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Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

Welcome to



For your convenience, I've decided that a blog format isn't the best option to post short stories, so this thread will do just fine. I am looking for your comments and criticisms, as well as just generally what you think of the story so far. I'm not sure how far I will take this, but there is definitely a limit as to what these stories will be covering.

If you're new, start here: http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/500923.page#5789089

If you're a veteran and want to see the latest installment, Go here:

http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/500923.page#5789172

(updated June 27th, 2013)

Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Also: Check out my P&M Blog: http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/0/540855.page#5862307

This message was edited 29 times. Last update was at 2013/07/19 17:31:25


 
   
Made in gb
Thunderhawk Pilot Dropping From Orbit





Where is the fluff?

Come into my web, said the spider to the fly.
Come rest your wings, and let us talk eye to eye.
For I am a spider, and you are the fly. Now that you are here, let us sit, and say hi.
But I have have no morsel to share, nor anything to eat. But wait, what is that stickiness upon your feet.
Ah now I have you, now I can eat. Now I can enjoy you, or store you as meat.
For I am the spider, and you are the fly. How else could it have gone, between one such as you, and one such as I.
 
   
Made in gb
Longtime Dakkanaut





Scotland

Where is the fluff? +1

Its possible that people might question putting in the effort to read and comment if you haven't put in the effort to properly post it.

Mary Sue wrote: Perkustin is even more awesome than me!



 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

Look below comrades!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2013/06/28 02:15:28


 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

Keep going!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2013/06/28 02:15:44


 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

No, further!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2013/06/28 02:15:57


 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

Further!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2013/06/28 02:16:09


 
   
Made in gb
Thunderhawk Pilot Dropping From Orbit





I don't mean to be a woman's lady parts but why don't post it here?

My phone makes it a chore to read your link, but I can fit dakka on my screen perfect without having to move my screen right to left, then having to scrole back up because it has jumped half way down the page.

I want to read it but can't, sorry.

Come into my web, said the spider to the fly.
Come rest your wings, and let us talk eye to eye.
For I am a spider, and you are the fly. Now that you are here, let us sit, and say hi.
But I have have no morsel to share, nor anything to eat. But wait, what is that stickiness upon your feet.
Ah now I have you, now I can eat. Now I can enjoy you, or store you as meat.
For I am the spider, and you are the fly. How else could it have gone, between one such as you, and one such as I.
 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

(All this was when I was on the blog)

KEEP GOING DOWN!!

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2013/06/28 02:16:50


 
   
Made in gb
Thunderhawk Pilot Dropping From Orbit





I have just finished readin Isaisa and to put it plainly it was awesome, fantastic job.

Thanks for formating your blog for mobile, it is much better and easier to read.

I will read more soon but it's late, oh ane I hope to read more from the hammer and chisel man as he is amazing.

Come into my web, said the spider to the fly.
Come rest your wings, and let us talk eye to eye.
For I am a spider, and you are the fly. Now that you are here, let us sit, and say hi.
But I have have no morsel to share, nor anything to eat. But wait, what is that stickiness upon your feet.
Ah now I have you, now I can eat. Now I can enjoy you, or store you as meat.
For I am the spider, and you are the fly. How else could it have gone, between one such as you, and one such as I.
 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

Your comment warmed my day, thank you for your feedback! Isaias is key to the story, so be sure to check back in for more sometime soon!

(Keep going down to find what we we're talking about)

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2013/06/28 02:17:13


 
   
Made in gb
Thunderhawk Pilot Dropping From Orbit





Aww I ran out of stuff to read, please post up more soon!

Come into my web, said the spider to the fly.
Come rest your wings, and let us talk eye to eye.
For I am a spider, and you are the fly. Now that you are here, let us sit, and say hi.
But I have have no morsel to share, nor anything to eat. But wait, what is that stickiness upon your feet.
Ah now I have you, now I can eat. Now I can enjoy you, or store you as meat.
For I am the spider, and you are the fly. How else could it have gone, between one such as you, and one such as I.
 
   
Made in ca
Huge Hierodule






Ottawa, ON

For some reason, the Isaia story reminded me alot of assassin's creed, but with a hammer and chisel. I very much enjoyed it and am looking forward to more.

Hive Fleet Manticore 1,750pts-
Eldar 1,500pts-
Tau 1,000-

A Stone Heart http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/504370.page 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

Themanwiththeplan wrote:Aww I ran out of stuff to read, please post up more soon!


I will! But first, Life! I will give an update when the next piece goes up!

Mr Nobody wrote:For some reason, the Isaia story reminded me alot of assassin's creed, but with a hammer and chisel. I very much enjoyed it and am looking forward to more.


Indeed, Isaias was one the first short stories I wrote, and in his original form was basically a direct rip off of Ezio Auditore da Firenze from AC2. He had smokebombs, twin hidden blades that were short length plasma cutters (like Zealots from SC), and throwing knives. Naturally, I didn't really plan on showing anyone just because I wanted to do something creative but I didn't know where to start. Now Isaias may still honor Ezio with a figurative tip of a hat for giving me the inspiration, but he really does come into his own character - especially in his evolution of the next piece. He's skilled, but completely untrained, he had a previous trade, he is a sociopath with a thirst to destroy life, an anti-hero street rat with zero connections, now brought into the fold of a mysterious group (who's motives differ considerably from the assassin's), and (not to give too much away) the only thing that survives as tribute to his previous life, will be his trademark.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2013/01/26 19:46:09


 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

I've brought an update! Click the banner on my signature for teleporation triangulation!

 
   
Made in ca
Huge Hierodule






Ottawa, ON

I read the latest story, you do a good job of describing Tyranid swarms, feels very organic. I especially like the imagery of the gargoyles roosting and swarming around the bio-titan.

Hive Fleet Manticore 1,750pts-
Eldar 1,500pts-
Tau 1,000-

A Stone Heart http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/504370.page 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

Thank you for your feedback! I'm glad you liked it. (We're almost out of range of the Astronomicon!)

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2013/06/28 02:17:56


 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

The Light is fading fast!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2013/06/28 02:18:09


 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

We can see the darkness! By the Emperor this is a long journey...

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2013/06/28 02:19:38


 
   
Made in gb
Thunderhawk Pilot Dropping From Orbit





I think having your story run in order would really help with more people commenting. I seem to be bouncing round the page again trying to find where I left off, which is annoying tbh and put me off reading. I like your story but I've already got enough grey hair ta.

Come into my web, said the spider to the fly.
Come rest your wings, and let us talk eye to eye.
For I am a spider, and you are the fly. Now that you are here, let us sit, and say hi.
But I have have no morsel to share, nor anything to eat. But wait, what is that stickiness upon your feet.
Ah now I have you, now I can eat. Now I can enjoy you, or store you as meat.
For I am the spider, and you are the fly. How else could it have gone, between one such as you, and one such as I.
 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

[Old post, me bumming around with a dying blog, crying and slurping orphan tears]

Seriously though we're here, remember I love hearing your feedback for better or worse!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2013/06/28 02:20:33


 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

Well, I love having a blog, but I'm thinking that it's better suited for anything but storytelling because you basically have to write everything backwards, so instead I'm just going to continue the story right here. The Isaias and Asharav block is now complete, and I'd love to hear what you think of them so far, especially if you have criticism.

So... Here's goes nothing. First (re)post.

Welcome

My name is Demetri Dominov and this is the official "At Astronomicon's End" Blog where I hope to tailor some of the finest Warhammer 40,000 fan fiction ever to hit the web. If you are uninitiated to the rich narrative that is some of Games Workshop's greatest work, please read the preface. As all of my work is my interpretation and may vary from the official "lore" present in Games Workshop's codex's, novels, movies, and other copyrighted media - none of which belongs or is present here, nor are your donations if you feel so moved as I write freely. Though I enjoy what I do like it's my job, I will only accept your gratitude or dissatisfaction in the comments section.

If you are well acquainted with the lore, if may be beneficial to skip to the bold marked m.41 below about the future of this blog. The stories here will revolve a centralized location far from Terra, its name and location revealed in the first addition to this blog. I hope you enjoy your time here.

Sincerely,

Demetri Dominov

Preface



(A lot of important Imperial History you may want to know while here.)

