Heresy of the Angry Marines (Pt 1)
A horrible din rang across the battlefield, tugging at the ear-drums of the descending Astartes that dropped from their ship. On the other side of the ruined city, colors and noises let loose like unbridled stallions, the Emperor's Children fired their infernal sonic weaponry, tearing building and citizen alike piece by piece. The pink armor-clad warriors of Chaos revelled in the destruction and pained screams, letting out their own twisted mockery of joyous laughter. The leader, a brute of a mortal Slaanesh worshipper, fired his weapons into the air, causing a fleeing escape shuttle to crumble and burst. The Chaos worshipper chuckled and looked to his ‘comrades’, forcing a pained snigger from within their ranks. The Noise Marine Captain cast a passing glance to the falling drop pods and ordered, but it was more of a suggestion, his ‘men’ to continue their merry-making. The city would fall to the Prince of Pleasure soon enough, once they’d sucked it dry.
One of the pods tilted in the sky, airborne debris clattering against the metallic hull of the transport, and veered ever so slightly off-course. The tiny change in direction brought the pod into contact with a massive spire of a building, smashing through the top and sending the pod spinning. The misaimed shell hit the ground on its side and it lay still. The sounds of battle and killing raged on, prompting an armored fist to punch one of the pod doors with such force that it flew off of its single hinge and imbedded itself into one of the quickly disintegrating buildings. The figure clambered out of the pod alone, its comrades inside dead from bullets and projectiles that pierced the inner walls.
“ASSAULT MARINE TYBER IN POSITION! WHAT NOW?” the Astartes screeched deafeningly into his vox. Luckily, the receivers were used to this, far more in fact than the fresh Astartes.
“RIP THEIR HEADS OFF AND RAM THEM UP THEIR ASSHOLES! USE YOUR BRAIN, DUMBASS! RIP THEM TO SHREDS!” the commander ordered to the solitary marine. He snapped his head to one side, looking for the enemy, then to the other, looking for allies. So far, none of the other Astartes had made planetfall and emerged from their pods. It seemed that Lynniel Tyber would be only one of the Chapter on the ground. Drawing a chainsword in each hand, Tyber activated his jump pack and set off, burning a trail through the sky. A sky that was beginning to fill with strange gas…
A lone Emperor’s Children legionnaire trudged through the street, searching for innocents to obliterate. Every so often, the chaos marine would stop and fill the street with cacophonous noise, for no other reason that it pleased him. Occasionally this filled a double purpose of drawing someone out from the shadows to run, but that wasn’t the main objective. As the marine continued his slow march down the labyrinthine streets, Tyber settled on top of a nearby building and saw the chaos marine. His fingers began to claw at the handles of his chainswords. He was feeling the great and powerful rage his chapter was famous for and it carried him off of the building and into the street. The Slaanesh worshipper only had the time to see Tyber right above his head.
“SURPRISE, DICKHEAD!” he shouted, placing a powerful kick to the marine’s helmet. The dazed servant of chaos found his back smashed into the wall and he raised his gun to retaliate. But, despite being a rookie, Tyber was fast. One strike split the noise gun down the middle; the other lopped it off from the handle down. The chaos marine made the mistake of discarding the weapon, giving Tyber the precious seconds to deliver a brutal sideways slash that cut the marine from the waist down. Unable to do anything, the Chaos worshipper tried his best to crawl away, but a swift kick to the backside sent him hurtling into a building, broken and killed. Tyber turned away from his first battlefield kill to pursue more, having spotted a major disturbance in the middle of the city.
“ARGENT, WHERE ARE YOU?”
“MAJOR SHIT GOING DOWN IN THE TOWN SQUARE, LYNNIEL. SLAANESHI FUCKS ARE CRAWLING ALL OVER THE PLACE. IT’S LIKE A MOTHERFUCKING ORGY DOWN HERE!” Brother-Captain Argent Rex replied. Far more experienced than Tyber, Rex was an adept at channelling that insurmountable rage that the chapter was famous for into combat, something the rookie had yet to fully wrap his head around. Tyber and Rex ran into each other near the edge of the city square, the twisting streets diverting and turning them around. The two nearly crossed swords when they met, almost mistaking each other’s movement for chaos marines. “WATCH WHERE YOU’RE GOING, ASSHOLE!” Rex shouted, a hint of brotherly fondness hidden in his rage. The assault marine lifted his foot and kicked a massive hole into the base of a building, collapsing a great part of it and giving Rex a path to go through. Not wanting to be outdone, Tyber activated his jump pack and rammed right through sections of rubble.
There was the old city square. Normally nothing out of the ordinary, that day the space was filled with a veritable sea of daemons and their mortal servants, chaos marines and a new addition unwelcomed by the rest. The rest of the Astartes had landed and were laying waste to the Slaaneshi forces, cutting them down where they stood or turning them into improvised weapons that turned into bloody rags when smashed into the ceramite armor of the chaos marines. Tyber arrived at the back, near the penitent devastator squad.
“WHERE THE FUCK HAVE YOU BEEN? THE CHAPTER MASTER HIMSELF IS HERE, DICKWEED!”
