By Brad Stephenson
In homage to John
Log report #012
1230hrs ship time,
Life aboard this ship is
starting to take its toll on me though I have been in the imperial navy for the
twenty years now. This patrol of the borders of the Lymphitca system is turning
out to be more boring then an ork trying to hit a bullseye from a foot away. I
did my shifts without trying to think about it too much, though in a way it is a
bit of a relief compared to the last battle this ship participated in, having to
clear a path through a hive fleet to make way for the heavy cruisers to come in.
I’ll tell you something, no one should have to face the tyranids but it has to
Anyway back to the
reason for this log entry, the auspex boys had detected something in a debris
field from a previous battle millennia before, from what they could tell it was
physical and it gave off strange energy readings, we assembled a team to take a
shuttle and investigate the readings., while they were away some of the new
recruits started placing bets on what it was, they started saying it could’ve
been power cells, an offline ship, anything that uses power.
Our navigator Augustine
started acting a bit stranger then usual when the team returned two hours later
with what ever it was.
Well from what I’ve been
told it was a casket of some kind covered in glyphs that our techpriests can’t
decipher, many of the crew are trying to guess what race the glyphs belong to
but in my opinion it looks like eldar to me.
End of line
Log report #013
2200hrs ship time,
Well nine and a half
hours went by and the mechanicus hasn’t even scratched the surface of the casket
trying to get it open. In my years I never seen something like this, they had
tried everything they could think of in their arsenal. Lascutters, plasma
torches, you name it they broke it. I think they’re going to be doing a lot of
praying tonight fixing those tools.
We tried using a psyker
to open it thinking it was psychically operable but a few minutes into it he
went insane, started talking gibberish then blew his brains out with his
laspistol, honestly the training they get is atrocious.
I had been attempting to
translate those glyphs but I had no luck. its as seems those glyphs just aren’t
the same as the ones used by the eldar or just refuse to be deciphered, If
they’re a lot older then now then its impossible to translate unless you have a
farseer here. Never understand the mind of a xeno.
Well at any rate our
astropath had intercepted a transmission requesting assistance against an ork
fleet; I had him send a message that we were busy with an unknown artefact and
that we’ll be on our way as soon as it was secured.
The casket has been
moved to a secured tech bay where it’ll be under close observation till further
This is captain Jago
Dakari of the exorcist class cruiser “The Flaying Blade” signing off.
End of line
The firing range was empty
that night for all but one battle brother; Veteran Isaac Tyrius of the
executioners, a chapter that had rebelled during the badab uprising but was
forgiven for their actions when they released that they were on the wrong side
and rejoined the imperium, was busy shooting the targets with one of the booths
specially made laspistols made to give the effects of a bolt pistol. He was one
of the best marksman in the entire chapter and shooting became his dedication
when he started out as a scout sniper and then as a devastator when he became a
full fledge marine, after forty years in the chapter he had been promoted to
veteran after he, by sheer luck or the emperors guidance, taken out a tyranid
biotitan with a single shot with his lascannon thus earning him the nickname
“Dead Eye” which he hated of course, although he did get punished for shorting
out his lascannon by using all its power in a single concentrated blast.
He capped shot after shot
with exceptional accuracy making burn marks all over the shifting target; each
session uses a hundred shots for giving scores and accuracy ratings so if a
marine hit the target ninety five times then his accuracy rating would be ninety
five percent and so on.
His weapon gave its last
crack before depleting and placed the weapon back its holster and he waited
patiently for his result. He brushed back his short, brown hair, his hands
passing over his service studs.
The Pict read out on the
bench flickered and it read 99%
He gave a whisper of both
success and disgust to himself, before shutting the booth down and heading back
to his quarters, his free time period was nearly up.
He passed the great hall
where the chapter gathers for special occasions such as celebrating the founding
of the chapter and making special announcements, etc. he saw someone at the
alter there whom he thought was one of the serfs who maintain their battle
barge, but it was too big be one of them. he walked in and he saw it was his
fellow veteran and closest friend Tigris. He was praying at the alter, speaking
in old gothic. Isaac chuckled and walked over to him.
He placed a hand on
Tigris’s shoulder and he stopped speaking and turned to him, the dark birth
marks of his face the same as the tiger which gave him his name absorbed the
light coming from the candles.
