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post #61 of 105 (permalink) Old 10-09-14, 01:17 PM
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'Incoming transmission,' The communications officer called. 'From the Shade Wraith, sire.'

Iapetus sighed. His forced cooperation with the Third Company was feeling like a heavier and heavier burden. They were distinctly different Companies - Their doctrines clashed rather than melded - And Iapetus wasn't overly fond of the Dark Angel; who, he knew, had largely deprived the Third of Iron Warriors. It was a melting pot of renegades and cutthroats, shadow-dancers and assassins.

'Very well,' He said, and stood, entering the hololithic chamber. It darkened, and then Lucan flickered into shape before him, clad in his armour and robes. 'Lucian,' He addressed, coldly.

The Dark Angel talked, and the Iron Warrior listened. Lucian jested with him, offered a challenge, but it drew no brotherly response from the Shipwright. He could never feel one - The Dark Angels were, and always would be, loyal to the Throne. How could Iapetus trust someone who, by right, should have been on the opposing front? He couldn't.

'You and the Third are welcome to the bridge,' Iapetus answered. 'We have to secure the armoury and the enginarium, to prevent the Wolves from scuttling, or destroying, the ship. If we cannot take the nerve-points, the Fist of Russ will not be taken.'

He looked away and smiled. 'If the Third can secure the armoury and bridge, then the Seventh will take the enginarium and Apothecarium,' He offered, gently. 'You shall have the honour of presenting the Fist of Russ to Pelegon,' He turned, to step out of the hololithic chamber. 'Do not disappoint me, Captain.'

And with that, he was gone.

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 #62 of 105 (permalink) Old 10-09-14, 03:05 PM
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He was surprised that he decided to cut the talk so short, but Lugerev was a busy Astartes, having so many to tend to, and to maintain the health of the Grand Company.

'For now, if you could just speak to Loakk for me. I would very much like for him to assist me in my part of the mission. I am to board the Wolves' Strike Cruiser that is anchored above Pelexis, according to Pelegon, and retrieve a stock of Salamander gene seed that he believes to be there. I am sure there will be several Space Wolves aboard for him to take "samples" from. In fact, I'll make sure of it. Hell, with our First and Second Captains' legacies, there likely won't be anything left on the ground to take back for research, regardless of Pelegon's orders.'

'Let me know his, or your, decision. Thank you Adriun.'

With that finished, Adriun nodded, "Until later Brother Apothecary." He watched Lugerev walk away.

He got on his vox after tapping his data slate and looking at the various processes that servitors on the various ships of the XIXth's fleet. He preffered to look at the data-slate for information, though it was entirely unnecessary due his cogitators command links, he just wanted an excuse to use his eyes. After configuring his Vox to link with Loakk's private line he then contacted him. It was a quiet discussion as neither needed to verbally say anything, it was as close to telepathy as current tech allowed.

'Loakk, this is Adriun. The Warsmtih approved your request, and denied mine sadly. However I do have some other good news for you, Lugerev wants to cooperate with you, as he says he is more experienced in handling gene-seed.'

After a few seconds, most likely due to absorbing the information and its ramifications, Loakk responded sound apprehensive.

'I wonder if his intentions are true forge master, I would be sorely disappointed if he only responded as thus due to our shared heritage in olympia, such things are petty, but I remember a day before Lugerev's condition and so I shall put stock in the Apothecary I knew. Is their anything else?'

Adriun had thought this too, but then again he couldn't be sure, it was a political move possibly. Then again did Lugerev truly care for politics? That was more the 7th captain and the Seer's forte. He would have to take the request at face value, as he knew if he had detested the idea, the variably lucid Apothecary would not be afraid to make his qualms know.

'Yes there is one final request, you will not be going planet side, I an Reassigning you to the Apothecary's Retinue. Gather your tools and containers and make sure your claws are ready, you will be tearing through the Wolf ship, Lugerev will assist you in acquiring gene-seed. Iron Within, Master Genetor.'

With that he was done. Loakk immediately began preparing, a smile splitting his feature, revealing rows of sharp teeth, his tongue whipped out, almost as if tasting the blood to come.

'Now the wolf will be the prey. Iron without, Forge Master.'

The Vox line was then cut. Adriun then noticed the armored form of one of the Marines from the Second company, holding a data slate.

'Forge Master, a slate detailing a request from Captain Kunzhardt.'

'Adrius is it? ah yes, thank you. You are dismissed I will go over this once back in my quarters.'

'Yes Forge Master.'

With that the 2nd company Marine left, and Adriun placed the Data Slate in a pouch, mag locked to his side.

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post #63 of 105 (permalink) Old 10-09-14, 05:01 PM
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Thoughts danced at the possibilities of what Tyranus' intentions were before the company but he did have a good idea. A question of loyalty would have to be dealt with. He sighed quietly seeing what he presumed to be an agreement between the two captains. There was a twisted look in the 1st captains eyes. The Night Lords were accustomed to killing each other. When the rebellion began they were fantastically adept at the beginning of the conflict having already spent countless centuries spilling their own blood and now he asked a child of that environment to assist him and to bring that same instinct forth. Part of him thought of the long term implications of this conversation.

"They're all present, Captain.

And with that he gestured for the others to leave the room and then followed out into the main hangar where the 1st still lingered and the 2nd still trained.

"Attention!"

The thunderclap rumbled forth again and then there was silence. Nothing but the very soft whine of thousands of well-maintained servos humming.

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post #64 of 105 (permalink) Old 10-10-14, 05:03 AM
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Kunzhardt called out over the bustle of the 2nd Company running through their stringent training regimens while the First Company waited, impatiently it seemed for their orders to strike out at the inhabitants of Pelexis III. The 2nd Captain's demand was immediately recognized.

