Alright, this is my first Warhammer 40k fanfic, so please read, review, and enjoy. I do not own Warhammer 40k, but the Black Ghosts are my creation.
The 115th Malduran Mechanized Infantry were being annihilated.
The Imperial Guard Regiment had been sent to the fringe world of Laqueum as part of an Imperial Battlefleet to combat secessionists that had seized several hives and manufactorium centers. The guardsmen that filled its ranks had considered themselves lucky that they had been ordered to chase the retreating secessionist bands fleeing into the hills, rather than the deadly urban operation of hive-clearing. But as soon as they entered the densely-wooded footlands, they had come under attack.
Lieutenant Thomas Nevic cringed as the bright spear of a lascannon bolt cut through the side of an Eighty-sixer transport truck. The vehicle halted, its drive axle cut by the powerful beam of energy. Guardsmen huddled in the back of the truck kicked down the rear gate, eager to escape the disabled vehicle. Many were cut down as soon as their boots hit the dirt, slain by the enemy that approached from all sides.
Ducking inside his command Chimera, he barked to the vox-officer. "Hurry, tell the lead vehicles to advance. Get us out of this ambush!" The armored carriers at the fore of the convoy powered forward, their treads kicking up dust as they propelled the tanks. They had barely advanced ten meteres before the lead Chimera was caught in a plume of fire and earth, its burning hulk propelled into the air by the explosion.
"They've mined the road!" bawled some tanker over the vox-net. "Quick, full reverse!" Nevic ordered, aware of the steadily growing sounds of battle outside. The enemy was growing closer. The column rumbled backwards, halted almost at once with a second jarring explosion. "Behind us too?" the Lieutenant cried. Sweat pooling under his arms, Thomas rose into the cupola, almost soiling himself at the sight.
The enemy was on them now. Not overly-tattooed men in secessionist robes, but armored giants. Each one stood over eight feet tall, encased in black plate trimmed blood red. Crimson eyes shone from their devilish helms, grinning skulls sculpted on their armor leering as they approached. Lieutenant Nevic uttered one word, barely above a whisper.
"Astartes." The enemy were Astartes.
Howling as they sprinted into the guardsmen's midst, their cries amplified by helm-mounted vox speakers, the traitor space marines decimated the Imperial soldiers. The opening moments of the attack had thrown the Maldurans into complete disarray, allowing the Astartes to approach practically unopposed. Sergeants roared at the top of their lungs, ordering the guardsmen into firing ranks to mass the power of their lasguns. But it was too little too late, and the traitor marine's war plate easily defeated the Imperial's lasbolts.
A squad of soldiers in front of Nevic's Chimera were cut down by the Astartes' bolter, the massive slugs ripping through flak armor with ease and detonating in the soft flesh beneath. Soon the air was filled with the sound of roaring chainblades as the traitor marines closed into melee distance, scything down the Imperials like a farmer cutting stalks of wheat. The turret of Nevic's chimera traversed in an attempt to turn its multi-laser on the enemy, but the Astartes were too close to bring the heavy weapon to bear.
The whole vehicle shook as a traitor marine with a horned-helmet leapt atop the vehicle. Rather than try to fight the giant, Nevic ducked inside the turret. A questing gauntlet followed him, clamping on his collar with a vice-grip and ripping him from the tank. Thomas cried as his arm caught the lip of the turret, dislocating his shoulder as the Astartes tore him free. The lieutenant wriggled like a infant in the giant's hold, but trying to free himself would be as impossible as trying to lift his chimera by himself. Nevic continued to squirm, screaming himself hoarse, eyes closed to the painful death he was sure was only moments away. It was moments before he realized two things.
One: he was still alive, and Two: the sounds of battle had stopped.
Nevic opened his eyes, looking up at the Astartes that still held him. The traitor marine had made no moves to end his life. In fact, he was a motionless as a statue. Thomas turned to survey the massacre around him. He knew what he would see; the broken, butchered bodies of his men around the burning husks of their vehicles. Nevic was pleasantly surprised when he found none of that.
