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Author Topic: Risen  (Read 1313 times)

Cenobite

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Risen
« on: April 30, 2014, 11:54:46 PM »

Ceno-note: I originally wrote this for the old site several years ago. I've rescued it from the ether, with a few minor edits that only I'll notice.

Also, here's a tune that I think fits the story. Open it in a new tab.  ;)





Blood pooled in a congealing puddle at my feet as my squad mate started to cut the face off of a fallen Imperial Guardsman. He wasn't alone. The others were practicing the same ritual on the other slain guardsman. I watched as my squad mate took the flayed face and, in keeping with the tradition of the Sons of Leviathan, stretched it carefully across his shoulder plate while the others followed his lead. It was then I received a vox, short and to the point. “Markus Tenn, return. Lord Malinche has fallen”

Though we encountered no resistance, it took us roughly a half-hour's time to make our way back to base camp. It was a circular clearing we'd made in the woods, one hundred meters in diameter. There was a single path leading to a road we'd discovered soon after planetfall. We'd been sent to this backwater shrine world, called Dammil, on a mission to eliminate an influential Confessor named Osiris Khost.

Despite the news of our lord Malinche, I could not help but grin as we stepped out of the woods and into the muddy clearing. The bodies of several Adepta Sororitas littered the ground, their skulls already flayed. In the center of the clearing sat Amojan, the man who'd sent me the vox.  He was adorning his shoulder plate with Khost's face.

“What happened?” I asked

“I do not know if you are aware of this, but earlier in the day Lord Malinche ordered Tiron and his bikers to raid a small shrine to the False Emperor located roughly thirty clicks to the north.” He then paused, waiting for my reaction

“Yes, I know. Continue”

“It started perhaps an hour ago. Tiron and his men returned, having captured a reliquary of some sort from the shrine. It was a plain wooden box containing the shin bone of one of their saints, or something like that. Tiron was in the process of presenting the reliquary to Lord Malinche when the sentries warned us of one of those flame tanks approaching. We readied for battle, and I am not sure what Lord Malinche did with the box.”

I nodded. “That explains the smell of promethium in the air. How went the battle?”

Seemingly reminded of it by our topic of conversation, Amojan checked and reloaded his bolt pistol. “In truth, it was a disappointment. Two of our men fell to the tank's flames as it entered camp, but then one of Potemkin's men damaged the turret.”

I was not surprised. Potemkin lead a squad of heavy weapon experts, and they were very good.

“When that occurred,” Amojan continued, “the doors opened and the passengers got out.” Amojan paused briefly and growled.  “Five Adepta Sororitas lead by the Confessor himself. Insulting at best. I don't understand why he thought that would be enough.”

I nodded again. “Foolish, but does it really matter why? He is dead, and our mission is accomplished. Now, tell me what happened to Lord Malinche”


“Come.” he said, leading me in the direction of one of the Dreadclaws we'd made planetfall in and were now using as makeshift buildings. As we entered, the first thing I saw was Lord Malinche's body slumped against the far wall. His power armor appeared undamaged at first, but then I got a better look at his helmet. There was a large hole in the temple, with a matching exit wound on the other side. Strangely, there was no blood.

“Lord Malinche ordered the attack, but to save the Confessor for him. I sang a song of metal and flesh as we opened fire. Four of the Sororitas fell within seconds. But the fifth...” 

“She did this? How?”

“I... I do not understand it. I know our shots were true. Sonic blasters, bolt pistols, even a lascannon... She would not fall!” Amojan started pacing around the room. “She ran by me and I cut off one of her arms as she passed. At the elbow no less, but she did not react!” He paused again, unconsciously patting the hilt of his power sword, but I merely waited for him to continue.

He stopped pacing, turned to look directly at me, and spoke with a voice of calm detachment. “She took a few more steps and then stopped. She raised her bolt pistol and fired. She didn't even aim. The bolt struck Lord Malinche in the head and tore through his helmet as if it were parchment. All the while, that Confessor was singing hymns. That tank sped off as we turned our attention to Lord Malinche. It was then that Zsasz leaped onto that woman's back and sliced her head into three pieces with his lightning claw.” 

I imagined all this in my head. “A shame to lose her face, but understandable given the circumstances. What did you do then?”

“Well, first I voxed you, then I had Lord Malinche's body brought here. From there I went back to where he fell and found this.” He opened one of the pouches on his belt and pulled out a bolt round. “This is the bolt that killed Lord Malinche. But the bolt never detonated. It was a dud.” He handed it to me, and I examined it.