The First filed into formation, towering behemoths in Cataphractii plate, each warrior bristling with violent intent and their own personal choice of weaponry to accomplish the task. The well regimented and 2nd Company forming into their squads in a similar manner to the left of the First Company. The hum of servo engines and the whine of various small motors powering the tools or servitors were the only sounds in the massive hangar.

"Draxus, come," Tyranus motioned with his right hand, he wanted his equerry to stand with him on this momentous and monumental occasion. Kunzhardt stood to his side as they looked out onto the sea of their respective companies, the fiercest and most veteran warriors next to the most notorious and feared siege fighters within the Grand Company, perhaps the whole galaxy. "Captain Kunzhardt has been charged with command of the Tyranthikos for our campaign on Pelexis, do not fail him. I know that every one of you has sworn their oath to the First Company and will uphold it, I know you will not fail Captain Kunzhardt, because to do so would be to fail me!" He bellowed, tinges of the rage within him began to boil over as he spoke to his men, the 2nd Captain and his company seemingly watching intently.

"Any man who is found to carry disloyalty in his heart shall be found out to have broken his oath, and what is the penalty for disloyalty to The First?!" Tyranus shouted the rhetorical question and en masse the First responded "Death!" Towering over his equerry Draxus, Tyranus' concealed power sword shot out of his left vambrace, the power field was not activated though. Grabbing the young equerry by the inner rim of his power armor's pauldron with his right hand Tyranus brought the blade down into the gap between the equerry's left pauldron and chest plate rendering his lightning claw wielding hand immobile and useless. Tyranus ripped off the man's helmet, he wanted to stare into his shocked eyes as he withdrew the blade and then savagely brought the blade down again, this time just behind the nape of the neck, intentionally and cruelly Tyranus was keeping Draxus alive, his punishment would be humiliation and a vengeful and vicious death. "This man has forsaken his oath to the First, what is your sentence?" He spoke as if there was any possible response beyond what was shouted back, perhaps bloodthirsty after so long a layoff from their past campaign, but the First seemed eager to see the blood of the traitor spilled though they would never know what exactly his crime was. "Perturabo once found our Legion so wanting that he had an example made by a grim lottery that one in ten should be made into an example. This man-," he looked down and the ruined and bleeding form of Draxus a man he once trusted and believed was a loyal Brother, a small piece of him lamented that it had come to this, killing a man he had trusted and believed was a comrade, but another piece found it altogether refreshing and familiar all at the same time. This was not the first time Tyranus had killed a battle brother, nor would it be the last. "This man," he continued, " he has betrayed each and everyone of you my loyal brothers, it pains me, but he has betrayed us all." He moved as if to retire to his quarters when a gruff and unexpected voice interjected.

"Captain Tyranus," the scarred, shaven head of Veteran Sergeant Magallion came forward, pushing his way through the assemblage of warriors. "What would you have us do with him?" He motioned to Draxus, who still clung to life, he was badly wounded and bleeding out, but he could hear Magallion a man who had taught him much, perhaps somehow his life would might not be snuffed out. We can give you the power to live, to kill them all! The voices clawed at his mind, but he was resolute in his oath at least as an Unbroken.

"Veteran Sergeant Magallion, as I said, this man is a traitor, since you have stepped forward and you and your squad may carry out his sentence as you see fit." With that, like feral dogs, those Brothers of the third squad ofthe First Company that could get to the prone figure of Draxus stomped, kicked, punched and battered in any manner possible the treacherous bastard. Brokai the massive wall of an Astartes of the third squadron tore one of Draxus' legs from his body, producing a scream that one would not think possible from an Astartes as the others set upon him, taking turns unleashing their pent up and savage rage that ran wholesale throughout the Company. The rest of the First cheered their Battle Brothers on, but even the echoes throughout the hangar that rang out "Hail Tyranthikos!" could not drown out the cries of agony from Draxus as he was effectively drawn and quartered by the brute force of those who upheld their oaths to the First Company fanatically.

Tyranus couldn't have been more pleased with his work, as he looked to Kunzhardt "Captain, I believe my men are prepared for combat, but there is one more thing we should discuss in private."
-----------------------------------------------------------

The Champion of the First Company stood like a statue at the rear of the assembled company, observing the theatrics of the Night Lord with thinly veiled disgust, the agonizing screams of the Captain's equerry would have curdled the blood of a mortal, but Kerberos was undisturbed. He was however far from pleased, his warrior spirit was offended by this 'execution' which amounted to nothing more than a mob beating. No Battle Brother of ours deserves to die in this way, no matter his offense. What exactly are you up to Tyranus, Tyrant of the Bats? The Champion thought to himself, unimpressed with the tact of the First Captain, but he had to admit, the man knew how to play to his men, and that was what made The Bat so dangerous. What path will you lead us down? He questioned silently, but he also questioned himself, just what might he do if he learned the answers to his questions?
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post #65 of 105 (permalink) Old 10-10-14, 05:52 AM
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He watched scene unfold. He'd thought that Draxus would fall in his quarters or after the trip to the Bat's quarters but a display before the entire company was interesting and one far more brutal than he had just delivered to his own adjutant which seemed all the more coincidental. The 1st's Captain seemed to be picking apart Draxus like a roasted chicken leaving him wounded and really incapable of mounting a defensive. He would have no part in assisting the equerry especially one of a different legion. He had anticipated a show but what transpired next was entirely different. One of his own men stepped forward interjecting the show. Such a show would demand a rebuke if not corporal punishment however it seemed to be more the rule than the exception within the 1st as the sergeant revealed to be Magallion requested conclusion to the situation only to be given the honor of ending the victims life in easily the most spectacular manner they could muster and in no small way yielded a smirk from the second captain.

Blood. . . Yes blood. . . Drench the halls with it, drink from it Kunzhardt bath in it!

