#1 Posted by Ravek (2937 posts) - - Show Bio

0400 Hours till the Drop

The Imperial Fist cut through the blackness of space, the metal behemoth headed at full speed far the Keresh Home System. The majority of the crew, any none vital personnel, had been left aboard Nexus Station for their own good. Months of planning were about to come to fruition, they couldn't afford word getting out of their plans. The ship was eerily quiet as he made his way to the sprawling hanger bay. The door was guarded by one of Warmaster Helhand's Space Marines as a pair of Drop Troopers, there was no need to verify his idea and he was quickly let in. Walking at a brisk pace across the rubberized deck he approached the cluster of drop ships being prepared for the coming assault. The technicians working diligently to have them ready in time for the attack. They'd had to add a fourth transport to the plan just to carry the Warmaster and his five Space Marines, aside from Vlad, none of them seemed especially excited about being aboard a Keresh Warship headed deep into the very heart of Keresh territory.

0300 Hours before the Attack

He sat in his quarters aboard the massive dreadnought, going over the data he had on the various individuals he'd gathered for the raid;

First off there was Alezra, a demon one step away from being a god in her own right. A love of violence and a thirst for blood no amount of slaughter could quench. Her elemental abilities, especially that over metal would play a key role in the coming fight. He decided to bring her with him into the main chambers of the council, where roughly 120 guards would be stationed. Along with Azrael he'd bring Helhand and his Space Marines to provide the extra firepower that would be necessary to deal with the internal defenses.

Then there was the matter of the guard barracks located along side the chambers. Another 120 guards there...

Kayleira would lead the assault there, since the men and women protecting the Imperial Council were guardsmen she was the perfect choice to take out the guards living quarters. Kastiel and Andromeda, the Son and Granddaughter of Kaligar Roxom would accompany her into the fight. He knew what Kastiel was capable of, but had never actually seen his daughter in action, he had to admit he was anxious to see what she could do in the field. One thing about her he found interesting was that she seemed to be involved with Vatok Tarr... a former commando who'd nearly be executed for treason... treason in the councils eyes at least. After days of debate Ravek had managed to talk them down to Exile instead, a scar on the arm was preferable to a grave in any situation.

"Keresh dating Symaarians... who'd have thunk it..." he chuckled before looking back to the files.

Arturia and Salem, both powerful magic users, Salem a fighter just as savage as her mother on the battlefield and Arturia the Succubus turned Keresh trained assassin. They'd be tasked with moving between the two locations for support whenever needed, the Drop Trooper contingent going in with them would assist.

General Gar'kos, Commander of all Keresh Forces on Keresh'nava would handle perimeter security, deploying his troops around the capital city to keep civilians away.

The remaining Commandos he'd hand selected for their prowess and loyalty would be spread among the two locations accordingly.

Leaning back in his chair, placing his hands behind his head he nods approvingly.

"This just might work..."

0030 Minutes till Boots met Dirt

Ravek stood on the shoulder of a ordnance loader mech, using the machine as an impromptu podium, looking out across the assault force. No one said a word.

Keresh...

Symaarian...

Demon...

They had their reasons for being there, loyalty, duty, patriotism, honor. Roughly 100 of the best soldiers and warriors in the galaxy. He found Arturia in the crowd, probably the least experienced of the group. Light years from Earth. There was no doubt in his mind she could fight, he'd trained her himself and she never failed to impress him. She'd finished her training weeks before, but this would truly be her final test.

"Keresh have not spilled Keresh blood in 6,000 years. Our home world has not been attacked in 5,000... Regrettably that changes today. Every one of you knows why you're here. For far to long we've stood by and let the councilors send others to fight their wars. Our fathers, our brothers, our sons." Directing his attention to the Keresh majority of the task force. "Lied to us for their personal gain, left our worlds to die because they weren't worth it in their eyes. No more." Turning his attention to the hulking Space Marines. "Kastiel, Andromeda... Warmaster, you and your marines have my deepest thanks for agreeing to accompany my men" glancing over to Kayleira and a handful of female Keresh Commados gathered behind her "and Women..." winking at the woman who was possibly one of his oldest friends "...and I into a fight that may very well decide the future for both our species."

Going over the group one last time he tried to meet the eyes of everyone present.

"We launch in ten minutes."

There were no cheers our battle cries, they weren't dropping into battle to face an enemy on the field of battle, they were going home... to do something long overdue, facing a force just as skilled and ruthless as they were. Keresh would kill Keresh in the coming hours... and if they failed... they would die for nothing... patriots made out to be traitors.

As the commandos dispersed to perform one last check of their gear Ravek made his way to Salem. Smiling down at the witch. "Remember, not a word of it to Azrael..." knowing she knew exactly what he was referring to, kissing the diminutive witch's forehead, simply because he knew she detested such displays of affection before walking away.

Catching sight of Azra across the hanger he stopped, smiling at her, mockingly blowing the demoness a kiss before making his way to his assigned drop ship, the first one to depart.

Once More Unto the Breach...

The four drop ships excited the leviathan mothership they'd arrived in, leaving the Fist behind as the blue green orb that was the Keresh Home world came into view... along with the Home Fleet... dozens of warships and space stations, squadrons of fighters crisscrossing between them all creating a defense that would make even the greatest of enemies reconsider attacking the home world of the Keresh.

Cuing his Helmet comm he spoke to all of those present.

"Take note of this day, for the first time in 4,000 years non Keresh are seeing the Keresh Homeworld."

Letting it sink in for a moment as they passed the massive vessels of the Keresh Navy shielding the world.

"Touch down in five."

This was strange... normally they'd be taking anti-aircraft fire by this point, but the men manning the batteries below where friendly. The troop bay of Ravek's ship was deathly silent, the blue sky visible out of the side windows. The councils meeting hall coming into view.

Fly past as if on their way to one of the various bases that dotted the planets surface the four craft suddenly accelerate, landing in the large pavilion within the compound. The troop bays opening as Commandos and Symaarian Space Marines leaped from them. Their leaders already on the ground. The guards present were in shock... and it cost them... one reached for his sidearm and a trio of commandos mowed him down, the guards armor no match for the fall of lead that slammed into him.

"You know where to go! Lets wrap this up quick before they can organize!" Waving for his troops to follow him as he charged through the open door into the council building, the guard who'd opened the door receiving a wrist blade to the neck.

The Keresh Revolution had begun...

#2 Posted by Andromeda (658 posts) - - Show Bio

The day that the father of Andromeda Roxxom called her and begrudgingly asked for assistance was a day for the history books. It was the first time he had done so in the hundreds of years that she'd been alive. It had lead her to where she was now - on a spaceship making her way slowly and surely for the Keresh home system with a group of people she barely knew and the majority of whom she'd never even met, including her...grandmother?

The mood was somber as she prepared in the room that had been allotted her for the duration of their journey. It was a statesroom, nicely furnished but still functional. Stripping off the Dolce and Gabbana label clothes that she had been so accustomed to, Andromeda dropped the Barbie doll routine she perpetuated. She was blonde, statuesque, fit, rich and loved her fashion. In the eyes of so many, this branded her an unintelligent Barbie. To anybody who knew better, she was an ancient warrior from a race born and bred for war. Recently returned from the Ether Realm she was hardened and one of the galaxy's greatest tacticians, something that she went to great lengths to hide.

On the bed before her was her armor and weaponry. A battle suit created from a high tech weave was blended with traditional Symaarian etchings as well as Greek sigils. It was a gift from her father and marked her as the line of Roxxom. It was meant as an honor for the battlefield. The strongest class of warriors in a system that was bred for killing. She had never worn it before this day, refusing to allow herself to be recognized as Symaarian or as a Roxxom. Today they'd see her in it and know where she stood - with nobody but herself and her own choices.

The sword that lay next to it had been a recent gift from her father. It was an alloy of the strongest and most powerful metals in the galaxy and embued with a magic charm of protection from the woman who had quickly become a close friend of hers - Claire Swanepoel, known to the masses en large as Duchess or the Enchantress. She was a magic wielder with few equals.

Shrugging into the suit, Andromeda Roxxom felt strangely at ease, as if she were truly at home. The impending battle and mission hung over their heads, but this was her niche. Fighting was always and would always be something that came naturally to her. She didn't know how well she trusted some of those that she was on the mission with, but if her father vetted them, they couldn't be terrible.

One would think that it was be her 'grandmother' the demon of blood, death and chaos known as Azrael who would hold the most curiosity for her. They'd be wrong. Aside from Ravek, whom she'd heard several stories of from Vatok, it was Arturia who caught her attention. You could almost taste the magic in the air that she emanated, but she was whispered about amongst the troops. Dangerous, skilled, deadly and easily underestimated by those who judged on her looks and sex. That was something that Andy sympathized with.

