Brother Cristus Achellion of the Ultramarines

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Brother Cristus Achellion of the Ultramarines

Post  chrispcarter on Wed May 11, 2011 12:17 am

Figured I should probably post this in a proper named thread for future simplicity's sake. I'll repost the last lot of fluff first then add the new one.
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Part 1

Post  chrispcarter on Wed May 11, 2011 12:22 am

Be careful what you wish for.

The phrase came to mind as the Space Marine tended to his battle gear, hands working in an unconscious routine as they checked over sections of armour plate, cleaned and manually worked mechanisms, opened and closed catches and checked connections.

It was a well used and oft-quoted phrase amongst the warriors of the 5th Company. It had started off as a favoured saying of one of their squad Sergeants, Patrobus, but had spread to the other members of the Company over time. Patrobus' powerful personality and easy camaraderie was lost to them now, killed by the vile daemon-machines of Votheer Tark, but his motto had lived on through the survivors.

He tapped a connector linked to the fibre bundles in his armour's right greave. It moved - albeit minutely, but he began to disconnect it nonetheless.

"Survivors" was an accurate word; recent events had conspired to leave the 5th well under strength. Although 'events' was too blameless a term - the battles in which three-hundred and forty-seven of his Chapter had given their lives in such a staggeringly short time were against an enemy known all to well, the traitors Astartes of the Iron Warriors and their legions of corrupted allies.

There was a particle of some gritty substance lodged in the connector linkage; he removed it and picked over the links to check that there was no more. Satisfied, he began to reconnect the cabling.

It would take time to rebuild their strength at arms, though their Chapter had always been blessed with recruits, and in the months since their victory over the Iron Warriors, the recruiters had been busy. It would be several years before they were back to full strength, but it was nothing that the Chapter hadn't faced before.

More dirt had gathered in the joints around the armoured boot sections. He took out a pick and removed it with great care.

Still, for him it was a new and unwelcome period in his life as an Astartes, and the 5th had been the most gravely affected by the losses of all the companies, losing almost half their number before the invasion of their realm had even begun in earnest, their lives lost in defence of the stronghold they garrisoned far from the rest of their Chapter, the manner of their last stand unrecorded and inscrutable.

He began to replace the pieces of armour onto their stand, one at a time, turning each piece over in his hands as he did so, a final double-check of his own work.

Lost in the void and lost in his presence; he mourned them all - and venerated them also, for they had died warriors one and all - but could not help feel their loss, for he had fought alongside most of them and had learned from many of them; he had been in the 5th since the implantation of the black carapace and becoming a full Battle-Brother, joining a Devastator Squad, then moving to one of the Assault Squads, before finally taking his place in the Tactical Squad he served in now.

He found nothing he had missed when repairing and cleaning the armour - in truth, he never did - but it was a necessary ritual for him.

All through his time as a Battle-Brother, his desire had always been for more combat experience, more enemies to fight, more battles fought in The Emperor's name – more objectives, more targets, more xenos to put to the sword, more traitors eradicate from His domain. It was a wish he had been granted by the Iron Warriors, and it was this that caused him to remember Patrobus' words with an ill feeling. His wish had been granted, but not in the way he would have desired.

The entire suit of armour was now replaced on the stand, and he grunted quietly with satisfaction. Chapter serfs would attend to the armour of any Astartes who required it, but it had always helped him to clear his mind and think.

His train of thought led him to remember all those now dead he had served with since he had joined the Chapter, from his time as a Scout through to his current place as a squad leader. They had all given their lives freely and without hesitation, as was expected of any Astartes, and he felt his sadness at their loss replaced by the pride at what they had given; each was a hero and he swore, as he often did, that he would remember them all until the time he found himself amongst them at the Primarch's side.

His maintenance complete, the Marine began to remove the armour once more, this time donning the pieces as he did so. The weight of the armour was considerable when unpowered but he was more than used to armouring himself and constructed the suit quickly, locking each piece together over his matt-black body glove with practised ease.

He made a further oath, to those who had gone and those who remained, that he would continue to fight for them with the same determination he had always displayed. He would remain true to the legacy of the Chapter and would fight the enemies of the Imperium until his dying breath, and that last breath he would expel only in the prosecution of his duty.

As he closed his cuirass and then locked the power plant into place at his back, he felt the surge of power flood through the armour and lend familiar strength to his armoured limbs, allowing him his freedom of movement once more.

