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Author Topic: Recovering an old friend  (Read 1271 times)

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  • Lord Commander of the 29th Great Company
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Recovering an old friend
« on: April 17, 2014, 10:07:38 PM »

The Space Wolf long fangs quickly moved into position. The years of simplifying the maneuver to a few well practiced steps. In the time it would take a normal human to say their name, the heavy bolters were in position. The readouts inside their helmets showed the enemy was just outside the range of the weapons waiting. To the left and right, two more squads of Long Fangs moved up, and just as quickly as they had set up their weapons. Behind them, they heard the blood claws approach, ready to launch an attack should any enemy survive the Long Fang fire. Now it was a waiting game, one the Space Wolves were well suited for.

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Wolf Priest Ghorden saw the final squad indicate their readiness on his readout. The line was solid, and the flanking forces would be in position within minutes. Initial reports indicated that the opposing force was traitor guard, obviously under the influence of Chaos, their appearance was reported to be quite bestial. The advantage of weapon range and mobility would be with the Space Wolves, though numerically the traitor guard would have the advantage, if it could be called an advantage. Reports coming in indicated that the force was a light infantry regiment, with no confirmed sightings of any tank or recon sentinels. This would mean that the flanking units would have an easier time engaging the enemy as the prediction for hard defensive points was low.

But doctrine ictated that recognizance still needed to be conducted, so Ghorden ordered his two thunderhawks in to verify his Intel. A thought transmitted through his neural interface activated the icon, and the Thunderhawks banked to make their first run. Their auguries at full power, and the slaved servitors started processing the sensor information, looking for signs of the enemy.

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Far above the battle, the Space Wolf ships orbit carried them around the planet, they would be out of viw of the Space Wolves on the ground for 20 minutes, the Vox satellites would keep the channels open. The Commander of the fleeet, ordered the escorts ships to a higher orbit, to provide cover for the battle barge. It hadn't been confirmed that the traitor guard were indigenous.

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From a dead defensive satellite far above the surface of planets only continent, six dreadclaw drop pods broke through the facades that had been used to hide them from visual inspection, and fired their maneuvering rockets once they were clear. Driving straight for the continent below, the marines inside awoke from their self induced hibernation, a state of metabolism that did not register on the Space Wolves scans for life forms. The main drives engaging once their orientation had been confirmed, now only small changes to their path could be performed.

As they entered the atmosphere, they became the payload of tears of flame, their tails miles long, visible to all those on the surface looking to the sky.

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On the continent below, the space wolves only saw circles of fire, growing larger by the moment, the fiery tails not visible from the Space Wolf positions, as they were directly in line with the path of the dreadclaws. A moment later their displays showed the traitor guard was on the move, an echelon move to the Space Wolves right. This would take the imperial Guard through the heavier forest, and out of the main avenues of approach. Ghorden ordered the wolves to sift their positions, if the Guard came through the dense forest, the bike squad and jump pack equipped Blood Claws would be useless. But still he was not ready to order them to prepare to go on foot.

A quick look to the sky and the balls of fire were much larger, his command ordered the thunderhaks to change their path to bring it into a position to scan the falling balls of fire, he needed to identify if they were debris from space, or something else.

A moment later, the message from the fleet, relayed from the Vox satellites proved his first though they were not drop pods from the Space Wolf fleet, he warned the fleet to full alert, and to make speed o provide support to the ground force. Something was happening, the wolves would be ready.

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The first Dread Claw fired its breaking rockets moments before impact, slowing the vehicle to the minimum force survivable by its occupants. The legs of the dreadclaw deployed down a split second after the rockets fired, locking into position just before impact with the ground. The metal behemoths irises open in the middle, between the landing legs, and out of 9 of them jumped Purple colored warriors of the Emperor’s Children. From the 10th, a platform lowered an adimentium armored dreadnought. Each Dreadclaw's rockets had burnt a circle of earth around it, and the precision of the pilots had landed the crafts so that each circle of devastated land overlapped its cleared land. The nine dread claws with warriors had each contained six warriors; with the command vehicle contain the Lieutenant leading the mission. Fifty Five warriors of the Emperor's Children, and one Dreadnaught moved off as a single entity, heading directly for the flank of the Space Wolf lines.

