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  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-21-12 12:47 PM
Boc There are normally 2-3 stragglers. I for one have 3 stories in progress, each about at the 500 word mark, and I still have no idea which one I actually want to finish haha. I'll get these latest added to the ToC later today.
03-21-12 04:28 AM
Dicrel Seijin Looks like 11. A good crop of stories this month. Maybe they'll be a couple more in the last days?
03-20-12 10:26 PM
gothik how many entries this month???
03-20-12 10:23 PM
KjellThorngaard
Vulture Down

(1,060 words)

A tiny part of Relle Lawsea’s brain was having a conversation with itself. The rest was struggling mightily to keep him alive.

“How the feth did we end up like this?”
“We? Your gunner is dead. You’ll join him soon enough.”
“Shut up. We’re not dead yet.”

Beeping warnings, flashing runes and a dozen or more dead systems were enough to tell a straight leg infantryman his Vulture was dying.

“Come on girl, give me something,” Lawsea begged. The banging on the port side suddenly picked up in intensity then stopped abruptly.

“Well there goes the wing.”
“No it didn’t. We aren’t in a flat spin stupid.”

“Feth you, you dying piece of grox crap. Just give me a chance.” he screamed.

A new light started blinking. Fast. “Oh no, that can’t be right,” he thought. The fuel indicator was below one hundred pounds. And the Vulture was burning fifty pounds a minute.

Two minutes of flight time to go at least two hundred kilometers. Going Emperor-knows how fast. The very first shell impact had torn the whole augur package away. Airspeed, ground mapping radar, altitude, everything essential gone in an instant.

Two minutes.

‘Too bad the ejector is broken.”
“Thanks for remembering.”

Yanking the activator bar he tried again. Nothing.

Suddenly the pitch of the engine changed from the thrumming roar of a redlined turbine to a grinding screech. What he couldn’t hear were the impacts of fan blades shattering and smashing against the inside of the engine housing.

The RPM’s lurched upwards when the blades broke free. The needle stuck hard against the stop causing another light to start flashing.

He tried the thrust-vectoring control again. Did his forward thrust start dropping?

“Yes!” he almost shouted.

Flipping a switch he turned on the forward floods. Bright spotlights illuminated the ground. The rubble-strewn Emperor-damned rough ground.

“Hey, did you notice we aren’t hovering?”
“Then why is forward speed dropping?”
“Engine is out.”
“No, it’s not. Listen.”
“I am. And feeling. Feel that? That is a shaft losing blades.”
“What do you know?”

“No up thrust,” Lawsea noticed.

“No fething up thrust.”

Pushing the vector lever forward again did not increase thrust. The noise of the slipstream dropped enough so he could hear the dying buzz of the turbine. The banshee wail caused him to feel the engine for the first time since the warning lights had started up.

“Oh no,” he realized.
“Sacred Father of the Imperium…” he began.

The impact was bone-jarringly rough. The light frame of the Vulture collapsed around the dead gunner and the live pilot smashing them against unyielding metal.

Before the blackness took him he tried vainly to finish the prayer.

“…take us to your bosom, we faithful, we servants…”

And all was black.

“So this is death.”
“Are we dead?”
Were you not there for that crash? Yes we are dead.”
“Oh.”
“Oh? Did you expect something different?”
“Yeah. A bright light. Everyone says they see a bright light.”
“Who’s everyone?”
“I don’t know. They just say that.”
“No bright light.”
“No bright light…”

Utter blackness. And pain. Terrible, burning pain. “Why do we hurt? Shouldn’t death be painless?” Silence reigned. Silence and utter, impenetrable darkness. Distant sounds and a faint spot of light disrupted the nothing. Just barely.

“Is he alive?” one faint, female voice asked.
“I think so. His pulse is very faint,” answered a deep male voice.
“Will he survive?” the female voice asked.
“I don’t know,” the male voice replied.

The noise and light faded. Silence and dark.

