The head flew clean off the body with a simple swipe of the gauntleted hand, like a child popping the head of a flower off its stem. Foul-smelling blood spurted from the neck as the cultist insurgent toppled over and jerked a bit before laying still. However, the giant had no time to waste watching the corpse. Another cultist came in swinging a rifle towards his head, foul prayers of benediction ushered from her lips. A normal man would cringe hearing such blasphemy, but not him.
"How foolish…how desperate…how misguided." He scoffed at the throng of them, hissing in foreign tongues and salivating at the prospect of taking him down for their dark masters. He'd grant them no such honor. The rifle crumpled in his grip and with a flick of his other hand, her neck snapped like a dry twig beneath his boot. She fell just as quickly as the first. It was child's play for him. It was more annoying to cast aside the band of heretic cultists with his staff than it was honorable. Foolish slaves to the Prince of Pleasure they were, nothing more, nothing less. If death is what they sought then he'd grant them that satisfaction at the least, but mercy was not in his vocabulary.
"Slave of the Corpse God! Filthy psyker!" A ritually scarred man in the garb of a PDF sergeant screamed to him. "Your blood and soul shall slake the thirst of Slaanesh!" Before the man had time to spit out another threat, his cranium exploded in a shower of skull and gore, a smoking bolt pistol in the hand of the giant.
"Come again?" He inquired mockingly. The expeditious death of their comrade sent the surviving cultists into a flurry of snarls and cries, lunging at him with full force. He sighed. "I guess it's time I end this little game. Very well. The Emperor has given me a gift, a gift that will guide humanity to glory, and though this gift I have disciplined myself. The light of the Emperor is my shield and my torch, and with this shield I am invulnerable to your blandishments, and with this torch I shall purge thee with holy fire." His eyes started to glow as he channeled his power into his staff, arcane power crackling from the weapon and his own armor. "With the power of my mind, my mind attuned by my chapter and the Emperor Himself, I shall expunge you and your repulsive ilk from this world and the next!"
The cultists clawed their ears, blood pouring from their eyes and noses, screaming in ecstasy and horror. He roared as the pulsing energy around him grew. "I shall destroy you all in the name of the Emperor!" Slamming his staff down, a massive shockwave of psychic energy caused the ground to crater around him. In seconds, the bodies of the cultists were mashed to pump, bones broken and organs ruptured. It was a display of one of the most powerful abilities granted to him, Smite. The bodies crackled and burned under intense blue fire, so hot not even their souls could escape the wrath of the Emperor. His nostrils flared with the stink of burning flesh and bone, but it did not bother him in the slightest. Clutching his force staff, he merely watched the dozens of heretics around him burn to ash. "No mercy for the misguided."
As the din of battle faded, his moments of peace were suddenly interrupted, as the repetitive sound of ceramite on ceramite echoed louder and louder. It sounded almost like…applause.
"Who goes there? Show yourself!" The giant demanded.
The clapping rang louder and louder, rising above everything else around. He could then sense a presence that almost made him take a step back, but he didn't. He would not allow it. Yet, the presence he sensed was dark, very dark, far more than the twenty or so cultists he had just slaughtered combined.
"Bravo. Bravo. I'd expect nothing less in the art of killing from one such as yourself." The voice echoed across the field, as if projected through a vox. "The screams and death throes of my minions, whom I sacrificed so readily, titillated my senses."
"Who are you? Show yourself, heretic!" He bellowed with hatred. Normally he was calm and collected, as with most of his ilk, but this presence he felt was one that made his blood boil.
"Very well." Within a matter of seconds, the jet engines roared to life, demonic voices wailing in pleasure and pain mixed into unholy harmony as he graced the skies, landing about fifty feet from the Astartes. The mere sight of his adversary offended him. Bedecked in glossy black and purplish armor, the demons inside still moaning with tongues lashing, he stood before him. Spikes adorned his shoulder pads and back, many of which held grisly trophies like the helmets of fallen Astartes, an Eldar skull half-rotted, and an ork jawbone. His boots were fashioned like the Chaos Raptors that would prey upon civilians in the dead of night, claws painted in dried blood and offal. His weapon, a "Blastmaster" as described by the Techmarines, was gripped in his right hand, the extended jaw of what looked like a former Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor covering the muzzle. Multi-colored tubes were scattered about, combat stims used to heighten this…this creature's abilities and feelings, he mused. The Librarian snarled upon seeing the corpse of a Sororitas upon one of his shoulders especially. She had looked dead for some time cut from the waist up and stripped of most of her armor. Although he usually considered the Sisters to be an overly vitriolic bunch, to desecrate a true servant of the Emperor was unforgivable. Every atom of this creature's being offended him. However what angered him the most was the detection of a psyker ability in this monster and how he tried to tease the Librarian with whispers of his dark god, whispers that snuck in only because the Librarian had felt it more necessary to gather his strength than waste energy on the ramblings of a madman.
"So…loyalist Astartes, you meet me in the flesh. How do you like it?"
"You would do well to leave this place now and crawl back to whatever, filth of Chaos. Your traitorous kind is not welcome in the Emperor's world." He warned the Chaos Space Marine.
"Oh? But I just wanted to get to know you. So sad."
"DO NOT PATRONIZE ME!" He roared which amplified his psychic aura, forcing the traitor marine to take a step back.
"Well…I never! For a lapdop of the Corpse God I must say you're about as rude as they come. Then again, it was rude of me to start prying. My apologies."
"Hmpf! Spare me the pleasantries! I've heard of you…the so-called 'Torturer,' chosen of Slaanesh." That last word brought him some discomfort. "I've heard of what you did at the Uthiel Monastery and of the other worlds you have terrorized. I have come to put a stop to it!"
