Lamenters Rising

Chapter 2


Captain Volturno led the fifty Space Marines into the city of Paneld, the moved in a box formation with the Guardsmen in the middle and the Space Marines on the outside. In the case of an attack the Space Marines could take more damage than the Guardsmen could. If the Orks launched an assault then the city would need as many guns on the towering walls as they could find.

The giant gates stood tall at close to fifty feet with small engravings of various Imperial Heroes such as: Ciaphas Cain, Ibram Gaunt, Lukas Alexander, Vance Stubbs, Creed, and many others that all led to a giant golden carving of the Primarchs and the Emperor in his prime. He stood there, one hand on his sword as wise eagle eyes pierced out into the ongoing wilderness. A reminder to all those who saw it who the champion of humanity was and how he stood tall over all those who threatened his children. Volturno smiled at the sight of his idol being portrayed in such a benevolent manner, not that any world under control of the Imperium would dare for one moment show him in a way that would hold even the slightest modicum of disrespect.

One of the Guardsmen used his Vox Caster to call to the men who guarded the gate switch. The cogs caused the gates to begin to open with groan as the group began to approach. Immediately the sounds of billions of people began to rush towards the group, making the handful of soldiers seem almost insignificant in comparison.

Volturno heard the gates began to close as the group crossed the minimum safe distance where the gates would not close on them. Further ahead he watched as six Valkyries landed in front of them. The Imperial Guardsmen walked and boarded the first Valkyries and it flew off towards the barracks, which housed the Guardsmen during times in which they were not assigned missions or tasks. The last five ships were there for the Space Marines. Their tall and large build caused them to take up more space than a handful of Guardsmen would. They put ten marines into each ship, none of them were able to sit in the tiny seats and most were forced to bend over to fit inside the "tiny" space.

With a roar of the engines the Valkyries lifted off the ground and sped deeper into the Hive-City. The Valkyries navigated through the dense urban sprawl, dodging and ducking around buildings that stretched for miles upwards. Hive-worlds were notorious for producing unstable citizens, most of which went to the front lines of the guard. However, there always were a few gems in each of the cities could spell new Neophytes to continue to fill their ranks. Volturno would have to send a handful of reserve squads through the city in an attempt to see if they couldn't pick a few gems out of the rough.

After another five minutes of navigating through the city the Valkyries started to descend towards a landing pad. Volturno turned and looked at the other nine Space Marines sharing the space with him. "Acutus, Rius, Corax, and Vardis form up on me. The rest of you send word to Captain Fennias on Retribution's Wings to be ready to deploy to this location."

One of Space Marines nodded and as the Valkyrie's door opened the Space Marines disembarked from the ship. Volturno's squad of four followed behind him as he gazed upon the HQ for the Imperial Guard stationed on the planet Astade. Compared to the gates it was an ugly looking building, it appeared to have been hastily built from whatever pieces of scrap metal had been left over while the city had been built.

"Is that going to stand sir? I've heard of Ork structures that were better built than this." Private Corax asked with a small amount of doubt in his voice. Corax was a recent addition, having just received the final implants and being granted his power armor not two weeks prior. Despite being the rookie of the five he seemed to have already filled the role of snaker for the group.

"It will stay up private, but for now let's focus on meeting the Lord General." Volturno instructed him as they made their way into the hastily constructed building.

Walking into the building they were greeted by a young Guardswoman with a rather peppy attitude. "Greetings my lords, can I offer you anything before we meet with Lord General Proculus Thorn?"

Volturno shook his head. "No thank you," he began after clearing his throat, "we wish to speak to the Lord General and began setting up defenses and organizing scout parties."

"Very good sir, right this way," the Guardswoman told him as she turned around 180 degrees and started to walk down a long plain hallway. The inside of the building was as boring as the outside looked dangerous to be in. This bore Volturno no ill will as the five Space Marines proceeded through the narrow hall.

The Guardswoman stopped at a finely polished, wooden door, something that seemed out of character for the building, an elegant piece in stark contrast to the ugliness of the rest of the building. From behind the door Volturno could hear someone yelling at some unfortunate soul.

The door opened in such a fashion that Volturno was slightly surprised it had not been ripped off the hinges. A commissioner came walking out, his head held in shame as he proceeded to leave the building.


