The Imperial Cruiser Demeter had been boarded en route to the fortress star systems and space stations which made up the Cadian Gate. The crew of this vast warship had, in theory, been given a rather trivial and simple mission to deliver one of the Inquisitions most needed battlefield expedients. However, like all things involving the Inquisition, simplicity was often a… misunderstood concept.
This expedient, this block coffin wrapped in silver chains and purity seals, was needed greatly where one of Warmaster Abbadon's armies had lain siege to a most valuable forge world. But, woe is the way of mortal men that they should be crippled and boarded by foul xenos upon exiting the warp mere days away from their final destination. The ship, crew, and its captain had hoped to link up with a local Imperial Battle Group moving into the star system, but… things simply didn't play out as expected. The Imperial Flotilla was nowhere to be found… and an enemy was waiting patiently for the kill.
The first few salvos hit the engines following the disorientation of warp translation back into the material universe. Afterwards, a large black ship shimmering like organic obsidian with orange solar sails drifted in close aft of the main gun decks. Within minutes of reentered material space, the first boarding craft had disembarked numerous pirates into the lower reaches and gun batteries, overwhelming unprepared serfs and gunnery men unawares of the disaster as it occurred.
Dark Eldar, those foul and wicked creatures butchered the crew for sport, hunting down men and women like rats within the Cruisers steel corridors. The armsmen had tried to repeal the boarding action… but, such efforts were simply inadequate against such a nimble and vicious foe. The human crew were overwhelmed despite their best efforts as the Eldar lay claim to their prize.
"We've lost contact with the higher breaches of the las artillery my lady," said a Corporal approaching the white coated Inquisitor as she leaned over the data pict console as vast swaths of green numerical text scrolled past her sharp tinted green eyes and short shaggy red hair.
The Inquisitor turned her eyes from the pict monitor in order to view the massive black xenos vessel pulled up alongside the cruiser with its golden solar sails withdrawn back so as to keep the foul alien craft stationary.
"What of the engines?" she asked coldy, her sharp blue eyes hidden behind a small pair of spectacles focusing upon the armsman as he cradled his lasrifle against his breast.
"Offline, and heavily damaged my lady," he addressed her with a bewildered shake of his head, "We're dead in the void, and in a slowly decaying orbit over Whitby Majoris."
The Inquisitor spun on her thigh booted heels to face the armsmen, her spotless white bodyglove hidden beneath a large white leather coat trimmed in some sort of rare arctic world fur. She was slim, flat chested, and had it not been for her slightly padded hips, one would have easily assumed the Ordo Malleus Lady Inquisitor to have been of the male gender.
"And what of the cargo hold?" she asked sternly. The armsman sunk his shoulders, "It's still secure, but if the xeno's get to the hold, Emperor knows what might happen."
The Inquisitor narrowed her eyes as alert klaxons suddenly blared across the bridge. Numerous helmsmen checked their cogitators scrolling data prompts, "Lady Inquisitor," addressed one such man, a few rows of data slates up the bridge, "Hull breach, portside, sector 34-PT, confirmed… enemy engaged."
"Then it's begun," sulked the Inquisitor while motioning towards the bridge shutters, "Close off the helm. Repel all borders moving up from the lower holds… and fortify our position here…"
"Yes Inquisitor!" yelled numerous armsmen as the bridge was closed off and sealed shut, numerous large bulkheads slamming down upon grinding rusted mechanical gears. Furthermore, the bridge was fortified and everybody given a weapon to hold off anyone who tried to breach the shutters.
"Lady Inquisitor," addressed another helmsman off to her immediate left. The white robed woman turned to face the man as he reported upon the xeno's infiltration of the Imperial cruiser, "We've confirmed that numerous pirates are heading for the primary cargo hold…" the man droned off as the Inquisitor gripped her white leather gloved hands in raw anger. Even with the guards posted to defend the main ships hold… she knew that it wouldn't be enough to stop whatever came next.
"Then Emperor help us all…" she said bitterly as the men and women surrounding her person, hunkered down into defensive positions for the inevitable alien assault unto the bridge.
The Eldar pirates stalked The Demeter slaying the pathetic rabble of human crewmen in their numerous desperate attempts to protect themselves. Bodies, sticky with pooling blood and drowning in severed limbs cluttered the corridors as several scantily clad alabaster skinned Eldar entered a massive open cargo hold… their delicate bodies nimbly darting into cover past several decapitated human corpses. These… humans, had been most dedicated to their efforts at defending this particular cargo hold, and the Dark Eldar sense for good plunder drove them eagerly towards this particular siege point like wolves to lamb flesh.
