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Sanctus Ordo Imperator Angelus

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:26 pm
by ThePatriot
Part I

In the 39th millennium, Alyssa Lisken was a member of the Order of Serenity stationed on Renair IV, in the city of Arc d’Imperialis, near the Eye of Terror. Being part of the Orders Hospitaller she enjoyed her position as a nurse healing sick and wounded people. She felt that it was her duty and privilege to help those less fortunate then her and to provide a shining example of what faith in the Emperor can do for a person. Her daily life centered on the hospital where she worked and brought joy to those around her, especially her patients. Many of the Imperial Guardsmen, civilians, and politicians were thankful that it was her that looked after them and could never express their gratitude enough.

Captain Fulnir Gritz scanned the holo-display looking at the sector maps for worlds near the Eye of Terror trying to find the perfect target to hit with his Marines. The target must fulfill the requirements that his Chaos masters demanded of him. The holo-display flashed up the information on Renair IV and he saw that it was the perfect target. He ordered his ship to make way for Renair IV and he prepped his company for the impending battle to be followed by the orgy of death and destruction for victory. Daemonhood was coming soon for Gritz and he smiled evilly at the thought. He sat back contemplating the future…

The Word Bearer’s battle barge Dark Descent entered Renair’s system and proceeded to do a fast burn towards their target. Chaos space marines entered their drop pods ready to hand out damnation to those who stood in their way. Each marine was lost in thought as they readied their weapons after sitting down into the drop pod’s chairs. Various mutations scarred their ancient armor, weapons, and equipment to show the universe how the Chaos Gods had blessed them for their long service. Renair IV would mark another battle and another world laid waste to honor their Gods.

Sister Alyssa was at the hospital working in her usual ward when the emergency claxons sounded throughout the city. She took a moment and thought about the implications of what that sound meant. Looking around the ward she could see the fear on the faces on her wounded charges as they all knew what that sound meant. Sister Alyssa moved into the center of the room and pulled out her book containing the scriptures of the Emperor. With a calm and collected look on her face she knelt on the floor reading a passage from the well worn book. “And in their darkest despair the light of the Emperor will bless them and protect them from harm,” she read aloud to her patients. She prayed to the Emperor for protection and guidance knowing that none of the Sisters in the hospital were armed. As she said the final words to the prayers she heard the loud booms of drop pods entering the atmosphere. Quickly she looked out the window and saw the drop pods entering the atmosphere leaving a trail of smoke behind them. She looked at her other Sisters and smiled to them trying to keep up an air of calm for the wounded.

The first drop pods hit the surface with a load crash causing massive damage as they landed on buildings. Captain Gritz quickly hit the hatch opening and leapt out of the drop pod. He saw the pathetic human scum running for their lives and he howled a blood chilling roar that chased the people. He raised up his arm bringing the bolt pistol up and fired rapidly at the receding humans. People fell as the bolter rounds hit their mark. As they fell Gritz counted off more souls for the Gods and kept the twisted smile on his face. ‘This world was easy pickings,’ he thought to himself. He quickly ordered his marines and their chaos spawn to order arms before charging off to the hospital. The Word Bearers marched through the streets slaughtering all that stood in their way of the object of their desire…

Firefights erupted in the streets as the Arbiters were hard pressed to deal with the Word Bearers onslaught. Lacking the massive firepower of the Imperial Guard the Arbiters were routed quickly. During the flight for their lives the Arbiters were cut down wholesale by the corrupt space marines. Sister Alyssa saw columns of smoke reach up to the sky like a woman raising her arms in supplication for respite. She heard the sounds of battle approach closer minute by minute complimented in the cacophony of screams from the dying and tortured. Her ears picked up the sounds of sobbing from her wounded charges and her forehead creased in worry for a split second. Resolved she went from patient to patient praying with them and soothing their fears bringing calm to the ward.

Captain Gritz charged the front doors of the hospital and threw a krak grenade that landed at the sealed doors. A massive explosion ripped through the doors and shook the building with a shockwave. The Arbiters inside were stunned long enough for the marines to breach the opening and saw to it that the Arbiters had a very painful death. “Death to those who follow the false Emperor,” Chaplain Darius screamed and the marines cheered. The Word Bearers went floor to floor of the hospital killing off all resistance. Gritz took pleasure in violating the Sisters in ways no human could sanely imagine.

Alyssa felt the heat and power go out in the building which startled the wounded. She could feel the passing of her Sisters on other floors as they died. She handed out medications to her patients to quiet them and to ease their pain when a wall exploded. She was thrown to the floor from the blast, but quickly got back up. Standing in the breach was Captain Gritz wearing his terminator armor smiling like a madman. Her fellow Sisters were quickly subdued by the marines that flowed into the room from all directions. She felt the cold, perverse touch of steel on her arms as she was hauled to her feet to dangle in front of the captain.

“How dare you defile this place with you corrupt flesh,” she screamed at the chaos marines.

“Silence heretic,” Chaplain Darius shot back followed by a fist to her mouth.

Blood poured from the wound and she glared at the chaplain. The Word Bearers hauled their human cargo towards their final objective… the most holy of sites on the planet. Renair IV is home to a unique shrine in that in the 36th millennium the Emperor’s visage appeared to several Sisters from the Order of the Ebon Chalice strengthening their defense against a Chaos onslaught and protected them from harm. The Emperor’s Visage Holy Shrine has been maintained by the Sisters Hospitaller of the Order of Serenity since they were stationed on the planet.