Gradually the silence faded again. Was it again? Or the first time? What caused the silence?

“The crash. We crashed.”
“I didn’t ask anything.”
“Oh.”
“Did we crash?”
“I think so. Why?”
“Then what is that noise? The engine sounds terrible.” A keening wail, metal on metal abruptly broke the silence.
“That is not the engine.”
“What is it?”

Bright light invaded the dark. Bright light and unbearable pain. They only lasted a moment.

Through the quiet, noise began to filter in.
“Hear that?”
“Hear what?”
“A fan. Air recirc maybe.”
“Yeah. And a constant beeping. What the feth is that beeping?”
“Low oil warning.”
“Can’t be.”
“Why not?”
“We crashed.”
“I forgot.”

The sounds were muffled. Or filtered. Something about the noise was off. They were so muffled as to be incomprehensible. There were smells too. Not the smells of flight and combat. Different smells.

The pain was suppressed somehow. Suppressed to just below excruciating.

“I’m dying.”
“I know.”
“I don’t want to die.”
“Me either.”

The light and noise and pain leapt into full being. The light was so very bright, painfully bright even. And the pain was unbearable.

“He’s crashing!” a voice yelled.
“Ressetrex is charging,” another voice answered.

“I told you there was a bright light.”
“Yeah.”

Utter blackness enveloped everything again. In the deep dark time was meaningless. The total lack of sense was a bit disconcerting.

“Am I dead?”
“I don’t know. How could we tell?”
“I don’t know either. I thought you’d be able to tell somehow.”
“Yeah.”
“It still hurts.”
“I don’t think we’d hurt if we were dead.”
“So we’re alive?”
“I think so.”
“Morlan didn’t make it.”
“No, he didn’t.”
“Fething stupid lucky shot by a backwater, chaos-damned PDF.”
“Lucky shot.”
“Ugggh.”
“What?”
“It hurts so bad.”
“Don’t be weak. Fight the pain. Never show them you hurt.”
“I remember the mantra.”
“Then live it. Fight the pain.”

Slowly, ever so slowly, the light filtered through the dark. What is dark anymore?

“Hey trooper,” a familiar voice said.
“He’s waking up,” another familiar voice.

“Where are we?”
“I don’t know.”
“I know those voices.”
“Yeah.”

The light and sound still seemed filtered and strange.

“Hey Relle. You awake?”

“He knows me.”
“I know him. I think.”

Gentle pressure on his shoulder broke through the pain, the fog, and the drugs.
The pain was lingering, a backdrop to consciousness.

“Hey buddy. Can you hear me?”
“Ugggh.”
“Come on Relle. Wake up buddy.”

Relle opened his eyes. Bright, powerful lights flooded the room, chasing shadows away.

“Where am I?” Relle asked quietly.
“The medical annex.”
“What happened?”
“You don’t remember?”
“I remember the crash…”
“Loyalists found you and brought you in.”
“How long have I been out?”
“Sixty-eight days.”
“Holy throne.”
“You died. Three times.”
“And now?”
“You’ll live. Welcome back.”
03-20-12 01:51 PM
Dave T Hobbit
Luck of the Dice (HOES Entry: Rebirth)


Ibdah cracked open one eye, and wished he were still asleep. His mouth tasted like rustcrawler dung; not the firm stuff that you could barter with Hake to put on his mushrooms, but the runny stuff that oozed off the ceiling onto your face. Odd thing was he seemed to be sitting up and when he tried to spit his tongue was drier than starchbread.

Finally some pieces of last night started to crawl free of his headache. He had gone to the Olympia after second shift with Ardias and Fenoff....


***


Ibdah creased his head in concentration. "You lost the last five throws, so it don't seem clever to back you."

"Nah.... I'm telling ya....", explained Ardias to Ibdah's shoulder, "swell known fact... chances of getting skull are one in sis as there's sis sides see... and I lost the last five..."

"Then only side left is skull ain't it... so he's gots to win", completed Fenoff triumphantly.

