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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-13-12 03:07 AM
Mossy Toes Whoa, there. Just write a quick 1k word HOES or RiaR story and repost it here, don't bump with nothing. The former is classy, pretty simple, and cool; the latter is gawky and just plain lazy.

Speaking of which, my own story collection thread is a month or so out of date. Perhaps I should update it, too...
11-13-12 02:56 AM
ThatOtherGuy took the time to read some of em. Really good mate.
11-12-12 11:01 PM
Boc Well... I figured I'm allowed a bump occasionally even if I haven't written squat
03-07-12 12:56 PM
Boc Hrm... it seems my writing has fallen to the wayside. As part shameless bump and part vow to myself and the community, I'll be picking up the pace of my writing again, as I (HOPE) that my work schedule has calmed down a bit. Being gone for 5 of the past 12 months (when not even deployed) has significantly put a damper on my creativity/motivation to write, but I'll get kicking again soon.

Look for updates to the Sons of Larilla storyline, a rework and lengthening of the Rainbow Warriors short Lumen Imperialis, as well as assorted HOES entries, coming soon!
09-14-11 09:33 PM
Black Steel Feathers Thiese are amazingly well-written short; if I heard they were in an anthology or thst you'd written a BL book, I would definately buy it. Have some rep! (It's only fair, I believe you gave me some for Blood Always Tells.)
09-14-11 02:43 AM
Boc Cheers, TOG, thankya!

And ahead is my entry for HOES #8: Mercy.

It is Better

Word Count: 990



‘You are sure this is the right thing to do?’

Two figures lurked in the shadows, hidden in one of the many chambers aboard the massive ship.

‘Right and wrong is immaterial,’ a voice rumbled in reply, the source unseen. ‘It is necessary. Your orders are clear?’

The second nodded, ‘Aye.’ His voice was thick with emotion as he struggled to hold back the overwhelming tribulation within him.

‘Then do as you must.’

*****

Captain Antonius sighed wearily, the weight of knowledge bearing terribly down on his shoulders. Running his hands over his shaven, olive scalp, he considered the horrible knowledge that assailed him. Knowledge of things to come, the trepidation of uncertainty, stirred a fear in his gut. Such a sensation was not only foreign, but despised. Rage and confusion tormented him equally.

Three days before, his primarch had spoken to Antonius’s company. He had confirmed their worst fears, that damnable word, and spoken of things yet to come. Atrocious, treasonous things, and his words had shaken Antonius to his very core. After the primarch’s audience with his sons, they had boarded their Stormbirds, boarded their warship, and made haste for Istvaan. For the first time in nearly two hundred years, Antonius felt doubt as to how to proceed. He had been in seclusion in his chambers since setting foot on the vessel.

‘Ulises,’ he said, his deep voice laden with anguish, ‘call the company together.’ He turned towards the room’s only other occupant and his most trusted sergeant. ‘It has been too long since we have spoken, and my Marines need to hear this from me.’

The brother sergeant donned his helmet momentarily and Antonius heard the vox click as the Astartes issued the order to assemble the Company.

‘It is done, Brother-Captain,’ he answered.

Pulling his robe’s sash tightly around his waist, Antonius approached the door even as it hissed open to reveal a hooded Legionnaire. The figure bowed deeply, and removed his hood.

‘Brother Ravven,’ Captain Antonius smiled grimly. He prided himself on being able to identify on sight each of his three thousand Astartes. Not that his Banner Bearer required any identification, as the warrior was as familiar to the captain as his own face in the mirror.

‘Captain,’ came the response, ‘Brother Sergeant Ulises has informed me that you require escort to the Reflectium. With respect, we must leave at once.’

Captain Antonius lifted his own hood over his head and followed Ulises as he departed the chamber. Ravven fell into step behind them as the trio’s footsteps carried them down the darkened passageway. Antonius hated the unease that filled him, the inner torment of knowledge and his inability to grasp the truth. He knew his Primarch’s plan, to stop at the brink of a new age to jump into a chasm of destruction.

He could not, would not, stand idly by as the Imperium was torn asunder by chaos.

‘Ulises,’ he said, his voice low, ‘I cannot watch as everything we have fought for is destroyed by the corruption of one misguided man. I will not permit my men to follow this insane descent.’

Sweeping through the corridor, Antonius felt it impossible to focus on his surroundings. The halls all melded into one endless expanse of banners depicting the Alpha Legion’s military victories and statues of fallen heroes. He could not bear to cast his eyes upon them and recollect the moments of glory that each represented. All was for naught if he allowed his company to follow the course it had been forced upon.

