Arnell's Ascendancy [Novel length, Part 3]

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The True Domination slid effortless through the Warp. The large prow of the vessel held aloft a massive Khorne symbol, declaring it's allegiance to all. Around the True Domination lay its small fleet of escorts. Heat flared in the Chaos fleet's engines as they forced their way towards their destiny.
Up ahead of the Chaos fleet were the Imperial transports. Hulking mass transports supported by the occasional Imperial battleship. Intermixed between them were the luxury pleasure launches of those of Torrin birth who could afford the expense.
The Imperial warships tracked the new threat, coming about to engage the closing Chaos fleet. Weapons fire flashed through the void within the Warp, as the two fleets slipped past each other.
Klaxons blared on the bridge of the True Domination. Warning tones and reports flooded in from every corner of the room as the mutated serfs chimed their status reports to Arnell. The Khorne Lord cared not for such reports, and ignored them. His gaze was locked on the ever changing pattern of combat resolved itself on the hololinth.
The gravity shifted slightly as the blip representing the True Domination brought itself about almost without any guidance. The vessel had got it's blood up now, and was all but unstoppable now it had tasted combat. Indeed, the crew of the bridge was superfluous when the combat was joined.
The daemonic conscience of the True Domination had fully taken over.
A second later, a siren blared across the bridge. It could only mean one thing, Arnell knew that much. His vessel had been boarded. Most probably by boarding torpedoes.
The Khorne Lord paced over to a shallow alcove set into the wall of the accessed a small panel. Taking his place in the recess, Arnell felt the build up of power and the stench of o-zone filled his nose. Every hair on the Khorne Lord's body raised as the energy reached its peak and the Khorne Lord vanished an instant later in a flash of bright light.
The Imperial troopers hadn't know was had hit them by the time Arnell appeared. A red hulking figure flashed into existence behind them, and although they had the forewarning of his appearance, they could not of prepared for the enormity of the resistance which now bore down on them in the confines of the True Domination.
Arnell's glaive flashed left, then right and with each stroke, it took another soul from the Emperor. With exquisite power, the Khorne Lord brought death as he confidently paced up the corridor, slaying all those within reach as he went.
When the slaughter had finished, Arnell glanced back down the corridor. Blood and death had been left in his wake. None had survived, and it was not until after the fact that Arnell realised they had got a few good hits on the Khorne Lord. Shell fragments peppered his leg armour and several had been forced into the surface layers of ceramite of his shoulder pads. He hadn't even heard or felt the bangs of the combat shotguns wielded by the Imperium's troops.
Accessing a nearby control once again, Arnell felt the chill and the flow of air strongly, trying desperately to drag him out into space.
Down the corridor, an armoured port hole creaked open, slowly at first. Behind Arnell, the armoured bulkheads descended into position, sealing the Khorne Lord in. The vacuum of space begun to pull at the contents of the corridor. Fleshy chunks of meat flew down the corridor as the rushing air took hold.
Something caught the Khorne Lords eye out in the depths of space. A vast floating transport drifted lazily across the Lord's view. Along it's side, the words 'Holy Benefactor' was painted in high gothic script. Something tugged at Arnell's mind, until something slid into place. With a grim smile, Arnell knew what he must now do.
Runic indicators flashed in Arnell's helmet, indicating full vacuum. Arnell toyed with the controls once more and the exterior port hole begun to close. When the armoured shutter had fully closed, the bulkhead behind him begun to lift up and away, permitting him back into the rest of the ship.
With the clean up of his slaughter completed, Arnell returned to the bridge.
*****

The dull roar of chanting filled the hall. The underground temple was simply huge. Candlesticks were regularly spaced which cast an eerie glow across the numerous cultists. Holt was amazed to see that they were cultists wore plain work clothes. Rich merchants filled the pews alongside day laborers. There were no castes in this rabble, no divisionary boundaries between men here.