The traitor cackled as did the mouths all over his frame, spitting vile curses at the Librarian. He took a look at the Space Marine, bedecked in sky blue armor signifying his status as a chapter psyker, gold filigrees, an iron force staff marked "Nulli Secundum" crackling with psychic energy amplified by his hood which hovered over his cropped blond hair that looked as colorful as a youth's, a heinous book of the Corpse God's words attached to his right shoulder armor, a simple beige tunic doused with blessed waters and oils, purity seals, a fashioned bolt pistol in his holster, century studs noting more than two hundred years of slavery to the False Emperor. He scoffed at the fool. However, he knew the warrior was no joke. He already knew he was of a higher psychic level and a seasoned Space Marine like him, a deadly combination. "Oh really, now? You…hinder me? That's quite a good laugh. I appreciate an adversary with a sense of humor. But of course, you're serious." He kicked a stone the size of a fist at the Librarian. It evaporated under the intense psychic energy he emitted. "Ooooooohhhh…flashy! Tell me, loyalist, what is your name?"
"It is of no concern to you, Torturer."
"Oh but it is. I like to know who it is that wishes to do battle with me. It's sort of…sentimental to me." Torturer replied with an air of light insanity.
"Very well then. I go by the name of Cailean, Epistolary Librarian, of the Imperial Paladins Chapter."
"Cailean? Well then, a pleasure to be on the field of battle." He stepped towards the Librarian as Cailean did the same to him. They had passed each other in a matter of seconds, Torturer calling back the demonic tongues desperately wanting to lash at the Librarian, while Cailean held back his psychic aura.
Cailean smiled as their backs were to each other. "So it's only us on this field of battle. Good."
"A duelist, eh? You wish not for support from your lackeys?"
"No need with the likes of you."
Torturer cackled again. "Heh. I like you. Mayhap I could convince you to join me."
"Never in a thousand millennia, heretic."
There was a pause between the two of them, where not even their psyker selves bothered to make a sound, like these two tried to find some sort of respect for each other as warriors. It wasn't to be the case.
Torturer wasted no time extending his claws and with an inhuman cry, lunged towards Cailean's chest with them, hoping for an easy kill. He wouldn't get the kill so quickly and easily. He should have known the second he swung at a Librarian that he'd be read like an open scripture. Cailean took to the advantage and ducked, the claws barely scraping his hood. With his force staff, he administered a harsh swinging blow to Torturer's midsection, the staff booming with energy from the impact. It sent the Chaos marine back a good fifteen feet before he dug his clawed boots into the ground and stabilized himself.
"Ha…ha ha ha ha! HA!" Torturer grinned with fanged teeth formed out of his mask in some sort of foul demonic ability. "First blood! Congratulations!" Flying at Cailean again, he let go of his reservations of going light on him, landing a backhanded blow on the arm of his opponent, forcing him back before landing another fist on his chest plate. Cailean caught the attempted third blow and countered with a quick right hook into Torturer's face and sent him flying again into the ground. Dust and smoke kicked up from the impact area. Cailean ran with his staff already alight with blue psychic energy and leapt towards the downed traitor, about twenty feet into the air.
"You die now, heretic!" He landed with such fury that the ground shook as if an earthquake had just happened, unleashing a torrent of psychic power into the area. When the dust settled however, the Librarian hissed seeing how Torturer was not there, as if he had simply vanished into thin air. Cailean could spell warp trickery. "Sorcery! Where are you, foul being?!?"
"RIGHT HERE!" With his jump pack flaring with sickening purple flames, he rammed full speed ahead into Cailean's back. The Librarian was propelled into the air prompting Torturer to fly to his flank and grab his arm, slamming him down into the rockcrete below. With the Librarian felled, he readied his Blastmaster. "Get ready for that brain of yours to become liquid in the rapturous music that is Chaos!" He could feel the weapon readying itself to let loose a sonic boom, the cacophony of screams and groans amplified enough to break through the toughest of materials. He bit his lip in utter anticipation as he sensed the kill to be, but what he didn't see was the bolt pistol aiming at him before he could pull the trigger. "Oh warp…"
Both weapons fired. Unfortunately for both of them, both weapons missed their mark. Cailean's bolt pistol had only scraped Torturer's face and instead exploded on the tip of his jump pack while the Blastmaster sent a roar of chaotic sound into the ground next to Cailean, sending them both flying. When Torturer came to, he felt hot crimson run down his cheek. A hyper-extended tongue reached out to taste it before the demons could. It reminded him of when he was a servant of the less than subtle Blood God, Khorne. He hadn't tasted his own blood in decades. It brought back nostalgia. It was delicious, the iron flavor mixed with the raw stuff of Chaos, sweet yet bitter, savory yet harsh. He liked that. However, the taste of his own blood wouldn't send him into a fury like his brutish Khornate brothers would. Instead, it merely put him in a state of elation. It prompted him to activate his stims and rush the feeling to his cortex where it'd be amplified a hundredfold. "Oh yes…YES! THIS IS GOOD! MORE…BRING ME MORE!"
Readying his Blastmaster and jump pack, he attempted to flank Cailean, firing off a sonic burst screaming all the while. Cailean fired back with his bolt pistol, his fresh clip loaded with a higher explosive round. The sound wave and bolt shell collided and sent debris everywhere. Again Torturer attempted to flank and again Cailean was barely fending off the sound attack with another well-aimed pistol shot.
"Throne! He's fast…incredibly fast! I'll have to balance the scales!" Desperate to get a moment of concentration, he released a frag grenade and hurled it into Torturer's flight path. The explosion caught the Chaos marine off guard and allowed Cailean just that fraction of a second to heighten his psyker ability. Soon his body glowed with a light blue aura and in his own eyes, everything had slowed down considerably. Cailean had released his Quickening ability, where he would bend time to his will within the immediate vicinity.
As Torturer skimmed the ground firing away, Cailean ran alongside shooting round after round at the traitor. Each time, bolt would meet shockwave and detonate off each other, peppering the both of them with shrapnel. It didn't slow either of them down as they continued to fire at each other. Torturer, seeing how his attacks with his weapon were getting nowhere, immediately shifted course right into the Librarian. With another inhuman scream he swiped at him with powerful claws, scraping bits and pieces of the loyalist's armor. He thrust his hand forward attempting to stab but only cut through the air. Eyes widened with shock as Cailean was able to sidestep the attack, bringing his fist straight into Torturer's face. He bounced several times off the ground, his jump pack screaming against the surface and melting anything in contact. As he heard the report of the bolt pistol, he quickly sprang to his feet and evaded each incoming shot with ease. "That the best you can do, Librarian?" He mocked.
