In the shadowy recesses of the holding cell, the figure appeared to be crying. Although the live-feed displayed on the ancient monitor was grainy and under-exposed, the silhouette’s shoulders were clearly moving up and down uncontrollably. A venomous grin spread across a pale-skinned face, the artificial green glow of the pict-screen accentuating the malice of its owner. Content with the prisoner’s suffering; the Watcher leant back in his skeletal chair, resuming his vigilant watch over the numerous security-feeds he presided over. Nearly every austere cell was occupied, the latest series of raids having yielded exceptionally lucrative results for his masters. He was employed to ensure none of the captives tried anything foolish; not that any ever had the will to. By the time they reached his cells, they were drained husks, broken and defeated, souls crushed. The notion drew another grin from the Watcher as he relished their tormented existence. Some cried, some screamed. There was only one certainty. In the end, one way or another, they all died.
Two tear-drops sat under his right eye, like serene morning dew on an arachnid’s web. From a distance, a stranger may have identified them as tears of pain, of sadness, or suffering. However, on closer inspection, it became obvious that they were something completely different. Contrasted against his sallow, sun deprived skin; the blackened tears were permanent fixtures on his cheek, serving as a warning to those who laid eyes on him. Inscribed in the darkest of inks, the tattoos identified their holder as a life-taker; an individual who has committed murder and survived to tell the tale. Leaning against the cold, damp wall of his cramped cell, Chronus Lot recalled vividly receiving the first of his tats. After all, it was an important rite of passage. He wondered how many other humans considered an intimate visit from a rusty needle and smuggled, magnesium-based ink a “rite of passage”. It was this concept that had triggered Lot’s uncontainable laughter. Sharp intakes of breath had left his shoulders heaving up and down, diaphragm bouncing in his chest uncontrollably. His loud cackles fractured the daunting silence of the cell complex. A real tear trickled down to join its tattooed brethren. Wiping it away with the back of a grimy and dirt-caked hand, Chronus looked up to the surveillance camera perched in the roof of his cage. A blinking red light betrayed its activity. They were watching. They were always watching. With this thought, Chronus Lot succumbed to a new wave of delirious laughter.
Some folk may have found it difficult to awaken behind bars. Feelings of entrapment, claustrophobia and isolation could drive a person to the brink of insanity. Chronus Lot had lost count of the suicides and mental breakdowns he had bared witness to over the decades. As Lot awoke in the perpetual darkness that accompanied his cell, he experienced none of these feelings. Whether he was under the lock and key of humans or of aliens there was little difference. A prison was a prison. And if there was any discomfort Chronus Lot had become accustomed to over the years, it was the demoralising confines of a cell. Sitting up straight, he rubbed sleep dust from the corners of his lightening blue eyes, pushing his unkempt hair off his face. Running his fingers through the scraggy locks Lot suddenly missed the shaved scalp he previously possessed. Instead of a spartan buzz-cut, his head now played host to a matted mess of long, filthy hair. Moving his fingers down towards his jaw, Lot found similar hair residing on the lower half of his face, a wild and savage beard taking advantage of his inability to shave. Sighing heavily, he got to his feet, leaving the chill of the rockrete floor below him. Although there was a bed-slab in the cell, it hadn’t taken long for Lot to resort to sleeping on the floor. Utilizing technology beyond his understanding, the slab somehow created inert discomfort within its user. A cruel and twisted trick played by his subjugators to rob the prisoners of REM sleep. Unless prevented, this subtle torture technique could easily drive a person’s soul mad. Standing straight, he stretched his limbs, shaking off unwanted stiffness that spending a night on the floor always was guaranteed to leave the body with.
