Here's a few more chapters. I haven't really proof read it yet, so do forgive any spelling mistakes. Tell me about any other ones you find
“Are you sure about this location Sergeant?” the Lieutenant asked. They had been searching for a missing patrol for an hour now. A missing patrol was nothing out of the ordinary; this was a Death Planet after all. Sometimes they came back hours late, sometimes days, most times never. The Lieutenant was not very happy about the wild goose chase he was now on. He had an invitation to the Princesses Coming of Age ceremony, and had no desire to be late or Emperor forbid, miss it all together. Especially not for some damned missing guardsmen.
“Sir, two hours ago the patrol made communications contact. The communications officer Briggs triangulated their transmission to this area.”
“God damn it Sergeant, this is blasted Mount Sacrifice. There are over ten thousand miles in this quadrant alone, can you be more specific damn you!”
“Aye sir! A minute sir!” the Sergeant barked. He looked at his men, and they looked at him.
Were it not for the blasted Commissar, this LT. might have gone missing, a “victim” of the denizens of Gorthak Prime, Imperial Death World. As the Sergeant liked his brain where it was, thank you very much, he was not about to go getting holes put in it by fragging some pansy noble born LT. out here for his medal of service. This particular Commissar would make Ole Yarrik look like an Eldar doxxy, and he had fought alongside Yarrik, a story he told often. He was rather old for an Imperial Guard Sergeant, having survived much longer than many of his contemporaries.
The sergeant activated his com device and called in their position. In a minute a reply came back confirming the search area, and giving directions to another area.
"Sir, Briggs confirms, patrol alpha's last known position at base of Sacrifice, bearing north by north east, ten miles."
The Lieutenant sighed, which drew him a look of extreme scorn from the Commissar. The L.T. would do well to remember that the Commissar's authority for extrajudicial executions was not waived for the officer ranks.
The sergeant sighed, inwardly though, and wished he was back on Armageddon. Not many men in the Imperium would say that, but for the Sgt. It had been a better time. Contrary to what the men believed, he actually had served under Commissar Yarrik's command during the defense of Hive Armageddon. He remembered cowering in a trench with an army of orks bearing down on them. He had looked up in time to see an enormous Slugga Boy swinging his axe toward his head. He had closed his eyes and waited for the blow to come but it never did. Opening his eyes he looked up into the hardest, bluest eyes he had ever seen.
"Cower in your hole and wait for dishonorable death, or rise and in His glorious name deal righteous punishment against those who would defile your holy Emperor!"
With that, Commissar Yarrik turned and marched, not ran, but marched toward the ork lines, singing a battle hymn to the Emperor, firing with his bolt pistol. Following his lead, the guardsmen, to a man, rallied behind him and assaulted the Ork line. They had won that battle, and under Yarrik's had forced the Ork war host from the planet. Good times that.
He had forgotten where he was, lost in his daydream. On many of the civilized worlds, this wasn't a big deal. But this was a Death Planet, and daydreaming gets a man killed. He didn’t notice the local animals grow silent. He didn’t hear the quiet hiss of something moving against the leaves.. It came as a total and complete shock when the large and jagged dagger shot out the front of his chest. He didn't even scream as he was jerked backwards into the dense foliage of the jungle.
The rest of the patrol was totally oblivious to the danger.
Y’narl silently made his way through the palace and down into the House achieves. He was quite concerned. It was not so much that Kayla had been able to perform the attack routine of the Banshees, but that she had been able to learn it from something. Sure many in the Imperium of Man had witnessed first hand the Banshees in combat, but the way she had used her rage, the psychic output of her scream. This could only have been learned by direct instruction, not by mimicry and immitation.
Moving slowly and silently, he moved into the library. Great towering stacks of shelves laden with books, scrolls, and data crystals lined the walls. It was not so big a room, but it was a daunting enough task, finding out the information he desperately hoped he did not find.
