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Alexei

The Harrowing | Kadia Event

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"Are you sure about this? You would be safer in the ship." 

Lena stood in Alexa's door, the Inquisitor readying her gear up. Most of the things were in good shape, and whatever damage it had suffered had been repaired as best as they could aboard the Bellum. In contrast, however, her coat still had the marks of battlewear, a couple of tears at the tail and the seams, but still fully functional. 

"I'm not staying inside while all of you risk your lives Lena. We already talked about this." Answered the Inquisitor, fitting a glove over her cybernetic hand, a serious neutral look on her face. 

The Guardian nodded silently, already in full armor. 

"Piercing the warp veil. Arrival at Kadia imminent."

The two walked to the bridge as the Imperator Bellum made it's last boost towards realspace. There was a few seconds of silence, follow by a low gasp of most present when the situation unveiled in front of them. 

It was worse than she had thought. 

"I have never seen a Daemon engine that size!" Alexa exclaimed, her eyes surveying all around the field.

She walked towards Tenkai and James. Pondering her past encounters with large daemonic presences and her old teachings. She could feel the sheer pull of warp energy from the ship-like being, her eyes glinting as an idea formed on her mind. 

"It's energy signature is too heavy to be that stable. A being that size must be having something inside it tethering it to this plane, otherwise it would be displacing constantly." She explained to the two commanders. 

"Your orders Lord Eredas?" Lena asked, putting her helmet back on. 

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The room exploded in a burst of statements and suggestions.

Theory. Take down the enemy flagship, the enemy will fall apart. No practical though, Lord. That thing dwarfs us. I’m not certain we have the firepower”. Captain Clavis replied immediately. 

Quote

"If we attack it head on with the ship, we'll be obliterated. We're completely outgunned," said Tenkai. "I say we use evasive maneuvers to get around its weaponry and commence a boarding action. Get me inside that ship and I'll send it to the ground."

The sensory array officer of the ship looked up from monitoring her screens, giving her input. “Augurs says that we haven’t been detected just yet, but that won’t last long. Certainly somebody’s going to look up and see us shortly” the sensory array officer gave her input, monitoring her screens.

"You're in luck Tenkai. I was thinking the same. But we needn't bother with the maneuvers. " James looked at the captain and gave him his instructions. "Ship-wide order. Everybody equip for close combat. Guardians and Greatswords to the forward bays. Full power to frontal shields and engines full ahead. Let's not waste time with evasive maneuvers while we still have surprise on our side. Enact protocol Scylla."

With a grim look Captain Clavis nodded his acceptance and began distributing his orders. "Yes, Lord". The Force Majeure needed to turn the tide of this battle in one quick stroke. This was the best way to do it.

Prepare for boarding action

---

The dark hull of the Imperator Bellum knifed through the air, sure as an arrow from the bow. With its engines burning at full thrust, the Order of Force Majeure airship hurtled toward its giant foe at high speed. Points of light burst against the shield envelope surrounding them as the corrupted warship brought its guns to bear on the new oncoming threat, for the smaller frigate would not be denied. A message from Captain Daekian Clavis sounded throughout the whole ship, repeating in its urgency.

All hands brace for impact" 

"All hands brace for impact.”

James Eredas sat within the armored prow of the vessel, in one of the many seats purpose-built for such a maneuver, eyes closed, looking alarmingly serene despite the chaos of the moment. Almost every Greatsword and Guardian on the ship were with him, along with Tenkai, Selene, and Alexa, the rest of them with their own thoughts to the insanity of what they were about to do.

?imw=1024&imh=576&ima=fit&impolicy=Lette

Reality seemed to ground to a halt when Imperator Bellum met the Chaos warpship. Colossal energies flared at the point of impact between their void shields, leaving both vessels frozen in time and space for approximately one second as enough immense energies warred and were extinguished that could’ve been generated from the like of a small star. In the next second, the reinforced prow of the Force Majeure frigate plowed into the side of the enemy battleship, targeting a particularly weapon-battery heavy section. The frigate tore through several decks of capital class weaponry, buckling armor-plates larger then battle tanks, breaking through the unnatural “ribs” of the warpship, and leaving the armored nose of the Imperator Bellum embedded deep into the body of the foe. The Force Majeure vessel opened up with point-blank fusion lances mounted into the prow to cut further into the warpship, and its broadside armament targeted more enemy weapon emplacements and entry-points to prevent any effectove counter-attack. Hidden ports alongside the Imperator Bellum opened up further, revealing large siege-harpoons that fired, and dug into the hull of the Chaos war machine to keep it from escaping, black ichor splashing from the points of impact, a further testament to the corrupt nature of the enemy vessel.