“Greetings brother, were
you at the range again?” Tigris said before making the sign of the Aquila,
finishing off his prayer before getting up.
“That’s a stupid question
Tigris, I still can’t get a hundred percent and I felt certain I’d get it that
time” Isaac said, he walked out of the hall with Tigris coming up behind him.
“Wouldn’t that make it the
fiftieth or sixtieth time? I lost count after try forty” Tigris asked.
“This would be the
sixty-fifth attempt now” answered Isaac slightly annoyed of him for that.
His friend gave him a pat
on the back of reassurance and smiled.
“Always the persistent one
weren’t you? Ever since you heard of that record you been shooting as much as a
flash git with its finger glued to the trigger” he said.
“Yes well, I want to do
something that’ll make my mark in history apart from killing aliens and
“yeah but you’re not the
only one” Tigris remarked, showing a scared left hand, obviously he tried to
beat his record of a hundred stabs between the fingers with one of his knives in
under thirty seconds but caught some of his hand in the progress.
“I thought you never missed
unless you were trying to do it blindfolded” Isaac joked,
“You’re Close. I did it
with one eye shut” Tigris remarked,
They walked down the
hallways back to their quarters to initiate their rest period, going into a
dreamless state of hibernation till Morning Prayer and the next day.
Captain Tselios of the
first company was at the bridge of the ship in the command chair, it was his job
to control the ship after the Chapter master himself and he was away with a
company to deal with a Genestealer infestation, so Tselios was in charge till he
Tselios rarely sleeps as he
believes that you can have plenty of time to sleep when you’re dead and he lets
Catalepsean Node do the sleeping for him.
He was doing a routine
auspex sweep of the area, checking for anything strange to investigate and so
far there was nothing worth reporting, the odd asteroid or dying sun but nothing
He passed this boredom by
completing holographic puzzles and reviewing old battle footage on his chair’s
hololith display recalling some of the chapter’s finest battles, although the
chapter were not proud of their part in the badab uprising and so they generally
don’t speak about it.
“Ah a battle with the
Tyranids” he said to himself seeing the hololith’s display shifting to a battle
against the great devourer, he watched as he saw assault marines engaged soaring
gargoyles and the devastator marines blasting great hordes of gaunts out of
existence. He looked at his left arm’s bionics where he had lost it to a Ravener
that came up under his command squad where he slew it himself with his bare
hands, well, bare hand to be exact, that was a fine victory.
Just then a red light
flashed on his control pad, an incoming warning. He punched in a few buttons and
the bridge’s central hololith display flickered into life, it projected the
image of a ship in the distance
“An imperial ship? local
sources said there were no ships on patrol here” he thought, he pressed some
more buttons so the ship was more zoomed in even then the picture was fuzzy but
he managed to make out the outline of it.
He activated the battle
barge’s ship-to-ship communication system and attempted to make contact with the
Cruiser, this is brother captain Tselios of the Executioners chapter of the
Adeptus Astartes, respond” he said into his voxbead.
He waited a few moments but
he received nothing static on the line, he tried again.
Cruiser, this is brother captain Tselios of the Executioners chapter of the
Adeptus Astartes, respond”
Still no answer, just
static. Tselios shut the coms off and got out of his chair where he made his way
to epistolary librarian Morgan who was meditating in his respected chair,
Tselios gave him a light tap on his shoulder and Morgan opened his eyes.
“Oh captain, what do you
require?” he asked, Tselios explained the ship to him and how they were not
communicating which sounded strange.
“So you want me to try and
contact their astropath to find out why they’re here brother captain, I will
attempt to make contact” he said.
Morgan put both hands to
his head and his eyes glowed white as he tried to make contact. He kept up this
state for a few minutes before he stopped, shaking his head in defeat.
“Nothing sir, either their
astropath is dead, incapacitated or they’re refusing to answer”
“I see. we’ll need to
investigate this, the last thing we need are traitors” Tselios said.
