Blood Knife (a WH40K Tau Shoot'em Up)

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Blood Knife (a WH40K Tau Shoot'em Up)

Post#1 » Dec 16 2017 01:26

BLOOD KNIFE – KISUN’MYR: A WH40K Tau Shoot'em Up

Introduction to Blood Knife
If you have read my other stories, there are plenty of blue skinned people falling in love, old people reminiscing about the good old days when they were fire warriors, or little Tau children exploring the world around them; but this isn’t one of those stories. This is instead my first real “honest-to-gawd” Warhammer 40k shoot’em up! It will have no redeeming value, other than excessive amounts of pulse carbine fire and exploding photon grenades. Hopefully, it will have enough character and plot development not to be just “bolter porn”. (Let me know if it does will you?) Oh, and as to plot, I have no idea in h’kek’an where this story is going! I’ll go with it as a long as I’m interested in it; and when I finally get bored with it, I’ll shut it down with some deus ex machina or another. Hey, but don't whine when it happens, because I warned you about ahead of time! So grab your popcorn and favourite soft drink, or if you prefer, your favourite order of sushi from ‘Happy Tau Sushi’ and bottle of ky’husa; and then sit back and enjoy this mindless entertainment. GO BLUESKINS!

TauMan

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1: Fog and Fire

‘In the name of the Holy Emperor of Mankind I call down the wrath of his glorious Golden Throne! By thy Holy Name let your enemies be destroyed and thy servants saved! I call upon thee O Holy Emperor save us!’ shouted Inquisitor O’Diarmada, reeling unsteadily on his feet and waving his near empty bolter at the fog.

The dense mist reeks of promethium and burning flesh. Here and there bodies still smoulder, while others are nothing but bits of charred flesh and bone. Staggering backwards the Inquisitor fires wildly into the fog, trying to keep at bay the unseen servants of the Blood god. But the fog cloaks everything and to his his horror and despair, he only finds more blasted bodies of Crusaders and Sororitas, their torn and leaking flesh wet with blood.

‘Brothers! Sisters! If you can follow the sound of my voice come to me Inquisitor O’Diarmada! Seek me out! Follow the sound of my voice. The Inquisitor makes his way up the slight incline of the hill to a burning Chimera transport, and scrounging among the dead finds one clip more for his now empty bolter. He drops the empty clip and slams home the full clip one. He reeks of blood, sweat, and cordite, his muscles ache and bur; while his lungs heave with the heavy damp air and dense smoke. Then there is a shout.

‘Inquisitor keep shouting we can hear you! We are brother Crusaders. Keep shouting!’

‘In his holy name some have survived!’ exclaims the Inquisitor to himself wiping the sweat and blood from his mahogany face. ‘Here I am! Come to the sound of my voice!’

There are more shouts and somewhere to his left comes through the fog two Sororitas helping a third wounded sister.

‘Here I am! Come this way!’ he shouts back.

‘Inquisitor there is a holy priest not too far behind us, but we know not where he is?’ shouts the sister leading the other two.

O’Diarmada still shouting rushes forward and helps with the wounded Sister of Battle, but once they are at the Chimera, they hear the shouts of the Crusaders. Not more than ten yards away comes a small party of four brothers.

‘We can see you Inquisitor!’ shouts one of them, but at that moment dark shadows leap at them from the fog.

O’Diarmada and one of the Sisters rushes forward with their chainsword drawn. The Crusaders were overwhelmed by things no longer human. The naked bodies of these blood creatures were defaced with the sigil of the Khorne, and they screamed unearthly cries to the Blood god. With preternatural strength they slash and stab at the armoured men with knifes, bayonets, and sharpened spades. Swinging wildly they throw themselves at the party, heedlessly for their own safety; and are hacked down in sprays of red ichor and gore. Inquisitor O’Diarmada’s chainsword liquefying three of them at one go. Decapitated heads and limbs are flung into the air; yet more and more of the savage creatures arrive. But these new creatures are the possessed, with blood gushing from their eyes and mouths, teeth sharpened like razors, and claws for hands. With only their bodies as weapons, the creatures attack by grabbing, clawing, and biting.

The Inquisitor slashes and cuts, laying low one possessed creature after another; but a Crusader has his arm torn off, and as he falls to the ground screaming, the living flesh of his stump is eaten by the creatures. Another Crusader falls and is torn apart by claw and teeth, with great chunks of his face are being ripped off and devoured whole. The two fate less men are then set upon by the remaining blood seeking creatures.

‘Leave them! Fall back with me!’ shouts the Inquisitor and the survivors make their way back to the Chimera.

‘Right with you!’ shouts one of the brothers as he and the remaining Crusader heave frag grenades into the feasting monsters. The brilliant flash of the detonation illuminating the parts of bodies being tossed into the air.

Once back to the Chimera, the sister who stayed back to look after her wounded companion says, ‘Inquisitor, we’ve lost Sister Torquemada.’ She points to the now deceased Sororitas lying pale on the ground.

‘May the Emperor give her peace,’ he replies laying a gentle hand on the dead young woman

‘Inquisitor…I…am…’ says one Sororitas who had fought, but then she falls back against the transport and slides to the ground.

‘Lo, let us go to her!’ shouts the Inquisitor to her fellow Sororitas, as the two rushes to her side. They examine her and discover she is sorely wounded. Her face has gone pale and sweating profusely.

‘Sister Rasputina has a small blade still impaled in her left side!’ said the other Soroitas.

‘Look to her wounds then sister,’ answers O’Diarmada, but then to Rasputina adds, ‘Have faith sister, for this day we shall not die! The Emperor wills it!’

‘What…about…Father Gheorghe? He’s…just…over there?’ asks Rasputina her pointing into the fog.

‘Have no fear for him, for I will go get him. Remember this that day we-shall-not-die! The Emperor protects us!’

Just then there is a loud “kerchunk” sound as a bolter round hits one of the Crusaders in the head. The body drops to the ground next to O’Diarmada.

Las rounds pop and flash against the metal hull of the Chimera, and as the survivors fling themselves to the ground, streaks of pink tracer rounds fly in all directions. Far off down the hill they see the golden muzzle flash of bolters, and the thin beams of green of lasguns.

‘Don’t fire back, save your ammunition! Just stay low for now, they’re just shooting at the fires. Here help me stack the bodies. We…can…make some cover.’ The three able bodied survivors now pull and drag the corpses of the dead Sister and Crusader in front of them. Then as they’re dragging more bodies on top those, they hear in the distance.

‘The Emperor protect us! In his holy name I banish you back to the warp!’

‘It’s Father Gheorghe!’ shouts the Sister.

‘Can’t get him now! Keep stacking bodies,’ answers the Inquisitor.

‘The Emperor protect us! In his holy name…’

‘That’s enough! Now grab whatever ammunition you can find and stay low!’

As the three now scour the dead for grenades and clips they once again hear Father Gheorghe.

‘The Emperor protect us! The Emperor protect us!’

‘Inquisitor he’s closer now,’ says the Sister.

‘Alright, I’ll go get him. The two of go check on the wounded Sister, but stay down.’

Brushing his dreadlocks from his face and then pulling down tight his wide brimmed hat, Inquisitor O’Diarmada now hoists his bolter, moving gingerly over the fallen bodies of friend and fiend alike.


Making his way through the fog O’Diarmada followed the sound of the sound of Father Gheorghe’s voice.

‘The Emperor protect us! In his holy name I banish you…’ the voice of preacher seemed so close that he had to be right on top of him; when suddenly he sees the crazed old cleric in front of him.

Father Gheorghe was holding up his book of scripture and shouting, ‘In the Holy Emperor’s name I defy you minions of darkness! I condemn you to the outer darkness! I banish you back to the formless world of the immaterium!’

Father Gheorghe! It’s me Inquisitor O’Diarmada!’

‘Where are you Inquisitor that I can hear you clearly?!’

‘Behind you,’ answered O’Diarmada, but then the codex burst into flames, when several lasrounds simultaneously hit its open pages. The Inquisitor grabbed the preacher shouting ‘Get down Father!’

The two tumbled together and lying on the ground, the old cleric smiled at O’Diarmada saying, ‘Kokumo Raijin your black face is the finest salve to a lost soul! And the best thing I’ve seen all day! May the Emperor preserve us!’

‘May he preserve us Father!’ answered the Inquisitor smiling back.

Then from above them came the spitting roar of a chainsword, followed by its throbbing pulse of its motor. The two men looked up and saw standing before, a naked Sister of Repentia with a juddering Eviscerator in both hands. But she was no longer imbued with the faith in the Emperor! The holy aquila on her red mask was defaced with the icon of the Blood god, and her slashed and scarred body now carried the runes of his dark power. A belt of human hands hung around her waist, and her eyes glowed red with the fire of the Blood Throne. She lifted her roaring Eviscerator over her head at the same time O’Diarmada swung around his bolter. But before she could strike, or he fire, she exploded in a mass blue-white light.

A rain of sizzling blue-white light had struck the renegade Sister Repentia, causing her body to explode and throw fragments of flesh in all directions. The blue-white pulses came from a dark shape hovering in the air above the two men; but it then it sped down hill disappearing into the fog. O’Diarmada and Gheorghe looked at each other, but now from their right came more blue-white flashes; while from their left came even more. Down the hill they could see flashes of blue-white flashing from dark shapes hanging in the air. Immediately there were deafening explosions and flashes of brilliant iridescent light. The two men covered their ears and shut their eye to this unholy terrible din. The explosions and shooting now moved farther off down the hill, only the strobe-like effect of the explosions in the fog, told that there was still fighting going on.

Then it was all over – silence.

‘The Emperor has saved us Gheorghe!’ said O’Diarmada.

‘But Kokumo Raijin that unholy fire came from a xenos abomination.’

O’Diarmada sat up listening to the distant silence and replied, ‘I know.’

The Inquisitor then got to his feet and helped his friend stand up saying, ‘But if it is the will of the Emperor that we be saved by xenos, then it is his will Father.’

There was a shout from the Crusader and the Soroitas, ‘Are you alright Inquisitor? We are all here!’

‘Yes, we are both here! Father Gheorghe and I have both survived!’ he shouted back.

The sound of movement came from down the hill, and turning around O’Diarmada saw grey figures moving towards them. The cleric made for his chainsword, but the Inquisitor stopped him saying, ‘Remember the Emperor’s will Father.’

