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Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: 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?"
"Well, I'm Inquisition, Kiltin. So I think I have a better idea of what's heresy and what isn't more than you. And claiming to be immortal, isn't heresy."
Attelus snorted. "And if it is. What are you going to do? Shoot me? And what if I really am immortal and track you down in revenge? I'm not an Interrogator and not well that well versed in interrogation, but it-"
"We can find that out now, can't we?" said Kiltin, motioning his las gun.
"Attelus!" said Adelana as rage overtook her. "Shut up! Your hands and ankles are bound! He can kill you! Stop pissing him off!"
Attelus sighed. "He won't kill me, Adelana. My father needs me and they're too shit scared of him to actually do it. But thank you for showing me you still care, despite thinking me insane."
Adelana let out a growl. "Throne, Attelus! You're infuriatingly arrogant sometimes!"
"I...I'm not sure how that statement translates into arrogance, but okay, Adelana. Yes, I can be arrogant at times, you are technically correct."
Adelana growled again as anger was overtaken by frustration. "You really are a smart arse!"
"Wait," said Delathasi. "If you are immortal why does your father care if you die?"
"That...That is a very good question, there, Delathasi. It's a long sordid story and-"
"Well we aren't going any where are we?" said Hayden. "Look! Here it is again! Attelus the special little snow flake who has to be so special he has to be immortal too! This is beyond ridiculous!"
"Snow...flake? I haven't heard that term used in that context before," said Attelus. "It sounds like it is a mocking way of saying someone is unique. I don't understand what that has to do with a snow flake. Interesting, yes."
"Insane!" said Hayden. "You. Are. Insane. I knew it was a mistake coming to this Emperor damned planet! I knew Inquisitor Enandra made a mistake appointing you our leader! It should've been someone! Anyone! Else."
There was another long silence.
Attelus sighed. "If it's any consolation, Hayden. I have come to the same conclusion. You're right. Completely right."
"So? What are you going to do about it? Immortal?"
"The actual term, is perpetual," said Attelus. "I am perpetual and I'm not the first and I believe I am not the last. Not any more."
"Wait!" said Delathasi. "You said that this sword can eat souls does that mean..."
She trailed off and Adelana had no idea where she was going with it.
"You...You once again impress me, Delathasi," said Attelus and Adelana couldn't help feel a stab of jealousy. "Darrance has taught you well. It can kill me."
There was a weighted pause.
"Why does your father need you to get it?" said Adelana.
"Because, apparently, only a perpetual can retrieve the sword. For some reason, it's defences are designed that only a perpetual can get to it."
"So yet again you were manipulated by Etuarq and your father," said Hayden.
"Well!" said Delthasi. "That's simple enough! When we escape..."
She trailed off as she noticed the looks of the troopers guarding them.
"Don't be stupid," said Hayden. "Of course we're going to escape. It goes without saying."
"We just need to not get it," said on Delathasi. "Hide out, wait for the-"
"No," said Attelus, much to Adelana's and everyone else's surprise.
"What do you mean, no?" said Hayden. "It's a frigging good idea!"
Attelus sighed yet again. "I said a few seconds ago that I believe that I'm not the last perpetual, any more. Well? What do you think that Etuarq might have done with all those souls? This sword might be the only way we can stop him."
"If that's the case, why didn't he come here and get it?" said Adelana.
"I don't know, Adelana," said Attelus. "I'm sure they have some convoluted reason why, but it doesn't matter. Even if there's an even slight chance he's like me, we've got to use it. If he isn't a perpetual, he dies, if he is, he dies. Hopefully. Nothing is certain."
"And I'm betting that you got this idea in your head when you were talking to your father," said Hayden. "I bet they are counting on that. You are being manipulated, yet again."
"I know that," said Attelus. "I know that, but even still."
"How do you know if there is even a sword?" said Adelana. "What if it's something else or a trap or...or-"
"I don't, but I'm pretty sure my father wasn't lying. Please believe in me in this, Adelana. I know you think I'm insane-"
"No, I know you're insane, Attelus Kaltos."
Attelus smiled. "Fair enough. But please, Adalana. Please, have faith in me. Have I let you down, yet?"
Adelana gave him a glare he flinched from.
"Okay! Okay! Have I let you down until now?" he said giving what Adelana knew he thought was his most charming grin.
There gazes met and after a few seconds, Adelana couldn't help feel a smile spread, and she gave him one curt nod.
Hayden let out what may have been a gagging sound. "You didn't answer my question, perpetual. What are you going to do about your realisation that you shouldn't be the leader?"
"I am still the leader, Hayden," said Attelus. "And as much as I've messed up. I'm not going to step down. I'm going to use what I've learned and not make the same mistakes again. This I swear."
"Of course you do," said Hayden and Adelana found herself not liking his smirk.
"You still haven't explained how your immortality works," said Delathasi.
"Do you know what I would like explained," said a voice and the commissar stepped into the tent, holding something behind his back. The troopers snapped to attention but he waved for them to relaxed. The two scouts slipped in after him, all of them moving in silence.
"All of you out," said the commissar. "I wish to talk to the prisoners alone."
"Are you sure, sir?" said one of the troopers. "You should hear the shit they've been talking about, it's completely nuts. They might try to kill you, or something. They're off the planet."
"Out, Dovik," said the commissar and with shrugs and bemused glances, they filled out.
"Turn him to face us, please, Dellenger," said the commissar.
The scout frowned and hesitated before grabbing Attelus by the ankles then spun him around.
"Emperor. Who beat the crap out of you?" said the commissar.
"You know who," said Attelus.
The commissar nodded. "We can't stay for too long, those freaks could be here in any second."
He showed what he held behind his back and it was Attelus' sword.
"How did you get that?" said Attelus.
"So this is yours?" said the commissar. "I will answer your question but you will have to answer mine first. How did you get it?"
Adelana frowned. What was the big deal about Attelus' sword? Even she could tell it was beautifully crafted, but why the commissar was interested, she didn't have a clue.
"I didn't steal it, if that's what you think," said Attelus.
"That's what someone who stole it might say," said the female scout sergeant.
"Just tell me! Now!" said the commissar.
Attelus sighed. "Estella Erith herself gave it to me."
"The Erith line is dead," said the commissar.
"No, she survived the war. She is in my squad."
Adelana frowned. She didn't know any Estella Erith in their group.
"I was shown a pict of her," said Tathe. "Neither of these young women look anything like her and both are too young to be her."
"She isn't here. I don't know where she is right now."
Tathe folded his arms and studied Attelus. "There's more of you?"
"Yes! How I got that sword, doesn't matter, commissar. What you need to know is that Inquisitor, is an imposter. He is lying to you, using you. You have to kill them."
Tathe knelt before Attelus. "And why should I believe you? You own a sword that was a treasured relic of my world. You claim that a dead woman gave it to you. Your accent isn't strong, but I can tell you are Velrosian. How do I know that you didn't steal it?"
"Did you ever see the body?"
Tathe's eyes narrowed. "What?"
"Did you ever see Estella Erith's body? Or any of the bodies of the Eriths?"
Tathe grimaced. "No."
"Then how do you know she's dead?" said Attelus. "Look! I don't know how she got the sword. I know it was in a museum, so could've been stolen. But I didn't steal it."
"Why would she need to steal it if she's an Erith?" said the scout sergeant and Adelana couldn't help agree.
"It's complicated," sighed Attelus. "This isn't what we need to talk about. We aren't your enemy! Those 'freaks' as you call them are the real enemy, they are responsible for the deaths of billions of innocent Imperial citizens. You have to turn against them, now. Before it's too late."
"Billions of lives?" said the male scout. "Dovik was right, these people are insane."
The corner of Tathe's mouth twitch and he stood.
"I have an Inquisition badge," said Attelus.
"Yes I have seen it," said Tathe. "But so did they, so it doesn't mean anything. I'm sorry. If you are not going to tell me the truth on how you got this sword, I see very little point of continuing this talk. Good bye."
Tathe turned and started out.
"You're scared, commissar Tathe," said Attelus causing Tathe to stop. "I see it. I understand it. That Inquisitor, whatever name he gave you, isn't his name. His real name is Serghar Kaltos and he is my father and in all honesty, if he scares you, he terrifies me. I truly know what he is capable of, what he has done and what he and his sycophants will do to you and your men once you have out lived your usefulness. Please, at least think on my words."
Tathe didn't reply, he left.
"Yet another damned secret," said Hayden. "Who is this Estella Erith?"
Attelus didn't answer, his attention fixated on the tent's exit.
The answer hit Adelana. "She's Karmen Kons."
"What?" said Delathasi.
"Her name? A psyker just so having such a perfect name for her craft? It has to be fake. Karmen Kons is Estella Erith! I'm sure. Numerous times over the years I have got the hint that Attelus and her have some past together. Hence why she gave him that sword."
"Is she right?" said Hayden. "She's right isn't she?"
"Damn you, Adelana," sighed Attelus.
Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: 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."
"No body said you could talk to them," said the tall one.
"No one said I couldn't," said Tathe through clenched teeth.
"We assumed that you would not be so foolish to risk our ire and our working relationship," said the tall one. "That you were logical enough to see it was not a good idea."
Tathe sighed. "Look, I don't know how old you are with your mask and voice modulator. You can be seventeen or a thousand for all I care, but what I have learned over the years is to follow my instincts and I'm sure you can guess with all your logic what my gut screams at me. Why I saw this Attelus Kaltos and his allies and why I..."
Tathe showed the sword. "And why I had my men scout the Sovrithan camp during the distraction."
Both agents seemed taken off guard. "Where did you get that?" said the curved swordsman.
"I believe he answered that in his implication," said the tall one and the condescension in his tone was obvious even through the modulator.
"I need to talk to your leader," repeated Tathe.
The agents looked at each other and Tathe heard the click of an activated vox link. Tathe, Dellenger and Adreen waited for a few seconds before the curved swordsman turned to them and said, "you may see the master, but you and only you, commissar. Take the sword."
Tathe frowned and exchanged glances with Dellenger and Adreen, who both gave nods. He shouldn't have been surprised they would have such limitations.
"Okay," said Tathe as he steeled himself and pushed into the tent.
What caught Tathe attention was the young woman lying on the ground. He knew it was the girl of the trio but her mask was off, revealing a pale face of remarkable beauty. Beauty which was ruined by a swollen, purple visage. Her brown hair was cut to her jaw line with remarkable symmetry.
"Put on your mask," said Tolbik who stood over her, "and get up."
"Yes master," said the young woman, her voice like silk and as beautiful as her. With impressive speed and grace for someone so beaten, she climbed to her feet, picked up her mask. She struggled to slip it back on due to the swelling.
"Get out," said Tolbik. "We will speak more of this later, your punishment is not finished, merely delayed."
"Yes master," said the young woman again and Tathe's heart dropped. Saddened just as much by the modulator masking her voice as her face being hidden. But what hurt him most was the resounding sadness and pain in her large brown eyes.
Tathe shook himself into sanity, as she past him then left the tent.
"What did she do?" said Tathe after a pause, despite knowing that's what Tolbik wanted him to ask.
Tathe fought back a sigh. "What did she do, Inquisitor?"
"She disobeyed me, commissar. For that, I had to punish her. I hear that you have gone behind my back too."
Tathe grimaced and showed Tolbik the sword. "This was in the prisoner's confiscated items at the Sovrithian camp. This-"
"I know what that sword is, commissar," said Tolbik. "I do not think it matters, you are being foolish. I should kill you for this insubordination. Snuff your worthless life out in a second. You know I am more than capable of it. Both physically and I am within my God-Emperor given rights."
"Yes," said Tathe. "But you won't."
Tolbik raised an eyebrow. "And how did you figure that out? Did that worthless boy somehow convince you he could defeat me?"
The Inquisitor laughed, it held no humour it echoed with smug self assuredness. "If you believe him in that regard you are even more idiotic than I gave you credit for. You are a commissar who doesn't even kill his own men. That is the allotment you were given in life and yet do not follow it. Instead you molly coddle them, treat them like equals. What a foolish thing to do."
"He never claimed that," said Tathe through clenched teeth. "You won't kill me or even punish me because you know that despite all your skill and all your influence my men will not take that lying down and they will kill you. Even after you and your agents kill dozens of us, they will keep coming and coming until you dead. That's why."
Tolbik's eyes glazed with rage.
"That 'worthless boy' as you call him said he was your son," said Tathe, seizing the initiative. "That-"
The high pitched whine of a speaker's activation erupted through the air, it eclipsed all other sounds.
It caused Tathe and even Tolbik to wince. Tathe knew about the system of speakers that littered the entire city. Once used by the Ministorum or the city governor like countless cities across the Imperium of Mankind.
Tathe had thought them beyond repair, apparently not.
The incessant whining and screaming went on and on before it finally, briefly turned into static and a voice all too familiar to Tathe echoed.
"This is the general," said Tathe's father. "This is your general, men and woman of Velrosia, Maranger, Galak Heim and Despasia."
Even still the confidence in general Tathe's voice was beyond belief, the strength, the projection was that of a man who had spent decades as a war hero and leader. Delan Tathe had always envied that. As did every other leader of the Elbyran contingent, even colonel Vonlet, the leader of the Velrosian regiment a great leader and tactician of the ages himself, but still overshadowed by Tathe's father.
Vonlet like most of the regiment's upper echelons had been killed when most of the Elbyran contingent followed general Tathe in damnation and joined the ranks of the Resurrected. Why Tathe's father had turned traitor, Tathe had no idea, but for months before they came to Sarkeath Tathe could see that something had been weighing on his father's mind. Something that had got to the implacable general.
"Many of you believe that I am a traitor and a heretic," said general Tathe. "That I have turned my back on the golden throne and the Imperium of Mankind."
There was a pause.
"This is somewhat true, I must admit," said general Tathe. "But-"
"What the hell is this about?" said Hayden, struggling in his bonds.
Attelus didn't answer, too busy listening to the broadcast.
"-But would you really call me a traitor and a heretic when the society I have, we have fought for and died for, for so long is so weak it cannot even defend itself.-"
"That's general Tathe!" said Adelana.
"Yeah, sure as hell sounds like him," said Attelus. "But never be so sure, it could be any one with a voice modulator or someone who's excellent at mimicry."
Like the Mimic, Attelus reminded himself.
"-This society, this Imperium of Mankind is corrupt," said the general. "It is dying. It is upon the cusp of extinction I know this, I have seen this-"
"Heresy!" said one of the guards, a Marangerian male. "The Imperium of Mankind will last forever!"
Attelus frowned, he wanted to tell the guardsman that nothing lasts forever, that what the general claimed was actually true. The Imperium of Mankind was over the Millennia slowly, but surely withering, dying. But wisely held his tongue.
"-The Emperor is nothing but a corpse, a shadow who was and never will be a god. He is a liar and his power is nothing compared to that of the gods-"
"Here we go," said Karmen Kons as she gazed out the window. "The same old spiel of the heretic and traitor trying to qualify themselves, heard it all before."
No one replied as they stood in the makeshift medicae room, they'd been in the midst of talking with the Space Marine, when the broadcast started. It'd taken them off guard, but Sergeant Kalakor had fallen into combat mode. He glanced about with such intensity Karmen couldn't help fear he might attack them.
"-the gods of the warp are our only hope! Our only hope for the survival of the human race is to embrace their power! Their strength will allow us to destroy the xenos encroaching on us!-"
"Foolish words," said Verenth. "Devoting ourselves to the Ruinous Powers would lead to our destruction in only a few short decades."
Karmen nodded. Chaos was a cancer and like a cancer if it was allowed to consume the host, the host would die.
A thought hit Karmen. What would happen to the cancer if the host died? Would the cancer then die too?
