Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

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Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  chrispcarter on Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:31 pm

Satisfied and calmed by the words he had read, Cristus went to close the book he was holding, a subtly worn but well cared for tome. On a whim, he let the book fall open at a page he knew well, but often returned to. His power armoured thumb settling into a worn patch that revealed a routine followed hundreds of times before. His eyes scanned across the text as though absorbing it anew, yet the words were ingrained on his memory and, if he was honest, upon his very being.

“They shall be pure of heart and strong of body, untainted by doubt and unsullied by self-aggrandisement. They will be bright stars in the firmament of battle. Angels of Death whose shining wings bring swift annihilation to the enemies of Man. So it shall be for a thousand times a thousand years, unto the very end of eternity and the extinction of mortal flesh.”

They were the words of Roboute Guilliman, some of the most famous and the most oft-repeated by those with no understanding of their import. Every time Cristus read them, they felt like reaffirmation of his purpose and a reinforcement of his faith and his duty. So the Primarch had written of the Astartes, so he would ever aspire to be.

He closed the book softly and returned it to the leather holder attached to his armoured torso. So armoured, he stood up from the heavy chair he had been sitting in and crossed his chambers, picking up his helm from his desk and mag-locking it to his belt, then taking his bolter from the weapons rack next to the door and locking it at his back beneath his power supply. He already bore his bolt pistol and combat blade –he had found that he increasingly preferred to remain armoured and armed at all times, ready for any deployment required of the Kill-Team. Fully prepared, he left his quarters and headed for the Agamemnon’s strategium, his progress down the Battle Barge’s corridor unhurried, but not slow.

Perhaps he had tarried slightly after receiving the summons from Helikaon, but Cristus was confident he would not be the last of the Kill-Team to arrive. His quarters were relatively close to the strategium and he was sure there were others in the team who would display far less regard for the request to attend on their Watch-Captain. As he ate up the distance to his destination, Cristus’ only companions were the ring of his power armour boots against the deck plates, and the background noise of a ship’s engines and systems, which he had long learned to filter out, a task made almost unconscious through the larraman’s ear but honed to perfection from years spent in transit to warzones, patrolling Ultramar and the surrounding regions onboard rapid strike vessels and garrisoning the Indomitable.

Still, the relative silence was unnerving. An Adeptus Astartes Battle Barge should have been teeming with serfs, Space Marine crew and those being transported, not a ghost ship where one could walk for miles without encountering another soul. The ship was fully crewed, that was sure, but the crew were barely ever seen away from their stations, and interaction with them was close to nonexistent beyond the boundaries of operational requirements. The lack of other Astartes was even more unsettling. An Ultramarines Battle Barge would rarely be found without at least a full company on board, and could carry as many as three when the situation dictated it. Being on them was akin to being in Ultramar itself, and the memories of travelling on such vessels brought a smile to Cristus’ face. It faded quickly however, and the gold-edged tapestries, proud statues and banners he saw in his mind’s eye were replaced once more with the unadorned gunmetal and matt black bulkheads of the Ordo Xenos ship.

He had reached the door to the strategium, and it opened without a sound before him. He entered the room, saluting to Helikaon as he did so, which the brutish-looking Minotaur Captain replied to with a nod, waiting patiently for the team. As he had suspected, Cristus had been the first to arrive, though as he took his place in the room the rest of the team filed in.

Cristus allowed his gaze to drift over each of them as they entered and took their places around the room. The battle-scarred and dour Emperor’s Scythe, Memnon, stood back from everyone else - as he always seemed to, his self imposed isolation as evident from his demeanour as his positioning. His eyes, one organic, one augmetic, flicked around the room slowly, and as it settled on him Cristus felt as though he were in a target lock. He nodded to Memnon, though the Scythe simply looked away.

The young Space Wolf, Haakon, displayed the ever present aura of barely restrained motion. He rocked almost imperceptibly from side to side where he stood, and Cristus couldn’t help but grin as it brought to mind an excitable pup. The wolf grinned back, baring the fangs that were his chapter’s trademark.

Next to him, as if standing watch over the frenetic Sky Claw, the craggy Wolf Scout, Jorvik, stood completely still, as if he was a statue hewn from granite. He was the only one of the team not in power armour, clad instead in the scout armour that he wore as part of his role as scout. He had the palpable air of a veteran, and Cristus could detect an undercurrent of irritation at his younger Chapter-mate’s impatience and hyperactivity.

The Black Templar Apothecary, Luthor, wore a scowl that seemed as if it was a permanent fixture. It appeared this mission would be their first time to fight side by side, and regardless of his apparent choler, Cristus was glad to have an Apothecary along with them in case of injuries, or the need to have gene-seed harvested if any of his Brothers fell in battle.

He knew that there was another Templar who had been attached to their Kill-Team from time to time, that one a Techmarine, but Cristus had not encountered him yet and it looked like this would not be the time for that to change.

Then there was another Assault Marine, marked out as such by his jump pack. As he turned, Cristus looked to the Marine’s chapter symbol, the winged sword marking him as a Dark Angel, much like the currently absent Brother Aslan, though this new arrival sported the more traditional green background to the symbol, rather than the black sported by the heavy weapons trooper. Cristus hoped that this son of the Lion would be able to fight alongside Haakon, as their similar roles would likely dictate, despite the well known enmity between their parent Chapters. He also realised that the squad appeared to be light on support weapons for this engagement, something which he may need to address depending on the nature of their mission.

Finally, Cristus’ gaze settled on the psyker. He felt his jaw clench and felt the servos within the finely crafted gauntlets he had so recently received tighten. He looked away, but he saw the Blood Angel smirk at him out of his peripheral vision. Cristus just hoped that the unpredictable Librarian would show more restraint on whichever mission awaited them, as he was not sure how long he could tolerate needless endangerment of the rest of the team, and more importantly, their missions.

Content that they were all assembled, Helikaon activated the hololith projector set into the strategium’s table to begin the briefing. An image of a world coalesced out of thin air, a world enshrouded by some kind of twisting clouds. Recognition flashing across his features, Cristus knew instantly that this was no cloud of gas or simple astrological phenomenon. The coruscating patterns and the… wrongness… of the clutching tendrils could be only one thing - an encroachment on real space by the foul non-matter of the empyrean.


Last edited by chrispcarter on Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  Dan on Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:40 pm

Nice work mate, I think you've captured the lack of trust & level of contempt within the team perfectly.

So has Spam decided upon being a Dark Angel then?

Loved the part about Memnon, I think you captured him perfectly. This was the first Mission that Memnon wore Novis' skull, maybe you could mention that too.

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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  chrispcarter on Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:56 pm

Yes it's quite worrying isn't it?

He was certainly a Dark Angel for this mission, whether that will continue or not... well we will have to see.

You and your skull. I'll mention that later on.

This is just the start, there is more to come but I need some details from Richie as to names of people / planets / systems as my memory is not so good!
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  Dan on Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:12 pm

From memory.

Planet: Fate IV
Inquisitor: BadWolfe
Body Guard: Harriot Storm

DW Alpha Kill Team
Chaplain, Adrius, Exorcists
LangFang,Tirrium, Spacewolf
Tactical, Borrius, Black Templar
Assault, Angelo, Flesh Tearer
Tech Marine, Quirrian, Imperial Fist
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  R.I.K on Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:01 pm

Dan wrote:From memory.

