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Approx 1800 words

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Copyright 2015   SJ

The Rise of Chaos:

Erebus Entry... Khârn  


written by  SJ




    The scientists had built themselves quite a substantial complex inside the lowermost cavern underneath the Kepet Mine. It had a main storage area (the place where the scientists had hidden until they were rescued), plus several small specimen rooms, a small lunch/rec room, bathrooms, and two laboratories. Further on, there was a hallway that led to a big room, which was actually four ready rooms in one; those each led off to the caverns they were studying. From one of those ready rooms, there was a passageway that lead to another ready room, which was next to the ready room that led into the caverns that went to the last ready room that led into the mine itself.
    Yarrick had two teams organized for entry into the mine via the emergency exit, both teams made up from his special Mercenary Guard. Each team also had a CCS (close-combat-specialist) officer attached, recently flown in from Corporate, experts with power swords and plasma pistols, each wearing Tau force shields, and equipped with demo charges and grenades. In corporate society, they were sometimes also know as Priests because of their motivational speaking capabilities.
    His initial team, the one he had sent down to knock out the two Chaos Rhinos, was lead by Master Sergeant Hampton, a Tau/Terran, leading four other mercenaries. Since three of those had gotten wounded, Yarrick replaced them by bringing down the leader of the Mercenary Guard, Commissar Gabriel Shaw, plus three more Mercenaries. The first team was led by Shaw, with Staff Sergeant Ramsey and Officer Scott (CCS). The second team was led by Hampton, with Sergeant First Class Shelby (the remaining survivor of the initial team), Staff Sergeant McGee, and Officer Mitchell (CCS). Seeing that the first team had only three members, Yarrick decided to join the squad personally, bringing it up to four.
    All the members of Shaw’s Mercenaries wore carapace armor, plus were armed with master crafted weapons of different types, sniper rifles, plasma guns, and shotguns; McGee had a storm bolter, Ramsey had a Stalker-style boltgun with extended barrel, silencer, and scope. Yarrick had an over-under, twin-linked, novapistol and a Tau force shield.
    After a brief motivational speech by the two Priests, the teams entered the emergency exit shaft, then proceeded on to the storage area. A little further on, they spotted five Chaos Marines, all wearing Khorne battle suits, one of them very elaborate, making them think he was Nehemiah himself. The Chaos Marines fired their bolt pistols then retreated. Yarrick called Captain Davis to report the incident and to bring him up to speed on his location. Afterwards, he proceeded onward, being a little more wary since Davis had said he hadn’t encountered any Tzeentch Chaos Marines, something that made him suspect they might be headed his way.
    The Khorne Marines stayed well ahead of Yarrick’s two teams, which advanced slowly, prepared for the Tzeentch Chaos Marines every step of the way, setting several ambushes, waiting, then continuing on. However, no Tzeentch Chaos Marines ever appeared.
    Eventually, the teams prepared to make their way down the hallway to the large ready room complex. That’s when Shaw announced he had picked up a large, WARP, pulse located somewhere ahead. At the same time, they were fired on by bolt pistols, all coming from the ready room complex. The two teams quickly backed off and took cover, hoping the Khorne Marines would come to them.
    Minutes passed as the bolt pistol fire subsided and stopped. Shaw and many of his squad members continued to observe the Khorne Marines using their sniper scopes. Then there was a large explosion that came from further on, past the hallway and ready room complex someplace. The ground shook violently and broke windows. When the snipers realigned their scopes, they caught a glimpse of the Khorne Marines retreating.
    Once they had maneuvered their way to the now empty ready room complex, they took cover and observed the passageway that led to the next two ready rooms, a cavern with a wide, heavy-metal, grate on the floor, like a bridge, seventy-five meters in distance, twenty-five meters wide. It was from that location that Shaw said he had picked up the WARP pulse, but it wasn’t there anymore.
    The passageway was dark, and it was still filled with dust and smoke from the previous explosion. Once the teams were situated, they spotted Khorne Marines moving toward them in the smoke. That’s when Shaw made the prudent decision to leave the ready room complex and set up a defense further back, were they were before, facing the hallway, which they did quickly and efficiently.