"-over generations the Imperium have been brainwashing you! Lying about the dangers of Chaos. I have embraced their power. They have given me their gifts, I command those whom you call the Resurrected. A fitting title.-"
"The Resurrected?" said Helma as she sat up from her cot. "Are they the traitor guardsmen and the cultists we fought earlier?"
No one answered.
"-I am giving you that still claim to be loyal to the false Emperor, even my own traitorous son the opportunity to join me. To join us in the light of the chaos gods, willingly-"
Tolbik and Tathe had stood in silence, listening to the general's rant.
"-you will be granted my favour. If you do not! I will send the Resurrected against you enforce. You will die at their hands, it is inevitable and once you do you will join us as one of the Resurrected! You will fight glorious battle after battle, dying again and again to strengthen you so you may one day leave this world and fight amongst the stars in the name of Khorne!"
The signal cut off.
Tathe couldn't help laugh.
"What is so damned funny, commissar?" snapped Tolbik.
"He didn't even bother to tell us how to do it," said Tathe.
Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:39 pm
Once the general's speech was done Attelus, Adelana, Hayden and Delathasi were silent. Attelus was too busy deep in thought to speak.
His mind was brought back to the vision. When the world seemed to speak to him. He could barely recall much, the fire raging from the tower. It'd warned him, warned him about, something. Was it of his father? Or the tower? It mentioned something about people it couldn't sense, that they were looking for something in the tower. It must've been the sword. It also said it could only communicate with a perpetual.
Attelus frowned and stole a glance at Adelana. She saw him and gave him a smile, he couldn't help smile back then flinch away as he felt his heart flutter. Perhaps, it wasn't the world which talked to him? Was it the sword? It seemed like a daemon blade, if it was it'd then be sentient and apparently only able to be retrieved from the tower by a perpetual.
Why the tower? How the tower? How long had it been in there? Why could only a perpetual get it? How was it guarded? Was general Tathe there?
"You never answered my question," said Delathasi, bringing Attelus back to reality.
"You didn't answer my question, Attelus, if you are immortal, why does it matter if you die?"
Attelus sighed, he'd hoped she'd forgotten that. "It's hard to explain, Delathasi. Let's just say, in the situation we're in, if I die I won't be able to be brought back on Sarkeath and it may take months or even years for it to happen."
"Sounds pointless," said Hayden.
"It's complicated, with the warp storm and..." he trailed off, unsure if he'd given away too much.
They looked down at him, bemused.
It was times like this Attelus was reminded just how ignorant people were. Faleaseen had educated him over the years, she'd taught him much of the nature of the soul and the immaterrium, a lot of which wouldn't be known by most veteran Inquisitors.
"How?" said Adelana.
"It's uhh where, uhh. The warp-"
"No," said Adelana. "How did you become immortal?"
Attelus first instinct was to tell the truth. That he was what Faleaseen deemed a 'synthetic' perpetual changed into one by her, but stopped himself.
"I was born one," he said.
"If you haven't died yet," said Hayden. "So how do you know?"
"I don't," said Attelus. "But my father needing me to take the sword is evidence enough. Maybe."
"So how did you find out?" said Hayden. "Did you father just tell you now? Or have you known since the beginning, and been hiding it?"
Yet again, Attelus sighed. He wanted to tell them to shut up, to stop asking questions. He fought the urge, remembering Raloth's words. That they were human, not mindless beings to just order around. That way was the way of the tyrant, something Attelus swore he'd never be. But now wasn't the best time, with the Imperial Guardsmen looming over them and all. So he mouthed, 'I'll tell you later. Can't now.'
Hayden's eyes narrowed. After studying him for a few seconds, Adelana nodded in understanding and Delathasi's expression stayed neutral.
Attelus swore he'd tell the truth. It felt good to get it out in the open.
He just hoped he'd get an opportunity to tell it.
"We need to leave," said Tolbik.
"What?" said Tathe. "Why?"
"I shouldn't have to explain, commissar," said the inquisitor. "We must leave, now. Get your men ready to move within the hour."
"I think with my father's threat it would be better to stay here," said Tathe after spending a few seconds to gain his courage. "We're in a defensible position and we have a way to fall back-"
"And into the desert?" said Tolbik. "Do not be absurd and a defensible position would be better in the conventional sense, if we could bleed our enemy dry. But we can't, they come back from the dead, remember? And every one of your precious men that die will join them in the assault. It's better that we start moving, get to the tower as soon as we can to cut this corruption at the head."
"How do you know that?" said Tathe.
Tolbik's face darkened. "I just do, commissar. Just get you men ready! Take it as an order from the Emperor himself. Now go!"
Tathe grimaced but turned and went for the tent's exit.
He paused. "You ask us to take a lot on faith, Inquisitor," said Tathe. "To risk our lives just on your words."
Tolbik sniffed. "As a commissar, thus one raised in the schola Progenium you should know that, 'blessed is the mind too small for doubt' and that 'faith is purest when it is unquestioning.' Do you still have faith in the emperor, Commissar? Because it seems that you do not. We have a word for that."
Tathe turned and left. He knew the word and he knew it well.
Attelus was almost asleep when the hustle and bustle began. The sound of shouting and stomping boots echoed in his ears and he sighed, glancing at the others. All of them were asleep and he cursed himself for being such a light sleeper.
With with a growl, he rolled himself over to face the two guards. One was a battle scarred Velrosian woman, the other a tall, broad Despasian man. They both looked down at him with weary eyes. They were new, having changed the guard during Attelus' attempt at going to sleep.
"What's going on?" Attelus said, trying to inflict authority and confidence into his voice in the way which Inquisitor Enandra taught him.
The way which Glaitis taught him.
The Despasian trooper shrugged. "I see no problem in telling. You will find out eventually. We are moving out."
"Where?" said Attelus, unsure what to make of this.
"Dunno," said the women. "The commissar didn't tell us, just his holiness, the inquisitor ordered it."
Attelus frowned. "You must know, that we are not your enemy."
"Couldn't care less, boy," said the woman. "We're just here to guard you."
"Just following orders, huh?" Attelus sneered.
"Even if we were not," said the Despasian man. "We have not a reason to believe anything you say. You have appeared out of nowhere and we know nothing about you, not even your name. Besides that you claim you are immortal and frigged in the head."
"What?" said the woman.
"My name is Attelus Kaltos. There, now you know my name. What are yours?"
They exchanged a glance.
"Oh no, no way," said the woman. "I've been on this for long enough to know not to give my name. You might be some kind of daemon that can use my name for some sorcery shit."
Attelus flinched. Her words hurt him more than he could say. They didn't trust him, no one trusted him, not even Adelana and as much as he understood why, it still hurt. He wished beyond wished that they would suddenly change their minds and free him. He'd dreamed of meeting the famous men and women of the Elbyran contingent on the voyage to Sarkeath, fighting side by side with his heroes Commissar Tathe, Dellenger. Saving them from their doom in the eleventh hour.
Never did he even consider he'd have his hands and ankles bound, lying on the ground as their helpless prisoner. Trying to warn them, to tell them the truth.
There was an ancient Terran legend Attelus had found during his many hours of study back in the libraries of the Audacious Edge, the Greeca legend of Cassanria a prophet who could see the dangers in the future, but was forever cursed that no one would believe her desperate warnings.
Attelus was starting to know how this Cassanria must've felt.
He had been a fool, a naive fool. He should've known that his father would be here, that he'd already have manipulated the Elbyran guardsmen against him.
Serghar frigging Kaltos. Attelus didn't hate his father, despite the claims of Etuarq three years ago, of how his father had let him be used, knew that his son would bear the burden of billions of deaths. Wanted it to happen, in the name of whatever agenda his cruel master had warped fate for. He'd thought Etuarq was lying but now it seemed the bastard had told the truth.
It turned out Attelus had never known Serghar Kaltos, the real Serghar Kaltos.
His father was an unredeemable, abusive arsehole. Yet even after seeing this, Attelus couldn't bring himself to hate him. The Imperium of Mankind always preached hate, hate for the mutant, the heretic, the xenos. Attelus had long ago preached against hate to Adelana, warned her of it's destruction. After all his father had done and how he'd beat him Attelus should hate him, it would make him a hypocrite, but by the Emperor he'd be justified in his hypocrisy.
The abrupt bark caused Attelus to flinch in fright as did the guards. Attelus heard the gasps as Hayden, Adelana and Delathasi awoke. It was followed by another and another in a horrific cresendo.
"What the hell?" said Hayden.
Attelus didn't reply, he knew where it was coming from, the south entrance of the fortress and he knew what it was.
Heavy bolter fire.
As Tathe stormed through the camp with Dellenger and Adreen struggling to keep up his vox bead beeped and he reached to activate it.
"Yes?" he growled. "What is it?"
"Sir!" Valketh's voice erupted. "We've got targets converging on us."
Tathe's heart sank and he stopped.
He was interrupted by the sound of las fire and the roar of heavy bolters.
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!"
Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: 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'.
"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.+
Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: 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.
"This is it," said Tathe. "This is the time that we finally, fight the fight which truly matters."
Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: 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?"
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...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."
"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.+
+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.
Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: 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.
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.
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."
"Because our objective is the tower, if you and her go alone you might-"
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."
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.
Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: 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.
Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: 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.
Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: 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.
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.
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.
Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:11 am
Adelana slipped back the split second she saw the cultist around the corner.
It was about five metres away and moving toward her with a wary slowness uncharacteristic for its kind.
The cultist obviously hadn't seen her or else he would be charging like a maniac.
Adelana hissed a curse through clenched teeth. Wishing beyond wishing she'd taken her bolter. She slipped Attelus off her shoulder then sat him against the wall. Attelus was murmuring something and she willed him to shut the hell up.
She hand her plastered across Attelus' mouth. She would have liked to shut him up another way, but it wasn't professional and ethically questionable when done to someone barely conscious. Even though she knew he'd like it, for someone apparently trained to hide his emotions and himself, he was about as subtle as a punch to the face in showing his affection for her.
Adelana shook away the thought and glanced around the corner again. The cultist was still approaching in strange slowness. His tunic was covered in blood, announcing his seniority in his cult and he carried a chainsword, its teeth coated in bloody bits of human meat, some still with parts of flak armour.
Adelana felt a shiver slide through her, that could mean it was champion. Far out of her league in close combat.
She pulled back and started to gather Attelus up again. She'd need to try the other way.
It was then she heard the jets of the Guncutter, through the roof above. The sweeping roaring allowed her to visual Darrance turning it over the street to aim the las cannons at the building still with Serghar and his agents inside.
Adelana smiled again.
Agent 2k-3 was the first to hear the screeching of the Guncutter's engines.
"Master," she yelled while decapitating yet another Resurrected cultist. "It is Attelus' ship. It is here."
"Yes," said Serghar. "It seems once again I have underestimated my son's little bitch of a girlfriend, again. She is too clever for her own good. Agent 2k-3 go after my son, we still need him to retrieve the sword, so he cannot die here, not yet."
"Yes master," she said and disengaged with such grace she seemed like a feline on enhancement stimms.
"1k-3, 3k-3," said Serghar. "Cover me."
"Yes master," said both agents in one voice as Serghar lunged back and the pair began holding back the horde.
Serghar calculated he had six seconds before 1k-3 and 3k-3 were overwhelmed. That hardly mattered as like all of Etuarq's servants, Serghar himself included, they were utterly expendable. But Serghar knew for this mission he still needed them. He just hoped they wouldn't look too much into his allowing them to escape with him.
Serghar reached for the small, unassuming knife secretly sheathed behind a pouch on his belt.
The lascannon barrage then started to slaughter the building above them.
Adelana had made it half way toward the left side of the building when she heard the shout behind her and she turned.
The cultist had stepped around the corner, seeing her somehow through the dark with ease. He let out a snarl and burst into a charge, chainsword revving and raised.
She cursed and slipped Attelus off her shoulder then readied his sword, trying to ignore her heart crashing through her.
The cultist was on her so fast Adelana had barely any time to react, it moved like one of Serghar's agents, it moved like Attelus.
Adelana barely managed to throw herself back before being decapitated, but in her desperate haste she slipped on the sand and fell on her back. The next split second the cultist was on her, his chainsword held over his head.
But he straightened and spun and Adelana saw the shadow flitter behind him a split second after a clash echoed into her ears. That was followed by another then another as the cultist fought an assailant Adelana's eyes couldn't follow.
She shook herself back to sanity, stood then started to slip Attelus arm over her shoulder.
The cultist and his attacker were blurs, gashes and slashes just seemed to materialise in the walls and floor.
"Adelana," said Attelus almost in her ear, causing her to flinch. "Give me my sword."
"Give...me my frigging...sword, now."
"I know, frig you, give it, now."
His tone was that of a petulant child, he almost screamed it right in her ear, causing stinging agony to blast through her skull. She did and he snatched it from her grasp so hard and fast she was almost flung from her feet. Then he was gone, rushing in a blur to join in the fight.
No one with a gut wound should've been able to move, let alone fight. It was easy to forget, even after witnessing him fighting countless times how inhuman he was.
Attelus only lasted a few seconds before he was flung like a rag doll and smashing onto his back at Adelana's feet.
He writhed and screamed so sharply, it caused a primal fear to crash through Adelana. Blood burst from his wound like a geyser.
"Emperor damn it," she yelled and knelt over him. "I told you-"
She was interrupted by the now familiar slosh, sound of splattering blood and saw the Cultist had been decapitated, it fell to its knees and Adelana straightened. It was the female agent, the cultist's blood still evaporating off the powerfield of one of her blades.
"Get him up, we have to move," said the agent.
That was when the last building collapsed under the lascannon barrage, in a crashing, deafening cacophony.
Adelana froze, feeling her teeth clench as she fixed her gaze on the agent. The agent didn't seem to care.
"I said, get him up, now."
Adelana did as told, doing as quickly as possible. Attelus grunted and groaned the whole way. How the hell he was still conscious was beyond her.
The agent slipped by them.
"I will lead the way," she said. "I am assuming that you are going to rendezvous with your ship on the roof of this building?"
Adelana fought the urge to ask her about her comrades. "Y-yes."
"Then let us go," she said and started on.
Adelana bit her lip and began to follow.
"Elandria," Attelus gasped.
The agent stopped, but didn't turn and second after
"I...I know it's...you."
"You can 'know' it all you like, Attelus. It does not mean it is true."
"Elandria?" said Adelana, she'd heard of this Elandria but didn't know much, in fact she didn't want to know much.
"Oh, she was just his girlfriend, before you, I mean."
"She's not my girlfriend."
"He's not my boyfriend."
They said as one.
"Be quiet," hissed the agent. "And hurry it up."
It took what seemed an age to climb up the stairwell and onto the roof. All the while Adelana could almost feel Darrance's impatience in her chest the entire agonising time.
Much to her surprise they never ran into any other Resurrected the entire way, but this was just fuel to the fire of her paranoia. The sound of the Guncutter's engines should have drawn them like a Grox to feed. All this time, Attelus constantly fell in and out of consciousness, his head drooping back and forth almost like a pendulum.
What surprised her the most was the absence of the roaring engines when they emerged into the sunlight Adelana was surprised to see that Darrance had landed on the roof.
Darrance stood on the ramp, glaring at them like Adalana had just drunk his recaf.
"What in the Emperor's name is she doing here?" he snarled, pointing his powersword at the agent.
"Be at peace, I am merely escorting Attelus Kaltos and his girlfriend to safety," said the agent as she stopped and raised her hands.
Adelana still holding Attelus fast walked past the agent, and started up the ramp.
"I don't understand," said Darrance. "What in the name of the Warp is going on here?"
Before she could react Attelus spun to face the agent, Adelana barely managing to keep her feet and keep him up in the process.
"I...know it's you, Elandria," he stammered. "I...can tell by the way you fight...Stop lying."
