Black Guard Archives Ch. 01byajax_23©
Dehsod watched as his subjects unloaded the booty from the crippled transport. Slaves bearing boxes and containers of various shapes and sizes made an almost constant stream of bodies through the linked airlocks. He barely noticed them, they were of no more importance than the machinery several of them used to transport those items to heavy for human muscles.
Of more interest were the Space Marines scattered throughout the mass of humanity like diamonds in a coal mine. The Commander of the Black Guard was very proud of his men. They had performed quite admirably on this first combat he had participated in since his Becoming.
It had begun as a simple piracy maneuver. Dehsod’s flagship, The Event Horizon, had chanced upon a colonist transport ship in one of the seldom-used shipping lanes near the Eye of Terror.
Lightly armed and surely full of valuable cargo and passengers, the ship had seemed like nothing more than a bloated sheep waiting to feed a hungry wolf. The obvious course of action in such a situation was to hit the target as hard and fast as possible, loot it, and disappear back into the Eye as fast as possible.
Dehsod, however, had millennia of experience in the practice of piracy, and had become a very canny wolf. Over the protests of his son and second-in-command, Trent, he had launched only enough fighters to destroy the transports few gun turrets and cripple its engines.
His caution proved justified several minutes later as a warship appeared on the edge of the Event’s sensors. Dehsod remembered his pleasure when one of the technicians had informed him that the newcomer belonged to the Burning Sword chapter of Space Marines. He had been half-afraid that he would only have to face a ship full of Imperial Guardsmen, or only the colonists themselves. At least now he would be in combat against foes worthy of his attention.
It was even more satisfying that it was the Burning Swords. Their chapter of Marines had been founded at the same time as his own. They, however, had chosen to remain the lapdogs of the crippled Emperor rather than turning to the glories of Chaos. He hated all of the Imperial Marine chapters, but none so much as those of his Founding. It felt right that destroying some of them would be the first test of his combat skills after becoming a Daemon Prince.
Dehsod had immediately recalled the fighters that had been harassing the colonists. A few of the ship’s gun batteries were still functional and one of its engines was still working, but it was in no shape to escape in the time it would take the Chaos Marines to crush their foes.
The commander of the Burning Swords ship quickly overcame whatever surprise he felt over Dehsod’s evasion of his trap, and he was ready by the time the two ships closed to combat distance.
The ships were evenly matched, and the enemy commander was as good a warship captain as Dehsod was. Had Dehsod allowed the combat to remain a space battle, the outcome would have been as much a result of luck as prowess. The Daemon Prince did something completely unexpected, however. He boarded the enemy ship.
There was nothing so fearsome as boarding an enemy ship. Though both ships were the same model and had begun service with the same layout, they were radically different now. Each had seen more than 2,000 years of use and had been adapted and repaired thousands of times, making their insides radically different. The Burning Swords would have advantage of fighting in familiar territory, while the Black Guard would have only a vague idea of the layout of the ship. It would be something like chasing a snake into it’s lair.
Dehsod depended on two things for his strategy, however. First, he knew that the Black Guard’s abilities in the close combat necessitated by the tight quarters of a starship were matched only by those of the followers of the blood god, Khorne. No Imperial Marines could even come close. Second, followers of Slaanesh fear nothing. The threat of death was nothing but another experience to them. Plus the ship would be much more valuable to him if he captured it rather than being forced to destroy it.
The Commander of the Black Guard had therefore been one of the first marines to board the enemy ship, therefore. He quickly discovered the awesome combat abilities of his new form. His body no longer existed entirely on the physical plane of existence being made up as much of warp energy as flesh. Many of the attacks that hit him passed completely through him without leaving a mark. Those that did actually inflict damage seldom did more than scratch him and the wounds he did suffer healed in a remarkably short time.