“BEEN KILLING SLAANESHI DIPSHITS WITH MY CHAINSWORDS! YOU CAN’T DO THAT, SO SHUT THE FUCK UP!” A short stint of banter went back and forth between the two marines, before Tyber decided that there were too many enemies of the Emperor left standing. Jumping over the next assault marine, Tyber lit up his jump pack and starting to cut a path through the yowling enemies.
This was not going to plan at all. The Noise Marine Captain had in no way expected the entire chapter of the ANGRY MARINES to be sent to his ritual summoning. It was the biggest Slaaneshi gathering in the sector, so something was bound to be sent his way. This wasn’t supposed to be it. It was time to fall back into the Warp, regroup and try again when his god allowed. Spitting on another failure, the Captain began to open a portal for his own escape.
“NOT SO FAST, COCKMONGLING FUCK! WHO GAVE YOU PERMISSION TO RUN AND LEAVE YOUR FORCES TO SLOW US DOWN! NOT FUCKING ME” The one who interrupted had a voice that inspired masses. But they were masses of bloodthirsty warriors and that voice carried the anger of the Imperium. Taking a moment to stop, the Captain saw the imposing figure of the Chapter Master himself.
“Didn’t know you were a man of honor, Temperus,” the Noise Marine jeered, earning a forced chuckle from the masses. Temperus Maximus took one mighty step onto the platform the chaos cultist stood upon with his highest subordinates and split him from groin to scalp in one fell blow. With him, the daemonic forces went limp, their energy dissipating and their mortal allies cut down with frightening ease by the redoubled efforts of the Angry Marines. But something remained in the Chapter Master’s ears. “It’s not over. We will gnaw on your bones and devour this planet…” Temperus Maximus sensed something very dangerous. He was immune to the whisperings of Chaos, but here was a psychic tingle in his eardrum that heeded a warning.
“CHAPTER MASTER, WHAT IS HAPPENING?”
“NO FUCKING CLUE! BUT THERE’S MORE THAN DICK-DAEMONS OUT HERE!” With that message ringing true in the ears of the marines, a massive rock, wreathed in flames and spewing magma, impacted the ground several miles to the west. This was not the only one, as dozens of the rocks started to rain down onto the planet’s surface, spelling doom for unprotected inhabitants.
“DOES THAT MEAN THE STORIES ARE TRUE? ABOUT THE THINGS THAT COME IN METEOR STORMS?” A more experienced assault marine asked.
“RIGHT THEN! LET’S FUCK UP THIS STORY!” The Chapter Master raised his fist in the air and the marines responded with a mirrored gesture and took off.
The Angry Marines, with a set objective, moved with incredible haste, the land seemingly turning to grease under their feet. The Chapter Master led the assault by foot, keeping his battle-brothers restrained with a silent aura of control. No brother would dare deny Temperus the first kill. Tyber learnt that on his first day. Never mess with Temperus or his brothers. The Chapter Master and the First Company stopped, nearly tumbling over the edge of a larger crater. Even through their power armor, the Astartes could feel the heat emanating from the occupants of the meteor clusters.
Out of nowhere and without a sound to pre-empt it, a spiny tail cased in obsidian impaled one of the Astartes on the edge, sending a spray of blood onto the armor of his nearest battle-brother. The body hung on the dangerous appendage for a second, the blood boiling and fizzling before the body was cast aside and the tail retreated into the scorched ground. The shocked marines stood idle in bewilderment for a second before exploding into a burning rage. Without orders, Angry Marines poured into the hole created by the tail, a few at the top blocking any from going further down. The brother at the very bottom saw a faint, orange glow in the darkness of the tunnel and struck at it with his chainswords. A grinding hiss permeated through the tunnel and the Master of Mindfuckery on hand, a certain Blaz Dune, made the declaration.
“IT’S THE EMPEROR-DAMNED TYRANIDS! ALL HANDS, KICK THOSE SONS-OF-TAU IN THE BALLS!” he shouted, disregarding the lack of tyranid genitals. The other Astartes responded with a resounding ‘IN THE BALLS!’ before flying over the crater lip and descending on what lay below. Despite the sight, none of the marines faltered. Below them, a titanic serpentine shape writhed in the depths of the crater, the rock like spines along its elongated form cutting light grooves into the rock. The creature, its huge head bristling with spines and jagged teeth, had but a moment to see dozens of Angry Marines descending on it like a pack of wolves. The marines attacked with vicious gusto, tearing open the armored hide of the great beast, spilling glowing orange liquid onto their gloves, boots and armor. Unbeknownst to the Astartes, the liquid, molten blood of their victim, was starting to etch marks into their protective casing, eating away slowly at their bright yellow armor. But the marines ignored this as they gutted what Dune identified as an overgrown Trygon. Some of the other Astartes congratulated Dune in being ‘A GOOD FUCKING NERD’ and gave him a heavy slap on the back. Tyber and company on the other hand were unsure of whether a single tyranid bioform was all that would be on the field of battle.
“WHERE ARE THE REST OF THOSE FUCKERS?” Brother-Captain Rex asked, setting his flaming gaze on Dune. Dune flipped the Fourth Company captain off, the equivalent of a shrug amongst the battle-brothers. As the information master’s hand fell naturally at his waist, the Astartes felt a strong tremor under their feet.
