A sound like thunder, the ground moves and I am blind. There are no screams, just the resonance of that terrible boom and then an uncanny silence. I am pressed into the mud of my trench, I think I was thrown here, I have not dared to move in some time. Somehow I have been spared from whatever new weapon those twisted Dark Mechanicus bastards had unleashed. Heavy footsteps approach, and I stare blindly, panicking in the direction of the new sound. I scrabble around in the quagmire for my lasgun.
“Mortal. Sergeant. Regain your composure. Pick up your weapon. Though gods walk on this battlefield your duty is not yet at an end.”
My vision begins to return and I see the huge golden form of a man before me as I stagger to my feet. No, bigger than a man – a Space Marine. He watches me impassively from behind a mirrored visor as I wipe the mud from my rifle, it seems so futile a thing when this giant is here. I look around the battlefield and the trenches, but they are unrecognisable from the hell that had been my home for the past few months. The land has been scoured clean, tanks, fortifications, people, all swept aside. The forces of Chaos are simply gone, as if they were never here. But so too the forces of the Imperial Guard – the Garrison – a thousand loyal men. Apart from the Astartes I couldn’t see a single other living soul.
“Did you think the gods would tread softly when we delivered your salvation?” the Astartes asks and I realise there are more golden Marines teleporting to arrive nearby. I look up and through teary eyes I think I can see the ominous shadow of the Luceferous, the fortress monastery of the Sun Titans, looming in low orbit. Sudden anger overwhelms me.
“You did this? An orbital strike? And you give us no warning? Look around! You’ve destroyed everything we were fighting for!”
“No mercy for Chaos. No mercy for the heretic. All enemy forces are destroyed. No trace of shadow remains. This is our will: we bring the light.”
“And what of the Garrison? Am I the only survivor? These men were veterans all! This is an act of insanity…” my hands tremble as I clutch my gun. I think of the soldiers that I had been fighting with just moments before. “This is cowardice! We needed you months ago, on the front lines…!”
The Sun Titan drew his power sword and with a deep hum the blade sprang to life. He stepped towards me. “None shall question the will of the gods. No mercy for the heretic. Sol Invictus.”