Chapter One: Serpent to E5
Angrily striding through the halls of the Mon-Keigh palace, the Lord Baelcor of the Envenomed Hope balefully stared at anyone who got within his path. The filthy little mammals moved swiftly out of his way, lest they become victims to his death-dealing blade. He was vexed on how this little girl of a Mon-Keigh just ORDERED him to come to her. Who did she think he was? Not only was he a member of the most glorious race to have ever existed, he was also the Lord of a highly prostigious Kabal. After finally arriving at the giant gates of the female's throne room, Lord Baelcor stalked through the doors as they were pushed open by the brutish mammals guarding it.
"If it isn't Lord Baelcor! What a wonderful gift to be given on this day! What is the occasion?"
The Mon-Keigh was toying with him. He let out a long hiss from between his fangs before speaking, and letting his arcane devices translate his words into something the stupid mammal could understand. While speaking, the Lord Baelcor tightly grasped the handle of his toxic blade.
"Do not think to play games with me Mortarum. Unless you are so idiotic and forgetful that you forgot you called me here. Trifle with me and you will quickly learn that this serpent gives no warning to his strike"
Taking no heed from his words, the Mon-Keigh simply let out a small giggle before waving her guards to the side to let the Dark Eldar Archon approach. Such odd creatures he thought, He just threatened her life and now she was letting him approach her without her guards around, what a stupid creature.
"As you likely know, Looord Baelcor, numerous Imperial forces are coming to stomp out my little... rebellion! I want you and your Kin to move out and squash any resistance on the adjacent worlds before they arrive. And then once they do arrive, I want you to come back and totally slaughter them."
"This will requir-"
"Require a greater payment, yes I realize this."
He growled and quickly slammed his fist right next to the Mon-Keigh's head. He growled and hissed at her as his eyes searched her for terror and... AH there it was. How he adored the fear and fright within Mon-Keigh. How he simply loved their dread and simply the look in their eyes when he was so close to killing them, delightful. He raised his other hand to tightly grasp her chin and force her to look him in the eyes. With a slow drawl, he hissed his words to her.
"Think before you speak Miss Mortarum. Interrupting your superiors in the Eternal City could lead to many fates. Few of which you would find pleasurable... though the opposite would be said in the case of the Superior."
Releasing her from his grip, he quickly descended the stairs of throne. His sslyth guards resumed their positions around him, while one of his many consorts handed him his helmet. Placing the helmet upon his head, he turned to gaze at his... patron from behind teal-tinted windows.
"I will do as you ask Miss Mortarum. Though do make sure my payment arrives in full when demanded, else I would have to take something of.... equal value."
Chapter 2: Duty of the Soul
"By the Emperors light, may you guide us through the darkness....."
The harsh voice filled the small room with droning rhetoric. It was dimly lit, with splashes of light illuminating the crouched figure. His hands were clasped around the ornate Crozius Arcanum, his head bowed. The shrine was suitably grand, made of gold, with an ancient helmet set in the middle, surrounded by ornate relics and parchment detailing various prays and litanies to the God Emperor. The eerie calm was broken when the door opened, revealing a hulking figure encased in maroon power armour.
"Brother Varkian, the captain requests you presence on the bridge"
"I shall join him when I see fit Captain Fabien" The crisp voice had a precise delivery that chilled Fabien to the bone. It always had done.
"Do you want me to inform him of your absence?"
Varkian sighed. He found the battle plans of the captain to be monotonous. It was likely that he was fussing over some insignificant detail concerning the exact position of this ship and whatnot. He rose, putting on the skull helm as he walked towards the door. Fabiens face looked worriedly at him, but Varkian strode pass, his countenance tall and imposing.
"Brother Varkian, the captain is worried that our allies are unfit for this engagement"
"If there was any real fight that they may be" Varkian said "But the Lyspirins are a loose band of rebels, they will be easy to pacify. There will hardly be a fight, they will surrender"
"I know that Overseer Julius agree with you sir, but I fear the captain will not understand"
"Than his faith in the emperor is....lacking" Under his helm the chaplain pursed his lips, his mind troubled by this thought. If the captain was worried about the enemy...
"My lord, would it be prudent if you voiced your reassurances? Surly he would listen to you. "
"Yes. I suppose he would" Varkian was notably disgruntled. "We should-"
Before he could finish his sentence a deafening explosion tore the craft in two. Hunks of metal were torn in two and hurtled across the corridor. One speared the form of Fabien in the chest, while Varkian ducked as another came towards him.
"Enemy fire!" He shouted, as he pulled the body of Fabien towards him. He was bleeding out, choking on his own blood.