"We should notify the armouy and the apothecary to retrieve and maintain the cataphractii and the gene seed. . . Respectively. . . "

The last word twinged with a hint of pleasure, he had enjoyed the show. Part of him wished to have join in it but it was not his company to enforce. He made a mental note of the hidden sword in the event the two ever came to blows and gestured the Night Lord back to his chamber where they had just come from.

"Feeling better, captain? What else do you wish to discuss?"

Now his thoughts filled with Pelexis and rending the world apart with his fists hearing the contorted screams of human souls as they cried out to a decayed corpse to help them from his place eternally bound to his machine like a dreadnought pilot with no glory.

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post #66 of 105 (permalink) Old 10-10-14, 01:58 PM
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I saw Kunzhardt’s fingers twitch. That narrowed down the threads of fate I had to watch. He might reach for a grenade, or his sidearm. Either way, I was prepared. The half-blood believed himself invincible, and I really wanted to prove him wrong. "No…” Well that was disappointing. Although the refusal to fight clearly weighed heavily on him. I felt the half-breed strain at his own leash “…we both know where your crosshairs lie, pure blood. I wonder why the Primarch purged Olympia?" The bastard-born stormed from the room like a petulant child. I kept my weapons activated until he was out of sight. My face twisted into a snarl under my helmet. What did he know of Olympia?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I remembered Olympia, in every searing detail. I remember when the word had first reach us that our own people had abandoned us, betrayed us. They cried they were oppressed, wronged, defiled. What did they know? We had given everything for them. We had given up our security, our homes, our lives to protect them and provide for them. We had given everything for those mewling wretches! What had happened in their absence? Where had the iron resolve of Olympia gone while we had been fighting horrors uncounted?

I remembered what it felt like when we first broke the warp above the world I had called home. The entire IVth Legion had mustered here, or as many as were able. We had been scorned by those we swore to protect. We had offered everything of ourselves. Our fathers and children had seen that as enough, but time and leisure had made this generation soft. They had lost their strength, their will, their iron and now condemned us. As it had always been, it was left to the Warriors of Perturabo to purge the weak and allow those that remained to grow strong.

I had landed, along with most of the 7th Company. Iapetus had helped to smash aside what pathetic orbital defence there was. He had given me command to lead the remainder of his forces in the purge of the surface. My name had not been Coeus then, and my face was not permanently on the verge of snarling. That all happened here, on Olympia. It happened when we murdered the world that had raised us.

We had landed on the slopes approaching the city of Harkiaos. The world of the IVth legion was not one of beauty, like Prospero, but one of practicality built to withstand invasion, with the might of the Legiones Astartes behind its walls. But it was not built for being assaulted by the same legion. Those in the 2nd Company, still the Mechanized Fist but still pure back then, had torn open the walls of the city and it had fallen to me and the 7th to be first into the breach. We had dived in like poison.

Armour and precognition had kept death at bay on our approach, rounds ricocheting of boarding shields, terminator armour and telekine shields. The defenders of our home came to meet us and died in droves. Flamers and meltas, meant to purge huge battleships of armoured occupants turned the city into a blazing ruin in a matter of hours. We crushed the treacherous mortals beneath our tread of bolt, blade and fire.

But that was not what I remembered about Olympia. Harkiaos was not the only city we purged and it was certainly not the last. It was the anguish and rage the bled off of every being. I could taste the human’s anger and sorrow. They realised their terrible error and that they had courted their own destruction, but they somehow found vindication. As if our necessity proved that their treachery was justified.

I felt my brothers cry out with wordless screams of hate. For decades they had been pushed to the edge, made to fight in the most horrific warzones with no recognition from their fellows save their scorn. Day by day, year by year, their souls had been eroded until only raw pragmatism remained, because they could not afford any other luxuries. Yet they had counted it all as gain, because they were protecting humanity and making it stronger by their actions. Now, the humanity so close to their hearts had betrayed them and they were furious. Furious that they were unthanked and unmourned and now unwanted. Furious that all they had worked for had been for nought. Furious that their fight had been in vain.

That fury levelled cities. I was there when the last bastion fell before us. I waded through the fire and the dust and murdered any who were foolish enough to oppose me. One man I held aloft and stripped his skin from his bones. I stripped him of his muscles and then crushed his bones, but left his nerves and organs intact so he would be alive to feel everything as I tore him to pieces. I had never heard a man scream like that before. Eternal Schism had torn their souls from their bodies and fed them to hungry warp monsters to suffer for eternity. I killed and I killed and I killed until in the end there was no one left. We had put our homes to the sword and enslaved any that survived. Still, the feeling of betrayal lingered, and so too did my snarl.

Before we left, I stood with the 7th Company in the ruins of our first city. We heaped the corpses onto giant funeral pyres and stood together as it burned. They were broken, lost. They teetered on the edge of despair and though Iapetus was their captain, they knew me and right then I was the best they had. They looked to me, wondering how to make sense of their purpose now. “Brothers…” I had spoken, the flames rising high behind me “…do not mourn those we have killed. They were not Olympians. They betrayed us, they deserted us and so forsook what it means to be a true Olympian. A true Olympian does not yield, does not waver, does not falter! Stand firm and take heart. Olympia is not dead. While we draw breath, while we still fight, while we hold fast to what it pure, Olympia can never die!”


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Olympia was about more than simple killing. It was a time of testing, of tempering. Olympia had been tested and found wanting, much like the IVth had when Perturabo had first received them. In both cases, the iron of the spirit had to be tempered so that it could emerge stronger. The Lord of Iron had not purged Olympia because he despised it. He had done it because he loved it, as he loved his sons. He was their father and it was left to him to instruct them and teach them their errors. However, Perturabo was not Kunzhardt’s father. It did not surprise me that a man who had neither been there nor was truly part of the legion failed to understand what had been done that day.