"Watch me." The Space Marine fired a single shot away from Torturer's trajectory, but the Chaos marine did not know as he veered thinking it would go directly into it. The bolt exploded off of his right shoulder, the demon wailing in agony with thrashing forked tongues and sending white-hot pain into his body. The multi-colored drugs in his armor worked to counter the effects of the bolt shell while strangely increasing his sensitivity to the wound, inducing untold pain and pleasure. Before he hit the ground his hand involuntarily jerked the trigger of the Blastmaster, launching another screaming wave towards the Librarian and landing at his feet, launching the Space Marine quite a distance before landing right into a broken barrier, the thud rattling his bones.
Pain erupted through Cailean's nerves. His feet took the brunt of the attack and he could feel his body already laboring to repair damaged tissue. Both warriors were down, but it was Torturer already in his drugged state charging right back at the hurting Librarian not even a second before he got up. He flew with full force right into Cailean, the loyalist's armor cracking and internal organs bruising, several small blades sticking into his sides. Torturer had a penchant for carrying such weapons to maximize the pain in his enemies and used them librerally. "FEEL THAT, LAPDOG?!?" Cailean didn't respond as blood was muffling his speech. "OH? THEN HOW ABOUT THIS?!?" Grabbing his head and hood, careful enough not to crush either one quite yet, he slammed it into the ground and dragged for a few feet before flinging him into the air. "I AM NOT THROUGH WITH YOU! YOUR PAIN IS SO MUCH PLEASURE TO ME! TO SLAANESH! I MUST HAVE MORE!" Charging his Blastmaster, he sent a wave at the Librarian that wouldn't quite kill, but most certainly hurt, true to his namesake. The wailing tore into the mind of Cailean as he screamed in reply, his armor chipping and shaking. Only his force staff which he had held so tenaciously to channeled his power to form some sort of resistance but it wasn't enough. "YES! YES! SCREAM! MOOOOOOORE!" His words penetrated the mind of Cailean, even if just for a few seconds. "Does it not feel rapturous, lapdog? Does it not make you beg for more?"
Cailean struggled to maintain control over himself as he fell to the ground, spewing debris everywhere upon impact. "I am…I am a psyker under service of the Emperor! I will not succumb to this blasphemy! OUT! OUT I SAY, FOUL HERETIC!" Those in his chapter knew that when truly angered, the Librarian was a force to be reckoned with. Using his staff as support, the servos in his armor whined and struggled to support themselves. The hit with the Blastmaster had damaged his body considerably, but where his body ached his mind flared with rage.
"Oh I don't intend to finish so quickly with you, lapdog."
"It will…it will be me…who will not be done with…with you…so quickly." Energy flared around his staff as he emitted a low humming from deep within his lungs. "I've merely restrained myself, feeling you were unworthy of my full wrath."
Again Torturer cackled under such language. "Oh you are quite humorous for a Librarian I'll give you that. Perhaps I'll make you my personal jester when I'm through flaying your mind. How about that? Eh…Librarian?"
Cailean didn't answer. He closed his eyes and prayed for insight and benediction, concentrating now that the enemy was just talking oh so proudly, the typical flaw in the foolish champions of Chaos. He could feel his anger and his hatred of the heretic flow through his body now, greatly increasing the focus he had on his mind and his powers.
"Well? Have you nothing to say? Are you that paralyzed with fear and stupid with blind loyalty that you cannot grant me the satisfaction of a response?!?"
Cailean kept whispering, cursing Torturer and channeling more power to his staff. He was purposely blocking Torturer out, his enemy unaware that he could no longer communicate with him telepathically, leading him further into deception and eventual frustration.
It seemed to work. Torturer growled in anger and severed the psychic link he believed still connected to Cailean. "Answer me, Librarian! Why will you not answer me?!?" He fired his Blastmaster at him but missed, the growing rage preventing him from taking proper aim. "ANSWER ME, WARP DAMN IT!" Two vials of combat stims injected into Torturer's spine to intensify his fuming towards the loyalist, squirming as they coursed through his black-blooded veins. He felt his body swell with muscular growth and the miasma of pure Chaos course through him. "GNNNNNAHHHH! ANSWER MEEEEEEE!" Screaming at him again with his damaged jump pack he brought back his arms, ready to strike right into Cailean's heart. The demons in his armor salivated for the blood of the Astartes loyalist as they let out a cacophony of unholy hisses and moans. Still, the Epistolary stood there with eyes closed and lips moving with silent prayers. "I WILL TEAR YOUR HEARTS OUT LIBRARIAN! NO ONE IGNORES ME!"
His hand flung itself straight at Cailean's chest again, hell bent on ripping right through the ceramite and playing with his organs. "NO ONE…IGNORES…MEEEEE!"
Torturer's overflow of emotion would cost him the advantage. He fell right into the trap and it was only a split-second after he had seen the psychic miasma emanating from the ground that he realized it.
"FOUL HERETIIIIIIC!" Cailean screamed with all his might as a twist from his staff to the ground released a torrent of energy. Torturer took the merciless wave head on, but eventually the psychic backlash was ripping into his armor and his mind. Demons cried out in pain as several withered and died leaving dried, smoking husks the likes of which set off terrible odors only one such as Torturer could endure. His jump pack fought as best it could, but against such a shock it was for naught and he was flung back about twenty meters or so, skipping off the ground like a flat stone upon water.
Before the traitor Astartes could brace himself, Cailean unleashed another shockwave, this time going even farther and tossing him like a rag doll. "WHORESON OF THE WARP! I AM ASTARTES!" His fury only made the psyhic blast grow even more, forcing Torturer to withstand the full brunt, his armor cracking and a few of his stim vials breaking and its contents pouring all over his armor and face, leaving multitudes of tongues desperate to lap it up. Those demons within the armor who didn't take shelter inside of Torturer were obliterated by the holy psychic blast waves. "I am the Emperor's Angel of Death! I am his sword and his shield, here to exact harsh vengeance for the treachery set upon him those millennia ago! Your crimes are unredeemable, your heresy is unforgivable, your presence in this plane of existence is unallowable!" As Torturer slowly craned his neck up to face Cailean, a fierce left hook met the traitor's face followed by a powerful kick to his side. "FILTH! FILTH IS WHAT YOU ARE! FILTH THAT IF I HAD THE CHOICE, I WOULD NOT WASTE ONE MODICUM OF TIME WIPING YOU FROM EXISTENCE!!! BUT MY DUTY CALLS ME TO DESTROY YOU!"
