Slathe - A Bloodhounds Story
A Bloodhounds Story
The greasy gray smog of the hive city condensed on the red and black armour of the 5 Bloodhounds Space Marines. The alleys they walked
through were narrow and claustrophobic, making them walk through in single file. "This gunk is getting everywhere." noted one of the
Marines. "I can't see a thing." He said wiping at his helmet's lenses. "Switch to thermal optics." Ordered the field marshal. The
Marine tapped his helmet, cycling through differant optic choices it supplied. "Any responce from sargeant Tegius?" the marshal asked
as he signaled the combat squad to hold position before moving on into the open street ahaid of them. The 5 marines all took a knee,
the marine at the back of the line activated the inbuilt vox within his helmet. "Sargeant, Sargeant Tegius." The marine said over the
vox. "Sargeant Tegius, do you copy?" The Marine deactivated the vox and looked to the marshal. "Nothing, he's not responding." "Then
for all we know, the sargeant and the rest of our brothers are dead." The marshal said, pulling a 2nd bolt pistol out from the 2nd
holster pouch at his waist. "It could be interferance from the structure." suggested the marine directly behind the marshal. "Let's
keep moving." The marshal ordered with a wave from one of his bolt pistols, and the Bloodhounds advanced.
The heavy metal greaves of the space marines clanged loudly against the grated metal floors, every weighted step they took echoed off
into the depths of the hive spire. They spread out on the street, looking down subsequent alleys for any sign of the creature they were
tracking. "Boranus." The marshal said. "You scout ahaid through here." he said pointing down one of the alleys. "We'll rendavu with you
shortly." "Aye" Boranus shouted before jogging down the alley alone. "Terathor, anything on the vox?" The marshal asked as he looked to
the alley where Terathor was standing, but was there no longer. "Terathor." The marshal shouted, walking toward the alley. "Terathor
report!" the marshal said over his inbuilt vox. "Perhaps the interferance is stronger than before." one of the marines said.
"Perhaps, but he should not have back tracked without mentioning it, Marines fall in!" The marshal shouted. The pair of marines that
remained quickly regrouped with the marshal. "Boranus, Report!" The marshal ordered over the vox. "Boranus here marshal, just passing
the third marker." "Very good Boranus, hold position there. We have lost contact with Terathor and are begining our sweep, stay
vigilant." The marshal deactivated his vox and began to walk down the wide and open street.
The three Marines crept cautiously through the streetway, water from many floors above them dripped down between the cracks and grated
floors of the poorly lit hive city, down onto the greese stained power armour of the Bloodhounds diluting the oily layer building up
on them. Two of the marines were equipped with bolt guns with searhclights attached, the powerfully bright light from the bulb peirced
the shadows of the alleys exposing anything in it's lights path. The two marines walked behind the marshal who remained at point.
"Something bothering you?" one marine asked the other. "That vox transmission." he responded. "The marshal was able to contact Boranus,
but not Terathor." he continued. "yes, so what?" The marine asked. The marshal stopped, interupting the two marine's conversation.
"That means that Terathor couldnt be any further away than Boranus." The marshal statd before reactivating his helmet vox. "Boranus."
The marshal said over the vox. "yes marshal." Boranus replied. "Marine, aproximate the distance you've covered from our last position."
The three marines waited in silence for a moment. "20 meters."
The marshal turned to face the marines. "He's within 20 meters." he said walking back down the street in the reverse direction. "making
interferance unlikely, Marines to me!" he shouted before running back down the street toward the alley Terathor was last seen. Suddonly
a tumbling mess of red and black power armour crashed down onto the floor infront of him. The marshal immidiatly stummpled over the
body sending him tripping to the floor palms first. The marshal pushed himself up to his feet and turned to see what had happned.
"Brother Terathor?" one of the marines asked. The marshal turned over the blood covered and scratch ridden armour of his fallen battle
brother. "No, Sargeant Tegius." The marshal answered with a tone of grief. "He's been bisected, no chance of recovery." The three
marines closed in, their backs pressed against each other so no one or no thing could sneak up on them.
