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Thread: Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories Challenge 12-01: A Beginning Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-25-12 09:04 PM
Boc Oy, sorry, a few days late! Just got in late last night from training, so posted here as soon as I could!

Thanks all for making this first HOES of the year such a resounding success! Voting thread should be up shortly...
01-23-12 02:37 AM
Mossy Toes Well, I didn't even finish my story this month, so...I abdicate? Somebody keep my throne warm for me...
01-20-12 05:39 AM
Shogun_Nate What will probably the the recurring theme for this year's HOES... I give you the first installment of the von Vandersnoot Chronicles

Sometimes Leaving is the Hardest Thing to Do
Shogun_Nate

Silently, he made his way barefoot (something recommended in the stealth manual he’d read before this adventure began, though, given the positively freezing temperatures, he was beginning to think he‘d erred foolishly) through the pitch black empty streets of Altdorf. He was like the suffocating cloak of night itself, moving with a deftness that would have earned a nod from the most sure-footed member of clan Eshin, the assassins of the skaven race. Even the kagebushin in the far off lands of Nippon would be hard-pressed to match his sneakiness. He was a shadow.

Of course, if one were being honest, had it not been for the howling winds tearing down the alleyways like a screaming banshee, he, Eric von Vandersnoot (insane necromancer and master of the Dark Arts of Nagash), would have been spotted in a heartbeat. However, von Vandersnoot did not think of these things. His mind was set. He had a plan; one foot in front of the other and as quietly as he could manage hauling his pack of knick-knacks and staff.

I am the shadow,” he muttered to himself, blissfully ignorant of the clatter following in his wake as he slinked through the dark. .

Whispered allegories spilled from cracked lips the color of a bruised eggplant; the mantras lost in the gale around him. Closer and closer, he edged towards the gates leading out of the city.

I am the silent killer that takes all filthy, whoring Tileans to their death, scratching their loathsome scrotums in agony as the pox takes them, Sigmar damn their filthy, whoring ways.”

He continued to chant. Sure, it didn’t do much to get him across the threshold but it did make him feel like he wasn’t alone. At that thought, he gave his staff a side-ways glance. Thankfully, the inscribed cat entrails (contrary to popular belief, there is actually only one way to skin a cat…) were holding and the rock-jawed orc skull was still quiet. He’d have never made it this far if he hadn’t silenced the damnedable chittering thing beforehand. Oh for sure and certain it was a loverly conversation piece when one was all safe and sound behind locked and warded doors, showing it off to some stupid sod who’d dared to show up on his doorstep right before Eric sent him to his maker. But, out here in the open, where stealth and sneakiness were key, a mouthy staff was not high on his list of covert, sneaky things.

Freedom was looking more and more realistic as von Vandersnoot sidled a few more furtive steps forward. It was so close he could almost taste it on the tip of his scabberous tongue.

I am the sparrow’s fart, lost in the swirling vortex of a hurricane.”

Ok, so not all of his witty allegories were winners. Even he had to shake his head derisively at the last one. But, if one was being fair, the human mind isn’t meant to live five centuries. Once you get passed that middle-aged hump of twenty (twelve if you happen to be one of those unlucky sods born in the frozen hell that was Kislev), the mind starts to think a good, old-fashioned holiday is in order. Really… Who in their right mind (or wrong, depending on your stance on the matter) wouldn’t like to steal away into the blissful ignorance of dementia? Perhaps to spend some time all doe-eyed and drooling, waiting for some loving (or more likely, resentful) member of their family to wheel them around in a cart, showing them off to the neighbors like some carnival show freak?

“Just get to the gate…,” he breathed.

Such a simple thing to do for most. Just a quick walk up, show your papers and trounce away happy as a clam straight out of the city. However, given that he was a necromancer, his chosen profession ensured that the easy way out usually involved lots of screaming, burning torches and some overly officious zealot waving around a pitchfork while demanding his head on a plate.

Von Vandersnoot paused, the sound of a howling dog filling the night with its lonesome cry. “At least I hope it’s a bloody dog…”

The last thing he wanted (or needed for that matter) was to have to go toe to toe (well, toe to paw?) with a damned lycanthrope. He’d seen more than his fair share of the hairy bastards and honestly, no one likes being looked at like the next appetizer for a four course dinner (certainly not one of his cowardly stature, that was for sure). He stood in the middle of the thoroughfare; his mind waffled back and forth as he thought of the last time he’d faced one cursed to fumble about on the night of the full moon like some pox-mad dog. The poor thing had sure been surprised when Eric had uttered a word of power and burned half the fur off its arse. The werewolf had yelped loudly, flailing at said arse in a vain attempt to extinguish the green flames raging their way towards his colon. Vivid images of it dragging its buttocks across the muddy field skittered to the fore, eliciting a chuckle from the old necromancer.

