DEATHWATCH CHAPTER RECORD
LOG: BROTHER LEONATOS: SANGUINARY GUARD
KILL TEAM: SQUAD REDEMPTION
It has been 38 years by Terran reckoning since I was chosen to serve in the Deathwatch. I have faced down innumerable foes with my brothers, both Blood Angels and those chosen from other chapters of Astartes. Despite my preconceived stereotypes, they have all proven themselves countless times in glorious battle. Which is why I was frankly surprised when Lieutenant Rafael and myself were told we were to be reassigned to a different Kill-Team a full Segmentum away.
After arriving and being directed to our individual quarters, I resumed abbreviated standard schedule adapted for interstellar transport vessel without melee sparring cage/firing ranges. This translates to a significant portion of the day dedicated to contemplation and tactical study. I was among the last to arrive to the briefing room when we were summoned and there, I recognized only Brother Rafael. Even the Inquisitor was unknown to me, though he revealed himself as Lord Inquisitor Constantine. For me, that is good enough. It matters not what Ordo we work for, the Emperor’s will shall be carried out. We are under the nominal leadership of Chaplain Morgan of the Storm Wardens and also accompanied by a Space Wolf and an Ultramarine. I must admit, however, that my preconceived stereotypes of Ultramarines were somewhat changed based on his prowess in battle and the fact that he was granted terminator armour. We were given our mission objectives: the acolytes make it out alive and we destroy any daemon we encounter.
After minimal preparation time, we secure ourselves in a drop pod and are shot towards the planet. We land within sight of the Maglinear Sepulcher, where we are told the acolytes have been holed up. We also receive communication from Captain Aziel, a hero of the Blood Angels believed dead for one thousand years. I weaken the barred main door of the sepulchre with my infernus pistol, enabling the Son of Russ to burst through and scout ahead. After we scouted the side passages, the chaplain calls a regroup and we proceed through the inner doors which lead into the chapel. What sights awaited us within were grim, indeed.
Upon the floor of the chapel, amid the debris of shattered pews and statues lay an Astartes in grey armour firing his storm bolter, the lower half of his body missing, blood hemorrhaging faster than even his engineered body could stop. Following his line of fire, we see his target: a massive bronze-skinned giant of a daemon. Enormous wings, a horned head with massive jaw filled with iron teeth. Four muscled arms, three with weapons. The fourth held Captain Aziel, and before my eyes, it crushed him. I only managed to contain myself for an instant, but in that instant I heard what I needed to hear: the order to charge. As one, we charged and began our assault on the warp-spawn. Our initial attacks were rebutted with seemingly little effect, and then it began its counters. With a speed far beyond what something with it’s massive frame should have, it became a whirlwind of blades, slashing, parrying and striking from every possible angle. It caught some of my brothers, but I managed to dodge and parry its blows. This beast was nothing compared to the Hive-top duel with the Eldar harlequin, but it was many times stronger. My mind could only hold for that fraction of a moment as my vision blurred and I fell to the Red Thirst. Glaive in hand, I powered my jump-pack to add to my charge and I rent two of its arms from its body, its blood pouring from the gaping wounds. The assault cannon-wielding terminator brought it roaring with impotence to its knees where our Chaplain strode forward, roared back at it and caved in its face with his holy Crozius.
We quickly gathered the fallen two, the grey armored Marine and Captain Aziel and we take the shortest route to the acolytes: through the side wall. When the dust settled, we found ourselves in the command center for the Sepulcher, and thankfully, the acolytes were safe for the time, though it would not remain so for long. After being briefed of their situation, the Chaplain and the acolytes discuss short term tactics. Brother Rafael and myself commence with the Ritual of Fallen Heroes and partake of the blood of Captain Aziel from his sanguinary mask. What was witnessed may not be divulged to those outside the chapter, suffice it to say, the memory of Captain Aziel will be preserved. Brother Rafael was affected so deeply that it took the combined force of the remainder of us, including the terminator to keep him from tearing into the mortals in our company, but after a few seconds he came to himself as the Thirst subsided.
An image of a Chaos Inquisitor appeared, one Ishmael Nihilis. He had planted a virus in the techpriestess (in her defense, upon realizing this, she immediately destroyed the viral code) to transmit coordinates for orbital bombardment on our location. We were given extraction coordinates by the Inquisitor, a small reliquary in a box canyon nearby where we would be teleported to the Inquisition ship, Terminus Est. The Chaplain attempted in vain to stop the lance batteries with our authorization and not a small part of intimidation. We grabbed the acolytes and jumped in to a Chimera troop transport. Not nearly as durable as a Razorback, but it was faster than we could move with non-marines. With the top hatch open and everyone else secured, the terminator laid down covering fire as a literal sea of
REDACTED Hounds gave chase. Minutes into our exodus, we noticed the shadow of the strike cruiser looming over us as it burned through the atmosphere and impacted at the horizon behind us with a flash of blinding light. The terminator shut the hatch and braced for impact as, seconds later, the ground buckled like a wave and the Chimera flipped end over end and landed on its side. Fortunately we were within a kilometer of the reliquary, where we would attempt to hold position until teleport extraction.
We entered the vaulted outer chamber of the reliquary and I sealed the doors with my pistol to enable us to knock down pillars to create a killzone we could maintain from the inner doors which led to the actual reliquary and a handful of cryogenic tubes (presumably where the two marines were preserved for so long). With the killzone created, we moved back to our firing positions where I requisitioned a Heavy flamer for the secondary kill zone for when the terminator needed to reload. I heard a voice behind me and I recognized a prayer to the Emperor. The Rite of Banishment. These mortal humans, in the face of such overwhelming odds, were doing their duty to the Emperor to the best of their ability. I could ask for no more and as I took my position, I whispered the rite to myself:
“In nomine Dei-Imperaturis!
Tibi impero foede daemon,
Ne nos molestes iterum!
Abi ex loc et redi eo unde veniste!
Veni numquam ad mundum mortalium!
When the daemon hounds break through, we were prepared. Hundreds died within seconds, then hundreds more. When the Assault cannon reloaded, the secondary 30m kill zone took effect with the heavy flamer. And then they stopped. A daemon, only a bit larger than one of us rode in on a juggernaut, dismounted, and shouted out a challenge in it’s foul tongue. Chaplain Morgan answered. He stepped forward, and the daemon horde encircled them. They began to duel, relatively cautiously at first, but quickly building to rapid strikes and slashes that would have been a blur to mortal eyes. The strength of the Emperor would not fail, for even after losing his arm, our Chaplain maintained the attack with his Crozius. A few seconds more of battle passed and we felt the tug of teleportation and heard the furious shriek of the daemon ring in our ears as we were whisked away.
In our debriefing, we were told that our kill-team would be assigned to Inquisitor Constantine’s command. This is acceptable. I have a great desire to destroy more of these daemons before my time in the Deathwatch must come to an end and I return to the chapter. I was informed by the chapter to keep Captain Aziel’s relic power-glaive for the time being and wield it for its intended purpose. After the Ritual, I am only too willing to exact vengeance beyond the blood-count in his memory. I hope that the chapter masters also understand when they discover that I switched my death mask for Aziel’s. His reminds me of a dear friend I know but have never met. Someone whose memory is only fleeting, in all of us, his sons.