A story chronicling certain events within the Alamaan Insurrection. More specifically a brutal conflict taking place within the void of space, heroes will die, villains will perish, and blood will be shed.
Sergeant Verhaal blasted apart one of the traitor astartes' chests, watching as bone and armour splintered and exploded in a cloud of red mist, before raising his bolt gun to counter the next traitors strike. He swung, breaking the Brethren’s grip on his chain axe before slamming the muzzle of the bolt gun into the Chaos marines face and pulling the trigger. The astartes head crumbled and fell apart, bone and flesh becoming a red soup. The defense of the ship had been hard, many of his men had died, but the fight could be won. Verhaal began to advance, failing to notice the shadow that had fallen before him, until a armoured gauntlet grabbed his helm and dragged him to the ground.
Cain slammed his knife into Verhaal’s throat, blood spilling over Cain’s dark steel armour as he withdrew the knife. The Chaos lord looked up too see several advancing Brethren of Spite troops, who made a quick bow before scanning the room. Cain’s weapons were slick with blood and grime, a testament to those whom Cain had cut down in the preceding hours. Verhaal would almost certainly not be the last, as Cain marched on, his troops silently following as they once again descended upon the Regal Fists.
ONE WEEK EARLIER...
The bridge of the Covenant of Sin was a crowded and busy place, filled with the hunched and skeletal figures that controlled the gargantuan vessel. Drow hated it, the logical cold cage was no place for a champion of the Blood God. She pushed past several Brethren, moving towards Cain who stared into space, seeming oblivious to his surroundings. Nothing came within inches of him though, an aura seemed to resonate from his form, one of disgust and fear. Drow shrugged off the feeling as she approached and bowed her head, before speaking;
“Lord Cain, you called for me?”
Cain’s head did not turn to face Drow as she spoke, though it wasn’t unusual. Cain wasn’t the most social of people, he rarely spoke to anyone but his commanding officers;
“I did. I need you to gather your men and prepare them for a raid. We will be attacking a group of Imperial astartes, in order to take their ships. In the highly unlikely case they do not immediately surrender themselves and their ships, we will have to resort to violence.”
Drow grinned, even though she despised Cain, the thought of cutting her way through a ship of Astartes was a fantastic one. She felt the calls of Caries, the daemon blade itching to be released from it’s sorcerous bonds. She bowed her head and turned to leave the chamber, before Cain spoke again;
Drow’s eyes widened, knowing that Cain’s next words would either be of snide and hateful disapproval, or some form of hollow reward;
“You will be leading the Grief-Commando during the battle’s first wave. I expect no failures, ship master.”
Drow gritted her teeth as she stalked out of the room, knocking a patrolling Brethren to his feet as she marched down the hallway. She loathed the Grief-Commandos, they had no passion or spirit, mindless animals. She knew why Cain did this. She knew that the bastard wanted her to be derived of any joy in battle. She felt a spike of energy as Caries spoke;
“YOU LET HIM CONTROL US....”
Drow let out a small sigh;
“Because Cain showed me the true path daemon, the true path to Khorne.”
The Daemonblade hissed again, with venom in it’s words;
Tolen cursed to himself as he hid behind the pile of flour bags, clutching his lasgun in big, sweaty hands. All around him, men did the same, each dressed in a similar set of carapace armor, which was clear of any Imperial Insignia, expect for the destroyed Aquila plastered upon their chest-guards. They all sat down in a dark and damp farmhouse, various bags and boxes scattered across the room, each waiting for the inevitable. Tolen hoped that the trump card that the commissar told them about would pull through, because otherwise, they were doomed.
Suddenly, the barn doors were blasted open, and Tolen, with the rest of his fellow renegades, were met with four, two meter tall giants, each one ready to hand out the divine vengeance of the Emperor of Mankind.
Sergeant Verhaal of the Regal Fists Space Marines stepped forwards, and was greeted with at least three dozen renegade PDF soldiers. As the rest of his squad came up from behind him, the renegades began to fire at them. As they did so, Squad Verhaal stepped forwards, shrugging off the lasbolts as if they were simply tree branches. Brother Granir charged into the fray, throwing his gladius as he did so. The astartes’ blade punctured the first renegades’ stomach, causing the man to drop his weapon and clutch is wound as blood began to pool at his feet. Granir stepped towards the man and gripped the handle of his blade, twisting it in the man’s gut before yanking it free.
