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Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff

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Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff

Post by Adrassil » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:31 am

"You're what?" said Hayden.

He'd talked after such a long pause, Adelana couldn't help flinch in fright.

"Immortal," said Attelus. "I can still die, though, but it's only...Temporary."

"Temporary?" said Adelana. "Do you know how ridiculous you sound? I was wrong, you're not on the verge of losing your mind. You're way beyond the verge and fallen all the way into the plant's core, Attelus!"

There was another weighted pause as if Attelus thought Adelana might take it back or apologise. But she kept her mouth shut, she meant it.

Attelus sighed. "That's, harsh, Adelana. But fair enough. I'm not entirely sure, either. I haven't died yet so-"

"What the hell are you on about?" said one of the Velrosian troopers. Adelana's attention snapped to him. She'd somehow forgot they were there. "This is insane! This is-"

"Heresy?" said Attelus. "What's your name?"

"Trooper Kiltin."

"Well, I'm Inquisition, Kiltin. So I think I have a better idea of what's heresy and what isn't more than you. And claiming to be immortal, isn't heresy."

Attelus snorted. "And if it is. What are you going to do? Shoot me? And what if I really am immortal and track you down in revenge? I'm not an Interrogator and not well that well versed in interrogation, but it-"

"We can find that out now, can't we?" said Kiltin, motioning his las gun.

"Attelus!" said Adelana as rage overtook her. "Shut up! Your hands and ankles are bound! He can kill you! Stop pissing him off!"

Attelus sighed. "He won't kill me, Adelana. My father needs me and they're too shit scared of him to actually do it. But thank you for showing me you still care, despite thinking me insane."

Adelana let out a growl. "Throne, Attelus! You're infuriatingly arrogant sometimes!"

"I...I'm not sure how that statement translates into arrogance, but okay, Adelana. Yes, I can be arrogant at times, you are technically correct."

Adelana growled again as anger was overtaken by frustration. "You really are a smart arse!"

"Wait," said Delathasi. "If you are immortal why does your father care if you die?"

"That...That is a very good question, there, Delathasi. It's a long sordid story and-"

"Well we aren't going any where are we?" said Hayden. "Look! Here it is again! Attelus the special little snow flake who has to be so special he has to be immortal too! This is beyond ridiculous!"

"Snow...flake? I haven't heard that term used in that context before," said Attelus. "It sounds like it is a mocking way of saying someone is unique. I don't understand what that has to do with a snow flake. Interesting, yes."

"Insane!" said Hayden. "You. Are. Insane. I knew it was a mistake coming to this Emperor damned planet! I knew Inquisitor Enandra made a mistake appointing you our leader! It should've been someone! Anyone! Else."

There was another long silence.

Attelus sighed. "If it's any consolation, Hayden. I have come to the same conclusion. You're right. Completely right."

"So? What are you going to do about it? Immortal?"

"The actual term, is perpetual," said Attelus. "I am perpetual and I'm not the first and I believe I am not the last. Not any more."

"Wait!" said Delathasi. "You said that this sword can eat souls does that mean..."

She trailed off and Adelana had no idea where she was going with it.

"You...You once again impress me, Delathasi," said Attelus and Adelana couldn't help feel a stab of jealousy. "Darrance has taught you well. It can kill me."

There was a weighted pause.

"Why does your father need you to get it?" said Adelana.

"Because, apparently, only a perpetual can retrieve the sword. For some reason, it's defences are designed that only a perpetual can get to it."

"So yet again you were manipulated by Etuarq and your father," said Hayden.

"Well!" said Delthasi. "That's simple enough! When we escape..."

She trailed off as she noticed the looks of the troopers guarding them.

"Don't be stupid," said Hayden. "Of course we're going to escape. It goes without saying."

"We just need to not get it," said on Delathasi. "Hide out, wait for the-"

"No," said Attelus, much to Adelana's and everyone else's surprise.

"What do you mean, no?" said Hayden. "It's a frigging good idea!"

Attelus sighed yet again. "I said a few seconds ago that I believe that I'm not the last perpetual, any more. Well? What do you think that Etuarq might have done with all those souls? This sword might be the only way we can stop him."

"If that's the case, why didn't he come here and get it?" said Adelana.

"I don't know, Adelana," said Attelus. "I'm sure they have some convoluted reason why, but it doesn't matter. Even if there's an even slight chance he's like me, we've got to use it. If he isn't a perpetual, he dies, if he is, he dies. Hopefully. Nothing is certain."

"And I'm betting that you got this idea in your head when you were talking to your father," said Hayden. "I bet they are counting on that. You are being manipulated, yet again."

"I know that," said Attelus. "I know that, but even still."

"How do you know if there is even a sword?" said Adelana. "What if it's something else or a trap or...or-"

"I don't, but I'm pretty sure my father wasn't lying. Please believe in me in this, Adelana. I know you think I'm insane-"

"No, I know you're insane, Attelus Kaltos."

Attelus smiled. "Fair enough. But please, Adalana. Please, have faith in me. Have I let you down, yet?"

Adelana gave him a glare he flinched from.

"Okay! Okay! Have I let you down until now?" he said giving what Adelana knew he thought was his most charming grin.

There gazes met and after a few seconds, Adelana couldn't help feel a smile spread, and she gave him one curt nod.

