Beyond the Warp
A/N: There is a cameo appearance of Lord-Of-Change's OC from the Death Korps of Justice, this is done with Lord-Of-Change's permission. Also for anyone that may be getting the wrong idea about this fic, this is not a carbon copy of his or her fanfic, rather I was inspired to write this from that fanfic, and as a final note there will be more than a literal ton of differences from Lord-Of-Change's story. And for those who are going to end up reading this I would appreciate it if you would please leave some feedback on how I can make the story better.
Also just as a quick warning, this chapter does get pretty bloody Warhammer 40k style.
-Patronus, Civilized World, Ultima Segmentum, Subsector: Euphrates-
For the past four millennia the people who had lived in the Euphrates subsector had existed in a period of relative calm and quiet. The subsector itself had little strategic value aside from a single forge world, and several civilized and agri worlds. On the civilized world of Patronus this would soon change, as a series of disturbing killings had taken place throughout the planet's capital city.
Several victims had been found with their throats torn open with a jagged knife and their organs removed. Many amongst the planet's populace had at first suspected that the killings were done by a Chaos cult. Initially these rumors were completely unfounded as the planet had no history of Chaos incursions since it was settled.
Instead the authorities believed that this was more than likely the work of either a deranged mass murderer or an organization that dealt with black market organ trade (I'm not sure if the black market even exists in the Warhammer 'verse but just roll with it here). At least that was what many had thought until the tenth victim had been found.
A group of young warehouse workers had been working late one night and all of them had heard a series of strange noises coming from one of the buildings that sounded suspiciously like screaming. With no small amount of courage, the workers went to investigate the screams but by the time they had arrived the screams had stopped and gruesome spectacle was waiting for them.
A young woman was chained to a table with several figures in black cloaks hanging over her, one of which held a jagged knife in his hands and had already sliced open her throat and had just begun to start cutting open the young woman's flesh.
The workers immediately ran to try and find help. Eventually they came back with a small group of the Adeptus Arbites who had been making an arrest nearby of a man who was being taken in for questioning in regards to possible connections with several criminal organizations.
When the Arbites entered the warehouse they found that the foul ritual was still in progress. Their victim was already dead but the cultists had apparently been trying to use the woman as a sacrifice so they could use some sort of sorcery, but for what purpose the Arbites didn't know and didn't care. These heretics had committed the greatest sin a human could commit, they consorted with the ruinous powers.
The Arbites immediately engaged the cultists and quickly gunned many of them down before they could even react to their presence. The ones that managed to survive the initial attack opened fire with what weapons they had, mainly a variety of autogun weaponry and scored several lucky hits against the Arbites who responded by redoubling their efforts to kill the cultists. Soon all but one of the remaining cultists were soon gunned down in a large volley of gunfire.
Despite the fact that the cultist had lost most of his blood and despite the fact that he had been practically eviscerated by a shotgun blast just below the chest he spoke calmly and coherently. The very last words that came out of his mouth before he decided to shove a ceremonial dagger into his jugular artery were "The servants of the Dark Gods will soon engulf this world, and there is nothing you can do to stop it!"
Needless to say, word of this encounter soon reached the ears of members of the Inquisition. Two inquisitors, one representing the Ordo Malleus who was known as Elias Monroe while the other representing the Ordo Hereticus known as Mena Rogan arrived on Patronus along with their retinues and commenced their investigation of the planet. Shortly after the inquisitors arrived the Cult that the Arbites had encountered had begun to step up their activities. It seemed as though the time for subtlety had long since passed.
Soon massive riots broke out all across the planet but it soon became clear that these weren't some random dissidents unsatisfied with the status quo. Instead it was a highly organized army of cultists that had managed to get themselves ahold of weapons that would normally be found in the Imperial Guard's possession. This meant that not only did the cult have an effective commander but they also had access to the Planetary Defense Force's (PDF) weapons as well, which suggested that they had people on the inside of the planetary government.
To make matters even worse the cultists managed to use their inside sources to allow them to capture a PDF supply base almost effortlessly. Once inside they captured many PDF troopers and sacrificed them to open a relatively small and temporary Warp Gate, which allowed a Word Bearers Chaos Space Marine Warband into Patronus. The Word Bearers slaughtered whomever had not yet pledged service to the dark gods or captured them to use them as sacrificial offerings to the ruinous powers.
It was at this point that the Inquisitors decided to call in their support forces and retinues as the PDF and planetary government could no longer be trustworthy at this point. While Inquisitor Mena preferred to work with a limited support force as she felt that it allowed her to better investigate without drawing too much attention. She did however keep several squads of Adepta Sororitas and almost a platoon's worth of Storm Troopers in reserve should things require less covert methods.