It was the first such boarding maneuver the Imperator Bellum would ever conduct. It would not be the last. The Greatswords were armed as they had been before. The Guardians however had all swapped out their polearms for short-swords, shotguns, and riot shields, adept for extreme close-quarters combat. They formed the speartip as the boarding ports opened, revealing the savaged sections of hull that led directly into the heart of the enemy ship. That the edges were still red-hot from the effect of the fusion lances carving the path didn’t slow their advance in the slightest, many jumping through the various holes to setup a beach-head immediately. The first of the mutated crew came out to meet them, wretched facsimiles of men that were cut down easily, while an gaudy overseer with two horned heads stepped out brandishing a blasphemed polybolos assault rifle, and then both heads disappeared in a bloody spray of gore.

Foothold established.

James leapt across next, landing easily on the slightly swaying deck. His look was absolutely demonic, wearing the face of an yokai of Shinto myth as his visage. The Harlequin’s mask granted him certain arcane protections, and was even able to filter some of the stank air within the enemy warship. Lidless eyes swept the corridors before him as the rest of the party made it over as well, flanked by the Custode Greatswords.

spaceship_interior_by_sterlingdee-d4uzif

He turned to them. “We split up here. Two groups. Selene and I will head to the bridge. We will kill the commander, destabilize the enemy forces. Tenkai, you and Alexa head to the engine room. Set charges and destroy it to bring down this abomination. If there is something that tethers this ship to reality, it would be in one of those two locations. Regroup here or escape to Parime below”. He nodded at two Greatswords to accompany them, they would carry the demolition charges necessary, and the rest of the Guardians were divided into three groups of a dozen each, two to go with the parties and one to stay behind and guard the airship from counter-attack. Of the individuals here, Alexa was the most familiar with what might have been the layout of the vessel, with James coming in at a distinct second. With traditional vessel boarding techniques dictating that the two most vulnerable parts of a warship were the bridge and the engine/reactor room, it made such sense to split into two groups. 

@-Lilium-

@Tenkai Matsumoto

@Maverick

In the depths of the engine section, there was an entity who would defend the warp-scarred battleship.

@Roen

Edited by Fierach

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Few things feed the Sea of Souls as sweetly as war, and few wars hold the same rancid symbolism as those declared by the strong against the weak they are sworn to protect. Such slaughter gives birth to daemons within the Aethyr. Countless mewling terrors born from individual moments of suffering and bloodlust. Above them, more powerful entities also coalesce into existence: one born from an unjust execution, a firing line, that claims a dozen lives at once; another arising from a lover's abject horror at seeing her husband butchered by comrades once believed to be noble companions. These acts, and thousands more like them, breed daemons in the hell beyond reality's veil. 

And sometimes, as with the reconstitution of the grand Kadian airship, a daemon is born that rises above its siblings, one that encapsulates all the miserable complexity, cruelty and blood-soaked madness of an entire airship's crew butchering itself out of panic and madness as it took to the eddies of the Immaterium. It was a painful imagining, born of such sublime betrayal, mutiny and fear. It was a painful imagining, a spirit of war given life when a warrior caste turns upon itself and those they ruled beneath them.

Its skin was the bleeding red charcoal of scorched flesh, like the crewmen who burned in their cabins. Its armor was a fire-blackened mockery of the plated knights whose treachery gave it birth. It carried a sword, just as those butchering knights carried swords, thought its blade was graven with runes and pentagrammic curses heralding a War God's glory. The crimson and orange light that burned behind its manifold eyes were the fires that raged in crew quarters. And when it opened its maw to roar challenge, each of its exhaled breaths were the echo of thousands of dying screams. 

It called itself the Blackened Knight.

---

Smoke filled the spinal thoroughfares and intermediate halls throughout the airship's lower decks, thick as a grave shroud and crackling with ash. And in those eldritch depths, where eyes strained to see, a scion of blood and war stalked halls long since rendered mute of life and terror of ages passed. It was charged as any knight might be charged by lord or patron, in the defense of an objective held highest above all. On cloven hooves with bronze blade in hand, the Blackened Knight paced like a caged animal through fire-savaged engineering rooms, workshops and latrines, barking and seizing at drifting shadows that never quite obeyed the lights of emergency illumination along wall panels. It seethed with impotent rage, free in the Material but shackled to obedience. Hissing, coughing, chortling, it waited for an eternity to bring it prey foolish enough to try its domain. 