So caught up in the moment he was that Eric forgot to watch where he was stepping. Countless hour’s worth of planning went out the window as his foot found its way straight into a cooling pile of horse dung, the brown mush squelching up between his toes.

“SHITE!”

The shouted exclamation was more a statement of fact than a curse. Of course the heated words that followed weren’t much in the way of quiet either.

“What thrice damned goblin-fondling, ox-rutting moron lets his horse defecate in the middle of the thrice damned ROAD?! WHO?!? Blessed Sigmar in heaven! Does no one clean these streets?!”

Harsh yellow lantern light poured from the doorway of the guardhouse beside the gate as guards stumbled out to see what the cause for all the ruckus was.

Not content with simply running off, von Vandersnoot spent a few moments shaking his (albeit slightly warmer) foot. When that didn’t remove the offending offal, he began vigorously rubbing the smelly appendage back and forth across the cobble stones.

“Son of a...! It’s on my robes!” he shrieked to the heavens.

The sound of coarse calls were a not so gentle reminder that he’d been outted. With no other recourse, Eric slinked back towards his laboratory, shit-covered foot in tow.

He sighed, taking one long look back at the gates.

“Well, there’s always tomorrow….”

Word Count: 1,100 sans the title!
01-20-12 12:52 AM
Ambush Beast
Hi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shogun_Nate View Post
I have half of mine done! Hope to have it up either tomorrow or Saturday!

Thanks for the warning. :-)

Also, good stories all around so far folks! Keep up the excellent work!

I agree.

Good luck and good gaming,

Nate
01-19-12 11:59 PM
Shogun_Nate I have half of mine done! Hope to have it up either tomorrow or Saturday!

Also, good stories all around so far folks! Keep up the excellent work!

Good luck and good gaming,

Nate
01-17-12 12:45 PM
Dicrel Seijin Expeditious Stories 12-01A: Beginnings
“From Darkness Into Time Immemorial”
Dicrel Seijin
Word Count: 1,100


From behind his storm shield, the Eternal Crusaders’ castellan, Dedrick, swung his thunder hammer, clearing the cavern entrance.

*****

Neophyte Eckardt woke to pain and darkness. He swallowed hard against the impulse to vomit. Shaking his head made him wish he hadn’t as the pressure behind his eyes exploded, sending multi-colored filaments crawling across his field of vision and into the absolute darkness.

After a few moments letting things fade and settle, he began his assessment. His ears were ringing. He felt his secondary heart beating. Not good signs. He had taken considerable damage… somehow. He set aside that thought; he would not be side-tracked.

Rockfall trapped his legs and right arm. Any effort to extract caused excruciating pain. More rock pinned his left arm to his chest. Through hesitant experimentation, Eckardt found they would shift.

Clenching his teeth, he arched his back, twisting his body to the side. His shout was lost among the echoes of tumbling rocks.

Though Eckardt breathed easier, he couldn’t get enough air. Panic flared, something else was wrong; he suppressed it through meditation. In that calmness, he listened and heard the faint crackling in his lungs over the ringing in his ears.

Gingerly he explored, ignoring the new blossoming pain. He hissed at finding clotted blood. Not rocks, but a weapon? Where was the enemy now? No, he was getting side-tracked; assess the injuries. He confirmed it by pressing down on his breastbone; severe pain erupted from his side. If he had been better, he would have had earned his carapace and suffered a less grievous injury. No. Focus.

Eckardt eased his head back, resting it on the dry gravel. He had a concussion, broken legs and arm, a dislocated shoulder, a sprained wrist, broken ribs, and a punctured lung. With the assessment complete, he tried to remember what happened and found he had trouble. And still the ringing in his ears persisted. How could that be? He should ask—Brother Anselm!

Fragments of memory tumbled from a dark corner of his mind. The crusade had arrived at Ambrosia. He had not acquitted himself in that first assault wave on the orbital stations nor impressed Brother Anselm. More than ever there was a good chance he would die before earning the rank of Initiate. No. Focus.

Then, there had been an orbital bombardment. He had followed Brother Anselm up the drop pod’s assault ramp.

As time passed, Eckardt lay there, trying to puzzle together more. Faintly, he could hear the echoes of shifting stone. It was a long moment more before he realized the significance.

He reached up and felt his goggles fragment. The echoes of footsteps grew louder.

*****

Apothecary Lexer sealed the progenoid gland into an armorcrys vial.

With seeming undue haste, Techmarine Hewett knelt. Prayers to the Omnissiah tumbled from his lips as he fine-tuned the device he held. Satisfied he had placated the machine-spirit, he paused to convey his respects before bathing the fallen Black Templar in a light that initiated quantum entanglement. After consulting another device built into his vambrace, he removed the pauldron of the fallen Astartes and scanned it separately. Should their return be successful, the quantum entanglement insured the Crusaders could trace the pauldron’s worldline through the manifold and back to this cavern.