Torturer, for a slight second, actually trembled under the psychic might of the Imperial Paladin as he lay on the ground. "Great Slaanesh! Who is this Librarian?!? He's….he's unlike the others I've faced! And to think I wouldn't have had to use them, but it looks like it's come to this."
His back slammed against the broken ground as Cailean's boot pressed on his chest plate. Again the energy emanating from the Epistolary was frightening. His eyes glowed with hatred and fury and his body released an aura of unprecedented power. "Well, traitor? Do you have any last words, or would you prefer to be silent and die like the worm you are?"
Torturer snickered devilishly despite the pain coursing through his body. With his hands on the ground, he slowly began to channel warp energy, so slow that even a trained Librarian wouldn't pick it up immediately. Foul senses began to manifest from the ground, hidden from the wrathful Cailean who was too busy focusing on Torturer. Pink and purplish lines of raw Chaos flowed through the ground and started to form shapes.
"What? What are you laughing at?" Cailean started to sense something strange, but his overwhelming hatred of the enemy was all he could focus on.
"Heh…you…and your prideful ways. All you lapdogs are like that. Perhaps if you spent more time being aware of the situation, you'd be able to keep your head on your shoulders."
"Head on my…?" From the corner of his eye he saw a massive claw swipe at his neck. His Quickening was activated and by mere centimeters it missed him and instead cut through the air. He leapt back, off of Torturer, and his eyes widened to see even more foul creatures of the warp.
"My Lord…did he hurt you?" A seductive voice whispered into the ear of Torturer. "Did that foul slave hinder your perfect form?"
"Lord Torturer! We have arrived at your service!" More voices rang out in praise and concern of the Chaos Marine. They were female in nature and possessing a horrific beauty only slaves to the Dark Gods would appreciate. Hisses and moans accompanied them in a sinful rhapsody which was oh so pleasing to Torturer's ears.
"Ahhhhhh…my beautiful retinue. I apologize for disturbing your time in the warp, but I am in need of assistance."
One of them stepped forward, a dark pink monster wearing a mask, and brushed herself against his worn armor. "There is no need to apologize, my Lord." Her scaled tongue licked his face, lapping the blood from the superficial cuts. "We are your humble servants. Tell us who to kill and we shall bathe in their blood."
"Ah such loyalty is music to my ears." The surviving demons in his armor began to lick the bodies of the summoned creatures in places that unleashed a chorus of pleasure-induced groans. Torturer himself groped the chest of two of them causing them to erupt in whooping. His hands aggressively moved themselves toward the lower halves of their bodies while they wrapped their tongues around his face. He shared in their pleasure and he liked it, a brief respite from the fight in service to Slaanesh.
Cailean bit his lip in revulsion. Demonettes…five of them to be precise. They were the graceful and alluring servants of Slaanesh. For an Astartes like himself, he could resist their beguiling charms where normal men would be seduced to their deaths. Some were humanoid in form while others looked more like the snake-men creatures of ancient Terran legend.
"MASTER!" A purplish one, eyes blinded and hands bound, screamed. "Tell us who you want dead! Tell us whose soul will be fed to the Dark Prince! We will humbly oblige!"
Torturer, regaining his composure, turned to the Librarian. "Heh. Very well. Your victim is that Astartes right there, the Librarian called Cailean. Have your fun with him…but remember one thing. His soul is mine to offer to the Pleasure God."
They smiled with fangs and licked their lips. "As you wish, master."
One of them sniffed long and hard like some sort of animal on the hunt. "MMMmmmmmm…this one's a psyker, a powerful one too!"
"His cries will fill me so deep!"
They crept closer and closer like wolves upon lone prey, but this prey was no feeble calf. His eyes flickered with bluish lightning bolts and with defiance he twirled his force staff in bright arcs. "You cannot face me alone so you unleash some warpshit slaves? Pathetic!" The staff spun overhead and then slammed into the ground, the tremor stopping the demonettes' movements. "Very well, come you monsters, come at me with everything you've got!"
Whooping and cheering, the snake-like one led the charge, hissing in foul tongues that hurt Cailean's ears. He could hear Torturer laughing and demanding they maim him and slice him to pieces. He wouldn't grant the whoreson that privilege. With surprising agility it sprung up to pounce upon Cailean. He braced for it but saw another one charging full speed ahead. "Frontal assault, heathens?" A slam from the force staff sent the two flying backwards but suddenly he felt a hard blow to his ribcage as the claw of the favored demonette slammed into him. He grunted under the surprise attack as he dragged his feet into the earth to regain footing. A clawed foot into his midsection prevented that and sent the Librarian on his back. He fended off another attack but the mandible bit into his power armor. He could feel the taint trying to seep in and corrupt his armor, the pain increased with every flinching movement of the demon's hand. He struggled and fought to wrestle the demonette's grip off him and tighter she clinched.
"Struggle! Squirm! It only makes you all the more tasty to consume!" Her toothy smile showed an outright lust for his body and his blood. She cackled as she saw the pain in his face, her eyes revealing the lust despite one being covered with some sort of patch.
Another demonette leapt in and stabbed the Librarian in the thigh, twisting ever so slightly for good measure. Cailean screamed in anger and defiance. Like with Torturer, he wouldn't give these horrors the satisfaction of his pain. He could see their frustrations in not getting what they wanted. He grunted and was desperate to find ground to spring from, but the demonettes were relentless and forcing him to parry blow after blow. In anger, he got his hand free and focused on the first demonette's head. Immediately small bolts of lightning shot from his fingertips and into the monster's face. Her warp flesh cooked and she screamed in pain and agony, her seductive beauty marred by this…this human's audacious move. Her grip released and he guided the force staff back to his hand. Digging into the ground again, his fury sent a shockwave which blew the monsters off him.