“YOU FUCK-UP! YOU JINXED IT!” The Master of Mindfuckery shouted, barely restraining the powerful urge to throw his power sword at the Fourth Company Captain. He knew Moarfistin would have approved. Before yet another inevitable scuffle between Astartes could start, another massive tyranid beast exploded from the ground beneath the main force of Angry Marines, sending battle-brothers flying in all directions. A few were skilled enough with their jump packs to start them up as soon as they could and bring down the beast from the head. Rex was the first marine to hit the giant, but even the impact of a powerful Astartes like him did nothing to the beast and it threw him off without effort. Other Angry Marines had a better plan, all grabbing what constituted a neck on the Trygon and pushing the beast. There would be much more effort needed to down the constantly moving tyranid like this, but the Astartes could not afford to give manpower. More tyranid bioforms, lumbering beasts that looked like living coals giving anger, were appearing from the holes in the ground. All of the beasts towered over the biggest of the Astartes.
“EMPEROR’S RIGHTEOUS ANGER! ALWAYS ANGRY!” Second Company Captain Satchel cheered. Nearby a group of marines, a smoldering giant loomed.
“ALL THE TIME!” the battle-brothers responded, charging into the thick of the fray. As if it was divine intervention from the Emperor himself, drop pods, much larger than those that housed Astartes, fell from the sky, the Slaaneshi fumes giving them the appearance of catching fire. One struck perfectly next to Dune and opened its metal doors to the world.
“EVEN IN DEATH, I STILL KICK ASS!” the mighty, inspiring form of a Belligerent Engine rumbled. The Emperor smiled at them that day, smiled an intimidating and terrifying grin for all the enemies of the Imperium to see. Dune laughed throatily and issued an order.
“CUT THEM TO PIECES, MOTHERFUCKERS!” He looked out at the ever growing horde of monstrous creatures, many standing higher than the heads of venerable dreadnoughts, and saw one beast that caught his eye. He was going to tear it apart. “I’M COMING FOR YOU, FUCKER!” With that, Dune kicked off the edge of the crater, a veritable cliff face, and descended on the tyranid horde.
On the battlefield below, a Warrior beast of unparalleled size duelled four Astartes with its glowing claws hewn from its own bones, its armored hide belying its natural agility. The Angry Marines fighting it ducked and dived, leaping at the nimble beast to catch it and turn it inside-out. On his fall down, Dune caught the Warrior’s left upper arm and spun around the confused synapse creature. Showing the creature physical strength innate to the irate Astartes, he twisted the limb back, having surprising care not to slash his own face with the searing hot magma blade on the end of the forelimb. The Master of Mindfuckery snapped the arm back and in a single, fluid movement shoved the burning bio-weapon into the Warrior’s mouth. The beast screamed in pain, slicing blindly with its talons and a lucky strike impaled Dune’s elbow joint all the way through. The marine shouted an angry, pained yell and took hold of the Warrior’s other magma weapon, his grip slipping and the blade melting his glove and boiling the flesh on his hand. Believing that the Emperor wouldn’t bless them and let him die, Dune pushed through and rammed the steaming weapon into the Warrior’s throat. The head rocked in a series of spasms and jittered, a well-placed kick from one of the assault marines killing it outright.
“THANKS FOR NOTHING,” Dune acknowledged, getting angry nods from his fellows. The Master of Mindfuckery looked about the battlefield for his real target and found himself wanting. Nothing warned him of the creatures under the surface.
The rocks under one of the assault marine’s feet started to split and Dune heard a familiar grumble underneath the ground. Reacting on reflex alone, the psyker managed to leap faster than the other marines as a creature burst from the earth, sending rock shards flying like dangerous shrapnel. One struck and glanced off of Dune’s armored hand, exacerbating the throbbing, burning pain. His pained hiss joined the noise of a titan roaring, its irate breath sounding like sheets of metal being ground and torn apart. An unlucky Astartes found himself in the creature’s jaws, its powerful muscles crushing and melting his body. The creature, no doubt some kind of Carnifex modification, tossed the marine’s body away, letting it slide down the ashen slope. A whip like tentacle fidgeted independently from the rest of the creature and suddenly struck out like a snake, spearing another marine through his helmet. The vicious creature lifted the poor marine up, looked him dead in the eyes and ripped his throat out.
A torrent of air entered the psyker’s lungs as he took an enraged breath at the deaths of his sworn battle-brothers. Charging with reckless abandon, Dune brought his sword down on the creature’s arm, chipping the rocky outer coating. The beast bellowed angrily at him, dismissing his attack with a swat of its obsidian coated arm, sending the marine flying. Other marines saw the plight of their brother and charged. Brother-Captain Rex jumped onto the creature’s back unassisted by jump pack and dug the heel of his power boot in. the flaming beast did not react well to this, throwing the Fourth Company Captain bodily. To the enraging surprise of the Astartes, the tentacle straightened out and snagged the Captain, bringing his flight to a painful, spine-breaking stop. The Brother-Captain coughed blood as the Carnifex drew in its line, pulling its prey closer at breakneck speed. Once the doomed Captain was close enough, the beast headbutted him, smashing the proud front of his power armor.