Three ghostly figures approached them, their armour somehow blending in uncannily with the grey-brown fog, even as they moved toward the two of them. The figures stopped a metre away from the Inquisitor and the cleric; and now there was no doubt that they were xenos. These xenos soldiers wore narrow faced helmets with a long antennas attached to the right side. All three were fully armoured above the wait, but only greaves on their hoofed feet; but standing still they now seemed almost to vanish, becoming like the fog itself. All three then tapped controls on their right fore wrists, and their armour darkened immediately making them easier to see.

‘Who are you xenos?’ requested the Inquisitor in a loud voice.

The centre alien turned its vertical tandem lenses towards the Inquisitor, and in an artificial feminine voice said, ‘Who are you gue’la?’


***
Last edited by TauMan on Feb 17 2018 02:15, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: Blood Knife (a WH40K Tau Shoot'em Up)

Post#2 » Dec 16 2017 07:38

I'm honoured ;D

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Re: Blood Knife (a WH40K Tau Shoot'em Up)

Post#3 » Dec 17 2017 09:40

Bloodknife92 wrote:I'm honoured ;D


Nunco - you're welcome Bloodknife! Ha-ha-ha I didn't even think to check the membership rolls when I started the story! :P I just grabbed the most provocative title I could in the five minutes that I allotted myself, and then went with that.

TauMan
PS In your honor there is now an actual "Blood Knife" inspired character in the story. :fear: TM
Last edited by TauMan on Dec 17 2017 10:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Blood Knife (a WH40K Tau Shoot'em Up)

Post#4 » Dec 17 2017 10:50

2: Unholy Allies

Inquisitor O’Diarmada looked at the xenos commander from beneath the wide black hat, the Inquisitorial sigil glittering red and gold of in the defuse light. His immense form looming before the three Tau warriors like a shadow of doom. His dark brown eyes burning with righteous anger of his faith, while his black and silver dreadlocks fell about his shoulders, like the mane of ancient Terran lion. The Inquisitor reached into long black great coat and pulled forth a parchment roll, and snapping it open he said,

‘This is my Inquisitorial warrant! I am Inquisitor Kokumo Raijin O’Diarmada and this is Father Confessor Gheorghe Goto Hokkanen. We are of the Ordo Hereticus, and our mission is to destroy followers of a heretical cult called the Cultu Sanguis Culturum or Cult of the Blood Knife. They are led by the arch-heretic Cardinal Stiophan Baynonn, also known as The Blood Cardinal. This Baynonn is a former Ecclesiarch, who fell to the ruinous powers, and now the worshiping of the Blood God Khorne. He has gathered all kinds of deviants, heretics, and mutants to his side; and they have slaughtered and butchered their way all across the Imperium. The Blood Cardinal has been eluding capture for decades; but finally he made a mistake, when his cult attacked the orbital station at Cellig II. We interrupted them in the middle of their bloody and unholy rituals; but they still managed to escape their righteous punishment, and flee across the Damocles Gulf. However, the Blood Cardinal was sloppy and we caught the scent of his trail; chasing him all the way to this long forgotten Imperial world of Dileant VI.’

The first fire warrior turned her lenses to the long parchment written in high gothic script, with its many red purity seals and Inquisitorial stamps, and then looked back at the Inquisitor.

‘I am Shas’N’Vre’Vior’los Mon’xitomata,’ said the artificial feminine voice from her helmet’s speaker. ‘My reconnaissance cadre is tasked with locating a nest of mont’gue’la, who have recently occupied our outpost world of Tu'va. These mont’gue’la are probably the same ones you are looking for.’

‘I don’t know the proper manner to address you ma’am, as I don’t your rank; but I am assume it would be safe to say, you are the commander of this unit? In that case, just know ma’am that the Imperium of Man has a claim to this world!’

‘Your Empire’s claim to this world is irrelevant, as we’ve been here almost a century by your own reckoning. And as to my rank, I don’t have time to explain our caste system to you Inquisitor. My military rank would be the equivalent that of a company First Sergeant, in say in your Astra Militarum. But for the sake of simplicity, you may refer to me as “commander”.’

‘Why you xenos *BAD WORD DELETED*! How dare you challenge the divine right of the Emperor…’ growled Hokkanen.

‘Not-now-Father!’ shouted O’Diarmada grabbing the priest by the arm.

‘You have wounded fire warriors do you not Inquisitor?’ said the Tau commander ignoring the exchange.

‘Yes, Commander we do.’

‘Then please follow us to them Inquisitor.’

O’Diarmada was stunned at the arrogance of the xenos commander, but taking Father Gheorghe by the arm, followed the three xenos back towards the wreck of the Chimera. Gheorghe fumed and fussed, but O’Diarmada hushed the old cleric with, ‘Remember the Emperor’s will!’

Stepping over the many slaughtered and smouldering corpses, the xeno commander stopped to point her pulse carbine at the body of a Sister of the Bloody Rose and asked, ‘What happened here Inquisitor? Why do friend and foe look exactly alike?’

The young woman’s corpse though bloody and rotting, still carried the red rose tattoo of her order on her cheek; which had been defaced by a scar in the shape of the icon of Khorne.

The Inquisitor paused, and running a hand over his black and silver beard said darkly, ‘Commander you have no idea what you’re dealing with here. There are powers in the galaxy that are more foul and cruel than you can ever imagine. Your naivete and optimistic belief in the “Greater Good” will only lead you ruin in the struggle against the ruinous powers! Look about you commander! See what the deity of blood and wrath has done!’

‘Inquisitor I asked you what happened here,’ replied the xenos commander turning her twin blue lens towards him. However the Inquisitor's only answer was to stare back at her.

‘No? Well then let me tell you what happened instead Inquisitor! You followed the Blood Cardinal to this world, or rather he lured you here. And once here, you fell right into the trap he had laid for you. We call that Kauyon or Patient Hunter. Soon half of your forces came under the influence of his blood rituals, and gave themselves up to this entity Khorne. They turned on the rest of your forces without warning, resulting in a desperate battle to survive. You were forced to slaughter your own, who in turn were slaughtering you. Am I correct Inquisitor?’

O’Diarmada amazed at being told the truth by a soulless xenos; nodded his head and said, ‘Yes, Commander you are correct.’

Father Gheorghe however, was so upset that he could only glare at the xeno commander in righteous indignation.

Heedless of either of them, the commander continued on towards the Chimera; as four more fire warriors stepped out of the fog, accompanied by three hovering gun drones. The new fire warriors then appeared to communicate to their commander, as the whole group moved along. As the group approached the wreck, the Crusader stood up and readied his bolter.

‘Stand down Brother Kuraokami! These are the xenos who saved our lives!’ shouted the Inquisitor.

‘But sir they are unclean! How, can we make company which such alien things?’ asked Kuraokami.

O’Diarmada stepped up to the young Crusader and placing a large hand on his shoulder said, ‘Take heart faithful soldier, for I beseeched the Emperor for deliverance, and this is who he has sent. For now, let us not question his wisdom?’

‘Yes, Inquisitor,’ replied the young man.

‘Shas’La’Rak'e see to that wounded gue’la fire warrior and let me know what her condition is,’ ordered the xeno commander pointing to Sister Rasputina, who sat with her back against the Chimera.

‘Inquisitor, who are they? Are we safe with these xenos,’ asked the Sister tending to Rasputina.

‘Sister, and you are?’ replied O’Diarmada stepping aside to allow the fire warrior to pass.

‘Sister Kamaria, Inquisitor.’

‘Then Sister Kamaria, for now let them examine her.’

‘La’Rak’e take off your helmet you’re scaring the gue’la female!’ shouted the xeno commander.

‘Yes, ma’am,’ replied Rak’e.

The fire warrior then removed his helmet to reveal a small pink goatee, and a shock of pink hair; which ran along the top of his head, and became a long pink queue. He looked down at Sister Rasputina with a pair of fiery orange-red eyes.

‘By the Throne!’ exclaimed Sister Kamaria startled by his appearance.

‘Ooh, you’re tall for a fish face?’ murmured Sister Rasputina as he knelt down next to her.

‘Please, may I examine you shas’la?’

‘Ah, I…guess so. I don’t…fee...very well.’

Now all the Tau removed their helmets to reveal a mob of blue skinned barbarians! Their faces were criss-crossed with savage red tattoos of swirls, lines, and zig-zags. And they wore their hair in all manner of strange and exotic styles. There were some with side locks and forelocks, some with top knots, while some wore single braids, or multiple braids; and of them all adorned their hair with coloured beads of jade, jasper, turquoise, and jet. The three male fire warriors wore beards. But the strangest looking of all was the commander, whose arrow shaped nasal slit ran up the centre of her face, between her two indigo blue eyes. Her long black queue of hair was worn in a large coil at the back of her head; while long side locks hung on either side of her heavily tattooed face. The combination of all these features created a sensation of gazing upon a savage aboriginal queen.

Unperturbed by the sight of the Tau commander and her blue warband the Inquisitor said, ‘I don’t know how you came by the knowledge of what happen here; but if you know that, then you must know much danger we are all right now?’

There was no response came from the commander.

If O’Diarmada thought he could discern little from the commander’s helmeted face, then he found her blue tattooed face utterly inscrutable! No expression was discernible upon that expressionless face of hers. It was as if her face were nothing more than a painted war mask; hiding secrets from him better than any helmet ever could. Unable to know how his words effected her, he decided to press on anyway.

‘Even you must be to feel the overwhelming presence of Khorne’s rage? His unceasing and unholy cries for blood and violence? The incessant beat of brass drums of the Blood Throne? Tell me Commander, don’t you sense something of the his unrighteous power?’

‘Yes,’ she answered without expression.

‘Shas’N’Vre! The gue’la fire warrior has an impaled blade in her left abdomen, but has little external bleeding. Yet her blood pressure is dropping and she is in shock. Medical indications all point to possible internal bleeding!’ shouted Rak’e.

‘We’ll have to remove the blade and stop the haemorrhaging. Keep monitoring her Shas’La’Rak’e.’

Now turning to a male fire warrior the Commander said, ‘Shas’N’Ui Dom’erri find us a secure location to operate, and then bring the cargo drone around so it can use it as a stretcher. Shas’La Jird and I will help Shas’La’Rak’e with the patient. Then after you find us the location shas’n’ui, you and the rest of the team will secure the perimeter. Everyone understand?’

‘Ai!’ came the chorus of responses.

‘We will speak more of the darkness that breaks the soul later Inquisitor, but now we must see to your fire warrior.’