Tselios looked at the group
of battle brothers selected for this investigation, he chose to send a combat
squad of veterans for the investigation and they stood to attention in their
full armour, Isaac and Tigris were among them. The marines all had a special
skill that Tselios thought would be essential such as Isaac’s marksmanship and
Tigris’s close combat prowess, the veterans all had effigies of their skills
painted or attached on their grey and blue camouflaged armour apart from their
right shoulder pad which bore their chapter symbol, an axe on a red circle.
Isaac had painted
crosshairs over his helmets eye ports and had pouches containing magazines while
Tigris had an array of various knives in holsters on his armour.
They were all in the
briefing chamber and Tselios wasted no time in spelling out the facts.
“Veterans of the first
company, you had been summoned here to investigate an unidentified Exorcist
class cruiser that has found in this region, so far they had not answered
communications of any kind, Vox or Astropathic. Your orders are to investigate
and confirm if there are any navy personnel on that and if they’re still loyal
to the imperium, in case of hostiles your mission will be to search and destroy”
Pressing a button on the
controls to the chamber’s hololith display a holopict of the ship appeared as a
rotating image like in holo-schematics, the marines gathered round to get a
better look of the ship.
“This is the clearest image
we can get till we get close enough for thunderhawk range, the barge will be
keeping a relative distance away, there’ll be a team of our brother terminators
that’ll board to give you assistance should anything happen, any questions”
A veteran who had flames
painted on his armour put his hand up.
“Just one brother captain,
how did that ship get out so far into space? This area is remote enough as it
is” he asked,
“I don’t know, maybe they
were pursuing pirates and got lost, that’s one thing you have to find out, now
The thunderhawk roared out
of the bays and soared of into the direction of the ship, with a servitor
piloting the shuttle the marines were in the passenger compartment with their
Sergeant, a former tactical marine called Orean was up with the servitor.
Isaac had his custom made
bolter which he upgraded over the years on his lap and was busy adjusting its
scope and illuminators which all his battles brothers had on their weapons.
Tigris was lovingly tending his double handed chainsword as well as attaching
razor sharp blades on his gauntlets giving him “tiger claws”.
The ship soon approached
the prow of the Exorcist cruiser, as the ship was carefully manoeuvred past it
Orean looked at its workmanship, an old ship of beauty still in use, providing a
link to the past. That was when he saw something; on the prow written in large,
crimson red lettering was the name of the ship The flaying blade.
He motioned the servitor to
keep the ship in this spot while he contacts the barge; punching in a few
buttons he opened the vox channels.
“Captain Tselios” he said,
a few seconds of static went by before he got a reply,
“Yes sergeant, what is your
status?” Tselios replied,
“We had arrived at the ship
and it doesn’t look like there’s any external damage, we’re by its prow and we
had found out its name sir. It’s called The flaying blade”
There was a pause before an
“The flaying blade?
I heard of that ship, it vanished into the warp over two centuries ago on their
way to engage ork warlord Gazmog’s fleet”
Tselios was part of that
campaign as a mere battle brother and he nearly got killed in that conflict.
“Orders brother captain?”
“Proceed with investigation
but stay sharp” Tselios answered.
“Yes brother captain, we’ll
vox you back if we find anything else”
Orean ended communications
and gestured the servitor to continue which it did without question. Sure enough
the thunder hawk landed in one of the hanger bays with a thud on its landing
skids with its search lights blaring.
“Keep the ship here, don’t
let anything on it” Orean ordered the servitor.
“Yes lord” it chimed, Orean
walked down to the compartment and saw the veterans all lined up, bolters ready,
except the flame armoured marine who carried a flamer.
“Brothers one thing, this
ship has been stuck in the warp for two hundred years… expect sickness” Orean
said simply, the marines nodded and the hatch was released, slamming down hard
into the decking and they walked out, illuminators shining.
The hanger was in complete
ruin, all of the fury and starhawk squadrons were in destroyed heaps and
scattered all around the hangers many levels with shows of fierce combat, the
marines looked around as they cautiously made their way past all the wreckage
with their armoured boots crunching on debris, keeping a carful eye out for
“Or instead of sickness, a
scrap heap” Tigris said.
“Well this is a
techpriest’s worst nightmare” Isaac said, he had seen his share of destroyed
vehicles in his life but they were merely destroyed toys compared to this, some
looked like they had been blown apart with incredible force while some were
crushed into metal pancakes.
