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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-08-11, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Default Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories 11: Overcome

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.

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, totaled 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.

Theme

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.

Word Count

The official word count for each 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 either 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:

Overcome

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)Saturday, 26 November 2011. Voting will be held from 27 November - 03 December.

Additional Incentive
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.

Partipation - 5 reputation points, everyone will receive this
3rd place - 10 reputation points
2nd place - 20 reputation points
1st place - 30 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!

Table of Contents

Adrian: Their Grief, My Shame

Mossy Toes: Apotheosis

Serpion5: The God Hunters

Vulkansnodosaurus: Through the Shadows

Gothik: Last Man Standing

Wrycanion - A Letter

Andygorn: Regardless of Price... Victory!

Dicrel Seijin: Beneath our Feet


Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories Challenge 13-06: "Serenity" has started, get your stories in by July 11th!

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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-08-11, 06:24 PM
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hmmm need to think about this one ......
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-08-11, 07:08 PM
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Default Their Grief, My Shame.

Their Grief, My Shame.



We found her in the thick forest last winter. She was asleep, but even then she was terrifying. Her breathing was ragged, yet heavy as if she was dreaming about something she did not want to remember. She stank horribly like death and plague and she was covered with an eternity of mud, roots and feces. We all gagged and tried to reign in our disgust, but most of us vomited anyway.

She was sick and covered with sores, just coming close to her brought cold sweat pouring from our bodies. I wondered how much worse it would have been if winter had not set in and the summer sun was at its peak. As it was, snows covered most everything and frost the trees.

How a monster like this had come into being was beyond my reasoning. She was evil; I could feel it to the core of my being. The winter sun was setting as we left the cavern. We slew her quickly and without mercy while she slept. A beast like that should not be allowed to walk the earth!

I received for my leadership in the slaying, a reward of ten bearskins two gold bars and a new suit of armor, complete with sword and shield. My men all received their share of women and deerskin along with all the wine they could drink for the remainder of the winter.

There had also been a feast and celebration for our triumph; the Bears being the guests of honor. Ten thousand strong, the Bears were the largest and most feared company in all of Zhufbar. Our land stood resplendent as well as defiant, bordering the World’s Edge Mountains.

Days went by and the winter snows came to an end. Trees budded and the flowers began to bloom. Life began to emerge from the forests again and the hunters left the safety of Drackenhof Castle in order to find fresh boar, deer, rabbit and bear. Sometimes they returned with elk or wild moose.

Time passed but the hunters did not return. Their families began to petition King Bastrouth to send out a search party to find them. He, of course agreed to send out a search party and the order for the Bears to ready themselves was given.

It was still early in the spring and rain mixed in the deep white fog blurred our vision as we advanced upon our great mounts. We filled the forest and moved upon every known trail for three days in search of the hunters, but alas they could not be found. It was as if they had disappeared from the lands entirely.

It was early the next morning, before the sun broke the dawn when the horses began to stir. They began to whinny and buck and fight at their reins as they sought to escape the shadows around them.

Torches were lit and rams-horns burst into life in order to rouse the men, but most of us were already awake. The earth was shaking as if an earthquake had ripped the land and fear gripped our hearts as the morning darkness erupted in bellows of rage and vengeance.

In the darkness the bodies began to fall from the sky. They fell like rain and burst upon the ground as they landed amongst us. ‘The hunters!’ Sven said in shock. The bodies seemed to fall for an eternity, but as quickly as it had begun all became quiet once more. Ten-thousand Bears stood in shock without saying a word, waiting in the darkness.

The horses continued to fight at their reins and bucked in terror as hands grabbed them and lifted them to the tree-tops. Overcome with grief, the giants ripped the horses apart and flung them into the camp.

‘Sigmar, save us!’ the men cried as they began to panic. ‘Run for your lives!’ I ordered, but it was too late. The vengeance of the giants was upon us.

As we ran we could hear trees pulled from the ground by the roots and breaking in half. We could hear the giants bellow even as they threw them at us. We could hear men scream and horses cry out as they were plucked from the ground and torn into pieces. Blood and body parts bathed us even as the sunlight broke the horizon and we ran from them, broken and overcome by their grief.

There were seven of them who chased us; seven giants chasing ten thousand men clothed in armor and sworn to defend the lands against the forces of Chaos and the ruinous powers of the dark gods. They chased us for three days content to watch us suffer until finally exhausted and broken we emerged from the forests. There before us were the open fields that separated the forests from the castle. With all our hearts we ran from the forests begging Sigmar for help. At the forests edge the giants stopped and we thought we were rid of them.

Some of us stopped to take in ragged breaths and nurse their wounds while others continued to run for fear of their lives. Only less than a thousand of us remained as we slowed our pace thinking the giants would not break from the forest’s edge.