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Ghorden knew that this was a trap, the timing was to perfect, he still had eight minutes without fleet support. He had ordered his wolves to engage the Chaos Warriors that had fallen from the sky, ignoring the traitor guard, if he had to have someone at his back it was better to have the guard then the obvious Chaos Marines that had come down from space. His communications with the fleet had proven that the marines had been hiding somewhere in orbit, but had avoided detection. This did not bode well for their intents.

The Thunderhawks had scanned for the opposing marines, but only their Dread Claws had been identified, the occupants of the Dreadclaws were evading detection. He dispatched the scouts to try and find out where the enemy were, they were following the most direct route from the Space Wolves to the Dreadclaws, but they hadn't reported any contact as of yet.

They projected time of contact with the Traitor Guard was ten minutes, so they needed to find the chaos Marines, deal with them, and then turn to deal with the traitor guard. And based on the number of drop pods he had seen, the number of traitor marines could be as high as one hundred. The older pre-Heresy drop pods could carry ten marines, twice as many as the current drop pods.

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The traitor guard came out of the woods at the Space Wolves, fully six minutes before their estimated time. They must have been trained in woodland terrain, they moved as fast through the woods as the marines were doing. The Wolves turned to engage the traitors, caught at the edge of the woods. Their training again allowing them to bring their heavy weapons to bear within a heartbeat. The lead traitor never made it out of the woods, the marine weapons catching them as soon as they exposed themselves. But they kept coming en masse, with those that followed leaping over the bodies of those that fell before them. The marines no sooner emptied a magazine into the traitor then they, with practiced ease, reloaded and continued firing.

The range closed and the traitors weapons came to effective range and they fired, but with seemingly indifference to actually hitting. But with the hundred that now were in the open, the law of statistics started to favor the traitors, and the lasgun fire started to find weaknesses in the marines armor. Two marines went down, lasgun shots penetrating the joints in their armor. But it was to late for the traitor guard, their numbers thinned, they broke and ran back into the woods with the marines fire dropping more with shots to the back.

It was then that the dreadnaught burst through the woods, the first warning of its presence was a tree falling. But the marines didn't hear the tree fall, they only saw the dreadnaught.

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Ghorden's mind reeled at the sight of the dreadnaught, his senses were betraying him, he saw it, but didn't hear it, and is armor's sensors were not indicating it was there. He ordered the heavy weapons teams with the missile launcher to engage the dread, though his mind still did not believe his eyes.

The team continued to fire at the retreating guard while the missile gunner targeted the dreadnaught. The missile streaked past the dreadnaught and impacted a tree just behind the dreadnaught, and with the explosion the marines senses went wild. Their armor's sensors displaying a force of marines almost surrounding them, their sense of smell detecting the marines, and their hearing locating each marine around them. And through the air, flew three bodies tied together with strange metals. One had their eyes removed and their eye sockets filled with the metal, another had the metal driven into their head where their ears should be, and the last had a spike of metal driven into its skull where its nose should be. Ghorden knew sorcery when he saw it, but the meaning of the bodies was still a mystery, but his training and the training of his men took over, but it wasn't quick enough, the traitor marines had had more then enough time, and they used it wisely.

The dreadnaugh'ts plasma cannon fired into the thickest concentration of Space Wolves, instantly vaporizing the marines it touched. The other marines, their armor a deep purple, fired their strange looking guns. And out of those weapons flew not bolts or missiles, but concentrated sound waves. The Wolves touched by the sonic energies shook and then fell to the ground. A smaller number of shorter weapons that the traitor guard then fired, their sonic waves blasting their targets to atoms in mere heart beats, surfaces touched peeled away molecule by molecule, until the wave then passed on.

Ghorden and his men, returned fire, each picking a target for their bolters, and many of the bolts found their mark, cracking traitor armor and exposing them to the might of the emperor. The marines were reacting quickly, but the traitor guard had their own agenda, and charged the Wolves. Ghorden saw a leader, and readied himself for the assault. But as the purple armored warriors closed the distance something clouded his mind, slowing his reaction time, and the charging traitor used this to his advantage, striking at Ghorden in his confused state. Ghorden's mind was still reeling from the warp screaming in his head when his body registered the traitors power sword had penetrated his defense, and driven straight through his chest, ignoring the emperor's Amulet, he knew he was dead even as he fell to the ground, his eyes registering the fight going on all around him.