The procession of the doomed stretched in the darkening gloom towards the horizon. Among the doomed walked Sister Alyssa, her charges, and her other sisters with prayers silently done to prevent any harm being done. Chaos spawn tormented the unlucky souls as they marched in this hell made real. As they marched the Imperial Guard launched an assault against the Chaos lines. A Chaos Marine and his squad charged their lines to prevent their precious cargo from being damaged. Bolter rounds, lascannon shots, and hellfire rounds impacted near them. The air shimmered around the sergeant and a bloodthirster came into being tearing apart the husk of the Chaos marine.

The bloodthirster continued the charge towards the Imperial Guard lines like a wave crashing over a rocky beach. The two lines of combatants became confused and entangled with flashing steel and weapons fire cascading around them. The Imperial Guard summoned their courage, but like the rocks on the beach they broke and fled. The bloodthirster drank in the souls of the doomed crushing all opposition before it. Gritz looked over at the skirmish and touched the Dark Blade lovingly. ‘Soon I’ll be rewarded for my service,” he thought.

The procession finally reached the most holy shrine and the Chaos force secured the site. A battle had been fought here earlier Sister Alyssa could see from the fresh stains of blood on the marble and shell casings underfoot. The Sisters protecting the shrine were slaughtered before the numerically superior forces. She uttered a prayer for their souls to reach the safety of the Emperor and continued with her prayers while she fingered her rosary with her eyes closed.

Chaplain Darius ordered his chaos minions to assemble St. John’s crosses in the center of the shrine’s central building. Sitting in the center of the shrine was a large one room building that protected the site of where the Emperor’s visage was seen. Darius, Gritz, and Gritz’s terminator squad were inside ready for the ritual to begin. The hours stretched on and the screams of the tortured carried on the wind mixed with the cries of despair. Every so often Darius’s voice could be heard coming from the central building.

Sister Alyssa and her Sisters were being lead into the building. Their time had come. Never glancing around Sister Alyssa felt her hands being tied to one of the crosses. The cold metal felt slick and she could tell it was blood. For the first time she glanced around and saw that her sisters were also being tied up with their patients being readied for sacrifice. Captain Gritz pulled out his daemon knife and slowly eviscerated a Sister alive with her screams echoing throughout the room; penetrating Alyssa’s soul with a chill. She began her prayers to the Emperor anew, but was silenced when Darius slammed his fist into her mouth. She winced at the shock of pain and continued with her prayers.

“Curse you damnable woman and curses to that fool of an Emperor that you love.”

“It is not I who is cursed” Alyssa sadly said.

"We shall see." he slurred, before leaning close, inhaling deeply of her scent and noisily licking her cheek, leaving a trail of saliva. All the while Alyssa continued her prayers, so quietly as to be unintelligible.

"We won't sacrifice this one. It will be the Captain's pet," Darius promised.

"I am only His, and no others. Salvation comes, you shall be saved." said Alyssa cryptically.

Alyssa increased the volume of her prayers, eyes closed, ignoring the warnings of the Chaplain until suddenly she fell silent. A moment later she opened her eyes and looked quizzically at her bindings. The bindings on her wrists and ankles shattered, leaving blood running freely. Alyssa looked gently at the Chaplain and smiled. "The hand that giveth, taketh away." she whispered before striking Darius with all her might.

The Chaplain stumbled backwards, stunned by the blow. The sister had struck him squarely in the jaw, breaking it cleanly. Gritz, who had come to see what the commotion was all about wondered at the strength of the woman, to break a Space Marines jaw with a single hit, before driving his blade deep into her chest. The blade flashed white in an instant, causing Gritz to lose his grip and scorching his hand even through his armored glove.

Alyssa fell to the floor, lifeless.

Gritz bent down to retrieve the weapon, but the metal smoked and seared the gauntlet covering his hand. Electricity arced up from the handle hitting his hand throwing him back in severe pain. Suddenly a shaft of golden light appeared piercing the overcast sky and the roof covering the room. It covered Alyssa’s form bathing her in a gentle wave. Gritz and the marines tried to see into the light only to be blinded by it. Wings grew from Alyssa’s shoulders accompanied by the sounds of cherubs and doves. The wings fluttered and lifted Alyssa’s inert form off the floor. A chilled breath whispered forth from her lips and her eyes flashed open. Her bright blue eyes were afire with vengeance. Slowly she stretched her limbs lazily in defiance of Gritz and his men. Calmly she reached down and pulled out the dark blade from her stomach. As the blade felt contact with the air flames erupted bathing the room with divine fire.

She smiled at Gritz and Darius knowing that their doom was at hand. The marines broke and ran before her divine presence. Gritz muttered in disbelief and opened fire trying to kill the patients in defiance to her. The bolter rounds hit an invisible wall after leaving the barrel dropping to the floor inert. Gritz growled in disbelief and ran from the room. Darius still stunned from her prior onslaught felt the flaming blade enter his mouth. “You will never speak in defiance of the Emperor again,” a cherub sang as the sword cut his tongue out. His eyes blinked in horror closing for a final time as Alyssa took his head off with the sword.

She looked around the room and saw the destruction the Word Bearers wreaked. Passing by each bed as she headed out of the room the wounded were healed. They picked up the weapons the marines dropped and followed after her. “Doom, death, and retribution are at hand traitor children of the Emperor. Ye shall know fear,” the cherubs’ voices raised in song.

Alyssa charged every chaos minion she saw killing them where they stood with the divine sword. Gritz called for an evac and hoped that the infernal Gods hadn’t deserted him. A thunderhawk gunship came screaming into the atmosphere and Alyssa felt its presence. She tried to break out of the throngs of Chaos spawn to get to Gritz, but for every spawn she cut down three more took its place. The thunderhawk hovers throwing clouds of dust and debris everywhere. Gritz leapt onboard and ordered it to break atmosphere.

