Black Blow Fly picks up the pen and tells a story in the Grimdark…
The sound of explosions pummeling the city scape boomed within the escape tunnel. Squee clutched at her iron pin chained to her neck and shivered in the freezing cold as the snot running from her nose solidified. The urchin was covered in fifth and hard black dirt was packed under grimy broken fingernails. There came the sudden braying of the mutants standing at the entrance. Squee pushed down into the shadows hiding from them. They sniffed about as the fiends began to enter the tunnel. Slowly the mutants spread about searching for new victims. The taller one illuminated an electronic torch casting the yellow filtered light upon the floor. Squee clasped at a small rock with her other hand and threw it across the beam. It crashed against the far wall then fell against the floor. Quickly turning to investigate the mutants stared into the darkness looking into the blackness. The urchin bolted from her hiding place running into the tunnel.
Squee ran hard as she disappeared blending into the blackness. The cold air burned as she gulped it in through her chaffed lips. Her soft soled boots padded quietly along the broken cobbles of the floor. She could hear the mutant pack reacting to her rapid movement. The thin beam of yellow tinted light skewered the surrounding void but missed her. Deeper and deeper she ran as fast as her little legs could carry her. Hot salty tears ran down her dirty cheeks smudging them. Still clutching the iron pin she turned the corner at the first junction.
The sounds of the big mutants in pursuit filled her ears as the monsters howled and snorted. She could hear their gun fire as it exploded against the walls chipping away the ancient stone and lit up the immediate area. Her lungs burned and her little legs ached but fear drove her on into the heart of the darkness. Squee ran into a different tunnel as she approached another junction but could not shake off the mutants whom sounded much closer now. They continued to fire their weapons and chipped stone showered onto her face as she ducked underneath a hanging conduit. Squee could hear their iron shod boots crashing against the floor behind her. She saw a small crawl hole and leapt into it burrowing into the tight confines. The crawl way was damp and filled with wet sewage. Squee pushed along the bottom twisting about as she quickly worked her way into the void. The large mutants couldn’t fit inside and she smelled their rage as they yelled with hateful fury. Suddenly there was more gun fire just as she reached a corner and pulled herself through the tight jam. Bolter shells smashed into the area she just left showering her with pulped filth. Squee took a moment to catch her breath and wiped away the sludge on her face with her free hand.
Squee listened to the mutants gibbering to one another in anger while she caught her breath. Slowly she began to crawl away slithering through the tight space. The filth filled the air with an arbitttor of foul odor that brought tears to her eyes. The sound of the mutants began to dim as she continued to crawl on her belly through the crawl space. It was a bit warmer and cold sweat broke out soaking her back.
Squee continued to crawl along until reaching a point where the space opened enough so that she could sit up. She put her back to the wall and let out a short sigh while rubbing her hands against the front of her pants in a vain attempt to remove some of the filth. Taking a stocking cap from a pocket in her coat she pushed up her long blonde hair underneath it as she pulled it down tight against the top of her head. A brief trace of light played across the floor then vanished. She looked up to see there was a grilled hub just above her.
++ ONBOARD THE BATTLE CRUISER INDOMANITUS ++
The Space Marine looked upon his sole battle brother and grimaced inwardly. His one arm was truncated by a huge power fist which digits he involuntarily curled and uncurled as he slowly inhaled the fetid air. His other gauntlet clutched at the spiraled hilt of his long force sword sheathed in an admantium brace clustered with fine gem stones gathered from across the galaxy and scriptures of unspeakable chiseled runes. His dark face was pitted from a gout of acid blood sprayed from the killing wound to a giant Broodlord he had slain within the deep confines of a space hulk long ago. Tight fitting cables seated into the psychic hood shone with a green ember and seemed to twist about like a nest of hungry serpents. His armor was pitch black from head to toe except for the shoulder pads. One sported the ancient symbol of the Deathwatch while the other was umber toned depicting the great seal of his Chapter the Doom Warriors. The Librarian’s name was Ustis and etched across the top of his broad chestplate.
The other Marine was also a member of the Deathwatch and originally was a master artisan Techmarine from the Storm Lords Chapter. Sparks of blue electricitty played along his metal teeth when he spoke. “I can no longer be of service to you or this ship.” he spat at Admiral Goffunstein. “My work is done.”
Goffenstein snarled as he looked up at the imposing figures. “You’ll do as I say by decree of the Imperial Navy. There is still much work to do…”
Ustis slowly lifted his gauntlet from the sword. “You will abide by our agreement. We are here in lieu of the Black Ships to seek a potent young psyker. We must make planet fall within the next hour.”
“Two Astartes versus the hordes of Chaos filth?” Goffenstein questioned rhetorically. “You won’t stand a chance.”
“We are all that’s left of our kill team. It will be enough.” said the Techmarine.