The Guardswoman turned to the marines. "Excuse me for just one moment my lords," she told them as she walked inside the office. There were sounds of murmuring for a moment or two before the man's roar came ripping through the air once again. "YOU MEAN THOSE LAMENTERS ARE RIGHT OUTSIDE MY DOOR? SEND IN THE CAPTAIN, NO JUST HIM. I DON'T TRUST MORE THAN ONE."

The Guardswoman stepped back outside. "Whomever is in charge Lord General Thorn requests your presence alone. Your marines however are welcomed in the lobby."

Volturno turned to Sergeant Acutus. "Deploy and get the Techmarines started on defenses and have the scouts recon the surrounding area. Once that is done we shall proceed accordingly. In the meantime start scouting around the hive city and note defendable points, and perhaps new recruits."

"Aye Captain." Acutus replied as he led the other three marines back the way they came.

Volturno ducked and walked into a grand office, seemingly the only room in which any sort of care had been put into. The walls were a jade green with gold trim. Many tall bookshelves neatly filled with maps and various books adorned the walls, in middle of the back wall a fireplace roared and crackled. In the center of the room there was a model of Paneld and the surrounding wilderness. This model was what caught Volturno's eye. Glancing over it he noticed that Paneld backed up into the side of a mountain, this could be a problem or a blessing. If Paneld back into the mountain than there was a chance that the Orks could sneak around from behind and force their ranks thin, however if there were no entrances from the mountain into the city than there was no problem they would face. Paneld also had an inner city that was guarded by walls just about as tall as the first wall. If the first sector was overrun they could fall back to the second sector, which would give the Imperial forces some breathing room if need be.

Lord General Thorn was not an impressive looking man. Compared to the eight foot marine Thorn's five foot four stature was miniscule. Thorn spouted a thick beard that could only be matched by a member of the Space Wolves chapter. Above the beard and in-between two giant fat cheeks two small beady eyes that glanced up and down the Lamenter captain with a look of distrust.

"I suppose that you're the Lamenter Captain? Volcano or something like that?" Thorn asked in a tone that offered no respect towards the space marine. Volturno watched as Thorn walked over to his large, well-kept desk and picked a box off of the corner. Opening the box a faint waft of tobacco came floating towards him as Thorn picked a fat cigar out of the box and chewed the end off.

"Volturno Lord General, I am here to manage the defenses of this city and oversee the final purges of the Ork infestation of this planet." Volturno replied, keeping the irritation that threatened to creep into his voice.

"Peachy, listen boy I already don't like you. I know you come from the cursed founding and what you did during the Badab War. I don't understand why they couldn't have sent some halfway competent marines like Imperial Fists or even humanities true last hope the Ultramarines*."

"Sir, we are only the advanced detachment. If for some reason your infestation of Feral Orks becomes too much for us to handle, then three companies of Blood Angels will be deployed to help us keep this city."

"Least they're more reliable than you."

Volturno was having a hard time not placing his hands on either side of Thorn's head and pulverizing the tiny, fat man's head between his enormous gauntlets. The tiny man didn't understand that Volturno was in charge and he was only acting polite. He had seen different Space Marine captains treat the Guard like garbage, which was not his opinion on them. To him many great Space Marine victories would have been useless without the Guard. The marines may have been the Emperor's hammer, but the Guard was the anvil. Take one away and the other becomes a little less useful. However this man didn't quite understand that Volturno was here to deal with Orks and not his personal views.

"You shall speak no more or I shall try you for insubordination. Do you understand me?" Volturno asked calmly and evenly though his eyes portrayed hidden rage. "I am in charge here now and I will not be talked down to by some General who decides his comfort and glory comes before service to the Emperor."

"You have a lot of nerve talking to a Lord General that way."

"You have even more nerve talking to the Emperor's Finest like such. I did not come here to discuss personal views on each of the individual Space Marine chapters, my brothers and I are to protect the citizens of this world, and any other matters are simply trivial. Now, shall we discuss defenses or shall we waste time with more idle banter?"

"I don't like you."

"The feeling is mutual."