Alyssa turned her attention back to the throngs of chaos and cut a swathe of destruction through them. Eventually, the forces of chaos were broken and they were routed out of the city. Renair IV was saved from Chaos for now…

Arbites troopers regained control of the city and quickly re-established law and order. Alyssa floated on top of the tallest building watching the events unfold in silent contemplation of the day’s events. Construction crews worked hard to clear the rubble and start rebuilding the city. Peace and calm eddied around and through the buildings only to be shattered by the sounds of construction. The people thronged to the cathedral and gave thanks to the Emperor for His divine protection.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:27 pm
by ThePatriot
Part II

A tall dark haired man wearing a brown cloak stood in the halls of the Synod on Ophelia IV watching the servitors and clergy go about their daily business. The day had not yet reached its fourth hour after sunrise while he waited patiently to be summoned into the grand chamber. His fingers worked the Imperial rosary as he contemplated why he was summoned from his purity sweep of the Administorum.

“Lord Inquisitor Micah, the Cardinals will see you now,” a servitor hummed monotonically.

He gathered himself and followed the servitor into the grand hall. He was awestruck at the grandeur and vastness of the hall. Before him was a short flight of steps that ended at a raised dais and a lectern in the center. He set his Imperial Creed down on the top of the lectern and looked around the chamber for the first time as he adjusted his glasses. Cardinals and their entourage from all over the Imperium sat looking at him intently from the booths that lined the walls of the chamber. Ahead of him sat the Arch Bishop of Ophelia behind a large desk filled with papers and books. Below the Arch Bishop sat a servitor before a transcriber who waited patiently for the proceedings to begin.

“Lord Inquisitor Micah, the Ecclesiarchy humbly requests your services in investigating strange reports emanating from Renair IV,” the Arch Bishop asked meekly.

“What are in these reports that concern the Inquisition,” Micah questioned calmly.

“The reports talk about the arrival of a living saint during the recent attack upon the planet by the forces of Chaos.”

“I see and you wish for me to investigate the validity of these claims. What methods do you wish for me to employ to prove these reports to be true?”

“The methods would be decided when you return with this so-called living saint. The Ecclesiarchy requests that the interrogation of this woman to be done here in this chamber.”

“Very well, I shall go to Renair IV and bring the woman back for questioning, but first I would like to know her name,” Micah stated firmly.

“Sister Alyssa Lisken of the Order of Serenity,” the Arch Bishop blurted out with sweat pouring from his brow.

Micah noticed that the servitor was silent and unmoving. The proceedings were off the record to give the Ecclesiarchy an excuse if things do not go as they had planned. He noticed a distinct sense of fear and nervousness coming from the Bishop and filed the information away in his mind. He will find out soon enough why they were afraid as it most certainly pertained to this mysterious woman, Sister Alyssa Lisken.

“Is there anything else the most holy Bishop requires,” Micah asked according the Bishop a modicum of respect.

“No, Lord Inquisitor Micah this would be it.”

Micah picked up his book and turned to walk down the steps with his cloak swirling about him. He strode out of the chamber adrift in thought over this mission. There were many unanswered questions and too much intrigue going on for his taste. The Ecclesiarchy was known to have plans and machinations going on to steer humanity towards the future in line with the Emperor’s will, but exactly was His will no one was for certain.

He walked out into the pouring rain after he left the Synod. The day was a typical one for Ophelia consisting of heavy cloud cover and thunderstorms. From beneath his cloak he produced a vox caster and muttered a few words into the mic then pressed the button on his choker. A loud hum echoed through the wet streets and Micah disappeared in a flash of light.

Through the wonders of the Dark Age of Technology, Micah was whisked thousands of miles away to a waiting Inquisition ship orbiting Ophelia IV. He took off his cloak and shook it lightly to remove most of the water from its surface. Micah stood 1.8 meters tall with a slight build that belied his strength. His hair was cut in the style of the medieval monks with the sides shaved bald and the top hanging freely. A long scar was visible on his left hand and disappeared up the frilly cuff of his shirt.

He looked around the bridge of the ship and saw his crew waiting faithfully for his orders. He sat down in the center seat after setting the Imperial Creed down on the bookstand immediately off to the side of the chair to the right. He absent mindedly cleaned his glasses and looked at the navigator. Micah prepared the wards for safe transport to keep the daemons of the Warp at bay.

“Set a course for Renair IV if you will Navigator.”

“Aye Lord Micah,” the navigator replied and the ship slipped into the warp.

Lord Inquisitor Micah’s ship was a small Imperial corvette that was crewed by loyal Imperial navy personnel. Part of the contingent on board was his personal retinue consisting of several acolytes, veteran Imperial Guardsmen from his homeworld, and a Sister Hospitaller from the Order of the Cleansing Water. They all served the Emperor well and did their duties faithfully. He was impressed by their service to him and to the Imperium. He began to pore over the reports handed to him by the Synod and read about the living saint.

Back on Renair IV, a cherub leaned close to Alyssa’s ear and cooed, “He comes.” She nodded silently and prayed. She knew that this would happen and that she had to prove herself to the Inquisition as well as to the Ecclesiarchy. There were too many imposters in the past that were charlatans or pawns of Chaos for either organization to take a chance. Humanity was at stake in the grand scheme of things and too many pretenders had brought the Imperium too close to extinction too many times in the past. A single tear fell down her cheek and a black rose sprang up from the ground as if it were an omen of things to come.

The Veil of Light dropped from the Warp and entered orbit above Renair IV. Micah gathered up his cloak and Liber Heresius from their resting places. He entered the corridor leading to the bridge from his private quarters and walked briskly towards the bridge. He saw several crewmen putting things in order for the new operation and ignored him. The crew was assembling a force cage to keep their future guest in.