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The Emperor's Children walked amongst the dead, their sorcerers invisibility had been destroyed by an unlucky missile from the Space Wolves. Lieutenant Barry looked around at the dead wolves, inspecting each before they carried the bodies to be laid in a line. Barry knew that the marines would have sent scouts out, and they needed to be found. Gr'th the commander of the 4th Cohort of the Emperor's Children, what the Space Wolves had called the traitor guard, was collecting the weapons of the wolves and distributing it to the larger of his troops. They were beast men, Homo Sapiens Varius, and dedicated to Slaanesh.

A braying was heard in the distance, and Barry looked at Gr'th.

"The wolves come," was Gr'th's answer to the inquisitive look. Barry and Gr'th turned and walked into the dense woods opposite the direction of the sound. Barry looked to see the position of the dread, it was almost to the target destination, escorted by six of the sonic armed warriors. As he passed each of the bodies, Barry placed a fragmentation grenade below the dead marine's necks. The Emperor's Children dead were no where to be seen, they had been buried once their geneseed had been removed, but they would not be found easily, and if they were a melta bomb had been placed with the body.

"Do we coninue to the objective, or do we stand here?" Gr'th's whispered question carried a second question.

"We continue to the objective, the marines do not matter."

"Then why did we ambush them, and then line up the bodies?"

"For the sport of it. The Lord Commander demanded a sacrifice for Slaanesh," was Barry's answer. But Gr'th's mind wondered who the sacrifice was, he had lost 200 troops today, and the Wolves had lost 20. What was the sacrifice that had been demanded, he still had 300 soldiers, and the loss of men didn't worry him, but he would like to know, to better serve Slaanesh.

Behind the two the fragmentation grenades detonated destroying the dead wolf’s throat and upper chest area. This was a symbolic gesture by Barry, he had destroyed the Wolves geneseed. Those, whose geneseed wasn't destroyed in the blast, would quickly be rendered useless as it was exposed to the elements. That is twenty sets of geneseed the Wolves would never see. A smile graced the Lieutenant’s face, he enjoyed this.

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The scout walked into the opening where the fight had been waged, their revulsion was evident. The headless bodies were arrayed in a straight line, a plume of gore spreading out from the top of their chest cavities. Who ever had done this had taken the marines weapons, and drawn crude marks on their armor. This was desecration of the worst kind.

The scout leader activated his command link, indicating he was now the senior wolf on the ground. His vox communicator chimed almost immediately, the fleet was directly above, maintaining a stationary position above them. And the thunderhawks indicated they were tracing a Dreadnaugh'ts progress as it cut a swath through the woods.

While Thrace and his scouts had melta weapons and melta bombs, enough to handle the dread from a range, he knew it was suicide for them to engage the dreadnaught. With a thought and a twist he indicated the Thunderhawks should engage the Dreadnaught, and any troops near it. The signal he sent indicated that they were free to use any force to avenge their brothers.

His request to the fleet was for support and orders.

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The Thunderhawks dove on chaos troops, as it closed in missiles disengaged from their wig pods, streaking down through the atmosphere towards their targets. Before the missiles impacted, the Thuderhawks fired their spine mounted battle cannons. The impact of the streaking missiles was momentarily blinding before the battle cannon shells hit and even the explosions of the missiles were engulfed in the super heated cloud of their explosions. The augers of the Thunderhawks couldn't detect anything through the expanding gas of the explosions, so they banked away scanning for other targets.

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Lt. Barry's readout displayed the Dreadnaught ad the six escorts had stopped responding to authentication signals, they were gone, though they had not reported any contact with enemy, this did not bode well for the mission. He still had twenty marines of the Emperor's Children, enough to do most anything.

He adjusted teh planned route to avoid the area where the dreadnaught and the troops had been killed. There was still five hours for him to accomplish his mission more then enough.

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The enemy had not been trying to hide their trail and Trace and his men had been at a full run for the last two hours. At this rate they would have caught lesser men, so it was obvious that they were hunting marine’s experienced in woodland tactics. There were tracks of booted and hoofed feet along with those of the marines, the traitor guard were working with the marines. But the Hoofed feet didn't make sense; they were two legged and weighed almost as much as a marine, pack beasts perhaps. Their tracks had joined the marines along the trail, perhaps the traitors had hidden them. But then that would seem to indicate that the ambush wasn’t their main purpose, if that was true, what was their purpose. The Dreadclaws could have landed closer to their objective. The Thunderhawks had returned to the fleet to be refueled, they had proved ineffective in finding the enemy.