Standing at well over six feet, Chronus Lot cast an intimidating shadow. Although a lack of sufficient victuals had started to take its toll on his body, it was clear that Lot had once commanded an incredible physique. Remnants of a toned muscular system were still noticeable in the sinewy body he now controlled. He pined for exercise, feeling the urge to rebuild the strapping figure he was once proud of. He couldn’t see that occurring in the near-future somehow. Frustration spread through his blood, momentary anger provoking a physical explosion. Throwing his left arm out, Lot drove his fist into the metallic wall of his despicable holding cell. CLANG! The sound of heavy metal on metal reverberated through the air like an ancient gong of antiquity. Retracting his fist, Lot observed a minor indent inflicted on the wall with curiosity, tilting his head inquisitively. He looked down at his bionic arm, crude and oily. Attached to his shoulder ligaments and grafted to his skin, it was the only part of Chronus Lot that had remained unaffected by this recent imprisonment. It was possibly the only positive thing to come out of his brief experience with the Guard. Staring down at its gunmetal plating, he realised that he had become so familiarized with the bionic that he frequently forgot the super-human strength it granted. Glancing once more at the dented wall-plating, Lot began to slowly pace the cell, periodically clenching and unclenching the mechanical fist. As he pondered his current, unfortunate situation, a certain logical paradox revealed itself to him. If the bionic had been grafted during his troubled youth, he would have had no need to join the Guard in the first place, and lost his arm in the Emperor’s service. Who knew how his life may have unfolded had he travelled a different path? Perhaps he would have still called Magna Silex home.
In the first quart of 282.M43, an undernourished and unwanted child was left on the stone steps of St Celeste’s Chapel. The venerable house of worship had been erected by the first colonists of Magna Silex, standing testament to the human race’s resilience and ingenuity. Over the centuries it had become a significant landmark in an ever-expanding hive city, revered by the planet’s devout populace. Occasionally out of crippling desperation, helpless parents would leave their progeny at the Chapel’s antique oaken doors, praying they may be taken in by the Ecclesiarchy and rewarded a better existence. These prayers were seldom answered. Abandoned by a chem-addicted prostitute, the infant was swiftly dispatched to the Orphanus Protegum to be cared for until able to fend for itself. At the age of twelve standard, Chronus Lot was spat out by the ever-churning system, replaced in the Protegum by another discarded child, another lost soul. Alone, uneducated and homeless, the young boy was swept away in the unforgiving sea of Imperial society, sinking slowly but surely to its murky depths. Before long, Chronus found himself at the bottom of the pile, surviving on the scum-infested streets of the isolated Underhive. The following decade of Chronus Lot’s life soared by in a blurry haze of crime, filth and destitution. The young boy became a man, learning the harsh truth of reality along the way, begrudgingly accepting his lowly place in the universe. Succeeding several increasingly severe altercations with the Hive Sheriff, a twenty-five year old Lot realised he urgently needed an exit from the slum, else he be damned to incarceration or worse.
Back in his gloomy cell, Chronus grinned as he recalled his reasoning for leaving Magna Silex. The irony was delectable.
His escape had unveiled itself late in the sub-winter of 307, as ice-crystals fell from the heavens across the entire Eastern Plateau. Orders had been sent from Hydrophur, system capita of the Segmentum Pacificus, home of the Departmento Munitorum Sector Command. Lot had watched eagerly on the public-information screens as the founding of the 73rd Magna Silex Phalanx had been confirmed. Aiming to bolster forces engaged in the now infamous “Caratal Uprising”, the regiment was to be mustered immediately and neatly provided the getaway that Chronus Lot had been searching for. Quicker than he could comprehend, his rudimentary signature was scrawled across dispatch papers, a rifle, fresh off a press, was thrust into his hands and Lot found himself strapped into an uncomfortable seat aboard a rusting transport shuttle, leaving Magna’s orbit for the first and last time. The vivid image of his home-planet, hanging in the ethereal cosmos like a dirty pebble, had remained with him for the rest of his life.
Chronus shook the nostalgia out of his thoughts; he knew nothing was achieved by dwelling in the past. After several paced circuits of his cage, a gaunt Lot found himself at the dented wall plate again. His brow furrowed as he ran his right hand, his flesh hand, over the indentation created by his iron fisted strike. Internal gear mechanisms grinded as he flexed his left arm instinctively, a habit which never failed to intimidate. Bringing the bionic up to his face, he still didn’t fully understand the mechanics involved in its operation. The Hospitaliers had failed to brief him fully after the graft had taken. Who could blame them? There was a war on after all.
