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Pride of Arimas (40k story) 
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The Dark Scribe
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Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2003 5:56 am
Posts: 383
Location: Sitting before a pile of scrolls, books and countless unfinished tales and poems
Greetings guys and ghouls, this is a tale set in the world of Warhammer 40,000, of which I hope you can find enjoyment.

Feel free to post your observations and assessments, I read all of them and take all of them into account.

Vanderghast, The Dark Scribe.



The Pride of Arimas

“And the moth, his heart bound to curiosity, fluttered forth. The flame of a dark mystery burned ahead of him, capturing him whole. In its pursuit he was alive, alive as he was meant to be.
Within the flame his body would perish, for such was the power of dark revelations.
Without the flame his soul would perish, a husk without life.”
Suel’Mahr The Scholar - Executed 811.M41 for heresy.

________________________________________________________________



Slowly, silently, the pale fingers on the hand began to flex. Twisted and atrophied, they grasped at the cold air around them, thick blue veins choked with blood that had died centuries before.
In the chest of the hand’s owner beat a heart of darkness, electronic circuits sending a pulse of energy through his body, keeping him alive. His bionic left leg, sculpted to resemble that of a goat, whirred and clicked as metal joints moved. The twisted power armour covering the rest of his body bared the hallmarks of war. Chipped, pitted and broken, it testified to violence on an immense scale.
The thing, the beast that lay shackled to the icy, steel table, was once a Man. Once, the light of the Emperor burned inside his soul. Once, he marched through halls of gold, stood beneath a million banners of blazing silver.
Once, he sailed across the stars, conquering the universe alongside his blood-sworn brothers. His lips spoke the prayers of the divine God-Emperor, and championed him with shed blood, sweat and tears across a thousand worlds. For the Imperium, it was a Golden Age.

Then, Horus The Warmaster came. Old vows were shattered like glass, and new masters given praise. Darkness swept across the Imperial, and the universe was rent asunder. The fires of war burned hungrily, fuelled by a hate that would never die.
And the thing greedily became a soldier of Horus, a butcher of his own Marine brothers, a banner-bearer for the Damned. What righteousness he had done was undone with evil deeds a thousand fold over.
New ideals sang in his heart, and his soul was sold to Chaos.
Death. Terror. Horror. Corruption. Depravity.
And the heavens wept as worlds died amongst the flames of war.

But these memories and thoughts were lost to the thing. His mind was clouded and swamped with a massive cocktail of drugs, befuddling his senses. His limbs felt heavy and feeble, and his eyelids refused to open.

A snow-white mouth bared a set of sharp teeth, growling from beneath a mask of metal. Fused to his face, it was moulded into the form of an emotionless, empty-eyed Man, staring ahead as if even the death of the universe would not move his soul.

His blurred, black vision began to slowly clear. Around him he could see the skinny, wizened forms of medical technicians, who chattered amongst themselves quietly. Bars of a dim green light illuminated the room, which was full of computers, machines and Imperial Apothecary supplies. Endless lines of green text flashed across the screens, accompanied by diagrams and schematics of all types.
A tinny, electronic voice chattered over the comlink. It sounded like a string of gibberish, like the ranting of a madman.
Nothing made sense, nothing had meaning.
The thing tried to remember his name, form his thoughts into a cohesive whole.
But it was useless. To the best of his knowledge, he was a damned soul trapped in the eternal cage of Hell.
One of the scientists, bearded and peering through a pair of bionic eyes, switched on a small recording device, affixing it to his pale-green apron.
“Subject is classed as low-value Emperor’s Children Marine, captured whilst fighting on Prangea IX. After being subjugated and drugged, subject was donated to us, the Medical Wing of Prangea IX Imperial Orbital Starbase. Subject has moderate research value, relating to Chaos-tainted biological genetics, and so will be thoroughly dissected and examined. Operation will be conducted on living specimen. Med-report 3-2-3-7 over.”

With an echoing click the machine was switched off, and the scientist smiled.
“Begin.”

The thing heard a high-pitched mechanical sound, and saw a technician approaching the table, holding a small surgical saw, which buzzed with spinning life.
“Open the ribcage, an examination of the organs whilst still living is advisable.” said one of them, his hair grey and unkempt. His hands, both bionic claws, clacked together in anticipation of the coming events. He smiled, revealing a mouth missing many teeth.
The thing writhed, sensing danger. He envisioned himself being dissected alive, the victim of the clinical, soulless practices of these researcher Men. Such an idea gave credence to the notion he was in Hell.
Little sparks of memory exploded in his mind. Scenes of death and ruin flooded back to him. Visions of blood staining a field, mechanical behemoths falling to their demise, winged creatures falling as they were consumed by flames. He remembered voices howling over a maelstrom of war, and of mutant horrors dragging their victims down into places of darkness.
Then, the present was alive once more.