Inquisitor Elias however, used his resources so that he could call upon several squads of the Grey Knights chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, and several platoons' worth of Storm Troopers if necessary. He also brought his personal retinue that consisted of Marcus Ryder, a mercenary that was also a man of faith. Ryder had pledged himself to Monroe's service after the Inquisitor saved his life on the hive world of Indomita that had come under attack by the forces of Chaos. Ryder was a man in his late twenties, he had slicked back black hair, blue eyes.
Silas Mahan, a sanctioned psyker that was born to a hive world and had been recruited after he single handedly prevented a number of Chaos daemons from entering a cathedral filled with terrified civilians by using his powers. Captain Connor McNeal was the leader of a Cadian Kasrkin squad before his talents were put to better use as a captain in the Inquisitorial Storm Troopers.
Silas was a man approaching sixty years of age, his head was completely bald and had a number of implants melded into the skin of his upper neck. His sunken in grey eyes beheld years of experience on the battlefield, despite Silas' advancing age he was still a formidable opponent with his psychic powers.
Veers was a man in his mid-thirties, his short blonde hair had been made into a military styled crew-cut and had the same violet eyes that almost all Cadians were born with. His face also had a number of battle scars as was befitting a veteran such as himself.
Several Imperial assassins had also been tasked with accompanying the Inquisitor for the foreseeable future. A Vindicare known only as Sev, a Callidus assassin by the name of Lilith. And an Eversor assassin code named EA-2359, who was only used as a last resort given the Eversor assassin's penchant for ferocious psychotic rages and was always deployed behind enemy lines away from any friendly forces.
The last and youngest member of the retinue was Dante, a seventeen year old boy that had seen more frightening things than many could even fathom in his short life. Dante was Inquisitor Elias' apprentice and the closest thing that he had to a son. Dante was recruited after a Chaos space marine warband appeared on his home world almost seven years ago. During the attack all of Dante's friends and loved ones were butchered or sacrificed to the Ruinous Powers five years ago. All that was left of Dante was anger, hatred and a desire for nothing short of revenge.
During the sheer madness that had been wrought upon his home world Dante had shown remarkable mental fortitude for a boy of his age. After Dante had managed to make it back to the Imperial lines he was tested for any signs of chaotic taint, as it was rare that someone came back from a Chaos Space Marine encampment without a seed of heresy being planted. When it became clear that the young Dante was not a pawn of the Dark Gods, an Inquisitor by the name of Elias quickly took an interest in the young lad due to the fact that despite having seen countless horrors, his mental state was still intact.
It was unfounded for a boy no older than ten or eleven years old to have suffered at the hands of Chaos to not only emerge alive but also remain completely untainted by the Ruinous Powers. Several had speculated that this was one of the reasons that Elias wanted to take the boy under his wing. After all, anyone with the ability to be able to withstand the tormenting gaze of the Warp without going completely mad or succumbing to their two-faced promises, could prove to be a very valuable asset to the Inquisition.
The battle for control of the planet continued to wage on for almost three months with no end in sight. With casualties amongst the PDF and the Inquisition's warriors, Inquisitor Elias made a request for reinforcements. Within a few weeks' time, two full regiments of Cadian Guard and three Death Korps of Krieg siege regiments arrived on Patronus. Shortly after the arrival of the Imperial guard regiments the tide began to turn in the Imperium's favor and slowly the forces of Chaos found themselves being pushed back, little by little.
The Inquisitors soon found themselves taking command of large groups of Imperial Guardsmen as they scoured the planet for the root of the heresy on Patronus. After capturing and 'interrogating' a number of Chaos cultists and traitor PDF troopers they eventually learned their end game. The construction of a portal that lead directly into the Warp, Emperor knew what kind of horrors would be unleashed upon the Imperium from that unholy construct.
Time was of the essence as reconnaissance units that had been sent out stated that it looked like the gateway was nearly completed. The portal itself was located in the center of the capital city that had been seized by the cultists and their allies early on in the fighting. Now the city itself was completely surrounded on all sides by five Imperial Guard regiments, several untainted PDF platoons, and several squads of Adeptus Arbites volunteers who had extensive knowledge of the city. Last but not least were the Inquisitors and the warriors that they had brought with them.
