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post #21 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-17-12, 12:25 PM
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Damn the 1000+ word limit. Had to take the knife out (alot).

1088 words - not including the title.

Into the Fire


WHEN DOES A recruit become a veteran?

Pletea thought it was a reasonable question, but the drill sergeant thought it was stupid, and for the next five minutes, the young Guardsman found himself doing a series of muscle-numbing exercises until the drill sergeant was satisfied.
“Obviously’ the drill sergeant continued ‘. You are recruits’ he paused ‘and I am a veteran”.
Pletea rejoined the ranks, cursing and sweating.
“The vast majority of you will never stand beside me. Most of you here will be dead a year from now. Most of you will never fire a shot in anger. Most of you will never even see the enemy. Some of you will clamber aboard your first troop ship, and be reduced to your component parts before you even draw your weapons. Only a lucky few will make it through’ he grinned ‘and when the time comes, you’ll know when you are a veteran”.


Pletea tucked his chin into his chest, closed his eyes and prayed.
Beloved Emperor. Guide us through this storm today. Protect this ship, and the men’ he opened an eye and looked across at the Guardsman opposite ’even Garbanowski, though he is a complete retard. Put us safely down onto this hunk of rock that has been deemed a priority target…”

“In the old days’ shouted his companion ‘before the great wars and even the Emperor”
“Blessed be his name”
“Even before the blessed Emperor’ Garbanowski continued ‘Terra was a place of peace and prosperity…”
“Get on with it”
“… The people’ he growled ‘had so much spare time that they devoted themselves to leisure activities. They constructed huge apparatus of plasteel that stood hundreds of feet above the ground. The people would climb into small containers and then be shoved off the side. The containers would follow a route that would take them up and down, in and out until all the people inside puked up their breakfasts”
“That does not make sense”
Garbanowski smiled and waved a dismissive hand.
“It’s true; it was called a carousel. They paid credits to go on them, just to gip up on their mates’ he paused for effect and then continued ‘You see, being on a drop ship is almost like a carousel”
“Except the incoming, I bet the people of Earth did not have to face Macro cannons”
Garbanowski spat “It’s my story, stop interrupting. It’s like a carousel but without the flak. I love assault landings. They don’t bother me. I can eat a breakfast of raw meat and eggs washed down with dogs urine served in a latrine bowl, and it would not affect me one bit. Up, down, left, right...”
Pletea coughed and hot bile filled his throat followed by the contents of his stomach. A loud Hurrah went up as he was sick into his lap.

“Well done Garbanowski!”

The loadmaster, a bearded Navy lifer punched the front of Pletea’s helmet, knocking his head back against the restraining cushion.
“Not on my deck boy!” he roared, which caused a further flurry of insults.
Pletea groaned “I’m sorry…” and threw up again.
“Get this thing sorted out sergeant” growled the loadmaster, glaring at the squad leader over to the right ‘I don’t want anyone slipping over when the ramp drops”

The sergeant released his straps and limped over to him. He knelt down, carefully avoiding the pool of steaming goo at Pletea’s feet. He lifted up the youngsters chin.
“You alright Trooper?”
“Yes sergeant, I’m sorry”
The sergeant turned abruptly.
“Nice one Garb, really nice touch”
“A pleasure sarge”
“There are only two types of sarge in this universe; sos-sarge, and mas-sarge, and I am neither of them. It’s Sergeant to you”
“Yes… Sergeant”, grinned Garbanowski.
“Hey’ added another Trooper ‘why do we always get the babies on these drops. They are useless and always get killed”
The sergeant readjusted Pletea’s shoulder straps and gave him a reassuring wink.
“You were a recruit once, and you Garbanowski’ he turned to the rest. ‘All of you were sitting here puking like him. All of you did the same, without exception. Some even wet their pants ‘he looked at Garbanowski.
“Untrue. My canteen exploded when the hull depressurised”
“So tough, so hard; veterans scared of nothing. I know you all. You give him a hard time because you are all scared and want to take it out on an easy target to cover your own fears”
“I’m not scared of anything sergeant” clipped another Guardsman hugging a multi-barrelled chaingun. The sergeant laughed.
“Aspen two-four?”
“That was….”
“You cried like a baby when you dropped your lasgun”
“Rubbish!”
“… And Garbanowski screamed like a girl when he saw his first decapitated body”
“Lies”
“Kemp here ran away from that Tyrannid on...”
“I paid for that”
“… Six months in a penal battalion, I know”

Pletea looked around and suddenly he did not feel so bad about ruining the loadmaster’s pristine deck. The sergeant placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder pad.
“You ridicule him, rib him, and belittle him. One day, he might be the one who picks up the discarded lasgun for you or be the one who comforts you when the sight of death becomes too much. He might be the one who stands beside you when the enemy threatens to overrun the line. He might become your trusted friend”
The sergeant sat back down.

