His eyes ... his eyes were the last thing Konrad saw. The eyes of a traitor, of a man whom he'd called brother and who had turned his back upon his men. He could feel it even in this moment of absolute nothingness, he could feel Alexsyander's finger apply pressure to the bolt pistol's trigger, he could see the munitions within the barrel ignite in brillance, for the bolt within sought out the enemies of the God-Emperor. This time they found only his loyal subjects. The cracking pain was the last thing he'd felt, the bolt hitting his skull at point blank. It was a lie, so he found out, that you feel nothing in a quick death as that, that you simply awaken at the Emperor's side preparing for the Final War. No ... not even close, he could still feel the bolt shattering his forehead, his eyes burst and his brain become pulped in an instant. The pain was sharp and almost stripped him of his sanity but it was not the worst pain he felt. The feeling of failure, of betrayal, he had never felt it before being a demi-god of the Adeptus Astartes, a Grey Tusk no less, the ball of fury within his breast raged like a newly born star but he found it had no where to go. He knew he would not stand beside his God-Emperor, not now, not when he had killed his own Battle-Brothers and had allowed the enemy a key victory. If an Astartes could truly weep than he would have done so.
His memories of those last hours flooded over him once more. The shouts of commands from the Brother-Seargants, the roar of bolter fire, the screech of the dying xeno as the Emperor's holy wrath was brought down upon them. The images of the western appoarches, which had been left completely undefended rushed into his mind, his squad under the command of Battle-Seargant Noxi had seen the enemy from their view point high above and quickly adjusted to deal with the incursion. The rush he felt has he always did, the xenos screaming their gibberish, sending bolts of molten fire screaming past him and his brothers as the two species fought under an eternally grey sky. The xenos clashed with them just inside the citadel, and it was a battle that was won, but only just. His brothers were Tactical Marines, not meant for the brutal close combat that the xenos seemed to relish in. Their silver blades cut the very fabric of reality, doing no damage but ripping the souls for those that they touched. Only through strength of arms and the sacrifice of Brother-Seargant Noxi did the enemy finally flee. That was not nearly the last of his encounters with them, he still remembered the catacombs below the keep when Brother-Seargant Mydgar's men suddenly went dark, their position in the catacombs suddenly overwhelmed. The brutal fighting there was nothing but a battle of wits and tactics, his depleted sqaud having to constant assault, fall back, reposition, ambush, defend, and counter-attack; a constant process of rinse and repeat. Only after four days of this did the enemy finally cease all contention of the catacombs and instead destroyed the tunnels they had made into the vast network, to prevent the Grey Tusks from escaping. Those were the better days of that long and senseless seige, when Captain Alexsyander had not been corrupted by the foul xeno-psychics. When his mind became to crumble, it crumbled fast. His orders became paradox, defend positions that the enemy had no designs upon while leaving or abandoing whole sections of the defense, just letting the xenos have them. Once this happened, the war inside the citadel began in earnest for the Grey Tusks, once they lost their stoic defense, were hard pressed to keep the invaders out. Only the noble sacrifice of many a Battle-Brother held the parts of the keep still vital to their survival.
Even in those dark hours he did not loose hope, for he had seen many things in his years of service to the Imperium and the Emperor. He had been completely surronded by the savage Orks, with odds of a hundred to one, and he'd fought his way out. He'd seen the very worst the Tyranids had to offer, the Hive Tyrants, their various Warrior-variants, the endless hordes of the xeno swarming over everything -- and still he stood defiant of them, blasting into their ranks with utter contempt. Even the majestic Eldar, and their darker kin, had felt the wrath of the Emperor in the form of his bolter. This said nothing of the dozens of minor xeno races utterly extinguished by his Chapter that he was apart of. No, he did not loose hope in that dark time. Even as they lost the assumed old barracks, the makeshift armory, the various choke points to stem the tide of the enemy. The day finally came when they held on the outer command room, and the inner strategy room. Weather or not the xenos had every used them for such purposes was beyond him, but it was the names assigned to them during the seige. As the fighting in the outer command room became bloody and brutal he'd made a quick dash to the inner strategy room at the behest of several Battle-Brothers -- the end was coming for them, they wanted to die beside their Brother-Captain who had mysteriously been absent in the last weeks of the seige, sealed within the inner strategy sanctum contemplating a way for the company to escape this disaster. He rushed into the room in time to see his Battle-Brothers aiming their weapons at his captain, murder in their eyes. He hesitated not even for an instant, his bolter was up and firing away with almost reckless abandon. He never knew how he managed to kill all five of them without a single shot being fired back at him. All he remembered was at the end of it they lay upon the floor, dead, their life blood draining from them.
Rushing to his captain he felt pride in his chest and contempt in his heart. That some of his brothers actually contemplated executing their commanding officer for their hopless situtation was beyond his understanding, he showed dire cracks in the Chapter's oaths -- something he did not want to think about. He remembered kneeling to his captain and apologising for the arrogance and treason of his brothers. As he rose he saw the bolt pistol aimed squarely at his forehead, the eyes of a real traitor staring back at him with a malicious grin. Then, and only for a few seconds, did he see the xenos that he'd not noticed, lingering in the dark corners of the room. Thanks only to his Astartes enhanced senses was he able to take the entire seen in before his demise -- dozens, if not a hundred of the xenos were in the inner strategy room. He never even got the chance to utter the word traitor before his brain was pulped and his soul ripped from his body.
He felt that rage building forth inside of him once again. He roared impotently into the air as the betrayal and unjustice done to him, so many xenos left unslain, so many worlds unliberated from the touch of the vile alien. He felt as though his body were in flames, they licked and splashed around him like molten liquid. In that instant he appeared once more into the realm of the living, bursting forth from the ground in a geyser of purple flames. He stepped through the flames and looked around -- how was this possible? This surely was not the citadel where he died, this world was far too different for it was licked with flames and smelled of molten earth. He heard the screams around him as his sense suddenly began to actually apply themselves. Battle-Brothers! They were fighting something, something vile ... something definately not human. He looked into his hands and saw the jet black bolter there, being grasped by equally black armor. For a moment he hesitated ... was this hell? Was this his punishment for failure -- to forever fight the xenos to make penance for his failure.
An enemy claw flashed by him, and only his subconcious saved him from the devistating blow. In a single movement, he stepped back, raised his bolter and fired a controlled burst into the creature, killing it instantly. He had no time to react, no time to consider the situtation, the enemy was upon them -- coming like a sea of darkness before his eyes. They were definately xeno, for not true human would strike the Emperor's Angels of Death. He continued to fired controlled bursts, ripping apart the enemies of the Emperor once more. He moved along side his Battle-Brothers, men who he obviously had never met and added his fire to their own.
The chaos gods abandoned Horus most likely because they saw the can of whoop ass coming their way and wanted out of the way so as not to get fucked up!
Last edited by BlackGuard; 03-29-11 at 02:15 AM.