A fury of activity started as all the fire warriors jumped to their duties. This left the young Crusader Van Kuraokami, the Priest Gheorghe Hokkanen, and the Inquisitor Kokumo Raijin O’Diarmada with nothing to do but stand around and watch. Father Hokkanen then opened his psalter book and began reciting the prayers of deliverance for Sister Rasputina. The Crusader Kuraokami came and stood besides him joining his voice in prayer with that of the holy man’s. The wind seemed to come up, shifting the fog a small bit, but the wind brought with it a stark and bitter chill. O'Diarmada drew his heavy great coat about himself, and looked over the battlefield strewn with torn broken bodies, and the wrecks of still burning armoured vehicles. And he thought to himself, ‘The darkness that breaks the soul. What did she mean by that?’


***



‘At this time we would like to apologize for the inevitable, but not unexpected exposition. The “pew-pew-pew” and “bang-bang-bang” will resume shortly. Thank you for your patience.’ – The Management
Last edited by TauMan on Jan 08 2018 11:53, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Blood Knife (a WH40K Tau Shoot'em Up)

Post#5 » Dec 18 2017 03:58

TauMan wrote:
Bloodknife92 wrote:I'm honoured ;D


Nunco - you're welcome Bloodknife! Ha-ha-ha I didn't even think to check the membership rolls when I started the story! :P I just grabbed the most provocative title I could in the five minutes that I allotted myself, and then went with that.

TauMan
PS In your honor there is now an actual "Blood Knife" inspired character in the story. :fear: TM

Now I HAVE to read it!

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Re: Blood Knife (a WH40K Tau Shoot'em Up)

Post#6 » Dec 18 2017 04:29

Ha ha! I'm enjoying it... do continue with the story! :biggrin:
Ka'ash Sept

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Re: Blood Knife (a WH40K Tau Shoot'em Up)

Post#7 » Dec 18 2017 04:43

Please continue! I love every one of your stories, and this one is no exception.

Tau'va Tauman, may you write a thousand words in one sitting!

Sniper

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Re: Blood Knife (a WH40K Tau Shoot'em Up)

Post#8 » Dec 21 2017 01:48

3: Visions of Carnage

The Inquisitor turned and looked across the foggy battle field, and taking in a deep breath of cold air pondered the fate of his mission and his followers. From somewhere among the acrid smoke and swirling fog there arose a sound, a throbbing like pulse, ‘boom-boom-boom’. He eyes scanned the horrid scene around him, trying to locate where the sound might be coming from. Wait, there it was again, ‘boom-boom-boom!’ This time the sound was a deep, hollow reverberation that penetrated his entire body. ‘Boom-boom-boom.’ But O’Diarmada knew this sound, it was a sound as unclean as it was uncanny. The sound was the brass drums of the Blood God! ‘Boom-boom-boom.’ The infernal drumming now seemed to press up from the earth, pulsing and throbbing in the air around him. ‘Boom-boom-boom.’ He could now feel his heart beat become the beat of the drums. ‘Boom-boom-boom!’ The sound of those unholy drums giving sanction to thoughts so perverse, and so vile that O’Diarmada feared he was already corrupted. ‘Boom-boom-boom!’ ‘Boom-boom-boom!’

The drumming now consumed everything. ‘Boom-boom-boom!’ Engulfing the world around the Inquisitor, until finally there was nothing left but darkness. ‘Boom-boom-boom!’ Nothing left but the darkness and the incessant daemoic drumming, filling his mind with madness and rage. ‘Boom-boom-boom!’ He squeezed his ears and shut his eyes tight, but the infernal drums continued. O’Diarmada opened his mouth wide to yell praises to the God-Emperor of Mankind; but his world exploded into fire, and he found himself all alone in the Realm of Blood.

Before him there appeared a blighted and burning landscape of black rock, flaming geysers of brass, and rivers of smoking blood; while overhead black clouds cracked with lightening, across a blood red sky. On the horizon there was a vast sea of blood, and on its far shore there arose a smouldering dark mountain, wreathed in flame and smoke. He could not see the mountain’s summit, but the Inquisitor knew that hidden within the burning smoke was a terrible black fortress. Within whose black walls was a vast mound of skulls, upon which sat a throne of brass for the Lord of Rage. A throne for the Chaos god called the Lord of Blood, who sat waiting for him, Inquisitor Kokumo Raijin O’Diarmada.

From across the burning landscape there came a rushing sound, a buzzing vibration that filled the blighted air, like the crackling thunder of one-hundred thousand shattered bones. The sound grew louder and louder, until it became a tumultuous cacophony of wailing and gashing; as if one hundred billion murdered souls were suddenly given voice. A roar created from the screams of the tortured multitudes sacrificed to the Throne of Blood. It was a sound beyond the comprehension of any mortal soul, and a sound which no one could withstand. It struck O’Diarmada like the blast wave of a daemonic explosion, slamming him down onto the volcanic rock. He was buffeted and tossed about, again and again, by the daemonic storm; for this was a torrent of hate, a hurricane of wrath, a tempest of pure rage! Seized by the diabolical tempest, O’Diarmada was dragged towards the dark mountain, like a tumbling bramble weed before a hot sirocco wind.

‘Shas’nvre we can use the empty gue’la transport.’ ‘We located the cargo drone shas’nui.’ ‘Good ’la unload it next to the transport and take it to the shas’nvre.’

Hearing the sound of someone speaking jolted the Inquisitor, and he found himself able to reach back to his own reality. Struggling to know who it was that spoke, the voices of his companions, or the voices of the xenos Tau; his mind found its way back to reality. The in an instant he was back on top of the hill, standing close to the wreck of the Chimera. He looked around and exhaled loudly, but once again there came the sound of the daemonic drums. ‘Boom-boom-boom!’ The drums were again calling to him, beckoning him to return to the Realm of Blood. ‘Boom-boom-boom!’ He fought off the visions of red skies and rivers of blood, trying to cling to the sights and sounds of the world around him.

‘Help me with the gue’la female, be careful of the impaled blade!’ ‘Support it as we lift her shas’la; now on my count…neg…xor…gur…lift!’

The sound of the drums still called to him, ‘boom-boom-boom!’ But this time there was something else, a new sound that arose above the din of the drums. It was a song or a chant sung to the beat of the diabolical drums. It was a dark incantation calling to him the Inquisitor Kokumo Raijin O’Diarmada!

‘The brass drums are calling!
Blood! Terror! Death!
Sing the canticle of war!
Sing the paean of battle!
Sing the hymn of destruction!
Come and join me, Kokumo Raijin!’


O’Diarmada’s was suddenly seized by a new vision, and his mind was deluged with images of unspeakable horror and violence. Before his eyes were the images of that fearful and desperate battle of the night before; which had killed so many of his followers. He saw again his old comrades being murdered before his eyes. He saw himself killing again loyal retainers turned into daemons. Worst of all, he could see himself once again loose hope, and almost fall into the worship of the Khorne. All the while these visions tormented him, the daemonic drums still beat. But the sounds of the material world still managed to reached O’Diarmada, sounds from far beyond his tortured phantasms. He could hear the xenos speaking, and they were trying to save Sister Rasputina!

‘Shas’nvre she’s lost consciousness!’ ‘Follow the cargo drone into the transport.’ ‘Ma’am we need to get an intravenous line started...’ ‘And?’ ‘...The medi app says we need to dilute the sterile saline and dextrose solution down to twenty percent.’ ‘Do it then!’

The Inquisitor’s mind was confused, why were they trying to save her? To them she was just an alien and their enemy! She was sworn to kill them, to annihilate them for the Emperor’s sake. They hated her and she hated them! And he hated all of them too! He hated all of those blueskin bastards! He wished to kill them all! Kill all the blueskined abominations! Kill them all! Kill them all! But wait, weren’t they were trying to save Sister Rasputina?

‘Gue’la sister, help us remove her body armour so we can get to the blade.’ ‘Why do you have to do that?’ Are you a firewarrior? Are a soldier?’ ‘Yes’ ‘Then do as you’re told or she dies!’ ‘Shas’La’Rak’e activate your Medi-hands app, you’re doing to do the removal…’ ‘Ma’am? But I’ve never done a medical procedure using Medi-hands!’ ‘So you need to learn, now get prepped!’ ‘You can’t remove her gambeson too! You’ll defile the sanctity of her body with your xenos eyes and hands!’ ‘INQUISITOR! HELP INQUISITOR!’

Like a crack of lightening the Inquisitor was back, and looking up he saw the Brother Crusader and the old cleric being shoved out of the Chimera by two fire warriors. Another was attempting to drag Sister Kamaria away; but she had grabbed the edge of hatchway and was screaming, ‘INQUISITOR! HELP INQUISITOR O’DIARMADA!’

‘Unhand her xenos! Let the Sister go!’ thundered the Inquisitor. All the Tau stopped and to turn their blue faces towards him. O’Diarmada had returned from his hellish visions, and filled with the Emperor’s holy wrath; he would not let them defile Sister Rasputina!

‘Inquisitor they wish to strip Rasputina naked! In the Emperor’s name don’t let them defile her!’ screamed Sister Karmaria still holding onto the hatchway.

O’Diarmada shook his dreadlocks, flung open his greatcoat to reach for his chainsword shouting, ‘In the name of his Golden Throne! In the name of his Holy Inquisition! And by the authority of the Ordo Hereticus, YOU SHALL NOT DEFILE HER!’

O’Diarmada rushed the Chimera, and in three great strides was up the ramp. A firewarrior with his back turned, made a spinning back kick, and slammed a hoof into his abdomen. There was a loud “whomp” and the Inquisitor dropped to ramp with a bang. He’d been kicked so hard that his plackart was momentarily dented. The firewarrior dragging Sister Karmaria, pressed his thumb against her left temple, and she dropped like a rock. Another firewarrior struck a swift blow to Father Gheorghe’s neck, and he went down too. Brother Kuraokami, however, wasn’t going down so easily. He swung his power sword in a great arc at a female firewarrior; but she deftly sided stepped his blow. Then in one swift move, she disarmed him and pinned him to the ground with an armlock.

The firewarrior Rak’e stepped down the ramp of the Chimera; and while removing his bloody surgical gloves, said out loud, ‘Calling the surgery completeat 10:47:71. Shas’La Rak’e performed the extraction of impaled weapon from gue’la female “Sister Rasputina”, assisted by Shas’La Jird, with Shas’nvre Mon’xitomata supervising. The blade was removed and bleeding stopped. The interior of the wound was healed by reverse insertion tissue building. Exterior entry wound healed, and then sealed by application of a sterile sealant. Patient was administered 1,250 lat’ils of saline solution an intravenously. All vital signs are normal at this time and the patient Rasputina is resting comfortably.’ Then pausing he said, 'Disengaging the Medi-hands application, now.'

