=][= I’ve started writing my own fluff for the Mortifactors to keep my imagination and positivity for the chapter going. It wasn’t waining, but it needed a bit of reinforcing. So to that end, I’m writing a bit of “fan fiction” to keep myself charged up for the project. I penned the below in bed last night so it may have a couple of spelling errors and the like, but I thought I’d share it here. This relates to the above character; my Captain, Karos Varkon. This is a short piece and hopefully not too much of a read, but there will be more to follow provided GW don’t tell me to take it down (not sure what the rules are here). Would be great to get your thoughts so feel free to comment below… =][=
Skarson Amannall moved across the darkened room and took a seat at the table. The table itself was cold, unadorned and wholly functional, and the chair, aside from being reenforced, was just as plain. Two lume globes hung in anti-grav sconces and a trio of servo skulls zipped and buzzed about, scanning, recording and monitoring. Much of his ship, the Greater Fear was full of decoration honouring those who deserved such honour. Murals, mosaics, portraits and shrines lined the corridors and filled the state rooms, but this part of the ship was functional. It was all that was required of it. It was all that the Inquisition needed it to be.
The Ordo Astartes was not the largest of the Inquisition’s interests. It still spent much of its time answering to the triumvirate of larger agencies and bickering and politicking with the smaller ones. Skarson was loathe to involve himself in such efforts, but on occasion it was a necessary inconvenience. He preferred it out here though. He preferred the blackness of space, the cold rooms aboard his ship and doing the work that would make the Emperor proud of him.
His seat faced the doors and he did not look up from the data slate that he was studying when two of his servant guardians opened them and stepped through. They were competent warriors both, and fine henchmen for an Ordo whose investigations always centred around the activities of Super-humans. They’d earn their deaths should they ever meet their final moments in his service.
Between them stood a much larger figure. His hair cut in a short mohican, his face stern and eyes sharp. He wore simple, black robes for most power armour was not permitted in these halls. It was not so much the threat of it – the inquisition had plenty of ways of neutralising the strength and defensive capabilities of power armour – but it was a good trick to put a Space Marine on edge. As fierce as they were even naked and unarmed, they always seemed uncomfortable without their armour. Vulnerable even, if such a being could ever feel vulnerable.
Skarson was just a man, but he was wearing power armour. It was an ancient and venerable suit constructed during the earliest days of the Great Crusade. Not all who joined the legions could become full space marines. Older men, so loyal that their primarchs insisted on their inclusion, would be surgically altered and provided with a unique pattern of armour to bring them up to the height and bulk of a Space Marine, and the Inquisitor had been put through these trials too.
Without waiting for instruction, the Inquisitor’s guest took his seat, leaned forward and stared at him with suspicion, contempt and just a little amusement. Skarson looked up into a smile colder than the void.
“Cunning audience, Inquisitor. I without my armour, and you and your warriors in full plate. Should I be off my guard, or should I prove to you that even without my armour I am still something to worry about.”
Skarson almost smiled.
“Few, even among your ranks choose to speak in such a way to a representative of Terra’s Holy Inquisition.”
The Space Marine snorted and looked away.
“Then they would have something to fear. I do not.”
“You have no marks upon your conscience?”
“My conscience and all its scars are my own and are no concern of yours.”
“Ah,” replied Skarson, “but they are. For I am external conscience – your controlling conscience. Your conscience may be your leash but I am the one who can muzzle you.” He leaned forward “But I have no desire to do this. Your chapter has never been shown to have any heretical thoughts despite its quirks and your honours are many. This is merely a conversation, not a trial or even really an investigation. Just a conversation.”
The Space Marine considered this for a moment and seemed to relax. A certain stiffness in his shoulders left him and though this could quite easily have been part of a game, this chapter was not known for dishonesty.
“I want you to tell me about the Mortifactors.” smiled the Inquisitor.
“What is it you’d like to know? I can’t imagine the Inquisition has neglected to study our history.” dismissed the Space Marine.
“Oh, your history is storied well enough. Tezuka finding Posul and founding your chapter. Your campaigns, prosecuting wars against Orks and Tyranids alike that have earned you their hatred. Your history and the legends of your chapter need not be examined again, but the nature of your chapter, and your,” he paused for just a moment “unorthodox methods are worthy of remark here. May we begin formally talking of this?”