There exists a time in the far distant future, where our world, the green and relatively peaceful earth has become central to a galactic empire. Few of the trillions upon trillions of men and women that are a part of it have seen our lonely planet. For most, it has become a place of legend and myth. So long past the time of space exploration and discovery are we, humanity stands atop the mountain of fallen solar empires, overturned galactic republics, and conquered space federations that brought us the ability to not only traverse the heavens, but bring them to our dominion. For in this time, we were lost in the countless wars brought upon ourselves beneath the clandestine strings of Dark Gods and plotting alien minds. We killed each other even while the uncaring universe made real our most dire nightmares in otherworldly dimensions overflowing with foul evils and set them like dogs upon us. Our most advanced technology and highest cultures regressed to the point of barbaric rituals and maddening superstition fraught with no apparent rhyme or reason.

That is, until the rise of the Emperor upon this very earth we call home.

His grace was once a man of flesh sent to guide humanity through these dark times into a gilded age of peace and prosperity. It was he who foresaw a terrible future of endless war, and united all of mankind to prevent the unspeakable reality of a cold and callous universe bent upon our end. For a fleeting, glorious, moment it seemed as though this mysterious being had succeeded. His armies spanned the length of the galaxy, his chosen; the Space Marines or rather, Adeptus Astartes, - genetically altered superhuman warriors clad in such armor and arms as to liken themselves as walking tanks, were legion and virtually unstoppable in the field of battle.

These hopeful times were fleeting in the forging of the Imperium, mankind's kingdom of the stars. Upon the eve of the Emperor's final victory that would cinch mankind's destiny as stewards to a benevolent galaxy, we were once more betrayed by human desire. Horus, the arch-traitor, prodigal son to the Emperor himself, fell into the hands of the Dark Gods, denounced mankind's father as a tyrant and divided the Imperium to rise up against the man that had brought them so close to ultimate victory. In what took millennia to build was cast down as son usurped father, brother slew brother, and the galaxy wept under the flames of civil war. In an emotional final conflict above our own dear earth, known then and since as Holy Terra, the Emperor struck down his beloved Horus, but not before the traitor landed a mortal wound upon the leader of humanity.

Desperate to save the Holy Emperor, humanity paid dearly to preserve the man who had paid the ultimate sacrifice. In an arcane machine, known as the Golden Throne, the Emperor sits unmoving, wreathed in coursing energies given by the blood and souls of a thousand people sacrificed to it every day. His body is all but a desolate vessel for his immense soul to remain tethered to reality. Like a kite flying at the mercy of the unfathomable storm of the warp - that merciless psychic realm where nightmares and thoughts become reality, and also home of the Dark Gods (of Chaos if you're picky) - the Emperor strains beneath the weight of his task. But we, as he, are far from defenseless as the carrion of the dark galaxy circle ever closer. In the defeat of the arch-traitor Horus, ten thousand more years pass, pushing us to the dawn of the forty first millennium, through the age of the Imperium into a time of endless suffering. The Emperor himself is a metaphor for what humanity will become forty thousand years beyond our current time. By sheer will alone we, as he, survive day by day, searching as we must for the impossible, and doing what we must to stave off the inevitable.

And though humanity has diverged into the very fate the Emperor gave himself to avoid, it survives.

His armies march on, with them are his Adeptus Astartes, though broken into thousands of thousand strong Chapters, they are still a shining example of humanity's capabilities. As the fires of Horus's civil war died, new orders arose, fanatical religion swept away tolerance and understanding without the direct guidance of the Emperor to amend rampant fear and paranoia of our near extinction. Church and state married for a brief but passionate epoch of civil war anew, and in its forceful divorce, the Sisters of Battle were born. With them comes the acceptance of the single belief of the God-Emperor, his once human (albeit great) status is all but forgotten, and in its place he is hailed as the unequivocal master of mankind.The truth, remains under lock an key of an unforgiving rule, often forgetting itself as it dictates the will of their silent God. Those who stand before this grueling autocratic and elitist machine are pulverized into obliteration, their very names erased from the slate of history by those who blindly drive it forward in the name of the Emperor. Those who disagree, burn in pyres aflame with millions branded with the dreaded name of heretic.

m.41

Now as forevermore the God-Emperor sits atop his Golden Throne, the psychic lighthouse of his Astronomicon, beaming across the innumerable planets of the Imperium. Its light guiding his armies, fleets, and crusades to burn away the darkness without, within, and beyond. The fires of war purifying and preserving what remains of us in time of his resurrection and our only hope of salvation among the tides of war washing away a little more of mankind in every fading hour.

Yet, even his light does not reach the entire galaxy.

The vast plains of space are simply too far for even he to command in his deathless state. Though his light is finite, the power of his word is not. Humanity has settled even beyond what is considered beyond his sight, the protection of the his armies, navies, and law. This place is colder, less merciful, and far more unkind to all but the most ruthless and black hearted.

It is a realm of brutal struggle and lust for power over all.

This is my realm - though any ordinary citizen here knows it not. You may join us in these troubled times as an observer, safe from the stark reality of the end times, but be warned; this is not a happy place, you will find as little comfort here as the people in these stories - many will end in bloody tragedy, as befitting for most trapped in this age.

Regardless,

If you remained undaunted, or are at this very moment searching for that red or soon to be red button at the top right of your screen, remember;

This age bears many, survives few, remembers less, and misses none.

Until next time.

Demetri Dominov

This message was edited 4 times. Last update was at 2013/06/29 16:16:26


 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

Welcome back converts!

Today I treat you with the first installment of a series of short stories that are all linked together -although each one can probably be considered a short story in itself! They will all run sequentially, so if you miss one, just scroll down to the previous one and get caught up. If you're new here and completely lost, the bottom and first post has a block of information to get you started.

Enjoy, and as always, know that:

Many are born, few survive, less remember, and none are missed!





Duty's End




Gelaekora Ignonovich swept down the corridor, his crimson robe whipping behind his blistering gait and many metallic braids bouncing beneath his Mechanicus red hood. There was no time for patience, not in this moment, even his quarter ton sero-arm surgically implanted to his reinforced spine was bent forward in his impatience. These hallowed halls challenged his haste with their length, their lofty ceilings faded to blackness above muffled light trickling through stained glass windows. Each handcrafted pane glowed proudly in it's meticulous construction depicting battles of ancient heroes early in his people’s glorious history. For each window, a pillar stemmed to an arch separating and supporting the vaulted ceilings in-between. For each pillar a lavishly adorned Aedes stood guard, red and gold light plate molded directly over their chiseled bodies. Their gazes were chilling, for in place of eyes, glowing optical implants stared unnervingly forward, implacable, and perhaps even that of death itself from beneath their hooded cowls.

They stood resolute, long staves held attentively between each glistening shaft of light in their rock steady hands. Their low weapons formed a tunnel, forcing Gelaekora to bow and his servo-arm to bow lower before them as he passed. Step by sweeping step, row by guarded row he moved by the Aedes with his head bowed and servo-arm bowed lower in respect – not daring to ask them to raise their guard for him until he reached two massive wrought Iron doors at the end of the hall. It was the Gate of Dawning Sage, inlaid with the motif of their greatest leaders bowing down before the Emperor as he raised his divine sword high in victory with one hand, and passed an open tome to galaxy’s most beloved savior and saint, Sebastion Thor.

As he drew near, Gelaekora felt a blast of dry air buffet him as the massive doors creaked open, shedding light into the hallway he exited and passed over the antechamber and into the main cathedral like Libratorium. He was immediately upon a railed causeway over a vast city of iron hedges slumbering in a polluted inversion of the hole they lived. Moving across while more Aedes patrolled its length in a determinedly sluggish pace, these guards were disinterested in him and busied themselves with their careful motion; he couldn't help but stare as their graceful motions stirred wisps of fire from the air itself. Below him he saw that the iron hedges were really, row upon row of shelves laid out as the many tiered structure descended deeper into the earth, the sky above straddled by the planet’s greatest fortress disallowing for upward expansion.

Flocks of servo skulls whizzed past carrying their myriad array of tasks as servitors labored to maintain preserving equipment between each channel under the command of diligent Tech Priests.