“More like the omnisiah’s
worst nightmare” Orean said, he picked up a buckled armour plate from a fury and
examined it, the plate had strange gouge and slash marks into the metal.
“Tigris you’re the blade
expert what do you make of this?” Orean said, handing the plate over to him.
Tigris took it while they
continued walking to the lift on the far end of the hanger towards the back of
the ship, Tigris had his fair share of various close combat weapons and he had
the scars to prove it but this one left him at a lost, he was thinking that the
ship might’ve had a run in with genestealers but the slash marks were to thin to
be claws, they looked almost like teeth marks or to say in the least finger
“I would say genestealers
but the gouges are too thin to be done by their claws” he said, he scanned an
image of it and stored it in his helmet database for future reference before
chucking it back into the hanger.
They had made their way to
the service lifts and entered it, it was a nearly cramped fit they got inside
and shut the doors.
“Right, lets head to the
bridge and see what we can find” Orean said, he punched a few buttons and the
lift sped upwards.
On their way to the lifts
they didn’t notice the group of dark bestial figures hiding in the wreckage,
making light screeching sounds before turning and heading off towards the
The lift reached the bridge
level, the doors slid open and the squad formed out into the hall way, weapons
drawn, the illuminators showing the carnage that had been unleashed. There were
signs of combat just like at the hanger, gouges in the wall, shots from small
arms fire and flamer burns. There were some corpses of navy personnel slumped
against the wall, shredded corpses with looks of horror on their dead faces. But
what was more was the scattering of burnt beyond recognition corpses. The
marines carefully moved past them and got to the bridge’s main entrance, the
ornate doors didn’t looked too damaged with flamer burns over the golden eagle
emblem spanning the two doors. Orean signalled two of the team to try and open
the door which they did with difficulty as something the door shut, when they
finally managed to shove the doors apart there was a rush in the air around them
and the corpses all started sliding on the floor towards the door and when the
door was open wide enough the bodies flew into the room, surprising the squad.
“Hull breach” a marine
said, that was the only logical explanation.
They saw that heavy
equipment was pushed up against the door as an attempt to barricade who ever
were still inside. They got into the ruined bridge and scouted around keeping
their weapons drawn.
Most of the controls and
communications equipment was destroyed or heavily damaged, some of which were
still giving sparks in the airless environment. There were several shredded
bodies scattered around along with more burnt ones lying around, the ship’s
gravity drives preventing everything from floating around too much. The armoured
glass port of the bridge was shattered and the bridge was left to the mercy of
space, ice covered everything giving the feeling of an ice world.
“Well this is why they
didn’t answer” a marine said.
Isaac moved cautiously
coming up to the Astropath’s seat when he heard his boot tread on something wet,
he looked shining his illuminator on what he stood on. It was a trail of blood
and it was leading up to the astropath’s chair, he shone his light over and saw
something thing that shocked him.
“Brothers!” he yelled, the
squad rushed forward over and saw what he had seen, something that even made one
of them turn away.
It was the ships navigator,
slumped dead in his chair with the astropath as well huddled on the floor. From
the looks of it was suicide, there were deep cuts in their arms and throats from
which long tendril like streams of blood were frozen like crystals in mid air,
there was a look of utter terror and fear on their faces and their eyes were all
gouged out as if they were self inflicted, a ceremonial knife was hanging limply
from navigator’s right hand.
“By the throne what the
hell happened here?” Orean said,
“Well it certainty isn’t
genestealers” Tigris said, he went over to a console that wasn’t as damaged as
the others and punched in a few buttons, the screen flickered to life.
He pushed the headless
corpse of its operator of its seat and proceeded to access the ships logs,
infact he was surprised that there was still power in the ship.
“This data is all jumbled;
I can’t make it out from this console. Wait a second, there’s something about a
casket in the tech bays, looks like xeno Origen” Tigris said, he shut the
console off and went back to the team.
“Let’s head for the
captains quarters maybe we’ll find more clues. Mycen, you and Elgin head down to
the bays and investigate that casket” Orean said, Mycen the flamer wielding
marine nodded and with Elgin, a marine who specialised in explosives went to one
of the lifts outside the bridge while the other navigated their way to the
Captains quarters, opening and sealing the doors one at a time.