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"Time to move, remain vigilant. Guardians, up front, shields up. Any movement means fresh meat, we are the meat grinder." The first Greatsword ordered on the comm-link.

The Guardians would form a shield wall at the front of the group, the Greatswords covering the flank on the back and leaving Alexa on the center and Tenkai right behind her, all soldiers ready to move at a moment to give him the space needed for him to be the monster combat expert he was. Alexa wore her Inquisitorial "Death Mask", A grim looking ballistic mask provided with filtration systems and oxygen reserves for hostile and boarding operations. The full visage of the Inquisitor, while small, was for the first time quite menacing at first glance, with her blue glowing blade in one hand and a strange, gilded looking pistol that seemed to hold the same glow as her blade in it's chamber.

"There is some walking to do before we get to the Engine Room. These halls have many nooks and crannies where the daemon filth will be waiting for us." She spoke, her voice modulated slightly by the mask. "We must drop one or two floors, then proceed to the rear of the ship. Or at least that would be the case in a regular ship, keep your eyes open for warp signatures. Purge everything in your wake."

The Greatswords nodded and signaled the advance, the well trained squad moving at once. Lena remained one square behind the squad's "Tip", front and center of Alexa as her duties as protector demanded.

The first third of the way appeared eerily silent and calm. No enemies in sight, no entities on their auspex, and only the sound of their boots against the solid metal floor to accompany them.

Suddenly, a scream, human in nature, but somehow not. Like a screech, or a whine, or a yell... Or all at the same time. It was a sound that made no sense, yet it evoked the same response from the entire squad.

The Greatswords readied their weapons as the Guardians planted their shields and cocked their shotguns. Alexa pointed her pistol towards the front of the squad, ready to pull the trigger.

The metal began to creak, a clacking, cacophonous sound following. The warp energy pulled on her mind as she detected the large mass approaching. But she couldn't see anything... Unless.

"They are on the walls!" She yelled.

A claw broke the metal around them, the broken steel bleeding a black ichor as crazed, imp like demons broke through them. Shell after shell began to be fired, the Greatswords picking the ones bold enough to attempt a flanking maneuver. The Inquisitor silently shot her pistol towards the targets she could aim for, the shots crackling with warp energy that essentially melted the flesh of the demons' bodies.

As one attempted to jump over the testudo, Lena intercepted it in mid air and slammed it against the hard steel of the floor, grabbing it's upper jaw with her heavy gauntlet and ripping it's head off in one gruesome pull.

"Push forward! For the Force Majeure!"

The squad began to move while attacking, carving a way forward towards the back. Though savage and deadly, the daemons fell in droves in front of the concerted efforts of the boarding party. The would show them what humanity was ready to do. To defend, to avenge, to purge their foes from the world.

To become the Slayers of Doom, and plant fear into what was once Fearless.

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Bridge Team:

He was once a man of Kadia.

Now, he was on the cusp of becoming something much greater. Victory was at hand, the destruction of Parime, a fortress city central to the Kadian nation, and the defilement of their obelisk would herald the birth of a new realm, a jewel of the Chaos Gods. For that act, he knew he would be richly rewarded. There was only the matter of the interlopers. The foreigners. The word was a curse upon his lips. Pompous bastards all who dared to interfere with his great work. It was bold of them to ram his vessel, to board it, and now he would drown them in a tide of bodies and blood.

His sword purred next to him upon the bridge’s command throne. He laid a resting hand on its hilt to calm it. His new weapon was a gift from the Blood God, an instrument of murder completely attuned to his soul. “Worry not, it does not matter from whence the blood flows, so long as it does” he crooned to the horrifically serrated weapon, a chainblade bound with a daemon of bloodlust. Yes, the greater offense was to take his attention away from overseeing the larger battle, to look away from directing the greater slaughter of Parime. Besides… if the foreign devils were able to make it to him… then they might just be worthy sacrifices to Khorne after all. Let the dredges handle dredges otherwise.

For now, Rakzan Bloodbathed, favoured Champion of Khorne, oversaw the death of a city.

Edited by Fierach

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It was a good thing that James had briefed Tenkai a good while ago about “Protocol Scylla” and how the Imperator Bellum’s design allowed for its use. Had he not been expecting it, it would’ve likely proved to have been a very awkward situation. Though it was an as of yet unproven method of boarding, there were few other options given the circumstances. When facing an unconventional enemy, you needed unconventional tactics.