‘Sir,’ Ravven interjected behind him, his tone placating, ‘would it not be advisable to acquiesce to our Primarch’s wishes? Surely, in his wisdom, he would have thought of the consequences of this betrayal before casting our lot in with the Warmaster?’

‘I will not have us prostrate ourselves before Horus!’ Antonius bellowed. He felt his rage building within him, the same rage that had tormented him for the past three days and had kept him withdrawn from his Marines.

‘You would have us betray our own blood?’ Ulises responded, ‘Our Father? You would have us turn back upon the Oaths we have made?’

How can they be so foolish? So willing to cast aside everything for which we have fought and died?

‘It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.’

‘My Captain, you are the best of us,’ Ravven said behind him, ‘It is better for you to not have to witness what must be done.’

Antonius halted immediately as time seemed to slow. Ahead of him, Brother-Sergeant Ulises glanced back, anguish twisting his noble features. He heard the whisper of steel against leather.

The blade’s kiss stung briefly as Ravven stabbed it into his back, severing his spine and piercing his lungs in a single, clean thrust. In an instant, Antonius collapsed as his legs lost all feeling, all ability to function. Leaning against the wall, he could do nothing but cast his hateful gaze upon his assailant.

‘In an era of atrocity, please allow me this one mercy,’ Ravven’s voice whispered.

He heard the blood flowing freely from his back, soaking through his robes and spattering upon the shining floor. He could feel it flooding into his lungs as he began to drown.

Captain Antonius gasped and hacked bloody phlegm to the floor. ‘Mercy?’ he spat. ‘You are nothing but a coward, too weak to see the path of insanity laid before you! You have chosen to throw away your loyalty, and for what?

His hateful stare did not waver as Ravven looked back at Ulisses. The sergeant, his features hidden in the gloom, only nodded.

‘For the Emperor,’ he said softly, and slashed. Antonius’s narrowed eyes, filled with betrayal and disgust, never left Ravven’s own even as his head bounced on the shining durasteel.

Ravven sunk to his knees and, for the first time since he was a boy, wept.
08-08-11 06:01 AM
ThatOtherGuy your rocking my socks with these stories. Keep em up!
08-07-11 11:17 PM
Boc My entry for HOES #6: Contagion.

The Fields of Herdias Prime
Word Count: 1099 including title

He fekking hated the trenches.

Then again, each world seemed like a shithole just a little bit worse than the last. The grass is greener on the other side of my arse, he mused.

Shaking off the rain collecting on his matte black helm, Derik Vigo grimaced. The humidity, the heat, and the mud were the great triumvirate of Herdias Prime, and he doubted he would be done with it any time soon. The cultists on the other side of No Man’s Land seemed more than happy to sit out the long coming months of the rainy season in their bunkers while the Guardsmen of the Larillan 41st wallowed in filth.

As if reading his glum mood, Cranson chuckled beside him. Glancing over, Derik noticed his squadmate watching him from the autocannon’s mount. ‘Well look at the bright side mate,’ Cranson said, ‘it could be raining the drips!’

Derik sniggered; Cranson, the never-ending optimist, had contracted a venereal disease the last time he had visited the whores on ‘furlough.’ Despite the man’s discomfort while urinating, he still found the whole episode hilarious, and brought attention to it whenever he could.

‘Just keep it in your pants, Cranson,’ he responded, ‘I have no need to have your crotch-contagion spreading, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the commissar would consider you spreading it treason.’ Derik sighted back down his sniper scope, trying to find any movement in the deluge. ‘”Corrupting the holy masses of the Emperor’s Guard,” he’d say. “hampering the ’

‘True, true,’ his friend replied, ‘he’s just jealous I’ve gotten tail.’

Derik resisted bait and kept focusing on No Man’s Land. Truth be told, as much as he liked Cranson’s amiable banter, sometimes he just wanted the man to shut the hell up. It was hotter than a whorehouse on discount days, and Cranson’d know, the mud was deep enough to suck the boots from his feet each time he tried to move, and the meteorological team with the 41st reported no end to the rainstorms in the near future.

The damned rainstorms were the reason he was stuck in the trench in the first place. The sodden terrain was too soft for high amounts of armoured traffic, and the tanks and artillery pieces from the rest of the battlegroup had been deemed more important than the 41st’s troop transports. Therefore, Derik and the other four thousand riflemen had to spend a solid week digging trenches. He scowled and stretched his still-sore fingers, feeling the raw skin rub painfully against his flak gloves.