In moments of such introspection he always rediscovered his resolve; the desire to live up to the gift he had been given and the sacred duty he had taken up. He was a warrior of the Adeptus Astartes. He was a deliverer of the innocent. He was a brother-in-arms to the just. He was a judgement on the heretic. He was an executioner of the traitor. He was an exterminator of the xenos.

His armour complete, the Space Marine turned, facing the small window in his quarters, as the first of the new dawn filled the room he was reborn in the light.

Ebonite trim on his shoulder guards marked him as a member of the 5th Company, the arrow device on his right shoulder denoted him as a member of a tactical squad. The Iron Halo on his left kneepad identified him as a combat squad leader.

The strong cobalt blue of his armour and the inverted omega symbol rendered in pure white on his right shoulder guard honoured him as an Ultramarine.

A knock at the door shook him from his reverie and he turned as the door opened to face the visitor. He was another Ultramarine, and one well known to him, speaking his name. "Cristus..." Battle-Brother Cristus Achellion bowed his head to Sergeant Bachius, his immediate superior and leader of the 5h Company's second squad, of which Cristus was a proud member. "Greetings, my Sergeant." He removed his helm once more and set it back on his armour stand. "How may I be of service?"
Bachius regarded his second in command. Cristus was still relatively young, for a frontline Tactical Marine, and had thus far avoided any of the scars or bionics that featured regularly amongst longer serving marines. He wore his blond hair cropped short, and his strongly coloured blue eyes were set into patrician features the like of which graced so many Ultramarines, an inheritance of their Primarch as much as of Cristus' human lineage.
"It is exactly that of which I have come to speak, Cristus. Your Chapter would have your service once more, though in a way you have not yet experienced."
"Which ever duty you would have me do, I will accept it gladly." Cristus was somewhat surprised, though he had to admit he had seen this coming. He had served dutifully as a combat squad leader and had been lauded for his understanding of strategy, aptitude for command and cool head. With the losses the 5th had taken, many of his fellow Battle-Brothers had predicted he would be promoted to the rank of full sergeant, and given command of a squad of his own. Now it appeared that was to come to pass. Cristus resolved to accept the duty with humility.
Bachius raised a hand to forestall any further comments. "This is probably not what you are expecting, Cristus." The Sergeant held up the hinged wooden box he had been holding in the crook of his right arm, and gestured for Cristus to open it. He reached forward and pulled the lid back. Within the simple wooden box was an icon carved from obsidian, a stylised letter “I” surmounted by a pearlescent rendering of a skull. Cristus reached in and retrieved the icon.
Bachius closed the box with a click of wood on wood and nodded to Cristus. "The Ordo Xenos has need of your skills, Brother Achellion."
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Re: Brother Cristus Achellion of the Ultramarines

Post  Dan on Wed May 11, 2011 12:30 am

Excellent, now post your new part
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Part 2

Post  chrispcarter on Wed May 11, 2011 12:31 am

It was a simple thing really; a door of thick wood. A fine door, it must be said - hand carved and finished to a very high standard, yet reinforced by metal beams and extremely durable. What it represented, however, was far more complex. It was the last barrier between Cristus and an uncertain journey, the commencement of which had left him feeling a level of uncertainty he had not experienced for many years.

The doorway was flanked by a statue on either side, their features carved indelibly into his memory; even if he had lacked the eidetic memory shared by all Astartes, he had passed them often enough in his life as a Space Marine to have gained familiarity with them both. Set into recesses at the end of the corridor, the two Ultramarines heroes depicted in white marble seemed to appraise all who entered or exited through the door which stood before him. Both statues were in the image of previous Captains of the Fifth Company, which was only fitting considering Cristus stood before the main entrance and exit from the Fifth's barracks on Macragge - it was only fitting any who should enter were subjected to their stern gaze. Thinking of the statues brought to mind Captain Galenus, and the summons he had answered from him the day before.

***
Achellion entered the Captain's audience chamber, his helmet held in the crook of his arm. Curiosity caused him to glance about. The large room was well appointed – if in a spartan fashion – and was theoretically for use by the Fifth's Captain for conducting official business and granting audiences, but in reality it was used very rarely, for Galenus generally preferred to be out amongst his men, and the Fifth generally spent so little time stationed on Macragge that they received few visitors. A throne dominated the far end of the room, and whilst it was expertly made and artful in its way, it had clean lines and detailing clearly intended to honour a warrior king rather than overdone ostentation meant puff up the ego of a self-important despot.