The saw-armed medical technician smeared a foul-smelling chemical across the thing’s chest. It burned his skin, agonising his already tormented senses. Woe fell over him like a heavy curtain.
But then, as the flame of suffering greeted his body, Vangelus remembered himself, and the pain sent a hot knife of exhilaration coursing through him.
“Begone!” howled the Chaos Space Marine, a pair of purple tongues lancing up from his mouth, long and studded with sharp barbs and spines. It lashed around, snapping like a leather whip.
One scientist flinched as the tongues sliced across his neck. Exposed tendons and muscles gushed a spray of crimson. He went to scream, but only a gurgle rolled out of his wounded throat.
Seeing this sight of carnage, feeling the blood splatter on his chest, the Traitor known as Vangelus felt alive, and he knew himself once more.
“Alert! Subject has regained mobility! Subject has regained mobility! Security forces to Medical Wing!” shouted a scientist into a console mounted vox-caster, the terror evident in his voice. The third simply fled the room, rushing out the sliding door even as it still moved.
Monitors and machines connected to the captive Traitor began flashing lights and beeping loudly. A beacon in the corner of the room began to flash red.
The mortally wounded scientist staggered backwards, clutching his neck. Arcs of blood spattered against the walls and roof.
Moments later he collapsed, his body twitching for a few seconds before falling still. The dead man would have exhaled a last breath, but his throat was too choked with blood for anything but a sickly hiss.
Vangelus struggled against his bonds, raging like a monster.
He cried out for liberty, cried out for the freedom to tear the throat from everything that dared stand in his way. Rage burned within him.
From above an orb shaped machine descended on a metal arm, and pointed a laser at him. Several jolts of electricity surged down, coursing through Vangelus’s body. He shook and writhed, but refused to submit. The pain only drove him ever onward.
His tongue lashed out, cutting across the machine. With a spurt of sparks and motor oil it ceased functioning.
A second machine emerged from the wall closest to his head. Long and spindly, it possessed many needles on a dozen arms.
Vangelus lashed out with his tongues, severing the machine from the wall. With a heavy thud it slammed on the table, then rolled off and smashed on the floor.
The black sliding doors to the med-bay opened, and a half-dozen forms were illuminated in the greenish lights of the hall beyond.
The Guardsmen stepped inside, dressed in their light-brown flak armour and bright green helmets. Together they pointed their lasguns at the raging Vangelus, and their leader stepped forward.
“Surrender! Surrender!” he bellowed, aiming his lasgun. His brown eyes reflected a healthy dose of fear.
Mouth opening like a snake, distending in a way beyond human, Vangelus wailed a primal scream. From the depths of the Warp it resounded, exploding from his lungs and tearing across the medical bay. Computer screens shattered and jars of chemicals fractured.
The Guardsmen screamed in agony, clutching their ears and falling to their knees. Their faces contorted, their muscles seized and their minds railed against the corruption of the sound. It was like having a drill bore into the ear, penetrate the brain and burst out the other side.
The remaining scientist experienced the same horror, clawing at his face, tearing away patches of skin in his madness over the sound.
Together, their screams formed a chorus that was harmony to the maligned senses of Vangelus.
With gouts of blood the eyes and ears of the suffering humans exploded, turning them into mewling heaps on the floor, blind and deaf and swimming in an ocean of mental terror.
The bonds holding Vangelus broke and the Traitor rose, screaming his joy. Awash in blood, he was a sight that belonged to Hell.
By now, all through the station sirens were ringing, and Vangelus could hear the echo of boots pounding the ground.
They were coming for him.
Vangelus stood amongst the bodies of his victims, and raising his hands to the steel roof, dedicated their suffering to the Dark Prince Slaanesh.
Foul prayers rolled off his barbed tongues, praise to the darkness.
Then he went amongst them, crushing skulls, slashing throats and breaking bones.
He howled with each strike, the bodies crushed beneath the power of his fists. The blows became like a hideous rythm, an orchestra of snapping bones, ripping flesh and the last twitches of Men before they died.
The thrill of it danced in his veins like a daemonic parade.
By the end, he held a guardsman’s severed head in one hand, appraising it like a gruesome trophy. Looking in the Guardsman’s eyes, he wondered what life the simple man had lived before fate delivered him so cruelly to this day.
The idea he had shattered a life pleased the Chaos Marine greatly.
With the click of a button on his chest-plate, Vangelus’s mask receded, revealing his pale face. His features were delicate and slender, on the verge of being feminine, and a translucency glowed from beneath his skin. His eyes, large and dark, were captivating. Lustrous and deep, they projected an innocence that was a profound and disturbing lie.
An unwary soul could fall into his eyes if they stared too long, and drown in a sea of darkness that beckoned them forth near irresistably.
And once they strayed too close, the horror beneath the angelic face would emerge.