    There they waited...
    They spotted the Khorne Marines making their way through the ready room complex, then counted ten of them as they began charging toward them, firing their bolt pistols and waving their black-bladed axes manically. The two teams cut down six of the Marines by the time they were almost to their position, the last four being given what they apparently wanted, melee combat by Officers Scott and Mitchell, who took them down in an expert display of martial arts using their power blades.
    Afterwards, in the distance, inside the ready room complex, they spotted two more Khorne Marines and Nehemiah, who immediately retreated. When it looked like Officers Scott and Mitchell were giving chase, the teams followed them.
    As they entered the ready room complex again, it seemed obvious the CCS Officers were hoping to encounter the remaining Khorne Marines, eager to take on Nehemiah himself, the thrill of their current victory motivating them onward.
    The passageway to the next ready room, across the rock-covered metal grating was mostly clear of dust and smoke now. It was obvious Scott and Mitchell wanted to proceed, but logic dictated they wait, which turned out to be a good thing as they began taking bolt and plasma pistol fire. It was apparent now, Nehemiah was armed with a plasma pistol. But, there was another person in the ready room with them, unseen. Once the team had taken cover, the firing stopped, only to be replaced by the subtle sound of chanting; the only word they heard clearly was, Khârn...Khârn...Khârn.
    Once the chanting stopped, the Khorne Marines and Nehemiah began firing again. Only this time, Yarrick’s team was ready, or rather, Master Sergeant Hampton was ready. He had concealed himself in such as way that he was further back in the ready room complex with his scoped Tau rail rifle ready. He fired once, and shot Nehemiah through the head. Subsequent shots, killed the last two Khorne Marines and the firing stopped, something that prompted Scott and Mitchell to make a quick advance. If there was only one Khorne Marine left, he never showed himself, an action that seemed to show he wanted to fight in melee...or, at least, so the two CCS Officers assumed.
    The room the last Khorne Marine was in was actually a small cavern, built up like a ready room with a wall, window, and door facing outward. The rest of Yarrick’s team followed the Officers cautiously. In Yarrick’s mind, what the two CCS Officers were doing was a little on the foolish side; but, he didn’t order them back.
    The remaining Khorne Marine seemed a little shorter than the others, but his battle suit was a lot more elaborate. He had two flat, rectangular, designs attached to each side of his helmet, except at the top, where they curved inward like horns would, but still remained flat. His battle suit was basically the same color as the regular Khorne Marines, a dark, muddy-red. There were skull emblems on the suit's knees, waist, and on each side of the helmet. He had a large shoulder pad on the right side of his armor ONLY...and was armed with a heavy, curved, broadsword in one hand, and a plasma pistol in the other, very possibly the same one Nehemiah had used.
    When the two Officers entered, they spotted the plasma pistol in the Khorne Marine’s hand. As they looked at him, they guessed this was the Khârn the others were chanting.
    Khârn looked at the two CCS Officers, seeing both armed with power blades; after a short pause, he dropped the plasma pistol, then set someone preparing for a duel.
    The two Officers then rushed in to do battle. They had practice together many times, experts at close combat. As Shaw’s Mercenaries came to watch, they saw a sight they couldn’t believe:
    The two CCS Officers eagerly charged in to engage Khârn, but their weapons found no place to strike, their enemy quick to dodge every blow, every move. When Khârn counterattacked, Scott lost part of his lower leg, then his blade arm. As he fell, Khârn blocked a blow from Mitchell then finished off Scott, hacking him down though his shoulder and into his body, only to spin and block another blow from Mitchell. As Scott lay in a pool of his own blood, the fight continued with Mitchell alone.
    It was like Khârn was enjoying the fight, dodging, blocking, then striking Mitchell with wounding blows only, toying with him...then, with a blinding quick slash, he cut off his head, the body part flying out of the ready room window to land in front of Shaw and the others watching, incredulous looks on their faces, mouths open, as Khârn stood waiting for another opponent.
    Then Shaw spotted Scott on the ground, barely alive, as he set the timer on his demo charges. The Commissar only had one command as he shouted, “RUN!!!!”
    By the time the two teams were a little more than halfway to the ready room complex, an explosion knocked them all off their feet as rocks and debris fell from the cavern ceiling. Once the grating stopped shaking, they got up to find they were spared any of the larger falling rocks since most of them had fallen during the first explosion. When Yarrick and his team, a few with minor injuries, walked back to where Khârn had been, the whole place had caved in, no man, or even superhuman Khorne Marine could’ve survived it. It would take days to excavate any remains.
    Yarrick took a deep breath and sighed. He in no way ordered those CCS Officers to rush in and attack Khârn. He couldn’t believe what he saw, how they were both so easily defeated. But, either way, he knew he was going to catch hell from Corporate for the loss.



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