But first some back story on my back story. My Flesh Tearers are charged with finding the Eight Artifacts of Angaron (a non-canon idea, but inspired by the Blood Quest comics), and bringing them back to Creticia so that they may be destroyed, killing or weakening Angaron. Simon's Dark Angels are doing what they do best, hunting for a Fallen.
Sgt. Thracius watched his bolter round enter the renegade’s eye. With grim satisfaction, he watched the World Eater’s head explode like a rotten gourd. The gore-soaked giant collapsed, crushing some of the rebel factory workers underneath his bulk.
Sgt. Thracius turned to face his next foe, as the battle raged around him. Blood stained the robes that marked him as member of the Inner Circle. His Dark Angel Brethren had traveled to this factory to hunt down one of the Fallen Angels, and had instead fallen into his trap. The approach to the factory showed the glorious icons of Imperial industry had been torn down or smashed asunder, and had been replaced with runes which burned the eye to look at them. The skull rune of the Blood God had been carved into the head of the Immortal Emperor, incensing the patrol as their rhinos approached the twisted ruins of the factory. Thracius urged caution, and spoke of signs of the enemy in the rubble. The cultists they saw were twisted, stunted parodies of men, clothed in the skin of those who had remained loyal to the Emperor. Bearing an assortment of autoguns, las pistols and crude hand to hand weapons, they were easy prey for the even this small patrol of Astartes. But even this small coven could lead to information regarding this renegade leader, known only as “The Angel of Slaughter”. They could not risk this possible Fallen to escape.
All had gone as planned. Small arms fire pinged off the Rhino’s hide on the approach, representing very little threat. A cultist bearing a grenade launcher, seemingly the heaviest weapon amongst their force, was picked off at range by the more accurate fire of the second squad. The Rhinos gained entry to the compound virtually unopposed. Sgt. Thracius and his battle brothers poured forth from the Rhinos, bolters spitting death. The cultists charged unheeding into the massed fire power, but gained no ground. All seemed to be going their way until Sgt. Thracius heard the throaty roar of chain weapons starting. From concealed positions, eight crimson armored forms rose to join battle. Cleaving through their own followers to better get at the Dark Angels, the World Eaters made their way to join the combat.
All was bedlam for several minutes. The swirl and rush of combat overtook them. Sgt. Thracius’s close encounter made him realize that their positions were untenable. The World Eaters were pressing too hard, and the cultists were cutting off any chance of escape. The Unending Duty, high in orbit, could not be reached, and neither could their Ravenwing patrol. All would be lost if they did not fall back soon.
It was then that Thracius heard the clap of thunder. “Three drop pods on an approach vector, Brother-Sgt.” That brief message confirmed the worst of Thracius’s suspicions. More of the Enemy were coming. He made the only order which made sense.
“Return to the Rhinos, Brothers! We must fall back! Grab your fallen Brothers! No one is left behind!”
At that moment the drop pods slammed home, sending a shock wave through the battle. All was silent for a split second. Then the explosive bolts holding the drop pod doors fired. Red-armored marines poured forth from the pods, armed for close combat, and all seemed lost.
That was until the newcomers fired into the cultists. A scream of “Blood! Blood in His Name!” carried over the din of battle as the newcomers launched themselves into the cultists. Ten of them were armored in white, covered in saltaires of crimson. Those armored so seemed unstoppable, taking fire that would level a grox. As a force, they moved through the foe like a scythe.
“I don’t know who they are, Brothers, but kill the rebels!” The Dark Angels redoubled their fire, slaughtering the cultists. They watched in mute horror as the newcomers rent and tore the foe with chain-axe, combat knives, and even bare hands. Soon, even the Berserkers fell to the warriors in white. What few cultists remained fled to the hills when they saw their benefactors fall. The white armored marines turned to follow them, breaking spines, crushing skulls and rending limbs in a display of unmatched savagery.
The Dark Angels stood, bolters at the ready, and watched the newcomers. A black armored form marched forward, a skull mask marking him as a chaplain. Is this some trick of the Fallen?, thought Sgt Thracius. His Crozius is more of a cudgel than a symbol of devotion. The chaplain raised his hands in salute, and reached up to break the air-seals of his helm.
“Well met, Brothers of the Dark Angels! I am sorry for the lack of warning, but you did not seem to be on the standard frequencies. And there is the matter of the jamming that seems to be taking place.” He seemed normal, a bit pale and gaunt perhaps, but free of taint. “I am Brother-Chaplain Lucius, of the 4th Company of the Fleshtearers. I would speak to your commander, if possible. We may have common cause.”
Why now? These blasted interlopers will ruin the hunt! But Sgt. Thracius could not refuse without drawing suspicion. “I am Brother-Sgt. Thracius, 4th company, 2nd squad, leader of this patrol. Brother-Epistolatory Praxilus is not here. I will vox him to let him know of your desire to meet. But we have little time for conferances. These covens demand to be purged. If a meeting can be done, he will let me know.”
“That is all I can ask.”
The Sgt. watched as Brother Librarian Praxilus strode away from the meeting with the Fleshtearer command. Suspicious eyes watched as the battle-scarred craft closed its ramps and began to lift skyward.
The robes of his fellow Inner Circle members moved in the winds created from the other chapter’s Thunderhawk lifting into the sky. “Brothers, I need not tell you that this is a critical moment” began Praxilus. “I have spoken with this Chaplain Lucius. And he targets the same renegade that we do, for reasons unrelated to our quest. Indeed, he is of the mind that this “Angel of Slaughter” is a renegade from his own Chapter, or of his parent Chapter. He does not know anything of the Fallen, and that should remain so if we remain vigilant. Indeed, the Emperor’s Tarot predicted a great challenge ahead of us; forces gather the likes of which we have never seen. Ordinarily, I would not do this, but our casualties have been great. The Enemy was prepared, and though we could find the Fallen, we would not be able to guarantee our success. With them, we can prevail. Without them... who can say?”
With this, Sgt. Thracius grinned. “Better to have hounds to flush our prey. Should they learn too much, who will doubt us when we say they went mad, and had to be put down? Their reputation is our leash, and our weapon.”
“Brother Lucius! We have left the atmosphere. Docking with the Righteous Fury in 30.”
“Well done as always, Brother Gregor. Keep scanning for anything unusual.”
“Ave, Brother…” A pause. And then the question, “Brother, these Dark Angels, what do you make of them? Do you trust them?”
“I do not trust them, Gregor. But I trust I know what they will do. They seek our fallen Brother for some reason, I dare not ask what. As long as this ‘Angel’ has the axe we seek; I care not. Just be on guard. I don’t wish to be lost in an ‘accident’ if we step on our Brother’s robes once too often. The Sons of el’Johnson were ever peevish regarding their secrets. In fact, we should probably sensor sweep this Thunderhawk as soon as we return. Still, we need them as much as they need us…”