With a low rumble the sliding doors opened, and a large regiment of Guardsmen confronted Vangelus.
But at their fore stood a towering, steely-eyed Man, dressed in power armour bearing the purity seals of the God-Emperor. Around him wavered an invisible, yet tangible presence of power. He was an intimidating sight, much larger than the Guardsmen, and an equal in stature to Vangelus.
The silver-blue eyes of the Inquisitor met the dark gaze of Vangelus, and in each other they saw a worthy foe.
Or at least someone challenging to kill.
“Of the Ordo Malleus you are, I presume.” hissed Vangelus, his barbed tongue sliding between his savage teeth. He could still taste the scientist, and he was not impressed with the quality of his blood. Very weak indeed.
Vangelus dropped the severed head, and enjoyed the look of repulsion on the lowly guardsman’s faces as he did so.
Inquisitor Arimas said nothing, but signalled for the Guardsmen to back off. Slowly, guns still raised, they did. In the presence of this ancient evil, they shook like branches against a wailing wind.
“Death is all that awaits you here, Traitor. Surrender, and you will go easier.” declared Arimas. In his voice was strength, but also a strange pleasure. He took satisfaction in knowing a Traitor would soon die, and painfully at that.
The Traitor Marine hissed, and bared his fangs. His dark eyes glinted in the med-bay lights.
Arimas flexed the ceramite fingers of his armour. He was ready for battle.

Vangelus smiled, his eyes in flames of rage. The clawed toes of his bionic leg scraped against the floor, sending up a little spray of sparks.
His mouth opening wide, the Chaos-servant charged forward with a Empryean howl, claws jutting from his fingers and fangs barred.
Arimas held no fear. The agents of Hell were his foe, and he would fight them unfalteringly. His soul was wreathed in the light of the God-Emperor, and with his blessing, the damned would be sent to their rightful home in Hell.
The Inquisitor lashed out with a clenched fist, smashing it square into the chest of his Chaos enemy. Vangelus staggered back, then snapped his head forward, swinging his barbed tongue like a death flail.
Arimas ducked under the attack, then snatched a lasgun from the hands of a dead guardsman.
Seconds later he fired a hail of laser rounds, severing Vangelus’s tongues. They wormed around on the ground like snakes, writhing as brackish blood ebbed from their stumps. In the last seconds of their life, they seemed to gain their own horrific sentience.
Unconcerned with the grievous injury, the Chaos Marine spat a gout of blood at the face of his enemy, and leapt for him like a great hunting cat.
Arimas turned his face away from the Chaos-blood, taking it on the temple. It burned like acid, but pain was no obstacle to the Inquisitor. He grabbed his foe around the neck in mid-air, intercepting his murderous charge. With rage he slammed the beast down on the surgery table, sending a shudder throughout the entire room.

Arimas raised a fist, intent on crushing the Traitor’s skull.
“Kill me, good Inquisitor, and Prangea IX will die!” snarled Vangelus, blood running down his mouth, chin and neck.
Arimas froze. What could this fiend mean?
No, he had no meaning. It was a simple lie, peddled from the lips of a great deceiver.

“Speaking falsehoods even unto the end! How far you have fallen!” spat Arimas.
Vangelus smiled, betraying no fear of a pending death. He knew this struggle was only beginning.

“No lies, Imperial. You see, we landed on Prangea IX to plant a bomb powerful enough to tear the world in two. I’m the only soul who knows the disarm codes, and how long before the bomb goes off. Kill me, and your precious little world, and its one billion inhabitants, will burn in the fires of Chaos!”
The mighty fist of Arimas was stayed. Though hatred burned in his heart for the Traitor before him, the fiend’s words echoed in his mind.
Could this Slaaneshi and his kin really of planted a bomb on Prangea IX?
Arimas could not ignore the possibility. He was duty-bound to protect the Imperium and all its peoples. He had to investigate.
Vangelus laughed, knowing the Imperial would not kill him.
“You live a life of service to the Golden Throne. But once you’re dead, do you really think the Imperium, let alone the Emperor, will truly care? He devours hundreds of souls each day to broadcast the light of the Astronomican. You’re just another little morsel that slides between his teeth.”
Arimas ignored the taunting words. It was just prattle from someone who had simply delayed their death for a time.
“And what of your soul, Traitor? You laid it bare before the feet of Horus and his Dark Gods. I dare not fathom what lurks on the other side for you. You turned your back on everything to kiss the feet of Daemons. You are beyond contempt!”
Arimas was struck with the urge to kill the Traitor there and then, break him in half and hurl him into the void of outer space. The rage was incredible.
But he mastered his anger, pushing it down to a place deep within himself. This one was needed alive.
He would save his rage for the interrogation.
A very, very thorough interrogation.
“Systems command, dispatch Ogryns to the medical wing. Prisoner in need of transport to a secure location.”
Arimas’s order buzzed across the medical bay vox-caster, and was promptly received by the system command.
Vangelus fell silent, closing his pale eyes. His mind drifted away, to another place far removed from the Starbase.
There was nothing left to do but wait. Events were moving like the turning gears in a great and evil machine.
Dark things were still to descend on these Imperials.
And their proud Inquisitor, Arimas. That he would witness this fruition of horror was sweet honey on the lips of Vangelus.
He could hardly wait, but thanked Slaanesh that he would be the one to witness what was coming.


