Written by Harper. Original post can be seen here.
The rain splattered against his battleplate, the drops running down his bare head and cheeks. He watched as the blood of his slain xenos enemies mixed in with the mud, the fluid draining out of lifeless, twisted bodies.
“It had been so easy”, he thought as the energy fields crackled on his lightning claws, blood and fragments of flesh sluicing off the blades. Like wheat before the scythe, the Eldar had fallen one by one, the pitiful bunch.
He knew they didn’t stand a chance, having fought their kind before. These were lowly guardians, their weapons no match for Astartes battleplate. Three jagged slices out of his leg armor were all the evidence of resistance from the weak xenos.
He looked down at one of the Eldar, his torso severed from his legs and wondered why he and his brothers had even been called to this world. Surely the Imperial Guard could have dealt with this pitiful excuse for an invasion.
Suddenly a strained voice, barely audible above the deluge reached the warriors ears. “You have doomed this world”, the dying Eldar snarled. The warrior walked over to the prone xenos, a sneer of hate across his face. “The only thing doomed is your wretched race”. Before the xenos could reply, the warrior stamped on the Guardian’s face, crushing it’s skull. He shook off his talons of the filth and blood and made his way back to his brothers.
The breaching pod slammed into the space hulk, cutting deep into it’s twisted body. With a jolt the pod screeched to a stop and opened up into the belly of the hulk. Code named Endless Despair, the space hulk lived up to its name. The five terminators turned on their shoulder mounted spotlights, cutting into the gloom as the decouplers hissed and detached.
With their sergeant taking point, the terminators of the Blood Angels chapter resolutely moved into the oppressive darkness. Their stomping armor drowning out the clunks and hisses of the hulk.
It did not take long for the enemy to attack Hated xenos attacked them soon after their extraction from the breaching pod. The Blood Angels welcomed it. The Sergeant’s power sword thrummed to life and cut down the first, his storm bolter taking the next in the chest. Explosive rounds covered the terminators in gore, their holy armor sullied by the filth.
Suddenly a door exploded inward, a thrashing xenos besetting brother Petrarch. Brother Acrion behind him cut down the twisted this with his lightning claws, the pieces of it’s body splattering to the ground it’s claws still twitching. Without missing a beat, Brother Petrarch turned his heavy flamer to the destroyed door and filled the chamber beyond with purifying flame. Screeches and howls emanated out from the opening eventually diminishing to pitiful squeals as the xenos burned alive.
First to fall was Brother Belarius who held up the rear. A xenos claw burst out of the wall and slashed across his throat, taking off his head in one savage blow. His body fell to its knees, blood spurting out of the exposed stump and slumped to the side against the wall. Storm bolter fire rang out from the survivors covering the wall in exploding shells.
Smoke rose from the barrels of the terminators guns as they waited for any movement, the blood rage rising. Still they controlled themselves, for they were of the first and discipline was firmly entrenched. Hearing nothing, they carried on, marking the resting place of their fallen brother for later extraction.
Twenty minutes later Brother Meros and Petrarch were the next to fall, rushed by several genestealers at once from the rear. Brother Petrarch’s heavy flamer chaotically spraying burning promethium everywhere, covering the ceiling in flames as his ruined chest spilled out it’s life blood. Brother Meros in the midst of slamming his chainfist into the chest of one genestealer was taken out by another, his arm shorn off at the shoulder, quickly followed by his torso.
The sergeant, overtaken by rage at seeing his betherin slain pushed past Brother Acrion and slashed one of the surviving xenos to pieces with this power sword. The warning from Brother Acrion fell dead on his lips as the berzerker Sergeant overextended and fell to slashing claws. But even in his death throes, the Sergeant managed to blow the head and shoulders off of one genestealer and slice another in half with his power sword before he finally succumbed to his wounds. Brother Acrion dispatched the remaining two with his arcing claws. The silence was oppressive. Only Brother Acrion remained.
Stamping down the corridor Brother Acrion watched as a xenos turned the corner and charged towards him. At the same time another genestealer broke out of the ceiling and scuttled down the wall. Brother Acrion began the litany of battle, bellowing iit fruitlessly at his foes.
I am the edge of His Sword,
I am the tip of His Spear,
I am the mail about His Fist,
The Emperor’s chosen,
Covered in the Blood of Sanguinius,
I will smite my enemies,
I will purge the heretic,
I will burn the witch,
For I am the Emperor’s judgement.
He splayed out his claws as another genestealer burst out of the floor, ready to deal out the Emperor’s justice against the hated xenos.
Brother Acrion fell to the ground as a claw pierced his heart, his litany still thundering in his head.
The unceasing wind howled around the nameless warrior but he remained still as a statue. His outward appearance a deception as he scanned the horizon vigilantly for any threat that was foolish enough to show itself. It was his duty and he did not waver from it, for that way lay death.
They came to this planet 13 days ago after a distress beacon was picked up via the ship’s Astropath. The raving, disjointed messages made no sense but came with a Magenta level encryption and so the war host saw fit to investigate.
They arrived to nothing and no one. The planet appeared deserted, but signs of life persisted. A half drunk caff here, a cache of food here, but no people could be found. That was until the first night when the horde attacked. Mindless men, women and children interwoven with shadows. Their staggering charge no less dangerous for its slowness. The Librarian said they were tainted by the warp. Tainted or not, they died like any other enemy with bolt and blade. The morning came and the horde retreated to the wastes, shrouded by shadow and dust.
The warriors came upon the monoliths in the middle of the wastes and it was there they found the source of the madness. Shifting shadows drew out from the monoliths, twisting and striking. A claw here, a hand wielding a knife there. To look on them was madness, as several serfs found out. Like the horde, they were systematically terminated by the warriors in battle plate.
Full of dark energy, the monoliths towered over the war host. Each day brought changes to the seemingly immobile stone. A movement of hand here, a change of face there. Today one held a stone man wrapped in chains, a soundless scream frozen on his lips. Where yesterday they had faces of maidens, today they held menacing skulls.
But worse than the shadows were the unceasing whispers. Even the stalwart chosen of the Emperor were taken by them if they did not remain forever vigilant. The nameless warrior did not mourn his lost brothers, for they succumbed to weakness and that way lay destruction. And so his unwavering faith protected him and still he watched and waited for the night when they would come again.