Orean, Isaac and Tigris got
to the Captains quarters; the pressure in this area wasn’t compromised so there
was no vacuum damage here, they entered the quarters, weapons drawn. The quarter
was in disarray, as if heavy fighting took place in here. There was destroyed
furniture, torn books and the like. They moved up to the captains desk and
started looking for anything that could tell what happened with Isaac keeping
guard at the door.
“I think I found something”
Orean said, he was looking in a drawer and he pulled out a small vox recorder
used for taking memos and such. It was round back up to the beginning of the
He placed it on the desk
and pressed the play button, it soon started the recording.
I gonna hide this disk
when I’m finished, if none of us survives at least there’ll be some kind of
record. Our shield won’t hold much longer, the ship’ll have to exit now. We have
been in the warp for about…a week, we still haven’t come close to killing it.
One other thing, I think it rips through your clothes when it takes you over.
Karpenter found a shredded flak vest from its first victim but its I.D tag was
missing…it could be anybodies. Nobody…nobody trusts anybody now, we’re all very
tired. There nothing else I can do…except wait.
Jago Dakari, captain of
the Exorcist cruiser “the flaying blade”, M41.779
“According to the ships
chronologic system only a week passed” Tigris said confused, confirming one
aspect of the recording,
“That’s the warp for you;
you can spend a day in the warp and then come out two centuries later” Isaac
Orean started looking for
anything else of value when their com’s picked up something.
“Brother Sergeant, can you
read me?” it was Mycen and panic was in his voice.
“Mycen, what is it?” Orean
“Its Elgin sir, he’s dead.”
“We were ambushed when we
found the casket; this thing came out from above us. It looked like a crew
member but he had tentacles coming out of his body. Elgin tried to get a shot
but it was so damn fast…”
“Mycen hold your position,
we’re coming down” Orean commanded.
“Well you better hurry sir;
I don’t think I’m alone down here”.
The squad arrived at the
bay, keeping a close eye out and they saw Mycen out by the bay door, the door
was sealed shut.
“Praise the emperor you got
here, the Casket is right here” Mycen said punching a code for the door.
The door slid open and they
stepped inside, they saw the stone, glyph covered casket in the middle of the
room. The lid for it was propped up against it, revealing a hollow space,
covered in slowly thawing ice in the casket. In a far corner they saw their dead
battle brother sat against the wall, small and blood soaked punctures in various
places oh his body and at his feet was the culprit, riddled with bolt wounds.
It appeared to be a crewman
like Mycen said, but his flesh was warped into multiple forms from what looked
like different life forms into one entity and masses of tentacles protruding
from his torso.
“What kind of abomination
of nature is that?!” Orean said in shocked and disgust.
“There is no way the warp
can do that if the Geiger shields were active” Isaac said.
Tigris unsheathed his
chainsword from his back and gave the dead thing a couple of pokes.
“Well it appears to be
dead” he said.
Suddenly a mass of
tentacles burst forth from the corpse and latched them on his weapon, a
Chittering, hissing noise like those of insects at night emitted as well. To
their horror they saw the thing pick itself off the floor and flailed with its
tentacles flinging Tigris off his feet and into the wall behind it, to add to
their horror they saw it changing form in the most gory way they had ever seen,
quite frankly it made warp mutation look like a butterfly changing compared to
“Kill it!” Orean commanded,
the squad fired their weapons, riddling the creature with horrific wounds but it
just wouldn’t die.
It lunged at them taking
Orean in it clutches, they fell to the ground wrestling each other, Orean trying
not to get bit from a suddenly large gaping, jagged toothed maw that had morphed
in place of its head. Orean got his bolt pistol and rammed it down the mouth
firing away and making internal explosions ripple in its body. The jaws bit down
hard on his arm, the teeth penetrating his adamantium armour and he yelled in
pain. Tigris got up quickly, charged over to help his sergeant and with one
swipe of his clawed gauntlets sliced the head off Orean’s arm.
“Contact!” Mycen yelled as
he primed his flamer.
The marines took his
warning and dived out the way quickly just as a plume of chemical flame roared
out and immolated the thing. It roared, thrashing around in pain before dying
again, slumping to the ground.