He entered the bridge and saw that his retinue was getting ready. Sergeant Johansson and Corporal Leiter, Imperial Guardsmen from Micah’s homeworld, were checking each other’s gear to ensure proper fit. The young Acolyte Heller, a refugee from the Ork overrun world of Feld’s Tears, and Acolyte Mitchell, a former Inquisitorial Storm Trooper, were ensuring that the tools of the Inquisition were packed away neatly and distributed between them. Sister Misrael double checked her medical kit and was in quiet prayer.

“Don’t forget to pack your diapers greenhorn because we don’t want to have another incident like what happened on Stellar Seven,” Leiter teased Heller.

Heller shot back, “Don’t forget to pack your map like you did last time and got us lost in the center of a volcano.”

The group breaks out with laughter as Misrael rolls her eyes. She mutters under her breath, "Men!"

Johansson shoots back, "He's not a man, but a wet behind the ears kid!"

“Is everyone ready,” Micah asks interrupting the playful banter.

With nods from all around a flash of light consumed them and they were on the surface of Renair IV. They appeared near the shrine on the outskirts of Arc d’Imperialis and there was a chill in the air. Heller, Johansson, Leiter, and Misrael breathed in the morning air to calm themselves from the teleportation. Uneasily they shifted their packs and mentally prepared themselves for the coming mission.

“I really hate teleporting,” Mitchell coughed out as he leaned over vomiting, “It makes me feel like my guts are on the outside.”

Corporal Leiter quipped, “I thought you were all bad to the bone grandpa?”

Misrael shot a look at Leiter that stabbed at him like a lasgun hitting its prey. Leiter tried to look as small of a target as possible by putting Johansson between them. Misrael pulled out a syringe and injected Mitchell with a drug to calm his stomach and ease the nausea associated with teleporting. Mitchell composed himself as the drugs worked their way into his system.

Micah looked around as his retinue spread out in a protective formation and saw the violation done to the shrine. A chill ran down his spine and he knew that Chaos was here not too long ago. He noticed something was amiss and bent down for a closer look at the ground. When Chaos attacks the earth and its covering is a sure sign of its passing. Instead of finding burned and withered grass the grass showed no sign of a taint from Chaos.

“Strange,” Micah thought.

Birds chirped and insects buzzed as if nothing had ever happened here. The walls surrounding the shrine were pock marked with weapons fire and there were several breeches. Due to the earth growing its covering back he was unable to discern footprints. With a nod to Sergeant Johansson the procession moved into the courtyard surrounding the shrine. Blood was painted all over the walls and where it had lain on the earth the grass took on a crimson hue. Micah walked over to the crimson spot and collected several samples of the grass. Sergeant Johansson fidgeted nervously in the chill of the morning air.

Slowly they made their way into the shrine proper and saw the St. John’s crosses arranged in a cryptic pattern. Micah photographed each area of interest as they moved through to document his findings. In the center of the crosses the altar was defamed and the body of a Chaos Space Marine lay. Micah reached down and moved the cursed Marine to look at the markings on the armor. He noticed that the head was missing and that this was a chaplain of the Word Bearers from the equipment he carried. He got up and walked outside in silent thought.

“Tis mighty strange that a chaplain was left behind headless,” Micah muttered out loud.

“Very strange indeed,” Johansson replied.

“Let’s head to Arc d’Imperialis and seek out this mysterious woman.”

Sergeant Johansson nods and the entire procession moves out. As they traveled over the rolling hills Micah saw that the entire countryside was unchanged except for where an innocent had died. The earth they were standing on at the moment of their death was shaded crimson like it was in the courtyard. It appeared that something supernatural had transpired here to prevent the corrosive touch of Chaos from showing.

Suddenly, Micah stopped and he looked in the distance at something that caught his eye. In a grove of trees to the left he thought he saw a pair of large white wings fluttering in the wind amidst the trees. He wasn’t sure of what he had seen because of the leaves on the trees obscuring his sight, but he decided to investigate. With a nod towards that direction the procession moved out. In the wind a haunting voice carried.

“He comes to see her, he comes to judge her, he comes…”

He froze at hearing those words and thought deeply. No one knew he was coming. Not even Chaos knew. With a rush of wind a cherub broke out from the trees and flew straight at Micah. The Imperial Guardsmen and Acolytes were too slow to react as the creature hovered in front of the Lord Inquisitor. Surprise went through the ranks for they had never seen such a beautiful and perfect creature as this.

“You come for her,” the cherub sang accusingly.

“Ye-Yes, I have and to talk with her,” Micah stammered.

“Follow and I shall lead you to her.”

Micah and his retinue followed the angelic creature on a path that went away from the city. They were headed back towards the grove and he trembled at the thought of what they might find. Brambles and thorns from rose bushes hampered their movement as they continued to follow the cherub. Twisting and turning through the dense grove was a challenge that tired out even the fit guardsmen. Eventually, they reached the center of the grove where a stream ran through. Rocks and boulders were strewn about adding to the serenity of the grove.

Micah pushed ahead of his retinue and grasped the edge of a boulder to propel himself forward. He turned the corner of the boulder and gasped in astonishment. Before him was Alyssa dressed in blue armor with golden trim and shining with a bright light hovering of the earth with her bright wings beating slowly in the wind. Her sword was sheathed and a halo graced her head. She turned to face him and his heart stopped as her took in her divine beauty. She smiled warmly at the Inquisitor and motioned for him to sit next to her.

“Sister Alyssa Lisken,” Micah asked softly.

Alyssa nodded in reply.

“By order of the Inquisition I am placing you under arrest for you to answer to the Synod on Ophelia IV. Please do not resist,” Micah ordered as his Inquisitorial training kicked in.

