Disclaimer: I don't own MapleStory or Warhammer40K/Dawn of War 2 franchises. Companies with much more money, lawyers, and power than I do.
For those of you that have been following my other story Demon Hero and Vampire, I again want to thank you all for your continued support! As for this story, this takes place right around when Mercedes were released in GMS and after the events of Chaos Rising (during Retribution) took place in Dawn of War 2. The "nameless" Force Commander in Dawn of War 2 and Chaos Rising actually had a name in the novels, Aramus, which is what we will call him in this story. And just for everyone's information, this is somewhat being co-written by myself and my fiancée, Xendica. Enjoy.
-= None Shall Find Us Wanting =-
- Chapter 1: By Chapter and Emperor… -
"By Chapter and Emperor, let none find us wanting..."
Present, Maple World, Victoria Island, Elluel Forest
He looked around him, or at least he attempted to. The strong thick scent of copper-like blood filled the air around him, his own hand going up towards his eye that refused to open. The tall, well-built genetically enhanced warrior was greeted with the warmth of his own crimson blood. His trimmed brown-blond hair within chapter standards and regulations. And if only for a brief few moments, he retained all of the memories he had, all of them rushing forth like a raging river against a dam. His power armor slightly battered and armed only with a chainsword and a bolt pistol in his hands, he charged forward at the agents of the Black Mage; an evil sorcerer bent on destroying and dominating the Maple World. The agents however, were nothing to be trifled with, as facing two of the Black Mages elite henchman was no joke. The space marine commander felt the familiar sputtering of his chainsword in his hand and fired his bolt pistol immediately at the oncoming henchmen while a furious golden glow enveloped him. Feeling the squishy bits of the green gel slimes he had eliminated earlier, his cry could be heard throughout the forest of Elluel as a certain pointy-eared Queen looked on with awe…
One day prior, Sub-sector Aurelia, Blood Ravens battle barge Litany of Fury
It had been only a few hours after Force Commander Aramus of the Blood Ravens 4th Company, the youngest force commander in the history of the Blood Ravens, returned to the strike cruiser Retribution. Only hours after their harrowing, hellscape battle with the Greater Daemon of Nurgle, Ulkair, and the traitor Black Legion marines, they were greeted by Gabriel Angelos, the de facto leader of the Blood Ravens space marine chapter. The mood was quite somber, Aramus looked to Epistolary Jonah Orion, a powerful psyker librarian, as he looked downwards to the hard steel flooring, while Sterngaurd Sergeant Tarkus remained silent, too pained at the revelation that one of his closest battle-brothers had fallen to Chaos and betrayed them and the God-Emperor they so revered. The wise old scout sergeant Cyrus remained stoic as ever while Techmarine Martellus busied himself with repair rites to the crew's equipment. Aramus looked into the eyes of his senior and looked away in utter shame remembering how Sergeant Avitus betrayed them all and as a result of Aramus failing to see the corruption within the sergeant, cost Sergeant Thaddeus his life whilst trying to stop their fallen brother.
"I have no excuse for my failure, Commander." Aramus spoke first to break the awkward silence. Gabriel looked upon him sternly but then looked at him with a sense of pity.
"It was not your fault; Avitus turned, and as such paid the price for his treachery…" Gabriel said to Aramus. "However…"
Aramus knew where this was going and attempted to cut off Gabriel midsentence but only to be stopped himself.
"However, Commander, you do bear quite a lot of responsibility for using forbidden weapons and knowledge to accomplish the tasks that were at hand. The Inquisition and local Imperial authorities will not overlook this blemish, and sadly Commander, neither can I." Gabriel looked away for a second towards the empty vacuum of space in a sea of stars. "Chapter Master Azariah Kyras has branded you a renegade, Commander and has judged you fit for execution for high treason against the Chapter. However, with the knowledge we have about the rot within the chapter, I feel that Kyras is not fit to judge who is a traitor and who is not. I feel that there is redemption to be found within you Commander…You will take the Retribution and make for the Eye of Terror where you will go on a crusade of penance against the forces of Chaos for one hundred years without support from your chapter brothers here. You may only take one other battle-brother with you, so choose wisely."