Shrugging off all the feelings, emotions and anticipation the experienced warrior looked at herself in the mirror that had been provided and barely recognized what she saw. She was getting back to the essence of what she'd been through in the Ether Realm - constantly fighting and conniving for her own survival. Today she fought for the survival of others. Grabbing a strand of her hair she braided it in a crown around her head. The Symaarians wanted a princess, they'd get one. Here she was, Andromeda Roxxom, the shame of the Symaarian Imperium - fighting to regain the home of the Keresh for none other than Ravek.

---------------------

Standing before the troops she carefully surveyed them, her attention split between the assorted group as Ravek launched into a most impressive pre-battle speech. There was a reason he was who and what he was and from this point forward, he commanded nothing but respect from Andy, not an easy feat by any means. With a small salute to him as she stepped onto a drop ship with her father by her side, Andy was suddenly all business. Shaking her arms loosely around her to relax the tension in her muscles she stared out the window as the stars sped by.

The ship shuddered slightly as they touched down on the ground and the sense of urgency that was encapsulating all present nearly burst at the seams into relentless action. Resting her hand on the hilt of the sword strapped to her back, she prepared to disembark and engage in combat. Before she did so, she brushed her fingertips against the picture that was curled inside the sword's sheath. A snapshot photo of herself and Vatok taken amidst their drunken fun after stealing her father's alcohol supply. It was times like that which made times like this worth everything.

#3 Posted by 614azrael (10306 posts) - - Show Bio

The day had finally come when Alezra and those she knew could execute insurrection. Surprisingly despite deceptions, wars and murder Aza had never had the pleasure of being the revolutionist. They would be the first of other species to go onto Keresh'nava, the species was relatively fair about coexisting with others. Very few however had gone planet side, it had been longer still sense the species outright killed their own. Strangely enough it was Azra who had the most unease with the idea. Hex didn't care those in her way would die, it was indeed that simple to the young witch. While having no quarrel with the Keresh. In fact she found herself wishing her father had lived, a Keresh or Symaarian and not the week human she slaughtered. Respect of a species however did not sway devotion to a objective. Of course she also had emotional reasons, both Aza and Ravek were keeping secrets. A future she wanted to have, she was a nazi like heart for sure but not heartless. Kayle on the other hand who had been training Hex in the art of the plasmas katara was just professional. Old friends, brothers, sisters and mentors were about to die by her hands. War came with a heavy price though and the cause was true. That and Ravek was her best friend, as much bravado as she flaunted when he asked of course she couldn't say no.

Alezra however had a surprise lack of desire to cary out the mission, they did need put to rest this council. They were having people follow blind and it was not a method she liked. Blair believed in lead by example, this was why she was never fond of most world leaders. They sat in thrones and sent troops into the cross fire. Leaders should be the first in and the first out, the mother or father of every soldier while also the stern commander. As true as this was Aza saw herself as more belonging to the Keresh and Symaarian people then to the human or in some ways even demon culture. A Keresh should not die on Keresh soil and not by Keresh hands of people who still pledged allegiance to Keresh. And after centuries of war being resolved and on the mending tide Blair wished her Symaarian brothers would not kill a Keresh. The society only let her go as far as being in command of the entire regiment of Saroritas she could go no higher. Her status in say however was rivaled only by her step son Kastiel. This bond made her mood bitter, of course that could of just been the side effects of her own secret.

Siting in her room aboard the massive ship her room was lit by a shrine nobody but Hex had ever seen. Surrounding her was images of every soldier that had fallen on her side sense she was the wife of Roxom. Every friend and colleague that had died. Often it might appear she was cold and heartless, the parent that stabbed her children in training and shot at her men it was all to sharpen them though. She could watch anything from a world to single young child burn and not budge. The demon had allowed one solemn tear however for each soul who had passed on during her service. In the center of the holographic images found directly in the center of the cold steel floor. Was the friends of Vine Syndicate, the allies of Shadow Land, and every figure of the Tenebrasque In. They all slowly faded away as Alezra sorted her weapons. A ornate crate unfolded from the flooring surrounding it was her family. Behind it leering in perfect portrayal her first husband the late Kalgar Roxom. Beside him her two step sons his children. Directly infront of them was her children, Serenity and Salem. Her entire family standing before her armor as it revealed itself.

The images faded then into a miniature look alike of Rigus Mortis. The city she constructed entirely on her own. Holographic lights masked machines making it look as if flames were armoring the demon. Perhaps it was just stylish childish display. The chaotic god however rather enjoyed it. Deaths Child Artificer Armor melded to her slender frame, the usual carapace layer was overlapped with a Keresh one. The typical armor then attached its colors black with red trim. Gold metal as well as lights shined with symbols of both cultures she belonged to. Her gold chaotic blotters given to her by Kaligar rested on her hip. Melta pistols on her back as a heavy weapon type if needed. They were rare despite her contacts and ties even she only had three in her stock. And of course her trademark chainswords were attached to her wrists. Knowing the gravity of her part Az sought to be dressed the part. Her daughter and close friend were a bit more standard in their dress. The three arriving early for the meeting. It was one of very few times Kayle or Az showed on time let alone early.

Before Ravek would make his speech she tried to make eye contact with every one of those who risked dying today. She would go with her lover into the Council to face them and at their back several decorated Space Marines. They might not be fighting for the usual cause they would do their families proud none the less. Kayleria or Kayle Rez was going to the barracks where they would find several of the best guardsmen. Being one herself with some well renown it would be easy for her to get Kas and Andromeda in where they would remove that challenge. It was strange in a way for Azra to see her, granddaughter there. It was hard enough to except her sons were older then her let alone her grandchild. She didn't so much as like the idea of thinking herself a grandmother. She pictured the old hag of a queen in Cinderella offering an apple and she was not an old withered hag. Personal issues aside she already loved the woman. Blond, enchanting a princess of her people a few more comforting non grim memories of Serenity came to her mind when looking at Andy. Why she was banished made no impact on the red head, it was before her time who was she to judge. Arturia a beautiful succubus and recently made assassin would fight beside her child Salem. Blair was confidant they could hold off whoever they needed to. Even if this young blood was nervous for having yet earned her stripes Az could tell she was picked for a reason. Fortunately they also had Gar'kos on their side. He could keep this mutiny from becoming a civil war.

Standing on a mech. to be in clear sight her lover spoke unaware of his future despite what they were chasing after today. Alezra certainly wouldn't tell him either she wasn't sitting this fight out. First and for most came the address to his people like a good leader should. Then the thanks to the Symaarians who no more then fifty years ago were enemies. Kayle tried to hide it behind black and gold locks. Az saw it though in her friends gold eyes, when he silently while addressing all Keresh women singled her out. Their was a blush and proud smile that Blair knew the queen of blades would never fully admit to in public.

Ten minutes from now they would begin, a brief comment made to the pink haired red eyed witch. A adorable shrug from her as she pushed away from the affectionate moment. A mock kiss blown her way that made the woman smile, her mannerism making sure not to leak any information on her surprise. Soon enough they were breaching atmosphere and arriving into the planet. The towering city a beauty to behold, she vowed to herself to look out for herself in this one. Nothing to chaotic try and be precise only damage what was needed to let Ravek take control and keep her and those in this operation alive. Tying her long red hair into a flowing braid she listened as comma chatter quitted down so the Fist of Keresh could get the mighty species on track.

Boots touched the earth the first fight over nearly before a gun shot could echo. A quick shot from Az took a guard in the head the bolter round smacking into the visor and exploding out the back. Blair would do all that was in her capability to end the lives of her enemies of circumstance fast. This needed doing, it was not something she could revel in. Kayle took off to the barracks they opened the gate, a motion hard to track dropped the gate keepers head from his shoulders. The glowing cobalt colored blade emitting a few strands of crimson mist. Hand signs used to gesture Andy and a few soldiers to take the barrack on the right, Kas and some soldiers on the left. The gold eyed guardsmen would head for the center one with the soldiers behind her. Hex looked to Aruria "I say we go to the main entrance hold off any back up that might try and get around Gar'kos. I wan't to see what you can do though so feel free to send us where you wish. I got your six." With that her mother chimed in over the open comm. "I'm just another one of you really but I consider you all under my wing. Blood and carnage, be it the xenos or your brother is but a color of your life story. So far especially today that story and that mural are radiant like an atomic flame."

#4 Edited by Emperor_von_Doom (2792 posts) - - Show Bio

Vladimir Helhand nodded as Ravek made his plans known to the others. They had already discussed what the Warmaster needed to know. He opened a secure comm-link between him and his Honor Guard while simultaneously shutting off connection to other channels.   
 
"Brothers. We are Iron Fists. From Praagus Ost we were drawn, the honor of being the Navigator's Angels of Death. Now we are about to embark on our most important mission to date. Know that whether we are victorious or slain, the Allfather smiles down on all of you. I am honored to have served alongside you for this much time. For Praagus Ost! Raise your hands high and grasp the thunderbolt!"  
  