The agent sighed, although it was distorted almost beyond recognition. "I may possess her body, but she is long dead. She bled out three years ago, in your arms."
"Then...what are you...?" he gasped slipping and sliding to keep his feet.
"Attelus," said Adelana. "You need to get to the medicae."
"The master does not possess the knowledge of how to create a perpetual," said the agent. "Hence why he needs you to take the sword. I am Elandria, but I am not, I am a gestalt of souls warped together to create one, one which reanimates her body, restores it, enhances it beyond her original capabilty. I have her skills but nothing else, there is nothing left of her. She is gone, forever."
The agent shrugged and did, revealing a beautiful, pale visage boarded by a bob cut. Attelus straightened, and Darrance's jaw dropped and his power scimitar lowered.
"There," she said. "If it makes you happy. Do not look so shocked, you already knew. Now, I must go."
"What about my...father?" said Attelus. "I...he the...same?"
"That, I cannot tell you."
Then she started to turn.
"Why...did you just tell me all of that?" Attelus called, causing her to stop. "It's because she's still in there, somewhere...I know...it...She wanted me to know...that. You still...have her mind...literally."
"D-don't be a fool, goodbye," said the agent and her shoulders rose for a brief second, before she slipped on her mask again and disappeared down the stairs.
"Elandria," said Attelus, as he slumped again, but so hard and fast that if Darrance hadn't grabbed Attelus' arm, Adelana and he would've fallen on their faces.
"Let's get him inside," Darrance said.
Together, they carried the half-conscious Attelus to the medicae and laid him on the gurney for the servitors, the entire way he kept murmuring Elandria again and again.
Adelana had a thousand questions for Darrance but he had to leave for the cockpit.
She could only stand and watch the surgery for a few minutes before Attelus' constant murmuring of that name drove her away and toward her quarters. Trying to blink away the tears smearing her gaze.
Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:35 pm
The gun line was dying, both literally and figuratively. Ammunition was growing scarce. Tathe didn't know the exact number of men who still had ammo and who didn't. Tathe was a commissar, not a colonel or general, logistics weren't his responsibility until he'd taken over the contingent and had to learn much first hand. He'd just ordered those that did keep back to cover the flamers with precision fire. Tathe, his makeshift command squad and the many soldiers without ammo and bayonets fixed followed the flamers. Two flamer troopers had died, trooper Bulok who'd been decapitated by a daemon's blade and who was then avenged by Dellenger and trooper Sulvik, who'd been gutted by a bayonet thrust from a former Velrosian comrade. Five still advanced at the fore but despite the wall of fire, many Resurrected and daemons still managed to get through, many of which had already fallen to Tathe's blade.
Adreen had taken a bad cut across the thigh and Dellenger a chainsword tear on his left shoulder and taken a glancing blow across the side his head from the butt of a las rifle. Blood streaming down his face.
Although he was now coated with blood Tathe and the rest of his command squad had yet to be injured but he couldn't help curse and wonder where their leader: Attelus Kaltos and his girlfriend had gone, this was the time he needed that melee monster the most, when ammunition was running dry and his men were dying like flies. He'd gotten Karmen Kons to look for them, but she couldn't. Tathe had to guess it was to do with the arrival and extraction of their Guncutter about an hour ago.
Reports flooding from the flanks told that they were falling behind and taking horrendous casualties. Tathe knew this was going to happen, the men and women fighting on the flanks knew it was going to happen. But that didn't even begin to allay the pain in Tathe's heart.
Tathe's bolt pistol shot blew a charging Marangerian trooper's skull into red mist, he knew the trooper's name but had shoved it back into the recesses of his mind, then he shot a cultist through the guts. A snarling daemon shoved both corpses as it burst through, moving with inhuman speed, it lunged at Tathe.
Tathe didn't even blink as he emptied his pistol's clip into the thing's oversized skull through the roof of it's oversized mouth. The daemon's momentary distraction allowed three cultists to charge in. One was stabbed through the neck by Dellenger who was too distracted by taking down Tathe to see it coming.
Tathe knelt beneath the sweeping chainsword of one, while cutting through the knee of the other. Tathe turned the cut's backswing into a parry to intercept the chainsword headed for his head. Tathe, then twisted his sword into a vertical up slash, which sliced through the cultist's groin.
The shriek the cultist let out was so loud it almost eclipsed the roar of the fire and the buzzing of las guns. Tathe had long ago decided to deal blows that took sometime to die from. It'd delay them from coming back and it proved cathartic to his more sadistic sensibilities.
But he found himself incapable of doing it to guardsmen, not matter how hard he tried to.
"How far away now?" Tathe yelled to Dellenger as he cut through the chest of a charging Sovrithian.
"Five more blocks," said Dellenger, while sliding aside a wild bash from a cultist, then stabbed the cultist through the ribs. "Not far, sir."
Tathe clenched his teeth, that didn't seem 'not far' to him and that was just until they converged on the strange hole which descended into the middle of the city and Emperor only knew what lived down there.
A scream drew Tathe's attention just in time to see trooper Heunstein being stabbed through the chest by a Velrosian scout trooper.
Heunstein fell, clutching at his horrible wound. With a roar Tathe dashed for the scout trooper, powersword slashing for the scout's skull. The scout had left with Adreen's squad to scout ahead only a few hours ago. He'd been fighting on the front line and was one of the best, up with Adreen and Dellenger. Tathe had had no idea he'd been killed, despite the fact they'd advanced only a few metres from each other.
The scout saw the sword slicing for his throat, but even he couldn't react fast enough to dodge. A clang echoed as another powersword sheered off Tathe's sending shivers up Tathe's arms and the cut off course.
Tathe slipped back, just out the way from a thrust and looked to his attacker and couldn't help let his jaw drop.
It was Valketh. The captain's eyes were glazed with psychotic anger, the same murderous look he'd treated Serghar's agent only hours ago. Tathe would've never imagined he would ever be on the wrong end of that glare.
Then Valketh launched at Tathe, sword cutting for his wrist.
Adelana stood in the recreation room, watching Sarkeath swirl and twirl below, somehow the bloods sands weren't visible from orbit, here it seemed like a normal desert world with brownish sand. There was a better term to describe the colour, one she'd learned off her father, but she'd forgotten it. He'd known every name for every colour in this galaxy. It was just one of the many things she'd forgotten, replacing it with more knowledge on how to kill, how to manipulate and read others. She recalled what Hayden said about her becoming like Attelus. She'd snarled him down, but now she was beginning to see his point.
She'd enjoyed it a bit too much setting up the trap for Serghar and his minions.
She was beginning to enjoy the killing. What was she becoming? They chased Etuarq in the name of justice, but were they really? It was becoming more and more obvious that them chasing him was exactly what Etuarq wanted and-
Adelana couldn't help jump and spin to see Attelus, his shirtless torso bandaged as he entered the doorway. He was somehow paler than normal and the purple bags beneath his eyes darker.
"Sorry," he said. "Didn't mean to give you a fright, Adelana."
Adelana nodded, she knew he didn't mean it, even injured he moved in instinctive silence.
He was just as silent as he moved to stand beside Adelana and gazed down at Sarkeath with her.
"You alright?" he said.
Tears welled in her gaze and she looked at him. Faster than thought, he met her eyes and it caused her to turn away.
"I-I'm fine," she said. "I should be the one who asks that."
"I'll live," he said. "Thanks for saving my ass, Adelana. I'm alright, now. We need to get down there."
He turned and started away.
"I don't think we should," she forced herself to say.
He stopped, his broad back facing her.
"I-I know that sounds insane, but please hear me out, Attelus."
He turned to face her, his glare so intense she couldn't help but flinch.
"I don't understand how that couldn't be anything but insane, Adelana," he said.
"I uhh, uhm."
"But I'll hear you out, and this better be good, frigging really good."
"I-it's what he wants," Adelana spluttered out.
Attelus' eyes narrowed. "Who?"
Adelana couldn't help roll her eyes. "Etuarq! Your father. Your father even said he needed you alive to get that sword. If you go down there you're playing right into their hands."
Attelus pursed his lips and shrugged. "But I already said that we might need it so we can kill Etuarq."
"But...she...told us that Etuarq doesn't know how to make a perpetual, Attelus. So we don't need the sword."
Attelus flinched slightly and his attention fell to the floor before glaring back to her. "Yes, but what if she's lying, Adelana. What if he's able to turn himself into a perpetual, just not others?"
"Yes, that might well be true, but you do remember that it's a daemon blade, right?"said Adelana. "I'm no expert on those things, but don't they tend to corrupt the wielder? You know, make them into chaos worshipping psychos?"
"Well, what do you want me to do?" said Attelus. "Wait safe up here while our friends die down there?"
Adelana faulted at that.
Attelus sighed. "It's too late now for us to turn back, Adelana. I have to get that sword, we'll just have to deal with the consequences of it when it comes up."
He turned to start away again.
"I think we've made a huge mistake," said Adelana, stopping him yet again. "We should've just left Etuarq alone, we should've just let inquisitor Tybalt chase him or another part of inquisitor Enandra's organisation. To me, to you this is too personal. We say we do this to stop him, for justice. But really, it's out for revenge. It's just an excuse for you, for us to kill more people and if we don't stop, it'll end in the death of another world."
Attelus sighed and slouched his shoulders. "It's already happened even without our involvement, Adelana. Don't you remember one of the reasons why we've travelled all the way here? We're going to the surface, and that's that. Even if all your speculations are true, we can't just leave the Velrosians, our friends, okay? We're in too deep in every which way, anyway. We've better get prepped-"
"Attelus," said Adelana, trying to keep the desperation from her voice for her last ditch attempt. "If you take that sword, I'm leaving. I've been thinking about transferring since before we shipped out and if you take that sword, I will. I mean it. Avenging Omnartus be damned."
She wanted to add, 'if it meant losing you,' but couldn't get the courage to say it.
His shoulders shook the briefest of shakes, the movement reminded Adelana of the Elandria-thing's earlier reaction to Attelus' pleas.
"If that's-If that's what you feel you must do, Adelana," he said.
There was a long, awkward pause which was cut by a heartbreakingly un-enthused laugh from Attelus.
"That's if we don't die on our way there," he said before disappearing into the shadows.
Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:12 am
Karmen was overwhelmed by exhaustion, the servos of her power armour were what kept making her take step after step forward. Advancing in front of her were Vark and Verenth, they'd both run out of ammo so Vark fought with a bayonet attached to his hell gun, while Verenth had 'borrowed' a las gun with a bayonet. Verenth was surprisingly effective, not on the level of Dellenger who'd mastered the form, but he held his own. The thought of Dellenger, made her fight the urge to glance at the scout, who was almost hypnotising in his preternatural grace and skill. He was also exceedingly handsome, but of course he didn't even spare her a glance, she'd be offended if she didn't know the scout was completely clueless on the matters of human interaction. That and he was fighting three cultists at once, despite his numerous injuries.
But the real battle was between Tathe and the Marangerian in a captain's uniform. Both exchanged power sword swings almost faster than her eye could follow. She couldn't help be impressed at the Marangerian's skill.
The loss of her kineshield allowed for numerous casualties to be wrought from the guns of the guardsmen Resurrected. The guilt gnawed at her, in her earlier days as Estella Erith, she too had idolised the Velrosians, so now to see them die like flies around her without her being able to do anything hurt her more than she could say.
More good people she'd failed.
Not just that but her bolter had run dry and she couldn't fight at the front either, she had to regain her strength for the very last push. When they finally descend into the city's depths.
So here she was, useless, yet again.
A Galak Heim trooper advancing beside her fell, he flew off his feet and landed on the sand, writhing, screaming. Karmen hadn't even seen what hit him. Two troopers broke from the gunline, one a Marangerian, the other from Despasia and picked up the man and turned to take him to the medicae truck as the soldiers behind them parted with admirable discipline. Karmen couldn't help let a smile cross her lips, all these men and women all from different cultures were like family. From countries that had warred and hated each other for millennia before the coming of the Imperium came were now fighting side by side, blind to the hate fuelled tremulous past and the colour of each other's skin.
This was unity, this was god-Emperor's vision. The pride of finally fighting along side her heroes flooded into her, but along with it came regret. Regret because she knew this would be the first and only time. The Elbyran contingent was dead. Dead the second they stepped out of their makeshift fortress and began for the tower. Not just that but this suicidal mission was made on Attelus' and Karmen's volition. More souls sacrificed in the god-Emperor's name. More deaths to hang onto her conscience.
She shook away the thought, it wasn't about her or conscience. This was about the Elbyrans, this was their battle, their glory, their sacrifice. The long suppressed soldier within her bubbled back.
Another one of the flame troopers died, her head exploded in a welter of blood and brains. She collapsed and began to spin toward the Elbyran.
Karmen only in the last millisecond managed to raise her hand and send the flame trooper spinning forwards again.
"Someone stop her," Karmen roared through clenched teeth. "I can't...hold it for long."
Both Verenth and Vark moved to comply, fighting with a sudden burst of ferocity which somehow broke through their almost palpable exhaustion. Karmen couldn't watch their advance, as much as he dearly wished to, too entrenched in concentration. She cursed Attelus' name through gritted teeth, wondering yet again where that idiot went.
"Karmen?" said a voice over her vox unit a voice she recognised as Verenth's. "You can let go of the body, Vark's getting on her flamer."
With a gasp, she let the flame trooper's corpse fall. It sickened Karmen to see the poor woman's body disappear beneath the feet of the advancing Elbyrans, but what else could they do? She had a very good idea how many soldiers were left, but she refused to name the number, not even in her thoughts, not until she had too.
She watched Vark as he clumsily swayed the flames from side to side as Verenth laid in again and again with his lasgun. Karmen looked to see Tathe or Tathe's blur while he now fought the Marangerian captain, the Velrosian scout and a cultist at once. All the while he still somehow managed to keep stepping forwards.
Karmen's thoughts were interrupted by a rain of las shots which splattered off her power armour, the kinetic force caused her to writhe, but the two soldiers on her flanks weren't protected by power armour so writhed and screamed as they were cut down.
"Shit," said Hayden over the vox, ever the epitome of calm. "Enemies in the building, two down on the left, fifth story. Any suppression fire sent their way would be appreciated, please.
By now the Elbyrans had grown to trust Hayden and his auspex and instincts beyond question and instantly a small amount of shots flew where Hayden had indicated.
"Do we have any missile launcher ammo left?" said Hayden.
The reply was swift from a captain named Sevon of the Despasians who was in charge of the supplies. "No, sir throne agent, we have run out of both missiles and missile launchers if you catch my drift."
"I understand," said Hayden. "Let me take care of this. Stop the pinning fire in ten seconds and make room for me on the right flank."
As he was saying this Hayden was fanning right, watching the building through his long las' scope.
It was almost exactly ten seconds later that the pinning fire stopped, then Hayden opened fire. Six shots in incredibly quick succession.
"Targets neutralised," he said. "But I am on my last three shots."
Karmen turned as something caught the corner of her gaze, she just managed to see Tathe managing to disembowel the cultist before losing his sword, it was smashed from his grasp by the Marangerian captain. The scout then skated in, thrusting for Tathe's chest with his bayonet.
But before Karmen could even raise her hand, let alone cry out sergeant Adreen shoulder barged the scout off balance when the bayonet tip was only a millimetre from Tathe's chest.
Then she was decapitated by the Marangerian officer.
Tathe's anguished scream somehow managed to rise above the roar of war, then he was on his feet sword back in his hands and charging for the officer with wild abandon. Tears shone in his eyes.
Karmen knew he was running to his death, having last all discipline and skill in his rage and grief. Dellenger and Delathasi were moving to intercept Tathe, but Karmen knew they wouldn't fight their way through in time, but Tathe was just about to run past Karmen.