Thankfully, the maneuver succeeded as planned, and the interior of that Chaos-ridden vessel soon erupted in gunfire. Tenkai took cover as the front line of Custodes unloaded on the enemies within. There was no point in him rushing headlong into the fray so soon, more likely to be caught by friendly fire than aid in the breach. He took James’ first step forward onto the deck as a sign to advance, stepping out of cover to join the rest of them as the Grand Master quickly laid out battle plans.

Tenkai was rather unsurprised that James chose to pair himself with Selene in this sortie. It didn’t particularly matter, since she, Alexa and Tenkai were all psychics and would have rounded out the team well enough, but he knew how much James wished to keep her close. He could only hope that the enemy didn’t end up using that against him. 

Meanwhile, Tenkai and two Greatswords were to join Inquisitor Alexa in assaulting the engine room. It was a fitting plan, given the nature of their foe. Even though Tenkai was a psyker, he was also a daemon slayer like James, and splitting them up gave them an even spread. After all, all ships required an engine, and a daemonic ship naturally possessed a daemonic engine, likely the source of its corruption entirely. Whether some fell ritual had defiled it’s core to channel the abominable powers of the Warp or an actual daemon was bound to the engine, all instances fell within the purview of his speciality.

The two Greatswords who joined Tenkai were of no small repute, either, and were more than fit for the task.. Asil Bruce, a Sentinel Greatsword, was a stubborn and unyielding individual armed for the vanguard, ready to take point with his sword and shield. Davath Melenin, a Mortis Greatsword, was armed with a rifle and a consecrated flamethrower that would be invaluable towards dealing with all of the cover the enemy would take in this Warp-blasted ship. Between the three of them, their talents would make for a balanced team.

The Inquisitor’s power of prescience made her ideal to take the lead on the engine team. She would also be much more familiar with what a ship like this would have looked like uncorrupted, which was the closest thing they had to a proper layout of their surroundings. The monk followed suit behind her, Asil and Davath taking position at the flanks. For the first few moments, their descent was rather uneventful, despite twisted appearance of the daemonic flesh-cursed halls surrounding them. 

The silence did not last long.

The group was suddenly set upon by several Chaos imps that practically crawled their way out of the proverbial woodwork. These tiny creatures of Khorne, known as Malices, bore a strong resemblance to the imps of classical demonology. Though diminutive in stature, they were no less vicious than any other warrior of the Blood God.

The Greatswords wasted no time taking the fight to the enemy. Asil fires his quad-barreled shotgun from behind the cover of his shield, splattering the imps against the corridor in a burst of gore. Davath bathed the group’s flank in consecrated flame, incinerating any imp that dare tried to surround them. Tenkai stepped off to the side to avoid the Inquisitor’s line of fire, unsheathing Muramasa in a flashing stroke that cleared several imps in two. 

Ferocious as they were, the imps were little more than a trifle to kill on their own. The real problem was their strength in numbers, and there was no telling how many of them there were on the ship, or how long until their own stamina gave out.

“We need to keep moving,” Tenkai said to Alexa, “Even if we kill them all, we’ll have only wasted our strength.”

This was something he knew well from experience. After all, there was always something worse waiting in places like these.

@Fierach @Maverick @-Lilium- @Roen

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Knight.jpgIf ever there is a time, it’s now where Selene finds the trembling rage that had begun crescendoing the moment she heard of what befell Kadia. Rather than allowing it to engulf and take over, she steels herself. Wanting to reserve that energy in order to combat those standing between her and what is left of her home and people. Although too distant for her ears to catch, Tenkai’s words and their meaning hold truth. 

Despite her want to bloody everything before her she chooses to withhold and suppress it, supplanting it with faith their endeavor will prove fruitful. Knowing that unleashing it too soon could jeopardize the efforts of her compatriots. Stowing those emotions she also carefully walls off others in order to prevent they too from ruling the actions necessary to carry forward.

With fire in her veins, Selene follows after James. Ready to provide rearguard until otherwise engaged in combat. Readily accepting the inevitability of coming face to face with the enemy while traipsing through the Chaos warship. Rather than unsheathing the sword at her back, she releases axe and dagger from waist and thigh, gripping their respective handles in either set of fingers. Preparing for close quarter fighting until they're in an area better suited for swordplay. Regardless, the thrill of unleashing the wrath of any blade on the evil forces awaiting them, excites the blood in her veins. Every muscle fiber anxiously anticipating the coming fight.

