|Topic Review (Newest First)|
|01-25-13 12:46 PM|
|Boc||Entry window is closed, please comment and vote through this link for this month's competition.|
|01-24-13 12:37 AM|
My first entry in a while. 1096 words not including the title, which makes it 1098. Enjoy;
Fear permeated the small defensive bunker, almost as tangible as the mud caked to the defenders’ boots. Each man in the small fire team was rife with it, almost oozed fear from every pour. Each of the five men had seen action on nearly a dozen different worlds between them. Each man had extensive training, unshakable faith, and indomitable will in the face of enemies they had faced before. But they faced no enemy they knew of. Each of them had seen traitors rise up against the Imperium. All of them had, at least once, seen what the warp could vomit up from the depths of such a hellish realm. Two had even seen the blood of the alien spilled upon the ground before them. It didn’t matter now…
Maxus looked into the eyes of his fellow Guardsmen and could see the unbridled fear clawing at their mental discipline. Reflected in every man’s eyes was a gripping uncertainty and urgent desire to flee with every ounce of strength they had. He was sure even his eyes reflected such fear. The only thing that kept them rooted in the poorly made bunker was duty to the Emperor. The only fear that outweighed the fear of this new and unknown enemy was that of being marked a traitor and being killed for deserting their posts. If not for such promises of torment, each of them might have bolted at any moment.
The sounds of explosions, of lasgun fire, and screams of the fallen rang out all around them. It had been like that for untold days. Maxus and his small squad was the last bunker, the last bastion of protection standing between the invaders from some unknown place and the capitol of their small outpost world. More than likely the evacuations had already taken place. More than likely, a call for aid had been sent out. And it was entirely likely that they wouldn’t live long enough to see aid come…
Impact tremors rippled through the ground, tossing several loose crates the fire team had stacked up into the mud. No one made a move to gather them up. In fact, had Maxus not been looking in their direction, he probably wouldn’t have noticed. The pitch black darkness that bathed the battlefield gave the group little clue as to what had fallen, or perhaps what had exploded. If it had been some manner of drop pods, it meant that the defenders would simply be even more outnumbered, which made little difference as their line continued to collapse and decay with each passing hour. If it had been the result of explosions, it meant that the generators powering the outer ring of tarantula gun turrets had been destroyed and the advance was no longer impeded in the slightest.
“You think the other teams are holdin’ them off?” Maxus overheard his squad mate Ferris asking the Guardsman huddled next to him. The Corporal scoffed at the question. The sounds of death and carnage all around them could answer with certainty what Hayden could not. Maxus turned his eyes away from the two and set about scanning the muddy landscape that was visible to him. The small searchlights hardly pierced a few meters into the darkness, not even far enough to see the bunkers positioned in front of them. If not for the constant echo of the battle raging just beyond that veil of darkness, the Guardsman could have almost forgotten that there was any battle raging at all…
As his eyes scanned, he caught the dim glint of something bright in the corner of his eye. Maxus turned toward the ghost light and could make out small streaks, each of them so blue they were almost white. Had they not been traveling toward one of the makeshift bunkers out along the perimeter he might have confused it for friendly fire. The streaks of light intensified and grew in number over the next few seconds before an unmistakable plume of flame erupted.
“They’re here!” Maxus warned his squad while lifting his own lasgun up onto the bunker’s mud crusted window ledge. The rest of his squad did the same, each of them looking out nervously into the darkness. Blue-white wisps of light streaked into view. Most of them landed harmlessly into the muck with no great effect, almost haphazardly in their pattern.
“Hold your fire until you actually see something worth shooting…” Maxus told his fellows. While he’d never fought this particular sort of alien before, the tactics weren’t all that different. He’d even used diversionary fire to root out enemies on dozens of raids, drawing his enemies out from some hidden place to be slaughtered in number.
The chaotic light became suddenly accurate, shattering the spotlights that sat just in front and off to either side of their bunker. The blue-white flames that engulfed the spotlights bore an uncanny resemblance to daemon fire… and yet it was almost… beautiful. Maxus shuddered at the thought, and wondered why now he would consider the weapons fire that would likely be his demise to pleasing in appearance.
When the spotlights had burned out and the fire was no more, the probing bolts of energy stopped. A strange calm settled back over the inky darkness that now almost totally engulfed their world. The sudden lack of light played havoc on Maxus’ eyes for several seconds, forcing him to shift his head several times at glints of light that were not there. It didn’t take long for his eyes to adjust to the darkness, but when it finally did Maxus almost wished it hadn’t.
He could see the vivid blue outline of what almost looked like a man, except that it was proportioned too strangely to be any man he’d ever seen. It bore no resemblance to any Astartes he’d ever seen, nor any member of the Legions of Chaos he had been unfortunate enough to battle. Its movements were utterly mechanical, which were all the more unnerving.