Hayden let out what may have been a gagging sound. "You didn't answer my question, perpetual. What are you going to do about your realisation that you shouldn't be the leader?"

"I am still the leader, Hayden," said Attelus. "And as much as I've messed up. I'm not going to step down. I'm going to use what I've learned and not make the same mistakes again. This I swear."

"Of course you do," said Hayden and Adelana found herself not liking his smirk.

"You still haven't explained how your immortality works," said Delathasi.

"Do you know what I would like explained," said a voice and the commissar stepped into the tent, holding something behind his back. The troopers snapped to attention but he waved for them to relaxed. The two scouts slipped in after him, all of them moving in silence.

"All of you out," said the commissar. "I wish to talk to the prisoners alone."

"Are you sure, sir?" said one of the troopers. "You should hear the shit they've been talking about, it's completely nuts. They might try to kill you, or something. They're off the planet."

"Out, Dovik," said the commissar and with shrugs and bemused glances, they filled out.

"Turn him to face us, please, Dellenger," said the commissar.

The scout frowned and hesitated before grabbing Attelus by the ankles then spun him around.

"Emperor. Who beat the crap out of you?" said the commissar.

"You know who," said Attelus.

The commissar nodded. "We can't stay for too long, those freaks could be here in any second."

He showed what he held behind his back and it was Attelus' sword.

"How did you get that?" said Attelus.

"So this is yours?" said the commissar. "I will answer your question but you will have to answer mine first. How did you get it?"

Adelana frowned. What was the big deal about Attelus' sword? Even she could tell it was beautifully crafted, but why the commissar was interested, she didn't have a clue.

"I didn't steal it, if that's what you think," said Attelus.

"That's what someone who stole it might say," said the female scout sergeant.

"Just tell me! Now!" said the commissar.

Attelus sighed. "Estella Erith herself gave it to me."

"The Erith line is dead," said the commissar.

"No, she survived the war. She is in my squad."

Adelana frowned. She didn't know any Estella Erith in their group.

"I was shown a pict of her," said Tathe. "Neither of these young women look anything like her and both are too young to be her."

"She isn't here. I don't know where she is right now."

Tathe folded his arms and studied Attelus. "There's more of you?"

"Yes! How I got that sword, doesn't matter, commissar. What you need to know is that Inquisitor, is an imposter. He is lying to you, using you. You have to kill them."

Tathe knelt before Attelus. "And why should I believe you? You own a sword that was a treasured relic of my world. You claim that a dead woman gave it to you. Your accent isn't strong, but I can tell you are Velrosian. How do I know that you didn't steal it?"

"Did you ever see the body?"

Tathe's eyes narrowed. "What?"

"Did you ever see Estella Erith's body? Or any of the bodies of the Eriths?"

Tathe grimaced. "No."

"Then how do you know she's dead?" said Attelus. "Look! I don't know how she got the sword. I know it was in a museum, so could've been stolen. But I didn't steal it."

"Why would she need to steal it if she's an Erith?" said the scout sergeant and Adelana couldn't help agree.

"It's complicated," sighed Attelus. "This isn't what we need to talk about. We aren't your enemy! Those 'freaks' as you call them are the real enemy, they are responsible for the deaths of billions of innocent Imperial citizens. You have to turn against them, now. Before it's too late."

"Billions of lives?" said the male scout. "Dovik was right, these people are insane."

The corner of Tathe's mouth twitch and he stood.

"I have an Inquisition badge," said Attelus.

"Yes I have seen it," said Tathe. "But so did they, so it doesn't mean anything. I'm sorry. If you are not going to tell me the truth on how you got this sword, I see very little point of continuing this talk. Good bye."

Tathe turned and started out.

"You're scared, commissar Tathe," said Attelus causing Tathe to stop. "I see it. I understand it. That Inquisitor, whatever name he gave you, isn't his name. His real name is Serghar Kaltos and he is my father and in all honesty, if he scares you, he terrifies me. I truly know what he is capable of, what he has done and what he and his sycophants will do to you and your men once you have out lived your usefulness. Please, at least think on my words."

Tathe didn't reply, he left.

"Yet another damned secret," said Hayden. "Who is this Estella Erith?"

Attelus didn't answer, his attention fixated on the tent's exit.


The answer hit Adelana. "She's Karmen Kons."

"What?" said Delathasi.

"Her name? A psyker just so having such a perfect name for her craft? It has to be fake. Karmen Kons is Estella Erith! I'm sure. Numerous times over the years I have got the hint that Attelus and her have some past together. Hence why she gave him that sword."

"Is she right?" said Hayden. "She's right isn't she?"

"Damn you, Adelana," sighed Attelus.

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Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff

Post by Adrassil » Mon May 14, 2018 6:00 am

Tathe stormed toward Inquisitor Tolbik's tent. His fear had mixed with anger. They coagulated into an emotion he couldn't begin to describe. The mixture of fear and hatred was a familiar friend to him. But never fear and anger. Tathe could feel Adreen studying him as they walked, she as always knew what he was thinking and feeling. He knew what she was too. Adreen was certain that that smug young man was telling the truth. That his words had just proven the misgivings that everyone in the regiment felt toward the agents.

He had wanted to kill that smug young man for saying he was scared. No one had spoken so boldly to him since he was a cadet. But he was right and now was the time for Tathe to face that fear.