Adriun regarded me and began to talk with Lugerev. Initial, he seemed to be struggling to hold himself in the moment, but that was often true. However, his posture became less en guarde and I was fairly certain whatever he had just been seeing had passed. Adriun agreed for his biologist, Loakk, to join Lugerev on the assault on the Strike Cruiser, which surprised me somewhat. I was sure Lugerev had his reasons though, whatever they were.

Lugerev split away from them, to retinue Iapetus had given him in tow. I went to speak to Adriun, but I could hear the distinct clicking of vox networks being fired up and a hot-read of his thoughts told me he was talking to Loakk. I would wait, my concerns not imminently pressing. In the moments of silence as I waited, I could hear the warp howl around the ship. Most others would not, but those gifted like myself, or communing with the Dark Gods, would hear its subtle knocking, scratching at the Gellar Fields and seeking some way to intruded.

Another figure broke my concentration on the background music of the universe. He was relatively unadorned and determined to speak to Adriun. Who are you? Adrius of the Second was the result my questing came up with. And the data-slate? There was nothing. It was a recent acquisition, given to him by the Gorgon to be given to the Master of the Forge only. He didn’t even know what was on it. There were some other recent thoughts about Kunzhardt bullying his enquiry and summoning the Tyranthikos, neither of which gave me any immediate concern. Kunzhardt would want to flaunt his control over the 1st Company while he could. I would get to prying their minds open later. Right now, the nurglings within the 2nd were my main concern, unless obvious taint appeared elsewhere.

The man left, back to his company. Was he tainted? I didn’t think so, although the only way to be absolutely sure would be to interrogate him here and now, and he had more promising leads to follow before he assaulted random Astartes. It wasn’t a blind purge, it was an investigation. Adriun mag-locked the slate to his thigh without reading it. A shame, even with his machine parts I could have gleaned its contents. No matter, that would have been merely a crime of opportunity. If I wanted to, I could probably convince Pelegon to give me access to all communications as well, if it felt it would help my investigation. This was a trinket, a curiosity.

“Forge Master…” I said, coming alongside the man. I would walk with him, if he was going somewhere. “…although it wasn’t necessary, I appreciate your defence of Lugerev. Kunzhardt seems more irritable of late, and I’m not wholly convinced that it just because of the pressures of command.” The implication was obvious enough. Kunzhardt had always been volatile but, especially now, it was easy to cast doubt on even the most mundane of things. “If I were you, I would distance yourself from the man for the time being. I would hate to see our Iron Forge brought low by cross-contamination.” It was something for the Master of the Forge to consider…

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post #67 of 105 (permalink) Old 10-11-14, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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The red of the fires reflected off the sweat that coated the towering marine, making him appear as hot and molten as the metal that he shaped with his hands. The Warsmith was naked, and stood over the forge with a pair of tongs in one hand and a hammer half the size of a mortal man in the other, beating at a sheet of metal until it was perfectly flat. Every muscle in his body bulged under his skin with each swing of the hammer, and beads of sweat hit the metal and evaporated with a hiss. Into every impact Pelegon channelled his frustration, anger and hatred. Frustration at the XIXth for not being the perfect tool they were capable of being, anger at himself for being unable to temper them into the perfect weapon, and hatred at the one that had reduced them to this. Once the metal was flat, the Warsmith set down the hammer and tongs, and after a moment’s hesitation, grabbed the red-hot iron in his bare hands and folded it in half.

Both of the Warsmith’s huge, meaty paws were covered in thick layers of scar tissue from millennia of metal-shaping this way, but despite this the pain was unimaginable. Pelegon clenched his teeth, the veins in his neck standing out as he applied his considerable strength, straining with all his might until his knuckles met one another. There was a hiss as he removed his hands, ripping free several layers of skin from the palms and fingers, which remained on the metal, burning black in a few seconds. Once the metal was folded, he took the hammer in his hand and continued to beat it, the deafening clang of metal on metal drowning out the roar of the Ferra’s mighty engines and the hubbub of activity around him. This was what the other members of the XIXth had forgotten; that from Iron came strength, and that like it, they had to be the hardest of all substances. That it gave to you exactly what you gave to it.

Pelegon had given both mind and body to Perturabo’s iron ideal, and from it had been rewarded with the glory of command – love and indomitable willpower in equal measure. But in spite of the thousand and one pressures his position placed on him, he always found time to get close to that which had made him. One heart was metal, and the other beat for iron, knowing that it was what had made him. For in addition to being as hard as the weapon-metal, one had to be malleable. That was what many in his company lacked. Tyranus, for all his strength, held himself in too high regard. Kunzhardt, the opposite; his self-loathing drove him further than any other that Pelegon had known, but it would ultimately destroy him. The twins were blinkered by their own narrow-minded views on the XIXth’s bloodlines, unwilling to accept that, at their heart, the IVth legion were built on neither an Olympian nor Imperial ideal, but on one of Perturabo’s own design. They would wither and die, and drag the degenerate Primus Medicae with them. He was one who was, to Pelegon’s eyes, a perfect representation of the rust and canker that were eating the IVth legion from within. Lucian seemed more open-minded, but was overly confident of his own abilities. He and Tyranus were more similar than perhaps either of them realised. At the end of it, the only two who the Warsmith could call polished weapons were the Forge Master and 10th Captain – also, the only two who had been born and bred into the XIXth since the Heresy – surely no coincidence. Even there the Forge Master had some imperfection; a hankering for mortal life that the Warsmith did not care for at all. He did not realise that the inhabitants of the Imperium were not worthy of the sacrifices that the IVth had made seven-thousand years ago, and for presuming to reap the benefits of their hard work they would have to pay.