In unison, the yellow-armored Space Marines shed the armor of their left hand and took a combat knife to the surface of their superhuman skin. Though their healing factors sealed these wounds incredibly quickly, the idea of a blood oath had been sown in the Honor Guard and their Warmaster. Replacing the gauntlets, Vlad hefted his heavy bolter in one hand over his shoulder and clenched together the massive fingers of his power fist. Ammo belts clanked against the surface of his power armor as they hung precariously to the feeding chamber of the massive heavy bolter. The eyes of the skull-shaped helmet of the Warmaster flashed an angry red as his kill counter activated inside the specialized sensory systems. He activated his comm-link with Ravek once more as he felt it necessary. After all, he could visibly see the orbital defense systems.   
 
He gave a fleeting glance to those gathered around him and his Honor Guard. Most of all, he seemed particularly aware of Andromeda Roxom. Though he had only heard stories gathered across the impressive length and breadth of the Imperium, her reputation had built her up as a monster. He snuffed out a laugh in his throat before it began and turned back around. Flanked by his Honor Guard, Vladimir sat down in one of the carriers that would take the strike force to ground. Whereas the bulk of the Space Marines took up enough room for at least ten more Keresh Commandos, there still existed enough room for some of the formidable killers to find a place to comfortably sit. Keresh engineering had been centered around their  auxiliaries  as well as their own troops, so Vlad had little reason to be in awe of the convenience. Instead, he slapped the heavy bolter in the palm of his power fist. Usually one for a joke or two at a time like this, Vlad kept remarkably quiet.   
 
---    
 
The Space Marines were conditioned for heavy impacts due to their favored mode of transport behind enemy lines: the rightly-feared Drop Pod. The Keresh transports offered something smoother, but nothing nearly as terrifying. Nevertheless, Vlad leaped from his seat as if it were his last day to live. His Honor Guard followed closely behind, capes flapping madly in the air currents kicked up by the ferocious engines of the Keresh carrier. The Commandos grouped together around them. If anyone were to see them, they would see Keresh and Symaarian fighting side-by-side, not a handful of the Navigator's Finest invading their home planet. Regardless of the evidence, the fact of the matter must have been truly horrifying to fathom. Vladimir hefted his heavy bolter into view of some of the attending Keresh soldiers who had trained their rifles on him. With five blossoms of fire, they exploded into mounds of red paste as the hellfire rounds worked their magic.  
 
Ortan Vess kept his bolter fire concentrated more on suppressing the Keresh rather than openly destroying them. His eagle-shaped mask glowed in the midday sunlight as he followed Vlad the closest.  
 
Baza Dread reflected any incoming fire with his combat shield, his power sword glowing impatiently in his opposite hand. His knight-theme helmet swiveled as he looked around impatiently for enemies to hack apart in close combat.   
 
Torr Gartha kept behind the main battle line established by his brothers not out of cowardice, but because of the emblem of the Apothecary imprinted on his pauldron and his classic-style helmet. If anyone were to fall from extensive wounds, he would be the first to take them to safety and administer the proper treatment. For now, he kept foes at bay with the common bolt pistol.   
 
The other two of Vladimir's Honor Guard were named Thartan and Vistan Halden who were, coincidentally enough, paternal twins. They followed Ortan's example by providing supporting fire for the strike force. Whoever they struck with bolter fire died instantly from the concentrated grenade-like explosion provided from the enormous bullet. What available cover they fled behind had been torn to shreds in the meantime. Soon, the Space Marines and their Keresh Commando allies held their ground on the landing pad, now pockmarked with laser and solid-round fire. Vladimir maintained the cross hairs of the heavy bolter on the floating droids now swarming on their position. Ortan nudged him with an elbow before taking out a trio of armed Keresh guards running behind cover in the confusion of the robotic storm.  
 
"The source of these droids lies only a few city blocks away - Manufacturing Cell Primaris. If we cripple the location, then Ravek and the others can complete their mission with half the planet's military focused on us," 
 
"Suicidal, Ortan," Vladimir said over the bark of his heavy bolter. 
 
"Very, sir. Only a 4% chance of survival." 
 
"I like it." 
 
--- 
 
In one fluid motion, Vladimir and his squad mates rushed over to the sloped edge of the landing pad. Punching through the metal with the fingers of his power fist, Vladimir leaped across to the opposing structure and continued his way down to the city streets. His Honor Guard and the Commandos followed on quick zip lines they left in place, eschewing practicality for movement at this point - an armed battalion of the Keresh army had been pointed in the direction of the outbreak of heavy fighting. So far, they had just noticed the Space Marines and their Commando friends. Vlad forced many of them into cover with the hot blossom of heavy bolter fire, taking only two - one standing behind another - with a single shot. He hurried to catch up with his Honor Guard, who were still hanging behind the Commandos in order to provide cover for their Warmaster as the robotic swarms from above increased drastically in number.  
 
"Space Marines! Form up! Commandos on my left! Crossfire down the middle! Go, go, go!"  
 
Taking up position behind supply crates left behind in panic, Vlad chomped down on a cigar from his belt and lit it with the smoking-hot barrel of his heavy bolter in a small burst of sparks and fire. He choked down another belt of ammo and pulled the trigger without respite. Barking and howling like a rabid dog, the heavy bolter mowed down the smaller mechs that outpaced the larger mechanical monstrosities. The small-arms caliber of their weapons meant they were designed for scouting duties and that the power armor of the Space Marines had no difficulty in repelling their onslaught. Moving forward just as the Keresh column broke into squads in a hemisphere around them, cutting off their exit, the Commandos had snaked their way into the factory by abusing their Keresh DNA and sneaking their way into the control room where the activation codes were being implemented to awaken the robots in the first place. With a pause in the mechanical advance, Vlad and his Honor Guard pushed into the compound and sealed the doors behind them, piling what wreckage and crates they could. They carried the Keresh corpses to a designated area for a final farewell and apology before burning them with honor and excess motor fuel. What injured they found Gartha patched up and locked inside with the other survivors in a munitions crate before pushing it over so that there was no hope of them escaping while the strike force did their work. 
  
--- 

Forty minutes had passed since Manufacturing Cell Primaris had fallen under siege. Not only did it contain the necessary components for many of the Keresh home world's automated defenses, it also housed a major energy bunker that powered half of the city around it. After all, what better place to hide such an important asset to the city than under one of its main military facilities? Nevertheless, those Keresh soldiers still loyal to Parliament tried their damnedest to break inside. Though they recovered the scientists imprisoned within the overturned munitions crate, they found that the shaft leading down to the power planet had been sealed - all fifty-seven floors of it. The access code had been changed personally by Vlad in the broad hopes that they would not find it out during the more delicate parts of the operation. The skull-shaped mask of the Warmaster swiveled around with his head movements, his kill counter reaching almost eighty now (mostly because of the automated sentries). He took in the sights of entire floors dedicated to ammunition storage, tank production lines, automaton assembly lines, as well as armories and living quarters for the scientists upstairs. Apparently, red alert had been sounded and the facility was in the midst of being evacuated.  
 
At length, the hydraulics underneath the pad the strike force stood on ground to a halt. The doors in front of them screeched open and they were all greeted with a massive power core almost the size of the Imperial Fist glowing and cackling with pure, uncontrolled energy. Hundreds of Keresh electro-magi stood around the core, harnessing their own mastery of the element to keep the core from overloading or imploding. They ignored their visitors.  
 
"Commandos, disable the core. Is there any way for these guys to move without us having to kill them?" 
 
"Afraid not. They're trained to keep their positions here no matter what. Just as long as the core is not charged, there should be no reason for them to continue manipulating the electricity inside it. They should go into a hibernation of sorts after that," 
 
Vlad recognized the voice as Mal'keth'ur, one of the more veteran Commandos in his unit. The skull-shaped helmet of the Warmaster nodded up and down.  
 
"Good. I did not want to spill any more Keresh blood today." 
 
"You and me both," Mal'keth'ur said, pressing a series of buttons to activate the coolant systems pouring into the core's overworked power coils.  
 
A deafening hiss, following by a blinding blast of steam, and the Marines and Commandos were blinded for a moment. Everything went dark. Everything went quiet. 
 
All except for the steady, methodical drumming of heavy ordinance against the bay doors fifty-six levels above them. Vlad turned on his night vision, whereupon he found Mal'keth'ur looking at him expressing urgency with his body language. 
 
"We have to get to the ammunition closet - thirty-second floor. Fast."

#5 Posted by Zauberin (4276 posts) - - Show Bio
Only a few short months ago, Arturia finished training with Ravek and his people on a world far from her own. Before then, she had zero combat experience. She was proud of her accomplishments, but at that point in time, apprehension gripped at her like never before. She'd heard it before, she progressed faster than expected, but still, a few months were as nothing compared to the years the Keresh spent training. This was no simple training course, or a bunch of mercenaries. It was a planet filled with Raveks, and as pleasant as that thought would normally be, these ones would be out to kill her. But again, she went along, because of him. He'd never feel the same, but he still cared in a different sense; that should be enough.