Despite all logic and reason the bone came up coffins. It similarly refused to bow to the law of shaking it real hard. It even defied the well known requirement to roll the winning face if you blew a pretty girl a kiss across it; although Ibdah reckoned that might be because Ardias had a lazy eye even when he was sober so the kiss was aimed more at the man to her left who - although he returned the kiss - might not count as a girl.


***


Everything ached and something was wrong. Ibdah's eyes had been rutted since he got moved onto the sulphur baths at work, and the hangover wasn’t helping, but the shapes definitely didn't look like his room. He tried to stand but his limbs refused to co-operate. Even his head was rebelling, although squinting sideways as hard as he could he could make out something pressing against his cheek. After several more attempts to stand, with no noticeable effect other than pain, he began to think he was actually wedged. Merri was going to be mad when he got back.

His brain finally catching up with his ears, he noticed that there was a regular beeping noise coming from somewhere behind him. Trying to ignore the presscast running in his head he struggled to understand his surroundings. The air smelt clean but oily with a slight hint of the stuff the cogboys used to commission new presscasts, and he could just make out the occasional sizzle under the beeping.

Where the rut was he...?


***


"Come on.... I'm late already and Merri will get proper rat if I ain't in bed when she wakes up."

"Emp's Gaze, you're loos' piped letting her reg' you," said Ardias.

"Yeah," crowed Fenoff, "loose piped."

"Rust you. Leas' my bed's warm. When's last time either of you got your pipes serviced?" For a moment Ibdah felt the savour of winning, before his losing streak returned with his supper.

Swaying wildly, the three friends continued their circuitous walk to the transit station. More by luck than judgment they arrived without further incident. After several minutes they realised the gate was not opening.

"Wakey wakey," shouted Ardias banging on the latch, "we're here an we.... bleurgh...."

"You chucked," sniggered Fenoff, "can't handle your... ouff... bleurgh...."

"I'll show you cant's handle drink," said Ardias, removing his fist from Fenoff's belly while trying to wipe vomit off his jacket with the other. Succeeding only in evening out the stain, he slowly turned and, carefully lining himself up, started hitting the latch again.

Meanwhile Ibdah had been blearily studying the wall. "Hang on... s'notice... TS9-43’s close' for reconrecsecation."

"Was reconscration?" asked Fenoff, picking himself up.

"Means pour liquid over something," replied Ardias.

"Well I gotta reconsicrafe soming," declared Fenoff tugging at his overalls. "Hey I gotta idea. Lets do the door so it opens."

"Don't seem right,” muttered Ibdah, watching his friends try to aim at the lock.

"You just don't wanna drop your overalls cos you don't wan' us to see Merri took your nuts," laughed Ardias.

"Least mine ain't pointin' at Fenoff," jeered Ibdah, fumbling with a strap, "But if'll shut you up fine." Letting out an exhalation of relief he jetted straight into the centre of the lock.


***


A juddering hiss broke Ibdah's recollection, and he felt something move below his waist. His legs felt slightly lighter... if it shifted a little more he might be able to stand! Struggling, he felt a slight movement before falling back.

"You are conscious. Remain still."

Ibdah tried to turn to face the voice, confirming his head was still stuck.

"Remain still. Your flesh suffered damage. The weakness been replaced with tracks."

Tracks? Ibdah discovered his last memory of the station was agonising pain. Trying to ask questions he emitted only a breathy rasp.

"Non-essential systems offline to aid repair process."

Offline? Ibdah's mind carefully dragged itself to a conclusion. He was not wedged; he was in a surgical bay and an Adept was healing him. How badly injured was he?

"Bioelectrical activity outside optimal range. Adopt efficient function."

What? Racking his mind he realised the Adept was trying to keep him calm. Personal care cost money. How long had he been here? What had Merri done to afford it?

"Interaction Protocol indicates that the flesh is calmed by information in excess of functional necessity. Commencing audio patch....