So Karmen reached out with her power armoured hand and grabbed him by the storm coat and with a tug, tore him off his feet and crashing his back against the sand.
Dellenger and Delathasi were then on the scout and the captain, respectively, launching into a blurry melee.
Then Tathe was on his feet, his rage etched face turned on Karmen.
"Why did you do that, witch!" he screamed, raising his crackling powersword, Karmen flinched, knowing it could slice through her armour with ease.
"Answer me," he yelled but he wasn't interested in her answer as he already begun to slash.
He didn't even make it half way before two troopers grabbed him and hauled him back.
"Let go of me," Tathe said, struggling.
Karmen nodded her thanks to the pair of troopers, one a Galak Heiman, the other a Velrosian.
+You were going to get yourself killed, commissar,+ she sent. +Get a hold of yourself, commissar.+
"Frig you," he said.
+This world, this tainted world is influencing you. You need to control it, you are in command and many will die other than her if you do not.+
Tathe didn't reply, he just sneered and struggled more.
Karmen nodded to herself. +We'll all die if you don't, die without reaching your objective and join the Resurrected. Every step and death and especially the death of scout-sergeant Adreen will be pointless. Get your head together, now."
The commissar looked down in what may have been shame.
Karmen turned away and it was then the Elbyrans finally advanced into the final cross section before they would delve into the depths of the city.
Karmen was finally forced to admit the number of survivors. They'd left with just under one thousand men, now they were down to about two hundred and fifty. This would be the do or die part.
She inhaled deep and reached into the warp and erected another kineshield against the withering, flanking fire. But a heart achingly many Elbyran troops were killed, slain at the blades of the daemons and cultists as they burst from the side streets in a rushing tide.
No, Karmen corrected, not killed, slaughtered. The many of the Elbyrans being too exhausted to put up much of a fight. It was a miracle they'd lasted this long, a true testament to their skill and limitless discipline. But their morale, their stamina wasn't.
A cultist managed to push past the two remaining flamers and charged Karmen, swinging down an old axe.
Karmen blocked the blow with a forearm, then punched the cultist through his face.
She was wrong, Tathe keeping his head wouldn't make any difference, this was the end. Frustration boiled through her, to come so close for it all to be for nothing was...was...
Karmen cursed Attelus' name for what felt like the umpteenth time, even though not even he could halt many of the deaths, but if he was here the love of Tathe's life would likely still be alive.
Verenth and Vark his flamer having run out of promethium, fought back to back laying in their bayonets and las gun butts. Helma cut down cultist after cultist with her sword as a Velrosian sergeant stood at her side, his chain sword whining and tearing and whirling with flying blood. Delathasi and Dellenger still fought the scout and the captain. Even Hayden was forced into close combat, his long las swinging and smashing with.
How they hadn't fallen yet was amazing, but it was just a matter of time.
A matter of inevitability.
The las fire smashed through the Resurrected's south flank, an accurate, disciplined deluge. Even many a daemon fell beneath the focused fire.
The enemy baulked and turned to address their new attackers and the Elbyrans hesitated their confusion on who their savours were, was almost palpable.
A second later Karmen's exhaustion addled mind managed to comprehend and a scream of triumph burst from her throat.
"The Sovrithans!" Karmen yelled. "The Sovrithans are here!"
Jelket led from the front with captain Dantian and his command squad. He fired his Hellgun at the hip he cut down Resurrected after Resurrected. The enemy wilted underneath the Sovrithan gunline, like waves pulling back from a beach after smashing against it. This was their plan, to distract the enemy with the Elbyran's push so the Sovrithans could circle around the city and flank them.
It'd worked surprisingly well, the Elbyrans somehow managing to push so far and so fast the enemy attention was forced to be completely fixated on them. The bias of their commander would have surely attributed to that fixation as the commissar had predicted.
Jelket didn't know how many of the Elbyrans were left, he just hoped there'd be enough to push into the depths and that his comrades and friends were still alive.
"For the Emperor," Jelket yelled. "For Sovrith. For the ordos."
Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:50 pm
The enemy seemed to pour over the lip of the incline in a never ending tide in a desperate bid to keep the Sovrithians and The Elbyrans from meeting. The Elbyrans were locked in melee, still pushing forward despite the odds. While Jelket and the Sovrithians laid down a constant hail of las shots to somewhat stem them somewhat.
Jelket fired from the hip, racking his hell fire through the Resurrected it was impossible to miss. Many Resurrected tried to turn to address the Sovrithians, but were slaughtered. In any other battle this flanking manoeuvre would've been devastating, maybe leading to a decisive victory.
Here it was just so two forces could meet, one resupply the other, then join into a combined, desperate advance toward an objective they had no idea would even make any difference.
Despite this, Jelket's heart sung, he'd left the guard to escape this stuff, but now he'd never felt more alive. He was never the best at anything, but here he was saving the butts of the others, assuming they're alive, of course.
He could see the enemy's sporadic fire smack off an invisible wall over the Elbyran front line, so Karmen atleast was still alive.
The next half an hour was the most intense battle Jelket had ever taken part in, hundreds, maybe thousands of Resurrected and dozens of daemons. Jelket couldn't imagine how hard it must've been for the Elbyrans for these past few hours.
Once the Sovrithians pushed into the intersection, giving the Elbyrans a break from the front line, there they stopped their advance. I didn't take Jelket long to find Hayden, Karmen, Torris, Helma, Verenth, Delthasi and Vark all were dead eyed, beyond exhausted and barely able to acknowledge Jelket. It was the same with every single other Elbyran around, as the Sovrithians moved by to take over the rear guard. Many entered into the buildings around to secure them.
"It's good to see all of you made it," said Jelket, then his relief was over taken with concern as he noticed something. "Where's Attelus and Adelana? Halsin?"
"We don't know," said a voice but it wasn't any of them that answered Jelket and he turned to find a bloody, beaten commissar approaching, using his beautiful single edged power sword as a walking stick. "We believe they are in orbit as your ship lifted off about an hour back. And the young medicae is in one of the trucks tending the wounded."
Jelket nodded, his concern somewhat stifled and he couldn't help wonder why Attelus and Adelana had abandoned the Elbyrans.
Dantian stepped forward. "You are commissar Tathe?"
"I am," said Tathe.
Jelket fought the awe welling in him. So this was the famous commissar Delan Tathe? He seemed to ooze charisma and leadership beyond humanly possible, even with the exhaustion and what the other thing? Jelket couldn't put a finger on it.
"We have brought the resupply you wanted," said Dantian, straight to business as usual. "I will be honest, commissar, I was tempted to leave you and your men for dead."
Tathe shrugged. "I would understand that...if you did and I must thank you for not leaving us for dead." Tathe's tone was stilted, robotic. "I have sacrificed too many good men and women in this, I just hope it's not for nothing."
"I pray that it isn't commissar," said Dantian. "But I am afraid that we'll lose many once we begin down that hill."
"I know, captain," said Tathe and while he didn't roll his eyes, his voice seemed to scream he wanted to. "We're about to descend into hell, are you and your men prepared?"
Dantian bristled. "By the god-Emperor we are. We'll fight one hundred times harder than you did and we will show the enemy the deaths they more than deserve."
Tathe grinned. "Please, don't take my question personally, captain. I was merely asking and it gladdens me to see you so fired up."
"I am a captain of the imperial guard, commissar," said Dantian. "And while my regiment isn't as well known or said to be as elite as yours, we will prove that reputation means little to action. When will you and your men be ready to advance?"
The commissar pursed his lips. "I know this must seem to be much, captain, but we need fifteen minutes. Many of my men are dehydrated and we all need food. If we have any less time we'll be little use to you."
Dantain raised an eyebrow and looked Tathe up and down. "We'll give you half an hour."
Tathe took a shocked step back. "I-I that's too much, captain."
"I have over one thousand men, commissar," said Dantian. "Even with that number I doubt it will be enough down there, so I really don't want your men to slow us down and I want to prove to you just how good we are, understand?"
"Understood," said Tathe.
Dantian nodded and peeled away, his finger to his microbead as he began to call out orders.
Jelket looked at Tathe as the commissar collapsed onto his arse. "I saw what you did there, sir."
"What's your name?" said Tathe.
"Trooper Jelket, sir."
Tathe glared up at Jelket his head tilted forwards. "Trooper Jelket...shut up."
Jelket stood for a few seconds, trying to decide how to react to the commissar's rudeness.
Jelket shrugged. "Fair enough," he said then turned away and walked up to Hayden. The bid sniper laid on his back, his attention to the sky.
He sat down next to Hayden and handed him his water canister. "I'm glad you made it, big guy."
"I'm glad I did too," said Hayden, his voice as lifeless as Tathe's. "I've never had to do anything like that before and I frigging hope I never have to again."
"Never thought I'd hear such words from you," said Jelket. "And I hate to say it, we've still got a long way to go."
"I know, I know," Hayden growled. "And that frigger abandoned us."
"Attelus," said Hayden as he took the canister and unscrewed the lid. "He flew up into the damned atmosphere leaving us to bleed and struggle down here."
Jelket couldn't make a reply, he'd never heard Hayden so bitter and angry before.
"I...I'm sure the kid had his reasons-"
"This mission right from the start has been a screw up, Jelket. He's just made mistake after mistake, after frigging mistake."
Jelket begun thinking about that but Hayden interrupted him. "He's twenty eight, one of the youngest of us. It was a huge mistake of the Inquisitor to put him in charge."
"I don't know. If Attelus wasn't in charge, we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for his connection to the Eldar. But, yeah he's made a few mistakes."
"Just a few you're a master of frigging understatement, Jelket. Don't you have somewhere to go? Fight alongside the Sovrithians."
"Maybe I should," said Jelket after a pause. "But they aren't my comrades, my friends. I'd rather spend as much time with you guys as I can before we all might die, and they don't need me."
Hayden laughed. "You're so frigging sentimental and of course Attelus isn't here for that-"
"Get over it," said Jelket, snatching back his canister. "I'm going to talk to someone who's not all bitter and twisted right now, I'm not in the mood for this."
Jelket stood and started toward Torris, who sat with his back against the wall, his head hung forward a water canister almost falling from his hand.
"Marcel?" said Jelket kneeling in front him. "You alright?"
"Yeah, yeah I'm alright. I'll live, for now. It's good to have ya back, Jel."
"Good to be back, despite some of us being..."
Jelket trailed off, unsure what to say about it.
"Hayden? Yeah I heard it. I understand where he's coming from but it isn't worth getting so pissed about. I was like that, remember?"
Jelket just smiled and nodded while his thoughts screamed yes.
"Anyway, the good commissar forgot to mention Attelus got a call over the vox from Vark saying one of the flanks needed help. It turned out that Vark hadn't sent the communication and Adelana went after him."
"Of course she did," said Jelket. "So he then got in over his head and either he or Adelana got injured so they had to call Darrance to save their arses."
"That's what I think, too."
Jelket grinned. "Either that or they're up there finally screwing."
"Doubt that," said Torris.
"Why's that? Is Attelus gay?"
"Nah," said Torris with low laugh. "Although that's an understandable question, he's just got a shit ton of baggage."
Jelket laughed. "Yeah being indirectly responsible for the death of a whole planet would be a lot of baggage."
"Nah, it goes deeper, it's from before then..."
Torris trailed off before saying more.
"You aren't going to say more?"
"Don't think he'd appreciate that, Jel. Now please, bud I've gotta rest."
"Yeah, alright," said Jelket as he stood up and looked over his allies. Most had thrown themselves on the sand where they stood but Karmen and Vark sat together against the wall on the opposite side of the street, engaged in conversation.
Jelket sighed and sat down, he wanted to talk with his friends but they needed their rest more than he needed to catch up.
Half an hour wasn't enough, but it was the best they could get.
"Jelket," said a voice and he turned and found Helma approaching.
"Hey, captain," he said and started taking a swig of water.
She sighed and sat down next to him. "I don't want to die, Jel."
Jelket almost spat out his water. "W-what?"
"Don't get me wrong, I'm not afraid to die. I've faced that already, I just don't want to become one of them," she said. "They say 'only in death does duty end' but not on this Emperor forsaken world, here if you die you become an immortal chaos worshipper."
Jelket shuddered and said, "I-I really hope that doesn't happen, to either of us. Why does everyone come to me to talk about their shit?"
Helma smiled. "Because you're a good person, Jelket, you're better than you think you are, despite all those weird conspiracies you believe in."
"I still think Marius Hax is involved in this."
"And maybe he is, Jelket, but we don't know that, do we? Anyway..."
She stood and patted him on the shoulder. "Keep up the good work, Jelket, but excuse me I need a snooze at the very least."
She turned and started away.
"Hey Helma," said Jelket, making her stop. "If we somehow manage to get through this, how about we get a drink sometime?"
Helma looked over her shoulder at him and a smile crossed her face. "Yeah, sounds like a good idea."
Jelket smiled back.
"Are we ready?" Attelus said, just slipping on his fresh new bodyglove while walking into the common room. "We haven't much time left."
Adelana stood up from her seat. "I've been ready for a while now, Attelus. Been waiting for you."
"Well, sorry, Adelana, I just had a blade stabbed through my guts and-"
"Yes, I saw that," said another voice, a deep voice which reverberated through the entire Guncutter. Attelus turned to face the shadow, his powersword drawn and flaring into life but he stopped in mid slash.
"Kalakor," he said.
The Raven Guard towered over him and although Attelus couldn't see any pupils in his black eyes he knew he looked down at him.
"You maybe inquisition, but that is lord Kalakor to you."
"How the hell did you get in here?" said Attelus.
The Raven Guard's reply was narrowing his gaze.
Attelus sighed and slouched. "How the hell did you get in here, lord?"
Kalakor's huge shoulders shrugged. "I am Raven Guard, if I wish it, I can get anywhere."
Attelus' guessed that the huge astartes managed to slip aboard when Darrance had picked them up.
"I didn't know that Raven Guard Space Marines were so arrogant," said Adelana and Attelus couldn't help smile at her brass...ovaries?
"So, lord," said Attelus. "Why are you here? For a rematch?"
As he said this he slipped back a step and readied his sword.
Kalakor raised an eyebrow. "No, I won decisively. Why would I want a rematch?"
"Well, I'd like one," Attelus muttered, now he had his powersword things might be different.
"We must wait," said Kalakor. "The Elbyran and Sovrithians have rendezvoused."
Attelus straightened. "They have?"
Kalakor smiled. "Yes, unlike you I have bothered to communicate with the surface."
Attelus frowned and exchanged a look over his shoulder at Adelana, who was frowning too.
"Well I'd just been stabbed through the stomach and-"
"Stop making excuses," said Kalakor. "You took responsibility for getting yourself and your group captured, this is not any different."
Attelus dropped his gaze to the floor, the Space Marine was right, frig it.
"Why must we wait, then?" said Adelana.
"They are soon going to push into the depths of the city, I do not know what they are to encounter. If we attack at the right-"
"We can open up a gap for them to reach the tower," said Attelus.
"But you will unnecessarily put this ship in danger," said Darrance as he stepped out of the cockpit. "I've already flown down far too often, now. We still need the Guncutter."
"Do I seem to care?" said Kalakor. "I can assure you, I do not."
"Of course you don't," said Darrance.
Then a realisation hit Attelus, it made him grip the hilt of his sword so hard he was afraid it might break.
"How many will die before we go down there?" said Attelus. "We might lose one of us, I-"
"That does not matter, little girl. They are in service of the Emperor, it is their duty to sell their lives for the Emperor. Only in death does duty end."
"That's easy for you to say," said Attelus. "You don't know them, you haven't fought with them."
"I do not, and it seems you know them too well, throne agent of the ordo Hereticus. You are allowing your foolish sentiment override your logic. This is the reality of being a leader, you must be ready to sacrifice your underlings if needs must. This might be that time. I had to do it with my brothers to defeat that greater daemon, but do you know the difference between that and this?"
