Angels of Death: Fire Lords

Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim, dark future there is only war.

Angels of Death: Fire Lords

Postby David Earle » Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:13 am

Because they didn't get a look in during the short story marathon. :P

Corpse Detail


“Skag it all,” Murdoc spat; literally, with a fair bit of phlegm. “Why do we get all the filthy clean-up jobs?”

He and Private Ratet were hauling an ork carcass over the ashen terrain of Foster’s Paradise, the most stupidly-misnamed planet in the Imperium in Murdoc’s opinion. Hundreds upon hundreds of the hulking xenos littered the ash plains, the spoil of another inevitable victory for the Imperial Guard. Other teams were working up and down the battlefield, clearing away the alien filth from the surface of the God-Emperor’s planet, though few were so depleted that only two men were doing the work.

The two Guardsmen set the ork down at the edge of a miles-long ditch. More greenskin corpses were laid at the bottom, generating a truly offensive odor.

“S’not all bad,” Ratet said. The private pulled a knife and sawed at a thick cord of teeth wrapped around the ork’s neck. “I know a guy on ship who’ll buy ork crap. Sells it to death worlders that want to show off.”

“Good way to get shot, that,” Murdoc noted, lighting a lho stick and turning his back.

Ratet pocketed his loot and they kicked the ork over. The body squelched onto the pile. “All I’m saying,” Murdoc said, “is that we fight as hard as anyone, but any time a crap duty comes up we get picked.”

“That’s ‘cause the Commissar don’t like us.”

“That’s because he doesn’t like being out-cheated at cards,” Murdoc said vehemently.

They made their way back to the next clutch of bodies. These orks were wearing vague uniforms, studded with defaced Imperial iconography. Ratet scowled. “Skagging disrespectful xenos,” he said, kicking the closest ork.

All at once the greenskin was rearing up, red eyes blazing. Ratet had time to open his mouth and then the ork had shoved a heavy cleaver through it and out the back of his neck.

Murdoc didn’t hesitate, simply turned and ran. The beast roared, and Murdoc could hear other orks scrabbling to their feet behind him. If he could reach their jeep he could make a stand, call for help, or just put some distance

He tripped and fell flat on his face. Murdoc scrambled onto his back and pulled his lasrifle. The orks were bearing down on him. He could already see spittle coming from their jaws.

Something smashed into the lead ork, a massive figure in red and gold armor. A knife flashed in the giant’s black gauntlet and the ork’s head went flying, a stupefied expression crossing its features.

The armored giant - a skagging Space Marine! - turned and faced the remaining orks. It clenched a pistol the size of Murdoc’s arm in its fist, and that gun thundered, sending explosive rounds into the greenskins. Two fell dead, while the remaining four closed the distance and attacked.

The Space Marine met their charge and practically danced through the orks, cutting and stabbing with his knife with the flair of an expert duellist. The greenskins howled and swung with their brutal weapons, but failed to even score the paint of the Space Marine’s armor.

In the swirling melee one ork got behind the Space Marine and raised its cleaver just as the giant clashed knives with the opponent in front of him. Murdoc shot the ork without thinking. Lasburns peppered the ork’s back and the greenskin whipped round, snarling.

Murdoc prepared to fire again, but the Space Marine’s knife burst through the ork’s face and it fell to the ground, dead. The other three orks followed quickly and then the Space Marine was looming over Murdoc, regarding him with emerald green lenses.

“Few men would fire near an Astartes in combat,” the giant rumbled.

“Ah,” Murdoc whispered, focusing on stilling his shaking knees. “Sorry.”

“No, I approve. You could not have hurt me,” said the giant. “What is your name?”

“Private Murdoc, my lord.” Still a damned whisper!

“I am Brother Heimos,” the Space Marine said, almost kindly. “You have a unit you can contact for aid?”

Murdoc cleared his throat and straightened his posture. “Yes, my lord. Thank you for your assistance.”

“Not necessary. I saw the greenskins rise from the air and engaged.” Murdoc noticed for the first time the red-gold Land Speeder hovering meters off. “Contact your unit, I cannot tarry.”

Heimos turned to his vehicle, then looked around as if a thought had struck him. “Where are your Purgatus squads?”

“Sorry?”

“Flamers, incendiaries. Why are these creatures not being purged?”

“Well, they’re dead my lord,” Murdoc stammered. “It’s just corpse details out here. Pile up the bodies, toss them in the ditch and let the rot take care of them.”

Heimos snarled, and Murdoc found himself backing away from the armored giant. “Walk with me,” the Space Marine said.

Murdoc ran to keep up as the Space Marine strode to his vehicle. Heimos reached inside and drew out a drum wrapped in purity seals. Murdoc could smell the prometheum reek of it even at a distance.

“Do you know of Mundus Prime?” Heimos asked. Murdoc shook his head. “It was also called the Jewel of Charadon. A paradise world, until the orks came. My Chapter-”

“Your what?”

“The Fire Lords,” Heimos said testily. “My brothers beat back the incursion, but we did not complete our victory. We did not burn the bodies.”

Heimos reached the corpse trench, and opened the seal on the drum. He poured raw prometheum into the trench, walking its edge to spread the chemical wide.

“Ork bodies create new orks, Guardsman. So when we returned, to a world we were oath-sworn to protect, we found a planet overrun by alien filth.”

“What did you do?” Murdoc said, some part of him dreading the answer.

The Space Marine finished pouring and cast the drum to the ground. From his side he grabbed a hand flamer and ignited it. Flames poured into the trench, firing a meters-high inferno that began to work its way through the decomposing alien flesh.

“We burned it,” Deimos said softly. “The entire world. Exterminatus. It was the only way to be sure… or so we thought.”

The Fire Lord turned back to Murdoc, and backlit by the conflagration he looked like an angel of vengeance made flesh.

“Tell your superiors to issue your corpse teams with flamers and fuel. And if they question, tell them of Mundus Prime, now Pyra.”

“Because if you do not do your duty to this world, we shall.”
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Re: Angels of Death: Fire Lords

Postby exitus_10 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:17 pm

Awesome, short. Simply loved the casual way the Fire Lord approaches kills the orks and doles out sound advice to a lowly guardsman.

Best line has to be

“Because if you do not do your duty to this world, we shall.”
I have not returned! Be afraid or something.
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Re: Angels of Death: Fire Lords

Postby David Earle » Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:11 am

Thanks!
Check out my blog!

"David is very very old, but also slow, he creeps up behind you without you noticing and then just as his non-breath fails to be felt against your neck he pounces and gives you an informative post." - schaferwhat‽

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