Blood dripped down from the floors above the marines, mixing into the stray pools of oily water. The marines stepped slowly, rotating
cicularly as they walked. "Come out creature." The marshal said into the shadows. "Show yourself!" A brief rumbling growl echoed around
them, then something metal richoched down off the catwalks, railings, pipes and any stray broken plate. The sound got louder until
another mangled battle brother landed 2 meters from them. "Brother Terathor!" one of the marines shouted before bolting toward his
broken commradde. "Jarus, Stop!" The marshal shouted. With an echoing snap, the marine was lifted up into the shadows by strands of
blood soaked leather.
The other marine fired his boltgun up into the darknes above him, each shot illuminating the shadows for a brief moment, displaying the
shifting lurking out of sight and their flailing brother, struggling for his life. "Arator, hold your fire!" The marshal shouted. "you
might hit Jarus, Stop!" he pushed down Arator's Bolt gun, making Arator stop firing. "Marshal, I heard bolter fire, Do you require
assistance?" Boranus asked over the vox. "Hold position Boranus, Do Not Engage!" The marshal said staring down Arator. "Copied" Boranus
said before closing communication. The two marines circled back to back, the pain filled crys of their brother Jarus resonated through
the steel labarynth of the hive city. A red and gold blur whizzed through one of the alleyways catching Arator's attention. "There!"
he shouted before firing his bolt gun down the alley, the marshal turned to join Arator, firing both of his bolt pistols into the
The two marines fired untill their clips were empty, each consecutive round leaving more damage than the last. The ceremite piping and
plasteel bulkheads littered the alley, scattered throughout it like a lost herd. Some peices dangled from the walls they were once
mounted to. "Reload!" The marshal barked while releasing his expent clip and slamming in a fresh clip into the bolt pitols ammo feeds.
Arator released the clip from his bolt gun and opened a small pouch at his waist containing two clips for his bolt gun. Before Arator
could grab one of the clips, the broken body of jarvus was thrown against him, tossing him across the street into ceramite wall.
"Arator!" The marshal yelled as he ran to his side. The marshal pulled off the remains of brother Jarus which pinned down Arator.
Jarus was missing a leg, ripped from the thigh, his armour was torn, blood leaked through the cracks which traversed it. "Arator." The
marshal said examoning Arator who was unconcious. A deep snarl mixed with heavy foot steps echoed around the marshal. Each step
bringing the sound closer, louder, until it brought what he was there to find. The Creature. The Daemon. The Blood Thirster.
"Daemon!" The marshal shouted as he charged toward the 18 foot monster. Both of his bolt pistols fired into it's daemon skin, it's
wounds healing over, expelling the spent bolt rounds. The Blood Thirster counter charged the marshal, launching him from the impact of
one of it's massive wings. He skidded when he hit the ground, stopping next to Arator's Boltgun. The marshal quickly loked over to
Arator who was regaining conciousness. The marshal picked up the bolt gun and attempted to fire the weapon apon the aproaching daemon.
Three hollow clicks came from the bolt gun as the mashal pulled it unfastened the pouch containing the clips from his waist then held
it in the air for the marshal. The marshal reached toward Arator, with a horrifying screech the Blood Thirster slammed it's axe down
onto Arator, crushing as well as slicing through the armour of the downed marine. Blood shot in all directions as it was squeesed out
of Arator's broken power armour. squirting out from the open wound and from the cracks in his armour, searching for new ways to escape
the rapidly filling armour.
The marshal worked his way up to his feet, still gripping the unloaded bolt gun. "I am a chosen warrior of the Emperor!" He said as he
walked toward the massive daemon. " I am a servant of Aero, Fierocity is my weapon." he continued to chant. The Blood Thirster lifted
it's axe from the sticky viscera surrounding it Kicking over the corpses of the Bloodhounds Space Marines. "Zeal is in every round."