Commisar Cellkirk stood tall and strong, dressed in his finest uniform. His wise face and deep-set, penetrating eyes displayed a man of considerable intellect and tactical brilliance. Appointed to be commander of the Prangea IX Orbital Starbase, the Commisar’s devotion to the Imperial and its God-Emperor was impeccable.
Bestowed twice with the Macharian Cross, his tactical mind engineered a grand and sweeping victory over a fearsome division of World Eaters Traitor Marines seven years ago, shattering a grand army to its core.
The battle had raged across Nivellan II, a planet distant from his new station in the Prangean Belt. Had Cellkirk not so decisively crushed the enemy, millions would have died at the genocidal hands of the World Eaters, whose thirst for murder was virtually insatiable.
But his days of glory were not dried up and past, for his task was one of immense importance. He was the Lord General of Prangea IX, its ultimate authority and governing figure. Prangea IX, a temperate planet hugging the edges of Imperial territory, was populated by over 1 billion humans. Calm and pleasant, it was a planet that benifitted from very little of consequence ever happening to it. The beauracratic task of running the day to day affairs of the planet was mostly handled by several thousand scribes of the Administratum, whose workload was staggering. Taxes, tithes, logistics and legalities.
Such things offered Cellkirk little interest.
There was, however, a command post orbiting Prangea IX that held his attention whole.
Being commander of this Orbital Starbase, whose lascannon batteries were the first and strongest line of defence for Prangea IX, capable of laying waste to all but the strongest opposition, Little evaded the keen senses of Ulrick Cellkirk. A sharp mind was his strongest weapon. But when something did get past him, when something outsmarted him, he never forgot the lesson.

Cellkirk donned his officer’s cap, then made the short walk from his personal quarters to the Strategy Room. A comlink message had summoned him, urging him to move with haste. Several miles long and choked with only grey and black rooms, the Starbase was a place someone could easily get lost in.
“Lord General Cellkirk, report immediately to the Strategy Room.” wheezed a servitor’s voice over the comlink in his ear.
“On my way.” he replied.
Something was happening, something beyond the routine. It had been some time since such urgency beckoned him towards his fate
An uneasy feeling crept across the Commisar’s nerves, which ran up his spine and nested in his skull, like a hairy-legged spider wrapping itself around his brain.
It was a feeling the Commisar never enjoyed.