***


"You and your companions committed an act of defilement on the lock of Transit Station 9-43. The machine spirit struck back. Your companions' waste disposal processes were flawed resulting in vengeance striking all of you. Lacking efficient surge protection this rendered you offline. You were found when we investigated the machine spirit's distress call. As your flesh was aberrant we commenced optimisation. Your biological and neural distinctiveness has been reduced.

"Interaction Protocol indicates that flesh is calmed by association with familiar flesh. You will be assigned to function alongside your companions.

"Initialising Test Routine Epsilon Delta."

Ibdah tried to understand the words but they kept slipping beneath the fog of his hangover. Lost in his silent battle he did not immediately realise that he was moving; however the sight of a cutting disc rising slowly into his field of vision followed by his upper arm ended his search for answers.

With a faint clatter, something rolled into view.

"This cuboid talisman was discovered in your pocket. Inspection showed that inferior production methods had resulted in an imperfect cube. It has been optimised."

The skull filled Ibdah's vision before madness euthanised his vestiges of self.


- 1096 words
03-18-12 05:15 AM
Zinegata 1,093 words (not including title). More Steel Wardens bolter action

A Boarding Action

"Nigra Mortis! Nigra Mortis!"

Brother-Sergeant Pontius tried his best to ignore the infernal chanting. The vox-net had been secured from scrapcode incursions. The squad was already reciting the Litany of Purity. But it was all to no avail; the damn warp-spawned voice was speaking the words directly into their minds.

Another group of misshapen forms appeared down the corridor. They were terrible, bloated beings that were leaking pus and excrement. They were the remnants of the derelict ship's crew, who were suffering an agony worse than death.

Pontius freed them from their pain with three bursts of his boltgun.

"The Estimates are growing worse by the minute, Brother-Sergeant!" said his second-in-command, Brother-Logis Archmides, "We require decisive action!"

A fresh wave of the warp-maddened crew appeared ahead of the Pontius team, while more shambled towards them from behind. Other Steel Wardens took up positions and began gunning them down, while the Brother-Sergeant held off on making his decision. To push forward, he knew that somebody had to be left behind.

"Novice Felix!" Pontius shouted, turning to the young Astartes, "I know this is your first Quest with us, but you will have the honor of serving as the rearguard."

"Understood, Brother-Sergeant," Felix replied with no hint of emotion in his voice.

"I will not lie to you. You will not survive."

Felix snorted under his helmet, "Don't be so sure, Brother-Sergeant. I am not so easy to kill."

Pontius ignored the snide remark, “Would you like to request any additional war gear?”

“I already have a demolition charge, just in case,” Felix replied as he readied his boltgun, “But I would like to ask for a melee weapon, for when the ammunition runs out.”

Brother-Sergeant Pontius nodded and drew his blade. It was a fine weapon – a Brennic Psi-sword - but Pontius never liked it very much. Like most of his fellow Steel Wardens, he believed in the primacy of ranged combat.

“A blade from my home world,” Felix said approvingly as the Sergeant handed him the weapon, “I thank you for this, Brother-Sergeant. The Emperor Protects.”

“And the Omnissiah watches over us,” the Sergeant replied, before turning to face the foes blocking their way to the lift, “Pontius Team, on me! Assault Pattern Omega-Two!”

With those four words, each member of the squad instantly knew his place. Brother Manlius took the lead, driving back the horde with shorts bursts from his flamer. A pair of Battle-Brothers marched beside him, their bolters set to single shot, and they expertly picked off any who had survived the flames.

The remaining six Space Marines – Pontius included – followed in their wake to protect the flanks and rear. Every intersection and side-compartment had to be cleared or bypassed. Grenades were used liberally, as was Brother Camilus’ Heavy Bolter. It seemed like an eternity before they reached the lifts.

But in reality, it only took them less than fifteen minutes of intense corridor-to-corridor fighting. They had dangerously depleted their supplies of ammunition, and most had suffered some damage to their power armor. But every member of the squad had made it without injury – except one.