Thrace knew that no more wolves would be dropping to the surface; the Wolf Priest's forces had been all that was left of the ground troops that had left the fang. Five years of war had dwindled their numbers to just what had landed on this planet, and they had been heading back to Fang to be reassigned when the Inquisitorial request had come in. Though the wolves first instinct had been to ignore the request, the indication that sorcery was involved had lead the Wolf Priest to believe that he hated sons of Magnus might be present, so they responded their acquiescence to supply aid.

Upon planet fall they had found a chaos cult on the world, Petoris II. A world with almost no Imperial inhabitants. The Inquisitor had been determining its status for re-colonization, having been subject to exterminus five thousand years ago, the eco-system of the world having restored itself, erasing any presence of the pervious inhabitants.

The Inquisitor had said that the current inhabitants were the descendants of an imperial survey team sent close to three hundred years ago, their navigator died upon entering the system.

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The Emperor's Children entered the clearing with an hour and a half left on their timetable. In the center of the clearing was a large circle of stone, raised thousands of years earlier to the same master the Emperor's Children served. The stone circle was composed of six perfect pieces, each interlocking seamlessly to create the circle. The only way to identify the six pieces was by the type of stone, each was very different, most were not from this planet, and one very important one wasn't even of this realm of existence.

With a nod the remaining traitor guard moved to surround the stone, each equidistant from each other, forming an almost perfect circle, with only one imperfection, on missing position. Once in position, they started chanting in low litanies, their bestial throats seemed to be perfectly suited for the chant. Their chant had an almost instantaneous effect; the air over the stones was shimmering in a dizzying myriad of colors.

Within a minute the stones shattered to dust and revealed a pit beneath them, with a set of obsidian stones leading down from the break in the beast man circle. Lt. Barry stepped through the circle of guard and proceeded down the stairs, quickly disappearing into the artificial gloom of the pit. Above, the guard continued their chant, while the Emperor's Children marines faded into the woods, waiting for the Lt and any Wolves who may attempt to interfere.

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Thrace heard the chanting long before a mortal would have been able to discerned any sound. The immediately spread out to avoid an ambush, senses at the altert, weapons ready. Thrace sent a message to the fleet that he would need Thunderhawk support, and possible orbital fire support. His neural message also changed the Wolves path to circle around the source of the chanting, to approach indirectly, no sense of following the enemy marines directly into a trap.

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Traitor Guard were dieing quickly to the Wolves weapons. Each shot that rang out saw a traitor guard fall. Several times a melta charge reached out from the woods and a Traitor ceased to exist. But the guard never moved from their positions, their chanting never wavering. After the first clips of their weapons were empty, close to one hundred traitors were dead, still as many stood in their positions around the circle in the ground. Thrace ordered the Wolf Scouts to assault the guard, to conserve their ammunition. They ran forward and cut down the beast men with wild abandon, but still the guard did not move, they died with chants in their throats.

Thrace looked at the hole in the ground and the over two hundred dead guard around that died around it. Not one had moved, not one had stopped its chanting to even show a gleam of recognition. The ground around the hole was laden with the blood of the dead and more was joining it, leaking from the bodies of the dead. So much blood was running that it spilled over the lip and down onto the obsidian walls of pit and running down the black stairs.

Thrace pulled a signal grenade from his belt, set a two second delay and dropped it into the hole watching it disappear into the darkness, quickly loosing sight of it. After the delay he saw no sign of flare activating, the blackness of the pit swallowing up the flare and its signal.

The augers and senses of the Wolves could find no sign of the marines who had traveled with the bestial guard, and the tracks of the marines that lead into the woods quickly disappeared. Was there an undetectable fleet above to teleport the traitor marines away, were they that adept at woodcraft that they could avoid the wolves detection? Again, the Wolf scout leader had deep concerns, and with the Thunderhawk support being minutes away he thought that the worse was coming, his senses telling he to move his troops to the woods.

His order to fall back and take a defensive stance was freshly issued when out of the woods stepped Inquisitor Creetz and his retinue. The wolves brought weapons to beer, and the inquisitor and his retinue quickly the same. Creetz held up his hand, and his retinue lowered their weapons. "Sergeant Thrace isn't it? Well, I see my faith in the Wolves was well placed, you have tracked down the source of these problems."