“This doesn't make sense.”

“I know. But that's how it happened. I saw it myself.”

It took me a moment to absorb all this. My eyes fell upon Amojan's shoulder plate and Khost's face. “When did you kill the Confessor?”

Though he was still wearing his helmet, I could tell Amojan was grinning. “Oh, he's not yet dead. He never ran, even when the tank fell back. Brave, I'll give him that." Amojan chuckled. "I decided I wanted him alive for now, so after the battle I had two of the men kept him under guard. After I found that bolt round I returned to them and used my combat knife to remove his face. Then I gave him to Zsasz to play with. I believe he's vivisecting the Confessor in another one of the Dreadclaws as we speak.”

I grinned beneath my own helmet. Zsasz was talented and would not want to be interrupted until he was done. I'd have to wait a day or two before I could speak with him.

Amojan and I were leaving the Dreadclaw when we heard a noise behind us. A moan. I turned and saw Malinche's power fist raise from the ground a few centimeters and then drop again.

“He's alive?!” I ran to his side and motioned for Amojan to follow. We carefully removed Malinche's helmet and saw something we did not expect.

Everything between Malinche's nose and temples was gone. I could see his brain, or what was left of it, but there was no blood or any other fluid coming from the wound. Then Malinche turned his head. He looked right at me, though he had no eyes. “Markus? I can see things... hear things, but I don't understand them. Its like they're trying to tell me something... show me, but I don't speak the language.” His voice was deep, but sounded tired.

Without warning his body lurched, and a green energy started arcing from the exposed brain tissue. After a moment it coiled around his wound, a wireframe in the pattern of his missing skull. He turned his head to Amojan and then back to me. He spoke again, but it was a woman's voice this time. “Don't worry. I won't hurt you, I'll take care of you”

Amojan was standing very still. “Lord Malinche?”

Malinche's body turned its head towards Amojan again, and the woman's voice responded. “Yes, in a manner of speaking. He's mine. I am his.”

I do not know if Amojan noticed it, but simultaneously as the female voice was speaking I heard another voice, like a whisper in the background. Malinche's voice. “It's so beautiful” he said. I took a step back.

As soon as I moved, the head snapped back to face me. “Markus, its me” Malinche's voice said, and this time I heard the female voice as a whisper in the background. “I'm no stranger” it assured me.

Soon, Lord Malinche was walking around again issuing orders. Sometimes he spoke with that female voice whispering behind him and other times it was her voice in dominance, but they always spoke simultaneously. After an hour, he chose to remove his power armor. His flesh was soft, like an overripe fruit, the skin peeling away in places. He sent Tiron and his bikers on a scouting mission, disappointed Zsasz by making him kill the Confessor immediately, and had Potemkin's men take position a few meters into the nearby forest, just out of sight. Once he was satisfied with what we were doing, he returned to his Dreadclaw. Malinche was up to something, but he wouldn't tell us what.

An hour later we knew. Following their orders, Tiron's bike squad sought out the Immolator that had escaped earlier. They followed its trail back to that small shrine and discovered only eighteen Sororitas remained there. Tiron and his men circled the shrine a few times and the Sororitas took the bait.

Tiron voxed ahead as his bike squad made the return trip. The Sororitas were following in two Rhinos, and some sort of heavy Rhino varient which he said appeared to have an organ mounted on it. However his main concern was six robed and hooded figures following him. They were on foot, but keeping pace with the bikes. Tiron had only a few minutes lead. We readied ourselves.

Within moments Tiron's squad arrived and turned to face the entrance to the camp, revving their motors and waiting. After only a minute the six robed figures appeared in the path. We opened fire.

The vibrations of our sonic weaponry tore the robes to pieces in short order, but the men wearing them continued on. They were pale, naked save for loincloths, and covered in syringes and other empty stimm injectors. None of them had hands, their forearms replaced with a  variety of implanted weaponry. Two of them fell before reaching our lines.

As Zsasz and his squad fought the arco-flagellants, the Rhinos and that organ tank arrived. The Rhinos sped into camp, but the organ stopped at the camp's edge. Right near Potemkin's position. I voxed him.

“Potemkin, take out that ...whatever it is. But try to aim for the tracks and anyone manning weaponry. I'd like to salvage it if possible.”