 


@Fierach @Tenkai Matsumoto @Maverick @Roen

Edited by -Lilium-

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@-Lilium-

James was armed not with his nodachi today, but two swords. The first of which was sheathed at his side, the longsword called the Rending Blade. The other was the Rekka Hidemitsu, a unique tachi, and he carried it in his right hand in a reversed grip to shorten his reach and make it more appropriate for close-quarters combat. In his other hand was a pistol from his own vessel’s armory, a heavy pistol capable of dealing with most humanoid opponents. His aura sense and knowledge of the airship’s technical layout led the party onwards unerringly, with the Daemonslayer at the point. The Guardians were in the middle, with Selene and his Greatsword Eshara  taking up rearguard.

The corridor they proceeded through was narrow, barely allowing two men to walk abreast of each other. James judged it to be a maintenance access route, and the team would have to move with urgency. Every second spent was a second Parime drew closer to defeat, and a second the enemy had to fortify their positions. Not that he really expected followers of the Blood God to do anything like fortify, but some of them could prove to be surprisingly self-aware. The plates under the assemblage shook as another shudder rippled across the interior of the vessel, James instinctively knowing that the warpship’s main gun had just fired again, hoping against hope that it had not claimed another Kadian vessel or struck something else just as vital.

Eventually the party would come across an access junction, an intersection of several pathways along with resistance. A light coming from up ahead was the warning they’d get before James yelled enemy contact and threw himself aside, flattening himself against a small nook in the corridor.

A hail of gunfire poured down. One shot took a Guardian out before he could bring his combat shield up, the round deflecting up from his armor’s gorget into his neck at a bad angle. Death was instantaneous. The others were luckier, bullets embedding themselves in their thick shields as they returned fire with their shotguns, as ineffective as it was with their enemies’ cover. Thinking quickly, James charged his powers in his sword hand, taking three fingers off the reversed grip on the Rekka Hidemitsu to hold aloft a brilliant, perfectly spherical ball of flame.

A shout of warning came from Eshara, the Greatsword bringing up the rearguard as diminutive but unholy figures approached them from behind.  There was no room to swing his halberd effectively, and he relied on the rifle in his hand and the bulk of his armor, with the gun barking and blasting chunks of the slavering dwarf-sized imps that approached him and Selene, and the weight of his wargear literally crushing others against the corridor’s walls. Still, they climbed onto him and jabbed claws at his armor, trying to get in through the joints or otherwise tear him limb from limb or get past him, a few lunging at the Kadian knightess.

Edited by Fierach

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Closer to the engine room, many of the airship's corridors were calcified into a labyrinth of bleached bone architecture. Despite it's brief stay within the Immaterium, the malignant touch of the Warp showed in stark contrast against the ship proper. Grey formations of lusterless crystal knuckled up from the joints and cracks in the bone walls, veined and pulsing with the beating pulse of the reactor core deeper within. The entire vessel, it seemed from a certain threshold beyond, rang with the sense of journeying through the half-alive corpse of some great beast, languishing in a somnolence not wholly natural; breathing, watching, and waiting.  

Not all was bleached bone and garrulous growths, however. Metal between the calcified obstructions, rusted and pitted, sweated blood and more. Exposure to the Immaterium's tides had drawn forth memories from the ship's interior, manifesting ghastly echoes of the crew who had died serving aboard the airship when and after it feel into the Warp. They were ghosts, ghosts of glass; crystal faces leering from bone and metal walls, crystal arms and hands reaching out, some beckoning for Tenkai and his companions, others gesturing, showing the way. The faces, so detailed, were perfect masks of closed eyes and open mouths; so perfect in their make, even the crease lines of their lips were visible. 

And to the physically attuned, they spoke to whomever came close enough to hear. 

I am alive, one hissed, a whispered shriek. I screamed as the halls burned. I screamed as the fire sloughed the skin from my bones. 

They were tomb markers, one and all. 

I am alive, another whispered to Tenkai. When I hesitated, I took a blade to my belly. Every gasp sucked blood down my throat. Blood filled my seizing lungs. 

But the ground shook, and the vibrations of the deck plating caused a glass arm to crack and shatter. Then the smoke came, as it ever did in it's presence, a graveyard shroud of burnt cinnamon, blood and decaying meat. A shadow moved down the great hall, far along the passageway before the Inquisitor, Swordsman and their two companions, something huge and black in the gray, seeping smoke from beyond, and in those depths where the eyes might strain to see, stared eyes like ruby, lit and blazing like coals aflame. The Blackened Knight seethed, breathed, and through its very presence as a bloodied avatar of blood and war, influenced several of the men - Guardians all - into pure, unadulterated black rage. 

Together, eight all, rushed from formation, some discarding shields, and into the thickened fog to face the daemon with throaty cries of war before vanishing into the charcoal mist. 