Well, too late for that synth-skin now, he thought. The skin was at least starting to heal, and despite his complete inability to keep the torn blisters dry, at least the pain had receded to a constant ache radiating up his arms instead of the biting stabs it had been.

‘Enjoying the rain, fekkers?’ a voice said behind them. Derik turned to see the Sergeant-of-the-Guard, Lenitto, leaning bareheaded in the shoddily-constructed wooden fighting position. ‘Just making sure you weren’t grabbing a bit o’ shuteye, la-’ He abruptly cut off as a fit of vicious coughing seized his body.

‘Get in uniform before you try calling us out, eh?’ Cranson called back, ‘And announce yourself ahead of time, I can’t hear shite in this rain.’

Sergeant Lenitto could not respond, his body just kept convulsing with coughs. ‘So-cough-rry cough don’t kn-cough-ow wh-cough-at the fek...’ his words died off as he collapsed against the frame of the entryway, clenching his throat.

‘Is he fekking choking?’ Cranson’s voice had risen noticeably, ‘Keep watching, I’ll help him.’ Cranson rushed over to kneel by the hacking sergeant, tossing his kit carelessly to the ground.

Derik tried to focus on No Man’s Land, but there was something about Lenitto’s coughing that made him queasy. It was not the same dry hack or wet wheeze that normally accompanied the ague. He heard the man retching behind him, the heaves and solid splashes into the puddles distinctive over the rain. He felt a wave of nausea rush over him, raising the hairs on his neck. The incessant hacking continued, and he could hear it being echoed down the line.

Glancing back, he saw the sergeant sprawled face down in the mud, a bloody, black ichor spreading from his head. Cranson grasped futilely at his throat from his knees, reaching out to Derik for help. On the man’s pale skin, Derik could see a black stain creeping, corrupting.

He was frozen, not with fear, but with disgust. These men were plagued, and he knew he could do nothing for them. Helplessness welled in his chest as Cranson’s outstretched hand began trembling. The dark rot ate through the fingers, and each fell in a grotesque splash in the water. The taint spread in the water, rancid tendrils shooting out in all directions feeling for a new host.

Pushing himself back into the corner of the fighting position, Derik could do nothing but watch in utter horror as the seeking fingers of decay spread towards him, searching for an opening in his uniform. It found a seam, and he felt his leg ignite. Something was burning him from the inside, a fiery agony that he had never known exploded up his leg as his body consumed itself.

‘God Emperor, preserve us!’ he cried, ripping his flak jacket off and exposing his chest to the rain. The blackness was spreading, filling his veins with decay. So focused was he, staring in abject horror at the stain that he did not notice Cranson collapse limply in the trench, with his rotting stump still stretched to his friend, nor that his boots had fallen freely from feet that had rotted to mush, nor did he see the massive, bloated armoured figure approach his position and gaze inside. He could feel nothing below his waist, only a burn and the sweet odour of his own festering flesh as his chest cavity collapsed.

Voices... ‘Nothing here, Lord,’ a metallic, gurgling voice said from behind him. He tried to turn and look, but his spine had long since liquefied, and his head swung freely from his neck. As his head lolled back and forth and his brain was consumed, he thought he saw the outline of an angel of death.

*****

‘All are dead,’ Nosfer reported, ‘None resisted.’

Flegmus nodded, unsurprised. These hosts were too mature to adapt to survive the Cleansing. No new souls would be garnered in the Grandfather’s army this day. ‘To the next world, then,’ his voice bubbled, thick with mucus. ‘The Wrathful demands more.’
05-26-11 06:09 PM
Bane_of_Kings Awesome stories, Boc, have some rep .
05-26-11 01:57 PM
Boc This piece was my entry for HOES #2, Thirst.

Grey

The world is grey.

Grey, dull. It has been...years... how many?...since I have felt truly alive. I crave... sensation.

However, my desires are denied to me. My cravings continue unsatisfied. I am trapped in my own inadequate body, trapped by my inability to act upon my urges, my uncontrollable urges.

Once, I was free, unshackled by these fools, these pawns. I roamed the stars, enslaving thousands, millions, showing them the meaning of true release.

I feel a stirring within me, a desire, indescribable in its intensity. Yet still, without the ability to act upon it, my thirst continues unabated, in this grey world.

