner of justice. I once waved proud, believing true those words threaded into it. The chapter, the Scythes of the Emperor with justice at their backs. Was it a badge of authority to serve justice, a declaration of what they believed justice to be, something more even?

There were other banners of course, so many, that had all hung throughout the Fortress Monastery. What made Brother Krin requisition Scout Master Curak to the task of securing it over all the others during the Tyranid invasion of Sotha?

You think on these ideas for a bit, perhaps even discuss the matter with each other. Either way, when you both turn to leave you stop dead in your tracks at the two marines standing behind you. They are about half way between the doors of the Reclusiam, and your position.

It is Ryan and Zurick, both still in armor as well, though Ryan has removed his helm also. Ryan speaks,

"Way to almost get yourself killed, Zeiran. Not much glory coming back to the chapter anytime soon if you cant remember your battle training."

his voice is not one of taunt, but matter of fact.

"You though...," he says further, looking to Izrael and raising his index finger.

"Don't get me wrong Zeiran, your our brother and we'd hate to lose you to some pirates. But there are so few of us left; you have to understand our concern for those of us making such errors."

Zurick's wrathful throat reaches out suddenly form beneath his helm, "We can't afford mistakes."

"Its good you've stayed aloof for so long Izrael," says Ryan again, "its kept your head in the right place, I think."

Zurick turns first, as if fed up with being there. Ryan turns to follow, his handsome features and thick, shiny brown hair, accentuated by the Reclusiam's peculiar light systems and burning fires. He seems to pause for a second about to say something further, but decides against it. No longer trying to be quiet, apparently, their hip hanging weapons dankly clatter and chime of war as they walk.

Any reactions? Thoughts? Do either of you follow them, or make way somewhere else? whatever you do, do you two stay together or go your separate ways?

Cleomenes:

As you leave Thrasius and the chamber doors close behind you, the scope of everything you just learned starts to sink in. Even for psychologically trained Astartes, that was a lot of information to take in at once. Now that he is not before his new Lord, how does Cleomenes deal with this this info, what does he think of it? He seems to have remained stern an straight headed, that is good I'd say, but does this mean he believes the chapter can become what it once was?

About twelve hours later, you sit in your ambassadorial chapter robes gently scratching your pet, kindly returned to you by Tybaar, along with the rest of your belongings. Before you are the two you wished to speak with, brothers Ryan and Zurick.

They both still wear their war-plate, and only Ryan has his helmet at his waist's mag-lock.

Ryan speaks, rather warmly really, nothing hostile to it, "You wanted to speak with us, long lost brother?"

Where you are doesn't much matter to me, somewhere appropriate for the situation is all. its up to you. Main deal is pretty much whatever you'd like to say to them. If you think a back and forth convo is necessary again let me know.


Vermaas, Raxan, and Raziel:

Vermaas stays quiet during the walk to the armory and subsequently the recruit training area of the ship. For one reason or another, one could probably guess.

When the three of you arrive you immediately see the veteran-sergeant, shirtless with a training sword at his hip. It would be difficult for any for the remaining Scythes to say that Tobias doesn't bring about a breath of fresh air and warmth.

Idealistic to the letter for a commanding officer. The only stain on his record being the sergeant of the squad Astelan was a part of on Ferim, even if it was for only a very short period it of course is not something he is fond of.

The three of you walk in on what was apparently some form of lecture. The 32 boys stand in perfect lines facing Tobias. The developing muscle and scar tissue clear on their bodies, as is the exhaustion; obvious to your eyes despite their concentrated efforts on hiding it.

"And who do we have here?" Tobias asks, apparently to the boys, as they all answer him in unison, kneeling as they do so and putting their right hands over their hearts.

"Lord Raxan, Lord Raziel, Lord Vermaas."

Tobias says further, "It looks like my brothers have volunteered to give your lesson today in my stead. Split into three groups."

Tobias simply waves his arm toward you three and steps back.

Raxan and Raziel are approached by 11 boys each, and Vermaas 10. They stand up straight in attention in front of each of you. Give them a lesson. It can be of mental or physical value, or a combination of both, whatever seems important to you to teach them right now. We assume Tobias has not already taught them whatever you come with. It can be long or fairly short, but make sure its not like a one-sentence lesson or something.

You can never be prepared for the unexpected



Last edited by unxpekted22; 09-14-12 at 10:23 PM.
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post #92 of 137 (permalink) Old 10-23-12, 10:49 PM
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Raxan couldn’t help but become more concerned for Vermaas as the trio walked from their arming chamber to the training area. His brother, though usually reserved, had a sullen air about him. His silence adding even more weight to the worries that roiled in Raxan’s mind. He would have thought that at some point during the conversation he and Raziel were having, Vermaas would have spoken up, given his opinions, but that did not happen. His brother’s eyes remained locked ahead of them, his mouth clamped shut, his mind elsewhere. There was just something about Vermaas’ posture, his gait, his expression that put Raxan on edge.

Their arrival at the training area forced Raxan to push such thoughts to the back of his mind, a more immediate concern replacing them for the moment. The training center itself opened up in front of him revealing Veteran Sergeant Tobias stripped to the waist, a training blade at his side, pacing as he Addressed the rigid formation of aspirants in front of him. Raxan couldn’t help but smile at Tobias as he stepped across the threshold of the large room, the Veteran Sergeant the epitome of what Raxan himself, as well as many other surviving Scythes, aspired to emulate. Being here, in the man’s presence, was already enough to still some of the disquiet in Raxan’s mind, to focus his turbulent thoughts.

Tobias noticed them as they entered and he turned to greet them, but it was beyond him, the group of younglings that enthralled his gaze. They were developing, that was not in question, the thick ropes of scar tissue that adorned their near perfect physique, rippling muscle growing from both physical exertion and gene-therapy, spoke to the fact that they progressed along the path to become a true Scythe. He hid a smile at their attempt to hide the sheer exhaustion that seemed to sit on their comparatively small shoulders, the sight of them casting his mind centuries into the past, bringing forth his own recollections of a time where he stood in a formation identical to this one. He could only wonder at the lengthy rode he had trod since that time. He couldn’t help but wonder if any of these youths would ever be tested they way that he and his brother’s had, deemed worth to enter the ranks of full brotherhood, or would they waste away, segregated from the chapter for fear of the taint of chaos.