The throne was vacant; Galenus was instead found standing in front of one of the banners which adorned the walls of the chamber, staring up at it intently. Cristus recognised it instantly; it was the banner that recognised the sacrifice of those from the Fifth lost aboard The Indomitable, the Ramillies-class star fort which had been the charge of the Fifth to protect until it had been overrun by a force of Iron Warriors and renegades known to be many times the size of the Ultramarine garrison. It was a source of much sadness amongst his company, and by extension the Chapter, that the manner of their demise was not known, however Cristus knew that his Brothers would not have allowed the Indomitable to fall without one hell of a fight, and that every Ultramarine who had fallen would have done so with the Primarch watching over him.

Even lost in introspection, Galenus was every inch an exemplar of what it meant to be an Ultramarine – his stance straight, unaffected by the suit of artificer crafted power armour he wore, his head held high, the piercing green eyes set into his patrician features, the grey gradually appearing in the black of his hair at the temples only seeming to enhance his natural air of authority. The eye was naturally drawn to the battle honours and decorations which Galenus sported affixed to his armour, though whilst Cristus had had little opportunity to check for himself, it was said that the Captain of the Fifth refused any battle honours granted to him as an individual – all the honours that adorned his plate honoured the company as a whole. It spoke volumes of the selflessness and dedication to his men that their Captain clearly felt was essential to his role.

"My Captain?" Cristus enquired softly. Galenus would have known he was there - no Space Marine could be so easily taken unawares - however the Captain seemed lost in his reverie until Cristus spoke. He turned slowly to face his visitor. "Brother Achellion." He paused, and smiled. "Cristus. It's good to see you." Cristus was somewhat taken aback by his Captain's familiarity but he managed to hide it well - "And you, my Captain." He replied, with a quick half bow common to those of the company. Galenus placed his hand on Cristus' pauldron, and seemed to appraise him with a glance. "I wanted to speak to you before tomorrow, as I find such events all too formal, and there are things I would speak to you of that are not suited to such a gathering." Brother Achellion stumbled over his reply, unused to being singled out in such a way by the leader of his Company "I - I am yours to command Captain, and I welcome anything you would say." Galenus laughed gently, his easy camaraderie breaking down the awkwardness Cristus felt. "Do not worry, Brother Achellion. This is no court martial or senate hearing. I simply wanted to offer you some advice from one who has trod the path you find yourself upon."

He gestured around himself with a sweep of his arm. "The fifth are your Brothers and your family, and by extension so are the Chapter. Even outside of the Chapter, you find the citizens of Ultramar, the noblest I have come to know in all of my travels across the Imperium. Truly, our Primarch created an amazing thing in Ultramar, and to appreciate fully the legacy which we represent is perhaps the most fulfilling part of being an Ultramarine." As always when he heard Caito Galenus speak, Cristus was rapt. The Captain was a masterful speaker, though his words always seemed to be natural rather than rehearsed, and Cristus had been told that was as effective when trading good-natured jibes with his sergeants as he was debating at the senate - and it was easy to believe for any who had spoken with the Captain. He was a force of personality as well as a sublime warrior, and Cristus could think of no finer warrior to lead a company of Ultramarines.

"My point," he continued, adding in a low voice "-and I do have one-" smiling again, "is that you are going out into a much larger galaxy, and you need to be aware that things are going to be very different. You have dealt with other citizens of the Imperium, it is true, and other military, even other Chapters - but you have always done so in the company of your fellows. I know myself that it makes a difference to find oneself divorced from those he calls Brother."
Cristus felt a weight he had not known was there lifting from his heart as Galenus' words rang true. "I must admit I am concerned that I will find myself ill at ease being separated from my Brothers - the Chapter has been my home for as long as I can remember, and Ultramar before that. We have seen great sorrow of late-" they both glanced towards the banner "-but I know my place and my duty when I am in Ultramar. I merely hope the same rings true once I am at the behest of the Ordo Xenos." Galenus nodded to Cristus. "I have been in your place, Brother Achellion, and though I cannot speak of my experiences - a frustrating fact we accept when called to the Deathwatch - I can offer you some advice and some encouragement."

