To readers: This will be my only disclaimer. I don't own any thing exempt the idea of this story and any non-cannon things I think up. Enjoy my re-done first try at fan-fiction. I hope that you like it as much as the original version and that it continues to enthral. For all you new people: afterwards check out the sequal in my profile.
"Gothic around non-Imperials."
"Weapons are an important factor in war, but not the decisive one; it is the man and not the materials that count." Mao Tse-Tung.
The Lives Less Ordinary
The floor vibrated under his feet as another salvo of weapons fire smashed into the stricken station. The bionics in his legs compensated as the gravity shifted and warped. The wailing sirens died as another torrent of death was poured down onto the unmoving space habitat.
He looked up to his masterpiece. His one truly beautiful creation. His final offering to the Omnissiah. Behind him he heard the pounding of heavy Space Marine boots on the uncaring metal.
"It is ready." There was no question in the superhuman's voice.
The muscles that had once been attached to his lips twitched. "It is done." The Vox in his neck hissed.
"May the Emperor guide us." The Space Marine whispered as he walked away from the Tech-Priest.
The Vox gave its impersonation of a laugh, more a raspy hiss, before the Priest turned away from the mighty ship.
The station shuddered again and several of the cranes that had manoeuvred the massive Adamantium and Plasteel sheets into place collapsed in an orgy of screaming metal. People ran around the deck in a ballet of chaos. Final preparations were made for the ships departure into the maelstrom outside.
His Servo-Arm reached up and removed the antiquated Plasma cannon from its mount on the wall. He caressed the ancient weapon with all the care of a lover as the deadly ions began to build in the chamber. Ridiculously spindly arms swung the deadly weapon round to the only entrance way that wasn't blocked by fire or debris. The all too familiar thump of docking pods attaching echoed through the station's super-structure.
He looked down to his waste; attached by golden chains and covered in holy script was the STC fragment. It was better that the knowledge burned for all time than it fell into the hands of the hated enemy. The machines that replaced his eyes swept the deck, everyone that was to leave had. Only the dead remained.
The Plasma cannons charge was already in flight by the time the first armoured body appeared in the door way. Plasma consumed the dark armoured warrior erasing its, and many of those behind it, existence from the Universe. The others fell back not wanting to die so quickly.
"Grant them eternal death. Oh Lord." He whispered as the second charge built in the cannon.
The huge space doors began to open releasing the atmosphere in a single frozen cloud. The Tech-Priest silently watched as the ship of his creation slipped it moors and moved out into the starry void. But most of the stars were dying ship as Loyalist and Traitor massacred one another.
Again the muscles that had once contracted to form a smile twitched. "Free me Lord from the weakness of flesh." His Vox sang into the unhearing vacuum.
A bust of light silhouetted his as two enemy ships were gutted by the Battle Barge's powerful Lance batteries. The space in front of him shimmered and warped. The mechanics in his brain had just enough time to register the massive crab like claw before it eviscerated him.
As he was dying in the cold vacuumed of the space dock he looked out to his creation. Surrounded by a halo of light more fitting for a holy picture the ship, his ship, poured unrelenting death into the traitorous fleet. His fingers sought the ion chamber release even as his oil black blood floated into space. The Keeper of Secrets looked down at the frail human with contempt as it fiddled with its weapon.
"The Emperor's Light indeed." He muttered as the Battle Barge's Lances annihilated another foolish Frigate that had sided with Horus.
Then his world was consumed in energy and plasma.
"Arise." The powerful voice boomed over the assembled men. "Arise; Brother-Sergeant."
The kneeling figure swiftly rose to his feet, his face set in impassive stone as the fearsome man in front of him presented a re-painted helmet. An extra gold highlight now adorned the vocalizer. The Space Marine fought the urged to join his Brothers in their cheers as the Chapter Master slowly handed over the helmet.
"Any words Brother?" The scarred man asked with a wiry smile.
"None Brother-Master." The Space Marine replied with the cold indifference all Sons of Sols were expected to show in ceremonies.
"Excellent!" The Chapter-Master shouted. "To the feast!"
Serfs came rushing in laden down with all sorts of meats, vegetables, fruits and cheeses. They rushed to the top table where the Chapter-Master had just settled himself into his regal looking chair. Without a word or their eyes leaving the dishes they carried the Serfs deposited the food and scurried away to get the next load.
"Enjoy the honour Brother. For tomorrow we may be dead." The Chapter-Master said to the newly promoted Sergeant.
Abruptly one of the Chaplins rose to his feat. In his hand he clutched a goblet of some alcoholic beverage the Serfs had whipped up in the Keep's dungeons. "To Brother-Nestor! The new Sergeant of the 7th Company." The preacher roared over the assembled Marines.
