Ours is the Iniquities
AN/: I HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA WHAT I AM DOING.
The Fucking Synopsis:
Some Random Fucking Space Marines from some stupid fucking made-up chapter stuck in the world of that weird 3D American Weebadoo Shit. They kill a bunch of stuff and there are things and objects and interactions and- just fucking read the story.
Ours is the Iniquitous.
Sunlight from a distant star, burning in the afternoon sky like some cruel glaring eye cast by an uncaring god, it's radiance filters through red leaves and saccharine pines. The forest below is a crimson stretch across the land, its inhabitants still and dormant, but among the crimson, stalking forward with purpose, three warriors disturb the stillness with their continued presence. The leader among them stares at a screen that is all too honest, its answers dissatisfactory. They walk in silence for an hour's march, before the lead warrior consults the crude device once more. It is a fruitless venture, but he does so again anyway. The screen lights up, a silent hum runs through the machine as its spirits awaken only to tell him what he already knows.
He is lost.
He puts the Auspex away, it fits snugly into its pouch and he mutters a prayer of thanks to the techno-arcana for its service, no matter how disheartening.
"Well?" The growling, static laced voice that cut through his self-imposed calm was filled with a sort of arrogance that managed to irk even his normally serene demeanor. It drove him to speaking.
"Nothing." He answered- patience- he counseled himself, he did not live to serve this long without it. "The day is young. Our fortunes will change."
"It is that exact facet of information that worries me," The voice came again, grating and irritating. "The Day is young," It spat out each word like it was a personal offence. "I clearly recall it being Night."
"It was night. It is now day. We press onwards." He stated, pressing further into the forest. He stopped when he noticed only the Irritants' footfalls.
"Scout Master Yenald, Sire," A calmer, younger voice called to him, clarion and humble. He paused, and turned around.
Votar has always been the most expressive of initiates. That fact did not change now with his elevation to the rank of Scout. Even under the heavy smears of ash from burning pews and tapestries, his yet unscarred face shown marked concern. It was his eyes that told him this, bright blue orbs that stared at him with a weight that spoke of his reservations.
"What troubles you?" He asked.
"This pointless march you lead us on, doubtlessly." The red and silver goliath answered for young Votar. "We should turn back while we can." Continued the Irritant.
The Irritants name is Aranak. An Assault Marine who has proven himself to be as brash and harsh as his armors red and silver in the short time he has been with them. It was such behavior that has earned him the title of Irritant in the mind of Yenald.
Votar continued despite the interruption. "We have been walking this path for several hours." The Scout Marine gestured around them with his shotgun, the long brutish shape and dulled silver grey of the weapon seemed red and muddy in the sickly saccharine ambiance of the crimson forest. It was a sharp contrast to the black, piggish short-barreled stalker bolter that Yenald held. "We have not seen any signs of Imperial presence, nor any traces of life that could point us towards it." Votar removed his combead and rolled it in his fingers. "There has been no change in vox signals either- just empty silence on all channels."
"What do you suggest?" Yenald asked, allowing his former initiate a moment of thought, he removed the Auspex once again, and with a muttered prayer to its spirits, he activated it. He again found nothing. He returned it to its pouch without a prayer of thanks.
"Perhaps it would be prudent to turn back. The corpses of the guardsmen were in possession of higher gain Vox casters. They may provide a better chance of contacting an outside source."
"At last, another voice of reason!" Barked the Assault Marine with his arms folded.
Yenald ignored Aranak once again. "Incorrect." He spoke to Votar, who listened with quiet intensity. "That is unwise."
"You speak of wisdom yet possess none of it…" Growled Aranak. "We must return."
Yenald shook his head, a frown displaying his disappointment. He would at least think the Assault Marine to be in possession of even the smallest modicum of sense. "We must not."
"If you will not, then I will!" Votar winced as the Marine erupted into shouting, his vox amplified voice stirring the nettles on the crimson colored pines. Votar did not flinch out of surprise or discomfort, but out of worry that such a tantrum would draw the attention of those they would do best to avoid. "I will not leave my fallen brothers unguarded!"
'So it is that,' Yenald thought to himself, a sad smile creeping across his face even as he shook his head. 'He mourns, and it feeds his anger.' Even if he now understood the assault marines' rage he could not allow it. "If you go back." He looked to the sky through breaks in the red canopy. "You will die."