Holt himself wore simple robes. Concealed in the black cloak were Holt's personal weaponry; a plasma pistol and the Inquisitor's power weapon. Holt had always been adept at concealing weapons and this occasion was no exception. H He also was amazed that he wasn't challenged or that they weren't even searched when he had approached the temple despite the stern looking guards posted at each of the two main entrances to the temple. He had noted them carrying the heavy gauge hellguns that Inquisitorial Storm Troopers were issued with, although they didn't wear the heavy armour of Storm Troopers.
His friend, Marco was dressed similarly to Holt and the Inquisitor wasn't quite sure whether he was armed or not.
Turning to his friend Marco, "I wonder when the orgy starts." Marco merely smiled, clearly aware of the irony in the Inquisitor's words, and looked around half heartedly before replying in a hushed tone, "Don't you think Slaaneshi and Genestealer cults are alike? The only difference between the two is that one takes your genetic legacy willingly."
Before the Inquisitor could reply, something caught his attention. A bright spot of light flowed down onto an alter. The alter itself was pitch black, cast from dark marble. Upon it lay a gagged and bound young girl.
Holt stepped closer to the light column as something about the scene didn't seem entirely right. Something about the way the girl laid there, the way she struggled screamed to the Inquisitor with familiarity.
It wasn't until the long gaping gait of something large moving toward the girl interrupted the Inquisitor's train of thought. As the large creature came into view, Holt knew instant ally what it was. A Genestealer Patriarch.
The revelations this sight brought up pushed the girl from Holt's mind. This Cult must have been here for several generations, to have spawned something so terrible as the Patriarch.
With the sight of their 'father,' the chanting cultists' voices screamed in delight just to look upon their master. Holt shuffled his way back to where Marco had been standing when Holt had ushered forwards to look at the girl.
"The cancer has spread too deeply" spat the Inquisitor as he reached where his friend was standing. The pair watched the ritual continue in silence, although Holt's eyes never left the girl.
*****

'Warp…. Arnell…. Dying…. Attack' drifted through Mars Aran's mind as he spun in wild patterns of death. Dismissing it as warp echoes as quickly as they had come, Mars Aran continued to fight.
Around him the shattered and spend corpses of the Tyranid attack formed a ring around the Chief Librarian. Looking around quickly, Mars Aran was alone in the darkness. Night had fallen many hours ago and the fighting had been ceaseless until this point.
From the scenes around him, he knew it would be many more hours of death before the fighting would abate even a little. Activating his vox pick up with a command of will, Aran gave his report as he split another Tyranid down the middle mid leapt with a forceful downward cut of his force axe.
"Report status!" ordered the Chief Librarian down the vox.
Counting the replies as he continued to fight the Tyranids, he heard only six voices reply back. Six Space Marine had survived to guard the three giant doors protecting the city within. As the last Astartes reported in and there was a break in the vox chatter, Aran gave his order "Marines, pull back and regroup in behind the wall. Sisters and reserves, it is your time to guard against the vile xenos filth!"
With a slow creak, the doors behind the Chief Librarian slid open and out of it, ten Sororitas ran out, with long handled eviscerators in tow. They rushed into the melee without pause and although he knew they wouldn't last long against the pressing waves of Tyranid Gaunts, they were merely a distraction.
Behind them, in steady ranks, more Guardsmen poured forth, holding their lasguns in a defensive manor. When all the Guardsmen had reached their predefined position, they began to fire. Concentrated lasbolts stuck the Tyranids had where there wasn't any friendly combatants fighting.
Taking his leave of the fighting along with the one Astartes survivor, they fought their way over to the door, and sealed it behind them, leaving the sounds of heavy chainswords whirring and the crack of lasguns.
Before he could even take a step further into the inner-sanctum, the voice was harsh and full of pain, "Arnell… Warp… Attack… Imperial ships… Dying."
The voice continued to usher through the Librarian's mind as he tried to retionalise what he was feeling and sensing. Something at the back of his mind found the voice somewhat familiar.
Then something fell into place.
