To many I am nothing but a myth plucked from the darkest corners of the mind, a story told by mothers in order to scare children into compliance. To those whom I have met on the field of battle I am hatred and rage incarnate, a whirlwind of destructive power that is the last thing my target sees before it dies in the most horrifying and painful ways imaginable. To the few officers of the Officio Assassinorum that know of my existence I am a tool of the Emperor, a single individual trained to rip out the heart of any threat against the Emperor's will in an orgy of violence and destruction. Due to the sensitive nature of my existence and the extreme circumstances of my training I am hidden in a dormant state until I am called to serve. It is for my own safety and the safety of others.
My caretakers have sometimes wondered what happens to me while I sleep. They believe decades of mental conditioning and augmentation have reduced me to nothing but a mindless killing machine, that all I see is darkness while I slumber.
I am an Eversor assassin, and despite everything that has happened to me I am still human enough to dream.
I know I am dreaming because I am with her. While my training and augmentations have erased my memories of my home and my family I have somehow managed to hold on to her face, her voice, her kindness. We've laid down on a grassy field on what I can only assume is my home planet. The sun is shining, the grass is soft on my skin, and the wind gently blows through her long brown hair. She is beautiful, her green eyes flash up and gaze into mine. I see nothing but happiness and innocence. As I hold her closer her and run my hand across her flawless skin I am filled with joy and the ache of undying love for her. She is happy, and because of that I am happy.
"I love you" she whispers as she plants several kisses on my neck and cheek.
"I love you too" I whisper back and pull her into a long and passionate kiss. Our mouths meet and for a few minutes there is nothing but the touch of her skin and the pounding of my heart.
I want this moment to last forever, for there to be nothing else and for a time it seems my wish will be granted.
Suddenly, the sky darkens and the wind begins to howl. I force myself out of the kiss and look up to see the door in front of me in the middle of the field. The door is made of adamantium and measures 2 meters by 1 meter. But the most prominent feature is the double headed eagle stamped on the center of the door, the symbol of the Imperium. It is a sign that my duty calls and I must awaken to wreck havoc on the enemies of the Emperor. I look back at her and she is crying, tears already streaming down her perfect face. I don't want to go but I must.
"Please come back to me." She barely manages to contain her grief as I get up and begin walking towards the door. I pause for a brief moment and turn to look at this memory of a woman I once loved.
"I'll be back soon." I reply as I open the door and step back into a reality of death and misery.
The dispensers located at the base of my skull deliver a jolt of adrenaline into my body, jerking me awake. As I am pulled back into consciousness I become dimly aware of the fire and heat as my pod enters the planet's atmosphere. As I slowly regain my wits the ship's computer begins feeding me mission critical data: who I must kill, where they are, expected resistance and so forth. My intended target is the governor of the planet below who has become corrupted by Chaos and threatens the safety of the entire system if allowed to continue. The governor's palace is protected from orbital incursion so I must be dropped five miles away from palace and make my way there by foot. Enter the palace, find the governor, destroy him. Any resistance must be destroyed, fear must be sown. As I absorb mission critical information the ship begins to prepare my body for the task ahead. The drop pod's automated systems begin to equip my armor with the tools I will need for the job. From the right side I see my Executioner pistol emerge from it's niche and placed within the holster on my thigh while a pack containing mission critical weapons and supplies is strapped to my back. On my left hand my nuero gauntlet runs a diagnostic, it's wicked needles sliding in and out of the holder mounted on my left wrist. I close my eyes as my skull shaped helmet is lowered over my head and the dispensers begin to fill my body with a cocktail of combat drugs. My pulse quickens and my muscles strain against the straps that keep me restrained. My vision begins to glow red as blood rushes through my brain and my pupils dilate until they are nothing but black holes set in my skull. As the drugs coarse through my system my veins begin to burn, like somebody replaced my blood with promethium fuel and lit a match. The pain begins to consume my body my rage begins to build and all I want to do is rip and slash and tear until there is nothing left to kill. As the rage sets in I become what I was trained to be: a fearsome weapon of the Emperor, the doom of all who would oppose him.
