Just a short one shot idea that I decided to write up to get myself moving again now that trimester finals are over.
We call this place Dantrius III.
The aliens call it something else.
Before the day is done however, their name will matter less than it already does. It will be the heraldry of the Imperium of Man that will overlook this planetby then. And it will be planted on the corpses of the Xenos themselves if need be.
The thunderhawk shakes and lurches beneath us, and I can almost believe I hear its machine spirit growling with pleasure at the sight of the fires, pillars of the holiest prometheum flames, that swallow the alien buildings whole, billowing out of windows and destroyed sections of wall, sending plumes of black smoke to soar across the sky overhead.
The smoke, soot and ash choke the very air of the city, clouds of waste caught and lifted in the wind, thick enough to choke engines and whatever fool guardsmen that does not wear his rebrether.
Across the entire city our lines advance, leaving nothing but rubble and crumbling masonry in their wake, we will take this place meter by blood drenched meter if need be.
I look down from the vessel's side hatch, holding onto the netting above as I lean over the edge.
Even from this height I can see them.
Guardsmen, Basilisks, Baneblades, Stormblades, Shadowswords, Gunships and Medusa long range siege cannons march along side my brothers and fellow space marine chapters. Seventeen full companies, a dozen battle barges orbiting the planet.
The hammer of the Emperor has descended upon the loathsome Eldar at long last and it is a glorious sight.
Titans fight against Titans, eclipsing the perpetually blood red sun, even at leagues distance, their powerful canons shaking the very air we breathe with horrendous shockwaves that lurch airships in mid flight with every salvo from the massive guns.
Reavers, Warlords, Warhounds, and of course the mighty Imperators crush all in their path, shattering the lithe Eldar variants, as their laughably delicate bodies break beneath the might of their cannons, continuing their fighting retreat through the tight city streets.
Let the aliens run; no mater where they go their ultimate fate is to be crushed beneath the might of the Emperor's mailed fist; now, or later.
I secure the seals of my helmet into place and grip the hilt of my blade, ducking back into the Thunderhawk to grab hold of my bolt gun from sergeant Danarius.
I offer him a nod, which is returned then I look to the rest of my men.
"We fight, this day brothers. Trust in your Wargear as we mete out the Emperor's justice upon these Xenos!" I hear myself shout over the whine of the Thunderhawks engines and the sounds of battle that draw closer.
"No pity! No Remorse! No fear!" They cry, their armored fists smacking against the breastplate of their power armor with loud cracks.
I bow my head, and they follow my example as I begin the final Oath of battle.
"If I charge brothers."
"May we have the courage, to follow you."
"If I fall brothers."
"May we have the strength, to avenge you."
"If I flee brothers."
"May we have the purity of faith, to slay you."
The thunder hawk lurches beneath our feet, coming to a halt, the grit of red dust and ash billows up towards us sliding across the surface of our armor.
"We have arrived." The neophyte pilot says through the speakers, voice calm, even with the sounds of Eldar shuriken guns striking the hull.
Neither I, nor my men need another word, we leap down from the Thunderhawks' deck, the servos and faux muscles of our power armor whirring as our boots slammed onto the surface of the planet we'd come here to cleanse of its filth.
I rush forward, in a squatting run towards the battle lines. "With me!"
My brothers follow, and I distantly hear the Thunderhawk's engines whine again as it lifts itself back to the sky.
Stones grind against stone beneath the weight of my boot, the * crack * of las-gun fire, the resonating booms of explosions in the distance, the thunderous steps of the God machines dwarfing all soldiers below as they waged their titanic struggle.
I see the battle line before us, Guardmen, lined up behind a crumbling wall of the aliens structure, taking cover as they fired blindly back into the building across.
Their shots went wide, distance and fear made these men inaccurate, I could see the dead bodies throughout the line, clean headshots, and more than I cared to count were writhing in pain on the groundrom bullet wounds that had shattered in joints, or in points where bundles of nerve met and connected along arms and legs.
The blasted Xenos had the eyes of Sciraritii nightcrawlers, and the accuracy to match it.
I skid to a halt next to one of the guardsmen, and my men do the same along the barricade. The trooper looks surprised, fearful of me even as I lean over him.
I neither care nor have time to have him gaping, like a slack jawed fool at me.
"Report!" The vox caster of my helm, growls.
"S-sir!" He collects himself quickly, nodding. "Enemy holds an entrenched position on the opposite building sir, snipers on some of the windows, and we have confirmation that some of their weapon platforms are at the entrance sir! With no cover between here and there, a direct assault-"
"Estimates on enemy strength inside!" I demand, interrupting him, daring a glance through one of the holes along the wall, confirming that indeed, there was a Shuriken cannon platform at the doorway, ready to fire.