His new limbs proved to be exceptionally efficient killing tools. The large chitinous claw on the end of the arm that grew out of his ribcage on the right side cut through durasteel armor as easily as flesh. The large bio-mechanical hammer on the other side cracked that same armor as easily as the bone underneath. The long scorpion-like tail that grew out of the base of his spine was full of a poison that ate human flesh without affecting inorganic matter, leaving his foes nothing more than empty shells of armor. He also reveled in the power of the two weapons Slaanesh had blessed him with. The huge axe cut through armor, flesh and bone without damaging them, but left their victims soulless, lifeless husks. The strange, pitchfork-like spear caused exquisite agony in those it touched, killing its victims from overwhelming shock.
Dehsod wallowed in the orgy of blood and slaughter, exalting in the abilities of this new form. He slaughtered the final squad of enemy Terminators on the ship single handedly. The veterans in their power armor with their heavy weapons proved to be only slightly more of a challenge than their ordinary brethren.
The blood fury did not die with his enemies, however. The Commander returned to his own ship as quickly as possible, and took half of his force after the colonist transport again. After the challenge of the Burning Swords, destroying the small group of Imperial Guards on the ship proved to be anti-climatic, and Dehsod had killed several of the colonists before growing bored.
His Marines had immediately started the looting and debauchery that always followed a successful raid. Dehsod did not join in. The Commander of the Black Guard had not engaged in carnal acts with a woman since the completion of his transformation. It was the longest period of abstinence he had experienced since he was 13. He had never denied himself any pleasure, even then, and since dedicating himself to the God of Sensuality, that trend had only increased. It seemed wrong to waste the first use of his new-found abilities on an ordinary woman. He briefly wondered how hard it would be to track down and capture Jain-Zar. Defiling and breaking the Exarch of the Howling Banshees would undoubtedly prove interesting.
He decided to keep that possibility in mind, but he continued to look for a suitable woman in the meantime. That was why he remained at the airlock, watching as his warriors drug captives kicking and screaming onto The Event Horizon.
If the prisoners had known what was in store for them they would have been paralyzed with fear. The lucky ones would immediately be taken down into the bowels of the ship and killed. Then they would be rendered down to their component parts and used to make exotic drugs and as ingredients in rare delicacies. Most of the rest would be made into slaves and would live a short lifetime laboring away beneath the notice of their Chaos Marine masters. The remaining few would suffer the worst fate. They would become toys for the Black Guard. They would be tortured and defiled in ways that they could not even imagine.
He continued to watch for several minutes, but no promising prospect turned up. There were quite a few beautiful women amongst the colonists, but none with the transcendent quality that Dehsod was looking for.
A little despondent, he returned to his private quarters, to fight his oldest, most dangerous foe, boredom. He found that a banquet had been laid out for him by his servants. The flesh of a hundred beasts from a dozen planets, and exotic fruits from the farthest reaches of the galaxy stretched out before him. Each dish was served on the nude, bound body of a living slave, and a great deal of care was made to make them an intrinsic part of the presentation.
Dehsod ignored them. Several were presented in ways that he had not seen before, which would normally pique his interest, but he was in no mood for such trivialities today. He decided to eat though, more out of boredom than anything else. The cooks had long ago learned to be very creative with their culinary exploits. It had happened about the same time he had killed and eaten some of their peers for serving him boring dishes. Now, his meals ran the gamut of taste sensations, often combined in what most would think were bizarre ways. Frozen sweet treats coated in the hottest peppers to be found in the universe, and wild game covered in so much salt the meat could not be seen were just two of the gourmet delights presented for the Lord of Ydin. Dehsod’s favorite dish, however, was a gooey concoction that had almost no taste, but left a riot of subtle aftertastes in his mouth. He decided to commend and reward the chefs at the first opportunity. After all, good behavior demand reinforcement as much as bad behavior did punishment.
The Daemon Prince ate for a full hour, sometimes shoveling pounds of food into his gullet at a time, sometimes nibbling just enough to get a hint of the flavor. After gorging himself in this manner he collapsed onto one of the ornate cushions that had been custom made for his new physiology. A slight pain in his bloated belly provided a fascinating counterpoint to the contentment he felt over the wonderful meal he had just consumed.