Brother Vespirt was the second to draw blood, firing his bolt pistol at an unlucky renegade hiding behind a pile of crates. The bolt-round pounded into the man’s throat, and he was already dead as the round detonated, blowing his head to pieces.
After that, the rest of the traitors broke formation and began to run deeper into the barn, blind firing behind them as they did so. Verhaal grunted, before raising his bolter and firing shots left and right, killing off more and more renegades as he did so. Eventually, the remaining renegades were backed up against the wall, cornered, and vastly outgunned. Over half of them dropped their weapons, others raised their hands and bent down onto their knees. Each one of them cried out for mercy and forgiveness. A familiar buzzing resounded in Verhaal’s ear.
“Pathetic, the lot of them.” Granir growled.
Verhaal grunted in agreement. “Kill them, let none be spared of the Emperor’s Angels.”
“Aye, Brother Sergeant.” Granir replied, before lifting his gladius and bolt pistol.
Before any of the Regal Fists had a chance to fire their weapons, a large scale heat signature registered in Verhaal’s HUD. As the heat signature was identified, the Regal Fists’ eyes widened.
“Move!” The sergeant commanded his brothers.
There was no need for a reason, as the wall the renegades were trapped against blasted open, reduced to nothing but ash. On the other side, a heavily fortified lascannon was preparing to send another superheated beam of energy at the astartes. Verhaal growled as Brother Xendris’ vital sign registered from green to yellow.
The Regal Fist rolled on his shoulder into a pile of crates, crashing into them and tearing them to splinters. The sergeant stood up and raised his bolter, firing it one handed at the renegades. One after another they perished, turned into piles of bones and gore. The rest of Squad Verhaal marched towards the lascannon’s position, firing their weapons at anything that dared to move.
After a few moments, Verhaal’s vox buzzed yet again.
“Brother Sergeant, there is something you should see.” Came Brother Vespirt’s voice.
“Understood.” Verhaal voxed back.
As the Regal Fist made his way to the rest of his squad, he noted the carnage scattered across the barn. Verhaal eventually made his way to where his squad was gathered. As the sergeant made his way to them, he noticed what they were gathered around. In the middle of the squad, was a middle aged man, sitting in a pool of his own blood: the man wore the cap of a commissar.
“Traitor.” Verhaal growled.
“They’re leader.” Granir told his sergeant.
Verhaal knelt down before the man, and removed his skull helm. The old man looked at him, hatred and loathing visible in his eyes.
“…You,” He choked. “You bastards.”
“Do you command the rebels of Svech?” Verhaal demanded.
“Rebels?” The commissar coughed. “Pah, we are heroes!”
“Answer my question mortal,” Verhaal hissed. “Or I shall kill you slowly, painfully, and without any hint of mercy.”
“Can you not see, Angel?” The man made a sound that might have been a laugh. “I am bleeding out, dying slowly. Whatever you have planned for me means nothing, I will die either way.”
Without hesitation, Verhaal brought his gauntleted hand up to the man’s throat and crushed it, causing the commissar to spasm before falling limp. The Regal Fist let go of the man’s neck before standing up, gesturing for his brothers to follow. As Squad Verhaal exited the barn, Verhaal brought up the company-wide vox channel.
“Squad Verhaal here,” The Sergeant growled. “Area secured, moving on to the next.”
Cain passed through the workshops and repair stations within the Covenant of Sin, the sound of the Dark Mechanicus members toiling away echoed throughout the ship, and Cains ears. He entered the main chamber of the vaults, finding a massive Dreadnought kneeling before a shrine of the Omnissiah, a hideous mix of daemon and machine. Cain patiently waited as Sven turned to face him, looking down on the fleet masters mutated form;
“Lord Cain, what do you seek from me?”
Cain placed his hands together behind his back as he looked up at the Dreadnought, and spoke in a hollow and empty tone;
“I want you to prepare the Grief-Commando and Dreadnoughts, I would prefer if you could do so without the worship of false idols. It clouds your judgement.”
“The Omnissiah is not a fals.....”