"My face! It burns! You…YOU! DIEEEE!" The enraged demonette swiped at his face with her extended blade hand, but her rage deprived her of coordination. He quickly dodged the attack, spun around and readied his bolt pistol.
"Back to the warp for you…" A thunderous boom erupted from his pistol, the clip still holding explosive shells, and her head exploded in a fountain of offal and chaotic energies. The rest of the body crumpled to the ground and dissipated back to the Immaterium.
The rest of them paused for a second, including Torturer. No mortal had ever vanquished one of them so quickly. Curses in tongues foreign to Cailean were uttered at him, but he paid no heed. He stared down the Noise Raptor Marine. "Is that the…best you've…got?" His boasting was partially for masking the pain from that last attack, evident with the bleeding that was already being repaired by Larramann cells and the rest of his implants, the third lung helping his breath but barely. No way would he reveal weakness to such a brutal enemy. "You send these heathen slaves to fight me when you clearly can't do the job yourself?!? Frankly, I'm offended. You call yourself a 'Champion of Chaos?' HA! Don't make me laugh. I don't do that very often."
Torturer smiled on the inside. He was waiting for Cailean to come out of his shell and actually start to get boastful. The loss of his demonette upset him, but she would be back eventually. His laughter transformed from playful to maniacal, echoed intensely by his speakers in his armor. "Good! Good! I like your cocksure attitude now! I've been waiting for that!" The broken jump pack started to reform, the demonic entities living inside melding to make up for the lost ceramite and machinery. It howled something most foul and made Cailean take a step back. Torturer glowed with a sickly purple and hissed at the Librarian. "Now then, let's get to it."
His force staff twirling, he planted his feet down and readied himself. "Let's, heretic."
"ATTACK!" Launching himself into the sky, he witnessed the Librarian repulse to demonettes with relative ease, kicking one away while lopping the snake-like one's arm off with his staff, the monster screaming all the while as he unleashed more psychic lightning onto the creature and killing it, one final stab sealing the deal. That just made Torturer even angrier to lose not one, but two so quickly. Cailean had goaded the beast and the beast is what he'd get. "DEATH FROM ABOVE, LIBRARIAN! HERE I COME!"
Cailean focused his lightning arc to slow Torturer down, but the fury of the Chaos Space Marine was overpowering the sudden defensive maneuver. The ground shook and threw Cailean off his feet. He felt his left boot grasped like a vice grip and saw Torturer spinning him like a child's toy, hooks digging in to give him that leverage while adding white-hot pain into Cailean's nerves. "Where…where did he get this strength! Throne damn it!"
"LET'S HAVE SOME FUN, SLAVE OF THE CORPSE GOD! UP..." He hoisted Cailean up with the help of his jump pack, only to swing him right into a broken pile of wire, "…AND DOWN! UP…" His claws dug into the ceramite and quickly he slammed Cailean onto a box of cultist las-rifles, "…AND DOWN! DOESN'T THIS FEEL GREAT, LAPDOG?!? THE RUSH! THE INTENSITY! CRY OUT IN PAIN, LAPDOG! LET ME HEAR YOUR PAIN!" Another fierce slam to the ground sent Cailean's body into overdrive to deal with the trauma. His Astartes armor could only take so much and with Torturer relying on the warp to keep his foul strength going, Cailean had to tap into another reserve of power. Until he could get the concentration and strength, he was victim to Torturer's relentless attack.
"GNNAHHHHH!" Cailean screamed feeling his insides starting to crack.
"THAT'S IT! CRY OUT TO YOUR FALSE EMPEROR, LAPDOG!" A firm punch to the midsection sent Cailean sliding and bouncing off the ground. The demonettes charged and assaulted him while Torturer laughed. Two restrained him, allowing the Chaos marine to fly straight into him, sending him back about twenty meters only to grab him again and throw him against a rockcrete barrier. Cailean felt the grip on his force staff loosen and let go. He was starting to get woozy from the repeated blows as a demonette spun and kicked him out from underneath, the hard thud jolting his bones. They were laughing at him while plotting what to do next.
In the distance, two spectators happened upon the battle, one of which was foaming at the mouth as the grip of his crozius felt the strain of a firmly squeezing gauntlet. He could barely control his breathing as he saw the Librarian batted around, barely able to fight off the three demonettes and Chaos Space Marine.
"I don't like this, my Lady. I don't like this at all. Why are we not helping him? He is an ally fighting a dastardly heretic! Do we allow this heretic to draw air and feed this Librarian to the wolves? I cannot take this any more. I'm going to help him and…"
An arm stretched itself outwards directly in front of the giant. "You will do no such thing, Chaplain."
She was still dismissive. Of course, being an Inquisitor, she had the liberty to be that way. "But nothing, Chaplain. The Librarian can handle himself. I've run into him before as I have that hideous Torturer."
"Of course, I have heard of your…prickly…relationship with the Imperial Paladin Epistolary." It was no secret that the Inquisitor was a blank, a null, and thus an anathema to most psykers, Cailean included. Their relationship was tenuous mostly on the grounds that they were both servants of the Emperor. The Chaplain enjoyed a better relationship, both Astartes and both carrying the same devotion to the Emperor.
"Indeed. I am as uncomfortable around him as he is me, but nevertheless, the Epistolary is not one to be taken lightly. Even with my null being neutralizing his psychic powers, his combat prowess rivals that of your own oh aged Chaplain. This foul being, this…Torturer…is also one not to be trifled with, but I am confident in the psyker's abilities to win the day." Torturer did indeed have an encounter with the Inquisitor a while back, one she had bristled and shuddered over many a time where he nearly violated her had it not been for the heroic charge of her Astartes Chaplain and his inevitable retreat.
"Well my Lady Inquisitor, forgive my adverse opinion. It seems that the Librarian is having more than enough trouble at the hands of the traitor and his vile demons. I insist that we assist."
She chuckled. "You insist a lot of things and with a heavy air of vitriol towards the enemy you do. Such is the nature of your position amongst the Adeptus Astartes. And although it is very honorable, for now we shall play the role of observer. If this Librarian is to any use of me or the Imperium, I must see how he performs on his own. So stay your hand, Chaplain. Failure to do so just might earn you another time in the corner under my reprimand, understood?"