"None number wise sir, but we do know that there aren't just basic troops in there, some of the other ones,with the fancy suit of arms."
"Not sure sir, the team we sent in there was slaughtered, and the bloody alien's interfered with the machine spirit of their vox casters somehow."
My frown of displeasure is hidden beneath my helmet but I have little doubt even this fool knows it is there.
I turn my head to the others telling them to make ready with a hand gesture, as I draw my sword.
Looking down to the guardsman I speak, loudly so that others hear "Fire at those snipers."
I do not give him time to respond, as I turn my voice through the vox towards my brothers.
As one, eleven of my brothers follow me as I leap over the barricade, there is the harsh, burning pain of a Shuriken round, expertly aimed where my armor parts to allow movement. It pierces my shoulder, and digs its way through my collar bone. I grunt, but that is more than what should be given to this filth.
We charge, and it is only after, that I hear the guardsmen beginning to fire upon the Eldar building, aiming for where they assumed the snipers to be. I ignore it, surging forward with all speed, I breathe the litany of faith in a faint whisper through my lips as I move, and my helmet reticules focus on the Eldar guardian manning the Shuriken cannon at the door way.
There is no turning back now, and my brothers and I surge forward, ready to deal out the Emperor's fury onto his enemies, and my blood sings as our war cries join the sounds of war around us.
The shuriken cannon fires, and my brothers and I roar back our hate in kind, shooting in a dead sprint towards our targets!
The blood pounds across my veins, fueling my momentum. Battle has been joined, and the sons of Dorn demand first blood now!
Bolter rounds strike the strange, wraith bone surface of the alien building, detonating around it as my brothers and I take aim, with more shots smashing into the shielded bulwark protecting the gunner.
Mono-molecular disks spin out of the alien weapons barrel, slicing through my brothers armor like thin paper at this range, I hear Alpharius and Recanus scream out in pain, and warning runes flicker from green to red on my helmet, life signs are critical.
Brother Tanthos is next to fall, even as the alien technology tears the flesh beneath his armor to ribbons, he fires his bolt gun, pulling the trigger and aiming as best he can at the hateful Xenos
His life signs go out entirely when he finally falls.
The cannon turns, it fires again, and I see brother Peleus and Cenjus torn through, Peleus dies, Cenjus falls, wounded but perhaps strong enough to be carried to the apothecary.
Again, it turns, ready to fire again, but it is too late now.
Barely stopping, I see sergeant Danarius burst through the wall at the side of the Alien's position, throwing his full weight into his shoulder, the sergeant fires his bolter point blank range into the xenos gunman.
I am next to reach the position through the doorway, my eyes immediately adjust to the interior gloom. The light from the sun seems to stop at the entrance itself, unwilling to bathe this place with light.
There, I find movement to my right, and I raise my blade, its crackling energy meeting alien steel with a shower of sparks.
I lash out with a kick, knocking the Eldar's light, delicate body down to the floor.
I hear its hiss of pain, relish in it; I holster my bolt gun, gripping the sword now in two hands as I stalk forward, this is the first blood Dorn demands, the first blood I will find on this field, and I will savor it as will the Primarch.
The Eldar, a guardian, stands, one hand clutching at its side, the other still holding the curved knife it had tried to attack me with.
I come closer, and I see the alien's movements before it probably even thought to make them.
When it pulls the laughably small pistol from its compartment along the back of its armor, I am ready.
And my sword lashes out, slicing off the pathetic alien's hand at its wrist.
It is not a grunt I hear this time. I hear a scream.
The sound is beautiful.
I grab this abhorrent thing by the bulbous head of its helmet with one hand, shoving it into the wall at our side, and I hear their alien wraithbone groan along the wall and see the eddies of energy that keep it intact shudder like liquid behind a glass.
The Xenos crumples to the ground, disoriented, yet it still grips its knife in its remaining hand.
Its swing is clumsy and desperate, and I, find myself amused at it.
Amused at them. At this... writhing, pitiful race. Now at the nadir of their existence, the decline of their power, these arrogant wretches would still claim themselves masters of the universe?
They would learn their place soon enough.
I grasped its blade with my own hand, feeling its edge cut a deep groove into the palm of my gauntlet as I ripped it free of the Eldar's feeble fingers, and buried it into its owner's thigh.
I could hear the others behind me now, entering the alien rooms, clearing them out one by one.
But I feel warm alien blood coating my hand as I hold the blade there, twisting it until I could hear its tip scraping against bone. The alien grips my arm, then, pounds it with his free hand weakly as pain and blood loss sap it of much of its strength.