I don't remember making planetfall or how I managed to leave my drop pod. All I am aware of now is the pounding of my straining heart as I make my way to the governor's palace. I can feel the dispensers working hard to maintain the cocktail of stimulants coursing through my veins, the adrenaline and amphetamines allow my body to push itself far beyond the limits of any normal human. At this rate I'll be at the Governor's palace in twenty minutes. My helmet flashes tactical data as I run: palace schematics, the tactics and weapons of the planet's military forces, and all pertinent information on the governor himself. Suddenly my helmet flashes a warning. Straight ahead is a group of fifty life signs moving towards my drop pod in a standard reconnaissance pattern, no doubt an expeditionary force dispatched by the governor to investigate the strange meteor that fell on his planet. They seem to be standard Imperial militia armed with lasguns and flak armor, no doubt sent to investigate due to the governor's paranoia. I don't blame him for being careful.
Any normal human would have hid or tried to develop a strategy to pick off the incoming soldiers one by one. My training does not allow for stealth. I begin to sprint towards the oncoming life signs and draw my pistol. At the base of my skull I can feel the dispensers make subtle changes to the cocktail, I can feel my heart beat faster and my muscles begin to bulge and warp. I doubt the first soldier had any idea what hit him as I tear the man's spine from his body in a shower of crimson, the drugs have transformed me into a monster. All around me I can hear shouts and panicked lasgun fire as I enter the fray, my pistol howling and my nuero gauntlet tearing into unprotected flesh. I am only dimly aware of the screams of agony and terror as I do my work, battle lust has consumed me and the entire world is red. Here and there a lucky shot strikes me but I don't feel a thing.
Within a few minutes the fight is over. All around me are the scattered bodies and limbs of the planetary militia. The air is thick with a fine mist of blood and I stand triumphant amid what's left of those who would challenge me. A few feet away stands the last of expeditionary force, a young boy no older then twenty. I have not forgotten to kill him, I want him alive. While my primary goal is the governor, I am also tasked with sowing fear into the heart of the population in order to ensure their compliance. As I approach the young soldier I can see the absolute terror in his eyes. I activate my mask. The eyes in its skull glow red and the teeth begin to chatter. I seize the boy by his collar and send a neural signal to my gauntlet to prepare a very special collection of drugs. This won't kill him, but it will make him wish he was dead. I slide one of the needles on my wrist gently into the vein on his neck and pump a cocktail designed to stimulate the fear centers of his brain. I watch as his eyes grow wider and he begins to scream in terror.
"Fear the Emperor's wrath." my vox casters emit these words in a grotesque whisper.
I dump the gibbering soldier on the ground and continue on towards the palace.
Twenty minutes later I approach the wall of the Governor's Palace. I hide myself in the tree line surrounding the palace, 150 meters from the palace wall. This is a small backwater planet so the Governor's palace is not as opulent as some of the more important Imperial worlds but a quick glance tells me he is incredibly well protected. My helmet tells me there is a complex of nine buildings housing a garrison of five hundred well trained and well equipped palace guards. There is also a 10 meter high wall surrounding the entire complex with manned autogun turrets covering a rather large ferro concrete gate. From what local intelligence has gathered the governor is a greedy, despicable man who is prone to violent tempers and is incredibly paranoid. But these trivial details don't bother me: I am here to kill him.
From my pack I take out six melta bombs and a shaped charge. The melta bombs have been specially crafted for a situation just like this: on the outside they are coated with a special adhesive that allow it to stick to a target after being thrown, on the inside they contain a modified frag grenade.
They are exactly as dangerous as they sound.
