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- Aug 2016
Brotherhood (Warhammer 40k Deathwatch FanFic)Theodus / Anaiel / H’aman / Kurrack Lai / Domina Artemis
These are the names of Five Men and Women who would go unrecorded in the Imperial Records.
They are members of a Shadow Organization, The Inquisition of Mankind.
Each one holds different stations inside this fold.
One such being THE DEATHWATCH
And that's all the context you get. For fans to the 40k setting or new people looking to get in, gather 'round as I spin a tale of strange happenings, intrigue, and betrayal the first "Book" of which I'm going to call BROTHERHOOD. I'll be releasing Chapters in serial format, each one coming in semi-weekly. I hope ya'll enjoy the first one, and feedback is not only welcome but appreciated.
Spoiler: Chapter OneDescribing how a drop pod operates is a lot like describing a fantastical attempt at self destruction. You are given the final trappings of war, be it spare boltgun magazines, a frag grenade belt, or a final purity seal pinned on the shoulder or breast. Then, you gather your armaments, and strap yourself into the pod, all the while alarm bells signifying that the docking bay would soon be deprived of oxygen would be blaring around you. There is a numbing wrench in your ears and mind as the docking chamber is purged of life-giving air, and then you fall. You fall for miles, minutes, or, for one unfortunate past mission of mine, hours. I knew no fear as I fell, however, for I am an Ultramarine.
Or, at least I was.
I was a Captain in the First Company for my Chapter of Space Marines, the greatest warriors of humanity. I lead soldiers into battle against numerous foes, and was well decorated within my ranks. I had stood past centuries of bloodshed and war, all the while my mind being held a fortress of stoic bravery, and then my station was ripped from me. Men in black power armour appeared on my ship bearing Inquisitorial Rosettes, and offered me what they referred to as an honour. They gave me the chance to serve a secretive organization known as the Deathwatch; a coalition of veteran Space Marines who had proven themselves on the field of battle. Men who stood against the tide of Xenos, the alien. I accepted, unknowing of the position’s consequences.
Once I joined the Deathwatch, my death was staged on my ship. A corpse was drawn, from whom I do not nor wish to know, and I attended my own funeral. My men believed their Captain had died not while leading them on the field of battle, but taken by disease. I was not celebrated with valour or praise, just sent me into the void undecorated and unremembered. I had died, and in so doing I learned why my new colleagues had nomered themselves Deathwatch. I was quietly whisked away from my ship, and onto a new one, wherein I was demoted to serving under a new Captain named Daessios.
As I fell in the drop pod with Daessios, I pondered why I had ever joined this shadow organization in the first place. While I do not regret the honour of serving the Emperor with his most chief veteran fighters, I do still hold an affection with those I had called friend and brother. I wondered what they were doing now, and how many had died since I had left them. I wondered if any of them still thought of me, or if any of them even cared to carry on my legacy. I quickly dashed away these thoughts, for they were selfish and cruel. My legacy is the legacy of mankind, and it is not my place as a Space Marine to question that.
“Brother Theodus,” the man beside spoke, his voice garbled by the vox-receiver of my power armour, “I sense a turmoil in your mind. Hold fast, and banish such thoughts. We go to war.”
The man speaking to me was Anaiel, another member of the Deathwatch and former member of the Ultramarines, though I had never met him in my life before personally. He was a librarian, a psyker, capable of feats those living on primal worlds would akin to magic or sorcery. I had shared much of my time with him since coming to the Deathwatch due to our similar past, and I have grown a fondness and understanding with the man. Fighting beside a fellow member of my previous Chapter was a boost to my morale, which was probably why we were selected to accompany each other in our Kill Team.
Aside from myself, my Brother Anaiel, and my Captain Daessios, there was a final, silent man in the drop pod. Unlike myself and Anaiel, he was a former member of the Salamander Chapter of Space Marines, little more than a fire cult in my opinion. While he was base and held little with the common teachings of tactic and strategem, H’aman was an expert in heavy weapons and demolitions. Skilled enough to join the Deathwatch, at any rate. His head was bowed in prayer, and he cradled his gun to his chest.
As we continued to descend, I too bowed my head in prayer. My thoughts turned to the Emperor on Holy Terra, and how we were doing his work by coming here and meeting out his divine will. As my eyes closed, Captain Daessios spoke, “Fear not the alien, for Humanity’s destiny is Higher than any other form of life. We do not go to war, Witch, we go to purge.”
As if his words were a divine sending, the drop pod crashed into the ground with a whirring slam. Our harnesses released after the initial impact, and the walls of the pod lowered to reveal a smoking battlefield. Three figures, squat and hiding behind cover, turned towards us with shock and anger in their expressions. Their faces were green and ugly, like the maw of an inbred kanine. Dagger teeth jutted from their snarling mouths, and all three took on the cry of, “WAAAGH!” as they saw us.