With the press of a button, the Strategy Room sliding doors opened.
It was a place alive with activity. Dozens of multi-limbed tech-servitors manned consoles, delivering messages down to the surface cities of Prangea IX. Regimental officers huddled around hololithic maps, discussing the movements of their infantry and armour. Officials talked intently with one another, their faces clearly marked with fear and anxiety.
Machines buzzed and clicked, and in one corner, a venerable, long-bearded priest of the God-Emperor sat, rocking back and forth. Prayers spilled from his wrinkled lips, a length of golden beads clutched tightly in his hands. A symbol of the Golden Throne had been burned into his forehead. Other grisly marks and cuts scoured his face and arms, testaments to his self-flagellation and mutilation.
Cellkirk knew the difference between piety and insanity.
Obviously, this priest had mixed them together long ago.
“Hail, Commisar Cellkirk!” greeted one officer, extending a gloved hand. He was fairly young, but a laser burn running down his left cheek whispered at a past served on the field of war. He was no Administratum transfer.
“Greetings officer. I was summoned here by an urgent message. What has happened?”
Officer Eldran’s face turned dark, the weight of a terrible knowledge casting a shadow over him.
“Sir, it appears that the vanquished Emperor’s Children traitors may have planted a, what at this stage is simply being called a “Planet Killer” bomb, on the surface of Prangea IX.”
Cellkirk reeled mentally, but did not show it. On the outside, he was a statue.
“How was this information acquired?” he asked, stepping closer to the officer.
Cellkirk’s height was enforced now. The black cloak hanging from his shoulders gave him the appearance of some immense raven, leering over prey.
“One Traitor, who was aboard the small Chaos cruiser that managed to sneak past our defences, and land on Prangea IX, survived the fighting. He was taken prisoner. He was not thought to be of high-value, so he was transferred to the Medical Wing for experimentation. ”
Cellkirk bit his lip.
“A Chaos Marine was transferred to the Starbase, and no-one informed me?”
The young officer feigned ignorance of the matter.
Cellkirk just shook his head, but showed no emotion.
“What transpired next?” asked the Commisar, regaining his mental composure.
“The Traitor was secured to a medical table, and the procedure was about to begin when he escaped his bonds. There were some casualties, but security subdued him. They would have killed him, but halted when the Traitor informed them that a bomb of immense power was set to detonate on Prangea IX, one that he alone knew the location and disarm codes of. With that, he was taken into more secure custody.”
Cellkirk was furious. He couldn’t believe this all took place without his knowledge. It was a time when something had evaded him. Above all else, it was what he hated.
“Strategy Room!” he boomed at the top of his lungs.
Quickly he drew his laspistol, and fired a round into the young officer’s temple. The stink of sizzled flesh wafted up, and the officer’s corpse slumped to the ground.
A thick silence blazed across the chamber like a lightning bolt.
“The next time I am left deaf and blind to such important matters as a prisoner transfer, more than one wretched soul will be found wanting!”
He holstered the laspistol, all eyes focused intently on him.
To be found wanting under the sight of a Commisar was something few survived.
The Commisar approached the main table, a giant, circular disk that projected a hololithic display of Prangea IX. Little floating red dots marked out locations titled “Possible bomb residence”.
Behind him, a pair of servitors dragged the corpse away.
Around the table sat a gathering of priests, officers, lesser commisars and planetary officials. Moments before, they had been engaged in a discussion.
But the crack of a laspistol had diverted their focus.
“This Traitor and his words, what do you make of them?” he asked, taking a seat amongst the council.
One man, an aged and gaunt Commisar, cleared his throat, then leaned forward to speak. His withered face was treated to a glaze of greenish light from the hololithic display, sparks of light danced off the badges he wore on his uniform.
“I would make very little of them, Lord General Commisar. I would say they are simply the desperate words of a death-fearing Traitor. This way, he buys himself more time whilst we run around chasing a bomb that doesn’t exist.”
Commisar Valnorn’s words held a great weight and credibility to the assembly. His favour amongst them was second only to Cellkirk.
“That is the most likely case,” agreed Cellkirk, “But what if our judgement proves false, and such a bomb exists? Prangea IX will pay for our error. Who here could bear the weight of such a sin? ”
This sent a wave of anxiety across the council. No-one wanted to believe that a planet was hanging in the balance.
A tech-servitor hovered towards the council. It was a human head, connected by numerous wires, cables and tubes to a floating black disk.
“ Lord General, we have gathered an assembly of possible, most effective locations for such a bomb. Would you care to peruse them?” buzzed the servant, his electronic voice deep but emotionless.
Cellkirk shook his head, dismissing the servitor with a wave of his right hand.
“Not at this time.” he replied quietly.
The council fell into an intense discussion, but throughout it all Cellkirk was silent.
He took note of their words, but was deep within his own mind. It was not long before he broke his silence.
“It is obvious the prisoner is the key to this dilemma. However, until we gain answers from him, under the command of Commisar Valnorn shall be dispatched personnel, composed of Imperial Guardsmen and civilian forces, to search the planet in these suspected places. Use whatever technology is required.”
The council was in agreement, they needed to move fast even if the Traitor was lying. The price of assuming all was safe was too great to ignore.
Valnorn rose from his seat.
“It shall be done.” he said, acknowledging the orders of Cellkirk.
“The Emperor protects.” said Cellkirk, lowering his head in prayer.
“The Emperor protects.” echoed the council.
Valnorn left the chamber, and its anxious council, behind.
“As for the prisoner,” began Cellkirk, “He requires interrogation. Who do we have for the task?”
The floating head servitor hovered back into view, and with a little hololithic projector it displayed the figure of a towering, power-armoured man.
“Inquisitor Arimas is present.” it offered.
Arimas.
Cellkirk was all too familiar with him.
“Is there a problem?” asked Throngar Bernhand, an official from the Adeptus Munitorius.
“Inquisitor Arimas? How did he come to be aboard the station?”
Many voices fell silent. All feared being the one to deliver news to the Lord General that he had been out of the information loop.
The floating servitor was all too happy to inform.
“After the salt-fields battle on Prangea IX, the prisoner was subjugated and drugged after having surrendered. Inquisitor Arimas was present at the fighting, leading a squadron of Adeptus Astartes Ultramarines stationed on Prangea IX. It was he and these Marines who transported the captive to the station, via a short range space cruiser.”
Cellkirk’s anger at his lack of information did not crawl to the surface again. Other things made him anxious now.
Arimas had fought alongside him during the Nivellan II campaign. The Inquisitor was a strong, fearsome and formidable man.
But above all else Arimas was proud, and terribly arrogant. He judged his own skills and talents above those of others, and put his confidence in no-one. He was a lone wolf, but undeniably proficient as an Inquisitor for Holy Terra. He had yet to fail in his crusades.
Still, he was the sort of soldier who would charge first and fiercest into danger, confident he could handle anything that came his way.
Such a man was a double-edged sword.
Cellkirk opened his mouth to speak, but at that precise moment, the Strategy Room doors slid open.
Framed in the hall lights was the imposing figure of Inquisitor Arimas.
How topical, thought Cellkirk.
“Inquisitor, welcome.” said the Lord General, greeting the man.
Arimas nodded, then moved closer to the council.
“I won’t waste the council’s time.” started the Inquisitor, resting his armoured hands on the table, “I am aware of the prisoners threats. I have the talents to garner new intel from him. I desire the council’s permission to do so.”
A few moments of silence passed. Cellkirk was the first to speak.
“Actually, I have something else in mind. He will be handed over to medical servitors for a thorough examination to determine his physical and mental health. Then, truth drugs shall be applied to him and he will be questioned by a talented officer.”
Arimas was incensed. But the rage burned inside him, and he kept it there, roiling like an oven.
“Your methods would fail. This one is Slaaneshi. His biology is lightning fast to counter drugs, pain and mental tricks. Even the massive sedatives he received wore off in a short time. You aren’t equipped for him.”
Cellkirk silently agreed with the Inquisitor. What he said was true. But Cellkirk was hesitant to hand over the Traitor so Arimas could question him. Something about the Inquisitor frightened him.
Commisar Orobar, his thick brown, prodigious beard dominating his features, offered his opinion.
“Perhaps, Lord General, this would be a wise course of action? Inquisitor Arimas is obviously qualified to handle such a deviant. The soldiers of the Ordo Malleus are a powerful weapon, particularly in these circumstances.”
The Lord General’s manner turned grim, and a darkness flickered in his eyes.
“Do you think me a fool in these matters? Do you think I an unknowing of the power of Chaos? I would kindly remind all here of what took place on Nivellan II. When the shells were landing and good men dying, I wasn’t hiding in a Grot hole.”
Like a hammer of silence these words struck the council.
“I do not doubt your military accomplishments, Lord General. But servitors? Medical examinations? This is folly. The Traitor is cunning and elusive in his manner. Allow me to question the prisoner, I can acquire the answers we seek. Even a silver tongue can be made to speak plainly.” Arimas’s voice was full of confidence.