His business close, Galaekora moved on, following the causeway to an open elevator descending into the lower depths of the Libratorium. Taking it, he allowed himself a moments respite as he and a pale man in jet black fatigues were watched over by ten Aedes stationed on the moving platform. It was obvious they knew how precious these secrets and treasures were to his people, as even being familiar to Galaekora daily routine he felt their unsettlingly scrupulous gaze. Galaekora averted his eyes, and looked to the monolithic pillars bathing the Libratorium in a soft red glow. To the untrained eyes, the structures supporting the tall ceiling were nothing more than huge data-slates perpetually scrolling through millions of characters of text; their falling traces indefinable to any other than Galaekora’s people. It was the written language upon this world, a distant cousin to the High Gothic base of Imperial language. Kept over the millennia partly as a matter of pride, but preserved as a security necessity. In his eyes however, Galaekora could read the names of fallen warriors descending into the vaults below as they passed over into the dark realm of death. They cascaded in the proverbial ticking symbols with the descending lift, the temperature of the air falling with Galaekora until he could see the coils of steam in his breath. His journey came to a lurching halt as the lift pinged that it had reached the 57th floor beneath the earth. A pleasant female voice chimed over the vox channel of the elevator speaker protruding from the control podium,

“Level 57, 869.M41, here passes those of the fall of Torakatan, the pillaging of Bora Kanak, the lament of Lamorra, and the Dark Eldar thievery of Cana’chinnuk.”

“Thank you Red Baroness.”

Galaekora said as he departed, sweeping up the long isle of Torakata, and retrieved a dataslate from the folds of his robes. As he continued, the walls of the narrow isle jumped to life. Galaekora would have leapt out of his skin had he not come to expect what he was now witnessing on the walls. The strange symbols morphed and grew into a silent video stream about the width and breath of Galaekora’s immediate vision. On the screen a first person experience of Torakata played out in real time, the vision of a Torakatan soldier struggling desperately to reload and put rounds into the raging swarm of Tyranid aliens darkening the feed. In the next panel, another Torakatan heaved himself forward through a shell blasted hell, a ragged standard in hand as he charged to meet the saw tooth maw of an endless wave of Tyranids. They were soon replaced by two more visions of different people, their end just as brutal as the last in the maelstrom of war
.
Galaekora shied away, happy that his experience was still limited to only the vision of death. He tried not to look to the walls as they continued to morph from the cascading names to the uncomfortably visceral sight of violent death. It became difficult when the very floor began to erupt in even more terrible clashes. Still, he pressed on, quickly checking his dataslate for the reference number.

He found it several paces away as a black frame remained still among the broiling turmoil that played ceaselessly around it. As one vision darkened, a name would drop in its place, and morph outward into an explosive end of life experience, before it too darkened and was replaced by the next. Yet Galaekora stood in front of a black screen, a single blinking name stuck stubbornly in its center.

Isaias.

There was no last name. No other denotation, no hint of who the name belonged to, only that it was stuck into a system believed to be flawless under the care of the other Tech Adepts that oversaw it. When problems arose that they could not understand however, they called upon him to commune with the great machine spirit that lay just beneath the glorious veneer. Galaekora wrapped up his sleeves over his arms, his left mostly flesh, and his right mostly iron, and pressed his left palm against the screen directly under the name. Immediately, the screen lit up into a dozen slowly rotating digi-circles, each with a hovering bracket of service options. Clicking the one he was looking for, the panel stirred before clicking open a small data stream port.

Retrieving a red banded keyport jangling in a metal braid within his many dreads, Galaekora looked back up at the anomaly.

It still flashed,

Isaias, Isaias, Isaias.

He offered a prayer to the blessed Omnissaiah, and joined his key into the port. He felt a surge of electricity enter his body and flow down the implants fused to his neck and spine. In an instant, his vision was gone, his thoughts, feelings, and body were no more. Only the blinking name remained of him, until the great machine spirit took hold of him and began the sequence he had prepared himself for long. Time slowly ticked away until it seemed to stop, the image of the name, Isaias, remained, until that too faded to darkness and a golden fiery glow began to replace it.

His vision returned, along with his thoughts and senses, and as the sequence was complete, Galaekora was no longer where he thought he was, for he was in this moment, no longer Galaekora. His braids, his hood, even the great weight of his servo-arm had all but vanished.

In their lumbering place, he was light, agile, and strong.

He was Isaias and with the Omnissaiah's blessing, he would discover what had shattered this man's soul and not allow him to pass on through the Libratorium of Duty's End.

.....

Thanks for reading, check back again for the next installment!


Sincerely,

Demetri Dominov

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2013/06/28 01:59:47


 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

Isaias




Isaias looked at the broken man under his shoe, a fine trickle of blood was all that remained of the torrent that been springing from the criminal’s neck only moments ago. He savored this moment of macabre justice, for he well knew that like last time, this sweet tang of bloodlust filling his vein’s would dissipate and force him into a withdrawal as it had countless times before.

He must find new prey to give chase in his endless hunt. His cravings subjugated it to their whims, and he knew full well that he was a helpless pawn in their ocean of desire. He no longer even attempted to resist the urge to destroy life as though it was an object of disgust. Yet every time Isaias slaughtered the worthless criminals some still considered humanity, crawling in the lawless and festering undercroft of Imperita the Arbites and Sororitas Zealots were too overwhelmed to hunt for themselves, he felt power bordering upon the supernatural. He felt as though he could take a walk in the warp itself and have its hellish denizens bow before him. Luckily, underneath the burning forges of Imperita, there was no end to the scum of the universe, and with it hardly a pause before he could savor the killing blow once more.

Wiping the dull chisel clean of filth, Isaias moved again into the shadows, disappearing from the site of his momentary euphoria illuminated by the burning orange light of the lower forges peculating in glowing rays through the miles of infrastructure that supported their heavy load. He didn’t even give a second thought towards the despoiled corpse as the giant Imperita ratfiends drew near to the recently deceased. Ravenous, their mutant forms were clicking and chirping with excitement, thirsting for the pools of spoiled blood, just as Isaias already was.

Isaias moved quickly, careful not to expose himself to the forge light glow as he drew near to his carefully chosen observatory. It overlooked a sweeping bazaar that sold no sustenance. He watched as begging children were left to starve in the dark corners, forced to bow low to the decadent royalties sweeping past them. All were too busy eying corrupting passion fruits of the night, personal poisons to drown themselves into a coma, and worst of all, numerous slaves to add to their already lavish display of human subjugation caravanned behind them. There truly was no end to the sin of man in this sinister hell, and justly no end to Isaias’s own dark hunger as he scanned the throngs of revelers from the shadows. Preparing himself he fidgeted nervously as he grasped the chisel, hidden under his satin sleeves. In his other hand was a small headed mallet of his previous trade held loosely to his forearm, keeping it hidden as well. He readied his armaments one last time and after a reassuring scan of his numerous targets, stepped effortlessly from the shadows and blended into the crowd. His eyes remained fixed in concentration as his photographic memory perpetually tracked the doomed vividly in his mind’s eye. Drawing near to a fat, pompous, Lord who was adorned in what could only be accurately described as a Tallaran rug, Isaias clenched his fist around his chisel and let his hammer slide downward, feeling the hilt of his weapon stop in his palm. Delicately, he approached the whale of a man, pushing as light as a feather against the oblivious sea of people, and felt the thirst of anticipation, the heat in his neck, the insatiable hunger of the kill rising in his thumping heart drumming in his ears. Savoring the arrival of the moment to the last, Isaias elegantly passed the chisel next to the man’s throat, tapped its end sternly with his hammer, and simply strolled away through the crowd, all too busy in their own interests to notice that justice was only beginning to be served amongst them. Isaias could feel the man’s life drawn away, hearing the muffled garble with a small poetic note of satisfaction as the shocked Lord realized far too late that his time had come.

Unto thee my Emperor I send a wayward servant who only now truly sees your light.

The prayer was automatic as Isaias moved earnestly to the will of His God Emperor to send the next vile soul to His side in a fluid ballet of death; time was short and steadily marching regardless of his pose and technique, it cared as little for his own success as Isaias cared for whom he was now approaching. It was an elderly woman, buying well over her four hundredth slave. He had lost count shortly after her arrival at this particular bazaar – it mattered not what she did out of his sight, he dared not imagine the deeds. It seemed that no amount of indentured labor would fill her endless wanton needs or greed, and yet, it would be her own downfall, for she no longer could tell the faces of her own servants, lest she would have seen Isaias upon approach, blending into her flock of sheepish and trembling human playthings.

