Warhammer 40K: Rescue (Story)

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Warhammer 40K: Rescue (Story)

Post by Skits on Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:04 am

Notes:
This is NOT an RP thread! This is just me attempting to write, and posting as I go in the hopes of getting feedback and motivation to continue. XD This particular story begins about February of 41.091 - a couple of years before our various Space Marine games start. I hope you enjoy!

The wind howled across the clouded surface of Zieth, blasting snow and ice through the frigid air. It roared like a wounded beast, the frozen particles it carried cutting visibility down to almost nothing, a world of indistinct grey and white. It mercilessly battered the two red-painted vehicles speeding across the frozen terrain, rocking the Rhino on its tracks and making the Landspeeder swerve and sideslip through the whirling air.

Librarian Gilliam of the Aurora chapter clung to the top of the Rhino, fending off exhaustion and trying to collect his scattered thoughts. Mere minutes ago, he and his three battle-brothers, all that remained of their original squad, had been in dire straits. Exhausted and critically low on ammo, pursued by desperately ravenous tyranids, and with little hope of surviving yet another battle, they had taken cover and made a stand, the latest in a never-ending string of fights for survival.

Then salvation had arrived, in the form of a barrage of support fire from the right flank and a calm, deep voice over their comms - “hold fast, cousins, help is here”. Glimpses of crimson armour and crimson flame, lighting the snow and lighting their spirits with hope. It had encouraged them to rally their strength one more time, to stand firm and drive back the xenos beasts that made it to their line.

Even the approach of the broodlord and yet more swarms of tyranids had not bowed or broken them. The Aurora had stood firm, giving the Rhino time to reach them. Gilliam recalled feeling the psychic build-up as the broodlord prepared an attack, and knowing he was too exhausted to counter it himself - only for it to be denied and then counter-attacked by a crimson surge of psychic power. He recalled the broodlord’s second attack, and the mental voice - rich and warm and calm even in the midst of battle - that had given him enough warning to duck and avoid the psychic blast from the xenos beast.

If he concentrated through his exhaustion, Gilliam could feel the presence of the other psyker within the Rhino - his aura now muted and tightly controlled, but still burning bright, like a steady flame within a shielded lantern.

Gilliam adjusted his grip slightly as the Rhino ploughed through a snowdrift without noticeably slowing. He and his battle-brothers had made it to the red-armoured vehicle and leapt onto it from their makeshift barricades, fending tyranids off the entire way with staff and blade and the occasional shot from a bolt pistol. As soon as the last of them had secured a hold, the Rhino had begun moving again, accelerating across the frozen ground beneath the covering fire from the landspeeder that could occasionally be glimpsed through the falling snow.

The broodlord and its kin had pursued, but couldn’t keep up with the two vehicles, and were rapidly being left behind. Gilliam could barely sense the broodlord any more, though whether that was from distance or merely because his exhaustion was limiting his range, he wasn’t sure. But even as he considered this, the Rhino began to slow, and his comms crackled to life.

“My apologies for that rather undignified extraction,” the calm voice came over the comms again, edged with wry humour. “But now that we’ve gotten some distance between ourselves and our little bug friends, we can reorganise our transport arrangement to something more comfortable.”

It took Gilliam a moment to gather his thoughts, but before he could say anything, Thale, the squad’s acting sergeant, beat him to it. “That sounds like a plan,” Thale replied, exhaustion marring his voice.

“I thought you’d like it. Come on down to the port hatch, and we’ll get you in out of the wind.” The Rhino cruised to a halt, its engine still rumbling in idle. The rear ramp dropped, and several crimson-armoured Astartes swiftly deployed with military precision, their bolters held at the ready as they spread out to cover the Rhino while it was stationary. There was something odd about them, but Gilliam couldn’t quite put his finger on it, and he was too tired to try and investigate further.

Gilliam released his grip and clambered wearily to his feet, standing on top of the sturdy transport and taking a moment to look around at what little he could see through the blizzard. He could just make out the crimson Landspeeder circling around them, keeping watch outside the range of the deployed marines. The marines themselves he could barely see now, snow already gathering on them as soon as they stopped moving through the knee-deep drifts.

Thale, Piotr, and Xanatov had already moved to the port hatch, and Gilliam crossed the top of the Rhino to join them, dropping down to the ground. The hatch stood open, and someone inside beckoned them to enter.

By the time Gilliam ducked through the doorway after his battle-brothers, the rear ramp of the Rhino had been closed, and the only ones left in the transport hold were his battle-brothers, himself, and a single Astartes that Gilliam quickly identified as the psyker - and the owner of the voice over the comms. Now that they were no longer out in the driving snow, Gilliam could finally get a clear look at their rescuer. His crimson armour was trimmed in white, and green eye lenses looked out from a helmet adorned with a modest gold nasal crest. An unfamiliar chapter symbol of what looked to be an eclipsed sun was emblazoned in white on one pauldron, and a jade scarab sat in the center of his chestplate. A thick armoured tome hung at his right hip alongside a holstered bolt pistol, and a finely-wrought axe was mag-locked to his belt at his left hip. Even at a glance, Gilliam could tell that the axe was a force weapon, particularly suited to a psyker’s needs.

“Make yourselves comfortable,” the psyker said, gesturing to the seats in the Rhino. “I am Librarian Usi of the Shadowed Suns. I would give you a proper welcome, but time is pressing, and full introductions and explanations can wait. For now, know that you are secure under the aegis of my chapter - my scouts will take you to our current base camp, and I will rejoin you there later. In the meantime…” His voice took on an eager edge, as if he were grinning beneath his helmet. “My squad and I have a broodlord to ambush.”

Usi saluted them all with the sign of the Aquila over his chest, then ducked out of the port hatch before any of them could say anything. The door closed behind him, and a moment later the engine revved and the Rhino began moving again.

---

TBC!
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Skits
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