She nodded again and held her arms out willingly. Micah motioned for the acolytes to bring up the binders. They chained her arms and legs while the cherubs cried a sorrowful song. A single tear drop slid down Alyssa’s cheek and sadness over took her. A single white rose sprang up from the ground where the tear drop landed. Micah collected the rose and sealed it as evidence. Sergeant Johansson grabbed Alyssa by the wrist to ensure that she didn’t try to escape. Smoke hissed through his armored glove and he howled in pain releasing her. Sister Misrael tended to his wound, after removing his glove, and quizzically looked at her fellow Sister.

Alyssa motioned with her hand for Sergeant Johansson to hold his wounded hand out. He looked at Micah for approval to which Micah simply nodded. Sergeant Johansson held his hand out and a tear fell from Alyssa’s eye landing in his palm. Miraculously, the wound healed and the entire retinue stood in shock. Micah noted this in his journal.

“Touch her not, she will come peacefully, for she is pure,” the cherubs sang.

Alyssa nodded in affirmation to what the cherubs sang and held her hand out for the teleport homer to be placed in it. Misrael carefully placed a teleport homer into the hand of her fellow sister and felt overwhelming sadness over what was to transpire on Ophelia. In her mind’s eye she imagined the torture that Alyssa would suffer and quickly cut the train of thought snapping her back to reality. In a flash of light the entire group left the planet.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:27 pm
by ThePatriot
Part III

Aboard the Veil of Light, a squad of Arbiters waited for the return of their lord with weapons ready in the bridge. The crew shifted nervously in their seats when the Arbiters brought their weapons to bear when the humming of the teleportation beam echoed off the dense walls comprising the hull. Light engulfed the bridge and dissipated quickly leaving behind Inquisitor Lord Micah, his retinue, and the chained Alyssa illuminated from a mysterious light coming from Alyssa. The Arbiters stepped forward to grab Alyssa by the chains shackled to her wrists, but Micah stopped them by raising his right hand.

“There is no need to manhandle Sister Alyssa since she came peacefully. Escort her to the holding cells and under no circumstances is she to be harmed,” Micah ordered.

Arbiter Sergeant Lucas nodded in affirmation and looked at Sister Alyssa saying calmly, “This way Sister.”

Sergeant Lucas led the way to the holding cells with Sister Alyssa following behind him surrounded by the rest of the Arbiter squad and Sister Misrael leading Alyssa by her chains. The ship’s crew moved out of the way and gasped at the sight of the holy Sister in chains. Soft light encircled the group as they moved through the passages to the Brig. As she moved through the corridors a nearly silent wind was left in her wake.

The door leading into the holding cells was opened by Sergeant Lucas and the party entered the large dungeon-like room. Insane mumblings and rants issued forth from the cells encased by darkness that conveyed the anguish of those contained within. A lone sentry stood guard and handed Sergeant Lucas a key ring filled with keys while giving Alyssa a nervous glance.

Alyssa floated off the ground with her graceful wings flapping lazily in the air. In all his years, he had never seen such a beautiful and graceful sight. His heart pumped in awe of her and felt his spirits rise. He had been a guard within the holding cells for many years and never experienced a sight such as her. Sergeant Lucas opened one of the doors to the holding cells and motioned for Alyssa to enter. With a heavy sigh Alyssa was led into the cell by Sister Misrael. Misrael let go of the chains and accidentally brushed against Alyssa as she exited the cell. A cry issued from her lips and she grabbed the sides of the doorframe. The color had drained from her face and her breathing was in short gasps. With her clutching her chest, Sergeant Lucas started to move towards Alyssa in defense of Sister Misrael, but was flagged away by Misrael. Alyssa floated there unmoving to present as little threat to the Arbiters.

“I’ll be fine and she did nothing to me,” Misrael gasped calmly and moved out the way.

The door clanged shut behind Alyssa with a sense of finality. She grasped her rosary and fingered it in silent prayer. The light emanating from her held the dark and gloom of her prison at bay. Familiar figures swept out from the hull and sang a mournful chorus that echoed her thoughts. The snapping of weapons to the ready position greeted the chorus. Misrael stepped back in front of the cell door blocking line of sight to the figures within.

“Sergeant Lucas have your men stand down. We found the creatures with her planet side and they present no threat to us,” Sister Misrael explained quietly.

Sergeant Lucas silently nodded to her and the Arbiters stood down while maintaining readiness. He dismissed the squad and he leaned close to the guard.

“If anything happens sound the alarm and we’ll be here quickly. The witchery surrounding this one is not to be under estimated; do I make myself clear?”

“Aye sir, but what a wondrous sight she is to behold.”

With a humph, Sergeant Lucas stormed out of the room leaving behind the guard and Misrael. Misrael followed him shortly after and the guard leaned back quietly. The din that was in the background had strangely been silenced since the arrival of his new prisoner. He shrugged it off and thought nothing of it.

Days later, Inquisitor Lord Micah entered the holding cells and the guard snapped to attention. He motioned for the guard to stand at ease and walked up to the cell holding Alyssa. He peered within the softly illuminated cell to find her asleep while held aloft by her wings. The cherubs said nothing to his approach and gazed lazily at him. He mentally noted the quietness of the room and found it strange that such abominations he had hunted down previously were comforted and quieted.

He smiled and quietly said, “I see that you’ve come to give comfort to your mistress.”

“She has much to endure and needs the reassurances of the Emperor. We go where she goes,” a cherub quietly sang in reply.

“Yes, she does have some trying times ahead and if she truly is a Living Saint then the Emperor will protect her from harm. If not then she truly never was.”

The cherub nodded, “You shall believe of her purity, as will the doubting Synod. Change will be coming and you will feel it.”

