Thanks! This is off topic, but if you want to know what else is keeping me occupied, here's a taster of something I'm working on for the Black Library. (I'll need to take this down fairly quickly, so let me know what you think!)
“Now, Arch-Magos! Fire the Bastard Cannon!”
Reactors whined as they built up a charge. The whine became a scream and the scream climbed almost beyond the threshold of human hearing. The Leviathan began to lurch so badly, the Lord Militant General thought it and everything within would fly apart. One of the officers was yelling, but Abastus couldn’t hear what the man said, and couldn’t take his eyes from the sight of the approaching brood of Titans. Someone started screaming as if in terror.
“For the Omnissiah and all Mankind!” Arch-Magos Valus shouted.
The Emperor’s Wrath bucked like a quadruped throwing its rider. Nearly everyone on board was thrown to the floor, many badly injured by the fall, though no-one was killed. The Bastard Cannon’s gaping maw began to draw in matter as it charged. The sparkling dance of firelight became a swirling hurricane trapped in place, harnessed by the mightiest of human technology. Static charge built up for half a kilometre from the Cannon, frazzling equipment and causing hair to stand on end in ridiculous fashion. The enemy Titans were closing. They had detected the build-up of energy and were headed straight for the Wrath, weapons already tracking towards the Leviathan.
Then the Emperor’s Wrath opened fire.
The end of the world had come, and it was heading straight for the leading Titan.
Bolt after bolt of sun-bright energy blasted out of the Bastard Cannon’s maw, each bolt longer than the Leviathan was tall. Silence came with each burst of fire as the bolts seemed to suck more than just oxygen into themselves. Men on the ground screamed and rolled as their armour and equipment burst into flames.
Almost the entire Chaotic horde flung itself into the dirt as the Emperor’s thunderbolts passed above them. The renegade Titans had no such capability. Shot after shot punched into the Titan with the crocodile’s head. So mighty were the impacts that the Titan went down like a man caught in the barrage of an assault cannon. Some of the bolts which had hit the Titan slashed straight through and out the other side, continuing on towards the Plague God’s siege towers and the blighted city beyond.
Even as the Titan hit the ground, its reactor was going critical. Ammo stocks were exploding throughout its frame. When the reactor finally breached – a matter of seconds – a new star seemed to have landed on the planet. The explosion erupted in multiple detonations as the reaction fed itself upon the tanks and siege guns caught within its radius. A mushroom cloud seemed to pull itself into the night sky where stars burned and starships duelled; on earth, so in heaven, the war was fought with weapons of incalculable power.
Two of the oncoming siege towers were blasted apart, the detonations so ferocious that shrapnel beheaded unlucky warriors five kilometres from the blast point.
Still – still – some of the Bastard Cannon’s firepower travelled onwards into the enemy-held capital. Buildings erupted or simply melted. Whole streets were incinerated. Dug-in troops were engulfed as rapidly as those in the open, for there was nowhere to hide from the Emperor’s judgement.
No sound was audible through any of this. There was simply no way for any living being to process it. Neither man nor alien could make sense of the destruction, even as the Titan fell and the city was destroyed in a spreading ripple of fire.
The expanding wave of plasma which burst from the downed Titan swept across its two brothers, collapsing shields and blackening armour. Heraldry which had hung from gun-arms since the Siege of Terra burned up and flaked away. Followers of the Dark Gods, some newly converted, some ancient and maleficent, most simply too terrified to live any other way, were incinerated in their hundreds. Tanks melted or burst as their ammunition cooked off. Space Marines who had been young when their Primarchs were still loyal were torn apart or grievously wounded, barely sustained by their power armour.
Sound gradually returned through the long seconds that followed.
Those who had not been permanently deafened heard the crackling of flames, the clapping of distant destruction as the city fell down. Then the screaming started, accompanied by the groans of those who were semi-conscious or too wounded to cry out.
Abastus gaped at the destruction his order had wrought. An army was on its face before him, its figureheads battered or destroyed, its base collapsed. Only small knots of Space Marines and their capering daemonic allies continued to fight. In the distance, waves of fire continued to spread as the city just kept falling.
“Holy shit,” said the Lord Militant General.