Tigris picked up his
chainsword while Isaac tended to his sergeant, sealing off the punctures in his
armour. That was when they heard the noise again but it didn’t come from the
thing they just killed but it emitted from their dead battle brother. To their
horror and confusion they saw Elgin’s body pick itself up from the floor and
tentacles spewed forth from the holes in his armour.
Tigris wasted no time, he
charged forth and decapitated it in one roaring slash with his chainsword,
catching it on the neck and sending the head rolling and bouncing into a corner.
The headless corpse now punched him in the chest sending him flying past the
others; it soon sprouted a new head in a fountain of red gore, a combination of
reptile and insect bearing razor sharp fangs.
“What in the warp are you?”
“I cannot be killed for I
am many and one” the thing spoke without even using its mouth, it right arm
expanded and the armour plating of the arm ruptured as spines burst through as
if it was tissue paper, Isaac primed his bolter and shot off a few rounds, the
bolts impacted on its flesh and the thing writhed in pain as its flesh started
to turn into mush.
“Hellfire rounds, never
leave home without them” Isaac smirked; Isaac always had a variety of munitions
with him just in case he needs them.
Mycen primed his flamer and
let loose, the creature was now fully engulfed in flames, and fell to the
ground, as it burned the marines gave a silent prayer to their fallen brother
glad that his body didn’t have to suffer a fate worse then death.
“We have to contact the
captain and tell him about a xeno infestation on here, keep a loose formation
but stay close” Orean commanded,
The marines obeyed and
formed up, they got to the ruined hallway when they heard the noise of cracking
metal back in the bay and Tigris and Mycen went back in to investigate. Elgin’s
decapitated head was shaking violently and to the marines confusion they saw
chitinous spider legs burst out from his helmet, picked itself up and two eye
stalks ruptured forth from within, it gave a small roar before trying to scamper
“You got to be frakking
kidding” Tigris said, pulling a knife from his holster he threw it and nailed
the thing to the floor and Mycen aimed his flamer before unleashing an inferno
on the screaming head.
“What do you mean his head
tried to pick itself up and leave?!” Orean asked disbelief in his voice.
They had got up to the
medicae bays to see if the ex-crew had gathered any information about these
things, they had a run in with more of those things and knowing how to dispose
of them effectively dispatched them with ease, their smouldering corpses burning
“I know that’s hard to
believe, but that’s what happened” Tigris said.
“Brothers I think I found
something, autopsy reports and a medical journal” Isaac said, he stopped
rummaging in the shelves of a cabinet and came over to them and placed the
things on an operating table. The reports were sketchy to say the least with
what appeared to be vital information circled in red on the papers.
“Look at this” Mycen said,
putting a finger on the circled text he meant.
Dismemberment has no
effect on these things as their parts simply seem to morph into smaller forms
but is just as nasty as the larger ones; we lost eight good men that day.
Any survivors who read
this remember: every part of these things is a whole.
Another thing is how
they spread; they seem to work by coming into physical contact with anything and
infecting them by touch alone, even a small particle of the infected is enough
to take over. But a more refined form of infecting is assimilation; it consumes
its prey via tentacles and becomes it, this way it can imitate things more
perfectly how ever it needs to be alone to do this. DON’T EVER GET SEPRATED.
“I’m am damned” Orean said
looking at the bite marks on his arm, he had been starting to feel a bit heavy
in the mind but he dismissed it as nothing, now he had a reason.
“According to this report
if this thing ever got off the ship, it could infect this segmentum in just
under two thousand years, predicted anyway”
“Theres only one choice of
action then, destroy the ship’s warp drives and send this thing to the warp, it
can’t infect Daemons since they’re not actually physical” Orean said.
The marine looked at him,
they were dreading what he was going to say but they knew why.
“Mycen, how long did it
take for Elgin to change?” Orean asked,
“Well, he was dead for a
minute before I called you then it took you lot twenty minutes to get to my
position so I’ll say an hour at the most? That’s because he was dead”
“That should give me half
an hour at least, get of the ship and tell Tselios what happened” Orean
The squad hated to do this
but it was their duty follow orders and so reluctantly they obeyed.