The shaped charge has the same adhesive coating but has been modified to be fired from my bolt pistol like a grenade. I can feel the drug induced rage beginning to build again as I prepare my body and mind for the coming slaughter. My brain pounds inside my head, calculating assault vectors, the necessary trajectories for the bombs, and mentally preparing myself for the possibility of death. I take a deep breath and with a mighty inhuman scream charge out of the tree line towards the wall.
The sentries on guard are at first confused but then realize what is happening and sound the alarm. As they begin to open fire I aim my pistol with the loaded charge at the wall. Fifty meters from the gate I fire my pistol. The charge impacts the gate and sticks to concrete. Thirty meters from the wall I hurl two of the melta bombs at the turrets. Both of them enter the turrets and stick to the back wall. The nootropic stimulants, strength enhancers and the artificial adrenaline being pumped into my system have allowed me to accomplish all of this within ten seconds of my initial charge. By now the guards in the turrets have tracked me and rounds begin to hit. I am only dimly aware of the bullets striking my armor and a few of them rip into my flesh. The needles embedded in my armor inject me with powerful pain killers and clotting agents. I break left as the melta bombs detonate. The turrets are consumed in a hellstorm of shrapnel and fire. I hurl two more bombs over the wall and hit the detonator for the charge. The gate explodes off it's hinges and I enter the compound just as the melta bombs detonate. Inside the palace compound is complete chaos. Men are running around yelling and screaming at each other, some have been caught in the middle of the explosions and lay on the ground their bodies are burnt beyond recognition. My initial assault still left three hundred men alive and ready to fight. A hundred men form a gun line to my right and I hear the growl of a tank engine as a Chimera rumbles forward to join them. I sprint towards the line drawing my pistol, preparing my nuero gauntlet, and activating my helmet's terror protocols. Hidden my left shoulder is a small tank of flammable liquid. When the program activates it pumps the fuel to a nozzle in my mask's mouthpiece and lights it. All the terrified guards see is a black armored bezerker with a skull for a face, glowing red eyes, and spewing fire from its mouth.
They must be absolutely terrified.
Within seconds I am in their midst. I am violence and rage incarnate. All I see is red as I rend and rip and tear and slash and burn. My bolter and needle pistol howl as their ammunition embeds themselves in the warm fleshy bodies that surround me. My gauntlet seems to twirl and slash with a mind of its own, each strike condemns a victim to an agonizing death. What seems like moments later they are all dead. I only pause briefly and sprint towards the APC. I am moving too fast for the turret gunner to track me and the rounds arc over my head. I leap onto the vehicle and throw another melta bomb on fuel tank. I leap off and make my way to the palace itself as the vehicle explodes behind me. As bullets and laser fire explode over me a let out a mighty cry.
"FACE ME CHAOS FILTH!"
For a moment there is a pause in the shooting. The poor deluded palace guard must not realize why I am here and are only protecting their governor out of ignorance. From within the governor's quarters I hear a deep and menacing laugh. The firing stops as the palace guard gape at the entrance of governor's mansion. Standing in the doorway is a man who I presume is the governor of this planet and my target. Unfortunately for me he is in the latter stages of demonic possession. His feet have been twisted into hooves, his body bulges with muscle, and meter long horns have sprouted from his forehead. His right hand has warped into a wicked looking claw and in his left hand holds a very large axe dripping with blood. He gazes across the compound, his eyes alight with balefire, as his former guards flee in terror from their employer. He is a truly terrifying sight to behold.
Unfortunately for him I do not feel fear, and he is still vulnerable to my weapons.
"I am Thra'vool the Bastard," he hissed "you have been sent here to destroy me. Prepare to be sacrificed to CHAOS!"
I reload my bolter, draw my power sword, and charge forward. He's fast, but he is not used to his new form and attempts to bring the axe down on my head. The drugs give me the speed and ability to dodge out of the way and get behind him. I slash at the tendons behind his knees and empty my bolter into his back. He howls in agony as demonic ichor sprays from his wounds and pivots around, his axe coming across his body in a wicked slash. He means to cleave me in half but I quickly duck out of the way. In my haste I forget his other hand, which pierces my right arm. This time the drugs do not work quickly enough and I feel this. I scream in pain as the governor rips my arm off just above the elbow. My pistol clatters to ground along with my now useless arm.