“It is, but if you wish to continue, so be it. I don’t wish to be a part of it.”
Sven sighed, turning away from Cain as he moved towards the idol of the Omnissiah, looking up at the holy relic that stood before him;
“I will not allow my zeal to cloud my judgement, master.”
The Dreadnought sensed Cain moving out of the chamber. He’d come to expect Cain’s attitude towards the Omnissiah, unsure if his Lord did so either to anger the Dreadnought, or out of a legitimate belief that the machine god did not exist. It had once puzzled Sven why Cain extended his cruelty to even his most loyal of servants, but he now knew Cain thrived on it.
He strode through the sacred halls of the grand vessel before finding his slumbering brothers, most of them encased in ancient armour, others clad in a mix mash of stolen parts and experimental technology. He had wished he could have encased his favoured in a greater level of protection, but if the Omnissiah willed it.
He moved towards the controls and silently de-activated the stasis chambers they were sealed in. They slowly opened, releasing a rush of freezing air into the room, before a steady mix of beeps and moving gears filled the room. Soon, eight Dreadnoughts stood in two rows before Sven;
“We are here to serve, brother.”
“What troubles the chapter brother?”
“How may I serve brother?”
If Sven could, he would've smiled.
Drow silently sat in her chambers, watching the still daemon blade as it lay on it’s pedestal, it’s runes glowing in the darkness of the room. She sat at the end of her small bed, the room’s walls lined with trophy skulls and weapons she had taken from her defeated opponents. Drow could name everyone, and could vividly remember each battle. Her gaze then came across the trio of skulls at the principle of the ‘shrine’, those of the Eldar commanders that would have been her rescuers, if she had not gutted them after pledging herself to Khorne. Drow plucked her helmet from beside her feet, which bore a scowling daemonic face. It’s eyes seemed to stare into her twisted soul. She placed it back down and plucked something from beneath her bed, a bundle of broken soul stones.
Her soul stones.
While she did not regret her betrayal, Drow did not wish to remove one of the few things that remained of her former life. As both a tribute to Khorne, and a reminder of what she had once been. She could still remember the days of battle against the forces of Chaos, which were now her new brothers and sisters. Drow’s first real tributes to Khorne had been the Eldar of Saim-Hann, who she had first led the Brethren against. She’d come to respect her men, though in no way as much as she did her warhost. Then again, she herself had not used many tactics in combat since her corruption, other than hack and slash, which her new ‘host’ followed suit in. That was one of the few things Cain had granted her leeway over, who would be part of her ship, Solace’s crew. Most of them had once belong to the Brethren of Spites ‘assault company’, though they now served in Drow war band of marauders.
Drow dropped the soul-stones and shook her head, trying to remove the thoughts that clouded her mind. She looked down on the pedestal and took up Caries, sheathing the blade. She plucked the helmet from the ground and equipped the clasps and watched as the HUD activated. The armour was a mix match of Eldar and Chaos technology, with bronze overlapping plates, etched runes and exposed cables. Drow would have preferred a more advanced suit. She marched through the corridors of the ship, her men saluting or bowing their heads as she passed by before entering the hold.
The chamber was massive, and now it held the majority of her shock troops aboard it. Clad in gun metal grey and blood red armour, they raised their weapons in salute as Drow stood before them;
"Warriors of Khorne, soon we will battle the so called 'finest' of the Imperium, your loyalist dog brothers! We will board their ships, cut them down and offer their heads to our lord, the Blood God Khorne!"
The crowd of traitor astartes roared and cheered in reprisal, inspiring a zeal in Drow.
She just hoped inspiring the Grief Commando would be as easy.