Planet: Fate IV
Inquisitor: BadWolfe
Body Guard: Harriot Storm

DW Alpha Kill Team
Chaplain, Adrius, Exorcists
LangFang,Tirrium, Spacewolf
Tactical, Borrius, Black Templar
Assault, Angelo, Flesh Tearer
Tech Marine, Quirrian, Imperial Fist
Not to be a dick, but...

• Inquisitor Badwolfe.
• Inquisitor Harriet Storm.
• Brother Chaplain Andreas, of the Exorcists Chapter.
• Brother Tyrian Greywolf, Devastator Marine of the Space Wolves Chapter.
• Brother Boreas, Tactical Marine of the Black Templars Chapter. (Deceased)
• Brother Angelo, Assault Marine of the Flesh Tearers Chapter.
• Brother Quirion, Tech Marine of the Imperial Fists Chapter.

Wink

EDIT:
Forgot to comment. XD

Good read, Chris. I wasn't too confident in my mission so I didn't expect a written report, I feel honoured. Very Happy
I look forward to reading more, good work!
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  chrispcarter on Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:28 pm

Cheers, you may change your mind when you see what I write though haha.

Ask, and ye shall receive...


“This,” Helikaon began, “is Fate Four. As you can see, it’s currently in the grip of a severe warp storm, and has been for some time. Your mission is to investigate what happened one of your fellow Kill-Teams, who we lost contact with immediately after they arrived on the surface.”

Cristus was immediately intrigued by this. The search and rescue of another Kill-Team… whatever could have neutralised them would have to be a potent threat. “What was their mission?” he asked, hoping for some insight as to what may have happened to them.

Helikaon scowled. “That is classified. I can’t tell you any details of their mission, only who they are. Our guests may be able to give you more details.”

At that, the doors to the strategium opened again. If he had been wearing his helmet, Cristus would have rolled his eyes at the melodrama of it all, but it was he kept his expression straight as the two newcomers entered the room.

Experience told Cristus that the first of them was undoubtedly an Inquisitor. The more eccentric members of the Ordos often seemed to have a dint towards bizarre apparel, and this one definitely fell into that category. He wore a tight-fitting, black bodyglove and, more bizarrely, a fully enclosed gas mask that covered his entire head, meeting the bodyglove at his neck, leaving no flesh exposed at all. His appearance certainly matched the theatricality of his well timed entrance.

His companion was female, and wore power armour of an archaic style, fitted and slight, rather than bulky and powerful like Astartes armour - possibly marking her as a Battle-Sister of the Adeptus Sororitas, though their members were more commonly seen in the company of Inquisitors of the Ordo Hereticus rather than the Ordo Xenos. She certainly did not carry herself like an Inquisitor, but Cristus made no assumptions were the Ordos were concerned.

The Watch Captain introduced them as an Inquisitor Badwolfe of the Ordo Xenos and his “colleague” Harriet Storm. It had been this Inquisitor who had deployed the previous Kill-Team, and it was made clear that Badwolfe and his companion would be accompanying the recovery effort.

Though his knowledge of individual Inquisitors was generally limited to those he had encountered previously, he had heard mention by the crew and the other Deathwatch marines on the Agamemnon that Badwolfe was a particularly ruthless breed, and it was said he was particularly protective of his visage, going so far as to have had anyone who had seen his bare face killed. It smacked of gossip and exaggeration to Cristus, but he would be wary of the Inquisitor nonetheless, his bloody reputation seeming to make the overblown theatricality of his presumably carefully selected assumed name and apparel somewhat unnecessary.

Cristus had to battle yet further to keep his expression neutral. It was bad enough to have to deal with some of the more rebellious elements of his team, now he had to babysit an at least borderline homicidal Inquisitor, and would no doubt be expected to cater to his every whim, no matter how unnecessary or unwise.

The one useful thing Badwolfe could have brought to the briefing, operational knowledge, refused to materialise. He was absurdly tight-lipped about the previous team’s objectives, and seemed to know very little of the situation on the planet. All that was revealed was that the system had previously been an Imperial world but had been abandoned hundreds of years ago, and had assumedly remained so. That the sudden interest in the supposedly dead world seemed to occur so shortly after the powerful warp storm now assailing it had manifested was too much of a coincidence for the Ultramarine to ignore.

Cristus grew increasingly frustrated as the lack of solid answers to questions raised by the team made it clear that they were essentially flying blind into a likely hostile situation with no intelligence, no idea of what they were facing and no clues as to the fate of the previous team – not to mention the fact that the warp storm left them with little to nothing in the way of communication, no operational orbital support and only one viable landing site on the entire planet, forcing the team to make planet fall in a Thunderhawk transporter and travel in Rhino APCs to the facility that the other team were most likely located at.

A consultation of the Codex Astartes would decry the matter as folly. He almost said as much, however he knew that Helikaon likely agreed with him, and that as members of the Deathwatch they were bound to the will of the Inquisition, no matter how unfathomable it may be.

He could tell that at least some other members of the team were almost as annoyed by the lack of information provided – Errata particularly seemed to push the Inquisitor for answers – but it was to no avail. Cristus just hoped that once they were on the surface, the Inquisitor would provide them with information they needed before the lack of knowledge endangered his team, and that Badwolfe didn’t interfere too much with his command of the team, as tenuous as it was at times.

The briefing mercifully drew to an end, Helikaon telling them to prepare immediately. Cristus quickly saluted to the Captain and nodded to the Inquisitor. As soon as he turned away from them to face the entrance, his face set into a deep scowl. It seemed ridiculous that a discussion with an Inquisitor could make all out war with the Iron Warriors seem pleasant by comparison.
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  Dan on Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:04 pm

Good work Chris,

Love how we're never told anything... you'll be fine lads, off you go

Richie, I wasn't too far off with the names, considering it was all from Memory :-)
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  chrispcarter on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:08 am

Dan - I don't know what you mean, our intel is always comprehensive and accurate.

Here's a bit more - it's working well for me doing this in smaller chunks, so I will probably continue to do so.

***

In a strange contrast to the coruscating morass of warp energy strangling Fate IV, the trip down in the Thunderhawk Transporter was very smooth. The crewing of the ship was being handled by other Deathwatch Marines, leaving Cristus free to sit in the hold with the rest of the team – not a situation he was sure was to his benefit. He was going over the mission brief and running over potential combat situations in his head, his weapons stowed and sitting in his drop harness as the Codex dictated. The others were not all so disciplined, and though most of them sat in their harnesses, their idiosyncrasies were as plain as ever.

Memnon was holding the skull of the traitor Novis - which he insisted on taking everywhere - in the palm of his hand and staring at it intently. His other hand rested on his bolter, which he held across his lap. The two Space Wolves were sat opposite each other, and Jorvick was scowling at Haakon, though it was clear from Haakon’s expression that he had no idea why. Having seen no interchange between the two, Cristus assumed it was simply something Haakon had done or was doing that annoyed Jorvick, and the Wolf Scout had not seen fit to enlighten the Sky Claw as to what it was.

The Dark Angel was sitting in his restraint with his helmeted head tilted back, saying nothing. He had been remarkably taciturn, and it didn’t seem it would change anytime soon - Cristus was already considering nicknaming him Mute. That thought brought a smile to his face, his amusement hidden behind his helmet.