With little emotion he turned away from Gabriel, his once-hero and now his judge, and his battle-brothers with whom he'd fought alongside to defeat Ulkair now turned jury. But just then, he called out to his subordinate in Aramus.
"Commander, I also must give you praise for sealing away the daemon Ulkair. Though we will never sing openly of your feats and great deeds until the chapter deems your penance complete, credit must be given where it is due, Commander…" Gabriel said as Aramus' sighed quietly, merely nodding. "For that, you have earned the right to choose any weapons you see fit to take with you and use in your crusade of penance.."
He nodded slowly and turned away. It was a hallow praise and as such, there was no fanfare. He made off towards the Litany of Fury's armory which contained the substantial bulk of all of the Blood Raven's relics and master-crafted weapons. Aramus looked around the array of weapons that surrounded him and found what he was looking for, Thaddeus' chainsword, 'Vengeance of Cerberus'. He placed his old friend's weapon into his storage pack and took his trusted bolt pistol with him along with the plasma pistol he already had as well. He also found an old relic that belonged to the chapter and more specifically the 4th Company. Reclusiarch Mikelus served with Captain Thule in the Kronus Campaign in which Aramus himself participated in with the rank of battle-brother. This relic in question was a astartes-pattern jump pack that allowed one to descend onto the battlefield from the air and back up with ease. Another gleaming relic also caught the attention of the Commander. The relic itself, an iron halo, belonged to Captain Thule that he carried with him into battle and was personally crafted in remembrance of the Hadrian campaign. The iron halo acted as a shield of sorts, protecting from ranged attacks, reduced incoming melee damage, and rendering the wearer invulnerable to damage temporarily if the circumstances called for it. With the iron halo in hand, he left the armory and went towards the Librarium, the home for all of the Blood Ravens powerful Librarians. Librarians themselves were viewed with distrust by more conventional chapters, as all are told to abhor psykers. But to the Blood Ravens, they were a source of knowledge and looked up with reverence by the chapter, and for the longest they've ever known, the office of Chapter Master was also held by their Chief Librarian Azariah Kyras. Kyras himself fallen to Chaos and now a traitor to his own brothers. Rot was eating away at the core of the chapter and threatened to destroy the Blood Ravens forever. He looked for his closest of all battle-brothers, Epistolary Babylon. Armed with a psychically-tuned force sword, a psychic hood, bolt pistol, a boltgun, and his immense knowledge of the warp, he was considered one of the elites of the chapter, but ever so humble in the light of the Emperor, pious more than most. But most importantly, he was Aramus' best friend and brother, aside from maybe Thaddeus. Thaddeus himself was recruited from the hive-world Meridian, while Babylon and Aramus hailed from the same, but unknown planet, where they were found by then Initiate Davian Thule. Though they themselves knew which planet, the records had been sealed off and expunged; and the two plus Thule were sworn to silence.
"I heard what happened earlier, brother. You do not even have to ask, I will join you in your crusade of penance." The psyker told him.
"Thank you, brother…" Aramus said as the two left and headed off towards the craft that would take them back to the Retribution. But waiting was the mighty, but wise Dreadnought Davian Thule. Captain Thule of the Fourth Company who once had a whole body was the first to fall in battle against the Tyranids but came back from death, unleashing his unending holy vengeance upon the enemies of man. Thule had never spoken much when he was a whole person, but when he did, he always did his best to never speak ill of his brothers and always attributed successes to them when they were really his own. He wanted nothing more than to see those under him gain honor and success.
"Aramus…" His cold, gargled voice made out as the dreadnought towered above him.
"Captain Thule, I must depart now for the Eye of Terror…" Aramus said while Babylon busied taking in supplies into the craft.
