From the Gunners position on the Thunderhawk, Nestor could see the forests rolling out across the planet’s surface. Trees, hundreds of feet tall, reached up from the canopy, hanging with enormous fruits. Flocks of birds, like columns of shimmering smoke, swept up from the treetops as the Thunderhawk roared past.
Nestor could see the target in the distance. A pale streak, perfectly straight, cutting through the forest. It was the structure sensors had located from orbit. The Thunderhawk passed over the structure. Nestor realised it was a landing strip, a gash cut into the forest, paved and studded with landing lights. A palace stood at one end, hidden from the sky by the canopy of trees arching over it. Two hundred metres from the entrance stood a Storm Eagle, its bright and lurid colours marking it out as an Emperors Children vessel.
“Target acquired,” he voxed.
The Thunderhawk swooped around, its exhaust wake stripping the topmost leaves from the canopy, and slowed down as it approached the landing strip. Its nose tilted up as it came down and its landing gear thudded into the strip.
“We’re down! Clear to deploy!” said the pilot.
Nestor and his Lieutenants jumped from the rear ramp as it lowered. Darius was first out, as he always was, already activating his lightning claw. Korath, Nephran and Lucian covered him as he approached the Storm Eagle. Tell-tale scorch marks and gouges riddled its hull.
Casting his critical eye over the damage, Janus turned to Nestor. “The damage is superficial, my Lord. It would make a fine addition to….”
“No!” interrupted Nestor, “we have come for something far more important than my Brother’s personal transport.
“As it pleases you, my Lord.
“Engines are cold,” voxed Darius as he moved towards the palace doors.
Nestor’s Lieutenants moved up, once again taking up covering positions. Darius kicked the door open and darted inside. The rest followed him in, with Nestor on their heels. Bodies hung from the balcony, their mutilated bodies did nothing to disguise the fact that they were once Emperors Children.
“Signs of a fight?” asked Nephran.
“None,” replied Darius as he climbed onto a carved stone block to cut down one of the bodies. “This one is still alive.” He marvelled. Both skin and black carapace had been flayed from the torso. The marine’s fused ribcage had been prised apart to reveal intricate carvings and piercings to most of the internal organs. A moan escaped from the marine’s lips as he was gently lowered to the floor, whether it was from agony or exquisite bliss was impossible to say.
“Any idea who did this?” enquired Korath.
“We did.” came the reply from an adjacent room.
As one, the Castigators drew their weapons and moved to cover the doorway. Nestor smiled and calmly walked through the door. “Calm yourselves gentleman; I would like to introduce you to Vorlath’s former personal guard and your new battle-brothers…..Squad Prurient.”
I finally finished my Noise Marine squad and as promised here they are. I’m pretty happy with the final result. I was aiming for a cross between the Chosen from Dark Vengence and the original Chaos Marines from Slaves to Darkness while still retaining that Slaaneshi feel.
Ryak – Noise Champion
“Consorting with xenos!” repeated Darius incredulously.
Ryak leaned across and refilled his goblet, the Noise Champion relishing his audience’s disbelief.
“Not only xenos, but xenos with no psychic ability to nourish Our Lady’s needs.” Continued Ryak.
“The Tau are no better than cattle, it’s tantamount to Bestiality!”
Nestor waited for the laughter to die down. “My Brother has fallen far from Our Lady’s grace. He will feel the loss of Ryak and his Noise Marines deeply….if he isn’t too preoccupied with his blue friends that is.”