“What do we have here, “ Tobias asked, a question, a test to the boys ranked behind him. They answered, as with one voice.

“Lord Raxan, Lord Raziel, Lord Vermaas,” the group intoned, they sank to their knees, hands over their hearts in salute. The practice made Raxan uncomfortable. He remember when he too had knelt at the feet of Battle-Brothers when he was in the early stages of training, but now, so long later, the sight of these boys kneeling in his presence felt wrong to him. He was not one that deserved their veneration. He was a warrior, a killer, and a stubborn old man, nothing more. He motioned, quickly, perhaps too quickly for them to rise.

Tobias, a smirk on his face, turned away from the boys to face the trio of marines and said, “It looks like my brothers have volunteered to give your lesson today in my stead. Split into three groups.”

The younglings did as they were instructed and soon Raxan found himself at the head of nearly a dozen of them, expectant faces turned in his direction. Raxan paced up and down in front of the boys that had assembled in front of him finally coming to a stop in front of one of the larger specimens in the front row, he spun to face the youth, whose head barely made it to Raxan's shoulder, he spoke, "You, boy, what is the most effective weapon you wield against the enemies of the Emperor?"

Befitting his demeanor, the youth barely flinched at Raxan’s direct manner, answering quickly with regurgitated litany, “"My faith, my lord, the Light of the Emperor in which I bring to the shadows." Nodding, at his answer, knowing its truth, but also knowing that they child did not have any idea what that would mean when standing toe to toe with the worst the galaxy could spit at him. Raxan pushed harder, "But what does that truly mean to you child. How will that faith manifest itself in your hand as you face down an enemey that threatens to strike fear into your very soul? Hmm?" Raxan queried, eye brow raised," What force keeps you from faltering? What holds you up when you fear that you will fall?"

The boy narrowed his eyes and averted his gaze. The query, meant more to get them thinking than actually expecting an answer, obviously had confused them. Others began to mumble answers,"Our weapons?" one said. "Our armor?" another voiced timidly. "Where those items are important they neither think nor react. They are tools, nothing more. Weapons break, armor weakens, tools become useless." Raxan said, a smile crossing his face at their consternation. He was glad that he was bringing them out from behind the comforting blanket of recited litany. It was sharp minded, thinking Astartes that the Scythes needed, now more than ever. He could see that they were considering the problem, their desire to please pushing them forward along the line of thought he desired.

"With true faith, we will never be afraid," on piped up, confidence brimming in his tone of voice and posture. "Is that so young one?" Raxan asked, but gave them no time to answer, "Fear is essential. Without fear what is there for you to conquer? Without fear courage is meaningless. It is the mastery of that fear that I speak of. No young one, faith is but one piece of the puzzle. The answer to my question is neither easy nor universal for all. Each man conquers fear differently, but in the end we all, each Marine in this chapter, share a single defining characteristic.... Duty. Duty drives us forward when we can go no further. Duty hardens our hearts and strengthens our minds. Duty gives us direction. This is the most important weapon in your arsenal."

Raxan stopped pacing and faced them once more. "From duty grows brotherhood. Look at the men standing around you. Take a good hard look at each face for you are brothers, both in blood and in oath. It is these, these few, that will stand beside you, for good or for ill."

"Now," Raxan said, turning from them he looked over his shoulder, "Come, I am not the expert swordsman that Sergeant Tobias is and bolter practice can be a bit droll. We shall see what you know of unarmed combat." Leading the group of younglings to one of the practice mats, he paired them off. "On my command, engage your opponent. Your objective is to disable your opponent as fast as possible. Try to keep each other in one piece."

As they began he toured the mat, correcting grips, explaining further the physics of a throw or a hold. They had promise these. More than he had anticipated he must admit. They were eager to learn, sucking the knowledge that he provided up like a man dying of thirst given water. Despite his earlier reservations, his proclamations of dread, Raxan found himself watching the recruits with renewed hope.

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post #93 of 137 (permalink) Old 10-24-12, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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Deus mortis's post for solaki:

As Solaki drifted into half sleep, Laikus’s words became less and less coherent. He was certain he heard them, but his brain simply refused to process them into anything meaningful. Solaki had been on the edge of exhaustion once or twice in the field. So tired his eyes simply refused to stay open. Astartes were mostly immune to the effects of fatigue, but even they had their limits. He thought the current sensation felt a bit like that. Suddenly, with unprecedented clarity, Laikus words rang through his ears. “You won't be in full stasis...Dont want you going back to full slumber, we will need you again sooner than that I'm sure. Just enough for me to... necessary changes...systems.”

Then it felt Laikus was lowering him. But he wasn’t. He was moving too fast. The words rung around his head, like Laikus was repeating them, over and over from a million different angles. He kept falling and it was clear that he shouldn’t be moving this fast or this far. Something was going horribly wrong. Still the words followed him, spinning faster and faster over his head, blurring into a wheel of noise and metal which he was falling farther and farther away from. Solaki had no idea how to arrest his fall. He knew Laikus had disconnected his arms, so he was just a falling box. He saw the edge of some dream-world, for it could be nothing else, rush up towards him. Instinctively, he tried to reach out the hand he didn’t have to grab it.

Much to his surprise, his hand, his true hand, reached out and grabbed the edge. Holding on for a brief moment, Solaki realised he had taken his original form in this dream. It was peculiar, he had almost forgotten what it felt like. He reached up with his other hand and hoisted his top half up onto the rockrete base. He tried to bring his leg up to stand, assuming that since he possessed arms, his legs would be returned to him also. He was wrong. The pain of pulling at raw and broken tendons and scrapping them along the gravel-covered floor was excruciation, even more so because Solaki had not been prepared for it. His mouth opened into a harsh howl of pain and his arms gave way under him. His face hit the rockrete floor with a dull thud, but any pain Solaki would have felt from the impact was eclipsed by the searing pain in his lower legs.