Cain stood among his guards as he monitored the holo-map before him, which displayed the Brethren of Spites fleet as low detail models, blue or green in colour. His ship masters stood around him, discussing tactics for the coming assault while he observed them. While Cain’s plan was to steal as many ships as possible with as little casualties as possible, he knew most of the shipmasters and champions under his command simply wished to find something challenging to kill. He watched as each ship master consulted their own aides and advisers on the subject, many barely knew anything of tactics, but were simply favoured because they knew how to appease the ego of a Chaos champion. He looked over his guards, hulking champions of Khorne clad in terminator armour. They remained silent along with Cain, never saying anything. Cain didn't even know what most of them looked like behind their snarling helms, nor did he really care. Even minor attachment to one of his guards could cloud his judgement, when a power fist crushed their head, or a flurry of bolt round tore through their stomach. At least they didn't care if they died, nor did Cain really. Cain and his guard silently left the command center, tired of the nascent chatter of his officers. The final word came down to him and him alone, Cain only allowed these discussions to happen because occasionally, one of the ship master may actually suggest something useful that could be added to Cain’s complex plans. That or a fight would break out and Cain could watch the spectacle of a pair of groups of shipmasters aides bet on who would be their new master by the end of the conflict. The fact he allowed such conflicts to happen was only to watch as a pair of grown men could stoop to such a low level. It would be funny, if it wasn't so pathetic.
The group of armoured warriors moved through the hallways of the Covenant of Sin, unopposed by any of the other crew members that they passed as they entered Cain’s personal chambers. The room was massive, with only one bulkhead which allowed them to enter. The chamber was mostly barren, except for a desk and armoury, along with several suits of ceremonial power armour which watched over the chamber. The Khornate terminators held position at the door, their helmets lidless eyes staring into space as Cain approached the desk. He sat down and laid his modified power fist onto it. The gauntlet had begun to resemble a shield, with it’s own inbuilt energy shield. Cain attached the gauntlet to his arm and admired his handy work, flexing the long bladed fingers of the fist. He chuckled.
The Champion sat back in his throne, a razor toothed smile creeping up upon his chapped lips. The Champion was dressed in armor similar to that worn by his brothers, with the same dark green and grey color scheme, along with the jagged remains of what was once the proud Aquila of the Imperium. A noticeable difference between The Champion and his brothers is that his armor was clear of any new sigils that were an eye aching sight upon the ceramite plating of his brothers. The adamantine doors behind The Champion opened, and a figure similar to him stepped out from behind them. The new arrival was taller than The Champion, and his ceramite plating was riddled with battle scars and chains. Two twin power swords in the form of cutlasses hung from the figure’s thighs, and a beak-nosed skull helm covered the figure’s facial features.
“Kocap,” the figure growled through his vox-amplifiers. “anything worth reporting? I am starved for a good fight.”
“Nothing worth our time, my liege.” Kocap addressed his leader.
The astartes snarled, before walking up next to Kocap and staring down at him. “Get out of that seat.” The leader commanded.
Kocap nodded. “As you say, Lord Letalis.” The Champion bowed before getting out of the throne.
Letalis took his seat and removed his skull helm, revealing a face pieced together by scars and cuts similar to that of his armor. Sickly blue eyes pierced through the astartes’ eye sockets, and various plasteel piercing were impressed in Letalis’ left ear.
“Location?” The warband leader demanded of the helmsmen closest to him.
“The Alamaan Subsector, my liege.” The helmsman told him, still focused upon his work station.
“Alamaan Subsector, eh?” Letalis snickered. “Interesting. Anything worth our attention here?”
The helmsman nodded. “Aye liege, apparently there are a variety of void battles alive across the subsector, and a variety of purges in effectiveness across various worlds, as per the variety of distress signals being transmitted from the service.”
“The players in this game?” The Champion demanded.
“Various astartes chapters, White Exemplars, Regals Fists, and so on. As well as this are ships belonging to the…Brethren of Man space marine chapter, excommunicate traitoris.”
A wicked smile crossed over Letalis’ visage. “Interesting, perhaps we can strike a deal with them. Can we determine which ship is their flagship?”
“A moment,” the helmsman asked. “Processing various ship classes…possible flagship is the Ark Mechanicus: Covenant of Sin.”
The warband leader nodded. “Understood, make way for the Covenant of Sin, and raise their vox. Let’s see if we can strike a deal.”
Cain watched over the bridge silently as crew below him worked tirelessly at their posts. He sat atop the bridges command throne, observing the actions of the biomechanical servitors that bore no emotion in their movements or actions. A pure logical nature that worked to suppress their weaknesses. It was something Cain would sight as glorious, though he knew that some of their ‘weaknesses’ could be a help at times. An alarm signalled an incoming vox communication, which quickly caused a screen before Cain to buzz and flicker to life, before revealing an image of a grinning Chaos Champion to Cain;
“Greetings. I am Letalis, leader of the Sons of Anicetus. My Champion has informed me that you and you’re warband are currently at war with several groups of Space Marines in this sector of space. I presume you are their leader?”