“Open fire!” he proclaimed, letting loose a burst of hot laser fire at the ghostly blue visage in the night. His squad fired upon similar apparitions, and while he was sure that he’d hit it, the thing just kept coming. Again and again he fired… to no avail. The last thing Maxus saw before some blast from some other creature’s weapon took him into oblivion was a burst of light rising from the thing he’d been firing at. A glowing orb of blue-white fire that looked utterly beautiful and hideous to him all at once… then nothing…
|01-22-13 10:34 PM|
Nathaniel fell, clutching his chest. Liquid dripped from between his gloved fingers, as he doubled over and collapsed into the pristine snow. Aretas jumped over his prone form, as he charged towards the entrenched enemy. Then, a well-aimed hit to the head took him down as well, and he too fell. And yet, more came—all young fresh-faced youths, carried forward with dreams of glory and heroics.
But it was not this tide that broke the defence. As the assault forced the defenders to focus on it, behind their lines another group of youths closed in on the enemy trench line. Though they had to cover a much greater distance than the main force, they were still focussed. They had to be—one careless step, one loud word, could jeopardize their whole mission.
Luck was on their side, and soon enough they entered the trench. The first two opponents were dispatched before anyone knew they were under attack from two sides. Though they fought bravely, the position they chose was impossible for them to defend. One by one, the defending force dwindled to only two youths in a matter of moments, when a sharp voice snapped, “Stop!”
Nathaniel picked himself up and dusted the snow off himself, before marching forward (or doing the best approximation he could manage through the snow) towards Sergeant Silas. He still could not get used to just how giant his mentor was—he loomed over them all, and would have easily dwarfed Nathaniel’s father, who was already a two meters tall behemoth of a man.
“Did you all think you were playing a game?” Silas roared—and he had a magnificent roar, like some wild giant beast. His voice carried far, and made even the most hot-headed novitiates cower.
“No, sir!” the youths snapped.
Nathaniel wondered if the words were directed at him and his theatrics, but the sergeant focused on the team that had been defending the trench.
“You all would be dead,” he growled. “Worse, your deaths would have been meaningless.”
Some of the boys started shifting nervously under the giant’s scrutiny.
“You all ought to know by now that if you make it, if you become Space Marines, you will not die in bed,” Sergeant Silas continued. “But that does not mean you are supposed to carelessly throw your lives away. If you die like you would have died had this been war and not an exercise, you would not only have doomed yourselves, but all those that rely on you.”
He cast his gaze around, meeting the eyes of the initiates one by one.
“You all have heard tales of heroic last stands, have you not?” he asked. “I could tell you to forget them. I could tell you that if you are forced into one, you have already lost. But this would not be true. Sometimes, you will not have a choice. Sometimes, preserving your lives will not be as important as what your deaths will achieve.”
“Merely dying is not glorious,” he continued. “Dying, when your brothers still need you, when the Emperor and his subjects demand your protection, is like betraying them all. You will have squandered the resources that have been poured into you and risked lives that rely on you for nothing.”
“If you wish to be remembered as heroes, you cannot throw your lives away. You have to offer them for something greater. If it’s a choice between letting your brothers retreat and all of you dying, if it means winning a significant advantage over the enemy, then it will be your duty to offer your life.”
“But this?” Sergeant Silas gestured towards the now empty trench. “This was idiocy of the highest order. You would not have won. You couldn’t have won like that, and yet you stayed. You had plenty of opportunities to retreat to a better position, but instead, you chose to play-pretend you’re great heroes enacting your last stand like little children.”
Nathaniel smiled to himself—a small wistful expression, hidden by his helmet. Sergeant Silas had died many years ago, but his wisdom guided him even now. He did not dare look away, lest one of the xenos used his lack of attention and slipped past his guard, but he was doing his best to keep track of the icons that represented his battle brothers on the internal display of his helmet.
His bolter kept barking and each shot met a target. Genestealer hybrids fell around him, their malformed bodies trampled by their erstwhile comrades in their rush towards their target. But even a Space Marine could not stem the tide infinitely. Sheer numbers dictated that sooner or later one of the xenos would slip past his guard, and soon enough Nathaniel found himself backhanding a hybrid with his bolter.
The harm was done, however, and the swarming xenos broke through. Nathaniel activated his chainsword, and fell upon the xenos like an angel of fury. He slashed and hacked tirelessly, but the hybrids kept on coming. Even one like he could not hope to fight them all. Not without his brothers, but they needed to live and fight another day.
The tide surged over him, toppling him, and clawed hands tore off his helmet.
