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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.

"Attelus?"

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.

"Respect."

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.

"What?"

"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.

Heresy.

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."

"Attelus."

"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.

"Valketh?"

No reply.

"Valketh!"

Silence.

"Frig!"

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

Post by Adrassil » Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:15 pm

Adelana's foot falls clanged as she ascended the ramp with Delathasi and Hayden. Verenth and Vark waited them in the cargo bay.

"Why didn't you shoot?" Hayden bellowed and Adelana couldn't help flinch. Never had she ever seen him so riled before.

Vark and Verenth exchanged glances. Verenth leaned against one of the bikes, arms folded while Vark was pressing the switch to close the ramp behind Adelana and the others.

"It's good to see you too, Hayden," said Verenth.

"You could have killed them!" said Hayden.

"What? Killed those friggers who were slaughtering through the Velrosians?" said Vark. "Darrance figured we might hit a few, losing any chance to make an alliance. Figured it'd give little Attelus a real hard on, so he can, y'know."

Verenth sniggered and Darrance's voice echoed through the ship: "I heard that!"

The assassin walked onto the balcony, frowning down at them.

"That..Was...Serghar...Kaltos and his...allies," said Hayden through clenched teeth. "Who frigging cares if you kill a few guardsmen when you can put down the most dangerous assassin in the Calixis sector!"

Again, Verenth and Vark exchanged glances.

"What?" said Darrance.

"Don't 'what' me, Saderth," said Hayden. "You heard me."

There was a long silence and it took Adelana all that time to realise Hayden was addressing Darrance by his first name.

Hayden said. "If I was in charge-"

Darrance shrugged. "We do not know what would have been done, Hayden. I did not know it was them."

"Who did you think they could be?" Hayden snarled. "Attelus had briefed you on the agents of Etuarq!"

"Calm down," said Verenth. "This isn't like you, Hayden. It's too late now for anger. We were too busy trying to rescue you guys. Karmen was listening into your conversation as we landed but she couldn't get any more information. If you still had your comm links..."

The ex-ganger turned to and opened a large metal box at his feet.

"...We might have been able to co-operate," he said while tossing Hayden a vox bead which the sniper caught neatly.

Without a further word, Hayden walked up to the box and knelt before it.

"Thank the Emperor!" he exclaimed and reached in to take out his coveted long las.

"Yeah," said Vark. "We got all your stuff back from the Sovrithans."

Hayden stood and turned back, his gaze still hard. "If I were in charge we would never have been separated," he said. "None of this farce would've happened."

Then he turned and stormed off.

"What happened to get him so riled up?" said Vark.

"Shit happened," said Delathasi.

Adelana swallowed. "This world happened," she said. "This place is getting to him, bringing out his flaws. Like it did to Attelus-"

"Like it's doing to all of us," said Verenth.

"We need to keep an eye on him," said Delathasi.

"Yeah, but who's going to keep an eye on the rest of us?" said Adelana.

"I think, more importantly," said Vark. "Who's going to keep an eye on the Sovrithans and the Velrosians? If this world is getting to even Hayden. And we've been here for such a short time, how about them?"

Adelana couldn't help admit, he had a point. She recalled captain Dantian and his arrogance and deplorable manner. Then she remembered commissar Tathe, he seemed noble, strong, honourable, despite his eternal weariness. Maybe his corruption was more subtle than Dantian? But unlike Dantian, Tathe seemed to have a measure of self-awareness. She could see commissar Tathe deserved Attelus' and his men's respect. Delan Tathe was a good man, a great man, the kind that deserved even more recognition and remembrance than already.

She just hoped Tathe and his men were truly, actually on their side.


"That's...That is..." Tathe trailed off, his blank wide eyes stared into space as he sat back on his cot.

"Unbelievable?" said Attelus.

Tathe nodded, a barely discernible nod.

Karmen shared a glance with Attelus. Both scout sergeant Adreen and Dellenger exhibited similar expressions and she couldn't blame them. It'd taken her and Attelus five minutes to tell a rushed, abridged version of the why they were there. The how they decided to still keep secret. All the while they would discuss what to tell and what not through thought-speak, despite the pain it caused her.

They told of the death of Omnartus, that it was Serghar Kaltos and his master's agents who'd manipulated it and many other Exterminatus' in the past. That it was for as a yet unknown agenda. And they'd made it their life's goal to bring Inquisitor Etuarq to justice. They'd emphasised the need to fight their way to the Tower.

"But, you have that ship," Adreen had said. "Surely you can just fly there."

"Too risky," Karmen said. "We need that ship to leave this world and we don't know what lies in wait further into the city. We cannot risk it."

"You have a ship capable of warp travel in orbit, then?" said Dellenger. "One that somehow managed to get through the storm?"

"Not yet," said Attelus, in a tone that exclaimed he wouldn't brook more questions on the subject.

The entire time, Karmen had yearned to delve into their minds, to try locate the missing memories but it was hard enough to just share secret the link with Attelus.

"But despite that," said Tathe. "And despite the fact I'm sure you haven't told us everything, I believe you. It is too strange, to not be true."

The commissar shook with sudden rage. "I can't believe it! I can't believe that my men and I were so gullible! So easily manipulated!"

Attelus smiled. "Believe me, commissar. I know exactly how you feel. But don't blame yourself too much. They wielded a Inquisitorial rosette, you were duty bound to follow their orders."

As he said this, he gave Karmen a meaningful look. It was the same with Attelus back on Omnartus. He didn't need to reaffirm that with her, but understood why he felt he did.

"Do the Sovrithans know of this?" said Dellenger.

Karmen nodded, illiciting a glare from Attelus and she cursed internally. She'd forgotten to inform him of that.

"Their leader, captain Dantian, does," she said. "And it might allow them to swallow their pride and co-operate with you."

Tathe nodded again and stroked his strong jawline, then stood with such swiftness it caused Karmen to start. "Then we are with you!" he said, his eyes a fire with determination. "The Elbyrans will fight! We will do what we must to get to the Tower and stop my father. And we will help you find Serghar Kaltos and his men in any way we can. Take them down and avenge the men they killed"

Attelus smiled while tapping the tip of his long nose with an index finger. "You needn't worry about them, not yet. Their goal lies in the tower, too. They will be headed there."

Tathe smiled. "I could tell you were a scheming little bastard the first second I met you."

Attelus shrugged, the action filled with uncertainty.

"We'll be ready to move in half an hour," said Tathe, his eyebrow raised at Attelus' strange reply.

Karmen frowned. She could only pray the Resurrected attack before then, trapping them.

"Dellenger! Adreen," Tathe said. "Gather your scouts and scout the perimeter! If the Resurrected come I need to know the second they do!"

"Understood!" they said as one and both walked out of the tent.

Tathe turned to Attelus and Karmen. "I would like to thank you."

Karmen shared bemused looks.

"Thank us for what?" said Karmen.

"Thank you for finally giving us purpose, true purpose," said Tathe. "Now, do you have the codes for the vox channels of the Sovritans? I need to speak with their leader."


"First that psyker woman told me to call off the attack! And now we are working with them now?" roared Dantian, his face red with rage.

Jelket didn't back down. They were in a makeshift command centre inside the offices of a mineral refinery. Small glow globes scattered across the countless desks imbued dim light into the windowless room. The surviving junior officers hustled about or sat at the few cogitators the Sovrithans had managed to rescue during their escape from the Resurrected.

"Yes," said Jelket, teeth clenched, his hands in fists. "I understand how you feel, captain. But if we are to succeed, we have to."

Frig you, Karmen, Jelket thought. Why did you have to leave me here as liaison?

