Chapter 8: …What just happened?

=][= Imperial Thought for the Day: The Emperor provides, and dumps upon you from great height. The Book of Cain, Verse CVII =][=

FW Sentinel

T+16 Hours

Near Capitol Square

Captain Seravius swore as a brace of lasers chipped away at the vehicle he was hiding behind. He cooled off his hellgun, which he had taken from a dead Kasrkin. There had been a half-platoon of them embarked with the fleet, for reasons unknown. Normally they would be rather effective, but not even their carapace armour could withstand a few shots from a lascannon.

The bulky power pack he now carried dug into his back and made him a slightly more inviting target, although given the rifle's power he considered it a fair trade. Normal lasguns needed several shots to kill his foe, and he'd rather get it right the first time. Of course, given his luck, things were never quite that simple.

For instance, a squad of Abominable Intelligences showing up out of the blue and blasting his men to the Warp and gone. That, he thought, was not exactly what he enjoyed seeing. A few guardsmen were still left standing after that, being smart (or lucky) enough to dive for cover even before the 'droids' opened up on them.

There were a few patterns of the robots, each more menacing than the last. A few were lithe and sleek assassin-like figures that were seemingly faster than a lasbolt. The main bulk of them were larger and heavyset, though capable of withstanding a frag grenade and laying down more fire than a multilaser.

He liked neither of them, especially since even his new toy took quite a while to take them out. That, coupled with its short range, resulted in the good captain being a few hundred metres farther ahead of his men than he had planned. For what good that would do him.

Lucius brought a hand up to his commbead again, keeping one eye on a shattered mirror that gave him a view of the foe. No movement that he could see, which was bad, as chances were he was getting flanked. Time to get out of here.

"Company Vox Channel Primaris. Seravius here. Epsilon Company Command Detachment is pinned down by Abominable Intelligences. Two Kasrkin, six other ranks downed. Requesting support, over."

A muffled denial and apology came over the net, then static. He cursed.

A few bolts impacted the pavement nearby, moving closer and closer to his prone body. Seravius scrambled to his feet and quickly scanned the area, looking for an escape route. One Kasrkin was facedown next to him, the other with his men nursing a shattered forearm from falling concrete. Seven guardsmen remained, assorted weapons raised but too far away to cover him.

In the mirror, he could make out one of the smaller droids fingering a small, spherical shell with a single glowing red light. He was confused for an instant, then he saw it get into a throwing position. His every instinct screamed grenade!, and that was enough to send the captain into action.

"Cover me!", he yelled, firing two shots behind him and taking off back towards his men. He had no support, and only small arms. Sure, the Commissar was probably going to have his head after this, but perhaps he could get himself a mention in despatches that would counteract his cowardice. …Or not.

A few half-hearted lasbolts flashed over his shoulder, and a disturbing amount of red-tinted blasts flew the other way in response. One glanced off his own carapace pauldron, singing his skin where it passed near. He let out a yelp of pain but kept running, zigzagging between debris and wrecked aircars.

Another shot exploded just behind his ankles, sending him sprawling to the ground. His tunic, already sullied with dust, just about tore from the friction. Now both his pauldrons were jet black, one from paint, and the other from carbonization. The shoulders underneath ached like the Warp, as did his legs from the running. Not like it did him any good, of course.

He flipped over and struggled into a sitting position, hellgun propped up at his shoulder to perforate the head of the first droid to rush him. The next one, also an assassin-pattern, lost both arms to bad shots and then got its torso punctured. Its small power core detonated anticlimactically, sending a few sparks flying but nothing else.

Then they were upon him, bolts flying through the air and making him nearly soil his pants. The armaplast plates he was wearing underneath his tunic stopped the brunt of the shots, surprisingly, but the sheer kinetic energy behind them made him topple onto his back anyways. Three of the droids rushed him, knives drawn.

Lucius kicked away the one on his right, using the slight delay to draw his power sword and stab the centre one in its chest. That gave him enough time to spring back to his feet, nearly wrenching a muscle in the process but allowing him to parry the final one's blade.

…Said droid's blade then damn near broke his wrist and knocked his sabre out of his throbbing hand before stopping itself just before it slit his throat. The AI tilted its head to the side, as if curious. Then, to his horror, it spoke.

"Surrender or die, meatbag, in the name of the Empire."

Lucius slowly raised his hands above his head, trying to ignore the pain. Apparently it wasn't fast enough, as the droid removed its knife and replaced it with an iron grip around his neck.

He felt himself being gradually lifted off the ground, and his legs kicked about ineffectually. The flow of air to his lungs abruptly cut off, the captain's vision started to grey in at the edges before slowly fading to black.

A small part of his mind scoffed at not being able to say his last words.

The main bit, the part not addled with delusions like 'honour' and 'glory' and 'grandeur', was more preoccupied with panicking and futilely trying to ram air into his lungs. It was, he detachedly noted, most likely the effects of oxygen deprivation. That, he remembered, was decidedly fatal and bad for his long-term health.

Then, after a sharp whine, a short fizz, and a shower of sparks, the unrelenting pressure suddenly stopped increasing.

Granted, his windpipe was still fully closed, but it was still an improvement.

Another sharp whine and short burning sensation later, and the hand that was holding him up miraculously disappeared. His back met the ground a moment after that, driving the non-existent breath out of him as his lungs achingly laboured for fresh air.