Brother Captain Argent Rex was dead. The stunned marines looked on as their ranks were beaten by the Carnifex, its crushing claws smashing the Astartes into the ground before tossing them aside. A devastator squad appeared to turn the tide of the battle, but one look from the beast made them know that they were doomed. It attacked them like a feral dog at a loose piece of meat, pieces flying everywhere and one marine having his entire leg ripped to a bloody stump. The Carnifex swallowed the still armored limb, power foot and all, before turning to the Angry Marines. Never before had they recognised such a blatant representation of animalistic rage. This single beast had as much rage as the World Eaters. This pissed them off to no end.
“IT’LL BE GREAT TROPHY TO GLOAT ABOUT THEN!” Tyber shouted, charging like so many before him. The beast recognised him as insignificant and readied its magma tipped claws. The assault marine blocked the downward strike with his chainswords, but to his horror, the weapons began to melt. He discarded the useless implements and tried to deliver a strong punch to the Carnifex’s exposed eye. There was no getting past these defences. It clamped its jaws around his arm and twisted, tearing another morsel for its belly. And then if froze. The Carnifex was motionless. For a moment, the Angry Marines had an opportunity to strike. But just as soon as it stopped, the beast retreated into its entry hole, sealing the exit with rapidly cooling magma.
“A BETTER MARINE WOULD HAVE USED FUCKING MAGMA CHAINSWORDS TO BURN THAT MOTHERFUCKER!” an assault marine shouted into Tyber’s face, helping him up. Meanwhile, on the other side of the field of bodies, tyranid and marine alike, Dune looked at the fallen battle-brothers with a morbid, enraged echo of sorrow, like the permanent anger stage of grief.
“HOW DID WE LOSE SO MANY FUCKING BATTLE-BROTHERS? FUCKING ARACHNID… TYRA… ARACH” Suddenly struck by some kind of psychic wave, Dune held his head together with his hands, a sharp mental spike driven into his brain. “RACH… R… CH… RACH… ARACHNI… RACHN…. R… R… RA..
Marines around the battlefield fell silent, the spasming form of the psyker hitting something deep within them too. An Angry Marine shivered, his righteous rage quivering and growing. The old sacrifice of the chapter had not been forgotten...
In the depths of space, an Inquisitorial vessel drifted like a grand cathedral of justice, its titanic shape giving the planet dwellers an artificial eclipse. The intricate workings on within the ship were going as they normally would, but for one thing. A lone messenger journeyed through its vast spaces, searching every corner for the one he would deliver the message. Almost by accident, he bumped into the silvery-grey armor of his delivery address.
“Sir, I have a message from the Flagirus Sector. The Unspoken One’s name has been... invoked”. Behind his faceless helmet, the Grey Knight grinned, a deadly sickle-smile opening upon his battle-scarred face like an open, festering wound. If the messenger could see that, he would have fainted from sheer terror alone.
“Excellent. Contact Deathwatch. Contact the Sororitas. We're going to deal with this heresy. Once and for all…”
Techmarines dropped down alongside apothecaries to assess the battlefield and the downed marines. In regular instances, the Adeptus Mechanicus would try and preserve holy machinery and weaponry, and the two often overlapped. Now many of the techmarines were shuffled next to apothecaries, directed by the Chapter Master.
“GET SOME FUCKING BIONICS ON MY MARINES BEFORE I SHOVE THIS CHAINFIST UP A PLACE THE SERVITORS WILL NEVER FIND!” he bellowed, taking a step forward and shoving a techmarine in the right direction. The mere threat of Temperus’ directed ire on one of their shoulders made the process of fitting ‘KICKASS ROBOT LIMBS’ run a lot more smoothly, a few marines testing out their new appendages with a forceful strike to the unfortunate apothecary or techmarine. This resulted in more than a few brawls within the chapter ranks, many of the Astartes feeling much better after pounding a battle-brother for a few minutes. Tyber was one of those marines, really understanding how the Angry Marines functioned. He clenched his new fist tightly, lamenting the violent loss of his brothers. He would never say it in those words, though. He would die like a chump, like Rex, that chump. He smashed a rock into tiny fragments with his fist, venting.
Dune held an ungloved hand to his throbbing skull, grimacing and snarling. What had happened to him? What the fuck?
“HEY, NERD! YOU’RE A LIBRARIAN, RIGHT?” Tyber asked him.
“MASTER OF MINDFUCKERY, YOU STUCK-UP SHIT! GET IT RIGHT!”
"WHATEVER! YOU DO LIBRARIAN JOBS DON’T YOU?” Dune got up and walked with a heavy step over to Tyber and grabbed the unsuspecting marine in a headlock, squeezing his head in his arm.
"DON’T YOU EVER FUCKING INSULT ME LIKE THAT AGAIN! AND YES, I’M THE ONLY FUCKING ONE WHO GIVES A FLYING FUCK ABOUT HISTORY IN THIS CHAPTER. BECAUSE HISTORY IS FOR PUSSIES AND THOSE WHO DON’T LEARN REPEAT LIKE DOUCHES!” This part perplexed Tyber. Why would the Master of Mindfuckery denounce his own role? However, this was far from the forefront of his mind, the most important thing being the ever-growing frustration and rage at not being able to break Dune’s grip. The Astartes wriggled and squirmed, hitting the psyker in the ribs repeatedly until he yielded. Dune, however, was too enraged by Tyber’s audacity to resist his grip to give an inch to the marine, instead deciding to piledrive the junior marine into the dust. Now the one with the stronger headache, Tyber surrendered, receiving overwhelming disapproval from the Angry Marines. “FUCKING MARINE FOETUS-FUCKER ROOKIE! HE DOESN’T KNOW SHIT ABOUT US, ABOUT OUR SACRIFICE. WE ARE ANGRY FOR THE EMPEROR AND OUR LOST RECORDS!”