"Marines, meet me at the starport, double time" snapped the Librarian down the Astartes vox net as the Librarian snapped into a battle march down the wide street towards the Governor's palace.
*****

The memory of the meeting with Damius flashed through Arnell's mind as the daemon plotted a course closer to the Holy Benefactor. Damius had often talked of the future, and although he rarely hid the truth behind half lies and cryptic verses, his last meeting with the Nurgle Lord was far from the norm.
Damius had begun the exchange without a greeting, and he had spoken quickly of the possible future. Arnell was solemn as he recalled the exact words of the Nurgle champion.
Life is but a matter of choices. One choice lays before you which will rend the future into destruction or salvation for the Imperium of Man. Let the Holy Benefactor be your guide, and your marker. Turn not from your nature when your lord Khorne calls you to battle, and daemonhood shall fill your life with new meaning.
It was cryptic for Damius, far too cryptic for him alone. At the time, Arnell had detected a hint of Adual, or something rather more malign and daemonic. He had not pressed Damius at the time, and was surprised at both Damius' lack of manors and tone.
His memories were interrupted harshly by the flashing of a red light and the stench of ozone. Behind him, the charge coils were being filled with energy. The teleportation would happen soon, though Arnell.
"Calistro, report" spat Arnell down the vox, using the ships internal vox relays to reach his second in command.
"We have due for launch in a few seconds, master." Calistro's voice was tinny and accentuated strangely. Arnell knew exactly why this was happening.  Calistro and his bodyguard of Khorne Berserkers were presently boarded within the armoured confines of a boarding torpedo. A weapon of ancient design, which is designed to pierce the outer hull of enemy vessels and discharge their deadly cargo into the enemy ship like a needle injecting drugs into a body.
"I want a report when the boarding torpedoes have launched" ordered Arnell to the daemon which inhabited the True Domination.
"Torpedoes are ready for launch, aft seals are locked and firing charges primed" chimed back across the vox net, the daemon's voice was distant but firm, "torpedoes launched, time until impact, eleven seconds."
"Time our departure to strike at the same times as the torpedoes" commanded Arnell.
"As you wish."
*****

The chanting from the cultists dropped away suddenly. It had reached a point in the ritual which was critical. Since it's start, fourteen Genestealers had taken their places in the great hall, directly opposite fourteen cultists.
At the culmination of chanting, the fourteen cultists stepped forward, as did the Genestealers. Whilst this happened, the Patriarch slowly drew closer to the bound girl on the alter.
Holt couldn't stand to see the next stages in the ritual and turned away from the scene. He had no intentions of seeing any Genestealers implanting their genes into any species if he could help it.
However, something flashed before the Inquisitor's eyes. Something silver and shiny flashed in the darkness, and this stranger obviously had used the ritual as a smokescreen to conceal himself, just as Holt had done. The flash itself was curved, and had a faint blue tinge to it, and were an extension of the stranger's hands. He knew exactly what he had seen.
They were a pair of lightning claws.
Just as Holt moved to confront the stranger, loud voices filled the hall.
Immediately, the stranger sprang forward and slashed at Holt with both hands. Holt didn't have the time to block the blows but was saved from death but the blue protective haze of his rosarius. Holt roared his anger at the stranger, "I am Inquisitor-Lord Holt of the Ordo: Hereticus, you fool! If you do not drop your attack now, I shall execute you for your crimes against His holy realms!"
Without a word, the strangler slashed to Holt's left. Glancing left suddenly, Holt saw the ruined form a Cultist drop to the floor with a hole in it's abdomen.
"Forgive me, Lord, I am Mintus Litoan, of the Ordo: Xenos. I did not know…" before Mintus could continue, he was forced behind a pillar of stone as lasfire ripped across the hall towards the two Inquisitor's and Marco.
Holt saw Marco drop to a crouch and return fire with a bolt pistol. Holt's rosarius saved him once again, as another salvo lanced across the hall, striking him in the back. Knowing that it would not save him forever, Holt darted behind cover of another pillar and withdrew his plasma pistol at last.