The Blood Thirster turned to the marine aproaching it. "My duty is my devotion." he said now facing off with his foe. "I praise the
Emperor!" he yelled as he began to run toward the daemon raising the unloaded bolt gun above his head. " and all in him through Aero I
Serve! " he shouted as he brought the bolt gun down apon the knee of the Blood Thirster, bashing it and butting it with as much
strength as he could gather. The Blood Thirster swung it's massive right arm, smashing it's backhand agaisnt the marshal, launching him
into the ceremite wall behind him. The impact indented him into the wall, warning lights and buzzers activated within his helmet. A
schematic of his armour was laid out on the bottom right of his helmets tactical display screen. A percentage was next to each section
of the armour schematic. Many of the sections were listed in the high 80's several others had exceeded the limit , the corresponding
parts were shown on the schematic darkend. "Power armour exceeding pressure threashold." an automated voice within his helmet stated.
"remain vigilant." it said to the deafoned ears of the barely concious marshal. The daemon took giant strides, closing the distance
very quickly. The marshal fumbled at a pouch on his waist, he pulled a single Krak grenade out, holding it in his left hand staring at
it with his head cocked. "I know no fear." He muttered before reaching for the grenades release with his right hand. In the brief
instant the massive hand of the Blood Thirster shot down snatching the marshal's left wrist, lifting him up 12 feet in the air.
The marshal screamed in agony as the Blood Thirster held him in the air. "This world, and millions more will collapse and fall into
chaos." The creature said in its deep and menacing double voice. "Wrong Daemon!" The marshal shouted. The Blood Thirster crushed the
marshals wrist. It's massive head looming in on the wincing marine. "Why are you so sure?" it asked before roaring as bolt gun fire
penetrated it's back. The Blood Thirster dropped the marshal and turned around, it's massive body quickly turned before the marshal hit
the grated metal floor. "Because the Emperor ordains it so!" Boranus shouted from 2 blocks away down the hive city street. Boranus
fired his bolt gun again into the gigantic daemon. The Blood Thirsterd screached and roared as the rocket propelled bolt rounds found
new homes in it's daemon skin. The Blood Thirster raised it's massive clawed hands to protect it's face as it walked toward the last
The marshal managed to lift himself to one knee, the schematic of his armour was darkened in several more places. The image of a skull
and crossbones appeared over his left wrist, his arm was broken in several places. The marshal activated his vox on the side of his
helmet. "Boranus, what are you doing?" He asked, watching the daemon walk closer to the marine. Boranus quickly fell back into a
stairwell behind him firing his bolt gun in his right hand as he entered the ceremite surrounded entrance. The Blood Thirster began to
run toward Boranus, it scooped up a garbage dumpster with one swift swoop of its arm and tossed it with speed and accuracy into the
stairwell lodging the dumpster into the entrance. The marshal crawled into the nearby alley, positioning himself into cover behind
crates. He could hear the Blood Curdling roar of the daemon behind him in the street. "Boranus reporting." The marine said over the
vox. "I came to spread the glory of the Emperor, and I will not allow my fallen brothers to go un-avenged." The marshal peaked his head
around the side of the crates he used to remain unseen. The Blood Thirster paced around the open street, staring through the grated
floor looking for Boranus as he stealthed through the corridors and alley ways of the of the level beneath them. The marshal pulled his
head back. "What good is glory Boranus, if you get yourself killed?" The marshal waited for a moment before looking out from behind the
boxes again. The Blood Thirster had walked away out of sight. The marshal crawled through the alley untill he reached a colmn of
pillars which he stood behind. he could make out brief glimpses of the blood red daemon's skin and fleshy wings between the pillars.