Currently one member of Elias' retinue, Dante, was sitting down behind a small table in of the rooms that were inside one of the bunkers that lined the trenches that the Death Korps finished constructing shortly after they had arrived. He was cleaning his weapons as he didn't want them to malfunction in the heat of battle.
Dante had already gone over his chainsword and a specially modified shock maul called a psy-maul. Psy-mauls were a very recent weapon that had been put into production for the Inquisition. Like the power maul it emitted a powerful shock when it struck someone but it had a second function; when activated it emitted anti-psyker energies that heavily dampened the abilities of a psyker for a very short period of time.
At the moment he was trying to finish cleaning his bolt pistol which had been a 'gift' of sorts by his mentor; Inquisitor Elias after he had shown a penchant with one handed weapons. The pistol itself was quite unique, it had a scope that was able to help take down targets at a much longer range and it even carried a silencing mechanism which had proven to be thus far, invaluable during infiltration missions.
His armor was the same kind of carapace armor that most Inquisitorial storm troopers used but his was noticeably different. For one it wasn't as bulky as the armor that most storm troopers wore and Dante commonly wore a great coat that covered most of the armor, and the helmet was much more, unique.
The helmet itself was skull shaped, in fact it looked like a mixture between an Eversor assassin's helmet and that of a Space Marine Chaplain's. It was capable of doing several of the same functions that the Imperial storm troopers helms were capable of such as a built in auspex and vox unit. It also served as a very effective form of protection against most firearms such as las guns, stubbers and similar weapons.
Like several members of the Ordo Malleus, Dante almost always kept his face obscured from view if it was possible. With this in mind, Dante almost constantly wore his 'skull helm' when he was out in the field and only took it off when he was sure that he was in an area where he was positive that there weren't any prying eyes. There were a great many who would probably call this paranoia but given the duties that Inquisitors had to perform on a daily basis, trust in anyone, even oneself was a luxury that they could ill afford.
Dante had all but finished cleaning his weapons when he heard a knock at the door leading into the room. The apprentice stood up from his work and placed his weapons back in their scabbards before he turned around and faced the door "Enter," he said seconds before a Death Korpsman from the 503rd siege regiment walked in. The Death Korpsman wore the standard attire for all soldiers that came from Krieg, a standard flak armor chest plate, a great coat, thick, baggy looking pants, dirtied combat boots and of course their trademark helmet and gasmask.
"Soldier, identification number," Dante stated, deciding it best to get straight to the point even though the way he spoke could be misinterpreted as rude. However it was doubtful that the Death Korpsman would really mind all that much considering how their emotions had been ruthlessly purged from their minds after they were conscripted into the Krieg's military as children.
The Death Korps guardsman stood at attention and spoke in an almost detached voice "Private 769355-637566-Keled sir, I've been ordered to escort you to the command bunker by Inquisitor Elias, he needs you there for the briefing immediately." Dante then gestured for Keled to take him to the command bunker. The Death Korpsman gave a slight nod before he turned around and walked out back into the trenches with Dante following close behind him.
Outside the bunker was a trench that was wide enough for a Leman Russ battle tank to fit in, outside the trench towards the city was a thick maze of razor wire, tank traps and land mines. In the back of the lines, the artillery pieces constantly fired their heavy ordinance into the city destroying the desecrated husks that were once glorious buildings stood proudly. In the lines themselves, were hundreds of Imperial Guardsmen going about their jobs that ranged from patrolling the frontline trenches and the men in the towers keeping watch for any movement beyond the lines.
As they made their way through the grime and the mud of the trenches the guardsmen that saw Dante showed him the same decorum of respect that they would show Lord Inquisitor Elias. Most gave quick salutes if their hands were free but if they were carrying something then they would simply give a nod of respect. Most of the Imperial Guardsmen that they came across, seemed to be a little unnerved by Dante's presence. It was to be expected, as Dante was a member of Elias' retinue and he was an Inquisitor in training so it was only natural they would be uneasy around him.
Out of all the forces of the Imperium the Inquisition was by far the most feared out of all of them. Inquisitors had near unlimited authority to do whatever they deemed to be necessary. They could requisition almost anything they needed to complete their missions, they suspected almost everyone of heresy and if there was even a hint that someone knew something relevant, they would be brought in for interrogation.
These interrogations rarely ended well for the individual that was brought in for questioning. There were also times albeit very rarely, where they would simply execute someone because they knew or were related to the heretic just to be on the safe side.
However that paled in comparison to what the Inquisition was most notorious for enacting, an Exterminatus. An Exterminatus was enacted only in the event a planet was about to fall to the enemy. But it could also be enacted if whatever was on the planet was too dangerous to be contained by conventional means and ran a very real risk of spreading to other imperial worlds.