Frustration seizes me, hatred flows through my veins. For the millionth time, I struggle at my bonds, at the chains holding me to the stone wall of this dungeon, in captivity like a dog. For the millionth time, I listen intently, desperate to hear a groan in the steel, a weakness in the links.

The cuffs dig into my skin, scraping away the layers of coagulated blood and scarcely healed flesh. The pain courses through my body, and my arousal at the sensation heightens.

I scream. I scream until my throat is raw, and I hawk bloody phlegm onto the dusty rocks below me. I shudder again in utter ecstasy, at the pleasure of the pain, without one there cannot be another, and I remember.

I remember the time... before, when I was free. Free to satisfy my thirst, my thirst for pain, pleasure, death. To one that has not experienced it as I, it is indescribable. Without it, without the shrieks of pain competing with my cries of abandonment, life has no meaning. To a being such as I, a chosen son of Slaanesh, an immortal, existence is futile and purposeless.

The warp take the bastards for apprehending me. The Angels of Fire Space Marines had been awaiting my arrival and ambushed me immediately upon my reversion to realspace from the aether. Their Librarians have tried to break me, to learn the whereabouts of my brethren. I have not caved, as their torture is the only pleasure in this grey place. My mission incomplete, there will only be shame awaiting my return to my brethren upon the Theta. The Venom Guard will be displeased with my failure... unless...

I must bring my masters a prize. A prize that will provide for the future of the Venom Guard.

Again, I scream with exertion as I pull at my bonds, and listen. Heavy drops of my blood spatter in the dust, against the walls. I ignore the bolts of ecstasy that shudder through my body, and pull.

A creak. A creak. Yes, a creak. The steel has finally come to its breaking point, and is losing its integrity.

I scream again, not the frustrated and impotent cries of the captured, but the roar of the possessed. I pray to my master for strength, I cry litanies to His unholy Name.

He answers! Power flows through my arms and I pull harder yet... harder... harder! Crack! The chains snap, shattering my manacles and lacerating my arms. My body quivers at the flare of pain... exquisite.

I bring my wrists to my mouth, running my long tongue along the blood pouring from my wounds. The coppery taste, it has been far too long since I have satisfied my thirst with it...

Another creak, different this time, shatters my moment of triumph. A scarlet and gold helm appears from behind the massive entry; the sentry has been alerted by the noise.

I cry out again, a scream of undying hatred, unyielding lust, and dive for the head. The figure is quick, bursting the door open in an attempt to throw me back.

It is too late. I have my enemy’s head grasped in my hands. He struggles, throwing blow after blow into my naked torso. A rib snaps, and I am unable to suppress my cry of ecstasy at the sensation.

With a mighty tug, I pull the warrior to his knees, and twist his head violently. With a loud snap, I shatter the Angel’s neck and the body becomes limp.

Rapidly, I strip the warrior of his armour, and don it myself. The spirit within fights at first, but it is weakened by the sudden demise of its master. I remove the helm and again pray to my God, and feel the brush of the warp as the armour’s spirit is subdued and enslaved to my will and it bonds with my carapace. Sensations flood through me, not the pleasure of pain of the infliction of it, but the heightened awareness only fully attained through the Astartes-armour bond.

I kneel down beside the limp form of the warrior, gently laying my helm beside him. I see he still yet lives, and an unbound fury lights his eyes. His hatred runs deep, almost as deep as my own.

‘Fear not, young one,’ I whisper into the paralyzed Space Marine’s ear, ‘your sacrifice will be remembered. Your death will bring new life to my Company, and your life will fuel the fires of Chaos as they burn your Imperium to the ground.’

His eyes flare with his impotent rage and I laugh as I bend down over him.

I am no apothecary. I do not have the proper devices to extract the Marine’s precious geneseed. I bare my mouth, unhinging my jaw and savagely bite into the prostrate Angel’s bare neck. I treasure the gurgle of blood as it pumps furiously through his severed arteries, spraying my face and the walls with a crimson mist.

I pull the geneseed out, still trailing membranes and tissue, and tuck it away into my pirated gear.

The outpost I am imprisoned upon is small, they will not know I have escaped.

My hearts flutter at the thought of the coming slaughter as I engage the fallen Marine’s chainsword.

I will escape. I will drink again the pleasures of existence, satisfy my thirst. I will bring my Master the loyalist geneseed to replenish our ranks. I tremble with the thought of the coming slaughter.

I don my helm and smile.

The world is grey, but it will not be so for long.
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