The smile faded quickly as his eyes fell upon Luthor. It wasn’t the Templar himself which caused this; it was following the line of sight from the Templar’s eye lenses. The Apothecary’s unwavering scrutiny tracked the Blood Angel as the Librarian stood at the front of the passenger hold, out of his restraints, as though gazing out through the hull – which he may well be doing for all Cristus knew. Without even trying, the Ultramarine could picture the self-satisfied smirk that would be plastered all over the Psyker’s features.

He again felt a sense of detachment brought about by the lack of trust and brotherhood amongst the team. He had deployed in Thunderhawks dozens of times before, and this uneasy silence had never been something he had experienced amongst those of his Chapter.

He glanced over to the Inquisitors, wondering if they had similar feelings about the Kill-Team, but the Inquisitor appeared to be uninterested – Badwolfe was scrolling through a compact data slate – Storm, on the other hand was ostensibly looking over the Kill-Team, but Cristus noticed that her glance flicked back to Badwolfe repeatedly. The sign of a good bodyguard? Perhaps. He was still unsure of exactly what her role was, knowing that it was not impossible that she was also an Inquisitor, but so far it seemed much more likely she was a bodyguard for Badwolfe.

The voice of the pilot suddenly came over the vox, dispelling Cristus’ mood and his train of thought. “Touchdown in five seconds. No threats detected, prepare for disembarkation.”

There was a light lurch as the Thunderhawk’s landing gear absorbed the weight of the craft. As soon as it had settled Cristus and the others released their harnesses and made for the egress hatch, which opened smoothly and without a sound. As the squad deployed, Haakon leaping through the hatch and slamming down into the dirt of the planet, followed immediately by the silent Dark Angel in a more graceful fashion, then by Cristus himself and Memnon, both with their weapons raised, scanning the immediate area for threats. Then came Jorvick, shaking his head disapprovingly at something, but his movements instinctively those of a veteran nontheless. Errata followed, dropping to the ground and walking over to the Rhinos which had just been released by the Transport, paying no attention to his surroundings. Luthor disembarked more carefully, though it was clear he was still keeping half an eye on the Librarian as he did so. The Inquisitor and his companion came last, using the footholds on the Thunderhawk’s hull as a necessity for those not the size of Astartes.

The Inquisitor seemed content to let the mission proceed under Cristus’ direction, so he split the team between the two Rhinos and then they set off, the growl of the tank engines replacing the descending whine of the Transporter’s idling jets. As they departed, Cristus glanced out of the hatch, watching the Thunderhawk recede against the backdrop of deep grey rock, the savage, barren landscape rendered in disturbing purple hues as a result of the tainted skies. He slammed the hatch shut.


Last edited by chrispcarter on Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  Dan on Tue Jun 14, 2011 5:55 am

Nice work mate, Memnon normally sharpens his combat blade on a descent to a planet, but he must have been distracted by his knew toy. Needless to say Memnon was portrayed very well.

Idiosincratic (a touch mental), but professional when deploying for battle. almost like he doesn't know how to behave when he's not in combat, but becomes an efficient Astartes Battle brother when deployed.

Just one thing though, Jorvick didn't deploy from the ThunderHawk
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  chrispcarter on Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:12 am

He was trying to have a conversation lol

...and yes he did, you just failed you awareness test.
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  chrispcarter on Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:59 am

The trip to the installation that the previous team had been sent to was relatively uneventful. They had passed through a long-deserted settlement with some odd signs of damage, but Cristus had decided to press on to the installation, the mission being of higher importance and unwilling to split his forces to investigate when both long and short range vox were down due to interference from the warp storm.

As they grew near to the installation, the scale on which it was built became shocking apparent, for it had not been built up from the ground but dug out of a mountain, a peculiarity of the planet’s geography creating a vast mountain completely surrounded by an incredibly deep ravine. The only access to the mountain was over a heavy bridge which led up from the ground, over the ravine and up to a set of heavy doors just visible where the bridge met the mountain side.

The APCs ground up the bridge with little effort, and thankfully the bridge was wide enough to accommodate them easily with plenty of room to spare on each side. Cristus watched the installation intently as they approached, but there were no visible signs of battle. Nor were there any signs of the passage of the previous team. They approached the loading doors of the installation at last, and Cristus ordered for the Rhinos to halt and most of the squad disembarked, approaching the doors cautiously on foot under cover from Memnon’s bolter.

The structure, or at least that of it that was visible, was fairly standard design for Imperial installations. The doors were shut and looked to heavy to be opened unpowered. There was an access control console in the usual location to the right of the door, Jorvick attempted to use it to open the doors, filling the role a Techmarine would have taken had one been present. He was less than happy when he activated some sort of machine-spirit that referred to itself as NAVI, and the Wolf Scout refused to interact with the program. It seemed very quick to offer assistance, opening the installation doors, but upon being queried, seemed to know nothing of the situation inside the installation, any questions causing it to return either that its data was missing or that the internal monitoring systems were inaccessible.

Not wanting to waste further time, the team proceeded inside, taking one of the APCs to speed progress but leaving one outside the doorway on Cristus’ orders, in case they needed it later as backup if anything happened to the first.

As they entered the installation, everything seemed fairly normal. They proceeded down several wide tunnels which seemed to be intended for used in the movement of cargo, a setup which would allow material to be sent in and out of the facility with little delay, hinting that manufacturing or refinement of materials had been carried out here at some point in the past. There was still no sign of any of the former inhabitants, the Kill-Team or what had happened to either of them. Everything looked almost… expectant, as if simply waiting for someone to start the installation off working again at any moment – an impression spoiled only by the thick layer of dust that pervaded. As they got further inside, they had to leave the Rhino and continue on foot, the bulky APC too large even for the wide access corridors of the installation. The Inquisitor and Storm came with them, though they left behind the heavy lifter servitors they had brought with them for some as yet unspecified purpose. As they moved on from the transport, there was finally some indication of life – footprints in the dust, made by Astartes in full armour. It was a sure sign of the other kill-team, and their first solid lead.

The footprints led around to an access door which opened into a service elevator. There was another door opposite the elevator, and Cristus ordered a quick check of what was there so that they could ensure they were secure. The door led down another set of access ways similar to those which the team had entered by, but instead of another bridge, the external doors looked out upon a series of landing pads, with some smaller flyers still present, all standard Imperial issue such as Aquila landers and even a Valkyrie gunship. A cursory examination showed that none of the flyers were in any state to be flown however, as all had vital parts missing or damaged. Satisfied that they were as secure as they could be, Cristus ordered the squad to return to the elevator.

The squad took up covering positions on the platform and Cristus gave the order to descend. The elevator ground to life and slowly sank down; carrying them deeper into the complex, following in the steps of the other team, whatever their fate had been…
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  chrispcarter on Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:09 pm

Thought I should do some more of this since I am starting to fall way behind... it's much easier to make stuff up than it is to remember it! Still nevermind, if it varies slightly we'll just say that's what Cristus forgot due to one of the many perils of the warp we've encountered.

***

Almost disappointingly, there were no apparent threats when they reached the next level. The elevator only seemed to go down one level, so the squad advanced cautiously once more. As they advanced into the complex, it became apparent that this floor was a more functional one, the signs and layout suggesting many rooms and workshops. The footsteps of the other team terminated at a closed door, and there was no obvious way to open it from where they were.