“LOST RECORDS? WHAT THE FUCK?”
"FUCKING GONE, SHITHEAD! CHAPTER HISTORY STARTS WITH FIRST CHAPTER MASTER FAL…” Dune turned his head away from his audience, heavy browed gaze averted, knowing what memory accompanied the Chapter Master’s fate. “…FAL, WHO WAS THE FIRST BELLIGERENT ENGINE TO FUCK CHAOS SIDEWAYS. THEN OUR ESTEEMED MOTHERFUCKER TEMPERUS TOOK OVER. SEEMS LIKE A NORMAL SECOND FOUNDING CHAPTER, RIGHT?” Several Astartes nodded. “WRONG! GO BACK TO SCHOOL, COCKSTROKERS! THE ANGRY MARINES HAVE OUR VERY FIRST RECORD AT THE END OF THE MOTHERFUCKING SIEGE OF TERRA! THERE WASN’T A FUCKING FOUNDING BACK THEN WHEN THE HOLY EMPEROR BITCH-SLAPPED THAT CUNT, HORUS! SO WE HAVE TO BE DESCENDED FROM A LEGION! A FUCKING ANGRY LEGION!”
“I AGREE WITH HIS MINDFUCKERY. YOU DON’T ASK FOR RECORDS IN THE ANGRY MARINES, YOU KICKED IN THE DICK! NOW GO JOIN A DEVASTATOR SQUAD, COCKMONGLER!” Tyber hissed at the order, raising his fist. But he didn’t dare go against the orders of Temperus Maximus, lest he be treated to a fate worse than being sent to find Fulgrim’s Slaaneshi world alone, a quest so horrid just thinking about it was cause for a commissar to come visiting. He muttered some profanities and found a devastator squad to join, the marines he insulted now beating him with their weapons as repayment.
Elsewhere, a scout walked alone, bleeding profusely through numerous holes in his armor, each step punctuated by a feeble ‘FUCK’. He turned his head rigidly, looking for danger in the gloom of the dark. Nothing seemed to appear for the time being, so he set his eyes forward, continuing to what would certainly be the vigorously burning flame of the Angry Marines’ forward base. They didn’t care for visibility. In fact, they hoped the enemies of man would be attracted to the fire so that they could exact the Emperor’s justice on their skulls, limbs, spines, possibly in that order. Some dust crunched together. The Astartes whipped around, his chainblade whirring meaninglessly in the dark of the night. He could definitely see figures now, dancing beyond the shadowy darkness, just out of reach. The scout turned to face this intangible threat, firing pointless punches at everything and striking short. Something moved ahead of the others. The scout took his chance and grabbed the black shape by the head and smashed it as hard as he could into the ground. The head flattened and pulped, spilling thick blood onto the loose dust over the rocks. The marine dropped the body and kicked it into the crowd that he couldn’t see, hearing it hit something organic. Before he could continue his assault, the marine heard a click and the night in front of him lit up with bolter fire.
Astartes Most Unusual
“So, the Ordo Malleus’ dogs of war have called us in? For what?” a Deathwatch captain muttered, leaning his muscle-bound bulk on the sturdy wall. The Battle Sister Palatine beside him shook her head disapprovingly.
“I’d be careful of what you say, Daegan. The Inquisitors might take that personally and they’re not afraid to accuse Astartes of heresy. Not unusual in my experience”.
“What are you trying to insinuate about Space Marines?” Daegan inquired. The Palatine looked elsewhere, trying not to hold the marine’s gaze. The tension between them was broken by the shifting of the grand doors and the appearance of a hooded figure.
"Captain Daegan, Palatine Katarina, you may come inside,” the inquisitor boomed, his authoritarian voice striking a nerve in Daegan. The Deathwatch captain entered first and took the head of an ornate dining table. This was clearly set out for many more people than the three of them present, so there was ample space between the chairs seated. The two guests did not have to wait long before one of the back doors, not quite as ornate or spectacular as the first set but almost so, opened, revealing a whole group of eerie inquisitors, one clearly their leader at the head. Each of them had a bolt pistol and a knife of some kind. Daegan raised an eyebrow at the men, thinking them ridiculous.
“I hope you don’t mind the presence of my men. They will be overseeing this… ‘meeting’,” the Lord Inquisitor said, shifting his gaze between the two leaders.
"Not at all,” Katarina said, familiar with working with the Inquisition, the Ecclesiarchy having similar goals to Ordo Hereticus. Malleus on the other hand wasn’t quite so familiar to her. By contrast, Daegan raised his lip in a snarl, an air of contempt surrounding the man. The Lord Inquisitor dismissed both.
"I’ve called this meeting to discuss a particularly problematic chapter. But let’s be honest and forward with this discussion. No one really likes the Angry Marines. They’re a bunch of raging, destructive, foul-mouthed and undisciplined louts with no respect for order or their fellow marines, Black Templars and Space Wolves notwithstanding. They’ve shown heretical tendencies since their founding, the incident with Marneus Calgar being especially notable in my mind”. Daegan snorted with disgust and shuffled to hide the Ultramarine pauldron from the others. “They are dangerous and now they’ve committed a heresy so great it defies the Emperor’s direct word. This act will remain unspoken of”.