Two of the Inquisitor's agents stood guard, the tall one and the male with the curved sword.

"What are you doing here?" said the tall one. "The master did not summon you."

"I need to talk to your master," said Tathe.

"He is...indisposed," said the shorter one and as if on cue Tathe heard a crack! And a cry of pain erupted from the tent.

Tathe clenched his teeth. "What in the Emperor's name is going on in there?"

"That is none of your concern," said the curved swordsman. "Leave."

Tathe steeled himself. "No. Let me in, now."

The agents shared a glance and Tathe had to fight from wincing as another scream came from the tent.

The one with the curved sword tilted his head. "You have spoken to the prisoners."

Tathe frowned.

"No body said you could talk to them," said the tall one.

"No one said I couldn't," said Tathe through clenched teeth.

"We assumed that you would not be so foolish to risk our ire and our working relationship," said the tall one. "That you were logical enough to see it was not a good idea."

Tathe sighed. "Look, I don't know how old you are with your mask and voice modulator. You can be seventeen or a thousand for all I care, but what I have learned over the years is to follow my instincts and I'm sure you can guess with all your logic what my gut screams at me. Why I saw this Attelus Kaltos and his allies and why I..."

Tathe showed the sword. "And why I had my men scout the Sovrithan camp during the distraction."

Both agents seemed taken off guard. "Where did you get that?" said the curved swordsman.

"I believe he answered that in his implication," said the tall one and the condescension in his tone was obvious even through the modulator.

"I need to talk to your leader," repeated Tathe.

The agents looked at each other and Tathe heard the click of an activated vox link. Tathe, Dellenger and Adreen waited for a few seconds before the curved swordsman turned to them and said, "you may see the master, but you and only you, commissar. Take the sword."

Tathe frowned and exchanged glances with Dellenger and Adreen, who both gave nods. He shouldn't have been surprised they would have such limitations.

"Okay," said Tathe as he steeled himself and pushed into the tent.

What caught Tathe attention was the young woman lying on the ground. He knew it was the girl of the trio but her mask was off, revealing a pale face of remarkable beauty. Beauty which was ruined by a swollen, purple visage. Her brown hair was cut to her jaw line with remarkable symmetry.

"Put on your mask," said Tolbik who stood over her, "and get up."

"Yes master," said the young woman, her voice like silk and as beautiful as her. With impressive speed and grace for someone so beaten, she climbed to her feet, picked up her mask. She struggled to slip it back on due to the swelling.

"Get out," said Tolbik. "We will speak more of this later, your punishment is not finished, merely delayed."

"Yes master," said the young woman again and Tathe's heart dropped. Saddened just as much by the modulator masking her voice as her face being hidden. But what hurt him most was the resounding sadness and pain in her large brown eyes.

Tathe shook himself into sanity, as she past him then left the tent.

"What did she do?" said Tathe after a pause, despite knowing that's what Tolbik wanted him to ask.


Tathe fought back a sigh. "What did she do, Inquisitor?"

"She disobeyed me, commissar. For that, I had to punish her. I hear that you have gone behind my back too."

Tathe grimaced and showed Tolbik the sword. "This was in the prisoner's confiscated items at the Sovrithian camp. This-"

"I know what that sword is, commissar," said Tolbik. "I do not think it matters, you are being foolish. I should kill you for this insubordination. Snuff your worthless life out in a second. You know I am more than capable of it. Both physically and I am within my God-Emperor given rights."

"Yes," said Tathe. "But you won't."

Tolbik raised an eyebrow. "And how did you figure that out? Did that worthless boy somehow convince you he could defeat me?"

The Inquisitor laughed, it held no humour it echoed with smug self assuredness. "If you believe him in that regard you are even more idiotic than I gave you credit for. You are a commissar who doesn't even kill his own men. That is the allotment you were given in life and yet do not follow it. Instead you molly coddle them, treat them like equals. What a foolish thing to do."

"He never claimed that," said Tathe through clenched teeth. "You won't kill me or even punish me because you know that despite all your skill and all your influence my men will not take that lying down and they will kill you. Even after you and your agents kill dozens of us, they will keep coming and coming until you dead. That's why."

Tolbik's eyes glazed with rage.

"That 'worthless boy' as you call him said he was your son," said Tathe, seizing the initiative. "That-"

The high pitched whine of a speaker's activation erupted through the air, it eclipsed all other sounds.

It caused Tathe and even Tolbik to wince. Tathe knew about the system of speakers that littered the entire city. Once used by the Ministorum or the city governor like countless cities across the Imperium of Mankind.

Tathe had thought them beyond repair, apparently not.

The incessant whining and screaming went on and on before it finally, briefly turned into static and a voice all too familiar to Tathe echoed.

"This is the general," said Tathe's father. "This is your general, men and woman of Velrosia, Maranger, Galak Heim and Despasia."

Even still the confidence in general Tathe's voice was beyond belief, the strength, the projection was that of a man who had spent decades as a war hero and leader. Delan Tathe had always envied that. As did every other leader of the Elbyran contingent, even colonel Vonlet, the leader of the Velrosian regiment a great leader and tactician of the ages himself, but still overshadowed by Tathe's father.

Vonlet like most of the regiment's upper echelons had been killed when most of the Elbyran contingent followed general Tathe in damnation and joined the ranks of the Resurrected. Why Tathe's father had turned traitor, Tathe had no idea, but for months before they came to Sarkeath Tathe could see that something had been weighing on his father's mind. Something that had got to the implacable general.