“You’re Champion is correct. What do you seek from contacting us?”
Letalis’s grin did not disappear despite Cain’s aggressive attitude. He tilted his head and chuckled as he spoke;
“I believe that we both have similar plans when it comes to the Imperials in this sector. We will assist you in any activities, as long as any benefits reaped be shared among ourselves equally. Together, I’m sure that our combined forces would be far greater together than any other in this sector. Able to overrun all others. Do you accept?”
Cain nodded again as Letalis’s grin widened;
“Good. Should we meet on my ship, or your own?"
Captain Tethys was many things. A son of Dorn certainly, a leader above all else unquestionably, but he was not a fool, nor would be made to look like one. Data feeds and new piles of information flooded around him and Tethys was forced to scan and read every sentence, every word, and every punctuation that crossed his path. The Regal Fist narrowed his eyes at the next feed he had finished reading.
“Helmsman Yelas,” Tethys called to the man sitting to his left.
“Yes my lord?” Yelas asked.
“Please confirm Section B Forty-Two Eleven.” The captain stated.
“A moment,” Yelas replied before tapping upon a handful of keys. A few minutes later, the helmsman turned back to the astartes.”
“Confirmed, Lord Tethys. Your orders?”
“Raise the vox, I wish to speak with our brothers of the White Exemplars. We have a war to win.”
Legatus Incerius’ vox blared to life, and the White Exemplar growled as he was forced to finish his training session. The astartes pounded his opponent in the jaw, before exiting the training cage.
“Speak.” The Legatus snarled into the vox, expecting a routine tactical feed. “You seem on edge, my brother.” Came a voice he wasn’t expecting. Incerius let out a short breathed snort.
“What gave it away, Haryon? My demand still stands. Speak, before I lose patience.”
“We have just received a hail from The Sceptre of Dorn, Legatus.”
Incerius slowed his pace, but continued to walk through the halls leading to the bridge. “Priority?” The White Exemplar demanded of his brother. “Highest of priorities, Legatus.” Haryon replied.
This time, Incerius halted, staring into the ever darkening hallway in front of him.
“I’m on my way.” The White Exemplar spat upon the plasteel flooring before continuing to march through the hall.
Drow patiently watched as the drop-ship entered her the Solace’s hanger bay. The craft was large and bulky, and maneuvered poorly into the center of the hanger before landing. It’s hatch opened, before a massive Dreadnought strode out before turning towards Drow as several Servitors removed a set of pods from the rear of the craft. Sven moved towards Drow;
“I bring the gifts from Lord Cain, xenos. Do not squander his creations, he does not accept failure.”
Drow stopped herself from striking the Dreadnought, snarling as she moved towards his ancient chassis;
“I’m guessing you’d know well of failure in Cain’s eyes Sven, don’t try you’re act here. You don’t impress or scare anyone.”
Sven stared blankly down at Drow before turning away to return to the dropship. Drow had never liked Sven, though she didn’t like a majority of the Brethren. Sven was an example of a fool, with his goals far too twisted by his faith in the ‘machine god’, a fictional deity Sven and his brethren were obsessed with. She knew this was why Cain kept him locked away in the forges. She watched as the drop-ship lifted from the ground and left the hanger, leaving the large pods it had brought with it. The hangers servitors began to disassemble the pods, revealing the contents. The Grief Commando.
Drow did not know much of the Grief Commando, other than their fabled stance within the Brethren. She also knew that they were barely even alive, and in battle, possessed no real spirit or soul. She hated them, they could never feel the rage or spirit of battle. This was furthered by the fact that they had chosen this awful fate. To remove any form of martial prowess and replace it with cold logic. Cain only had her fight alongside them as a way to punish her, deny her any pride.