“Are you sure you want to
do this?” Isaac said, handing a plasma charge over to Orean that had been
recovered from Elgin, his sergeant took the charge.
“Suffer not the xeno to
live” he answered.
With that he made his way
out of the bay, when he got to the door he gave the Aquila gesture to the squad
as a final farewell, they made the Aquila back and Orean made his way to the
“Come on lets get out of
here” Isaac said, with that they moved swiftly over to the lifts to the hanger
bays and then on to the thunder hawk.
“No, don’t tell me that’s
That was the first thing
Tigris said when the elevator doors opened and the glow of flames filled the
compartment. They ran through the wreckage; double timing in case any of those
things were skulking around.
His horror was confirmed as
they saw the smouldering, charred fragments of the once proud ship, Orange
Flames still licking the adamantium plating. All around were dozens of corpses
of those things.
“Search the wreckage; see
if the Vox is still intact” Isaac said, his battle brothers nodded and they
started scrounging in the ruins.
If the vox isn’t damaged
then we can call in the terminators, Isaac thought. Lifting a damaged seat away
he saw the pilot servitor crushed under the controls, its bionics were sending
spark every time it twitched blood and hydraulic fluid seeped out of cuts and
It turned its head round
and looked up at Isaac.
“Lords… I did… what I
could” it said, its synthesised voices broken and slow.
“What happened” Isaac
asked, he heard steps behind meaning Tigris and Mycen had came over.
attacked. Forced to self destructed ship to prevent…them leaving with…it.”
“Warp damn it. Is the Vox
still intact?” Isaac asked.
“It can send… but can’t
receive…” the servitor said before shutting down as the last of its life left
“Found it” Tigris said, he
hauled the battered unit up and started to home in on the frequency of their
“Tigris, hurry with the
message. More could be on their way” Isaac said, keeping his bolter prised.
Mycen checked his flamer
before holstering it and picking up a spare bolter off the floor, Isaac threw to
him a magazine of inferno rounds; he locked it into the weapon and cocked it.
“I sent the signal, I told
them to load up on hellfire and inferno rounds. Let hope they get here” Tigris
said, he had a hint of nervousness in his voice.
“I know what you mean” said
“Its not every day you
fight an enemy when simply hacking off its limbs increases their numbers, give
me an ork any day”
Suddenly they heard the
insect-like noise emitting around them, instantly they drew their weapons,
illuminators blaring. The things or Changelings for lack of a better word
crawled over the wrecks, some were moving on two legs, some moving on four or
more and some were just heads on legs. In the light of the flaming wrecks and
their illuminators, they were horrible to behold.
“Suffer not the xeno to
live!” Isaac yelled in defiance,
“They have sinned, they
await their Execution!” his brothers roared in union, this was a battle cry of
They let loose their
weapons sending mutagenic and incendiary death at the enemy. Isaac flawlessly
dispatched them with deadly accuracy, conserving ammo with single shots, Mycen
dual wielded his flamer and bolter burning any that got too close to them while
Tigris threw knives coated with hellfire poison at those in range, scoring
between the eyes shots.
“Running low!” Mycen said
he drew his knife and set it ablaze with his flamer dousing it in promethium; he
waved it around fending back any changelings with fiery swipes.
Tigris and Isaac did the
same with their weapons and soon they wielded fiery blades, Tigris with his
flaming chainsword looked as if he had a swirling inferno in his hand when he
made a slash but the creatures soon had them surrounded and pushed dangerously
close to the edge of the hanger.
Isaac looked out into the
vastness of space and saw a light coming closer, he smiled in relief.
“Salvation comes!” he
The terminators had come,
the thunderhawk hovered in front of them and the hatch swung open, revealing the
terminators. The weapons of both the hawk and the terminators blazed away like
thunder, riddling the enemy asunder with flame and mutagen.
“Come on!” a terminator
yelled firing his storm bolter.
Isaac, Tigris and Mycen
jumped on but they weren’t alone, suddenly a head spider jumped over, fangs
spread out and bit hard on Mycen’s left foot, it razor fangs biting deep.
“Typical!” he yelled and he
burned it off with his flamer then Tigris with his chainsword without warning
sliced of Mycen’s leg off at the knee before kicking it back in the bay.