The Blackened Knight rushed to meet them. The towering shadow in the fog of war lunged forward with whipcrack force, leaving but curling embers of smoke in the place where it had stood. The smoke filling the hall started to smell of burning wood and seared flesh as the Blackened Knight drew closer to the company as a whole, occluding sight further as it rose in sympathy with the Blackened Knight's rage, its cloven feet ringing sharp staccato taps into the decking with its tumultuous, lumbering charge. Melee erupted, men shouted, the roar of gunfire and the waspish buzz of weapons charged the air, and with them came the harsh, sweeping air displacement of a massive sword swinging, crashing against weapons, and the shatter-crack of splitting armor and the cries of dying men too proud to scream. 

It was a wrenching metallic wail, the breaking of armor. And of the men within, it was a juicy snap, like the crunch of wet lumber. The Guardians were dying, and in a dozen heartbeats, they were dead. All sounds of battle stopped, and what followed in their stead were watery snarls and long, sticky growls, and then great gulping swallows as the smoke thinned. The Blackened Knight was crouched among the dead, its horn-creasted head tilted back to face the bone ceiling. The daemon was swallowing with gagging sounds, letting chunks of flesh still tombed in armor to run down its throat without chewing. 

It was using several corpses of Guardians as a throne while picking apart another body, reaching with gnarled black and red hands for another portion before it had even finished gagging on the former. It kept gagging, but never resorted to breaking the meal apart with its teeth. When it swallowed, it turned its eyes towards the other pair. Beside it stood it's giant black blade, run through a yet still alive Guardian, pinning the man to the ground like a banner.

Tenkai... the Blackened Knight gurgled through saliva-strung fangs. It's voice echoed aloud as well as in the mind.

I see you, Ssssswordsman. Are you alone but for these few, brother? 

Edited by Roen
Hold please

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Alexa's mask began pumping and filtering oxygen to her as the smoke began to blanket the area, the air heavy with a supernatural quantity of ashen substance and detritus. It became clear to her that something was amiss... The imps had fallen, some of them turning craven and escaping back into the confines of the ship, and as the team trudged deeper into the bowels of the massive daemon cruiser, the more unnatural their path became. It was like walking on the blood stream of a gigantic, infected creature, their presence a virus the body would work savagely to purge off it's twisted insides.

It was no surprise they did not see it coming until it was too late.

The Inquisitor felt the pull of the knight's aura like an animal would react to pure survival instinct. She had felt it before, like every sense in her body shooting into a maximum alert, ready to fight, flee... or die.

She tried to warn them... To tell them of their impending doom at the blood-soaked claws of the Blackened beast. But she was too slow, or the knight too fast, or perhaps both. It would not matter, as his presence would send those unaware of his unholy influence into a reckless rage.

They did not stand a chance.

She just began to shoot it, yelling a futile retreat to the Guardians, falling unheard on the fevered pitch of battle.

Lena began to advance as well, her weapons ready to meet against the daemon.

"No!!" The Inquisitor yelled, however, as her mask's lenses sparked in a teal glow and her hand shot into the air, grabbing Lena with her powers and pulling her back from the daemon's reach.

"No! Inquisitor! Release me now! I must... I must go! My brothers!" She screamed in response.

But it was over in a heartbeat. The broken warriors at the feet of the towering facsimile of a knight, his maw consuming their flesh at the same time he spoke his vicious taunts towards the survivors. Alexa stepped back... Her trembling hands holding her head in exhasperation, her weapons still firmly gripped and shaking along.

On 1/14/2020 at 1:47 AM, Roen said:

see you, Ssssswordsman. Are you alone but for these few, brother? 

She felt so much sadness, so much fear, a tidal wave of emotions. The warp was so deafening in there... Every pulse and every crunch the ship made, every crack and gulp the foe's feeding caused, a festering fear she had felt so many times before and never failed to reel it's head back into her mind...

But in this cacophony, a sudden realization came...

The Inquisitor, in her state, found one emotion she had rarely faced...

Rage. Anger... No... It was more... Stronger, intense.

FURY.

It was not the bloodcurling, senseless anger of battle. It was not the dark, giddy pleasure of the crimson spectacle before her. It was beyond such low, base emotions, the anathema of the ruinous filth the Dark Gods fed from.

She raised her head high, the glow in her visor an intense, shimmering azure as she holstered her pistol and leveled her arm towards the monster. With a modulated scream, her hand balled into a fist, the movement of her fingers followed by the rippling crunch of metal, the inner "bones" of the ship swinging towards the beast like jagged spears.