In truth, Jelket knew why. He was the closest they had to a guardsman, he understood soldiers more than most. It would've been Helma, if she wasn't injured.

It should've been Helma, she would do a better job than he ever could, even in her condition. In fact Jelket knew it. He also couldn't help feel that Karmen had given this assignment as a test. As a way for him to expand his skills beyond just being a killer. A realisation hit him, Karmen wouldn't have put him on this if she didn't believe he could do it. The thought caused Jelket to straighten as a wave of confidence moved through him.

"It was meant to be a rescue mission!" said Dantian. "For that leader of yours! That little fairy boy! We were not meant to join forces with the bastards!"

"I must remind you, that 'fairy boy' bet you in a sparring match in less than a second. Knocked you out cold," said Jelket and he felt a smile spread. Jelket didn't like Dantian, the man was haughty, arrogant. He couldn't help enjoy rubbing it in. "His name is Attelus Kaltos and he is a senior throne agent of the Ordo Hereticus. He deserves your respect, captain."

Dantian grimaced. "Maybe so. But that will not happen a second time, that I assure you! Next time, I will be ready."

Jelket fought the urge to roll his eyes.

"Do you know how many men I lost to their attack?" snapped the captain. "Then how many I lost in that assault on their 'fortress?' Too many!"

"Do you want to lose countless more?" said Jelket. "Because if that general Tathe was truthful..."

Jelket let it hang, holding Dantian's gaze. The captain's face was twitching into enraged grimaces.

"Sir!" said the trooper sitting at the vox caster.

"What?" bellowed Dantian through gritted teeth.

"We've got a communication from the Velrosians. From a commissar Tathe. He wishes to speak with you, captain."

Dantian turned his glare on Jelket.

"If we are to survive this," said Jelket. "You have to take that. You know what is at stake. This is beyond you. Beyond your entire regiment. Beyond even this cursed world and-"

"Yes! Yes!" snapped Dantian. "I will do it. Just if it makes you shut up!"

And he turned and snatched up the vox horn. "Speak fug you!" Dantian said into it. "Speak now and you'd better say it well!"


Tathe flinched as the words burst through his ears. He fought the urge to yell back and the pain bulging in his brain and his exhaustion induced grumpiness.

"This is captain Dantian, I assume," he said with forced politeness.

"Of course it is. Who else do you think it is?"

Tathe's eye twitched and he looked at Attelus and Karmen as they stood over him, watching on. Attelus smiled and Karmen's expression, was still unreadable. Out side the tent, the sound of moving, readying soldiers bellowed.

The commissar sighed and shook his head.

"Captain, you are angry and I can understand your anger. But please, control yourself. There has been a misunderstanding. A severe misunderstanding that led us into fighting and killing each other."

Dantian snorted. "Killing each other? You have killed much, much more of us than we of you."

"I...and I will forever regret that, captain. It was by my order. I'm sorry."

"Your apology means nothing to me, commissar," said Dantian.

"That...That is understandable, captain Dantian. I did not expect it would. But you must understand we...I believed we were doing the Emperor's work. That you and your own were traitors, heretics. I foolishly believed what I was told by the enemy. We thought they were servants of the Inquisition. But they were imposters. They were the true heretics."

"Do you think that is a good enough excuse? Really?"

"No, captain. But it is the truth and that is all I can say. Tell me, Dantian. Are you a servant of the Emperor?"

"I am. The God-Emperor's will guides me. Unlike you."

"For us to work together. To fight our way to the Tower and to stop them, that His will. You must see that."

Dantian laughed. "I argue that it is His will is for us to wipe you out!"

"You know as well as I, that you couldn't. No matter how hard you tried," said Tathe.

"Are you sure about that?"

"I am," said Tathe without hesitation. "Almost as sure as I am that it is His will for us to fight together. That we need to fight together, Dantian. I have been told you know what is at stake. So you must, you have no other choice. Now, Dantian. We are running out of time! You must agree, you must tell me that you will put your understandable anger and hatred aside, and do what's right!"

There was a long, weighted pause.

"Many of the men won't like this," said Dantian.

Tathe fought back a relieved sigh. "Then tell them why, captain. Make sure they will understand, that is your role as their leader isn't it? We are all in this together."

"Y-yes, of course, commissar. I can't believe I'm doing this."

"May the God-Emperor be with you, captain."

"And you, commissar."

Then Dantian cut the link.

Tathe sighed again, rubbed his eyes and turned to Attelus and Karmen.

They both looked on, awestruck.

Tathe stood.

"This is it," said Tathe. "This is the time that we finally, fight the fight which truly matters."

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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 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:39 pm

Attelus, Delathasi, Adelana and Hayden left the fortress with the Velrosian scouts. The sun had started to creep into the cloudless, beautiful blue sky. It wasn't the ideal time to stealth ahead of the rest of the contingent. But still they sunk from the deep, long shadows shed by the tall towers that loomed around.

Attelus, who carried an old, beaten but well maintained las gun given to him by the Velrosians, struggled to keep up with them. Attelus had always prided his skill at stealth. He wouldn't have survived in the ruins of Varander if he wasn't good. He was one of the best among Inquisitor Enandra's agents. Perhaps the best. Attelus sunk and slipped through the city like born spectres. But the Velrosians didn't seem there, they seemed...almost non-existent.

There were twenty of them, including the four throne agents. They moved in two pairs per street from the west. Attelus and Adelana were with Adreen and Dellenger on the northern most street. One pair would advance, one scout along each side of the street, stop at a turn or a t-junction while the others followed a few metres behind. They moved at a pseudo jog, low with their cameleoline cloaks covering them. The first pair's weapons covered the windows and doors. Left and right, up and down. Left and right, up and down. As the second scout's guns swept side to side, while they watched the street ahead. The first would check the corner or corners at the end of each street, Signal the all clear via three vox taps, then the next pair would take point, while the last covered their advance.

They communicated almost exclusively through vox taps. Although the throne agents wore their re-breathers allowing them to speak without being heard at a flick of a switch.

Hayden also had his Auspex again so he and Delathasi moved through the middle street.

About half a kilometre behind, the rest of the Elbyran contingent moved and about a kilometre behind them were the Sovrithans in support.

Reconnaissance at the head of an army in a battle zone was different than moving alone, in a pair or in a small group of infiltrators. It was a new experience to Attelus, it took a huge amount of concentration, patience and discipline. Every inch, everything needed to be checked and double checked. The ache which echoed through his thighs was hard to ignore, it caused Attleus to grit his teeth. Adreen had given him and the others a quick briefing before they left and Attelus found he and Adelana were taking to it quite quick. But the pressure of such responsibility was intense. If Attelus, or anyone, missed even the slightest detail the Elbyran contingent could walk right into an ambush.

The enemy, the Resurrected weren't to be underestimated. Especially since Attelus learned they could seem to appear from out of no where.

Attelus flinched as his vox bead beeped, he growled through gritted teeth but still accepted it.

"Adelana! What do you want?"

"About Hayden."

Attelus sighed. "Adelana, I thought we went over this already."

"We did. But..."

"But what, Adelana?"

"You still seem to trust him, Attelus."

"I do trust him, Adelana."

There was a long pause and Attelus fought the urge to cut the link.

"What if he does something…You know, Attelus?"

"He won't. He's angry, Adelana. But he won't allow himself to be controlled by it. And in all honesty his anger is justified. I have made many mistakes since we've made planet fall. Hell, I made a lot even before then."

"I-I don't think you have," she said and Attelus almost slipped to a stop in surprise. "I think you've done all right, considering the things that happened. One thing I think I...We forget is that despite your...abilities you are still human. A human who's burdened with more than any of us could imagine...How?"

"How, what?"