“How can we commit to this if we don’t know the cause?” Katarina asked, looking at the inquisitor and the space marine from across the table. Daegan glanced dangerously in the same way, growing tired of the effect of the space between the three leaders. The lord inquisitor put his hands on the table.
“Have you ever questioned heresy?”
"No,” the Palatine replied. The Lord Inquisitor grinned beneath the shadow of his hood.
“This is heresy. Do not question it. So the Angry Marines oppose everything the Inquisition stands for, and heretical chapters can’t be left alone. They need to be expunged before they infect the greater body. And unlike the Space Wolves, these marines are not a First Founding chapter. We will have no problems with their destruction”. The inquisitor tented his fingers, silently asking for a response.
“So what would the Daemonhunters and Deathwatch have to do with this? Surely this falls under Ordo Hereticus? I understand where the Orders Militant come in, these ‘Angry Marines’ obviously being an affront to the Emperor’s decree.” the Palatine said. Daegan shot a derisive look at the Lord Inquisitor.
"Good question. Daegan, you are a Deathwatch Marine, are you not?”
“By the Emperor’s name, I am! What of it?”
"You’ve sworn to destroy the vile xenos that oppose mankind?” “Yes?” Daegan replied, irritated.
“What is a xeno, dear Captain?”
“An alien. Something inhuman”.
"My assumptions, based in practice, are correct. So then, an alien is something that isn’t from where you are from… and inhuman. A Space Marine is a man, but he isn’t human. They are post-human. And the Angry Marines are not from where you are from and they oppose mankind. How does this not fall under your sector of expertise?” Daegan narrowed his sunken eyes and admitted defeat. “As for the Daemonhunters, chosen of the Emperor’s will? We have noted a disturbing number of daemons in the general vicinity of where the Angry Marines were last spotted. If those marines have fallen to chaos like we have thought, then it is only natural that there would be daemons. We may have to… deploy our specialist forces as well. Emperor knows a better force of Astartes would crush these unruly misfits”. The other two looked at the inquisitor with confusion and the old man simply grinned to himself, leaving the Captain and the Palatine in the dark.
The Marines Advance
The bang of bolter fire dissipated as it cut through the air, barely reaching the ears of the farthest spread marines. A sergeant smashed a diamond hard rock under the force of his power foot, an Angry Marine exclusive weapon. A small detachment of marines subordinate to him sparred with their power bats, the matter disruption fields turned off. Though belligerent, the marines were not so stupid as to risk killing their battle-brothers. The brothers who used power swords sheathed the weapons and beat their comrades with their armored fists. With his injured hands, Dune resolved to grip the blade and exchanged blows with the sergeant, using the sword hilt as a club. The sergeant tackled the psyker and the two of them fought for a minute or two, their righteous anger somewhat tempered by the rough-housing. When a call rang through the encampment, Dune looked up from smashing the sergeant’s head into the ground.
"THIS ISN’T OVER,” he said, clasping his head after the sergeant’s repeated bludgeoning of it with his bat. With an acrobatic wriggle, the sergeant got to his feet and went to see what the 2nd Company Captain had to say.
“C’MON, CHUCKLEFUCKS! WE’RE TAKING THE BATTLE TO THEM!” Satchel cried, sending a wave of frustration through the marines, asking why it took so long to reach this consensus. The others hit their fists together in anticipation of another raging battle in the Emperor’s name.
During the down time, aerial assistance came down from the fleet, sending transports for the Astartes. The most numerous were somewhat familiar to imperial eyes, hovering, quick moving skimmers holding a few marines each. But the quintessential Land Speeder had been changed somewhat by the Angry Marines. The light armor had been bolstered considerably and the shape lent itself to hard angles that were harsh and simple. The propulsion was stronger and the engine more furious in its look and sound. The nose of the craft was still covered in gore and dried blood spatter, likely a request from the marines themselves to commemorate kills and to laugh about it. These Rage Speeders were powerful battering rams that allowed one passenger seat’s worth of space for the Angry Marines to slash anything that slides off the nose, the plasma grenade launchers and heavy bolters supplying rare firepower. Supplied with these vehicles, the battle-brothers fought with fist and bat to get to a position in the craft, the actual designated pilots having to resort to more and more violent methods to keep the others at bay. Eventually, many of the marines had embarked on what were effectively two man battering rams while the rest had to wait for more vehicles to arrive. A cocky laugh and a flick of the middle finger drove the point home to the grounded warriors.
Dune shoved a prospective ganger away, citing his lack of anger as being unworthy of boarding the vehicle, though doing so let another marine board the craft ahead of him. This incited him with such rage that he almost broke his power sword over his knee, instead backhanding a brother that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Needless to say, a fight soon broke out and missed blows brought more combatants. The Angry Marines devolved into a pack of brawlers, but the scuffle ended quickly as the Rage Speeders departed with a furious kick, blazing across the rocky terrain. With the enraged screams abated, the speeder crews entered a strange state of focus, searching high and low for the enemy. Though concentrating, they were not subtle or quiet. Many a bolthole was given the warm reception of a plasma grenade or utter destruction from the end of a chainsword. Occasionally a piece of an already slain tyranid flew up in a haze of smoke, but the marines would be so far unlucky.