"I will make sure…The Chapter…Does not forget you…Your heroic deeds…Will…Not go unsung…" Thule managed. "By Chapter and Emperor…Let none…Find you…Wanting…"
Aramus made his way onto the craft and turned back around towards his greatest hero and mentor of all Blood Ravens.
"With Blood and Fury, Captain, may you purge the rot in the chapter…"
With that, they set off towards the Retribution and off towards the Eye of Terror. Hours turned into days, days into weeks until finally they arrived near the terrifying astronomical phenomena. This was a place where reality and the immaterium met, a place where the traitor Chaos marines resided, where unspeakable denizens of the warp called home and sanctuary. They began to approach a daemon world, Torvendis, ruled over by devotees of Slaanesh, the Chaos God of excess and pleasure. At the head of those devotees and a handful of traitor marines of the Violators chapter and hordes of cultist slaves was a powerful witch, Lady Charybdia. Almost immediately the immaterium began to attack the Retribution and soon daemons teleported themselves into the strike cruiser itself. Aside from Aramus and Babylon themselves, there were a few astropaths, navigators, and a skeleton crew to help the cruiser function, but now most of them were dying at the hands of Slaaneshi daemonettes, grotesque, yet graceful and beautiful in their fatal charms. Babylon nodded to Aramus as the two ran towards the drop pod, Aramus readied himself, affixing his iron halo upon his artificer power armor and readying his bolt pistol, making sure it was loaded. The two began to whisper various litanies praising the chapter and the God-Emperor as their drop pod shook violently as it descended into the atmosphere of the hellscape that was Torvendis.
"And of the Assault Marine so do I decree: He shall descend upon the perfidious foe as an Angel of Judgment from on high. Let the jump pack be his wings, and the roar of its engines a hymn of retribution. Let the chainsword be his sceptre of decree, its harsh voice singing joyfully with each and every blow. With it shall the Assault Marine bring bloody retribution to the heretic, the traitor, and all alien aggressors who trespass on the Emperor's domain. So will the Assault Marine be the hunter of warlords and the slayer of kings. His armour shall run slick with the life-blood of the vanquished, and all shall honour his name." Aramus quietly whispered, reciting the very words of the Ultramarines primarch, Roboute Guilliman from the Apocrypha of Skaros. And soon as it was expected, Aramus and Babylon felt the violent crash as the drop pod doors broke down and immediately met with violent hot winds. Looking up Aramus could see the sky, seemingly covered in fire, but looking past that he could also see the Retribution exploding. But worse still, the bad news did not stop there.
"Brother, we have company ahead…These daemons are attempting to gain control of my mind! We must purge and kill everything on this planet if we are to survive this Chaotic onslaught!" Babylon informed Aramus.
"…The Retribution…it's gone…We have no way back home…We are all going to die on this barren hellscape…But we are what we are brother-librarian, we are the Emperor's space marines, his holy sword of retribution…We are Blood Ravens! We fear no evil, we fear no death! For we are death incarnate, and today, as our fates our sealed, so they too shall be doomed for encountering us this day!" Aramus yelled out as his thunder hammer glowed a heavy dark blue, the vengeance of Thaddeus' soul almost screaming out for daemon blood.
"These past one hundred years has been an honor serving under you, Commander." Babylon said as he readied his force sword. "Emperor preserve you."
"Emperor keep you, librarian!" Aramus yelled out as he charged forward, his jump pack beginning to power up. "TODAY I REDEEM THE HONOR OF MY CHAPTER AND OF MYSELF!"