"How...How do you manage to keep going?"

Attelus shrugged, even though Adelana couldn't see it. "I just do."

Another long pause.

"Hayden thinks he should've been leader in your place."

"I know."

"Do you think so?"

Attelus thought on that, but the answer didn't take long. "No. I think if anyone else should've been in charge it should've been Karmen or Helma. Hayden isn't exactly a people person."

And neither am I, he thought.

"I don't think so," said Adelana. "I think no one but you should've been put in charge. If you weren't in charge we'd still be in the warp, back in the Calixis Sector or Emperor knows where else."

"Yes, but that's what my father and Etuarq wanted," said Attelus. "I should've see it. I should've known."

"Again, Attelus. You're only human-"

"But I am meant to be a master assassin, Adelana. I should've performed better. Please stop trying to make me feel better, because in all honesty, I'm fine. I made mistakes and I'm owning them. That's what I have to do, I learned that, a long time ago. Thank you, though, Adelana. I appreciate it. Now, stop this. We've got to concentrate."

"Understood, master," she said, then cut the link.

The urge to bring back the link exploded through him. He needed to tell her he loved her. But he fought it, fought it with every ounce of his strength. Even if he didn't believe she'd say no, now wasn't the time. Now would be the worst time.

It was the first time she'd ever called him 'master.'

And it was the last.


Tathe walked at the head of the advance. Power sword in his right, las pistol in his left, both held at his sides in exaggerated confidence. With him, was his makeshift command squad made of most of the Inquisition agents. The ex captain Helma. The gunslinger, Verenth. Vark the storm trooper who carried the long range vox. The medicae, Halsin. And the sanctioned psyker: Karmen Kons. It'd been Attelus' idea. Most of the Elbyran command staff had either been killed or turned and they'd figured it'd be better than transferring junior offices from their squads. Despite Torris and Helma still recovering from their injuries.

Tathe had barely any time to get to know them before they'd left but Karmen Kons had explained their abilities and temperaments via mind-speak. If even half of what she claimed was true, each one was almost a frigging army by themselves.

The Elbyrans walked the same five streets the scouts had checked. Tensions were high. Las guns covered every inch of everything. They'd left the base without bothering to pack their tents and no garrison to defend it. This was the end, this was where they would win or they would die.

A realisation hit him. One which he should've seen a long time ago. This was how it was always going to end. He'd clung to the idea of rescue, that somehow Tolbik and his ilk would get him and his men off this cursed world.

How foolishly naive of him. Surely he was old enough and ugly enough to not even consider such a thought? Tathe smiled to himself. He was certainly ugly enough, to be sure and he couldn't help steal a glance at Karmen Kons. She was not hard on the eye that was certain and familiar too.

She caught him in less than an instant, causing him to snap his attention forwards again.

+Eyes forward, commissar.+

The foreign words echoeing through his thoughts, cause him to shiver. But he couldn't help smile at the obvious playfulness in her tone.

You have dyed your hair.

Karmen smiled. +Attelus told you about me, I remember. I'm not surprised you figured it out.+

I may not be a super, elite throne agent but I managed it, somehow. You being the only woman who somewhat resembles her, kind of gave it away.

+My my, commissar. Your powers of deduction would make Marcel Torris jealous!+

Tathe shrugged and looked to the tall, well built dark skinned man walking a few metres to his left. His shot gun raised and ready.

+You know, just before the invasion, I tried to join the scouts. Scout sergeant Adreen was a hero to me.+

Tathe nodded.

+I didn't get in, of course. I nearly did, but I wasn't good enough. I enlisted as a trooper but my father pulled some strings and made me stay in the PDF.+

He was afraid you'd get killed?

Karmen's eyes narrowed, it wasn't the expression he expected. +I think so.+

Tathe frowned, about to reply.

But that was when the blood sands began to shake.

The scouts felt it a split second before Tathe and almost as one, they stopped.

"I-I didn't know that Kelitia was on a fault line," said Adelana over the squad channel.

"It isn't," said Attelus.

Then the speakers screeched into ear piercing life.

"Again!" bellowed general Tathe's voice. "This is your general! And I must say that I am disappointed! I offered you, all of you a privileged position in the eyes of the true lords and masters, the true gods of this galaxy! But in your foolish ignorance! Your stupidity! Move against me instead? Don't even think I don't know what you are doing! So I will make you. You will join the Resurrected!"

Then like a brackish, black tide, the Resurrected appeared into view. Emerging from the decline of the blood sands.

"By the throne!" gasped one of the scouts.

Adelana couldn't contend a response for a few seconds they stood and watched as they poured and poured in an unending wave and the shaking of the sands became stronger and stronger.

"So I have gathered them!" said general Tathe. "From all over the planet. It doesn't matter how hard or smart or well you fight! You will soon die and die badly! Knowing how truly and utterly pointless it is to resist the gods. To resist me!"

"Holy Throne!" said a scout. "What do we do? There's too frigging many!"

"Calm down, Faykel," said Adreen. "Get on the vox. Tell the commissar."

"I-I don't think he needs telling, ma'am!" said Faykel.

"Do it anyway, Faykel. Kaltos? Do you have much explosives?"

It took Adelana a split second to realise that she was addressing Attelus.

"Yes, of course, sergeant, Hayden Tresch is an explosives expert. He has most of it, why?"

"We're going to collapse some buildings, crushing and funnelling them in," said Adreen. "One to the south the other north."

"With respect ma'am-"

"Shut it, Faykel! We're doing this!"

"Then what?" said another scout.

"Prove the good general wrong," said Adreen.

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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 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:05 am

Author's note: It's pretty frigging awesome I'm soon to hit 2000 views on this thread! Makes me all jiggly inside!

Thank you all for reading and I hope you enjoy this next chapter!


"The Elbyrans have visual of the enemy!" said the vox man. "They are converging from the east and south east!"

Jelket listened without word, he didn't have to ask 'how many' the shaking of the sands beneath his feet already was answer enough already.

Too many.

He looked to Dantian who walked along side him, trying to read the captain's response, but his expression was blank.

"Get me a line to the commissar," said Dantian.

"Yes sir!" said the voxman as he set to work.

"What are you going to do, Dantian?" said Jelket, unable to keep the frown from his face.

Dantian smiled. "We will go south, then turn north and attack the Resurrected on their flank."

Jelket frowned. "That's going to take a long frigging time for us to advance that far."

"I know," said Dantian. "But what are we going to do? Just advance onto their back and join the line?"

"But if they get surrounded-"

"Then we'll open up a way for them to reach the objective," said Dantian. "Tell me Throne Agent, what rank were you in the guard?"

Jelket clenched his teeth. "Trooper."

Dantian spat on the blood sands. "So let me call the damn shots, I know my tactics. Believe it or not."

"Sir! I have a line to the commissar," said the vox trooper. "They have engaged."

"Good, give it," said Dantian as he snatched the horn from his grasp.

"Commissar?"


Dantian seemed to straighten before starting to explain his plan to Tathe.

"Yes, commissar, understood and thank you," said the captain once done then he motioned for the vox trooper to cut the link.

"I take it that he agreed, then?" said Jelket.

Dantian smiled. "Yes, yes he did."


Attelus clenched his jaw while watching street below. He hated waiting, he always hated waiting.

Impatience, was one of his many flaws,. But was it actually a flaw when he was aware of it? That despite it, he could still manage it?

Well one thing which was a flaw was his in-experience in using explosives, that's why he was watching out for the enemy instead of setting them up.

Attelus' vox bead beeped and in less than a split second he activated it. "Yes, Adelana?"

"No sign of any enemy noticing us, yet," she said. While Attelus watched the north side, she kept an eye on the south. "They seem too intent on attacking the Elbyrans to advance carefully."