Isaias drew close behind her, as though about to whisper in her ear like her servant had moments ago, placed the chisel between his fingers to the back of her neck under the cover of his caressing hand, and drummed it hard with the mallet. The blow severed the ancient bone and frail nerves as easily as the packaging papyrus she had been eying. Before she could utter a single guttural sound, her head soon separated itself from her quickly sagging body, and Isaias was gone once more. Having said his silent prayer he was already darting in-between a merchant lord and a rogue trader from the Sargos Sector. The men were drinking in the spoils of a naked woman shackled to the wall behind her. With an electric taser in hand her master forced her to dance in an overly erotic way before the hungry eyed men who were bidding for her company. With a scream from behind as the first victim was discovered, the men whirled upon the spot, to find the singing mallet driving, through their nasal cavities and into their sickly twisted brains. Isaias’s blows threw them to the ground and without hesitation he moved to the merchant selling the tear soaked woman. Beaten back by the pitiful attempts to attack Isaias with the prod, the merchant overturned the table between them with a crash before fleeing for his life. His wares soared through the air, and in the upheaval, Isaias spied a spinning head of a hunting lance tumbling towards him. With all of his might driving the head of his hammer, Isaias cracked home his blow against the lance’s blunt end and sent in straight into the upper back of the escaping slaver. With a squelch of spraying crimson, the man’s upper body was turned to a pink mist as the charge within the weapon detonated. The woman looked imploringly to Isaias to free her, and he quickly obliged to serve her. Taking his chisel he cleaved a shackle holding her wrists together before stealing a glance behind him to find the entire bazaar staring dumbly back.

Time to go.

Leaving the still chained woman behind him, screaming desperately for her release from her only remaining shackle, Isaias fled for his life as the angry mob descended in a malicious wave around huddles of terrified onlookers. Dodging his assailants left and right, hammering and bludgeoning his way forward through the throngs of panic, Isaias twisted his body like quicksilver through a flurry of blows, to step unscathed a mere hairs breath from a vengeful swing of a powered rapier. He returned the blow halfway through a falling slide under a table and was nearly impaled by the rapier’s point as its owner drove it to the hilt into the hardwood table. Not losing his momentum as he recovered, he leapt upon another merchant’s table, his mallet flailing furiously into the wide eyes of the obsurca dealer before rolling across his wares in a smokescreen of opiate freedom that almost immediately turned the vanguard of his attackers into sleepy degenerates as they huffed and puffed through his trail of dust.

Gunshots rang out from the more sober assailants, drawing their beads upon Isaias’s fleeting form as he bounced and dove behind yet even more stalls on his escape route. He smirked as his predetermined exit approached. He ducked under an overhanging pipe works before hoisting himself hand over hand behind its thick metal. More shots rang out peppering the duct with loud echoing clangs and shearing its formidable hinges from their holders. Then from the arms dealer across the way came the unmistakable drone of a heavy bolter being primed, snatching the wild smile from Isaias, a true fear replacing his air of confidence that had carried him weightlessly thus far.
Redoubling his efforts in the face of true danger, he sensed the apex of his climb drawing near, but he heard the bark of bolter as it began to spew its fist sized mini rockets in a torrential rain just above him. Huge gouts of rockcrete and shards of ferrosteel were blasted apart in a hailstorm of wanton abandon as the trigger happy merchant unloaded his entire stock of explosive rounds at Isaias. Hearing the pipe strain as it began to give way to the merciless beating of the bolter Isaias began to fear it would not hold as he scrambled up the last meter of smoldering iron.

From just above him came a muffled shout,

“Duck!”

Without thinking, Isaias did as he was told. With a tiny ping, the bolter’s roaring fire ceased immediately and Isaias looked up only to see a darkly armored leather glove reaching towards him. It did not wait for him to take it, instead grasping his shoulder it dragged him roughly deep into the blackness of the exposed pipe system. Eight pairs of glowing red augmented eyes stared down at him from the darkness.
“Put on quite the show, didn’t he lads?” came the voice attached to the hand, it was being filtered through some sort of artificial voicebox that made it sound tinny.

“Sure did, how bout we show him a thing or two?” came another beside the first.

“Think Lieutenant Ljiet will approve?” came yet another.

“Course, they all approve of just about anything these days.” Came the first once again.

Isaias was not about to be toyed with, he lashed out at the darkness striking something hard with his hammer, and felt its head shatter helplessly in a tinkle like the breaking of glass. Stunned by the unfathomable toughness of the armor he had just struck, he didn’t even resist as an ironclad greave was pressed into his chest and a blindingly red targeter shone annoyingly into his face.

“Bag him boys, he’s getting restless in this dark, I think he hit me with something.” Came the first speaker’s voice again.

In a moment a cloth sack was stuffed over his head as he was roughly turned over and wirebinded at his wrists and ankles. He was hoisted up as easily as one of the starving children below, and carried quickly through the darkness.

For the second time in his entire life, Isaias felt truly helpless, and swore vehemently to himself that he would never let it happen again.

.........

Galeakora thought for a moment, mulling over the name Ljiet in the dark of digi-space. He ordered a query and soon found a host of Ljiet's scattered across the planar realms. Only one, bore the title of Lieutenant.

Asharav Ljiet.

Galeakora dug deeper, but to his surprise, found the same elusive blank nature of the Lieutenant. His file was incomplete, as stark and empty as Isaias's had been.

It seemed, that the anomaly was not isolated.

 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

Sentinels of Burning Sky






Fire blasted from the aft of the missile, its exhaust port opened to the very gates of hell hurtling across a rising field of taiga. Sophisticated fins traced long streamers into the biting air as whirring mirco-adjustments stayed the course. At mach three, the missile was nothing more than a whispering blur as it streaked low under a putrid gray sky, barely over snow dusted trees of a stunted evergreen forest whipping past below. Its path was a sight to behold, the sonic boom following in the wake of the speeding projectile shredded bark and left the moaning groves in the throws of a raging hurricane.

Rising with the heaving earth, the phantom rocket streaked past spires of rock and heaps of stone towards the sleeping spine of a vast mountain range.

Soaring through a saddle between twin peaks, the missile suddenly disappeared in flanged fireball, all but evaporating before the sonic boom caught the blast and soon lost itself amongst the deafening crescendo of a sonic reverberation trapped within the towering granite. To the astute, one may have seen a piece of the destroyed rocket disappearing into the darkened mass of the mountain’s long shadow.

From in the valley’s far below came a feral cry of an alien’s lament, a carpet of chitin and pulsating barbs flowed as a river on top of ancient blue green glaciers. Tyranids of all types slowly moved as a single undulating organism towards the glacier’s terminus, an amoeba crawling its way towards food. Towering above them all in a mass of engineered flesh and hardened chitin, marched a bio-titan, shrouded in the frantically flapping wings of gargoyles as they evacuated their roosts in the folds of its armor.

Ripples of terror shook the hordes of minions, their feral motion’s futile, their wild thoughts condemned; all were fully aware of the Emperor’s Wrath soon to swallow them whole.

Embedded into the neck of the gargantuan beast, sprang a blinding light, its radiance drowning out even the rays of the clear alpine sun as it engulfed the length of the valley. A hiss was all that could be heard from the unbearable silence, before relenting to a thunderous blast that tore massed avalanches from high frozen shelves. The conflagration of the nuclear warhead faded to a rolling acrid mushroom cloud; all that remained of the smoldering organism trapped beneath uncaring mountain peaks. Their sweeping heights stood as imposing walls over the mass grave, impassive to the death cries of billions of creatures immolating at their base.

But one mountain was not silent.

Something within the steaming dome of ice of the taller of the twin peaks stirred.

In a spray of chilly white, a black gloved hand erupted from the snow, clutching the air before wrenching it back into the ice. Returning as a pair of hands, they grappled with the frost of the peak in a mad scramble to unearth its entombed owner. Nearby, another pair of hands joined in the struggle trying to pry themselves of the icy bonds. The grunting of hard labor arose from the shifting snow as two soldiers appeared; the natural red metal of their well crafted carapace armor dyed the same stark white of their fatigues and camouflaged armor plated masks. Heaving heavily through tubes connected to small oxygen tanks on their sides, they were impervious to the dizzying altitudes of their frozen bunker. Retrieving snow clogged weapons from under them, they each shouldered light powercell backpacks and equipment rucksacks.

Pausing to look down from the peak into the break of the clouds, the first soldier’s eyes narrowed in his mask as he saw his objective. A monastery nestled into the side of his mountain, raided and dark had been deemed essential by a Lord Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos to investigate before the Tyranids overwhelmed the planet Torakata.

“Isaias,” Asharav said, Isaias strode up to his lieutenant’s side as he fixed his laser targeter back onto his hot-shot rifle, looking at the mushroom cloud distending awkwardly from the wind with a look of satisfaction.

Asharav continued, “I know you don’t talk much.”