On wings of fire, Aramus descended like judgment dropping down onto the condemned, like the guillotine slicing off the head of the heretic. Immediately as he dropped the impact made a crater several feet wide, knocking back almost all of the daemonettes, stunning a good portion as well. Immediately he lurched forward, the thunder hammer bludgeoning through one of their heads, the rest of her body convulsing uncontrollably while blood sprayed forth like a fountain. Almost immediately he turned around and kicked another in the face whilst impaling yet another, tossing her body into another would-be attacker. The debauched daemonette that was tackled by the oncoming dead seemingly aroused the creature, both of their nude, grotesque bodies rubbing up on each other. If there was no other proof of his strength, then one only needed to see Aramus himself smash his foot into the face of one of the pathetic creatures, blood and eye parts pouring onto the ground like a smashed rotting squash. Immediately he charged forward again with fury, knocking many more back as he fired his bolt pistol deftly, and killing many more while Babylon shot out fiery bolts of lightning. Immediately Babylon scored his own gory kill as his sword sent one of the daemonettes into the air through sheer psychic energy and tossed its bloodied form aside like a rag doll. Almost instantly afterwards Aramus' fury reached a tipping point as he was determined to kill every debauched denizen of that world. He glowed with a certain golden aura and nearly instantaneously Babylon began the movements to cast an archaic buff only known to librarians as the Quickening (or the Veil of Time) on himself and Aramus. Babylon himself felt the inspiring aura of his commander as they both felt the timestream progressing faster for them while they looked like mere blurs to their enemies. Babylon himself specialized in the aspects of time and space manipulation, psychic melee attacks, and shooting bolts of warp lightning. However, he usually fought at Aramus' side, allowing him to concentrate on enemies at range and cast supporting powers while his brother entered into bloody melee. Letting out the most blood curdling battle scream it almost forced the daemonettes to recoil just slightly while he charged forward. With just one fell swoop, all of the daemonettes in front of him ended up knocked back another several feet. Aramus stepped upon one with such force that it leveled the foul creature into the air and almost executing the daemonette with his thunder hammer, blood surging all over his red, ceramite power armor. He then saw oncoming Chaos Space Marines from the Violators chapter. Quickly he switched up his thunder hammer for his chainsword as he saw the traitors come right at him.
"Kill the loyalists! Their bodes will make good sacrifices for Slaanesh!" Yelled one of the Violators, seemingly gaining pleasure from the impending blood bath that was to follow.
"Traitors! Heretics! See here the walking damned!" Aramus once again rose straight into the air and forwards, sweeping down towards the traitor marines like impending doom. Knocking back most of the Violators marines that were oncoming, he proceeded to shower the face of them with bolt pistol shells, completely disfiguring the man. Thaddeus' chainsword cutting through the power armor like it was only butter. This was the blood Thaddeus' soul cried out for, of those who are traitors. More lightning fired forth from Babylon's hand, tearing apart more traitor marines. "Come Babylon, traitor blood has only begun to run! With blood and fury, we will cleanse this planet as is our duty as Blood Ravens! We seek truth and cleanse heresy wherever we find it!"
All of the sudden however, the Violators marines started to fall back. Seeing this, Babylon stopped while Aramus held back. He had seen this before. He once had been far behind enemy lines in a jungle infested with Orks in the Hadrian Campaign. Many Blood Ravens lost their lives defending that rotting jungle but somehow then-Sergeant Aramus managed to bring back his men and himself back unscathed while silencing Ork artillery along the way. He soon saw dividends for his caution as he spotted a powerful Chaos sorcerer, former space marine librarians that turned away from the Immortal Emperor and with that a fiery inferno engulfed the land before them as the Sorcerer laughed heartily before teleporting and appearing before Babylon and Aramus.
"Debauched sorcerer! Your sorcery damns you and your foolish rabble! I will smite you from this world and the next, traitor!" Babylon yelled out as he released a hail of more lightning bolts towards the sorcerer, only to disappear and teleport again, but from the corner of Aramus' eye he was spotted again as more bolt pistol shells roared towards him and charging forward as Babylon used the quickening spell to quicken his own movements and firing lightning everywhere to lure the sorcerer out, but again he disappeared. Immediately Aramus headed in the opposite direction and was actually able to cut him off when he re-materialized into the real world. Furiously, he charged forward, chainsword in hand thinking he had caught the sorcerer by surprise but instead found him smirking his daemonic smile and found himself knocked by the sheer power of the warp, hitting the rocky ground hard as Babylon, quite annoyed with the situation charged forward as well, his own warp energy completing against the sorcerer's. The two dueled in melee with their force weapons but the sorcerer proved too much for the psyker.