"What?" said Attelus through clenched teeth.
"Their deaths were guaranteed," said Kalakor. "Your allies deaths aren't, man up, little girl and take my advice. I have been at this for much longer than you have, so take my damned advice."
"Yeah but your brothers weren't going to become mindless chaos worshippers," said Attelus.
"That does not matter, only what matters, is victory."
Attelus couldn't reply, he could barely keep from hyperventilating, his hands shook now.
"But they're my friends."
"I see you have made the cardinal mistake of leadership, getting too close to your underlings," said Kalakor. "Your inexperience is showing. You do not have to do as I say, I will not stop you if you go to the surface now, but let me tell you, you may regret it."
Kalakor smiled. "And you are only human, despite your enhancement."
"I hate to say it, apprentice," said Darrance. "But the Space Marine has a point. We're all expendable, even you."
Attelus closed his eyes and forced himself to calm.
"Adelana, what do you think?" Attelus said.
"I-I," she said.
"Do not place the burden upon her," said Kalakor. "This is your decision and yours alone."
Attelus opened his eyes.
Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2018 7:09 pm
The Sovirthians held the line and they did it frigging well. Tathe couldn't help be amazed by their skill and discipline even when daemons advanced among the Resurrected's ranks. Tathe didn't know the casualties the Soviritians suffered and he didn't want to know, just to allow him and his men some rest time, but it would be too much, even if it was only a few.
Tathe laid on the blood sand, trying rest despite the sound of constant roaring battle all around him
"Sir?" said a voice over Tathe which caused him to open his eyes, finding both Dellenger and Vark standing over him.
"Vark," said Tathe. "Any word from Attelus Kaltos?"
"No, sir," said Vark. "Nothing, but that's why I scout trooper Dellenger and I are here."
Tathe clenched his jaw.
"No we haven't, sir," said Dellenger. "But they have."
Dellenger indicated the Sovirthians with a subtle nod.
Tathe raised an eyebrow. "What?"
Dellenger shrugged. "Been watching their commander, listening into him talk on the vox and he seemed to be talking to someone about 'being in orbit' or something."
Tathe furrowed his brow. "Why would Attelus communicate-?"
He was interrupted by Vark handing him the vox horn. "Speak of the devil, sir. It's him, he wants to speak with you."
Tathe took the horn and placed it to his ear. "Now, I know you're inquisition and shit but you better have one hell of a good excuse-"
"I ran into my father and his lackeys," Attelus said and Tathe couldn't help simmer at the young man's gall to interrupt him. "They...defeated me and we needed to escape into orbit so I could get treatment for my injuries."
"That's all well and good," said Tathe. "But we're about to descend into the depths of the city, where everyone knows the fighting's going to be the thickest and we could use your blade so get down here-"
Tathe's anger blasted from simmering into exploding. "What in the Emperor's name do you mean by no? Hurry the frig-"
"No means no, commissar. I'm sorry, but it would be better for us to stay up here, come down when the time is right to maybe, hopefully opening a large enough gap in the horde for you and your men to push through to the tower."
Tathe couldn't believe what he was hearing. "What? Do you seriously think that you and your girlfriend would make such a difference?"
"Well, no, but we do have the Guncutter and a Space Marine-"
"A Space Marine?"
"Yes...He's uhh...a stowaway. This was his idea."
Tathe rolled his eyes, the plan did sound like the typical, ruthless pragmatism of the Adeptus Astartes. "You're insane."
"That is most certainly not the first time I've been accused of being that and it most certainly isn't the last. So I take that as an 'okay'?"
"Yeah, yeah it's an okay. But there's not much I can do about stopping you from doing it, is there?"
"No, I guess not," said Attelus. "Commissar."
There was a long, weighted pause.
"Yes?" said Tathe.
"I...hope you don't die, you've been a hero for me ever since I was a kid."
Tathe frowned, if he could feel older than he did now, he couldn't believe it.
"Uhh...thanks?" he said.
"Don't get yourself dead," said Attelus, then he cut the link.
Tathe rolled his eyes but he couldn't prevent the slight smile from crossing his face.
Karmen's vox beeped and even though she didn't accept it, it came through anyway. Indicating it was: important and on the general line for everyone on the team and for it to be forced meant it was from the team leader: Attelus.
"This is Attelus Kaltos," he said, despite surely knowing everyone already knew. "And I'm sorry."
"Sorry?" said Hayden. "Sorry about what? You've got more than enough to be sorry for."
"I know," said Attelus. "So I'm sorry about...everything? But mostly about leaving you guys down on the surface. As I'm sure all of you have guesses, I got in over my head. My father...I knew he was good, really good. But in all honesty, I never imagined he was that good, I've got a long way to go, it seems. I apologise, again. I'm meandering. But that isn't what I'm most sorry about. I won't be coming down for a while yet."
"Why?" Karmen couldn't help blurt as did a few others on the line.
"Pragmatism, I'm afraid," said Attelus. "Karmen knows the philosophy better than anyone, but we're going to enter the atmosphere and watch and wait for the exact right opportunity. Then we're going to fly in and try open a gap for you."
"You and who's frigging army?" said Hayden. "This is insane."
"I don't have an army, well, perhaps, I do. In the most metaphorical sense, anyway. Got a stowaway named Kalakor, who so happens to be a Space Marine. You've met him Hayden. I need you to appreciate this is his idea, not mine."
"But you still agreed to it," said Hayden. "We've had to bust our arses-"
"Hayden," said Attelus. "Don't think for a second I want to do this, but seriously, old friend can you think of a better idea?"
"I've never been your friend, old or otherwise," said Hayden, then he cut the link.
There was a long pause before Attelus gave the longest, saddest sigh Karmen had ever heard from him.
"The rest of you understand, I hope," he said. "If any of you die before we get down there. I need you to know, all of you that despite all the shit that's happened...If this means anything from me. It's been an honour to work with you, to fight with you and as much as I've botched up: An honour to lead you. I'm sorry to have led you to this hell hole and if any of you die and become one of them. I swear, I will not hesitate to go into the Eye of Terror itself to save your souls if I have too. And I will make sure that your death won't be in vain."
"That's if you don't die, too," said Verenth and that made a few sad laughs to echo through the link.
There was another long pause.
"Yeah, yeah that's if I don't die...Too, Verenth," said Attelus. "I-I wish all of you luck and-and I hope to see all of you soon. G-good luck, again."
Then Attelus cut the link.
"Well," said Halsin after a few seconds of stunted silence. "Sucks to be us."
Now that made everyone laugh.
Adelana sat and watched the whole thing and she couldn't help smile: for someone so cynical about 'amazing, awe-inspiring speeches' Attelus wasn't half bad at making them. The hypocrite. She gave him three and two-thirds stars.
Attelus wiped his eyes with a sleeve.
"Are you...crying?" said Kalakor his tree trunk like arms folded over his gigantic cuirass.
"N-no," squeaked Attelus. "It's just the...recycled air."
Adelana was sure if Kalakor had pupils he would've rolled them as he shook his head and sighed. "You humans, always so sentimental."
"Should...I...Should I fly us in?" said Darrance.
Attelus confirmed it with a nod. "Don't forget, you're human too, Kalakor."
"Lord Kalakor and no I am not human. I used to be human but I had sacrificed my humanity a long time ago, so I could fight the wars that normal humans cannot, in the Emperor's name."
"So, do you think yourself above us mere humans, then?" said Attelus and Adelana felt sudden stinging fear channel through her chest, was he seriously trying to antagonise this demi-god?
What Kalakor might've believed was a smile grew across his face but in actual fact it seemed more like a hateful silent snarl. "In the ways of battle, yes. But I cannot say that I would do as well as an administratum bureaucrat at sitting and mindlessly typing on a cogitator all day, everyday. So yes and no."
Attelus and Adelana both couldn't help smile at that, but Attelus' smile was shot lived.
"So what about me? Is that why you didn't help me in my fight with my father? You just stood there and watched, didn't you?"
"Oh, figure that out, did you?" said Kalakor. "Well, I will apologise for that, but..."
"You're not going to tell me that, are you?"
"No, afraid not. But I do have my reasons."
"Was it so you could measure the enemy? Their strengths and weaknesses?" said Attelus. "Their weaponry?"
"That is one reason, yes," said Kalakor. "And surely after our little sparring session and how close it was you must see that if I get in close combat with that father of yours, I will be dead."
Attelus sniggered. "So much for you being so much better than us humans at 'the ways of war.'"
"Your father, like you, is not a mere human," said Kalakor. "That is obvious but unlike me, you didn't have to sacrifice your humanity. But your father and his underlings had, it seemed and willingly too, maybe."
"Sacrifice," said Adelana. "You keep saying that, do you regret becoming a Space Marine?"
Kalakor's black eyes swing to her and she couldn't help wilt beneath them but she couldn't help swear for a split second, tears shimmered in their depths. "Regret is not becoming of the Adeptus Astartes do not think for a second we are capable of such a pathetic notion."
In the corner of her eye she saw Attelus was smiling.
"One of them I knew," said Attelus. "In fact I knew all of them. One was...special to me-"
His words made Adelana baulk.
"Yes. I am assuming her name was Elandria?" said Kalakor. "Because you were-"
"And I know she wouldn't ever give her humanity willingly. I'd tried...I'd helped her find it-"
Adelana didn't let him finish before she got up and stormed out of the common room. Ignoring his cries of her name the whole way.
"Leave her," she heard Kalakor say. "The Imperial Guard are beginning to move."
Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:57 pm
Tathe blinked back the tiredness as his body seemed to move in autopilot and raised his las pistol to put a bolt through the skull of yet another Velrosian trooper. Yet another trooper who Tathe recognised but refused to recall the name of or what squad he was from. Dellenger on his right shot flurry after flurry of las fire from the hip, while Karmen Kons on his left sent aside las barrage after las barrage with her kine shield. The Sovirithians now had their flamers at the fore and they bathed the enemy with a constant wall of fire.
His gaze wandered over the horde of Resurrected, searching for Adreen. Hoping to the Emperor that she would never be amidst them, that he wouldn't be forced to kill her.
Adreen was never the most skilled combatant or stealth practitioner. Tathe was the former and Dellenger the latter but she was insightful, able to read people as well as a battlefield with almost freakishly on point accuracy, but she was also charismatic. A leader. Tathe had believed for a long time she deserved to have a higher rank and even suggested it to his father once.
General Tathe had dismissed it with his typical lack of explanation, saying: 'You are a commissar, a political officer, in charge of morale and discipline and that is that. Such advice is out of your jurisdiction. I don't need your advice on who to promote. I know what I'm doing.'
Tathe had later put this to Adreen after a night together and she too had dismissed him. 'I'm not interested in climbing the ladder, Delan. Never have been, I'm happy where I am.'
He'd been a naive fool, she'd always seemed immortal so he almost believed that she was. No matter the mission general Tathe or colonel Vonlet sent her and her squad on, she and Dellenger would always come back. That was a lot more literal, now.
Sudden tears blurred Tathe's vision and anger made him pump wild shot after wild shot into the Resurrected. It'd been only a few minutes since they started moving, but it already felt like an age. The Imperial forces slow advance had slowed even more. The Resurrected came in even thicker and faster and from every direction. Both the once-guardsmen and the cultists now acted like an ill-disciplined rabble. It wasn't just ill-disciplined but it also stunk of desperation. It was getting more and more obvious they really didn't want them near the tower.
Tathe smiled. It was strange but despite the increase in enemy numbers and despite the exhaustion and the newly found slowness of their advance and the mixture of the regiments. Morale seemed high, higher than when they began somehow. Tathe supposed it was because their objective was near, that and the enemy's desperation fuelled them like it sapped the remaining discipline from the Resurrected.
At times cries of 'for the Emperor!' or 'for Sovrith!' and other such exclamations echoed through the almost completely consistent buzzing of lasgun fire.
Tathe allowed their enthusiasm to wash through him, it seemed to make the anger, the grief to flow from his chest and into his legs. He knew it was temporary, he just hoped it'd be temporary for long enough.
He was foolish, he was supposed to be a commissar so was meant to be amongst the most ruthless beings in the cosmos. As a commissar-cadet he'd believed he was, but Tathe knew after years of developing his self-awareness he was never capable of such ruthlessness.
Tathe was just lucky he served with a regiment so disciplined, he never needed to exhibit such ruthlessness.
His laspistol clicked dry and only two seconds later his hands had reloaded and continued to launch shot after shot. He gave his surrounds a quick glancing.
As much as he hated to admit it, the Sovrithian gunline was performing even better than the Elbyran one had before. Their accuracy was amazing and their discipline as they covered every inch with las fire, remarkable. The Elbyrans, beside the Marangerians were skirmishers first and foremost, they'd rarely needed to perform such tactics in their long service. But the Sovrithian rifles seemed to specialise in this warfare. This made Tathe re-think his decision for him and his Elbyrans to play decoy, perhaps if the Sovrithians had done it, there would've been less casualties. Tathe dismissed the regret, he'd known his father would naturally wish to have all his attention on the Elbyrans. The general seemed to have some way of viewing what was going on in the city, how Tathe could only speculate but he'd hoped it was somewhat limited, which so far had proven true.
Unless, of course it was just a feint.
Tathe clenched his jaw and shook himself back to reality, now wasn't the time for paranoid over-thinking.
Tathe's thoughts were interrupted by a screeching, a screech which seemed made of rage and eclipsed all other sounds throughout the entire city.
It took Tathe a good few seconds to realise it was from the speaker horns in the city. Having forgotten about them utterly.
"How?" general Tathe's voice roared, it seemed to morph out of the screeching into clarity. "How are you alive still? By now all of you were meant to have joined my army! Can you not see? Khorne is offering you immortality. The opportunity to forever be in his service, but still you refuse my offer."
Tathe didn't say anything, he just sliced off the head of a charging cultist who managed to make it through the rain of fire with a backhanded slice. Then sent the corpse cartwheeling back with a front kick, the rattling chainsword flying from its grasp.
"Can you not see that your efforts are pointless?" said the general. "That your Emperor is nothing but a foolish tyrant without any power to save you?"
If anything the general's rant just increased the speed of their advance and the intensified the accuracy and rate of fire from the Imperial forces.
Tathe's father let out another roar of frustration. "It doesn't matter. All your fighting and dying will soon be for nothing. Even if you manage to descend into the depths, you will never, never make it to my tower. You will find the true gifts given to me by the blood god within the depths. Oh, and do not believe for a second that I do not know of that accursed ship you have in orbit."
That caused Tathe to pause in his shooting, albeit for less than a second.
"Well Khorn has finally gifted to me the servants necessary to bring that little, bothersome craft crashing down," said the general.
He laughed. "I suggest that you vox them and say your good byes to the cowards hiding up there."
The speakers screeched again then went silent.
"Vark," said Tathe, choosing to not bother to point out his father's hypocrisy being that he is cooped up in his tower. "Get on the vox-"
"Way ahead of you, sir," said the Inquisition operative.
"This isn't good," said Karmen.
Tathe gave the psyker a glare. "Look where your damned pragmatism got us now?"
Karmen frowned back.
"No good sir," said Vark. "I can't get through to them, something's..."
He trailed off.
"Or someone's blocking us?" said Tathe.
"Don't worry," said Verenth as he blasted again and again with his pistols. "Darrance is the best pilot in our organisation, they'll be fine."
Tathe didn't reply, after having seen how skilled these Inquisition agents were, he believed Verenth.
To an extent.
"Keep trying, frig you," said Tathe.
Kalakor reached to his ear.
"What's wrong?" said Attelus as he sat up from the couch he laid on.
"I have lost communication with the surface," said the Space Marine.
"Great," Attelus groaned and flumped onto his back.
