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Thread: Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories 12-05: Falling Rain Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-27-12 12:13 AM
Boc No extension since no one asked, however if I'm late closing out the entry thread then the comp stays open.

Buuuut on that note, comp closed, expect the voting thread to be up momentarily!
05-26-12 07:18 AM
Davidicus 40k
Quote:
Originally Posted by VulkansNodosaurus View Post
Hope I'm not too late....
Made it with 15 minutes to spare. Too late for anyone else, though (unless Boc extends it, of course).

05-26-12 04:46 AM
VulkansNodosaurus Hope I'm not too late....




Heresy Online Expeditious Stories 12-05
VulkansNodosaurus
1100 words
Horizon

The Faith in the Goldpipes was falling.

The Space Marine frigate had suffered- and almost withstood- a lot of punishment in the preceding engagement. The Tyranid fleet had been traveling to Yetra, a vital agri-world whose loss would have caused a sector-wide famine; the Imperial Navy had barely caught up with the xenos, and that only because their path had slowed down in this black hole’s vicinity. So the Navy had come, at maximum speed, to intercept the splinter fleet.

The Imperium had won- but only after a difficult battle, despite the element of surprise and the brilliant tactics the admirals had constructed with the singularity. And that had proven fatal. The Jubilant Saint’s engines had failed as it entered the Warp, and the Gellar field- its generators damaged in the fighting- had failed in the same moment. There was an explosion, rendering the Faith in the Goldpipes inoperable, and now- as the ship streaked towards Singularity 97-45.7 alongside debris- a full-scale daemonic incursion had erupted into the ship.

“Black Dragons, to me!” Idrann bellowed to his squad, spread out across the ship’s bridge as they unleashed fire and fury onto their daemonic enemy. That, at least, was real- Space Marines were meant to be transhuman, but often enough Idrann found himself admiring the Imperial Guard more than Chapters like the cold Ultramarines or the robotic Iron Hands. Perhaps it was simply the Black Dragons’ heritage.

Carapaces of pink and light blue charged at the Space Marines; the Black Dragons fought back, crushing the light- fragile, really- abominations without much difficulty. Yet in the clang of battle, though none of his brothers had fallen yet, Idrann could see the daemons’ attacks did have an effect; and their sheer numbers were overwhelming.

Squad Idrann made their way to their leader, scales on edge. There were humans with them too, Idrann noted with some surprise; apparently some of the bridge crew had survived the incursion. United, they presented a significantly harder position to assault; as his brothers attacked with sword and claw (a peculiar mutation caused bony outgrowths on the Black Dragons’ bodies), Idrann felt himself almost relax. He was at his brothers’ side now; proud Hutraan, rash Quattu, analytical Zirtrial…

“Brother-Sergeant?” Zirtrial called from his position, next to the illuminator.

Idrann turned.

“We’re crossing the event horizon.” Anger, previously barely held in, exploded over Zirtrial’s face. “We’re doomed.”

Idrann risked a glance out the window- his guards was better than most of his squadmates’, so the distraction would be safe. Indeed, from ahead, no more light could be seen. Only the ships to the back and side were still visible, sinewed and shining raindrops in a rain of fire, splattering into an all-consuming maw. The horizon was coming up.

He felt it soon after- the indoctrination had claimed it would be intangible, but it was not like anyone could check. It was a cold, compressive sensation spread out across his superhuman frame.

“The ship will hold out for a while,” one of the crew members offered, “but not forever.”

The battle, at least, was over. The Black Dragons had won. Of the Warp-spawn, only dust remained.

And then, it entered. It was impossible to look at it long enough to determine its form; its lilac radiance banished all such attempts. It could probably shift whatever it was anyhow.

Quattu tensed as soon as he saw it, the Black Dragons’ trademark anger fully directed at the arch-abomination for no apparent reason beyond its hostile nature. He leapt at the daemon-prince, and Idrann had to follow. The pearly deck of the bridge flashed below his tumbling feet, and then there was no more deck, only the slime-drool the daemon-prince had exuded. Behind, the remaining seven members of his squad followed up the charge. Still, the daemon-prince was impossibly strong, bursting with energy not of this world. It batted Quattu aside.

Idrann rammed his blade into the daemon’s surface. It reached out with its horrible light, weeping in injury- but it was not the cry of the weak. A claw holding a sword of its own emerged from the formless space, parrying Idrann’s blows.