Despite being almost twice the size of her, the Astartes Chaplain stammered to come out with a proper response as he bowed. "A-as you wish, my Lady Inquisitor."
She stroked his power armor and smiled which brought a fresh breath to him. "I'm glad you understand. For now we watch, but your time against Torturer and the rest of these heretics will come, Moerchen of the Death Spirits."
Inside his skull helmet, he blushed. Rumors had spread of a relationship between the Chaplain and the Lady Inquisitor. Usually those spreading them were subject to a mind wipe courtesy of Lady Tina and her retinue. She smirked smugly knowing psykers such as Cailean had no means to uncover any sort of truth. Moerchen did not deny his special rapport with her and was sometimes the subject of ridicule amongst battle brothers. In the end, he cared not for his duty was service for the Inquisitor. His massive hand brushed her hair, so delicately one could've sworn it was done by the work of one of her cherub familiars. "Indeed, my Lady, we shall watch."
"That's my Chaplain."
Cailean felt the hard shock against his back as another blow came from the demonette, wresting her claw from inside his hip, kicked him square in the chest, freeing her arm. Steaming blood dripped from her claw and into her mouth. She convulsed and writhed in some perverse bliss. He had noted the pinkish one with the mask was the most skilled of the combatants, as if she was Torturer's favorite. He fell to one knee, the staff nowhere in his immediate grasp. Without it, his power couldn't increase itself to nearly the levels he needed. He struggled to lock onto it and when he did, he tragically realized it was nowhere in his immediate area. He had to think fast of how to get to it. He'd have to forgo some of the more advanced psyker fighting styles and draw these demons where he wanted them to be. Torturer was making it not a bit easier with his swooping attacks, the last one bashing him head on and right into that same demonette who had stabbed him. The bleeding in his body would eventually heal, but the pain was slowing him down. His bolt pistol had torn the bound demonette asunder before he found himself in this dilemma, her screams filling the ears of all around only to further enrage and titillate the senses of the other minions of Chaos. Unfortunately his ammunition had nearly run dry and had only one clip left to load into the weapon. He needed his staff and badly. Granted, no Space Marine required a crutch, but it was always good to be superior in one's armament. Bare hands could easily tear a tau or gaunt or traitor cultist to pieces, but against powerful foes he was forced to fight with everything he had. His wounds were getting the best of him and he wouldn't last long.
"S'matter, lapdog?" Torturer mocked from above. "The fight out of you? You seem lost and bewildered, like some helpless animal before the predator. I sort of like this role play. I almost had the same fun with an Inquisitor once, but you Astartes denied me my most basic pleasures then, so consider this payback!" He flung himself at him in such a daring arc that Cailean had little to no time to brace for the impact. It sent him flying across the battlefield once more, the demonettes in hot pursuit of the breaking Librarian.
As he lay there, bloodied and the psychic crystals in his hood starting to crack, he lost all track of where he precisely was. The presence of his staff was nearby, but he couldn't pinpoint it and it ached him to no end. His body was working feverishly to keep him going in the fight but if he didn't act soon he'd be at the mercy or rather lack thereof of these demons. He struggled to get up but was kicked right back down by one of the demonettes. She cackled and grinned with her fangs as if he were a toy to her, or a meal which was more likely. His hands dug into the sandy ground trying to brace himself.
"You look scared, human. I can feel it." The masked demonette hissed to him seductively.
"I fear no monster! Your words are as empty as your purpose of living here on what is the Emperor's holy grounds."
"Ha. You're cute. I like such stubbornness in my prey. Perhaps I'll keep your soul for myself to be my personal plaything. You could also swear allegiance to the Dark Prince and become one of us. Think of it, human warrior. Think of how you could be just like Lord Torturer and have us forever!"
If she thought she'd penetrate the mind of Cailean with these offers she had another thing coming. Normal men would succumb to such beauty and such offers to spare their lives, but not him, not Cailean of the Imperial Paladins. "I already told your master what I'll tell you now. I will never join you, never in a thousand millennia."
She looked disappointed. "So sad. Oh well, finish him off, would you?" Asking the demonette with the more grotesque mask and wretched wings, she took a step back as the other one howled in delight.
"Prepare to feed the gullet of Slaanesh, mortal!" With a feral whoop and a quick pounce, she assaulted the Librarian. He quickly dodged the first few attacks but was struck back by the fourth, forcing him again on his back. The clawed wings on her back elongated and thrust themselves trying to stab him. He grabbed one but had to dodge the other. She twisted for freedom but the longer he could keep her at bay the longer he could concentrate. Finding the right joint, he twisted and pulled as she screamed in pain and delight. "These beings…I still do not understand their elation even when in agony." She fought back all right, but his building anger added to his power. With a final snap and pull, the appendage came right off, spurting ethereal matter across her and the ground as she wailed.
"YOU!" With surreal strength she knocked him off to the side where he struggled to regain his composure.
Cailean's hands vied for purchase in the sands but he couldn't feel anything except for a hard piece of iron. Then from the sands he felt a familiar vibration, one only he could sense. His lips opened to a toothy smile, blood and grit staining his teeth. He felt himself plopped to his back by the enraged demonette who had thrust at him with the other wing and her claws. They scratched his armor some but he dodged the majority of blows. The next one bit into his leg though and he felt himself pinned. "YOU FILTHY LITTLE HUMAN! I will gorge myself upon your entrails!" Her hands morphed into razor-like claws and primed themselves to open Cailean up like a piece of fruit "Are you ready for the end of your miserable slavery, human?"
He dug his left hand in and gripped the object he had smiled about, the demonette completely unaware. "You…you mentioned…entrails before, monster?" She cocked her head to the side. "Well then…I'd worry…about yours…before…"
"WRRRAAAAAAAAGH!" She roared lunging in.