After basic training on the arid moon of a lifeless planet he never learned the name of, the 73rd Phalanx were activated and transported to the frontlines. Months of transit through the Warp in a bulky troop carrier left the virgin soldiers both bored and frustrated, some itching for battle, others dreading the moment they’d be forced to pull the trigger. Stress at breaking point, it didn’t take long for Private Chronus Lot to fall back into old habits. By the time the transport convoy dropped out of the Immaterium, the experienced con, together with several other devious characters, had established a syndicate within the lower ranks, dealing in contraband, intoxicants and any other illicit goods with which they could turn a profit. Lucrative though the scheme was, it soon became clear no amount of swindling could prevent the mischievous Private Lot being hastily deployed into the theatre of war raging on the planet they now orbited. The following weeks were a disorienting, chaotic sprawl of memories Lot had no intention of retaining. Blood, sweat and tears were shed, each droplet absorbed hungrily by the parched sand dunes that dominated the rebelling system of Caratal. The young man finally experienced the dreadful nature of mortality first hand. He witnessed soldiers cradling their spilled intestines, desperately trying in vain to force the organs back into their rightful place. He watched screaming men on their hands and knees, frantically fumbling for detached limbs, their hands drenched in warm blood. By the time the campaign reached its final stages, Chronus Lot had become accustomed to the savage brutality “The Emperors Hammer” wielded. His soul had become hardened, no longer effected by the pain and suffering his eyes showed it. And this, Chronus had concluded, was the worst horror of all.
When the Caratal Rebels, desperate and outnumbered, made their final offensive, the 73rd Phalanx bore the brunt of the assault. After a long and costly battle, rather than victory, the only thing the rebels had claimed was Lot’s left arm. Severed at the shoulder by a high calibre slug, the entire limb had fallen to the sand, slowly staining it scarlet. Moments later, Chronus followed suit, dropping to the sand with a thud, unconscious and in shock. As he woke, the stench of disinfectant overpowered his nostrils, singeing the fine hairs within. Slowly recollecting what had happened, Lot initially found the lack of pain strange. The field-hospital was ghostly silent, the lack of light suggesting night. Several other camp-beds, similar to the one he found himself on, were scattered around the ward. The other patients slept around him, some of them twitching occasionally, the terror of war haunting their dreams. Eventually the woozy Lot glanced down at his own body. Needles and surgical tubing were embedded in his right forearm, connecting him to a nearby drug pack. Chronus knew he had procrastinated long enough, his curiosity finally overwhelming his gut-wrenching fear. Eyes scrunched shut, he swivelled his head to the opposite shoulder. Inhaling deeply, he steeled himself. Chronus Lot opened his eyes.
They told him later his rage induced screams had woken the entire outpost.
The second punch, although making the indentation much larger, created a far louder noise. Throwing a fleeting look towards the blinking red light, Chronus Lot knew he didn’t have long before The Watcher would catch on to his plan. Again he drove his augmetic fist into the metallic wall-plating, infusing it with as much power he could muster. CLANG! The wall began to show signs of buckling under the duress. Breathing hard from ever-growing exhaustion, he gulped down stale air, tasting the stench of his dank and rotting surroundings. Unrelenting he resumed his mission, throwing his bionic into the wall over and over and over. The sound-waves echoed through the cell block ominously. Futile though his plan appeared, he refused to starve in this hell-hole any longer.
The Watcher licked his thin lips delicately. Transfixed, he observed one of the pict-screens featuring a young female. In the gloomy depths of her prison, she scratched at her face with over-grown nails. Resembling claws, they tore hysterically at her pallid skin. The lips curled into a malevolent smirk as he savoured her mouth-watering anguish.
“The poor creature knows not the pain that awaits her,” he thought.
It wasn’t until the sixth CLANG that his fixation was broken, the resounding tone snapping him out of his luscious stupor of ecstasy. Black eyes scouring the array of screens before him, The Watcher’s breath quickened. Identifying the perpetrator, he spat a curse at the screen, wrenching a small fire-arm from his waist. Furious, the spindly figure slipped from the room, skulking into the shadows of the prison-quarter.
A tear in the buckled metal inspired his second wind, presenting Lot with new reserves of energy and zeal. Before long, he could fit his entire prosthetic hand into the breach. Grasping the battered plating in his superhuman grip, Chronus Lot began expanding the breach, perspiration beginning to trickle down his forehead.
Moving with a feline agility, The Watcher stalked through the dark cell-block. He knew these corridors well, calculating the shortest route to the human prison-sect. The needle-barrelled pistol was clenched in his palm.
Chronus separated a piece of the plating with a huge exertion of energy, rupturing a pectoral muscle in the process. His watery eyes widened as he realised the gaping crevice in the cell-wall was large enough to accommodate his slight figure. Throwing one final glance at the cramped cell, Lot squeezed through the fissure, jagged metal scraping his torso and legs. Heart thudding in his chest, he was free! Turning on his heel, Lot found himself staring down the barrel of a lethal looking pistol. It clicked portentously as the firing mechanism cocked. A sickly and high pitched voice spoke to him, uttering a language, familiarly incomprehensible. He adjusted his gaze to lay eyes on the voice’s owner. A sharp, pale face looked back at him. Tall and stick thin, the creature oozed evil, its pointed ears resembling a daemon. For the first time since that fateful night, six months ago, Chronus Lot looked upon his captors.