I grasped my shield in my hand, crackling energy humming from it. I knelt underneath its protective surface as the Orks rose their crude weapons to fire at me. The energy of the shield lashed out at each of their bullets, destroying them before they could impact. While they fired upon me, H’aman rose his fiery weapon, thrumming red with heat and death before discharging into our offenders. The screams of the Orks as they burst alight brought a wicked smile to my face as I rose from my hiding position to see their scorched carcases.
We four angels of death stepped from the pod, gazing out at the field of destruction around us. Smaller creatures fled from our presence as they saw their masters burn, and we returned their cowardice with stray bolter-fire, killing them instantly. We walked forth, calm in demeanor and cold in exterior. Men and women dressed in combat armour stood at attention as we stepped past them. Some of them bowed their heads, swearing loyalty to the Emperor or bravery in battle. Captain Daessios was furious at all of them.
“Guardsmen!” he began, “do not stand here idle in the face of the enemy! The Emperor’s women and men have little time to bow during war. Take up your weapons, regroup where the fighting is thickest, we shall handle ourselves!”
The majority of the Imperial Guardsmen nodded, taking up their weapons and wounded like Captain Daessios commanded. I looked after them, and asked, “And where shall we go, Captain?”
Daessios looked to Anaiel, who was firmly grasping a long metal staff in his armoured hands. It held heraldries of winged beasts and eyes that glowed with a faint blue hue as it swayed in the wind. Anaiel himself was gazing into the cloud marred sky, frowning as he spoke, “I sense the green-skin’s commune in the Warp. It dances across the sky like… like a naked drunkard.”
“Can you follow it, Witch?” Captain Daessios asked, taking up his gun as he surveyed the ground.
“I believe I can. Its source is not doing anything to mask its presence,” Anaiel assented, casting his gaze back down again. His red eyes shone through the shadows of his embroidered, white hood with a fiery concentration. He had caught the figurative scent of the Ork Warboss, and he was ready to begin the chase.
Daessios shouted encoded orders to the other Captains landing on the battlefield in other drop pods to maintain their position and draw fire away from us. I took in the scene as he did so, one that matched the battle-charts I had glanced upon precisely before we landed ourselves. It was just inside a metropolitan area covered all around by mountainous terrain. The crags would extend for hundreds of miles all around the mining town, giving it a wide advantage to most forms of assault. The station in which we were fighting was a refinery, and forged armour and weapons for the Guardsmen we had just relieved. It was a point of heavy strategic worth, and it was overrun by the Ork Hordes, green skinned aliens who subsisted on warfare of all kinds. We would not let them take this station, even if it cost us our lives.
After Daessios finished telecommuting orders to the rest of the men, he turned back to us and plainly spoke, “We will follow the Witch’s lead. Shield, stand and guard the Witch. Burns, stand at the rear guard and cover for us. We move, for the Emperor!”
At the Emperor’s cry, we took position, H’aman standing in the back while I protected Anaiel and Captain Daessios in the front with my Storm Shield. We moved quickly through the battle, staying low and behind cover Marine and Guardsmen fought the green tide of death. Anaiel directed me with verbal or physical indications of where to go. We ran for perhaps fifteen minutes through the city, behind alleyways and thoroughfares, streets and buildings, blood and decay. As we ventured deeper and deeper into the complex, corpses and enemies became more abundant. In our tightly knit band, we dispatched what minor threats came into view, but due to our numbers and discreetly chosen passageways we managed to avoid the bulk of the horde.
When we came to the downtown area, Anaiel held up a hand. He returned his gaze skyward, and nodded, “Here, it is right here. I can sense the alien’s presence inside this building. He is leading from insi- “
Before Anaiel could finish, bullet fire rang from the windows. It clashed against Anaiel’s shoulder pads in a wrenching clang of steel against steel. I brought my shield to hide Anaiel from the rest of the barrage as H’aman and Captain Daessios returned coverfire against our attackers. Daessios directed us to back into the alleyway we came from, and we quickly obliged. H’aman was the last to take cover, leaving a final bout of flame to the Ork’s turrets as we gathered ourselves.
“I marked three guns, Captain, all on the second floor. We need to get inside before they fortify the first,” I listed, taking a knee as I inspected my shield.
“We need a distraction larger than Burns’s fire it seems,” Captain Daessios murmured, snarling, “Damn them, we should have come sooner.”
“Making comments on the past does not help our present,” I retorted, resulting in the Captain giving me an acid stare from under his helmet.
“Captain,” Anaiel began, “I may have a way to remove the turrets as a problem. I just need to see them.”
“You have a spell for this, Witch?” Captain Daessios inquisited, turning his wrathful gaze
from me to the stony expression of Anaiel.
“I do, but we do not have time for your phobias to impact your tactical judgement. We can either charge mindlessly into the building while bullets rain down upon us, or I can remove the threat to our lives. The choice is yours.”
“Captain, Anaiel, enough!” I broke, standing between the two. H’aman was as silent as ever.
All was silent save for the Ork’s bullets for a long moment. Captain Daessios finally relented, ordering, “Shield, guard the Witch while it casts its spell. Burns and I shall… provide covering fire.”