"You speak lies," Yenald did not move as Aranak approached him, boots digging into the soft dirt. He did however move his finger inside the guard of his weapon. "If you wish to rot in this fetid forest than do so alone, do not drag me along with you, you backwater tribal!"
Patience was not as set in Votar as it was in Yenald, "You will rescind such words!" Votar snapped, racking the slide on his shotgun and kicking off the safety.
"Votar. Where is your truth." Yenald calmly asked, looking over at the Scout Marine, he could see the fire in the scout's eyes at the slur. He too had felt a flicker of anger pass through him before it was quenched. Votar steadied himself, a harsh intake of breath and lengthy exhale saw him back down. "With the heart of Sol." Votar answered back.
"Correct." Yenald nodded, and turned his attention to Aranak. When he spoke he roused steel in his voice. "Our chapter cult is sacred. No further remarks on it." Aranak said nothing in return, "Do you remember the tainted chapel?" Yenald continued.
"I remember fire, and the blood of traitors upon my blade."
"Do you remember its coldness?"
"Where do you intend to go with this, Descendant?"
"Do you remember its coldness?" Yenald spoke again- Patience…
"I remember a bite to the air, yes." Aranak relented at last, pitched blue lenses staring down at the Scout before him. Yenald could feel the assault marines' impatience. "It was a cursed place; it blighted the soul."
"Do you feel it now?" Yenald asked. "That bite?"
"Of course not! But you will feel my bite should this inquiry not cease!" Aranak shouted again, several leaves fell from their branches.
"When did you last feel it?"
Aranak seethed aloud, turning in place and pacing. His hands fell to his chainsword and bolt pistol out of habit before he arrested the motion, stilling himself, quiet for a moment, before finally answering. "It lessened at the death of the sorcerer." He answered. "But faded entirely when we were clear of the chapel by just over a Rocs' mile."
"That cold is the bite of corruption. The breath of the Arch Enemy."
"What of it," Aranak paused his pacing at the mention of the vilest of mankind's foes. "We slew the foul heretic that conjured it."
"The Sorcerer wielded foul powers. Those powers sent us here. They lingered after his demise. They corrupted."
"Cease your serpents babble, Scout! Answer me plainly!"
"The ruins we left behind are lost to corruption."
"Then all the more reason for me to reclaim my fallen brothers."
Votar spoke for his commander, as he now saw what folly returning would be. "Without a soul to burn away impurity, the body is but flesh." He looked back the way they came. "There is nothing to return for, brother."
"You are no brother of mine." Aranak snapped, "My Brothers are- were- pure of heart, no corruption could take hold of them."
"That may be true. They are dead now. Their hearts have joined Him. The body is left behind." Yenald wanted Aranak to see reason, needed him to. Yenald was a veteran of many crusades and campaigns. He knew what the corruption of the Archenemy could do to a mind fraught with uncertainty and despair. "The Forest has claimed them."
"…" Aranak held the tension within him for a moment more. He let it leave him; his shoulders slumped as a resignation came over him, the weight of holding back a truth he did not want to realize. To Yenald, Aranak seemed smaller without the fire of anger ignited within his breast. "Then what must we do?"
Yenald looked to the sky through a break in the trees, he could see an orange tint on the clouds passing overhead. "Day turns to evening." He told them. "We must continue. The Forest will not welcome us at night." Yenald imagined that Anarak muttered something beneath his helmet, most likely about his and Votars' chapter cult. Yenald said nothing of it.
There was a haze in the air. It fell over their vision like a fog with the color of bloody-mist. Aranak commented that such a sight was an omen of Ill-fortune. "What holds the visage of blood often calls for blood." He muttered aloud, the first among them to break the long silence.
"This truly is an evil forest." Said Votar, he gazed with an intense animosity at the surrounding foliage. The low hanging branches were rife with curling leaves that were a dark and rosy hue, while the bark of the branches was like the color of a dried scab. "The Druids would have this place turned to ash." Votar reached out and peeled back a strip of bark. It was rough and flaked apart in his hand.
"A bleeding tree." Yenald observed with a touch of fanciful imagination. From where Votar removed the bark, now flowed a sluggish trickle of crimson sap. The three marines were all too reminded of an open wound. Curious, Votar reached out, running a gloved finger through the trail. His finger came away with a string of red. He turned and looked to Yenald who said nothing in return. "How much death must curse a forest for its trees to exude the blood of those slain?" Aranak questioned without mirth.