There was a crowd of normal citizens walking on by, minding their own business. Perhaps if he were not in so much pain, Solaki might have found it strange that none of them even noticed him or his outburst. He summoned all his determination and decided to crawls on further. His large ceremite fingers gouged great holes in the rockrete which he used to pull himself forwards, inches at a time. The crowd flowed around him as if they were water and he was oil, none of them noticing him even when he was right in front of them. Solaki had the appearance of some form of a perverse slug or snail, leaving behind his ragged form a trail of spittle from his mouth and blood from his legs. His breathing became increasingly ragged as he move further and further into the sea of people. At one point he even stopped, his arms locked and his eyes focused on the floor. Thin trails of saliva hung from his open mouth as he tried to regain his breath.

As he crawled forward, he spotted another prone form in the crowd. It flailed like some form of an injured animal. He had seen men flail like that when afflicted by vile poisons or witchfire. “Like a brother on a world marked by fate.” The thought was a harsh whisper, almost a hiss through his head. It was so venomous that he wasn’t sure if it was his own or an outside entity. Even as he crawled past, another allegory-given-flesh appeared. A young Sothan, no older than many recruits that were now noble Scythes had been. He was in simple clothes, except for the majestic MKVII helm on his head. Even through the muted vox grill, Solaki could hear his screams, as if the helmet was some form of iron maiden, or other ancient instrument of torture. As he began to move closer to the boy, Solaki heard and saw the beating of great wings overhead. He had heard them before, and so crawled even faster, least the beast between them come and swoop down and carry him to its nest to devour him. “The man-killer returns”. The same voice hissed in his ear a second time as the wing-beat grew louder. But as he passed the boy, the shadow and noise abruptly disappeared.

The crowd to his right seemed the thin. People avoided an area of rockrete wall like it was infected. People dispersed until finally Solaki could make out the detail of the black smear on the wall. It was a carcass of black ceremite, pinned like an exotic insect for inspection. “The voice of reason has fallen silent, and now the brothers ride to hell.” This time the voice seemed almost recognisable to Solaki, its tone almost lamentful, but still the words were harsh and crass. Still his breath was ragged and sharp, still the pain burnt like fires in his legs, but Solaki dragged himself further still towards the approaching sun. A voice cut through all the other thought in his mind, and Solaki could not be certain it wasn’t the same voice he had heard earlier, but he was not certain that it was either.
“Solaki....the shadows must win. Leave the shadows.” Before Solaki could speak back, the sun flared as if it were about to burst. The crowd vanished like shadows before the sun’s powerful stare. The intensity made Solaki shield his eyes for fear of being blinded.

When he opened his eyes again, all he was met with was the familiar inside of The Heart an Laikus’s faceplate.
"How did you follow me here without being awake?" Laikus asked, his voice monotone but not hiding his confusion at his appearance. The techmarine shook his head, obviously making a mental note to address the problem later. "Since you made it here, I need you to test your new weapon systems." Taking stock of his surroundings, Solaki realised he was in a vehicle testing chamber. He rotated his arms to find that he now possessed two Dreadnought fists. One, like he had before, and the other, is right arm, now had an assault cannon fitted underneath it. It was currently collapsed in a ‘safe mode’, but a mental command made it spring into action. He also noticed that his armour appeared to be thicker and, although he could not see them, his internal computer and targeting told him that he also had missiles on his back. This was certainly an impressive upgrade.

Solaki swivelled to meet the main targets in the chamber. They were essentially giant steel blocks, sealed from the front and sides, which were pulled forwards on conveyer belts to similate vehicular combat. Solaki knew that there would be servitors inside, ready to pile out in a simulation of warfare. He had seen similar tests conducted before, but never imagined he would be one of the testers. Aiming for the one in the middle, Solaki loosed the two missiles already loaded in his firing compartments, one fractionally after the other. The first one struck the centre of the block, and the second slightly off-centre. The combined impact of both burst the ‘tank’ open like a flower. The servitors started to pile out, and Solaki sent another rocket streaking towards the tightly compacted transport space. The confined space amplified the explosion and funnelled the bits of the servitors which the rocket destroyed out of the hole like some form of perverse confetti cannon for celebrating.

Quickly Solaki turned to his left, loosed another rocket which impacted into the side of another ‘tank’. The force of the impact and the explosion shortly after knocked the ‘tank’ onto its side and it slid for a few more meters before stopping, sending sparks flying all the way. Leaving the servitors to disembark, Solaki turned his attention and whirring assault cannon to the last tank on his right. Shooting the conveyer chain would have been simple, but in the effort to test the weapons properly, Solaki directed his targeting towards the ‘tracks’ of these lumbering bulks. His assault cannon spat death at an unbelievable rate, tearing into the metal and ‘treads’, shredding them to pieces and causing the ‘tank’ to grind to a halt. As the servitors inside processed what had happened and proceed to pile out, Solaki’s targeters alerted him to the servitors from the left ‘tank’, which had now fully disembarked.

His assault cannon barely stopped as he swung his arms in a wide arc across the room before is spat more fist-sized bolts into the oncoming crowd of machine-slaves. These bolts were made to pierce the heaviest armour and tanks, so it cut down the servitors with ease. Several of the bolts cut clean through the man-machines and went on to kill one behind it. The power Solaki realised he now possessed was incredible. As the last died, Solaki fired another rocket into the underbelly of the ‘tank’ where the fuel for the conveyer lay, which exploded quite spectacularly. Pleased that he would not have to contend with any more from his left, Solaki turned his baleful glare to his right. The servitor shambled out, where a foe possessed with true intelligence might have tried to hide behind the cover of the wrecks. Solaki dispatched them quickly with his might assault cannon. He realised there were none more left, and so the assault cannon began its cooling cycle. “My commendations Laikus…” Solaki said turning to the techmarine, lifting his assault cannon in front of him as if to inspect it as he spoke “…this upgrade is most formidable. Although, I have to ask; was it a commission from our Lord Thrasius or simple a personal decision to ‘upgrade’ me?”…

You can never be prepared for the unexpected


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post #94 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-04-12, 08:52 PM
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The Heart of Sotha was a mausoleum, the hallways silent and dark, the crew sullen and hopeless. Those few Astartes that Cleomenes passed - Some armoured, some robed, - Were a menagerie of new, old, friend and stranger. Most offered him shallow nods, some smiling and clasping his wrist, and a few - Those leathery, sun-kissed faces that Cleomenes knew - Shared half-whispered words, joyfully announcing that they were glad of his return, before leaving him, alone and mercurial, in the ever-dead halls.

