“Twenty minutes, sir? Not a problem” the black armoured techmarine grumbled as he examined the remains of the traitor Ultramarine. Green grid lines appeared along the traitor’s armour and weapons, projected from the Iron Hand’s auspex.
“Yarika. Take their heads. There will be no question of the finality. The Exemplars of Murder are no more. We are moving on” Claudius stated as he passed me. For a moment I went to reach for my chainsword. The apothecarion is going to desire intact specimens. I really do not want this filth on my narcethium and instruments.
The librarian held his gauntlet out over the melting remains of the xenos swordsman. As the head of Olympicus came free, Gadreel came to stand over me. The air of menace around the Blood Angel unnerved me slightly as he reached out with a black canvas sack. As I rose Brother Paullian traded places with me so that he could remove the traitor’s armour.
As I turned I looked at the ejected progenoid phylactery I just removed from the reductor. I do not believe my counter-parts among the Ultramarines will use the traitor’s geneseed, but they may desire otherwise. I truly wonder if this holds within it the embers of Olympicus’ treachery. Grisly business this Operation: Ivory Hunters.
“Ha! Ha! Ha! Die heretic mother fuckers!” the Low Gothic vulgarities startled me as my vox blared. Brother Beav’Star opened up with his stylized heavy bolter on some fleeing Stigmartus infantry. At least two dozen heretics exploded off in the distance. I could no longer see any movement in the distance. Even two dozen was nothing compared to the numbers holding the Chaos site up ahead. I am glad that Sobcheck is so good at what he does. Fuck those heretics.
As the Samech techmarine’s head came off I saw an amazing amount of arcane conduits and tubing within its torso. Truly horrific dark sciences these Samech use. As my reductor pulled what should have been progenoids I came back with strange heretek artefacts. Odd black globes that pulsed with life all their own. Ozymandius X will want to see this.
Brother Paullian pulled dataslate from the dead traitor’s belt. He quickly connected to the device. While he stood there for a moment, I noticed Claudius move off to survey the objective. I began to walk over to the daemonic beast that Ymir fought when Claudius began to hustle down the ice rise pointing at Brother Paullian. Vox icons began to scroll as I knelt down next to the aberration.
“Killteam mount up. Double time marines we are danger close in fifteen seconds!” shouted Sergeant Claudius as he climbed up on to the Land Raider. The monster’s damned skull would not come free. I could see its foul Chaos physiology was attempting to knit itself. That was not going to happen. Using my boot and the fury of Corax I ripped the damned thing off. The Land Raider’s roar got me up and moving.
Now, I am the fastest of the killteam, maybe outside of Gadreel, but when I heard the super-sonic thuds of the orbital bombers I felt as slow as the ice freezing around me. As I made it within five meters of the Land Raider the gloomy sky of Nytt Hopp turned a bright orange as the bombers found their mark. As soon as I hit the side portal skid, Brother Paullian gunned the throttle and the Land Raider tore across the snow towards the growing mushroom clouds on the horizon. The ice and slush whipped up as I hung from the portal, I could see the Stigmartus lines backlit by the explosions. Many winked out of existence and others were simply enraged. In a few seconds we would be upon that line and their rage would not protect their existence.
“Brothers, our mortal comrades are bringing the Emperor’s fury upon their heretic edifice. Their own hubris will be their downfall, the archtraitor carried the exact grid coordinates of both the Tower of Skulls and the anti-personnel emplacements. By the time our lady Starbuck delivers us the field will be alight. A typical enemy would be seriously broken by the explosions and death, the Stigmartus are not typical and they revel in death. Bring them their revelry, bring them death!” Sergeant Claudius preached from the coupler above. These Stigmartus were vile, but I still wanted their masters. The descrated the bodies of my fellow Watchmen and took their geneseeds. I truly hoped the bombers left me some so as that I could exact an apothecary’s toll. Their debt was high.
The hum to zap sound of the Land Raider’s lascannons repeated over and over again as Claudius and Starbuck’s angry machine spirit assaulted the Stigmartus line.
“Missiles firing” intoned Brother Paullian and within a second two platoons of infantry, a tank, and a heavy weapons emplacement were consumed in the explosion. Sergeant Claudius sent a series of command icons. He gave us three seconds before he gave the ‘engage’ command. The Land Raider came to a surprisingly quick stop. Then it began.
“I am the son of Sanguinius, the protector of Mankind, and indeed the Angel of Death! See me heretics and see your doom!” roared Brother Gadreel as he launched from the assault deck. Gadreel’s health signals flared to amazing levels. The Astartes’ body is superhuman, the levels Gadreel reached were something else entirely. The Blood Angel soared through the air…
He rose up on wings of fire, wielding a crackling powersword and powerfist. Upon landing he stretched out with both weapons destroying over a dozen charging Stigmartus. Half were bisected as his blade pass through them as though they were air. The other half were pulverised by his seemingly effortless powerfisted backhand. In one step he spun and reversed his attack killing twice as many as his powered weapons snuffed out his heretic lives. Before the bodies fell Gadreel launched himself back into the air.
“Die you Chaos spawned mother fuckers!!!” screamed Brother Beav’Star Sobcheck as marched down the assault ramp firing his supremely powerful multi-melta. In a handful of blasts three Stigmartus armoured units were destroyed. Some exploded, while others Sobcheck simply left aflame. The Salamander laughed heartily. He sees all of this very differently.
I knelt down along side the assault ramp and dispatched two Stigmartus autocannon crews in six quick shots. The Boltrifle, Brother Paullian built for me, turned out to be an exceptional weapon. No recoil, a muffled report, and no flash made the Boltrifle an assassin weapon. I really had no problem with that.
Gadreel landed gracefully on the assault ramp just as the librarian, Ymir, lifted himself to the Land Raider’s roof. The lower flank of the Stigmartus line began to make aim on the killteam. Autocannon fire caught Ymir, Sobcheck, and me. The three of us took minor injuries but it would be those gunners’ last hits. I climbed back into the Land Raider with Beav’Star when the Land Raider loosed another volley of missiles and Brother Gadreel. This smoldering line was breaking.
As the explosions went off I looked across the ridge. On that ridge laid the remains of the Tower of Skulls, the Stigmartus leadership, and the Bishop of Blood. As Ymir’s supernatural dark enveloped the Land Raider I was sure I saw the Khorne worshipping bastard. He would be mine. I would collect my debt. His head would be a good start.