Galenus gestured to the throne and the seats arrayed to the sides and before it, and he spoke as he walked towards it. "First, some advice. Dealing with the average citizens of the wider Imperium can be difficult, but it can be the least of your challenges. They are used to a harsh lot, as is the reality of the wider Imperium. A kindness or a measure of respect can be all it takes to gain their trust. That said, do not expect the same level of nobility you will experience in a citizen of Ultramar - for you will find it only rarely. Those who display the loyalty and spirit you might seek, protect them, for it is such as they who are the glue that holds humanity together." Galenus sat on the throne, and waved to a seat to its side, which Cristus duly sat on. "You are also likely to have extended dealings with members of other Imperial organisations such as the Administratum, Mechanicus, the Imperial Guard and the Ordos. Be careful, as their servants are as diverse as the worlds of the Imperium itself. You will come to know those who will help, who will hinder, and those whose attention should be avoided altogether - and you should remember them well."

Cristus nodded slowly. As a squad leader, he was used to leaving such diplomacy to his Sergeant, but he had had some experience of dealing with normal humans and was aware of what his Captain was talking about, if not experienced in the way Galenus obviously was. The Captain then sighed slowly, as if carefully considering what he was going to say next. "Then we have other Chapters of Space Marines. You have fought alongside others before, I know, but generally we tend to stick to our own objectives and meet only on the fields of battle or in shared celebration. You will find a difference to how things work whilst seconded to the Deathwatch. When separated from our parent Chapters, Space Marines tend to come to personify them more than ever." He chuckled, as if recalling a fond memory "Until I found a balance, I was quoting the Codex at every turn and trying to coerce those of less... observant Chapters to behave as if they had trained in the Agiselus Barracks!"

He leaned in and raised a finger, making it clear an important point was to be made. "Do not try to make them Ultramarines, for they are not. Those who share the blood of Guilliman may hold true to our ideals - they may not. Others may be even more difficult still. I suggest you ask your Brothers for the benefit of their experiences whilst you have time. For my part, I can tell you that the descendants of Leman Russ respect a man who can hold his drink - though they use the term "drink" very loosely in my experience - and can tell a good tale. I'm sure you will figure it out soon enough though."

Galenus opened his hand and it seemed he waved off the topic. "Enough of this talk anyway, I think you understand what I have told you. To more pleasant matters - some encouragement." He held his hand to his mouth, a mischievous smirk behind it as he regarded Cristus at length. "I have debated whether I should tell you this or not, but I was planning on promoting you." Cristus' heart swelled but he kept his expression blank. "You're a natural leader as well as good at carrying out your orders. You have a keen grasp of tactics, as well as good ability to interpret the work of Guilliman and to adapt on the fly. I had hoped to give you a squad, but my loss is the Ordo's gain, I suppose."
Cristus felt humbled. "Thank you, my Captain, your praise does me a great honour, and I will try to live up to your faith in me, wherever I may find myself."

The Captain smiled at him again. "See that you do, I plan to promote you as soon as you return to us and there is a position available. I have great faith you will do us proud, and I want you to go forth knowing you have the full support of the fifth." He looked to a chest that sat to the side of his throne, gesturing for Cristus to open it. "To that end, I would have you take some of our history with you."
Cristus opened the large chest as requested, and his eyes widened as he did so. Within were several power armour components, though they were clearly of an older mark than Cristus' own suit.

There was a pair of greaves of the Mark V design, with the studded appearance caused by the heavy bolts which were used to hold the layered armour together. There was also a shoulder pad which carried the inverted omega of the Chapter symbol; however it lacked the neat rims of later power armour designs, placing it as a Mk IV, V or VI component. Beside these lay a pair of power armour gauntlets of clearly exquisite craftsmanship, every carefully crafted line clear and no sign of age upon them. Cristus recognised them as being of Mk IV origin.
"Captain, I- this is too great an honour for me, I-" Galenus waved him to silence. "You take the legacy of the Fifth with you, Brother Achellion, and these relics will remind you of that. I know you will fight all the harder to live up to their heritage."
Cristus bowed his head before looking his Captain in the eye. "You have my word on it my Captain; I will uphold the honour of the Fifth as my own, as I have always striven to do.”
"I know you will, Brother Achellion. Know that Guilliman, The Chapter and the Fifth will go with you. Now, take the armour and fit it to your own. Then go and spend your last night amongst your Brothers. Talk with them and learn from each of them what it is to be an Ultramarine. Take what you learn with you when you go out into the dark places and keep it - and this-" he pointed the copy of the Codex Astartes which Cristus kept bound to his power armour "-in your thoughts, and you may just come back alive to lead that squad I've promised you."