Something moved at the edge of one marine’s vision. He turned rapidly to see whatever it was in full and found himself facing a Warrior. In silent agreement with his passenger, the pilot charged directly at the tyranid. The creature noticed the immediate threat, not difficult when said threat is a bold yellow battering ram filled with screaming lunatics revving chainswords and yelling curses, and promptly began to run, quickly. At the rate it was running and the speed their vehicle was travelling, the Rage Speeder’s crew would surely miss. But the pilot wasn’t so sure. Turning his vehicle and letting momentum take them, he power-slid the hovering craft at bone-breaking speed into the tyranid. The passenger took his chance through the open side of the speeder and cut a whirlwind of slashes into the Warrior, turning it into a fountain of blood.
“FUCK YEAH! SUCK ON THAT, INSECT MOTHERFUCKER!” the marine shouted, kicking the corpse furiously until it freed itself from the side of their vehicle. His fist met the driver’s and the two reported their kill. “HEY, CHUMPS! BIG BUGS READY TO SQUASH RIGHT OVER HERE!”
“DON’T NEED TO TELL US TWICE! PREPARE TO GET WRECKED!” The other pilots converged on the site, their speeders slamming into each other from their enthusiasm. The pilots, in a surprising act of restraint, refrained from beating each other senseless. They heard something, under the surface. This tactic of breaking from underneath was getting very irritating. The speeders dispersed, their impressive speed clearing hundreds of metres from the site broken. In sync with each other, the pilots all turned towards the creature, half of a Trygon exposed to the air. But this time, the lithe beast wriggled free from the rabbit hole of its own making. The marines ignored this and continued to build speed, distance closing dramatically. As he went, the vanguard of the ramming force noticed movement in the hole and changed his course slightly.
“MAN THE GUN IF YOU HANDLE IT!” he said to his passenger who picked up the heavy bolter and aimed at the hole. A smaller shape continued to shift in the hidden portion and then it remained still as the Rage Speeder barreled fourth furiously. Suddenly, there was a bang on the underside of the craft. The marines looked at each other disbelievingly and their vehicle stopped charging and started falling. Coming short of the hole, the Rage Speeder exploded into a ball of flame.
“WHAT THE FUCK?!?” a Rage Pilot screeched before urging his gunner to fire every one of their weapons on the hole. Flames and bolts screamed towards the opening in the ground and the creatures inside scattered, the slow ones instantly vaporised by the barrage. Now the marines could identify what killed the other two. Crouched figures protected by a hard shell and molded to a gun, the Hive Guard were notorious among the Imperium for utterly destroying tanks and transports. These light fliers were easy prey. The Rage Pilot sank his machine low to the ground and accelerated as quickly as he could, smashing into the nearest Hive Guard with enough force to rip the gun from its arms. The squealing tyranid was ripped apart the passenger marine, power field effortlessly tearing the creature in two. But in their fervor for revenge, they had neglected to notice the giant form of the Trygon in their path. The two marines rammed into with full force.
“THINK YOU’RE BIG AND TOUGH? SUCK ON THIS, BUG-FUCK!” the Rage Pilot shouted before impact. The craft’s fuel tank ruptured and detonated, taking a massive chunk of the Trygon’s lower body flesh, sending the giant to the ground. The two marines were flung weightlessly in the other direction, their armor weakened and shattered by the detonation. But there was salvation for them yet. Sticky webs of some unknown substance whipped around the marines and their impact with the ground was softened. The gunner looked up weakly and bright yellow filled his vision. The color in front of him lumbered forward and he knew it was a Belligerent Engine.
The mighty dreadnought charged and impaled a surprised Hive Guard on his drill, the spinning weapon gutting the beast. The creature, tossing and turning to rid itself of the spike in its stomach, was thrown into its remaining allies, toppling them. One’s head was crushed under the dreadnought’s foot and the others retreated into the crumbling hole again, beyond the machine’s reach. The aged warrior knew that the assault was not over and his thoughts were proven true in a matter of seconds. Bursting from new avenues, Carnifexes and Biovores appeared from thin air to attack the lone engine. He accepted the challenge of these mindless beasts and stood his ground ahead of his injured brothers.
“WE MAY BE ANGRY AND WE MAY FIGHT… BUT WE’RE STILL SPACE MARINES AND WE’RE STILL BATTLE-BROTHERS!” the war machine rumbled, not expecting the filthy xenos to understand, defensively digging his feet into the rocky ground. The closest Carnifex roared and the engine took the opportunity to fire a plasma bolt into the beast’s mouth, ripping its top jaw to pieces.
“BROTHER BANE! …FUCK THOSE ASSHOLES UP!” the pilot encouraged weakly. Bane would have nodded if he could, but the destruction of xenos would be good enough. Through very strong will, Bane resisted the inbuilt urge to engage the creatures in melee, to rip out their spines and beat them with them. The dreadnought hated every second of internment and doubly so every second he stayed to protect the other two. A Biovore fired one of its vile spores at him, the contents exploded over his head. He would be shaken by the assault of this tyranid scum. Dozens of bioforms, predominantly Carnifexes, made the decision to charge, making a wave of armored flesh that even Bane would not thwart. A beast’s head was whacked to the side by his drill, its braincase penetrated by his devastating weapon as he thrust it into the back of its skull.
