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He drove his combat knife through a crack in the traitor’s ceramite back plate, the blade sinking deep. Blood spurted from the wound, burning through Havorn’s leather glove, and the enemy spun, his fist smashing into the brigadier-general’s cheek, shattering the bone.

Pain exploded in his head and he fell back from the force of the blow. He saw the ogryn’s large, mournful eyes as it tried desperately to aid its master before the Chaos Marine reached down and broke its neck with a brutal twist.

‘Traitorous hellspawn,’ spat Halvorn.

‘Hellspawn, yes. Traitor, no,’ replied the hateful, possessed traitor, his fang-filled maw forming the Low Gothic words with difficulty.

The fangs retracted and the warrior shook his head, his daemonic visage melting away to leave a cold, pale handsome face.

‘The Word Bearers Legion, blessed of Lorgar, are no traitors, wretched fool,’ growled the warrior as he stalked towards Havorn.

‘You and your wretched kin turned your back on the glorious Emperor and all of humanity to embrace damnation,’ said Havorn, crawling back towards his fallen adjutant and the dead man’s laspistol.

‘The Emperor turned his back on us!’ raged the traitor.

‘Only through the unified worship of true divinities can mankind be saved. Your False Emperor is nothing more than a rotting corpse perched atop a golden high-chair, a puppet for bureaucrats and taxmen. And you pathetic humans pray to him? You are the lowest of scum, ignorant and embracing that ignorance.’

Havorn’s hand slid behind him and closed on the grip of the laspistol.

‘Your soul will be damned when you leave this world, while I will go to the blessed Emperor’s side in glory and light,’ said Havorn, trying to keep the bastard distracted.

‘I say my soul is already damned in thisworld, and that there will be nothing but hell waiting for you,’ said the traitor.

‘I’ll see you there,’ said Havorn and he swung the laspistol up, firing it straight into the face of the Chaos Marine. The traitor fell backwards with a cry of anger and pain, and lay still.

Havorn pushed himself to his feet, pain throbbing from his shattered cheek-bone, and he began to stagger away.

A clawed hand wrapped around his neck from behind, and he was lifted into the air and turned to face the traitor. The wound on the traitor’s forehead was closing as he watched, the bone knitting together and flesh re-forming over the bullet hole, leaving not a scratch on the traitor’s darkly handsome face.

‘YES, I WILL see you in hell, human,’ said Burias-Drak’shal as he plunged his clawed hand through the brigadier-general’s chest.With one decisive wrench, he pulled the Elysian commander’s still-beating heart from the old man’s broken ribcage and watched as the life left his eyes. He held the beating heart to his mouth, tasting the sweet, warm blood, and threw the lifeless corpse dismissively to the ground.

The Chimera slammed into Burias-Drak’shal with shocking force, sending him flying out in front of the armored personnel carrier. As he tried to rise to his feet it slammed into him again, and he disappeared beneath it’s whirling tracks, sixty tonnes of Imperial tank rolling over him.

-from Dark Apostle
written by Anthony Reynolds


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