***
Brother Achellion reached out and grasped the thick door handle in his hand, the new gauntlet drawing his eye. They felt more precise and quicker than his previous ones - more than he had thought possible for power armour, and he already felt that he would be able to wield his gladius with greater precision than previously. They and his new greaves and pad had also drawn the eye of his Brothers, and he felt a great pride that he wore them as he left to join the Deathwatch. He turned the handle and pulled the door towards him, feeling ready and worthy under the statues' stares as he walked out into the Macraggian sun. As he trod the well-fitted flags, he saw those of the Fifth Company who were on Macragge lined both sides of the path, forming an honour guard for Achellion's departure.

A short distance away, an Aquila lander in matte black sat idling on a landing pad; clearly Achellion's transport to whichever ship had been tasked with bringing him to the Watch Station he had been assigned to. At his emergence his Battle Brothers held their bolters in a salute, moving as one in perfect synchronicity. It warmed his heart and he looked forward to when he would be among them again. He strode proudly forward between his Brothers until he reach the end of their ranks and Captain Galenus, who stood in his path. The Captain nodded to Cristus and he bowed in return.

"Brother Achellion, go forth in the name of Guilliman. Remain always an Ultramarine." He grasped Achellion's wrist and he reciprocated, a familiar warrior's greeting. Then Galenus stepped to the side, and Cristus continued on until he reached the lowered boarding platform of the transport. He made a conscious effort not to look back as it raised up, the sides of the ship closing around him.
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Re: Brother Cristus Achellion of the Ultramarines

Post  Dan on Wed May 11, 2011 12:48 am

Nice work again mate, especially liked the little heart to heart he had with his captain about being aware of how other chapters do things.

That's going to seem like sound advise when you try &work with the Fenrisian, Angels & Templars, they're all nuts

Be warned, once Carlo finds out you wrote an ace story about how your character has different armour, he'll go crying to Rob & get it taken off you... because he's a dick
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Re: Brother Cristus Achellion of the Ultramarines

Post  chrispcarter on Wed May 11, 2011 1:17 am

Cheers Smile

I thought the reference to talking to his Brothers is something I can go back to, having him remember the advice he received from different Ultramarines on the various Chapters they have had dealings with.

Heh, anyone complaining about my armour would be daft since the bonuses from most of it are mainly applicable to squad mode and squad abilities. Plus Rob has already Okayed it all Laughing
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Re: Brother Cristus Achellion of the Ultramarines

Post  R.I.K on Wed May 11, 2011 1:37 am

Dan wrote:Be warned, once Carlo finds out you wrote an ace story about how your character has different armour, he'll go crying to Rob & get it taken off you... because he's a dick
LMFAO!

Nice read, I really enjoyed reading it from start to finish, always hooked and I kept a solid interest. I also loved the Captain as a character, very warming and fun, especially for a Space Marine.
Great work! Wink
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Re: Brother Cristus Achellion of the Ultramarines

Post  Dan on Wed May 11, 2011 1:40 am

R.I.K wrote: I also loved the Captain as a character, very warming and fun, especially for a Space Marine.
Great work! Wink

Aye that's a switch from the grumpy, dark mother fuckers we're used to
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Re: Brother Cristus Achellion of the Ultramarines

Post  chrispcarter on Wed May 11, 2011 1:43 am

Thanks, much appreciated!

Galenus is going to be very much at the core of how Cristus will be as well, Galenus is very much the core of the 5th and his command style makes a big impression on his men, so Cristus will display similar traits, especially when he finds himself in a commanding role.

I just hope he doesn't end up depressed spending time with the "Grumpwatch Mope-team"
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Re: Brother Cristus Achellion of the Ultramarines

Post  R.I.K on Wed May 11, 2011 1:52 am

chrispcarter wrote:I just hope he doesn't end up depressed spending time with the "Grumpwatch Mope-team"

That'll sadly be more than likey, along with:
"My planet is DEAD!"

"I burned my Mother... ALIVE!"

"Luthor, don't be such a DICK!"
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Re: Brother Cristus Achellion of the Ultramarines

Post  chrispcarter on Wed May 11, 2011 1:57 am

Heh, true - it'll be like being Iron Man in a room full of Batmans.
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