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This has been on my pc for years, I forgot about it until recently then I thought I better do a bit more on it.
The unfinished husks of armoured vehicles lay dormant in their alcoves. High above them shell blasts reverberated around the high ceiling, shaking loose years of dust from the disused gantries and hefty work cranes. The once efficient Mechanicus manufactorium now lay in abandoned ruin. But to all it was a battle ground to be contested and fought over, fighting had already claimed the tech priest’s and servitors who once operated this fine machinery and more blood would be shed here.
Veteran Sergeant Draven stalked carefully between the tall supporting pillars, stopping every few yards to look and listen, straining his ears and eyes for any sign of enemy activity. Scanning the high gantries with an experienced eye, he planned his next movements ahead of time. Gently moving debris aside with the toe of his boots he preceded to one of the many dilapidated elevator shafts. His rifle held snug into his shoulder, he checked out its rusting form. Once long ago Draven mused this service shaft would have carried workers to the massive cranes high above him, but now only the cables were of any use to him. Securing his weapon via a sling, he proceeded to climb the thick cables, using only the strength in his arms, his feet dangled below him until he finally reached the top. He readied his weapon once more and stalked the shadows to his designated observation point.
Sitting in shadow and sure no one had seen him enter the factory, he clicked his micro-bead once.
“This is Draven, I am in position. No contacts at this present time.”
“Understood Draven, the Emperor is watching over you, Chaplain Shakar out”.
Removing his hand from the sending pressel, Draven wrapped his cloak around himself and his weapon. Anyone looking at him in this state would see him as a grey black statue totally void of all motion.
Chaplain Shakar sat in his command throne, servitors scurried about around him, the servitors were once human, but now lobotomized and implanted with all sorts of bionic components; they wandered about like puppets without strings. A dead eyed servitor held out a data slate in its pale hand to the great chaplain, who took it and dismissed the drooling thing back to its previous duties. Pressing a button a long stream of weather reports filed the screen. Moderate temperatures and overcast skies for the next week, nothing unusual for the world of Armadas, he dismissed these finding’s as trivial, his brethren would fight in any condition on any climate to fulfill their duty to the Emperor, nonetheless he sent the information on to be relayed to them. Proceeding to the next page, information about known enemy movements from the past week was compiled on its black screen; along with estimated numbers and weapon statistics for each detachment of enemy forces. Its latest entry drew his attention, flicking on the intercom button at his chair he spoke.
“Chaplain Shakar to Brother Techmarine Trejolt, please respond”. After a moment’s pause a gruff voice answered.
“Yes brother chaplain, Trejolt here.”
“I would request an audience with you; would it be possible to speak to you immediately?”
“Aye Brother Chaplain, I would see you in my officium if it would please you?”
“Indeed brother” Shakar smiled to himself “I will be right with you.”
Shakar took the data slate with him as he purposefully marched his way to the armoury, or as Techmarine Trejolt would call it his “officium”.
Something triggered Draven’s senses, it took a second for him to find out what had disturbed him with the crosshairs of his rifle. Two young children oblivious to the destruction around them, played around the tank hulls below him. Laughing as they climbed around the barrel of one leman russ. His finger stayed on the trigger as he watched them from his concealed position. They had not seen him yet, and so were not a threat at the moment, but as children their curiosity could compromise him which would in turn would mean their deaths at his hand.
For maybe fifteen minutes he watched them go about playing, a boy and a girl they were dressed in rags and looked malnourished, not surprising considering the condition of this world.
Draven’s advanced senses warned him that something else was coming, but from outside. He turned ever so slowly to look out the broken remnants of a window; a military truck approached, dodging the odd piles of rubble that blocked the roads in its path maybe a mile away, it’s destination he was sure, was here.
Thinking quickly he swung his rifle onto his back and ran silently across the gantries until he came upon the shaft, he didn’t even pause, as he jumped onto the thick cable and slid down to the bottom. The children were still playing a game, which required one of them to hide and the other to seek them out. Stalking the children wasn’t difficult for Draven.
