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Smoke drifted across the ground, swirling dervishes of gray and off-tinged blue. Burnt ozone smell filled the air as the clear alcohol fire like flames flickered and flared around the mangled corpse of a space marine, what appears to be a plasma cannon mounted to his shoulder, though most of it is slag that has dripped and melted down onto his armor, fusing the arm and weapon.
Further on, in the midst of a hill covered in black armored bodies that have been cruelly ripped apart, stood a being of ineffable power, floating just a few inches from the ground. The twisting, forked horns sprouting from it’s head seem to writhe and slither like snakes, sparks of coruscating flames running down them. Raising it’s hands, which looked not unlike molten lava where the cermaite shod gauntlet had melted to form long vicious talons already coated in dripping blood.
Only those who knew of the true horrors of the Imperium, of the nightmares of Chaos, would recognize this being. Adonis was one of those who would, and he stepped forward with a grinding crunch, destroying the skull of a fallen guardsman that had been branded in heretical runes .
Scraping his boot on the ground as if upset. Slowly the massive form of the Astarte’s Commander seem to straighten, and he drew his bolt pistol from its holster, his form suddenly shooting into the air upon massive white wings pinioned in pristine snowy white.
The daemon thing turned, the twisted bulk of the host body seeming to slow it none as it raise the storm bolter, a weapon Adonis himself had given to Gaius before his death, as if to fire. Though no bullets blazed forth from the mighty gun, the thing began to melt in rivulets of dripping ceramite and plasteel.
The insult was clear as the thing raised a dripping hand of molten metal, and launched it’s twisted bulk at Adonis with a roar, the blessed Crux Terminatus on it’s shoulder pad seeming to flicker and flare feebly.
Adonis soared, his wings beating the smoke clogged air for lift as he turned, firing shell of roaring shell of blessed bolter rounds into the daemonhost, aiming for the foul runes that dotted the forehead and affixed it to the body of his former Captain.
Each shot seemed to hit pure air as the beast that was once Gaius moved with unbelievable speed, leaping and bounding across wrecked tanks and shattered bodies. With desperate speed Adonis dropped to perch upon the slumped hulk of a burnt out dreadnought, realizing the heraldry as being that of Adronidus, a man who had been at his right hand since they were raw recruits of the chapter.
Rage filled the regal features of Adonis, his face contorted in a rictus of hate as the blades of his lightning claws slid out from their sheaths with a sibilant hiss, and the Daemonhost hissed and grinded its charge to a halt as it laid sight on the venerable weapons.
Arcane wards had been painstakingly inscribed on each blade, the dulled steel flaring as the holy hexagrams and pentagrams blazed in the light of the daemons foul presence, smoke hissing from them, their scent mixing with the reek of the Daemon, the noxious fumes smelling like days old blood and dead roses.
A single stroke of his wings sent Adonis into a spiraling climb, till he was naught but nearly a speck to the daemon, which stood still half-stunned by the holy wards. Keening, much like a lightning fighter making it’s attack run, came the whistling roar of Adonis descent, as he plummeted towards the ground in front of the daemon, wings pulled about his body like a shield. At the last instant the dive was pulled up short as Adonis unfurled his wings and wrenched himself into a bullet like line straight at the daemon.
A single arm was lifted, blazing claws shredding the things face as the other followed just behind, tearing flesh and muscle off in ropes, thick black smoke sizzling as the claws scored the skull of what was once Gaius, and now was ‘Odani’ as the runes upon it’s forehead read.
Winged form flaring to pull himself up short, Adonis raised his fist, rending the breastplate of the terminator armor, shredding a burning rune of Chaos, and smirked as the thing stumbled back, howling. It’s form seemed to flicker and turn, as if somehow fading. The entire figure seem to haze with heat, waves of it roiling off in hazy after-images.
With a thunderclap, Adonis sent the searing pair of claws into he things side, screaming as raw warp fire consumed him, his eyes rolling back in his head as his wings folded. Slowly the noble warrior sank to his knees, the foul Daemon cackling as it reached out a massive hand to crush his skull, until it saw in the reflection of Adonis armor the still glowing Crux Terminatus. With a hiss, it’s final resolve buckled, the thing began to sink to it’s knees as well, the bulk of the terminator armor collapsing upon Adonis, crushing him to the ground.
Flesh dissolved to ash borne away by the winds, as the claws softly slid back into the armored fists of the noble commander. He was now pinned by naught but bones and armor, yet so weakened was he by the fight that he could do naught by key his vox in a series of clicks coded so any nearby would know of his fate.
Overhearing the distress call, the rumbling form of a land raider could be seen approaching, it’s crusade markings declaring it of the Black Templars Chapter, a ‘thrice-cursed and annoying force.. A bothersome Chapter of starch arses’ as Trajan put it. But, somehow the Chapter markings had been covered in sack cloth, and raw metal shone where certain emblems had been shorn from the vehicle..
The assault ramp blew open with a mighty thud of detonating frag grenades, and the Marshal of the Crusade Fleet himself stepped out, fanned by mighty Sword Brethren Terminators in their regal and gilded armor. Standing there upon the ramp, the Templars could see the broken form of Adonis, and just a few scant feet away the form of the Emperors Champion Dreischen, a hole torn through his chest that still smoked with heat, small green and blue flames flickering from the edges of it.
Crouching by the fallen marine, the Marshal rolled the bulky suit of armor off him with some assistance, and smiled sternly as the fallen commander opened his eyes weakly.
“Rest in the Light of the Emperor, Lord Crusader. Dreischen spoke well of you when he called to us for aid, and I see you have lived up to his tales. We will conduct you to your Chapter, and will continue this purge in your name.”