Chronus Lot’s debilitating injury at the hands of the Rebellion left him bitter and resentful. Even after they’d fitted the crude prosthetic, the young man felt betrayed by his superiors, the Guard and the God-Emperor himself. The campaign eventually reached a bloody conclusion, victory claimed, half-heartedly by the Imperium. Disillusioned with the universe, Lot and his fellow bootleggers took to looting the urban districts of Caratal, pilfering anything and everything of value. They were merciless in their pursuit of riches, threatening and neutralizing anybody who stood in their way. By the time the Commissariat had discovered the plot, the Guard Syndicate had amassed a small fortune of precious jewellery, Imperial crowns and narcotics. Needless to say, it didn’t take long before for his accomplices squealed, naming Private Lot the coordinator of the entire scandal. The Commissars pulled the truth from the young criminals like a mouth-surgeon pulling rotten teeth. From what Lot had heard, they both used pliers. Chronus knew contesting the accusations would achieve nothing and grudgingly accepted his fate. The Court Marshal, nothing but a formality, took place, harshly resulting in him being “made an example of”. Private Chronus Lot received a dishonourable discharge accompanied by a life sentence, to be served in a Penal Facility, located on some backwater world in the Sub-Sect fringes. Shackled and shaved in a grimy processing bay, he never expected to see sunlight again.
He spent six years incarcerated before he’d been forced to murder a fellow convict. It was a dog eat dog world behind the unforgiving bars, one that Lot, after several broken bones and blade wounds, learned to adapt to. You either learned to fight or you succumbed to a new level of hell. Ex-soldiers made for violent inmates. Lot’s first victim, a burly thug from the Hydraphur PDF, foolishly attempted to thieve his ration allocation. A brawl broke out, concluding in Lot snapping the prisoner’s stodgy neck. One handed. The guards never discovered who had killed him; no-one dared snitch “inside.” Receiving his first tear-tat, Chronus Lot had crossed a line from which he would never return.
Two decades passed by and the young man who had left Magna Silex grew into a hardened, daunting individual. Then “They” came. The raiders moved quickly, storming the isolated prison in the dead of night. The guards were slaughtered like cattle, unable to raise an alarm. Serrated blades flashed in the darkness, slicing throats to silence muffled screams of agony. Caged like animals, the prisoners were helplessly trapped, prepared like a banquet table from which the aliens could pick and choose from. Lot had only heard rumours before that night, whispered ghost stories of dark-eldar that would come and snatch sleeping children from their cribs. The truth was far worse. He watched as the vicious creatures, cell by cell, inspected the convicts, periodically butchering the occasional man. By the time they reached his cell, Chronus Lot felt fear for the first time in decades. It washed over him in waves as he stared into the malignant eyes of the dark-kin leader, unable to avert his gaze. Sniffing deeply, the alien smelt his fear. The world flashed green, blinding him. Darkness fell.
The hood was stifling. Trapped heat circulated within, creating an inexorable humidity inducing an inescapable sense of light headedness. It had been days since his escape attempt had been foiled; and he’d been a victim of the blindfold ever since. Intended to disorient and confuse, the hood was performing its job efficiently. No longer aware of his location, Lot was deeply troubled. After spending a period of time in a new, confined prison, he had been marched out into another area, prompted by a pointed blade digging into the small of his back. From behind his blindfold, Lot had sensed entering a considerably larger, expansive area, the refreshing feeling of liberty and sovereignty accompanied by a low, buzzing murmur. The voices surrounded him, whispering in hushed voices. Then, silence.
Chronus Lot gasped as the hood was ripped of his head and his vision returned. Ruthless fluorescent light burned his retinas, a ruthless contrast to his gloomy cell. Watering, his eyes slowly focussed on his surroundings.
