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Old 01-03-2003, 05:01 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Denmark
Posts: 1,068
The Templar’s Tale

No-one spreads as much darkness as he who has seen the light. -Proverb.

And thus did it come to pass that, on word from The Creator, that the Legion of the True Faith was founded on the blighted world of Ecrast...

Exempt from the teachings of the Legion

Learn now of the so-called Legion of the True Faith: Five decades ago on the world of Ecrast this menace to our just Republic was founded, a cabal of murderers and terrorists who preached to their mad followers that they were the emissaries of a “Creator”...

Exempt from a Central Governmental Control propaganda broadcast

Flinching instinctively as the shot passed her head Sister Calina turned from the crimson-tainted form of the dead security officer and looked to her right to see that the heathen that had killed Brother Marcus was trying to break their line.
Risking the exposed run to another piece of cover she worked her way to a better position while firing repeatedly at the threatening soldier. Suddenly she was beside him and, switching her auto-pistol to burst-fire she sent a volley of shots through the man’s face.
Realising her error a faction of a second too late she felt the sniper’s bullet pass millimetres from her ear, buzzing like an angry wasp. Ducking for cover she turned and ran towards the group of pipes that had sheltered her before.
Almost as soon as she got there three men in blue body armour bore down on her. Killing two with precise shots to their hearts she turned to the last one, who fired his weapon at her. The score of bullets coming from the mouth of the shotgun-like firearm graced her left arm, sending a shot of white-hot pain through her nerves.
Suppressing the pain by sheer force of will, she fired twice at her assailant, but he deftly avoided the potentially lethal trails of fire from the self-propelled small arms shells. He shot once more at her, but the shot went wide and he had no time to reload before she had levelled her gun at him.
As she pressed the trigger the firing mechanism clanked into an empty chamber. Both realised at the same time that she had a feeder jam, meaning that her weapon was useless until she had time to fix it. A luxury that she absolutely couldn’t afford in the midst of battle.
Dodging yet another shot she dived for the weapon of one of her fallen foes. Reloading and aiming meant another dagger of pain in her wounded arm, but she nevertheless succeeded in vaporising her enemy’s head and most of his torso with a lucky shot.
At a break in the fighting Calina had a chance to take stock of the situation. The enemy sniper had been joined by another, firing from a different angle. One was in a ventilation shaft that opened into the room, and the other, newly arrived was standing on an elevated catwalk overlooking the control room of Space Freighter Kraken.
Between the two of them they had the Templar incursion force pinned down, and Calina knew that they would be doomed if the snipers held them there long enough for reinforcements to arrive. Already they had lost seven of the twenty Templar and she wondered if the other team had fared better. It seemed unlikely, given that they were to meet here, at their objective.
Taking a sniper round in her right thigh brought her out of her tactical considerations and back into the hell that she was living. Ten more guards had sneaked up behind them, and were firing into the back of their line.
‘Less disciplined units had broken and scattered in such a situation,’ she thought, ‘but we are Templar! The chosen of the Creator, his name be praised! We shall not fail!’
Drawing her combat knife she focused on the end-vent, where the blasphemous coward was sniping her battle-brethren. She vanished a faction of a second later, and reappeared behind the sniper. Although the Jump had placed her in a favourable position, it had also tired her.
But that was of little consequence now. She drove her knife into the back of the sniper, picked up his rifle, and started to hunt for targets. She was surprised to discover that yet another sniper had appeared on the catwalk, but there was little time to think about it.
Picking off one of the snipers, she jumped back down into the fight. Milliseconds after she had left the endvent a high calibre sniper bullet smacked into the wall where her head had just been.
In the meantime, the tide of battle had turned to the Templar’s favour. Although the arrival of the last sniper meant that there was still one left, the removal of the other two had been sufficient for the insertion team to move halfway from their previous position to the main objective: The central computer outlet. The brain of the ship.
Calina was in front of the Templar line as they were met with a desperate last-ditch defence. Pouring out of three separate doors, the blue-armoured foes fired even as they ran towards the intruders. The first shots were far off their mark, of course, and the Templar laid down a hail of fire, felling an entire rank of the security guards.
But the assailants just kept coming like there was no tomorrow. If the team reached the computer terminals there wouldn’t be, Calina knew. Realising that they would eventually be worn down by the relentless assault, Calina focused her mind and called out for the two nearest of her battle-brothers. Signalling to the others of the team they threw themselves into the computer ´dugout,´ a lowered section of floor, running the length of the room that housed the main computers.
As the battle raged above them they executed the personnel working with the computers. While her fellow operatives began extracting the data that they had been sent to get, Calina, exhausted beyond comprehension from her Jumps and mental communication, crouched in a corner of the dugout, aiming the sniper rifle that she, for lack of more appropriate close combat weapons, had hung on to, down the corridor.
Working purely on adrenaline Calina shot all blue shapes dropping into the dugout until they ceased to move. The rifle that had been so awkward in the swirling melee was now proving very effective. She fervently prayed that the Creator and the other Templar could keep the guards on the edge of the dugout too busy to take aim. If they could not the three in the corridor were sitting ducks.
A blue-clad woman jumped down next to a computer terminal, pointing a firearm at one of the two Templar working at it. Calina reacted a moment too late, and the belly of Templar Sargus was turned into a red mist by the point-blank discharge. Moments later a rifle round carved a bloody trail through the woman’s heart. She fell stone dead to the ground, and Calina muttered a bitter curse.
Suddenly the man working at the computer was finished. Humming to life the loudspeakers, placed at regular intervals throughout the maze of corridors and storage rooms making up the Kraken, resounded with a dull female voice.
The recording that was automatically repeated by the computer systems in the centre of the Kraken said: “Self-destruct mechanisms initiated. All personnel must evacuate. Reactor will overload in T – 10 minutes.”
‘Time to go home,’ Calina thought. Then, as the other Templar began to disappear amongst her, she realised that she was too tired to Jump. The full horror of her situation began to dawn on her; she was all alone in a self-destructing craft, surrounded by hostiles. Even if they ignored her, concerned with getting to the evac pods, and even if she herself got to one, there was no realistic chance that her pod would not be intercepted and destroyed.
She heard a distinctive hiss, and, turning, she came to look right into the igniter flame of a flamethrower. She threw herself to the left, landing on her wounded arm, which caused intense pain. Accessing strength she did not know that she possessed, she managed to vanish just as the flamethrower sprayed white-hot napalm into the dugout, filling it with liquid fire.
Safely back on the Battleship class craft Sword of Purity, her adrenaline was spent, and, dead on her feet with exhaustion, she only managed to take a few steps before she passed out.
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