I know that I have to finish this quickly. The clotting agents will make sure I don't bleed out but now he has the advantage. Thankfully I am given a slight respite as the daemon stumbles backwards in pain from his own injuries. Seizing the opportunity I leap to his left side and plunge my sword into the vulnerable flesh of his left armpit. The sword buries itself to the hilt and I can hear the hissing and gurgle of daemon blood and flesh tearing apart. This brings the daemon to its knees and he looks up into the heavens and bellows in agony. I grab the last melta bomb from my belt and shove it down the cursed daemons throat. Then I run as fast as I can away from the impending explosion. I get fifty meters away before the bomb detonates, destroying the cursed daemon forever. The fight is over, my mission is complete.
I am only dimly aware of what happens next. I managed to make it to my landing zone extraction before the reward protocols kick in. The dispensers have been programed to release a cocktail of opiates and other pleasure inducing drugs into my system once my mission is over in order to ensure my complacency. I enter the loading bay of the Thunderhawk Gunship and then a huge dose of tranquilizers and sedatives knock me out cold. I will now be placed back into cryogenic storage, waiting to be called back to serve the Emperor.
It's the same dream again, it is always the same dream. I am in the same grassy field with same woman as before. She cranes her neck to kiss me on the cheek as whispers in my ear about how happy she is because we can spend our entire lives together, that we will grow old in each others embrace. I smile as her hair caresses my face and I am entranced by her bright green eyes. I don't know how I know this but deep down I remember that this is a memory of my distant past, that this was the woman I was going to marry.
Suddenly I hear somebody calling me in the distance. Still dreaming, I get up and look towards the sound. In the distance I can see a group of figures walking towards me, beckoning me to come to them. Reluctantly, we both get up and walk towards the oncoming figures.
I don't remember exactly what happens next, my memory has erased most of the insignificant details of my past. All I know now is that I am in an office of some sort and a doctor is sitting across from me. His face is blurred, he must not be that important or memorable. He is speaking to me about some sort of special program sponsored by my planet's government and how have been selected as a candidate. He mentions that there is something special about my immune system, that this program has very demanding standards and only very special people such as myself can even hope to come through the program alive. If I joined willingly, my family and anyone I chose would be well taken care of. However, he mentions with a panicked edge to his voice, that I would have leave the planet forever and I would never see anybody I knew ever again.
I listen to this man with increasing skepticism. There are too many details that don't add up and the doctor seems too nervous and on edge. When the doctor is finished I stand and prepare to leave. As tempting as his offer sounds my place here, my life is with her.
"Thank you for your offer sir, but I am afraid I must decline." I turn to walk out of the door.
I should have listened to my instincts. As the doctor gets up to show me out I fail to notice the syringe in his right hand. He leaps behind me and jabs the needle into my neck.
"I'm so sorry, please understand they threatened my family if I didn't hand you over to them," he whispers as I slowly drift into darkness.
I awake strapped down to a steel slab. There is a bright light above me but the rest of the room is plunged into darkness. All around me I see all sorts of needles and syringes filled with oddly colored liquids. I can tell that this is no longer my home planet. The gravity is slightly different and it smells like death. I panic as I try to turn my head, but my head is restrained and I can't move a muscle.
From out of the darkness I hear the rustle of robes and the murmur of hushed whispers. My eyes grow wide as a man walks out of the shadows. He is dressed in medical robes but I can tell from a glance that he is no doctor. He pays no attention to me mindlessly pours over the array of chemicals and instruments, checking them to make sure they are all in order. He glances down at me and I see his face for the first time. Some sort of machine has been attached to his head and one eye is gone, replaced with a glowing red light. He tightens the straps around my head and flips a few switches.