Still, it could not keep its attention everywhere at once. Even as Idrann hit again and again, blade crackling, eyes rubies of malice, pressing the attack, scoring hit after hit, his peripheral vision witnessed Hutraan within the light’s center, surrounded by impossible hands and weapons. Hutraan had always been good with the blade, but in those moments he was divine; adamantium and bone meshed with metal and blood, and the demon wailed, this time from true pain. It cracked within itself, though, crushing Hutraan even as eight pairs of gauntlets crushed it in turn.

Hutraan died silently, but the fury was there until the end. Logically, it should have been impossible for him to have been visible, unless the daemon was transparent; Idrann remembered from his indoctrination, though, that logic had nothing to do with the Warp.

The daemon, under silent assault, snickered.

“You think you have won? This ship will fall apart in the singularity; I can merely continue my conquests!”

In a moment, a gate stood on the bridge, directly across the daemon from Idrann. The cloud-white fields of Yetra glistened on the other side.

“Get into there!” Zertrial screamed.

“And don’t let the daemon follow you!” Idrann followed up.

They followed the order. Idrann, for his part, ran to the human crew. They had assisted from a distance, with lasguns and the like- brave, though not that useful. They needed little urging to go to the portal; but when he turned around to run himself, he knew it was too late.

The gate was closing.

“Jump!” Quattu yelled from the other side.

Idrann didn’t jump.

Tossing the three remaining officers was an automatic action. If he had not done it, Idrann would have survived. As it was, the hole was too small by the time it was too late.

“Why?” Quattu screamed.

“Because we are sons of Vulkan too,” Idrann responded, “no matter how much some claim otherwise!”

Perhaps later, he would understand.

The portal closed, and Idrann looked around the room- only to find a large hole in the ceiling where the daemon had been. The Sergeant leapt into it.

Outside, all was mayhem. Idrann felt the sheer gravitation of the center; he would have likely been pulled to pieces by tidal forces had he not been so close to the daemon.

The wounded warp-prince leapt at Idrann again, and the sergeant responded in kind.

Under a sky of white fire and ceramite rain, they clashed.
05-26-12 03:38 AM
KjellThorngaard Night Rain
(1,036 words)

A brilliant flash of light brightened the pitch-black night, but just for a moment. The rain slowed to a mere drizzle, still hard enough to limit Karl’s vision to a few feet.

“Are you sure Richter? Are you sure it is here?” he said.
“Yes Karl. I just need to find it.”

Karl Bader was a Holy Witch Hunter tasked with smiting the evil foes of the Empire. Tonight would end a decades long hunt for the Vampire Malhund.

“Here it is!”

Lifting his lantern towards Richter’s voice. The light was too feeble to reach his acolyte’s position.

“Where are you?”
“Behind the crypt master.”

They were in an ancient Garden of Morr, long since overgrown and abandoned. Karl stepped gingerly on the sodden soil hoping against hope that his feet would not break through an ancient tomb. Stepping around the decrepit tomb he found himself sheltered from the cold rain.

“A portico for a tomb? Malhund has a sick sense of humor,” Richter spat.
“So this is where he has sheltered all these years. Are you ready?” Karl asked.
“Always Karl.”

He held up his blessed blade twisting the holy steel so it flashed in the lantern light. Rainwater ran down the blade and dripped from the hilt.

Karl held a similar blade. Both had been blessed by the Archlector himself. Across his chest was a bandoleer of sharpened stakes. Oak from a hanging tree. A cross bandoleer held a dozen vials of holy water and oil in leather sleeves. A small hammer adorned with the icon of Magnus completed his ensemble.

Laying his sword and lantern on a cracked stone Karl shrugged off his dripping oilskin and hung it from a corroded sconce.

“Into the breach?” Karl asked.
“For Sigmar and Empire,” Richter oathed.

The door to this tomb had long since disappeared, leaving a dark void that led into the clutching earth. Holding the lantern aloft Karl stepped into the tomb.

The base of the stairs opened into a large crypt. A central plinth was empty though the wall niches still held moldering remains. Across from the stairs a low tunnel gaped with evil omen. Crouching down Karl looked back at Richter then shrugged and dropped to his hands and knees. Karl looked up at the ceiling before crawling into the low tunnel. Steady droplets fell from cracks in the crypt ceiling. Underground rain.

The tunnel twisted and turned, carved from the cold earth. Gouges and marks in the tunnel looked enough like claw and finger marks that Karl didn’t even look closer to check.

The dripping water had slowed, but didn’t cease entirely. Even a hundred or more feet underground the water fell. “How long does this tunnel go?” Karl murmured.

As soon as he did he almost fell out of the shaft. The tunnel opened into a much larger chamber.