"We spread his glory because we are the Emperor's chose, these worlds, his realm." The marshal could hear Boranus' voice coming from
his vox and from elswhere. The marshal deactivated his vox and using his lyman's ear, he filtered out the noises around him to hear
Boranus and locate him. The thunderous crack of a bolt gun firing in the street echoed through the narrow passages. The marshal peaked
out from behind the pillar he stood behind. Boranus walked toward the Blood Thirster with his bolt gun raised in his right hand. The
Blood Thirster walked into the marshals view. "It is the Emperor's Glory, and it is our duty to protect it!" Boranus shouted before
charging the daemon. Boranus' bolt gun fired as he ran, each bolt round one step closer to acheiving their mission. The Blood Thirster
swung it's hand down onto the marine, incapacitating him with one powerfull hand chop to the collar and left shoulder. The Blood
Thirster lifted Boranus to his knees by his helmet and redied it's massive khornate ace for the final blow.
A powerfull presence entered the hive city street, a psychic hum resonated from the walls of the structuring around them. The Blood
Thirster raised its axe high above its head, then swung down with a force unimagionable by mortal men, but was suddenly stricken
paralised as a voice from the opposite side of the long street echoed mysteriously through the area, an equally powerfull force pushing
the voice forward, carrying a single word. "Enough!" The Blood Thirster looked up the road, the marshal looked over as well. Standing
in the street was the Head Librarian Leo, of the Bloodhounds. His long brown hair flowed freely from his head, the hazel of his eyes
was locked onto the daemon. In his gauntlets he carried a plasma pistol and his trusted and ancient force axe, which was modified from
it's origional use as a power axe after he obtained psychic prowess.
The Blood Thirster grinned before looking back down to Boranus, raising it's axe weidling arm once again. Leo raised his palm to the
toward the Blood Thirster, gripping his force axe with his thumb. An imprint the size of a man's head indented into the ribs of the
daemon. The Blood Thirster screeched again in fury and pain. Staring the Librarian in the eyes it snapped Boranus' neck with a single
jerk of its wrist.
With a roar the Blood Thirster flew into the air, it's wings spreading to both sides of the road. The claustrophobic space of the hive
city slowed the creature down, forcing it to evade the surroundings and be much more precise with it's flight. Landing feet from the
Librarian, The daemon howled a horrific battle cry, flailing it's arms as it kicked on the spot. The daemon only stopped it's tyrade
to see the Librarians reaction. The daemon loomed down towards Leo, snarling as it's eyes locked onto the calm and collected space
marine. In a fit of fury the Blood Thirster raised it's axe and swung down. The axe slammed into the floor beside Leo, missing him by
inches. The daemon loomed it's head back down to the Librarian, their faces nearly as close as the axe was from Leo. "Are you afraid
psycher?" The daemon asked with a growl in it's twisted double voice. "Your fate will be worse than those of your 'brothers' psycher.
when I have finished bathing in your blood I will enjoy drinking in your essence." The Blood Thirster screamed as it lifted it's axe
once more into the air. The librarian fired his plasma pistol into the daemon's left knee, a shot of light blue burned it's way into
the daemon's skin, dropping the Blood Thirster to one knee. The daemon screeched in agony as it continued to raise it's axe again. The
Librarian quickly fired at the axe, the plasma super charging the axe with heat. The force of the impact launched the massive axe from
its hand to the ground behind it. The daemon leaned forward on it's hands, its face leaning in close to Leo. The Blood Thirster
screeched and was about to leap toward the Librarian, but before it could the Librarian had slammed his force axe into the forhead of
the daemon. Crackling psychic energy swirled around the axe and from the wound in the Blood Thirster's head. All thought was being
drained from the daemon, as it passed from the weapon into the air, the psychic energy ignited into white psionic fire. The daemon in
one last great roar stood up, it's arms flailing in all directions. One by one, each limb folded away into the daemon flesh. Each limb
releasing a cloud of white psionic fire as it joined the now floating orb of daemon flesh. Liquid, yet solid. Shifting, but remaining
the same. The orb floated in mid air, the daemon's wing's were all that remained outside the churning ball of blood red flesh. But even
they fell victim to the librarian's psychic force. The orb burned in the air, material and immaterial burned away in the flames until
all that remained was a floating ball of ash. A glyph of blood in the insignia of Khorne was imprinted apon the top of the ball of ash.