As for the prize, it was here that they saw it, a… coffin? The only thing in this cargo hold was a black coffin with an ornate white eye shedding a single tear. There were also human letters, some sort of rambling gibberish that the Eldar couldn't quite make out attached to binding silver chains securing the coffin into place.
This sight was… irresistible. What was in the coffin? What could be so worth the efforts of the human crew to protect it, and hammer it into place? Yes, they needed to steal what was inside for as illogical as the humans were… something so firmly defended and ornately engraved must contain something equally valuable.
With a motion of his helm one of the Eldar pirates directed his fellow warriors to cut the chains binding the coffin into place. Yes, they wanted what was inside, the valuable loot being transported by these lowly and pathetic humans.
As ordered, his fellow pirates used a series of metal swords to twist the joints of the chains until they broke, clattering to the metal deck platting with over dramatic thumps. In a show of alien arrogance, the commanding pirate marched up to the erect standing coffin and kicked it back upon its spine with an echoing crash.
The group of Eldar gathered around the coffin in preparation to see it opened. They wanted whatever rich loot was therein, savoring the greediness within their foul alien souls. However, before they could pull off the lid, their minds echoed with a deep thunderous laugh so vile and so twisted as to make their collective skins crawl with angst.
A sudden black mist started to flow from the coffins lid seems causing the pirates to quickly back away as the ornate wooden door slowly hinged open revealing hundreds of red eyes and an inky black shadow. From this shadow emerged a white gloved hand, pushing the coffin lid open, and then soon thereafter… a series of white fanged teeth grinning in a demented smile.
What was this thing? A demon? No, it was no demon. This monster that they had just unleashed was something much worse… for in all the human records his true name had long since been lost leaving only a single historical note. This man, this creature, he was, 'The Black Count.'
Everyone was dead. The Eldar pirates had successfully stormed the bridge butchering everyone except for the white clothed Inquisitor now throw against a control console with a bloody gash over her right eyebrow. Drops of crimson dotted her white figure as numerous Eldar pirates laughed wickedly at her broken form. Well, this was BEFORE the screaming started. Yes, the screaming, it echoed across the shipboard vox system, broadcasting on all channels, men and women of their foul alien race screaming and yelling in terror at some sort of unknown horror scything them down like wheat.
"What have you done human!" yelled one of the pirates, stern and concerned at the sudden change of events, pointing his saber in the Inquisitors face. The white clothed Inquisitor laughed dully to herself and closed her eyes for a brief self reflection, "What have I done?" she asked, humored.
"YOU IDIOTS WOKE HIM UP!" she yelled at the Eldar pirates, stunning them all with the sudden outburst and breech of decorum as expected of a captured human, "For years we've kept that… that… 'Thing,' unconscious and buried on Titan, and then when he's most needed pushing back the black hordes coming forth from the Eye of Terror you idiots attack us as we transfer him, and you wake HIM up!"
"Him?" asked the same Eldar, as more screaming voices from his fellow dying pirates screeched over the vox, "What is he?"
"He's not a demon…" said the Inquisitor with narrowed hate filled eyes, "He's something much MUCH worse."
A group of Eldar warriors had heard the screaming and maddened butchering of their fellow warriors over the primitive human machines and while concerned thought little of the actual unleashed threat, until they saw IT! A cloud of black inky shadows with hundreds of red eyes moving along the corridor before them, and at its center there was a single man in a black bodyglove with a huge unblinking red eye upon his chest.
Everything about this human male reeked of blood and death. His skin was as pale as any Eldar, his eyes red like ruby's, and his hair long and black like coal. Mist formed in his wake, blotting out light, blood oozing from the shadows like encroaching moss, pulsating with a heartbeat.
He marched forward, the primitive human glow lights fading into darkness as he passed, his black bodyglove phasing with red blood into a crimson coat, primitive cloth suit, knee high rider boots, orange glasses, and a large red hat. As he walked towards the Eldar he started to laugh as two massive hand cannons materialized in his white gloved hands, forming from raw blood oozing out of the palms of his hands.
"Ohhhh what do we have here," mocked this human with a fanged smile ringed in sharp teeth, "It appears that I've discovered some Space Elves," suddenly he was before the nearest Dark Eldar pirate in a flash, his hand cannon placed against the alien's forehead. The Dark Eldar pirate had just enough time to soil himself and tremble as this large shadow of death loomed over him, "Don't mind me," spoke this towering monster with a monster's smile, "I only want to see what's inside."