Isaias stood quietly, almost awaiting Asharav’s words, but the lieutenant knew he didn't care as he added truthfully, “at all really, but I need to know from you, are you prepared to die? You aren't native like me to the Burning Sky range, but you were the only one who volunteered for this part of the mission, and I feel like I need to remind you; there isn't much of a chance for success.”

Isaias turned with Ashavrav as they looked to the distant horizon where invading mycetic spores were raining in a brown tinted curtain. Jets of fire burnt away the tide as dozens more blossoming mushroom clouds set the Torakatan sky ablaze. Ashavrav remembered his days as a boy in the villages below, watching the spectacular Aurora Borealis feather their way across the same sky the great range of sacred sentinels had gained their namesake for. Now, the Great Devourer had fallen upon his home in an unfathomable alien hunger, and Asharav couldn't help but feel his heart weigh heavy in his chest.

Asharav continued with a lump in his throat, audible even through his facemask,

“We’re pretty much alone here until we can confirm the status of the monastery.”

Isaias was silent, instead, he moved forward to the peak’s edge withdrew his ice climbing Kirvkas, wicked ice axes sharper than a whole Ripper Swarm's teeth and harder than a Carnifex’s skull, turned, gave an aquiline salute with a flourish, and held his crossed arms to his chest as he dramatically fell backwards onto the pitched slope.

Asharav sighed in deep exasperation, “Is that even a yes?”

Shaking his head, he said in comfort to himself,

“Emperor save me when he pulls out that damned hammer,” before wrenching his own Kirvkas from his harness and leapt off the mountain peak after him.

 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral


Warriors of the Fall







Isaias hurtled down the side of the mountain, his every nerve and synapse firing to command his body through the hazardous slope. Since his farewell to Asharav, now following him some twenty meters away, he had spun around into a sitting position and placed a Kirvka against his hip so that the sharp blade dug into the tumbling ice with both hands against its blunted adze. His glissading stance had his legs raised slightly to protect his body from a sudden impact, the augmented bracers in his leg armor helping him keep the position as he continued to accelerate. Isaias felt the exhilarating adrenaline begin to spread across his body, the fear of death as close as the ridgeline racing along beside him.

Wind screamed around the sealed helmet and Isaias’s pupils dilated as his heart matched his pace down the mountain. Jagged spines of rocks and boulders shot past him, caltrops and bulwarks to his speed as he shaved off pressure from his Kirvka. He couldn't help but crack a wiry grin as the mountain relented before him, his armored bottom scooting over the ice and snow as though it was air. The rise of the mountain shifted from steep faces to a large elegantly sloped bowl, its vast field of snow as pristine as the crystal air around them.

“Don’t let go of your Kirvka Isaias,” Asharav warned sternly through the vox link hardwired to Isaias’s ear.

Isaias bit his lip, the temptation mounting as he saw mounds of powder at the end of the large gently sloping bowl.

“If you want to be found wanting.” Asharav laughed as he thundered past Isaias, his momentum plowing through the deep snow in a burst of coiling flurries.

Isaias was shocked, the Lieutenant was already a fifty meters in front of him, all that hinted of his coming was a feint ribbon of dancing snow wrapping itself around his helmet.

Isaias’s eyes narrowed as his face hardened into a scowl.

He shoved his Kirvka back into its harness loop, crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back further to make a luge out of his body. Looking almost cross-eyed down his nose, all he could see was a growing wave of white as his whole body became a human missile. Soon his back lifted above the trough of snow splitting before him revealing the mountain slope ahead.

Isaias’s blood went cold.

Gone were the mounds of powder that Isaias had banked to slow his decent, he realized too late that he had plowed effortlessly though them without even knowing it, and now only forty meters ahead was the mountain’s edge.

“Brace yourself Isaias!” Asharav thundered, “We’re going over!”

With a quiet prayer, Isaias feverishly ran through the protocol of his augmentations, already knowing it was too late. Before he could even move his arms, his body had left the solid earth, and flew over the cliff’s side.

What lay before him took his breath away.

The mountain slopes had all but disappeared, what remained was a crucible of towering pyramids of granite, checkered with great fields of snow and glacier. Isaias felt as though he was flying between the great peaks of the mountains with nothing but the lazily churning clouds below him.

Torakatan’s glorious sun peered through the uppermost layer of clouds above them, bedazzling the greatness of the range with a kaleidoscope of prisms and twinkling starlight from waving banners of floating snow.

If only he could stand on them, they may have saved him, a hundred meters below.

Maybe.

The wall of clouds rose up to meet Isaias, swallowing him up in a suffocating blanket of cold damp muddy light.

Isaias bent his knees and forced his body to stand upright as it fell, hoping against hope that the trust he had for his equipment would reward him for his faith.

He was answered by a bone breaking jolt in his feet followed earnestly by a spine shattering impact in his legs the orthotic augmentation in his extraordinary armor quickly absorbed and dispensed as unbearable frictional heat. Isaias lay dazed upon a cracked slate floor barely able to move from the blind impact, his augmentations in his armor now baking him alive as he struggled to fight the shock of impact and fumble with its release hatch.

With a click, the bracing skeleton of his carapace armor fell away, parts of the thin decel tubing nothing more than red-hot molten slag. He cast them out, thanked the God-Emperor in silent prayer for his deliverance, and assessed the status of his armor, himself, before finally looking around.

He had fallen through a tiled roof and was now sitting in a crater where a grand mosaic had been. The heady fumes of incense floated through the thick air, and Isaias immediately knew he was inside the chapel of the ancient monastery.

There came a loud crash followed by the winding roll of a spinning metal plate and Isaias immediately had his Hot-shot’s sights upon an open doorway. Asharav stood there, looking down the barrel of his own weapon back at him. He had a finger to his lips, his eyes flitted to a space at the other end of the chapel.

Isaias turned with the sights of his rifle to fix his gaze upon the far wall. Upon it was a great fleur de lys made of what looked to be almost a thousand kilos of pure silver. Just beneath it were a dozen skeletal sisters, fully adorned in ashen grey armor of their order. They were arranged in a circle, their bodies still in ardent prayer to a hooded figure braced like a scarecrow on an easel in the center of the covenant.

Isaias was already upon his feet, moving away from Asharav as they parted to either side of the gruesome sight. Isaias felt a prickling in his neck as he continued to survey the eerie arrangement of sisters. He couldn’t help but think the sockets of their eyes were following his every step. With a glance to Asharav, Isaias could tell by his clenched jaw and bead of sweat dripping down Asharav’s goggled face, he was feeling the same thing.

“So…” Came a rasping voice from all around the hall, “The Manthing, Inquisitor Yan-Dul has sent investigators to the silenced monastery.”

“Who are you? Show yourself.” Asharav demanded.

“You already know me Lieutenant Asharav,” The voice called back, “I sent for you.”

“Inquisitor?” Asharav said, looking around wildly for the source of the voice, “What have you done with him, where are you, creature?”

“He wasn’t difficult to turn once I bit him.” The voice replied coldly, “This covenant was mine in a single night, there’s little that you can do to take it from me.”

With a jolt Isaias noticed a small millipede crawl out from the frayed hem of the robed scarecrow.

Isaias vaporized the insect with a superheated charge from his hot-shot and returned to draw a bead upon the robbed figure. In shocking horror, Isaias saw the eye sockets of the sisters writhe, overflowing with swarms of viciously fanged centipedes dribbling down their enameled cheeks like tears.

Suddenly, all thirteen figures jumped to life charging forward towards them, and with a blood curdling screech the figure in the cloaked hood turned from behind the infested horde to Isaias and hissed,

“Let me show you what happens when the bed bugs bite!”

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2013/06/28 02:23:39


 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

A Flawless Soul. A Fatal Mistake.





Battle was upon them.

Asharav strafed to his left, his legs deftly knitting a scissoring sidestep as the mob of the infested monastery chased after him. His motions were matched with unparalleled precision as Isaias mirrored his every move, both weaving blasts of supercharged energy into the hearts of the enemy. Their movement spread the advance into an awkward disjointed spiral as their assailants loped in a disheveled rabble after them, leaving massive gaps in their defense as Isaias and Asharav put painstaking effort to keep them inside their crossfire. Yet the lethally accurate strikes did nothing to even slow the creatures’ advance; the holes in the defiled powerarmor quickly sealing shut from the writhing mass of chitinous flesh beneath.