When an Exterminatus was undertaken, a fleet would take up positions around the planet and commence a sustained, full-scale planetary bombardment which would inevitably cause the planet's biosphere to collapse, killing every living thing on the planet. Thankfully for the people of the Imperium this was only done as a last resort where no other practical options were available. Besides given how well the campaign was progressing on Patronus it was highly doubtful that such an act would even need to be performed on this world.
At last Dante and his guide arrived at the bunker that was being used by the high ranking officers for a planning room. Keled opened the door that lead into the bunker and allowed Dante to enter the bunker. Upon walking inside the teenager saw Elias along with five other high ranking Imperial Guard officers going over a map of the city, along with a group of commissars who were watching them silently.
At least three of the ranking officers were part of the Death Korps while the other two were clearly men of Cadia given their uniform insignias and violet eye color. He also noticed that the rest of Elias retinue were not in admittance, which was to be expected.
Normally they almost always be together when on a mission, during a large conflict such as this, Elias would have the members of his retinue go to where they were needed the most in the meantime. They would either be assassinating enemy officers, reconnaissance, sabotage, or leading raids against outlying enemy positions in preparation for the main attack, amongst other things one would do to make an assault easier. The retinue would more than likely make it back to the Lord Inquisitor's side before the battle began.
They seemed to be going over some last minute details for the assault on the city as some of the Guardsmen were arguing with one another on what would be the best possible way to retake the capital of Patronus. The moment that Elias spotted Dante he gestured for the officers to be silent and for his apprentice to approach. Dante did as he was silently ordered and walked over to his superior and gave a quick, yet respectful bow.
Elias did not return the gesture from his subordinate/student and instead gestured for him to look at the map of the city as he spoke "Good of you to join us Dante, now have a look at the map." Dante did as he was bid and looked at the screen. The screen showed the city that had a large number of red symbols inside while on the outside was an even larger amount of green colored symbols.
Once Elias saw that Dante had committed the positions into memory he spoke up while he gestured to the Imperial positions around the city, "In twenty four hours we will be launching a full scale assault on the city." A large number of the green symbols on the map then became highlighted and they started to advance on the enemy positions that were just outside of the city.
Underneath each of the green symbols was a unit name and Dante easily noticed that all of them were part of the regiments from Krieg, most of them infantry in Gorgons and several Leman Russ battle tanks acting as escorts. It made sense, after all the Death Korps were quite possibly the most zealous military force out of all the Imperium's armies, aside several chapters of the Adeptus Astartes of course.
In fact there were many who questioned the need to have commissars attached to their regiments. The answer was actually quite simple and also very ironic, the Commissars were there not because the Death Korps needed fear and discipline to keep them in line. Instead it was because they needed someone to keep them from becoming too, overeager in performing their duties. Every Death Korpsman had an almost suicidal drive in them to fight the enemies of mankind with everything they had. They cared not for their own lives or their comrades, only that they won the battle.
The symbols for the armored and aerial units then lit up and started to advance along with the Krieg regiments. "The first wave will consist entirely of the Krieg regiments, they will be followed by a second wave of armor, primarily Chimeras, Hellhounds, Leman Russ tanks and Baneblades from the Cadian regiments.
As the first and second wave advance, they will have air support from several Vulture and Valkyrie squadrons as well as several Stormravens, the latter of which will aid our ground forces after they have finished deploying groups of our 'specialists' in key enemy positions inside the city. Reconnaissance forces that were sent out several days ago were able to sabotage most of the anti-air weapons that were of any real threat to our air forces, therefore we will utilize this newfound advantage in every way possible."
As the other forces continued to advance on the board, Dante made a note that there were a number of forces that were being held back, mainly the ones that belonged to Inquisitor Rogan and a few platoons of Imperial Guardsmen. It was easy to surmise that they were being kept in reserve even before Dante's mentor stated that they were being held in reserve in the event that the first assault didn't go as planned.
Elias then turned to his protégé who was standing just a few feet away from him, "Dante I will need you to pilot one of the Stormraven's into the city. The rest of my retinue and I will be on the ground aiding the Imperial Guardsmen in taking the outer sections of the city," he then turned his attention back to the map of the city, more specifically a cathedral that was close to the center of it.
"Once we have entered the city the Inquisitorial forces will make their way to this area at best speed. From what we have been able to ascertain from the prisoners we interrogated as well as our own recon reports, the cultists are planning to open a gateway into the Warp. We can only assume that they mean to bring in a massive army to aid in their attempts to take over this planet. The assault will begin in three hours. You all have your orders, I suggest that you carry them out."