Attelus grimaced. "Let's just hope our luck keeps it that way. But I wouldn't underestimate them, that freak, general Tathe seems to know everything that's going on."

"I...I wasn't talking about them, I meant your father's group. They're still out there, how do we know they won't try to capture us again?"

Attelus frowned, why hadn't he considered that? "We don't, keep an eye out and-"

He was interrupted by another vox call so switched channels.

"This is south building," said Dellenger. "The bombs have been planted."

"This is north building," said Hayden. "The explosives are ready."

"Good work," said Adreen.

Attelus was on his feet, turning, las gun raised then aimed at Adreen who stood only two metres away her finger pressed to her microbead.

"By the Emperor, sergeant!" he cried.

Adreen sneered. "Start the timers, then get to the roof."

'Yes ma'am!'s' echoed through the link.

That was the plan: to bomb the buildings then rendezvous with the rest of the contingent.

It didn't feel like years, but centuries, lifetimes ago.

"What are you doing?" Adreen snapped, smashing Attelus back into reality. "Stop standing around day dreaming. Get moving!"

"Y-yes ma'am!" he said and they started toward the stairs.

"When we get to the roof, I think you and your girlfriend should go east."

"What? Why?"

"Because our objective is the tower, if you and her go alone you might-"

"No."

They came to the staircase and Adelana joined them in the descent.

"What do you mean, no?" said Adreen, her jaw twitching.

"Well, for a few reasons, ma'am. We don't know what may lurk in the city's depths and my father and his agents might be waiting to ambush us, it'd be easier for them to capture me again if we go it alone, but most of all..."

"Most of all?"

"I won't abandon you, we won't abandon you. We'll fight with you to the last."

Adreen smiled and shrugged. "Okay, I see your point, young man. It seems like you aren't just pretty face."

Adelana and Attelus stopped. Adelana gaped while Attelus fell into stammering idiocy.

The scout-sergeant laughed, leaving them behind. "Oh thank you. I haven't laughed like that in years."

Attelus and Adelana turned to each other, then exchanged wide smiles.

"Hey, stop your mucking around!" said Adreen, over her shoulder. "There's a literal ticking time bomb in here, you know?"

It caused them to jump and start running after her.

"Don't let that go to your head, Attelus," said Adelana.

Attelus grinned. "It isn't anything I've heard countless times before, Adelana."

Adelana sighed, but in amusement. "You're such an ass."

"Perhaps," he sighed. "But you're not arguing it, though."

She smiled.


Hunched beneath their cameleoline cloaks, they jogged back to the main force. The horde was still far behind them but their hooting, roaring and jeering was clear in Adelana's ears.

It caused her ears to thud and her eyes to tingle in sympathy.

Cold pain clutched her heart. She'd never been in such a large scale battle before. It was going to be insane. Every small skirmish she'd fought were terrifying, chaotic. She was always scared, over the years she'd hoped the fear would go away, but if anything it'd just got worse. But Adelana had gotten better at fighting it, keeping it at bay.

No one knew about this, not even Attelus. She hid it, she'd always been good at hiding her emotions, even before receiving training in it.

Maybe she was failing at fighting it when it came to Attelus? That-

She shook away the thought.

The Elbyrans were getting closer and closer Tathe and his 'command squad at their head. They were about ten metres away when Adreen ordered the scouts to drop their cloaks.

The scouts seemed to phase into reality, while Attelus, who walked along side her wasn't nearly as ghost-like. She'd always admired Attelus' skill at stealth, but every Velrosian scout seemed to make him look like an amateur.

"Good to have you back," said Tathe, smiling at Adreen. "We can all die together, now."

"I wouldn't have it any other way," said Adreen.

Then the explosives went off, and despite knowing it was happening both Attelus and Adelana couldn't help flinch and look over their shoulders. But Adreen and the other scouts didn't even blink.

Dozens of the Resurrected had advanced far enough to get caught in the explosions and the flying debris. Then followed the yawning, screaming of the buildings tipping, as they fell on countless others.

Attelus and Adelana were so involved with watching the destruction: they would've walked into someone if the Elbyran's deafening, collective cheer, hadn't forced their attentions forward to fall in step with Tathe and the others.

"What's wrong with you?" said Tathe and his smile spread into a grin. "I thought cool guys don't look at explosions?"

Attelus and Adelana shared a glance.

"What?" said Attelus, and Adelana had never heard him so bewildered.

Tathe's grin disappeared. "What, what?"

"What did you just say?" said Attelus.

"I didn't say anything, I have no idea what you're on about," said Tathe, with confusing, almost eclipsing Attelus' and Adelana's own.

"Get your damn heads together," said Adreen. "The commissar didn't say anything. We're about to engage."

"Of course," said Attelus facing forward, las gun raised and Adelana readied her bolter.

It was a second after the bellowing, screaming Resurrected emerged through the smoke and fire, over the debris. Bashing against the ground or anything near in obvious challenge. The intensity seemed to shake the very air as the entire horde which reached all the way to the city's centre did it.

Commissar Tathe raised his sword.

The Resurrected fell into a charge, their feet shaking the blood sands like never before.

A rather disturbing smile grew across the handsome commissar's face, with slow deliberateness.

"None of you ever stop damn advancing!" Tathe said with a slash. "For Elbyra! For the Emperor! Open fire!"

Adelana didn't hesitate and neither did Attelus. A disciplined wave of las fire erupted from the Elbyrans front line slaughtering countless Resurrected, many vaporised from the hips upward such was the intensity.

More burst from the south and north streets pouring through like a wave.

They were cut down the same as the ones before. Adelana fired but she wasn't sure who she killed.

Firing his las pistol, Tathe led the advance, with Adreen and Dellenger on his flanks as they shot their las guns from the hip. His sword still raised high like one of those heroes of legend throughout the long history of the Imperium of Mankind. Attelus was the history buff, so he could draw a comparison but Adelana struggled, but Tathe's presence inspired her, drove her to follow, to fight harder.

Attelus seemed even more driven, his eyes ablaze with determination. It took all her will to tear her gaze from him, but even without looking she could hit an enemy.

It was then that the Guardsmen of the Resurrected emerged into view, dozens of them, using the rubble as makeshift cover. Their fire cut a swathe through the Elbyrans. One shot past less than a millimetre by Adelana's head and through the chest of the guardsman behind her.

"I've got this!" said Attelus over the vox as he drew his power sword and activated it in a blaze of blue. "Cover me!"

Without waiting for a reply, he exploded into a charge. A few hapless cultists were in his path and tried to cut him down and were sliced into ribbons for their efforts.

In a few seconds he crossed what must've been a good fifteen metres, slowed by dodging and deflecting the hail of las fire firing his way and killing any cultist that charged him.

He fell upon them and began slaughtering. Adelana didn't bother trying to follow it, she knew her vision could barely follow his movements.

They emerged into the cross junction and the cultists emerging from the side streets finally managed to get into close combat.

Adelana was forced to throw herself from a swinging meat cleaver, before someone one behind her put a round through his skull. She switched her bolter to burst fire and exploded the skull of one then the chest of another. One with a huge bayonet blade threw himself at her, she battered it aside with her bolter then bashed the butt into his jaw breaking it in a crack so loud it managed to eclipse the chaos around. She knelt, allowing for las fire from behind to send his corpse writhing and falling littered by las.

Beside Adelana, a Velrosian fell as a cultist impaled him through the hip. Another, a Marangerian took his place, killing the cultist with a point-blank shot in the face. While two guardsmen helped up their injured comrade.

"You're good, little girl," said the Marangerian while impaling another's throat in mid charge. "Wish I had one of those bolters!"