Mycen’s leg sealed itself
as his larraman’s organ kicked in and Isaac helped him into a seat, knowing what
Tigris did might just save Mycen’s life.
“Pilot, leave now” the
Terminator sergeant said, the ship veered backwards, its sponsons still blazing
away and fired of a salvo of hellstrike missiles loaded with promethium which
ruptured and burned the changelings in cleansing flame. The thunderhawk sealed
its hatch and sped away leaving vapour trails from its thrusters.
“What happened, what were
those things?” the Terminator sergeant asked,
“Shape shifters… some kind
of infectious xeno that can assume the form of anything it infects, all the
information is right here” Isaac said, handing over the documents that had been
recovered, including the captain’s memo disk and the medical journal.
“Where’s Elgin and Sergeant
“Those things killed and
took over Elgin and Orean got infected, he stayed behind to blow the ship”
“He’ll blow the ship and
take those things out with him, he doesn’t know how to fail” Mycen said, looking
at his stump.
Keep going, Orean thought
to himself, don’t give these things the satisfaction of taking you.
The hatch to the drive room
slid open and he stepped in, sealing the hatch behind him. He moved cautiously,
his bolter drawn.
Suddenly he clutched his
chest, his bolter falling to the floor and he fell on his knees, grunting in
pain. He knew he didn’t have much time left; the thing was slowly taking him
over. He pushed his body to its limit as he got up and ran to the drives.
Sure enough he got to the
warp drives, archaic machines that give the power of warp travel. He bent down
and attached the plasma charge onto the drive’s failsafe system, he planned to
put the drives into overload and destroy the failsafe system so it can’t be
Must hurry, he thought as
he punched in buttons and pushed levers. The warp drives powered up, rumbling
and humming. He bent back down to arm the plasma charge, setting it to detonate
in five minutes. He heard a sound a few feet from him, a choking, gurgling sound
like someone being throttled. He shone his bolter in the right direction and saw
a grisly sight.
It was a survivor being
assimilated. He was wrapped tightly in a mass of tentacles from one of those
things, gore soaked and in extreme pain. Orean noticed something shining on a
shoulder that wasn’t covered in tentacles, a captain’s crest and insignia.
“Captain Dakari?” Orean
asked his bolter praised and ready.
The captain looked at him
with white eyes and struggled to speak.
“Kill…me…” he spoke
quietly, a tentacle wound itself around his entire face, making him choke.
Orean uttered a litany of
cleansing and fired his bolter, the captain was out of his misery and the
creature let go of him, revealing his half digested body.
Orean fired again, riddling
the enemy with hellfire rounds that reduced it into dissolved mush. He heard
more coming over to him and he fired once more.
That’s it, he thought, come
and get me, we’re all gonna die here. He heard rumbling as the engines had
started to overload, glowing blue and sending lightning arcs through the air.
A four legged changeling
resembling something similer to a tyranid jumped on him and forced him the
“Evil may take my body but
my soul belongs to the emperor!” he roared as the plasma charge and the engines
detonated, engulfing him and the changelings in white and blue light. The
changelings all gave out an echoing scream as the light enveloped them
From the view screens in
the hawk, the marines saw the exorcist cruiser The flaying blade buckle
and rupture as it exploded in a ball of lightning sending great, flaring arcs
through space, it then started to implode as the barrier between the physical
and immaterial realms weakened and the ship was sucked into a gaping hole,
through out the destruction they all made the Aquila in homage and respect to
their fallen brothers.
As the last fragment of the
ship was sucked into the warp the hole dispersed like morning mist in a blue and
Without hesitation the
thunderhawk turned and flew back to the battle barge, its engines flaring.
The flaying blade
The ship had been
destroyed according to the team’s report; the information that had been brought
back justifies some of their findings as well as their helmet’s film footage,
the mere thought sickens me.
A xeno that can assume
any form through infection of other species and all under its one mind or as the
team said “it’s many and one”.
It’s a good thing they
defeated it before it could leave that ship otherwise the imperium would’ve have
been ripped apart from within, a rival to chaos that would be.
They had done the
chapter a great service.
But one thing bothers
me… just what was that thing’s original form?