Ustis and the Techmarine stood within the launch bay. Five drop pods were primed for an orbital drop. Four were empty filled with both chaff and explosives. Each drop pod was black as soot with no outer markings. The Techmarine limbered open a gang plank and they entered, one on either side strapping themselves into the hardened bulwark. Cranking the inner haft the Techmarine slowly raised the plank and it sealed into its outer seams.
“We are ready.” said Ommegang the Techmarine into his microbead. “Commence the launch.” He silently worded thanks to the Emperor as he activated a series of glowing runes with his bionic hand.
Both Ommegang and Ustis wore their helmets. They could feel the vibration of the huge bay doors opening then slowly the five pods began to drift down naturally attracted by the pull of the planet’s lethal gravity.
– Just prior to arrival –
Imperial guardsmen rapidly fell back as they broke from the fight. A Riptide that had just destroyed a Leman Russ vaulted over the burning wreck and lets loose a large blast incinerating many of closest guardsmen. Rockets fired down from its targeting array vaporizing more. Overhead three Tau Barracudas flew over strafing the broken mob then quickly passed over. Teams of Crisis Suits followed in the wake of the Riptide hovering above the burning ground.
The lone Commissar fired his bolt pistol into the skull of the sergeant as he ignited his power sword. “Get back into this fight!” he shouted over the battle din. “We must not let the enemy advance!” Burst cannon fire ripped through the nearby guardsmen shredding them into pieces of bloody flesh. Holstering his bolt pistol the Commissar drew forth a grenade hurling it at the advancing Crisis team. The grenade pinged off the armor of the Tau commander harmlessly exploding beside them. There was the electronic whir of their burst cannons as they auto sighted the human.
“Have faith!” shouted the Commissar as he broke from the ruined barricade charging straight at the Crisis team. Burst shells exploded to his left and right as he dodged. His sword shot out and skewered a drone severing the command link causing it to tumble. He grabbed a hold of the rim using the automaton for cover. The Riptide was bearing down from behind strafing the Commissar with more rocket fire. An explosion knocked him to his knees and dark spots filled his vision. He looked up to see the Tau commander leveling its fusion blaster straight at his head then came an eerie sound off to his side.
Emerging from thin air five Marines clad in pitch black armor plates strode beside him. One of the Astartes carried a heavy bolter holding it at his hip firing on full auto. Another drone exploded as a miniature rocket blasted it apart. The Commissar could feel a heavy gauntlet grasping him by the shoulder lifting him back up. The Techmarine threw him aside then punched into one of the Crisis suits, the servo arm ripped into the xenos armor like foil instantaneously pulping the Tau inside. Ommegang tossed aside the inert husk as he fired his plasma pistol at the towering Riptide. The Techmarine yelled at the humongous battle suit to draw its attention.
There came a steady hum that quickly grew in pitch resonating above the constant battle din. Ommegang spoke into his microbead to the other members of the Deathwatch kill team “The Barracudas are returning for another strafing run.”
Ustis silently mouthed runic words calling upon the warp to cloak his kill team again. One by one they vanished including the Commissar just as the low flying Tau gunships sped over them. A salvo of rockets from the heavy bolter lanced upwards striking the canopy of one Barracuda exploding against the armored cockpit. The gunship veered off striking the flyer to its left and they both blew apart as they crashed into each other. The flaming wrecks burst into the ground below obliterating several clusters of Tau Crisis suits. The explosion threw Ommegang clear of the blast driving him hard into the ruined ground. He watched in silence as two of the indicator runes etched into his inner visor representing other members of the kill team suddenly extinguished. All that was left was himself, Ustis and brother Lochen manning the heavy bolter supported by the suspensor belt.
Ommegang righted himself and watched as the surviving Tau panicked. Removing a meltabomb from the webbing on his utility belt the Techmarine moved towards the Riptide. The humongous battle suit had taken some damage from the explosion but appeared to still be fully functional. Quickly attaching the magnalocks onto one of it’s legs Ommegang activated the charge and stepped away from the coming blast. The Riptide swatted at the meltabomb then it exploded vaporizing the leg. It ignited it’s jetpack in an attempt to right itself but tumbled over falling down.
Ommegang registered his internal sensors as he scanned the giant suit while it still flailed upon the ground. The infrared spectrum revealed where the pilot was located within the bulky suit. Lifting his power axe above his head the Techmarine drove the spiked end into the armor puncturing a weak point spearing through it with cold fury. Suddenly the Riptide lay still no longer thrashing about the ground. Ommegang pulled his axe loose as he stepped back to watch making sure the pilot was dead.
“I’ve recieved a message we are to immediately return to the battle barge for a new assignment.” said Ustis over the comm link. “Brother Lochen will remain here in our place. See to it the Commissar makes it back safely to our lines.”
“Aye Ustis.” replied Lochen.
“You’re a brave one.” said Ommegang to the Commissar.
There came the shrieking sound of an Imperial Storm Eagle breaking through the subsonic barrier as it appeared above. It’s VTOL engines inclined as it dropped into hover mode lowering a boarding plank.
TO BE CONTINUED