‘Excellent shas’la. La’Jird and myself will finish with the Sister, so go ahead and get cleaned up.’ said his Commander standing behind him. Then turning to her second-in-command Shas’Nui’Dom’erri she asked, ‘Problems shas’nui?’

The grizzled and scarred old firewarrior happened to be the same one who kicked the Inquisitor. He looked at the Inquisitorial party splayed out across the ground, and sucking in air in between his teethplates said, ‘No ma’am. Just a cultural misunderstanding, which led to pre-mature acts of aggression on the part of the Inquisitor and his companions. The situation has now been normalized.’

‘Good.’

The Inquisitor, Sister Kamaria, and Father Gheorghe found themselves being dragged some ways from the wrecked Chimera, and then dropped into a pile. Then Brother Kuraokami was made, by means of the previously applied armlock, to walk over and sit down next to the other three. Two fire warriors stood close by with pulse carbines at the ready.

‘Are you alright Inquisitor?’ asked the irritated Crusader.

‘I…will…survive…’ he gasped sucking air.

‘I hate these blue fish faces! How dare they despoil and violate Sister Rasputina like that?!’ he spat. Kuraokami thne removed his sallet, and dropped his head on to his chest. He sat there letting his anger smoulder, his blond locks hidding his face. Then he turned towards the Inquisitor and said under his breath, ‘Inquisitor don’t these fish faces seem a bit queer to you? I mean…,’ he looked around to see if the guards were listening. ‘…Isn’t there something fey about them? Did you notice how there armour changed from dark grey to red? By what magik can they do this?’

O’Diarmada looked up and was indeed surprised to find the Tau were now all wearing red. ‘No…I hadn’t…noticed that…before,’ he answered still out of breath.

‘Inquisitor, I don’t know if you’ve ever fought these fish faces before; but your average fish warrior is a weedy little fellows. But these ones are big strapping bucks! Did you see how tall they all are? Why some of them are as tall as you are Inquisitor?’

‘I hadn’t noticed their height…until you mentioned it. But then I've never encountered the blueskins before.’

‘Well, I have Inquisitor. And the ones I killed didn’t have tattoos, or wear they’re hair like savages. And they certainly weren’t big hulking brutes like these ones are either, I can tell you that!’ Kuraokami’s face was red with anger and rage; while his blue eyes stared at the xenos, like an eagle eying its prey.

O’Diarmada felt a tap at his shoulder, and looking to his right to saw that Sister Kamaria was now awake, and pointing to the xenos.

‘There is something fey about these blueskins Inquisitor. Did you notice how they’re all carrying swords?’ she asked.

O’Diarmada looked back at her, and saw she had the same predatory look in her eyes that Brother Kuraokami had. ‘No, I hadn’t noticed that sister. Is that unusual? By the way, are you alright?’

‘Yes, I am alright. Thank you for asking,’ she replied, but her gaze was still focused on the xenos. O’Diarmada could her eyes were also filled with anger and rage.

Father Gheorghe was just now waking up, and oddly he awoke well rested, considering what had just expired. O’Diarmada caught his eye, first tilted his head first towards Kuraokami, and then to Karmaria. The priest’s eyes widened with alarm and leaning in to the other two whispered, ‘Who here has heard the brass drums of the Blood Throne? Who here still hears it beat? Brother Kuraokami? Sister Karmaria?’

Simultaneously Kuraokami and Karmaria gave a little jerk, as if they were startled by a loud noise. Each of them acted embarrassed, as if they had been surprised by something. They looked at the Inquisitor and Father Gheorghe.

‘Hmm, so both of you have heard the daemonic drums have you?’ asked the priest. ‘Watch your hearts and keep to your faith, least you too fall to the foulness that is the Lord of Blood! Do you do not remember what just happened to us since yesterday morn?’

‘Thank you for your stalwart guidance and governance O Father Confessor!’ said Kamaria making the sign of the Aquila and bowing her head to the Priest. Kuraokami also bowed and asked for forgiveness.

‘Be mindful of the Blood God’s dark beckoning! It is your wrath that entices him, and unknowingly you beckon him to you, when you loose control. Focus on the serenity and peace that comes with faith in the Emperor, instead of revenge and retribution against the blue xenos!’ admonished Gheorghe winking at O’Diarmada.

The Tau commander and the rest of her firewarriors walked up to where the Inquisitor sat. She waited until O’Diarmada and his retinue were all standing, before speaking to them in translated Gothic.

‘The mission of our reconnaissance team was to track and follow the mon’gue’la back to their main encampment, in preparation for a final strike against them. The situation has now changed, and we will be heading to our preassigned rally point for extraction. Inquisitor are you able to communicate with your naval force in orbit? Can they extract your team? Do you think you will be hold your position here? Are any of your transports operational?’

‘Commander we lost both our long range vox caster, and our sanctioned psyker; and so have no way of contacting our ship. We are well provisioned for however with enough food, water, and ammunition for a month or more. However, we no longer have any functional transports, and having lost our techpriests, we can no longer repair any of them,’ answered the Inquisitor removing his wide brimmed hat and wiping his brow.

Shas’nui Dom’erri with a hand to his comlink antenna turned to his commander and said, ‘Shas’nvre, the observation drones are tracking a small breakaway group of between forty to fifty mon’gue’la. They have left the larger group that's retreating north-by-northwest. The smaller group first swung south, but then turned back westwards towards our position. ETA is less than one-and-a-half-hours.’

‘Inquisitor O’Diarmada your firewarrior is healed, but won’t be able to walk for at least a day yet. You must now decide what to do. You may join us, as we make for our pre-assigned rally point; and then wait there with us for extraction. Or you can try strike out on with your incapacitated firewarrior; and hope you can fend off the mon’gue’la by yourselves. The choice is yours.’

Inquisitor Kokumo Raijin O’Diarmada looked at his tiny retinue and regarded each one of their faces carefully; before making his decision. The to the shas’nvre he said, ‘We have no choice commander, but to accept your offer to join you. May the Emperor’s will be done!’

‘Excellent. By the Greater Good and the Dawn Blade!’ she replied.

***
Last edited by TauMan on Jan 14 2018 11:26, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Blood Knife (a WH40K Tau Shoot'em Up)

Post#9 » Dec 26 2017 11:23

4: Shame and Sorrow

‘Inquisitor your team will need to gather up as much ammunition, water and food as you can carry. And then bring it back here as soon as possible. You may go in and see your fire warrior Sister Rasputina now.’

‘Thank you Commander,’ answered the Inquisitor O’Diarmada bowing.

The Tau commander Shas’N’Vre Mon’Xitomata waited for the Inquisitor and his companions to pass, and then spoke to her second-in-command in her own language.

˵N’Ui Dom’erri, we need more time. That fire warrior of theirs is going to more rest before she’s be able to walk. Have the DX-36 team engage oncoming the enemy force with a delay and disrupt attack pattern.˶

˵Done,˶ replied the veteran fire warrior, but then stood there with his pulse carbine in the crook of his arm. The Tau “sergeant” wore his bronze hair in wide bangs across his forehead; which became long side locks tightly bound in red. Dom’erri sucked in air between his teethplates and furrowed his nasal slit.

˵What is it Shas’n’ui? You never stand around with your nasal slit puckered together and sucking air through your teethplates, unless you have something to say?˶

˵ They’ll slit our throats it the night ma’am. They’re all mont’au yakshii these gue’la.˶

˵The Tau’va it seems has brought them to us, and we may need them to find the mont’gue’la. So decision is made shas’n’ui.˶


Dom’erri turned his scarred face towards her and with a glint in his dark green eyes and said, ˵Aye, that it has. But you wait, they’ll end up cutting our throats!˶

**


Inquisitor O’Diarmada put a large hand on Sister Rasputina’s shoulder and said, ‘Good to see you alive sister, there are too few of us left.’

‘The Emperor’s gaze was upon you sister! A blessing to have come through alive after such an injury,’ added Father Gheorghe.

Sister Rasputina lay on top of the cargo drone under a thin metallic blanket, looking pale and weak. ‘Thank…you…all,’ she answered weakly, but then asked, ‘Was it you…that removed the knife Sister Kamaria?’

‘No, my sister. It wasn’t me but a xeno apothecary medic. And your wound is completely healed!’ answered Kamaria patting her gently her left side.

‘Ooh, I’m naked…’ exclaimed the Rasputina peeking under he blanket at her wound.

‘Everyone get out, so Sister Kamaria can help Sister Rasputina get dressed. Sister be sure and take that medi-pack at the back there. Then get whatever you and Sister Rasputina need in the way of extras. The rest of you find as much food, water and bolter ammunition as can find and bring it here.’

‘Yes,’ replied Kamaria.

‘Oh, Brother Kuraokami try to find us a portable vox caster, while your at it. And holy father, you and I shall look for supplies.’

‘Yes Inquisitor.’

Father Gheorghe, Brother Kuraokami and the Inquisitor tramped down that ramp of the Chimera to began their search. A female fire warrior re-entered carrying Sister Rasputina’s gambeson and leggings; and handing them to Kamaria said, ‘I’ve repaired her under armour with some of the patching material we use for ours. I’ll start bringing you her armour pieces so you can get her equipped.’

‘Uh…thank you,’ replied a shocked Kamaria looking up at the amber eyed young Tau. ‘What is your name fire warrior?’

‘Shas’La Jird, sister.’


**


Inquisitor O’Diarmada looked over the remains of his command post. His Rhino APC had taken a hit by from a melta gun, and was now a smoking heap of slag with bits of track and bogie wheels. The explosion had blow away the pavilion, scattered tables, chairs and boxed all about. Most of the debris had caught fire and burned, but some were still intact. Rummaging through the scorched boxes and crates, he picked up every scroll, tome, or book he could find. One book of exorcism, and one book on daemonology were two of his most important finds. He scrambled around for whatever relics he could find of saints and martyrs he once had. He could only find a tiny vial of the blood of St. Vesuvius, a small ornate box containing a lock of hair of the martyr Sceleritas, and a gold locket and chain with the foreskin of St. Lascivious. As he broke open one scorched box he heard a buzzing and clicking sound coming from somewhere within. He hurriedly pulled out piles of parchments and data scrolls, until at last there popped out a servo skull with the words, “Et Veritatis” writen in Gothic arcoss its forehead.