Cristus ordered the squad to continue through the complex. There were offices belonging to both an Inquisitor and Mechanicus Magos on this floor, either of which may provide the means to unlock the door. There was also a power distribution control room which may allow them to remotely activate it.

Since their squad to squad vox was non-functional, Cristus kept the squad together for now, and since the fate of the previous team was still unknown, they moved with maximum caution whilst he directed using battle-sign, keeping spoken communication to a minimum. Inquisitor Badwolfe simply followed along behind with his companion, seemingly uninterested in how the squad proceeded.

The first of the possible locations to release the door they came to was the power distribution control room. The room contained an access and control console, and that was about it. The squad covered from the corridor whist Cristus and Jorvick entered, the veteran activating the system to see what he could dig up.

Whilst the Space wolf was busy, Cristus spotted a key card of some type next to the terminal and picked it up. It wasn’t marked, so he wasn’t sure what it was for. It was possible it could unlock the ceramite door they had passed, but he wanted to finish checking out the rest of the accessible part of the floor first, so he placed the card into a pouch attached to his cingulum for now.

The illumination from the screen lit up the Wolf Scout’s face as he worked, concentration etched across his craggy features. It seemed at odds with his semi-feral appearance that he was able to use the cogitator so proficiently, but Cristus had already come to respect the Veteran’s abilities, even if he had no time for the teachings of the Codex.

“Generator is set to overload.” He reported at last. “May be able to stop it, not sure.” Cristus looked over the Space Wolf’s shoulder at the screen, but the readout meant little to him.
“Do what you can. I don’t want this place blowing up around us.” Jorvick nodded and tapped away at the keys for a little longer. “It is done, no problem.”
“Well done, Brother,” Cristus replied, “good work.” Jorvick just grunted, and the two of them left the room, waving on the rest of the squad to continue the sweep.

The next room they came to was the Magos’ workshop. The squad entered and quickly secured the room, a large space with two offshoot rooms, the Magos’ office and some kind of containment chamber accessed through an air lock. It also contained a service elevator, which seemed to go down to the next floor at least. He looked it over and saw a control panel with slots for three key cards. It made sense that one of them was the one he held, but it looked as if all three would be required to activate the lift.

Cristus signalled for the squad to hold position, and entered the Magos’ office, weapon held at the ready position. The room was as vacant as the rest, though there was a terminal in the corner of the room. It seemed to be of xenos origin, probably Eldar by the looks of it, but it had been jury rigged and adapted with Imperial technology. Cristus raised an eyebrow as he saw it, but he had a mission to complete. He accessed the console by tapping a few keys, but it was beyond his knowledge of cogitation devices. He called Jorvick in, and the Wolf Scout yet again proved his worth in such situations, managing to access a few basic systems. As he worked, something he had done caused a section of the wall to slide open with a whisper, clearly a secret compartment. It was a small space, just large enough for an Astartes, which held a ladder going down.

Cristus was about to ask Jorvick to investigate, but the Wolf Scout was already stepping in; climbing down the ladder quicker than Cristus could have in full armour. The Wolf Scout was gone for a few moments before reappearing with a shrug. “Tiny room, just big enough for one person.” He threw an item to Cristus, who caught it and turned it over in his hands. “This was in there.” It was a combat shield; a similar pattern to those used by Space Marines the galaxy over. It also appeared to incorporate some kind of digital weapon system, probably Jokaero in origin. Cristus strapped the shield to his arm for now. He would hand it in to the Iron Snake once they returned to the ship, but for now it was easier to wear it as intended than to carry it. He had spotted another key card on the desk in the Magos’ room, and he picked that up as well before turning to return to the main workshop.

Badwolfe was standing in the doorway. He was watching Cristus quite overtly, almost as one might study an interesting creature or the workings of a machine. Cristus stared back, irritated by the Inquisitor. Badwolfe tilted his head to the side slightly, then turned on his heel and walked back into the larger room. Cristus shook his head. The Inquisitor had barely said two words since the briefing back on the Battle Barge, and he just seemed content to skulk about, always two steps behind the team. Whatever it was he was after on this rock was clearly his only concern, and Cristus highly doubted he cared about the fate of the other Kill-Team.

As he returned to the main chamber, he immediately noticed that several of the team were not there. The Templar and the Dark Angel were studying the inactive servitors at the back wall, but the Scythe, the young Wolf and the Blood Angel were conspicuous in their absence. It seemed the two members of his team who were still present were unaware of the other’s disappearance. Cristus immediately went to toggle his inter-squad vox before he remembered it was non-functional. He walked over to Luthor. “Where are the others?” He demanded. Considering that they had been told of the apparent disappearances of the other team, he was worried that something similar may have happened to them. The Templar and the Dark Angel looked around, as confused as Cristus was. “I do not know, Brother.” Luthor replied. “I did not see them leave, though they may have left whilst we were securing the room.”

Cristus sighed inside his helmet. It was just as likely the others had wandered off as been neutralised by outside forces. He would have hoped of more from Memon, a fellow inheritor of Guilliman’s legacy, but the destruction of his Chapter and the years spent lurking on a hive ship seemed to have robbed the Scythe of his regard for brotherhood and the chain of command.

His immediate thought was that they had entered the airlock to the chamber behind the reflective window, and he gestured for Jorvick to follow him as he went to activate it. He signalled for the Apothecary and the remaining Assault Marine to stay were they were and keep watch – he didn’t want anyone else disappearing. The Inquisitor and Harriet Storm seemed uninterested, as he had come to expect.

As he and Jorvick entered the airlock, the doors cycled automatically and he felt the hiss of a vacuum as the inner door opened – it appeared the room within maintained negative pressure, designed to keep anything inside from escaping, rather than to keep anything from outside getting in. He entered the chamber, weapon held in a ready stance as always, Jorvick a half step behind. They instantly scanned the room for threats, but there was nothing apparent. It was just another room surrounded by a bench, with several workstations marked out, no doubt for use by Mechanicus acolytes in their studies.

The benches were full of xenos artefacts of different origins – Cristus recognised Ork weapons (though what could be gleaned by studying such junk was beyond him), some Eldar trinkets and some Tau technology, as well as something he recognised as Hrudii in origin, and some kind of gunmetal solid armour plate designed for a form much more short and squat that he, covered in intricate geometric patterns and detailed with what looked like gold. There was nothing of consequence or interest to him and no sign of the remainder of his squad, so he returned to the main chamber with Jorvick in tow, passing Badwolfe, who was again loitering in the doorway.

He shook his head to the others. “No sign of them, just some xenos artefacts - nothing relevant to the mission.” As he mentioned the artefacts, he saw Luthor’s helmet swivel towards the doorway he had just entered from. “Come on.” he continued. “The plan was to check the Inquisitor’s office next, so they may be there.”

