"Why would you ever stop running...?"
Alanqar Termaine, The Huntsman, The Lion's Verdict
The ship shuddered, and Mossomion played the warning in his head, hoarse vox-voice and all, a second before it came.
"Enemy boarding torpedoes have made contact. Sections Three, Seventeen, Twenty-Three and Forty will be compromised in under five minutes unless threat response is initiated."
He'd been right about everything, his knowledge of the Perpetual Dusk allowing him to feel the torpedoes' contact as if on his own skin. The Lion's pets were here for him, to exact vengeance for the murder of their Master Sabiel almost eight months ago. Mossomion dwelled on this for a moment...Jonson and his Angels had always been prone to grudges and rancors, but he'd watched their ships disengage hours after the Dark Angel Lord had died at his hands, not out of any crippling loss or disadvantage, but with no plausible reason other than perhaps realizing the folly of engaging a Night Lords fleet in blind rage. Nevertheless, a few shots from their battle-barge would've anihilated the Perpetual Dusk with little effort. For them to attack the Cruiser after this much time had passed (and they had surely been tracking and following the Night Lords, since there were no warp anomalies anywhere close to the Perpetual Dusk) meant the First Legion's cold fury was at its peak. Still, to follow an Eighth Legion ship outside detection range and ambush it was no mean feat. Whoever commanded the Angels was a focused one.
Mossomion counted six boarding torpedoes embedded in the Dusk's metallic skin. Close to sixty Angels against his seventy-five Night Lords. Perfect, he'd start worrying once Jonson's forces outnumbered his two to one.
"Krelius", he called the mortal crew member without taking his dark eyes off the screens, "show me visual feed on Section Twenty-Three. That's where their leader must be. That's where I'd be if I was boarding a Cruiser."
The man obeyed immediately and silently and, soon, all the screens in front of Mossomion were showing Section Twenty-Three from every angle possible. And it was empty. More exactly, devoid of life but for more than a dozen and a half dead Night Lords. Less than four minutes after they boarded, the Angels had already captured one of the most well defended sections...He brought up a general view of the ship. Nothing like this was taking place in the other boarded locations. The Angels were winning in most of them, yes, but this was also due to the Night Lords' very strategy, to give ground in a controlled way, allowing the enemy into areas where their momentum counted little against a well-timed ambush. For the defenders of Section Twenty-Three, though, there had been no time to execute any strategy. The best explanation was a Terminator Squad, maybe even a Dreadnought, though he dismissed the latter as none of the torpedoes was of enough size to carry one of the iron behemoths.
"Krelius, give me any and all the footage you have on the fight for Section Twenty-Three. And start directing nearby squads to halt the Angels' advance"
Mossomion knew he needn't come up with any elaborate strategy for halting the Angels, no matter how they had managed to kill so many of his Marines. Every Night Lord on board knew what to do. They'd kill the upstarts. At worst, they'd buy him time to think of a counter-manoeuvre. He watched as the screens in front of him replayed the moment when the torpedoes pierced the Dusk. Black-clad Angels, every one of them in power armour, stepped forward. No Terminators, then.
Less than a minute later, the first Night Lord defenders, the very eighteen that now lay dead in Twenty-Three, took position on the upper platforms. The first bolt rounds had barely been fired when the ships' own shadows turned on its defenders. Mossomion's brain didn't stop in the middle of producing this assumption simply because there hadn't been any mistake in it. Barely a second after the first shot was fired, a giant shadow tore into the Night Lords. Mossomion didn't wait to see the rest. This was new. This was unexpected. And he hated unexpected.
"Krelius", he growled, find me this...shadow. Use thermal vision, whatever you need, I want to know how something so large ambushes us. Is this one of Corax's pidgeons?"
"Krelius!", Mossomion roared, turning. He was already deciding who best from the mortal crew could replace Krelius after he crushed the incompetent's head. The Night Lord realized he'd have to crush a something else since Krelius' head was missing. He'd also need to find a different way of ordering Kreliu's replacement to take his new seat since most of the crew's heads were missing, as well. The few who still lived were likely to be unable to react to Mossomion's voice as their shock was taking hold of them.
Mossomion understood immediately. The Dark Angel (though it bore no Legion symbol, it had all the ceremonious gravitas of Jonson's lineage) didn't exactly merge with the shadows. He added to them, stealing the surrounding light. Every piece of his wargear, from the matte black armour to the cape and loincloth seemingly made of the darkest void, even the brushed metal that trimmed his frame...they gorged on light. Only the white crossed faceplate cut the dark silhouette, but even that seemed lost amid all the surrounding darkness. It carried few adornments: a slab of stone bearing a hooded angel and four Astartes helmets stripped of any paint and brushed to the same bleak tone of the figure's other metallic elements. As if drawn from a childhood nightmare, Mossomion thought as the figure took a step towards him. Ironic, he laughed to himself, bringing his chainsword up, that Jonson was resorting to fear against the Night Lords. Ridiculous.
"Cai Mossomion", the Angel spectre called. His voice was everything his figure wasn't. Calm yet full of life, deep yet not sounding as if belonging to a grave wraith, as happened with so many of Jonson's Chaplains. "You've slighted the First Legion by your actions in the gravest of ways. Lord Jonson has sentenced you to death, and you are hereby denied any last words."
The Night Lord somersaulted backwards, landing behind a console. His only chance against a Terminator would be to ambush him, hitting him repeatedly, weakening him until he could apply the final blow. The loyalist wretch had some nerve, denying him "any last words". Mossomion took a few steps to the right, seeking to come up from an unexpected position. He knew the Angel was still in the same place, the whirr of his massive armour's servos not part of his stealth camouflage. Mossomion came up, his plasma pistol perfectly aimed, his lips already moving to defy the Angel's verdict.
The plasma blast, not reddish like his but white-yellow and much more potent, hit Cai Mossomion from behind, liquefying him from the waist down, armour, meat and bones. As he fell, dropping his weapons, the Night Lord was still struggling to speak, though only blood came out. His killer loomed above, now more than ever the image of a reaper. He brought his massive power axe up.
Mossomion gargled harder, coughing blood. He looked at the Angel with eyes wide in pain, shock and hate. The loyalist seemed to notice and sighed.
"Do not make your case worse", the Dark Angel said, dropping the axe.