“Kill the synapse creature Isaias! Kill Inquisitor Yan-Dul!” Asharav ordered desperately as he popped out a steaming powercell and reached for a reload.

Isaias immediately obeyed, turning his rifle directly towards the hooded fiend he sent it jerking violently backwards into a crouching stagger as he landed shot after burning shot directly into its shaded face. The hood burst into flames from the laser’s charge, embers scattering across the room as the sisters writhed in squealing pain. Quickly spreading to the robes, the blaze fell away with the shredded fabric to reveal the dreaded truth of the Inquisitor.

There had been no face beneath the shade, not even a head to fix it to, only a seething mass where the neck had been guillotined. Its many organism infestation in the hallowed chest was growing and mutating at a rapacious rate, rising to become a new face. It was that of the horrifying alien preying upon devoured flesh and blood. The Tyranid had erased Inquisitor Yan-Dul, and was now reconstructing him in the image of its own race. Soon, what stood before them was a thing of nightmares, a collage of flesh, a mosaic of specialized aliens metamorphosed into a hardened mask of chitin that sickened Asharav as Yan-Dul’s features surfaced.

Hardly a moment had passed before Yan-Dul’s head snapped back yet again, a neat hole burned through his forehead as Isaias sent him back to his knees. The creature rose, cracking its neck and grimacing as the hole shrank and then disappeared completely.

It grunted to Asharav,

“Frustrating isn’t it,” Yan-Dul said, “To see your friends take up arms for a new cause.”

Asharav spat back his reply with another blade of hot-shot into the thing’s throat. The hole hadn’t even closed before Yan-Dul spoke through a smoke ring, “Perhaps it would be easier to simply join it.”

Asharav made to reply but soon found himself snared by the icy hands of a sister behind him. With all of his strength he threw the body over his shoulder, breaking its flimsy arms at the elbows. The gauntlets however, stuck fast to his biceps, and the weight of the attached power armor dragged him to his knees. To his horror he saw a wave of centipedes crawling up their smooth surfaces, their razor sharp pincers clicking maddeningly as their many rhythmically drumming legs slithered segmented bodies towards his neck.

“Isaias, if you’re going to kill the bastard, now’s the time!” Asharav pleaded as he tried in vain to lift the weight of the gauntlets clamped to his arms.

Not expecting a response, Asharav was astounded as he saw a change in Isaias.

His eyes were ablaze with a harrowing light, their ominous orange glow flooded past the veil of his mask, cutting a path in the dusty chambers like a lighthouse beam. He hadn’t bothered to reload, instead, he had thrown his weapon to the floor and released himself of his burdens on his back.
“Isaias what are you doing? Shoot him!” Asharav shouted before he let out a cry of savage pain. The needle nose of the lead centipede had opened a gap between the plates of his armor covering his bicep and triceps and was burrowing deeply into his flesh. Blood spurted in agonizing bursts as the Tyranid wriggled its way into his body. Gritting his teeth, Asharav wrenched aside the iron grip of the dead sister, seized the crescent shaped combat knife from its holster on the small of his back and drove it directly into the insect’s head gnawing its way to his shoulder. It gave one last convulsive bite before lying still in the burrow of his arm.

With one hand eviscerating the remaining crawlers moving up his protected body, he stole a glance back to Isaias.

He had transformed; the Isaias Asharav knew was but a shadow of what warrior advanced towards Yan-Dul now. The boy who once wielded the hammer and chisel was gone, the man that had been issued the shock maul in its place was a faded spirit of the monster closing in upon his prey. The temperature of the room was plummeting with every approaching step, the light beaming from Isaias’s eyes was inhuman, a raging inferno stolen directly from the forges of Imperita. Shock maul in hand, Isaias swung the mace so hard it lifted the armor of an advancing sister off her feet and threw her into a crumpled heap against the floor. Another singing blow rang out, snapping the spine of another infested before being bludgeoned into submission by Isaias’s ruthless attacks. Sparks of electricity showered out from the dented armor as the dead sister within shook and curled into incapacitation. Isaias removed an inferno grenade from her belt, shoved it into her opened chest cavity, and walked away. The sister rattled in a self contained fireball, before finally her hallow armor sat still.

Asharav stood slack jawed as Isaias single handedly moved from sister to sister, absolving them each in a whooshing plume of an inferno grenade, before finally, only he and Yan-Dul stood face to face in the temple’s center.

“So,” Yan-Dul said, venomous spines extending like claws from his clacking fingers, “You too have been claimed.”

Isaias said nothing. Though fire burned in the man’s eyes, the room was now colder than the arctic mountain air outside and continued to plummet. To be in his presence was as intolerable as the void itself. Asharav’s skin prickled and tinged until he was numb from head to foot, the fierce amber of Isaias’s eyes fixed upon Yan-Dul’s lifeless gaze as they circled each other, one predator stalking another.

Isaias twirled his maul elegantly in one hand, and Asharav couldn’t help but shiver through his survival suit as his dripping blood from his arm began to form shallow pink icicles.

Without so much as another word, Isaias was upon Yan-Dul, his crackling maul barely deflected by a blindingly swift parry before a savage Thwack! echoed throughout the chamber. It happened so quickly Asharav didn’t even have time to process the events unfolding as Yan-Dul staggered back from Isaias. Yan-Dul didn’t even manage to put his foot back onto the ground before receiving several more flawless blows into his patchwork chitin skull.

“Your speed…” Yan-Dul croaked as his knees hit the ground, “…It’s, not human.”

Isaias grasped Yan-Dul by the neck and threw him in a great arch to land in a broken mess behind him. Many legged creatures shivered away from Yan-Dul, dying in agony as they broke from Yan-Dul’s frame.

“You…” Yan-Dul said in a hoarse whisper, an accusing talon hovering at Isaias’s chest, “You aren’t a man.”

Isaias stepped on the Tyranid’s throat, squeezing the life out of it like an insect. Yan-Dul thrashed violently, but Isaias’s burning eyes had veins of ice, chilling even Asharav to the bone as Isaias quietly knelt down to stuff an inferno grenade into the hole in Yan-Dul’s armor.

Isaias turned as a bleak silhouette back to Asharav, flames erupting like the maw of the warp from behind him as Yan-Dul’s infested body burned. Asharav recoiled as Isaias’s glowing eyes advanced upon him, the last of the inferno grenades in his hand.

“Isaias, what are you doing?” Asharav said nervously, scrambling with his good arm to find Hot-shot pistol.

“Don’t come any closer!” Asharav warned, trying hard to unfasten the weapon’s holster, but it was too late. Isaias was upon him, and in a single swift motion, he had pinned him to the ground.
“Isaias!” Asharav screamed helplessly in betrayal as he watched in horror Isaias pulling the pin of the grenade. Asharav twisted, but was held fast by Isaias’s grip, his wounded arm flailed desperately as the grenade fell into the hollowed powered armor next to them. Isaias thrust its opened end against his shoulder, and Asharav screamed in agony as the roaring flame severed his limb completely.

Isaias rolled off him, taking Asharav’s charred arm with.

“Isaias! What the fla-“ Asharav bellowed, but saw the gaping hole where the Tyranid had burrowed into him. Thousands of wriggling flagella were hatching, using his deadened arm as their nursery. As they poured out, Asharav noticed they were miniature versions of the thing that had nearly eaten him.

He made to respond, but felt a stirring in the floor, a rumbling as the tiles shifted and opened to a shallow bowl.

Asharav forgot the pain as he saw the figure taking shelter behind a huddle of very stern, very real, and very alive troupe of sisters, standing guard over her.

“I know who you are.” Asharav said to the young girl dressed in an acolyte’s robe, “You’re Saint Valicor. The, Saint Valicor.”

“That she is specialist.” The closest of the sisters agreed, Asharav could tell by her flowing mantle and fur lined cape that she was the canoness of the order, “And you are to blame for her death.”
“What?” Asharav asked dumbfounded by the accusation, “We just saved you. I just got my arm ripped off!”

“Unless you have an army to your back, you have given the scent and soon flesh of this woman freely to the Tyranids.” The canoness replied coldly, ignoring Asharav’s injury, “Sister superior’s, secure the chapel, they will be upon us in moments! Hospitaler, tend to this man’s wounds while we all still breathe”

“We just burned them to ash.” Asharav began as the Hospitaler approached, but was cut off by a sister superior, “Implants within the sisters that fell to the infestation sealed this bunker along with Inquisitor Yan-Dul. He was outwitted by the Hive Mind of the Tyranids and used as bait; the creatures you have slain were sentinels put here to be destroyed by your ignorance to open it. They knew that if anyone came to rescue us, it would have been you, and that if you succeeded, it confirmed you were sent to extract a high value target.”