"Subject 21148," his voice has a mechanical drone and there is no emotion in his voice. "You have been selected to serve the Divine Emperor in glorious combat as an Eversor Assassin. Your body will be injected with the chemicals and stimulants necessarily to turn you into a perfect killing machine and you will be trained to deliver the Emperor's wrath to all who oppose him. Do not fight the process do not try to escape, it will only make the pain worse. The Emperor provides, the Emperor protects."
Overhead I can see the now familiar double headed eagle flash above my head as the needles begin to pierce my body. I try not to scream but the pain becomes unbearable. The world goes black as I begin to scream.
I don't remember how long I was unconscious or how long those damn needles were inside me. I only have dim recollections of what happened to me: the needles, the lights, the voices droning on about duty and the Emperor and the hateful powers of xenos and Chaos. All I know is that when I finally awake the pain is still there. I know I am still in the dream since I do not have my weapons and I have no mission. I can sense a sharp throbbing at the back of my skull. I reach out and try to claw at the pain. My hand runs across the newly implanted drug dispensers, two large bumps at the back of my neck. Suddenly, they start to hum and my body starts convulsing. My vision turns red and I am filled with pain and fear and rage. I want to move, act, KILL! I begin to run at an incredible speed, my body is straining but the drugs make me feel nothing. The people who did this must be around here somewhere, and when I find them I will make them wish they had never done this to me. Suddenly, above the pain and agony of my existence I smell bodies, warm and unprotected. Here are the monsters that did this to me! I WILL MAKE THEM PAY! I fall upon these heartless beings with a scream that would terrify the Gods of Chaos themselves. The drugs fuel my blood lust as I rip into their warm flesh with my bare hands: tearing at skin and bone and flesh until they turn cold. I can hear their screams and cries of agony above the sound of my own rushing heartbeat and I revel in the destruction.
Then, as soon as it has begun, it is all over. There is nothing left for me to kill. I stand in the middle of what's left of those who would oppose me triumphant. The drugs begin to wear off and my vision slowly returns. It is then I realize what I have done. All around me are not the bodies of the monsters that did this to me but of regular people. For a moment I am confused, these why would anyone want me to kill innocent people?
Then I look down.
In my hands there is a female body. There is a giant red hole where her abdomen should be, her pale skin is caked in blood. I stare in shock at the destruction I have caused and then my eyes move to her face. It is her. Her long brown hair is matted with blood and her beautiful green eyes are still open. She died in fear, but as I gaze into her now lifeless eyes I can see sorrow. She saw me kill these people and watched as I ripped out her stomach.
They did this to me. That mechanical man and with the double headed eagle made me kill everything I loved. I scream again, not in terror or agony this time but in rage. The dispensers begin to hum again as they inject me with sedatives. As I begin to black out I have a dim memory of several figures walking towards me.
"Subject 21148 is a success, prepare for immediate storage and begin mission download. The Emperor saves, the Emperor protects."
And that is it. That is all I can remember. Amid my grief and rage I see the dim outline of an out of place door appear in front of me. It is an adamantium door 2 meters by one meter. It is an other wise ordinary door with the exception of a double headed eagle stamped in the middle. It is the symbol of the Imperium and a signal that it is time for me to awake and perform my duty to destroy the enemies of the Emperor once again.
I am an Eversor assassin and despite everything that has been done to me, I am still human enough to remember.
Author's note: Greetings citizens of the Imperium and heretical xenos and I hope you enjoyed my first foray into serious Warhammer 40k fan fiction! Please fell free to rate and review and be sure to check out my other article How to tell if you're from Catachan (I know I know shameless plug but hey, everyone needs to give their fragile ego a boost every once and a while). Anyway, if enough people like this I plan to expand this into a small series based on the points of view of the other Assassination Temples (playable temples only so no Venenum Temple, unless popular opinion demands it). Thanks for reading!