The ancient librarian was absent from the library, a rare event indeed. He was probably with the rest of the Noble Family, preparing for the coming celebration. No the librarian was not there, but the data input-output terminal was. He tapped the screen and read. The terminal was, of course, protected with codes and ciphers. Y’narl chuckled to himself. These Mon-keigh were so very infantile and so very simple. He easily broke through the protection algorithms and accessed the library’s catalog. He spent a few minutes referencing and cross referencing, trying to find out where Kayla could have found the information.
He was beginning to think that she must have found it elsewhere when he came to a highly protected category. Y’narl was a little confused because the category was listed as Xeno Archaeology. Not exactly high profile information he thought, but he set to work breaking the protection. In a mere minute he was in and looking at the sub headings in the listing. He wavered on his feet, his head spinning. This was not possible, not possible at all. The more he read, the more afraid he became. He ran his hand over his blanched face, he had to speak to Eldrad Uthran right away.
The heels of his boots made parallel grooves in the soft loam of the jungle floor as he was dragged backwards into the jungle. The Sergeant flitted in and out of consciousness, his eyes were hazy and he could only make out fuzzy green shapes moving about his vision. He started to lose consciousness again, but was jolted awake by the pain of being lifted up. He screamed as huge green hands drove nails into his hands, nailing him to the wooden pole.
“Sir”, Cpl Briggs asked, “could you come here? I’ve lost contact with search patrol Gamma.”
The Commander of Communications for the Guard garrison in hive Gorthak Prime looked up from the manual he was reading. “What was that Cpl.?”
“Sir, patrol Gamma was on a search vector for guard patrol Alpha, over by Sacrifice Mountain. Sir, their homing beacon just went dark and I can’t raise them on comms.”
“Well, it’s getting dark Cpl, and I’m not losing any more patrols today. Send out an automated drone to their last known position. I’m due to attend the ceremony tonight, so try not to interrupt me.” With that the Commander turned and walked off.
“Must be nice” Briggs muttered under his breath. He input the search vector and launched the drone.
Y’narl raced at breakneck speed through the under hive. At this point he didn’t give much thought to leaving Kayla alone, or to being seen by the residents. There wasn’t really any danger if he was seen. The under hive was just as, if not deadlier than the jungle outside of the hive. Mutants, gangs, and even aliens were common place here.
A thought came to him that made him laugh in spite of his fear and anxiety, since Kayla really could fight like a Banshee, he wasn’t really needed anymore! She could just defend herself.
Running through a tunnel, he leapt over a seemingly bottomless gorge and landed on the other side a good 35 feet, in a roll. Springing to his feet he ran on, zigging and zagging down dark and slimy pipes that once held sewage but now served as hiding places for some of the more horrible of the underhives denizens. He came to a dead end in the pipe and continued, running right through the wall. Passing through the holo wall, he arrived at one of his many “safe houses” he kept throughout the hive.
He sat down in front of a device made of crystal and wraith bone. Placing an ornate headpiece on his brow, he closed his eyes and sent his mind adrift.
“What the hell?” Briggs asked. “Jenkins, get over here, take a look at this.” Pte. Jenkins got up and went over to Briggs. “What the hell do you see here?”
Jenkins watched the view screen, it was the cam-feed from the drone. The camera showed treetops and jungle. The drone bobbed up and down, keeping with the tops of the tree line. Mount Sacrifice loomed in the background. “I don’t see nothing.”
“Keep watching idiot” Briggs exclaimed. On the screen, the drone had neared the search location and had dropped into the jungle. Suddenly, the picture began to spin. Sky and jungle, jungle and sky, all a blur as the drone spun out of control. It hit the ground on it’s side, still broadcasting. Something huge, like a thick green log slammed into the ground in front of the drone. Then the feed went black.
“Anything on the audio?” This came from another guardsman. Hicks was a veteran of many campaigns, all over the galaxy. He was a tall soldier and would have been handsome had it not been for the huge twisted scar tracing a thick white line across his neck. “Play the audio will you?”
“I dunno Hicks, why?” Briggs asked.