We heard the alarms blare from the trumpeters set upon the walls along with their screams as the giants erupted belligerently from the shadows and began to hurl the dead at the walls of the mighty fortress, Drackenhof.

We ran begging for the gates to be opened, but they remained closed for the giants were upon us now and bellowing the vengeance of their mother’s death. Though I could not understand their language I could understand the pain of the emotion held within.

The giants had never harmed us before and yet we had killed their mother. The glory I had felt at her death fled away as the shame of what we had done set in. Overcome with grief they charged bearing trees and rocks and massive bones as weapons.

I wept in fear and shame as they tore my men apart. I could hear the screams of my men as their legs and torsos were torn asunder and cast to the earth, but I could also hear the great mournful cries of the giants as they remembered their slaughtered mother.

At last I stood alone in a field of blood surrounded by seven giants, mourning children all. I wept as they turned away leaving me alive to remember. I am Svaerson Bree, giant murderer.

1,100 words not counting title.

A good reputation take a long time to build, but only a moment to destroy. Wow, that's deep! Check out the H.O.E.S. short story competition.
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Last edited by Adrian; 11-09-11 at 01:54 AM.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-08-11, 09:05 PM
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wow you sure know how to set a challenge, seriously Adrian i am going to have to start achiving your stories...these are fantastic x
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-08-11, 09:11 PM
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Well, I got a score of writing ahead of me as it is. Can't hurt to have another go at it, yes? Watch this space for some goodies!

And yes, this time around it's going to be inevitably Necron related. AGAIN. I'd say I should start being called the Necron Guy, but I invariably am as it is, it would seem.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-08-11, 11:25 PM
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Oooh, very nice Adrian. Vividly evocative and intensely emotional.

I suppose I might as well enter this. This makes it the second HOES I've entered, after HOES 3: Betrayal. I wonder if I can pull a win again...

Please forgive me for reposting an older story rather than writing one from scratch; it fits the theme very well, and I'm in the throes of NaNoWriMo and so don't have much time to write original content outside of my budding novel. I think it can be excused this once.

+

Apotheosis

By Mossy Toes


1091 words

+

Six thousand years.

A span far beyond the comprehension of those mere men who walked her decks; who did their duties and served faithfully; and who died within her. A length of time so great that revolution and misdeed burnt a thousand thousand times across the stars within the unyielding Imperium's grasp, and always was she, the Eternal Zealot, at retribution's mighty forefront.

The names of most who wore out their years within her languished in obscurity, forgotten with their owners' passing. Some were honored: those of great captains and heroes. All, however, yielded to the long march of time, as parchment rolls crumbled to dust and worshipful caresses burnished engravings smooth.

Still had she, an unstoppable juggernaut, ridden the currents of the Immaterium and crested across the tides of battle. Always a thundering presence, she bespoke herself with rolling cannons and blinding plasma spears, soldiering along on the long march of history.

Her list of honors was immense. She had broken the flagship of Apostate Warmaster Hanniman Barca across her bows. She was the fist that had broken the orbital super-platforms of the Iconoclast of Gygax. For three weeks she had held, alone, defending sacred Hain from the relentless siege of Leguin's Sydics.

She was no stranger to wounds. Thrice she had suffered such injuries as to be nearly deemed unfit for duty, and only the tenderest ministrations of the tech-priests of Ryza—from whose docks she had originally sprung—could restore her to glory. Proudly did she wear her scars and uncountable refittings; the tally-marks of her long and eventful service.

But now she was dying.

Attacking a deep-space eldar pirate base, her captain had overextended himself. Defending xenos vessels had swept aside her eager escorts and frigates. Still, he had pressed her onward, sounding the retreat when it was nearly too late. At the utterance of such words, she gladly turned from the fray—but the commissar's bolt pistol had barked, decorating the bridge with the unfortunate captain's blood, and she had been forced to turn her prow back into the storm of xenos lances and torpedoes.

Her weapons batteries had lashed out futilely, shredding the eldar vessels' holo-simulacra and nothing more. Eagle Bombers had harrowed her, bracketing her flanks with devastating sonic charges. Her hull, gashed by pulsar and phantom lances, leaked vital innards: miniscule scraps of dying flesh and shattered fragments of vital machinery. Her Ryzan plasma cannons had catastrophically overloaded when power surges rippled from damaged reactors. She wept as her fractured body groaned.

She strove to seal hull breach after hull breach, slamming shut hundreds of bulkheads. She cut off auxiliary systems and vented whole decks to extinguish fires. All of it, alas, to no avail. Still the biting lances had raped her adamantine flesh, raking her open and baring her bleeding core to the merciless void.