+ Entering Defence Zone +

“He deserves your respect”
The drop ship jolted to one side bringing a moan from the squad. A bright flash lit up the interior and Pletea saw pale faces staring back.
The ship dropped and banked right.

+ Thirty seconds +

A loud bang caused Pletea to jump. A ripping sound could be heard to the rear.

+ Evasive Manoeuvres. Landing zone acquired +

Small flames appeared in an alcove to Pletea’s right.

+ Ten seconds +

A hydrant erupted in a white cloud and the flames disappeared. A panel exploded nearby.

+ The Emperor be with you +

Pletea faced hell as the ramp dropped with a dull thud. A wall of flame greeted him.
Explosions, streaks of missiles and heavy weapons fire filled his ears. Men were on their feet, an instant later, they turned into a cloud of pink liquid and gore.
“Move it!’ shouted the sergeant ‘Move it!”
Pletea was working on instinct, with his lasgun in his shoulder and his legs pumping like pistons. He had survived his baptism of fire... as a veteran.

"Death occurs when a lethal projectile comes together in time and space with a suitable target, in the absence of appropriate armour or protection”


Check out my 40K 'Epic' about the Hunted verses the Inquisition: https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...98#post2184698


Last edited by Brother Emund; 02-17-12 at 04:56 PM.
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post #22 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-17-12, 10:09 PM
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Until it sleeps.

HOES entry 12-02 (second story)

Into the Fire.

Gothik

The Introduction to the Chaos Warband The Reborn who seem interesting enough to write about eventually.

Word Count: 1023 (not including title or intro)

I have to hide, I do not know where but they are getting closer. My parents have run afraid of what is happening to me and I do not understand. All I wanted was for them to help me, to take me away from here but when the sky turned black they ran, yelling at me to take myself away.

The city streets offer little shelter for they have women with them that hurt me, I saw one before I ducked into the sewer outlet where I would play hide and seek as a child with my friends before it – it spoke to me and changed me.

The gang I belonged to were scared of me and with good reason, Vacka the leader liked to bully me and tried to make me do things to him that I did not want to do….it would be the last time he tried to get me to touch him.
His screams made me smile and the – thing that was changing me laughed too, promised me no one would ever hurt me again but now I am running, I do not want them to find me the blackness the woman caused was not nice.

I don’t know how many times I threw up but they were enough to make me break out in a cold sweat. I had tried to be Emperor fearing but all I can think of now is how cruel the Emperor must be to want to feast on my soul.
That’s what my priest told us all, those who develop unholy powers would become one with the Emperor and would be the source to keep his omnipotent power going. Well if he was so powerful why would need me to help him?

I run on until my lungs are fit to burst and finally emerge from a sewage gate far on the outskirts of town. I don’t want to die, I am only 16 and I do not want to become one of them things that sit in the communications hall with no eyes and no soul.

That is no life; I would rather be an outcast for the rest of my life then live without a soul. The thing in my head that I have come to regard as perhaps the only friend I have tells me there are others like me that are at peace and respected. It tells me to keep running and from somewhere deep inside I am given the power and strength to pump my weary muscles with new found vigour.

The Las-shot whistles past my head and in fear and terror I glance over my shoulder to see armoured men chasing me and my own parents pointing at me, my mother is yelling for them to stop me, all I did was punish those that had raped and killed my sisters.

I let a roar go and the armoured men behind me are on the floor writhing as blood pours from their eyes and noses. I cock my head a little as their heads burst and with a withering gaze at my parents I make their deaths slow and agonising. Then I run again and this time I do not stop.


The voice tells me to walk into the empty ruins. It is night and I do not even know how I have found myself here. For now I have lost my pursuers and for the moment I have respite. I stumble into the ruined store and my legs finally give out from under me and I am on the floor unable to even stand. Crawling into the corner I draw in great lungful’s of air and it hurts, it hurts to breathe and it hurts to move.