‘Ancilla, I’m so glad to see you! How did you get in the box?’

The servo skull clattered and chirped away in binary.

‘So did Inquisitor Montebello put you in there? That’s brilliant! What happened to him? Do you know where he is?’

The servo skull only turned and stared at the ground with its one red lens.

O’Diarmada looked around in the direction it was staring and saw a pile of debris. So pulling back a table and bits of a chair, discovered the remains of Inquisitor Montebello. He had been cut down in spray of molten metal from the exploding Rhino, but the Inquisitor could still tell who he was from the Inquisitorial signet ring on his right hand.

Reaching down and taking the ring O’Diramada said, ‘Good-bye my old friend Agaricum Montebello.’ But then another mutilated corpse caught his eye. Parts of a woman’s dismembered body lay scattered about, but one knee high boot still bore the sigil of the Inquisition.

‘Oh no, not you too Tantaliza Rigidus!’

The Kokumo Rajin O’Diarmada removed his wide brimmed and hat wept bitter tears for his friends and fellow Inquisitors.

**


Sister Kamaria had helped Sister Rasputina don her armour, leaving her right arm bare for the IV pump and the plackart unfastened for access to the bandage. She was fixing the left vambrace when Sister Rasputina asked, ‘Kamaria, so the xenos stripped me of my armour and gambeson? They looked at my naked body?’

‘Yes, they did. Their commander wouldn’t listen to our pleas, and when we tried to stop them stripping you, she prevented us,’ replied Kamaria red faced. Sister Rasputina then began to tremble and sob, and looking at Sister Kamaria threw her arms around her fellow Soroitas, and the two of them held each other tightly and cried.

**


‘BY THE EMPEROR!’ shouted Father Gheorghe holding aloft the two handed Eviscerator. ‘I shall cleanse and purify thee, so that once again thou shalt tear asunder the enemies of the Emperor!’

‘Good find their holy father?’ asked Brother Kuraokami hauling boxes of ammunition in one hand and carrying a number of swords over the another.

‘Yes, I did Brother Crusader. And what do you have there?’

‘Power swords holy father…’ and unsling a shield from his back, ‘…and a Suppressor shield!’

‘The Emperor’s will be done! Say Hallelujah!’

‘Ahoy there Inquisitor!’ shouted Kuraokami seeing the Inquisitor O’Diarmada coming towards carrying a rucksack with his faithful servo skull bobbing along side him. The Inquisitor dropped his heavy bag and greeted them with his own “hullo”. The three and one servo skull stood there weary and worn, but glad at their own good fortune at having survived. The young Crusader smiled at O’Diarmada and reaching down and pulled from his belt a pistol saying, ‘I found this among the dead traitors, I believe it belongs to you Inquisitor?’

Inquisitor O’Diarmada looked down and took the pistol from the crusader. The gold plated barrel of the ancient master crafted pistol gleamed in the late morning sun. The pistol’s black onyx stock inlaid with ivory and iridescent tulo shell felt warm in the O’Diarmada. The Inquisitorial sigil in gold and red enamel was set into the grip of the pistol.

‘My Hellgun! When everything began last evening it was no where among my things. And I found myself “slapping leather” as they say. Where did you find it Brother Kuraokami?’

‘It was in the cold dead hand of the traitor Canoness Commander Vitiatas. I can only guess it was her that stole it, used to destroy your command vehicle Inquisitor.’

‘May the Emperor be praised! Thank you brother for returning it to me!’ said the O’Diarmada embracing the crusader.


**



‘Ahoo-ahoo!’
echoed in fog. They were coming.

Racing across the low hills and over the shallow ravines they came bellowing and shouting. They came carrying chains and knives, or axes and cudgels of iron. They came running in mail or leather, some wearing bits of armour splashed with red or daubed with blood; but some scrambled along wearing nothing at all, their bodies covered in blood and viscera. And all of them bore the blasphemous sigils of Chaos and Khorne.

‘Ahoo-ahoo!’ echoed in fog. They were coming.

Bellowing and howling they ran seeking blood for the God of Blood. Some were mutants with extra limbs, or long spindly hands. Some with backs mishappen and twisted, while scales and fur for skin covered others. Some where degenerates thirsting for unclean acts; while others only sought murder. Some were rengade guardsmen fighting only for the sake of fighting. One was an Ogryn with an appitite for murder swinging a hammer. Yet others had mutilated their bodies, replacing a hand or an arm with a wicked blade or a lasgun. One had a clanking chain sword for an arm. And there were who were new to the whorship of Khorne, who still carried bolters and chain swords. These new heretics either wore the red armour of the Sisters of the Bloody Rose, or the white crusader armour of the House of the Unending Dawn. The armours of these new worshipers were polluted and defiled by the blood of innocents; and defaced with icon of the Taker of Skulls.

‘Ahoo-ahoo!’ echoed in fog. They were coming.

‘Come my pretties! Come all you killers! Come all you murders! Come all you eviserators, violators, and mutilators! Come all you executioners, dismemberers, and disembowlers! Come all you hitters, splitters, cutters, and castrateers! Come all you crushers, manglers, and stranglers! Come all you breakers-of-heads, crushers-of-skulls, haters-of-life! Come you drinkers of blood! Come you eaters of flesh! Come and do the Blood Cardinal's bidding! Come let us take their skulls for the Throne of Skulls! Blood for the Blood God!’ shouted a bald man in leather and chains.

The Bald Man’s forehead was branded with the mark of Chaos, and on each cheek the icon of Khorne! His huge frame was covered in scars and brands that were both blasphemous and unclean. In his right hand he carried a wide cleaver of ancient and inhuman design glowing with arcane red runes. Around his neck was a black iron collar attached to black iron bands at his wrists by two iron chains. In his left hand a red globe pulsated with unholy energy, and voice spoke to him in a whisper only he could hear, ‘You are my Hunter and Slayer! Listen to he who rules from the Throne of Brass! Drink their blood and eat their flesh! Take their skulls for the Lord of Skulls; but bring to me the Inquisitor O’Diarmada!’

‘Yes, as you wish your Unholy Excellency! We do the bidding of the Brass Throne! Blood for the Blood God!’ said the bald man staring into the pulsing red globe. Then to his followers he yelled again, ‘Blood for the Blood God!’

‘Ahoo-ahoo!’ echoed in fog. They were coming.


***
Last edited by TauMan on Jan 08 2018 07:17, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Blood Knife (a WH40K Tau Shoot'em Up)

Post#10 » Jan 06 2018 08:45

Just caught up with the latest chapter... Glorious! :D
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Re: Blood Knife (a WH40K Tau Shoot'em Up)

Post#11 » Jan 08 2018 10:36

5: Moving Out

˵Shas’Nvre I have revised ETA for the mont’gue’la, they’ll be here in less then an hour,˶ said Shas’nui to his commander.

˵Where is the Gue’la Inquisitor? We need to load the cargo drone and prepare to move out. La’Rak’e check on their female firewarrior. Ui’Volgan swap out your pulse carbine for you ion rifle. And the rest of you reload your carbines with MX-06 anti-personnel grenades.˶

˵Aye, ma’am,˶ came the collective chorus.

˵Nui’Dom’erri come over here and show me the situation with the mont’gue’la.˶

The Tau Sergeant came over and stood next to his commander, and pulling out a hand-held device from his belt flipped it open. Instantly there appeared a holographic map floating above the device.

˵The mont’gue’la have now broken up into smaller groups of four to five and are now moving toward our position in roughly a line-abreast formation. The camouflaged DX-36 team has just taken up positions behind the advancing line…here and…here. They’re just about to engage them….˶


The rest of the firewarrior where either busy either reloading their grenade launchers or loading the cargo drone, when O’Diarmada and his followers arrived back at the Chimera.

‘Inquisitor you’re back, good. Please come here,’ said the Tau commander motioning to O’Diarmada.

‘This arrogance of this xenos commander is beginning to gall me Inquisitor! Who is she to be ordering you around like a serf?’ muttered Father Gheroghe.

‘Holy father there is no time for this now!’ muttered the Inquisitor under his breath.

The Tau commander pointed to the holographic map and turning her tattooed face towards the O’Diarmada said, ‘Change of plans Inquisitor, we have to get moving now. I know your firewarrior Rasputina is neither sufficiently rehydrated, nor has gotten enough rest yet; but at least she’s healed. So we’ll monitor her closely on the march.
Were you able to get enough supplies?’

‘We are still in need of rations and water…’ answered the Inquisitor.

‘Is she really healed enough to be moved? interrupted the priest, his fingers dancing on the handle of his newly acquired Eviscerator. ‘Her wound was deep, how could her wound be already healed?’

‘Father Gheorghe enough!’ bellowed O’Diarmada turning on the priest.

The Tau commander shifted the gaze of her indigo eyes to the much shorter human cleric and said, ‘Does it matter how it was done? Our medical technology is anathema, our philosophy heretical, and you consider us Tau to be xeno abominations. It is enough that she is healed gue’la, so leave it at that.’

Far off there came the sounds of exploding photon grenades. The Inquisitor, the priest, and the crusader all jumped at the sound. The firewarriors simply continued with their duties of loading the cargo without so much as flinching or the turning of the head.

‘Ma’am the DX-36 team has engaged the enemy, and now they’re scattering,' said the Tau sergeant rubbing a scar.

The Tau commander now hoisted her pulse carbine and said, ‘The gun drones have given us little more time Inquisitor, so go and gather up as much additional water and rations as you can find. But be quick about it.’

Tau commander leaned close to her subordinate and said in her own language, ˵Nui Dom’erri if everything else is ready, make a quick check of the team and see if any of them have left from the hunt

˵Good idea. We may have lost one or two of the new shas’la in last few hours,˶ replied the veteran sergeant closing his holoprojector.

**


Sisters Karmaria helped Sister Rasputina down the Chimera ramp. The younger Rasputina was pale and week, and her eyes still red from crying. Brother Crusader Kuraokami greeted the two of them, and then holding up a sword up by the pommel said, ‘It is good to see you walking Sister! I have found weapons for both of you.’

‘Powers swords?’ exclaimed Kamaria carrying the medi-kit from the Chimera.

‘Yes, and a suppressor shield for each of you as well!’ he replied un-slinging one of tall shields emblazoned with the red and gold “I” of the Inquisition.