They left the room and continued through the corridors, Cristus alert for any sight of his team or the previous as well as for any ambushers who may have taken either of them. He was halfway to the Inquisitors’ office when he heard the muffled crump of an explosion behind him. He span on his heel, weapon raised and searching for targets, but all he saw was the Templar jogging up to join them. He inclined his helmet to Luthor.
“Report!” He barked, getting a little tired of not knowing what his team were up to.
The Apothecary seemed unapologetic. “Suffer not the works of the Xenos”, was all he said, as if that was enough of an explanation. Obviously his zeal had gotten the better of him and he had seen fit to waste a krak grenade destroying a handful of alien junk. Cristus just turned and continued on his way. There was no benefit to getting into an argument with the Black Templar at present; they still had a mission to complete.
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  chrispcarter on Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:25 pm

Apologies if this has started to stray a little from actual events; I had enough trouble keeping track of the team during the game, nevermind a month later! Just call it poetic license Smile

***

The Inquisitor’s Office was a strange contrast to the rest of the facility’s Mechanicus-influenced austerity. As he walked in, Cristus felt as if he had suddenly been transported to the ship of a rogue trader or the palace of a planetary governor. The walls were panelled with wood, no doubt brought in from off world. There were portraits hung along the walls, illuminated by spotlights, and the soft carpet underfoot deadened the fall of his power armoured footsteps.

There was no indication of any recent occupancy; everything looked as if it had been undisturbed for some time. There was a stack of printed papers on a large desk, again made with expensive-looking fine grained wood. Cristus strode over to pick them up, but for once, Inquisitor Badwolfe actually took action, quickly moving to block the Ultramarine and picking up the papers himself. He then stood off to the side and began to look through them, offering no word of explanation or apology. Cristus glared at the Inquisitor behind his eye lenses, but continued with the sweep regardless. There was nothing of real interest aside from another key card; hopefully, he now had all three required to activate the service lift in the Magos’ workshop.

As he finished, he noticed Luthor studying one of the paintings; a family portrait by the looks of things, no doubt the Inquisitor and his family – likely all long-dead by now. Cristus walked to the Apothecary’s shoulder and saw that he was staring at the inscription on a plaque mounted underneath the picture. A quick glance around revealed that this was the only photo to bear such a plaque. It read:

“If you break me, I do not stop working.
If you touch me, I may be snared.
If you lose me, nothing will matter.”

Cristus’ brow furrowed. It was a strange thing to have as inscription on a family portrait. The Black Templar obviously thought so too. Cristus laid a hand on his arm lightly. “Brother?” he enquired.

The Templar did not move, but Cristus could feel his irritation at the contact, so he removed his gauntlet. “It is a riddle.” He replied at last. “The answer is the heart.”

It was strange that the Templar had noticed it so easily – it seemed almost poetic, and he would not have expected that, given the usual temperament of the crusader. As Luthor spoke the words, the wall suddenly released with a sigh and slid backwards and to the side, revealing a hidden chamber similar to that in the Magos’ office – obviously they had been designed either as a group effort, or by one of them without the knowledge of the others.

Luthor entered the small chamber without hesitation and returned a moment later, bearing a hand and a half sword before him. It was a power sword of an archaic pattern, covered in exquisite detail. It was clearly Imperial in origin, and it seemed to shine. It appeared to be a relic of a time long past, and to Cristus’ eye, it may even date back to the times of the Great Crusade, though he would not dare to suggest it out loud. The Templar seemed to hold it with reverence; such a holy relic would no doubt have a powerful effect on his faith-filled soul.

Cristus considered taking the sword from the Templar, but decided to let him keep it – none would defend it more vehemently that he. He just nodded to him and turned to leave the room. They had uncovered secrets and more mysteries so far, but they were still yet to make contact with the team – and now half of their Kill-Team was missing. Cristus just hoped they had not gotten into too much trouble.

As if someone was reading his mind, the sound of an explosion reverberated up the corridor. Cristus’ bolter snapped up as he moved immediately into the corridor, jogging towards the source of the sound, the rest of his party following close behind. It had come from the direction of the blast door that the other team had gone through.

As he rounded the corner, he saw that the doors had been breached; apparently from this side. He bounded into the doorway and skidded to a stop, raising his bolter and holding up a clenched fist to signal the rest of the squad to stop.

The room was pockmarked with bullet holes; the chunks torn out of the surface consistent with damage caused by standard issue bolter rounds. There were a pair of blast mark and scorching that looked like they were the result of frag grenade detonations, and a singe patch of the floor seemed to have melted and ran together in a way that would suggest a melta-weapon hit.

It wasn’t until after he had catalogued the variety of weapon impacts Cristus realised that although there were no bodies, there was blood all over the chamber, from streaks on the walls where it had run down to several puddles of it on the ground, one of which had birthed a trail of bloody footprints leading away from it – and the footprint was clearly that of an Astartes in full plate.
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  Dan on Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:57 am

Good work mate,

I like how Cristus is getting increasingly frustraited by the Kill Teams blatent dis-regard for the teachings of the codex.

And the fact the Badwolfe, doesnt seem to give a shit about anything.

Atleast Memnon redeems himself later:-)
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  chrispcarter on Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:09 am

lol well I've been posting this simultaneously on Librarium Online and one of the readers there described Cristus trying to command Alpha Team like this:

"reminding me a bit of those occasions when someone us put in charge of lots of small children and then realises none of them are doing what they are told."
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  chrispcarter on Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:57 am

MOAR

***

As Cristus followed the trail along the adjoining corridor through his bolter’s iron sight, he caught sight of Memnon and Haakon. The two of them were crouched next to the body of an Astartes in Deathwatch colours – a Black Templar, if the shoulder pad Memnon currently held was any evidence. His line of sight was then blocked by Errata, the Librarian striding from the corridor back into the room the rest of the squad now occupied.

Cristus lowered his weapon and looked to his Brothers. None of them commented on the other Marine’s leave of absence. He has furious at their lack of discipline, but he locked it away to deal with later. He would speak to Helikaon on their return to the Agamemnon, for all the good he felt it would do.

“Hmph. Look.” That was from Jorvick, and Cristus turned to see what he was indicating. A small anteroom from the room they now occupied was now open, and it appeared the Jorvick had forced the door. Behind it was a strange sight – a mess of cables and machinery which Cristus recognised as cogitators, and in the middle of it all, connected bodily to several of the cables, was a Deathwatch Techmarine, who was deathly still.

Momentarily forgetting about the dead marine up the corridor, Cristus stepped in for a closer examination. The Techmarine, an Imperial Fist, was still alive, despite first impressions. His armour readout was showing steady life signs and high brain activity. It was consistent with one of their ilk who was communing with a machine spirit, something the Ultramarine had seen before in the Ultramarines armoury and on missions when accompanied by Techmarines.

He was wary of trying to rouse the Techmarine, aware than those in a machine trance could sustain damage if the link was terminated abnormally. Cristus had a sudden thought. “NAVI?” he said, addressing the machine spirit which they had spoken to earlier.

“Yes Brother Achellion?” Came back the voice, still as upbeat and eager as before, but welcome. Cristus continued, “Are you in communion with our Brother-Techmarine here?”

There was a momentary pause, but then the voice responded with a hint of amusement. “Oh yes, we have been having a chat. He has been connected to the facility for quite some time now.”

Cristus sighed with relief. Finally, something was going their way. “Can you disconnect him without harming him? We need to speak to him.”

“Of course!” NAVI answered. “Just a moment!” A split second later, the Techmarine shuddered suddenly, and he gasped, as one might do when surfacing from underwater. His helmet tipped up as he took in the scene of the three Astartes crowding the doorway.

“Brothers!” He exclaimed. “I see we have been reinforced.” Cristus offered the Imperial Fist a hand to help him up from the tangle of cables, but he waved him off. “Give me a moment.”

