Ceramite boots ground large marble flag stones into dust as they charged across the court yard. Karmis held his ground. The traitors would pay. He stepped forward gently, sending fractures hurtling across each pure white slab of rock, drawing his deep black sword, hints of red licked at its edges with inconveivable power. He toyed with the weapon, feel its familiar weight as it pierced the still air.
His breathing was calm
His mind was focused
He heard the echoes of his mentors whispering into his ears, stating the principles of swordsmanship, the fundamental rules of combat. A bygone age of the greatness of humanity reverberating in his subconscious.
The hulking traitor space marines were advancing rapidly. Great dark red forms blasphemous against the purity of the Emperor’s Holy Temple. Chain axes buzzing into life as they closed in for the kill. The pair discharged bolts from their pistols. Thumping into Karmis’ armour, leaving pot marks of silver across the jet black surface. Karmis endured, the bolts barely even registering on his sensors. He took another step forward.
He whispered a final prayer, “Emperor, I ask redemption for my sins, that I may join my honourable brothers in death.”
The first Berserker reached him, wildly swinging the axe. Karmis ducked underneath the blow, steping forward and hammering the traitor in the helmet with the pummel of his sword. The traitor stumbled back, off balance. Before Karmis could take advantage the other one was upon him, he parried the first two attacks easily, stepping back with each movement.
The second renegade stepped forward unwittingly, Karmis propelled his body forward, punching into the armoured stomach of his foe, it stepped backwards, shaking off the strike, but it regained itself too late to defend against the well timed swipe. The sword sliced through its power armour diagonally, from shoulder to waist. The traitor keeled over, dropping face first into the floor. Dark red blood staining the pure marble, blood spilt in honour of the Emperor.
But the other traitor jumped at him, landing a blow upon Karmis’ shoulder, sending him hurtling into the ground, cracks leaping across the marble in all directions. He rolled away in time for the Berserker to shatter the white slab with his chain axe. Sending fragmentation spinning off in all directions. Karmis slashed out, severing the traitor’s right leg at the ankle. It shrieked in agony, piecing the air with indescribable noise, both real and energy, penetrating the strongest mind. Karmis bent double in agony as he attempted to get to his feet. His mind felt like it must explode. Throbbing within his skull. The berserker reached for its fallen chain axe.
His helmet display flickered and the sensory systems went psychotic, sending pulses of energy through his head. The berserker pulled itself up, kneeling infront of Karmis, preparing to strike the death blow.
Karmis reached up with his left hand and tore the helmet from his head, the glorious majesty of the temple hit him in an instant. Great white pillars supported a walk way suspended 40 feet above the court yard. The marble in the centre now cracked and fractured, stained with blood. He now looked upon the traitor with his human eyes. He felt shame. and sorrow. and pity.
Pity was for the weak.
Lashing out with his right foot as the Berserker made one last desperate attempt on his life. The strong kick sent the traitor tumbling to the ground heavily. He put a foot upon his enemy’s chest. “May you be redeemed in hell for what you have done.” he said, giving this inhuman creature its final rights as he forced the sword between the helmet and the chest plate, straight through its throat. Karmis walked towards the entrance to the temple, he looked out across the great jungles of the world, the darkness slowly enveloping its green beauty. They were coming, and his journey was only just beginning…