Maybe I should give up and just let them take me, so many people hate me and all I did was destroy my former gang mates for what they did to my family. How was I to know that the older kids were connected to the higher ups in our society? My father had screamed at me for what I had done, all he thought about was his job in that blasted office; my mother sobbed and wrung her hands saying that she was blessed to have had daughters that were taken and a son that wasn’t and how life was not fair.

Well what about what was fair to me…I did what any brother would have done, I made them pay and now I am truly alone. A shape moves behind me and I jump and before me is a behemoth, a giant from my worst nightmares. His armour is Orange with rusted joints and black etching he wears no helmet but his head is shaved with intricate tattoos and script in a language I cannot read across every part of his skull.

He comes down to my level and his eyes bore into mine but I am drawn to the skulls that adorn his armour and the symbol on his shoulders. He nods to himself and offers me his hand, his voice deep and terrifying.

“I have been searching for you Kynar of Seriga, your name was spoken to me in a vision. Come let me take you from here and show you how you can benefit those who have blessed you with your powers that these Imperial dogs would kill you for”

I am not sure what to say but I am in no position to argue and I need to be away from here. I take his offered hand and his hand swallows mine. He lifts me up as if I am nothing more then a babe in arms and I hear him speak into some sort of communications device.

Just as the figures crash into the ruins I am gone.


I sit and listen to what my saviour tells me. I have been blessed with the soul of a fallen Librarian from their order and they have been looking for me for decades, I am to be trained and I am to be given a new purpose and like my new family…I am Reborn.
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post #23 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-20-12, 03:50 PM
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Kidnapped (HOES Entry - Into The Fire)


***


I barely move across the grass, slowly lowering each foot to let each blade of grass press individually into the sole. In this perfect moment I take joy in small things. Small flowers of periwinkle and citrine dot the sward and dew dapples their delicate petals. I bend to drink and am drawn into a world of sublime flavours.

My taste sated I wander across my perfect garden. The grass bends, folding in myriad patterns, unfolding in unnumbered more, standing straight again.

The sky is ripped by a discordant note. Singing songs of joy I rush to see. Running as fast as I can, I feel the air caress my passing.

A giant metal beast is tearing a trench in the grass, rolling and spitting. My perfect moment lies shattered and torn. I run but the beast is fast and gouges its way inexorably toward me scouring the ground flat with its passing. Flames stream from its body like feathers turning my flowers to ash.

It is almost upon me. I see three terrible eyes staring down at me, twisted in loathing. I feel the weight of their regard like iron chains, unseeing my choices and confining me to this single ashen flight.

Dark tongues eat away at the ground and the chains are biting deep now, pulling me toward the beast. I struggle against them but the ground is soft and shifts beneath my feet. The flames burn high; I strain my eyes but, unlike the flames of home, I see only an ugly finality in their random jerking. With a mighty tug the chains complete their task and I am drawn through the flames, feeling my senses and my flesh scoured.


***


I am aware.

The ground cuts at my feet. I try to remain motionless but it is a torment of rigid pieces and, as the air tears at my skin, I am forced to shift again and again seeking comfort. Looking around see that I am standing in a tunnel. Darkness masks the ends; as far as I can see the walls are grey and uniform. As my senses reach out further I feel a thundering.

Gusting winds…a rumble…. Is this a tunnel… or a throat? Have I been swallowed? There is nothing special about this place, so I resolve to move, but which way? Thoughts muddle in my head: how do I know that the air will be coming from an exit if it is a tunnel? Should I wait to feel if it changes direction? A sound, different and small, comes from the distance; not music but the beginning of a crude rhythm possibly. Filled with the desire to act I choose that direction.


***


The sound gets louder. The ground does not shift beneath my feet and my limbs feel heavy but dragging myself through the thick air I force myself toward it.

In the distance I finally perceive two shapes, grey like the tunnel but with a glow like me; the idea that there might be others like me floods me with joy before giving way to a new thought that I slowly realise is not pleasant, a concept of loneliness.

I dance forward and the shapes sing in greeting; they are off-key but make up for it in volume. I chant forth a counterpoint to their melody and they soar higher in response. A symphony of scents breaks forth as they release unguents and pheromones in greeting: sharp yellows and coppery reds overlay earthy browns.

One of them runs off, raising its arms in joy and I see that they lack proper hands. Perhaps it has gone to find (I try the idea again to see if I understand it) others. The second is gazing at me in ecstasy, while a new salty scent cuts the perfume.