The other generals gave a rare "Yes sir," as they were used to people saying that to them and filed out of the command bunker without a word.
Once the last of the commanding officers of the Imperial Guard were finally finished leaving Dante turned to look at his mentor "Lord Elias, I know I risk much by asking what may very well be an impertinent question, but I must ask: why am I piloting a Stormraven above the battle and not at your side on the ground?"
If Elias was offended at all by the question he did not show it "Because you are one of the few people that I know I am able to trust, besides you're piloting skills make you an valuable asset in aerial support missions, therefore I need you in the air for this battle, not on the ground." In response Dante merely nodded. Elias then dismissed him, telling that it would be best for him to get ready for the coming battle.
Just under three hours later Dante was in the cockpit of the Stormraven he had been assigned to use. This particular Stormraven had two twin linked multi-meltas mounted right below the cockpit, hurricane bolters attached to its side sponsons and a lascannon turret perched atop the roof of the aircraft.
In the back of the Stormraven was a full squad of Grey Knight terminators, each one carrying either a nemesis force weapon and storm bolter, an incinerator or even a psycannon. They all waited patiently for the Stormraven to lift up off the ground and into the air, not a word was passed between any of them as they sat in complete and utter silence. For most people it would be somewhat unnerving for several tall, quiet, heavily armed and armored individuals to be sitting right behind you, but Dante had grown used to the silent patience that this particular squad of Grey Knights displayed before they went out into combat.
Eventually the silence was broken when a voice came over the Stormraven's vox unit. It was one of the officers in the Inquisitorial storm troopers that Elias had under his command, "All forces, the assault is a go I repeat the assault is a go! Glory to the Imperium!"
Then, in near perfect sync with one another, the Imperial aircraft lifted up off the ground and began to fly towards the city. As the Stormraven flew up above the Imperial positions, Dante noticed the mass of Imperial Guard vehicles that were starting to make their way passed no man's land and towards the city itself.
Eventually Dante saw that the leading vehicle was in fact a Land Raider with the Inquisitorial seal on the top of the armor. It was just like Dante's mentor to lead the attack against the enemy. Some called Elias' willingness to be in the forefront of the assault reckless bravado, but Dante called it courage in the face of the enemies of Mankind.
A few minutes later, the large group of flyers entered the outer sections of the city but as they did, they were beset upon by auto cannons and similar weapons that had very limited anti-air capabilities. Of course given that most of the really effective anti-air weapons had already been disposed of, the defenders had great difficulty in hitting the Imperial aircraft. Sadly though, a few lucky hits to either the engine or the cockpit of the Valkyries sent them plummeting into the ground.
Through either luck or the Emperor's divine will, Dante's Stormraven managed to keep itself from getting hit by the heretics' weaponry and make it to the designated drop zone for the Grey Knight Terminators. The landing zone was a very large, rubble filled crater that provided a small amount of cover for the Terminators, not that they really needed any though given the armor that they wore could withstand anything short of anti-armor weaponry.
Unfortunately there were two full squads of chaos space marines as well as a group of cultists on the second and third floor of the ruined buildings that were dangerously close to the LZ. Dante couldn't see an anti-armor weapon on any of them, which meant that it was unlikely that they could do the Grey Knight terminators any real harm but Dante decided it would be best err on the side of caution.
The Inquisitor in training opened up with the Stormraven's heavy bolters and hurricane bolter sponsons. The bolter rounds sent bits and pieces of the building fell off as the rounds that didn't go into the bodies of the traitors, impacted the building that surrounded them causing dust and bits of concrete to fly everywhere.
After several long bursts of sustained bolter fire, Dante let go of the trigger on the joystick and waited a few moments for the dust to finally clear before he saw that the shredded bits and pieces of the heretics. Satisfied that they were dead, Dante continued to descend to the landing zone. As the Stormraven hovered downwards the Grey Knights remained silent.
They did not even bother to ask what had just happened as it was rather easy for anyone to surmise that the Storm Raven's pilot had encountered the servants of Chaos and that he had eliminated them. There had been a hostile force that could very well have posed a threat to the transport and now they were dead.
Finally the Stormraven set down in the crater and the boarding ramp in front of the aircraft lowered. Without missing a beat the squad of terminators ran out of the aircraft as quickly as their bulky armor would allow. Once the last of the Grey Knights had finished disembarking from the Stormraven; the boarding ramp was raised back into place and the aircraft once more took to the skies as he wasn't supposed to escort the Grey Knights to their objective which was just a scant few blocks down the street from where they had landed.