"Many of you believe that I am a traitor and a heretic," said general Tathe. "That I have turned my back on the golden throne and the Imperium of Mankind."

There was a pause.

"This is somewhat true, I must admit," said general Tathe. "But-"

"What the hell is this about?" said Hayden, struggling in his bonds.

Attelus didn't answer, too busy listening to the broadcast.

"-But would you really call me a traitor and a heretic when the society I have, we have fought for and died for, for so long is so weak it cannot even defend itself.-"

"That's general Tathe!" said Adelana.

"Yeah, sure as hell sounds like him," said Attelus. "But never be so sure, it could be any one with a voice modulator or someone who's excellent at mimicry."

Like the Mimic, Attelus reminded himself.

"-This society, this Imperium of Mankind is corrupt," said the general. "It is dying. It is upon the cusp of extinction I know this, I have seen this-"

"Heresy!" said one of the guards, a Marangerian male. "The Imperium of Mankind will last forever!"

Attelus frowned, he wanted to tell the guardsman that nothing lasts forever, that what the general claimed was actually true. The Imperium of Mankind was over the Millennia slowly, but surely withering, dying. But wisely held his tongue.

"-The Emperor is nothing but a corpse, a shadow who was and never will be a god. He is a liar and his power is nothing compared to that of the gods-"

"Here we go," said Karmen Kons as she gazed out the window. "The same old spiel of the heretic and traitor trying to qualify themselves, heard it all before."

No one replied as they stood in the makeshift medicae room, they'd been in the midst of talking with the Space Marine, when the broadcast started. It'd taken them off guard, but Sergeant Kalakor had fallen into combat mode. He glanced about with such intensity Karmen couldn't help fear he might attack them.

"-the gods of the warp are our only hope! Our only hope for the survival of the human race is to embrace their power! Their strength will allow us to destroy the xenos encroaching on us!-"

"Foolish words," said Verenth. "Devoting ourselves to the Ruinous Powers would lead to our destruction in only a few short decades."

Karmen nodded. Chaos was a cancer and like a cancer if it was allowed to consume the host, the host would die.

A thought hit Karmen. What would happen to the cancer if the host died? Would the cancer then die too?

"-over generations the Imperium have been brainwashing you! Lying about the dangers of Chaos. I have embraced their power. They have given me their gifts, I command those whom you call the Resurrected. A fitting title.-"

"The Resurrected?" said Helma as she sat up from her cot. "Are they the traitor guardsmen and the cultists we fought earlier?"

No one answered.

"-I am giving you that still claim to be loyal to the false Emperor, even my own traitorous son the opportunity to join me. To join us in the light of the chaos gods, willingly-"

Tolbik and Tathe had stood in silence, listening to the general's rant.

"-you will be granted my favour. If you do not! I will send the Resurrected against you enforce. You will die at their hands, it is inevitable and once you do you will join us as one of the Resurrected! You will fight glorious battle after battle, dying again and again to strengthen you so you may one day leave this world and fight amongst the stars in the name of Khorne!"

The signal cut off.

Tathe couldn't help laugh.

"What is so damned funny, commissar?" snapped Tolbik.

"He didn't even bother to tell us how to do it," said Tathe.

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Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff

Post by Adrassil » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:39 pm

Once the general's speech was done Attelus, Adelana, Hayden and Delathasi were silent. Attelus was too busy deep in thought to speak.

His mind was brought back to the vision. When the world seemed to speak to him. He could barely recall much, the fire raging from the tower. It'd warned him, warned him about, something. Was it of his father? Or the tower? It mentioned something about people it couldn't sense, that they were looking for something in the tower. It must've been the sword. It also said it could only communicate with a perpetual.

Attelus frowned and stole a glance at Adelana. She saw him and gave him a smile, he couldn't help smile back then flinch away as he felt his heart flutter. Perhaps, it wasn't the world which talked to him? Was it the sword? It seemed like a daemon blade, if it was it'd then be sentient and apparently only able to be retrieved from the tower by a perpetual.

Why the tower? How the tower? How long had it been in there? Why could only a perpetual get it? How was it guarded? Was general Tathe there?

"You never answered my question," said Delathasi, bringing Attelus back to reality.


"You didn't answer my question, Attelus, if you are immortal, why does it matter if you die?"

Attelus sighed, he'd hoped she'd forgotten that. "It's hard to explain, Delathasi. Let's just say, in the situation we're in, if I die I won't be able to be brought back on Sarkeath and it may take months or even years for it to happen."

"Sounds pointless," said Hayden.

"It's complicated, with the warp storm and..." he trailed off, unsure if he'd given away too much.

They looked down at him, bemused.

It was times like this Attelus was reminded just how ignorant people were. Faleaseen had educated him over the years, she'd taught him much of the nature of the soul and the immaterrium, a lot of which wouldn't be known by most veteran Inquisitors.

"How?" said Adelana.

"It's uhh where, uhh. The warp-"

"No," said Adelana. "How did you become immortal?"

Attelus first instinct was to tell the truth. That he was what Faleaseen deemed a 'synthetic' perpetual changed into one by her, but stopped himself.

"I was born one," he said.

"If you haven't died yet," said Hayden. "So how do you know?"

