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Fires of Retribution II: The Achilles Incidence
Part I: Extermination
Kossolax pulled the limp body of the recently deceased space marine master off of his blood soaked glaive. He turned to his newly recruited cohorts who were still bowing to his greatness. “What is our status regarding the remaining loyalists?” Balor, Captain of the third company, stepped forth. “Exalted one, it appears that the loyalists have regrouped and have barricaded themselves inside the reactor facility. I fear they may be trying to do something rash…” with a grim look Kossolax turned to his newly appointed second in command and uttered, “Make haste, have your soldiers slaughter them down to the very last man.”
Tech-marine Sophocles was planting the explosive charge dangerously close to the reactor core. He stood on a narrow walkway platform hanging over the reactor, building the device. This was a difficult task, even for a skilled mechanic like himself. His expertise was fixing vehicles, not making bombs. This bomb was no regular explosive. Creating a device with the power to disrupt the ships main reactor was not easy. He needed more supplies and a lot of time. But time was short, and he knew this. It would not be long until the traitors found them and launched a full assault on their position. This would be their last chance. A final blaze of glory. They would die, but they would drag the traitors down with them into oblivion.
The marines had set up the barricades at the main entrance to the reactor core facility. Never the less, they were not prepared to win. All they had to do was buy more time for the reactor to be destroyed. The marines readied themselves. The marines on the walkway overlooking the passage spotted the horde of traitors swarming towards the entrance of the facility. They signaled the rest of the marines to get ready. As the traitors neared the entrance, a team of space marines w/ flamethrowers ran through the gate. The ambush caught the traitors by surprise. Streams of blazing hot fuel were unleashed into the oncoming horde. Despite all the destructive power of the cleansing flames, the traitors were space marines, and only a few of them had fallen. As soon as the fire dispersed, a traitor chaplain ran through the flames and slammed strait into the marines, cutting two of them down with a vast sweep of his lightning claws. Another marine was rended apart by a chain sword blow to the face and the huge crab like claws of a hideous chaos spawn crushed the last. The traitors poured through the gate. However, the marines were ready to meet the challenge. Standing like majestic warriors of legend, the chapter’s two venerable dreadnoughts Poseidon and Mars unleashed the fury of their assault cannons into the scum who had just entered the main chamber. All the Traitors who had breached the gate so far were cut down into bloody parodies of their former selves, save for the Chaplain who’s life was spared due to artificer armor. The Chaplain began slicing through the loyalists as if their power armor was nothing. This Angered Mars greatly. He grabbed the Chaplain and pulled him off the ground, crushing him in his mighty power claw. More traitors rushed through the gate. Sergeant Belial screamed at the top of his lungs, “My battle brothers, make these traitors pay for what they have done!” With this, the Loyalists charged towards the nearest traitors. Belial swung his powerfist at the nearest traitor, but in a sad twist of fate, the traitor dodged out the way, thrusting his chain sword deeply into Belials side, killing the zealous young officer. A traitor sergeant had been killing loyalists left and right with his powerfist, crushing heads and limbs in a flurry of blood and shattered organs. Another Space marine sergeant was quite angered by the sight of his men being slaughtered. He grabbed the traitor’s powerfist arm with his own and ripped it from its socket. As the traitor screamed in agony, the loyalist quickly decapitated him with his power sword. Unfortunately the sergeant had no time to revel in his accomplishment, as traitors swarmed over him and cut him down. By this time, both of the furious dreadnoughts head gotten into the fray. They were very pissed and were sending traitor after traitor to a blood soaked grave. A traitor, armed with a laser cannon reached the gate and realized the dreadnoughts had to be taken out, no matter what. He kneeled down to steady himself and fired a great blast from the cannon. Mars fell to the ground as his leg was blown to pieces. The second shot was much more devastating. The beam went straight through Mars. The shot had pierced his power generator, and the generator went critical. In the ensuing explosion, every traitor and loyalist in the main chamber was instantly vaporized in a burning wave of fusing particles. There was a brief silence, but it a moment later it was broken as more traitors rushed through the entrance and towards the stairs leading to the reactor room. Among them were several terminators of the first company and the Chosen of chaos. As more loyalists came from the reactor room onto the walk way connected to the stairs, the terminators fired their assault cannons, cutting them all down. The Traitors and Chosen hurried up the stairs to the reactor room entrance. They were at the top story of the reactor room and would have to take an elevator in order to reach Sophocles. Unfortunately for them, there was one last obstacle they would have to face before they could stop the loyalist’s plans. Guarding the elevator entrance was Chaplain Cornelius of the 2nd company. Cornelius trusted his crozius into a chaos marine chosen bearing lightning claws, stabbing him through his torso. As soon as he freed his crozius from the bowls of the marines, another chosen swung at him but he ducked and punched the Chaos marine in the stomach. The Chaos marine stumbled backwards and fell off the ledge of the platform. “Aieeee!” he screamed as he fell hundreds of feet into the destructive energies surrounding the reactor core. Soon a dozen more chosen entered the room and engaged the chaplain. Cornelius swung his crozius, but only managed to kill a few. Outnumbered, the Chosen overwhelmed him and cut him down with their dreaded power axes.