As Dante flew around the ruined city in the Stormraven he eliminated several enemy defensive positions, and as well as a number of vehicles with the lascannon turret, but there were still city filled with heretics and traitors to kill. Despite the hectic nature of the battle in the city, Dante was still able to easily keep in touch with Inquisitor Elias who – along with the rest of his retinue - was still making his way towards the unfinished Warp Gate in the center of the city.
Eventually Dante received a call for assistance from a group of Imperial Guardsmen who were pinned down by cultist sniper fire in the manufacturing district. Like its name suggested, the manufacturing district was primarily used to build machinery for the Imperium. Given that the planet wasn't a Forge World, the factories of Patronus' were only able to produce small vehicles and small arms for the local PDF.
Before the Chaos cult could take control of the factories several loyal PDF platoons made a daring but futile stand against the cultists. Eventually a single PDF platoon was forced to escape through the sewers but they had at the very least managed to deny the enemy their prize by setting up several explosive charges inside the factories, completely destroying them.
Members of the Adeptus Mechanicus all but demanded that the PDF troopers be executed for the destruction of the factories that they had created in the name of the Machine God. The commissars attached to the PDF were also more than willing to oblige their demands for the troopers' deaths as they had presumably fled from battle like cowards.
Fortunately for the retreating troopers however, Inquisitor Mena had stepped in and managed to smooth things over with the machine cult. She had interviewed each of the troopers shortly after their escape from the city and found that a lieutenant colonel had been with them throughout the battle and had given them a direct order to destroy the factories if they could not be held and to fall back to the Imperial lines.
Inquisitor Mena quickly came to the conclusion that the actions of the troopers were not heretical to the Emperor nor the Machine Cult and they had obeyed their commander's orders to the letter so they were not deserters nor were they cowards. However they had destroyed several valuable pieces of material production in the subsector, so the lieutenant colonel would simply have to make do serving as just a regular lieutenant for quite some time.
The instant that he snipers spotted the Stormraven they aimed their weapons directly at it and opened fire in a vain attempt to damage the machine, all the while they howled blasphemous words against the Imperium. Once again the might of the hurricane and heavy bolters purged the heathens of their lives and left the foul traitors as little more than pieces of sinew and gore.
Just after he had finished assisting the guardsman that the voice of Dante's mentor came over one of the secure vox channels "Dante I need you to provide us with air support at the following coordinates, the forces of the Imperium need to make the final push into the heart of the city at best speed! The heretics have already finished the construction of the Warp Gate, it's only a matter of time until they activate it!"
"At once Lord Inquisitor!" Dante immediately pushed the Stormraven as quickly as it could possibly go towards the center of the city. There was no time to waste, if the Chaos Space Marine Warband and their cultist allies managed to open a portal into the Warp, then anything from a massive army to a fleet of Chaos warships could slip through. The mere thought alone of the servants of the Ruinous Powers spreading their malicious influence further into the Imperium made Dante wish that the Stormraven could fly faster than it already was.
Before the Stormraven could get very far however there was a massive boom in the very center of the city followed by a shockwave that nearly sent the Stormraven crashing into the city streets.
Once Dante finally managed to get the Stormraven stable again he could clearly see a dark purple beam of light that was shining up into the sky. Everything was all too clear to Dante, the forces of Chaos had managed to open a portal into the Warp itself!
-Patronus' capital city: New Dawn, near the center of the city a few moments earlier-
Inquisitor Elias and his retinue as well as a cadre of Grey Knights and Inquisitorial storm troopers were making their way towards the center of the city. All the while they were praying to the Emperor that they would be able to reach it before the foul minions of Chaos could open the Warp Gate. They fought through a host of vile traitor marines and insane cultists that continued to throw everything they had at them which continued to slow down their progress into the city.
Currently Elias and the rest of his retinue were taking cover in one of the ruined buildings. The only members of the retinue that was not with them was the Callidus assassin Lilith who was currently infiltrating the enemy ranks to eliminate key officers or to sabotage their heavy weapons and equipment. The other was EA-2359 who had been dropped several miles north of their position and was currently going after a PDF General that had betrayed much of the city to the forces of Chaos.
Elias looked over at Ryder who had been kind enough to provide a suppressing fire with his heavy stubber in conjunction with the storm troopers' hotshot lasguns, while the Grey Knights eliminated the cultists with pinpoint shots from their own ranged weaponry.