Would it fell the beast? Hardly. But she was ready to meet the bloodletter with all her might, a moment of valor shining in the backdrop of despair.

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Every step taken is weighted and brimming with rageful eagerness. Opportunities seem to come with the bypass of corridor junctions and locked doorways. But they are empty and possess little to nothing for her to take her aggression out on. Selene forces it down time and again, straining against it to remain the calm necessary to endure their current course of action. 

Outwardly an expression of cool hard lines decorates an otherwise frustrated being. Elicited with a curt sigh when a call for halt reaches the them in the rear. Pings of gunfire reverberate through the corridor as James and the front line expose their position to the enemy. Who had undoubtedly been waiting for them to appear, and prepared to guard the bridge with their wretched lives. Armor clad warriors and a tight corridor allow her no access to the front line. Any possible vantage point remains closed to her for the time being. There may be little for her to assist with in the front, but a warning from just behind garners her utmost attention. 

In just enough time to see miniature beings unhesitatingly lunging at. Their wrath is welcomed, one by the heel of a boot. Right leg extending to knock one backwards off its feet while the blade in her hand cut through the air toward the closest. The second finding the Kadian well versed in blade wielding as it tastes the cold steel of her when it drives straight into its nasty little mouth. Already down, the first catches the sharpened edge of her axe to his skull.

Two dead imp bodies squish under the weight of her frame as she moves to meet Eshara’s back. While the Greatsword fires his weapon, she parries the claws trying to break past him. Their small frames easily squeezing through the cracks left when adjusting his body to fend them off. This is where Selene settles, cutting away anything that attempts to get past the large man in order to cover their men from the rear as intended.


@Fierach

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@-Lilium-

The demonic imps screeched as they crawled upon Eshara. Jagged blackened blades glinted in their hands as they stabbed at the Greatsword. Despite their size, these were unholy weapons capable of scourging gouges even in his thick, powered plate, but with Selene's help he defended himself from the worst of it and pulled one off, then again, throwing them back against the oncoming swarm. The screaming little monsters were swallowed up by the rushing tide of its comrades, but that short delay allowed Eshara to bring up his gun anew and open fire, blasting through several of the miniature beasts with each shot, and holding them back.

In the front of the column, gunfire continued to rain down upon James and the Guardians, steadily absorbed by the thick riot shields the latter carried. With the Sunsphere formed in his hand, James leaned from his alcove and hurled down the corridor, yelling a warning for the others to cover up. It was as if the sun burned forth from the ball of fire, exploding down the hallway amidst the enemy defensive position with a thunderclap of sound and a flash of blinding light.

James sped down the hallway. The majority of the incoming fire was cut to nil as the defenders struggled with having their senses overwhelmed, and sight blinded, and what stray bullets did reach the Daemonslayer cratered harmlessly off his armor. As James reached them, he slew the defenders in a rather one-sided struggle. With pistol in one hand and sword in the other, each blow was a precisely judged killing stroke, the brains and blood of the defenders scattered across the airship’s interior.

In the rear, the horde of imps were thinning out. Many of them lost heart at their slaughter, and inability to get past Selene and Eshara. A small remainder of them threw themselves at the two as the last of them turned and fled. With the sheer bulk and power of his armor Eshara crushed them, swatting them aside with a fist and crushing another imp’s head by bringing his gun down upon it, while Selene no doubt handled the others, likely with more grace. He turned and nodded to her his thanks for her support with a polite, if short “My thanks. Lady Belfried”, even as the call came in from ahead that all was clear, and that they could keep moving.

They had to keep moving. This location had been only one of many strongpoints that were setup strategically to find, and slow down the boarders. From the crackling of a nearby comm unit on one of the corpses, James knew that they had gotten off a warning message before they were killed, and the Daemonslayer had no doubt that enemy reinforcements were now making their way to their location. Things could get truly dangerous if they got surrounded and were bogged down, but luckily they were close now. Five more minutes of travel and tromping through the decks of the airship brought them to the reinforced bulkhead that separated the ship’s bridge from the rest of the warped vessel.

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Even in its descrecrated state, with Kadian markings blemished and the skulls and souls of damned men embedded into its surface, it was a sturdy obstacle, but James didn’t wish to take the risk to use what explosives they had on them to blow the door through. As this barrier was a new intersection, the Master Knight ordered the Guardians to take up covering positions, with the Greatsword in their center. Holstering his pistol, he brought up his tachi instead, channeling his aura of flame through it. Slowly the blade began to burn, growing in intensity until it was more akin to a laser cutter then a torch in focus and power. With his other hand, the Daemonslayer etched a set of arcane, unknowable runes across the door in crimson flame, light tracing off a gauntleted finger. The metal of the bulkhead groaned as the symbols were completed, the curse weakening it on a metaphysical level, and the Daemonslayer slammed his sword straight through at a corner, beginning the arduous task of cutting through several layers of bulwark designed to keep people like him out.

