Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Allies and Enemies - The Angels of Dread

I always seem to find myself busy on Tuesdays. Again, here's a post that is technically on Wednesday, but we'll call it Tuesday because I haven't gone to sleep yet. Today's story is a brief snippet about Sergeant Dious of the Angels of Dread. Created by a good RL friend of mine, the Angels of Dread are a Blood Angels successor. They and the Steel Revenants have fought side-by-side on many occasions, and they have also (once or twice) found themselves on opposing sides of a conflict. Even when they are at odds with one another, the two Chapters are loath to bare blades against their brethren in battle.  Without further ado, I present the first (very brief) snippet from the Allies and Enemies series.

     "Sergeant Dious, step forward." Chapter Master Arcades Dolor's voice rang out across the audience chamber of the fortress-monastery. From the front row of pews, a battered marine stood. Sergeant Dious was dressed in the ceremonial garb of an Angel of Dread. He may have once been handsome, but his most recent battle had taken a great toll on him. Much of his face was a ruin of scars and burned flesh. His left arm was wholly replaced with gleaming bionics, as were both his legs from the knees down. He limped to the altar at which the Chapter Master was standing.
     "Brother-Sergeant Dious of the Angels of Dread, hear my words. Our chapters have long been friends. Were it not for your swift response the very heart of our protectorate would have been in danger. For fifteen days you and your forces held back the onslaught of tyranid beasts that would have struck at our homes and left our fortress barren. I have commissioned a grand monument to honor the sacrifices of your brothers-in-arms. No man will walk the surface of Lucifer but that he will see a reminder of our pact of friendship and the bonds of brotherhood that stand between your Chapter and mine. But your actions against the beast at the heart of the Hulk deserve special recognition above and beyond that which has already been given."
     Master Dolor locked eyes with Sergeant Dious. "You have done your Company, your Chapter, and your Emperor proud. Your battle with the Genestealer Patriarch was enough to break the back of the Tyranid offensive. You saved many lives, and perhaps our entire star system. It is with great gratitude that I present you with these gifts. First, our artificers have granted you augmetic enhancements which now bolster your flesh. Hand-crafted by the finest adepts of Mars and gifted from the Iron Hands to our first Chapter Master, there are few relics in all the Imperium to match them." From beneath the altar the Chapter Master produced a bulky, ornate helmet for a suit of Mark VI Corvus armor. "This power armor has served dozens of heroes. It is specially adapted for combat in the airless void. May it guard you well." He reached beneath the altar again, this time emerging with a finely-crafted power axe. Its blade was blackened, as though it had been drained of luster by the shadow the Genestealer Patriarch had cast over the Warp. "This is your power axe. Twelve brethren of Clan-Company Spartos delved deep within the Space Hulk to retrieve it after you slew the Broodlord and were overwhelmed. Our own Techmarines have calibrated and optimized its performance, so that it may continue to strike down the foes of the Emperor. No hand deserves this weapon more than yours." Sergeant Dious took the axe and its blade seemed to glow with a deep purple light from within.
     Sergeant Dious inspected the helmet, appraising its workmanship. "These gifts are truly more than I deserve. As you say, the bond between our chapters is strong, and our ties run deep. The things I have done were done in obedience to my duty, and I am not so prideful as to demand payment for doing what must be done. However, these things you give me will indeed aid me in battle. I accept your gifts not as payment for services rendered, but as tools to aid in the eternal struggle against the enemies of Man."
      Master Dolor nodded. "Your humility does you credit, Brother-Sergeant. The axe, of course, is yours, and the armour is a gift from my chapter to yours. I must insist, however, that when you die, the bionics you bear be returned to us. You have earned the right to wear them, but when you die, your claim to them dies with you. I assure you this is not a sign of contempt for you or your brethren, but adherence to the dictates of the Great Primarch. I will send a missive to the master of your Forge with further instructions, but you need not concern yourself with the details. It is my sincere hope that we will not see these bionics again for a great many years."
     The Chapter Master looked out over the assembled Marines. "Now that the honors have been bestowed, it is time to do what we all came to do." He clapped his hands and servitors swarmed into the room bearing trays laden with food and pitchers of drink. "Let the Feast of Saint Virgil begin!"

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