"Well," said Adelana as she cut down three with another burst of her bolter. "I did learn from the best."

She caught a glimpse of Attelus through the melee, his blade was a bloody blur as he killed his way back to the Elbyrans.

"Indeed!" said the Marangerian while stabbing a cultist through the chin. "Never see any human move like that beside those freaks under the Inquisitor!"

He cut down another cultist with a horizontal swing, before blasting down an enemy guardsman.

Even with their front line locked in close combat with the servants of the blood god the Elbyrans still gained ground. Adelana's admiration for them grew even more.

Adelana smiled as she exploded the head of another with a bolt round. Then she saw Tathe amongst it and her jaw dropped slack.

He wasn't nearly as quick as Attelus, but that made his ability all the more impressive as his power sword danced and darted, cutting down cultist after cultist with inhuman ease. As Adreen and Dellenger bashed and stabbed with their las guns. Dellenger was almost effective as Tathe despite wielding a far inferior weapon as he spun, thrusted and smashed it with incredible grace and skill.

Just behind them was Delathasi, who's monomolecular blade was coated in gore and blood, bisecting enemies with such speed they were in mid cut down mid way through their cuts.

Torris' shot gun barked and barked, sending cultist after cultist writhing, flying. Helma's, Vark's and Jelket's Hell guns seemed to stream into the horde, cutting down more enemies than anyone else. Vark monitoring vox traffic at the same time.

Verenth's pistols shot again and again, through and over the close combat: killing enemy guardsmen trying to gain an angle on the Elbyrans or leave cover.

Meanwhile Karmen's bolter detonated body part after body part as her kine shields sent enemy shots deflecting back into their midst. It seemed she no longer had trouble wielding her power, a fact which Adelana was truly grateful.

Helsin was in the middle of the advance, riding inside a truck along with the remaining Elbyran medicaes, trying their best to attend to the injured.

All this time Adelana had exploded enemy after enemy as the nameless Marangerian guardsman beside her embedded his bayonet in many too. He didn't have the proficiency of Dellenger but he more than made up for it being bigger and brutal. All the Marangerian men seemed huge for some reason.

"What is your name, little girl?" he said, cracking the skull of a cultist with the butt of his rifle.

"Adelana," she said as her bolter clicked dry, so allowed a Despasian move past to reload. "Yours?"

"Trooper Falmak! Don't know how long your ammunition for that bolter will last, Adelana!"

Adelana pursed her lips as she slammed a fresh clip home. She still had fifteen clips left and Darrance was waiting in orbit to re-supply them.

"A while yet," she said.

"Good! After this you'll have to give ma a shell! Y'know! For good luck! And in exchange I'll buy ya a drink! Or twenty."

Attelus emerged from the press of enemies and joined the front line between Falmak and the Despasian. Attelus treating trooper Falmak with a piercing glare as he did.

Adelana couldn't help but grin.

After what seemed an age, the cultists in close combat were pushed back. Freeing the front line from the melee which allowed for the Elbyrans to pick up their pace to a slightly faster crawl.

Attelus had sheathed his sword and unslung his las gun and fired it from the hip alongside Adelana.

"Life signs!" bellowed Hayden over the vox. "In the buildings other side of the street left and right."

Almost as if the enemy heard him, shots burst from the windows of the three story and four story hab blocks emerging from the blood sands, cutting into the Elbryan ranks, or smashing off Karmen's shield.

"Missile launchers take care of that!" said Tathe.

Almost immediately streams flew over Adelana's head and exploded into the buildings, collapsing rooms in deluges of rockcrete and the shooting stopped.

The Elbyrans advanced through the cross junction, pushing the enemy back.

Adelana looked up from her shooting to the street before them, which spread for miles until it found the tower. It was full with Resurrected.

One block down, only a shit ton more to go. By the end they'd be dry of ammunition and exhausted. That was the only guarantee, Adelana knew in any split second she could lose her life, that was what caused the thundering in her chest and her ears.

But by the Emperor after seeing the people of Attelus' and Seleen's homeworld fight. Adelana knew they deserved the praise they got, and then some. They were going to reach the tower no matter what resistance they met or how long it took. No matter if and when they were reduced to using only their fists and bayonets.

Adelana just hoped she'd live long enough to see to the end of this road.

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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 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:04 am

Attelus had never, ever believed that war could be boring. He'd never fought in a fight of this scale before. He'd never had to take a city step by step for what seemed like days, but according to his wrist chronometre had only been a few hours.

Everything was a blur now, a blur made up of a constant chaotic morass of las fire. Attelus' world was made up of shoot, shoot, step, shoot, shoot step. He'd started out with twenty clips, given generously by the Velrosians, now he was down to five.

He also didn't have to listen to the constant comm chatter to know they were surrounded. It wasn't just the explosions and fire he could hear even from here, but basic logic too. Yet the rear guard still kept pace, despite the far more arduous task of back stepping and not having the support of specialist throne agents, such as Karmen Kons. If Attelus wasn't embroiled in his battle, his admiration for the Elbyran's considerable discipline and skill would've locked him in awe.

Out of said boredom Attelus now advanced at the fore, his power sword flurried faster than mortal eyes could follow as he deflected enemy fire away from the Adelana and the guardsmen behind him. And killed any Resurrected who came too close.

His heart thundered through his skull as adrenaline fuelled every inch of his, weary, aching form.

The waves of enemy filled the horizon except for the ten or so metres of the Elbyran's kill zone. The amount of corpses they had to step over every few metres was beyond counting.

Four of the Resurrected came at him, three guardsmen and one cultist.

They used Attelus as cover to advance.

"Clever bastards!" Attelus said.

The guardsmen fired from the hip at full auto as the cultist threw himself at Attelus, a roaring chainsword raised. Attelus was too busy smashing away the showering shots to gut the foolish cultist as he bashed vertically.

Alathis slipped out of its arc and threw a knife.

The cultist dodged it and lunged into a wild horizontal blow that Attelus barely ducked.

Attelus' riposte a diagonal, an upward cut going to gut, somehow the bastard managed to back-step. and Attelus' follow on a: downward diagonal was backpeddled. Again it'd seemed he'd underestimated his enemy, this cultist's robes were utterly soaked by blood, which pertained to how high their rank was in this cult, but countless others with the same level of coating had fell to his blade with just as much east.

He let out growl as he was again forced into deflecting more fire and another cultist slipped by the first. A huge chainaxe held in his meaty paw and swinging with inhuman speed.

Attelus ducked it and risked a side step of the first's chainsword as it slashed down.

He blocked, and was shocked to see the blade bounce away instead of being sliced through.

Attelus' instinct overrode this shock as it made his body turn and force the enemy's weapon into the blood sands then sent his foot out into a round-house kick which smashed into the cultist's hip with a satisfying crunch.

The cultist with a chain axe dashed onto Attelus' flank before the throne agent could land the finishing blow. His huge axe swinging down diagonally.

But Attelus was ready and as he did with the last cultist, he smashed it aside, augmenting the blow to send the cultist off balance a step or so.

It opened his back allowing Attelus' power sword to stab through his spine, then heart.

While the cultist writhed on his sword, Attelus spun and sent him smashing into two of the enemy guardsmen.

The chainsword cultist was on Attelus a split second after, cutting out.

Attelus dropped into a kneel under its arc, then with one slash, sliced through both his knees.

The cultist didn't even scream as he dropped onto his back like a felled tree. Attelus then collapsed onto his stomach, allowing Adelana and the guardsmen a clear view to cut the guardsmen Resurrected in a withering hail.

Attelus leaped to his feet as Adelana and the others fell in step with him.