A mighty bellow erupted from the Marines as they raised their own goblets. Then the hall descended into a frenzy of feasting. In the midst of it all a very young Librarian in training and an even younger Apothecary's apprentice got into a rather heated argument involving the aerodynamic feasibility of a swallow carrying a coconut. Unfortunately the half-trained Psyker 'accidently' blew up the Apothecary's goblet when he started to lose. All the while a young Chaplin lectured anyone who would listen about the merits of preaching from a rock rather than a podium. It was a good to be a Marine.
The horror. The horror. They wouldn't stop; no matter what he tried they just bickered. And bickered and bickered. Emperor have mercy on their Companies. The Strike Cruiser was still two days away from Nova Sol and he didn't think that the two, fresh from Mars, Tech-Marines would survive the trip.
"I'm telling you it isn't!" Shouted the more easily riled of the two.
"I'm saying it is." Replied the cockier one.
They had been examining the same piece of Plasma gun for eleven. Eleven! Straight hours. Sure their skill was undeniable and combined they were a force to be reckoned with but they couldn't agree on anything. Their current argument was whether or not they should try and replace a screw the more unorthodox one had misplaced or if they should spent hours searching for it. Of course the screws were standard across the Imperium but no matter what he did they weren't listening to him.
"Brother-Gideon? What do you think?" The more careful one asked, Gideon just sighed. The Servo-Arms were slowly uncoiling on the backs of the two. He doubted that they were going to be used properly.
He understood now why the Tech-Prelist that had met them on the landing pad had almost been hysterical that the two were leaving. It made more sense now why he thought he hear 'Freedom' being blasted out of the Tech-Priest's Vox caster as the Thunderhawk took off.
"Well what does your training say?" The older Marine responded.
He felt pretty good that he had avoided taking sides until another argument bloomed into ugly life. The only upside was that they couldn't be placed into the same Company as him. For now at least. Sometimes he hated his life.
He was quite proud of himself. At the tender age of six Terran standard years he had just made the jump from Technician Second Class. The rank that all space born automatically held. To Technician First Class. Even now he had his eye set on being on one of the weapon coordination units or even better a damage control team. Then when he was older taking a place at one of the sub-control posts or even, Emperor willing, the bridge it's self. But for now he had to finish his work. Whispering the final prayer of sealing he pushed the cover over the delicate circuitry below. With a happy sigh he gathered his tools, thanking each one in turn for their help, and jogged away to the next task for this sixteen hour shift.
His mind once again wandered to the place he would eventually take on board the mighty vessel of the Emperor's finest. His great grandfather held the extremely revered positing of Serf-Commander. It was his hidden joy to dream that one day he might succeed that role.
Suddenly there was a loud bang and the groan of stressed metal from where he had just come. Terror filled his little heart as the thoughts of what he had done wrong filled his head. To fail in the reconstruction of even a simple food dispenser was a grave error that demanded stern punishment. He turned round and started back towards the dispenser; the corner he had just rounded hid the machine from sight. His fears grew with ever step.
"Damn broken machine. Give me food." A gruff voice growled.
The little Serf-crewman stopped in his tracks. Irrational anger raged in his soul. How dare someone question his work! He was a Technician First Class. He never left a job unfinished. He puffed himself up. Head held high. Striding round the corner with the intent to give the fool a piece of his mind.
"What in the name of the Emperor are you doing?" He demanded his voice filled with as much venom as he could muster. It was impressive for a six year old.
His bravado died the instant he laid eyes on the target of his ire. A Space Marine. What was a Space Marine doing this far down in the ship? Only the Serfs came this deep into the bowls of the Battle Barge. He had only ever seen a Space Marine once. When he was crawling through a vent none of the adults could fit through. His jaw hung slack as the Neophyte turned to face him. He idly noticed that the armoured plate of the food dispenser had a rather deep dent in it.
He screwed his eyes shut in anticipation of the beating he was about to receive. He flinched at every heavy foot step as the Neophyte came closer. He almost screamed when a heavy arm was flung around his shoulders. He cracked open his eyes to see one of the most terrifying smiles he would ever witness in his life.
"I like you. You've got guts. What's your name?" The Space Marine asked.
"V... Va... Varas!" The six year old squeaked out.
The smile turned predatory and young Varas fought the urge to flee like a startled rabbit. "I'm Angelus."
Varas nodded as he was steered away from, probably, still functioning food dispenser. All the while Angelus rambled on amicably with the young Serf about his deep and a little disturbing love for a certain Bolt pistol he had recently been issued. It was the begging of a weird and wonderful friendship.