‘Oh no, I’m not worthy! I-I-I am only an A-a-acoylite,’ replied Rasputina bursting into tears again, sobbing uncontrollably.

A surprised Brother Kuraokami then looked at Sister Kamaria, who gave him a sad knowing look. She traded him the medi-kit for a power sword and suppressor shield; but then placed a hand on Sister Rasputina’s shoulder. Kuraokami took the cue from her, and reached out to Rasputina, taking her gently by the chin in his gauntleted hand. He lifted her face so as to look her in the eyes and said, ‘What happened to you is not your fault. But know that you are worthy to carry this sword and shield!’

Sister Rasputina stopped crying,but looked up at him her face still wet with tears.

‘I knew the brother to whom these weapons belonged; and like him, you fight against the most heinous and unclean enemies of mankind. And I know he would be honoured that you continue the fight against the enemies of the Emperor. The very same enemies who slew him my brother crusader. And lastly, know you this Sister Rasputina that before this holy mission is complete; that I Brother Van Kuraokami, swear to avenge your violation, and chastise those xenos perpetrators!’

He placed his hand on the pommel of the power sword, ‘This I swear by the Golden Throne of the Emperor!’

‘And I Sister Kamaria swear by the Golden Throne as well!’ she said placing her hand on top the pommel.

Sister Rasputina reached over and place her hand on top of Sister Kamaria’s hand and said with vehemence, ‘And I Sister Rasputina also swear by the Golden Throne!’

**


Shas’Nui’Dom’erri watched as his firewarriors finished loading the long cargo drone with the ammo boxes and rations of the Inquisitor’s party. And pointing with an open hand to the side ordered in Tau’sia, ˵Team form up on me.˶

The five firewarriors lined up in a row, and Dom’erri walked down the line observing each one of them closely. He paused briefly in front of Kir’erra and looked into her eyes, before then moving on. Dom’erri paused to look Vir’gala in the eyes. And reaching out and put his left hand on her neck and studied her eyes even closer.

˵Step out of the line La’Vir’gala.˶

As Vir’gala stepped forward he moved on to Jird; and looking into her eyes and said, ˵Good La’Jird, you’re still with us.˶

Dom’erri then stepped up to Rak'e and studied his eyes, putting his arm on his neck as he done with Vir’gala. ˵Step out of the line La’Rak’e.˶

Rak’e stepped forward dropping his head.

Dom’erri saw this and stepped back in front of him saying, ˵Nothing to be ashamed of La’Rak’e. You and La’Vir’gala both are both new to the cadre and to combat. Leaving the hunt has happens to all of us at one time or another.˶

Dom’erri now lifted the young firewarrior’s head so as to look him in the eye. ˵You probably left the hunt when you had to engage Medi-hands. You can’t be a firewarrior taking lives; while you’re a physician saving lives, t’eh?˶

˵Shas’nui, let’s not have the two of them do this alone. You join the line and we’ll all do this together; we'll rejoin the hunt as a team,˶ said the Tau commander.

Shas’Nvre’Mon’xitomata stepped in front of the line of firewarriors and drew her combat blade, and holding out in front of her shouted, ˵Warriors of Vior’los draw now your mont’nan!˶

All six drew their combat blades and held them out the front as she did.

˵Brothers and sisters of the pack, heed the call of the hunt! Hear the howl of Grandmother Wolf! Hear the howl of the Hunt Mother she is calling you!…˶

The Inquisitor and is party watched as the Tau commander now led her firewarriors in a rhythmic chant; each of them stomping their hooves in time with the chant. The voices of the firewarriors were soft at first, but the intensity grew and grew with each verse. And with each verse they chanted, the firewarriors performed a cut, or strike with their blades. Finally the chanting became a deep throated roar that alarmed the Inquisitor and his party.

‘What in the name of the Emperor are they doing?’ asked the Inquisitor hoisting his rucksack, helped by Father Gheorghe.

‘Calling up the daemon within Inquisitor! These xenos serve the Brass Throne though they know it not. Mark what I say today Inquisitor O’Diarmada! They will be seized by the Blood God’s frenzy and turn on us, just like those traitors did!’ said the holy cleric hoisting his rucksack.

‘May the Emperor protect us!’ exclaimed Kuraokami staring at the line of firewarriors and making the sign of the aquila.

‘May the Emperor protect us! Blessed be his holy name!’ said the two sisters of the Bloody Rose also making the sign of the aquila.

Finally the chant ended with a thunderous shout of ‘Tō Tan’seri’nan! Tō Vior’los! Tō O’Shova!’ and then there was silence. The Tau commander placed her blade to the top of her scabbard, and drew it through her fingers, before replacing it in the scabbard. All her firewarriors then did the same.

˵Team, don you helmets and prepare to move out,˶ ordered the Tau commander.

˵Aye,˶ they replied in unison.

There was a perceptible change in the air, as if something had cleansed the atmosphere of its oppressiveness and gloom. And in its place was a feeling of freshness and lightness. O’Diarmada blinked and looking around asked, ‘Does anyone else feel that? Does anyone else hear that? The sudden silence. The brass drums have stopped! My head is clear, I no longer hear the daemonic beat of the brass drums!’

‘I feel it too! There is silence in my mind, and peace in my heart. The Emperor has heard our prayers!’ said Kuraokami in quiet awe.

‘I sense it too. The calm and serenity of his divine blessing!’ said the Father Gheorghe lifting the Eviscerator on to his shoulders.

‘Praise the Emperor’s name!’ said Sister Kamaria bowing her head while making the sign of the aquila.

‘The Emperor’s name be praised!’ said Sister Rasputina, but then under her breath uttered, ‘But I believe it was the xenos chant that has done this!’

‘What was that?’ asked Sister Kamaria turning around.

‘Nothing sister.’

The Tau commander word were translated into Gothic so that all could hear, ‘All right, I want Ui’Kir’erra, with La’Vir’gala and La’Jird leading. Followed by you Nui’Dom’erri and then Ui’Volgan with the ion rifle. Inquisitor you and your party will then follow behind them. La’Rak’e and myself will be bringing up the rear with the cargo drone. Shas’nui one more thing, set the observation drones to a 360 degree pattern at one-hundred and twenty meters out from the centre of the group. But keep the DX-36 team harassing the mont’gue’la until we are well clear of the hilltop. Everyone remember to keep your combat distance of three metres understand?’

‘You have not consulted me on this commander. We have yet to…’ began the Inquisitor.

‘If you’re with us Inquisitor, you will follow my commands. Fall in line in front of the cargo drone as ordered,’ she answered pulling on her helmet. ‘Ui’Kir’erra we’re moving north instead of south, so follow the route I’m sending you. Understand?’

‘Yes, ma’am.’

‘Good. Team activate your reactive camouflage and move out.’

The Tau Pathfinders’ armour shimmered for a moment and then “went out” blending into their surroundings.

‘This a fey thing I tell you Inquisitor! The way the their armour appears to melt away like that, it’s magik!’ said Kuraokami.

‘Step off Brother Crusader!’ said O’Diarmada, ‘Then you follow after him holy father. I’ll go next and then two of you sisters following me. Let’s move.’

‘It’s just blasphemous xenos technology, and not magik Brother Crusader. Now follow that xenos there, even if he’s hard to see’, said Father Gheorghe putting a hand on the Kuraokami.

‘Nay, holy father it’s magik alright,’ replied the Crusader hesitantly joining the line of moving firewarriors.

Father Gheorghe looked over his shoulder at the Inquisitor, and raising an eyebrow said, ‘Our faithful brother is stout of heart, but dim of mind.’

‘Hmm,’ said O’Diarmada and shaking his head as he fell in behind the cleric. The combined group of the Inquisitor’s party and the Tau Pathfinder team now moved down the hill and into the fog.


***



At this time we would like to apologize for the severe lack of the “pew-pew-pew” and “bang-bang-bang”. We have been assured by the author that he is completely through with his tedious and boring “exposition”; and that the shoot’em up will now commence in earnest. –- The Management
Viro’los gu brath!
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Re: Blood Knife (a WH40K Tau Shoot'em Up)

Post#12 » Jan 31 2018 03:33

Another hilarious entry!

Now on with the pew-pew please :D
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Re: Blood Knife (a WH40K Tau Shoot'em Up)

Post#13 » Jan 31 2018 04:15

Oh man, I just found this and I love it.. can't wait for the next entry :biggrin:

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Re: Blood Knife (a WH40K Tau Shoot'em Up)

Post#14 » Feb 07 2018 04:47

6: Have no Fear, A.I. is Here!


++Location: DX-36-54 holding on point south…++
++Five targets moving west…++
++Range 120tlk…++
++Confirmed range 120tlk…++

The line of cultists moved up the round hillside half obscured by the fog, the Bald Man was urging them on with shouts and yells. He thought they must be close, since the scent of burning promethium, and the stench of burning flesh was in the air. The ragged line moved forward on either flank of the Bald Man, falling away down the hillside, and up again over the hills on either side. The Bald Man grinned a terrible smile, a mouthful of sharpened teeth glaring from between his lips and yelled, ‘Come my pretties! They are close!’

++Location: DX-36-32 holding on point north…++
++Five targets moving west…++
++Range 90tlk…++
++Confirmed range 90tlk…++


A team of former guardsmen, their plastisteel helmets and flak armour defaced with red paint and the mark of Khorne tramped up the hill. The former sergeant raised his hand to halt his squad and said, ‘Oi, what do feel Krumb?’

‘Nothin’ what’d you feel?’

‘Somthin’ ain’t right. Everyone keep you eyes open. They maybe closer than we think.’

The team looked in every direction and readied their weapons. While Krumb, the tallest squad member, cocked his stubber and said to the sergeant, ‘Ready Phil.’

++Location: DX-36-16 holding on point west…++
++Location: DX-34-3-45 holding on point west…++
++Fifteen targets moving west…++
++Range 102 tlk…++
++Confirmed range 102tlk…++

The mutant sniffed the air and growled as it caught the trace of burning promethium; its dog like nose curling at the faint scent. The multi-armed mutant at its side, started chattering like a cat that’s see a bird through the window. A large cultist carrying a long bar of rebar grunted, ‘What’s she on about? Why is she chattering like t’at?’

‘The prey is close ugly one. The prey is close!’ answered the dog faced mutant.

‘About freakin’ time too!’ grinned the large cultists taking the iron bar in both hands.