"Don't underestimate them," he said while deactivating his sword's power field, sheathing it then un-slinging his las gun doing it so fast he'd done it before finishing the 'don't'. "They're learning."

"Underestimate them?" said Adelana while pumping bolt round after bolt round into the horde. "Like you so clearly did?"

"Were...were you able to follow that fight?"

"No," she said. "Just an educated guess."

Attelus laughed as his flurry of fire cut down two guardsmen in the midst of raising their rifles.

"You know me too well."

"Why hasn't the commissar sent his up flamer troopers?" said Adelana. "They'd be useful right now."

Attelus stole a glance at Tathe. The commissar knelt, firing his las pistol with Adreen and Dellenger shooting from his flanks.

"We don't know what else we'll encounter further in the city," he said. "And the promethium supply is very, very finite. It's better to keep them in reserve, for now."

"Did the commissar tell you that?" said the Marangerian trooper who'd been hitting on Adelana before, his tone of his dislike for Attelus plain even through his heavy accent. "Or you figure that out on your own?"

"Tathe told me," said Attelus and he licked his teeth, fighting the urge to burst forward into the melee again. On that same logic, he needed to stop expending his energy. Swinging a sword was far more exhausting than pulling a trigger. Avoid close combat as much as possible, no matter how good he was at it.

No matter how much he enjoyed it.

"We have signatures, two buildings down," said Hayden over the vox. "In the buildings on the left and right."

"Take care of it!" ordered Tathe with a sweep of his sword.

A second later six trails of missiles flew over head to send great gouts of flames exploding through the buildings, collapsing floors in deluges of dust and debris.

Attelus couldn't help wonder how long they could keep doing that for. Funnily enough the state of the city was working in their favour, the RPG's wouldn't be nearly as effective if the buildings was in good condition.

He snapped his attention forward and added his shots to the barrage. Always being distracted, always over thinking things. He was lucky he wasn't shot during his idiotic day dreaming.

Then his vox bead beeped into life.

"Attelus," crackled Vark's voice. "The southern advance is faltering, they've encountered an enemy champion leading a charge of dozens of cultists and are bogged in close combat. Can you help them?"

Attelus grinned. "Can and will, Vark!"

Then he noticed Adelana looking at him. It was only for a split second but he couldn't deny the utter terror in her eyes. It caused a sting to course through his chest.

"I'll see you soon! The south advance needs help, keep safe, Adelana," he said and before she could reply, he peeled rightward and began pushing his way through the crowd of advancing guardsmen.

He came to the gray wall of the building in his way and his sword cut a door sized hole and he lunged into the darkness coated interior.

His photo contacts almost instantly bathed the interior in dank green and he found it was another old office building, wrecked and ransacked with old cogitators lain all over or half to mostly buried in blood sand. The ceiling was only about half a metre above his head and what else had made this office was must've been buried.

The room was large, taking up the entire length to the next road and its width at least thirty metres. The doors leading to the corridors seemed to have disappeared from Sarkeath all together.

Attelus fought the urge to sprint and began to walk, his foot falls silent on the sand.

He was about two thirds of the way through when he stopped, an epiphany shivering through him.

Hadn't the enemy hacked their vox? Thus they'd decided to use the Elbyran line, which Hayden, Vark and the Elbyran specialists had purged from potential infiltration. Vark had sent that through their personal channel.

Attelus hissed a curse through clenched teeth and he turned to see three lithe figures approaching.

"I was wondering when he'd realise," said the one with the short sword.

He spun to run, but halted when he saw his father emerge from the shadows. His expression as unreadable as always. Seeing his father forced the horrific, familiar feeling of fear to thunder in Attelus' chest.

"My surety in your incompetence, is yet again proven to be truth," he said.

Attelus fought away the fear and tried to show his most evil grin.

"And let me guess you've blocked my vox bead, too? But you forgot one thing..."

Serghar rolled his eyes. "This time you're armed?"

Attelus grimaced and exploded into a roaring charge.

Serghar's sword was suddenly in his hand and while Attelus was in mid swing, something faster than even Attelus' eyes could follow smashed against his chest, sending him hurtling like a comet.

He hit the sand to hard, the he rolled and bounced for a long time. His head bashed about and complete, blinding agony eclipsed his world.

Attelus groaned and began to stand, but a foot landed on the back of his head pinned him onto his face.

"I must admit, you have come a long way in the past nine years," said Serghar. "I must admit you are far more skilled than I was at your age. But you are still no match for me. Now co-operate."

"I don't understand!" Attelus roared as tight grips pulled his hands behind his back.

"What don't you understand?" said Serghar as he sheathed his sword, slipped his hands into his jacket pockets and began to approach. "You did not actually think that we would engage in some epic battle which would span one side of the Emperor forsaken city? That you are my equal? That you would be the one to finally put me down? Does your idiocy know any bounds?"

Sudden rage burst through Attelus and with strength surprising even him, he threw all three of the agents off him then was on his feet, flying at Serghar. He'd lost his sword, but didn't care.

"I won't be captured again!" Attelus roared, throwing a fist at his father's face.

Serghar sighed, closed his eyes and tilted his head from it's path in the last possible millisecond.

Attelus followed that with a side kick, but Serghar side stepped that with ridiculous ease. With a growl of frustration Attelus swung a hook kick which Serghar slide away from, then a jab Serghar tapped away, which sent stinging pain coursing up Attelus' arm. Attelus sent out a front kick for his father's shin, Serghar back-stepped it then shuffled slightly aside of Attelus second front kick with the same leg.

All of this Serghar still had his eyes closed.

Then it took Attelus a full second to realise his father's hand was wrapped around his throat and lifted him off his feet.

Attelus gagged and chocked and kicked his heals, clutching at Serghar's arm.

"You still don't give up, do you?" said Serghar, then he threw Attelus down to the ground.

Again utter agony, all eclipsing agony thundered through Attelus every millimetre and the wind was smashed from his lungs. But he still grabbed Serghar's ankle as his father placed his foot onto his chest and writhed like a butterfly pinned.

"My son," said Serghar. "Co-operate. I really don't want to waste time by having to cut off your limbs and have to have my lackeys carry you. We would not have to do this if you did not fight on the front lines, risking your death."

"Don't...care," Attelus gasped through clenched teeth.

Serghar sighed again and looked to the curved swordsman. "Give me your blade."

The curved swordsman hesitate. "But s-"

"Do not question me, fool," said Serghar. "You are lucky as we haven't the time now, but you know the consequence for questioning me, but it will happen, soon. I wish not to sully my blade with this wretch's blood. Now give me your sword."

Attelus managed to gurgle out blood in attempt to laugh. "Is this how he treats you? Is this what you put up with? Seriously?"

What may have been Serghar's fist smashed into Attelus' face, causing his vision to blur and pain to sprout like tendrils through his head.

"I no longer have to pretend to care for you," said Serghar. "I do not have to put up with your shit, just because the master said for you to co-operate with this fate, you needed a father who seemed to love and care for you. Every second I had to pretend to care for you made me feel like I wanted to vomit. Why do you think I left the first time, huh? But no, I had to come back, frigging torture. I would hate you for putting me through that hell, but you aren't worthy of hate, you're just a shit stain."

The curved swordsman approached and handed Serghar his sword timidly which Attelus' father snatched. He raised the blade above his head, then a horrific, huge grin spread across his face. One which pinned Attelus in terror more effectively than Serghar's foot.

"I'm going to enjoy this-"

"Put the sword down!" said a voice, a beautiful, familiar soft voice which sent equal amounts of joy and dread into Attelus.

But it somehow stopped Serghar's slash.