"I don't," said Attelus. "But my father needing me to take the sword is evidence enough. Maybe."

"So how did you find out?" said Hayden. "Did you father just tell you now? Or have you known since the beginning, and been hiding it?"

Yet again, Attelus sighed. He wanted to tell them to shut up, to stop asking questions. He fought the urge, remembering Raloth's words. That they were human, not mindless beings to just order around. That way was the way of the tyrant, something Attelus swore he'd never be. But now wasn't the best time, with the Imperial Guardsmen looming over them and all. So he mouthed, 'I'll tell you later. Can't now.'

Hayden's eyes narrowed. After studying him for a few seconds, Adelana nodded in understanding and Delathasi's expression stayed neutral.

Attelus swore he'd tell the truth. It felt good to get it out in the open.

He just hoped he'd get an opportunity to tell it.

"We need to leave," said Tolbik.

"What?" said Tathe. "Why?"

"I shouldn't have to explain, commissar," said the inquisitor. "We must leave, now. Get your men ready to move within the hour."

"I think with my father's threat it would be better to stay here," said Tathe after spending a few seconds to gain his courage. "We're in a defensible position and we have a way to fall back-"

"And into the desert?" said Tolbik. "Do not be absurd and a defensible position would be better in the conventional sense, if we could bleed our enemy dry. But we can't, they come back from the dead, remember? And every one of your precious men that die will join them in the assault. It's better that we start moving, get to the tower as soon as we can to cut this corruption at the head."

"How do you know that?" said Tathe.

Tolbik's face darkened. "I just do, commissar. Just get you men ready! Take it as an order from the Emperor himself. Now go!"

Tathe grimaced but turned and went for the tent's exit.

He paused. "You ask us to take a lot on faith, Inquisitor," said Tathe. "To risk our lives just on your words."

Tolbik sniffed. "As a commissar, thus one raised in the schola Progenium you should know that, 'blessed is the mind too small for doubt' and that 'faith is purest when it is unquestioning.' Do you still have faith in the emperor, Commissar? Because it seems that you do not. We have a word for that."

Tathe turned and left. He knew the word and he knew it well.


Attelus was almost asleep when the hustle and bustle began. The sound of shouting and stomping boots echoed in his ears and he sighed, glancing at the others. All of them were asleep and he cursed himself for being such a light sleeper.

With with a growl, he rolled himself over to face the two guards. One was a battle scarred Velrosian woman, the other a tall, broad Despasian man. They both looked down at him with weary eyes. They were new, having changed the guard during Attelus' attempt at going to sleep.

"What's going on?" Attelus said, trying to inflict authority and confidence into his voice in the way which Inquisitor Enandra taught him.

The way which Glaitis taught him.

The Despasian trooper shrugged. "I see no problem in telling. You will find out eventually. We are moving out."

"Where?" said Attelus, unsure what to make of this.

"Dunno," said the women. "The commissar didn't tell us, just his holiness, the inquisitor ordered it."

Attelus frowned. "You must know, that we are not your enemy."

"Couldn't care less, boy," said the woman. "We're just here to guard you."

"Just following orders, huh?" Attelus sneered.

"Even if we were not," said the Despasian man. "We have not a reason to believe anything you say. You have appeared out of nowhere and we know nothing about you, not even your name. Besides that you claim you are immortal and frigged in the head."


"What?" said the woman.

"My name is Attelus Kaltos. There, now you know my name. What are yours?"

They exchanged a glance.

"Oh no, no way," said the woman. "I've been on this for long enough to know not to give my name. You might be some kind of daemon that can use my name for some sorcery shit."

Attelus flinched. Her words hurt him more than he could say. They didn't trust him, no one trusted him, not even Adelana and as much as he understood why, it still hurt. He wished beyond wished that they would suddenly change their minds and free him. He'd dreamed of meeting the famous men and women of the Elbyran contingent on the voyage to Sarkeath, fighting side by side with his heroes Commissar Tathe, Dellenger. Saving them from their doom in the eleventh hour.

Never did he even consider he'd have his hands and ankles bound, lying on the ground as their helpless prisoner. Trying to warn them, to tell them the truth.

There was an ancient Terran legend Attelus had found during his many hours of study back in the libraries of the Audacious Edge, the Greeca legend of Cassanria a prophet who could see the dangers in the future, but was forever cursed that no one would believe her desperate warnings.

Attelus was starting to know how this Cassanria must've felt.

He had been a fool, a naive fool. He should've known that his father would be here, that he'd already have manipulated the Elbyran guardsmen against him.

Serghar frigging Kaltos. Attelus didn't hate his father, despite the claims of Etuarq three years ago, of how his father had let him be used, knew that his son would bear the burden of billions of deaths. Wanted it to happen, in the name of whatever agenda his cruel master had warped fate for. He'd thought Etuarq was lying but now it seemed the bastard had told the truth.

It turned out Attelus had never known Serghar Kaltos, the real Serghar Kaltos.

His father was an unredeemable, abusive arsehole. Yet even after seeing this, Attelus couldn't bring himself to hate him. The Imperium of Mankind always preached hate, hate for the mutant, the heretic, the xenos. Attelus had long ago preached against hate to Adelana, warned her of it's destruction. After all his father had done and how he'd beat him Attelus should hate him, it would make him a hypocrite, but by the Emperor he'd be justified in his hypocrisy.