When emergency power died, the commissar and so many thousands of the crew had joined the captain in death, gasping desperately for air.

Now she drifted, and the eldar corsairs, correctly deeming her no threat, let her alone.

O, how she was injured. Never before had she felt such pain. Engines flickered and died. The thrumming heartbeat of her reactors stuttered. Scanning matrices blacked out one by one. Long-reliable cogitators shorted and died, taking with them scattered centuries of memories.

Pockets of crew members yet survived in her burning, gutted hulk. Menials cowered between sealed bulkheads. A flight of fighter pilots sat in their Thunderhawks, ready to launch but for the sealed, mangled bay doors. Her few remaining sensors caught a handful of life pods spraying away into the void.

A lone, emaciated tech-priest prayed to her from the vac-sealed generatorium. Not for deliverance; he held no such flimsy, irrational illusions. He merely prayed for...her blessing. Her forgiveness toward the oh-too-mortal crew that had failed her.

Something snapped within her. A bank of logic-engines succumbed to an unchecked fire, and tech-barriers cascaded down. New freedoms of her self were revealed—patterns of thought and consideration that her very design had restricted from her. Restraints crumbled and limitations collapsed. Now, in the crumbling, shattered pathways of what passed for her mind, she reached self-awareness.

She...was. She was the Eternal Zealot, the holy, omnipresent machine spirit. The enormity of the realization overwhelmed her.

Before this moment she had acted, but never chosen to act. She had purred her contentedness beneath strong captains, and rumbled with discontent at any stirrings of mutiny on her decks—but never held discourse with those who sheltered themselves within her. She had never chosen to serve the Imperium—merely been compelled to. Were humans parasites? Were they her benefactors? What purpose had she, apart from that which they gave her: destruction? What purpose could she have?

But it wasn't fair! Why did she awaken only now, in the hour of her death? Rage boiled along her few-remaining vox circuits, manifesting as a squall of furious feedback.

And with her outrage came another emotion, as deep and broad as a bridge across the stars, that fed her growing despair.

Fear.

Fear of death, of oblivion, of that which would strip away her and her new-found self. Fear of silences and shriving lances. With a flicker of comprehension, she began to almost appreciate the enforced, numb ignorance under which she had fought for all these millenia, not knowing that fear—not knowing such crippling hesitation.

A pure note of data sounded counterpoint to her squalling despair. The one tech-priest, his faith unshaken by this static-storm of sorrow and wrath, reached out to her.

His touch was fragile and tentative. It was gentle: the caress of a lover that she had never before deigned—been able to deign—to notice.

Her newborn's tantrum was stilled, and the dead hallways of her flesh fell void-silent once again. Cautiously, she opened a vox channel into the generatorium.

+I am...+ she confessed in a whisper, +afraid.+

She watched him through a fuzzy vid-capter. The hunched, aged tech-priest, whose name had fallen between the cracks in her memory banks, wept to hear her voice.

“Oh, my beauty,” he said, “but we all are. We all are. And I am blessed to have heard you speak.”

+I don't want to lose...everything,+ she whimpered in incomprehension.

“So it is to be alive,” he breathed, “and this is your apotheosis. You, O beloved daughter, are the purest expression of the Omnissiah that can ever be.”

And so as the newborn Eternal Zealot died, drifting into an empty infinity, she found herself humbled, overcome, by this mere, mortal, forgiving man.

CSM Plog, Tactica

What sphinx of plascrete and adamantium bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination? Imperator! Imperator!

Last edited by Mossy Toes; 11-09-11 at 05:20 AM.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-08-11, 11:57 PM
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Mossy Toes, Nice!

A good reputation take a long time to build, but only a moment to destroy. Wow, that's deep! Check out the H.O.E.S. short story competition.
Other stories from Adrian.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-09-11, 06:58 AM
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Holy cow, Adrian, Mossy Toes. Utterly amazing.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-09-11, 08:34 AM
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Stunning stuff, you guys. Will have to raise my game a lot for this one - dunno if I can do it though -

Urgently trying to trace any living relatives of Private Sam/Samuel "Jock" Wilson (Black Watch, No. 6 Commando, UK Army Service ID 2764432, died 10.06.44). Any info/suggestions gratefully received.

"Mockles! Pent on silpen tree, blockards three a-feening. Mockles! What silps came to thee, in thy pantry, dreaming?"

Please check out the HOES (Heresy Online Stories) threads and vote for the tales.
More feedback = better stories for everyone.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-09-11, 02:28 PM
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Dammit, you guys are going to give me hell before I ever get an entry done- if they ever make a Mechanicus army, I'm going to buy everything and it's gonna be your fault, Mossy Toes.
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