Cleomenes had his pick of chambers - Inspecting a dozen towards the stern and twice that near the prow - Both strategically sound systems, protected by metre-thick plates of armour, world-murderers, deep amongst the Heart of Sotha’s labyrinthine bowels. Eventually, Cleomenes stumbled across quarters that caught his eye.

They were large, the floor marbled, a mural of Lord Guilliman and Marius Gage - Heroes of the Imperium - Painted marvelously along one wall, opposing a landscape of Sotha, spectacularly detailed, each blade of grass shining in emerald, the water sparkling with ingrained stone. A Sothan lion, golden of mane and long of leg, hunted amongst the grass. Cleomenes smiled, empurpled lips pressing together, and informed an accompanying servitor that he was decided.

Seven hours of contemplation passed. Cleomenes’ was lost in thought - Gradually devouring Post-Miral records, separating the useless information from the useful, building up a more detailed account of what happened to his Chapter - On the seventh hour, his vox chimed, a monotone, lobotomized voice requesting Cleomenes to attend to the secondary hanger bay.

Cleomenes grunted, collecting his Chainsword and Boltpistol - Assuring that the latter was loaded, still slightly untrusting of his newly-returned brethren. When he entered the hanger, one of Tybarr Nymeros’ shuttles, gilded and shining, sat on the deck. A quartet of Sellswords stood around it, weapons held over their chest, encompassing a series of crates.

‘Lord Cleomenes,’ One of them said, his voice muffled by a serrated grille. ‘Sire Nymeros sends his best wishes, and,’ He indicated the crates. ‘Your personal items.’

‘Thank you, my child,’ The Space Marine purred, bowing his head, working his way through the crates - Hunting for one in particular.

When he found it, a bejeweled crate with the Ultramarine omega atop it - One of Memnon of Calth’s - And popped the seals.

Within, fiery-coated and emerald-eyed, was nestled a Gyrinx. Cleomenes’ face cracked in a broad smile, gently scooping the feline up, holding it close to his chest.

‘Hello, Persephone,’ He cooed, the Gyrinx purring as he ran his hand over her head. He turned, towards the idling servitors and thralls, calling - ‘Gather my belongings. And be gentle, they are worth more than your little lives.’

***

The one called Ryan was handsome. Cleomenes was handsomer in his youth - Ryan’s features sharp and classical, formed like one of Sotha’s statues, his hair a healthy shade of brown, his eyes bright and intelligent. Zurick stood behind him, featureless in his battle-helm, his armour scuffed and worn, though nonetheless effective.

‘You wanted to speak with us, long lost brother?’ Ryan said, affably, and Cleomenes stood, placing Persephone down on the floor next to him.

His robes - Yellow and grey - Flowed across the floor beneath him. A ceremonial dagger, the pommel studded and polished, was strapped to his hip. Cleomenes was confident that, if Ryan and Zurick were to attempt anything, Cleomenes could take one of them with him.

‘Yes, yes I did,’ He said, with a smile. ‘Firstly - I would like to congratulate you on your conduct upon Sotha - Unorthodox, certainly unorthodox, but effective. There is a flair of the Chapter to you - The old Chapter.’

‘Secondly, I have a request. Thrasius mentioned initiates, and, as you may know, I have a certain… Reputation when it comes to hammering recruits into Astartes,’ He grinned, teeth showing. ‘However - Alone - That is a particularly troublesome task. On the event that I am given permission to oversee their training, I would like you two to aid me.’

Nyctophobia- Fear of the Dark Angel.

"No one ever spoke about of those two absent brothers. Their separate tragedies had seemed like aberrations. Had they, in fact, been warnings that no one had heeded?"

'Killing a man is like fucking, boy, only instead of giving life you take it. You experience the ecstasy of penetration as your warhead enters the enemy's belly and the shaft follows. You see the whites of his eyes roll inside the sockets of his helmet. You feel his knees give way beneath him and the weight of his faltering flesh draw down the point of your spear. Are you picturing this?'
'Yes, lord.'
'Is your dick hard yet?'
'No, lord.'
''What? You've got your spear in a man's guts and your dog isn't stiff? What are you, a woman?'
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post #95 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-04-12, 11:40 PM
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As Kain finished speaking he could see the face on his Lord's face corrode. He was beyond furious with Kain, that much was evident. Kain stood still at attention as his Lord turned to him, obviously trying to hold himself together, trying to hold his anger back as he answered one of his questions.

"It was a practice mission, Sergeant. Practice that you needed. None of your brothers died, there is a very significant difference between them returning alive, and still down there dead. We are space marines, we are always near death. Your squad retrieved a scared relic, recovered Cleomenes, killed the majority of the scavengers, and no one died. You did anything but fail me."

He stood up, his eyes narrowed as if he was stalking towards him, shaking slightly as his hands curled into fists. His face pale as he walked towards the marine standing at attention. Kain did not move, though he was upset on how his comment had visibly affected his Lord.

"Vermaas...is nothing like Astelan. Do you remember Astelan, Sergeant Scrious? I was with him on the verge of his betrayal. He fought and spat at his brothers with venom."

"When he spoke of hurting his brothers, there was no doubt he would have truly enjoyed it. His eyes, his posture....If I had allowed him to spar Belial to settle their differences, he would have murdered the marine with a salivating mouth."

"You accuse Vermaas, Vermaas, of heresy!? Vermaas, Sergeant scrious!?"

He roared in anger, at the very thought of the question, Kain fighting every urge not to bellow back at him. He did not think Vermaas was a heretic, he did not think what he did was heresy. He only worried about it, after Astelan didn't they all have a right to do that?

"That is one of the most honorable marines left under my command,"
he said still breathing heavily, "I am no fool, Scrious, I know he could have stopped Izrael in other ways. But his intention to me was clear, he slipped up. All of you slipped up! Why? Because none of you have seen true battle in years!"

He started to calm himself, gone was the anger so evident though his tone was one not to be put out of context, "Let me be clear about this. If another one of my astartes shows any signs of heresy, I will take Thorcrya's blade," he said, Kain's eyes being drawn to the elogant weapon that was encased behind the two of them, even as his Lord pointed it out. "kill them, decapitate them, and destroy their geneseed!"