"Brother captain, your injuries.....are fatal. May the Emperor guide you." Varkian bowed his head, muttering various praises to the emperor. Fabien nodded slightly, before he breathed his last breath.
Varkian looked around, his contorted face hidden under his helm. He started shouting through the vox on his helmet "Prepare the Space Marines for battle stations, now! Fabien is dead, the enemy are upon us. May He guide your sword."
"My lord Varkian" It was Garren, Fabiens company champion "We do not know..."
"Neither to I! We are under attack, can't you see? We need to move!"
Varkian straightened up, his hand reaching for his bolt pistol. The damned traitors had already gained the upper hand, Varkian thought. By the Emperors teeth, he would have to reserve that. Varkian smiled sardonically as he released the battle of Lyspiri had just begun.
Chapter 3: Steel and Fire
Colonel Manix was thrown to one side as the blast shuddered through the ship. The Veteran Colonel of the 301st Sarcan Drop Regiment was well used to the behavior of voidcraft. He could guess by the flickering lights, and the sudden rush of the crew around him, that it was bad.
The initial attack had caught the Imperial forces completely off-guard, the Space Marine Strike Cruiser "Oath of Stone", Bearing the brunt of the assault. Lightning fast Voidships had shredded the Void shields and gave a single small ship a chance to collide and ram the Space Marine vessel. The remaining fleet was sliced in half by an arrowhead formation of traitors. A large capital ship was hanging back however, simply launching salvo's in thier general direction and leaving the rest of the battle to the lesser ships. Manix instantly recognized the head of the snake.
Manix had stepped up to the bridge, and faced the distraught Captain. The man was on the verge of a panic attack, his perfect plans for the crushing of the traitors and victory laurels in hours was falling apart. He was literally tearing his hair out. Manix would have found this site incredibly amusing if it wasn't for the desperate position they were currently in. Manix spun the man around and asked for permission to board the capital ship. The Captains reaction was a perfect O of surprise, followed by an instant change in course. Now Manix was on his way to the drop bay to brief his men.
The 301st were already prepped and armed, unsurprisingly. What was a surprise was the men all inside their Drop Pods and ready to go. The Pods themselves were a mimic of the Dreadclaw Drop Pods used by the Space Marines, downsized and refitted for regular human use. The Regiment would burn through the hull of the ship and storm the command bridge, taking the ship and adding a second front to the fight.
Manix climbed up onto a large crate and motioned for attention. As soon as he had everybody had their eyes on him, he spoke.
"Ok ladies and gents, we have our plan: smash into a capital ship, take out the hostiles flying it and blow shit up. Any objections?"
Silence followed. Manix smiled and bellowed to his soldiers.
"Well then lets get a move on those bastards aren't going to board themselves! Everybody to your pods and lets get thing ball rolling! First into Hell!"
"Last out of the fire!" the Sarcan's roared in reply. The battle cry was fitting for the Drop regiment, and matched the nature of their regular deployment.
Manix chuckled at the speed the Sarcan's jumped to. He grabbed his Hellgun and sealed his armour. The Jumper's strapped into their boarding pods and double checked their weapons. Manix slid down his visor and smiled under his helm. This was going to be fun.
Chapter 4: Imperial Reprisal
"It was just as you said Archon Baelcor, the Imperials have been taken totally by surprise because of our attack. I'm sure the arrogant idiots were expecting us to wait for them to come within range of our orbital stations, but NO! We've taken the first step, and the advantage is ours!"
The so called "Lord" Baelcor simply snorted at the human as he continued to intently watch the Eldar Girls dancing around him. Captain Harimah seemed simply oblivious to the Dark Eldar's lack of attention, and yet he continued to babal on and on about how the Traitors had the advantage, and the Imperials were going to die. Colonel Fenrik's eyes widen with shock as he saw the Imperial pods in the auspex come shooting at Captain Harimah's ship. Immediately hitting the com-button, he began shouting into it.
"ATTENTION TO ALL DECKS! WE ARE ABOUT TO BE BOARDED, GET EVERY MAN A GUN AND PREPARE TO DEFEND THE SHIP!"
It was at this declaration the Dark Eldar Archon finally tore his gaze off the sensual dance of his mistresses. Captain Harimah immediately pushed the Colonel away from the command booth, and tried to reprimand the situation.
"Crew members, please ignore the Colonel. He has no idea what he is talking about, he is simply on the "edge of his seat" because of the anxiety of attacking a much larger fleet then our own, there are no boarding pods on the ausp-"
The ship's harsh rocking cut off the Captain, as alarms and lights went off in distress. Numerous pods had hit, and breached, the hull of the ship. Colonel Fenrik and Captain Harimah stared at the laughing Eldar, as nearly the entire command crew of the Dark Eldar ship were laughing at their troubles.
