Immortal Emperor

3. Reach of the Heresy

The Plot Thickens

The Enemy's Foulness

Bloody and broken you wake up to the sound of someone arguing. “Dispatch them to the hells you serve. They’re not useful anymore.” Reeling from the combined blows of hundreds of cultists, you find yourselves awake in a dark and foul-smelling chamber. The very stench of the room affronts your senses and the familiar philters of your armour are not present to remove the sting of ammonia that the room reeks of.

Scanning yourselves and your immediate surroundings, you realize that you are stripped to a loincloth, your mouthes are gagged and your arms and legs are bound. The bindings are constricting and the realization that this could be the end for you all is dawning on you. As if on cue the door to the chamber opens and in the lit doorway stands a Word Bearer. His outline is the only thing visible until he turns on the light in your cell. A sharp flourescent light blinds you for a moment as your eyes adjust to the sudden brightness and when your eyes have adjusted to some degree, you can see the grin on the Word Bearer’s face, which in no small part has to do with your predicament. He is clad in the bright red armour of the Word Bearers and grizly trophies of shrunken heads and warped stars are attached with iron chains to it.

“I am glad that you are awake, my pretties.”

He steps into the room and brandishes a dagger of dubious origin. The obsidian blade holds an otherworldly glow to it and as he steps closer and grabs Thien by the neck, you can feel an unnatural chill emanating from the blade. He forces Brother Desaries to his feet, takes him away from your holding cell and turns out the light. The screams of your battle brother can be heard from your cell and you steel your minds in an attempt to shun the horrors that await you in the dark.

After what seems an eternity, the screaming stops although you are uncertain if your battle brother is dead or merely unconscious and you attempt to summon the rotes taught to you, by your mentors, to quiet your mind.

Your inner clock tells you that several days have passed since you last were approached by a living being. Your battle brother has not returned to the cell and it seems as if you are being left to rot in this hell-hole. Then footsteps can be heard on the metal grating floor outside of your cell, although it could also be a mirage

“What in Terra’s name have they done to you?”

A beautiful woman is standing in the blinding light of the cell entrance,. Her auburn hair seems almost surrounded by a halo of golden light and as your eyes adjust, you see an image of horror written on her face. She enters the cell and removes the bonds holding you prisoner while explaining:

“My name is Julia. I thought this was something else.” She bursts into tears at this moment.
“I never meant for something like this. The Word Bearers brought news that the Emperor was a god, and how could he have been anything else. But to treat his sons in this way, dreadful.” She stops sulking and turns her eyes to Battle Brother Drask.
“You must get them out of here. Your brother is down the hall, last door on the right. Steel yourselves for the meeting with Him. His gaze is unflinching and seductive.”
You cannot help but feel sorry for this poor creature living in a den of moral corruption. Your chance for redemption in the fires of war is, in no small part, her doing.
“Your armour and equipment have been taken away by the Butcher, the one that took your brother to his holding cell. You must go now and swear to come save me when you have the strength.”
A sharp desire to save the wretched female from the extreme danger she must be in, as a result of her aid in your escape builds inside you, yet you must neglect that emotion and brace yourselves for the trials ahead.

Primary Objectives:
- Escape to freedom.
- Report back to Captain Gallus and inform him of the reach of the heresy.

Secondary Objectives:
- Recover your battle brother or his Gene-seed.
- Eliminate the Traitor marines.

Tertiary Objectives:
- Destroy the Cult of the Serpent.
- Recover your armour and equipment