Alyssa peered from half closed eyelids and saw Inquisitor Lord Micah standing in front of her cell. She stretched her body and moved gracefully to float before him. She smiled warmly and reached out towards the force bars containing her. Her hand came up short resting where Micah’s forehead would be if she could touch it. Her eyes conveyed a sense of warmth combined with sadness for she knew what was awaiting her on Ophelia IV. The thought of the coming trials made her sigh in resignation and moved her hand in a comforting motion on Micah’s forehead; as one would comfort a troubled child.

“You haven’t said a single word in all of the time you’ve been in my company. Why is this,” Micah questioned.

“She has been muted by the Emperor’s glory,” the cherub replied.

Micah raised an eyebrow, “She can’t speak at all or willfully chooses not to speak?”

The cherub replied, “Some things cannot be answered with abject certainty.”

He peered curiously at Alyssa one final time then turned and left the room. As he strode out into the corridor the dungeon came to life. The screams of the mad and the tormented held within the other cells echoed off of the walls of the dungeon, as if it were releasing centuries of anguish by giving it a voice. Chants of heretic echoed through the room that was counter pointed with the slam of the door.

The door to the cell was shoved open roughly and hands clawed at her chains. She snapped to wakefulness by the commotion. She surveyed the scene to find Sergeant Lucas back with his Arbiters. She knew instinctively that they had arrived to Ophelia IV. An Arbiter’s hand accidentally grazed her hand and a scream issued from his lips. He staggered back out of the cell holding his hand as if it had been melted off and the color drained from his face. Shock quickly overtook him and he collapsed to the floor…dead.

Anger swam through the Arbiters as the cherub’s fended off the blows aimed at her. The mad heretics in the other holding cells cried out and screamed in response. An alarm echoed throughout the ship and more Arbiters entered the holding cells. Amidst the chaos Lord Inquisitor Micah entered to find out what was going on.

“What in the Emperor’s name is going on here,” Micah bellowed at the top of his lungs.

The room was so silent that one could hear a pin drop as the Arbiters froze in place in reply. The mad cowered in their cells as Micah surveyed the room. He saw the cherubs were in front of Alyssa protecting her with their arms in a defensive posture. The Arbiters were all in an offensive posture and in the center of their number a lone Arbiter lay on the ground clutching his hand. Alyssa floated in the rear of her cell with her body posture reminiscent of someone in mourning.

“I’ll ask it again, what in the Emperor’s name is going on here?”

Sergeant Lucas looked at Micah square in the eyes, “We came to get her as per your orders and she resisted. We had no choice but to attempt to bring her out forcibly.”

“LIAR,” the mad howled, the cherubs sang, and Sergeant Lucas trembled.

“You knowingly entered her cell unannounced and tried to grab her didn’t you,” Micah asked as his eyes bore into the soul of Sergeant Lucas.

“S-he, s-he put up a fight,” another Arbiter stammered.

“LIAR,” a chorus of the mad howled back underscored by the song the cherubs.

Micah entered into the Arbiters ranks and put his face so close to Sergeant Lucas’s face they were almost kissing.

“You are hereby relieved of your command as are your Arbiters pending an investigation. Pray to the Emperor that your actions were pure or you shall end up next to those heretics,” he said while pointing at the cells holding the mad.

Sergeant Lucas sank defeated as Micah’s retinue entered the room armed. The Arbiters dropped their weapons and Misrael collected them up. The Arbiters were marched out of the room and taken to the Brig. Micah motioned for Alyssa to come out of her cell. She meekly floated out and saw Misrael checking the Arbiter lying dead on the floor before her. Misrael looked up at her and shook her head stating the obvious that the man was dead. Regret cast a pall over her face. Micah looked at Alyssa with a look of distrust.

“If you are truly a Daughter of the Emperor and an embodiment of His will then this should have never happened. A man lies dead and for what? For you to prove that you are who everyone says who you are?”

Tears welled up and streamed from her eyes. A pleading look issued forth from her face. Her eyes frantically darted in their sockets as if she was trying to comprehend the situation. Tear drops fell to the floor in the silence of the room. The majority of the cherubs sang a mournful song praising the life of the Arbiter and his many years of service. A lone cherub tugged at the Arbiter’s uniform in attempt to bring his body closer to the small pool of tears. Misrael knowing the intention of the cherub looked to Micah for guidance. He nodded and Misrael helped the cherub move the Arbiter.

His body was slid beneath Alyssa into the tears she shed. One drop, two drops, three drops hit his face and kissed his lips. Alyssa looked down and the tears stopped flowing. Her head rose looking towards the invisible heavens pleading for some divine assistance. Minutes passed over what seemed like an eternity. A short gasp issued forth from the lips of the Arbiter and a smile crossed his tranquil face. Peace illuminated his face and he lain there on the ground. He muttered out prayers to the Emperor praising His name.

Shock and disbelief overtook Micah. His mind raced to find logical answers to what had transpired and found none. He silently left the room. Alyssa and Misrael followed behind him while the cherubs sang a song of gratitude to the Emperor. They entered the bridge after the trek through the halls of the ship. Silence followed them. Misrael handed Alyssa a teleport homer which she took meekly. Micah nodded and they disappeared in a flash of light.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 3:05 pm
by ThePatriot
Part IV

Her eyes snapped open and close in a rapid fashion as if they were keeping time with the rapid fire questions directed towards her. The hall was filled to the brim with spectators, clergymen, Inquisitors, and Ecclesiarchy hierarchs. The air was thick and humid as sweat poured from her pores. The chains were heavy upon her limbs and gave the outward appearance of the burden she carried inside of her. The robes she wore were tattered and dirtied. Her beautiful wings had been clipped to prevent her from escaping.

