Branded Part 4
The twins awoke beside each next to the fresh grave. Immediately they looked at each other.
"Only one can pass." came the booming voice of the Space Marine who stood above looking down into the pit. Hard rock formed the walls weathered by time. Pieces of broken bone littered the stony ground. Together they looked up at the War Hound. He threw a pair of daggers down into the pit. "Very few come this far, you are as much the victors of these games as survivors. Know that whomever wins this final test shall serve a special place in our Legion."
Together as one the brothers spoke "No." Their young faces filthy with grime and sweat looked up, eyes blazing in defiance. Neither looked upon the weapons.
"Then you shall both die." decreed the War Hound. "There can be no pity amongst our ranks."
"Trial by combat." they shouted as one. Rising from the drug induced slumber the pair stood side by side. "Trial by combat."
"Fools." sneered the Space Marine looking down upon them then he drew his chainsword and leapt down amongst them. "You mar the very honor bestowed upon you." His weapon screamed to life as he activated the mechanism. Others above looked down in silence to watch. The War Hound towered above the youths immediately lashing out. Moving quickly they split apart, each going to opposite ends of the pit. "Cowards."
He turned towards one then felt a stinging pain behind his eyes momentarily clouding his vision. Laughing the War Hound vigorously shook his head to ward off the unseen attack. He felt his eyes begin to bulge and hot bile filled his mouth. A huge piece of stone canyoned the back of his helm cracking one of the eye lenses. Blindly he struck out swinging the chainsword vigorously, both gauntlets tightly gripping the hilt. The earth seemed to shake rising up knocking him to his knees.
"Halt!" yelled another War Hound from above. Warily the twins looked up for the briefest moment to spy the a lined face. They felt the world turning then spinning.