Cristus had questions that needed answering, but the Techmarine’s connection to the facility brought one up immediately. “Was it you who set the facility’s power core to overload?” He shrugged, though whether it was as an expression or just him working stiff muscles, Cristus could not be sure. “I did. It was a failsafe, but your arrival here has hopefully rendered it unnecessary. I noticed it had been disabled, I was working to try to get some of the internal monitors back online to see who so I could decide what to do next. Your intervention, whilst unexpected, is most welcome.” He shifted then, and began to stand. Cristus proffered his hand again, but the Imperial Fist ignored it, standing smoothly amidst the tangle of the cogitator. He gestured to his sides. “This is the cogitator bank that contains the AI that runs the facility. Although its function seems to have degraded over the years and it has lost much of its control.”

He was unfamiliar with the term the Techmarine used, but Cristus assumed that the Techmarine was referring to the machine spirit they had spoken to. “Very interesting Brother,” he replied, “but I have pressing concerns at the moment. Can you tell us what has happened here?”

The Techmarine inclined his head to the side slightly. “We were attacked. I would have thought that was evident.”

Cristus caught himself about to say something insulting. It paid to remember that those who dedicated themselves to the Omnissiah were often lacking in social graces and had trouble communicating with those outside of their circle.

“Yes Brother,” he persisted, carefully, “but who attacked you?”

Pausing briefly, the Imperial Fist looked to his bolter, checking the round counter, the gesture one that looked like an unconscious habit. “Traitors. The Seventeenth…”

Cristus felt a fire of ancestral hatred light in his breast, and finished the Techmarine’s statement for him. “The Word Bearers.”
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  z4carlo on Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:46 am

Awsome mate! Ive been busy recently so have only just read this through from the start, sure glad i did though!

I think you have captured the team well and i actually realy enjoy reading it from cristus' viewpoint, ie allways catching up with those who ran off to do other stuff, well written.
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  chrispcarter on Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:16 am

Cheers mate Smile I must admit it's a struggle to write from memory rather than imagination - I think future reports will all just be reports or Cristus remembering the key moments with flashbacks - even attempting to get all the detail in is far too taxing for my brain!
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  Dan on Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:08 pm

Nice work mate, keep it coming

looking forward to the scrap!
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  chrispcarter on Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:10 am

PPPPLOTT DEVELOPMENTTTTTT!!!!

***

The Techmarine eventually introduced himself as Quirion, but didn’t give details of the other's team's encounter with the Chaos Space Marines - stating that the rest of the Kill-team could explain better - or what their mission had been. Cristus noted that he had glanced towards the Inquisitor at this point, but Badwolfe was as tight-lipped as ever. The Imperial Fist then led them to the offshoot corridor where Memnon and Haakon still stood over the corpse that was slumped next to the doorway into the facility’s chapel. It was a Black Templar as the Ultramarine had thought. Quirion evidently hadn’t known that the Templar had died. He identified him as Brother Boreas, and he paid his respects.

Once he had taken a moment, Quirion gestured to the doors. “The rest of my team were going to take refuge within the Chapel. They should still be inside.”

The Imperial Fist placed his hands on the doors and amplified his helmet vox. “Brothers, it is Quirion. I am with another team from the Agamemnon.”

There was no response from the other side, but there was the sound of heavy items being moved, and the doors began to shift slightly in their frame – clearly someone was removing a blockage from the other side.

One of the doors swung open slowly, revealing a small but well appointed chapel, in some disarray due to the overturned pews which had been assembled into a couple of blockades. Behind the altar at the rear of the room was a Space Marine from the other Kill Team, a Space Wolf with very large canines who held a Lascannon braced against the altar and squarely aimed at the doorway - until he caught sight of Quirion and lowered it. As the door swung open another Astartes came into view behind it. He was an assault marine, and his shoulder pad marked him as a Flesh Tearer. Recalling the mission brief, Cristus identified them as Tyrian Greywolf and Angelo.

They stepped inside the room slowly. Cristus glanced about nothing that Angelo and Greywolf were the only Marines in this room. “Where is Chaplain Andreas?”

Angelo snorted “Ah, the legendary banter of the heirs of Guilliman. Our Chaplain is in the Priest’s quarter.” He gestured with a thrust of his chainsword to the door at the back of the chapel. Cristus glowered inwardly, but remained calm, knowing that he was being goaded for a response, and refusing to give the Flesh Tearer the satisfaction. He simply nodded and made for the door. “My thanks… Brother.”

Cristus wanted to talk to the Chaplain, to get the story of what had gone on from the other team’s leader. He was shadowed by Badwolfe again, as he was in turn shadowed by Storm. As they crossed the Chapel, he heard Jorvick exclaim, a rare show of enthusiasm.

“Greywolf you old dog!” he shouted, “I can’t believe you aren’t dead yet!” Despite himself, Cristus grinned briefly as the two Wolves began a raucous discussion that sounded half banter, half argument. It seemed the old Wolf Scout could crack a smile when he wanted to.

The Ultramarine noted that by contrast, Haakon stood off to one side, feigning disinterest, but directing a glare at the pair when he thought no one was looking. Cristus found the undercurrent of tension between Haakon and Jorvick strange. If there had been a fellow Ultramarine on the team, Cristus knew it was more thank likely he would have been a close ally and a valued friend in the context of the Deathwatch, even if they had not know each other beforehand. He wasn’t sure whether the lack of comradeship between the Scout and Blood Claw was an issue of Jorvick’s or Haakon’s making, or if it was just intrinsic in their Chapter’s makeup, but he resolved to keep an eye on them both when he could.

Reaching the door and the back of the Chapel, Cristus pushed it open without preamble. Within was a room of decent size but Spartan furnishing. There was a bed and a scattering of possessions, and the other Kill-Team’s final member, stood hunched over a desk not built to Astartes scale. As Cristus entered he looked up.

Chaplain Andreas’ shaven head was criss-crossed with scars, and Cristus caught sight of some tattooing as well, the Aquila and other Imperial symbols as well of lines of script, but he only had a brief glimpse as the Exorcists Chaplain replaced his skull-helm before speaking. “Well met, Brother. I see Watch-Captain Helikaon has finally sent someone to look for us. I wasn’t sure if we were just being left to rot.” As Cristus stepped inside the room, Badwolfe entered behind him.

On seeing the Inquisitor, Andreas rose to his full height and seemed to growl. “You!” he exclaimed angrily. “You didn’t tell us what was going on here. One of my team is dead and the rest of us are lucky to be alive!”

Unthinkingly responding to the Exorcists’ aggression, Cristus quickly put himself between the Inquisitor and the Chaplain, his hands held open towards Andreas. “Calm Brother-Chaplain – what has happened?”

Before the other leader could respond, Badwolfe spoke, and Cristus was almost shocked to hear his voice again. “That is need-to-know. You,” he pointed to Andreas, “are aware of that, and you are sworn to serve the Ordo Xenos. You had a mission to accomplish. It is not accomplished yet. We will proceed.” The Inquisitor then stalked from the room, back into the Chapel, followed by his companion.