There was a shadow of unease and frustration on the Space Marine’s face but he didn’t protest. Two of the skulls that had been quietly humming in the heights of the room descended and began to record in earnest, the lenses mounted in their eyes cycling into focus.
“State your name.”
“Karos Varkon” replied the Space Marine
“Captain, 7th Company, Mortifactors.”
“Excellent. Thank you for cooperating thus far. Tell me about the Battle of Sovis Pass.”
With the external audio of his vox feed turned off, all was silent as he fell through the blue and golden skies above Imdar III. He felt alone and at peace. This was not normal for Varkon who resented the hours he didn’t spend in battle but he would enjoy the few seconds he had here. Uninterrupted apart from visual feeds and scrolling reports of movements on the planet’s surface below, he enjoyed a brief moment when he understood the nature of the Emperor’s desire. These worlds were too beautiful to allow them to be lost. It was for world’s like this that the Space Marines had been created. Humanity deserved this he thought, as he plunged towards the clouds.
Seconds before hitting the mountains of vapour, he engaged full Vox. The sound of air rushing past his body, the servos in his armour and the chatter of sergeants and squads leaders filled his ears. His voice cut through their communications.
“Activate distortion dampeners and prepare for interference from the clouds. Eyes open. Hell awaits us, brothers. Let us meet it with His divine fury.”
Clicks registered and vox chatter cut out as he hit the clouds.
Tiny lightning heads curled around his armour plates and the vision feed on his visor broke and twisted. He could feel the static around him. These clouds had been flooded with particles of sporecast. It was an Ork trick used to deter enemy aircraft from descending on the battlefield directly, forcing them to fly low under the clouds and into the path of their anti-aircraft batteries, or risk in-air collisions and permanent damage to their machine spirits. The Mortifactors had learned of this trick long ago, and knew that individual suits of power armour were not affected or damaged to any great degree, and formation drops with jump packs was a strong shock tactic. 46 Space Marines arriving in the middle of an Ork line was quite a sight. Varkon was joined by four assault squads and five veterans from the 1st Company. This is how you forge vengeance, he thought as he forgot the blue skies.
They passed through the thick clouds in just a few seconds. They were met by thick smoke and all out war as the thrusters on the jump packs kicked into life to slow their descent. The sound of gunfire rippled across the air in an unrelenting wave. The chatter of bolters and the solid slugs of the Ork weapons provided a constant staccato buzz, and the heavy artillery and flame weapons provided deep accents. Lines of Mortifactors, White Consuls and Jade Dragons pushed forwards through what had been Ork defences, but the Orks were massing in order and preparing for a violent push. Their larger, mechanical constructs screamed and tanks, most cobbled together from bits of Imperial vehicles ranging from Chimeras to industrial lifters chugged along to face a spearhead of Predators. The noise, fire and smoke meant that only one or two greenskins noticed the descending Mortifactors.
Varkon landed on top of two orks manning a multibarreled weapon that was spitting slugs into the throng of Jade Dragons Space Marines that were cutting their way towards them. Varkon’s power axe, forged of Posul Bronze and imbued with a cracking energy field, cleaved through both of the greenskins in a single swipe as they tried to get to their feet. A third was cut in half across the waist, and its upper half was still snarling as Varkon’s jump pack burst into life again and lifted him across the pot marked battlefield. As the other assault marines continued to land and cause chaos across the Ork line, the Captain drove his shoulder into giant ork wearing heavy armour. Rather than drop or be knocked over, the Ork swung round with a rusted claw shearing its way through the air towards Varkon’s head. He ducked the blow and brought his axe up to push away the backswipe which came with unnatural speed and strength towards his helmet. The blow rocked him backwards but his jump pack compensated for the shift in his weight and kept him upright as he brought his bolt pistol up and loosed a succession of shots into the beast’s head. The thick armour deflected most of the mass reactive rounds but one got through and the Ork’s body, now headless stumbled backwards still flailing with its claw.
Varkon bound into the air again, landing in a mess of diminutive greenskins that scattered, shrieking as he crushed them below his boots and cut them down with his axe. Their crude artillery pieces abandoned, he tore them from their mounts and crushed the barrels. Another bound and he was cutting down two more Orks. When they had no resistance left to offer, he turned to survey the battlefield. He’d been getting reports across the Vox feed but he needed to verify the situation with his eyes and map out his actions.