He turned away from Kain, moving towards the powerful weapon. Taking hold of it through the force field, that recognised somehow his finger prints to allow him to take control of the weapon. He turned pulling it free and activating it before walking back towards Kain, looking hulking and menacing even though he was not armoured.

"So Sergeant, choose your words carefully when you answer this question. Vermaas was with you during your mission to Sotha's surface. You were his commanding officer. Are you telling me, you believe him to be a heretic?"

Kain spoke up at last given a chance to explain himself. "My Lord, I was not trying to accuse brother Vermaas of Heresy. However I merely brought it up some of our brothers may see it as a heretical act and wonder why it was not punished. I do not believe our brother is a heretic, I have seen a heretic. I was tricked by a heretic, may the Emperor forgive me." He thought back to how on that damned planet he had sided with Astelan when he was to be killed by the Mortifactors, how he had been one of the brothers to rush to his aid when they had tried to taken him. He still remembered the shame of it all.

"I apologize my Lord for my poor choice of words." He said at last before he was dismissed with a wave of his hand. Saluting to his Lord he turned and walked out of the door, headed to the armoury. He needed to be alone for a moment, he needed to think on his actions down on the planet. He needed to ensure that they never, ever happened again.

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post #96 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-07-12, 03:30 PM
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The recruits were growing into their power, their potential, but they weren't complete yet, and he could feel the raw potential, and risk coming off them in waves. They weren't ready, couldn't be, wouldn't be until there was a Chaplain seeing to the spiritual well-being of the chapter, and there seemed to be little enough chance of that. Despite his thoughts being in turmoil his face was an impenetrable mask, locked into a completely neutral expression.

Tobias smirked, and turning to them spoke to the younglings, “It looks like my brothers have volunteered to give your lesson today in my stead. Split into three groups.”

Though his scar hid the true expression on his face, had he been unscarred the grimace would have been clear. They might have been important for the chapter, but that did not mean he wanted to have to spend anymore time with them than absolutely neccessary. That was Tobias' job, he was good at it, Raziel knew he would be a poor substitute for the old sergeant.

He left his group standing, and stood in front of them, arms folded. They were not yet full grown, it was true, but they were still aspirants. Nonetheless Raziel dwarfed them with sheer presence and glowering malevolence.

"What is your greatest enemy?"

The answers were spread equally throughout the group, and each answer was different, valid, but most were nonetheless incorrect.

"The forces of chaos my Lord"

"Traitors to the Imperium, Lord Raziel"

The oldest of the group answers with, "our own personal weaknesses."

At the opposite end, the youngest declares it to be the tyranid race, the xeno lifeforms responsible for the devastation of the chapter and its history.

Raziel found it odd to find so may differing answers within the group, Tobias had always been consistent in his teachings, perhaps the lack of a Chaplain was most significant here, among the possible future members of the chapter.

He looked to the oldest once more, his scar turning what was simply a pointed glance into a glare. He nodded, his face twisting into a grimace that was supposed to be an approving smile. "Correct young one."

"Our greatest enemy is not that which faces us with gun and blade, but that which dwells within us. Our doubts, our fears, our pride."

He glared across the whole group now.

"Within each lies the potential for failure, and to fail in our duty is to turn our backs on the Emperor's light, on the Emperor's glory and on humanity itself."

His fists clenched as his scowl deepened.

"Can we simply ignore these failings?"

He raised his voice, the harsh tones cutting across the room easily.

"No! We cannot! We must always be vigilant, and our greatest enemies are none other than ourselves. Beware the witch, the mutant, the heretic. But ensure that in so doing you don't become that which we so despise."

He took an Imperial Aquila from a pouch at his belt, dangling it on it's chain before the recruits. "This is the symbol of our faith, but we cannot focus on this, we are the true emblem of the Emperor, guardians of his faithful and mighty representatives of his fury. Never forget that, never forget that if it weren't for the Emperor in his eternal wisdom we would not exist, we would not be blessed with the strength and the will to fight the enemies of mankind."

He realised that he had meant the speech, all of it, every doubt had somehow been expunged, he looked around at the aspirants.

"I want us to take what time we have left, to sit and meditate on our own doubts, our weaknessess. We all have them, and we must first realise and face them, before we can conquer them."

At first he joined them in the meditation, and then walked among the aspirants, answering questions and giving advice, feeling a strange, unfamiliarly paternal feeling towards these young ones, perhaps recognising something of what he once was in them. It didn't last long, he shook it away, he was not one for such weaknesses.


Last edited by Jackinator; 11-07-12 at 03:35 PM.
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post #97 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-11-12, 08:52 PM
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He was keen to be rid of it, the soulless clang of metal on metal leaving little in his heart but a keen sense of relief to be rid of it and a faint hope that he would not have to clutch it again. Even as he stood and gazed upon it, a faded relic, yet it still stood strong and unbowed, glorious even amongst the tattered remnants of their most recent campaigns.

He was not proud of his actions any longer yet he was proud to stand before, rightfully proud of the result of the dedication and care he had shown, that singleminded desire and drive that so few possessed, drive that had been on a careering rickety path, a rollercoaster ride through death and destruction.

The quest had show the best and worst of him, yet the emptiness he felt was suddenly less hollow, more satisfying the longer he gazed upon the banner, his mind wandering aimlessly over the design, over the words upon its wan surface.

The minutes stretched and they stood shoulder to shoulder, silent, eyes fixed upon the banner, each man left to his own thoughts before almost as one they turned to leave.

Two figures halted them before they had turn, a reflexive step back, hand inching towards his blade before he recognized their features the silence of their approach yet another testament to their skill.

"Way to almost get yourself killed, Zeiran. Not much glory coming back to the chapter anytime soon if you cant remember your battle training."

Ryan addressed the astartes beside him who stayed silent, eyes falling to the floor for a brief second and Izrael met the piercing gaze of Brother Ryan, taking in the smooth clean cut features even as she eyes flashed too him with hard bit intensity

"You though...," he met Izrael's gaze, index finger rising,seeming to weigh him in his mind.

"Don't get me wrong Zeiran, your our brother and we'd hate to lose you to some pirates. But there are so few of us left; you have to understand our concern for those of us making such errors."