Most of the initially charging cultists and even a couple of the Chaos Space Marines were gunned down in this manner, but there were several that were eliminated through headshots courtesy of the Vindicare assassin on a nearby roof. After the first wave of charging heretics were gunned down many of them took cover behind whatever ruined debris that they could find in either the street or the partially destroyed buildings. But their shelter provided them little protection from a Sev's Exitus rifle.
Whenever Sev received an order from Inquisitor Elias he would carry it out without any hesitation but most of his orders were to stay close and provide covering fire from the best possible vantage point. There were many found it odd that an Assassin was providing supporting fire when he should have been doing as his namesake suggested and going off on one's own and targeting the leaders of whatever enemy they were fighting. Sev didn't really care what others thought of him. The only thing that held any true meaning to him was that he did his duty to the Imperium and at the moment that duty meant that he had to follow Inquisitor Elias' orders.
Whenever Sev did something like this, he generally targeted those that were high up in the chain of command as it would help disrupt the enemy's chain of command and make it easier for the enemy to be defeated. As Sev worked he was completely silent. The only sounds that could be heard from him was either the crack of his weapon going off or when given an order he would send a single click for "yes," or two for "no" into his vox.
Sev aimed set his oversized sniper rifle's sights a completely bald cultist who wore nothing but a commissar's coat above the waist. The man was completely covered in self-inflicted scars and tattoos in the shapes of the symbols of the ruinous powers. He held a chainsword in his right hand and an auto-pistol in his left, and was apparently gesturing for the other cultists in the group to charge the enemy with the chainsword.
The Vindicare assassin lined up his shot so that it would hit right between the heretic's eyes and squeezed the trigger. There was a loud boom and everything above the cultist commander's jaw vanished in an explosion of blood, brain matter and bone. This process repeated itself with several other cultists and Chaos Space Marines that tried to take cover from him. None of them managed to survive for more than a few moments when Sev targeted them with his Exitus rifle.
When the last of the cultists' officers had fallen, one of the Grey Knights – possibly a squad leader - cried "Praise the Emperor and strike down his foes! Charge!" With that the Grey Knights as well as Inquisitor Elias quickly advanced firing their ranged weapons as they went. The instant that they got close they readied their Nemesis force halberds, swords and hammers at the ready as they charged straight into the enemy makeshift defensive line, and subsequently tore them to pieces.
The cultists only lasted a few scant seconds before they were slaughtered as their weapons and makeshift armor were all but useless against the heavy armor of a space marine. The Chaos Space Marines however were able to keep themselves from being overwhelmed for a few moments, but they were too few as they had been specifically targeted due to the threat they posed and were quickly slain as well.
Once the hostiles in the immediate area were eliminated Silas Mahan and Inquisitor Elias a sudden burst of Warp energies being emitted near the center of the city. It could only mean that the cultists had finished the construction on the foul Warp Gate and were preparing to open it and allow their traitorous brethren through. The feeling of such a foul construct begin to activate made them want to vomit in disgust.
There was no time to dawdle, they needed to get to the Warp Gate immediately and destroy it before the forces of Chaos brought through reinforcements. Without hesitating Inquisitor Elias contacted the Stormraven that his protégé was piloting "Dante I need you to provide us with air support at the following coordinates, the forces of the Imperium need to make the final push into the heart of the city at best speed! The heretics have already finished the construction of the Warp Gate, it's only a matter of time until they activate it!"
Dante gave an "At once Lord Inquisitor!" Unfortunately there would be no air support as Elias felt the Warp energies continue to become stronger at an alarming rate. Within moments Elias heard a deafening noise akin to that of an artillery shell exploding coming from the direction of the where the Warp Gate was located. Then there was a shockwave and anyone that wasn't in power armor was flown off of their feet and onto their backs. Not one to be down for very long, Elias got up off of the ruined streets and looked to where the shockwave had come from and saw a beam of purple light that was no doubt pure Warp energy shooting upwards to the clouds.
"Blast and damnation, the heretics have already activated it!" Elias viciously swore before Captain McNeal of the storm troopers walked over to him "My lord, is there any way we can stop it?!" he demanded. Elias let out a bated breath and took a closer look at the light and soon gave a sigh of relief.
"It seems that the Emperor is truly with us today, the Warp Gate doesn't' seem to have reached full power yet, I surmise that the blasphemers allowed the Warp Gate to activate before it was truly ready to be activated. Right now I would hazard a guess that it doesn't have the power to support anything in or out of it. If something large enough was to either exit it or enter it at this point it would more than likely collapse and rendered useless to the heretics." It was at this point that everyone heard Dante over the vox network.
