View Full Version : The Devil Dogs - A Duel

2009-04-14, 05:03 AM
Fires gasped out their last stuttering breaths. All around us was ruin. Our tattered banner stood crooked at the apex of the defense spire, bent by the weight of mortar fire and metal shrapnel that had gouged the proud walls of the guard tower. Bowed but not broken I mused, delighting that the Canine emblem of my company remained untouched by the wild fire fight.

The thin serrated shape gleamed in the harsh sunlight, the titanium weave glittered boldly and I took heart. My actions of the next few heart beats were justified. My niggling doubts and whispered conferences had been vindicated by the battle four hours earlier.

Glancing down from the company standard, I returned my HUD filtered gaze to cover the breadth of the parapets. Dotted tank corpses spread as far as the eye could see, rusting hulks seeping oil into the viridian sand, a depressing funeral atmosphere of smoke and blood smothering the battlefield, choking what life had once eked out a living in the barren plains.

I coughed, covering a snarl of fury. There were sporadic lumps of blood red ceramite littered casually over the desert. They had been my brothers, fellow Devil Dogs slain by our Captain’s ignorance, by his incompetence and lack of drive. He was no longer fit to lead our pack.

“Lieutenant, you requested a meeting?”

I turned, cloak whipping behind me. Before me stood Captain Recka, the decorated Hero of Valla, the Savior of Paranthales and Conqueror of Tripomezuna. He was a thrice lauded hero, a genuine champion of the Imperium. But he was losing his edge. He no longer retained the calm required by an officer of the Devil Dogs.

I noticed that his hackles were raised in anticipation, his pupil's dilating with barely restrained anger. The hints of a mocking smile played along his lips.

Fury tightened my crimson fist across my blade hilt. My daemon-visage helm conveyed my snarling rage effectively. Recka needed no answer, he drew his chain axe and held it in classic talmurta guard.

“You whoreson bastard.” He growled “You would blame me for your squad’s death? You seek command of my company? Come and take it.”

He rushed forward, spitting out a stream of acidic drool. I reared back, barely avoiding the vitriolic bile as it soared pass my helm, splashing harmlessly into the concrete floor.

I eschew words, as my late squad members knew full well. I pulled out Lurin and made a slash at Recka’s palms as he rushed pass me, hoping to disarm him, or jar his mighty axe Kraken out of his grasp. He grunted as he grounded his feet into the floor, sparks flying off his boots as he swerved to cover his rear.

Servos squealed, hydraulics hissed as I whipped Lurin at him, keeping him at arm’s length. I had coiled chains upon my blades cross guard, giving me a grossly exaggerated reach. To fight a follower of the seventh form, of talmurta, one must remember that the cardinal sin is to close in without an exit strategy.

The talmurta, loosely translated from battle language, was “The Art of Acceptance”. It followed upon themes of drawing the enemy in, disregarding the discomfort involved, so as to deal shattering blow after shattering blow to the practitioner’s opponent. I had no doubt I could grievously injure Recka with a slash from Lurin, but a monomolecular blade can only do so much to Astartes forged flesh before a quarter ton of screaming chain weapon tore me in two.

I gasped as Kraken came roaring down where I had been standing a mere second before.I dropped to the ground to avoid the inevitable counter stroke, unconsciously checking Lurin’s chain for kinks, as my left arm steadied my abrupt fall.

Captain Recka was a bull of a man, strong even for a Space Marine. His fortitude was legendary, his courage was impeccable. I let fly with Lurin, jerking back on the chain, snapping the Kanthorian steel in front of Recka’s face. It had the desired effect. I knew Recka of old, he was far too implacable an enemy to turn from a feint, not for him the wincing and flinching of lesser beings.

So feint became attack as I snapped Lurin again, dragging her claws across the bridge of his nose, tearing through cartilage and scar tissue, ripping out a single hazel eye and a cluster of service studs. As the knife cut through his flesh, I whirled the chain again, wrapping Lurin across his throat. With a tug I dropped him to the floor. With a second tearing pull, Lurin returned to my grasp, cutting another path through his vocal cords and oesophagus. Fluids I knew nothing of mixed with blood over the grey floor.

I strode over to the blinded Captain, laying prone on the concrete, frantically bringing his axe to guard in random directions. A thin sliver of drool burned his lips as Kraken lost its whining pitch, echoing its master’s pathetic condition. I sneered. He had turned weak, into a fool.

“Captain Recka, I, Lieutenant Lomus declare you unfit for command. You have failed the fight for command, you may no longer lead the hunt.” This was the death sentence. Around me the battered remnants of Fifth Company surrounded the cooling melee.

I bent down and pulled Kraken out of Recka’s grasp. Placing my thumb down on the activation rune, I reignited the monolithic weapon. I imagined little molecules of air and sand being shorn in two by the ancient weapon, shrieking out their last as adamantium bit and tore into them.

I raised Kraken above my head, with an executioner's grip. The consequences of my actions would be terrible. Challenging was an integral part of our Chapter’s identity, the weak must be weeded out lest the strong be diluted. But even so, Recka was well liked and enjoyed enormous popularity. I hesitated, but for only a second.

My moment of pity and indecision vanished as the miserable wretch gasped out a plea for quarter. It was all the encouragement I needed to bring down the axe double handed upon his chest, punching through Recka’s Aquilia, through the primary ceramite layer of his breastplate, through his scarred hardened skin, and ossified Black Carapace. I felt resistance at his leathery heart, and more as the shrieking teeth bit through his spine, carrying through the sub dermal jacks and the defense spire’s concrete floor.

I left Kraken to scream itself hoarse through the concrete and steel, as spurts of gore fountained over the site of our duel.

The Canine seemed to look down upon me favourably in the flapping desert wind.

Neon Knight
2009-04-14, 07:51 AM
Hello, there.

This forum is a better place to post works of creative writing. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=27)

This forum is usually reserved for discussion of published/official works.

An Enemy Spy
2009-04-14, 08:37 AM
I don't know much about 40k but are these guys Chaos Marines?