Monday, February 6, 2012

Captain's Log... Deliverance...


Here is an intro to a new story I'm forming in my mind. After the break you can read it.

Thanks for looking in advance... I'll be in the corner painting...


The Landraider Prometheus, “Angel in Hell”, followed the signal provided by the augers and carefully monitored by it's sole occupant Inquisitor Warren Loricatus. Landraiders came if a few variations built for battle but the ‘Prometheus’ type was the only vehicle capable of carrying the equipment needed for the expedition due to its command augers used by space marine commanders giving them a ‘picture’ of the battlefield. In the Inquisitors case it also provided the protection from the outside environment which would destroy lesser vehicles. A buffeting of the tank reminded Loricatus of the forces at work outside.

Hel hath no fury like Helicus II.

There were other life forms in the belly of the battle tank but servitors couldn’t really be described as occupants or equipment. The souls who were transformed into the human machine combination stayed in a quiet, rigid formation until they were ordered otherwise. Loricatus maintained his station ignoring the life but lifeless faces staring at him.

A red light blinked on a data screen correlating to a signal and displayed it's progress on an exceptionally blank terrain rendering viewer. While the tanks machine spirit kept it on track, the best efforts of what was left of Hellicus II’s atmosphere tried to drive it off course or destroy it. Seventy some odd years earlier the planet had been rendered lifeless with planet killer missiles known throughout the Imperium as the ‘Exterminatus’. Inquisitors and Dark Angels were always destructive forces when mixed together and Hellicus II had felt their combined wrath. Since that fateful day the planet had been without any signs of life until recently a faint Imperial signal registered otherwise.

After several hours of travel in an unwavering line of direction the terrain rendering finally began to show an outcropping rising from the blank surface of the planet. The signal received by the augers placed the signals origin in the center of the outcropping. Rolling to a stop signaled that the machine spirit of the tank had reached it's destination. The engines wound down as if they were relieved to not be in service.

Reaching for his helmet and securing it in place, the Inquisitor rechecked his readings of the outside conditions. He had just minutes to erect the poly flex shielding and get the first set of servitors to digging the fifty meters to the signal output before he would have to get back into the landraider. It would take four sets of two servitors to dig through solid rock in the inhospitable environment. Loricatus sighed to himself and hoped they would be enough. The price of getting the equipment, the sacrifice of time, and the servitors, meant a failure could not be an option. Loricatus opened the assault ramp of the landraider and let in hell.

Days had passed and the last sets of servitors were almost useless. The environment outside started on the biological portions of the machine-men's bodies eating away at the last vestiges of humanity till nothing was left but the machine. Loricatus was interrupted from his thoughts by an alarm signaling the servitors had been spent. For what might be the last time he dawned his armored headgear and opened the ramp to the tank.

The remains of all the earlier servitors were piled in a heap to one side of the protective enclosure while the last two were grim reminders of the fate waiting if his armour failed him. The metal skeletons still held the digging tools in the last spots where they had died doing their masters bidding.

Loricatus could make out the top portion of a metallic surface which stuck out like a beacon when compared against the rock face. The servitors had dug a small tunnel as programmed but never completed their task.

Going back into the tank the Inquisitor grabbed his close combat weapon. A thunder hammer was a mighty weapon due to its ability to release great amounts of energy upon impact. In battle foes armour could be blown away or more formidable enemy’s protection could be breached. The alliance of weapon and tool came together in a mighty device fitting an Inquisitor's station and status within the Imperium.

Loricatus activated the weapon and swung it with all his might at the last remnants of rock blocking his way towards his goal. Shards of rock exploded outward and larger chunks fell to the ground at the Inquisitors’ feet. Two then three hits revealed a portal to some larger structure.

Deactivating the thunder hammer the Inquisitor laid it against the wall and wiped the dust and rock from a control panel access also revealing a singular word. “Deliverance”, a lost battle cruiser of the Dark Angels and perhaps a lost tomb of some of their brethren if the signal he had been following was correct.

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