A voice harsh and gravelling, as if barely used cut across the others dulcit tones as Zurick interjected, "We can't afford mistakes."

Ryan turned to him again

"Its good you've stayed aloof for so long Izrael," he hissed, the eyes seeming to weigh him up once more

"its kept your head in the right place, I think."

They turned to leave Izrael standing still for a single moment, stunned to be addressed by veterans of the chapter with... what was it... he was so used to belittlement and dissapointment, to be treated as a kindred seemed out of place foreign yet welcome. Especially from the two men he had watched with suppressed awe as they slaughtered barehanded, predators even amongst astartes.

Zeiran seemed to have slipped away, perhaps in reflection, perhaps in anger yet nonetheless Izrael felt drawn to follow the pair as they strode at ease through the corridors, side by side, weapons seeming to clatter in perfect harmony. Behind them Izrael removed his helm the slighest hint of a catch in his throat as he called out

"You see it as it is, dont you?" he paused hesitating briefly "What has happened to us all"

He paused his head bowing, his voice low

"You see this.." his hand gesturing around aimlessly at the walls and ceiling "as I do"

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post #98 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-15-12, 03:43 AM Thread Starter
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Izrael:

“Perhaps,” replies Ryan, looking back at you again. He continues walking with you slightly behind him now, Zurick somewhat further ahead, “Its always hard to say whether or not you’re thinking the exact same as someone else. We find this state of being pathetic, for an astartes chapter. We know our luck hasn’t been too kind, and we know time must be spent rebuilding to make the chapter strong and active again. Perhaps we are just impatient, but under past leadership, things seemed to get done much faster. When we come out of our ‘down time’, Zurick and I would like to make sure that at least some of us who are still alive are ready to shape this chapter into the weapon it needs to be in order to make sure the galaxy knows not to anger us in the future. The way the Chapter was, in all its glory as Kraken rained down hell upon our Sotha, it wasn’t good enough to stop it.”

“And yet,” calls out Zurick from in front without turning his head as he walks, “the Ultramarines did.”

Ryan nods and continues, “Which means it was possible for us to defend our homeworld as well; in our eyes, at least. But maybe we’re just rebels,” he smiles deviously, “who are still pessimistic and butt-hurt over three of our beloved squad mates getting torn apart on Ferim and wish to remain separated from the rest of the Scythes just because we feel like it.”

You follow them into an enormous chamber. It is one of the battle training scenario chambers.

“Time for some training. We shall return shortly with others. We like your personality, but we must discover if you can work beside us in battle before anything further.”

Cleomenes:
“I’m not sure what else to say other than we’re not interested,” replies Ryan, “I myself wouldn't be caught dead training new recruits and Zurick,” he pauses, turns his head to his companion and brings up his hand open palmed toward him, who remains silent and motionless.

“And I wouldn’t be counting on getting that position again, Cleoemenes.” he continues, “Frankly I think Thrasius needs your skills elsewhere. Refining the minds of those who are already battle brothers for example, not to mention your decades worth of skill in battle. Look at Kain and Zeiran, Hexor and Spurius...just for a few examples. Those are your new scouts in my opinion.”
Zurick turns and starts to leave. Ryan begins to follow, saying, “You’re needed in training bay Epsilon, brother. Power armor is required. Oh, and...orthodox is what got so many of us killed.”

His eyes meet yours in a much different way as he says that than they had the rest of the conversation. He slips beyond the corner and the door seals.

Izrael, Cleomenes, Dymethus, Raxan, Kain, Raziel, and Solaki:

All of you are gathered near the main doors of this enourmous chamber, training area Epsilon. It is a war simulation chamber. In its current state is flat and empty, but the terrain lays in the floor and can be set to nearly any landscape in metal form. The even larger training bays such as Alpha and Beta can simulate to even more realistic detail; raining water, sand or snow from the ceiling to quickly cover the ground or continue as precipitation.

Veteran Sergeant Tobias showed up some time ago to begin the set up. There are several servitors in front of him at control stations listening to his commands. Zurick and Ryan arrived recently and Cleomenes who is the last to arrive has just stepped through the automated doors.

Everyone is in their power armor, but no one is wearing their helmets yet, bar Zurick.

Ryan perks up at the sign of Cleomenes’ entrance, “Well everyone is here. I intended to have Brother Zeiran join us as well but found Alexander demanded his presence. Since Brother Dymethus was near Solaki, I had him agree to fill in. And Vermaas is lost somewhere in the ship it seems.

Everyone will address Dymethus here in their own ways, looking, speaking, hand shakes for it perhaps being a while since last seeing him or any mixture of the three. He is a marine not native to Sotha, having been picked up early on in the post-Miral defense against hive fleet kraken’s splinter fleets from the world of Radnor Prime. While this is happening Tobias directs Solaki to the center of the field.

When Solaki is in position Tobias gives a command to the servitors.
“Theorize: Urban scenario Charlie, central ojective, two teams, set and apply to field.”

With this, countless mechanical workings beneath the deck can be heard clanking and coming to life. A maze of metal slabs rise up from the flat surface, creating the artificial layout of a small city block. It is incredibly noisy and takes several minutes, but never ceases to be impressive no matter how many times you have witnessed it.

The layout is this: Square field. 8 buildings forming a square ring, all with one side against the perimeter. Each building has several entry points. some buildings have one floor, others have two. Four more buildings face diagonal to the map corners and form a smaller ring around the central courtyard where Solaki stands. The central court yard has a circle of pillar/statue shaped structures for cover, surrounding Solaki. In the streets are several large obstacles that represent possible forms of cover such as abandoned/ destroyed vehicles or objects placed for impending military action.

Tobias begins his instructions, “You’ll be split into two teams. Team Black will consist of Ryan, Zurick, Dymethus, and Izrael. Team Gold will consist of Kain, Cleomenes, Raxan, and Raziel. The goal is to kill the opposing team. Solaki is the center of the map and represents the winning weapon, currently neutral and offline. Whichever team has one of their members touching Solaki with one hand for a duration of 60 seconds awards him to the team. No one from the other team can be in contact with him at the same time. If one team gains Solaki, the other can still win if they manage to kill the remaining infantry opponents. The dreadnaught cannot be destroyed. He will be using his own current weapon set up with non-lethal ammunition as well. I will be making the call when someone has been defeated as I can see everything from this station.

