(Well due to popular demand and the fact I'm on a night shift I thought I would follow up my earlier post with a short continuation to the Return!!! My apologies for the quality I'm tired and not an author by trade. So are you sitting comfortably now lets begin.)
Brother Corbulo sat in the ruined Chapel he knelt in front of the broken effigy of the emperor pleading for answers... for forgiveness. How could he the Sanguinary High Priest of the Blood Angels allow such events to occur. Even now a day later the events of yesterday played through his mind, first the escape of the Death Company during the training exercise, the subsequent rending of the Ultramarine Tactical Squad and then the escalation into a full conflict. Unable to calm Cassius's anger and answer his questions he had no choice but to fight. No choice...the secret had to be kept!! If the knowledge of the red thirst and black rage became known they would be subject to exterminartus, hunted down like animals, them and their successors, all those centuries of fighting for the glory of the Emperor and the Imperium would count for nothing.
Still he knelt he pleaded to the silent emperor for help.....but all he got was the sound of dripping water and a cold breeze. Corbulo knew in his heart they were tainted but it was the fight against that taint that made them stronger, more noble. Still he knew he had failed. He knew... because as he watched the life flow out of Cassius's eye on the plain yesterday, as he watched them all fall down, all the tanks explode and all the blood flow. He knew then at that exact moment he had failed.. he knew because, he had enjoyed it all too much....
The Razorback Cicero stopped at the edge of the forest and cut the power to the Lucifer engines. The silence was deafening the only noise was the Heavy Bolters as turned slowly on their greased runners. The auto visor showed the faded infrared tracks left by the marine, the tracks led into the forest and Corvus would be risking fatal damage to Cicero in that kind of terrain. Not without dozerblades anyway. Corvus was silent he could feel the squads anticipation behind him, the slight shuffle in there seats. Four of the squad had served together since Armageddon the only new addition was Pullo. Pullo had been promoted from the devestator squads to replace Yanis who had succumbed just before planet fall. The squad knew how he and each other thought after 10 years and countless deployment they could almost second guess Corvus's next order. Still he made them wait for it. "Deploy squad, scout pattern, keep the channel open and call if you find anything, he's out there remember!"
"He's here I can smell him." whispered Corvus on the secure channel. All five members in the combat squad fanned out switching to a standard scout pattern. Each one checked his Holy Boltgun and religiously chambered the first round. The forest glowed silver and the frost sparkled like diamonds. The animals were silent they sensed something was different in the forest not natural and as a result didn't want to draw attention to themselves. Corvus knew he was here, he could smell his fear, taste his sweat and blood even through the air filters of his helmet. The squad had followed the marine as he ran from the battlefield. The emperors finest indeed. Corvus had to suppress a shrug, still he still couldn't understand how easily they had crushed them. They were the Ultramarines Fourth Company strict followers of the Codex Astartes the best of the best, like themselves one of the first chapters founded by the Emperor most holy himself. He knew the marine they were chasing was only young maybe a century or so not much more, but to RUN! Such a thing was as an alien concept to him.
"Tracks Sir! 20 meters leading north, Mk5 armour slight drag on the left side indicates a high level of fatigue." Pullo spoke in a thoughtful tone as he always did and casually raised his hand in front of his face rubbing the dirt between his fingers. "These tracks are fresh no more than 10 units old no sign of new frost. We have him!"
"Beware Pullo, be confident in yourself but never doubt you enemy till he is dealt with, overconfidence is a sin that only the emperor can forgive. Now lets hunt him down and finish this sorry affair. Switch to non verbal delta-one search and destroy." Corvus acknowledged the signals from his auto senses and watches as his brother marines slip into the search and destroy role so often practiced. Though Pullo was new he had seen the tracks that the point marine had missed, Corvus made a mental note to arrange Brother Simeon a period of prayer and meditation on the rituals of tracking though he knew Simeon would punish himself enough. The squad moved out as silently as they had arrived. The only sign of there passing was black footprints in the silver frost.
Corvus knew they had to finish this but only the Emperor knew if they would be forgiven.....
(Feel free to comment below subject to demand I will continue.)