"Ohhh, you're his apprentice," said one of the agents and even with the voice modulator Attelus could tell the condescension laced in the words as clearly as the Sarkeathian sky. "Here to save her little boyfriend. Drop the bolter, girl. It's no use to you against even one of us."

"I talked to Vark," said Adelana, shouting it seeming for Attelus' benefit. "He said he never sent you that call."

"Run, Adelana!" said Attelus, blood now poured from the cuts in his face and into his eyes and mouth. "Just run, please."

Whether she heard him or not, Adelana gave no sign as she yelled. "Drop the swords!"

"Or you'll what, little girl?" said Serghar. "Only my incompetent son could train someone as foolish as you."

Then another horrific grin spread on Serghar's face. "Ahh, but you are just on time. Hold the little girl, make her watch this."

There was a cry and Adelana's bolter fired twice, then Attelus heard it being flung onto the sand.

"By the God-Emperor, you three managed to actually do something. I would clap sarcastically for you, but you do not even deserve that. All of you are as incompetent as my foolish son."

Then the sword rose and started to fall.

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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 Sep 03, 2018 6:48 pm

He heard Adelana scream his name. His mind and sight was a swirling haze, but the view of the descending sword was clear to him. It seemed to move in slow motion. He should've seen this coming, he should've known he was no match for his father. But through it all six words broke into his mind.

Harden up. You've been through worse.

The words caused new blast of determination which seemed to chase away the haze and replace it a hyper-clarity, devoid of anger. This was the state of mind that Raloth taught him.

In that split second he knew what to do.

With his right hand he drew the knife sheathed on his chest, his left wrist flicked for a throwing knife.

Serghar was less than a centimetre from Attelus' arm, when Attelus plunged his knife to the hilt through his father's fore arm. While at the same time, Attelus stabbed the throwing knife into the back of Serghar's knee.

Serghar didn't even scream, but his leg gave way, allowing Attelus to kick him in the back, sending Serghar flailing off him like a spooked bird, on the way, Attelus grabbed Serghar's sheathed sword and drew it.

Attelus leaped to his feet and spun on the sand to face Adelana and the agents. He flicked his wrist and threw three knives with inhuman speed.

The first impaled the female agent's hand which used to hold her blade to Adelana's throat. The second would've embedded in the short swordsman's neck if he hadn't leaned aside it, for it to land in his shoulder instead. The third forced the one without a sword, stumbling away.

Attelus activated Serghar's sword and made the distance in millisecond, just in time to smash away the female's sword as it stabbed for the side of Adelana's neck.

Attelus' round house kick, threw her feet from beneath her while in mid riposte.

"Get your bolter!" Attelus snarled as the short swordsman was on them, cutting for Attelus' skull.

Attelus ducked it, just barely and his counter, a horizontal slice for the agent's chest sent him stumbling back. Attelus would've followed with a stab but the female was already on her feet and stabbing for his ribs, forcing Attelus to smash it aside.

Her second sword slashed diagonally at his hip while her first, thrusted. Forcing Attelus into a back-peddle. Both her and the short-swordsman leaped at Attelus as one.

Attelus tilted his head from the path of the female's stab, ducked the male's slice, then parried her upward diagonal slash.

He slipped aside her downward vertical cut and sent her away with a snake like stab for her face.

The short swordsman was suddenly on Attelus' flank, cutting for Attelus' knee. Attelus danced out of its course and snapped out a front kick that smashed into his jaw.

With his boot knife.

The man let out an agonised, horrifically inhuman, muffled scream through his voice modulator. Then Attelus pivoted into a roundhouse kick, throwing the hapless fool off the blade in a spirt of blood, and careening into the female.

Adelana's bolter boomed, and it send back the third agent before he could stab Attelus' arm with a knife.

"Attelus! We've got to go!" She yelled while firing on the female agent, forcing her to dodge and weave the shots.

He wanted to ask why, but then his father was on him.

Attelus barely managed to block his father's thrust, then back-step his slash. For a second Attelus' eyes met Serghar's and again they were glazed, glazed with complete and utter anger. Anger so intense that Attelus found his breath locked inside his lungs.

Then his father's sword was flung from Attelus' grasp and sent spinning away. Then Serghar impaled Attelus through the guts.

Adelana's scream echoed through the room and white hot agony filled Attelus' every sense.

Attelus gaped like a landed fish, he couldn't move, he couldn't think, he couldn't even scream.

That horrific grin spread across Serghar's face again.

Then Serghar began to twist the blade.

"I would say that now you are unlucky," said Serghar. "Unlucky that we need you alive."

Attelus' mouth opened in a silent scream.

"This is what happens when you defy me," Serghar snarled. "This is the very least you deserve. You are my son. You are meant to be loyal to me to the end. This is your own fault. Yours alone. Time to-"

He was interrupted by Attelus' fist as it smashed into his face, with a throwing knife between his fingers.

Serghar screamed in pain and let go of the sword, allowing Attelus to collapse first to his knees, then on his side. The bloody blade still in him.

His vision began to blacken, the agony beyond belief.

Then a boot smashed against his face.



Adelana fired from the hip that sent Attelus father fluttering away from kicking Attelus more.

She ran to Attelus and cupped his head in her hand.

"I thought you weren't supposed to kill him!" she cried.

"His enhanced healing factor will prevent his death," said Serghar as he towered over her, the knife still jutting from his face. "While it isn't nearly as effective as ours it is still enough, just enough. Do you seriously think that I would be so stupid that I would inflict an injury that would kill him? You are even more foolish than I imagined. Although, now it seems like a curse more than a gift."

Adelana raised her bolter, but in a split second it flew from her grasp. She drew her las pistol but that was gone just as quickly.

"Stop being foolish," said Serghar. "You are not even a slight threat, my son is a shit stain, but you are worth even less."

Hands grasped Adelana's wrists and with horrible strength pulled her arms behind her back.

Serghar bent over and with slow, sawing relish, he took his sword out of Attelus' stomach.

Blood spewed from the wound and out of Attelus' mouth, it melding into the sand, as though it never existed.

Then Serghar kicked Attelus in the wound.

"Stop!" said Adelana. "He's already down! You don't need to do that."

Serghar glared at Adelana, then he kicked Attelus again and again and again and again.

"You'll kill him," she cried.

"Shut up, little girl," he said. "You have no right to order me around, just like my son has no right to disobey me. He brought this upon himself, remember that."

Adelana bit her lip and tried to quell the sickness roiling in her, knowing if she complained any more it'd just encourage this sick, frigged up arsehole to hurt poor Attelus even more.

"Get her up," he said. "We are leaving."

Adelana's eyes widened. "You aren't going to kill me?"

"Of course not," said Serghar. "You are our insurance to make sure he co-operates. You are his girlfriend, after all. He had always been pathetic with the girls, but I must say that I am somewhat impressed you are very attractive. He has done well."

"He's not my boyfriend," she snapped.

Serghar scoffed and began to turn away, but stopped, his jaw dropping.

Adelana smiled and managed to look over her shoulder.

Dozens of Resurrected were flooding through Attelus' makeshift entrance, their eclectic collection weapons raised.

"It's about time," said Adelana.

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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 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:10 am

The hands holding Adelana let go, allowing her to throw herself to the ground a split second before the darkness was dashed away by the Resurrected las fire.

Before Adelana could think the three agents and Serghar stood in front of her and their power swords were blurs as they smashed and deflected the rain of fire.

"I must admit you are clever, little girl," said Serghar through clenched teeth. "Smarter than my disappointing son, at least. Get out of here...We'll, we'll cover your escape. Just make sure the little frig gets to the tower."