“Acknowledged”

I heard a high-pitched whine as Potemkin's men adjusted the frequency of their Blastmasters. A moment later some of the tracks on the tank shook loose, and a woman standing at the organ's keyboards was liquefied.

I turned my attention back to the Rhinos. They'd already unloaded their passengers, who were now engaged in a short range firefight with several of our squads. Even if all of the Sororita's shots were true, we had the advantage in numbers. This would just be a matter of time. I signaled my squad to advance and assist, and turned my eyes back to Zsasz and the arco-flagellants.

Things were not going so well there. Three of Zsasz's eleven troops had fallen, and all four arco-flagellants remained. Zsasz's squad would have to fall back to a better position if they wanted to win this fight, and did so at almost the exact moment I thought of it.

It was then that something bright in my peripheral vision caught my attention. Lord Malinche was calmly walking towards the arco-flagellants. He was naked, and the reliquary box floated in the air next to him, held aloft by an arc of that green warp energy manifesting from his skull.

The arco-flagellants noticed as well, and charged toward him. The first to reach him swung a limb sporting a circular saw on its end. The saw met skin, and there was a blinding flash of white light. When it cleared, Malinche was unhurt. He backhanded the arco-flagellant across its chest, tearing it in two at the waist.

The remaining arco-flagellants pounced, but were caught in mid-air by several whips of warp energy coming from Malinche. The reliquary box then rotated so its front was facing the sky, and opened. An burst of energy, the likes of which I've only seen when a dreadnought explodes, shot from the box with a sound like the death scream of the False Emperor.

Energy continued to shoot towards the sky as Malinche began to float in the air. His body went limp as the energies swirled around him like a tornado. There was a ripping sound like a tongue being torn from a skull as Malinche's spine straightened and a pair of metal armatures shot backwards from his shoulders. Then the thunder crack of his hips breaking, as four metal legs emerged in diagonals. I saw him smile as his flesh-legs and genitals fell uselessly to the ground. Then there was a sound like paper tearing as his skin tightened and he spontaneously grew a large pair of breasts.

He began to laugh as his hair fell out. Seconds later, the missing portion of his head grew back. The fighting had stopped as everyone had turned to watch what was happening. The ten or so remaining Sororitas fell back to the relative safety between the two Rhinos, then dropped to their knees and began praying. As for the arco-flagellants, they were still suspended in the air, struggling in vain to free themselves.

Their struggles ended a moment later, as Malinche's arms exploded in a shower of blood and bone. A tube of metal quickly sprouted from each stump, and from each tube, six black metal tendrils. She floated downwards and swung them at the arco-flagellants, dicing all three of them in a matter of seconds. Then the armatures on her shoulders took a life of their own, ripping the skin from her back, stretching it, cutting it, and somehow knitting it together. Apparently satisfied, the armatures spread apart, showing off her new wings.

She used them and took flight towards the Rhinos. The Sororitas were still in prayer, and none of the Sons of Leviathan wanted to get between Malinche and her prey. She hovered above them and lashed out with both of her new arms, each one ensnaring a tank. She then clapped the two together, mashing the Sororitas between them. She smiled with satisfaction, dropped the tanks, and landed with her back to me. She paused briefly, and then skittered off impossibly fast on her new legs in the direction of the shrine. We followed.

When we reached the shrine Malinche was single-handedly tearing it apart, all the while letting out screams of pleasure the likes of which I've never heard before. She was still nude. When she was done she found eight particularly large nails from some support beams. She carefully wrapped her tendrils around them and then thrust them, blunt ends first, into her skull, forming a halo in the pattern of a Chaos star. I heard Malinche's voice, but it was very, very faint. “I can see everything.”

I was the first marine to speak since the transformation started. “Lord Malinche?”

She turned and looked directly at me. It was the first good look I'd gotten of her face. Her eyes were pure warp energy, like I'd seen coming from Malinche's skull wound earlier. “Princess” she said. It was the woman's voice.

“Princess Malinche” I said, correcting myself. “What shall we do now?”

“Signal the rest of the Sons of Leviathan to come to Dammil. Its a big planet and we have lots of work to do.”

 
« Last Edit: April 30, 2014, 11:56:50 PM by Cenobite »
Logged
Like an evil twin
Feel it scratchin’ within
Like an insane sudden rangin’
And his beautiful face with his leathery lace
So can’t you see the play he’s staging?