++Location: DX-36-54 holding on point south…++
++Five targets moving west past this position…++
++Range 23tlk…++
++Confirmed range 23tlk…++
++Engaging targets now…++

++DX-36-16 confirming DX-36-54 is now engaging targets…++
++Confirmed DX-36-54 is now engaging targets…++

++Location: DX-36-32 holding on point west++
++Location: DX-34-3-45 holding on point west++
++Five targets moving west past this position…++
++Range 34tlk…++
++Confirmed range 34tlk…++
++Intercepting targets now…++
++Intercepting targets now…++

++DX-36-16 confirming DX-36-32 is now moving to intercept centre of enemy line…++
++DX-36-16 confirming D X-34-3-45 is now moving to intercept centre of enemy line…++
++Confirmed DX-36-32 is now intercepting targets…++
++Confirmed DX-36-3-45 is now intercepting targets…++

On the northern end of the ragged line, a group of cultists and mutants stopped at the top a hillock. Standing in the tall brown grass, they looked to the west, searching for their fellow cultists. Hovering no more thirty meters away to their left was DX-36-32, nearly invisible in the morning fog.

++DX-36-32 is now engaging targets…++

A fusillade of blue and white pulse fire raked the line, followed by the denotation of two photon grenades. The mutants screamed as their bodies were blow apart by the pulse rounds. Limbs, heads and other body parts flying off in all directions. DX-36-32 then flew straight up into the fog, and advanced down down the line of the above followers of Khorne.

The flashes and booming grenades echoing through the thin haze, made the Bald Man turn and point in that direction. He yelled at a female guardsman next to him, ‘Get Mat on the vox-caster! I want to know what’s going there!’

++DX-36-54 is now engaging targets…++

On the other end of the line to the south, DX-36-54 popped up from the tall grass, in front of a group of cultists making their way up a steep hill. The mutant directly in front of the drone exploded in a spray of red gore; followed by two more whose body’s exploded. The rest of the tumbled down the hill when they were hit with the brilliant white flash, and deafening explosions of photon grenades. DX-36-54 then pulled back and dropped down, to skim over the tall the grass towards the centre of the line.

The Bald Man screamed to the Deity of Blood, but the carnage continued. DX-36-32 flew silently high overhead, dropping photon grenades on the cultists as it passed. The concussions causing them to drop, scatter, or run about in all directions. Meanwhile, DX-36-5 picked off selected targets in the line, with a single burst from each of its pulse carbines; then it fired two photon grenades to cover its retreat. The first was a mutant carrying a heavy bolter, who was cut in half by the pulse rounds; but the next was a cultist guardsman with flamer. This time there was no need for photon grenades, since the ball of fire from the exploding flamer tanks, was a far better as a diversion. The explosion incinerating at least three more cultist along with the flamer’s owner.

The Bald Man spun around to see the fireball rise from the draw to his right, and cursed the Tau gun drones. DX-36-16 stayed low, and tracked his movements per its “Threat Identification Algorithm”, and the targetting orders it had received from Shas’Nui Domerri. DX-36-16 noted the number of traitor Crusaders and traitor Sororitas around the Bald Man; but it also noted the presence of a vox-caster operator, and two traitor guardsmen with heavy weapons. DX-36-16, however, waited for the target confirmation from its companion, the small DX-34-3-45 marker/identification drone. The half-sized marker drone made its own threat assessment, and confirmed the target choice.

++DX-34-3-45 confirms target choice. Commencing marking target…++
++DX-36-16 located target marking. Engaging target…++

‘Mathias report he don’t know nuffin’ about what’s happen’ sir,’ said the vox-caster operator to the Bald Man.

‘Give me that!’ screamed the Bald Man yanking the mic from the guardswoman. ‘Matt what the fragg is going on? What’s happening over there?’

There was a lot of shouting, and the sound of exploding photon grenades coming across the handset; but then the Bald Man noticed a red dot on the vox-caster operator’s helmet. The next moment her head exploded, and he was left covered in blood, holding a handset with a severed cord.

‘Bloody hell!’ he yelled, but no one heard him over the sound of the exploding photon grenades.

DX-34-3-45 and DX-36-16 both shot straight up thirty meters, disappearing into the morning fog. Heading west for another fifty or so meters, they crossed over the large group of cultists. Then the two drones dropped back down into the grass right in front of them.

The group surrounding the Bald Man, those who were still able to stand and shoot anyway, now returned fire in the direction where the two drones had been. Bolter and lasrounds cutting down grass, shrubs, and trees alike; the carnage was almost too terrible to behold! It was made more terrible, when a member of the local fauna, a large rabbit like creature, jumped up out of its hole and straight into the air. The combined bolter and las fire vaporising the creature instantly.

‘Hold your fire! Hold your fire! That’s good shootin’ blokes and bints, but toastn’ a jackalope ain’t killin’ no ‘droid!’ shouted a traitor sergeant.

And argument now ensued between the traitors Soroitas and Crusaders on one side, and the cultist guardsmen on the other. The Bald Man was crawling on his hands and knees, screaming so he could hear himself, ‘Stop you moronic bastards! The xeno abominations are still here! They’re still here I you tell you…’

But his words were to no avail, and the internecine bolter fire and stubber fire cut down traitors on both sides; as the Bald Man screamed his lungs out.


The traitor sergeant dropped his binocs and whispered to the guardsmen near him, ‘Those xenos machines are picking off the heavy weapon fellas. They even got the vox-caster operator Romany with Mister Baldy. Gotta stay down and wait for them to pop up again.’

Then to Krumb the stubber man he said, ‘You stay low, and wait for my order. It’s our only chance of catching one of ‘em.’

‘Right Phil,’ answered the guardsman.

DX-36-54 was now cruising just above the level of the grass; while keeping itself fifty meters out from any cultists, when it came upon the traitor sergeant and his men. It stopped and settled down near a clump of bushes.

The sergeant swiftly made his way to a second group of guardsmen staying low in the grass. Taking one female by the shoulder he said, ‘Rathkeale, they’re knockin’ off heavy weapon specialists and vox-cast operators. But we’re goin’ try and catch one up. You still got that long piece of a torpedo?’

‘Yeah, what do ye want wit t’at?’

‘Have Ronchu throw in on his shoulder like a rocket launcher, and then have ‘im pretend he’s tracking the xenos’ wit it.’

‘Then we the xeno thing shows up, we take it out!’

‘Right! Everyone stay low, but look in all directions. When you see it, whistle so Ronchu can drop to the ground. Maybe we can keep ‘im from catching a blast. Got it?’

‘Yeah, sarge.’

DX-36-16 now arrived on the opposite side of the guardsmen; and while hovering high in the air, it scanned the scene. It then communicated with its companion gun drone.

++DX-36-16 Targets are attempting to create a diversionary target…++
++DX-36-54 Affirmative. Concur with assessment of diversionary target creation.…++
++DX-36-16 Will engage concealed threat after the diversionary target appears…++
++DX-36-54 Will engage the diversionary target to reveal the concealed threat…++

The traitor guardsmen all kept still, as Ronchu got to his feet and hoisted the piece of explosive torpedo onto his shoulder. He turned and aimed his “rocket launcher” towards the centre of the line, where the Bald Man’s group was still shooting at each other.

‘Ready lads, that xeno abomination is gonna pop up at any moment. You ready Krumb?’ asked the sergeant.

‘Aye,’ replied Krumb with his finger on the trigger.

DX-36-54 then rose up from the bushes and fired at the Ronchu.

From all around there came whistling and shouts. The sergeant and his squad were up on their feet, and with howls of delight, began firing away with their at DX-36-54. Krumb’s stubber showered the ground with empty brass, as he pumped out rounds at the gun drone.

Then pulse fire hit Ronchu’s “rocket launcher” and it exploded, sending a lethal spray of shrapnel into his fellow cultists. This signalled DX-36-16 to open fire on the sergeant and his stubber team. There were screams, as once again, flack armour failed to protect against Tau pulse weaponry. The agonized screams filling the air, as their life’s blood, seeped into the ground.

DX-36-54 dropped immediately to below the level of the tall grass, and slid sideways behind the bushes for about twenty metres or so. The sergeant was still firing; but Krumb was down, after taking a couple of pulse rounds to the chest. The remains of his flack armour, being the only thing that kept his body, from falling into two pieces. Desperate, the sergeant now flung a frag grenade at DX-36-54, and then dropped down to fire at DX-36-16 hovering in the air. Three of his squad were down, when DX-36-54 suddenly reappeared to fire on him and his remaining guardsmen.

The two surviving members of the other squad’s “rocket team”, now crawled through the grass trying to avoid the crossfire. Unluckily for them, DX-36-32 and DX-34-3-45 the marker drone had just arrived. And the gun drone opened up at maximum range, killing one of them outright; wounding the other with a photon grenade. The sergeant and another survivor, then jumped up and tore off down the hill. All three drones opening fire on them as they ran. The second guardsmen disappeared in a splash of red, his severed head flying off behind him. The sergeant lost an arm, and fell to the ground, trying to shield himself from another round of pulse fire.

Meanwhile, the Bald Man finally had to punch out a blood drinking Sororitas, to stop the fratricide. He looked around and saw that his mob of hunters were now scattered to the four winds; and so sat down on the prostrate Sister of Khorne to scream. He screamed, and screamed, until he was too hoarse to scream any more. Looking up he pleaded to the God of Blood for deliverance; but there was no answer to his cries. So, hoisting his ancient cleaver, its red rune glowing with wicked arcane energy; he began dismembering the traitor Sororitas, her warm red blood at last soothing his rage and anger.

Today, the Master of the Brass Throne had received his share of blood; but it was his followers’ blood, and not that of his enemies.


***
Viro’los gu brath!
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Re: Blood Knife (a WH40K Tau Shoot'em Up)

Post#15 » Feb 17 2018 11:28

7: Trek Into the Wilderness

The combined human and Tau team made their way down the hill and out of the smouldering remains of the Inquisitional expedition. They made good progress, and except for the fog finally lifting, the day was turning out to be uneventful. It was well past midday when the team stopped underneath the cover of several large purplish-black trees. Dom’erri made regular checks of the gun drone team and the observation drones; now shared his misgivings to his team leader.

Pulling off his helmet he spoke to his shas’nvre in his own language, ˵Ma’am, I’ve ordered the DX-36 gun drone team to pull back to perimeter patrol. The mont’gue’la are scattered, but some remnants are still managing to follow us. They seem to be lost rather than in pursuit, but we could still encounter them˶.