Peering past the column, Holt inspected the scene in the hall. Realisation flashed across the Inquisitor's face as the sleek form of Alexia fought the devilish form of the Patriarch. The girl bound to the alter was gone, and Holt's mind reeled that he had missed that the assassin he had worked for decades with had fooled him so cleverly by assuming the ritual sacrifice.
Two of the Genestealers lay dead and another was blasted apart by the tell tale explosive shells of a bolt weapon.  Holt's eyes fixed on the two dead whole Genestealers, searching for the cause of their death. All he could see was a clean bullet hole in the skull of the closer one, and he had seen that before. It was a perfect headshot, like the kind that only a Vindicare could deliver.
Another Genestealer slumped to the ground, dead. Once again, it was a perfect headshot.
"Do you have a second assassin?" enquired Holt over the dull roar of a bolt pistol. Mintus nodded and pointed up, towards a gantry above the main chamber. With this matter resolved, Holt's mind turned to the task at hand.
Pulling his sword free of it's scabbard, the Inquisitor rushed out of cover. His plasma pistol spat bolts of energised death at the charging cultists. From behind him, Holt could also hear the foot steps of Mintus bringing up the rear.
Holt's sword flashed again and again with each stroke killing a cultist. Mintus followed the Hereticus Inquisitor's progress with ease, slashing and cutting with his claws as easily as Holt stepped through his own combat moves.
The only break in the combat was a lone vox signal, faint but there none-the-less. "Inquisitor Holt, I have received… Arnell is attacking our…"
Without breaking step or slowing his attack, Holt triggered his own vox. "Holt to Mars Aran, I am at co-ordinates 39-67-21"
"We are en-route to your… we have been told by the Governor about your… what is your status?" enquired the Chief Librarian down the vox.
"Hostile, any assistance would be appreciated. What is your ETA?"
"My Marines ETA is 1 minute, we are battle marching… location. Mars Aran out" replied the vox unit.
*****

With deadly fury, Arnell led the attack against the bridge crew. His glaive bore deep into human flesh as he and his bodyguard of Chosen tore through the vast room that was the bridge of the Holy Benefactor.
Each of Arnell's Chosen wore Terminator armour and was armed with a pair of lightning claws each. Fresh blood slicked their armour as they lacerated and hacked at the bridge officers and servitor serfs with near reckless abandon. Arnell had often seen his squads of Chosen at their grisly work, but never had he come to appreciate their handy work up close before. It almost humbled him to the point he was glad he let them have a part in the wholesale massacre.
Whilst the carnage of battle continued, Arnell glanced around briefly. They had yet to reach the command chair of the bridge, where the most senior Imperial attendants would undoubtedly be, if they had any shred of honour.
There were not. No hide nor hair of neither the sniveling captain nor his senior aides.
After the Lord finished searching for his prey, his attention turned back to the slaughter going on around him. Or rather, the lack of it. His Chosen had cut down all life that had been in the bridge.
Turning to his lead Champion, Arnell spoke in a level and calm tone "Secure this room, I need time to prepare for the ritual." The Chosen attendant snapped a brisk nod before turning to face his squad. He gave curt hand gestures and spoke quickly to his squad, too softly for Arnell's tastes.
Arnell was taken aback at first, he had expected the harsh and dangerous voice of Mutan, but his mind quickly fell back to the memory of his conversion with Calistro. The Khorne Lieutenant had executed his lead Chosen squad less then a week ago and the fact had completely slipped his mind.
Arnell's was made aware that this new Champion, Trinton, had only just arisen to the honour of protecting him. He had ascended through the ranks of his Berserkers in quick succession, from humble Berserker to leader of his squad, to Chosen and now to lead Chosen Champion of Arnell's personal bodyguard. Arnell also knew there were no further positions of power left open to the young follower other then Lieutenant.
It was common knowledge amongst Arnell's followers that he would only every have seven Lieutenants, known collectively as the Cult of Khorne amongst the inhabitants of Iunsan, Arnell's daemon world deep within the Eye of Terror.
