The possessed psyker cackled with mad glee, wrenching himself out of Hermann’s hold and rushing off towards the Eldar at the far end of the vault. He didn’t get very far however, before Genevieve cut him off and her blade found his throat, decapitating him in a single swing.
A certain sense of foreboding washed over the scene as the severed head smacked against the ground. At the same time, the air around and over the scene started to fizzle and pop, obscuring the headless body as something started to form in the middle out of thin air. Something big that was made up of things that might have made sense in some other plane of existence, but here it just made your head hurt if you looked at it too closely. Yet it was all so strangely fascinating that you didn’t want to look away, despite all your senses screaming at you to run far, far away from whatever this abomination of the warp was.
By all logic, Lady appearing in her (Or his? Whatever.) full daemon form before them should have reduced him to a shivering, sobbing mess on the floor, yet Dumont felt strangely calm about the whole ordeal. Like it wasn’t really happening. Nearby, the Sororita was the only other one still standing, swinging her sword at the daemon in a mad frenzy that seemed to have little effect. Harratos was obsessively checking and rechecking his weapons, paying no attention to anything else. Hermann was staring ahead with blank unresponsive eyes.
In no time at all, things had taken a turn for the absolute worst.
‘I guess this is it then,’ Dumont thought, gauging the mad scene unfolding before him in the vault. ‘This is where I’ll die.’ The Eldar were screaming in terror, desperately firing their weapons at the approaching daemon that seemed not to mind the hails of shuriken rounds, and was now leisurely scooping them up one after the other, and doing… things to them.
Fingers closing around the handle of the holstered bolt pistol, he pulled it out and aimed with both hands. Surely it was madness, but there was not a single doubt in his mind right now. Was this how it felt to be guided by the Emperor? He wasn’t really sure, and as he followed the train of thought further, he remembered something the now former psyker had said: “the Emperor doesn’t watch over Askellon.” Whatever the truth though, he planned to go out with his boots on, spitting in the eye of this warp monstrosity as it skewered him.
There was no way to miss a target this big, though there was no knowing what might actually happen, because even the air around the daemon was not of this world, crackling and wavering with psychic power. At the same time aiming and trying not to look at the warp abomination too hard, Dumont fired. For a second it seemed as though his shot was going to find its mark, but as he watched the bolter round seemed to flicker, and made an impossible curve around the daemon before impacting at the feet of a lone Eldar desperately trying to crawl away.
Something resembling mocking laughter echoed throughout the chamber.
Finished with the Eldar for now, the daemon turned its attention back to the acolytes for a moment, disregarding each of them before finally settling on Hermann. Something resembling a wicked grin spread on the face of the warp abomination, and after a couple of steps it was standing over the priest.
At that point, a little too late, Dumont realized something important: the Chronodex. The chains of the lead box were still wrapped and locked around Hermann’s torso. The daemon simply ignored the extra weight and grabbed the struggling priest by his legs, then started to drag him away, lead box and all.
More booming daemonic laughter echoed throughout the underground chamber.
OH HERMANN, THERE’S JUST SO MUCH FUN WE’RE GOING TO HAVE, I CAN’T WAIT! AND THE REST OF YOU, WE’LL BE SEEING EACH OTHER VERY SOON! TA-TA!
Then, as quickly as it had appeared, the daemon was gone, giving a final mocking salute to the acolytes before disappearing in a flash of warp energy. The discharge left ripples and distortions in the air that slowly faded away.
Oscarl Dumont, standing with a smoking bolt pistol in his hand, had some trouble taking in and processing the whole situation at this point, which was strange considering the steadiness with which he’d acted just moments ago. A daemon had burst out of the psyker. Hermann was gone, and so was the Chronodex. And somehow, he was still alive. Oh yeah, and that daemon. The implications sent a chill down his spine.
“We’re so fucked right now,” he muttered, reaching into his coat pocket for the pack of lho stiks.