Sophocles was so close. Just a few more minutes and he would be finished configuring the Device. Then he heard the sound of an elevator opening and a second latter his head exploded as a bolter round pierced his helmet. They had lost. It was that simple. Their last attempt to redeem their chapter had failed.
Part II: Achilles heel
With a burst of light, the Kossolax’s newly acquired battle barge burst from the warp back into reality. As the ship floated through the void of space, Kossolax saw something ahead. “The Death’s head…” He muttered to himself as he saw a familiar vessel up ahead. “You there!” he screamed at one of the flight staff “Get the holo-screen up immediately and send a message to that ship.” The holo-screen lit up before Kossolax’s eyes. After a few moments, an utterly disgusting creature appeared on the screen. It was a space marine, but it was hard to even tell if it had ever even been human or not. Its face was gaunt and rotting. The eyes were sunken and a hideous oozing tentacle slithered across its face. With a toothless grin and slithering tongue the monstrosity proclaimed in a hissing voice, “Ah, Kossolax old friend. It’s been so long…” for a moment he paused “I heard of your failure to retrieve the artifact. Abaddon Is most angered. Perhaps it would have been wiser for you to stay in hiding…” Kossolax, “I have come to lend a helping hand. Will you accept me back in Xerzes? Or are you as back stabbing as the other chosen.” Xerzes chuckled, “Of course, of course my old friend. I have only the up most respect for you. You know you were always the most powerful member of the chosen, and the others were quite jealous of you. However, I would be happy to lend a hand to a follower of Khorne. You know, it’s always been my philosophy that murder and decay go nicely together. ” This pleased Kossolax greatly. “So tell me Xerzes, what is the status of our mission, how many artifacts have been found.” Xerzes sighed, “Two so far have been recovered. I’m afraid Korda was the first to recover his, which I believe gained him great favor by Abaddon.” “Bastard…” Kossolax muttered to himself. Xerzes continued, “And I believe Ygethmor managed to deliver his shortly before his unfortunate demise on Medusa V.” Xerzes smiled as he said those words, apparently pleased by the death of his utmost rival. “But what of yours, have you not found it yet?” Kossolax inquired. “Well, it’s not a matter of it having to be found, but for it to be taken.” Xerzes said in a cryptic manor. “Explain…..” said Kossolax. “Why do you think I’m here, old friend. Do you really believe I would be invading this insignificant planet if it wasn’t for a very important reason? However, It has proven to be much harder than I originally believed.” Kossolax seemed baffled. How was it possible that such a minor Imperial planet could stand against Xerzes’ colossal fleet. “You should have taken the Planet right now. You mean you haven’t even begun the invasion. That ball of rock should have been bombed to smithereens by now.” Annoyed, Xerzes spoke, “Their defenses are much too powerful. We can’t even get any where near the planet. They seem to be using some type of planetary defense system that is keeping us from getting to the planet. This is something quite different than anything we have never encountered before. They have been able to harness a type of energy field that disrupts the power supply of invading vessels. If any of our ships go near, we lose all control and are sitting ducks for their ground defense guns.” Quickly, Kossolax put in, “What of their navy, have their ships posed any threat so far?” Xerzes laughed “Oh, we took care of their navy long ago. It was quite the battle. I’ve never seen a fleet squashed so quickly. Fortunately, we did manage to board and take over their command ship. Lets just say we learned many interesting things by interrogating the ship’s crew. Apparently their defenses have a weakness. The entire energy field is projected forth from a single facility on the planets surface. If we could some how take it out, we would be free to invade the planet. However, I have no clue how we could manage to do this.” A perverted gleam appeared in Kossolax’s eyes. “Leave it to me Xerzes, I know exactly how to take it out.” Xerzes then went on to say as if very pleased, “Oh and Kossolax, if you succeed, I will put a good word in for you regarding Abaddon. Perhaps I could persuade him to give you a second chance…”
Part III: Trojan Horse