Andreas’ body language suggested he was incandescent with rage, but he managed to reign in his frustration. Slowly, he returned to a calm state, though he fixed the Inquisitor with a long stare before breaking off. He nodded to Cristus, and the Ultramarine swore inwardly at the lack of inter-squad vox – without the all-encompassing communication disruption caused by the warp storm, he would have been able to have a discussion with the Exorcist over a private vox-channel. They may have all sworn oaths to the Ordo Xenos, but the way this mission was going so far did not sit well with him at all; stumbling blindly about in an acknowledged hostile environment and being denied operational knowledge was tantamount to idiocy, and he could think of no advice in the Codex Astartes on how to proceed in such a frustrating situation apart from a tactical withdrawal until more could be learned about what was going on. Unfortunately the Inquisition did not follow the tenets of the Primarch’s work, so Cristus just resolved to remain flexible and prepared for any eventuality, as Guilliman taught.

As he turned to leave the smaller room, Andreas was at his shoulder. He spoke in a low voice. “You need to know this. We were here to retrieve something from the level below. We have been attacked by Lorgar’s bastard children and their cultist scum. We forced them to withdraw from this bottleneck, but they have not been defeated. They may just be biding their time before attacking again.”

Cristus nodded his thanks but said nothing. The Inquisitor did not seem to hear the exchange, or if he had, he did not care about the information that had been passed. They were already here trying to carry out his ‘mission’ – what did it matter if they knew what was happening? He spoke out loud to Andreas. “Thank you, Brother-Chaplain. Let us get this over with so that we can both get out of here.” The Chaplain nodded. “My team have already taken a mauling, and we have been running on their catalepsean nodes and faith for a while now, so if you are willing, your team can take point.” Cristus nodded back and proceeded out into the chapel, where the rest of the teams were standing about or keeping watch on the doorway.

At the return of the two squad’s leaders, both readied themselves for action. As Cristus watched, Memnon knelt before the altar and made the sign of the Aquila across his chest. On standing, he looked to the font to the side of the altar. Unsheathing his broad and heavy combat blade, the Emperor’s Scythe dipped the end of it in the font, letting the water roll along the length of the blade. He wrinkled his nose as he did so, and murmured “Promethium.” Cristus’ brow furrowed, and he looked to Andreas. “Your doing?” he asked, and the Chaplain shook his skull-helmed head. “No.”

Seemingly on a whim, Memon held his blade over the font and used a sharp motion from his gauntlet to strike a spark from the side of the blade. The spark struck the font and a low flame burst up, illuminating the room a little more but not providing much heat. More interestingly, as the lit, there came a low rumble from the altar, and the front portion of it ground down slowly, eventually revealing a series of steps which led down into a space which would be below the priest’s room.

Memnon stood and made to follow them down, but before he could, Errata suddenly barged past him without a word, not quite knocking the Astartes but still moving very quickly to get in his way. He thumped down the steps at speed. Memnon turned away from the steps, shaking his head minutely. Cristus thought he could pick up a low growl emanating from the Scythe’s helmet, but he ignored it.

The Blood Angel returned a moment later, delicately holding a large tome of some kind. It was leather bound and stamped with the Aquila, and it looked very old. It also had a metal framework surrounding it, which seemed to incorporate some sort of technology – Cristus’ helmet display picked up a power source projecting a field which encompassed Errata. The Librarian seemed little inclined to study it further at present, though his features looked even more smug than usual. He stowed attached the book to the side of his armour using the frame before moving away from the group towards the doors without a word.

Cristus looked to Memnon, and the Scythe shrugged, all but imperceptible in his armour. “Let the Librarian play with the book,” he rumbled, and held up his combat blade, looking at the light reflecting from the blade before inverting it and returning it to the sheath strapped to his left leg in one smooth motion. He then hefted his bolter. “I have all the tools I need.”

Relieved that the Scythe didn’t make an issue of the affront, Cristus gestured for the team to follow him, and brought up his weapon before proceeding back out into the corridor. If whatever it was that they sought was on the level below, then they would need to go back through the Mechanicus workshop and use the elevator there. Then they could get the objective - he refused to believe that retrieving the other team had ever been the Inquisitor’s true concern- and get back to the ship; the sooner, the better, as far as he was concerned.
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  Dan on Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:58 am

Really good work mate, I enjoyed that one very much.

It just show's why Memnon took such joy in dispatching Errata in his second incarnation as a Chaos Sorcerer!

It had been coming.

Your interpretation of Badwolfe certainly gives alot of character to the situation, well done mate.
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  z4carlo on Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:56 am

Great as ever, nice bit of artist licence makes us all sound more dignified than the near race to the item!
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  chrispcarter on Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:06 am

More artistic liecense to come, namely not mentioning Memnon falling on his arse, or calling Errata a tw*t!

***

Very aware that there were definite hostiles in the area, and expecting resistance any moment, the Kill-Team advanced up the corridor as a unit. Through emphatic signalling Cristus managed to form them into a Codex-inspired formation as they advanced, working as a unit for once now the threat of combat was near. The Inquisitor and Harriet Storm followed closely behind, and forming a rearguard was the other team, moving with practised ease despite their apparent fatigue.

It was a short advance to the Magos’ lab, however as they approached the large storage room which separated the lab from the corridor, Haakon signalled that he could sense others nearby. Cristus held up a clenched fist, bringing the squad to a halt, and battle-signed to Haakon for details. The reply, somewhat clumsily given, was that he could sense about twenty humans. Cristus nodded. It had to be the Cultists that Andreas had mentioned – there were assuredly no other Imperial forces on the planet.

Advancing cautiously, the team moved up. The door at the end of the corridor stood open, and they could see into the chamber beyond. Those whose scent Haakon had picked up were clearly just out of sight, obscured by the corridor wall. Cristus directed his Marines to move up to the side of the passage so that they could get closer whilst remaining out of the enemy forces’ field of vision.

Once they had approached as close as he dared, the dropped into a clearing formation - Haakon and the Dark Angel at the vanguard, Cristus, Memon, Errata and Luthor behind them with Aslan bringing up the rear. He signalled for the other team to hold until they had cleared the corridor. He didn’t bother to command the Inquisitor or his companion – he was sure that they would understand his battle-sign; he just didn’t think they would pay any heed.

Confident his team were prepared, Cristus signalled to attack.

Even as he finished the gesture, he was already moving, his power-armoured footsteps ringing loud against the floor now he had stopped moving cautiously, as crossed the threshold, the two assault marines, mere steps ahead of him, triggered their jump packs almost simultaneously, arcing into the air in the storage room, its higher ceiling giving them freedom to use the packs.

With the assault marines in the air, Cristus finally caught sight of the enemy. There were twenty of them, but they were no simple cultist gutter trash. Though their kit was not as well maintained as he would expect from an Imperial Guard regiment, they were armed and armoured to a similar standard, wearing flak armour crudely daubed with the vile star of Chaos, and toting guard issue lasguns. There were even a couple of heavy weapon teams with autocannons, but even as Cristus marked them as priority targets, he saw one of the team’s assault marines land in the middle of each of them.

Knowing his brothers would make short work of their crews, he assessed where he could do the most damage, it only took him a split second; the enemy troops were still in shock and had not even brought up their weapons. With a motion born of rigorous training, he brought up his weapon, flicking the shot selector to chamber a round from the clip of metal storm ammunition he had requisitioned. Not waiting for his auto-sense link to confirm, he fired at the traitor in the centre of five of their number.