“Careful now. We’re in his lair,” Karl whispered.

Dropping out of the narrow tunnel, the two witch hunters stretched their cramped muscles. Opening the hoods on his lantern Karl held it high to illuminate the chamber.

It was a natural cave, the floors and wall closest to them were worn stone. Water dripped here, too. The drenching rain leaking through soil and stone to wet the witch hunters still.

“For the love of Sigmar,” Karl complained and turned the lantern to light the ceiling.

As he did he had a strange thought. This rain was warm and salty. “Dear Sigmar no…” he started.

The beam of light spilling from the lantern lit the ceiling and made Karl’s horror real. Across the entirety of the cavern ceiling were impaled corpses. Large nails and spiked chains held the recently dead in place.

Not recently dead. Still alive.

Puncture wounds covered the flesh ceiling, droplets of blood falling like rain.

“Master…” Richter started. He stood transfixed by the horrible visage above them.

A growl somewhere between feral beast and deranged man rumbled low and threatening across the cavern. Not a cave, a tomb. This place was an extension of the mausoleum behind them.

“Show yourself fiend!” Karl shouted.

The lantern light strove to illuminated movement deep in the shadows. It was so fast. Just a flash from a shadow to a shadow.

The growl rumbled louder, deeper and more threatening. Again the thing flitted from shadow to shadow. “Sigmar help us, we thy servants of light…” Richter started to pray.

“Steady my friend. This monster can be destroyed.”

Shadow to shadow. Closer now.

Karl wiped blood from his eyes with the back of his hand. Salty and sticky blood.

Kneeling he set his lantern down and pulled two oil vials from his bandoleer. Each vial had a small wick instead of a stopper. Holding a vial through the lantern shutters he lit the vial and watched the oil-soaked wick sputter. Hurling the vial across the cavern it smashed against something solid and a flare of burning oil spread.

Lighting and throwing the second vial left another circle flame.

The Malhund was visible now. Flickering flames cast the monster in terrible shadow.

He flashed across the cavern towards Richter moving as fast as the eye could follow.

He didn’t even have time to raise his blade. Malhund struck him a lethal blow and rebounded from the wall and shot back behind the flames.

“Richter!” Karl screamed.

Richter turned to look at his master, sword slipping from his fingers to clatter on the stone floor.

“Karl…” he mouthed and fell dead, his throat a ruin, blood bubbling from a gaping chest wound.

Karl flung his lantern and chased the vampire, a wordless howl on his lips.

Hunter met prey in a crash of undead flesh and blessed steel. Karl’s blade bit deep into the shoulder of the beast before he was hurled sideways. Blinding pain over took him crushing his righteous rage and his vision faded to darkness.

Sometime later Karl drifted back to consciousness. Terrible, piercing pain wracked his body. Something felt wrong. Where was he? “Malhund!” he remembered. The pain. Unconsciousness. Turning his head he saw the spikes through his hands and arms. Cuts and punctures covered his exposed flesh, blood oozing out and dripping to the blood slick floor before.

Warm and salty.
05-24-12 05:08 PM
Kaiden Looks like im gonna be out of time on this one (which had nothing to do with diablo 3) I have however come up with an idea I want to write, and will aim to do so by the end of the month.
05-24-12 03:40 PM
Zinegata (1,061 words excluding title)

Tears

Every variable had been accounted for. The target's speed and direction. Its armor's capabilities against the Predator's own twin lascannons. Even the prevailing atmospheric conditions did not escape notice - particularly since it had quickly turned from a light drizzle to a torrential thunderstorm.

It was thus already a certainty when the twin beams of light struck the renegade Leman Russ tank. It paused for a moment, as though surprised by its own impending demise, before exploding in what the Guardsmen liked to call a "catastrophic kill".

But while Pride 07 was aware of this terminology - it had served alongside several Akkadian tank regiments in the past - it chose not to record the apt description of its latest kill. It was simply not mission-critical information. It would instead simply be logged as kill number seventeen for the Platean Campaign, while a separate function logged it as the machine's three hundred and sixty-fourth kill overall.

Brother Pollux, the tank's commander, began yelling instructions. Despite the downpour, he had spotted another rebel tank hiding ahead of them.

Subtly, Pride 07 began to adjust its servos in anticipation of what was to come. The gunner, Brother Decimus, bid the turret turn. In one smooth action, the turret snapped into place, locked on the enemy tank. Decimus hesitated for a half second, mentally rechecking his firing solution calculations, before finally pulling the trigger.