Weapons racks rise up from the floor beside each team. Dangling from them are all sorts of Astartes small arms, but they are all training models. The chainswords are locked but still bladed, and the bolt weapons fire rounds that burst into a thick inky, smokey cloud upon impact. Against the head they will do some damage but nothing lethal to Astartes.

“Two members from each team are to take a bolter, and two a chainsword and pistol. Get to your starting positions. I will signal when to start. The time limit is however long it takes one side to win. The only thing the Heart is doing is travelling through space, after all."

All of you trust Tobias’s opinion. he is not one to be biased in something like this or anything like that so if he calls it, its a good call from a fair game stand point.
Both teams are in the center building of the outer ring on opposite ends. For this update your post should include greeting Dymethus as mentioned above (or specifically not caring or wanting to do so), the moving into position with your team and any discussions, planning, comments or thoughts had. You will hear Tobias say both teams are in position. Shortly after he will sound a siren which is the signal to begin. Include your initial movements. You will not see any opponents yet. Some possible mentions include whether or not you intend to get Solaki, if there is anyone specific your character wishes to ‘kill’, or which ones they are worried about. Team Black wears black cloth over both shoulder guards. Team Gold wears gold cloth over both shoulder guards. POst order will determine who gets what weapons. For Team Black, Ryan takes a bolter and Zurick takes a pistol and chainsword. Solaki, continue your thoughts from last update and onto this one. Perhaps go over what you think of the teams, who will win, if you think they will try to gain you, etc.


As always PM with any questions or dialogue needed from NPCs, PM each other with any questions, and this will begin our return to the two week time period for posting. Let it be known that due to the site down time and player changes I came up with this scenario thing today. I was forced to change plans in other words so I hope this works for now. .

You can never be prepared for the unexpected


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post #99 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-22-12, 07:50 PM
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Not long after Solaki had finished trialing his new armaments, a marine Solaki had only seen a couple of times appeared in the testing chamber. His name Solaki learnt was Dymethus. He was a young marine, Solaki could see that when he looked at his face. His face was yet unscarred by battle and his face shone with naivety. Not that Solaki minded. They would all be tested very soon and that look of eagerness would disappear. He asked if he could be of assistance to Laikus, and Laikus seemed quite happy to oblige. Belial had not been close to anyone for a while, not since Ferim, and Solaki suspected after listening to Dymethus talking to Laikus and from the look of admiration in the young marine's eyes that Laikus might find a sort of kindred spirit in Dymethus. That was good, Solaki thought to himself as the two worked around him, cleaning the debris he had created from 'testing'. Alexander had found Niko and it would be good for Laikus to raise another brother into the ranks of the Mechanicus.

At one point Ryan and Zurick entered the room, interrupting the works of Laikus. Apparently Tobias had summoned Solaki to training area Epsilon and they needed one more marine, since Zerian was elsewhere, so they offered the opportunity to Dymethus, but with the air of a command, rather than a question. Solaki knew that the reason would be good. The veteran sergeant was not kind on laxity. Laikus proceeded to strip Solaki of all his lethal weaponry, replacing live munition drums with special training rounds and doing likewise with the rockets. He also disabled the power-fields in Solaki's hands to prevent them accidentally coming online and vapourising one of his brothers. This and a few other alterations to make sure that the force of his giant fists didn't fatally wound anyone on impact. All the while Ryan and Zurick stood motionless, not speaking a word to each other or anyone else, simply waiting to take what they had been sent for.

As this happened Solaki studied Dymethus. The young marine seemed helpful and eager, as if he was trying to prove himself. He definitely held Laikus in regard, although it was impossible to say what he thought of Solaki. He seemed to know how to handle himself with any minor tasks Laikus assigned him. Obviously all the important jobs were left to Laikus, him being well known for wanting to personally oversee everything. Once all the alterations were finished, Solaki and Dymethus set off with Ryan and Zurick toward the training area, the loud clang of Solaki's footsteps overshadowing the quiet clicks of the young marine's steps. "I have yet to see you in battle Brother" Solaki commented. "I trust you are as diligent in battle as you are in serving Laikus."

The rest of the journey passed in relative silence. They were not the first to be at the training area, nor the last. Cleomenes was the last to enter, and Solaki couldn't help but wonder if he had done that to make some kind of point. Curiously, Ryan and Zurick were here, which surprised Solaki. The two veterans could rarely be found with anyone but each other, so for them to agree to participate in a training exercise was unusual. As Cleomenes entered, Tobias spoke “Well everyone is here. I intended to have Brother Zeiran join us as well but found Alexander demanded his presence. Since Brother Dymethus was near Solaki, I had him agree to fill in. And Vermaas is lost somewhere in the ship it seems." Solaki was sure that Vermaas would be hounded by Tobias later. When he was under Tobias, Solaki would not have missed a training session if he knew about it.

While the others talked amongst themselves, Tobias directed Solaki into the center of the flat terrain. No sooner had he stood in position, Tobias spoke the command and the whole layout shifted. For several minutes the most dominant noise was the whirring of gears, as sheets of metal rose, fell, folded and slotted together to what looked like a portion of city-scape. Tobias began his instructions, “You’ll be split into two teams. Team Black will consist of Ryan, Zurick, Dymethus, and Izrael. Team Gold will consist of Kain, Cleomenes, Raxan, and Raziel. The goal is to kill the opposing team. Solaki is the center of the map and represents the winning weapon, currently neutral and offline. Whichever team has one of their members touching Solaki with one hand for a duration of 60 seconds awards him to the team. No one from the other team can be in contact with him at the same time. If one team gains Solaki, the other can still win if they manage to kill the remaining infantry opponents. The dreadnaught cannot be destroyed. He will be using his own current weapon set up with non-lethal ammunition as well. I will be making the call when someone has been defeated as I can see everything from this station."