"It is about as 'great' as you are a swordsman," said Kalakor.
Attelus blew the Raven Guard a raspberry and much to his surprise the Space Marine rumbled what may have been a laugh.
The vox link beeped into life in Attelus' ear.
"We have company, apprentice," said Darrance.
Attelus sat up. "I...but the Eldar aren't scheduled to arrive in three days."
"The Eldar?" said Kalakor.
Attelus winced. "I-"
"These are not the xenos, boy," said Darrance. "I don't know what the hell they are, but they're coming out of the warp and they are coming fast. Dozens and counting, void fighters of an unknown make. I have no frigging idea how they are managing to warp travel outside of..."
He trailed off. "And they are coming this way! How do they know we are here? I have the stealth field up!"
"What do you mean by Eldar? And they are 'scheduled'?" said Kalakor.
Attelus slipped off the couch and gaped up at the Marine. "It's uhh, it means-"
"Shut it, both of you," said Darrance. "Now isn't the time for this crap, get strapped in, evasive manoeuvres."
Attelus ignored Darrance and dashed into the cock pit and sat on the co-pilot's seat.
"What are you doing?" said Darrance. "I told you-"
Attelus grinned and clipped in his belt. "I am."
Darrance groaned then he sent the Guncutter into a left-ward spiral. Attelus could see the ships bearing in on them now. They were blood red, bulging things which would've been moving faster than he couldn't follow if his eye sight wasn't enhanced. Their shots lit up the void, heavy bolter fire and las cannon shots sheered straight for them.
Darrance laughed and sent the guncutter wheeling and spinning through the torrent. He veered right and sent a las beam slicing through two ships, and their halves erupted into explosions.
The ships wheeled after them and Attelus could see one as it sped so close by the cockpit's window it seemed barely a few metres away. The yellow and green cat-like eyes that studded along its length. That was how it was able to be in the warp without a larger ship, they were more daemonic than material.
The Guncutter's bolter emplacements fired afterwards as Darrance spun the Guncutter into an 180 degree arc, tracing through the black and smashing into numerous of the attacking craft. Two shuddered under the shots and stopped their momentum, smoke seemed to grow from them, white hot against the black.
The rest swung round out of sight and Darrance grinned as he made the Guncutter slide side to side, wind up and down. Attelus could only clutch to his seat and watch the incredible level of munitions fly past the cockpit to either explode sending the ship into shudders or continue onward to Emperor only knew where.
"I have been waiting for something like this," said Darrance as he sent the Guncutter into a brief, deep dive. "Bored out of my skull until now."
Attelus didn't reply he just gave a glance to the scanner and the alarming amount of red dots following after them.
"Apprentice," said Darrance. "Can that frig Ulysses do this, huh?"
Before Attelus could ask, 'do what?' Darrance sent the Guncutter into a downward spin and fired las cannon blast after blast into their pursuers, before they faced forward again.
"Could he do that, huh? Huh?"
"I don't know," said Attelus, remembering the large dark skinned man with dreadlocks who was thought to be one the organisation's most skilled pilots. Darrance had a rather one sided rivalry with him since they'd joined the Inquisitor's employ three years ago. Attelus had worked with Ulysses once or twice but never in a combat capacity, so he genuinely didn't know.
"Aww frig you, then," said Darrance.
Attelus clenched his teeth as Darrance sent the Guncutter into a twirl, then hung left, allowing Attelus to see the entirety of Sarkeath pass by, changing from being on their right to their left in only a few seconds, it made his mind whirl.
"We have to find a place to hide," said Attelus. "Get to one of the moons."
"Shan't," said Darrance while he suddenly slowed, allowing for three of the daemon ships over take them, then he blew them into pieces with three separate shots.
"What the hell do you mean 'shan't'?" said Attelus.
"It means 'shall not,' shan't! Do you need to be sent back to the Scholam to re-learn your low gothic?"
Attelus clenched his jaw. "That's...not...what...I meant, frig you."
Darrance laughed again and banked right before twirling through a huge barrage of bolter fire it was after a good ten seconds of this before he replied. "We can't, if we hide those Lightnings will enter Sarkeath atmo and-"
"And attack our Imperial Guard allies," said Kalakor. "Who will be defenceless against air attack."
"Exactly," said Darrance, while wheeling the craft into a zig zag. "It is good to see that one person on this ship has some intelligence."
"But the little girl has a point," said Kalakor. "As much as your void craft piloting skill is impressive, we cannot just do this forever."
Attelus gave the pilot a side-long smirk.
Darrance let out a roar and turned the Guncutter toward Sarkeath.
"What are you doing?" said Kalakor.
"Doing something other than this," said Darrance.
There was three quick fire beeps from the console.
"What's that?" said Attelus.
"We've got missile lock," said Darrance. "Three of the bastards."
"We are entering the atmosphere too deeply," said Kalakor.
"I know," said Darrance. "Throne take you, all of you frigging backseat pilots, even the ones that are Space Marines."
Much to Attelus' surprise, Kalakor laughed, then the fire began waver across the glass.
"Well," said Attelus as the fire became brighter and brighter and Darrance continued on the same angle. "If you know we're heading into the atmosphere too deep, why are we still doing it?"
"Because shut up, that's why," said Darrance and a second after the console beeped another five times and he reached out and pushed a few buttons with quick fingers. "Putting all power into shields," he said.
The ship started to rock.
Realisation hit Attelus and he straightened in his seat, looking at the scanner. The eight blinking red icons were slowly gaining but he could imagine them wobbling and burning in the atmosphere.
Sweat began to bead and run down his face as the blinking red icons came closer and closer. And after every few seconds another beep announced another missile lock.
He imagined the servitors slaved to the heavy bolters spewing shot after shot in an attempt to shoot them down.
"Shit, shit, shit," Attelus couldn't help hiss as he realised the sweat wasn't just from nervousness now, but the heat which now sweltered inside the cockpit, the oxygen seemed to seize inside his lungs.
But his gaze didn't move from the scanner, even as the Guncutter's rocking became worse and worse.
The first few red dots were only a centimetre on the scanner when they blinked faster then seemed to disappear, apparently burning up, they lacked a shield and moved faster than the Guncutter so were bound to burn up first.
"Evasive manoeuvres," said Darrance as be began to bank up, it only caused the Guncutter to shudder even more and the heat outside just intensified.
There was another different beep.
"What does that mean?" Attelus said.
"The shield," said Darrance. "It's at below ten percent, so just shut up and let me concentrate."
Attelus wanted to say that it was too late, that they were just going to burn to death in complete agony, that Darrance's stupidity got them killed, but he literally bit his tongue.
Instead he looked back to the scanner, just in time to see that most of the other missiles had disappeared too.
The beeping of the dying shield warbled and warbled and warbled, it seemed to warp into his hearing to such an extent it almost felt like it'd been a part of it for his whole life.
When the shrilling finished, it took him a good few seconds to realise it.
"We're on proper entry angle now," said Darrance with a laugh. "All the missiles have burned up and we are through the atmosphere, now."
A split second after las cannon beams and heavy bolter rounds passed by.
"That is all well and good," said Kalakor. "But we still have those corrupted ships on us."
"I am aware of that," said Darrance while sending the Guncutter into a spin, then a left-side banking, through the shooting and heading straight for a huge city which towered out of the blood dunes like the trees of an oasis.
Attelus said, "is that-"
"No, that is Sorkath," said Kalakor. "It's two hundred kilometres of-"
An explosion shook the ship and interrupted Kalakor and the city seemed to grow and grow.
There was yet another different beep from the console which made Darrance curse colourfully.
"And again what the hell does that mean?" Attelus sighed.
Darrance didn't answer he just reached out, then without looking, and deft fingers: manipulated the scanner. It seemed to zoom into the green triangle which represented the Guncutter, then it zoomed in more and revealed a schemata of it. At the back of the ship, in the hangar bay there were a good dozen blinking red dots.
"This is just getting frigging better and better, we've got foreign spoors,we have enemies on board," said Darrance. "Apprentice you and your Space Marine bud-"
Attelus had already undone his belt and leaped from the co-pilot's seat before Darrance had said up to: 'this.'
"Way ahead of you," said Attelus as he drew his powersword and activated its edge in a blaze of blue.
As he stepped into the rec room he exchanged a nod with Kalakor. Attelus couldn't help but wonder: If did their enemy had these capabilities, why hadn't they been used sooner than this? Why now?
That mattered little now, what mattered now was killing these stowaways. Whatever the hell they were.
Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:38 am
Authors Note: I almost had as much fun writing this fight scene as Attelus had fighting it XD
Attelus and Kalakor didn't bother with stealth or subtlety, and the Space Marine led the way as they stepped out of the corridor and onto hangar's catwalk.
Instantly las and solid shots rained against Kalakor's power armour, and Kalakor raised his bolter and replied in kind.
Attelus slipped past Kalakor and in a split second took in his surroundings. The docking bay was now crawling with dozens of cultists and guardsmen. Two huge hunched, horned daemons were amongst them, standing head and shoulders taller than any of the Resurrected.
Grinning, Attelus smashed aside a few shots and vaulted over the handrail. His sword sliced through one unlucky cultist from head to groin as he was in mid-fall.
Attelus landed into a kneel then lunged across six metres to cut through the chest of a guardsman as he was raising his lasgun. The throne agent whipped out his foot in a hook kick which sent the corpse's upper half flying and spinning then smashing into the skull of a charging cultist who collapsed and crashed into a guardsman beside him.
He laughed and dashed aside a withering hail of shots which followed him as he continued to sprint.
A cultist stepped into his path; a chainsword held ready. Attelus slid into a kneel and the chainsword swing which was meant to tear through his torso passed over his head. Attelus gutted the cultist with a horizontal cut, darted onto the screaming cultist's flank then onward, so the rounds raining in his wake tore the heretic to shreds.
He charged for the enemy flank, a Marangerian trooper roared at Attelus, stabbing with a bayonet. Attelus sidestepped, then bisected the Maragerian's skull with a downward, diagonal stroke.
A cultist let out an enraged screech and came at Attelus, but before Attelus could counter the cultist's stabbing combat blade, the bastard's head exploded in a haze of red and sent spinning back, the neck spewing out a thick tendril of blood.
Attelus back-pedalled a Velrosian sergeant's whirling chainsword then his sword parried through a swinging lasgun. Attelus sent a side-kick that bashed in the last guardsman's face. Attelus' backswing then opened the sergeant's throat. He carried his slash into a 180-degree arc that sliced through the elbows of a cultist as he was in the midst of a wild overhead chop.
A thrusting bayonet made Attelus duck, then as the enemy guardsman was about to swing out the butt of his lasgun Attelus kicked him under the jaw with his boot knife, Attelus pulled his foot out and kicked the man back into his ally.
Attelus blocked a slashing axe then weaved beneath another cutting chainsword. He then impaled the axe-wielding cultist through the skull pulled out his blade, then sliced straight diagonally from the shoulder to hip of the guardswoman sergeant with the chainsword.
A split second later one of the daemons burst through its Resurrected allies, it snarled and with a sword as long as it was tall, smashed out a downward, diagonal strike. Attelus danced back of it then ducked its huge reverse swing. The second daemon pushed past the first's left and swung down vertically. Attelus dashed out of its path, and the black, hazed with blood red blade hit the deck with a deafening clang and smashed in some of the steel.
"Get out of the way," Kalakor said over the vox, and Attelus started darting toward the stairs.
Two frag grenades clanged at the daemons' clawed feet and exploded. It sent them and the six nearest Resurrected flying.
Attelus sprinted up the stairs while drawing his autopistol from its chest holster and stood beside Kalakor.
"You are a fool," said the Raven Guard as he fired bolter round after bolter into the enemy horde which seemed just to grow and grow. "Why did you abandon cover and an elevated position?"
Attelus took cover behind the marine and added his piddling fire to Kalakor's roaring deluge.
"Mostly out of fun," said Attelus. "And a little so I can be a distraction for you to be able to kill as many of the enemy as possible."
Kalakor sighed. "You aim for the mortals; I will take care of the Bloodletters."
"Bloodletters?" said Attelus while sending a cultist cracking, bouncing down the stairs with a round to the chest. "Is that what they're called?"
With incredible speed, Kalakor ejected his empty clip and reloaded. "You are a part of the Inquisition, but you do not know what those daemons are named?"
Attelus shrugged as he darted back from a brief fusillade. "We're Ordo Hereticus; the daemonic isn't our speciality. I do know that they are in the service of the blood god, though."
"But you still ally with Xenos, despite the fact that you are not Ordo Xenos but the alien is not your speciality, either."
Attelus said nothing just cut down a guardsman as he was starting to advance up the stairs.
His vox bead beeped.
"We're about to enter the city," said Darrance. "Get ready for-"
"Yes, yes," said Attelus. "Evasive manoeuvres, we know."
"Hold on to me," said Kalakor as he magnetised his boots.
Attelus sheathed his sword, holstered his pistol then grabbed the Space Marine by his overly large backpack.
The ship began to tilt right, and an idea hit Attelus, and he activated his vox bead.
"Darrance, keep the line open and tell us how you and when you are going to turn."
"What?... Oh yes, I see where you are going with this. I am about to turn hard to starboard."
Before Attelus could ask what the hell that meant the ship whirled right, almost ninety degrees. Attelus cried out and only just managed to hook his hand around Kalakor before he was thrown against the wall. The Resurrected and the daemons weren't so lucky. Their crashes were almost deafening as they hit the wall as were their pained cries.
Kalakor pumped bolt round after bolt round into the stunned, injured enemy ranks even if he wasn't shooting insanely powerful miniature missiles each shot would've been a kill shot.
Attelus found purchase with his left hand, pulled himself behind Kalakor and drew his powersword with the right.
"I am going upward," said Darrance and a second after the Guncutter straightened and started swinging up.
The Resurrected were thrown back against the airlock doors, but the daemons were ready. They'd already dug their huge claws into the bodywork, but that was what Attelus was counting on as he hurtled at one so fast that it had no time to react before Attelus' powersword sliced through the Bloodletter's chest. The daemon roared. Attelus forward momentum carried him onto the large airlock door, but he'd angled himself so he could roll into a kneel to negate the impact.
He ignored the pain which flared through his legs, stood and faced the huge cultist coming at him, his whirling chainsword smashing for Attelus' skull.
Attelus slipped aside the attack's path, but the cultist turned it into a horizontal cut. Attelus weaved beneath the attack; then he heard the huge, clawed feet hitting the steel behind him
He darted past the cultist and sliced his sword across his ribcage on the way. He drew his autopistol and put a point-blank round through the face of a guardsman while he was in the midst of raising his recently retrieved lasgun, then gutted a cultist with another bolt. Kalakor's bolter blasted, and Attelus glanced over his shoulder to see the daemon reeling and writhing beneath the deluge.
His senses sent him dashing left just out the way of a blurt of las. The last blast managed to nick his shoulder, making him reel and pain to flare down his arm, but his flak jacket protected him from the worst of it. With a backhanded throw and an enraged roar, he sent a knife into the eye socket of the guardswoman who'd shot it, sending her writhing and screaming in agony. Attelus dashed forward and put her out of her misery with a horizontal cut which sliced through her hips.
Attelus parried an incoming chain axe then ducked a swinging las rifle butt. He sent the guardsman smashing against the wall with a sidekick and back-pedalled the cultist's back-swing.
His powersword was a blur as it deflected a few blasts of las-fire.
Then he flinched as another pair of huge, clawed feet smashing onto the door behind him.
Attelus glanced to see the two Bloodletters that towered over him. One of them still had a tear through its elongated torso.
"Fire in the hole," said Kalakor over the vox and a grenade fell amongst the Resurrected advancing on Attelus. The explosion sent them screaming and writhing off their feet.