A roar and a cheer came from behind him, and Lucius assumed that was from his men. The sheer volume of laserfire that met his now-opening eyes certainly was Imperial, that much he knew. Though where those hellgun blasts were coming from he had no idea…

He sat up, blinking the spots in his vision away. A squad of men in grey-painted carapace armour ran past him, rifles blazing away. They were followed by his own command squad, banner hanging limply from its pole even as its bearer chainsawed apart a droid's head.

He blinked twice in confusion, painfully rising back to the standing position and retrieving his sabre. He held his broken wrist across his torso, wincing at the movement.

"Tch. Pathetic."

The voice came from behind him, and sounded decidedly feminine. Sighing, he turned his head over to respond, sarcastic reply already on the tip of his tongue.

…Said reply stayed there, as he was confronted with a rather attractive woman wearing slightly customized carapace armour and carrying a big frakking gun. Irritating her, he noted, was probably not the best idea.

"I presume I owe you my thanks for the rescue…sergeant?"

She stalked past him, long-las over her shoulder. Her reply was short and sharp, reminding him of a woman who had seen too much loss to feel anymore.

"They were in the way, captain. That is all."

Lucius was left staring at her back and swinging jet-black ponytail (and trying not to gaze too far below that), mouth agape even as a medicae held him still to apply a cast to his wrist.

That was…unexpected.


Sentinel System, just past the Oort Cloud

K-S Baanu Niil

"Commander Dalek. We have entered the system. It is made up of three planets, two of which are uninhabited. The third one, in the middle, is capable of supporting life. Shall we attack immediately, or establish bases on the other two?"

The aforementioned commander did not answer, instead gazing into a feed that displayed Sentinel. A few explosions blossomed on it here and there, flashes of light occurring both on the planet and in the space around it. A third party, perhaps?

Dalek thought for a moment, weighing the options. His fleet, despite being rather large, did not have the resources to erect outposts in what was supposed to be a border system. And, since the defenders were currently otherwise occupied…

"We make for the fortress-world, lieutenant. Let the enemy fight, for a fleet that fights both battles loses twice. But if we can wipe them both out…it shall be an easy victory. Onwards, for Yun-Yuzzhan."

Dalek's subordinate saluted and set a course inwards, towards the system's sun.

This shall be a glorious victory indeed…


FW Sentinel

T+22 hours

Capitol Square

"So what you're telling me, milord, is that there's more Xenos coming along to hit us?"

It is not everyday that a mortal may converse with one of the Emperor's Angels of Death. It's an even rarer occurrence that said mortal can be somewhat insubordinate and survive. Now, thought Lucius, was one of those times. Whether the Brother-Captain was just choosing to ignore his tone was a different question, of course. He preferred to believe that the Emperor was watching over him.

"Indeed, Captain. Tyranids, by the looks of it. One of their Spores appears to be coming down near your position as we speak, so I'm suggesting that you pull back and let the heretics take their full force. No Astartes are within your area, so Epsilon Company most likely would not survive an onslaught. The Emperor protects. Westwynter, out."

Perhaps the reason for his survival, thought Lucius as he closed the commlink between him and the post-human a few dozen kilometres away, was that he wasn't within punching distance. Not that he was complaining.

However, facing Tyranids wasn't exactly what he planned on doing today, or in fact any time soon.

Then again, he never expected to get saved from an Abominable Intelligence by a stunningly lethal Kasrkin Sergeant, either.

Still, he had his job, however much he hated it. Lucius turned to his men, who were for some reason busy fortifying a shell hole. Seeing as this was mostly just piling dead bodies and debris as part of a low screening wall, he didn't have high hopes for its integrity.

"Men. We have Tyranids."

Those four words were enough to elicit a variety of colourful responses, most of which would turn a Space Wolf red with embarrassment. In this case, he didn't really mind.

He continued, "However, they're going to be landing within enemy territory. Which means that the heretics will get the full brunt of their force. We just need to hold the line while we wait for reinforcements to arrive." The last part was a lie, as far as he knew. Still, it never hurt to keep up morale.

A small cheer came up, but only a small one. Compared to the forces of Chaos, the 'nids weren't as bad. But that didn't mean fighting them wasn't hell. Oh, to the contrary.

His new Kasrkin detachment wasn't helping with the fortification, instead inside one of the slightly-less damaged buildings and setting up on the roof. He considered joining them up there, if just for the sake of being out of the line of fire.

Then again, the sergeant (he had learned her last name was Harker {no relation}, though her first was still a mystery to him) up there would probably shoot him herself if he even took a single step away from his men.

He sighed.

Back to war, I suppose.

A/N: …Yeah. That…took a while. Well as a shoddy excuse for my absence, I have to say that the anime RWBY is amazing. That, and way too much gaming. My bad.

Anyways, the OC's are starting to come now. Feel free to send me more (I need some more SW people, dammit. I'm running out of random numbers for stormtroopers.) character ideas. Try not to make them too overpowered, though. Writing Sues is a pain.

And yes, those are Vongs.

Any and all comments about canon can go to my inbox or the reviews section, whichever one you feel is best. Flames are welcomed, as I need some source of entertainment.

In any case, read, review, and enjoy!


Oh yeah, and I changed my name. Whoop-de-doo.