It was also common knowledge that one could only become a Lieutenant within Arnell's army upon the death of one of his former captains. Rumour also had it that these seven were the very same Dark Angels who left before the destruction of Caliban when Lion El'Johnson, Primarch of the Dark Angels Legion returned home, but was confronted by Luther the Betrayer.
Arnell knew the truth, and none dared ask him openly about this rumour, and he would give no answer if they did.
*****

The fighting hadn't lasted long after the arrival of the Astartes. Mars Aran had led the charge against the Genestealer Cultists, and had nearly dispatched the last cultists himself. But Holt had stopped the cultist's execution. After Holt was sure that the Chief Librarian was fully composed himself and had brought down his force axe from a position where it could easily deliver the killing blow, the Chief Librarian had
"After all, we can't interrogate a corpse" sniggered Holt, breaking the silence after a few seconds. All eyes fixed on the cultists suddenly, as well as all weapons. Marco had some how survived the battle, and was covering the cultist with his bolt pistol, making it clear to everyone that any aggressive moves on the cultists part would end in bloody ruination.
The Chief Librarian stepped back from the cultist, allowing the Inquisitor closer, and slung his force axe on it's retaining clip around his waist. Holt smiled at the sheer scale of the axe compared to the cultists. The head of the axe was bigger as the cultists head. Such a weapon wouldn't of cut, but rather crushed the feeble man beneath the Astartes might, thought Holt.
"Interrogation of the cultists will not yield any valuable intel" came from behind Holt. The voice was stern and full of authority.
Mars Aran turned slowly to face this new individual. Holt sensing the Chief Librarians next questions, preempted it "This is Mintus Litoan, Inquisitor-Lord of the Ordo: Xenos."
"Then, I'm willing to defer to a higher power here, and let the Emperor's light shine upon this fool. If he tells me anything, then it'll be worthwhile in my opinion" deemed Holt, his tone clearly mocking and full of jest.
"You'll get more intel out of me then him" remarked Mintus, his tone denoting he was unaware of the subtleness of Holt's humour.
"That can be arranged" smirked the Hereticus Inquisitor. He had hidden the smirk from the Xenos agent on purposes, and Mars Aran could see Holt smiling.
Whether or not Aran was amused by the Inquisitor's remark was unclear, his face was as stern as when he was actively fighting the cultists.
"I will not stand to be interrogated, Lord Holt, I have heard stories of the agents of the Hereticus. Survival of the interrogated is optional in your interrogations."
Composing himself again, and then turning around to face Mintus, Holt held the gaze of Mintus for a few tense seconds. Mintus had stepped closer to Holt whilst he had his back turned to him. He was within easy kill range of the lightning claws Mintus was armed with, should the Xenos agent wish it.
From his position and facial expression, Holt was a hairs breadth from being disemboweled, and Holt knew Mars Aran had noticed it also.
Holt's face hardened suddenly, "Consider your options carefully, young Xenos. You will die here if you don't take the right action. Your surrounded by four Astartes, one of them being the Chief Librarian of the Fists of Flame. Don't make enemies if you can avoid it."
The Xenos Inquisitor considered his options and replied, "I have no wish to be killed, nor do I wish to be interrogated. My only wish is to serve His holy domains in the best way I can." Mintus' voice was measured and calm. A wry smile cross Mars Aran's face before Holt could respond. Holt's eyes flashed across at the Librarian and then back to Mintus.
"Good, then stand at ease Mintus. Although one suggestion, I'd suggest you get yourself a sense of humour. Oh and Aran, I suggestion you don't read people's mind without my command. I saw your smile."
The laugh of Mars Aran surprised Mintus, forcing the Inquisitor to take a step back in disbelief that such an impressive and imposing figure possessed such a twisted sense of humour. It was a hearty, almost bellicose laugh that filled the temple with it's loud volume.