Julius looked high and low for his sister Sophia, he couldn’t find her anywhere but he was sure she was around here somewhere, he had stole a peek when he was counting and saw her down here. A movement caught his eye, a trolley with a lid shuddered like someone getting comfortable inside it. Julius seeing this crept up to the trolley as quietly as he could, placing a small palm on the lid he through it back.
“Ha-ha...” he didn’t finish his sentence as a grey black shape clamped a big hand over his face, Julius had never felt terror like this before, it didn’t take long for him to not feel anything at all and he fell unconscious into Draven’s arms.
Draven carried both the girl and boy over his shoulders as gently as he could; he had to subdue them to make his task easier, they would be safer this way, although this little setback didn’t leave him much time before the truck came he thought. Searching the vehicle repair bays was also time consuming and it took another minute to find what he was looking for. A Leman Russ hull with no engine inside, he opened up its engine hatch and placed the children carefully inside, quickly shutting the hatch and retreating back into the shadows of one of the many alcoves.
Chaplain Shakar knocked on the hatch outside Trejolt’s personal room in the armoury.
“Permission to enter Brother Techmarine” The Chaplain smiled.
“Of course Chaplain please do, you honour me with your presence” Trejolt said. “Now what can an old man do for you”
“What do you make of this?” Shakar said, handing over the data slate.
Trejolt studied the slate; his Bionic right eye whirled and clicked as he read from it.
“This scum has access to these weapons?” Trejolt could not hide his disgust that these heretics had these blessed weapons in their possession.
“There is something going a foot here, a bigger picture yet to be painted” Shakar said to his friend.
“Indeed, but how did these heretics get these weapons of the Emperor?”
“I don’t know as of yet, but I will send word to the chapter”
“I will have to inform the Mechanicus” Trejolt said.
“Do it my friend, we will need their understanding if we are to fulfill our tithe” Shakar retrieved the data slate and left Trejolt to his thoughts.
Marching back to the command room Shakar sent a coded message to the chapter stating that the rebel faction had gained in strength and somehow acquired weapons not equipped to them. Another message he sent to all under his command, ten of them in which he stated that they be at this evening’s mass fully armoured and ready for war. Once that was done Shakar sat back heavily in his chair; he thought for a moment and then picked up the com mic and tried to make contact with the Veteran Sergeant.
Draven stood absolutely still as the truck pulled up to the massive loading doors at the northern side of the manufactorium. He heard the hiss as its breaks engaged and an authoritive voice giving orders. It didn’t take long for the squad outside to come in and start to clear the building.
Veteran Sergeant Draven watched as the strange men moved efficiently through the factory. Something wasnt right, Draven could see that they wore uniforms different to the PDF; that they were too well armoured to be ex PDF rebel’s. Listening carefully he could hear the low hum of a plasma weapon and the torch from a flamer. Before he could leave the wall, a voice called out for him from his micro bead, Chaplain Shakar wished him to report his status. Draven could not speak so he pressed his pressle twice, knowing the chaplain would understand. Another voice called his attention, one of the men carried some sort of auspex, and he showed it to his officer, Draven was sure they had found the radio signal, immediately the troopers all turned towards his position, which he no longer occupied, the men went on alert covering all around them, each in cover as Draven retreated back further into the gloom and cover, he could still see the leader. He lined up his scope hairs on the officer’s mouth and pulled the trigger, the officer’s head came away, leaving just his lower jaw and a blood mist that stained the wall behind. From then on it was all about eradicating the men one by one. His next target after moving to another position was the plasma gunner, the biggest threat to him. Draven searched thoroughly before he could just make out the plasma gunner’s face glowing blue in the shadows. A quiet noise like the brakes of the truck erupted from the suppressor as the gunner was hit, he didn’t feel the shot when it came and no one heard it either.
