Wargaming Forum and Wargamer Forums - View Single Post - The Hunted (2)
Thread: The Hunted (2)
View Single Post
post #28 of (permalink) Old 07-15-18, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
Brother Emund
Senior Member
 
Brother Emund's Avatar
Brother Emund's Flag is: United Kingdom
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Essex County
Posts: 1,531
Reputation: 34
Default Hunted (3)

Hunted No3

Re-done. Am I happy? Not sure. Enjoy and feel free to critique!

* * *


HUNTED

By

Brother Emund


There is nothing like hunting a man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter..


. . .


PROLOGUE


The Wrath of the Emperor



THE AVENGER CLASS Grand Cruiser broke into real space like a small nuclear explosion.
Its gigantic triangular prow, which sat below an enormous Imperial Aquilla, shuddered with massive energy waves and multiple explosions driving back the nothingness of the warp and filling the area around it with brilliant light and unimaginable pyrotechnics.
Before the vessel had fully translated into real space, a spray of tiny fighters exploded from its bow launchers and fanned out in front, skipping and darting in all directions like small children eager to please their mother and protector.

As the old warship fully revealed itself in all its majestic glory, but before the hull had even started to cool, its huge guns, weapons points, multi-lasers and bombards began swivelling in their mounts and turrets as long-range scanners searched for any sign that an enemy might be lying in wait for just this opportune and vulnerable moment. Blast doors were quickly lowered and decks were cleared for action. Klaxon’s whined and thousands of voices issued orders and instructions whilst the crew sang battle hymns and challenges to any enemy who might dare to defy them.
Squads of Naval Almsmen and other combat-ready troops moved into pre-assigned positions and broke open munitions packs and other ordnance ready to repel boarders or protect vital points and machinery. Automated gun platforms swivelled on pre-programmed protocols as lines of heavy rounds were fed into their hungry breaches.

Within seconds the full measure of the beast was beheld as The Wrath of the Emperor broke free of the warp and became whole once again. Chronometers and onboard computers immediately calculated the Imperial time (adjusted) and all working systems were updated in the time it took to blink.
The ship gave a shudder as if it welcomed its new environment and the eyes in the massive double-headed golden eagle on its bow seemed to glitter with an inner sentience.

It was clear for all to see.

We challenge you. We are here. Behold the majesty and power of the Emperor.

Moments later, another vessel exploded into being beside the massive planet destroyer and took up a position as an escort to the Flagship.

Although it was only two kilometres in length, The Firestorm-class Frigate, The Sword of Tizona, bore all the marks and scars of a seasoned veteran. Blooded during The Third War for Armageddon and credited with numerous ship kills, this hunter wore its honours with pride, flouting Imperial Navy etiquette by proudly showing every lance strike, hard round and blast mark it had received in the crucible of battle.

A third vessel arrived almost at a silent glide, with none of the fanfare and pageantry of the other two battleships. It was a Dauntless-class light cruiser for sure, its shape and configuration were well-known, but it was subtly different and devoid of all the spikes, towers and paraphernalia commonly found along the hulls of regular Imperial Navy ships. This was sleeker and more aerodynamic. It was more a dagger than a blunt axe. It was also the darkest of black in colour, a deep matt impervious to light.

As it moved into position to the rear of The Wrath of the Emperor, a distant star was reflected off an emblem on its prow, a solid silver Fleur-de-Lys, the standard iconography of The Adepta Sororitas, foot soldiers of The Ecclesiarchy and scourge of the heretic. The Black Ship Anima Nobiscum heralded death and pain to the weak of mind and rotten of heart.
It was the figure in the shadows, the hidden terror that stalked the nightmares of the enemies of the Emperor.

Ahead of them lay the gigantic, dirty brown and yellow cloud of the Uthiea Nebula, ten thousand light years from Galactic north to galactic south. It was an impressive sight even for a seasoned space traveller. One might even say that the sight was breath-taking if one had the time to look up from the Auspexes and data banks spread out in front of you. The hundred and forty thousand or so crew that manned The Wrath of the Emperor did not have that luxury or that privilege. Their revered guest did not consider sightseeing as a worthy, or efficient use of anyone’s time and he would bring down swift retribution on anyone that was not completely dedicated to the task assigned to them.