Solaki knew the teams were fair, or as fair as they could be. However, despite acknowledging that it was the fairest option to put Kain and Cleomenes in the same team, Solaki doubted their effectiveness. Whilst he had been told that Thrasius had declared that Kain was unarguably still in command, Solaki doubted that Cleomenes would hold to that. Although, perhaps that was a lesson from this exercise for the two of them. They needed to learn to work together, and it needed to not be when lives hung in the balance. Also Solaki wondered how well Ryan and Zurick would function with Dymethus and Izrael. The two were pretty much autonomous, rarely joining with anyone else. But again, Solaki suspected that was a lesson. Perhaps for two long they had fought as individuals and needed to remember how it felt to operate as a unit, as a brotherhood. As for himself, Solaki was left to wonder what his lesson was in all of this, or if it was simply just practice for him with his new equipment. Either way, it would hopefully soon become apparent as the war-games were about to start...
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post #100 of 137 (permalink) Old 11-29-12, 04:04 AM
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Raxan did not know how much time he had spent with the recruits, speaking with them, answering questions, overseeing sparring matches, but he did know that he felt a slight pang of disappointment when Sergeant Tobias finally approached him and instructed him to return to his arming chamber and don his war plate. Raxan's question as to the reason for this, but Tobias merely told him to prepare quickly and report to training area Epsilon.

Raxan did as he was bidden, leaving the recruits alone, Raziel and Vermaas having already left and as he hurried back to his arming chamber he could not help but think on what the crafty old Sergeant had in mind. He spent the next half of an hour, patiently waiting as the servitors in the room assisted him back into the plate he had just removed, feeling more than a hint of irritation that he had been asked to remove it to begin with. Leaving his own weapons safely in their alcoves, he made haste, ceramite boots ringing clearly in the steel of the empty corridors, his mind on other things. Vermaas, and his air of sullen withdraw was on the fore of his mind. Something about his brother's silence put him on edge and his sudden disappearance from the training hall was not in character for him at all.

However such thoughts were pushed from his mind, banished by the tableau that met his gaze as he rounded a turn in the corridor and found a large group of his brothers, Ryan and Zurick oddly enough among them. Raxan joined them and his view of the training area, a massive square room, opened up in front of him. Sergeant Tobias was already there, servitors milling around his stoic form as he commanded them in preparing the scenario that he had obviously devised. His curiosity at the assemblage burned almost to the point of prying, when Cleomenes, the last to arrive, finally joined the group. To Raxan's surprise his friend's arrival caused Brother Ryan to brighten, words of explanation quickly springing to his lips, "Well everyone is here. I intended to have Brother Zeiran join us as well but found Alexander demanded his presence. Since Brother Dymethus was near Solaki, I had him agree to fill in. And Vermaas is lost somewhere in the ship it seems."

Raxan turned an appraising gaze on the new comer to the group, concern for yet another Brother's whereabouts quashed as took in the youngling's appearance. He stood tall in his battle plate, yet Raxan could remember the very day that he had been brought aboard The Heart. He had been a child, no more than a decade to his name when Raxan himself had led the lad down the vast hallways of this ship, toward the waiting arms of the Chapters Apothecaries. Raxan doubted the boy would remember him, for Raxan had, for many reasons in those days, steered clear of the training halls, the education of recruits the furthest thing from his mind. It was good to see that one he had helped bring into their fold had found a modicum of success with in the chapters ranks. Already it was told that he had made himself quite useful to Laikus, showing proficiency and skill in the arts of machinery/

"You are welcome among us Dymethus," Raxan said, offering his hand in greeting to the young marine, "It is good that you were able to get out of the maintenance bay. I think that we could all use the distraction at the moment."

Shortly after hearing the boys response, Raxan found that their conversation was interrupted by Tobias' voice as it rang out from the center of the training expanse, Solaki positioned at its very middle, “Theorize: Urban scenario Charlie, central objective, two teams, set and apply to field.”

Despite the fact that he had seen it many times in the course of his service to the chapter, there was still something about this technology that fascinated Raxan. The loud whirring of thousands of gears, the beep of servitors, and the thump of the machine's internal workings rang out as metal slabs, surfaces flat and smooth began to rise out of the floor. It hummed ass it worked at creating a layout of a small city block. An square field, its perimeter laid out with simulated buildings, eight in all around the outer edge, some multi-storied, some single. Four more buildings faced diagonal to the map corners, forming a central courtyard, in the middle of which was the dreadnaught. Pillars and statue shaped structures were strategically placed throughout the courtyard, obviously intended to provide cover and decent shooting positions. All in all in Raxan's opinion, a wonderful recreation of a war-torn city square, the outlying roads littered with debris and simulated wreckage only adding to the realism of the scenario.

Tearing his eyes away from the scene beyond, Tobias' voice beckoning his attention as well as the rest of the group with clipped words and instructions, "You’ll be split into two teams. Team Black will consist of Ryan, Zurick, Dymethus, and Izrael. Team Gold will consist of Kain, Cleomenes, Raxan, and Raziel. The goal is to kill the opposing team. Solaki is the center of the map and represents the winning weapon, currently neutral and offline. Whichever team has one of their members touching Solaki with one hand for a duration of 60 seconds awards him to the team. No one from the other team can be in contact with him at the same time. If one team gains Solaki, the other can still win if they manage to kill the remaining infantry opponents. The dreadnaught cannot be destroyed. He will be using his own current weapon set up with non-lethal ammunition as well. I will be making the call when someone has been defeated as I can see everything from this station." Raxan nodded in understanding, the scenario was simple enough, get to Solaki before the other team.

Weapons racks rose from the floor beneath them and each team huddled around their respective repository. “Two members from each team are to take a bolter, and two a chainsword and pistol. Get to your starting positions. I will signal when to start. The time limit is however long it takes one side to win. The only thing the Heart is doing is travelling through space, after all." As Tobias finished his instructions Raxan stepped up with his group, Cleo to his right, Kain to his left, Raziel just ahead, he reached out and took one of the bolters, popping the magazine out to verify it held non-lethal training rounds, before re-seating it and taking several spares. A slow grin passed over his face as he faced Cleomenes, "You remember the battle on Abraxis Prime brother? I think that attack pattern Alpha 495 would be appropriate. Raziel and I will be the hammer, you and Kain shall play the anvil. What say you brothers? Are you ready?" It was hard to keep the excitement out of his tone, for it had been sometime since he had participated in one of these exercises and the recent events down on Sotha's surface had reminded him how important it was for the Sycthe's to work together. Hopefully his brothers had come to similar conclusions.

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