This would take time. The Guardians, Greatsword, and Selene would have to buy them that time. From three hallways, three directions, came a howling fresh horde of attackers. The enlisted dredges of humanity bore autoguns and other projectile firearms and they stalked alongside the daemonic imps from earlier. They were now however, were now accompanied by much larger cousins. Standing at over seven feet tall, the largest of the new daemons re hunched over as they approached through the corridors, and wore even uglier, bastardized visages of the beastmen that were assailing the city below. In their hands they held glowing swords that constantly dripped with blood, evidence of high, or at least higher favor with their dark gods. The very first of them that saw the boarding party seemed to grow enraged, and burst forward with a sudden vigor, smashing aside any lesser unfortunate servant that happened to be in its path in attempt to come to grips with the Custodes, Selene, and James. Its charge was halted by the sudden appearance of a great number of holes cratered across its upper body as Eshara gave the order to open fire, but even as this monster’s corpse toppled back, the ones behind it came on just as quickly and fiercely.

Buy me time” James growled back as he continued to carve through the nearly-meter thick bulkhead that lead to the bridge.

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Imps die, one after another, upon finding the strength of their prey too great to withstand. Fluid movements by the Knightness are continuous. Crashing like waves against every hellish sword met by her own steel until bloody crevices are formed. Leaving miniature broken bodies in her wake. There is no sound outside this clash of metal, and rain of bullets released by Eshara’s gun.This moment currently encompassing her entire existence. Dagger, axe, dagger, heel, elbow, fist, axe, axe, knee, hip-check. A pattern does not present itself and disallows the imps from getting past her foothold on the corridor. Selene’s stature and light armor more capable of maneuvering in the condensed space than her counterpart’s. Combined, they seem to quell the throng of tiny daemons, terrifying them enough to slow their progression to a trickle and eventually an ending.

For the last is a heavy strike, the weight of her frame against a bent elbow from the shoulder plows the dagger into the imp. Forced so deeply and harshly its small body slides and the tip of the dagger burrows into the corridor wall at its back. Slow haggard breaths are taken in an attempt to regain control and poise. Selene’s psyche threatening to collapse in her eagerness to completely destroy the enemy. A step away from the dead creature releases it from her weapon and for a moment she watches it slide to the floor to still against others that had been rent in similar fashion. 

My thanks. Lady Belfried.

Had she forgotten he was there? Shock and surprise flit briefly along the contours of her face before recognition and memory take hold. Then suddenly, realization creases the brows when looking down at the disaster staining the portion of corridor in which she stands. Selene, grateful for his words, finds herself only able to gift the Greatsword with a nod. Quickly turning away as both confusion and disgust glaze over her eyes. Trembling fingers grip their weapons tightly, the back of a hand haphazardly wiping sweat from her temple in exchange for blood.

Interrupted and relieved by the order to move forward, she carries onward. Her silent awkwardness fading fairly quickly. Each blade in her hand is slid skillfully across leathered thighs to clean away what little decay possible, and placed in their hip holster and sheath until they are needed again. Which ends up being sooner than she surmised, none too surprising considering where they are. Nevertheless, Selene hardens again. Foregoing any sense of propriety when dealing against the daemonic hordes of darkness. Fairness is nonexistent, leaving room only for death and destruction, no matter which side is stood upon.

Buy me time!

Selene, a step beyond the point of counseling has words drip from her mouth in icy, devoid of mercy, tone. “Kill them and use their corpses to dam up the hallways...their flesh will make for fine shielding.” Enemy rounds whiz all around, one tickling her cheekbone before burying itself in the Guardian who once stood beside her. And this is where she makes her words into actions. Having been hit and slightly pushed back before falling entirely the shotgun that was in his hands goes airborne. Adopted into the delicate grasp of Selene, who immediately takes aim and fires a round. The automatic mode preset by its original owner, helps solidify the movement. That round enters and exits the right eye socket of too-tall-to-fit hunched daemon not too dissimilar from the smaller imps she and Eshara cut down earlier. As expected the daemon wobbles on its legs and drops into a crumpled heap that crushes those of the horde closest to it and creates a hillish blockade forcing anything behind it to either climb over or attempt to move it. 
 


@Fierach

Edited by -Lilium-

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