The abrupt bark caused Attelus to flinch in fright as did the guards. Attelus heard the gasps as Hayden, Adelana and Delathasi awoke. It was followed by another and another in a horrific cresendo.

"What the hell?" said Hayden.

Attelus didn't reply, he knew where it was coming from, the south entrance of the fortress and he knew what it was.

Heavy bolter fire.

As Tathe stormed through the camp with Dellenger and Adreen struggling to keep up his vox bead beeped and he reached to activate it.

"Yes?" he growled. "What is it?"

"Sir!" Valketh's voice erupted. "We've got targets converging on us."

Tathe's heart sank and he stopped.

"The Resurrected?"

"No! Its-"

He was interrupted by the sound of las fire and the roar of heavy bolters.


No reply.




Tathe burst into a sprint while tuning into the general line.

"Sergeant Kralt, sergeant Gotrus! Converge on the south! Reinforce Valketh!"

There was a chorus of confirmations.

If it wasn't the Resurrected, who was it?

"It's the Sovrithans," said Adreen. "They have found us. They want revenge. His Highness underestimated them, we underestimated them."

Tathe drew his las pistol and frowned. He couldn't help believe that they were more than justified in their want for revenge.

Valketh was dead. Their vox transmission hadn't been interfered with, the captain was interrupted by a las round to the face.

According to trooper Rolin the shot had been made at a good three hundred metres. It wasn't even a hot shot, or Valketh's corpse wouldn't have a head. Tathe knew that someone or something that looked and acted like Valketh would soon be amongst the Resurrected, along with the dozens of dead Sovrithan guardsmen at the base of the freeway. He would've been disgusted by this, but it'd happened so often, it was just a reality, now. He'd killed countless of his people over the months, many again and again. Valketh was a good man, an excellent commander who was never afraid to lead from the front. Ironic, Tathe had believed that was what would get him killed.

With a new found, healthy respect for the Sovrithan's marksmanship. Tathe hugged the cover of the highest sand bag wall with Dellenger, Adreen and most of Valketh's squad. The Sovrithan las fire rained upon them as they advanced in disciplined ranks. There was no cover for the hundreds but their constant shots had them almost pinned.

Dellenger let out a burst over the cover, he wasn't the best shot in the regiment but managed to send two to the ground, the first with a shot to the chest, the second by blowing out his knee. The other Sovrithans around stumbled or hunkered down, it caused their fire to flail and Adreen and the others to pop up and cut down many more in a hail of las.

A las shot from Tathe's pistol sent one enemy sprawling, then flailing onto his back.

Tathe clenched his jaw, kneeling down while the others kept firing. The screams of dying Sovrithan soldiers tore through his ears.

They should be fighting side by side! Not slaughtering each other en mass!

He spat, cursing Inquisitor Tolbik's name. Then cursed this 'Serghar Kaltos.'

The enemy las fire returned to it's rate, forcing the others back into cover.

"Everything okay, Commissar?" said Dellenger, sounding a bit too enthusiastic for Tathe's liking.

Tathe didn't reply he slipped past the scout and beside Adreen.

'Adreen! You're in charge!'

Adreen raised an eyebrow, but she saw Tathe's face she nodded.

'Understood, sir, may the Emperor be with you.'

Tathe nodded back and hunched, turned and began toward the gate.

He was going to need the bloody Emperor with him.

The tent flaps burst open and Serghar Kaltos stormed in, his three agents in his wake. Everyone but Attelus straightened in shock. Before the flaps shut Attelus was able to catch a glimpse of at least five Storm Troopers standing outside.

"Get them up," Serghar snarled at the Elbyran guards. 'We are leaving. Now.'

The guardsmen gaped.

"That is an order, get them up, now."

Like ducks frightened into flight, they moved. The large Despasian man undid the manacles around Attelus' ankles and hauled him to his feet, while the woman went to untie the rope tying the manacles of Adelana, Hayden and Delathasi to the tent pole. All the while Serghar and his followers stood watch, all but Attelus' father held their swords ready.

'You two are to be their guards,' said Serghar. 'Keep an eye on them, as though your lives depended on it.'

"O-of course, sir," said the woman.

'Where are we going?' said Hayden as they were being herded toward the exit, las guns aimed at their backs.

"I am sure your incompetent leader has told you already," said Serghar. "Now shut up and just follow my lead."

Attelus stepped out and into the chaos of the camp. The ten man Storm Trooper squad spread out in escort formation with the speed and skill they were known for. Attelus knew why his father had chosen now to slip away. Probably been planning it for months and there wouldn't be any commissar Tathe to stop him.

"Inquisitor!" said a familiar voice which rang over the cacophony and Attelus couldn't help smile as he turned to see Tathe approaching, his sword unsheathed and with at least forty men behind him.

Serghar Kaltos clenched his teeth.

"What are you doing?" said Tathe as he stopped.

"I am leaving," said Serghar. "And I am taking the prisoners with me."

Tathe sniggered. "And obviously you were going to do is without consulting me."

"You must be aware by now that I care little for your consulting, commissar," said Serghar. "Now stand down before-"

"Before what? Inquisitor? Before you kill me? Kill me right in front of my men who surround you right now? Smart! And believe me, I figured out that you cared little for my consulting a long time ago."