Sergeant Acutus and the three other Space Marines plodded silently through the streets of Paneld. It was a busy day for the populace of the last Hive-City of Paneld, the others having burned during the Ork invasion not two years prior before a combined effort of: four regiments of Guardsmen, three companies of Space Wolves and Raven Guard, managed to break the back of the Ork assault and drive the Orks off the planet. However the civilians here carried on like nothing was different and hastily tried to set out their wares and product to ready for the day. For them they need not worry of the blades of the Orks that awaited them if the Guard and the Marines fell.

Acutus stopped for a moment as the four Marines stopped at a fork in the road. They had already given the orders for their other forces to deploy so they were moving onto the second portion of their mission, look for chokepoints and look for any person that could show a scrap of promise as a member of the Emperor's finest.

"Corax, Vardis take the right," Acutus ordered as his left hand moved to grip the pommel of his power sword. "Rius and I will take the left."

"Aye Sergeant." Vardis replied as he took the hotheaded Corax and led him down a busy street that parted for the two hulking giants.

Rius and Acutus began down their path. The roads were filled with potholes that caused giant six wheeler trucks, filled to the brim with goods to trade and sell all over the city, to rock back and forth. Acutus watched as a crate of food fell off the back of one of the trucks and landed in the middle of the road. Quickly like rats thin and dirty children came shooting out of various back alleys to scramble around the food.

"That's stealing, should we apprehend them?" Rius asked as he started to raise his Bolter.

Acutus put a hand on Rius' weapon and looked at him. "No, let them be," he instructed. "They're starving, one crate of food shall not be missed sorely."

Rius' face scrunched up for a moment. Acutus knew that Rius was a fairly by the book soldier and that this was bothering him. Rius breathed heavily for a moment before holding his breath and releasing it slowly. Raising a hand he slowly ran it through his short cropped red hair before going down to grip his Bolter once again.

"Lead on sir," Rius said to Acutus as he straightened up. Acutus smiled for a moment before he started to walk forward again, moving around the children as they hastily shoved food into their mouths and pockets and ran off back into the alleys they emerged from.

The two Marines continued to watch the remaining children until two were left. The first one, a small boy, barely three feet tall and no more than nine at the latest, and a much larger, rugged twelve year old that would be conscripted into the Guard in a year or so. The larger child pointed one long finger at the smaller child. "Hand over your food," growling his command. "This is my area and you know my food tax."

"No," the smaller child simply replied without fear. Acutus was impressed, most children would have run in fear but here he was holding his ground. The two Marines stood there and continued to watch, curious as to how this would play out.

The bigger boy pulled his fist back and swung at the smaller child. His fist collided and sent the smaller boy sprawling on the ground. Smiling the taller boy grabbed the food that the smaller boy dropped. Acutus shrugged, perhaps there wasn't as much in the boy as he thought.

Acutus turned to give an order to Rius when Rius' brow furrowed and his eyes had a curious glance to them. Acutus turned around to see the smaller boy had acquired a rope and had jumped on the taller boy's back and had it wrapped around the taller boy's neck. The taller boy tried to claw the rope off his neck as his eyes bulged out of his eye sockets and spittle shot from his chapped lips.

The tall boy collapsed to his knees and shortly passed out onto the pavement. Acutus was impressed, slightly. He watched as the smaller boy grabbed his prize and then scurried off into one of the many alleyways.

"Would you have shot them?" Acutus asked Rius.

"Sir?" Rius asked curiously, caught off guard by the question.

"Would you have shot them? The children?"

Rius' brow furrowed once again, a habit that he found himself acting on more and more as this situation continued. Clearing his throat he looked up at Acutus, "yes sir."

"Just curious."

"Agni," Krieg Acerbus whispered along the winds to his first sergeant.

"Yes my lord?" Agni hissed back towards Krieg.

Krieg's eyes narrowed as he pulled back one gauntlet-covered hand and smacked Agni across the face. " You will not hiss at me, respect your Warmaster. Have the Orks been ousted from their tribes?"

"Yes my Warmaster, they circle Paneld as we speak, the city is rank with fear. Superstitious bunch."

"Good, this world shall be ours for the taking. Gather the troops, when the city is under siege we shall drop our Nocte Perpetuum bombs from orbit and cast terror among the Orks and their enemies. We have come for the Imperial dogs until they drop to their knees in fear. Dismissed Angi."

"Ave dominus nox." Angi spoke in a rasping voice as he walked back to the rhino transport.