It's mostly the story that matters.
Rana Hallock couldn't think straight, for the crowning moment of all what she dreamt of, was before her and it was terrifying.
The nights she spent with a prayer plastered to her lips, the days she spent training with the Paladins, absorbing the spirit of might and relentless purpose - they had finally amounted to something. To a horrible bloodbath the likes of which she hadn't seen yet, which had surely rivaled what had happened on Grexx, and what had left the guardswomans friends yet again dying before her very eyes.
But, it had also amounted to an opportunity to fulfill her oath, and as gripped the trusty, mud-ridden hellgun in a now unfaltering vice of her bionic hand, she did all her best to calm down and not make any noise.
The heretic was near her, about a couple of dozen meters away. He seemed to scan the rubble left from a smoldering hovercar, the many of casualties that had commenced as the dwellers of the Hive attempted mass evacuation. Rana had followed him since the last scrap, where he and his abominable companion tore into the defences she and her comrades had put up by the orders of the allied Sisters Militant. Then, the monsters parted, and Rana... she had an oath to keep, and not just one.
The guardswoman slowly aimed her gun. Astartes had remarkable armor, and the woman had a hard time assessing, from her position, which part of the Traitor Marine's back was most vulnerable. The Raptor had a jetpack, and somewhere in the construction, she figured, there just had to be fuel tanks. She could blow him up. Rana primed her gun, the oiled joints of her prosthetics working smoothly, and the polished cylinder of the tank slipping into the view of her gun's iron sights when the Raptor suddenly shifted weight into an attempt to pry open the hovercar's door.
Rana was midst pulling the trigger, when the Chaos Marine jumped weirdly, almost flipping back. At her.
The initial impact of the heavy-armored hereric near her threw the guardswoman off her feet, but she was caught by a clawed guantlet that pierced into her chest flak armor. She managed to issue a chortled scream, but it was cut short as the Traitor Marine smashed the inquisitorial stormtrooper backfirst into the brick wall of the dilapidated building she hid in. The he pulled Rana out, dust choking her and blocking her vision, and smashed her into the wall again. And again, untill the womans head rattled insider her helm, her visor cracked and vox-bead streaming static. The hellgun flew away as she attempted to find leverage on the hand gripping her, but the heretic jerked her up, bringing the woman face to face.
Rana's eyes hurt from the dust, but she managed to look at her nemesis.
One that called himself Torturer was same as back on Grexx, the heavy aura almost tangible to trooper Hallock. She squirmed away in disgust as she felt the familiar pull on the very core of her being - a psyker's telepathic probing. Rana's jaw slacked as the intruder forced himself into her mind. It was repulsive when Dinotus, the Imperial Paladins Chief Librarian did it - but he was fast, surgical, quickly scanning and leaving her with a burning sensation of total openness and invulnerability. Torturer's entry was different - the lack of mastery and power evident in the way he probed. Instead of ripping the cover of Rana's being in one blow, he took the subjective, viscuos mind-time to writhe in, ooze like a toxin and begin flipping between memories and emotions. She physically felt them stained and withered by the presence. Then he pulled out.
"Vengeance, hm?" The heretic Astartes inquired. He drove Hallocks back into the brick wall again, jagged edges driving into the unprotected parts of her spine and buttocks, and then raised his powerfist. "Interesting, from a mere mortal."
The killing blow hadn't come. Instead, Rana was greeted to a sight of slithering tentacles that sprouted from the bulbous gauntlet and quickly climbed up her body, pinning her to the wall in a ridiculous splayed position. Sudden understanding flashed in her mind, the briefings, the words of her Astartes mentors. Slaaneshi. Abominable. Daemonophiliac. Tainted. Perverted. Seekers of flesh-bound pleasure.
The heretics snake-like eyes watched her with keen interest.
"You've followed to kill me." He asserted in a light, albeit raspy tone. "Kill me. You. You're not good enough."
All the while the Raptor squeezed with the tentacle onto the augmented arm of the stormtrooper, wrenching it so she'd drop the splintered, broken blade of a knife she had managed to pull out during the beatdown.
"For Ashur" Rana managed to choke out. She had to. It was her duty, to avenge his death. And even if she died, she would've...
Torturer stepped closer. The edge of his mask hovered in close proximity to Rana Hallock's face, and she actually felt the smell coming from the Raptor. Metallic, spicy, utterly alien. His eyes were bloodshot, and there were deep crinckles in the waxen surface of his skin. The stormtrooper was revolted. She couldn't, didn't want to accept that something this wrong, this offensive, was now studying her as an insect. Rana couldn't believe that the Emperor had quided her hand astray, after all she had been through. There was nothing about the Traitor marine that was close to the nobility and rightness that like a cloak hung over the Paladins. The creature before her was a twisted parody to what she pronounced in her mind as the epitome of humanity, and she squirmed away. Away from the studying gaze and the foggy aura of despair and... was it lust? that emanated from the heretic.
"Don't like me, do you? Think you can avenge that weakling Devastator?" Torturer sniffed the air around her from the grills of his mask in a predatory manner, blowing the guardswoman's blond hair away. "Oh, do you see him at night, his dead body pressed close to yours, his blood coating your skin, begging you to save him?
He grabbed her by the face, squeezing it. It was a nice, soft face, and the Traitor delighted in how it swelled with blood beneath the pinch of steel.
"You're so fixated on honor." Torturer's mask pulled apart as he forced Rana's head to stay straight and look at him. The separate parts dripped something like rubbery oil, which then condensed to fangs, and as the Raptor opened this faux-mouth to speak,behing them she could see his real teeth and a glimpse of something metalic. "I saw it. You hold this trash too high, little girl."
The hand let go off her face. The Raptor slipped the clawed tip of his thumb under his masked chin and jerked it. Dark blood sprayed out, coating his fingers.
"You wanted my blood? Then have it, Acolyte."
As Hallock opened her mouth to scream in defiance, the blood-drenched tips of Torturer's fingers were shoved in there, coating the inside of her gullet with the ichor. In mortal disgust, she thrashed around while the heretic smiled. "It couldn't, it couldn't be happening" the animalistic, panicked throught coursed through her head as a yet another pinch on her face forced her to swallow. She couldn't even taste or spit out the blood.
"And as for honor..." A talon was brought to the immaculate pale skin of her forehead.
"No?" Torturer raised an eyebrow. "You should worship me like you do them... I'm an Astartes afterall."
The sting of pain was lost in Rana's world as the Raptor carved a sigil in her forehead.
"It would heal..." He assured, almost lovingly if not for an expression of hunger and hate plastered on what was left of his features. "And maybe you could even get rid of it? But no, my dear Rana, you'll have to live without honor. Owing your pathetic life to me."
As blood dripped down her forehead and the stortrooper slumped to the ground, freed from the restraining grip, the heretic reached to Rana's mind, burning out with the force of his telepathic gift the handsome, open and concerned face of the martyrous Devastator. Instead, as Rana sat on her knees in a soul-crushed stupor, her blue eyes half-lidded under the red streaks, all she could see was the snarl of the heretic she failed to kill.
And which didn't kill her, for some odd and inconceivable reason.
Rana Hallock belongs to