Attelus burst out in laughter and sidestepped the first daemon's downward diagonal cut, then darted back as it reversed it into an upward diagonal.
Attelus was still laughing; he imagined the daemons had the sneering face of his father.
"You are enjoying this far too much," said Kalakor as his bolter shots sent the daemon blanching away.
Attelus was in the midst of opening his mouth to retort, but Darrance's voice interrupted him.
"I am about to dive."
"Shit!" Attelus said through clenched teeth as he jumped over the daemon's blade as it arced for his legs.
Attelus heard the Resurrected being shot to shit by Kalakor behind him and he hunched into a sigh, perhaps going down here wasn't a good idea.
Then the Guncutter began to drop into a dive. Attelus jumped just before it met the apex so when it did he was already diving toward Kalakor. It took him less than a second for him to sheath his sword, holster his pistol and grab Kalakor by the backpack and spun to face upward. The abrupt stop caused pain to burst up and down his arms, and he cried out.
Around the Resurrected rained in screams and flailing limbs.
Kalakor's barking bolter also made it rain blood as he exploded heads and torsos into chunks. There was so much blood it almost disturbingly reminded Attelus of the underhive of Omnartus all those years ago.
Attelus was forced to let go one hand and hang aside of a guardsman's falling corpse. The two Bloodletters claws had allowed them to keep from falling and the entire time, they'd been moving into the middle of the door, directly overhead. Their snarling visages stared down at Kalakor as their long tongues flicked and writhed.
A shiver passed through Attelus as a realisation hit him.
"Kalakor, the daemons," he said.
"I know," said Kalakor. "I am going to de-magnetise, jump for the handrail on my count."
One of the Bloodletters dropped.
"Now!" said Kalakor.
With a roar, Attelus flung himself off Kalakor and wrapped his fingers around the catwalk's handrail.
Kalakor leapt from the arc of the hurtling daemon's blade, and the crash of their collision with the wall was deafening.
The other Bloodletter let go and flew straight for Attelus.
"Shit, shit shit," cried Attelus and slid left.
The Bloodletter's weight to buckled in the adamantium handrail and it made Attelus' hands slip. With desperation fuelled strength Attelus managed to keep hold by the tips of his fingers. It wasn't far to fall, but he could hear Kalakor's and the other Bloodletter's fight raging beneath his feet and he sure as hell didn't want to drop into that.
The daemon turned to him and stabbed its sword for his face, Attelus clambered leftward, and it whistled past him by a hair's breadth.
With a cry, he threw himself up and perched onto the handrail.
He drew his sword and activated its powerfield.
The daemon let what may have been a laugh and swung for his chest. Attelus slipped back from it and cursed, the Bloodletter was a good two metres tall, its reach with its sword almost double that, he had no way to get in close enough to use his sword effectively.
The daemon cut out a large horizontal blow that Attelus just managed to duck; then he was forced to jump over the reverse swing aimed for his legs. Attelus clenched his teeth and leapt onto the top of the catwalk and the daemon was a split second behind him.
He stumbled back from another whistling slash, well aware of how he was getting closer and closer to the wall. He parried a thrust and almost made him lose his sword in the process. It then whirled out an upward diagonal cut which he knelt beneath. It stabbed again, and he hurtled himself back so far his back hit the wall.
He stared at the daemon, eyes wide.
It let out what may've been another laugh and drew back its sword.
Las fire smashed against beneath its jaw, a full auto flurry which made it flinch and look down at the source of the shots, from down the corridor. It had to be Adelana yet again saving Attelus' arse.
It gave Attelus the opening he needed, and he pushed off the metal, into a sprint. The Bloodletter turned to him and swung out its huge sword, but it was too late. All Attelus had to do was slide beneath it and hold up his blade, so the daemon's arm was sliced off at the elbow by its strength.
It bellowed out in rage and pain, and that allowed Attelus time to close in further. Attelus first cut hacked into the side of its neck as did the second but before he could hack Darrance's voice again came over the vox.
"I am levelling out."
Attelus was forced to dart away from its swinging stump then drew his pistol as another idea hit him.
The Guncutter began to flatten.
More las shots erupted from the corridor and smashed against the side of the daemon's head.
Attelus ejected the clip of standard ammo and slammed in a fresh one of dumm dumm rounds, the daemon was unarmoured, so it was worth a try. He added his shots to Adelana's, unleashing point-blank shot after point-blank shot into its face. Their combined shots blistered its features, exploded its eyeballs and smashed its teeth into nothingness. The Bloodletter growled and backed away, trying to raise its arms to protect itself.
Once it'd stepped far away enough, Attelus charged again, by then the Guncutter was angled about twenty degrees.
Despite its mashed face the Bloodletter still managed to swing out at him. Without breaking stride, Attelus ducked its huge claws, then with all his inhuman speed behind him, lunged into a cut that went clean through the last half of the daemon's neck.
Attelus dropped into a silent roll as the Guncutter finally equalised, while the Bloodletter's limp, headless corpse smashed against it with a clang.
He turned to the fight between Kalakor and the last Bloodletter.
Kalakor was on the back foot; his bolter wasn't in his grasp all he had was his knife, a knife which would've been a long sword for an average person but was minuscule compared to the daemon's. Attelus had the feeling that Kalakor's armour would be but tissue to the Bloodletter's blade as Kalakor was trying his best to keep away from its arcs. Attelus raised his sword and waited for an opening.
"Attelus," said Adelana as she started down the stairs, a lasgun in her hands. "I'm sorry I didn't come sooner."
"It's alright, Adelana," gasped Attelus as the exhaustion from the fight seemed to smash into him. "You made up for it by coming right at the right time. Please stay on the walkway; more might be coming."
"Coming? Coming from where?"
"The warp, I suppose," said Attelus.
The ship suddenly tilted left causing Attelus to stumble slightly.
"Damn it Darrance; you were supposed to warn us-"
The pained roar interrupted him.
Kalakor's right hand had his knife buried in the Bloodletter's forehead; his left clutched the daemons sword arm. As it writhed to get free, its other claw was slowly pulling the knife out.
"This...is...your...cue...throne agent," said Kalakor.
"Oh! Right," said Attelus and lunged. His slash took the daemon in the neck, it only went halfway, but his momentum knocked it off balance and made it let go of Kalakor's wrist.
Kalakor then ripped out his knife and tore its head off with one brutal blow.
For a few seconds, they stood as Attelus struggled to regain his breath.
"Well," managed Attelus with a grin. "That was one hell of a fight."
Kalakor's helmet's inscrutable glowing red gaze swung to Attelus as he went to retrieve his boltgun.
"You need help," he said, shaking his head.
Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:43 pm
Kalakor chose to remain in the hangar just in case more Resurrected appeared, while Attelus and Adelana struggled through the weaving, winding ship toward the cockpit.
Darrance warned them of each turn before it happened which was now almost every few seconds but that didn't stop them crashing and bouncing off the walls, and for every split second Attelus expected the Guncutter to explode and consume them in fire.
The fact that hadn't happened yet was a true testament to Darrance's incredible skill as a pilot.
Incredible was the understatement of understatements.
"You alright?" said Attelus as he helped Adelana prevent herself from smashing her face against the wall.
"I'm fine," she said a bit too fast while tearing her arm from his hand.
"Why'd you storm out-?"
"Seriously, Attelus?" said Adelana. "Now?"
"Yeah, sorry. Thanks, Adelana."
"Thank you, for being you," he said. "And thanks for saving my arse back there, how many saves do I owe you now?"
Adelana smiled. "I lost count."
"Yeah, sure you did," said Attelus and they burst into the recreation room.
The Guncutter swayed left, forcing them both to plant their feet.
"We can just take a seat here," said Adelana.
"To hell with that," said Attelus. "I've gotta see what's happening."
Adelana sighed and said something about 'men.'
Attelus ignored her and dashed the rest of the way into the cockpit and took the co-pilot's seat again.
He stayed silent while buckling himself in, not wanting to break Darrance's concentration.
The world through the window was a blur of blood sands and grey towers and buildings. This view was almost eclipsed by the massive amount of munitions strafing by. Las cannon shots and heavy bolter fire churned through rockcrete walls, turning it into dust and sent sand into the air in waves of kicked up crimson.
Adelana took the seat at the scanner and peered out the window.
Attelus gave the scanner a glance and couldn't help start, seeing only seven red triangles were following them.
"You are all strapped in now," said Darrance. "Now I do not have to hold back any more."
"Hold back?" said Adelana.
Darrance's reply was a sudden banking right, making them head straight toward a ludicrously huge tower.
Attelus waited, expecting Darrance to begin going up or around it, but instead he powered up the lascannons.
"No," said Attelus as icy tendrils spread through his chest. "No frigging way."
"Yes frigging way," said Darrance and he opened fire then tapped his vox bead. "All servitor turrets open fire on the building in front of us, spread your fire."
A second after heavy bolter shots joined, raking across the tower.
"You're insane," Attelus shrieked through clenched teeth as he pushed his back into his seat. "You're frigging insane!"
Then they were eclipsed in darkness.
"Servitor turrets, fire lanes of thirty degrees," said Darrance as he pumped lascannon shot after shot while constantly swinging the ship side to side, through the enemy shots.
Attelus look another look at the scanner, all of the daemon ships were still following them.
Adelana was screaming and Attelus couldn't blame her.
The top of the cockpit was covered in sparks and the shriek deafening as the ship skirted the ceiling.
Darrance let out a curse and tried to straighten the Guncutter out, but ended up skidding on the floor, the shrieking was replaced by grinding and the ship slowed. Darrance lifted it, wobbling the ship so much it threw them around in their seats. But by some Emperor given miracle, Darrance stabilised it. And all the while he still shot the lascannon.
"Shit, that was close," he said.
Attelus couldn't even consider making a reply, his fingers had somehow become paler as they gripped the arm rests so hard they were beginning to crack. He couldn't help believe his teeth would've cracked too if they weren't made of wraithbone.
Then they were out of the darkness and headed toward another tower only about thirty metres away.
"Y-you're not doing that again," Attelus cried, the relief hit him so hard it made the words burst from his mouth like machine gun fire as he exhaled. He'd no idea he'd been holding his breath the whole time.
Darrance didn't answer verbally as he sent the ship climbing toward the sky. There was another horrid grounding as the ship bounded off the tower's wall and the G-forces pinned Attelus to his seat.
Attelus looked up and his jaw dropped so fast it hurt his cheeks. The huge tower was collapsing in a wave of thick grey dust and debris which rained toward them.
Only two ships were after them now. Some of them must've been crushed by the collapsing tower.
His attention shot forward as Darrance banked the Guncutter left, just a microsecond out of the path of a cluster of falling metal beams. It threw Attelus to the side and Adelana almost smashed her face into the scanner screen.
"Turrets, aim for the ships," said Darrance. They flew diagonally, over the building which was a blur, Attelus lost count the amount of times Darrance swayed the Guncutter through bits of falling building. It took only a few seconds but seemed like tens of minutes before the baby blue sky surrounded them.
Now no enemy ships were in pursuit.
Darrance slowed and levelled the Guncutter.
For about half a minute the only sound was gasping.
"I can't believe..." managed Attelus.
Darrance grinned. "Seeing is believing is it not, apprentice?"
Darrance shrugged. "It was not all me, if it was not for this ships advanced gravity dampeners the G-forces would have crushed us in our seats."
"I...I never thought I'd see the day..." said Attelus.
"Never see the day when you would bear witness to such piloting finesse?"
"No, never thought I'd see the day when you'd be somewhat humble about something."
Much to Attelus' surprise, Darrance laughed. "Oh come on, give me this one, please."
"Yeah, okay, fair enough," said Attelus. "We've really got to head back, we might've already missed our window of opportunity."
"Of course," said Darrance as he wheeled the ship around. "We still have much on our agenda. Just this time, please keep yourself from being impaled again."
Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:44 pm
With a roar and a swipe of her hands Karmen sent the last few remaining resurrected flying off the ledge with her telekinesis and falling into the depths of the hill with flailing limbs. Each one was different in one way or another but Karmen had lost the ability to care about the differences. Everyone of them were now just the Lost and the Damned.
'Karmen,' said Tathe. 'Shield up, please. We are about to descend into a hell scape beyond your imaginings.'
She couldn't help frown, she was a psyker. She had looked into the immaterium itself, her 'imaginings' could far exceed anything of his. But she realised something, he probably meant himself in that too.
Karmen raised the shield and a few seconds later the front line of the Imperial advance stepped over ledge.
If it wasn't for Karmen's kine shield, they would've been torn to slivers by the massed upon massed gun fire. It made Karmen stumble, and clench her teeth as fighting the combined force as it almost overwhelmed her shield and her will. Below, the Resurrected and daemons swarmed all through out the depths, swarmed so thick there was almost no sign of the blood sands beneath their feet. Down, down down, to the base of the tower for almost half a mile.
It was ridiculous, beyond ridiculous there was no way they could fight their way through that! Tathe was right, damn him. Karmen's mind reeled, it almost made her drop the shield but around her the men and women of the Imperial Guard didn't hesitate as they fired back, cutting down swathes of countless Resurrected. Karmen's shield couldn't protect even a tenth of them, once they advanced down there they would be surrounded and slaughtered. Then join the ranks of their enemies.
She'd been considering why this was for quite some time now, and she came to the conclusion...the Blood god was killing them and resurrecting them so they can become more and more experienced in battle, so they can leave Omnartus to make war against the Imperium of Mankind. That was why the Imperials and cultists fought each other before they all began fighting the loyalists. And until every soldier on Omnartus joined him the warp storm would trap them here.
That was Karmen's theory, anyway. It seemed a logical one, but that was the problem, the stuff of chaos was far from logical. It could just be a game or something for all she knew.
Perhaps the Space Marine was right, frig the bastard.
The loyalists flooded down the hill, laying down shots, many fired from the hip as it was impossible to miss. Hayden stepped to advance alongside Karmen and Tathe, using his long las to head shot Blood Letter after Blood Letter as they charged up the hill. Him and the other snipers, and many of the Sovrithans took down others with disciplined, massed volleys. Despite the range. Yet again Karmen couldn't help be impressed with their marksmanship. The Sovrithans were truly first class line infantry. Despite knowing how many of her brothers and sisters had died, she couldn't help be glad the Sovrithans had been in reserve until this last push.
But not even Attelus Kaltos, the greatest swordsman Karmen knew a Space Marine and the Guncutter's firepower could make much of a difference against that horde.
She just prayed that Attelus and the others could get here in time.
Or even get here at all.
So they descended and descended and Tathe led from the front but ironically that placed him amongst the safest. The Karmen woman wasn't the most powerful psyker he had ever seen, having seen those from the perfidious Eldar, the Space Marine Librarians and the horrid mutants serving the arch enemy. But she was easily among the most skilled, even in his, thankfully, ignorant opinion. He made damn sure to make a mental note to thank her if they lived through this, if it wasn't for her, many more of his men would be dead. If it wasn't for her he'd most likely be dead too.
Her shield was finite and only able to protect a radius of a few metres so all around him more and more guardsmen writhed and fell and died. They couldn't bring the medicae truck down with them, so the injured were either fighting with the able bodied or being carried on stretchers at the epicentre of the advance.
According to the reports from the rearguard, the enemy had melted away. Which concerned Tathe as much as it relieved him. Concerned him as it could mean the enemy were preparing traps for them or just so the Resurrected could place as many bodies between them and the tower as possible, which was a tactic beneath his father's prowess and stunk of the basest of desperation. And relieved him as the rear guard had bore the worst of the casualties and it meant the advance would be able to take advantage of the high ground while it lasted. Tathe was tempted to have the rearguard stay at the top of the hill and lay down cover fire, but their diminished numbers might allow them to be overwhelmed by an attack from the rear, which was much too likely with the enemy's ability to appear out of nowhere.
