+ inload: Iron Warrior multi-melta Heavy Support Squad +

+ Made for Better Things +


I know how hard it is in Latian verse/ 
To tell the dark discoveries of the Greeks/ 
Chiefly because our pauper-speech must find/ 
Strange terms to fit the strangeness of the thing//

[+++]

This terror, then, this darkness of the mind/
Not sunrise with its flaring spokes of light/
Nor glittering arrows of morning can disperse/
But only Nature's aspect and her law/ 
Which, teaching us, hath this exordium:/ 
Nothing from nothing ever yet was born//
+ extr. Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, Book I +



+ I remember initial issue. I was assigned to the Euthytonoi; Muster 442. Anti-vehicle; anti-fortification. Multi-meltas. +

+ Maxima-pattern, 22–27 Megathule output multi-meltas. Vape-guns. Cookers. Death rays. Heat radiation of an intensity that blistered rock. Against organics, ruinous; deleterious. I took mine in my hands. My multi-melta. Torrent. +

+ Most of Muster 442's work was second-line; but Torrent became a living thing when I was called to serve against the Kine on Sensiva. I remember washing the blindray over the first greenskins at a hundred yards – premature – ill-disciplined. I was flogged, later. +

+ The kine only flinched, and squinted, and kept on coming. A second burst at eighty-five yards (again, too early, too eager) raised blisters and made their war-cry into a howl of pain. After that, discipline – and the necessity of not cooking off the ventscreen – made me wait. At thirty yards, Palatarch Cebrail gave the order, and my Mustermates and I vapourised the kine. The multimeltas simply washed them away, converting them to a cloud of black-grey ash in an instant. +

+ Their charge, and the suddenly still air, carried them onwards. The cloud wrapped around us, coating us in the death of xenos. It felt like vaftiz –a baptism of ash. +

+++

+ Later, Torrent tasted on Terra. It was different there. My hands were not as still as they should have been. Blood was sheeting down my torso, my loins, my legs. My blood. Below the abdomen, I was crimson. +

+ Still, Torrent was there. The yellow-armoured figure rose in front of me, and I pulled the trigger. +

+ Torrent caught it on her vid-capture. Recorded it; though the sonics were corrupt. I have watched it since, many times, very slowly. The haze and dust in the air is filtered out; so there is simply an odd wavering in the visuals. It is mesmeric. The figure's plasma rifle wilts and folds like wax for an instant; before it abruptly changes colour as the radiator coils catch and spring up. They begin to spring away as the barrel folds back like a flower. The Legionary's lead gauntlet and forearm begin to course and spray, before igniting; white-hot. +

+ He has not yet taken a second step, but his momentum is carrying him forward. All of a sudden, his torso and helmet and pauldron begin to distort, as though they are wax held before a hearth. Tiny waves appear in his armour as the power of Torrent pushes and pushes – until a dozen tiny motes appear: weaknesses, or damage, or chips in his armour. They flash, magnesium-bright, and grow like yawning mouths, hungry and incandescent. +

+ Here I always dial the vid-capture down to the slowest setting; losing the illusion of motion and breaking the motion into jumpy still images. Even so, it is quick. Barely seven frames split the figure from completeness to an empty husk. There is one image that I fixate upon most strongly. The frontispiece of his helm flakes away and reveals – for one frame alone – his mouth. It is distorted and red. +

+ By the next it is black and unrecognisable. +

+ By the next he is gone. +

+++

Palatarch Cebrail

Muster 442

Muster 442; note Legion IV Heavy Support designate-ikons and microauspex vis-panels

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    1. The description of the Imperial Fist death gave me the chills. Bravo!!!

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