Squad Mardos and Squad Ratherion had landed close too each other and gone straight into the backs of a large group of Orks that were mobbing towards the front lines. They’d cut down nearly all of them before they met resistance. Squad Ormak and Squad Vaansa had smashed their way through artillery pieces but were now suffering at the hands of several walker squads. Meanwhile, the veterans of Squad Tarisia were hunting down greater prey, and deploying power swords and lighting claws to dispatch the fiercest Orks they could find. Behind him, the Predators of the armoured spearhead churned their way forward through the muddy battlefield, and the main Jade Dragons force were taking advantage of the Mortifactors’ surprise descent to press home their advantage through the craters and trenches.
Then Varkon spied his target, fighting against its own kind in the front ranks of the greenskins, pushing across the torn up ground and bellowing into the smoke was a giant of an Ork wielding an enormous axe, wreathed in a powerful energy field. It was metres away from the Jade Dragons line and Varkon saw his chance for glory. His pack kicked into life again, white hot bursts throwing him across the field and through the infantry that separated him from his quarry. As he neared the giant Ork, another greenskin smashed into him and brought him out of the air. He slammed into the mud and skidded loosing a series of shots into the Ork who at first refused to die until his chest was almost entirely gone. As he got to his feet, more of them came at him and he howled in anger and frustration as he was prevented from reaching his target, fending off the snarling monsters one by one.
His axe ran red with greenskin blood and his face was washed with gore as he waded through more and more of them. As superior as any Space Marine was to an Ork, he knew better than most that their stamina and strength could match even a seasoned veteran from the toughest chapter. Too long bogged down in this melee and his luck would run out. He kicked out and knocked a crudely constructed pistol from the hand of an Ork but as he did so, one charged him and slammed him into the dirt. He snarled and clawed at its eyes, pushing its fanged, hollering mouth away from his face. More Orks were bounding towards him, whooping and screaming as they closed in on their prey. The Ork on top of him threw a fierce punch at his helmet which shuddered and strained under the force. More blows cracked the glass in his vision ports. He felt his axe being ripped from his hands and the jump pack pulled from his back. Everything went dark as more and more blows from the giant fist rained down on his head.
And then they stopped. The weight on him disappeared and he found his hands free again. He wrenched off his spoiled helm and saw Sgt Terisia and his squad tearing the Orks to pieces.
“You may settle your debt to me later, Captain,” cried the Veteran as he jammed his Storm Shield into the face of a charging Ork “for your quarry is escaping you!” He nodded to a gap in the fighting. A Captain from the Jade Dragons was duelling with the giant alien and the beast’s power looked to be prevailing over the measured stabs and swipes of the Space Marine’s ornate blade.
Varkon picked himself up and grabbed his axe from the floor. He sprinted through the throng, his teeth gritted and with a low, visceral growl he charged on. He bound up a shallow slope, jumped, landing one footed onto the dead body of a Jade Dragon and leapt. He seemed to hang in mid air, screaming vengeance and with his axe held aloft in both hands. The giant Ork turned its evil eyes to meet his and raised its axe…
“All very interesting and heroic of course, Captain, but as I said, your victories are well chronicled in this sector. Your bravery is not in question, but the manner of your duel and your treatment of Captain Henshu is perhaps cause for concern.” remarked Skarson.
“He got in my way.” replied Varkon dismissively.
“Besides, it was my kill. That was ever the way of it. He was outmatched and his presence only made for a distraction. He should have been leading the line, not challenging my enemy.”
“And that’s why you slammed the handle of your axe into the side of his head, is it?”
Varkon glared at the Inquisitor with unabashed contempt.
“That Ork Warlord was mine. It had been marked as my prey. My quarry. And I killed it. That Captain accosted me after I’d hacked its head off and I had no time for such remonstrations as the rout was on. The Orks were broken. Tearing off in their droves and my axe still had a thirst.”
“And that’s justification enough for almost starting a war between your chapter and the Jade Dragons? They were most damning of you and have threatened to seek retribution.”
“I look forward to seeing their efforts. Scions of the Khan aren’t they? Should be interesting.” he sneered. “Besides, the battle was won. Both chapters bathed in glory and another threat to the Imperium banished. Is that not what’s most important?”
“It’s vital, but so is the relationship between your chapter and its allies. And this is not your only offence.” at which point Skarson produced a number of data slates “I think we have a few things to talk about.”