The ship shuddered as a demolition charge went off. Pontius did not bother to check his auspex for life signs. Novice Felix had done his duty.

“I have lift controls!” said Brother-Logis Archimedes, just as the doors slammed themselves shut, “We will reach the bridge momentarily!”

“My fellow Wardens, prepare yourselves!” Pontius ordered, “Our warp-spawned foe awaits!”

His men did not reply with words, but with actions. They assumed firing positions. The moment the doors opened, they were ready to unleash a barrage of devastating explosive rounds at whatever monster lurked in the bridge.

Yet somehow, they were still taken by surprise.

As the doors opened, a mass of tentacles suddenly swarmed in. The Space Marines opened fire, but their bolter rounds had little effect. One tentacle wrapped itself around Archimedes’ head and popped it like a melon. Brother Camilus shouted as something grabbed him by the leg and dragged him into the center of the swirling mass. Blood and Ceramite spurted out after it swallowed him whole.

“Keep firing! Keep firing!” Pontius shouted, as the monster grabbed two more Marines and consumed them. Manlius tried to hose the daemon with flames, only to be slapped backwards by one of the tentacles.

Finally, in desperation, Pontius primed a Melta-Bomb and threw it at the daemon-thing’s mouth. If his team was fated to die, then they were going to take Nigra Mortis with them.

Everything went white as the bomb went off. Pontius felt himself thrown off his feet, and he landed somewhere hard and painful. Bones were broken, and he suspected that he had also suffered internal injuries. By some miracle, the auspex still functioned, and revealed to him that three of his men had survived the gambit, albeit they were all unconscious.

But then Pontius realized they were not the only ones to survive the blast. Writhing in agony, with half of its mass torn off, Nigra Mortis was still alive.

Pontius tried to reach for his boltgun, but the enraged daemon smashed it to pieces before he could do so. The daemon grabbed his arms, and then his legs. It held him aloft, spread-eagled, before once again shouting its name.

Nigra Mortis!

Pontius did not close his eyes. He waited for the killing blow.

But instead a blur went past him, and suddenly he was free. A new voice somehow drowned out the daemon’s screams.

“Vae Victis!” shouted Novice Felix, as he plunged the psi-blade into the heart of the warp-spawned beast. There was a final horrendous scream.

And then finally, silence.

Breathing heavily, Pontius managed to sit up. He stared at Novice Felix – battered and wounded - yet still alive.

“You’re supposed to be dead,” Pontius said dryly.

“My apologies, Brother-Sergeant,” Felix replied snidely, “But our calculations are called “Estimates” and not “Certainties” for a reason.”

“And how did you get up here so quickly?” Pontius wanted to know.

”Stairs, sir,” Felix answered with a shrug, “Good, strong, steel stairs.”

It was Pontius’ turn to snort under his armor. “Very well. Inform the fleet that we have accomplished our Quest.”

“Only a full Battle-Brother is allowed that honor,” Felix pointed out.

“Indeed, Battle-Brother Felix,” Pontius explained.

Underneath his armor, no one could see Felix’s proud smile. He was still smiling as he spoke into the vox.

”This is the Pontius team, our Quest is complete. This ship is no longer the Nigra Mortis. This ship is once again the Might of Akkadia.”
03-12-12 02:00 AM
Dicrel Seijin
"Iron Grot"

Expeditious Stories 12-03: Rebirth
“Iron Grot”
Dicrel Seijin
Word Count: 1,092



“Oy! You!”

Groynstompa startled at the shout, turned, and blanched. He released the gretchin he’d been holding down and torturing with his grabba-stikk and ran before the approaching runtherd could zap him with some judicious voltage.

Nikappa picked Chiptoof the gretchin up out of the mud. “Youse iz betta den ‘e iz. Youse shmat fo’ a grot.” He slipped the gretchin a knife that was almost a shortsword in its hands. “Go show da lad wot youse made of.”