“Speak, I demand you to speak,” the Bishop ordered from his bench.

She slumped even further and tried to form the words, but they caught in her throat. She felt the words being stopped and her insides revolted by sending forth spittle from her lips.

“You had better speak or I shall be forced to prove that you have the ability to speak,” Bishop Jacobin verbally assaulted her with his words.

Spittle flew from her lips and her eyes frantically darted in their sockets. She tried to will her body to vocalize her defense and her body shuddered in rebellion. Bishop Jacobin stared at her reaction then motioned for Inquisitor Minoris Michael Shaw to check to see if she could speak. Inquisitor Minoris Shaw stepped up to the podium where Alyssa was chained and grabbed the sides of her mouth to force her mouth open. She felt the enormous pressure from his gripped fingers and her mouth opened.

“Her tongue is intact Bishop and I see no evidence that it is causing her inability to speak.”

Bruises formed on the side of her mouth and a trickle of blood ran from the corner of her mouth. She glared at Inquisitor Minoris Shaw and a hiss issued from her lips. His fingers closed into a fist and sent it square into her jaw. Her head snapped back and dizziness overtook her. She sank even further to the floor of the podium.

Near to the podium, Sister Misrael sat waiting for her to be called forth to check, with her diagnostic instruments, on the condition of Alyssa’s vocal chords. Next to her waited Inquisitor Lord Micah and he looked at her with a firm gaze. Her knuckles were white from clutching her medicae and her back straight.

“Bring forth the apothecary,” the Bishop shouted.

Misrael shot straight to her feet with her arm up and cried out, “This is irregular Lord Bishop as Sister Alyssa is a member of the Adepta Sororitas and under the laws she must be examined by a Sister Hospitaller.”

“I know what the laws are and I am suspending them. You spent too much time with her and your sympathies for a fellow sister makes you suspect!”

“My purity is not at issue, but if I am not to perform the examination then bring in another Sister Hospitaller from another Order. The law is clear that you cannot let anyone, except for a Sister Hospitaller to perform the exam.”

A commotion arose from the crowd at the exchange with chants of ‘Preserve the law’ mixed in. Alyssa tried to focus on the words of Misrael and more spittle ran from her lips mixed with blood. Inquisitor Lord Micah sat passively by and watched the exchange. His hand came up and grabbed Misrael’s arm with which a shake she flicked it off. She stood defiantly before the Bishop unwavering in her stance.

“DO NOT DEFY ME AGAIN SISTER OR YOU WILL BE STANDING NEXT TO HER,” Bishop Jacobin roared.

Sister Misrael shrank back from the verbal assault and quickly fled the chamber. Inquisitor Lord Micah shot up and followed her out. Alyssa gazed at their receding forms and felt abandoned by slumping down in the heavy chains holding her. The apothecary approached her from behind… Alyssa’s screams echoed off of the walls that were underscored by the slamming of the doors…

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A loud splash echoed through the chamber and the sounds of gurgling issued forth from the large vat set before Bishop Jacobin’s seat. Limbs strained against the restraints holding Alyssa in place and the cross holding her above the vat was pulled up from the water only to be dunked into the vat after she had a chance to catch her breath. Her limbs ached from the strain of fighting the restraints and her lungs burned from the lack of oxygen. She thrashed about in the vain hope of breaking free from her prison.

“Sister Alyssa if you do not speak I shall be forced to use more extreme measures to get your confession,” Inquisitor Micah spoke quietly.

The bishop seethed in hatred at her defiance of his orders for her to speak. They had been at this for days trying to break her spirit, but to no avail. In his many years of being in the Holy Church never had he seen a woman like Sister Alyssa and her noncompliance to his edicts to speak. He peered over the bench and saw her cross dunked back into the vat with interest.

Her fingers clamped close and fought for breath in the watery confines. Sinking back into herself she relaxed and found her inner peace. A smile crossed her face finally realizing what she must do. With large gulps she breathed in the water and her form went limp as tiny bubbles broke the surface of the vat. Minutes passed and Bishop Jacobin leaned forward to the edge of his seat wondering what had happened. Inquisitor Micah scrambled to bring the cross out of the water and fought with the ancient controls that manipulated the contraption. Jacobin glared at Micah as her head broke the surface of the water and water slid off of her body.

Sister Misrael rushed forward from her position by the Bishop’s bench with her medicae in her hands. Despair crossed her face for a split second then was gone when her medical training kicked in. She felt for a pulse on Alyssa’s neck finding none. She pulled out her medical scanner and ran it over Alyssa’s body finding it lifeless. She looked at Inquisitor Lord Micah and shook her head as a tear fell down her cheek. Resigned Inquisitor Lord Micah turned to face Bishop Jacobin.

“It appears that she is an imposter since the Emperor protects His saints.”

As Bishop Jacobin was about to reply, a loud crack echoed off the walls of the chamber and the wooden cross splintered into a million razor sharp pieces. Inquisitor Lord Micah and Sister Misrael ducked behind the closest furniture to avoid the deadly mini-spears of wood. Wings fluttered sweetly in the still air of the room and Alyssa’s eyes snapped open. Floating upside down she hovered above the vat of water and a glare shot directly at Bishop Jacobin. He trembled and urine ran down his pants legs beneath the ornate robes of his office that formed a puddle at his feet. With grace she righted herself and floated slowly to Bishop Jacobin with a loving smile on her lips.

She put her face close to his and breathed. With her exhale the Bishop’s face turned blue and he tumbled from his seat… lifeless. The scent of roses filled the room and she faced the assembled crowd with divine light shining from within her. A dark shadow fled from Bishop Jacobin’s form and a screech followed behind the shadow. Inquisitor Lord Micah stepped up to Alyssa and motioned for the shackles to be brought forth. She gazed down upon him and descended to the floor. Holding her limbs out she felt the chains pull her down to the earth. Resigned she sank into herself and waited for the next trial.

