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This one's a short one guys, but it sets the stage for the next big step in the plot.
Scout Sergeant Pylos picked his way through the forest, moving silently through the broken trees with his squad close behind him. They had learned much since their induction into the ranks of the Dusk Phantoms, and soon Pylos would recommend to Chapter Master Felmoor that they be initiated as full battle brothers. He could not help but feel a twinge of pride at this thought, but he pushed it aside and forced himself to concentrate on the task at hand, discovering the source of the fire that had ravaged the forest. Chief Librarian Keel Gaelan had received a vision from the dark gods of the forest in flames, but the significance of the vision had not been revealed to him, so the scouts had been deployed to discover the meaning for him.
Virtually all sign of life had been purged from the forest, leaving only the burnt husks of trees, skeletons and stones blackened by flame, and ash that was still raining upon the scouts. At the edge of the tree line however, the scouts were able to see a flash of blue armor that undoubtedly belonged to the Ultramarines. Pylos held up his fist, signaling his scouts to come to a halt, and panned the scope of his sniper rifle across the clearing.
The broken bodies of several Ultramarines lay scattered across the clearing floor, many of them lying torn in half or with their limbs and heads cut off. The scouts advanced slowly, Brothers Nissin and Algus covering them with their sniper rifles as Pylos and the rest of the squad drew their bolters. Pylos reached his right hand to his vox unit as he advanced and tapped the speaker twice to catch the attention of the Dusk Phantoms back at their base camp.
Back at the camp, Desmond watched on a monitor as the camera mounted on Pylos’ armor recorded the clearing before them. Pylos and his scouts picked through the corpses, checking them for any signs of life before giving the all clear sign.
“It’s all clear sir,” Pylos said through the vox channel. “These marines weren’t killed by ordinary blades.”
“Regardless, they earned the fate that all loyalists deserve,” Desmond responded. “Power weapons, perhaps?”
“It’s possible sir, but judging from the wound on this one, I don’t think so.”
Pylos’ camera zoomed in on a particular marine whose chest looked as if it had been ripped open by a tyranid’s claws.
“Interesting,” Desmond said as he pondered the information before him. “Does the devastation to the forest continue any further, Brother-Sergeant?”
“Yes sir, it appears to continue into the other end of the forest.”
“Very well, follow the trail Sergeant.”
“I copy sir,” Pylos said as he motioned for his squad to continue.
Further into the forest a terrible scream emerged, and a thud as something dropped to the ground.
“Probably just an animal,” Algus said as a younger scout, Brother Colot, brought his weapon to bear on the forest.
In part, Algus was right. By the time the screaming ended, it did not come from human lips.
Member of the Fluffmasters Clan
Hmmmm, you are right indeed sir.
Member of the Fluffmasters Clan