She looked over them. They were far bulkier than any of her astartes, wearing what her troops called "terminator armour", and bore a far darker colour scheme than other Brethren members. In contrast to their plain armour, they carried exotic and odd weaponry. Great energy bound shields, some still in loyalist livery, great daemonic hammers, bolt guns with extended barrels or modified plasma weapons. They stood at attention as Drow approached, and remained in their position as she moved away. They made no movements at all.
Drow drew Caries from it’s sheath and moved around the circle, while the opposing champion did the same. He brought up his chain axe and roared. He sprinted forward, which forced Drow to dodge and roll away, not before swinging Caries at his stomach. She looked up, watching as the Champion stumbled back. He looked down on his injury and roared at Drow, before running at her in a fury as he waved his chain axe madly. She screamed and held Caries close, letting out a thunderous war cry;
“BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!”
The champion swung, missing Drow by inches as she brought up Caries, which blocked the blow. As the champion pushed his chain axe forward, Drow thrusted the blade forward and cut the head from the chain axe. The blade carried on into the champions neck, causing a spout of blood to form as his armour gave way. He fell to the ground as Drow swung Caries once again;
“SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!”
The champions head went flying from his neck, with his body now on the ground while a pool of blood formed beneath Drow’s feet. She pulled up Caries and looked over the burning daemon blade, it’s runes blazing after tasting fresh blood. She smiled. A battle like this was refreshing, especially after the confrontation with the Grief Commando, who had been placed in the cargo hold where they silently spent their time maintaining their weaponry. She sheathed Caries and stipped down from the ritualistic dueling ring, where one of her champions had challenged her. His sacrifice would please Khorne. These battles cleansed the soul of weakness.
The bridge of the Covenant of Sin was a strange one, far different from the Rapine Cutlass. The bridge was sleeker, but seemed to hold more crew members than that of the Cutlass. Hunched, cold, and overall dead individuals manned the stations, and various skeletons hung from the ceiling, tied together by thick ropes. Letalis couldn’t help but respect the daemon-like being that commanded his warband in such a manner. Cain stood apart from the astartes around him, standing over nine feet tall, with his ceramite plating mixed together with his own flesh. His face and helm had melded together, his mouth guard covering whatever was left of face while a pair of horns sprouted from his head.
A large obsidian table sat in the middle of the bridge, and a variety of individuals ranging from hulking terminators of the Brethren, pirate brothers of the Sons of Anicetus, there was even an Eldar dressed in blood red armor with a serrated blade sheathed to her back. A star map expanded and gave view to hundreds of cruisers and ships. Cain leaned forwards, and began to address everyone around him.
“Brothers, allies, and slaves. The time has come for us to strike out at the Imperium yet again. Look at the map here, you all see the ships? The dozens of Imperial starcrafts that dare cross us? It is here where we shall strike, it is here where we shall kill. The whipped dogs of the Imperium shall cower in fear and submission as we take the sub-sector for our own.”
A raise of cheers and nods of approval filled the bridge, only to be silenced by the Chaos Lord’s hand. “Our primary target is this ship here.” Cain pointed towards a Space Marine Strike Cruiser, before the name: The Sceptre of Dorn.
“This ship holds a grip tighter than iron around the world of Svech, which is a crucial staging ground for the war to come, as whoever controls Svech controls the worlds in that world’s vicinity, which includes the Forge World of Friael. If we are to secure Friael’s resources, we must secure Svech. And thus, we must eliminate the enemy forces around that world,”
“So then my allies, prepare yourselves. Prepare your ships, your crew, and your brothers, for we are going to war.” The Chaos Lord of the Brethren concluded.
Several Dreadclaws had been lowered from the hangers ceiling, alongside other boarding craft and drop-ships now being filled by ranks of Brethren assault troops. Drow watched as her Khornate followers hurried into their craft, carrying a mix of axes, chainswords and blades. Behind them, dreadnoughts moved silently inside their own giant transports. She’d of much preferred to lead her own chosen into the fray, and not those she had been ordered to led. She glanced towards the Grief-Commando that grouped behind her. They stared back, the only sound they generated was the occasional burst of radio chatter that Drow’s own com system picked up. A mix of numbers, and random orders almost entirely in code or barely understandable. She watched as they moved forward to the next transport craft, with her in tow. Drow entered the boarding ships hold, the chamber lit by several flickering red lights. Drow looked down at the sheathed Caries, hearing it's savage and desperate cries for blood shed. She would fulfil the blades wishes in the coming battle, as long as the Grief commando did not soil her attempts to slaughter in battle.