* * *

DEEP WITHIN THE bowels of the leading ship was an area that was sacred and accessible only to the mysterious denizens of the Cult Mechanicus. It was a large, domed workshop where Adepts and servitors fussed around the ancient machines and data processors that fed the main bridge above. It was a scene of controlled efficiency that buzzed with the strange machine chant that these trans-humans used to communicate.

A single figure stood behind a massive brass cogitator, surrounded by a crowd of doting, grey-robed servitors and mind-scrubbed worker drones. He cared little for the wonders of the universe in front of him as he sat almost immobile in front of a bank of humming, chattering machines.
+ INITIALISING +

“Oh Great Machine God, I implore thee to cast your munificent gaze upon our systems, the Divine Right. Let your burning power seethe through its circuits. Let your undying wards lay upon its matrix and circuitry. Let your supreme intellect watch over this operation and assist me in my never-ending search for knowledge.”

+ LOADING SEARCH PARAMETERS +
+ LOADING +
+ INITIATING LORD MARTINEZ PROTOCOLS. TARGET DESIGNATION: STROMS +
+ LOADING +
+ SEARCHING +
+ ADD SYSTEM WIDE +
+ LOADING +

“The Emperor Protects.”

+ PRAXIS GATANIA SUBROUTINE: IMPERIAL COMMANDER +
+ ACCESS DENIED +
+ OVERIDE +
+ ACCESS GRANTED +

“Hunt the heretic, purify the unclean”

+ ARBITES MAINFRAME +
+ ACCESS GRANTED +
+ PLANETARY DEFENCE FORCE SUBROUTINE +
+ LIMITED ACCESS +
+ OVERIDE +
+ ACCESS GRANTED +

Patience, He that has patience can have the will

+ ADEPTUS ADMINISTRATUM - ACCESS GRANTED +
+ ERROR - FIREWALL INITIATED +
+ ACCESS LIMITED +
+ MARTINEZ ACCESS OVERRIDE +
+ ACCESS GRANTED +

Patience is a gift to the truly anointed

+ Arch-Magos. This is station 31/20. Long range Auspex has detected ships approaching. We are being scanned +

+ PROXIMITY ALERT +
+ AUSPEX SCAN +
+ INCOMING VESSELS CONFIRMED +

+ Two thousand Kilometres and closing +
“Where are our fighters?”
+ They were recalled and are secured by order of His Lord +

“Lower shields. Send out Standard Imperial Greeting.”
+ Acknowledged +
+ Incoming message. Sub-diverted through to you +

+ Unknown vessels. This is The Admiral Swinton of the Praxis Gatania Outer-Rim Flotilla. Heave to, lower your colours and prepare to be boarded +

Such confidence.

+ ACCESSING NAVAL DATABASE +

“Greetings Captain Zorich. We are off record vessels on Imperium business. Sending our clearance now.”
+ Unknown vessels. You will immediately cease your scans and Heave to. This is not, I repeat NOT a request. You will comply or face ultimate sanction +
“I am sending you our clearance now Captain.”

+ TRANSMITTING +

+ Instructions received. Thank you for your co-operation. If there is anything we can assist you with, do not hesitate to ask. The Emperor Protects +

Indeed, he does

“You will remain in contact and await further instructions Captain Zorich.”

+ ALL SYSTEMS SEARCHED - STANDBY +
+ AWAITING INSTRUCTIONS +
+ INPUT MARTINEZ PROTOCOLS +
+ SEARCHING +

Knowledge is power

ARCH-MAGOS FLAVIUS Cutov noted the position of the Flotilla and then checked their position with readings he had already inputted.
There was a pattern here which they had not anticipated.

Too many ships. Multiple designations. Myriad class of vessels.

He flicked a long tendril that had snaked out from within the folds of his robes and brought up a blitz of intricate lines, spirals, shapes and machine code which seemed to float in the air before him.
He noted that there were literally hundreds of ships in this system alone and from their designation markers, a great many of them were military vessels.