A Carnifex descended on Bane’s plasma cannon, clamping its jaws around the weapon, its torso steaming from previous shots. The strong jaw muscles twisted the metal with a creak, snapping and making the weapon useless. Bane wrested the arm back and hit the beast away with it. He didn’t see the one behind him. It surprised the experienced soldiers, attacking his arm with tooth and claw until the limb came off, its mangled form unrecognisable as a plasma cannon. The vultures were closing in on the stricken dreadnought and his allies were otherwise engaged. His drill rammed into a Carnifex’s throat, spraying boiling blood over his chassis. For the first time since he had been locked into the machine, Bane felt a sensation on his skin, the searing burn of a molten tyranid’s blood on his naked flesh. With his limited mobility, he stepped on another beast’s toes and opened a space.
A Carnifex on the back line disappeared in a flash of blue. Several other tyranids looked in the direction of the smoking corpse and briefly noticed a beam fading away from it. Beside it, a Biovore was decapitated by a beam and its body turned to ash. Appearing as if from nowhere, the imposing, gigantic shape of a Land Raider had arrived, delivering lascannon shots from a safe distance away. On the top of the machine, there was a stranger weapon, one that seemed to have moving ammunition.
“RELEASE THE MARINES!” the driver shouted to the gunner and he fired the weapon. In an instant, eighteen marines exited the tubes of the Land Raider’s dorsal mounted weapon and flew headlong into the tyranid horde. The creatures were not ready for this new tactic and the artillery were targeted first, Angry Marines jumping into the rear lines of the enemy to tear the Biovores to shreds. With many of the Carnifexes busy with Bane or the Land Raider, the living artillery was defensively and the marines cut them to ribbons. One burst into flames and it was clear that a psyker was nearby.
“YOU FUCK RIGHT OFF, NIDS!” Dune shouted, ripping a Biovore’s head of its shoulders and crushing the skull in his hand. “BANE, YOU TOUGH SON OF A BITCH, WE’RE COMING TO GET YOU!”
“ACKNOWLEDGED, FOURTH COMPANY CAPTAIN. PREPARE FOR HOLY DESTRUCTION!” The dreadnought heaved and lurched forward, lifting a multi ton beast on the tip of his drill. The desperately striking Carnifex scratched and bit at his arm, the protective layers giving him enough protection to give him time to prepare. That day, Dune saw a Carnifex sail over the top of a dreadnought and into the path of a Rage Speeder that turned the creature’s lower body into paste. With that, Bane slumped over, his remaining arm supporting his mechanical weight.
Another set of drop pods rained down on the scorched earth, another Belligerent Engine coming to Bane’s aid and a whole host of Space Marines come to face the growing horde of Warriors escaping the holes. Blades met claws, helmet to skull and the organised formation of any other chapter was completely alien to these Astartes. They fought with synchronized madness, tearing into the enemy line, cutting tendons and ripping stomachs. Dune personally sought to the destruction of Carnifexes, wanting to avenge the brothers lost the previous day. His power sword cut through the chitinous and igneous armor, both hands making light work of the enemy.
“CAPTAIN DUNE! OUR SENSORS ARE PICKING UP SOMETHING FUCK-HUGE COMING IN YOUR DIRECTION. WHERE IS CAPTAIN SATCHEL?”
“WITH HIS GIRLY MEN ON THE LEFT FLANK! RASEREI AND THE CHAPTER MASTER SHOULD BE C…” Dune stopped and stared. A giant footfall hit the hard ground, flattening any rocks under it. Another step and the ground shook. Dune’s eyes widened and he staggered back, giving the squirming Carnifex he was about to slay time to right itself. The gunmen in the Land Raider and Rage Speeders stopped to aim at the titan. For a minute, all focus was on that gigantic creature. No such giant of flesh and blood should be on this planet. Where had the tyranids deployed this beast from. “FOURTH COMPANY, TACTICAL WITHDRAWAL!” he shouted, not afraid of the beast but apprehensive of how he would destroy it. Based on his experience, this thing, this gigantic beast covered in every inch with cooled obsidian, was a titanic Hierodule, a much larger example than he had ever seen.
“CAPTAIN, WE ARE EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH THIS TASK. PREPARE FOR TITAN DEPLOYMENT!”
Behind Dune, a giant cloud of black dust flew up into the air, hiding the Land Raider from view and sending a torrent onto Bane’s back. The huge feet of the machine dug deep into the rock and the crew tore them out quickly. The tyranids gave no attention to this new arrival, continuing their onslaught on the ground forces. Dune smashed his sword into another tyranid, the wounds on his hands searing every time he attacked. Behind them all, something in the stirred in the gloom.
“Reaver Class Battle Titan Dragomir deployed. Prepare to die”. The grand war machine, painted in the bold, proud colors of the marines and rearing its skull like face through the dust, reached one massive hand behind its back and drew a colossal weapon. The Hierodule began to circle the titan, keeping its distance for the time being to assess a weak spot. Dragomir would give it none and lunged forward, slicing flesh from the giant’s face. Dune smirked at the ominous figure. Someone in the Mechanicus had been insane enough to build a power sword for a titan…