Turning to Mintus after finishing his bout of laughing, and placing his armoured gauntlet upon the Inquisitorial agent's shoulder. The scales of the Astartes were never more apparent as the hand of Mars Aran covered Mintus' shoulder completely. Mars Aran spoke clearly to the young Inquisitor "beware Holt's evil humour, he hides many a secret behind it."
Mintus finished the exchange with a curt nod and stepped away. With a slow, purposeful motion, Mintus placed one claw above the other, and used his thumb to toggle the safety stud into the 'on' position, and removed his gauntlet with a flick of his whist. He let the heavy gauntlet fall onto its retaining strap before removing the other. When he had done that, Mintus spoke finally, "I have removed my claws, let that be an act of faith between our Orders on this day."
"Consider your option well received" smiled Holt, and he turned back to the cultist, "now then what do we do with him?"
"He'll make an excellent corpse" offered Mars Aran as he turned towards the cultist himself. The Fists of Flame Astartes had formed around the Cultist, stopping him from fleeing whilst the Inquisitors resolved their argument.
From the prisoner's posture and expression, Mars Aran resolved that the cultist was mentally broken. He was quivering badly and gibbering to himself.
Holt face frowned a little. Mintus only assumed he was putting the frown on for ironic effect. The Xenos Inquisitor kept his face neutral whilst Holt ordered the death of the cultists.
Mars Aran nodded to his Astartes and the most senior amongst them lived his bolter. The bark of a single shot and the splash of blood followed.
With the death of the cultist, Holt gestured Mintus to consult him personally, out of ear shot.
Looking to make sure he couldn't be heard even by the enhanced hearing of the Astartes, Holt spoke "What happened to your assassin?"
"He's still around, somewhere" remarked Mintus, keeping his voice the same level as Holts.
Holt smiled, "I see your attempting to get a sense of humour."
"In truth, he left after before our 'confrontation.' This wasn't the only assignment I tasked him with. Although I'm sorry that I had to request the services of your assassin too."
"I accept that Alexia has a task of duty to the Imperium."
A new voice broke into the conversation before Holt could continue. It was Alexia "My services were needed by Inquisitor Mintus, and I accepted his assignment without reservation, sir"
"Just where you went during the debate?" asked Holt honestly.
"Truthfully, I was considering which side my allegiance would have to fall down upon if it came to blows. I wasn't sure when my assignment to Mintus had ended, or whether my long time standing as a servant to your own administration." She gave a shallow bow and then awaited a reply.
"A conflict of interest?" responded Mintus, his question a rhetorical one in nature.
"There may be hope for you yet" remarked Holt.
"That may be so, although may I make a personal request, Inquisitor? Just why did you saw that I was an Inquisitor-Lord to that Astartes Librarian" a hint of vanity flashed through Mintus' voice as he asked.
"In truth, I doubt Mars Aran respects the Inquisition at large. He seems to only truly trust Inquisitor-Lords, and looks down upon Inquisitors in a distasteful manor. I assume you've seen the way Commissars from Guard regiments regard PDF forces. Pretty much the same thing with Mars Aran and normal Inquisitors. Of course he knew I was lying" smiled Holt.
*****

With a hydraulic hiss, the doors leading onto the bridge of the Holy Benefactor slid open. Three figures strode onto the bridge completely unaware of the peril they were in. With a heavy thud, the Chosen Terminators side stepped, blocking the entrance with a wall of hulking death.
The shock was palatable amongst the Imperials. From their uniforms, two of the Imperials were naval officers, presumably of high rank, judging from the sheer number of medals and seals adorning their breasts. The third figure wore a green, plain silken robe, and a third eye was preeminent upon her forehead.
"I'm glad you could join us" hissed Arnell as he stepped closer to the trio.
"You will not harm me, abomination!" screamed the lady in the green dress. Arnell could sense the stench of ozone around him and he saw an arc of static leap across the gap between the Khorne Lord and the psyker. "You dare think that I'm not protected from your magicks, psyker?" demanded Arnell as the power begun to rise within the room.