"Too much," Yenald answered. "I've seen such before."
"Listen," Votar stepped away from the tree with the bloody sap. A hum filled with air, growing in intensity. From around them, from the trees they came.
They were nearly six inches in length; with a wingspan nearly double that. Votar made out gnashing mandibles and thorny exoskeletons. It was the stinger that were the most prominent, a tapered barb half the length of the body of the insects that bore them.
"What manner of creature are they?" Aranak asked, regarding the press of insects with a mix of casual bemusement and disinterest. He easily swatted away one that strayed near him, the crumpled bug fell to the ground, twitching and crushed, he looked at the blackish ichor on his gauntlet with mild distaste.
"Hellwasps perhaps." Yenald observed, "Servants of the forest."
Votar watched one lf the hornets land on his hand; skittering down over his fingers he watched it scrape at his skin, pulling the sap residue from his stained finger until it was clean. He did not move, watching the length of sharpened exoskeleton that doubtlessly contained a painful sting- albeit, it was of no threat to him.
Its task done, it spread its gossamer wings, and flew away. "I doubt such creatures would feed only on sap alone." He stated, watching the mass of writhing red and black armored bodies that clustered over the tree.
"It must have high nutritional properties, or something of the sort, a secondary food source, regardless it is entirely irrelevant." Aranak announced, his hand darted out and plucked one of the wasps from the air, he held it between two fingers capable of crushing hardened plasteel with frightful ease. It squirmed in his grip; the stinger waggled fitfully, a clear liquid dripped from its end.
"We must go." Yenald checked the sky again through breaks in the canopy, "Dark comes."
Following after Yenald, Aranak crushed the wasp in his hand, and followed after, casting a glance back at the swarming ball. He saw several break off and skirt around the two broken wasps. Without even a second of hesitation they lunged forwards, and tore apart the not-yet corpses.
"The stars have changed." Yenald said at long last. The words fell from his mouth but it did not appear as if the others were willing to hear them.
"I had suspected as much." Votar said, Aranak grunted in acknowledgment. He had ruminated on the same conclusion, weighing practical's and theoreticals. The warp had been involved, and where it is concerned, all known constants are thrown to the wind and scattered like ash.
"We are not on the same planet we were before."
"I realized as much. You needn't remind me."
"We are most likely presumed dead."
"The Emperor knows we live. That is what matters."
Silence ruled the moment, the trudge of boots on mulched earth the only sound breaking it. A bird hopped from branch to branch. It colors were dulcet reds, just like everything in the strange forest. Yenald watched it for a moment; Votar ran a hand over the vine-like engravings of his shotgun. Aranak felt the carved relief of a skull on his chainswords pommel.
"There," Yenald stops, head slightly cocked to the side, listening. "Do you hear it?"
Votar is at his side, eyes narrowed as he focuses his Gene-hanced hearing. "Almost." He says. He cups a hand behind his left ear, "Yes, there it is."
Aranak looks between both of them, but deems not to remove his helmet; he filters through the ambient silence of the forest. "Hear it?" He snorts. "I can feel it now." He was not wrong, just below the surface they could feel the rumble. Something powerful came their way, shaking the trees.
"An engine." Votar says, he looks to Yenald, "A vehicle."
Yenald nods, but he keeps listening. "That is true." He looks down, and pulls back the firing pin on his bolter. "But that was not what I was listening for." He turns and faces the forest to his right. "They are."
Red eyes, small, beady red eyes glare out from the dark red woods of a dying evening.
The Bolter thuds in Yenalds grip. He is running and firing. Bolter braced against his shoulder, single shots smacking out mass-reactive shells with vindictive precision. The black beasts swerved through the trees, masking themselves behind foliage, but nothing could save them from the perdition of a Space Marine. Each shot cored through an eye or open mouth, cratering heads and stomach with callus ease.