Most of the trip was spent away from others, with her books or practicing. In the final hours she prepared frantically, making sure she would not leave anything. A snap of her fingers, her normal gothic style clothing vanished. She replaced these with a black skintight suit, a polymerization between some kind of metal she didn't know and a more flexible material; designed for protection without sacrificing mobility. Of course, she was most worried about protecting her breast. Other wounds would heal. She had fed. But if anyone got the idea or got lucky and managed to pierce her heart, it would all be over. The trick is to make sure they can't get you. No way this one could be taken so lightly. No chances, she had to have some form of protection. Her claws were laced with poison, for added offense.

Counting out her remaining jewels once more, Arturia placed them back in the red pouch where they were usually stored and strapped it to her waist. They were worth a lot of money, and she would try to keep their usage to a minimum and not use them at all unless absolutely necessary. A grimoire rested on the bed for studying spells, making sure she wouldn't forget any. Not only had she grown physically and as a fighter, she had also grown as a magus, trying hard for her father as well, God rest his soul.

Just beside them lay the jeweled blade, modified from a friendly gift, and the newest addition to her arsenal, a sword which she affectionately called Michael, after the Archangel whom some believed to also be the angel of death. This one she was especially proud of, even more than the dagger, having assembled it from a bunch of scrap parts, the strongest metal the Keresh could offer, and enhanced it with magic. As promised, Ravek Val'Chan was the first to see it. His pride in seeing what she had done seemed almost as great as her own. Unstained as of yet, the young Cambion looked to feed Michael well in the coming battle. Tying her hair into a bun with two white decorative chopsticks inserted, she wrapped up her things and headed out of the room.

On a ship filled with hardened soldiers and killers, Arturia felt like the odd one out. She knew of some of these people, but aside from Ravek, she didn't actually know anyone. It was, in her mind, as if she had something more to prove, that she could h ang with the others. Though she had "graduated," so to speak, she never stopped training. Although, it seemed as if she was trying more to reassure herself than anyone else. She heard whispers, felt the eyes watching her. They said mostly good things. A little rough around the edges, but exceptional with a blade and still showing even more potential. That is, assuming she didn't die there.

No matter how hard she tried, it was still impossible to shake the feeling of apprehension that came just before any task, especially the life-threatening ones. At least this time, she would have a partner. A very capable one at that, if not a little scary, for a multitude of reasons."I say we go to the main entrance hold off any back up that might try and get around Gar'kos. I want to see what you can do though so feel free to send us where you wish. I got your six." As much as part of her wanted to see Ravek and Azrael in action, there was nother that wanted to keep away, and to check out the strangers. "Hmm. . .What if we split ourselves up amongst the groups, you with one, me at the other? I could mentally link us so if it gets particularly heavy on one end, the other's only a thought away." She waved her hand in the air and a portal opened itself up in front of them briefly before closing. "Or we could divide our time, both of us alternating together between the groups unless one in particular needs our help."
#6 Posted by Ravek (2937 posts) - - Show Bio

Everything seemed to stop in the Keresh capitol as the first shots rang out, citizens of the impenetrable planet dropping what they were doing to stare in awe and confusion in the direction of the Hall of Government, smoke wafting up from the ensuing battle. Moments later police and military personnel filled the streets, ushering civilians away from area, reserve units were being called up. There was no comm traffic from the councils guards, their communications relay having been taken out by a well placed rocket from a commando.

Several light infantry units had managed to get through before the area around the government complex had been sealed off by troops loyal to the cause commanded by General Gar'kos, commander of all forces on Keresh'nava.

Those that had got through contained men and women loyal to the council, mostly younger soldiers who didn't know any better.

Slowly information on the transpiring events began to leak out to those stuck within the exclusion zone. The young troopers watched their leaders warily, unsure who to trust, weapons held close by, ready to defend themselves and do what they perceived as the right thing if it came to that.

The commando ducked and weaved through the hail of hostile fire aimed at him and his Vanguard brethren, always keeping an eye on the blond Symaarian woman accompanying them. He reached one of the guards who instinctively drew his energy blade, but before the plasma based weapon could cleave him in two a wrist blade was plunged into the unlucky man's neck, a booted foot kicking the dying man away.

The fight had turned into a brutal melee between the revolutionaries and the loyalists, he'd lost sight of her in the crowd. He'd been away for far to long, he was still as sharp as the day he left but some much had changed. Keresh were fighting Keresh, with Symaarians at their side? Had everyone lost their minds while he was drifting from backwater world to world?

There she was... slaying guardsman with equal grace and ferocity. Blood running down the blade of her weapon, with specks of it coating her armor. Luckily none of it hers...

Moving closer to her he continued to engage the loyalists with his side arm and sword. Suddenly a guard jumped down from the second level, fully intent to impale her. He leveled his sidearm and fired three precise shots, two in the chest and one directly in the visor, causing him to fall to the ground near her. She turned to look at him and he simply raised to fingers to the helmet that concealed his face and gave a salute of sorts before heading back into the fray.

----- ----- -----

The fighting was ferocious in the halls of the government building. Rounds flew overhead and energy blades sliced through air and armor alike. Explosions echoing through the marble covered, ornately decorated passageways. It hadn't taken long for the alarm to be sounded, those guards on duty rushing to defensive positions while those in the barracks found their home filled with an unexpected enemy, Vanguard Commandos, relentless mowing down anyone didn't surrender.

It wasn't easy, the small task force had still taken casualties. Upon entering the main hall Ravek himself had narrowly dodged a burst from an automated turret that had ripped a commando behind him in half. As far as he knew his commanders were still uninjured. He hadn't been so lucky, a guards energy blade leaving a cut on his bicep, nothing major of course, but it made him wonder if he might have underestimated the men in charge of guarding their targets.

He'd never show it though, pivoting around the corner and in to quick shots dropping two of the charging guardsmen.

"Status on the barracks" he called over the comm as he watch Azrael, the jade eyed demoness who'd managed to steal his heart, sprint past into the fray, decapitating an enemy manning a gun emplacement before leaping atop the heavy gun, taking control of the weapon with her abilities over metal and turning it on the other guards, the powerful las rounds ripping through the enemies armor with ease, as well as anything else that was unlucky enough to be in the way. As the last of the guards fell she turned to Ravek and winked. "Try and keep up love." she called down the corridor to him as she hopped down, hands placed confidently on her hips.

The coup's coordinator started to respond but quickly leveled his weapon and fired a round, seemingly aimed at his lover, the round going over her shoulder, cutting a few locks of scarlet hair before meeting it's intended target, the visor of a guard who'd managed to sneak up behind the demon.

Raising the barrel of his rifle towards the ceiling he smirked behind his visor. "Thank I'll just stay back here and cover you dear." walking past her then taking off down the next corridor, rolling for cover along with the other commandos as two more of the heavy guns opened fire.

"WRIST ROCKETS!" As he went out into the open, drawing both guns fire as he shot from the hip. At the same time two commandos appeared from behind cover and turned the twin emplacements into piles of slag. The troops then leaping over cover and engaging their guardsman opponents in close combat.

---- ---- ----

Deeper within the Keresh council chambers there was a state of panic, the guards rushed to fight an as of yet unknown enemy, representatives from various world demanded to be let out, their demands being denied by the stoic guardsmen.

The Captain of the Guard, Senior Guardsman Tor Mal'kev entered the room where the seven most powerful men in the Keresh Empire awaited their fate.

"Well who is it! It's those damn Symaarians isn't it! I knew we couldn't trust them... that fool Ravek will pay for this..." the enraged councilor bellowed at the mention of the fleet commanders name.

"No, it has to be those filthy Tar'vorians! Why we ever trusted those beasts I'll never understand..." said another.

The circular room erupted in an uproar as the men argued. Sighing the Guard Captain pulled his sidearm and fired a shot into the air. Silencing the bickering politicians.

"Our information is sketchy at best, the men who saw the ships arrive were killed within moments of them setting down. As far as me can tell the men attacking us... are Keresh... although Symaarian Marines have been spotted as well... no Tar'vorians are among the attackers-"

Mal'kev being cut off once again by one of the councilors. "I told you it was the Symaarians! Order a full assault on the Imperium! Wipe them from the galaxy! Let-" A second bolt from Tor's pistol impacting a few inches from the delusional man's head.

"Our reports only show six Symaarians among the attackers, the rest of the force is comprised of Vanguard Commandos..."

Before anyone could speak, a man on the opposite end of the room spoke up without facing the head of security. His voice calm and composed compared to his peers. The head of the council, Mathias Kal'vos, formerly a colonel in the Keresh Army who'd chosen to pursue political gain over honor and glory on the battlefield.

"Fleet Commander Val'Chan is leading them sir, with have multiple sitings of him and his ship recently entered Keresh'nava's orbit..."