Cain and his guard marched above the hanger bay that now filled with Brethren of Spite members boarding assault craft. They sought the approaching conflict with a dark glee, which Cain lacked. He peered down at a platoon of guard entering the bay of a large drop ship, scuttling in like drones while watched over by (in comparison) the titanic space marines. None dared to look up at Cain, a sense of fear that had taken hold of his men. His lieutenants beating the weak into submission with unbridled ruthlessness. He could say he didn't enjoy it, but the occasional opposition was fairly enjoyable. Crushing ones spirit was far more entertaining, far more challenging than their body. Drow offered that challenge. Taunting her with the occasional denial of the pleasure of battle was enough to keep him content, until her spirit was completely broken. Until she felt no grief for what crimes she had committed on her own kin. Cain knew that enough pushes in the right direction, and she would serve him without question.
Cain moved on, his guard trailing behind him as he entered the bridge. He'd be part of the third wave assailing the enemy craft, once steps 1 ad 2 had been taken part of. He watched as the Sceptre of Dorn came into view, as the fleet of Chaos warships arrived. Sirens and alarms sounded as the weapon systems of the Chaos fleet became active and chose targets, drop ships, boarding pods and fighter craft sped out of hanger bays.
The gathering chamber of The Sceptre of Dorn was especially crowded as the meeting unfolded. Upon his throne, Tethys hunched over and gave the briefing to his allies. Sergeants Keres and Blazkow of their respective squads were also present. All other squads had been sent to the surface of Svech, the only squad able to make transmission and be present via hologram was Sergeant Verhaal, of the 1st Squad. Legatus Incerius was also present via hologram, his arms crossed and his power armor a mess of burns, scratches, and other battle scars. Other than them, various astartes of the White Exemplars were also present, though Tethys hated to admit he did not know them. Each figure either sat or stood around a large adamantium table. A star map giving full view to the Alamaan Sub-sector was in place in the middle of the table, giving view to all eight of the sub-sector’s planets, and dozens of ships as well. Tethys couldn’t help but frown at the growing Chaos Warships looming towards them.
“The Desolator-class Battleship designated as Corsair’s Might, and Ark Mechanicus designated as Covenant of Sin are on approach for both The Sceptre and Cleansing Faith,” Tethys explained. “It is believed that the Covenant houses the Chaos Lord that leads the Brethren of Spite, Cain.”
“Then we should board the damned ship, kill the bastard heretic and end this war!” Incerius cried out in rage.
“Calm yourself, Incerius,” Tethys spoke coolly. “A boarding action against a vessel such as the Covenant cannot be taken lightly…”
“You think I take this lightly?” the Legatus snapped. “We have heretics at our doorstep, we should be the ones to strike first, not them!”
“What I meant is that we must plan ahead. We cannot simply charge straight in without some knowledge of our surroundings and playing field.”
“You would also need the proper forces for such a boarding,” Verhaal pointed out. “With most of 4th Company still working their way through Svech, my squad included, a boarding act would be near suicide for the forces you still have upon your ships.”
A grumble of disapproval came from the Legatus, before a slight nod. “Then what do you propose?”
“What the Sons of Dorn are known best for,” Tethys told him, a crooked smile crossing over his face. “Defensive warfare.”
“You plan to defend against such ships?” Incerius demanded, baffled.
“No, I plan to have them board us.” Tethys replied.
The Scepter of Dorn hung in the void, it’s sapphire hull a stark contrast to the blackened and scarred hulls of the approaching enemy fleet. The main bulk of the Chaos armada lunged forward, made up of numerous dreadnoughts and cruisers. The renegade fleet began to open fire, forcing The Scepter to dodge and weave among the lances and plasma fire, only able to strike back with quick bursts of lance and plasma fire as it attempted to whittle away at the Chaos assault. The Ark Mechanicus eclipsed the Strike Cruiser as it hovered above, centering dozens of lance weapons on the ship below. The Scepter shuddered as it’s engine chamber was engulfed in plasma fire and warp energy, leaving it crippled in the void. The Brethren and Sons advanced on their wounded prey like hungry wolves.