*****

“You’z now Kitbash! You’z goin’ help me build.” Big Mek Zagdreg prodded the cringing gretchin’s chin, chest, and legs with the head of a mace as big as it was. “Den you’z goin’ be wun pilot.” The gretchin’s eyes never left the mace head of stacked gears and cogs. Zagdreg watched the gretchin for a moment, then seeing that it was sufficiently cowed, stomped back to his shop. “Oy, Kitbash! Git in ‘ere!”

The newly named Kitbash looked around for cover.

“Now!” The bellow shook loose a sheet of corrugated iron from the roof; it clattered against the cracked mud of the flats.

Kitbash ran as fast as his legs could carry him; as he pumped his arms, the basket that was still in his clenched fist scattered the fungus he’d been collecting for the brewerz.

*****

Chiptoof checked the squiggut binding the knife to the haft and then the rope cinched at his waist once more. He only had one chance at this. Holding him makeshift halberd aloft, he took a couple of deep breaths and began running toward a large hole in the ground as rope played out behind him, “Wun, too, tree—waaagh!”

Still screaming, he leapt into the dark, thrust his halberd down, and adjusted his aim. A few seconds later, there was a short, sharp squelch as his halberd impaled the squig that had been eager to receive with mouth agape the falling gretchin.

Breathing hard, Chiptoof undid the rope, retrieved his knife, and struggled with the dead weight of the squig as he tied up its tail.

Climbing the rope, he pulled himself out of the cesspit. Now came the hard part. It took him nearly an hour before he managed to drag the squig up and out.

*****

“‘Ere’s yer bitz. Now where’s me leg?” Kitbash set down a metal tray, grating, and coal filched from around Zagdreg’s workshop.

Chiptoof jammed his knife into the squig’s hip joint and casually dismembered it. He held up the severed leg. As Kitbash reached for it, Chiptoof pulled it back. “Youse wants me to barbeque it?”

“Wot’s ‘bar-b-que’?

“Youse gonna luv it.” Chiptoof grinned. “Can you gets sum beer?”

*****

“Squig onna stikk! ‘Ot an’ fresh! Git yer squig onna stikk ‘ere! One toof only!” With a practiced hand, Chiptoof turned the skewers on his portable grill as his other hand brushed on a thick brown sauce. He was making teef hand over fist. Kitbash and his mates had come by earlier and bought three skewers off him. They had promised to return with more teef. He smiled to himself; soon he’d buy a dead killy blasta. He’d paint it red with his blood afterward.

“Oy, Chiptoof!”

The gretchin turned and saw Nikappa striding toward him. As the runtherd approached, he flicked a toof over to the gretchin. Chiptoof’s hand blurred, pocketing the toof, and offering a skewer. “‘Ere you go, boss.”

“Dis not wot I tawt you wuz goin’ do.” Nikappa eyed the skewer for a moment and then bit. “Mmm. Tasty.” He bought a couple more and walked off, looking for a good vantage point for the contest.

“Oy, git back ‘ere!”

Chiptoof turned at the commotion. One of the face-biter squigs for the upcoming kissing contest was scurrying around and through the legs of the Ork crowd. Groynstompa was in pursuit.

The crowd began to open up to let the runtherd through. Some Orks pointed and laughed, others exchanged teef in bets.

Chiptoof saw that the squig was running toward him and automatically dropped down into a crouch. As the squig hopped over cowering Chiptoof, Groynstompa lunged, with his grot-prod extended and its voltage near maximum.

Coarse laughter erupted from the crowd at the public failure. Minutes later, unnoticed, Kitbash dragged the electrocuted Chiptoof away.

*****

“Boss, I gots ya wun pilot, so I don gotta be wun, rite?”

Zagdreg turned away from the killa kan to find Kitbash dragging another gretchin into the workshop. “Das stone cold dat iz. Doin’ dat ta wun o’ yer mates.” He nodded in approval. “Put ‘um on da slab an’ giv’ me wun o’ dem wot smells good ya got dere.”