Building up his rage, the energy channeling once more through his body, he rolled to his left and the claws missed him entirely. She turned to lunge at him again but a flash erupted before her eyes. In mere seconds, she felt the cool air flow through her stomach, as if something had opened it. Looking down she saw the Librarian on one knee, and his force staff plunged straight into her innards. He looked up at her and roared back in defiance. "Not today, monster…NOR EVER!" Grabbing her head he funneled his might into his arm and with alarming speed and power ripped the head clean off. A look of shock was the last she could give him as the rest of her body fell to the ground and started to slowly fade away. The other masked demonette shook with awe and revulsion. Torturer cocked an eyebrow, confused as whether to feel elated his opponent was getting some fight back or upset that another of his troupe fell.
Cailean flung the head at the two remaining enemies. It plopped by the foot of the last demonette and looked up at her with sad and surprised eyes. Although she was a creature of the warp where debased and perverse ideals flow like amasec, her fellow kind still meant something to her. Her body swelled with rage. "You filth…you mongrel dog! You have gone long enough killing my sisters! I will finish the job for them, to avenge them and appease my Lord and Slaanesh!"
He just stood there, resting upon his staff, laughing while coughing up a little blood and bile. "You think…you think…that after all that, I'll…be bested…by the likes of you? I'll just…simply give up? Ha." He felt the force staff back in his hands and the energy humming in the crystals of his psychic hood. Power was returning to him once more. The Emperor had smiled upon him and his efforts. He could feel the energy and vitality returning to him.
The demon, fueled by hatred, charged at him with unbound fury. Cailean was ready. His bones ached, his muscles felt tired, and several parts of his body bled, but his spirit would not quit, the indomitable spirit of man spat in the demon's face. He took the first blow laughing, a furious swipe that made a nicely sized gash in his ceramite and tore his tunic. Still mocking the demon, he flared with his bluish aura and sent the creature flying with an uppercut, only to grab her leg and slam her right into the ground. She quickly sprung up and renewed her assault, her demonic body able to withstand such abuse. She swung her leg in a roundhouse kick forcing him to back away. Hearing the jump pack scream towards her, she smiled feverishly knowing her master was to jump in soon and jump in he did. A backhand sent Cailean reeling but he gathered himself in enough time to dodge the stab she attempted. As he passed her, he flung his hand right into her face, backhanding her right into a broken barricade, a rebar impaling her in the stomach. She was stuck there, cursing as she tried to get herself out of it, leaving only Torturer to fight Cailean.
Torturer did not relent in his attack. He readied his Blastmaster and fired a sonic volley to which Cailean barely dodged, the noise ripping everything in its path asunder. With force staff in hand, the Librarian slammed it into the Chaos weapon with all his might, damaging its sound chamber and forcing it out of Torturer's grasp. A right hook then sent the Chaos Marine back a few meters.
"Thought the…fight was fleeting…in me, traitor?!?" He charged forward and swung his staff right into the left side of the traitor, so hard that the impaled Sororitas had been dislodged from his armor, falling straight to the ground. "Did you? HUH?!?"
"RRRRRAAAHHHHH!" Torturer flew straight into him with arms outstretched, aiming to grab hold of him like an eagle on prey. Cailean grabbed them with amazing dexterity and coordination, finally using his Librarian abilities again to time it right. "You whoreson!" Cursing all the while, he advanced even harder with his jump pack, but the Librarian dug his heels in even if he was being pushed back inch by inch, the ground breaking apart beneath his feet. "Why…won't…you just…die?!?"
"Why? WHY?!?" Cailean grew ever more with rage and let loose his fury in a massive psychic blast, the ground literally exploding around him as Torturer was kept in his grasp. "Unlike your blasphemous gods, the Emperor watches over me today! He gives me strength where my body looks broken and he gives me will in a mind exhausted!"
"Slave! Fool! Your Corpse God is nothing but a lie! You could have more, so much more, but instead you waste it on eternal slavery to a rotting 'bastion' of humanity! I didn't want to kill you but I will because of your stupid loyalty to an ungrateful master!"
"Better a 'slave' to the light of humanity than a slave to darkness, where souls are currency and playthings to tyrannical monstrosities!"
The two of them knew they were reaching their limits, Torturer's chaotic aura of black and sickly purple clashing with Cailean's white and blue, tongues of warp fire lashing at each other in an almost apocalyptic battle from the view of a spectator. His demonic tentacles were continuously batted away from Cailean's own powers. No progress was made from either side until Torturer surprisingly let go to Cailean's surprise. With a fierce yell he thrust his forehead straight into Cailean's and the two were flung back from the force. The Librarian was more stunned than Torturer which gave the heretic more than enough time to watch his freed demonette charge at his enemy. Cailean hissed in pain as she dug her claw into his shoulder and attempted to push deeper.
"Well done, my loyal demon! Push in harder! That'll fill you up good and proper!"
She moaned and moaned with his pain bringing her sick pleasure. Closer her face drew to the Librarian, who hissed and spat in her face. The pain in his shoulder was starting to take its toll and he couldn't hold her back forever. When she got close enough, her seductive beauty transformed into a hideous face with her lower jaw unhinging itself, the mask falling right off without hassle. "That face of yours looks delicious, human. You won't mind if I take a bite?"
"You'll have to kill me first, you shit from the warp."
"See now that wasn't very nice…" With a feral hiss she snapped at his face, Cailean having barely any time to dodge it. She twisted her hand inside his shoulder and he gasped in agony. Another snap nearly took his jaw. He released his force staff and punched her in the face. It only stunned her for less than a second. "Some fight in you, I like that! Don't want too tender of meat!" The next bite hit his neck armor and much to his shock she pulled a small chunk of the ceramite right out, spitting it at his face. "Horrible taste! Disgusting!"
"Need a hand, dear?" Torturer inquired. A simple nod was all he got. He ran towards Cailean ready to flank him with knives out. He thought with the demonette blocking the Librarian's sight that he'd be none the wiser. Cailean sensed the tremors from the ground. He couldn't turn himself however with the demon continuously attacking. He knew if he didn't act fast again, he was as good as dead and the mission failed. From the corner of his eye he saw Torturer leaping right at him with his blades. He didn't like it, but he knew what he had to do. Grabbing the demonette's face with one and her back with the other, he pressed her into him as much as possible, throwing her footing off and forcing her hand even more into his arm. He yelled in pain which titillated the senses of both opponents, but it was merely a distraction. He pivoted into Torturer's way and before Torturer knew it, his blade was deep inside the demonette. Her head thrust back in shock and Torturer just stood there in equal surprise, unable to instinctively pull the blade out. Trying to dull the agony as much as possible, he gripped the lower jaw of the monster by the hinges along with her tongue.