"Feel the power of the warp, the pleasurable embrace of Slaanesh…Come brothers, I shall show you the way to your true home!" The sorcerer spoke as he opened a vortex into what one could say was the real world in one sense, but immaterial in another. Aramus spat out his own blood and looked upon him with stoic disgust and prepared his jump pack once more. This was it, the end of the line for both of them as he looked over to his fallen comrade Babylon. He was unconscious and bloodied. Aramus would die, but not without proper vengeance and this sorcerer's head upon his chainsword.
"…By Chapter and Emperor…" Aramus muttered as large wings of fire appeared behind Aramus once more as he leapt high into the air with his chainsword sputtering, going in for the kill it so wanted. "…LET NONE FIND US WANTING!"
Time seemed to freeze as Aramus was in mid-flight towards the Sorcerer. Immediately he could see flashbacks of his time as a Blood Raven. From the beginning, the blood trials he had to endure, the painful process of turning a normal human being into a superhuman, genetically-enhanced killing machine, into that of an Adeptus Astartes. His first trials as an Initiate scout marine. He had always had an affinity for close combat and as such a bolt pistol and a chainsword was his weapon. He remembered the rest of the process that turned him into a full-fledged marine, and soon becoming a part of the Assault Marine Company of the 7th. Further promotions to sergeant gained him much respect and entry into the Blood Ravens 5th Company under then Company Commander and Librarian, Epistolary Seraphis before his mysterious banishment to what they thought was a crusade of penance; one that he would never return from and seemingly Aramus and Babylon were consigned to the same fate. His eventual bump to the rank of Force Commander, recommended by Thule himself and carried out by Chapter Master Kyras placed him in command of a Vanguard Veterans assault squad in the 1st Company and eventually directly second in command to his mentor within the 4th Company. He remembered back further and saw his mentor as an Initiate slay the witch Morga with his bare hands in which was his home planet-turned into a nightmarish alter of sacrifice for the dark gods. He remembered being in such awe of his new Blood Raven savior that he barely spoke when he asked if he and Babylon were alright. Thule did what Aramus could not, despite the fact that Aramus put up a valiant struggle against the witch with only a combat knife and a laspistol. However, this struggle showed Thule a trait that only a true space marine could have; perseverance in the eyes of overwhelming odds. Even before all of that, he could remember far back in his childhood, he had always had dreams of a girl he always went to when he needed to be comforted while scared or sad; a blonde-haired girl with crystal greenish-blue eyes that always smiled at him, a smile that took away all of the pain, the suffering, the madness that he felt. And even if for only a little while, the dark world wasn't such a scary place. Such memories he thought would have been erased and wiped during the implantation processes. Nonetheless, he welcomed this familiar comforting thought. Only this time, he could feel her warm embrace. Aramus knew it was going to be the end…
Time unfroze for Aramus as it all came crashing back to 'reality'. He charged hard into the ground, shaking everything but only to lose his step before he could barely leave a small wound on the sorcerer that at least forced him to drop the staff. The vortex was shrinking but it was too late, Aramus could feel himself being pulled in and watched helplessly as Babylon slowly drifted towards the vortex. He grabbed onto his brother's leg but all attempts would be futile as he got sucked in. The space marine dug his fingers hard into the ground, trying to claw his way back out. He stuck his thunder hammer into the ground, holding onto it for dear life but the hammer itself shattered into two pieces from the sheer warp energies that surrounded the area. However rare for a space marine as it was, his strength finally gave out and found himself swirling away into the shrinking void until both Blood Ravens and the vortex simply vanished from Torvendis…
Well, hope you enjoyed this! Please leave constructive criticism, comments, and of course, review!