Cellkirk pondered things in his mind. The reckless nature of this Inquisitor was a sword dangling over their heads, waiting to fall and skewer them.
But in the end, though hesitant, he knew that indeed Arimas was their best hope for prying answers from the Traitor. He certainly had experience in that field.
It didn’t make the decision any easier.
“Arimas, you are granted permission to interrogate the Chaos-Marine.”
The Inquisitor smiled slightly with triumph.
“I shall begin at once.” he replied.
With that he turned to leave, but stopped as Cellkirk caught his arm.
“Arimas,” began Cellkirk, “Don’t make me regret this.”
The Inquisitor pulled away, and started for the door.
With those words in his ears, Arimas departed the Strategy Room.
Cellkirk sank into his chair.
Suddenly, he felt very tired.
In his mind, he prayed.

Inquisitor Arimas stood quietly in the interrogation chamber, looking over the glinting, well-kept set of tools before him. Resting on a cloth of red silk, catching the bright lights from above, they were a menacing sign of what was to come. Needles, knives, flesh-tearers and other little horrors, they were the simpler tools. Against the wall rested some larger contraptions, who used more exotic methods of attaining the truth.
Arimas’s mind began to scan back through time in a crystal reverie, peeling back the long years that had passed before him.
He had journeyed to many planets in his time purging the universe of the enemy.
But no matter how far he travelled, the evils he met were the same. Enigmatic Xenos, disgusting mutants, and the ever present, ever hated traitors. Across the stars he had chased them, and across the stars he had ruthlessly killed them.
His loyalty to the God-Emperor and the Imperium was a tapestry made of blood, woven from the fall of his numerous enemies.
No plea for redemption or mercy went fulfilled when Arimas came upon his prey. His weapon of choice, a crackling power hammer of shining white, crushed all those who rebuked the wisdom of the God-Emperor.
Torture and interrogation was routine for him. The screams of traitors rang in his ears, the looks of terrified faces had been seared into his memory.
But for all this, Arimas felt nothing.
A true and pure warrior of the Emperor could suffer no feelings. He could carry nothing on his mind save determination for victory, or death whilst trying to achieve it. He was truly a soldier of the Imperium.
To all else, he was dead.
But indeed, the old inquisitor would be lying to himself if he said he took no pleasure in his work. A grand and undying satisfaction filled him when a task was done, when traitors lay dead, when corruption was purged.
His supremacy over the degenerates was proven.
But it was the will of the Emperor, was it not? Such things could not be allowed to live, to even breathe a lung-full of air.
But most of all he loved victory over the Traitor Marines, to stare them in the face, to strike down their perverse beliefs and crush their bodies.
Victory had never failed to be his.
And he had no intention of allowing a Slaaneshi fiend to triumph over him.