The Ball floated for a moment then fell part, blowwing off into the psychic winds emenating from the Librarian.
The marshal walked out from behind the pillar. "Hiding brother?" Leo asked him. "Tactical position." The marshal said cradeling his
broken arm. "Squad status?" Leo asked without a change in expression. "All dead." The marshal answered in a solumn tone. "The target is
eliminated." Leo said clipping his axe to his waist and holstering his plasma pistol. "the mission was a success." he said as he locked
his holster. "Success?" The marshal shouted. "Sargeant Tegius and the 8 marines under my command are dead, how can this be called a
success?" The Librarian turned face and began to walk away down the street. "It's better to die for the Emperor, than live for
yourself. He said without looking back. The marshal followed him through the street. "How can you say that 'Book Keeper'? or have the
deaths of others secured your position as historian?" The marshal said with a tone of distrust in the Librarian. Leo stopped walking
and turned slightly to look over his left shoulder at the Marshal. "Because it is true, I know it, your brother's knew it, do you
agree with them?" He said before continuing to walk down the street. " or do you beleive in a higher purpose than our service to the
Emperor?" Leo shouted. "No." The marshal replied. "My duty is my devotion." "Good." Leo said, cutting off the marshal from preaching.
"Now we will no longer speak of this, blessed is the mind too small for doubt." The Librarian and Marshal did not speak during the
return to the extraction point.
The two Bloodhounds traversed the Hive city's streets, walking constantly for just under 3 hours. Finally reaching the extraction
point, the point was one of the Hive city's landing pads, although the design of the pad was meant for trade ships of the rogue traders
or one of the smaller crafts of the Imperial Navy such as a valkerie. A Bloodhounds Thunderhawk rested half it's hull on the landing
pad, stabelizer thrusters on the rear of the ship kept the back half elevated in equal level to the resting front half. The front hatch
of the thunderhawk was open, lowered to the pad like a ramp. Light from within the Thunderhawk escaped from the front hatch like water
through a bursting dam. Within the center of the light was a giant sillouette, clad in armour fit to size. Long flowing hair extended
from the head of the silloutte.
"I trust our mission was a success?" asked the sillouette. "Your trust is well placed lord." Leo said as he bowed his head, placing his
right hand over the left of his chest. "Sargeant Tegius?" The sillouette asked. Leo shook his head, his answer not needing words. The
giant figure stepped forward out of the light from the Thunderhawks interior. The marshal's helmet was cracked and broken, the optical
display was damaged creating flared in the light. The marshal removed his helmetm holding it with his right hand at his waist. The
marshal's sweat and blood soaked hair dropped down in length to his collar. His hair was gray with strands of silvery white. The greasy
hair clumped around and stuck to his neck and face. It took a moment for his eyes to adjust to the 'natural' light outside the helmet
His vision was blurred but quickly corrected itself, the marshal was astonished once he had realised who was standing infront of him,
he was standing face to face with the Lord and Master of the Bloodhounds, Aero 'The Whirlwind'.
The wind from the Thunderhawk's turbines blew Aero's hair forward as he descended the ramp. He towered over the marines as they would
a mortal man. The crissagrim, Aero's personalised sword hung from the mag lock holding it to his waist. He looked down at the marshal
infront of him. Leo glanced at them for an instant. "The marshal my lord." Leo said, announcing the rank of the marine. "A survivor?"
Aero said with a tone of surprise. "This is unexpected." The marine grinned as he strode past the giant in his way. "The Emperor
protects." He said walking up the Thunderhawk ramp. "Indeed." Aero said with a smirk.
Aero and Leo both entered the Thunderhawk, four veteran marines from Aero's honour gaurd exited the craft, taking positions at the
entrances to the port. The Thunderhawk's engines began to heat up, preparing for the return to "The Hourglass" Flagship of the
Bloodhounds. The entrance ramp to the Thunderhawk raised, closing the hatch as it lifted off from the pad. The transport ship spun
around then blasted off into the upper atmosphere.