*****

Chiptoof woke to the taste of copper in his mouth. In the time it took him to understand what had happened to him, his systems had warmed up. Gradually, he began to distinguish light from cookfires, bonfires, and random arson. These lent the base camp a ruddy glow.

Zagdreg woke to the reverberating howl and the following tinny, manic laughter; in the darkness, he grinned as he heard the pistons work. Kitbash had also heard and whimpered even as he continued to gnaw on a leftover squig leg.

*****

In the morning, Nikappa stood in the doorway of the gretchin’s hovel. “Wun, too, tree, fo’, fiv’, lots.” A lot of gretchin had been stomped into the mud of the floor and unable to extract themselves had suffocated.

Shaking his head at the waste, he walked over to his fellow runtherd’s hut. He wasn’t about to clean up this mess by himself. “Oy, Groynstompa, ya lazy git!”

Shoving the door open, Nikappa winced at what was inside. The back of the hut was gone. By the light of the morning sun, Groynstompa lay, pinned to the ground at his neck by his own grabba-stikk. His grot-prod had been shoved into his vulnerables. From his rictus and the scorched smell, voltage had been at maximum.

Nikappa pulled the grot-prod free with some difficulty and worked the controls. Electricity arced from the other end. Well, it was his now. Before leaving, he quietly ransacked the rest of the hut.

*****

Zagdreg fiddled with the buzz-saw arm on the killa kan. He was bothered by the fact that an electrical shock had shorted out the control mechanism in the limb so easily; he barely noticed the fact that the killa kan was facing in the opposite direction he had left it last night or covered in mud. “Had fun did ya?” A disingenuous snore issued from the kan’s looted vox-caster. Zagdreg laughed. He was definitely building another one.
03-11-12 04:49 AM
Serpion5
Old Acquaintances

Old Acquaintances (1,085 words, excluding title)



As the army slowly awoke beneath Mithrahc’s decrepit palace, the cryptek Seprin made his way deeper into the underground labyrinth than even the spyders knew to tread. Here he had buried long ago his most precious of prizes; the last of Mithrahc’s “servants” still to hold loyalty to him. Seprin was under no illusions that the coming of Nemreth had tipped the odds firmly against him. If the cryptek was ever to take his vengeance on the old phaeron, he would need the support of those he could count on. Even though Mithrahc had not ordered the awakening of the other two crypteks, Seprin could easily claim a misinterpretation of the order.

Once Lirac and Neka were awakened, there would be little the old fool could do. He passed through an archway barely remembered in his crystalline circuitry and walked a corridor utterly devoid of light or ornament. His eyes saw not the physical walls of this pathway but instead the layout of the complex before him. He navigated by a projected map on his senses, the absolute dark having rendered him all but blind.

Finally he reached the chamber his circuits told him was his destination. With a hard to recall thought command, the large room illuminated. A dim green glow revealed the details and contents that Seprin had all but forgotten over the long sleep. Innocuous cabling was scattered about, simple glyphs adorning the walls in ancient script, and in the centre of the room lay two sarcophagi that were twins to each other in every way.

If Seprin could smile, he would have as he prepared to return this place to awakening...

* * *

With Alkvar to one side and Nemreth and Arakyr to the other, Mithrahc watched as his legions rose from their tombs by the dozen. Adding to the lychguard and immortals that had already stirred, uncountable Necron warriors emerged from their alcoves and fell into marching order, overseen by clusters of Canoptek Spyders and nanoscarabs. Adding to their ranks were the ponderous Ghost Arks and Annihilation Barges, supported from behind by the lethal Doomsday Arks and Monoliths.

‘This day, has been too long in coming.’ Mithrahc spoke with an air of nostalgia. ‘And now we finally prepare for our return to power.’

‘Indeed my lord.’ Nemreth added. ‘With what we have here, capturing the god shard I reported will be within our means. With it in our control, few will be able to stand between us and our victory.’