"And what would that be Lord Inquisitor?"

"Ah a Prince of Chaos who avoided destruction so many thousands of years ago. He was a Lt. Commander of the Emperor's Children who reached daemon hood at the cost of millions of the inhabitants of this planet. The forces that are here are attempting to liberate him from his prison, I am sure they found him the same way I did, by the psychic call emanating from his resting place on this planet."

"If they heard the same call as you, how did they know where to find him while you did not?"

"Why the Homo Sapiens Varius of course, they have been here for moths searching for the tomb. Those guard you killed have been searching for some time. I knew they were here, though I did not know that the Emperor's Children had the patience to wait these many months hiding above the planet, which was a bit of a surprise to me. But before you ask me any more questions, I suggest you drop as many melta bombs you may have into that tomb, and you plant charges around the circumference and attempt to collapse it."

Thrace was no happy with the Lord Inquisitors tone, but with a nod the marines moved start preparing their demolition. As the first of the charges were being dropped over the lip of the pit, the marine preparing the charge leaped back from the pit moments before a sinuous whip snapped through the place where their neck had been moments before. The rest of the wolves stopped their tasks, and readied their weapons as a gigantic form leapt from the pit landing behind the marines.

Its form towered above the marines. In it's right hand it wielded by what would have been large for a marine a gigantic obsidian headed halberd, with bells that rang sensuously lilting music. The armor of the left arm had mutated into a larger shield with a terrible fleshy whip growing from the shield. Its head was a terrible parody of the bestial heads of the dead guard laying about the pit, bestial and bull like, with large downward pointing downward. From his back grew massive wings, that stretch farther then the monstrosity was tall. From its back stretched lines of vile fluid that seemed to pierce the armor and drive towards the beasts heart. All this was taken in the time it took the beast to leap over the marines head and land on the ground.

The marine’s reaction time was super human, and already they were tracking and firing at the monstrosity by the time its weight had settled on the ground, but the rounds seemed to be deflected by a demonic aura, and those that pierced the aura were deflected by the daemonic armor it wore. As the last of their rounds sped from their bolters, the marines were reloading, for many of them this was their last magazine, their minds already reading themselves to charge with the last of their rounds.

A combat servitor in the Inquisitors retinue activated a psycannon it wielded, the rounds traveling through the material realm as well as the warp, their left trails of insane glimpses into the warp. There was not snap of the bullets as they broke the sound barrior instead there was insane screams from the rents in space. Each round slipped past the daemon's aura as easily as they tore through the barriers between the real and the warp. But each round was stopped by the armor of the favored of Chaos.

The inquisitor leapt forward, unlimbering a Daemon Hammer from his back in a practiced motion, charging towards the daemon. But the daemon was faster, it was his charge that carried toward it to the Inquisitor, and in its furious charge had gained momentum and the initiative, the drugs pumping directly into his heart increasing his strength. The Daemonic Prince was a force comparable with that of a Demolisher cannon, its daemonic strength augmented to the point that when the blade struck the inquisitor it instantly killed him, shredding the Inquisitor to pieces, with the inquisitors charge carrying the pieces of his body to impact the daemon showering it in Gore. The servitors devoid of their guiding mind seemed to turn off, the wolves taken aback by the death of the Inquisitor paused a heart beat.

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Deep in space the Wolves fleet detected a ship, alarms screaming into being, weapons traversing to aim at the new arrival, the fleet changing directions to bring the side batteries to bare. But a quick identification signal identified the newly discovered ship as an Inquisitorial ship. A moment later, the wolves fleet detected a massive power surge, that matched the warp signature of a teleportation pad activating.

And just as quickly, the Inquisitional battle barge faded from the sensors of the Wolves, but a momentary blip indicating that it had not left.

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The wolves had charged as they fired the last of their rounds, with their training and true grit they fired the unwieldy bolters with one hand, while they drew their combat weapons with their other. Their charge carrying them past a shimmering vale, and the materializing forms of Five grey Knights. This time the daemon prince did not have the advantage of charging as the suppressive fire of the Wolves kept him off balance. The wolves attack lacked the punch of a power weapon to pierce the armor with ease; instead they would have to use skill to pierce the armor as well as the daemons defenses. Several times the wolves were sure they wounded the prince, but each time it seemed that vile liquids would leak from the wounds and seem to seal the wound.