Vangelus slowly awoke. Instantly he sensed he was floating, suspended in the centre of an orb-shaped machine. His hands were bound to the roof of the machine, his feet the bottom. Ultra-thick and resistant ceramite steel bound him to the device.
He looked rather like some being ready to be sacrificed for some dark purpose, his life
cast away until all things had forgotten him, until his name had turned to dust and ash on the tongues of all Men.
Once he was dead, the Imperial would destroy all memory of him. In all aspects possible, Vangelus would suffer death.
Arimas turned, a small smile breaking across his weathered face.
“The Traitor awakens.” he said, staring his enemy in the eye.
Vangelus at that moment greatly desired to have a large, bladed weapon, so he could cut the Inquisitors heart out and feed it to him raw.
That was of course the tamest of his black little thoughts. But such things were his own little mind’s eye playground, his respite over 10,000 years of life.
Arimas approached, bearing a long, slender staff. The end crackled with energy, a swirling mass of greenish-white particles.
Vangelus had never seen such a weapon before and it intrigued him greatly.
“This will be very simple, Slaaneshi deviant. The Lord General wanted you handed over to the servitors for a medical examination, but I persuaded him otherwise. And now you have fallen into my hands, and you will give me what I desire. You will tell me the disarming codes for the bomb and the location of the bomb. Refuse, and you will find that even one as warped as you has a limit for pain.”
The Inquisitor stepped forward, the torture tool casting a glare of sadistic purpose across his face, darkening his features and turning his eyes into little pin-points of reflective light. With such an appearance, it would be easy to doubt the purity of his soul.
Vangelus despised all servants of the Emperor, but he knew the truth when it was spoken. This one, this Ordo Malleus Inquisitor, was a monster with a halo.
“You speak of pain, Imperial. But what do you know? I have endured millennia in the Eye of Terror and consorted with Daemons as old as the stars! I have seen the very flames of Hell rise up and consume the souls of the weak! No, a mere Man cannot cast fear upon me, least of all the great Arimas, King of None!”
Arimas’s blood turned to a river of molten lava. It took all the discipline he could muster to refrain from tearing the Chaos worshipper limb from bloody limb.
Vangelus looked frail and thin, since his power armour had been stripped from his body. Garbed in only a ragged loincloth, he seemed feeble.
But Arimas knew that this wiry, fanged Traitor had a Daemon’s strength flowing through his cold veins.
Arimas slammed the staff’s energy end into the chest of the Traitor, sending a wave of pure agony through him. A howl tore through the chamber, and smoke began to writhe around the pair, leeching off the staff.
Arimas pulled the device away, and took a few paces around the captive Traitor.
Vangelus was reeling. He was bathing in a mixture of pain and pleasure, the two warring for dominance within his body. That weapon the Imperial possessed was potent. But not terrible enough to break the seal of his lips. Pain was sweet to him, and his tolerance for it was immense.
“10,000 Imperial soldiers are scouring suspected locations for your planet slaying bomb. Its discovery is inevitable, if it even exists. Give me the code to disarm it.”
Vangelus hung there like a chunk of meat, all seared and sizzled. But he began to laugh, the bloodied stump of his tongues caressing his pointed little teeth.
“Tell me, pilgrim of the Emperor, why should I tell you this? Do you not fathom that such devastation would make my heart sing, do you not fathom that the psychic scream of these people would lift my soul into nirvana? Why should I, Vangelus of Slaanesh, deter such a beautiful thing?”
Arimas smiled, and the staff flashed back to life.
“Because, Traitor, give me just a little time, and I can make you a very ugly thing!”
The staff was slammed upon Vangelus’s body, this time even greater in its ferocity. For minutes Arimas held it steady against his captive, who thrashed and howled.
Vangelus felt like he was being skinned alive.
His nerves railed against the torment, any other mortal would have died of shock. But a child of Slaanesh is a lover of such things, and Vangelus wondered why this Inquisitor was entertaining him so.

Finally Arimas pulled the weapon away, and forcefully cast it upon the ground.
Vangelus’s head hung low, blood dripping from his mouth, eyes, ears and nose. His breaths, ragged and weak, escaped him in little clouds of cold air.

Arimas left the Traitor to hang for a few moments. He wanted him to ponder the uselessness of resistance.
After a short time he approached the Chaos Marine once more. With an armoured hand he seized Vangelus by the chin, lifting his head up to stare him straight in the eye.
“Location, and disarm code.” he simply said, his voice flat and without emotion.
Vangelus gathered his strength, a feeble hiss escaping his lips. He felt dry and cold, like not a drop of blood pumped through his veins. He couldn’t wait much longer.
“Location and disarm code!” roared the Inquisitor.
Silence was the only answer.
In a rage Arimas tore a power sword from the wall-rack, and with a single sweeping cut, severed both the legs of the Chaos Marine. Sparks flashed from the bionic stump, and a greasy flow of blood dribbled from the stump of the other severed limb.
Barely able to breathe, barely able to live, Vangelus held on. The claws of death slid across his soul, eager and greedy to take him into the Warp.
“Damn you Traitor! Speak or die!” roared Arimas, almost feral with rage now.
Vangelus gave no response.
And then, at last, the signal came.
Inside his ear, deep within his brain, whispered a dark little voice.
“Commence.”
Vangelus looked up to the Inquisitor, and feigned a look of defeat.
“Disarm code is 726688943-Alpha. Location is...” Vangelus’s words trailed off, his breathing becoming laboured.
“Yes, the location is?” prodded Arimas, impatient for more answers. Pride swelled within him. Victory was at hand.
The Traitor looked him deep in the eyes, and the cold flames of the Warp seemed to reach out from within him. His gaze was rage and vengeance made flesh.

“The location is....my black and withered heart.”
A moment later Vangelus smiled, and a dreadful machine stirred within his breast. Chemicals sizzled and circuits roared to life.
The bomb inside him was armed.
And for the words that came next, Arimas was frozen in horror. He couldn’t move, he couldn’t speak. The world crashed down around him like an avalanche of glass. His faith crumbled like the breaking stones of a ruined temple.

“You don’t honestly believe I came here just to raid this filthy world, do you, grand Inquisitor? Did you, in your arrogant haste, ever stop to wonder why I surrendered? Why I would give myself up so terribly easy? Because this Starbase has been my target all along, not your worthless planet! If only you’d let the med-servitors cut me open, they would have found the bomb nestled in my ribcage! If not for you, then I would have been foiled! Woe is your crown, proud Inquisitor Arimas! Woe is your crown!”

Over the comlink terrified voices cried the alarm. Not of the bomb in Vangelus, but to the six Chaos cruisers descending on Prangea IX, having dropped out of the Warp as the signal from the bomb’s arming device reached their sensors. Like a flock of starving vultures they had come, eager to feast on the corpse of Prangea IX.

