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Sequel to Angel, part 2 (Angel pt. 2)
Marius left the servant crumpled against the granite wall of the corridor and walked away. After asking the servant where his master was nicely, not even a single threat, the servant refused to answer, holding on to some loyalty even in the face of a space marine’s field interrogation. After first being refused, Marius became irritated. He had asked again, punctuating the questions with shoves, beating the servant’s head against the wall as he did so. Eventually, he answered. After confirming with Gaius, he put the servant down and promptly back-handed him, snapping his neck in the process, after all, he was a traitor.
Gaius called through the vox. “Corporal Marius, we have encountered enemy positions and are engaged, I am updating the network as to their locations now.” Several red blips appeared around the green dots representing the squad and the forces they were fighting on the small map visible to everyone in the squad, indeed in the whole chapter did they wish to, through their HUD. “Take your fire team through this corridor,” a corridor on the map suddenly showed blue, “and flank and attack from behind.”
“We will be there sergeant,” said Marius, he and his team already running to get into position. “Expect us in thirty seconds.”
As they approached the firefight, sounds of gunfire echoed down the hall. The chatter of autoguns mixed with the deep roars of marine bolters as the two sides traded shots. Marius motioned for his team to line up against the wall, out of the line of sight of traitor forces. After quickly looking around and assessing the situation, Marius led his marines, springing out of the shadows they had been hiding in and charged the defenders. The ensuing melee was short and brutal.
Corpses littered the floor, great rents in them caused by combat knives spilling blood onto the granite below and broken bones twisting the bodies into odd angles. Gauis and the rest of the squad broke cover and walked over to where Marius and his team were cleaning their knives and slipping them back into the sheaths on their thighs. Gauis took off his helmet and rubbed armored fingers through his close-cropped hair. “Excellent work corporal,” he said to Marius, the recipient of the compliment stiffening from the praise. “Thank you, sergeant,” he replied, aware that Gaius rarely gave compliments.
Gauis looked down the broad corridor that lay before them, shrouded in shadow. “There lies our quarry, why don’t we go get it? Move out.” With that, he put his helmet back on and led the squad into the darkness.
After some minutes, a light began to show ahead, gradually brightening until it filled the corridor. The light was coming from two torches, one on each side of a set of large double doors, inlaid with the crest of the planetary government as well as the individual governor. Gaius motioned and the squad took up positions along the wall. The first three marines readied frag grenades as Gaius approached the door soundlessly. He looked back and surveyed his squad checking to make sure they were ready. Turning back to the door, he kicked it open, moving swiftly out of the way as the three frag grenades sailed through the opening. After they detonated, the squad rushed the opening, bolters spitting out death as they sighted traitorous palace guardsmen crouching from behind hastily constructed barricades, obviously not expecting an attack on the palace itself. They were in a large antechamber; behind the guardsmen was a great hall that stretched about half a kilometer until it ended at an enormous throne, the wall behind it festooned with tapestries and ancient battle standards.
As the marines took cover themselves, Gaius surveyed the fight, assessing tactical options. Knowing that a lengthy firefight would benefit the defenders, he ordered a charge, knowing that, in this case, the advantage lay in their close-combat prowess. As they rushed the enemy positions, the fire intensified, dropping one of the marines in a shower of lead.
Fountains of blood sprayed into the air as knives and bolt pistol rounds ripped through arteries and severed limbs. The marines fought their way through, killing everything in their way. Dozens of guardsmen died, staining the black armor of the marines a dull red as they moved through their ranks, each spinning a graceful ballet of death that belied the hundreds of pounds of armor and equipment each carried. Suddenly, the fight was over. As the screams stopped and the last echo of their passing faded from the walls, the marines looked to the throne. Standing in front of it was a large man. Portly, fed off of over indulgence and corruption, he barely fit into his armor, a more ornate version of the sort the palace guards wore but vastly inferior to that of the marines themselves.
“What do you want?” he asked, his high-pitched, nasally voice shouting his arrogance. “I am the lord of this planet, all who step foot on it are obedient to me. I order you to lower your weapons!” Marius smirked, knowing that the likelihood of that command ever behind obeyed was somewhere between zero and none. Gaius stepped forward, removing his helmet as he approached the figure.
“We are the space marines, we are under the command of no man, no inquisitor, no lord general, no, not even the high lords of Terra hold sway over us. Our allegiance is to our master and the Emperor, no one else. For you to speak as though we are your subjects is evidence of your stupidity and arrogance, neither of which I will suffer. Before you die, know that there is a reason we are known as the angels of death.” With that, Gaius pulled out his pistol and shot the governor, explosive bolt tearing his head off of his shoulders and the body slumped to the ground, lifeless.
As Gaius turned back to his squad, the body twitched. Slowly, it grew, distorting out of shape and something pushed itself out. Gaius turned back, seeing the shapeless mass towering over his two and a half meter frame.
Suddenly, the skin split with a wet, tearing sound, showering the marines in blood. What emerged from the cloud of gore resembled no tyrranic monster any had seen before. In a deep raspy voice, it said, “You think to kill me? After all I have worked for? No, little humans, you will not leave this hall alive.” With that, it lunged forward.
Just as he was being crushed by the monstrosity, Gaius turned and shouted out to his squad, “RUN!”
The eagerly awaited final chapter will be put up in a few days, assuming I actually write it by then. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. I'm actually taking a fantasy writing course so I'll probably be skimping on actually doing the work and just handing this in instead.
The only constant in the universe is change, adapt or die.
Great work as always. Although, if you are going to hand this (and your other chapters) in to be marked, make sure you have a really good read over them, so you're completely happy with what you've written!