Kossolax’s flag ship approached the main planet of the Achilles system; a small world by the name of Achilles Prime. Balor, who had just been promoted to first lieutenant prepared to send a message to the planetary governor. Although he should have been happy with his new position, inside he felt that he would never be able to live up to Argos. Ever since Argos’s death, he had sworn to make the followers of the Emperor pay. The Holo screen formed before him. On the screen was Planetary Governor Valius Duabler. Valius was a funny little man. He was short and plump. Rather old according to human standards, he was perhaps near 60 years. Balor’s first impression of the man was that his curly mustache was quite absurd. “Ah, you must be Commander Gabriel I presume?” Balor, who was caught off guard by the question lied with great hesitation in his voice, “Yes, of course. I am Commander Gabriel.” “Good”, the Governor continued, “I am sure a general of your expertise will easily be able to take care of such a dire situation. But first, I will be expecting you to come to my palace and talk with me about how we will defeat this terrible foe.” “Me and my men will be there shortly.”
The Planetary shields of Achilles prime lowered for just a moment as Balor’s thunder hawk entered the clear skies of Achilles Prime. The Governor’s palace was definitely the most noticeable building in the entire capital city. It was the tallest building in the city and was a masterpiece of human architecture. When the thunder hawk arrived at the landing pad, Duabler was there to greet them. “Master Gabriel”, Duabler proclaimed as Balor stepped out of the thunder hawk, “It is an honor to be in your presence.” “No please, the honor is mine governor.” Duabler enjoyed this complement very much, and wittily commented, “Well, I do seem to inspire such thought in many people.” “Enough formalities, Governor, what exactly did you wish to speak to me about.” “Please, walk with me to my main chambers. There I will explain exactly what I mean.” Balor and his men followed the Governor from the landing pad into the palace. While walking the Governor began to talk. “Please know that I want the very best for my people, Master Gabriel. I am willing to humbly make any sacrifice to aid the purging of these vile invaders. You have our government’s full support. Just tell us what you need, and we will give it to you.” “well, we will need more fire power to defeat this foe. Why don’t we use that energy disrupting technology your people have developed against them?” Duabler sighed, “I’m afraid we have only managed to harness its power in a defensive manor. I have no idea how it works or how it could be turned into some kind of weapon.” “Tell me, where is the source of the energy field. Perhaps if my techmarine could take a closer look at this technology, we could figure out how to use it offensively.” Balor replied with treachery in his voice. “Ah yes, that would be the EF facility, I would be happy to give you the coordinates and the clearance to visit the facility.” Balor thought to himself; fool, this had been way too easy…
Balor and his men walked down the long dreary corridor leading into the EF facilities’ main control room. An enthusiastic young technician approached the Balor. “Hello there, you must be the space marines we have been expecting-” His sentence was cut short as a bolter round tore through his abdomen. He fell to his knees with tears in his eyes. Balor looked into the mans weeping eyes and with one fatal stroke cut off the man’s head. “You had no right to speak to me, you loyalist scum!” He uttered with his voice full of hatred. As soon as he had killed the technician, the two control room guards came forth. “Halt!” one of them ordered “I’ve got a las gun and I’m not afraid to use it!” Balor chuckled and playfully yelled, “Here catch!”. The guardsman caught the object. He looked down into his hands to see what he had been thrown. It was at this moment that he realized he was a complete and utter moron for catching the object in the first place. The grenade exploded, killing both of the guardsmen. Balor proclaimed to his marines. “Shut this thing down and kill all the staff! Then get your asses back to the thunder hawk as soon as possible. We don’t want to be around when Xerzes bombs the hell out of this shit-hole of a planet.”
Once more, Xerzes appeared on the holo-screen. “Ah, It appears you have done your job well Kossolax. My men have just told me the energy field has been disabled. I will proceed with orbital bombardment immediately.” Kossolax responded, “Do as you wish, but leave the governors palace untouched. I’d like to take care of him personally.”