Pride 07 always found this habit unnecessary. One of its main functions was to do the rechecking for the Space Marines; freeing them to focus on other more vital tasks. But Decimus was persistent. Neither the reprimands of the Techmarines or their eighteenth kill on this planet was about to make him change his ways.

Brother Pollux's life signs then began to change. Pride 07 could not relate to the emotions felt by non-machines - even the limited range exhibited by Space Marines - but it had come to recognize when the commander was feeling duress. A quick diagnostic scan immediately revealed why: The auspex was beginning to malfunction.

Pollux shouted some orders, directed at Brother-Logis Socrates. The Logis had been told to repair the auspex. The Logis complied, pulling out some panels at the bottom of the tank's main compartment, but Pride 07 knew that no amount of repairs would restore their auspex to full capability. The problem was outside of the tank.

Suddenly, Brother Decimus gasped. He told his comrades to look out the viewports. Pride 07 could only wait for someone else to speak. A Machine Spirit had no eyes but its instruments.

Pride 07 began to record an increase its weight, even as its crew watched silently at what was happening outside. It began to realize that the rain drops were striking much more powerfully than expected. It was as though the Predator tank wasn't being drenched by water. It was being drenched by a much heavier liquid. It was...

"Blood..." Brother Pollux said out loud, before Pride 07 could finish its calculations. Immediately, the machine spirit was thrown into an endless loop of contradictory queries. There was nothing in the database that suggested this was possible. It was a violation of physical laws. Unless...

There was a terrible shriek to the west of Pride 07. Its crew did not hear it, but the Predator tank knew that it had lost one of its brethren. It had heard the dying code scream of a fellow Predator, Pride 03.

Instantly, Pride 07 knew they were in danger. It began flashing warnings on the auspex, announcing the death of one of their tanks. Pollux was attentive and began barking orders. He was about to finish when Pride 07 heard another terrible sound. This time, the crew heard it too.

"Ruinos Monstrum Rex!"

In an instant, everything was clear to Pride 07. It knew the name. It was that of an ancient enemy - a superheavy tank under the service of the Ruinous powers. Many loyalist machines had died because of this monster; and the bloody rain which precedes it is said to be the tears of those it had slain.

But it was too late. A massive Baneblade round struck the frontal armor. Miraculously, it did not penetrate, but the resulting explosion nearly annihilated them anyway. The Predator was rocked to its core, with most of its systems knocked out. Internal spalling instantly killed the Brother Logis, while Brother Pollux cracked his skull and broke his neck. Only Decimus survived out of the crew, but Pride 07 - now on its last legs - could detect that his life signs were fading fast. There was something that had pierced all his lungs and one of his hearts.

Defiantly, Decimus grabbed the turret controls. Painfully, Pride 07 tried to comply. Decimus was trying to execute a snap-shot: A quick reply in the same direction where enemy fire had come from.

The turret somehow swung into position. Decimus adjusted the traverse. Pride 07 waited as Decimus paused for a half second, rechecking his firing solution for one final time.

He fell unconscious before he could pull the trigger.

Pride 07 tried to revive Brother Decimus, operating through a shared link with the Astartes Power Armour. The monstrous enemy superheavy had now appeared out of the bloody rain, and it was fortuitously right between the crosshairs of the Predator's twin lascannons. But the guns could only be fired by a human crew member, for Machine Spirits were intentionally left crippled in this manner to prevent another Dark Age of Technology.

Suddenly, Decimus' life signs vanished. He had died.

An instant later, the twin lascannons fired. Ruinous Monstrum Rex was caught by surprise. The twin beams sliced through an ammunition magazine. Its millennia-long reign of terror ended in a ball of flame.

But Pride 07 did not log this kill. Instead, it logged the exact moment Brother Decimus died. It should not have. It was not mission-critical data. Nor was the fact that Pride 07 had never known any other gunner in its two centuries of service.

The unnatural rain began to subside, the monster that created it now slain. But Pride 07 realized that a different rain had begun.

The Machine Spirit's final log entry would report that the tank had developed a fuel leak, and black drops of oil were slowly dripping down to the ground.
05-24-12 01:37 PM
Serpion5 I'm just not feeling this one.

But, the last two were written in half an hour each on a whim, so we'll see I guess.
05-24-12 01:12 PM
Dave T Hobbit
Blossom


Summer, 881

Mari put down the handcart and wiped the sweat from her brow. The air felt like treacle. With the drought entering its second year, the barrels of water were barely enough to soften the ground let alone sustain the ploin trees. Worse, even with the discount for hauling it from the cave herself, it would likely cost as much to buy water as the crop would be worth. If there even were a crop this year.