“Damnit! Just play the god damned thing!”
Briggs looked at Hicks and thought that he didn’t look so good. Hicks was staring at the frozen screen. The huge green thing was out of focus and fuzzy, it could have been anything. Hicks absently began to rub the scar across his neck. Briggs rewound the feed, and activated the sound.
There was the steady hum of the grav motor on the drone. There was the sound of the wind gusting, and that steady hum. As the drone descended into the jungle, things were quiet. Right before the drone began to tumble there was a deep guttural scream. Briggs figured it must have been damage to the audio recorder, an artifact, but the huge gasp from Hicks made him think otherwise. On the screen the green thing made a low thud as it sunk into the ground in front of the drone, and a low pitch chanting echoed in the background, and then everything went black.
Briggs turned around to ask Hicks what he thought, but the look on his face stopped him mid sentence. Hicks eyes were wide with fear. His hand was clamped to his scarred neck, and he had turned the color of grey snow.
“Call the Commander,” Hicks whispered, “Call the Commander, activate the guns, oh dear god, Emperor save us, activate all the defenses, mobilize the regiment, get the tanks, oh Emperor save us, call everyone OH MY GOD RED ALERT, RED ALERT!”
Hicks slammed his hand down on the “Alert” button, and fell to the ground, dead. Spontanious Cerebral Hemorage, the medic later told Briggs, but Briggs knew differently. Hicks had died of fright.
Kayla was not very happy, not happy at all. This damned ceremony was one thing, but this took things too far. A blank faced service servitor stood in front of her. Hanging from it’s arms was a very frilly, very pink formal dress.
“He’s out of his mind, no, not now, never. By the Emperor’s grace, I will not wear that, get out!”
The servitor left the room and she slammed the door behind it. Her father was going to be furious, but she had her limits, and this was one of them. Kayla’s clothes were utilitarian. How could she kick in that dress, fight, shoot? Sitting down on her bed, she lay back, closed her eyes and let her mind wander.
Y’narl opened his eyes and he stood in the Hall of the Seer Kings back on Ulthwe. He wasn’t really there, but the device back on Gorthak was a psychic projection device used for communication. Eldrad Uthran and Ma’Tayla his father stood before him.
“What news childe, why is it you summon us?” Eldrad Uthran asked.
“My lord, father, I bring the most distressing of news.”
“Go on child, what is this news?” Eldrad asked.
“My charge, Kayla, the Mon-Keigh, I watched her train in combat today, hand to hand.”
“Son”, Ma’Tayla said, “Please, you appear agitated, what is so terrible?”
“She fought using the style and skills of the Banshee, she knew everything, she could even perform the Keen of the Banshee!”
“Hmmm, strange, but not totally impossible. Some of the Mon-Keigh have the potential, even the psychic abilities. But this is not so terrible childe, is this what you disturbed my meditations for?” Eldrad’s voice had taken on a rather hard edge, and his father stared at him sternly.
Y’narl closed his eyes and took a number of deep breaths, steadying and calming his mind and body.
“No lord, by itself it is not. What I believe to be of worry is where this information came from. I accessed a file in the Mon-Keigh database under the heading of Xeno Archeology. It appears that some 30 years ago on the planet, Human scientists uncovered a number of incredably ancient artifacts on the planet. Hundreds of data crystals were recovered, most non functioning, but some containing sensitive information. Eldar information. The artifacts were ours. That is how Kayla was able to learn every detail of the Banshee path. It was in those data crystals.”
Eldrad listened to this without reaction. “This is disturbing news childe. The Mon-Keigh are like babes, they are too irresponsible to understand our ways, too arrogant to heed our warnings, unwilling to listen to our wisdom. You must retrieve our data crystals and prevent their knowledge from being used by any more of the humans.”
“My lord, that is not the extent of the danger. Found in the dig site was a large ornate structure, bearing runes described as being alien in nature. My lord, I have seen this object. It is one of the lost webway gates, a webway gate to Ulthwe.