There was as buzzing whining sound, and looking up the two firewarriors the servo-skull Ancilla skulking about overhead. ˵I can see your concern that although we’re being not followed, they’re still behind us,˶ replied Mon’xitomata motioning to Dom’erri and then to the servo-skull.

But then turning to Rak’e she said, ˵Shas’la go check on the gue’la firewarrior, and see they’re have taking water and food˶.

˵Aye,˶ answered Rak’e bowing and moving off.

Dom’erri looked up at the servo-skull, and taking the hint from his commander, now pulled from his belt a personal observation drone. He shook it once to activate it, and then released it saying, ˵Ten metre perimeter. Remove intruders˶.

The small sphere shot up and slammed itself into Ancilla, sending the servo-skull spinning off into the branches. Then then satisfied that Ancilla was outside the ten metre perimeter, settled down to hover a meter or two above the two firewarriors. Ancilla now retreated to the upper most branches of the trees, peaking out only occasionally to stare at them with its red lens.

Rak’e came up to the where the Inquisitor’s party sat under one of the purple-black trees, and taking off his Pathfinder helmet, kneeled down next to Sister Rasputina.

The two Sisters of the Bloody Rose were compliant with his directions; but never spoke a word to him. Instead they showed him as much destain and disgust as possible; however, if Rak’e noticed the insult he did not let on. Instead he went about his business with respectful and courteous efficiency. First he removed the IV pack from Rasputina’s arm, her fourth that day, and bandaged the insertion site. Then asked Sister Kamaria to check the wound site for bruising or redness. She complied to his request, but did so with cold and silent contempt. And gain he seen to take no notice. Now he placed his medi-scanner on her fore arm to read her vital signs. Ancilla suddenly dropped out of the tree branches to hover directly over Rak’e’s shoulder.

‘Your vitals are good Sister Rasputina, and there is no signs that the wound has ruptured; but please keep drinking as much fluids as you can,’ asked Rak’e through the translator’s speaker.

‘Does the servo-skull disturb you? Does an animated human skull frighten you?’ asked Rasputina with delight in her voice.

‘No. Though we do find your fascination with skulls odd. To us skulls are a symbol of life, and so it is strange to us that you adorn your weapons, armour, and vehicles with them. It would be like us decorating our arms and armour with bouquets of flowers. You would find it strange would you not? And certainly you would not find it frightening?’

Rasputina and Kamaria both made faces of disgust and annoyance at this but keep silent.

Rak’e now drew out a small transparent vial containing a viscous red fluid, and taking Rasputina’s canteen, squirted a few drops into it, and then shook it. He handed it back to her saying, ‘Drink this Sister, it well help you feel better.’
‘By the Throne! That…that’s wonderful!’ exclaimed Rasputina smiling in spite of herself.

‘What is it?’ asked Kamaria suspiciously.

‘An electrolyte-hydration and energy drink made from the nectar of the J’hal flower. It’s been used for thousands of years by Tau warriors in one form or another. I’ve diluted it to make it more palpable to humans, since you require a lower sodium content than we do,’ answered Rak’e adding a few drops to her canteen as well, before handing it back her.

‘Oh m-my, that is good!’ said Kamaria staring at her canteen.

Rak’e then asked for the party’s other canteens, Kuraokami was hesitant until O’Diarmada gave him permission. When they tried the J’hal water, the effect on the party was electrifying.

‘Hmm-mm, that’s excellent! I feel my thirst instantly quenched, and you know, I think live on this!’ said O’Diarmada bursting out into a smile.

‘Whoa, what glorious feeling?! And what an aroma too, almost like that of honey, but different,’ said Father Gheorghe smacking his lips.

‘Ahh!’ said Kuraokami, and then drank the rest of his canteen in one gulp.

Seeing the effects of the J’hal drops, Rak’e then refilled each of their canteens with water and another dose of J’hal nectar. ‘Keep your canteens filled with water, and I’ll make sure each of them has a few drops. You should find yourselves less thirsty from now on.’

Rasputina leaned in close to Rak’e and whispered, ‘Thank you Rak’e,’ her cheeks blushing a pretty pink colour.

‘T’oh? Well…t’ah…you are welcome sister,’ answered Rak’e, his cheeks flushing indigo.

Feeling emboldened O’Diarmada by the J’hal water, now made his way to where the Tau commander and her sergeant stood conferring. Ancilla seeing him leave, now turned around and bounced along behind him; using his body to shield it from the Tau personal observation drone.

Giving the shas’nvre a polite bow O’Diarmada asked, ‘May I have a word with you commander?’

‘Keep monitoring their movements shas’nui. Yes Inquisitor you may approach,’ said the shas’nvre turning to O’Diarmada.

The tiny personal observation drone dropped down to face level to confront Ancilla. The cranium mechanoid device then shot off, followed by the tiny Tau drone in hot pursuit. The two raced around the tree trunks and branches, the tiny drone every so often slamming into the servo-skull with a loud “thwack” sound. Suddenly Ancilla made a dash for O’Diramada, to make mad circles around the surprised Inquisitor. The tiny drone zipping right behind, colliding even more violently, with even more “thwack” sounds.

O’Diramada waved his wide brimmed hat at the servo-skull shouting, ‘By Throne! What’s going on Ancilla? Stop your running and heel! Y’all better heel right now! Heel I say, heel!’

However, the servo-skull was still being chased by the tiny drone, kept running in circles.

˵Stand down and follow me,˶ ordered Dom’erri in Tau’sia, and the little drone stopped in its tracks and then flew over to the Tau sergeant.

Meanwhile, Ancilla stopped to hide between its master’s legs, wanting to stay as close as possible to the Inquisitor. It made a low trilling and clicking sound towards the tiny drone, ‘Brrrrrrrrrrrrr click-click-click!’.

‘Silence! Ancilla stop your growling at once!’ shouted the Inquisitor.

Ancilla immediately stopped its tilling and clicking, and now embarrassed O’Diarmada stood looking at the Tau commander. He grabbed the servo-skull, and released it to hover over his shoulder. Composing himself he bowed to the commander and asked gravely, ‘Earlier commander when I spoke to you about feeling the presence of Khro…the Blood God; you said something about the “darkness that breaks the soul”? Do and your people hear the brass drums? Do you feel the call of the Throne of Skulls? Does it effect you like it does us?’

‘Yes, we sense it Inquisitor, but we experience none of the visions or hallucinations that you humans do. For us, there is only a sense of foreboding, an overwhelming feeling of doom. One feels as their death is imminent, and the feeling is as unshakeable, as it is uncanny. We call it in our language the da’cova’ran; which means as I said earlier, “the darkness that breaks the soul”.’

‘I see. May I ask then have any of you people…’

‘Fallen to the seductions of Khorne? No Inquisitor….’

O’Diarmada jumped a little at hearing the name of the Blood God spoken so casually.

‘…We know him all too well for that! You you’re not going to understand what I am about to tell you; but we have all met The Master of the Brass Throne before. You see Inquisitor, to become a firewarrior one must endure a test called the Trial by Fire. It is nothing like the tests with similar name found in the T’au Empire; but rather it is a right-of-passage, much like our ancestors would have experienced long ago, before the coming of the Ethereals. In the Trial by Fire one comes face-to-face with the Montau’yaksha, or “The Devil from the Time of Terror”. And either one defeats the mont’yaksha, or one is consumed by him. Only then can a one become a true firewarrior.’

The Tau commander paused and looking at O’Diarmada with deep melancholia in her sapphire eyes and said, ‘We lost have much of our ancestor’s wisdom after the Ethereals arrived; but we of Vior’los have also rediscovered much of that wisdom, after when we left the Empire.’

O’Diarmada stared speechless at the commander, not knowing how to react to her words.


***


A long jagged column of twisted humanity stomped its way between the brown hills, heading west away from the site of last night’s attack on the Inquisitorial expedition. Bloody red flags and long staffs with the mark of Chaos Undivided flew over the column of mutants, cultists, and traitors. A motorbike weaved in and out of the unclean mass of followers, the rider heedless of any who got in her way; running down two, and slashed a third with a steel chain, as she made her way through the throng. Circling around to come along side a Tauros Venator daubed in red and adorned with skulls, she yelled at the man in the passenger side of the vehicle.

‘Capt’n the Blood Knife wants to you give him a shout on the vox-caster. Says he can’t raise you!’

‘Thank Tommi, fall in behind me,’ he shouted back. Then adjusting the controls on his vox-caster, he shouted into his comm bead, ‘Your Unholy Excellency, this Captain Gruox sir, over.’

He listened to the instructions and signed off with, ‘Understood, Gruox out.’

The Captain then ordered his driver to halt, and changed channels on the vox-caste, ‘All motorized units rally rally on me. All motorized units rally on me. Over.’

Standing on top of the Venator Captain Gruox watched as the motley assortment of Tauros scout cars, Pegasus motorcycles, wheeled Taurox APCs and eight wheeled Auroch transports rolled up. He waited till all the engines stopped and every renegade guardsmen, or traitor soroitas had their eyes on him. Rubbing his black stubble he stared down at them with his one red bionic eye and laughed, ‘New orders from his Unholy Excellency the Blood Knife, we have to go on a search party! Apparently the Hunter has got himself in a bit of a jimmy-jam, and now we have to go and find him, and all his little boys and girls too. Looks like his mob got themselves shot up in a bad, and are scattered to the four winds!

‘But not all of us, some gotta go scrounge up every bit of weapons, promethium and vehicles that are left back at the landing site. But becareful there’s still some of those damn fish faces on loose out there!’

‘What? I thought we cut the throats all of them blue bastards?!’ yelled a gunner from one of the scout cars.
‘I did too! But it looks some of them slipped the net, eh? Oh, and one more thing, Inquisitor O’Diarmada ain’t dead either; and now he’s gone and joined up with a band of them blue fishes!’

Gruox pointed at a commander of a Taurox and said, ‘Ward, you and your team take the lorries and head back to the landing zone. Take whatever personnel you can find, including some of your damn tech-priests! The Blood Knife wants us to pick up as much stuff as we can lay our hands on. Especially the weapons.
‘Blood Sister Caedis you come with me to find that sorry bastard The Hunter. Alright, any questions? None, I didn’t think so…’

‘Wait Captain, let me send some Blood Sisters with Ward. They'll know how to operate the sororitas Rhinos,’ yelled back Sister Caedis.

‘Good idea sister. Alright let’s roll then! Blood for the Blood God!’

***
Viro’los gu brath!
N.Y.A.B.X.T.T.

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