I stand, planting my boot on its shoulder before shoving.
The xenos gives what I can only describe as a keening moan, its helmet was cracked, and the blood that seeped from his injuries is now being spread across the ground as the alien tries to drag itself away with its remaining limb.
I draw my bolt gun, and realize that for all their haughty arrogance the Xenos now displays all the courage of any cornered animal.
He was reaching for the weapon still clutched in his severed hand.
For the briefest of moments, I could almost respect the alien's tenacity, whether instinct, desperation, or genuine, defiant courage drove him, he refused to simply accept death until the final blow was delivered.
I raise my sword, tip held down as the Guardian manages to grab hold of his weapon.
'Return now to whatever abomination beyond the Emperor's light spawned you, animal!'
My strike never falls, before it can, I am forced to stop, the gleaming edge of twin alien blades mere centimeters away from parting my head from its place on my shoulders. I spin, catching my feet as I swing harshly at my attacker.
There I find the bone white armor of an Eldar howling banshee, and in an instant, as I take in the helmet, wider shoulder pauldrons and the hollowed eye pits and grilled mouthpiece of her (for all eldar of this aspect shrine are female) helmet, we meet blade upon blade, alien steel crackling against the blue power-field of my sword.
I hear her cry, not in pain, it is a piercing, horrid sound, extracted from the bowels of the abominable Eye itself, even as I shut off my armors' auto senses, deafening me to the outside world, I can still hear her unholy shriek.
The shriek of the banshee
Even with the shielding of my helmet, the sound is barely below agonizing.
We turn in place, now with her back to the main entrance, and I see Denarius turn to my aid, only to be intercepted by fire from a balcony above, pinning him down, forcing him into cover as energy coated slugs rain down from above in a wide suppression, a Dark Reaper.
I focus on my opponent, stepping back as her twin blades strike like quicksilver, she is fast.
We trade blows and I can almost feel it, almost notice as my sight, my world, narrows, becomes thinner, focused, and before the realm of conscious thought there is now only my opponent.
Nothing but her, and me.
We strike and parry, dodge and weave, pit strength against speed, power to precision, an intricate pattern as sword slides across sword, edges nicking at armor and flesh, small mistakes, corrected at the last moment as we both continue the deadly dance
This was true battle, to meet an enemy blade upon blade, speed and strength fueling our strikes, instinct and tactics rushing through our minds, where one false step is all that is held between victory and defeat.
I thrust, and as she easily steps aside, I see her move coming too late.
One blade, neatly enters the exposed area between my hand and wrist, and the sharp, sting as the monomolecular edged, alien weapon slices through sinew, flesh and muscle is startling only in just how painful it is as the thin blade digs in in what would have only been a superficial wound.
My grip upon my sword slackens, and I watch, with humiliation burning a bright, angry flame in my chest as, mid fall, the alien strikes with her other blade, catching my sword by the pommel guard and using kinetic force to keep it spinning around the very tip of her own sword before she tosses it away and pulls her other blade free of my wrist, all this, within the fraction of time it would take a normal man to simply breathe.
I surge forward, charging, now that she was close, I must not give her time to attack on her terms.
I slam into her, pushing my full weight into the body slam.
I grip her arm and her hip, curling my armored fingers over her limbs with bone crushing force as I lift the alien from her feet.
A wall gives way, crystalline shards falling onto the floor. It is strange; there is no dust, no debris, I feel as though I have jumped through mere glass.
We fall, and the witch uses our momentum to throw me off. I roll, getting to my feet with all the speed I can bring to my power armor.
I reach my feet first and grab the witch by the plumage along the back of her helm, pulling the alien's head back, ready to snap her neck through force as I reach around to grasp at the mouth piece of the war mask.
There is a sudden lack of resistance and I almost trip, I realize too late that the witch has released the seals on her helmet, slipping out of my hold and out behind me, swords in hand.
I spin around, dropping the helmet as I draw the gladius blade from my hip, dagger in hand, I attack, she skirts back, feet ghosting over the floor, and it is only the tip of my weapon that carves its way across her stomach, scratching her armor, but drawing no blood.
Then I see her blades flash before my eyes as she pulls them back.
It was nothing more than a touch, a caress across the false metal skin of my helm, carving wounds into the false flesh beneath the eye lenses.
I stand again as she pulls away and I draw my bolt gun, so fast I surprise myself as I level it onto her head.
I garner my first look at her, and it is a fleeting thing.
One shot, and she vanishes, twisting with dextrous acrobatics, she leaves behind only the blur of her silver white hair.