"Inquisitor Elias how big would this object have to be?" he asked. Almost without thinking Elias said "At least the size of a land speeder but…" he then trailed off realizing what Dante was now planning on doing "No, no I will not allow it Dante you are too valuable to the Inquisition to perform such a foolish course of action! That much warp exposure would consume you entirely!"
There was a brief pause on the other end of the Vox Network "It has truly been an honor to serve the Inquisition my lord, the Emperor protects." As if to validate this statement, a Stormraven bearing the seal of the Inquisition flew directly overhead. Elias continued to yell into his vox unit in an attempt to try and dissuade his apprentice from this action but it was all for naught as the ship continued on and Dante ignored the angry and desperate yells that were coming through his vox.
Despite the seeming eagerness that Dante had displayed to sacrifice himself in the name of the Imperium it was anything but an easy decision for him. True he was more than prepared to give his life for the sake of all Humanity like any decent Inquisitor would but he had hoped that he would have become a full-fledged Inquisitor by then. But it seemed as though the Emperor had different plans for him this day.
As the ship continued towards the Warp Gate the servants of Chaos opened fire with whatever weapons they had on hand; bolters, stubbers, lasguns, autoguns, whatever was on hand. Most of the fire was deflected off of the Stormraven's heavy armor but a lucky lasgun round managed to punch through the glass canopy and struck Dante in the shoulder. His carapace armor managed to deflect most of the shot but Dante could feel a slight burning sensation on his shoulder. The Inquisitor in training ignored the wound and continued on. Several more las and autogun shots managed to make their way into the cockpit, but his carapace armor held, barely.
Soon the Warp Gate was in sight, its foul energies were pouring into reality. The cathedral that had once stood there was broken down and destroyed to make room for the abomination that was now erected there. The gate itself was an enormous eight pointed star that was horizontally laid out like an unholy landmark. No doubt the foul traitors had placed it there just so that they would be able to defile the glorious temple to the Emperor that once stood there. As Dante neared the gate the enemy gunfire intensified and he began to hear the whispers of the creatures of the Warp but he ignored them.
Within moments the Stormraven entered the Warp Gate and the occupant knew that he would likely, never be seen again. After the Imperial aircraft was inside the warp the gateway that the cultists and traitor forces had worked so hard to build deactivated. The strange purple light in the sky dissipated and cracks appeared on the Warp Gate before it fell to pieces.
The instant that Dante had entered the Warp he closed his eyes, not wanting to gaze into the abyss and invite one of its foul denizens into his mind. Daemons whispered all around him as they scratched and tore at the Stormraven's canopy. They promised him the power to remake the universe in his own image, to lead the forces of Mankind in glorious conquest across the stars amongst other things that would tempt many a man.
However Dante remained strong, he did not respond nor even consider any of the two-faced offers that they tried to tempt him with. After a few moments of silently enduring the whispering of the Warp, Dante began to pray to the Emperor to give him the strength to resist this daemonic scourge that tried to lead him into betraying mankind.
The young Inquisitor in training began to pray to the Emperor for strength against these daemons, and almost immediately the whispers became cries of rage and frustration that slowly started to get farther and farther away. There was also a sensation as if the Stormraven itself was being pulled forwards by something and as it did Dante felt the howling of the creatures of the Warp dissipate completely, not even the whispers remained.
Taking a chance Dante opened his eyes and saw a bright light starting to envelop both him and the Stormraven he was inside. It must have been the Emperor. Who else but the Father of Mankind could have driven away so many daemons with such ease and strength? He must have heard Dante's prayers and come to save him!
Dante couldn't have been farther from the truth.
Eventually the light faded and much to his disappointment and confusion Dante saw that he was not at the Emperor's side in paradise like he had hoped. Instead he was still flying a now badly damaged Stormraven above a rocky desert that was close to a very wide and deep ravine. The Stormraven was steadily losing altitude at an alarming rate. Instantly several years' worth of training kicked and Dante attempted to adjust the transport's altitude but it wasn't working. The controls for the thrusters weren't responding but at least he could still try and keep his ship from going into a nosedive.
The Stormraven soon plunged into the sand and rock filled ravine despite the pilot's wish against that happening. Dante barely managed to keep the Stormraven level as it fell into the ravine. Within moments the ship crashed and the momentum at which it had been going caused it to drag itself along the ground for several meters before it finally came grinding to a halt.
To be continued.