"I am His servant!" screamed the psyker as psychic energy he was channeling reached it's climax. Lightning bolts leapt across the room, striking the Khorne Lord square. In an explosion of light, the Chosen and the Imperials alike had to shield their eyes. "Fool, my lord and master has protected me from your mere psychic talents" laughed Arnell as he took another step towards the three Imperials.
"When I've proven your petty psyker's worthlessness, I shall have him clean my armour like a good little slave he is" threatened Arnell. "Actually, forget that future, I'll feed you to the daemon bound to the True Domination" laughed the Khorne Lord.
"I will never submit! I am His servant" shouted the Imperial psyker as the Khorne Lord drew even closer. He had closed within easy striking distance of Arnell's glaive, and the raw psychic power was palatable.
"Death shall be my reward for a lifetime of service in the Emperor's name" deemed the Navigator as the realisation of the situation finally hit home. With a flash of pure speed, Arnell brought his berserker glaive up and lanced it out before him. The Navigator fell backwards in shock, gasping his third eye socket as a stream of blood flowed down his face. "Don't test my patience, Navigator, you have escaped with a minor wound!" boomed Arnell, "and someone get him some new undergarments, this one's soiled himself!" Arnell pointed towards the younger of the two Imperials Naval Officers.
The Naval Officer grew acutely aware of the ten pairs of eyes fixed upon him, and he physically shrank before their piercing gazes. "Or is it this one secretly worships Nurgle?" enquired one of the Chosen Terminators. Two of the Terminators behind Arnell started to laugh, but Arnell's voice cut them off abruptly, "I assume you're the captain of this vessel?" The Khorne Lord gaze had firmly fixed upon the older Naval Officer.
"I am Admiral Cizuon, I am captain of the Holy Benefactor and senior adept" The Admiral smartened up his uniform as he spoke, and stood a little taller.
Arnell brought his hand up to his helm and unclipped four seals, and lifted the helmet clear. Cupping it beneath his armpit, Arnell glared at the admiral with contempt. "And I am the Khorne Lord known as Arnell." The Lord could see the faint trickle of surprise in the Admiral's face as he scanned the Lord's face.
He was a bold looking warrior of some age, and many scars marked the Lord's face. Five service studs, each with a skull indented into their gleaming services flashed in the light and at the base of his jaw line, a small tattoo. The shape denoted wings and a sword in a dark green ink.
"You're a Dark Angel" gasped the Navigator beside the Admiral, her tone denoting her shock. "I was a Dark Angel" stung Arnell, the venom in his voice was clear for everyone to hear. He made special note of the 'was' as he spoke.
*****

'We have important information for you, Inquisitor' chimed through Holt's mind. He spun around to face the Chief Librarian, "just what information do you have to share, Mars Aran?" enquired the Inquisitor, voicing his  question for all to hear. 'It is more prudent that I inform only you, Inquisitor' danced through Holt's mind.
"You shall speak what you have, and do it quickly, my patience grows thin" threatened the Hereticus Inquisitor.
"I don't completely trust Mintus, but if you feel you can trust him with this information," the Librarian shot a glance back to Marco who was busy ensuring that the cultists were truly dead. "He is harmless, and one of my most trusted aides" glared Holt, as though he was being insulted by the Librarian's statement. The two servants of the Emperor eyed each other for a minute.
Holt was the first to speak, the same wry smile crossed his face, "besides I would of thought you would of found distrust with Mintus."
"In that case then, sir, then I shall tell you of my communications, " Holt's eye brow pricked up at the word 'communications.' "I have been receiving word from the Astropath onboard the Holy Benefactor. She has spoken of an attack on the Imperial convey traveling from here. The Khorne Lord Arnell is attacking the Imperial transports."
Before the Librarian could continue, Holt interrupted him "I have heard no word of a Chaos fleet approaching Torrin, I have given strict orders to inform me of such an occurrence" mused Holt.
"He is not attacking them in our realm, Inquisitor. He is using the Immaterium to attack them. There are rumours in the ether that he is using daemons in these attacks, but it remains unclear whether that is true or not."