"I always knew he'd betray us... far to much time spent with those pathetic Symaarians, from what I understand he's involved with the widow of that b*stard Kaligar Roxom... no doubt she has a hand in this betrayal... filthy daemon whore..."

He'd known of the plan for months, but had said nothing, he had spies all across the Empire that reported to him and him alone, one of whom was aboard Ravek's flagship.

"If Ravek succeeds the people will follow him, that backwater mockery of a commander has a knack for inspiring others..."

He despised Ravek... everything about the man infuriated him. His natural ability as a leader to that detestable peace he brought about with the Symaarians to his defense of that traitor Vatok Tarr. This act of treason came at the perfect time, he'd let Ravek kill off the fools that sat on the council with him, kill Val'Chan himself and rule the Keresh alone and unopposed. A devilish smirk crossing his weathered face.

"See to it that my fellow councilors are evacuated Captain, I will stay behind."

Without a word the captain nodded and herded the other councilors out of the room, closing the blast doors behind him. With that the councilor let out a sinister chuckle. "Soon it will all be mine..." walking to a nearby desk and pressing a button beneath. A hidden passageway opening up behind it and the former colonel disappearing from the room, the door silently closing behind him.

#7 Posted by 614azrael (10306 posts) - - Show Bio

Witches At The Gate

"Smart looks like these few have some coming lets help with that and then you go ahead and aid the other side ring if needed. Hex opening her mind and reaching out telepathically so that it was easy enough to tap into with the other teens own abilities. Hex wanting to see what Ravek's apprentice could do was more then willing to share minds. Thankfully nobody was going to have a boring day in this invasion a group of Guardsmen and police heading for the entrance the two were at the forces belonging to Ravek still setting up defenses. "Lets give these boys some time and take care of these few on our own."

Hex grinned at her half leaving Zauberin for the other half. She had faith in the succubus even if she herself didn't. Four near invisible limbs unfolded from her back. Goggles giving Salem a heads up display like what the Keresh did showed a small outline that was the best the gear could do. That was rather good though so long as the eye was keen and perceived such. Hex didn't plan to give that opening however each vector taking up a heavy bolter pistol and parking off rounds at the guards explosive rounds slamming into other gunmen she was careful to try and only disarm them. Targeting legs and arms more so then chest and head. Hexona wanting casualties a minimal of these people. It wasn't easy for her however, she was used to fighting a species she was better than. Killing them without a shred of remorse, so when the three guardsmen came in her grace and poise was lost. Those with guns were good but a telekinetic shield blocked their efforts fighting the guardsmen though was not as easy.

They were smart came down the center and from the flanks. Hex drawing one katara, a blade much like what the guardsman used except it was more potent. Slightly stronger coursing energy and with a variety of weapons in what seamed to just be an energy sword. The Teres Morba was a race legendary with blades but long sense dead. Kayle knew their arts though as best as the elders however if not better and had been teaching the alchemist how to use them. A step to the side and the blade of the center guard passed by her chest barely dodging. A right hand bringing up the katara to block the blade at her back, coming from the right guard. A duck forward and the left guard swung wild. A sharp kick connected to the right guards knee causing her to step backwards, giving Salem a chance to turn and gain some distance. What the guardsmen attacking Salem's right hadn't noticed was the flash of light when Hex had connected the hit. Salem had modified her shoes to have alchemy symbols on the souls so that she could actually cast alchemy with her feet even. The armor on the knee had a black ink symbol on it that with a snap of the witch's finger detonated. The armor of the leg made into a bomb exploding with enough to even blast apart a few of the ribs on the woman's right side.

That left two coming at her now a downward slash meant to sever her feet, she leapt to avoid the blow. Only for the other Guard to come at her chest. Hex raising her blade to block but knocked to her back in the process. A button concealed in the hilt attached a micro thin but highly durable wire to her wrist with a magnetic clamp. A throw and the blade easily slid through a guardsmen's heart. Not expecting the weapon to be thrown as he charged again to get a kill shot. The blade came back the coil bringing it to her just in time to parry the last guardsmen the witch then snapping to her feat and head butting the man as her step dad, who she viewed as her real dad, Kaligar had taught her. The energy sword wielding guard chuckled at her as he came again, Hex blocking with the blade and then punching the guard square in the vizor a few cracks coming before a flash of light. Alchemy turning the helmet into a trap like that attached hooks into the upper and lower jaw. Mechanical workings of the helm forming instead a death trap that went off and tried to pull lower jaw up and upper down with incredible pressure reducing the front half of the head to a pulverized mess. "Have fun at the other side of the gate Im a call away Zaub." The alchemist said with a smile as they finished their work.

Brothers Of Blades

Kayle didn't like what she was about to do going into assail her own brothers and sisters. She knew the cause was worth it however and there was little she wouldn't do for her best friend so her and the small squad backing her breached the doors of the building. Kayle tossing a nano grenade at the guardsmen awake playing cards as they would be the first to attack or draw weapons. With that the barracks exploded into violence as Keresh clashed with Keresh. Energy and high caliber rounds firing sporadically as energy weapons crashed with energy weapons. Kayleira however was not going to stand here and let her own be ensnared in a battle like this. She aimed to end it quick/ Running along the tables rather than the busy floor covered in small one on one battles and people taking cover.

Teres Morba had taught how to look at a barrel of a gun and gauge its directory at a glimpse. How to know where to put a blade so having a blade was good to have in a gun fight. Rez was not horrible with a gun how much as Ravek liked to tease her of such. It was simply that she was a queen of blades. To go against Kayle in a sword fight was to face death unless you were beyond mortal means. She could contend even with some speedsters through her teaching. In short in human summary her super power was blade work. Bullets were cut down and energy weapons directed as she headed for the back wall. Her two blades turning to four as they were split at center hilt and connected wire cabals to her gauntlets. The blades stabbing into the second floor's guard rail Kayle using the momentum and strong legs to vault upwards and pull in. The blades returning back to two as she landed before the commander of the barrack she was in.

Kayle remembered him, Zenton Eliyak one of the best she ever worked with. They had taken out a pirate base all on their own. Before going to Minor he had actually equaled her in combat reaching a draw the closest she ever came to a draw up until then. Sense her return she had yet to meet up with him ever busy with Naamah, helping Ravek, and doing the tasks of the moronic Council. "Kayle I heard the stories almost swore it was a rumor though didn't seam possible. Thought it council propaganda for a moral boost, even for you thats a long time without any back up. Why are you killing my men."

"It's true I lived the mansion that seams to be arguably the biggest ever is mine. Sorry I hadn't time to meet up with an old friend." She shook his hand putting one blade away before continuing raising her blade in defense. "The council are fools have been for years and we both know it you probably even more then me. It's time Keresh are lead by someone who knows what to do, a commander not a politician." Her words pleading him to see the light.

"I'm sorry but you are a traitor Kayle, even as one of the best of us I can not except your words I took the same oath as you." Zenton remarked drawing his energy blade. With that the two clashed with flawless precision seven slashes were directed at the Queen of Blades flowing together in perfect harmony. With supernatural like grace however Kayle had avoided them all with out a single block of her blade. Three attacks sent by her each blocked by Zenton. Each came at each other again. Guardsmen Aurorez moving like water behind Guardsmen Eliyak and connecting her blade with his caller. His non helmeted head decapitated and snatched from the air.

Kayle held it out over the railing as she sat on the railing in a very proud full way. A seating method picked up as her years with pirates, she tapped the device to go across open channels to try and sway as many as possible around the Political structure. "This is Kayle Aurorez a Guardsmen one of you. I have just killed an old friend fellow Guardsmen Commander Zenton Eliyak, to end this fight at least in this barrack quicker because I really don't want to see Keresh shed Keresh blood ever again. However regretfully some must be spilled. So I am only asking you once, join us in liberation please." How this effected others she didn't know within the barracks she was in however the majority of Guardsmen lowered their weapons to aid Kayle and whoever she was following. Who she later on would inform to be the man she trusted most. Her hand brushing aside the one tear that roamed down her cheek as she made her speech. Laying Zenton down in a more peaceful state attaching his helmet so magnetic seals would keep him together to be buried with honor not a man who lost his head.

Demonic Guidance

The fighting was brutal and seamed like they were running the gauntlet. Alezra however paid no heed to that fact, she was born for the arts of war never fainting in the work of combat. In the eyes of the Widow of Roxom she believed a true commander, a true leader stood beside his or her men or charged before them. Lead by example not from the safe zone the quick demon running for a turret opening fire on them. Trails of fire of an orange light from her blades and emerald from her glowing eyes as energy rounds large enough to practically vaporize a man or atlas burn a nice hole in armor and flesh went bast her. Azra using pryo abilities to redirect the heat enough to miss her. Normally she wouldn't but she was baring children after all. If she had revealed the secret nobody would even let her take part in this thing. A heated demonic blade severed the head of a Keresh that operated the turret.