"Even…a lapdog…isn't afraid…to sacrifice his body." He muttered to Torturer as the demonette attempted to bite down. He wretched the jaw to the side to save his fingers. Yanking with all his might, he could hear the sinew and bone start to snap and her gurgling screams evidence of. "You will…not have me…as a meal…never…never!" He still yanked as Torturer pulled the blade free. "NEVERRRRR!" With one last pull, the fanged jaw was separated from her mouth and a quick swipe was all he needed to stab the demonette right through the head with it, it's detached tongue flopping wildly as its blank eyes rolled to the back of its head. The last demonette released her grip inside Cailean's shoulder and collapsed to the floor where she finally went back to the ether.
Torturer just watched the last of his retinue vanish before his eyes. This Librarian wasn't like any other he had ever faced. Before he could attack a sharp jab hit him square in the mouth, blood and spittle mixing together in his mask. Stumbling backwards he saw Cailean, still bleeding from his left shoulder, calling for his staff which had moved itself by his will to his hand. "This…this is not good." Still determined to slay the loyalist, he hit Cailean in the wounded shoulder with his thrown blade, forcing another yelp of pain from him but this time only enraging the psyker. A hard swipe from his force staff sent the traitor flying and right into the ground twenty meters away.
Cailean tapped into every last iota of strength he had to leap and stomp right on Torturer's legs, satisfaction written all over his face when he heard the snapping of bone. Torturer didn't cry out though. Things like these happened many times before. However what made him tremble slightly was the ever-powerful presence Cailean exuded. He impulsively flung another knife at Cailean which vaporized under his psychic might. What bothered him even more is how easily he pulled the blade from his shoulders despite his entire body looking broken. Something fueled this Epistolary that he couldn't put his finger on. It disturbed him greatly. Blood leaked through his mask as he laughed at the Librarian. It seemed he had finally met his match…and he loved it.
"What's…what's so funny…heretic? More…trickery?"
"Hheeeeeehhh…no. No more. Just so glad…to finally meet someone…worthy of fighting. Maybe next time…it'll be different, no, lapdog?"
He felt the hard cylinder of Cailean's bolt pistol against his forehead. Apparently the Librarian was through exchanging warrior pleasantries. He finally collected his breath. "There won't be a next time for you, monster."
Torturer's body felt funny, but he knew what it was. It was his ticket out of here. He could see his enemy sense it as well but not as certain. "Ha. I guess you won't get that right now, Cailean of the Imperial Paladins."
"It seems my ride found me. So sad to see a dissatisfied enemy robbed of his prize, but Slaanesh and my comrades call me. Farewell for now, lapdog."
"Like hell you'll leave!" Torturer smacked the bolt pistol away, the report ringing in his ears but the round smacking only dirt. Before Cailean knew it, the heretic had vanished into thin air, leaving only a demonic cackle.
"Until next time…lapdog. Heh heh heh heh…ha ha…HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAA!"
A damn teleporter. Cailean never sensed it. "THRONE! YOU MONSTER! COME BACK FOR THE DEATH YOU DESERVE! COWARDLY HERETIC! THIS ISN'T OVERRRRR! YOU HEAR ME?!? HERETIIIIIIIC!"
Aboard his ship, Torturer was immediately attended to by slaves and traitor Mechanicus. His wounds were rather severe and his legs could barely support him.
"Lord Torturer! We were finally able to track your location away from the False Emperor's lackeys! Are you all right?" A fellow traitor sergeant asked with grave concern.
"I'm…I'm all right. I will heal, in time."
"Your weapons…your trophies!"
"That damned Librarian robbed them from me!" He flicked away the insect-like demons swarming around the ship, squashing some with his hands out of frustration.
"Shall we retaliate? We cannot allow this transgression from a loyalist!"
He belayed that with a flick of his hand. "No. The Librarian known as Cailean is mine alone to slay. The next time we meet, mark my words, by Slaanesh, it will be different. He will know pain and he will succumb to my will. If not, his soul will be the most delicious I've ever had. Mark my words, sergeant."
"Your will be done, Lord Torturer. We shall see you to the medicae immediately."
"Indeed. Now then…fetch me another Blastmaster and set a course towards another world of the False Emperor. I must garner myself some new trophies."
The same Inquisitor turned away with a massive grin on her face.
"So it seems the Librarian won the day. The heretic retreated."
"For now it seems, Chaplain. Torturer will be back for blood, I can guarantee you that."
"He will want that Cailean's head."
"Will we intervene, my Lady?"
"Perhaps. I was impressed with the psyker, despite my distaste for them. I have not forgotten Torturer's transgression against me. We could use this Librarian to our advantage and draw him out. There perhaps I will put my sword into the fight and give this heretic what for."
"Your ambition is what I like to hear, my Lady."
"I knew you'd like it, Moerchen. Come, our ship awaits us. We are done with this world."
Back on the planet, Cailean rested himself with his staff as support. Minutes before he had scooped up the dead Sororitas and given her a proper burial, one she was denied a while ago.
"Rest in peace, sister. I have avenged thee. Go with the Emperor in the afterlife." He looked up to the sky, where the sun was setting and the stars began to emerge themselves. Somewhere amidst those clusters, his enemy was plotting and scheming for revenge. Cailean cursed himself for not pulling the trigger sooner. He was too caught up in the moment, a massive disgrace for one of his kind. His mind had tapped into his reserves and overlooked better judgment. He would not make the same mistake again.
"Heretic…Torturer of the Flawless Host…your days are numbered. You shall not plague any more worlds so long as I have breath in my body. Our fight is not over until one of us stops breathing. Mark my words, you foul traitor, the one who will be left standing is me. The Emperor wills your death, so prepare yourself. I come for you and no power in the Warp will stop me."