“Apothecary. This one’s still alive.”

Dedrick groaned inwardly at Chaplain Traugott’s matter-of-fact statement over the vox. They didn’t need this… complication.

*****

“…phyte? Neophyte?”

Eckardt woke realizing that he had passed out. He blinked in the harsh light. An apothecary knelt over him. Automatically, he eyes darted to the pauldron: an hourglass silhouette on a tan field. He didn’t recognize the Chapter.

“I am Apothecary Lexer of the Eternal Crusaders, a successor-chapter of the Black Templars.”

Eckardt had not heard of them, but it wouldn’t do to voice that. He fumbled for a topic, “the orks?”

“We came upon your drop site and simply followed the fallen. Once we saw the landslide….”

“My brothers?”

“All dead.” Lexer tapped his reductor. “I have their gene-seed safe.”

“What now?”

“That depends upon you, neophyte.” A sword brother in terminator armor loomed into view. “I am Castellan Dedrick. Upon my word, I cannot promise we will cross paths with another Black Templars crusade. I can promise a place within our ranks. Initiate Wernhar,” Dedrick glanced over at someone out of Eckardt’s sight, “has agreed to take you on as a neophyte.”

“I thank you for the honor, but I can—”

“Castellan!”

Eckardt followed the castellan’s gaze and saw an initiate holding aloft Caliburnis, the relic blade and the chain that bound it to Castellan Oberon’s red gauntlet and black vambrace. “No! You—” He didn’t feel the carnifex against his temple, nor hear the trigger pull.

Dedrick left Lexer to his thoughts. He didn’t doubt that this was the first time the apothecary had administered the Emperor’s Peace to an Astartes unawares. In truth, he himself needed time to reflect. The legend built up by the Lost Fighting Company Oberon during the Declates Crusade centuries ago was glorious; the reality of its end here and now was not. If only they had arrived too late, though that could never be a possibility….

“Castellan, we are done.”

Dedrick looked over to Chaplain Traugott and the rising Lexer. He surveyed the rest of his company. Each held a piece of Templar armor that would be venerated as relics upon their return. He triggered the vox, “Close ranks, my brothers.” All turned to look at Techmarine Hewett.

Hewett waved closer a servitor laden with a lacquered wooden box made baroque by brass fittings and ivory buttons and levers. As he whispered the last words of an activation litany, he pulled a switch’s ivory handle.

*****

The translation taxed even the Astartes’s vaunted physiology. Though still nauseous, Dedrick strode across the deck plating toward a waiting figure.

As the fighting company approached, Inquisitor Idan of the Ordo Chronos kept glancing at Initiate Wernhar, who reverently bore the relic blade and gauntlet.

After the company came to a halt, Idan nodded, “Castellan.”

“Damn you but it works. When and where would you have us go now?”

“Here and there. You’ll recover archeotech, and perhaps even battle-brothers,” Idan glanced at the apothecary, missing the emotion that flickered across Dedrick’s face. “We’ll have a year before we destroy the galaxy as we know it.” He smiled.

“The Horus Heresy.” Dedrick’s whisper was a low rumble.

“Yes,” Idan smiled again. “For being our first chrononauts, your company will have a rather singular honor. Where? When? Who will you choose to fight shoulder-to-shoulder with?”
01-16-12 11:27 PM
Boc Aye, Shogun, that was us talking last year about getting more eyes on here. It has worked a little bnit, people are starting to rear their FanFic heads haha.

The best bet would probably be via sig links. I've got one but it probably isn't sexy enough to click on...

On a side note, I'll have internet again intermittently starting the 19th... right now its once every two days for 10 minutes haha.
01-15-12 02:40 PM
VulkansNodosaurus
Heresy Online Expeditious Stories 12-01: A Beginning
Title
VulkansNodosaurus
990 words

No celebration met the Spear of Truth’s arrival. The spaceship landed, rather, in absolute silence, disturbing neither the landing platform nor the Eldar standing on it. Its cerulean form, indeed reminiscent of a spear, glided to a complete stop.

The vessel’s doors opened, and two figures stepped out. One was easily identifiable as the leader- he wore a ceremonial, multicolored cloak not unlike those of the fabled Harlequins, and his gait was sure and insistent. Lekaila saw his scowling form advance onto the landing platform. She herself would, she knew, present a far less clear visage; she wore only the standard cloak and weaponry of the Rangers.

Weaponry, on her own Craftworld. There had been a day when she would have found that ridiculous, or even treasonous; now, it seemed to merely be a small comfort in a world gone mad.

“Captain Nifastet,” one of the greeters announced.