The Daemon Prince was shielded from the Grey Knight weapons by the attacking wolves, so the Grey Knights moved to assault the Daemon Prince, and as they moved they saw all the hoses feeding the prince pump a greenish liquid and the prince seemed to move even faster. The Grey Knights knew that the warp spawns warp scream was slowing the wolves, and distracting them. And with a vicious set of attacks by the whip and dark bladed hell glaive, all but one of the wolves were separated to pieces, leaving the sergeant as the only member still fighting the prince, and even then, the Grey Knights could not bring themselves to fire into the melee, so with a prayer to the emperor, they charged, their sacred Nemesis weapons and their faith dedicated to destroying the chaos spawn.

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The prince knew that his life was on the line. Fighting marines was child’s play, but the warriors he now faced knew his tricks, and were well prepared to fight him, and he had been trapped in his pit for so long.

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The Grey Knights attacked as a well practiced machine, they fought as one, each attack was meant to draw the enemy into making an opening to be exploited by another. They were trained for just this, and in their past had destroyed many warp spawn. Their armor and weapons were the bane of the warp, and their prayers were as distracting to the warp creature as his warp screams to them.

The fight quickly turned against the daemon prince, his combat drugs, and regeneration fluids cold not stop the stem of wounds that were be inflicted by the Grey Knights. The battle dragged on, and no more marines had fallen. They had now cornered the daemon prince, and surrounded it, only his flesh whip had prevented those behind him from the freedom of attacking with impunity.

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Lt. Barry watched from the top of the steps enjoying the Daemon Prince's situation, relishing in the realizations the prince would be facing, true death after thousands of years of isolation.

Finally as the prince's reserves were drained, and the Grey Knights were setting up the prince for the final round of battles, Lt. Barry signaled his men. They moved to assault, and Lt. Barry held aloft a box covered in the skinned faces of his six most potent opponents, he channeled the warp, fighting past the resistance of the Grey Knights presence, and reached out, connecting the warp to the Brother Captain of the Grey Knights, who in a flash of reality was gifted with spawndom, his form exploding into a multitude of shapes and limbs pleasing to Slaanesh. And his troops engaged the Grey Knight marines, relieving the daemon prince.

As he watched the Grey Knights cut down the Emperor’s Children, some bewitching of theirs dulling the Emperor's Children, slowing their assault. But the distraction was enough to allow the Daemon Prince to cut down some of their numbers. Soon there were only five Emperor's Children, the Daemon Prince, Lt Barry facing one Grey Knight and the Wolf Scout Sergeant Thrace. In a flash, Thrace and the Grey Knight accounted for an Emperor's Children each, while the Daemon Prince's weapon feasted upon the Grey Knight.

Stepping in from the rear, Barry lashed out with his power weapon, cutting through the back of Thrace's legs, seperating muscle from bone, and casing Thrace to fall backwards. With a twist and a flash, Thrace's hands had been removed by the power weapon. The daemon prince moved to strike, but a raised hand from Barry held his hand.


"There are six alive, and time has elapsed. Slaanesh has shown us that this is the last." Barry looked at the fallen Thrace, attempting to use the stumps of his hands to pick a melta bomb from the ground. From Barry’s armor a needle like weapon extended, and Thrace knew what it was, an Apothicarian tool for extracting geneseed.

Barry moved to each of the dead marines, extracting their geneseed. Starting with the Grey Knights, two precision thrusts pulled the pair of organs from their bodies, and storing them in receptacles deep within his armor. As the organs were removed, the other Emperor's Children, threw the bodies into the still looming pit, only recovering the Emperor's Children weapons before throwing their bodies in after the loyalists.

"The Grey Knights will mostly likely target this position from orbit, I would suggest you get your fleet to recover you. I don't believe they will bomb the entire continent, so you should be able to recover the bodies of your fellows." With a twitch a vial was ejected from the arm of Lt Barry, "Here is the geneseed of your Rune Priest; I give this to you as a present for your spirit. The rest I keep."
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Babongza

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Re: Recovering an old friend
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2017, 03:41:12 AM »

I'm sure the information you give is really valuable.
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