. . .
The Marshal laid on a stone table, most of his armour had been removed from the waist up, only his black carapace remained. Scores of
servitors carried the remnants of his Mk.6 Power armour, away to the ship's armoury to be repaired, maintained, and held untill given
to another marine. "Still reckless brother?" The apothecary examining him asked as he reached for the marshal's left arm. "Still
alive." The marshal said with a grin. The Apothecary forced the marshal's broken arm to sit, snapping the bones into place. The marshal
winced as his arm cracked, wiping his smirk clean from his face from the pain."
"That's odd." The Apothecary noted. "what's odd, that I've retained my sences?" The marshal asked angrily. The Apothecary pulled a
glass vile cylinder containing a dark blue liquid out from a pouch at his waist. He inserted the vile into a gun-like device with a
syringe protruding from what would be equivilant to a gun barrel. "Out with it old man!" The Marshal barked before the Apothecary spun
around placing the machine to the Marshal's neck and pulling it's trigger. The syringe dug into his neck, injecting the dark blue
formula directly into his blood stream.
Almost immidiatly the Marshal fealt the euphoric effects, his body relaxed, his motions slowed. The toom around him blurred, the sounds
in the room melded together and repeated. The Marshal's wits were slowing down but he tried to push words past his numbing lips. "Wha-
- - what , what did - " He said before losing balance, sliding off the stone table. The Apothecary shifted the Marshal back into
position. "Be quiet now brother, your armour was damaged, it's internal mechanisms shattered." The Apothecary walked away from the
table and began to soak a cloth with cold water. The Apothecary walked back to the Marshal, dabbing the cloth over the waxy blood that
covered his face. He rinsed the cloth and wiped it over the Marshal's broken arm. "Rest, for now you will feel no pain." The Apothecary
said as the marshal slipped in and out of conciousness.
Everything was dark, everything but his hands infront of him. He looked down to himself, seeing he was just a man. A man with flaws, a
man with weaknesses, a man with fears. Suddonly faces once known, long lost flew past him and a long unending staircase appeared before
him. He climbed the steps untill he reached a wooden door. Stepping through the door he fell, he fell forever, falling untill the
reality around him righted itseld and he found himself on his feet. He wore clothed that were familiar to him, yet unknown. . .
surpressed. He was in a town, a town in the sand, standing infront of him was a golden man. He reached ro his waist for his fire arms,
raising them to the golden man, pain, faces fly by but these more familiar, more recent. Faces fly pasy to quick to register untill
stopping on the blood red face of the Blood Thirster.
The Marshal awoke with several servitors around him replacing his broken armour. He looked around and noticed he was no longer in the
infirmery but had been moved to the armoury. "How did I get here?" The Marshal asked, still groggy from the anesthetic. The servitors
all continued with their work, silent , unreacting to the marines words. "you were brought here after Genaron was finished with you."
Said a familiar voice from 4 meters ahaid of him. The marshal looked straight ahaid, sitting on a stone bench was the lord of the
Bloodhounds, Aero. "My lord!" The marshal said with his wits coming to attention. "Have youbeen here the whole time I was unconcious?"
He asked, confused by Aero's presence. Aero smiled, and looked up at the Marshal through the hick veil of his hair. "Who do you think
carried you here?" he asked in responce. "I know many of my brother Marines, most even by name." Aero said as he stood from the stone
slab. "But I do not know your face, I've not heard your name." The marshal stared at Aero. "Slathe." He said silently, but loud enough
for Aero to hear. "Slathe? an odd name." Aero said as he sat back doen onto the stone. "what world herolds it?" Aero asked
inquisitivly. "I don't remember my world." Slathe said with a tone of regret. "It's my oppinion that all men know their past." Aero
said rising from his seat again. "It's important to know where one comes from, where they have been. It tells you where one is going."
He said, aproaching Slathe. "I have dreams." Slathe retorted. "Dreams?" Aero asked with a new found interest. "Passing Memorys, nothing
I can hold onto."
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