The chamber clicked empty, and Yenald tore free the spent magazine and slammed home a fresh one. He didn't bother bringing the stalker bolter to his shoulder- there was no time. The beasts were swarming out of the forest in a black wave of fangs, bones, and fur. There was no end to them; there was no breaking them. Aranak- for all his incorrigibleness- payed his due in the blood of beasts, his chainsword howled almost as loud as he roared, stripping muscle and flesh from every beast it tore through, his bolt-pistol was used just as much as a bludgeon as it was a handgun. Votar worked his shotgun furiously, he held down the trigger as he rocked the slide, slam-firing it again and again.
"We are losing ground." Votar noted, he swung out with the stock of his weapon, the butt smashed into the bone-face of one of the lupine creatures, the force of the blow shattered its skull, crumpling its muzzle and sending it flying back into the seething mass just beyond the glow of their muzzle flares.
Yenald says nothing in return, just beyond his vision, larger shapes move amongst the trunks of trees, he sights in, and pulls the trigger.
The spent shells hissed in the cooling air. They curled the grass with their heat as they landed. The Bolter bucked steadily in his grip. Pulling the trigger, the rounds slammed out from the barrel, they spun in the air, and the gyrostabalized motors ignites. The rounds surged forwards and they streak through the gloom like enraged arrows of fire. They punch into the twisted beings of fur and muscle; they force bone and meat aside as they burrow into flesh. The mass-reactive fuses trigger and the bolt rounds explode. The beasts are torn apart from the inside.
Yenald twists; he and his Initiates movement are fluid in contrast to the sharp brutal movements of Aranak. Votar slams the slide on his shotgun back and forth, the muzzle smokes and billows between bright bursts of flame. The clapping cracks of Aranak's bolt pistol serves as concussive finishes to the rev of his chainblade. Every beast that leaps at him is torn asunder, the visceral roar of his weapon biting into them and cutting down their lengths, leaving steaming bilious slop behind.
They are running; Aranak storms the front, Yenald and Votar at either side slightly behind. Together, they drive a wedge forwards. Aranak cuts and smashes his way through the forest, unbelievably fast; his weight crushes the undergrowth with every seismic step as he plows through trees. Yenald and Votar leap over the debris that Anaraks charge leaves, they jump, spin, twist their body around and let loose another precise volley that catches the shadowy beasts behind them and craters their heads. They land, and they run once more. sprinting forwards through the night, un-heeding and unthinking of what is pursuing them, knowing them only as a threat to be dealt with, even though there is no end to them.
"My ammunition will not last for much longer." Aranak reports, his voice filters through their combeads. "I have three and a half magazines left."
"I face similar concerns." Votar reports, he loads a shell into his shotgun, directly into the breach, the action takes less than half of a half-second, and he fires it just as quickly, its payload blowing out the brain of a stalking beast, he slips another shell from his pouch and repeats the process.
"Tracks," Aranak shouts, Yenald whips his head around, almost forgetting the beasts to his front as he backpedals over rough ground, blistering away with his bolter. "Where." He shouts.
"Directly ahead, they cut through the forest." Aranak smashes a beast out of the air, the flat of his chainsword swinging back and pounding into the thing; he breaks the body with a single strike. "Seismic activity also shows an approaching vehicle." Shadowy lupine shapes snarled out from behind them with red rage, Yenald fired again, a two round burst slammed down a beast in mid flight, its chest and stomach blowing open and spilling out guts and liquefied organs. He shifted his aim left, fast as a blink, and squeezed the trigger; he hears the soft click of a pin striking nothing.
It nearly cost him- the creature seethed and howled, propelling itself up and over its dead kin, claws outstretched, fangs glistening white- Yenald ducked under the beast, spinning as it sailed over him he let his Bolter drop, and his hands reached behind him, and grabbed cold adamantium.
A flash in the night- catching the distant moon- nearly as long as Yenald was tall; the glistening silver pole swung out and around in Yenalds trained hands. One end connected solidly with the Beowolfs skull, cratering it at once. The length of adamantium was still moving; the other end jabbed out and stunned another, catching it just above the eye. Yenald twisted around, staff held out in both hands horizontal he ducked under another lunging beast that thought to prowl among the branches of the trees, it missed, and he punished it, stave cracking down over its back in a swift flick.
He danced, rolling the pole over his back he caught it in his opposite hand, twirling it he let it slip out to the end and with the extra length he pulled the stave up over his head and brought it down on the unsuspecting. Thorns caught around the staves end rip into flesh and fur, gnarled and dried brambles pulled apart bodies with jagged impunity, leaving bleeding lacerations with every strike- puncture wounds laced with hate.