Kossolax turned to one of his officers. “Round up a strike force and tell them to load up into several of the thunder hawks. We have a palace to take.”
With a screeching sound several thunder hawks arrived at the palace’s landing pad. The ramp opened and two squads of marines led by Kossolax himself rushed out, followed by a mighty dreadnought. The dreadnought opened fire with its heavy bolters into the palace guards who had just arrived to challenge the treat. Three storm troopers from one of the squads exploded in an orgy of innards as the bullets cut them down. The rest of the members of the squad panicked and ran for cover. Seeing this, another squad of storm troopers opened fire on the dreadnought with their plasma guns. The heavy bolter received a direct hit, however only minor damage was caused, momentarily disabling the mechanism. With a terrifying roar, Kossolax ran up to the nearest storm troopers and with a swift caress of his glaive hacked two in half. All nearby storm troopers, terrified by the sight they had just seen ran for their lives. As a good number of them ran, others were ready for a counter attack. To his surprise, Kossolax heard the hissing screech of a Plasma gun. A moment later Kossolax roared in pain as a bolt of molten hot plasma hit him in the right hand and melted away two of his fingers. Angry, the arch fiend hurled himself into the enemy and with a mighty swing sent them flying, as nothing more than severed remains. The storm troopers hiding in the cover were far from safe. As they looked out from behind the small barricade the sighted a 5 marines coming at them. Caught of guard, the four storm troupers looking over the barricade were gunned down by bolter shells. “Fire at will” the storm trooper sergeant yelled. Helgun lasers and beams of plasma tore into the marines. Three of the marines fell dead to the ground, sizzled by the hell storm that was unleashed upon them. Yet the few marines who were left kept advancing. Unfortunately the firepower of the storm troopers was too great and the remaining members of the marine squad went down. Having recovered, the dreadnought fired into the storm troopers who had been retreating from Kossolax’s initial charge. The were killed to the very last man. Then the second marine squad and the dreadnought advanced towards the storm troopers in cover, firing down a withering stream of ballistic might. The storm troopers tried to fight back, but they were out gunned and were defeated. As the last storm trooper fell, Kossolax and his the feverish marines made there way into the palace towards Duabler’s chambers.
Duabler and his many mistresses laid low in his chamber, frightened to death. Suddenly with a loud crash his door blew open as Kossolax kicked it in. Duabler came forth, dropping to his knees. “Please let me live! I’ll give you anything you want; money, weapons, supplies. Just name it, but please spare my life!” “We need information. We are looking for something, an artifact. Tell me, where is it!.” Kossolax barked. “Ah, I know exactly what you are speaking of. Yes, the Artifact, we have had it for many ages…” “Where the hell is it!” Kossolax screamed impatiently. Quite frightened Duabler answered, “Its…Its…Its in the palace’s vault room, you’ll need the access code…” “Well what the **** is it!” Kossolax yelled, his irritation was unmistakably noticeable in his voice. Quickly, Duabler exclaimed “29348!” Kossolax turned to one of his lackeys and said, “Well what are you waiting for, go get it.” Then Kossolax said to Duabler, “I’m afraid you are of no use to me any longer.” He then proceeded to sever his head. “This will make a great souvenir”. Then, one of his henchmen turned to him, “Sorry to interrupt exalted one, but what should we do with them.” He said, pointing at all of Duabler’s terrified mistresses. “We’ll take them with us.” Kossolax proclaimed, “I think the boys deserve a reward for all their hard work…”
Kossolax opened up the Holo-screen to see a familiar face. Lord Abaddon, the great despoiler. “Lord Abaddon, How may I serve you?” Abaddon went on to say “Hello Kossolax. I’ve heard of your involvement in the Achilles Prime Invasion. Xerzes tells me you were the one who retrieved the artifact. Perhaps I underestimated your potential. I am trying to decide whether or not to let you back into my inner circle. Before I let you in however, I will have to ask you to do one thing for me. The last Artifact must be retrieved. This is your chance for redemption Kossolax. Do not fail me again.”
“Your wish is my command my lord.” The transmition ended and Kossolax addressed the flight staff. “I’ve got a little score to settle with the Blood Angels. Prepare for departure…”
Coming soon: Fires of Retribution III, The Blood of Fallen Angels.
That is not dead which may eternal lie,
for in strange aeons even death may die.