Friday, July 21, 2017

Shadow War: Armageddon - Sororitas Kill Team - The Creature

The Sororitas moved slowly through the gloom. They had received a garbled vox transmission indicating a supply box marked with foul xenos sigils lay abandoned in this section of the promethium sprawl. Sister Catherine gripped her Chaplet-Ecclesiasticus. Not out of fear... not at all. She found herself consumed by thoughts of hatred- toward a specific ork raider. She could picture the brute, clad in heavy armor and brandishing two large axes. She wanted nothing more than to put an end to the loathsome greenskin... it had become the focus and sum total of all her hatred for the entire orkish race. Catherine recognized that her thoughts were misdirected, and prayed to the Emperor in order to clear her mind.

"There are orks ahead. Spread out, pattern Kestrel. Ave Imperator." Sister Superior Constance headed to the extreme right flank, dual pistols drawn and ready.

Catherine found herself peering into the gloom, hoping fervently that her nemesis was among the band. She was not let down.

A rain of bullets erupted from the darkness, a mix of bright flashes, the whine of bullets careening off industrial architecture, and the smell of sulphur. The sisters responded immediately with their own fusillade of well directed fire.

Catherine saw her quarry- the brutish double axes and metal jaw clearly identifying it. She moved forward, taking an advance position ahead of her squad mate in contradiction to the outlined kestrel pattern. Gunfire echoed throughout the sprawl.

Sister Loretta fired at an ork in the distance that was lugging a devastating heavy machine gun. He dropped, wounded, and crawled to cover.

"What the...?" Loretta exclaimed. A bizarre creature the likes of which she had never seen pounced out of the darkness onto the downed ork, who fought like a wounded predator. Then it was gone. The ork had survived, somehow...

Double axe rushed forward and was cut down by Sister Barbara's storm bolter, or perhaps it was Louise. Yet, he persisted.

Catherine rushed out of cover despite all risk. She felt compelled. Fully in the open, she stood over the fallen ork and put three bolt pistol rounds into the space between the viscous metal jaw and the helmet bowl.

Even then, her bloodlust was not sated, and she ran as fast as she could toward the other ork writhing in agony in the distance.

Heavy gunfire continued as each squad maneuvered to cover the approaches to the xenos cache.

Catherine lunged toward the second ork, hoping to finish him off before he recovered. She fired the rest of her magazine until he stopped moving. Then, the hidden creature struck. Catherine was knocked down by a vision of unholiness, a mutant defying description...  a blasphemous blend of maggot and spider, yet standing upright. Somehow, she managed to fire her bolter into the midsection of the hideous thing and it disappeard, again. The sudden advent of the terrible vision and it's equally quick vanishing snapped Catherine from her madness. She was so far ahead of her squad...

Constance held the right flank. Three orks were careening down the gantry toward her. Even odds she thought, as she fired plasma and bolt rounds at them, forcing them into cover. Constance glanced over her shoulder just in time to avoid a sweeping scythe of reddish chitin, attached to the body of something man sized- a mix between the crustaceans of Lemnos III and a mantis. Dropping low to avoid the orks' line of sight, she kicked the beast squard between it's beady eyes and knocked it off the edge of the platform. Used to easier fare, the creature slunk off into the darkness.

The sounds of gunfire dissipated and the jeering howls of the orks grew more distant as they carried away their prize- a case with Tau writings. Who knew what lie within? Fortunately one of their number was left behind, dead, along with his two axes...

"Sister, you placed our squad in danger and let your rage consume you. Your headlong rush into close quarters with the orks is more befitting the more bloodthirty of the Astartes. We are lucky to have sustained no lasting injury." 

"Sister Superior Constance, please allow me to take the vows of repentance, for I have failed you, my sisters, and the Emperor." Catherine bowed her head.

"Denied. Our task is not one that can afford such a choice, despite your willingness. No, let your rage be calmed, and meditate upon the teachings of Confessor Eustace."

Catherine nodded, silently.