“Warsmith?” a voice broke Pelegon’s deep thought, and he set down the iron sheet, which he had bent in half again without thinking. A hundred folds would have to be made before he could consider it workable. The Warsmith slicked his hair back with a huge hand; the skin on the palms had hardened to a scarred crust, and with every movement the crust broke and ichor began to seep through. The Warsmith lifted his hand to his face and inhaled; what had once been blood was now much closer to engine fluid, with a rich, organic scent to it that only those most intimate with the workings of an engine would savour.

Pelegon turned to face the one who had spoken, his huge, heavily-muscled form outlined against the bright light of the forge fires. He was hirsute, and despite his height, heavily-built. His hands and forearms were heavily-scarred, but the rest of the marine was devoid of any marr or imperfection, bar the fact that he had no left nipple. The price paid by having to regrow a significant portion of his chest after the Primarch had installed his iron heart.

“What is it, Jurgen?”

The other marine was a member of the Ferra’s permanent crew, and an extremely competent navigator. It would have been beneath his rank normally to act as an errand boy unless the news pertained to his work, and the Warsmith suspected what it was. Jurgen was unflappable, however, and this was not the first time he had had to interrupt the Warsmith while he worked in his personal forge in the heart of the mighty voidship.

“We have just arrived in the Pelexis system, and are four void units from Pelexis III”

The Warsmith nodded, and picked up the now dark red sheet of iron, and, after a moment’s contemplation, set it down. He would leave it to cool slowly.

“Assist me, Jurgen”

The other marine nodded as he approached Pelegon, who moved to the wall, where his suit of armour stood, only one of three. To its left stood the armour he had worn during the Heresy; it no longer fit him, for his stature had increased in the handful of centuries after the battle of Olympia, though Pelegon could not ascertain why. He could still see, in some areas, faint chips of blue paint from when he had once stood in midnight clad. That had been a long time ago indeed.

To the right of his current suit stood the legs of a monstrous suit, and it was obvious to any familiar with the equipment of astartes that they were based on the cataphractii pattern of armour, but built to accommodate Pelegon’s mighty frame. It was only half-complete, but would one day serve as his panoply of war. The Warsmith would equip himself only with that which either he or his father had crafted.

The Warsmith took one of his vambraces in a bloodied hand and slipped it on. Behind him, Jurgen fiddled with the interface ports on the back of his breastplate, ensuring that they fitted smoothly. Now Pelegon would visit that pain upon the inhabitants of Pelexis, and lay low his grandfather’s dogs.

“Jurgen...stop. I will not require my war-plate. Instead, I have something for you to deliver”

----------

Kunzhardt
The planet below you appears to be green and verdant, and from the data-slate the Warsmith presented you you are aware that its geography and proximity to its sun makes it perfect for agricultural operations. All that is about to change. You sit on the bridge of the Ferra Perpetua, in the Warsmith's throne, the command of the fleet, bar the ships of the 7th and 3rd company, at your disposal for the planetary bombardment. In the bowels of the ancient cruiser the 1st and 2nd companies are ready for deployment, loaded up into drop ships, awaiting for the last shell to finish falling before enacting the plan that the Warsmith has entrusted to you. Pelegon himself is absent, and you know that though this invasion is to be of little challenge to you, being allowed to have such command is a great honour, and symbol of the Warsmith's trust in you. The people below will see the ships in orbit, and will be aware of what is going to happen to them, but with Pelexis' lack of orbital defences, they can do nothing. The entire Grand Company waits only for your order to commence.

Tyranus
With the rest of the Tyranthikos you wait patiently, the teleport homer in your armour primed and awaiting activation from the units that will soon make planetfall. The veterans murmur in low voices, and are not perturbed by the prospect of war. It is their livelihood, and an assault as easy as this should be, mere collection of prisoners, should be no challenge to them. A chance to stretch their muscles after nearly a century of inactivity.

As you watch them converse, awaiting the orders of either Kunzhardt or Pelegon, a marine approaches you. In his Mk IV plate he is warfed by the terminator-armoured giants surrounding him, and his insignia give him away as a member of the Ferra Perpetua's permanent crew. It is one of the navigators, Jurgen, and in his hand he holds a long steel box, with huge clasps that keep it fastened shut. It is the sort of thing usually reserved for the transportation of particularly valuable or delicate equipment, and it the right dimensions to accommodate a sword or rifle of some variety. The navigator hands it over to you, and with the traditional fist-to-palm salute, takes his leave.

You have no idea what this could be; perhaps a symbol from the Warsmith that all is forgiven? With any luck, that is the case. You unhurriedly click the clasps open, and with a hiss the seals on the box are undone, and its top falls away. Inside, its ceramite head gleaming as if freshly-polished, with a shaft of high-grade steel, is a shovel.

Iapetus, Lucian, Lugerev
The Ferra Perpetua's augur systems detected the Fist of Russ behind the second moon of Pelexis II, some twenty-two void units away from Pelexis III. With the fleet's jammers activated, you know that they have no way of communicating with the Wolf's Claw planetside, but will be aware of the XIXth's fleet. Whether they will have established it as a threat is another matter entirely. Your ships have broken away from the main fleet, and are closing in on the moon, and you know that the Space Wolf ship is on the other side of the barren, grey rock.

Adriun
Your techmarines have assembled the tower's constituent parts, and have loaded it onto transport thunderhawks, and are awaiting the order to descend upon the planet to move. You yourself sit in your own personal transport, with a handful of your closest associates by your side. You know that you will be working in tandem with the 6th, 8th, 9th and 10th company to erect the defensive ring around the Wolf's Claw, as well as the slave-pens. Mighty earth-moving macines, diggers and other miscellaneous excavating and construction equipment, designed for the rigours of a IVth legion siege, are loaded onto transporters of their own. It should not take you more than half an hour to have the Mechanicum's assets completely planetside.

Vargus
Your trainees are loaded onto a transport frigate designed specially for the 10th company, as many of the recruits could not survive a standard tactical insertion. They are strapped into seats in the frigate's main hangar, and the frigate is released from the Ferra's huge underbelly in preparation for moving planetside. The digging equipment and machinery is loaded in the hold, and you are aware that this will be the first example of trench work that many of the recruits will see. This may be a good thing, however, as this battle is not expected to be one of any difficulty.

Coeus
You are stood in the Ferra's librarium, poring over the reports that your librarians have sent you from their scannings of the other companies - what do you find there? As you stand, absorbed in your studies, the door hisses open and the Warsmith enters. He is clad in nothing other than a loincloth, and his skin has a dull texture to it; it is clear to you that he was sweating recently, but that it has since dried off. His hair, however, is still damp and plastered back from his face by the weight of the moisture in it.

He holds up a heavily-scarred, partially-scabbed hand, and the others in the librarium, whether librarians themselves or merely adjutants, file out of the door behind him without a sound. As the door slides shut, the Warsmith starts pacing around you, his arms folded across his great broad chest. He circles, and though his dark eyes are locked onto you, he evades all the objects and stark steel furniture within the large chamber.

"Coeus, I have matters that I would discuss with you, on the topics of corruption and purity within the XIXth"

Pelegon stops pacing and turns his back to you, looking out of the viewing port to the planet below.

"I feel that it has been too long since I exerted myself, and would ask that you wrestle with me, as our fathers, and their fathers before them, did on lost Olympia, while we do so. I cannot allow my body to waste while my company goes from strength to strength, and I am sure you feel the same way about yourself"


This update will take us to the next stage of the siege. I expect everyone to have made planetfall and be doing...whatever they have been ordered to do by the 18th, at which point there will be another update.

Last edited by Nol; 10-11-14 at 04:36 PM.
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The remaining time until action went relatively uneventful.

He did enjoy pitting the 1st against the 2nd in training. The 2nd could use a better degree of skill in close combat and the 1st would witness what made the Iron Havocs a force to make men quake with fear. Adruin had not responded to his remarks and thus worried him to a degree. Perhaps he'd already spoken with the Twins and relayed what information had been delivered. It didn't matter now it was too late and the entirety of the XIXth would get a degree of release and pleasure from what was about to happen and Pelegon himself had seen fit to appease the Immovable with the honor of conducting the bombardment from none other than his personal throne.

Kunzhardt stretched his arms out and felt the sensation of absolute power and control such that he had not known in a long time surging through him. The knowledge that he controlled the guns of every ship bar the 7ths private fleet and the 3rds ghost ship, a dry cracked smile broke out over his face as eyes watched the crew aboard the bridge dart around. . . This was what it meant to be the Mechanized Fist, the people down on the forsaken world looking up into the sky seeing their Death hanging seemingly frozen in time before the horror started.

"Commence Phase 1 sustained saturation bombardment. Do NOT touch the Wolve's den. . ."

Colossal guns thundered forth and he felt the thumping even within the bridge, adrenal glands were on overhaul filling his body with that fantastic cocktail. He watched the lush landscape below blister and pop in places as mighty shells that had sat in disuse for seemingly centuries groaning to be used felt their primer strike and lunged from the sky. This was steel rain, this was the might of the Mechanized Fist shattering their sky and bringing ruination. His only regret was that there would be no sweet return fire attempting foolishly to rend their ship apart. The thundering continued for what seemed like hours as dots of brilliant reds and yellows and earthen browns blossomed planet side bringing with it death and blood. He wished he could be there to savor the screams and to revel in the destruction bringing his wrath into the bellies of. . . Unarmed civilians. That fact soured the magnificent explosions and would be a mark against this attack but he had no control over that now.

"Cease fire. . . I take my leave of the Bridge." He paused briefly as the thunderous fire slowed to a halt and on the last shell he cued up a vox caster throughout the Ferra Perpetua. It rolled with fury but within it were undertones of excitement.

"Legionnaires of the XIXth! Commence invasion."

With the order delivered he stepped from Pelegon's place and joined with his personal escorts. Two of the Siege Tyrants that he had cobbled together for an Honor Guard. Each of them could level cities between their Whirlwind Missile Launchers and their Reaper Auto Cannons and could weather untold punishment in Tartaros pattern tactical dreadnought armor. They enforced his will among the company when he was gone and their own fiery passions for excellence almost mirrored his own. They didn't speak when he approached them rather they fell in line and escorted him to his personal Thunderhawk he would be taking to the surface. Why the Warsmith would have him planet side for the second bombardment he couldn't know but it was no mistake.

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The WarSmith's navigator strode into the hangar and Tyranus immediately recognized the man by his armor. In his MK IV plate Jurgen maneuvered through the hangar that held the First Company, carrying with him a large metal case, it's proportions perhaps lending it to carrying a weapon of some importance perhaps. Tyranus struck the thought from his mind, Pelegon would not make any such offering especially after their last encounter, still he opened the box, letting out a hiss as the seals were broken. The item was spectacular despite its simplicity, it was a shovel, but Tyranus looked at it in a new light.

Jurgen had already turned on his heels to leave and Tyranus clicked to a private vox to speak to the Ferra's navigator. "Jurgen, would you relay a message to the WarSmith Pelegon?" There was a pause as the man seemed to think over the request. "I shall relay your message First Captain." Tyranus nodded his appreciation "Tell our WarSmith that I had not forgotten my duty in the trenchlines in this campaign and I greatly appreciate the offering of this perfectly wrought shovel, it is perfect for this task. Likewise, I would thank the WarSmith for utilizing the First Company despite my short-sightedness. I shall endeavour to mould myself as iron. Thank you Brother Jurgen." With that he let the vox line shut with a click, the shovel in hand he mag locked it to his back, where it sat next to his power glaive which had its haft collapsed down to about half its fully extended length to facilitate stowing it when not in use for combat. Tyranus knew he was unlikely to see much in the way of glorious combat on this campaign for his own stupidity, and while it still left a bitter taste he held contempt for none but himself. Speaking to his men over the vox link "Tyranthikos, you are at the command of Captain Kunzhardt, glory to the First! Hail Tyranthikos!" The resounding echo came from the First Company, they were all eager for their role, however minor and however fast this campaign would prove to be in the long run of their Grand Company, it would serve as a good warm up exercise for perhaps greater glories to come.