Gibbering laughter could be heard as somewhere out of sight, the Flayer Re’kyt responded gleefully to the newly arrived of his own kind. Drawn by the mobilization and the promise of blood, more flayers had begun to gather and instinctively sought out the former noble as a dominant and cunning leader.

‘Brothers and sisters come to me!’ The deranged killer bellowed with a cackle of ecstasy. ‘We will feast tonight!’

His ramblings were largely ignored by the nobles except for a slight chuckle by Mithrahc himself. This would indeed be a day to remember.

* * *

All had gone well so far. Despite the ages and the barely generated power being sent here, the two sleeping crypteks had survived stasis intact. As Seprin watched the final stages of revivification playing out, he could barely contain his anticipation. On the left, one of the vibrating sarcophagi finally cracked as its occupant sought release into the world.

‘Lirac, step forth my able apprentice.’ Seprin called.

‘Sixty million years... And still am I beholden to you?’ Came the answer as Lirac stepped forth. She had been not long out of childhood when biotransference had been instigated and only her status as a cryptek allowed her mind to remain intact. It was unusual for a woman to hold a title of importance in necrontyr society, yet Seprin had taken it upon himself to tutor two female apprentices, the second of whom even now stepped forth from her own erstwhile bed.

‘It is our place.’ Neka said, speaking to Lirac. Both of them spoke with a metallic tinge of a typical Necron, made eerie by the feminine tinge they both carried.

Neka’s form was one of a multi-limbed goddess, slender and seeming to lack physical presence. Her two legs were reverse jointed like a swift running beast of old times and her six arms rested in a myriad of peacock-like patterns, framing her teardrop shaped death mask.

Lirac by contrast was an intimidating figure, appearing as a simple mask and spine surrounded by a swarm of nanoscarabs that constituted her body and limbs. Neither one had been designed with combat in mind, but in the past when needs were dire, both had proven themselves capable of massive devastation. Neka wielded raw energy and plied her craft as a plasmancer, while Lirac was far more subtle and employed the craft of an ethermancer to destroy her foes from afar.

Seprin laughed. It had been too long since he had enjoyed the company of his most able servants. Mithrahc feared what they could accomplished and had barred Seprin from both awakening them and from wearing the true body he had crafted for himself. But that time would come, and when it did his rebirth would be complete. For now, this small victory would be enough.

* * *

‘If I could feel...’ Mithrahc began, speaking to the many thousands of Necrons marching before him. ‘I would feel reborn. I would feel the power of millennia coursing through embattled veins. I would feel the promise of conquest and glory waiting to be seized by my own gauntleted fist!’

Countless empty eyes stared back, utterly uncomprehending of what their king spoke. From his Command Barge above the throng marching through the main assembly chamber he watched. It was a massive and vast room that would fit his legion fully one and a half times over, stretching several kilometres in all directions.

‘Instead...’ Mithrahc continued. ‘I feel nothing. I have no joy in this. I have no anticipation of what we will accomplish...’

Of course you don’t. Seprin sniggered from afar as he listened via the Tomb Matrix. Your emotions belong to me now you senile old fool.

‘But even so.’ Mithrahc concluded. ‘We will conquer everything. We will re-capture the gods themselves and bring the upstart young races to their knees. They will serve us as is their place! And we will reign supreme forever. My legions...’

Silence pervaded the vast chamber as Mithrahc slowly raised his arms above his head.

‘ONWARDS MY CHILDREN, TO CONQUEST!’
03-11-12 12:03 AM
VixusKragov
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonileth View Post
For me, stories come somewhat sporadically. Sometimes I can be inspired to write volumes, other times I couldn't get a word down that looked right to save my life. But generally they flow well enough.
Quoting for truth
03-10-12 11:02 PM
jonileth For me, stories come somewhat sporadically. Sometimes I can be inspired to write volumes, other times I couldn't get a word down that looked right to save my life. But generally they flow well enough.
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