Dozens of drop pods and boarding torpedoes sped towards the silent Strike Cruiser, meet by torrents of energy blasts and numerous fighter craft that intercepted individual pods with clusters of missiles and las-cannon fire. Drow studied the Grief-commando that accompanied her, each silent and empty of emotion as their craft hurtled towards the Imperial’s crippled ship. Her blood-lust rose as the daemon sword she held close whispered to her of the murder to come, a wicked smile growing across her face as the pod began to blast through the hull of the strike cruiser. Drow raised Caries as the Grief-commando drew their own weapons, her senses clouded by the smoke and dust that filled the pod as it’s blast doors opened, her HUD trying to filter the smoke as she and the augmented warriors descended from the boarding ramp. Her frenzy blossomed into madness as a squad of Regal Fists stood in defiance of the former Autarch and her traitor bodyguard.
Veteran sergeant Blazkow flicked the activation rune of his chainsword as traitors and their xenos witch leader emptied out from the boarding torpedo. He raised his sword and bellowed an order to his men, who swiftly gunned down a pair of the emerging Chaos marines, while the others burst into a sprint to cover while returning fire. He gripped his chain sword his both hands and quickly moved to strike at one of the charging renegades. Blazkow thrust the sword into the astartes elbow, the chainswords teeth eating through the soft armour and into muscle and bone. The drug enhanced blood and viscera was now layered onto the blacked and dirtied armour of the Grief-commando, who remained silent during the entire ordeal. No grunts of pain, nothing at all. He attempted to draw a combat knife, but the second strike silenced the augmented warrior. The sergeant reared back as another figure approached him, the Eldar witch. Blazkow raised his bolt pistol and fired.
Drow danced around the bolt pistol blasts of the sergeant, her movements agile but lacking in something. She snarled as she lurched forward, stabbing at him with Caries. The flaming swords tip dragging along the sergeants chest armour, leaving a molten trail. A further flurry of strikes left intricate scarring across his chest, causing Blazkow to stumble back. He raised his chainsword as Drow darted towards him, causing Drow to stagger in her approach. She growled and thrust the daemon sword into his neck guard, stabbing it’s molten tip into his neck guard. Blazkow was killed instantaneously as his head fell from his neck stump, the veteran sergeants bloody and broken body lay crumpled on the metal floor. Drow felt Caries cackle and laugh as it devoured the sergeants soul, her own strength increased as the daemon blade shared its power.
Brother Falov noticed Veteran Sergeant Blazkow’s life rune change from sunlight yellow to a blood red, signalling the sergeant’s demise. The Regal Fist cursed under his breath as he slotted another magazine into place, before firing into the horde of cultists and heretics. Already, the Regal Fists’ Strike Cruiser had been boarded in several different places, and everyone onboard seemed to be fighting. Another one of Falov’s brothers' life runes clicked red, signalling his death as bolter rounds punctured his throat.
Two astartes of Squad Blazkow remained.
The last clip of Falov’s bolter clicked empty, and the Regal Fist drew his combat knife and bolt pistol. Still, the horde of cultists and traitors marched on, shooting and hollering as they did. The Regal Fist growled and looked around for his last brother, who was still fighting. Just as he found him, Falov’s last remaining squad member was cut down by the Eldar Witch. Falov cursed, before opening the company-wide vox, and was greeted by dozens of different voices snarling and speaking.
“This is Brother Falov of Squad Blazkow.” The Regal Fist spoke into the vox, noticing the Eldar charging towards him. “Secondary hangar is lost, I repeat, secondary hangar is lost. Emperor Protects.” As Falov finished his sentence, the Eldar jumped towards him with her possessed blade, ready to deliver the killing blow.
Falov met the Chaotic Blade with his combat knife. The two clashed together, and Falov’s blade snapped off its handle. The Regal Fist cursed as he tossed the handle to the side and raised his own hands in defense. Falov, along with the rest of his Vostroyan brothers, had trained in several ‘forms’ of Ossbohk-vyar, which was a native form of Vostroyan unarmed combat. The xenos witch gave a chuckle before raising her possessed sword.
“Emperor Protects.” Falov grunted, before charging forward.