Blair acrobatically leaping onto the gun and using it against the guards heading their way. A playful dance from the Demon Queen of the Warp as she enjoyed the art of war. Though each soldier knew she hated killing their brothers and sisters. Azra having adopted Symaarian and Keresh as her own people she took no pride in killing them. Her childish nature at heart however was alive at most in the battlefield. Looking at the scorched remains this part of the hallway clear she looked back to Ravek. "Try and keep up love." Her taunt aimed directly at the unknowing father to be. In the way it carried though it somewhat sounded off to all those who aided her and Ravek. Suggesting them as family that should also try and keep up with her kill count.

Orchestrator of this rebellion raised a gun at her, the vixen didn't so much as flinch though. She couldn't be reckless here she knew where the round was aimed. A few strands of hair falling away as a guard was struck in the vizor, he had almost gotten a drop on her, just barely about to make a counter before the man was gunned down. "Think I'll just stay back and cover you dear." Her lover remarked teasingly before running for the next corridor two more guns releasing salvos down the halls.

The other commandos took quick care of the heavy guns, Ravek Val'chan boldly having stepped out first drawing their fire. Guardsmen rushing in to engage in close combat. Kayle's message was reporting in at this time though it was no time to halt. With ears cued in on the speech the crimson haired demon leapt to the opposite end of the group attacking her people. A fiery explosion blowing apart a few backs as as the demon flanked them from behind. Her moves a tad cautious so as not to endanger her secret, in a way though it was also the best performance she had ever given. As in this fight she had to be untouchable. Death's child insuring nothing touched her as she brought about the end of countless lives. It was straining on her mind to use abilities in such a new way, it needed doing however.

#8 Posted by Zauberin (4276 posts) - - Show Bio

Calm down. . .Deep breaths. Leave all doubts on the ship, because if you really didn't think you'd make it, you wouldn't have come in the first place. Over and over Arturia replayed words of encouragement in her mind. She took comfort in her link with the demon alchemist. If nothing else, it felt like a kick in the pants, the final push in convincing herself to stop whining and moaning to herself about how scared she was. You're only as good as your weakest link, and though that role seemed inescapable for her, being surrounded by natural warriors on both her side as well as the opposition, she would try her best to forget. Everyone's thoughts. . .are here with me. "Michael, don't fail me." Sword pressed to her head, she said a short prayer, and smiled. "Alright, let's go!"

She never gaged directly the strength of the Keresh, but assumed for safety that they were far greater than hers. There was no simple disarming and neutralizing for her. She couldn't hold back even the slightest; kill or be killed, that is her code, though she wasn't without remorse for invading their home. Mimicking her partner's confidence, Arturia put on a smile and a spell for reinforcement cast over her body to increase strength, speed, and overall efficiency, as she headed out to face the enemy forces. A couple of the Gandr shot released from her finger to scatter the enemy and she picked one out of the group to target first. She lunged at him, claws fully extended, and met with a hard boot to the chest. She rolled backwards back onto her feet and spread the small wings from her back, hovering a bit. Now she charged again at the same man, her blade poised to strike, only at the last moment she teleported right behind him, completing the rotation of her attack and removing his head. A happy sort of smile came over her face. Play to your strengths. They've got the edge in combat, but I'm full of secrets.

No time to stop and think, she teleported again just in time to avoid ending up like that man just then, another then coming up on her backside. She'd never make the block in time but due to Michael's shotgun trigger, she was able to accelerate her swing enough to block it. Again she smiled, a genuine smile; now she's getting in the swing of things. Zoning out cost her, though. A headbutt sent her staggering backwards and into the blade of another soldier, right through the suit and her spine. She stood for a moment, paralyzed, then vanished from sight.

She reappeared back from where she'd come on the ship and collapsed to the floor, breathing heavily, cursing both the soldiers and herself for getting careless. It only took a few moments for the gash wound and her spine to heal, and for her movement to return. Then, scowling, she returned to the battlefield, though high above. She spots the man who headbutted her and her anger is multiplied. She vanished and reappeared behind him, immediately pressing one of her jewels to his backside, and he began to freeze over. Multiple shots aimed in her direction, but she managed to dodge and weave to avoid most of them, one grazing the bun tied in her hair and cutting it loose. Least. Favorite. Mission. Ever. Many miniature portals opened up all around her and throughout the battlefield, and as each shot aimed at her went through, they came out scattered through the other portals right at the enemy soldiers and into heads and bodies. Not much, but a bit of damage, and distraction enough to halt their attacking momentarily and allow her to move about unhindered. Most ended up having to discard their helmets. Perfect.

Circumstances changed much more favorably, just as she planned (with slight hiccups, but that was neither here nor there), now the young Cambion could better feel out the enemy. In a battlefield, there is no shortage of negative energy. Fear, anger, confusion. Playing off of the motions of battle, she gathered strength from all of this, and a curse she afflicted over the area, targeted at select enemy troops, who should become weaker, more sluggish, and mentally easier to control, the intensity of the homeworld assault accelerating the affects. Arturia found the man nearest her, approached him from behind and ran him through with her blade, jerking his head back and kissed him deeply, what was left of his life serving to fuel her. She stared at his lifeless husk of a body a while after finishing, not realizing she was again spacing out. That's when she heard Hex's voice and pulled away. "Have fun at the other side of the gate Im a call away Zaub."

"Yes, of course." A nod and she was off, disappearing off to where the others would be. After it's all over, she and the commander would have to talk about this.

#9 Posted by Emperor_von_Doom (2792 posts) - - Show Bio

Fourteen Hours Later...

Mal'keth'ur chewed on a shred of rationed jerky solemnly. Torr Gartha treated the wounded, a tally which included bold Baza Dread who had caught solid fire rounds to the soft armor behind his knee. His shin hung onto his kneecap by only a thin string of tendon and skin, bleeding profusely, and all he did was laugh and smile.

"What a good story to tell the brothers back on Praag Ost! 'Noble and proud Baza Dread catches sniper round to his leg!' Navigator's Champion indeed,"

"Baza," Torr said, looking Baza into the eyes through their own distinct helmet visors. "Shut up."

Thartan and Vistan Halden both chortled, earning them a wayward glare from the fallen champion.

"You two will be the first to feel my fists once I am able to stand again!"

"That's if you're able to catch us," Thartan began. "Without cutting your feet on the shards of your ego!" Vistan continued, ending his brother's statement.

Baza grabbed at anything that was near - which happened to be an empty bolter ammunition cartridge - and lobbed it at the twins, scattering them. Torr sighed and injected the champion with a stimulant that would multiply his regenerative capabilities for a short time at the cost of being knocked out for a few hours. Baza groaned, falling asleep before his body even slumped to the floor.

The Commandos were confused, finding it increasingly odd how much of a family the Space Marines truly were. They always saw them as overconfident and brash idiots screaming their praise to a false god even in situations requiring the utmost degree of stealth. As the operation in Manufacturing Cell Primus continued, however, the Commandos began to trust - maybe even respect - the Space Marines of humble Praag Ost. Mal'keth'ur sheathed his head in his helmet and climbed the scaffolding to gather Ortan's visual report. The eagle-shaped crested helmet of the veteran Angel of Death turned bleakly to the Commando, bolter firmly held in both hands as a sign of caution. The massive hangar doors of Floor 32 had been sealed to the best ability of the superhuman Space Marines, but cargo crates - along with bodies and robotic scrap - clogged the narrow corridor made for the only possible escape route.

"Do you see them too, Symaarian?"

"They're unsure of what to do. Here, they have a key leader of their hated neighbors in sight. But perhaps Ravek has made more of a mess for himself than even he anticipated,"

"Ravek's not stupid. He wouldn't corner himself in a desperate bid for victory,"

"We hold the line, dissuade the enemy from sending their full weight in Ravek's direction, and persuade as many Keresh loyal to Parliament to come down this hole as possible. That was our mission from the very start. There has never been a large margin for survival in our line of duty, on either side of this war,"

"Where's the Warmaster?"

"Vladimir is on a mission of his own,"

"He'd better not be meditating. That's something I'll never understand about you Space Marines,"

"He's gathering the attention of everyone above us."

"What?!"

---

Keresh resistance had dwindled down to little more than teams of sentries. They were easily dispatched before the mental impulse to call for reinforcements crossed their brains that were splattered on the ground with 1.00-caliber rounds and a raging power fist. Vladimir's belt clicked with three melta bombs, the only ones between his Space Marines that they could spare. His target was decided long ago when the party landed on the planet: a monument dedicated to Parliament's most prominent leaders, statues erected in their honor and to inflate the egos of future Parliament members. He could not have disguised his heavy footfalls and instead charged headlong into the streets leading to the statues standing in a plaza not too far from Manufacturing Cell Primus. As expected, heavy support lay in front of him. Two armored columns along with a full battalion of Keresh infantrymen marching in formation were on their way in the direction of where Vladimir had come from. Not expecting a giant in yellow ceramite armor to be running at them, they hardly trained their iron sights on him before he leaped over them and hurtled even faster at the statues. He threw down the melta bombs in sequence near the foundation of the statues, each one timed for three seconds. He rounded the corner and only then did the Keresh open fire, not even daring to risk injuring their own architecture with heavy ordinance for the sake of killing one man. But with the first salvo of ammunition directed at the Warmaster, the melta bombs went off with a thunderous cacophony, converting the statues and most of the plaza underneath them into molten slag with a mighty boom. Shaken, the battalion collectively recovered just in time to track Vladimir's movement back to Manufacturing Cell Primus. The overseer of the battalion called in for reinforcements, stressing that the Symaarian threat was not completely neutralized yet.

