This is the first little story that I've ever written and shared in public. I'd love any criticism or advice that you are willing to give, only go easy on me! This is only a first draft. I plan on editing the story a bit and, perhaps, adding to it in order to flesh it out.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy it!
Corporal Vibern crawled from the burning wreck of the Command Chimera, knowing that he had been the only one to escape the vehicle's destruction. In an instant, the heart of the Militarum defense had been shattered by multiple beams of devastating darklight weaponry.
As he crawled away from his comrades' flaming tomb, Vibern let a small cry sound from his cracked lips. It was not a cry of joy or of despair. It was a cry of physical agony. At the moment of the Chimera's doom, a multilaser had been ripped apart, sending lethal shards of adamantite sprawl throughout the interior hull.
Charred corpses lay around him, lifeless attendants to the burning vehicular effigies that were once a command squadron of Chimeras. Black, billowing smoke wafted high into the air blocking much of the battlefield from Vibern's view. Vibern rolled onto his back and placed his hands over the gaping wound in his abdomen. Though he was no surgeon or medical aide, he feared the injury was mortal. He allowed his head to loll to the right, desperately seeking some form of assistance. There was no one. Vibern released a muffled sigh and, with despondent resignation, allowed himself to drift into unconsciousness.
Abruptly, the barely audible hum of anti-grav engines checked him back into reality. With a slight turn of his aching head, Vibern witnessed one of the most terrifying visions of his life. From the dense blue-black fog of burning petrol came a sleek skimmer. The design encapsulated malice; the prow of the vehicle ended in a sharp point and gave the impression of a stalking predator. Over the balustrades hung grisly trophies consisting of various skulls, all eyes empty and all mouths agape. A statue of a flensed man bent in sbmission held aloft a brazier burning with a supernatural cerulean glow. In the intricately shaped bowl lay dozens of human skulls, their skin withering away in the flame. The charcoaled craft came to a graceful halt.
Vibern did not blink. It was a fortunate side-effect of going into shock, and it probably saved his life. Throughout his years of serving in the 47th Arvo Regiment, he had seen a fair share of alien menace: the cannibalistic Kroot and insectoid Vespid, themselves auxiliaries of the blue-skinned Tau, Orkoids of various kinds, as well as a small run-in with the aloof and mysterious Eldar. And though he had never come across the foe he now looked upon, Vibern immediately knew them to be Eldar. Yet, they were not the same xenos he had seen on that fateful occasion.
In his youth, he had encountered a small detachment of Windriders when his column had come under attack by a sizable feral Ork warband on the moon of Gorn. The Eldar came to their aid and vanished as quickly as they had appeared, but Vibern had never forgotten the sight of them. Vivid red armor and sparkling white helms were what he remembered most. He could recall the fluid grace of their riders and the inhumanly beauty of their delicate but deadly craft.
On the deck of the skimmer before him, Vibern saw several warriors in vicious, segmented armor. Where the Windrider's hues were bright and vibrant, these troops' armor was a sickly crimson and dull gray. All were helmed save one. Situated at the back of the craft was an elaborate throne. The individual seated wore the same segmented armor, but it was obvious to Vibern that it was much more finely cast. Within each segmented plate was a sliver of finely artisaned gold scrolling. In the place of the being's helm was an ornately wrought mask of gold crafted into the visage of a snarling demon.
The head warrior stood and took a few steps toward the prow of his princely transport. Vibern could not see the face of this creature, and yet, there was something completely wrong about him. It was as if his malignant aura gave away his unnatural existence. With a slow, calculated motion the warrior removed the mask. Vibern's eyes widened in revulsion and horror.
His face was not what Vibern had expected. Sickly translucent skin was but a canvas for worming veins which were as black as the warrior's eyes. Great slashes of scar-tissue covered his ragged jaw. The creature widened his cold, piercing orbs of midnight and sniffed the air as if to inhale the carnage. A shudder briefly overtook him, but he managed to continue to survey the destruction.
Vibern knew he was dying, as he began to hallucinate. It seemed that with each uncontrollable shudder the warrior made, his face changed. Slowly the black veins paled and the tightening skin around his face became more supple and less translucent. The sight sickened Vibern, and yet he could not look away. In a matter of moments, the warrior's skin was as smooth and unblemished as a newborn babe.
A guttural melody came over the wounded corporal. An angel of the Emperor, perhaps, thought Vibern. But that hope, too, dissipated as he realized the creature was speaking to his subordinates. Though he could not understand any of it, he honed in on the menacing purr that resonated from the lead warrior's throat. It seemed to say, to Vibern's self-admittedly delirious brain, that more must be done. More must be witnessed.
A wave of nausea wracked Vibern's body and he vomited into the pool of blood that had leaked from the ruin of his body. He became acutely aware that the talking had ceased and with terror gripping his heart, Vibern reluctantly looked up at the skimmer only to realize that the warrior-creature was staring at him.
Eyes like the void gazed with wondrous curiosity at the wounded trooper. With his taloned gauntlets wrapped lightly about the balustrade, the face peered down at him. Vibern lay mute as the unnatural humanoid bent slightly over the side. It smiled at him. As it did, the skin shifted once more and morphed further. There was no longer any transparent quality to his flesh, but instead, a perfectly sculpted alabaster face. A sinister smile from the warrior caused Vibern to defile himself. The soul-crushing despair that he felt at that moment was so absolute that the corporal fell unconscious. The last thing Vibern heard was a malicious cackle and the craft shooting off into the smoke.