“Then I’ll hail it in.” Asharav replied defensively, “Help will come.”

“You can certainly try.” The sister superior replied, as she moved towards the chapel door with her bolter bouncing against the sleek armor of her thigh. She suddenly stopped dead in her tracks as she reached the ajar door. She, along with everyone in the room had frozen listening hard to a long drawn out moan carried by the howling wind outside echoed through the monastery. The wind slowly pushed the heavy door open, and as the snowy mountain air gusted into the room, all were aghast to see the glacial pass leading to their doorstep completely buried in a tidal wave of bounding Tyranids.

Isaias stood beside him, hand gently upon his trembling shoulder, it was all Asharav could do to not cry in despair. The setting Torakatan sun was lost beneath the moving mountain, its golden glow swallowed whole beneath the maw without end, and through his shock, Asharav knew it was the last he would ever see.

 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

Visions




Isaias couldn't explain what had happened to him even if he tried.

One moment, he was following the movements of Asharav, the next he was standing next to his Lieutenant while the man clutched the stump of his missing arm. He stared at the rampaging horde spilling over the glacial pass, tepidly watching the sisters as they prepared to hold against the many headed maw drawing near. Asharav was on his vox, calling in the situation, barely able to keep the strain out of his voice as the monastery walls trembled from the stampede outside.
In a flash of vertigo, Isaias was flooded with a scene that overtook his vision. His rifle was falling out of his hands as he drew his mace. In a blur of motion and color, he stepped past his enemies to stand toe to toe against Yan-Dul. The Inquisitor’s pincer mouth moved, but no sound came at first, his face blurred and distorted as it warped from repeated blows. He fell, and Isaias sank with him into fire.

Yan-Dul’s echoing voice rang in his ears, “So you too have been claimed,” as the fire burnt itself black.

The trance changed, spines of tyranids were just ahead of him, crashing against the stone walls of the ancient monestary in a typhoon’s stormsurge. Isaias was firing his rifle, bleeding it dry, reloading it to bleed it out once again. His rifle spurted death as though it hungered for alien flesh, his unfeeling hands guiding his aim in a daze of automation. Isaias no longer had control of if his body, it acted of its own accord. His rifle spluttered as the coolant of his Hot-Shot exploded in a jetting fan of steam, but Isaias continued to fire until the barrel glowed molten orange. He discarded it into the neck of a squirming tyranid, the sizzle and pop of cooking flesh disarming the charging dog sized urchin of blades long enough for Isaias to bury the head of his Kirvka into the back of its head.

Isaias’s vision blurred again into a smeared canvas of speed and light, disorienting him as his sight cleared long enough to see eruptions of volcanic fire just beyond the battered monastery doors. The handful of sister’s still fought, the bark of their bolters flashing in mesmerizing starbursts of haloed light, sweeping away the taint befouling their convent.

Isaias suddenly found himself alone on the muddy ground, tumbling rocks and ash raining down upon his battered body. Ears ringing in a deafening head splitting drone, he slowly rose to his aching feet to see Valkayries thundering overhead, tearing down the valley with long streams of rockets strafing across the burning tyranid horde. In the flaming craters left behind rose gav chute specialists, their red flashes of hot-shot screamed through the air, peeling back washing tides of aliens. Artillery shook the mountain, their earth splitting reports a distant rumble in Isaias’s numbed ears, even as they rained flaming mounds of dirt and burning sheets of debris back down upon him.

His hearing returning to a dull roar, Isaias whirled as he heard a feeble cry among the chaos. In the ruble of a crumbling bell tower lay Asharav, his broken body trapped and twisted between two large slabs of stone. Isaias sprinted towards him, his every step too slow for his racing mind to accept the reality of the Lieutenant’s failing body. Throwing himself against the stone pinning Asharav, he dislodged it and pulled his ragged body onto his shoulder.

“Never been so glad to see you in all my life.” Asharav coughed weakly.

Isaias put a hand on Asharav’s belt and withdrew a flare.

He could tell Asharav knew he felt the same.

+++++

Galeakora looked to the report of the datastream. His braids rustled feverishly in anticipation.

One unit left.

He thought to himself as he redialed the sacred code upon the screen and volunteered himself back to the machine spirit.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2013/06/28 02:28:31


 
   
Made in us
Veteran Inquisitorial Tyranid Xenokiller






The Peripheral

Asharav Fading






Asharav was fading, his sight swam as Isaias plowed through the deep snow with Asharav’s bloody body on his shoulder. To Asharav the battle had become little more than shifting broken shapes, haloed blossoms of flame, and long humming ribbons of light streaking past his sluggish eyes. He heard little; the cracking thud-wheeze of detonating hellfury missiles all but muzzled to a thrush-hush of an infernal death rattle. He felt less, Asharav was numb from the waist down, his arms weighed as much as tanks, as Isaias’s held his limp body to his own shoulder armor. Isaias moved beneath him, a rock against the raging chaos surrounding them, his every movement calm and steady, perhaps even meditative on the blood stained altar of the mountaintop. With a hissing red flare in his free hand, Isaias trudged on, indifferent to the quaking earth around him, the seething fire, the stifled air of death wrapped in a cloak around them.

But the mountain earth was not silent to her torture. It rumbled, and moaned, and even Asharav could feel her pain as she gave way beneath them. Asharav fell face first into the icy snow, its unkind sharpness tenderizing his already raw face as he lay there in the cold darkness. He rested for a moment, his breath ragged and heavy in his chest before finally conjuring the strength to turn himself back to Torakatan’s burning skies.

Asharav’s breath fell away from him at the sight of a monstrous centipede, a thousand times larger than the fiends he had stomped into paste in the chapel behind him. It had risen from a burrow beneath the ice and snow. Blackened rock, the heart of the mountain below, fell in a plume of smoldering dust as the alien brought itself to bear all of its segmented arms towards Asharav’s paralyzed form.

“MALOCS FROM BELOW!” Asharav heard someone scream in terror from behind him, several more of the towering xenos rose from the heaving ground, their segmented bodies unfurling from the depths like the wildly accelerated growth of a gorefern. The creature in front of Asharav unfurled its final segment, a hooded head, tapered to a razor sharp maw as wide as he was tall. With a rattling hiss, the beast extended talons the size of trees from its back and sides, locking its void lost eyes with Asharav’s.

Fingers trembling feebly, Asharav rose his hand up in protest, knowing his frail attempt for mercy was as pitiful as it was vain. The Mawloc’s jaw opened wide and closed in upon Asharav, swallowing his vision in a terrible mesh of jagged teeth. Asharav screamed with the Mawloc’s roar. He felt no pain as he shut his eyes, but kept screaming until he had run out of breath with a feint squeak.

He had not died; Asharav dared to open his eyes.

He saw the Mawloc writhing and twisting violently upon itself, coiling into a maddening knot of agonized chitin and flesh. Then, from the convulsing mess came the red halo of Isaias’s flare imbedded into its spurting eye. It fizzled and snapped as it stubbornly held itself within the Tyranid’s snapping form. No sooner had Asharav sighted the beast, a blinding flash of lascannon light washed out the nightmarish scene of the battlefield. His sight returning from blindness, Asharav saw the Mawloc had been riddled with several burning holes big enough for him to have walked through. From overhead came the rushing engine drone of a Vendetta surveying the wreckage as it soared past into the dark night beyond. With a sickening crunch, the teetering Mawloc before him broke in half, issuing a guttural wail as it crashed into the blood soaked snow. The heavy impact threw ribbons of whirling snow into the ember filled air, their twinkling reflections of the mountain’s hell-fire a sight of dazzling ironic beauty as the creature perished in torturous spasms.

His reprieve died with the creature however as two more lithe behemoths skulked from the night air, their double jawed mouths open wide in a snarling hiss, beckoning the horrors of the night to draw near to their dominating presence. From the firelight came ambling shapes of countless maws to a ravenous horde. Their shrill cries resounded in the air as the teeming mass of life shifted its weight as a single organism to converge against Asharav.

He saw their black eyes, soulless reflections of the conflagration encircling them as they crept nearer, drawing themselves into a tsunami of razor’s teeth and bladed bone. With a deafening roar echoing in the granite cathedral of the mountain slopes, the Tyranid’s unleashed themselves in a reckless wave towards him.
Asharav jumped as he felt a heavy hand clasp his shoulder and pull him backwards in the snow, before shoving him into a snowbank and dropping a bloodsoaked hot-shot lasgun into his hand.