Nathaniel smelled blood and saw teeth, sharp and glinting. Desperately, he slammed his head into the hybrid’s, but as it crumpled over him, another appeared. He spat, a final measure of defiance, and saw its cheek melt as the acid bubbled over the wound. It screeched, as another pushed it away.
Then, there were claws, and pain, and darkness.
|01-22-13 09:30 PM|
Last second entry. Again.
There are things they don’t tell you about Last Stands. Like, how humiliating they can be. It all sounds fine and very well, standing with your back to the wall, weapon in hand, bleeding wounds and dwindling ammunitions supply optional, while a horde of whatever (or maybe just one big thing, like a Chaos Dreadnought) moves in on you in slow motion…
How you fire your last shots, draw your sword and charge in. Maybe, if whatever enemy is responsible for your eminent demise has a sense of sport, or humour, or just enjoys playing with you, like that Wych I met in 972, they might proclaim to give you a chance. “Here, see, I’ll throw away my gun, and just fight you with my sword.” “It doesn’t have to end like that, Commissar. Surrender, and you will live.” “Stand back, this one is mine.”
Of course, that is optional. Your average ork horde will just charge in and not care at all about the gravitas such a moment deserves. Same with Tyranids. So, they charge you. You fight. And then, you die. Maybe, if the enemy leaves enough of you for a burial, somebody will read a sufficiently moving eulogy about your heroism and bravery at your funeral.
This was always a personal favourite of mine: “The martyr never truly dies. Every blow he suffers is the touch of immortality, every prison he is incarcerated within is a heavenly mansion.” Of course that won’t really aid the hypothetical you, because you will be dead.
So, that is how a last stand is supposed to work. I can tell, I’ve been in a couple of them. Of course, in my case, the God-Emperor in his infinite mercy decided that they weren’t to be my end. Yet. Because he probably foresaw a more amusing one for me in the future. Last minute rescues of course brighten up the day of the person facing their end under such dire circumstances – or they can completely ruin it.
As I said, nobody tells you how humiliating it can be… There was this moment, back when I was still at the Scholam, when I faced death and dismemberment at the hands of a couple of lowlife gamblers who had assumed that the blue-eyed little cadet had no idea of your average card shark’s tricks. Unfortunately, I did. And even more unfortunately, they were better than me.
So, in this alley behind the dive they bore down on me like the hordes of the Despoiler, wielding tablelegs and knives, and I desperately tried to hide inside a dumpster. At which point the local Arbites showed up, pulled out their truncheons, waded in and thoroughly ruined the lowlives’ day. Then, they fished me out of my hiding place, with fish guts – the smelly kind – hanging from my shoulders and squashed vegetable sticking to my cheek.
And thrashed me. And once I got back to the Scholam, I actually wished the thugs had killed me because that was nothing against the punishment I earned for being out of bounds, in a shady part of town, after curfew… I’ll spare you the rest.
It was probably my most pathetic ‘Last’ stand, although the one with the irate spouses of half the Pontian all-female PDF garrison was infinitely more humiliating, because back then, I didn’t wear trousers. Fortunately, the person who saved me that time was my trusty aide Jurgen, and he would never hold it against me. Having to wear Jurgen’s secondary pair of pants on the way back to headquarters was an entirely new level of cruel and unusual punishment, though.**
So, as you see, it isn’t all utterly dashing heroics with blood, sweat and last oaths to the Emperor. And let’s not leave out all the metaphorical last stands I have suffered… Like, those fought with words over the next suicidal assignment my superiors decided to drop on an Imperial hero of my calibre. These invariably were devoid of last minute rescues, and led to some of the more dramatic ‘back to the wall’ moments in my illustrious career.
Of course, those are covered in my official biography, the only difference being the amount of washing my trousers needed afterwards.
And then, there is a species of last stand that is in its own category. I am talking of Regicide. I am a more than fair player, and I know quite a lot of tricks. Against most people, I can win. Sometimes, it is political not to, but such losses, usually fought very dramatically with suicidal counter charges and the least important playing piece left for last, are an art to itself.
I have only met one person, where all those desperate last minute movements to get a few more moments of life for one’s King, all the sacrifices of Squires and Sentries, are expressions of utterly genuine desperation. Where, everytime we play, I have to make a Last Stand and nobody rescues me.
Unless you count that one time where Amberley’s crazy psyker stumbled into Jurgen, causing him to spill tanna on the game board, shorting out the cogitator. Yes, indeed. I always lose playing against her, and she takes special delight in exacting the prices for my losses from me. We do not play for money, of course. Most of the time, it is my last attempt to get out of whatever little mission she intends to send us on. You can imagine how well this usually works.
So, give me some charging Tyranids anytime. I’d rather take my chances with them, instead of seeing an immaculate eyebrow being raised after my Empress got demolished by a Cannonade, and hearing the words: “By the way, Ciaphas, there was this little situation on Gallipolis I wanted to talk to you about…”***
There’s nothing heroic in that.
* This eloquent piece of self pity is one of the many random notes and essays that make up a significant part of the Cain Archive. I added it to my annotated collection because it gives a great insight into the mind of this self professed coward and shows how utterly blasé towards danger he has become by the end of his career.
** One might consider this punishment to be entirely fitting of the crime.
*** See File 2357C/975.
The quoted sermon is from the Novel "Commissar" by Andy Hoare.
|01-20-13 10:44 PM|
His chest burned, his own hot blood mixing freely upon his chest with that of the foe.
His armour was shredded and hung useless against his battered and bloody flesh.
He could feel his cracked ribs and knew he was dying.
His leg ached, the bone in pieces and the flesh cut and torn. He could not walk on it, let alone run. All he could do was stand where was. Even that sent lances of pain from his leg.
His sword slipped, his hand covered with blood and sweat. The blows were weak and did little damage to those he swung at. Eventually he lowered his arm and stopped fighting.
His shield clanged, the blows of his enemies crashing against it again and again. The metal dented and split as he crouched behind his final defence. He turned his head away and clenched his fists.
His vision blurred, sweat from his own brow rendering his eyes near useless. He blinked away the sweat but his salty tears just made his eyes once more blind. He gave in and closed his eyes tight.
His ears deafened, the roars of his enemy as well as himself too loud. He could hear nothing but the sound of death and brutal battle all around him. He shut out the noise as best he could.
His friends died, falling to the ground all around him. Those he had fought beside for many years fell to the cruel weapons of the enemy. Soon none were left and he stood alone.
He enemies cheered, sensing victory within their grasp. They pressed forward, slaying even more of those that stood against them. They closed around him, their weapons slicing him.
His heart thudded, the sound echoing within his head. It drowned out all other noise as the steady beat absorbed him. He concentrated on nothing else, trying to ignore the pain.
His faith raged, the only thing keeping him upon his feet. Belief in his gods still burnt within him, thought little else but pain did. But even the flame of his faith began to splutter and die.
His body roared, every part of him cut and bleeding. Even as he stood, wicked blades cut into his flesh and fresh blood poured out onto the ground. He could feel his life force ebbing from him and knew his time was nearly up.
His knees buckled, falling to his knees upon the ground. His shield clattered to his side, he had no use for it anymore. His sword fell from his grasp and the metal rang out upon the ground. His head slumped as he lost all hope.
His face thudded, down into the mud as he fell to the ground. He did not lift his face, he had no energy left. He opened his eyes, the sun almost blinding him.
His eyes focussed, upon a lone figure clad in steel. A lone figure moving towards where he lay.
The man’s chest glittered, armour glinting in the sun, the afternoon sun reflecting off the brilliant metal. Proud bronze of a warrior.
The man’s leg kicked, a foe hit the ground. He was nimble, like an animal, and struck with power and accuracy with all parts of himself.
The man’s sword slashed enemies down in all directions. His blows were precise and every one of them took the life of an enemy. The cuts sliced through flesh like a hot knife through butter.
The man’s shield blocked, the foe’s blows useless. He deflected every blow easily, moving like a dancer through the midst of the enemy. Even the shield became a weapon in his hand as he knocked a foe to the floor.
The man’s vision sparked, every blow deadly. He saw everything and took everything into account as he fought like a lion. Nothing slipped by him and the battle became part of him.
The man’s ears listened, every noise taken in. He spun towards new foes and slew them with ease as they charged towards him. None took him by surprise or came at him from behind.
The man’s friends charged, joining the fight against the enemy. The wave of fresh warriors surged across the battlefield, killing all in its path.
The man’s enemies screamed, the tides of the battle turned against them. They turned to run, terror gripping their hearts in a vice of steel.
The man’s heart shrilled, victory easily within his reach. He fought on with even more vigour, knowing that the battle was almost his.
The man’s faith purged, all before him fell beneath him. His gods rallied with him and lent him strength and skill.
The man’s body pushed, fatigue unfelt in the rush of battle. Adrenaline pumped through his veins, pushing him to feats of great strength.
The man’s knees lashed, crippling those against him. Those that fell quickly felt the steel of his sword as he slew them.
The man’s face beamed, joy of the victory in battle. His eyes glinted with excitement as he saw the battle won.
The man’s eyes spotted, the single soldier lying upon the ground.
His face fell as he ran to the man’s. He fell to his knees and dropped his sword and shield to the ground. He reached out and felt the man’s pulse. Feeling nothing but a weak beat he lifted the man upon his shoulders and turned away from the battle.
Walking quickly and purposefully towards the sunset. He had arrived too late. The man he now carried towards safety had died fighting a battle he did not need to fight. But the man vowed one thing as he walked away.
He vowed he would remember this man’s last stand.
Even if no-one else would.
Now i know this is a bit of a weird story but it's what happened when i started writing so i thought I might as well roll with it. Any feedback or comments are greatly appreciated.
|01-09-13 09:01 AM|
In The End
In The End.
A Renegades’ Short.
HOES Last Stand
Word Count (Not including titles): 1054
The smell of Death hung in the air like a great shroud, the sound of bolter fire joined with the whir of chain blades mingled with the cries of the dying. All around the warriors the dead and the dying lay, Apothecaries, protected by a small squad carried out their grizzly work, saying the rites of passing over the bodies and then extracting the gene-seed so that their warriors would live on in a new generation.
The Imperial Army fell easier than the black and white clad warriors beside them, but to the Captain of the 120th Company Raven Guard, Yantos, felt for them as he would the many of his men that were falling before the onslaught of the enemy. This was no ordinary enemy. This was not the vile Xenos of the Eldar or the Orks. This was not some lost world of Humanity fighting the rules of the Imperium, this was brother against brother. This was madness and as yet another of his battle brothers fell, he began to wonder when the world had gone mad.
When Corax had returned with the word that the Emperor had claimed his previously long denied obsession with godhood Yantos could hardly believe it. He had been born on Terra, he had fought for the Emperor long before Corvius had been found and reunited with his lost sons. The Emperor had always resisted the call to be deified, he had burnt the last church to a faith that had no more place in human hearts, the call of science, technology and independence from faith had been the driving force behind the Great Crusade and the ancient wars of unification. Now it had all been turned around into madness.
He looked overhead as his assault troops screamed into battle with their nemesis, and as he saw the midnight clad warriors he knew that one way or the other, this would be a bloody battle. The Raven Guard had responded to a distress call sent from Oculus Prime, the world of the Imperium had at first welcome the other Legion but when they refused to worship the Emperor as a god, well that had been their death nail.
Josef Yantos was well aware that the Legion he now fought against, their darker opposites, were just as versed in lightning fast attacks as were the Raven Guard. He ordered the Basilisks to target the approaching Assault marines, as they got closer he almost fell off the wall he was standing on. The Raptors had changed their helms to resemble the ancient predators of the same name. The Night Lords truly were something of darkness and as the Raptors flew in fast formation they decapitated the Imperial Army gunners before the humans could even get a bead on them.
Yantos ordered Assault Squad Daimos to intercepted the Night Lord Raptors, to his satisfaction his brothers did as their captain ordered but even Yantos was aware that this was going to go on until there was none of them left standing, the rivalry between the Black clad Raven Guard and the Midnight Blue Night Lords went deeper than any other Astartes rivalry.
Captain Josara Ulies of the 76th Night Lords Company had taken the law of his grandfather seriously. Since the Emperor had allowed Curze to become the justice bringer of the Imperium, the Primarch had revelled in his new status. What the Night Lords had been once condemned for, they were now being lauded for. In the year following the Emperors ascension the Night Lords had brought more worlds under the flag of the new Imperium and remodelled the planets justice system. Specially trained humans were now judges and keepers of the Emperors laws, and recently the Primarch had been named the Lord Justice Marshall of the Imperium. Ulies allowed himself a vicious smile, that meant the law of the Imperium fell under the thumb of the Night Lords and that meant,…he stared at the defenders of this puissant city….that meant he could do whatever the hell he wanted as it fell under the Night Lords remit.
++Brothers, lets finish them off++
The sons of Corax would regret siding with the renegade Warmaster.
The Night Lords moved with fluid and violent efficiency, anyone not in the colours of the Imperium or wearing the power armour of the Warmasters forces were brutally cut down, there was no mercy and there was no quarter. The Raven Guard stood their ground but for every Night lord they killed several more Raven Guard fell. Yantos himself had become embroiled in a head on battle with the Night Lord Command squad. He cursed the laws he had once followed as his brothers whittled down one by one. He ordered the Apothecaries to transport the taken gene seed of the fallen brothers to the Deliverance Child high in orbit above them and that Yantos’s Vessel was to leave orbit immediately and head for Deliverance.
The future of the Legion depended on that Gene seed and there was no way he was going to let that happen, his senior apothecary stood beside him and let him know that his orders had been carried out. The two men exchanged glances with each other as Raven guard runes blinked out on Yantos combat screen.
++Brothers, let’s send these bastards back to the hell hole they came from…For Corax and the Warmaster++
The shout came back and the remaining Raven Guard went into the battle full on.
The carrion birds flew overhead, below them were the bodies of the dead Astartes and humans, with all the blood and mud that had been thrown up with the battle it was hard to distinguish who was who but as the re-enforcements of the Alpha Legion made planet fall in response to a distress signal from one of the now decimated hulk of a Raven Guard ship, they could only imagine the death and destruction.
Captain Ideaus of the Alpha Legion removed his helm as the humans came out of hiding. He crossed to where a body lay, holding the Flag of the 120th impaled into the body of the Captain of the Night Lords he bowed his head. He ordered the banner be respectfully furled and they would return it to the Raven Guard as well as the gene seed. He looked down at the human who stood a little way away from him. There were no Raven Guard Survivors, but they had taken down the Night Lords.
What a glorious battle this must have been, and what honour to the Sons of Corax. Ideaus lifted the body of Captain Yantos and carried him away.
|01-06-13 11:04 PM|
"Look at all these poor souls." said father Theophlius. However, even young Kevin realised there was no true pity in his eyes. He hated their enemy too much for that. The expression "pour souls" was nothing but empty rhetoric. Their opponents were marching across the streets towards the great plaza. They were chanting their hymns for the greater glory of the Emperor. They had wooden sticks, lassos, pitchforks and... guns? Who in the Emperor's name gave them guns?
"Just look at them" continued father Theophilius sitting on the top of their barricade and waving the blessed banner. "They are slaves to that wicked man, who calls himself ecclesiarch and sits on a throne covered with precious gems and silk, as if he were the Emperor! But fear them not our faith is the true one. We believe in the true work of a god: the Lectitio Divinitatus. Not some petty meaningless book written by rotting theologists. We are the cult of the martyred Jacobi, who was publicly executed for his faith and we will prevail over these savages!"
Kevin liked that priest, but there was something, he just could not understand. If they worshipped the same Emperor, why could they not just get along? But he feared to ask. In all that crowd standing behind barricades, he could be easily killed by angry mob for treachery. It was too late for questions anyway: they had an enemy, he had to be crushed. That's all Kevin needed to know. In his prayers his right hand slipped towards his pendant. He opened it and saw a well known smile.
"Your girlfriend?" asked a voice from behind.
Kevin instantly closed it and blushed "No it's my ma'."
"What a naïve boy"said the man behind him. "I like it."
"Are you even listening to me?" asked father Theophilius annoyed.
"Ad gloriam aeternam. Domine libra nos." the man continued his prayer, which calmed the old priest.
How Kevin yearned to see his parents one more time. He fled to the church because of his faith and he never regretted it, but he just could not forget them neither. He promised himself to at least write them, so that they knew he was all right, but now was too late for that. What seemed like an ordinary mass turned out to be a battle for the very existence of their church. Like many other churches, the church of Saint Jacobi was claimed by the new cult, which was spreading across the whole Imperium, the Ecclesiarchy. Father Theophilius however refused to give up, so the indoctrinated peasants who served the Ecclesiarchy came to burn it as tainted.
Then the fight began. They defended themselves mostly with pavements. Some had the bright idea to make slings out of their handkerchiefs. Cadmil, the most zealous servant was waving the banner crying "for the Saint, for the Saint!", while his opponent, who carried a banner of Saint Gregorius, known to be the first Ecclesiarch, cried "Burn the false idols, burn the false idols!" The first barricade took fire. Women ran with buckets full of water and tried to extinguish it. Axes flew through the air and bolt shots could be heard all over the plaza. Cadmil was shot. Somehow Kevin felt that the banner was his responsibility. He sneaked through the combat zone, where his friends were trying to hold off the angry mobs with nothing but their fists. He took the banner and shouted as loud as he could "Saint Jacobi flies again, Saint Jacobi flies again!", but his tiny voice was lost in the noise.
Theophilius as a priest refused to fight. He however supported his faithful where he could. His words had power, because people believed in them. He saw poor Mathias dying. He was one of the purest souls he ever met. The enemy had to pay for his death. Mathias grabbed the priest's robe with his bloody hands and whispered "Father, please I want to confess. I want to be pure, when I meet the Emperor."
The priest knew there was no time for a full confession, so he just gave Mathias an encouraging smile and said "Today you fought bravely for the Emperor my child. As so, you and your family are absolved of all sins. The Emperor protects."
"The Emperor protects." coughed Mathias and died happy, knowing where his soul was going.
The priest walked slowly on the stairs of his great church and then Shouted angrily:"Your ecclesiarch is a fat sinner! Do you know how many geese he eats during the year, while professing frugality for everyone else? He ate forty geese, while people starve on the streets! Devil truly protects him from a heart attack, this pig deserves!" The latest remark made his people laugh, while infuriated his enemies even more. Good. They deserved some of Theophilius' own anger.
The barricades were falling and people wear retreating to the church. Some of them were however too slow like Frank's sister Meila, who was dropped on the floor by an angry peasant, who was tearing her dress apart and shouting "Hold still you Jacobi bitch!"
When Frank saw this he tried to leave and kill him, but father Theophilius refused to open the church's gate. He just said sadly "I am afraid that, that's what the Ecclesiarch does to all people. He does not care about the Emperor. Only his own pleasures." He knew the end was near, so he felt he had to say something more majestic.
"My faithful children." He said while the church was starting to burn. "A hundred years ago, there was born our Saint Jacobi. During these times, all those who believed in the Emperor and Lectitio Divinitatus were persecuted. Most of the believers practised their religion in secret, for fear of the Adeptus Arbites. Saint Jacobi was among the first to profess openly what we all knew in our hearts. That the Emperor is not just a man, but a God, who cares about our souls. He was publicly humiliated and executed for that, but he sent us all a powerful message. That no army can overcome faith. With our faith we were born and with our faith we shall die. Those wicked people who follow the Ecclesiarch will not prevail, because they do not serve a god, but a mere man. One day people will see through his lies and will kill him. But this will not be our fight. Today we die together, knowing we did all we could to stop the Ecclesiarchy. The Emperor protects."
|01-03-13 01:24 AM|
For the Emperor
For The Emperor
Last Stand HOES
Word Count: 1057 (not including title)
The view that assaulted his vision made him want to weep; he could not remember the last time he wept, maybe when he was a boy. He saw the destruction wrought by the life-eater virus and the firestorms that had accompanied it had scoured the world. He did not know how many Astartes survived but he knew that the human populace would not have survived 16 billion people dead in a matter of minutes. As his gaze swept the shattered landscape he saw in the distance Ancient Rylanor, standing stoic but unmoving.
He looked up as flames lit the already burning skies, through the dying firestorm he saw drop pods and Stormbirds begin to descend. This battle was not over yet. He warned his brothers and then stopped as he heard a faint signal, a faint voice. Closing his other vox channels he listened again, there, a voice that made his heart leap with joy. Getting up he told his second to double the securing detail and grabbing his bolter he made off towards the source of the signal.
He moved silently, despite his bulk and crouched down. Before him the Stormbird of the 26th Grand Company sat idling in the clearing. He glanced down to see the helm of a Death Guard stare mournfully back up at him. He stared at it for several moments then forced his attention to the lone figure that sat on the ramp seemingly waiting.
He checked that there was no one else around and moved into the clearing removing his helm he hooked it to his belt and stood with his bolter raised. The other Emperors Child rose to his feet, a Captain, he hooked his helm to his belt and closed the gap between them. Kenar stepped back keeping his bolter raised.
Halter raised his hands and stayed where he was, the relief on his face was palatable at the sight of his little brother. Not just his battle brother but his genetic blood brother.
“Kenar” The relief was evident in his brothers’ voice and Halter closed the gap drawing his brother into an embrace that Kenar returned.
“How did you escape the viral bombing?” Kenar wanted to know, his bolter lowered.
“We just arrived. I sent my men away so that I could get you and take you back to the Perfection”
Kenar stepped back as his brothers’ words sank into his mind “You are here to kill us” It was not a question “Why Halter!”
“You are no traitor Kenar, Tarvitz made his choice” Halter rested his hand on his brothers shoulder “I want my little brother by my side as we fight in the name of the Phoenician and the Warmaster”
“The Warmaster has gone mad Halter, look around you” He implored and bending down picked up the battered helm of a Lunar Wolf “He would do this to his own sons and now he sends Angrons dogs to finish the job, as well as our own brothers!”
Halter took the helm and tossed it to one side, uncaring as to the warrior that might have worn it; all that mattered to him was getting his brother back into the Legion. His beloved Lord Commander would welcome the younger Jovotch with open arms.
“The rest of your squad have been marked for death, they follow the line of a false god Kenar, and I am here to give you a chance to re-join your brothers, to fight alongside me once more. You are a good Sergeant, a tactical genius, we need you, the Phoenician could use you once more, My Lord Commander will welcome you back” Halter cocked his head to one side “I need you” He emphasized his last sentence.
Kenar shook his head and raised his bolter once more although he did not aim it at his brother. “I love you Halter, I always have, ever since we were children, when father died you were the one who kept our family together, the men could use you Halter, if we stand together….” Kenar stopped as he stared into his older brothers eyes.
They were different; they were no longer the trusting eyes of his brother in battle, knowing that his brothers were there to watch his back. His brothers’ eyes were swimming with hate. Hate for what he had once loved and there was something else, although what Kenar could not put his finger on it.
“I am returning to my brothers” Kenar told him “Unless you are going to kill me Halter. I cannot follow the direction off our father, I am a grandson of the Emperor and I will remain that way”
“You are a son of Fulgrim first!” Halter narrowed his eyes and pointed his gauntleted finger at the Sergeant.
“I am the son of Ismael and Isolde Jovotch, a former son of Fulgrim and a Grandson of the Master of Mankind. I do not want to kill you Halter but to do my duty for the Emperor I will do what has to be done.”
“Then return to your brothers, for you will die on a fool’s errand Kenar”
“As will you one day Captain Jovotch” Kenar walked away.
Halter watched his brother leave and closed his eyes for a moment. “I love you Kenar, die well brother”
The shouts of the dying raged around him as the Traitors and the loyalists clashed. Captain Tarvitz had relayed the message that Captain Demeter, the Second Captain was dead at the hands of Lucius. That news had devastated the loyalists; they had believed the arrogant captain was one of theirs, now it had become apparent that he had been planning on betraying them all along.
Sergeant Jovotch killed all manners of traitors that crossed his path until he and the remnants of his squad made their final stand. The smell of cordite, blood and death was all around him, traitor World Eaters driven on by the fury of their enhanced rage fell beneath the bolters of the mixed squad of loyalist Emperors Children, Sons of Horus, World Eaters and Death Guard. Suddenly Jovotch looked up into the insane grinning face of the First Captain.
With a roar to the Emperor he let loose his Bolter but Karesoian was upon him like a mad man and with the fury of a berserker he ripped Kenar apart with his chainsword. As the Sergeant lay dying his squad fell to the combined madness that was the traitors and what his once beloved Legion had become he wept.
|01-02-13 08:29 PM|
Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories 13-01: Last Stand
Welcome to the first Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories (HOES) Challenge of the year!
For those of you that are unfamiliar with HOES, here's how it works:
Each month, there will be a thread posted in the Original Works forum for that month's HOES competition. For those of you interested in entering, read the entry requirements, write a story that fits the chosen theme and post it as a reply to the competition thread by the deadline given. Each and every member of Heresy Online is more than welcome to compete, whether your entry is your first post or your thousandth. We welcome everyone to join the family of the Fan Fiction Forum.
Once the deadline has passed, a separate voting thread will be posted, where the readers and writers can post their votes for the top three stories. Points will be awarded (3 points for 1st, 2 for 2nd, and 1 for 3rd) for each vote cast, totalled at the closure of the voting window, and a winner will be announced. The winner will have his/her story added to the Winning HOES thread.
The idea with the theme is that it should serve as the inspiration for your stories rather than a constraint. While creative thinking is most certainly encouraged, the theme should still be relevant to your finished story. 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.
As far as the theme goes, please feel free with future competitions to contact me with your ideas/proposals, especially given that my creative juices may flow a bit differently than yours. All I ask is that you PM me your ideas rather than posting them into the official competition entry/voting threads to keep posts there relevant to the current competition.
The official word count for this competition will be 1,000 words. There will be a 10% allowance in this limit, essentially giving you a 900-1,100 word range with which to tell your tale. This is non-negotiable. This is an Expeditious Story competition, not an Epic Story nor an Infinitesimal Story competition. If you are going to go over or under the 900-1,100 word limit, you need to rework your story. It is not fair to the other entrants if one does not abide by the rules. If you cannot, feel free to PM me with what you have and I'll give suggestions or ideas as to how to broaden or shorten your story.
Each entry must have a word count posted with it. Expect a reasonably cordial PM from me (and likely some responses in the competition thread) if you fail to adhere to this rule. The word count can be annotated either at the beginning or ending of your story, and does not need to include your title.
Without further ado...
The theme for this month's competition is:
Entries should be posted in this thread, along with any comments that the readers may want to give (and comments on stories are certainly encouraged in both the competition and voting threads!) 40K, 30K, WHF, and original universes are all permitted (please note, this excludes topics such as Halo, Star Wars, Forgotten Realms, or any other non-original and non-Warhammer settings). Keep in mind, comments are more than welcome! If you catch grammar or spelling errors, the writers are all more than free to edit their piece up until the close of the competition, and that final work will be the one considered for voting. Sharing your thoughts with the writers as they come up with their works is a great way to help us, as a FanFiction community, grow as a whole.
The deadline for entries is Midnight US Eastern Standard Time (-5.00 hours for you UK folks)Thursday, January 24, 2013. Voting will be held from 25 - 31 January. Remember, getting your story submitted on January 8th will be just as considered by others as one submitted on January 24th! Take as much time as you need to work on your piece!
If simply being victorious over your comrades is not enough to possess you to write a story, there will be rep rewards granted to those that participate in the HOES Challenge.
Participation - 1 reputation points, everyone will receive this
3rd place - 2 reputation points
2nd place - 3 reputation points
1st place - 4 reputation points
If you have any questions, feel free to either PM me or ask in this thread.
Without further nonsense from me, let the writing begin!