The crowd erupted as one, screaming jeers assaulting Lot’s fragile senses. Shocked into paralysis, his chiselled jaw dropped, realisation overwhelming him. He stood alone in a marble-floored ring, oval in shape. A crowd, half a million strong, leered down at him from elevated stalls surrounding the arena, each face pale and sharp. Baying for blood, they chanted simultaneously, as loud as a titan’s war-horn, and more intimidating. They had come to The Shadow Coliseum to witness death and pain, and the arena was sure to deliver it. Lot slowly turned three hundred and sixty degrees, the sheer magnitude of the alien throng besieging him. A central dais stood out, isolated in the crowd, resided by one lonely figure. Hunched in a spiny throne, the mysterious being was bathed in shadow, the regal face concealed from its peers. For reasons unbeknownst to Lot, he felt an urge to see the stranger’s visage. There was little doubt in his mind that the sight would be ghastly but, somehow, it was worse not knowing who lurked in the shade. Chronus swallowed nervously, only noticing afterwards that his mouth was utterly dry. The unremitting chant continued to bellow through the colossal structure, the frenzied mass united as one. Continuing to turn on the spot, Lot caught sight of his own face, super-imposed on a twenty foot pict-screen, high above the death-ring. When the action began, the lustful mob would want to see every gory detail, each morsel of delicious excruciation. The view-screen enabled the spectators furthest from the arena to see the carnage the arena was serving. It reminded Chronus Lot of the Carnival-Primus back on Magna’ where anyone, hab-slummer or Hive Nobility, could enjoy thrashing, exotic beasts gore one another, or imbecilic jesters prance around gleefully. He pushed the images out of his mind, trying to retain some degree of limpidity.
Lot took a deep breath, trying to steady his rapidly fraying nerves. His nostrils flared at the scent of stale blood, the putrid stench intoxicating the air around him. Beyond this reeking scent lay another, sickly sweet smell, like corruption made manifest; the source remained an obscurity. Tearing his eyes away from the behemothic structure surrounding him, Lot dropped his view to the arena floor. At first glance it appeared the floor was sweating blood. Pools of viscous crimson life-fluid, sat idle on the green-marble surface, grim evidence of the severity of Lot’s predicament. A black onyx-like pillar had been erected, centred in the ring, directly in front of the mysterious Dais. Manacles hung on chains, firmly attached to the obelisk’s crown, dangled innocently, swaying to and fro as the entire amphitheatre vibrated with the crowds thundering ardour. The smooth onyx was slick with bodily fluids, a testament to the pillars maleficent purpose.
Besides the gruesome ichor, only two other items lay on the arena floor. Not a metre away from his tattered boots, the objects were begging to be picked up, silently crying out to be wielded. Moving for the first time since the blindfold was removed, Lot stepped forward and cautiously approached the petty lifeline he’d been offered. He dropped to one knee, scooping up the items. His right hand grasped a wooden buckler, its cracked leather strap betraying its age. A thin metal band ran around the shields circumference, enforcing the durability. At the epicentre protruded a dirty spike, transforming the buckler into a lethal weapon. In his left, oily chrome fist he held a rusted, double-edged short sword. The hilt curled like a hawk’s talon, protecting bearers’ knuckles. Although encrusted with corrosion, the blade was scalpel sharp; it could have passed through flesh and bone like a hot blade through lard. When Chronus Lot got to his feet his the xenos horde surged in delight. The mon’keigh would fight!
No sooner than it had begun, the cheers dissipated to a faint murmur. The strange figure had vacated its throne, moving to the dais’ edge, looming over the death-ring. The shadows had melted away to reveal a cruel and snarled face, sneering at Lot. Every eye in the Shadow Coliseum was on this alien-ringmaster. And then he spoke.
Hidden sound-amplifiers activated as the Overseer’s voice boomed throughout the stadium. In his crude, guttural alien tongue he bellowed.
“Let the game begin!”
Perplexed by the alien cackle, Lot tightened his grip on the simplistic weaponry. Opposite him, a hatch opened with a hiss of pneumatics, revealing the dim tunnel it concealed. A slow, entrancing drum beat steadily grew in volume from within the crowd, stretching tensions to breaking point. Swinging the sword in a figure of eight, Lot tried to accustom himself to its weight and balance. The drum beat built momentum. Still taking deep breaths, he was beginning to find the putrid aroma nauseating. The beat reached its climax, evoking a nympholepsy within the crowd. A shape burst from the darkness of the tunnel, agile as a serpent. Coming to a halt, Lot finally saw what he was up against.
