November Inqvitational - Part 3, Sealed Fate.

SEALED FATE:

+Condition Omega. Hull breach in sector Ezekiel-seventeen. All crew prepare for hostile boarding+
+Condition Zeta-Three. Repeat, condition zeta-three.+
+May the Emperor Protect. Only in death does duty end+




For a voice so quiet and detached, the content of it's message shook of the gathered Conclave as if it were thrown from the mouth of the God-Emperor Himself, newly arisen and ascendent from His throne on Terra. Their squabbles immediately set aside, the gathered Inquisitors began to move as the concerted, militarised affiliation of minds they were. Rushing for the door out of the antechamber to assess the situation, Inquisitor Balthier found the ship in chaos - the frantic shouts of naval personnel rang throughout the craft, and several squads of appointed military staff were storming towards the approaching Conclave as they spilled from the requiem. 

'My Lords,' began Sergeant Makarth, 'we are under assault. Heretics and turncoats, Sirs.Their crafts dropped from Warp without any warning. The ship has been breached in several locations, many of the crew have been slaughtered - they were caught unawares... We suspect they may have... assistance, Sirs.'

'Assistance?' Inquisitor Auphid questioned.

'Aye, Sir. Astartes. We believe they are searching for you.'

'Madine,' gasped Vendrake.

'Or at least her corpse,' sneered Wroth.

The noise of the encroaching slaughter and bitter fighting edged closer to the Inquisitors position. Balthier ran to the end of the corridor flanked by his staff and stopped, aghast at how quickly the route ahead had begun to pack with naval soldiers and turncoats, mutants, and worse, in the distance, lumbering malformed creatures: ogryns, mutated and befouled almost beyond recognition.

'Brothers!' shouted Balthier above the turmoil, 'We must turn back the despoiler! Forward, for the Emperor!' 

With a lust to scourge the heretic that only the most ardent defenders of the Ordo Hereticus could muster, Balthier shot off down the corridor, his plasma pistol flashing blue light as he departed the collected throng, his loyal military personnel following on his heels, their laspistols flashing like visual echoes of their master's gun. 

Balthier departs into the maelstrom with his staff.

The remaining Inquisitors began to spread out into the ship. Vendrake shuffled off to try to catch Guidonis and the casket containing Madine's body, closely followed by Velk, Tybalt and Wroth. Spotting a small group of mutanted turncoats trying to outflank the Conclave, Wroth made a dash for the bottleneck of the adjunct of two corridors to his right, his naval guard quickly falling into line. With horror, Wroth found himself face to chest with an enormous brute of an ogryn, the massive abhuman was swollen and corrupted beyond measure. Thrusting at the vile creature with his blessed sword, he began to hack into the shambling beast, not noticing how many other turncoat warriors were filing up behind the massive form. 

The Inquisitors pile out of the antechamber.

Wroth and his personnel charge into the vile ogryn.

Inspired by the gung-ho vigour of their fellow Inquisitors, Tybalt and Helsmarck gathered their bodyguards and followed Balthier into the belly of the ship, taking the fight to the countless heretics poring into the craft, slaughtering the naval personnel in their scores. The other Inquisitors followed suite. Perturbed by their reckless natures, Velk caught the attention of the shuffling Vendrake, his callipered legs forcing him to move slowly towards Madine's casket. 

'Vendrake! Vendrake!' he called, 'This is madness! Where are you going? The ship is over-run, we must retreat!'

'Madine, Velk! We must protect Madine - help me get her to the shuttle in the aft dock.'


Inquisitors Balthier, Helsmarck and Tybalt surge forward into the carnage. 

Vendrake shuffles off to secure Madine's casket. 

Rounding the corner, Velk assessed the situation ahead of him - in the distance Helsmarck and Tybalt had encountered another befouled ogryn, flanked by hundreds of mutants; Balthier has disappeared, the corridor of his journey littered with the slow dying moans of countless naval military personnel and a handful of heretics. The remainder of the conclave had ploughed into the ship - he could just make out Benadice's shrill shrieks echoing through the narrow tunnels. 

'This is just idiocy,' Velk muttered to himself, 'They're all going to be annihilated. Are these truly the greatest minds of the Imperium? Such recklessness is cretinous.' Checking over his shoulder, he caught sight of Vendrake falling to his knees as he clasped Madine's casket, Guidonis's hand resting on his shoulder and helping him to his feet as they began to push the coffin forward on it's anti-grav engine. 'They would risk the entire Conclave for a corpse? Mankind is doomed at the mercy of such sentimental old fools.'

Velk assesses the slaughter ahead from behind his bodyguard screen.

Tybalt and Helsmarck charge into the mutated abhumans. 

'The Emperor damn them all!' spat Velk. 'You! Officers!' he called out. 

'Yes sir!' 

'Follow me.'

Making a dash back into the antechamber, Velk rushed to the far wall and released the access hatch into the maintenance corridor. Summoning two of his guard, he motioned them forward: 'Move! Quick march!' Diving in behind them, Velk order the men behind to follow up the rear, securing the access hatch. 

Velk and his crew make a dash through the access tunnel. 

As the crew made their way through the tunnels, Velk spied the maelstrom of bitter fighting through the grills of the access tunnel. The air was thick with the bitter tang of dispersed aetheric energies and las smoke. Several naval offficers lay on the floor directly behind the grills, the stench of their burning flesh making the rooms acrid. Velk spied Cassar and Auphid being bogged down by countless mutants - their remaining bodyguard wittled down to three men, Auphid appeared to have been wounded and was staggering, clutching her side. 

'The greatest minds of the Imperium, wasted.' he thought as he dashed past. 'May the Emperor forgive you all.'






As the group neared the end of the access tunnels, opening into the aft dock, Velk ordered two of his guard to scout ahead to check the dock for infiltrators. Turning, he strode back to the two officers he had left welding the final access door closed. Pulling his ornate stubber from his holster, he attached the silencer to the nozzle and fired twice, both officers felled with a single shot to the head. 

'Your duty here is done. May the Emperor preserve your souls.' 

Returning to the dock entrance, Velk's remaining officers turned to gesture to him - the carnage was approaching the dock, horrific noises lurched through the gloom outside the cargo doors. Velk whispered to the men to flank him as he boarded the single Arvus lander. Climbing into the back, Velk dashed through the rear hold, and through the small door into the cockpit. 




'Ensure that no-one breaches the dock.' commanded Velk as he started to close the rear hatch. 'You will be remembered.' Nodding, the senior officer sighed and dashed to secure the corridor, turning to salute as the cargo hatch doors started to slowly close. Securing the front hatch of the lander, Velk witnessed the two officers being torn asunder by a high impact shot. 

'Hrm, bolt ammunition.' he thought as the doors secured. Starting the engines, Velk muttered a prayer of ignition and started the craft, the external bay doors creaking open. 

'Such a waste.'

With a final prayer for the lost: the craft lifted and Velk departed the burning ship.


8 comments:

  1. "Such recklessness is cretinous." poetry that only my Grandfather would have come up with. :)

    This was so cool. You spin the best of yarns sir.

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  2. Oops, I think I just deleted ImpCommander's comment with my klutz fingers. Sorry!

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  3. Superb story, evocative photos, great minis - what more could one ask for!

    Great work.

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  4. Really nice work here! The story you've built up is great and really liking how you portray Velk; keep up the good work :)

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  5. This is a great little narrative, what a fantastic way of revealing what went on that day. I'm beginning to take a liking to Velk though; don't count on this slowing Helsmarck down in our next encounter!

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