At the Mon-Keighs' defeated stares, the chuckles and snickers of the Dark Eldar turned into fullblown laughter as they hurled insults and witty comments at them in their Arcane Language. Even the numerous slaves on the command center were laughing at their misfortune. The Captain simply sat down in defeat, staring blankly at the screen meanwhile Colonel Fenrik started sprinting down the hallways of the ship, attempting to reach the armoury before this situation turned into something he couldn't fix. To his relief, he saw that all the crewmembers he passed by were already armed, he could only pray thaet everyone else on the ship heeded his warnings.
Chapter 5: Bombs Away
"Im a bomber pilot god damnit, not some bloody marine"
Jarroth stood ready with a las carbine in hand, awaiting the moment that the blast doors would explode out and enemy boarders would spew through. Several minutes passed with the only sounds being that of distant gunfire throughout the other area's of the ship.
The rebel boarders were far better armed than the motley Imperial crew, moving through the cruiser like a virus, systematically exterminating everything in their path.
But it was not the blast doors they came through, but through the roof of the hangar itself, killing dozens of Imperials before they knew what hit them. Jarroth had little combat training, and barely knew how to work the weapon in his hands. The hangar was in utter chaos, void craft frantically trying to take off, with those not in a ship being ripped apart by las fire.
Jarroth's first goal was to get to a bomber, which was certainly something he knew how to work. Not realising, or perhaps not caring about the barrage of laser fire that he was running through. His luck ran out however, and took a grazing shot to his face only a few metres from the Starhawk bomber awaiting him.
He would have died right there if not for his comrade Mikael, who after firing off several innaccurate shots into the midst of enemy positions, dragged Jarroth into the bomber. In the pain he was still capable of flying, albiet much less effectivley then he would have under more healthy circumstances, but even with dozens of rebel soldiers firing at the bomber, Jarroth managed to pull out of the hangar, barely.
"Out of the frying pan, into the fire"
Spoke one of the gunners, upon seeing the hundreds of attack craft fighting it out in the void, aswell as the several warships pounding eachover with their fearsome laser batteries and torpedo barrages. After only a few secounds the vox caster boomed aloud, shooting out orders from their Squadron commander.
"Bombers five, six and eight, take out those corvettes damnit"
Even through the vox, you could taste the desperation on the other side, soon followed by screams as their commanders ship was blown apart. While the Starhawk was heavily armoured, its slow speed and low manouverbility made it easy pickings for rebel fighters, and after taking several hits to the main turbine. Jarroth knew their was only one thing he could do, that gave him and his crew a chance of survival.
"Brace yourselves, its gonna be a rough landing"
Chapter 6: The Fury of the Astartes
Varkian gritted his teeth as he emptied his magazine. The form of the rebel navyman spasmed as it was torn apart by the furious barrage of shots erupting from Varkians bolt pistol. He stood still for a minuite, taking in the pile of dead bodies that surrounded him. The damn traitors had boarded the ship, in the vain hope of taking the bridge, probably under the disillusion that the Space Marines had been weakened. On the contrary, Varkian thought as his face screwed into a snarl again, their resolve had only strengthened. He turned to see the cautious faces of his comrades observing his form, waiting for orders.
"Don't just stand there, the enemy stands afore us!" Varkian bellowed, his bulging eyes concealed under the heavy skull helm. Company champion Garren stepped forward, his face grave.
"Brother Varkian, we have wasted enough time here. I recommend we try and land this damn ship, or at least commence drop assault."
Varkian stepped forward, bringing himself eye to eye with Garren.
"Your right" he sighed "Inform captain Holt of our course of action. And inquisitor Julious, he would like to know of our progress. We have to take on these heretics on their own ground."
Garren nodded. "Such a course of action would be wise"
Varkian turned. "Listen!" he said, his voice a loud whisper.
Garren drew his sword. "Its the rebels" he said "They're surrounding us".
Varkian snorted, before drawing his bolt pistol. "We shall not fall to these traitors" he said. Varkian moved towards the door, batting it aside and discharging his still smoking pistol. Terrified cries and goblets of blood covered the room.
The rest of the Space Marines moved in, boltguns blazing, with chainswords cutting through the traitors, turning their bodies into a fine red paste. Varkian fought like a daemon, his crozius smashing through waves of men who had not been put down by the bolts spewing from his pistol.
Garren narrowed his eyes as a rebel, his face full of terrified rage, charge towards him. A flick of the wrist sent the head flying across the room. Garren turned, his combat shield batting away another rebels attack, before slicing them in one fluid motion.