As the precision bombardment came to a halt from their fleet the teleporters lit up, blindingly bright and suddenly they were planetside. The First under command of Kunzhardt went with the Mechanized Fist. Tyranus rendezvoused with the 6th and 10th Companies in trench building, producing his expertly fashioned spade he began to dig. It was work that was not up to the task of his talents, but not beneath him he began to realize. Perhaps he had become too proud, his station as First Captain had lasted for nearly 7 millenia and he had perhaps grown too comfortable, the situation within the Grand Company called for him to be at his sharpest and he nodded his head in acceptance. At the end of these days his armor would need a thorough cleaning, the grime and soot would need to be cleaned out and all the parts would need to be looked after and maintained, from the plates themselves, to the tiniest coupling or servo motor. Like their Grand Company as a whole would need a thorough cleaning he nodded to himself, shoveling the soil of Pelexis III around the Wolf's Keep, the occasional round panged off of the raised earth that began to conceal and protect their positions. No task shall be deemed too small, nor too great an undertaking again.

-------------------------------------------------------------

The form of Captain Kunzhardt strode towards the thunderhawk as he waited with his hands clasped in front of him. He had waited patiently and was glad that perhaps he might be of some service this day. "Captain Kunzhardt," the giant Kerberos spoke and greeted the three members of 2nd Company with a formal bow and salute. Taller than the Captain and his guardians, despite them wearing Tartaros pattern Terminator plate only furthered the fact that Kerberos was exceptionally large even for an Astartes. His bulk however was slightly less, his customized and modified war plate bestowed only upon a Champion, clearly it took cues from Cataphractii plating in the pauldrons, but its form was far more streamlined, designed to give the wearer mobility as well as enhanced speed necessary for fighting the most challenging of adversaries as was a Champions primary assignment on any battlefield.

"Captain Kunzhardt, as you are our acting commander I wish to uphold my oath as Champion and fight at your side." He did not particularly like Kunzhardt, in fact he found him to be wanting in many characteristics, much like his own Captain. The Mechanized Fist was a flawed leader in many ways, but his men supported him with quite a good deal of fervor and he would be interested to see how the 2nd Company operated on the field of battle.
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Adriun was busy with his own thoughts of tinkering and working and the slight pang of disappointment with the slaughter to come, only made slight by selective memory altering.

“Forge Master…” I said, coming alongside the man. I would walk with him, if he was going somewhere. “…although it wasn’t necessary, I appreciate your defence of Lugerev. Kunzhardt seems more irritable of late, and I’m not wholly convinced that it just because of the pressures of command.”

Adriun was not caught off guard by the sudden voice of the Seer, but he had place his presence at the back of his thoughts for the moment, but now he was at attention again.

“If I were you, I would distance yourself from the man for the time being. I would hate to see our Iron Forge brought low by cross-contamination.”

He pondered the Seer's words, he did not like his purist thoughts but obviously Adriun was a much lesser target at the moment. He did not take what the Librarian said as a threat, as he knew of the taint that had been found in the Second. A sad thought, but he pinned it on Kunzhardt's propensity for using Tox and Chem weaponry, such things pleased the Father of Pestilence, maybe a Destroyer couldn't take the voices anymore and caved in. A sad fate, but one that would be met with merciless death, and it was necessary for purity.

"Ah, Coeus, My mind wandered to projects and other processes." He said regarding the Librarian.

“Come with me, we shall head to my workshop aboard the vessel.” He said walking with the Librarian through the halls.

As he walked he invented a parable to describe the factorum and his Mechanicum.

“Do you recall the Iron Oaks of Veretus’ Second moon? That campaign was to reclaim essential weapon tech, and we recovered a lot of Battle Automata and ordinance from some Chaos sect that intended to simply corrupt it. Well we took a single sapling and grew it in similar conditions.” He paused only for effect.

“Like pure iron, its leaves would rust, and if allowed to continue it would ruin the sapling and it would wither, with proper pruning of rusted leaves in branches and cleaning and polish with light oil the plant thrives. This is how I treat those under my command, I look for rust and ‘prune’ and dispose of what is unneeded, I reaffirm the true ways of iron like a placing a coat of oil to prevent rust.” He smirked slightly he cared not whether Coeus liked his parable but it put into nicer words the executions that occurred if any tech was found operating on abnormal parameters and emitting warp signatures, it was rare but it deeply angered him when he found a weapon with a daemon bound to it. However such events were distant memory. The conspirators already found and dead, he knew his Mechanicus was pure now, the last of the Dark Mechanicus infiltrators routed a long time ago, not countable in real space time. It left the Purist Mechanicus smaller though but it was the price to pay.

“What an Ironic little plant, and a terrible world, dreadful oil slick rain. It was undesirable. But rich in resources.” He finished.

The heavy thud of their armored greaves resounded in the hall as they yet again turned down another, only to end up in the personal forge of Adriun.

“I do have a proposal of sorts for some cooperation, the idea came from my Master WarpTek Sophacles, he has been doing research into a cult in the Calixis sector, I do not know if it is something you know about, but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if you did.”

He paused for effect and pulled up relevant data on his own data slate.

“It is a type of Ward, not similar to those commonly used by the Imperials and others wishing to prevent daemonic and psychic incursions, however this one generates a fairly potent null field when applied to an object or surface. Sophacles cannot perform rituals to make it work, it ironically needs some psychic input to activate, and he has modified it somewhat to not only create this null field but to banish daemons and their energies if applied to something that is possessed.”