Debriefing

As seen through the eyes of Battle Brother Runolf Halkrson

I awoke in a cell along with brother Drask and and Brother Azhek, a maiden who presented herself as Julia freed us from our bonds and form our cell. Drask and I decided that, since we did not know where we where and what to expect, our best course of action would be to locate and liberate our equipment before attempting to free our other brothers, fortunately Julia could point us in the right direction for this. Azhek chose to linger and scout ahead in the other direction. Drask and I carefully made our way to a sealed of bulkhead door with a sign saying Armoury. Nearby we could see a guard room, and as I peeked around the corner I could see six men playing cards. It very soon became clear that they were already alerted of our presence, so we threw caution and stealth to the wind and charged into the room, armed only with metal pipes. My first blow almost took the nearest guards one leg clean off, and as two of the others opened fire at me I threw the metal pipe at the nearest and picked up the guard I had downed moments before and used him as a make-shift club to beat the life out of his allies. Drask went about the battle with his usual effeciency clubbing the life out of the guards. In a matter of seconds all that were left of them, were bloody chunks scattered around the room. But we did find a keycard that allowed us entry to the armoury.
In the armoury we found our armors, although they were all missing bits and pieces, but even so, we managed to put together an almost entire suit of armor for everyone. We also found some weapons, mostly guardsman guns that were too small for us to use properly, but most importantly some chainswords and chainaxes that we could use. While we were donning the armors, Azhek joined up with us along with sergeant Desaris, who had been horribly mangled by our captors. They had carved filthy symbols into his flesh and operated upon him removing his progenoid glands. Azhek told us that he had engaged a mechanicum adept who were in the process of torturing the sergeant and after a brutal fight where Azhek had nearly been burned to death he had bested his opponent and freed the Sergeant. Although the Word Bearer that had been present had managed to escape, apparently through means of witchcraft.
Before long, I saw Julia coming towards us, her eyes filled with tears. She bade us come with her, and led us to a cell where our last two member of the squad were lying in a state more dead than alive. We helped them into what remained of their armors and had them injected with pain supressants so that they could at least walk along with us, though it was doubtful how useful they would be should it come to a fight.
We swept through the rest of that sublevel without meeting any more resistance and found a few supplies, chief amongst which were some bolt pistols and a few rounds. in the end we found a cargo lift, that could take us to the rest of the facility.
We systematically searched the levels from the bottom for any signs of our captors or anything that could give us any insight into why the Word Bearers were rebelling against the emperium, but found nothing.
On one sublevel we saw several thousand humans that seemed to be watching a few battles, but we chose to circumvent these as fighting them was not of importance at the moment. On another sublevel we found some cogitator units that Azhek tried to retrieve information from, but they were not powered up, when he tried to power them up, we saw sparks flying from his armor and the whole level went dark. Azhek cursed as he apparently had ended up shortcircuiting not only the cogitators, but also his power armor in the process.

We moved on, searching the level upwards for anything that could be considered useful or any sign of our enemy. On one of the higher sublevels we found a plan of the facility, and it became clear that there were only two points of interest left there for us; a barracks level and a command level. We decided to split up in two groups to make a simultaneous assault on both levels. Sergeant Desaris, Thracius and I would advance to the command level, while Drask, Azhek and the deathguard would sweep through the barracks.
On the command level we engaged multible enemies there was a bunch of guards along with several extraordinarii which seemed to be led by a robed man who was covered in flies. the sergeant and the devastator quickly shot the robed man down with their boltpistols while I engaged the nearest targest in melee. I made short work of the nearest guards and pressed on towards the extraordinarii on the left flank as the sergeant engaged the ones on the right flank and Thracius, who was still a sight for sore eyes, was less than lucky avoiding the shots of the remaining guards, before long he was completely unable to fight on. The sergeant went into hand to hand combat with three extraordinarii and found himself in dire need of help, but luckily I had finished with my enemies and thus was able to engage them from the rear and before long only one remained, which allowed me to focus on the remaining guards as the sergeant held up the last extraordinarii, until I was finished.
We received a less than coherent sit rep from Drask, that seemed to imply that things had not gone too smoothly in the barracks, and I went there as fast as I could. Though once there, I could see that even though Drask had made his usual mess out of every living soul there. The room was covered in blood and several hundred dead bodies littered almost every inch of the floor in the huge room. The deathguard and Azhek were both lying down, one on top of the other in a pool of their own blood. Azhek was especially badly hurt, and I could see he was missing both fingers and toes, the apothecaries will have some serious work to do with him before he will be of any use to anyone again, but he did manage to say that he had tried to keep the guards of the fallen deathguard, who, like Thracius, had begun the battle already badly battered.
From there we did not encounter any more resistance, which was probably for the best as we had all taken damage, and most of our battle brothers were now in such a sorry state that they could barely support themselves. Although I am certain that Drask would not mind spilling the blood of more of these guards for turning away from the embrace of the Emperor. We did however find an armoury, containing alot of weapons, and rarely have I seen an ultramarine give such a show of emotion, as when Desaris found his own powersword “Lucian” there. I did not find my own weapons, but I did find a Power Fist, that I decided to put to good use rather than old and battered chain axe I had found earlier.
We saw no signs of the Word Bearer that Azhek and Desaris had encountered earlier, but Desaris found out that he had left the planet, heading for Terminal 509 with the intent of destroying the station as they had earlier tried.
Heading upwards into the open air, we found ourselves on a completely different world than where we had been captured. It seemed that we had been taken to Cassandria. We followed a road towards the nearest structure, and were greeted by the Guards of House Furian who led us to their master. The lord Furian proved to be the first person in a long time, who showed the respect expected towards astartes, and he did all he could to help us send a message to terminal 509 and even managed to get a hold of Captain Alfidus who came to pick us up and take us offworld.

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