Votar is at his commanders side, hammering away with his shotgun with relentless efficiency- his arm worked like a hydraulic piston, slamming and ejecting new shells every second even as his finger pulled the trigger, the kick biting into his shoulder with negligible effect on his aim. The swarm was too big to miss. Every beast that closed the distance through his hail of fire was crushed down with a swift strike from the underside of his shotgun, neck broken in a single blow. He would let nothing distract his commander from his Art.
Aranak is a whirlwind of unfettered devastation. Every move he made was with killing intent, and in this he mirrored the brutal nature of the Astartes, the pure purpose for which they were bred for- Killing. War. Murder. Destruction. Subjugation. Extermination and Annihilation. He lashed out with fist and blade, and foot and knee and helmet and elbow and arm. He pulverized bodies with blows that could knock an armored vehicle onto its side, he hacked through three of the things in a single roaring swipe of his blade, he sent an entire pack flying backwards with a charge, those he did not trample underfoot broke against trees and stones. He was tantamount to an ostracized apocalypse; there was no tact to his blows- just a killer's rage, the rage of an apex predator, a Griffons Rage. Such was his chapters calling, and title.
Yenald spins as he swings; his stave crumpled a beast's ribcage and flung it into another charging lupine thing. He felt the rumble of an encroaching engine even louder now- muffled but there. His days of tracking and his gene-hanced senses had taught him to cancel out the ambiance of combat and leave only what his lymans ear desired.
He followed the sound of an engine- crude and human, proof of life. Human life.
"Break towards salvation." Yenald ordered, his voice cutting cleanly through the myriad sounds of combat.
Aranak grunted, his vox laced snarl denoting his adversity to orders from a marine of another chapter. Votar was much more amiable, his acknowledgement was not even needed.
Yenald changed the course of his next strike mid swing, cutting the stave low and sweeping the legs out from under a dark furred and masked beast. He sent it tumbling back into the onrushing horde with a swift kick that he was sure to have cracked bones with. It bought him enough time as he turned and bolted, staff in both hands, Votar hot on his trail, Aranak stampeding after them, smashing through a tree and leaving its careening bulk to fall behind him, crushing Grimm and barring their path for a few more desperate seconds.
They ran hard, they ran fast, they smashed through thickets and ducked under branches, the beasts were everywhere, attacking from every direction, Yenald briefly wondered if they were sprinting headlong into some great den of a mother beast- the engine they hear in the distance naught but its growl.
They fought a constant string of the faster lupine creatures as they ran; they terminated them on sight or trampled over them in the case of Aranak. The red parted around them, the trees thinning as they stumbled to a halt besides a railway line, tracks cutting through the forest and the acrid stains of black blood lining the track's "Is this it?" Votar asked, hardly out of breath he racked the slide of his shotgun and thumbed in several shells to top off the tubular magazine. Aranak gunned the engine on his chainsword.
"It is. It will be." Yenald answered, swapping back to his long barreled stalker bolter, slamming home a magazine now that he had room to breathe. Already the howls echoed out of the forest. "They come." Aranak answered their howls with the roar of his sword, its engine cycling up into a defiant shriek, blood flecked from its heavy tooth-like fangs.
The roar of the train was louder than both.
A blistering wail of thousands of tons of metal and cargo screaming down the rails at speed broke the tense ambiance with the subtlety of a thunderclap. Yenald watched as it careened into view around a bend, a single powerful headlamp battering away the encroaching darkness, a black leviathan of a thing, the train drew cart after cart behind it. "Jump." Yenald commanded. He sprinted after the speeding train; his pace matching it for only a handful of moments after it made the turn, and then it began to accelerate. Yenald jumped, his muscles propelling him into the air, he grabbed one of the many railings lining the cargo crates.
Votar was next, and Aranak last, his armor pushed him hard, made him fast, and he leapt into the air. He came crashing down against the side of one of the train compartments, he dug his hand into the side of one freight-box, his fist punching cleanly through and allowing him purchase. With them all aboard, Yenald looked out at the forest, he could see the red eyes and black shapes and white masks of the hateful creatures, and he scowled at them as they howled and roared at the escape of their prey. The train picked up speed, and thundered through the darkness of the night.
Fucking Kill Me Please