Vangelus smiled in the last moments of his life.
Then there was a beep.
Arimas’s steely persona shattered into a million pieces.
Failure stabbed into his heart like a hot knife.
And he was defeated.
But Lord General Cellkirk was not.
The uniformed man stormed into the room, the last hope for all who dwelt on the endangered station. He had monitored the interrogation over a secretly installed vox-caster in the roof, and knew that time stood against him.
In a split-second he fired his laspistol, the streaking laser bolt blasting a hole between the eyes of Vangelus. The shot exploded out the back of his head, sending a spray of blood, skull chips and brain across the wall.
“Inquisitor Arimas!” bellowed Cellkirk.
The giant man turned, his face drained of colour.
Cellkirk fired, burning a black hole straight in the centre of Arimas’s forehead. The massive Inquisitor crashed to the ground, snapping a table in a half with a pronounced crack as his dead body crushed through it.
“You have been found wanting.” declared the commisar.
Cellkirk holstered his laspistol, and ran over to the corpse of Vangelus.
He hefted up Arimas’s power sword, and with a precise, yet powerful strike, cut Vangelus’s chest open.
Casting the blade aside, his efforts took on a frantic pace. With bare hands he began to tear at the Traitor’s torso, pulling away strips of flesh and ripping out chunks of withered, black organs.
He spotted a slim viewscreen, but it was obscured with gore. Hurriedly he tore it away, his hands covered in blood and other grisly matter. His eyes fell upon the text display. What it said was simple, and utterly devastating.
“One.”
Like a stone, the heart of Lord General Cellkirk sank. He was too late.
Everyone was going to die.

The Prangea IX Orbital Starbase was obliterated a second later, consumed in a colossal fireball of white-hot plasma. Like an angel of death, Vangelus had delivered his terrible payload.
Hundreds of giant sized chunks of metal were sent hurtling toward the planet, only to be burned up in the atmosphere. The liquefied, disintegrated remains of a thousand Men and one proud Inquisitor drifted in the Void, with only the cold silence of space to whisper their liturgy.
The Orbital defence battery of lasguns was gone. Without it, Prangea IX was open to attack. The Guardsmen would resist, but they were doomed. Any that survived the hellish bombardment would be slaughtered by the invading Chaos Marines, mutants and unfathomable Chaos horrors that would descend upon their world, disgorged from the bellies of the rampaging Chaos fleet.
The 13th Black Crusade would add another passage in its tribute to death. Abaddon would consume another world.

And if he was still alive, Lord General Cellkirk would be a man plagued by regret.

THE END

_________________
And the Angels of Lucifer descended on the world
The dead rose from slumber
And Darkness was Lord


Last edited by Vanderghast on Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:53 pm
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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Some of it was a bit confusing - view point seemed to change very quickly.

Also you might want to space it out a bit more (maybe change the colour too). I've got a headache though, and reading this made it worse.

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Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:41 am
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The Dark Scribe
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Change the colour? How do you mean?

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Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:29 am
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I thought it was very well written! Very entertaining to read. I liked that you managed to be quite neutral while writing. I mean the traitor didn't manage to cut his way through a thausand guardsmen by himself but was still not brought down by the imense faith of a single unarmed scientist, if you understand what I mean :P . To state my point, I really liked this story :D!

N.

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Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:31 pm
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I liked it very much. But have a few things on my mind:

-Normally, commisars are not given command-ranks, but yours have the command of an entire station. The Lord General is present on the station, and might as well have been the commanding officer.

-Why on earth did the imperials not secure the traitor in a way he could not escape? If they were to bring a traitor marine on board, they would certainly lock him up in a way that he couldn't escape the way he did. Why would they even do the autopsy on him while he was still alive? To maintain the realism of your story, you must explain these things.

-Such a powerful bomb, in his heart? C'mon...

-I doubt they'd use a traitor marine for such a suicide-attack. They are to valuable for that, I think.

But with this said, I must also say, that I liked it, and that you have a good language. The ammount of description given, ensures that the story captivates it reader.


Sat Mar 17, 2007 2:28 pm
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Prophet of Tzeentch
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A well writon story with some serious mistakes about inquisitors.

1) An inquisitor is a human not a space marine, there are no genetic modifications given as standard to the Holy orders of the Emporers inquisiton.

2)An inqisitor needs no permission, from anyone, full stop. A planatary governer has no control over one. Only the emporer himself can comand an inquisitor and you have him taking orders from a commisar?

Oh and Belial, they would do the autopsy whilst he was alive because that way you get a better idea of how there body works, you can see it working rather than just the parts. Circulation of Blood was discoverd in the same way. Although William Harvey used frogs instead of curupted Adeptas Astartes.

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Sun Mar 18, 2007 1:47 pm
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The Dark Scribe
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Yes, I wasn't quite sure about the whole commisar/inquisitor authority power issue, as I couldn't find anywhere that said a clear answer on the subject.

Thank you for your comments!

Other people also please as well post your feedback.

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The dead rose from slumber
And Darkness was Lord


Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:55 pm
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