The round span out of the barrel of his gun and Cristus almost managed to track its progress as the round shot across the room. Just as it was about to hit the target, the round lived up to its name, erupting into a blast of razor sharp fragments with the effect of a grenade. The storm of lacerating metal shredded four of the traitors to ribbons; their carcasses blasted off their feet, a spray of blood jetting from their ruined forms. The fifth was sent spinning to the ground, but it appeared the now-cooling corpses of his deceased comrades had shielded him from the worst of the ground. Cristus grinned savagely behind his helm. Four kills from one shot? He could get used to this.

He saw Haakon slashing out with ferocity, his combat style feral and unpredictable. The heretics he faced had a life expectancy of seconds. The Dark Angel hand landed on one of the team which he had attacked, crushing him beneath his heel, and he lashed out with his sword, beheading the second with brutal efficiency.

In his peripheral vision, Cristus saw Memnon taking up a position beside him, ready to add his fire to the fray, and he spotted Errata running out behind them and moving to the unoccupied side of the chamber, putting the rest of the team between him and the majority of their foes. Aslan was just coming out of the mouth of the corridor, and he had just unleashed a burst from his heavy bolter when the room suddenly went cold, and Cristus felt again the strange pressure on his mind that meant the Blood Angel Psyker was gathering his power.

The Librarian unleashed a lance of scarlet energy which flashed between the team into the ranks of the enemy troopers, impaling several of them and tearing great chunks of flesh from their bodies, leaving them to fall broken to the floor, like marionettes with their threads severed. As they died, the Ultramarine felt a palpable wave of taint and discord echoing around the room. Before he knew what he was doing, he felt himself drawing his chainsword, his legs powering him forward. He would tear this scum limb from limb. He would see them split in two, slaughtered like diseased cattle!

He felt the others beside him as he thundered into the enemy. He saw the face of the renegade trooper in front of him distort in a rictus of terror, and he revelled in the traitor’s fear. He could not form any thought other than to kill the man, and a roar of fury tore from his throat as he brought his chainsword around underhanded, a slash which tore upwards through his enemy, the tearing teeth of the weapon splitting open the trooper, his vital liquids arcing into the air, the man’s body giving no more resistance to Cristus’ blade than a rotten fruit would have.

As the man’s blood rained down on his armour, Cristus suddenly felt as though a pressure was released from his skull, and a wave of disgust passed over him. He was out of place – why had he charged forwards out of formation, heedless of the tenets of the Codex? He felt darkness settle on his soul. It was the taint of the warp, he knew it. The psyker had over-reached his bounds again.

As the bloodlust drained from him, he saw a half-dozen figures charging out from behind the few remaining traitor troops. These were no militiamen or traitor guard. They stood equal to the Kill-Team, but a vile perversion of everything they stood for. Their power armour was blood red chased with black, detailed with spikes and foul symbols rendered in bronze and silver. The star of Chaos was present on all of them, as was the symbol of the flaming book.

The Word Bearers, the faithful of Chaos. They were ancient enemies of the Ultramarines, though no loyal Astartes would claim anything less than absolute hatred for the traitorous whelps of Lorgar.

Cristus flicked his eyes left and right. There was no time to fall back into formation. The unnatural frenzy brought on by the psychic backlash from Errata had left the kill team in the midst of the enemy, and Cristus barely had time to raise the combat shield he was wearing as a traitor brought his blade down in a swing designed to cleave his helm in two.
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chrispcarter

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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  Dan on Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:32 pm

getting to the good stuff.... hurry up with the carnage.

Great work again mate
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Re: Retrieval Mission - Fate IV

Post  chrispcarter on Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:04 pm

The young Space Marine’s concern for his squad was suddenly superseded by the matter of his own survival, as he found himself in close quarters combat with a warrior who had likely fought his Chapter forebears as far back as the Horus Heresy. The Word Bearer snarled like a beast as his blow rang off Cristus’ scavenged shield, his hatred for the Ultramarine driving him to furious abandon.

Time seemed to slow to a crawl for Cristus. The Word Bearer’s blade swung back again, and he was not sure that he could deflect a second blow – the Chaos Space Marine’s strength was immense, and he had centuries of experience over Cristus. Acting almost unconsciously, he brought round the muzzle of his gun, his thumb toggling the fire selector to load armour-piercing kraken rounds as he did so. As the Word Bearer’s blade came down in a powerful strike to his unprotected body, he pulled the trigger hard.

Four shots spat out of the barrel, the adamantine tips glinting in the half-light as they emerged. The hastily fired burst hammered into the Word Bearer, and while two of the bullets smashed into his corrupted power armour and exploded there, damaging it but not harming the occupant, the other two punched through into the Chaos Marine’s torso before detonating. The chest plate of Cristus’ assailant cracked open as it failed to contain the explosion, and a spray of blackened ichor heralded the traitor marine’s demise as his sundered form fell to the ground.

There was no time to savour his survival – even as Cristus’ opponent fell, the high pitched whine of a discharging meltagun to his right prompted him to whirl round. The target had been the Dark Angel, a Word Bearer marine firing the weapon at him from point blank range. The assault marine was thrown back by the blast of the weapon, the snap shot reducing the front of his black power to a ruined mess of cracked and melted plates, and no doubt causing him severe injury. He was fortunate not to be dead, but the Dark Angel seemed to barely miss a stride. As he regained his footing, he fired his jump pack for a split second, powering him towards the traitor. Fuelled by pain and fury, his power sword arced out and lopped off the Chaos Marine’s arm before carving a deep furrow through his chest, splitting the traitors’ hearts and killing him. The wounded Dark Angel then fell to one knee next to the slain traitor’s corpse.

Satisfied that his squad mate was in no immediate danger, Cristus turned back around, taking in the scene as he did so. The slaughter of the cultist militia had turned into a desperate brawl for survival. There was smoke in the air and the rattle of bolters provided a bass line for the discordant rhythm of clashing blades.

He found himself staring at the back of another Word Bearer advancing on Memnon, the Scythe seemingly having just put down one of the traitor’s comrades with a close range burst of kraken rounds, just as Cristus had with another. Aiming from the hip, the Ultramarine fired a second burst of the armour piercing rounds, riddling the traitor’s back with shots. The rounds blasted squarely into the heretic, causing the explosion of his armoured power plant and splitting the traitor down the middle, reducing him to little more than chunks of spoilt meat in a ruptured shell.

Memnon span round at the sound of the Chaos Marine’s demise, his helmet vox crackling as he prepared to speak, but before he could utter a word, most of the wall making up the back of the room - as Cristus perceived it - exploded inwards behind the Scythe of the Emperor, accompanied by a sound like the explosion of ordnance. Chunks of rubble flew through the air in a shower, and a cloud of dust rushed forward, reducing visibility severely.

As the dust swirled away, the breach in the structure revealed a mechanised horror brought to life; a Chaos Defiler, the unholy binding of a Daemonic essence to a multi-limbed armoured frame. It was painted in the colours of the Word Bearers, no doubt vomited into their service by some warp-smith deep within in the eye of terror. Its hell-birthed form towered above the Deathwatch marines, and the armoured claws it bore clicked open and shut with anticipation, whilst the huge battle cannon mounted on the torso of the monstrosity tracked for targets.
Though it seemed to have no speakers upon it, a keening howl of rage and fury suddenly filled the room as the insane daemon-machine charged forwards.


Last edited by chrispcarter on Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:29 am; edited 2 times in total
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