Adelana smiled and picked up Attelus, grunting with the effort. Slipping his arm across her shoulders. She looked around and found Attelus' powersword lying amongst the sand only about a metre from the east side wall. Lucky. Adelana moved as quickly as she could, she went to retrieve it. Keeping low as the fire blazed by and around her.

She scooped up his sword, activated it then plunged it deep into the wall, feeling it penetrate through to the next building. Adelana cut a quick, human sized hole and with a roar kicked it.

Pain shuddered up her leg and she cried out, bouncing away.

"Emperor damn it!" she yelled, stumbling to keep from falling. "Why do you make this look so easy?"

Attelus didn't answer, of course he just swayed on her. His blood had begun to soak her cameleoline cloak and bodyglove.

She bit her lip and fought for her limbs to move again, she recognised it as concern and it threatened to overtake her. Attelus would hate that, he would see it as pity. But it wasn't. She couldn't even begin to pity him.

With a snarl she forced it away and kicked the wall, again. Hoping beyond hope there weren't any more Resurrected beyond.

With a groan it fell in and smashed against the ground kicking up red sand.

To her relief the small corridor beyond was empty and she glanced back. Serghar and his three agents were locked in close combat. Or locked in slaughter, to be more accurate. She'd watched them massacre their way through the Elbyrans hours before. But this was even more impressive. The Resurrected all seemed to be sliced to bits the moment they charged in. Even though Adelana's eyes couldn't even follow their attacks, she saw the ferocity and desperation fuelling them. She couldn't help wonder how long their superhuman constitutions were going to last.

Adelana started onward, Attelus' powersword held ready, as much as she wanted to retrieve her prized bolter and las pistol, there wasn't enough time.

She had to get to the roof.

She couldn't help let another smile grow across her lips as she stepped into the unknown.

Adelana had no idea whether to go left or right and she clenched her teeth.

In the back of her mind the words 'the right way, was the right way,' whittled in and they made her turn rightward, although, she couldn't recall who'd said it.

Sudden tears overtook her gaze as she remembered, it was her father.

Adelana swore he was the funniest and strangest father in the galaxy. He'd embarrassed her countless times over the years with his eccentricity and lame jokes. She'd inherited his red and gold hair and light green eyes. He'd died along with everyone else on Omnartus and she missed him beyond human comprehension. He'd always been there for her even when he was weighed down with the stress of running his dying business-

She rubbed away the tears, and thought, he maybe dead, but at least he wasn't Serghar Kaltos.

Adelana gave Attelus a glance, he was still unconscious, his handsome face hidden behind an oily brown fringe which clung to his pale skin like the still drying glue her father used to paste separate layers of fabric together.

It seemed whenever anyone amongst those who knew of the destruction began to complain about something they think at least they don't have it as bad as Attelus.

It was a good way to put things into perspective, to keep from being overtaken by grief, to wallow too much in, in Adelana's opinion anyway, in justified self pity.

"Emperor, damn it, Attelus," she growled in a bid to try negate the sound of fighting behind them. "Here I am saving your butt yet again. I thought you'd learned your lesson about rushing in again? Before it was your sentiment, wasn't. But now it's your damned blood lust, wasn't it?"

Attelus' sudden gurgle, caused Adelana to flinch and stop. Fear running through her like a near freezing stream.

"Attelus?"

The gurgling kept going as blood gushed down his chin. It sounded like...like.

Anger overtook her fear and she fought the urge to throw him on the ground, when she saw his blood coated smile.

"What's so damned funny?" she said.

"Y-you just...know me too...well," he said, his hissing voice below a whisper.

Her anger flickered away as quickly as it came and she started on again. "Sometimes I wished you'd just die."

"Well," he said. "That'd...be a pointless wish, Adelana. As it...wouldn't last long, apparently."

"You always have a damned comeback, don't you? Anyway isn't it me who's to learn stuff?"

"D-don't you...Don't you remember what...Raloth s-said? We're...learning, all-all of us...all the time. Except for...me, obviously."

Then he straightened forcing Adelana to stop at the edge of the corner.

"What is it, Attelus?" she said, although the tightening through her stomach already told her.

"Just as I'd...I'd just learned we aren't alone in here," he said.

He slumped forwards, causing Adelana to almost lose her balance.

"I'm...sorry," he breathed, before losing consciousness again.

Adelana wanted to let out a groan, but the light crunching foot steps around the corner caused it to die in her throat.

Something wasn't right, something she couldn't quite comprehend.

With powersword at the ready, she peered around the corner.


Tathe reloaded his las pistol for what seemed the millionth time, but what he knew to be his twelfth from the three remaining clips in his belt pouch and brought it to bear with a swish of his storm coat. He didn't need to aim as he opened up on the baying horde as they fought to fight at the front.

Meanwhile enemy fire battered against Karmen Kon's kine shield and the Elbyran shots slaughtered. So far, casualties had been minimal but even so more and more familiar faces and coloured armour had joined. Most were men Tathe knew fought in the rear or on the north and south flanks. That was of little surprise.

Rage welled with in him at the sight of everyone. They were men and women who'd fought with him for years. Who'd given their lives so they could take another step forwards. It sickened Tathe they were forced to fight after death. They deserved the peaceful release of oblivion after their honourable and admirable service to the Golden Throne.

He never hesitated in killing his former comrades, as every time they died, it allowed the Elbyrans one more step to hopefully, maybe end their purgatory, their enslavement.

Tathe would've shook his head, but kept his attention focused forward. He had to have faith, faith that his father was the key to this, that defeating him would permanently stop the Resurrected from coming back again and again.

He was a cynic, he wasn't faithful any more. But he wasn't really being 'faithful' any more in his decades of fighting the Ruinous Powers he'd seen time and again that something, somewhere was the key to bringing them out of the warp and destroying it was the key in sending them back.

The tower was the key, his father was the key.

All while he was thinking this, Tathe's las pistol seemed to have of its own sentience as it shot and shot.

It was when Tathe's mind came back from introspection into reality, when the cultist he'd drawn a bead on, exploded.

It only took a second for the cultist's body to bulge and warp, then coat the Resurrected around it in blood and gore.

What stood in the cultist's place, sent painful icicles to spear into Tathe's heart. It made him halt as it did every guardsman and throne agent.

The daemon stood head and shoulders taller than any other being about, despite being hunched forward like the worst sort of hunchback. Its tongue snapped and writhed out its forever opened maw and teeth as long as Tathe's index finger coated the top of its mouth. Its scaly skin was such a bright, blood red it made Tathe's eyes to water. Its eyes gazed gold, a gold so pure that Tathe swore it was the same gold that might have lived at the heart of stars. It was long limbed and surprisingly slender in comparison to its height and broadness of shoulders, but it's arms were still thicker than Tathe's torso. Its skull was elongated to such a height it reminded Tathe of the helms worn by the eldar and to huge, course horns weaved from the sides of it's head. It held a sword as long as it was tall, a huge blade meant for two hands, even for a Space Marine, but it held it with one hand as easily as Tathe would hold his las pistol. Its legs caved backwards at the knees and ended in sharp. cloven hooves.

More of the cultists in the crowd followed the first in exploding and transforming into daemons.

Into Bloodletters.

Despite this Tathe was still smiling and he activated his vox bead.

"Flame troopers, take point!" he said slashing his sword down. He'd been expecting this and almost immaculately and immediately the flames were at the front.

The daemons began to charge and were met with a wall of flame which bathed them in cleansing fire.

"All units advance," said Tathe. "Cover the flamers with all we have."

It was then Tathe noticed the Guncutter fly over head, from the east and he was forced to stop the down rush of air from blowing off his cap. It flew down the road and ast the back of the Elbyran advance.

"What the hell's going on with that?" demanded Tathe.

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