Serghar sneered and almost in tandem the Storm Trooper raised their hell guns on the Elbyrans. around. A split second later at least two hundred las guns were aimed back.

Attelus couldn't help clench his teeth, his heart thundered through his ears, he glanced over his shoulder at the two troopers and both had fanned out, they too aiming at Serghar and his followers.

"Do not test me, commissar," said Serghar. "You have seen what I and my own are capable of, stand down. I am taking the prisoners. That is my will and my will is that of the-"

"Oh just shut the hell up! Even if that were true the Emperor isn't here! This world is in the grasp of chaos! We are all in the grasp of chaos! Why do you think we're all in-fighting like this? Make your men lower their weapons before we make you!"

Serghar's face darkened. "You sound dangerously close to heresy, commissar."

Tathe laughed again. "Perhaps! But perhaps we are all close to heresy, Inquisitor!"

Attelus heard it then and he smiled.

"Stand down!" repeated Serghar, and Attelus noted the hint of urgency in his father's tone. The first proper emotion Serghar had shown.

A second after everyone heard the down wash of jet engines and all attention rose to see the Guncutter hovering above the heavy bolter turrets sweeping their aims over the crowd.

"Here's a better idea!" Darrance's voice boomed from the speaker. "How about all of you stand down!"

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Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff

Post by Adrassil » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:51 pm

Attelus didn't hesitate to smash his heel into the back of the nearest stormtrooper, sending him sprawling onto his face. The next stormtrooper spun around with incredible speed, but just in time for Attelus to use the chain of his manacles to send his aim off course. So the high yield las round burned through the back of the skull of another stormtrooper instead. Attelus ignored the pain flaring through his shin as he kicked the stormtroopers legs out under him. That'd happened all in less than two seconds.

"Get down!" Attelus roared as he stomped on the prone stormtrooper's head and threw himself to the rockcrete less than a second before the Elbyrans and the Stormtroopers opened fire. He could only hope Adelana and the others had managed it too.

Attelus didn't see the death but heard the storm of las shots and the screams. The screams of those nearest eclipsed those of the many dying Elbyrans around. Attelus looked up, the Stormtroopers were already dead but Serghar and his three agents were running west, they slaughtered countless Elbyran guardsmen as they moved. In flawless concert they protected and flowed around one another, dodging and deflecting incoming fire. The blue power fields of their blades vaporised blood and gore in such permanence it seemed as permanent as the fields themselves. The screams of the dying guardsmen was almost deafening.

Attelus clenched his jaw, he wanted to, needed to charge them. To try stop their dances of death. But he fought the urge. Even if he was armed, he wouldn't stand a chance against all four. Attelus doubted he even stood a chance just against his father. They needed him, but he doubted they would try take him alive, when in such desperate flight.

"Attelus!" cried Adelana, forcing him to turn to her. She knelt over him, her brow furrowed in annoyance. Delathasi moved past a scavenged knife in hand, which she plunged into the throat of the stormtrooper Attelus had kicked the legs under as he was getting back up.

"We have to go!" Adelana yelled and pointed up to the Guncutter, it hung over them in the midst of landing. Attelus had been to engrained in watching his father and his agent's slaughter, he'd failed to hear it's screaming engines.

The sound of running footfalls stopped Attelus' reply and he turned to find it was Tathe. In Tathe's right hand was his activated power sword, in his left was Attelus' own sheathed sword.

Attelus leaped to his feet as Hayden stepped beside him, a stolen las pistol covering the commissar.

But before the sniper could fire, Attelus forced his aim to the ground.

Attelus raised his hands to his face and Tathe cut. The power blade sliced through the manacle's chain, then he handed Attelus his sword.

The commissar's face was a mask of utter determination, his eyes met Attelus'.

Attelus nodded.

"Come on!" roared Hayden.

"No!" said Attelus as he burst into a charge, Tathe just behind him.

But they were too late. Serghar and the others had already climbed the wall and were leaping out of sight. Leaving a sea of cut up injured and corpses in their wake.

With great hesitation Karmen, Vark and Verenth descended the ramp of the guncutter and Attelus couldn't help feel a wave of relief at the sight of them. Relief mixed with worry at the absence of the others. Dozens of weapons were trained on the trio. The echo of the battle with the Sovrithians still thundered in the south along with the screaming, crying of the injured from Serghar's slaughter were being carried and looked after by the medicaes.

Attelus, Adelana, Hayden and Delathasi stood amongst the Elbyrans. All of them had their manacles removed, but still had guns covering their backs. Tathe stepped forward, sword at his side, but las pistol raised.

"Attelus Kaltos said he is your leader," said the commissar. "I am assuming that you have used the

Sovrithans as a distraction for this rescue. Tell them to break off their attack, now."

Karmen had her helm off and her beautiful blue eyes looked to Attelus.

Attelus gave her a nod which Karmen returned and she reached to activate her vox link. "Captain

Dantian, break off the attack, please."

She looked at Tathe, face unreadable. "Is that better, commissar?"

"Well, if they actually do as you ask," said Tathe. "Names?"

"I am Karmen Kons, sanctioned psyker of the Ordo Hereticus. This is Kamal Vark, my bodyguard and this is Leng Verenth. We are here in peace."

Tathe nodded then reached for his ear bud. "Adreen? Yes, got you. Understood, thanks you! Get yourself and Dellenger back here. The Sovrithans are retreating."