I took up my shield as I stood in front of Anaiel, and charged into the bullets, providing the needed distraction. While the turrets trained on me, H’aman and the Captain fired their weapons into them while Anaiel walked in between them. He raised his staff, and shouted a primal roar at the Orks, one which I would swear to the grave they returned. The air around him shimmered with a blue light, almost as if he had pulled the sky itself down around him. Bolts of the same pigment leapt from his open palm, striking out against the turrets one by one, each becoming silent.
As the battlefield settled, Anaiel breathed heavily while his nimbus of energy subsided. Captain Daessios drew ahead of us, and scoffed, “Abhor the Witch. Know that our enemy lies ahead, do not be idle.”
We followed our Captain inside. The door was barred closed, but the meager defenses did not stop our power armour-enhanced strength. The inside of the building was dark, but our helmet’s vision was not impeded. Our armaments were serving us well as we advanced inside the building, as softly as our heavy metal feet would allow. I took the lead as we advanced down hallways, my gaze swooping about to ensure we would not be surprised.
The loudspeakers of the complex rang with a wine that indicated an improper use of the vox caster, causing each of us to wince as we halted out advance. A gravelly voice sounded all around us from the speakers, “Space Marines! I didn’t know a fella’ like me warranted such a honah!”
“Do not waste my time with words, Xenos, my ears require your screams instead,” Captain Daessios responded, signaling us to keep advancing through the hallways.
“Don’t be such a git, humie. It’s five floors to me, and I’m getting bored.”
“Witness the stupidity of the Xenos as it reveals its own position to us, brothers,” Captain Daessios dryly replied.
“Oi! You weren’t supposed to do dat!” the burly voice indignantly shouted back. Captain Daessios decided to stop bantering with the enemy for as he fell silent, the voice continued, “Yah humies never want to have fun while yah fight. If yah took this a lot less serious-like, I bet you’d lose more. I’d like it if yah lost more.”
“We would never stoop to your level, alien. Make peace with your false Gods if you hold any, for today you die in the name of the Emperor,” Captain Daessios declared as we reached the stairs.
“Nah nah nah, yah’ve got that mixed up wrong. Today, yah lot’s gonna die in the name of your Emrpah. I’mma live in filf, squallah, and the blood of your Space Marine brethren!”
As we reached the top of the stairs, the door to the second floor burst open. A corpse of a member of the Deathwatch flew past, and hit my shield with tremendous force, causing me to trip and fall onto Anaiel. A large Ork easily the size of three men bashed through the door, and filled the room with flame from a weapon mounted into his left hand, all the while shouting the Ork’s warcry of “WAAAGH!” Anaiel and I were free from the danger of the flames as we had toppled onto the ground, but H’aman was caught just inside the blast. A primal roar surged from his Vox, the first sound I had ever heard him make. To anyone who didn’t know the man, it might have sounded like a scream of terror. It was not terror that had overcome him, however, but orgasmic fury.
H’aman released flame from his own weapon back onto the Ork Warboss whilst still aflame. The Ork howled in pain, and covered his face with his armoured right side, which was replaced with a tangled mess of wires all connected to a massive gouging claw. Captain Daessios leapt through H’aman’s fire, and plunged his sword into the Ork’s arm, forcing him back into the room. It seemed the Warboss had deceived us about its location, for the pained screams of the Ork before us matched the annoying drivel that once poured from the loudspeakers.
As Anaiel and I recovered, standing back up again, H’aman’s armour had begun self cooling. Steam drifted off H’aman’s frame as he knelt on the ground, his arm over his side. He was in great pain, but he would survive. Behind him, however, came lights, and shouts of “WAAAGH!” from below. The Orks had tried to flank us, and soon they would overcome H’aman. I shouted, and ran down past Anaiel to support my fallen comrade, the greenskins coming into view as I did. I began to swing my Powermace against them, Anaiel’s blue bolts of psychic fire clashing from behind me as I did so.
We held the Orks off from our behind, all the while I hazarded glances down at H’aman. He had noticed the enemy behind us, and had begun to try and stand, bringing his weapon up from his side. I sent a few more blows at the Orks before ducking to one side, not wanting to be overcome with H’aman’s fire. He discharged his weapon at the bulk of the horde, sending the Orks back the way they came, routing them before they could reach us. They ran from the flames and back down the stairs, their morale routed, their spirit crushed. H’aman’s arm went limp as he sank back down against the wall.
“Anaiel!” I screamed, “Look after H’aman, I’m going to Daessios!”
“Acknowledged,” Anaiel nodded, “Go, quickly, I’ll do my best to soothe him!”
I ran from my comrades alone to where my Captain had drawn the greenskin. So far the mission was going well. We had snuck past enemy lines, we had supported the Guardsmen below, and we had even located the Ork Warboss, the leader of our enemies forces. Once we cut off the head of the snake, the body would wither. Our combat here was joined, and we had nearly brought him low.
The moment I had reached the height of the stairs was the moment my life changed for the worst.
EDIT 1: Minor grammar fixes, new Chapter should be up December 8-ish
EDIT 2: NOTICE, MOVING TO 1d4chan!!!