It had teeth marks embedded into its forestock and bits of flesh still clung to its battered surface. Asharav could not help but think of Isaias as the blood soaked his tattered survival suit.

“Fire your rifle soldier!” Came a stern order from a voice above him, “You may be crippled, but you are not less able than the man who gifted this weapon to you!”

Asharav looked up and saw the Canoness aim her bolter into the advancing wave and emptied her entire sickle clip into the exploding ranks.

“I will not waste a bolt for you Asharav!” She chastised as she reloaded with her sisters, “But if you do not fire that infernal weapon, it will not be my bolt into your skull, but the Tyranid’s consuming acid bath you will fear tonight!”

Asharav shouldered the weapon and fired. At his side knelt a dark figure, and he knew immediately with a wave of relief that it was Isaias as they fired in tandem until their weapon’s cooling vents screamed in protest, and their searing hot barrels dripped in molten slag.

“Overheated Ma’m” Asharav cried as his hot-shot rifle finally faltered with a weak splutter.

“I can feel their presence smothering me, Evyo,” Saint Velicor said feebly, “We must call for the navy.”

“Command!” Canoness Evyo called into her vox, “Command come in damn it! We have Velicor, and need immediate eva-”

The Canoness stopped midsentence as her eyes widened to the night’s sky. She drew her powersword, Asharav followed her shocked gaze upwards to the burning sky. It had disappeared, the heavens themselves swallowed whole by winged Tyranids. Entirely unfazed by the struggle for air superiority by the valiant Lightning Fighters circling above, the air raid overwhelmed their darting maneuvers and blossoming missile strikes, bringing the entire squadron down in a crashing wave of falling sky.

“Emperor’s faith and fury!” She proclaimed to her sisters and they answered in a fearless choir, “We are cleansed here, ardent and everlasting.”

Canoness Evyo belted over the sounds of destruction, “No enemy too great or far” before a joining her sisters for the final verse,

“For we are the Order of the Weeping Star!”

Asharav let the deadened rifle fall from his hands and held his head to keep the dread in his heart from swallowing his mind. He felt the warmth of Isaias’s hand upon his shoulder and wept as the light of the world was eclipsed by the descending madness above.

Asharav wept shamelessly.

He could hear the screams of the dying as the Tyranid swarm crashed into the remaining soldier’s ranks around them. The sightless pitch of the night amplified their terror blooming within him as they were torn apart just beyond Asharav’s sight.

He sobbed in despair as his hope bled out of his ruptured veins, the chill of death was near, but not so near as Isaias. Asharav opened his eyes and looked to his comrade, the intense stare of the heartless killer had vanished from his burning gaze. Instead, Isaias’s eyes were kind, the fire of his irises a homely amber glow in the drowning abyss around them. In them he saw a bond with something greater, a beacon, a flame of human spirit the falling sky could not stamp it out.

Asharav saw hope.

Not just the aimless, wistful plea of desperation, but a determined, unyielding compassion of will. It was one that not only spoke of optimism, but also of a deep intuition; a knowing that the flame was justified. Its intensity was so strong Asharav’s frailty dissipated, the cold in his marrow thawed until his entire body was revitalized, galvanized in a soothing flame from within.

“Order a naval strike on our position sister!” Came a cry from the masses of huddled soldiers between the vigilant sisters.

“You believe it wise Saint Velicor?” The canoness cried back in the blackness, “Can you muster the power in your condition?”

“I will manage Evyo” Velicor said back, “Order the strike.”

The canoness’s voice snapped off a quick series of orders to fleet command, before bellowing, “To the ground soldiers! Put your hands over your eyes lest you be blinded by the Emperor’s Holy Wrath!”

Asharav stayed where he was, watching a purple haze form itself around saint Velicor. A muted light sprang from the darkness, illuminating the befouled snow of the battleground and the maw upon the earth swallowing them as they raced towards the saint. The haze shifted to an aura of flame, Velicor’s eyes blazed as tendrils of psychic power flooded from her hands. She lifted herself from the earth upon aquiline wings of fire. Asharav stared slack jawed at the woman, her rags were caught in an otherworldly breeze, smoldering to ash as a barrier of light cradled her form. She held the ethereal wraps in her hands as she looked to the falling sky of Tyranids, their talons so close Asharav could see his shocked reflection in their polished bone.

From directly above Velicor, sprang a single point molten fire. It spread as a whirlpool of orange light, rays of flame leaking from the cracks of disintegrating alien until the entire sky was a billowing curtain of fire. From its center came a pillar of light, drowning out the Saint’s aura for an instant before Asharav could see her hands had caught the orbital strike’s energy. The pillar of wrath peeled back the sky, a spiraling pinwheel of fire fanning across the heavens, swallowing the night in a blistering dawn until Asharav couldn’t bear to look upon her anymore. Sheltering his eyes, he clung to the earth as the hurricane around them burst into barely contained conflagration.

Asharav felt Isaias’s grip tighten around his hand, the deafening sound of annihilation drowning out all of his senses. He felt the kiss of immolation upon the back of his neck, the taste of bloody snow in his mouth. It was all he could do to not open his eyes to the blinding light around them, to instead bury his face deeper into the cold mountain ice.

And then it was gone, taking the sound of the world with it.

Asharav opened his eyes, he was being dragged through the snow away from the chapel. Hoisted into the hold of a black Valkayrie, Asharav saw Isaias turn and run back to a blackened crater. Enfeebled and bloody, Asharav readily accepted the medic’s IV, one of many pouring into the wounded souls next to him.
He saw Isaias returning from the lip of the crater, the Sisters by his side, and the unconscious Saint Velicor in his arms. The stonefaced Evyo turned and barked an order, though Asharav could no longer hear. Isaias passed her the frail woman and ignited a flare in his hand. The sisters departed and sprinted towards the Valkayrie as Isaias stayed behind.

Asharav fought to sit up, resisting the medic’s physical request to lay still. His heart was sinking fast as Isaias remained distant from the Valkayrie.

Why isn’t he moving? Asharav thought wildly, Run you damn fool.

And then Asharav saw it, a great mound of dirt rising as subterranean burrowers raced towards him. Asharav was screaming, the sound lost in his deafened state as the sisters reached the Valkayrie and jumped in just as it began to rise from the mountainside.

Asharav dragged himself to the Valkayrie’s edge, the medic and four Sisters pinning him down as he continued to scream at his friend, who remained still.

Isaias’s face turned towards the banking Valkayrie, and Asharav’s eyes connected with their amber glow. Asharav unwilling came to the terrible realization, Isaias had chosen this fate. It was plain in his eyes. The great Mawloc exploded from the earth, raining down filth upon Isaias’s unflinching gaze, it was one of the same fiends as before, judging by a great hole blasted through its chest. Asharav was sobbing uncontrollably, screaming curses into the air as he watched a great talon impale Isaias and lift him into the air.
One look into Isaias’s eyes and Asharav knew he was already dead, his arm stubbornly holding the flare high as a trio of Vendetta’s circled past and lanced the Mawloc until it fell to the earth, already lost from sight by the next wave of endless Tyranids.

Asharav fell back and curled himself into a tight ball. His friend had just saved them all, and now the only thing Asharav could imagine was his corpse being defiled by a hundred thousand parasites to make a hundred thousand more.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Galeakora solemnly retreated from the data-log. Isaias was gone, yet the anomaly remained unsolved and his file blank. Searching Asharav’s file, he found that he could not re-establish his link, even in Asharav’s portal.

“What is the meaning of this Red Baroness?” Galeakora asked, “Why can I no longer access these men’s’ files?

Asharav and Isaias have been declared primarus level security threats by the Order of the Weeping Star.” The automated woman’s voice replied, “You will have to find another port of entry to discover and eliminate the anomaly.

“Do you have any knowledge of who else crossed either of these men’s paths?” Galeakora pressed.

Indeed I do. Access file 4-AR.93Y, he is the only man in this complex that has encountered these men after the current date.”

“Wait,” Galeakora asked suddenly, “Both of these men? As in Isaias as well? The man I just watched die?”

There came an extended pause from the Baroness.

“Baroness?” Galeakora asked, “What are you hiding from me?”


File 4-AR.93Y, techpriest.” Came the reply, “With all haste.

 
   
 
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