Tathe had abandoned too many men already, if they stayed together then it might mean there will be more to secure, then hold the tower or at least he hoped.
Two cultists managed to somehow break through the barrage of las and came straight for Tathe. One held a huge double head axe, the other a chainsword. Tathe parried aside the axe as it fell for his head, it opened the cultist up for Tathe's short, almost tender slash across his stomach. The chainsword swung for Tathe's neck, but he put a las bolt through the cultist's chin and out the top of his skull. A monster of a guardsman, a once-officer of the Sovrithans, came for Dellenger drawing back a chainsword for a horizontal swing. The scout didn't even need to block or parry as the butt of his lasgun broke the Resurrected's chin, then Dellenger reversed the blow to plunge his bayonet into the officer's throat. Then went back to racking las fire through the horde from the hip. Tathe's jaw clenched at the scout's flagrant misuse of automatic fire.
But more and more cultists were getting further and further up the hill. As did their daemonic allies. Tathe didn't need to order his men to concentrate their fire on the Bloodletters and neither did Dantian, apparently. But the cultists kept onward, flourishing their eclectic collection of weapons and shrieking their psychotic snarls.
The Imperials on the front already had bayonets fixed and with a crashing roar which Tathe was so desensitised to now, met the cultist's charge.
Laughing, Tathe decapitated the first cultist and everywhere beside and behind came the cries of 'For the Emperor!' 'For Elbyra!' 'For Sovrith!' And many others, morale was on an all time high, for a reason that Tathe could only speculate upon.
For Emperor only knew how long, everything was just a blur of combat, a press of pushing bodies and Tathe was filled with instinct. His sword slew and slew as it cut and thrust and stabbed and slashed, while his laspistol blasted over and over again. And with every single kill both Tathe
The high ground lent the Imperials a huge advantage as the rear echelon thinned the ranks with a rain of las.
No daemons made it into close combat.
Eventually, the packed mass of cultists seemed to melt away. Tathe was so in it, it took him a good few seconds to realise it.
Tathe gasping, glanced about, finding that all of the Inquisition agents were alive and so was Dellenger and Dantian but many more familiar faces were gone. He looked forwards and found they'd advanced at least fifty metres toward the tower as many more Resurrected were running at them.
Tathe raised his sword to the sky and let out a roar of triumph. This wasn't even a victory but it was enough for now. The Imperials joined in with Tathe bellowing down at Resurrected, snarling motto's, the Velrosian 1st's 'First among equals!' being the most prolific, some soldiers even began smashing their fists against their flak armoured chests.
The ferocity even gave the Resurrected pause and by the Emperor it sent a chill of thrill through Tathe. Somewhere within himself something said this was out of character for the Elbyran contingent, that they were normally in stoic, disciplined quietness. That this maybe them finally giving into the corruption and bloodlust which ruled their enemy even in death. But he didn't care any more and he suspected, that he couldn't.
It was then that a roar erupted from the base of the tower, a roar which seemed made of aeons upon aeons of bloodlust and didn't just eclipse the Imperial's bellows, but murdered them in their throats.
The Resurrected started screaming alongside the tower
Tathe and Dellenger shared a look. His eyes were wide with terror, an uncharacteristic show of emotion from the scout. They knew that sound and so did many within the contingent.
The huge adamantium doors into the tower opened and an at least twelve metre tall behemoth stepped onto the blood sands. Its corded arms were as thick as the widths of the hulls of tanks and it's skinless wings were longer than it was tall, as was it's huge double headed axe it kept clenched in a fist the size of man. Its snout was like a permanently enraged, sneering canine, and its long tongue slabbered and slobbered out its mouth like it had a life of its own. Its skin and armour seemed made of the red of the centre of suns, the red of the thickest gore imaginable.
Several men froze, and the stench of shit hit Tathe's nose. Some screamed, some even dropped their weapons and turned and ran. Some dropped to their knees and buried their faces in the blood sands, two even shot themselves with their lasguns.
In less than a split second his men's high morale sapped away and broke into nothingness.
The Resurrected below brandished their weapons and laughed and started up the hill with almost inhuman speed.
'No,' said Tathe. 'No! No! No!'
Then there was another roar, no several roars which quickly converged into one shrieking cacophony. It came from the sky behind them.
Tathe turned to Dellenger who met his gaze.
'Lightnings,' said the scout. 'Three of them, coming in from the west, on a bombing run. Will be on us in less than half a minute.'
Even when embroiled in utter terror Dellenger's senses were sharper than any human Tathe had ever known.
Tathe cursed and old Velrosian curse and turned back to the Bloodthirster. Its huge, skinless wings were beating and making it lift off the ground despite its wings being only bone.
'Karmen!' Tathe cried. 'Can you do something about this daemon?'
'I cannot. It is taking every ounce of my will to merely keep this kine shield up.'
The Bloodthirster kept rising and rising, far faster than any creature with wings had any right to fly, it'd risen so high it was almost above the tip of the tower.
'Frig!' said Tathe, shaking himself back into reality. 'Everyone back in line! We-'
'Sir,' said Vark as he held Tathe the vox horn.
'What in hell's teeth is it, frig you?' snapped Tathe.
'It's Attelus,' said the throne agent.
'Where have you been?' roared Tathe's voice through the cockpit vox speaker. 'We have a greater daemon of Khorne on us!'
'W-we see it,' said Attelus, his gaze locked on the daemon through the cockpit's window, as they dove down toward the battlefield. 'A-and we're about to take care of your bomber problem. Darrance?'
Darrance answer was three blasts of the lascannon, which sent each daemonic ship exploding and spinning then to the ground and smashing through the hordes of Resurrected like comets created from fire.
'Great thank you,' said Tathe, the exasperation in his voice seemed almost like sarcasm. 'Now can you please send that daemon back into the damned warp, please?'
'We'll find a way,' said Attelus and he cut the communication while the commissar was in the midst of shouting his first syllable.
Then an idea hit Attelus so hard it knocked him back to some semblance of sanity and he turned to Adelana. 'I need you to stay here in the ship.'
'Because if the daemons and Resurrected decide to teleport in here again Darrance will need all the
help he can get.'
'You need not worry about them getting in here again,' said Kalakor as he seemed to materialise in the entrance way. Attelus didn't even flinch, now used to the Space Marine's ability to seemingly appear out of no where.
'How do you know that?' said Attelus.
'Call it...instinct,' said the Space Marine, smirking his sneering smirk.
'You do know, that I don't trust you,' said Attelus.
Kalakor just shrugged.
'So what in the Emperor's name are we going to do with that daemon?' Darrance almost screamed.
'I need you to get above it,' said Attelus as he unclasped his safety belt and stood.
'What?' said everyone, even Kalakor.
It was then the huge daemon seemed to see them and with a roar which somehow penetrated through the hull began to fly toward the Guncutter.
'Frig frig frig,' Darrance cried as he opened fire lascannon and bolter round alike smashed into it, sending it writhing and reeling but it seemed far, far, from dead.
'Just do it, damn you. Okay? Kalakor, I'd like you to accompany me to the storage bay, please,' said Attelus.
Kalakor's black eyes narrowed. 'Hmm alright.'
Attelus started out of the cockpit, but Adelana followed.
'You aren't doing something insane, are you?' she said.
'It's as they say, insane times call for insane measures.'
'What? No one has ever said that.'
'Hmm yes, you're right. I'd just made that up, I think. But it still fits, I think.'
She stopped as they were starting down the stairs, pursing her full lips, hunched her shoulders and let out a frustrated growl. 'I can't do anything to persuade you otherwise?'
'Frig no, sorry, Adelana.'
'Okay just don't get killed, okay?'
Adelana studied him for a few seconds before shrugging and turning back toward the cockpit, apparently satisfied.
Attelus and Kalakor moved on.
'You are not having the female stay here to protect her, are you?' said Kalakor.
Kalakor grinned. 'You are aware that I do not trust you either, right?'
Attelus shrugged. 'Fair enough, just please trust me in this.'
'Oh I will on this,' said Kalakor. 'I think I have a good idea what you are planning.'
'You do, do you?'
'Indeed so,' said Kalakor. 'And if I am correct, the female was right. It is completely and utterly insane. And I frigging love it.'
Re: Secret War: Upon Blood Sands Mature Themes- lots of violence, some gore, swearing, all the good stuff
Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:26 pm
Explosion after explosion coated every inch of the Bloodthirster's hide. Adelana had witnessed lascannon blasts burst through adamantium walls, fry people into ash, but all the constant barrage seemed to do to the daemon was slow it, slightly.
The Bloodthirster as Tathe had called it, swooped like a comet made up of blurring blood toward them.
Cursing, Darrance sent the Guncutter arcing away and wheeling onto the daemon's flank, just finding some space out of the huge axe's arc.
'Why won't you die!' he roared, Adelana had never heard the pilot so frustrated before and she couldn't blame him for it.
She then saw it.
'Darrance, watch out!'
The gigantic catoninetail whip seemed to grow out of its free hand and faster than thought swung for them.
With reflexes which left Adelana's breath in her throat, Darrance barely managed to bob the Guncutter beneath it.
'Frig you,' Darrance screamed, Adelana had no idea who "you" was. 'You little frigging bastard, Attelus...'
He swayed aside of the whip as it flew straight for them.
'"Get above it"' he said, what in the warp does that even mean...'
The daemon exploded toward them, spinning around in a whirling red blur of whips and axe.
This time Darrance sent the Guncutter banking upward, fast enough to escape the full arc but not enough to prevent the whip from skimming the bottom of the void craft. The void shield took most of the impact but it made the entire craft shudder and bound so hard, it made Adelana's head bound so hard it sent pain through her, causing her to cry out.
'How high do you want me to get, huh?' said Darrance apparently unaffected by the impact. 'And how am I supposed to...'
Adelana wanted to tell him to shut the frig up but didn't dare distract him and didn't want his anger to be directed at her.
He was losing it, they were all losing it. She just hoped they wouldn't lose it before it was too late.
'That is exactly what I thought your plan would be,' said Kalakor. 'It is as insane as it is brilliant, boy.'
Their advance to the storage bay had been delayed by Darrance's evasive manoeuvres, evasive manoeuvres which Attelus could tell were incredible despite being unable to see them.
Kalakor had his boots magnetised and didn't try to help Attelus as he lumbered about trying to keep his feet, and Attelus didn't want him to either.
They emerged into the storage bay and Attelus took the risk to slide down the handrail on his shoes as Kalakor's smashing footfalls followed his wake.
Attelus ran across the floor and punched the console control and the doors began opening. He ran over to the supply hooks to take a parachute, ignoring the shrieking of klaxon alarms.
'Apprentice,' said Darrance over the ship's intercom. 'Why is the docking bay airlock opening?'
'Surely someone with your dizzying intellect would've figured it out by now,' said Attelus.
There was a long pause.
'You are really going to do it?' said Darrance.
'Well, try to, anyway,' said Attelus.
'Well you better do more than just try!' cried Adelana.
Attelus grabbed the console. 'Will do, now just get above the damn daemon, please. Now wish us luck.'
'Will do,' said Darrance. 'And good luck, indeed.'
Tathe had to fight with every inch of his willpower to keep his attention forwards and to the enemy in front of him, away from the shuttle battling the Bloodletter above. From what he saw 'battling' seemed too stronger word, more like evading just to for another second or two. And for some reason was trying to get above the Bloodletter, but couldn't as the Bloodletter would rise when it tried to rise and its constant onslaught slowed the Guncutter's climb which forced it into incredible evasive manoeuvres.
The imperials were advancing again, Tathe having managed to rally them back into sanity, thankfully without having to execute anyone. But the men were no where near as passionate or as effective in their advance as before.
And because of this casualties kept mounting and mounting like never before, the Bloodthirster's presence raising enemy morale while it drained the Imperials.
Then an idea hit Tathe.
Her answer came after a long pause.
'What is it?'
'Is the daemon within your range?'
'The daemon meaning the Bloodthirster?'
'I-I think so, but I will have to drop the shield.'
'I know, but...'
'But, what? What do you want me to do?'
'I need you to use your telekinesis to arrest the daemon's flight, to allow the Guncutter to get above it.'
'I don't know...But they might have a plan...so can you do it?'
'It'll open us up for the enemy fire!'
'Yes, yes I know, but can you do it?'
Tathe couldn't read Karmen's face behind her helm but he could sense her determination. 'The servants of Khorne are naturally more resistant to psychic power.'
The commissar shrugged.
'But I will try,' she said.
Karmen exhaled and closed her eyes and with great hesitation, dropped her kineshield. She tried to ignore the screams of the dying guardsmen around her and the slaughtered Resurrected below her. Then she opened her eyes to the sky and as much as it hurt her eyes and caused sickness to well within her guts. She rose her hands and began to enforce her will, her power upon its wings. She only need to slow it for a second or two. Clenching her teeth, she began to pull it back to earth. It didn't move, not even a millimetre, but she pushed on and on, pulling, pulling. She began to growl, her brain throbbed inside her skull, her teeth gathered together so hard she swore they would crack.
Her growling turned into a shriek, her brain felt like it'd blow an aneurysm and blood began to tide from her nose an into her mouth and amongst her teeth. The blood then flowed from her ears and her gaze was blinded, flooded by crimson.
She did pulled it for what seemed like eternity, until blood began to come out of her mouth, her gums.
She pulled until she couldn't do it any more and the blood flowing from her tear ducts started to dissolve turned into blackness.
But a split second before unconsciousness overtook her she realised.
She'd managed it.
'It's slowed,' said Darrance. 'How-'
'The how of it, doesn't matter,' said Attelus as the daemon seemed to struggle against some force pulling it down about twenty metres below. 'This is just it.'
'This is insane,' said Adelana. 'Darrance fly down as soon as you can to clear that gap for the Elbyrans.'
'It is,' said Attelus. 'It really, really is. Kalakor, you ready?'
'Indeed I am.'
Then they lunged into empty air. The powerfield of Attelus sword, exploding into a blaze of blue life.
For the rest of his life commissar Delan Tathe would thank his instinct, or the Emperor or whatever it was which forced him to look up in that split second. For it would easily be the most spectacular things he'd ever seen. Two figures leaped out the back of the Guncutter as it rose above the daemon. Karmen having somehow managed to slow it.
One figure was large enough to be a Space Marine, the other was a far smaller spot who Tathe guessed was Attelus. Both dived toward the Bloodthirster like comets, straight for its wings.
'Look!' Tathe roared pointing with his sword for the sky.
Many Imperials did as told and so did many Resurrected, just in time to see both diving figures using their momentum to cut their weapons straight through the Bloodletter's wings.
Tathe watched with bated breath, expecting the daemon to somehow manage to defy gravity but after what seemed like an age it began to drop.
'It's falling,' said someone. 'It's frigging falling!'
The Imperials bellowed out a triumphant roar, while the Resurrected seemed to cry in pain.
'They did it!' said someone. 'The actually did it.'
Tathe couldn't join with the cries of his men as he wondered, where had the attackers gone? He couldn't see any sign of them.
With a cry, Attelus reversed his sword and plunged it deep into the daemon's back as did Kalakor and held on as the daemon fell.
As the wind whipped his hair off his face, bellowed through his ears Attelus couldn't help let out a 'woooooo!' as the blood sands grew ever closer and closer. Adrenaline and joy pumped through him like never before and while Kalakor made no sound Attelus couldn't help imagine the Space Marine grinning that snarling grin.
Attelus tore out his sword kicked himself off the daemon and pulled the cord of his parachute. He was tugged up as the parachute found full size and activated his vox link.
'Good luck, Kalakor. I'll be able to help you against it on the ground soon.'
'I do not need your luck, boy' said the Space Marine. 'Keep it for yourself.'