He had just settled down and begun to doze when Trent burst into his chambers followed closely by Sean. Dehsod looked at his two children with a certain swell of pride. Trent had turned out to be one of his most capable, savage, and effective squad commanders. The Black Guard could lay the responsibility for several victories squarely at the feet of his Harvesters. He was also fairly sure that many of the more intricate and dangerous attempts on his life of the last 20 years or so could have been traced back to his son if he had really tried. He knew that his son’s rivals in the chapter never survived long and the mere fact that he was not dead himself spoke eloquently of his abilities. Dehsod did his best to make sure that the Black Guard was a murderous machiavellian maze, and he found that his son navigated it as easily as most people did the halls of their own homes.
If Trent had any weakness, it was his half-sister. He was very protective of the green-haired beauty, though, from what Dehsod could tell, his concern was completely unnecessary. Sean was the only female Space Marine in his chapter, and, as far as he knew, in the universe. The Imperials certainly wouldn’t have allowed a member of the fairer sex to undergo the processes necessary to create a marine, and he was fairly sure that none of the other Chaos chapters would have either. Dehsod himself would not have allowed it, had she not earned the right.
When his daughters reached the age of 16 he normally gave them as presents to his favored followers. Sean had demanded to be allowed to participate in the gladiatorial combat amongst Dehsod’s of age sons, however. The winner would be made into a Marine, the losers died during the contest. Sean had been the last one standing, at the end of the bloody spectacle. She had slain 7 of the 20 other contestants herself, the last one barehanded, though the boy had been armed with a chainsword. Honor had demanded that he allow her to undergo the process that would transform her into a Marine, but he had done it as much out of pride as a sense of duty.
A few of her male counterparts had tried to force their affections on her rather forcefully. She had quickly ended that trend with a few vigorous and rather violent refusals. Trent had taken her into his squad almost immediately, and the two had formed the backbone of the Harvesters. The other members of the squad had a nasty habit of dying, but the two of them had stood together through some of the most dangerous and violent combat the Black Guard had ever seen.
They both made Dehsod proud. They also gave him a headache. Both of them were Noise Marines. They had given themselves so fully to Slaanesh that they had had all of their sensory inputs routed straight to their pleasure centers. The more intense the sensory input, the more pleasure they felt. Dehsod had known Noise Marines to get orgasmic levels of pleasure from a properly played symphony or the screams of a dying person. A side effect of the process made them “leak” psychically. For those tuned into those frequencies, it was like the two of them were constantly singing to themselves at a barely audible level. It was quite distracting and eventually painful for anyone with psychic abilities. The use of psychic powers in the vicinity of Noise Marines transformed the threat from merely annoying to dangerous. A psychic had to open himself up to those around him to utilize his powers and when he did, the psychic cacophony the Noise Marines constantly emitted could easily overwhelm anyone using such a power. At best the person would be to distracted to properly use his ability, at worst his mind could be totally destroyed by the backlash.
Dehsod let both his pride and the psychic pain wash over him as Trent strode haughtily across the room, Sean shadowing him like an impassive wraith.
“I demand recompense, father,” Trent said.
“Recompense for what, Trent?” Dehsod asked wearily. He questioned again the wisdom of giving the boy everything he had wanted as a child. He had come to expect such treatment and had a nasty habit of throwing a fit if he didn’t get everything he wanted.
“Recompense for being left behind on the Burning Swords ship while you took a group off to plunder the colony ship,” Trent replied angrily.
“Why would I give you anything for staying behind? You didn’t partake in any of the combat that took place on the colonist ship, so why do you think you deserve any of the plunder from it?”
“Because I would have fought if I would have had the chance.”
“Would have, could have, should have,” Dehsod said philosophically, “The point, son is that you didn’t, so you get nothing from the transport.”