There was no reply from the surrounding guardsmen, such news was little comfort. Their anger, almost palpable. They needed to unleash their vengeance after the deaths of so many of their comrades and with the escape of Serghar and his agents, Karmen and the others were dangerously close to becoming the objects of the Elbyran's ire.

It spoke of remarkable discipline that they didn't.

"So, what now?" said Tathe. "You were planning to just fly in and rescue the boy and the others, here. Now that plan has gone wrong..."

"We are to co-operate," said Attelus. "We need to co-operate."

Tathe turned to Attelus, eyebrows raised. "And I am assuming that you wish for us to work with the Sovrithians as well? After our earlier attack, I doubt they would and I wouldn't blame them."

"They will," said Karmen. "Soon, the true enemy will be upon us and they will have no choice in the matter."

Tathe barked a laugh. "Let's just hope that their pragmatism will out do their righteous anger. With the influence of this world, I doubt it."

Karmen sighed and looked again to Attelus.

"They will," said Attelus. "We need to talk, commissar. If we are to co-operate, you will need to be briefed. There is more at stake here than you could imagine."

Tathe stroked his chin. To Attelus the weariness seemed to flow from the commissar like heat waves but he still kept a façade of casual confidence for his men and Karmen.

"You have already claimed that this inquisitor Tolbik or this Serghar Kaltos is responsible for the deaths of billions," said Tathe.

"And will cause many, many more," said Karmen, any surprise she felt at Serghar Kaltos being here was well hidden. "If we don't catch him, it would be a great service to the Emperor."

The commissar's eyes narrowed as he turned to Karmen. "Tolbik, I mean Serghar Kaltos, claimed the same thing, Karmen Kons. He claimed it with far more conviction and zealotry than you. Both I am sure were real-"

"He is...Was a high level throne agent of the Holy Ordos," said Karmen. "He can lie about anything and-"

"Excuse me, mamzel," said Tathe through clenched teeth. "I am a commissar of the Imperial Guard, I have served for many years, now. I can tell lies from truth and he was telling the truth. Believe you me."

"Or what he believed was truth," said Adelana beneath her breath.

Attelus couldn't help smile at her words.

"Look!" said Karmen. "We have little time! Please release my...colleagues and allow us to speak, in private."

Tathe shrugged as Dellenger and Adreen stepped onto his flanks.

"Okay," he said. "We will speak in my tent, Dellenger and Adreen with me. Just you and Attelus, understood?"

Karmen nodded. "Understood." Her full lips spread into a smile that caused Attelus' heart to flutter. "And thank you."

With guardsmen surrounding them, Karmen and Attelus followed Tathe to his tent. Karmen couldn't keep the smile from her face, even while pain coursed through her head as she injected her thoughts into Attelus'. It was slowly getting easier and easier for her to use her gift, but Karmen wasn't sure whether that was a good or bad thing.

+What has happened, Attelus?+

His sigh was internal. It's a long and sordid story, Karmen. Where's Torris? Helma? Halsin and Jelket? Are they okay?

+All of them are alive,+ said Karmen. +Although, poor Torris and Helma were injured. Halsin is tending to them in the guncutter as we speak. Attelus, you must tell me everything before we talk to the commissar. He said Serghar Kaltos was here? Is this true?+

Yes, it's true. And you're right. I'll tell you everything.

He told her his story, his word thoughts flooded and rushed. When he got meeting veteran sergeant Kalakor she couldn't help interrupt.

+Veteran sergeant Kalakor already told us about that and everything he saw.+

You found Kalakor?

+Yes, or rather, he found us. He acted as an ambassador between us and the Sovrithan regiment.+

Do you know where he is?

Karmen couldn't help frown. "No, after we met with the captain and his men, the veteran-sergeant disappeared."

Attelus frowned. There's something off about him, Karmen. Something not quite right. I've never met a more manipulative Space Marine before.

+Neither have I. But I had yet to meet a Space Marine of the Raven Guard and they are well known for their...more specialist tactics.+

Attelus pursed his lips and shrugged before carrying on his story.

Once he was done Karmen said, +so that is why you are so beaten. You must get over your fear of your father, Attelus. It will just hold you back. If anyone is going to kill him, it is you. It has to be you.+

I know. I'd never hated him, Karmen. And even after truly learning how much of a monster he is. I still don't. But if that time comes, I won't hesitate. As much as we need answers, he can't be taken alive. He's too dangerous and it won't be a matter of if, but when he'll escape.

+So, the world itself or something talked to you in a vision?+

Yes, although I can't recall much of it.

Karmen's smile widened. +And this sword, this Kalncerak is in the tower with, maybe, general Tathe.+

Yes, although I suspect this sword is what spoke to me, Karmen. A world doesn't have sentience but a daemon blade, does.

+How do you know that?+ sent Karmen, humour in her tone. +Have you been to every world in the universe?+

Attelus smiled, about to send a retort but he straightened as though a realisation had hit him.

They don't know!

+They don't know, what?+

They don't know about the Exterminatus! The Elbyrans!

+How do you figure that?+

I have mentioned on a few occasions that my father was responsible for the deaths of billions, Karmen! But Tathe showed no reaction to it at all! They don't know or they don't remember. Either way, something is wrong.

Karmen allowed a sigh. +Something was always wrong, Attelus. But now it's just even more wrong than before.+

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