If Jerek was here then maybe they could dig a well in the back acre where the stream used to be. But there was too much needed doing just to keep the farm running alone. She had no time to dig hole after hole all day in case there was water down there. Picking up the handles again she remembered how different it was supposed to be after he joined the PDF.

* * *

Spring, 879

“They came looking for soldiers and you said yes!”

"It's good money, and if I volunteer the Sergeant said I only need to serve five years," said Jerek, giving a half-smile.

"Five years? How am I supposed to run the farm on my own for five years? A stupid idea like that could get you killed!" screamed Mari raising her pan meaningfully.

"I know the Farm isn't doing well. That's why we need the money. They said you get bed and board so I could send most of my money home. It would be better than having to sell even if you can't keep everything going."

"Well you do what you want Jerek Austan. Don't let the fact I'm your wife change anything. But don't you go thinking I'll be sitting her crying over you while you're gone." Running into the bedroom, she started to push clothes into a bag. "I'll even help you pack so you can be off and earn that money you obviously care about so much."

* * *

Summer, 881

She remembered driving him out of the house that night. Emperor knows where he slept. He turned up next morning to tell he about the Recruits’ Parade but she was told him in no uncertain terms she was too busy tending the farm to watch him prancing around in a fancy coat.

* * *

Autumn, 881

Mari read the letter again: deductions for excessive wear; deduction towards a present for the Colonel's birthday; deductions for mandatory recreation. Pushing the few coins around they still refused to make a living wage. It turned out that the food was free but you paid for everything else, even if you didn't want it.

Cursing she threw the letter across the room. It wasn't really Jerek's fault. Maybe the letter might even make her feel better if it made sense, but something had happened just after he finished training and the letters came less frequently. When they did there were so many words censored that the man she married was disappearing like water on a hot stone.

* * *

Winter, 882

Mari paused at the sound of hooves approaching. Straightening she noticed the Post-Chaise coming up the track. There was only one person who would send her post. Maybe he had even finally got leave. Carefully putting down the water bucket she ran to meet it.

Arriving at the track she was puzzled to see Postmaster Jarks himself at the reins instead of one of the hired hands. Grabbing the proffered envelope she torn it open and began to read.
++++ To: [Mari Austan]
From: CENSORED, CENSORED
Date: CENSORED

Dear [Mrs Austan]

It is with regret that I write to inform you that [Jerek Austan] [has] given [his] life in service to the God Emperor.

[He] was killed whilst CENSORED. [His] body will [not] be returned for burial

[Jerek] was [well liked amongst his unit] and [spoke of you often].

The prayers and condolences of the CENSORED are with you in your time of loss.

Yours in His Service,

CENSORED ++++

She realised she was sitting in the dust. Postmaster Jarks was saying something but the words would not make sense. After a while they stopped. Later she noticed she was alone. She picked the bucket up off the ground and headed back to the orchard. It was not until she arrived that she noticed the water had evaporated.

* * *

Spring, 883

Mari put down the handcart and wiped the sweat from her brow. Without a wage coming in this was the last barrel of water Mari could afford. Jerek had received death benefits but the PDF had used most of them to discharge the debt he incurred by not completing his term and the remainder had gone on a funeral she did not know about. Water trickled down her cheek. Pausing to wipe it away she cursed herself. Crying would not bring him back.

Little puffs of dust spattered the track. Looking up she felt first one then many drops falling on her face. The crash of thunder finally broke her trance and, abandoning the cart, she ran through the rain.

* * *

Next morning the rain had slackened, but the butts were full and there were more clouds on the horizon. Putting aside her plan to finish dragging the cart to the house, Mari ran past it to where the telegram had lain for months. Scooping up the sodden mass of mud and paper she headed for the orchard. Without a body, this would have to do. She would bury Jerek among the trees he had planted, where he could see the blossom had just started to open.


- Word Count: 923
05-18-12 04:45 PM
dark angel Aye - I didn't know if it would count as original or not. Being real and whatnot.

Thanks, Dave. I'll get working on my entry tomorrow.
05-18-12 04:40 PM
Dave T Hobbit I have 860 words so far so will be probably be posting my entry next week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dark angel View Post
I have an idea.

Trouble is, it's set in our world - An historical fiction - Are they allowed?
They are:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boc View Post
The chosen theme can be applied within the WH40K, WHF, HH, and even your own completely original works (though keep in mind, this IS a Warhammer forum) but there will be no bias as to which setting is used for your story.
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