“Indeed. Osenic is not here, I expect?”

“The Duskbreacher is gone.”

“Then might I ask why I have been summoned here?”

There was a terse silence, as there always was at key moments like this. Though Lekaila’s walk on the Path of the Seer lay far in the past, she could still instinctively sense what was coming- a divergence, a decision that would shape her life, and not only hers.

She could get only glimpses of it now, and thus her attention returned to the conversation as Nifastet began explaining his theory. It was not a reasonable decision- even Nifastet should have known better than to tell the ones that could be his enemy he knew of their plots- but given the captain’s recent state, it was not a surprise.

“You want to kill me?” he asked, loudly and mockingly. There was something of the Harlequin in him, indeed; perhaps a potential future sucked into the maelstrom of the present. “You will succeed. I have tried to ensure my ship will escape, but you’ve likely sabotaged that too.” He was rambling now, yet sounding oddly heroic nevertheless. “I will only say that order begets chaos, and the worse the law-”

Lekaila saw the gun- not with her eyes, though they were near perfect, but with her foresight- and was about to shout a warning when the Long Rifle expelled its cargo.

It hurtled towards Nifastet, and then the captain noticed it as well. But there was no time.

Nifastet collapsed, his right side covered in blood. Even Lekaila could see the wound was not fatal, that the monofilament had only grazed Nifastet. As it extended to full length, the captain crawled away, an accusing look on his face. For a moment the thread attempted to find him again; its energy supply ran out too soon, though. The wire fell still.

Lekaila fired her own Rifle at the failed shot’s origin; she could only barely see the Eldar who had fired it, but that could be enough. The greeters seemed frozen in shock.

“On Alaitoc itself…” one Seer muttered.

Nevertheless,three of the party ran towards the shot’s origin. Lekaila’s shot impacted, and she watched with some regret as it chewed apart the Ranger (the figure was that, it had become clear). She had not truly wanted to kill him or her; it was a quick decision that the attack had made inevitable.

It was only a mild melancholy by Eldar standards. It left her able to think.

Nifastet sat back up, taking an accusing look around the hangar as he did so. He had the gaze of a being whose perceptions had been both shaken and confirmed simultaneously, a being who was unsure what to make of the whole situation.

“What’s… happening?”

“It wasn’t us.”

Nifastet wasn’t surprised at the statement as he observed the Artisan, who continued. “Osenic. The Duskbreacher. We have uncovered evidence of dark plots, and wanted to warn you.”

The captain continued staring, now in disbelief, and Lekaila joined him. This was not making any sense- except, perhaps, it was. The explanation was quite reasonable- Osenic had been acting suspiciously for some time- but for even the reactionaries on Alaitoc to recognize that was unexpected.

“Nice job warning us,” Nifastet muttered.

Lekaila took the following pause to make sure the renegade Ranger was dead. He was, the ruined body lying in place. The three Warriors who had run to ensure the conclusion were returning.

All was calm- all would be calm, at least until another assassin would come out and finish the first’s job. If Lekaila was uneasy about the situation, a number of the other Eldar were terrified, and their faces showed it. They were not Rangers, she reiterated in mind, and there was reason for them to be afraid of a rogue in their home.

“As Reasine so promptly observed,” the Seer from before said, “we have found evidence of Osenic Duskbreacher making deals with the Dark Eldar and, perhaps, even the pantheon of Chaos. You had been chosen to hunt him down, to prevent the stain on our Craftworld; for all your flaws, Nifastet, your sense of justice is infallible. And your crew has good aim.”

“And how should I believe you?” Nifastet shot back.

“Look at your numbers. Look at ours. If we wanted to kill you, we would have.”

Grudgingly, Nifastet nodded.

The preparations passed quickly enough, and soon enough the Spear of Truth was ready to leave the confines of Alaitoc once more. Lekaila was in the ship by then, observing the final loading take place below her. The distrust she had felt for her homeworld’s leaders had, it seemed, been unfounded; in the end they had found out the truth of Osenic’s betrayal before the Spear’s crew. Perhaps they were stuck-up idealists; perhaps they were tyrannical traditionalists. But as the mighty Void Stalker lifted off the surface, Lekaila forced these prejudices to the back of her mind.

This was no time for strife. They had one mission now, and it had begun.
01-11-12 11:38 AM
Serpion5 What if the doomy guys ARE the heroes?

And I would dedicate a place in my sig, but I kind of have my own thing going...
01-11-12 01:19 AM
Shogun_Nate I vote Plossy. I think his face would make a WONDERFUL zombie smiley... Just don't tell him I said that...

On-topic: I was thinking necromancer as well. I haven't done anything funny in a long time and I'm honestly getting tired of gloom/doom/heroic blabibidyblah as of late.
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