Draven worked his way forward on his stomach in all the confusion crawling under tanks and over broken glass to finally reach a position behind the man with the auspex; who didn’t understand why his auspex wasn’t working. Draven waited and then as the man crouched down in front of him and the tank he was hiding under, he grabbed the auspex mans ankles and pulled sharply, the pendulum motion caused the soldier to smash his face into the concrete, Draven was on him faster than the eye could see, ripping off the man’s helmet and throwing it far, where it clanged off a turret some seventy feet away, this caused the men around them to fire in it’s direction. No one had seen him, pulling a combat knife from his sheath; he smacked the man he sat on with its hilt pommel, not enough to kill him but enough to ruin his day. Getting off the man Draven walked purposefully toward the man with the flamer, he didn’t care that this man saw him.
Oepius looked hard around him, someone had taken out the Sergeant, he thumbed his igniters stud thoughtfully, and the small ignition flame on his flamer grew even fiercer for a second before returning to its original state. He did not like this, no one had seen anything, they were looking for a shadow and they knew it. His eyes were bright with fear but he took comfort in his flamer and wherever he looked his flamer’s muzzle followed.
After a short while he had to crouch down, just for a few seconds he told himself, in this gloom the pilot light on his flamer was starting to give him green splurges on his retinas, trying to clear his vision he realized someone was looking at him, he new it wasn’t one of his comrades, but this man was motionless in front of him, arms held out wide, he basically invited himself to be shot, Oepius getting over his stunned senses brought his flamer to bear, but before he could pull the trigger Draven threw his knife into his face, the blade buried itself to the hilt penetrating the skull easily with the strength of the marine’s throw, as death took him Oepius pulled the trigger on his flamer, turning in a half circle and sprayed burning petroleum over one of his comrades. That mans eyeballs burst in their sockets and his nose and mouth closed under the wait of melting flesh of his ruined face. He tried to scream but as he pulled ruined lips apart the oxygen in his lungs ignited burning him alive from within, he withered and fell to the floor, occasionally jerking about as his ammunition cooked off.
Draven was gone even before the trigger was pulled; he’d circled around them as the jet of burning petroleum did it‘s horrific work. Now he stood amongst the last three watching as their horrified expressions turned to panic and anger. He stood a giant before them his face smeared with camouflage paint, clad from head to boot in black, carapace torso armour emblazoned with the dulled Astarte’s winged skull upon his chest. The three soldiers raised their las weapons too late as Draven thundered into them, his right foot shot out and connected with the groin of the biggest man, crushing his pelvis and lifting the man a foot into the air before he fell to the ground mewling. The second man tried to dodge Draven but was caught by an immensely powerful hand which ripped his throat out. Arterial blood sprayed Draven in the face, dropping the dieing soldier at his feet he stamped on the first fallen soldiers neck, finishing him. Draven turned to the last man who managed to get a single shot off before his face was clamped between the shovel like hands of Draven. The shot burned itself out on Draven’s armour and smoked a few seconds as Draven dug his thumbs into his enemies eye sockets and on into his brain. As the body went limp he lowered it and wiped his hands on the dead mans uniform.
Draven clicked his earpiece once again to make his report as he walked back to the dead man with the flamethrower, he retrieved his blade and continued on walking.
“This is Draven”
“Anything to report Brother? I could not reach you, not more than five minutes ago.” Shakar asked.
“My apologies Brother Chaplain, I was involved in a small skirmish, seven dead and I have captured a prisoner” Draven said as he prodded the moaning form of the auspex man with his boot.
“You do well Draven. I will ask Colonel Grim to send a platoon to secure the manufactorium”.
“There is something else Chaplain, these men are not rebel PDF and their weapons and equipment are imperial stamped, not local neither.”
“I know not the reason for that, but you will be briefed on what I do know when you get back. I’m afraid you will have to ride out with Night Reapers. I’m sorry but with the chapter gone we have not the man power nor the vehicles.” said Shakar
“I will do as you say Chaplain, but I will distance myself from these “Night Reapers””
“Understandable Draven, if we did not have to rely on the Imperial Guard I would have nothing to do with them, but alas we are forced too. Soon we will have this planet cleared of the heretics and we will have our chapter back on the path to full combat readiness. The Emperor protects” said Shakar
“The Emperor protects” echoed Draven.
But what happens to the kiddies?
Not a bad effort. Could do with a little work here and there, but a decent story none the less!