Holt threw his hand up to silence the Chief Librarian whilst he pondered the full import of this news.
Mintus broke the silence, asking the Librarian directly whilst Holt walked into a corner to sit down whilst his mind flowed, "and what of the Tyranids?"
"They are still coming, they are making communication difficult, but not entirely impossible. They are maybe a full day away. Warp communication will be all but impossible in about an hours time, if you have any plans to put in place, then I recommend you send them now."
Mintus turned to the Librarian with a odd look on his face. "But I have no Astropath, mine went insane as soon as the Tyranids vanguards arrived."
"I am more then fully capable of transmitting messages via the Warp, and I offer my services for the good of the Imperium."
"Do you have a fleet in orbit, Astartes?" asked Mintus, openly. "I do, I have my entire Chapter here, and or rather what remains of it." The Librarian's face become suddenly sad as he spoke, as though he had spoken the truth and it had ashamed him to the root of his core. "It is rare that an entire Astartes Chapter be sent to protect an Imperial world" considered Mintus, "could it have something to do with Holt?" asked the Xenos Inquisitor, half to himself.
"It does, and I cannot condone his actions in the past, I understand them." Before Mintus could reply, the Librarians face returned to its usual expression. "Your message, just what do you want me to send and to where?"
"I want you to communicate with your fleet and tell them to enact the ultimate sanction. I want no Tyranid to devour this world!"
*****

"Guard them" spat the Khorne Lord as he turned away from the three Imperials. He strode over to the closest console and triggered the internal pict vox. Flicking through the various locations, Arnell found the one he was after.
The pict screen flashed into life and scenes of death filled the Lord's vision. Bolt pistols spat death and lasbolts criss-crossed the room, the tell tale snap of hellgun discharges and the bark of shotguns firing assailed the Lord's ears. Red blurs swam in and out of focus, and black figures moved in the distance. Toggling the microphone controls to maximum, "Calistro" bellowed the Khorne Lord.
It was a full minute before the ugly form of the Khorne Lieutenant filled the screen. Arnell could see every scar in horrific detail. "How goes the fighting?" asked Arnell.
"It goes well, Caltox keeps killing the Imperials before I can reach them. Damned fool will get himself killed eventually" smiled Calistro. A mild expression of shock played upon the Lieutenants face at seeing his Lord without his helmet on.
"I want you to plant the charges and meet me on the bridge, along with Caltox, if he can be dragged away from all those Guardsmen," smiled Arnell as the thunderous form of Caltox came into view behind Calistro, riding upon his armoured Juggernaut of Khorne. As quickly as he appeared, the juggernaut rider was gone, charging off to slay yet more enemies in Khorne's name.
"It will be done, master" bowed Calistro. "I expect nothing less, now go carry out my orders."
The Khorne Lord returned to the Imperials after shutting off the pict screen. Placing his helmet back on, Arnell spoke with renewed passion, "Is your vessel carrying anything special?"
The look of hesitation flashed across the three faces, but no one had the courage to give voice to the words. "Speak or die" threatened the Khorne Lord.
Nothing happened for a few tense minutes, and it was Arnell who broke the stale silence. With a blur of motion, Arnell cut down the junior Naval Officer with an upward cut of his glaive. A second later, the frightened form of the Officer slid neatly in two, and two meaty chunks of bloody ruin hit the decking.
"Don't make me kill your Navigator" dared Arnell, fixing his gaze upon the senior bridge crewman.
"Go ahead, she is of no value to me" retorted Naval Officer, holding the Khorne Lord's gaze with remarkable ease.
"So be it" growled the Lord as he brought his glaive down again, cutting the Navigator from her head to her hips in one clean strike.
"Their blood is on your hands, Admiral" smirked Arnell, "now its your time to die, and the unfortunate thing is I already know about Eutanti" beamed the Khorne Lord as the glaive slid through the Admiral's body.
*****


Part 4 Here




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