I turn the gun, and find her again, but this time, she finds me as well, and I feel the tip of her sword upon my throat just as I'm sure she sees the barrel of my bolter, and the red eyes of my warmask upon her face.
She will not dodge at this range.
I stop, so does she, and with every breath I can feel the edge of her blade just a hairs breath from a fatal cut, my finger brushing over the trigger as I remain perfectly still, keeping the weapon trained on her unmasked features.
I stand here on the edge of death, staring through the lens of my helmet with hate at the lithe creature
And she stands there, breathing as heavily as I, crystal grey eyes meeting my own.
She stares at me, but it is not the audacity of this act that brings my fury bubbling to the surface.
The witch smiles.
Her long, thin, alien features, all of which are abhorrent to the eyes of the pure race, pull her lips into a smile
I hear the charging whine of an energy weapon behind me.
I dare the barest glance over my shoulder.
It is the wounded guardian.
The alien stands, weak and still bleeding, I can hear it straining for breath beneath its helmet, and see its legs shaking with the struggle to hold up its weight.
Its hand, holding the shuriken weapon however, holds itself steady...trained right onto the back of my head.
"Lyr' nahil." It wheezes and the words feel like acid across my senses, its heathen tongue washing through my mind as I hear my brothers still battling the enemies through the other rooms.
"W-weapon, down Mon'keigh." It rasps out and bile rises in my throat.
It dares...it dares to sully the holy tongue with its wretched voice, it is only the blade of the eldar across my throat that halts me from turning and crushing the life from the arrogant Guardian's cursed body.
I listen to the vox now, it is chaos, and as the haze of battle lifts, it allows me now to hear my brothers as they fight around us.
"Spiders! At the flanks!"
We've been pinned"
"Target the exarch! Its our only chance!"
I hear them...they fight as I stand here, staring at this witch and being threatened by her wounded ilk.
I feel my fist tightening along the grip of my bolter, I am seconds away from having the decision made for them.
The voice is sudden, strong, and far too close, my attention drifts for a moment...an instant...I realize my error too late and pull the trigger, point blank, but now, she is gone, the witch is too fast for a single shot, she skirts away, and I feel the edge of her blade sting as it cuts a little more, barely breaking the skin as it slices through the mesh of the armor around my neck.
I turn to the guardian behind me, ready to fire when I see a dozen more of its kin, their rifles trained on me, as I stand there, bolt pistol in hand.
The one in the middle, taller than the others, no armor; a warlock, glares at me through its concave mask, and I meet his gaze for a moment before I look to the banshee as she pulls away with the wounded guardian leaning on her for support.
They do not speak, and they do not fire.
And I stand, forced to watch as that witch continues to smile, taunting the fact that she still breathes before my eyes as she retreats behind the lines of her guards.
I hear the warlock say something, and with a careless toss, a grenade falls to the ground, black smoke engulfs the room in a blinding smog.
The auspex is dark, I switch through vision modes attempting to pierce the gloom but it is useless, even as I push through the smoke, I know these filthy animals are gone.
It is easier to catch starlight, than bring the wretched Eldar to battle.
Sergent Denarius only serves to confirm what I already know, as does the silence across the Vox.
"Captain, do you copy.
"The Eldar have vanished sir, across the battle line we are seeing green zones. All enemy fire has suddenly ceased Captain."
I know in my beating heart what is coming, it is instinct and I am certain many of my brothers can feel the same thing.
"Open communications with Lance of Dorn. I want a status report from the battle barge, now."
I wait a moment, the crackle of static in my ears.
"Sir." I hear his voice and he does not need to finish but I let him do so. "The Lance, reports warp rifts tearing into real space on the dark side of the planets moon. Auspex scans have already detected vessels of traitor marines approaching the planet."
Curse the Eldar!
"All units, report back to the extraction zones, return to the battle barge and prepare for ship to ship combat."
I look to a piece of broken glass on the floor, only the vaguest hint of a reflection dancing across its transparent surface.
There, on my helmet, I see the twin scars, perfect in spacing, carved to go from the very edge of my mouth piece to the far edge of my helmet lenses.
I will ask brother Judaeus to leave those markings on the armor when he takes it for repairs. I want that witch to know who kills her when we meet again.
Well, there it is, hope you all enjoyed it read and review, this is my first Warhammer fic so I'd like to know how I did.
Also, I purposely didn't give the captain a name, didn't think he really needed one given that its first person.
To those who may not have noticed, the Captain in question is of the Black Templar chapter. Hope you all enjoyed it.
Like some of my other one shots, its an idea I may decide to continue, may not. If I do it will be at a later date.
With all hopes I'll soon get back on track with my update rate in the next few weeks