In hot pursuit of the Warmaster, a tracking droid monitoring Vladimir's progress caught the image of the Warmaster holding up a fist with the middle digit of his hand extended in defiance as he dipped back into the factory from whence he came.

#10 Posted by Ravek (2937 posts) - - Show Bio

For a few brief moments the fighting died down as the Queen of Blades herself, Guardsman Aurorez, spoke calmly over the battlenet to her fellow guardsmen, asking her blade brothers and sisters to cease the senseless fighting. Down the corridor yelling could be heard, a more fanatical guardsmen informing his men that he would kill anyone who betrayed the council himself.

A lone Guardsman rising to his feet and making his may towards Ravek's position. Ravek intern making his way towards the armored knight.

A blur out of the corner of his eye caught his attention, the guard captain rising and leveling his pistol at the 'traitors' back.

In a blur of motion before the silver haired veteran could react an armored figure materialized behind him out of seemingly nowhere, turning the loyalist to face him with one hand as a razor sharp wrist blade was plunged through a weak point in his armor, going all the way through to sever the man's spine. The black and red armored commando violently removing the blade by bringing it out his opponents right flank. Nearly tearing him in two.

Lt. Commander Ronan Far'ko, The right hand of Ravek Val'Chan and a legend among the Keresh Military in his own right. Approaching the two men as he wiped the blood from his blade. His commander shaking his head at the veteran killers antics.

"Show off. I thought I told you to watch after Kayle."

"Guardsman Aurorez hardly needs a Keresh'navan street urchin like me to watch her back boss."

"Fair enough. What's the status on the barracks?"

"The majority of the Guardsmen have decided to side with us, Those that refused were taken prisoner or dealt with accordingly. The outer perimeter is secured but a few local battalions of Keresh Loyalists are inside the general's perimeter and trying their best to reach the compound... Not that the Symaarian's are making it easy for them."

Ravek nodded approvingly, looking to the guardsman who'd risk his life for a chance at freedom.

"What's you name son? Where are you from?"

'Jastar Talven, Sir. I was born on Concordia II'

Hidden behind a black reflective visor the champion of the Keresh rebellion cracks a grin, planting a gloved hand on the younger Keresh's shoulder.

"Me too, So I hope I can trust you, Take those Guardsmen and round as many of your brethren as possible, anyone you think would support us and tell them to wrap a red piece of red cloth around their right arm so we know not to shoot them. Don't let me down."

The Keresh commander turning to Azrael and Far'ko, doing over a holographic map of the building, determining the best course of action. The guardsman remaining perfectly still, dumbfounded by what he'd just heard... then something snapped and he turned to his fellow guardsman rousing them to follow him into the compound to spread the word. The commander wanted as little Keresh blood spilled as possible and he'd do his best to ensure it was so.

The comm specialist attached to his unit relayed commands to the various units as Ravek and his other commanders devised the plan of battle.

"An send a few squads to reinforce those Space Marines, They can die for the Navigator some other time."

----

Tor Mal'kev cursed under his breath, he was loosing more men to Aurorez's speech every second. Angrily smashing a monitor to vent his rage.

"That b*tch should've stayed lost..."

His forces were cut off from any escape route and they knew it. The traitor commandos having taken control of all but a few sections of the building. His men were cut off and they knew it, they'd have to make a stand and hope for the best. Three of the council members had been killed already. Ones guards turned their rifle upon him, another was vaporized by a rocket from one of the traitor commandos, the third was mowed down by an automated turret that had been taken control of by Val'Chan's forces.

Three were attempted to slip past the attackers through the maintenance corridors but they'd surely be found. The High Councilor however seemed to have vanished into thin air.

With a sigh the Captain of the Guard drew his energy blade, testing it once before stalking out of the deserted command center. Everyone was fighting for their lives or siding with the traitors...

These commandos might succeed in killing the council, but he make sure Ravek wasn't around to see it.

----

He stood in the center of the council meeting hall, look skyward at the dome above them, scenes of famous battles and Keresh heroes depicted in stained glass. The banners of over 10,000 worlds adorning the walls.

Then he saw it, across from the entrance, recessed into the wall with shield at the ready and sword held high. Lorak Chal'konen, Liberator of the Keresh people, Mastermind of the revolution that cast off the shackles of slavery.

Ker'vadore the Liberator.

He and the other Keresh present solemnly removed their scarred and battle worn helmets, taking a knee before the icon. Heads bowed in respect for the dead.

As they rose to their feet the group took notice of a lone figure standing with an ignited energy blade held at his side. Far'ko instantly sighted the man in along with a trio of commandos, Ravek instantly ordering them to hold their fire.

"Let him speak..."

The man he recognized as Tor Mal'kev slowly strode forward. Twirling his blade, sending sparks up as the plasma contacted the floor.

"I never figured you for a traitor Val'Chan... Not only did you attack your own leaders and invade the Homeworld, you brought Symaarians and Daemons to add insult to injury." Momentarily turning his attention towards Azrael. "Lets settle end this, the two of us, blade against blade. Tell your men and your little Daemon to leave."

Without hesitation he handed his helmet and rifle to one of the commandos.

"See to it the rest of the building is secured and thoroughly swept. I won't be long..."

#11 Posted by 614azrael (10306 posts) - - Show Bio

Pinned Down

Aurorez took cover with two others issued into this fight and three guardsmen that had joined her in the raid of choice. There was Michael Starven a stubborn Vanguard known for reacting with a bullet in the brain. That was his answer to everything a cold dead shot between the eyes to anyone that went against his orders and was not following a higher comand. He had joined Ravek after his last mission on some moon,, they had ordered the squad to take a hostile world. It was just him and the other four squad mates however fighting off this entire rock. They had pulled it off as a result though two of the vanguards died. The others had been sent directly afterwards to a similar planet. To top it off Michael was ordered to go to Nexus for general guard duty. He had suposably acted in a mannor unbecoming of the Imperium with his measures. A highly acurate elite subjected to trivial duties away from wounded squad mates. Following a mission that was on the borderline of a suicidal one. He sought to end the Council today for his brother and sister of battle.

Serenova Antilius was that squadmate who servived the mission after the one with Michael. The other vanguard was Jakov Kumin they teased him for his name they praised him for his demolition skills. With just some gernades Jakov was once able to level a towering bunker. He took a pirate round through the heart however, they recieved no time to even repair armor and a explosion on the last mision had weakend armor. Allowing it to easily be penetrated. Nova felt betrayed by this event and sought to end the things coming to pass after that. Good men like Jakov were dying because of reckless decisions made by politicians. They were a society of soldiers not diplomats. Things were not working, the training in her told her to fight in a non lethal maner. When alongside Michael though she was ruthless, not some impresively skilled at something soldier just a ruthless one.

Xerzes was only known by that he fought beside his sister Anteria. They were raised by slave traders long ago, they were on a civilian vessel that was hit by a raid long ago. The vessel was guarded only by two small fighter craft they never stood a chance. As it just so happend long ago when they were rescued by the slavers it was from a Guardsmen with gold and onyx colored hair. She was a deity when it came to blades. They had thought they had seen the Kerva'dor incarnate or something like that with the way this gold eyed soldier weaved through soldiers limbs claimed like money to a thief. She had taken them to a academy world to recieve a better life, it was said soon she was going to be off to Yortha Minor a few side missions and then she would join that frantic war. They had always held her image high, she was not perfect she was riddled with flaws but was a ace in her trade and a soldier at heart. They took to her image, forsaked the name they were given, for so long the slave trade numbers and titles all they knew. From there they went to be guardsmen worthy of that nameless gold eyed Keresh's merit. So when she had bothered to stop to address them. When she shed a tear for a fallen brother she had slain from her gold eyes they knew it was their savior and joined.

Natasha Desinaro was the youngest of the group fresh meat to the Guardsmen ranks. She was good with knives, like really good. When Kayle fought beside this young cadet she couldn't help but see herself or new born child Cloe born just a week ago. Desinaro was sure to be a promising guardsmen in the coming days if they survived this conflict. Her reason was the most tragic one however her father was the council member they were after now. They had chased him down and the entire time he had spewed lies and propaganda and tried to tear Natasha down. A assault so unfiting of a leader in Natasha's orange colored eyes. They had tracked down the group to the library. The walls were teaming with vids, holo monitors, data banks and books. The small squad of rebels taking cover. Two behind a a book case to the right two on the left Kayle and Michael behind a counter.