The battle had torn through his regiment, many men lay dead or dying on the dusty ground, but many men had survived, shaken and bloodied but otherwise unharmed. Many of their vehicles had escaped unscathed, others only suffering from crippling damage that could be repaired in a night's work. At their current levels, they were at perhaps three-fourths strength…
Many of the Astartes surrounding them had lowered their weapons, checking the Imperial vehicles and corralling the surviving guardsmen. Nevic felt himself fall to the ground as the traitor marine released him. The lieutenant picked himself up and cradled his dislocated shoulder, joining the rest of his men. Suddenly it dawned on him.
They didn't want to kill us. They just wanted our equipment.
His thoughts were interrupted as the traitor Astartes around them stopped their work, kneeling as a pack of figures stepped through the throng of marines. Nevic and several other guardsmen around him gasped as their eyes fell upon them.
Six hulking figures stood before the Imperials. Their armor was colored in the same black and red as the other Astartes, but their armor was so massive in made the regular power-armored giants surrounding them look puny by comparison. The five rear marines stood silently, hands curled around weapons so huge it was impossible for a normal man to carry them. Their helms were crafted into visages of savage beasts, spikes adorning their shoulder-guards.
The lead giant's armor was incredibly ornate, gilded runes decorating the polished black surface. Two horns erupted from the sides of the helm, curling downwards into a pair of savage-looking tusks. A long billowing cloak flowed from the figure's shoulders, the color of pure darkness. Thomas shivered uncontrollably as his looked into the mantle's folds…it seemed as if the cloak feed on the light around it, dimming the space around it. Lieutenant Nevic shifted his gaze to the warrior's weapons, an intricately-crafted combi-bolter and a sword almost as long as the Astartes was tall, its blade almost as black as its armor.
The lead figure spoke, his tenebrous voice hissing from the vox-speakers on its helm.
"You have been spared in order to be given the chance to correct your lives of erroneous service to the False Emperor." The Astartes announced, extending an open palm. "Serve under the Black Ghosts, under me, Lord Eclipse, and fight against the dying Imperium of Mankind under the will of our Father Gregory the Highest."
Silence fell upon the guardsmen. Lieutenant Nevic looked upon his men, seeing the confusion and unease in their eyes. After living lives bathing in the Emperor's light, after serving their entire lives defending Holy Terra from the Heretic and the Xenos, they were being asked to forsake everything they had ever known. What other option was there?
"Don't listen to anything this traitor says!" A gruff voice spat. "All he spies is lies and blasphemy!" Thomas turned to see Sergant Colford, the veteran guardsman's eyes burning with divine fury. Several soldiers around him nodded their ascent, inspired by his boldness.
Lord Eclipse sighed, sounded almost alien coming from the vox-speakers of his helm. "There's always one…" He said, raising his combi-bolter and firing once. Both barrels fired simultaneously, two bolts ripping into Colford's head, popping it like a melon. The resulting detonations splashed the guardsmen around him in gore and bodily fluids, a grisly show of what would happen to those who remained loyal to the Imperium.
So that's the other option. Thomas thought.
The traitor marine lord gazed over the hushed guardsmen, reading the resignation in their faces. They all valued their lives over their precious Emperor. Lord Eclipse smiled. It was getting easier and easier to find help these days.
"You have made the right choice." The Astartes said with a nod. "Father watches over all of us, and…with his guidance, we will crush the Imperium with our might!"
The space marines surrounding them started chanting. "All hail Father Gregory! All hail Lord Eclipse." Nevic felt sweat drip down his back as he wondered what the hell he had just gotten himself into.
So here's the prologue to my first Warhammer 40k fanfiction, the Black Ghosts. I really don't know how I'm going to proceed with the story yet, so I'm probably be giving some background on the Warband and the characters. Let me know what you think.