He let the implications sink in, it opened up new avenues to recovering corrupted tech and reversing the damage, this would be especially useful in recovering Dreadnaughts that became hellbrutes, they could be repaired and the inert flesh removed and made into a suitable machine to inter a damaged marine.

“I find it to be profitable if this can be studied and perfected, and then all kinds of tech that we lost to corruption have a chance at cleansing and being reclaimed.”

He paused he also wondered at its effects on Daemon engines, forced to cast of their daemonic energies they would probably no longer function, and maybe their weapons could be examined to see if their was anything useful. Or to convert the husks into Battle Automata of a bestial nature, it was an interesting concept, but would be the least prioritized.

Before Coeus could answer he heard ship sirens calling the Ships forces to prepare for departure, and he needed to ready his forces, they would exit the warp sooner or later, he would have to save this discussion for later, they both had busy schedules it would seem.

“Well Seer, We will have to finish this discussion later it seems, I must prepare my forces.” He said and gave a thudded salute and left.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the Hangar all of the Machines were loaded up in their drop ships and he oversaw it all, like perfectly interlocking cogs in a machine they proceeded perfectly. He now saw to his forces they would be bringing planetside. It was quite the sight to see, all the Massive Battle Automata preparing for leave, His tech Marines in groups handling the heavy machinery, they wouldn’t be deploying Krios Tanks of the Mechanicus this time but to protect the trenches their would be 30 Triptychs of Thanatar Siege Automata, and in the trenches assisting as well as being ready to take on any wolves foolish enough to come into the meat grinder they would be preparing would be 40 Maniples of Castellax Battle-Automata with variable loadouts, and to defend the spire and final line would be 100 squads of Thallax Cohorts, being 5 man squads.

He saw them all loaded up, he himself would be in a Squad of Tech Marines, and have his Left Hand Advisor Furthuum as his ranged heavy support and Eryx the Master Architect and his Fort Breaker Thunder Hammer. They would be directly around the Spire, and assemble it then await further Orders.

Adriun boarded his drop ship with his two chosen commanders and a squad of lower ranked tech marines each with their chosen equipment. He nodded to them both and stood ready as the vessel closed its hatches. He tapped the pommel of his sword and latched his combat shield to his arm, his serpenta pistol in its holster. Each of his Mechadendrites had a Hellgun attached except for one that had a meltagun. He also brought various tools for field work and repair and construction of the spire.

Eryx stood in his heavily modified Mk II armor, Its strange aesthetics, with the stabilizers on his power pack replaced with Column like Cells with intricate Capitols, housing power cells for his micro-Automantic Shields. His armor was artful in its design, fitting the eccentric marine, who hefted a Thunder hammer, its head shaped like a column as well with Intricate Capitols for the flat impact areas, an Iron Warriors Skull centered on the column.

He stood in stark contrast to Furthuum’s massive Gorgon Pattern Terminator armor, and his multiple weapon ports for mounted an array of heavy weapons. He crunched his twin power fists in anticipation, looking around with both his cybernetic eye, and his only biological one. He had chosen a long range load out of two Reaper Auto-cannons one mounted under each arm, at his sides, on a retractable rail should he need to free up his fists for close assault, each shoulder mounted a Lascannon and finally a Cyclone Missile launcher in the middle. This Mobile weapon platform of an Astartes was assisted by a plethora of mechadendrites to load and maintain his multiple weapon systems.

They were ready and it would not be too soon either as the tell tale voice of Kunzhardt, as well as the cease-fire, signaled that it was time for the assault. He was a bit saddened by the lack of Loakk at his side; he enjoyed fighting beside him, comparing his blade’s tally with the Genetor’s claws. It would be for another time. The fleet of drop ships took off for the surface.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Surface was a hell for their enemies, while the fort lay untouched by the orbital guns, the rest of the planet did not have the same fate, he saw the burning in the distance, the smoke that slowly filled the skies from the iron death that came from above. The Automata and servitors were every where assisting in building the trenches, and the Thanatar Siege Automata were placed in entrenched positions to provide plasma death volleys when the Wolves finally came. If they decided to assault the fort they could also be used to fire over the walls, but for now they were to goad the dogs from their den.

The Massive form of the spire was coming to be as Eryx bellowed in baritone some opera that he had never heard of. The Spire would be finished assembling within minutes, they had begun construction since landing, and the Castellax and other large Servitors had helped in the assembly, and Adriun directed it all with Eryx, while Furthuun saw to positioning the rest of the Battle Automata in the trenches and ordering the Thrallax Cohorts around to defend the spire.

“So much death, was it necessary…” He said mostly to himself as the final pieces of the spire were fit and welded into place, gun fire a constant drum in the background, the Wolf fort retaliating at its approaching demise. He looked to the data-slate the Kunzhardt’s marine had delivered earlier, and read it. The message piqued his interest, he was like-minded for it, and hoped to prevent any future troubles, but just in case it was good to have some allies. The state of the Second Company worried him immensely though, he detested cults, and a nurgle infestation was most alarming because it could spread even to those who despised the dark gods. However he would not let that impede relations with the Second Captain. He deleted the messages contents and stored relevant data in his cogitator.

Adriun walked over to the spire and activated the conveyor, it worked as it should. For the most part the spire was done, but Eryx would handle finishing touches as well as form a defensive perimeter around it. He wondered at its purpose still.

He hopped on the vox and added a tri-layered custom encryption and then contacted the Captain of the Second, Kunzhardt the Immovable.

“Second Captain, This is Adriun, I received your request, I have contacted you on an encrypted vox, or we can discuss this in person near the spire, or after the battle. Your choice, Brother Kunzhardt.” He offered, as he lifted up his combat shield and deflected a stray round.

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