Murmurs echoed from the gallery as the people talked about the miracle they witnessed. They pointed and marveled at Alyssa. The loud hum of a power sword suddenly entwined itself to the murmurs that were soon punctuated by the screams of Alyssa as her wings were amputated again.

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Inquisitor Minoris Shaw and Inquisitor Lord Micah stood in front of Alyssa and she peered up at them. Shaw was holding a bolter and held it casually in his hands. Micah hand gripped the hilt of his blessed weapon, Miracle, and sighed. Alyssa slowly stood up defying the chains that held her down. Beams from the spotlights in the chamber shone off of her nearly bald head and highlighted the torture she had endured. Bruises crisscrossed her body, her eyes blackened, her lips were split open, and her robe was in tatters. She had lost track of the days as it was all a blur. Was it days, weeks, or months since her trials began?

Bishop Jacobin’s seat was empty as the Inquisition had taken full control of the trials. No longer was the Church in control of her trials. Each trial became more brutal after the last and all she remembered was an existence of pain. With each trial she came closer to the finish and knew that she would endure as the Emperor endured on his Golden Throne.

Shaw looked at her smugly, “It is time heretic witch to prove if you truly are the Emperor’s Living Saint.”

The staccato of the bolt gun echoed off the walls and the bolts impacted into her body. Her skin was pierced, organs disintegrated, and blood blew out from her back. Her fleshed sprayed the walls behind her and her blood flowed to the floor in a torrent. She sank back to the floor with all defiance drained from her. She blinked as she fell and felt the impact of her body to the hard marble floor. Her breathing became ragged and finally stopped.

“Living saint my backside,” Shaw spat out at her dead form.

A hand shot up and grabbed his. His face drained of color as his knees buckled. The bolter tumbled out of his hands and hit the floor with a loud clang. He collapsed in front of Alyssa and looked at his hand. Entwined with his was hers and he slowly looked into her eyes. She smiled at him and her lips moved, but no sound came forth. He felt lightheaded and his back arched backwards till she gently laid it on the ground. Her other hand cupped his forehead and her lips moved faster. Time stood still for him and suddenly he felt warmth he hadn’t felt in a long time. He felt her undying love for him no matter what he did to her and her undying faith in the Emperor.

Alyssa stood up slowly from Inquisitor Minoris Shaw’s inert form and faced Inquisitor Lord Micah. Micah stared at her intently then drew his blade. His thrust was blindingly fast and the sword melted as it touched her now healed skin. In disbelief he stared as the metal of the blade pooled at her feet as it ran under her robes. Slowly Alyssa’s hand reached out welcoming his into hers. He felt compelled to grab it and he felt something so pure overwhelm him. She gently laid him down to the floor and touched his forehead with her lips moving as if she was speaking. His form went limp and she slowly stood up with new wings budding out from her shoulder blades. Smiling, she leaned back to his form and kissed his cheek.

Minutes passed as the gallery held its breath. Shaw and Micah slowly stumbled to their feet. Unsteady they held onto each other’s arm. Color came back into their vastly young faces and the years had been turned back. Looking at each other they shared a similar thought. Shaw nodded to him and Micah turned to face the assembled crowd.

Micah cleared his throat and in a raspy voice said, “In my long years as an Inquisitor, I have never witnessed nor been party to events such as these. These are strange and disturbing events indeed! It is said that the Emperor protects his faithful and we hold this belief to be true. Sister Alyssa Lisken of the Order of Serenity has endured many trials and tribulations in these proceedings. If the Emperor didn’t protect His faithful then she would have died and the matter would have been settled. Instead, she persevered and endured the many tortures we had placed upon her.

“She came back each time and showed us something each time regarding the teachings of His Holy Church. Each time I marveled at her strength and her faith in the Holy Emperor that He would protect her. He did and she stands before us now bathed in His Holy Light. Never once did she give in to the heretical teachings. She looked always to the heavens for guidance and strength in these trying times. She received it as took it thankfully each time. Her heart is pure as is her soul and we should remember her example.

She truly is a living saint and we should learn from what we have witnessed here. By order of the Inquisition, I declare Alyssa Lisken to be a Living Saint!”

The crowd went wild with cheers and prayers as the Church clergy shot each other glances. This was highly unusual for an Inquisitor Lord to declare a living saint. This is normally done by the presiding Bishop of the proceedings, but due to the untimely demise of Bishop Jacobin there wasn’t one. Inquisitor Lord Micah had used his position to prohibit another Bishop from being appointed due to the laws concerning trials such as this. No matter, one more saint couldn’t hurt and the Church had plenty of resources to outfit another Ordo Militant for the Adepta Sororitas.

Inquisitor Lord Micah stepped back and turned to face Saint Alyssa. He smiled and mouthed a quick thank you to her. He motioned for Inquisitor Minoris Shaw to remove her chains. As she floated free of her bonds familiar faces descended from the ceiling of the grand hall cooing their songs of praise to the Emperor. The cherubs fluttered around her brightly lit form holding up a blanket to cover her body as the robes covering her erupted into flames being consumed. She silently dressed in new undergarments and put on the armor she was found with. The blanket fell to the floor and the lead cherub held aloft the ancient weapon that belonged to Gritz. She fastened the scabbard to her waist and hips then pulled the weapon free of its prison. The assembled people erupted into prayer and bowed before her presence. Awed by the beauty and danger of her they worshipped the Emperor of Man. She proceeded out of the hall with the cherubs flying around her and the doors clanged shut behind her.