“But the transport has better loot! It’s not FAIR!” The final word came out as a scream of petulant anger. It was caught and amplified by the miniaturized version of a Doom Siren Trent had had embedded in his throat when he had first become a Noise Marine. The full sized version was easily capable of cracking open the thick durasteel hulls of tanks. The smaller one had no problem with the living table Trent directed his anger toward. The man didn’t even have a chance to scream before the sonic vibrations shattered his bones and set up harmonic vibrations that caused him to explode from the inside out. In the mess left over, it was impossible to tell what had been a person and what had been food. Dehsod wondered briefly what it would taste like. One of the other slaves screamed. She must have been new.
“Are you finished?” he calmly asked Trent. His son sulked silently so Dehsod took that as and affirmative answer.
“You have an entire warship to plunder. There should be plenty of ammo, weapons, and armor for you to trade for whatever you want from the other ship,” he explained reasonably.
“I shouldn’t have to trade for it! I should be able to claim it as my own!”
“Shut up! Trade for it, steal it, kill for it, I don’t care. You’ve been on enough of these raids to know how these things work. It’s first come first serve. If someone else has something you want, figure out a way of getting it from them.”
Trent’s eyes narrowed dangerously for several seconds. Then he shrugged and smiled, “As you say, milord. I’m sure things will work out in the end. Everyone will get what they deserve.”
The statement had a hint of threat in it, but Dehsod chose to ignore it for the moment. Perhaps it would lead to some entertainment later.
“Well, now that that is settled, why don’t the two of you enjoy some of this wonderful food?” he offered.
“Thank you father, I believe we will,” Trent responded politely.
Dehsod watched as the two of them moved over to the buffet and began to pick through it delicately. He knew that he would have more trouble out of Trent. He smiled. He couldn’t wait.
His children were still eating when a Marine pushed through the gem-encrusted doors into his room. Dehsod paid him little mind, he was nothing more than one of the minor soldiers in his Chapter, and he had shown little promise of climbing the ranks. Of far more interest to the Lord of Ydin was the woman he led on a golden leash.
The first thing he noticed about her was that she was surprisingly tall. As a general rule, Space Marines dwarfed any normal humans they came into contact with. The smallest of them were seldom less than 6 ½ feet tall, and many of them pushed 8 feet in height. But this woman was less than a foot shorter than her captor. Dehsod imagined that she was at least 6’ tall. Her height was enhanced by the ornately styled hair piled on her head, and the amazingly high, thin heels on her shoes. Dehsod was slightly amazed that she had managed to keep her hair styled and her shoes unbroken in the middle of the combat that had just occurred.
The face under that hair was one of the most exquisite he had every seen. It had an air of pure clean wholesomeness. Every feature was of the finest shape and most perfect proportion. She had a mischievous curve to her mouth and a sensual, knowing look in her eyes that said the mind behind those features was anything but pure, clean, or wholesome.
She was wearing a plain, tan dress that covered her from chin to floor. Most of the women he had seen taken from the transport had been wearing similar garments. He assumed that the colonists had been one of the numerous sects of religious fanatics who believed that woman’s flesh was sinful and that merely looking at it would cause impure thoughts. Dehsod knew the truth. All flesh contained sin, but sin was the only thing that made existence worthwhile.
This woman had clearly outsmarted her fellow travelers. The dress undoubtedly met the rather strict requirements of what parts of her body could be exposed and those that could not. It was also cut in such a manner and made of a material that hugged every curve and line of her body as closely as a desperate lover. It left almost nothing to the imagination, but allowed the imagination to run rampant. The fabric was only a couple of shades different from the vibrant golden shade of the woman’s skin, and gave the first impression that she was entirely nude. He wondered how she had managed to get away with wearing such an outfit on a ship full of men who believed her body was sinful.
He wondered a dozen things about this exquisite creature, but perhaps the most prominent question in his mind was: why isn’t she afraid? Her hands were bound behind her back and she was being led on a leash. She was almost as helpless as possible, and under the power of a group of men who had proven that they had no respect for any life or dignity less than an hour past. However, she seemed completely unafraid. The only emotion he could read on her face was a certain expectant interest.
“Milord,” the Marine was speaking. Dehsod fought down a bit of irritation that the man was daring to interrupt his contemplation of this exquisite creature.
“I have brought this woman as a gift for you,” the Marine continued.