"Kayle what the fekk do we do they have us pinned." Barked Xerzes and Anteria on the right side. They only had their plasmas kataras and limited armor they couldn't get around this situation.

"Hey Michael doesn't this seam familiar" Nova was a good ice breaker of the situation. She had a grimm sense of humor that made the situation lighter. It was in part do to her little girl like laugh she was a hardend soldier no doubt. When she laughed it was like the sunlight of one of the resort worlds. Then she turned around the book shelf. Three shots and the Keresh guard lost function of his left hand, he was left handed and now would be lucky if he could ever do anything with that hand. Another burst, seven shots and the right hand was gone. Eight more and both knees dropped, a final three round burst to the mans throat and she was done. Smiling beautifuly as she treated her rifle like a painter might their best brush. "Can I get a mag?" Her pressence still radiant as she released her empty magazine and again took cover.

Kayle shook her head, smiling warmly this was why they would win, there was just so much more spirit in this group. "Nova Mic I want you to help out my aprentice after this. Dont worry these idiots are running low on ammo I can read their thoughts." Kayle having recently transfered all the electricity in her body to cycle to her brain instead of other muscles had given herself telepathy. "Michael when I say so spend your last two rounds on that magazine on the ones on that idiots flanks. Anteria and Xerzes you cover the door. We got eight aproaching to try and get the drop on us." Kayle only nodded to Desinaro she knew her objective, three two one and click. The sound of magazines dropping hands going for the next.

Brother and sister charged out the door matching violet energy blades humming to life and painting the walls of the coridors in their light. Each of them easily carving through the four that opposed them as they caught them unaware. In a straight up fight it would of been hard. They thought they would get the drop on those stiring insurection though not the other way around. Michael rose on the dot two times in almost musical unison he fired. Two shots almost fired as if one but hitting two seperate targets. Each of the council members guards dropping a smoking hole oozing red in the center of their heads. Kayle tossing Natasha up onto the top of a shelf. The young guardsmen runing along the shelves and pinning her father down. Two blades aimed at the mans throat in a x shaped fashion.

"This is Natasha Desinaro daughter of Council Member Orbitine Desinaro when my father saw us he ran. He lied about us in a reckless matter insulting me simply for being with them. Void of love and emotion, driven by self preservation I find the council as acting out of nature of the Keresh. A offense Michael Starven and Kayle Aurorez have been suggested as commiting before. For wrongly persecuting and commmiting the same crime he suggests others of I find his punishment death." The statment went over the comm of other Guardsmen, her voice lacking emotion as she crossed her blades opening her fathers throat. No Guardsmen cheered though, this was good work and it was right. That didn't mean it was a joyful one.

Its Chemistry

The gates had exploded in a image of revolts lass fire and high calibur rounds raced through the air. Gates pelted with fresh scars of battle nobody ever thought would be there. Keresh fought Keresh in the streets, blown up transports taken as cover as rebels and loyalists opened fire on bretheren. Others backing Val'chan fired downwards in murderous storms of rounds using hight and cross fire to their advantage. Salem was a center piece in the fights her Inquisitor cap had been shot up leaving her pink and black hair to dance as she cleaved through flesh and bone. Vectors took up blades snaking blades about in ways hard to predict and even harder to keep track of. Only one Hex knew to do so was Kayle herself, which these Keresh simply were not. Alchemy was used to cage attackers when she could the fewer causalties the better. She was Roxom though she didn't exactly pull punches in a fight.

Micael and Nova turned around the corner five bullets wizzed past Hex striking five guards perfectly in the center of the forhead. On Micael's six was Nova holding a turret effortlessly. She was a long shot from the finess of her brother in arms, her body count though was double. Kick of the portable heavy weapon not phasing Nova a single inch. "Hey girly go check on your girl friend will ya" the trademark laguhter lightinging the goths mood. "We got this covered, if Nova here doesn't butcher everything" Micheal started to be be cut off by Nova. "Then Michael here will drop em in one shot its kind of his thing."

Hex rolled her eyes brushing aside a strand of ping from her eyes. "Its not that, atleast not yet. Thanks though I'll pull a rabit out of your ass as a magical thank you." The sarcastic teen remarked back as she dropped to her knee ignoring the conflict waging all about her. A intricate etching drawn in the torn up grounds before her hand tuched it. Crimson lightning danced around her and then teleported her roughly half a mile away near Arturia. It was a means of alchemy using electrical surges and planetary pull to provide transportation. Made much easier by the phiolosepher stone that made up Salem's essensce.

"We got back up thought I would help a pretty friend wit" bang. It sounded louder then it should when it hit her. Looking down Salem saw a gaping hole in the center of her chest where her heart would be. Turns out a Keresh guard was apart of the Symaarian wars and had taken a bolter as a trophy. His ammo of everything else had run dry and so that was the weapon he pulled. Salem blinked in blossoming annoyance and anger. Turning on her heel small arcs of red light could be seen dancing along her body. Slow strands working to repair the damage done as four crimson blades snapped to life hovering in the air. Vectors gripping them tightly as two more were summoned to the witches hands. Raging battlefield not slowing Hexxona down.

"Sir I was talking thank you very much" a person can see a great many things. Nothing really prepares one to watch a horned red eyed teen walking towards them with a hole in her chest. Six blades glowing of raging fire advancing on them tbe bulk seamingly controled by unseen hands. He muttered he fumbled and Kayle's apprentice and a woman who carried a heart some thought possibly darker even still then Serenity's the child made nothing but a appocaylptic horror, hacked. The right leg in three parts, left two. Right arm two, left was in five. The torso split in four and head in three halfs all carved out in a blinding flash of ruby colored light.

"How can I be of service....I hate being shot totally ruins my wardrobe" the human hating exterminator remarked.

Red Watters Ahead

Alezra bowed before Lorak Chal'konen or atleast the masterfully artistic crafted statue of the legendary of the man. Alezra did not belive in gods like a mortal might, because to her all should be equal or laid to rest. Despite being a goddess with many titles under her bealt she sought a society less forged of higharchy and more so by respect. In her warped skeptic of beliefes though she did at her rarest vulnerable moments look to sertain people that commanded respect more so then anyone else. To her father, the fallen angel from which she got her name sake, the one more commonly known as Death. To the creator god and savior of the Symaarian people the Navigator. That draconic being of unimaginable force that had also granted the demoness freedom from Earth and delivered her first true love Kaligar Roxom. The third addition went to the Kerva'dor the man acountable for unting the various clans of the Keresh people. Something which also in Azra's eyes brought Ravek to confront Kaligar and thus be one of the two men available and comforting in Azra's weakest moment. By as much affection as a demonic deity born of a goddess who didn't want hher and Death could provide she adopted the two species. Loving their best soldiers with as much of a heart as she could.

These people were hers and she knew their histories, she bowed as others kneeled. Anyone who knew the Widow of Roxom knew she did not bow, she did not lower herself, ever. By bowing yet keeping eyes held to the statues though even more was possibly said about her. All the lies and killing was paving a future of a better world in her eyes. Somewhere beneath blazing emeralds that craved ruin was someone craving creation. A new order founded on principles she deemed right was the vision of someone known more so as a terrorist and a horror to societies as a whole.

Then they were confronting one of the few people remaining with power and discipline. Tor Mal'kev. Naturaly Alezra could not just step aside her voice needed to atleast be heard. Atleast she thought so "Symaarians have a army that we can contend with in naval based means. They span atleast ten times the galaxies as us they have more firepower. Wiser to co exsist then carry out a centuries running war achieving nothing. You target demons, but we've never met what do you possibly know of me? You preach against my people that believe in the Navigator and yet you act with the same xenophobic idealoligy. While I the demon, that big bad monster embraces both to achieve more." Her arms cross palms down as the demon attempts to locate other council members. "Just pray to your self rightious ego that my lover kills you....because if its me you'll be begging for a nonexistant mecy for centuries before the executioners blow. I have the warp, I got nothing but time to spare on you." Her voice was hollow no emotion no threat simple fact, then the floor ripped open and sevral others with it.

Leaping through the gaping entrance the red head bearing a secret leapt down Far'ko beside her. They dropped for what seamed like minutes then landed directly infront of five council members. They started to preach and Azra fealt her hormones shift and a pair of kicks to her chest. For the faintest moment her skin seamed a ashy grey her eyris laced with blood red light. Armor and metal contracted closing and tightening squeezing the council and guards. Then the hallway seamed to be flooded by a electric blue light. It seamed like all the energy around the loyalists was rapidly growing and then sucked away all at once. The council dropped a molten and squished mess leaving a ghastly mural along the metal floors. Far'ko turning to face her his eyes wide. "That wasn't you...."