With quick flicks of his only human hand, he cast off erroneous information and lesser input and with his other, extensively modified bionic limb, he pulled in items that were of interest or items he could store away for further use.

+ INPUTTING THE ADMIRAL SWINTON TRANSMISSION LOGS +

Very interesting, but he will not be happy.

A small comment on an Administratum file drew his attention.

+ EXPAND +
+ Post 4AA/9L- Transit: Ucscurn trading vessel seeking permission to pass through the rings of Otravis Secunda. Fears of Reaver activity in area +
+ Draianus - Thapus Inbound Tripartite fuga salutem: Permission Granted +
+ QUERY; UCSCURN, EISLORIX SYSTEM, ULTIMA SEGMENTUM +
+ VESSEL NOT LISTED ON IMPERIAL MANIFESTS +
+ ACCESS RECORDS ON ABOVE PARAMETERS +
+ NO RECORDS FOUND +

The Arch-Magos moved back from the hololithic display.

No records found?

The vessel was unknown, that is, it was not listed on any database that was used locally.

No records found?


If the Arch-Magos had facial muscles, he would have probably frowned. But as his face consisted of an oval diamond covered in a thousand compound eyes, this was quite impossible and anyway it was an inefficient use of his time.
He allowed himself a scratch of machine code instead.

Unknown vessels like this were not uncommon. The vast Imperial machine was sometimes fallible and there were anomalies that let things slip through, but with all the other information he was receiving, a form was growing before him.

Without notice, he suddenly detected a rise in blood adrenaline levels in the frontal lobe of his brain; this immediately caused a rush of pleasure throughout his body giving him a feeling of light-headedness and well-being. The Arch-Magos, in a previous lifetime, would have called the word...excitement.

Note: Check Frontal lobe functions for signs of decay or possible infection

His four pneumatic legs raised him up to his full height and twisting at the hip, he moved away from his station and made his way to the Sanctum exit way.

“Lord Martinez. This is Arch-Magos Flavius Cutov. Are you awake?”

There was a pause, no more than two seconds, before a gruff, deeply-accented voice returned.

+ I have only slept one hour in the last twenty-four so technically I am still asleep Arch-Magos +

Cutov absorbed the remark and passed it through his behavioural dampers.

Why do these mortals insist on using the wasted method of communication called sarcasm?

“My Lord, I have a 13 out of 14 tertiaries result for you.”

The message was blunt and without any emotion. He had delivered the information he had collated as requested knowing that it would be of the utmost importance to the Master of this fleet.

“You asked me to inform you if any of my findings were verified. Everything leads me to the conclusion…”
The Arch-Magos heard what he thought to be a spluttered cough, followed by items being dropped or knocked over.

+ Cutov, a 13 of 14 is very unusual, are you sure? +

The Arch-Magos momentarily halted and considered the question. He was absolutely certain that he had checked all the systems… several times. The information he had gained was correct. The margin for error was within acceptable parameters.

“I have run a quick diagnostic my Lord; my systems are functioning at 99.97 per cent. I am almost certain that the information is correct.”

There was a longer pause this time and then a deep baritone burst of laughter.
+ Almost 99.97% certain + Came the reply + From an Arch-Magos of the Mechanicum, that is not very reliable +

Cutov ran the sentence through his behavioural systems and realised that Lord Martinez was being… sarcastic… again. He would however, run another diagnostic if Martinez required further confirmation of his findings.

“My Lord, I will shut down and purge my systems and I will essay again.”
This time the reply was quick and without humour.

+ No, no, for the Emperor’s sake Cutov, do not purge yourself, I am more than happy with the result. Meet me in the Stratagem most expeditiously +

. . .


.

"Death occurs when a lethal projectile comes together in time and space with a suitable target, in the absence of appropriate armour or protection”


Check out my 40K 'Epic' about the Hunted verses the Inquisition: https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...98#post2184698

Brother Emund is offline  
 
 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome