|Topic Review (Newest First)|
|11-02-15 04:46 PM|
|Dave T Hobbit||Voting commences.|
|11-01-15 09:34 PM|
Awesome, been awhile since we've had this many stories, I think. Great job to those that entered.
@Adrian and Delvarus: Hope to see you guys enter the next month .
|11-01-15 08:13 PM|
|andygorn||thank you, Brother Edmund|
|11-01-15 07:19 AM|
It was good to see a couple of late finishers nipping in right at the very end!
|11-01-15 12:54 AM|
|DelvarusThePitFighter||College creeping up me atm, no real time to focus on writing something up as much as I'd love to|
|10-31-15 10:11 PM|
New masters (1100 words)
Within the ramshackle shelter of a crashed Rhino, hacking coughs draw only inquistive mammals, for thinking souls have forgotten this place.
The coughing fits starts again, this time with more vigour, ended by a curse and words of a language not uttered for generations. I wonder why it takes so long to recognise the voice as my own?:
"You gave me everything...my strength...my honour...my very life.
"I would have ended upon those hell-blackened worlds, had it not been for the pride you showed in us.
"Of course, you did not know it; how could you?
"Merely one day amongst thousands, one solitary glance and half-smile along our ranks. Yet I remembered every second, every nuance, every hair that fell out of place as the hot winds swept across the plain of blasted vehicles."
Remembrance grabs hold of me and refuses to let go: in the fevered dreams brought about by infection, my body shudders with the impacts of injuries long-healed.
Of course, the last weapon sealed my fate just as you hoped it would.
But the apothecaries and He had done their jobs too well and I survived.
Even as green film covered my eyes and I saw my comrades melt, I somehow prevailed.
Finding a shuttle, I left that place of treachery and dishonour, hiding where I must, taking the heads of your sons wherever possible.
'Your sons' I remind myself...No longer 'my brothers-in-arms'...For which Astartes worthy of the name could refer to such decrepit beasts as their 'equal'? Not I.
Spitting further gore upon the black ground, I have welcomed the coming dark for this past decade. There were many who tried to put a stop to me and an equal number who I sought out as potentially suitable opponents, yet I found none worth the trouble.
Memories long submerged bob back to the surface: a smile or a handshake from the best warriors anyone could ever have beside them. True friends now lost to a time mired in heresy and slaughter that nobody else dared to recall.
When I revisit such so-called 'glories', my hands still tremble with the phantom-memory of my discarded bolter's recoil. Or is it from the poisoned bone-ague which slowly seeps like thick oil through my frame; your parting gift to the ones you set adrift?
As though trying to exorcise it in favour of duty, I find my sole happy moment even as my voice burbles with phlegm rising from a dissolving lung:
"Burnt promethium filled the air, yet failed to blot out the stench of rotted corpses, fat with flies.
"The auguries had proven sound: a hard victory, but worthwhile.
"Too many comrades adorn the enemy's murder-pikes, yet did you even care?
"No! You viewed them as merely more mouldering carcasses.
"I could have lost all respect there and then, had it not been for the passion in your eyes.
"You believed in something greater and carried the whole Army with you.
"They did not see your upbringing amongst the savages...could not know your hardships...yet it did not matter. All such things were cast aside in favour of greater achievements. Thus shall it be again.
"They once called me Lucas Veronal...you gave me a more morbid title. And I shall end you.
"You are no 'demi-god', no 'Primarch', just another weak-willed possessed who was found wanting.
"Even if this virus claims my soul, I swear you shall fall, never to rise again."
I pick up my last weapon; the one which has remained with me all my Legion-life.
Even when covered in entrails, there has always been one section or another where the bare silver etching has shone through...the only true companion I have ever known.
Had I cared for such niceties, I would have told myself not to notice my bloody spittle covering the blade; unconscious drool from a mouth that now holds too many teeth to properly close...yet another 'gift' bestowed upon me by your cowardly chem-munitions.
It takes me three attempts to stand. Had it not been for the Rhino chassis, I might never have regained my footing. Even though you cast Him and I aside an age ago, I thank The Emperor for small mercies. When it comes to thoughts of loyalty, you are simultaneously in the furthest recesses of my mind yet blazing bright in the forefront of my psyche.
The blade sings once again in my hands..a shriek of vengeance that was once my army's call at the coming of the dusk.
My grip wavers as strength starts to flee, yet I am thankful that it finds purchase before all is lost.
This shall not be easy, but you taught me resilience in favour of every other trait, so let us see how much I have learnt at your feet.
Sparks and ceramite splinters fly as I gouge out the oath of moment below my hearts; etched at the commencement of our first campaign.
As I bring up it's tip to my forehead, I can barely hear myself think above the weapon's screaming, but I promise aloud:
"You may have signed my death-sentence, yet my reckoning shall begin again soon, for you are not the only patriarch in the cosmos. My saviour, Mal..."
Guided by unseen hands, explorators find a corpse in a deserted town upon an abandoned world:
"The creature was found alone, injuries consistent with the chainsword still clutched in it's...what we are calling 'hands'. From the position of the body and lack of other footprints, it was self-inflicted."
"Why attach it's helmet if it wanted suicide, Medicae?"
"Who cares Captain? It's one less Chaos-lover to worry about."
As his companions turn away, the Captain reaches out an unthinking hand for the silvered blade, somehow pristine despite the ravages of time and bodily decay.
His urgency for theft lends him extra strength and he shatters claws and fingers. Breaking open the dead fist sets off a chain-reaction throughout the kneeling corpse which collapses into dust; a fate that should have befallen it centuries ago.
Yet he pays this no mind and attaches the weapon to his belt, failing to notice the soft red glow from the grip's sensor.
Even bound as I am, caught between the material and ethereal planes and held by another, I curse your name and howl into the space between the stars.
I have you to thank and -one day- names shall be carved into your very chest so that you can never forget the fallen.
Life, plague, even death: all were necessary, yet ultimately proved to be only minor hindrances to my apotheosis. My new servitude.
|10-31-15 11:37 AM|
This is pretty much the first time I've actually had to go in and cut out a lot for one of these. Here you are:
Deep Cover, 1099 words
It was a good day for a drug deal- or so Maks had been told. He didn’t believe it. Number one, there was never a good day in the underhive, and two, there was never a good day when one was an Inquisition plant in this crowd.
A lho-stick dangled loosely from his mouth- he no longer really smoked them, but it was somewhat of a nervous habit. Scratching at the stubble growing in at his chin, he glanced around at the rest of the people in here. A fair few, all armed- his supposed compatriots, here to keep the deal civil.
It was cold down here. An abandoned manufactorum was the venue for today’s business, the heavy machinery gone, cannibalized by the tech-adepts and put to use elsewhere. Debris from the ancient ceiling littered the floor; glass from the lights lay on the conveyors and crunched underfoot. He brushed some of it off the nearest conveyor and sat down, drawing his nickel-plated stub revolver from its holster beneath his left arm. It was a big gun, chambering thumb-sized rounds in a massive cylinder. The barrel was short, pugnacious; Maks looked it over, swinging out the cylinder and making sure it was loaded.
He surveyed the situation. There were a lot of ‘em, but not too many. He knew most of them- he’d spent several months setting this all up. Luckily, pretty much all of these bastards could be written off as just gene-sculpted muscle. That, and guns. And the odd chainfist. Itching to kill, soaring high as an uphive spire on incredible amounts of drugs.
That wouldn’t be an issue, mainly because the buyers in this deal were a kill-team. Arbites, mostly, but headed by Inquisitor Verne, Maks’ boss. It was a sting, the climax to nearly a year of investigation over several planets. It’d be a hell of a thing. Lots of blood, likely.
The primary target: a man, standing over by the crates of stims and surrounded by three bodyguards. Draped in finery, a master-crafted sabre hanging at his side, he appeared young- but according to Inquisitorial records, he was nearing his first century. Juvenat procedures had helped a lot. The man was Jonn Rausten, a star trader, and he’d somehow managed to get a ton of dark eldar drugs- hence why the Ordo Xenos was getting in on this. Rausten had been doing this for several years, and he’d been fairly elusive; when they did get close, his following wasn’t just large, but also hopped up on eldar stims. It had made it hard- it had made it necessary to plant an inside man.
Next to Rausten paced a stick-thin man in a floor-length groxhide coat, snapping his fingers restlessly. That was Caisse, an epsilon-level psyker, and straight up the creepiest bastard Maks had ever been around. Secondary target, likely the reason Rausten had escaped justice thus far. Maks had gone through a hell of an ordeal just to make sure this guy wouldn’t figure him out- a psychic identity-graft, among other things. Incredibly painful- but Maks would get his vengeance for that at some point.
Maks didn’t let himself smile at the thought. Instead he stood, letting his pistol dangle from his hand. People were starting to look restless. He checked the chrono sewn onto the back of his glove- Verne ought to be here any second. Rausten was livening up, and Caisse had even stopped pacing. Rausten’s bodyguards were readying their weaponry.
Seconds ticked by. The men at the entrances had stopped talking. Caisse had stopped snapping. Minutes trickled past. Everyone looked confused.
Everyone but Caisse and Rausten.
Maks suddenly had a very bad feeling. Verne was supposed to be here. These bastards ought to be flat on their backs in pools of their own blood by now. Where was the team?
He cocked his revolver as slowly as possible, so as not to stand out in the silence.
Sound, from the distance- laughing. It got closer, and closer; the sound of a riot gun echoed loudly through the manufactorum as the guards at the entrance readied themselves. Maks brought his revolver halfway up. Whatever this was, it didn’t sound like a kill-team should.
Finally, the doors of the main entrance slammed open. In burst several men, spattered with blood, laughing and joking; Maks recognized them as some of the more trusted killers in Rausten’s pay. They bore suppressed autoguns- must have ambushed the team.
The last man in the group was dragging three others by cords, hands bound. Maks had to suppress a reaction at seeing them- one was Verne. Bloodied, beaten, but unmistakably Verne. The two behind him he didn’t recognize, but they were clad in Arbites armor.
Shit. How had they been found out?
Laughter and cheering broke out, as one of the new arrivals whooped, proudly holding up Verne’s rosette. Maks looked over- Rausten was grinning, and Caisse even had a little smile on his gaunt face.
He had to keep his cover. Couldn’t give it up now. Now they’d need him more than ever. Almost as if in a trance, Maks joined the rest of the thugs cheering the killers.
The first couple brushed past him, wide smiles splitting their blood and soot-stained faces. Maks turned his head to watch them as they jogged over to Rausten. The last one bumped into him; Maks glanced back around, only to find the prisoners’ leads slapped into his hand. The man grinned and slapped him on the shoulder, following his comrades.
“Hey.” Maks started, jolted out of his trance. He looked back around- and it was Rausten. “Hey, you.”
He motioned to himself slightly with the barrel of his revolver, and Rausten nodded. “Yeah. You. Kill them. We’re done here.”
Maks wheeled around once more, coming face to face with his boss. Verne was a short man, not especially remarkable in appearance- except for his eyes, which stood out in a bright emerald. Those eyes were looking straight at him, almost pleading.
The investigation was screwed. They’d have to start over practically from scratch. It’d be much easier if Maks stayed embedded in Rausten’s organization. And it wasn’t like he could save them…. it was either these three died, or Maks died with them.
So- a setback. But less of one if…
Maks pressed his revolver to Verne’s head. The inquisitor didn’t say anything, but he didn’t want to die. Maks could see the emotion in his eyes- but there was no room for emotion here.
He pulled the trigger and spattered all of those emotions across the manufactorum floor.
|10-31-15 05:17 AM|
sorry guys. I've been working a lot lately and moving from the middle of the country to Portland OR. I won't be in this contest. Its been a huge inconvenience but a job is a job. I'll be on next month though.
|10-22-15 04:15 PM|
It ain’t nuffink(1055 words)
Skarrunt Magrot hated mornings. No, that was inaccurate, Skarrunt Magrot hated all times of the day and… night. But most of all, he hated being woken up from a deep sleep to start a morning.
“Dis betta be gud?”, he grunted to the shaking runt-servant. He then had a thought, “Na, nufink is dat important,” and he swung his enormous fist around and smashed the runt into the far wall.
His personal bodyguard suddenly entered the room with their weapons raised and axes swinging.
The Faceripper Warboss waved them back outside and then indicated with a casual wave that someone should also remove the mess he had caused.
A large Ork loped in behind them and nodded his respects. As one of the top Nobz in the clan, he had access to the Boss at any time and for whatever reason. Perhaps, he thought, he should have just delivered the message himself instead of relying on others.
He could not help but grin as the broken runt was dragged unceremoniously outside leaving a dark trail of body fluids behind.
“How’s the odds?,” Magrot grunted, pulling on his long leather boots.
“The odds on me squig “Blood clot”?”
The Nobz was momentarily confused.
“Ahh! The races?”
“Yeah the races. What else would there be?”
The Nobz now understood that his Boss had not been informed of the latest reports and was thinking about the Squig races being held the next day.
“Boss, your Squig is still odds on favourite (as of course it would be), but we ‘av reports of Hoomies.”
“A gang of dem landed not far from ‘ere. Dey is da big one’s wiv all de armour and stuff.”
Magrot’s eyes widened and his face broke into a grin. This might well turn out to be a good day after all. They could have a bit of a scrap with the Hoomies followed by a lucrative day at the races.
He straightened up and wedged his iron helmet onto his head.
“Assemble the Boyz. I have paid gud teef for these races and I ain’t lettin’ no one get in the way. I want dem crushed, smashed, squished and flattened before lunch.”
* * *
Sergeant Martinez rolled to his right and then shuffled backwards into the bushes that lined the river bank. The rest of the scout squad were in all-round defence, their weapons pointing in all directions and covering all approaches.
“It is true,” he said in his deep accented voice. “There is a whole town of the Orks down there. They number at least a thousand. They have settled. There is an arena on the far side and even a rudimentary spaceport.”
A second scout, still young in service but with the face that bore the scars of many conflicts, tapped the screen on his auspex.
“Do we wait or move off to extraction?”
Martinez rubbed his chin.
“I would like to get a look at that arena and see what is going on over there. There is a lot of movement. Ork’s are coming in from all over the place and heading there.”
“Could it be a command centre?”
“I think so.”
“Damn,” said the second scout. “We have movement to the east. Fast moving and heading our way.”
“It is settled then,” Martinez concluded. “We relocate for extraction. That settlement is obviously of some importance to the Ork’s. Call in evac at location Delta.” He signalled to the rest. “We move, single file, double-time.”
* * *
Magrot was a Warboss of some note.. and intelligence. He had sent a horde of fast moving scouts ahead of the main gang, Cragnat Orks, bred for speed and agility. They had slipped behind the marine scouts before they were aware of them.
Martinez was the first to react.
As the first Cragnat appeared in the undergrowth he was shot through the head, the second was winged and fell screaming to the ground.
“Immediate evac I think.” He nodded to the other scout.
A bolter hammered behind him followed by the swish and crump of a rocket.
“Form a wedge.” He ordered and the scouts moved back into a diamond formation facing outwards. “Fire and move. Head for the extraction point.”
Magrot reached the first bodies of his gang and was furious. He swung his war axe in one hand and a huge double-barrelled stormbolter in the other, and immediately charged the small group of marines, bellowing his war cry.
Scout Walton fired his shotgun at him at point blank range and Magrot was knocked backwards. Martinez bore down with his power sword and took off the Warbosses arm.
There was pandemonium as both groups met in a crash of hand-to-hand combat.
At the same time a flight of Stormbirds appeared overhead and unleashed a fury of missiles and heavy weapons into the Orks massed ranks, before hammering the outskirts of the settlement with a reign of fire and death.
Magrot became entangled with his own bodyguard before being knocked heavily to the ground and set upon by more Hoomies with edged weapons and bolter fire.
He remembered the pain he felt, and then saw his own blood arc around him before falling under a mass of bodies.
He saw a Hoomie lying facing him his face torn apart and bloody.
* * *
“Well wots the damage?”, screamed Magrot.
“We won a great victory Boss!”
Magrot drooled and twitched and looked like he was about to explode.
“Da damage! Da damage!”, he raged.
“Boss,” the Nobz shook his head. “Yoose lost yor arm, dats wot.”
Magrot pushed him aside with his good arm and indicated back down towards the settlement.
“Da track yoose dork, da track! Is it still gud?”
The Nobz wiped blood from his mouth and grimaced. Magrot was going loopy in the head. Too much grog and happy weed was turning him insane. The Warboss had lost an arm and several chunks of his torso and was more worried about the arena.
“On second thoughts’ he thought ‘he is well ‘ard.”
“Boss, the arena is not damaged and the Squigs are all accounted for.”
Magrot laughed heartily and placed a paternal arm around his shoulder.
“Now dem Hoomies is sorted, we can git on wiv the real important fings. Da races! Da races!”
|10-15-15 05:19 PM|
The Plight of the Immortal
Azariah, Herald of Slaneesh, yawned in exagerrated boredom. “Come, scribe, and delight us with your speech. Kar’m will not be joining us, apparently.”
No’ga replied with mirthful laughter. Azariah tried not to wretch at the stink of his rot nor his breath. “Well said, Azariah. I am most interested to here of the pact that will bind our causes together!”
Azariah smelt a familiar taint on the air. The immaterium within the chamber of Everblight transformed and remoulded itself out of thin air until a portal shimmered. The room was a small sphereical chamber, barely enough to inhabit a dozen daemons that could name themselves heralds of the Dark Gods. Nearly the entirety of the chamber was occupied with raised benches meant for a humble audience, but left enough room for a little clearing in the center that was only a breath away.
Kar’m, Herald of Khorne, glared upon the assembled daemons as he emerged from the rift. “Forgive my absence. War without end does demand much of late.”
The Scribe of Everblight cackled maniacally with laughter from the shadows. “Good. We are all in attendance. Please, Kar’m, take a seat.”
The Scribe of Everblight was a miniscule thing, really. A sinewy creature of crystal blue skin propped up by a skeletal frame that once could have resembled a humanoid plaything. Four inky black sockets lined either side of the bridge of its nose, each one gaped open as if they held real tissue between the eyelids. Its hooves clattered with loud thuds against the velvet floors as it strode across the oppressive and claustrophobic room. Two curved horns twisted upward from the skin around the Scribe’s forehead as sharp as the daemon’s maw of fangs. Finally, it was dressed in a flowing white robe trimmed with gold.
“Chosen of the Dark Gods!” The Blue Scribe took center stage in the center of the chamber. In either of his three hands was a mighty tome and in the fourth, an ink quill. “Heartened I am to see you gathered before me. From across the corners of the endless realms, I have called each of you specifically to answer the call of glory. For each of you possess forces close to the forecoming breach in the warp that shall spill out into the mortal world.”
Azariah growled through a wicked smile. “Go on, my friend.”
The Scribe of Everblight nodded and continued. “A mortal world has fallen to the drepedations of chaos. They seek to open gateways once thought lost untold millennia ago. Each of you shall go forth and conquer this world in the name of each of your patrons. But be forewarned, for your victory is not sealed in the annals of fate.”
No’ga’s tone took a more sinister aspect. “What is the catch?”
Kar’m leaned forward and pointed at both of the other heralds. “What else could it be, but the great game? We must slay each other for the prize!”
The Scribe of Everblight raised a hand for silence. “If victory and glory is what you desire, then beware the coming of a new foe. A great Demoness approaches that knows no loyalty to any Gods but herself. She will come with a force of light that will sear all it touches!”
Azariah scoffed. “Who is this upstart plaything? A Demoness you say, how intriguing.”
No’ga roared. “She will wilt before Nurgle’s rot!”
Kar’m merely nodded his satisfaction. “A worthy foe, then. I have no fear of this power from some far-flung realm. I shall go forth and conquer!”
“Were you not listening?” Azariah shot back. “We must conquer this foe together. Fear not, we shall have the aid of the mortals that so desperately seek our aid.”
“About that…” The Scribe of Everblight resumed. “The mortals shall look for signs of the Dark Gods for a time, but once they see the searing light, they shall never look for another sign. This Demoness will steal away all of the Dark Gods’ faithful and they shall rise up against you when you come for them.”
Azariah cackled scornfully. “What an utter inconvenience. But what can we do, but fight? Surely, the Gods are watching us deliberate on what to do about this new power? This new threat to their dominance? We must overthrow the entire world and raze it to ashes rather than let a single stain upon their honor!”
There was another taint in the immaterium again and this time, Azariah bared her teeth because she did not recognize it.
A voice that sounded reminiscent of rushing waters spoke in that very moment. It echoed from the walls of the chamber, from everywhere and nowhere at once. “An inconvenience, indeed. But you must understand, my dear Azariah, it is much better for you to be inconvenienced than myself.”
The Three Heralds abruptly stood to their feet and readied their weapons and claws.
The disembodied voice bristled with thunderous laughter. “No need for a call-to-arms, you would find that a very unwise decision. For, you see, I am the Demoness that this Scribe has spoken of. Each of you are now under my power and influence and can no longer leave this chamber. Should you happen to be curious about an exit, I shall tell you that there is only one. Swear fealty to me: tell me the true names of every soul in your legion. Only then shall I release you.”
The three Heralds roared at the voice. “Never!”
The voice audibly clucked its tongue. “A shame. Not for myself, however, for I shall eventually have what I seek. Should you happen to wait an eternity before I am given my due, then so be it.”
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