The fighting stopped almost as quickly as it had begun. Garren slid the dead body of a rebel off his sword, as Varkian tore off his skull helm. His lined face was gaunt, and straggly grey hair hung out of place.
"We move forward." his voice was gravelly. "I doubt these are the last traitors we will meet. Any more that stand in our way we show no mercy. Only vengeance." Varkian thrust his chest out and raised his crozius, still stained with blood. "For the Emperor!"
Chapter 7: Disjointed
The large metal door protecting the occupants of the bridge caved in easily.
The blast from the breaching charge propelled the remains of the now unrecognisable thing into the closest man, reducing him to naught but a bloody pulp. No sooner had the metal fragments impacted on whatever was closest, the squadron of Sarcan Jumpers charged in like a hurricane.
Mannix led his troops from the front, dropping the first traitor he saw with a single shotgun blast. The other soldiers on the bridge died almost as quickly, disintergrating under a hail of las shots and bullets. In less then a minute, the Jumpers were left standing in a roomful of blood and corpses, with a slightly irritating voice buzzing in thier eardrums.
"All forces pull back to the closest Imperial voidship and prepare for landfall, The Sentinels shall lead the charge, Ave Imperator."
Mannix added his spit to the covering of blood on the hard metallic floor, the Space Marines were laughably fanatical, always eager for the glory. As far as Mannix was concerned, his Regiment were the first in, first to hit the ground, first to draw blood, and he was damn sure he wasn't about to sacrifice his regimental pride just because some bloody naval captain said he was second in line.
Mannix opened the vox channel and broadcasted a single order to every Jumper in orbit:
"Alright people, pack up and head for the boarding craft, We're gonna beat the Emperors Finest to the ground."
The words were greeted by short, sharp assent by all, as the Jumpers finished thier tasks and began to regroup. Pockets of traitors across the ship still held out, and were hindering a mass withdrawal. As the Colonel listened to the rising reports of ambush across the width and breadth of the craft, he wieghed up his options.
He could lead a sweep through the ship, but that would take precious time and he'd possibly lose more men than it would be worth, he could attempt to simply withdraw everyone and rely on the navy to destroy the ship. But he'd rather leave with his dignity relatively intact, and with his regiment's reputation shining. So with these in mind he made his discision.
Marlow, vent all oxygen of this bucket into the void, and take those bastards with it. Everybody seal your armour, withdraw to saftey and regroup at the docking bay, lets get out of this damn thing."
Chapter 8: Slithering Death
Fenrik shuddered with disgust, his so-called Saviours were currently brutally and quickly murdering everyone in their path. He didn't think he had enough worth in the Rogue Trader's eyes to send his pet Serpent to save him, but lo and behold here was the Archon Baelcor currently briskly walking through the hallways of the ship, killing and butchering any Imperials that he encountered. He heard the now classic sound of the shink as the Dark Eldar leader constantly sheathed and unsheathed his blade as he encountered new prey. He saw a few Imperials running down the hallway a long ways away, before the were cut into tiny pieces by the Serpent who had sprinted the entire length of the distance within a second. He heard the snake-like voice of his saviour from behind the pale green mask.
"Come along Colonel Fenrik, we must be moving before the Imperials seal off your escape."
He quickly began running alongside the Dark Eldar, it was clear in his mind they were going slower then they ever usually did just so he could keep up without killing himself. He heard the firing of las-guns as he realized the Dark Eldar had vanished, ducking into cover he peered out once the sounds of the dying ambushers stopped. These Warriors were reacting far faster then the Imperials, not a single Dark Eldar had fallen since they arrived on the ship. They finally came upon the hallway that would lead them to the Docking Bay, but the doors were quickly shutting and the ship's voidalarm quickly began blaring. The Serpent vanished, all he could see was a barely visble shadow sprinting down the hallway sliding inbetween the doors before they shut. He was busy sealing his armor when the oxygen vented out and the doors reopened. Down the hallway stood the Archon, covered in the entrails of some unlucky sap and standing at the controls. After reaching the Docking Bay and finding a ship, the Archon spoke up yet again.
"Goodbye Colonel Fenrik, we must do this again sometime."
Before he could reply, the doors to the docking bay burst open to reveal a large force of Imperials. The Imperials began firing at him and his ship, while the Dark Eldar vanished into one of their Webway Portals. Sliding halfway into the portal, the Serpant raised his splinter pistol to aim at one of the Imperials. He heard the sound of the splinters slicing through air before meeting their mark and begining to slice through a warm body. Distracted at the wounding of their captain, the Imperials fired on the webway portal giving himself enough time to get to the cockpit and get the hell out of this dying ship.