Before him stood a female dark-kin, her breasts tightly packed within a black synth-skin. The one-piece outfit hugged the creature’s supple figure, accentuating jutting bones. Like Lot, she was armed, wielding a barbed net, comparable to a fisherman’s tool. Her other weapon was far more obvious a threat. Gleaming in the unsympathetic light beaming down on them, the blade was the length of the aliens forearm and fixed solidly to a gauntlet. The bronze gauntlet allowed her to brandish the weapon as easily as a limb.
Delicately, the lithe gladiator approached him, analysing his actions like the predator she was. Vigilantly, Lot raised his buckler, positioning it between himself and the skulking eldar. The first clash was over in an instant. Suddenly the alien leapt acrobatically towards Lot, unleashing a howling scream. He swung wildly with his sword, finding only thin air. Before he knew it the thing was behind him. Turning foolishly, Lot knew instantly he was outmatched. Several shallow slices had been cut in his chest. In the time it had taken him to swing once, the xenos had sliced him seven times, choosing to let him live. The crowd roared their approval.
Baring jagged teeth, the gladiator circled him. Pre-emptively, Lot charged the prowling creature, thrusting his blade towards the foe. With an inhuman grace, the elder evaded the strike with a nimble handspring, casting her net simultaneously. She cackled madly, casually yanking the netting with a flick of her wrist. Lot’s entangled short sword flew out of his hand, skittering across the death-arena floor. Idly discarding the barbed-net, the gladiator pounced once more. A desperate Lot felt his buckler deflected upwards before a searing pain in both hamstrings brought a tear to his eye. Struggling to remain upright, he turned to face his attacker yet again, feeling warm blood gush down the back of his legs. The wretched thing was dissecting him one piece at a time, revelling in his suffering. Two more similar clashes left Lot with deep gashes in his back and gut, his flesh now wet with crimson blood. One precise incision had sliced his left cheek open.
The spectators in The Shadow Coliseum were shrieking in pleasure. A combination of blood-loss and exhaustion were slowly getting the better of Lot, forcing him to blink away increasingly blurred vision. His own blood had joined that on the marble-floor, adding to the pools of scarlet. The buckler was still clutched firmly in his flesh hand, his bionic hand vacant. A couple of metres away, the dark-kin pandered to the crowd, spurring more noise from her patrons. Desperately, the battered Lot dragged himself over to her, throwing a sloppy punch towards the aliens leering face. Deftly, the ever-aware slayer evaded the blow, watching it sail past. Stepping outside his swing, the gladiator brought her non-blade hand up beneath his ribcage. The beaked-fist drove up into his diaphragm with an astonishing strength, traumatizing the meat it found. Lot staggered back, gasping for air.
With difficulty, he caught his breath, coughing up blood in the process. The throng could sense the fight was nearly done, the final pleasure waiting on the horizon. Chronus Lot stared his mortal enemy down, fiery passion visible in her yellow eyes. Defiantly, he raised his shield one final time. Tilting her head, the alien gladiator bowed mockingly, preparing herself for an execution.
She dashed at him, bouncing along the cold floor. Reaching her victim, she unleashed a flurry of strikes, each with a precise target. The first strike was aimed for the buckler, knocking it down and opening up the mon’keigh’s torso. The second and third slashes would eviscerate his belly, spilling his intestines. A fourth and fifth incision would slice his jugular and weakened solar plexus. The final cut would completely disembowel the man. Unfortunately the plan went awry. The first blow came down on the shield with a terrific force. Lot braced himself against the strike. The blade passed straight through the metal banding and into the buckler itself. And there, in a twist of fate rarely seen in The Shadow Coliseum, the blade stuck fast.
The yellow eyes widened in fear.
The first fist smashed the alien's face beyond recognition. The second severed its scrawny neck. The third and fourth bionic blows completely ruptured the internal organs of the gladiator, transforming the innards into gelatinous mush.
Relinquishing the buckler, Lot allowed the limp corpse to fall to the marble. A crunching boot fragmented what was left of the eldar’s skull, ensuring it was truly vanquished.
The crowd fell silent.
Chronus Lot could hear himself panting, the eerie quiet contrasting against the adrenaline coursing through his veins. His bionic-fist was wet with gore and his own blood still freely flowing. High above, on the dais, the Overseer spoke broke the silence. Although in the alien tongue, it was clearly an order. The world went black as the hood was stuffed back onto his head. The shocked crowd watched as the mon’keigh was dragged back to the Coliseum undercroft.
The hooded figure appeared to be crying.......