They feel ecstasy like me, and they glow like me; we are the same! I ignore the hard echoes and sing; I ignore the razor floor and dance. But the glow is weak and the other does not dance and sing.

The grey must have trapped it. I must make it free again. My strong hands quickly cut away the hard grey shell and the layers beneath. Freed of the muffling blandness the glow flares and I taste its glories. The uniqueness overcomes me and I swallow.


***


The odd almost music has returned; there are more instruments but still no harmony.

My eyes are strangely dull and it takes an eternity to seek the source of the sound. More of the glowing creatures are advancing slowly along the tunnel towards me. The grey wrapped around them is heavy enough to give their motions a dull uniformity.

A harsh note drowns the music completely, revealing a creature behind them enveloped in grey so flat it is almost black; it waves its arms in sharp jerks, disrupting the traces of grace in the other creatures and they come to a halt. Beneath the barrage of dissonance the glow is forced deeper into the grey.

Pleasure fills me as I realise I can save these creatures as I saved the first one. I arch my spine then slowly pass one leg over my head performing an elegant cartwheel while striking the hard tips of my fingers together in a countermelody to the dissonance. Continuing my graceful process I see the creatures raising straight rods.

They spit straight lines, each a million million spheres, each the same. Each sphere leaves a dull grey mark on my skin, dulling the patterns and turning flesh numb. Finally they strike my eyes and I am spared the sight of uniformity scouring away my beauty. One last moment of clarity holds me, before my senses bleed away and all is still.


***


I am standing in a field of exquisite salmon grass. In all directions the ground undulates upward before the meeting far above my head in a perfect sphere. I pirouette and the sky moves with me in perfect unity.

I barely move across the grass, slowly lowering each foot to let each blade of grass press individually into the sole. In this perfect moment I take joy in small things.


-1046 words

Last edited by Dave T Hobbit; 02-20-12 at 03:57 PM.
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post #24 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-26-12, 03:16 AM
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As this one turned out longer than expected, I'm going to incorporate it into next month's somehow.

Good luck everyone!

Nate

Fiiiiiiiiiiire…woo, woo, woo-WOOO

The sun crept over the horizon, bringing with it the promise of another day filled with what would most likely be failure (and rain, damn it all). Von Vandersnoot greeted the cloudy morning as he would any other; a quick run to the outhouse (which almost turned into a knife fight with a rat big enough to be the illegitimate hell-spawn of a damned skaven rat-man) to get himself sorted for the day followed by his daily imbibing of the noxious treacle that kept him alive (relatively speaking, of course) and kicking.

The previous night’s fiasco had left him dejected and not a little bit down-hearted (which, oddly enough was at odds with his jovial, yet quite insane, demeanor). Eric had spent the better part of the night scrubbing his rather odious foot with brush and soap and, sure enough, he’d managed to clean off the wretched fecal matter (only after a few florid curses that had inadvertently led to the death of several pigeons nesting in his roof…the dark arts do have their upside, you know!). He’d been lucky enough to stop before he hit bone. Previous encounters with dung had not been quite so fortuitous (and even led to a trip to the apothecary’s one winter’s night centuries ago. Though, one can’t blame him. I don’t know if you know this but should you ever be one of those poor, ill-fated souls to step into a pile of nurgling poo, just cut the damned foot off. Honestly… You’re most likely going to lose it anyways. Cut your losses and move… well, shuffle on).

However, it wasn’t long before his plucky nature kicked in. His staff (and only companion) greeted him with the muffled strains of what most likely was a string of terrible curses in orcish. Eric tutted the staff for its lack of manners.

“Gorsnag! If you continue on like this, I might just leave the catgut on! Now mind your tongue and shut up!”

This, of course, only enraged the skull more, provoking a string of quite brilliantly laid out (for an orc, mind you) diatribe ending in something that sounded vaguely close to ‘rip off your gnadgy bitz an’ feed ‘em ta yaz’. Shrugging, von Vandersnoot gave up and began working on his next course of action. He was still no closer to escaping this wretched city and word had reached him that certain parties (of the witch burning kind) had taken interest in the ‘local eccentric behind the tavern’. That was all he needed.

“Damn all witch-hunters to a fiery hell, Sigmar take their fanatical souls!”, he muttered to himself.

Seeing that he wasn’t getting anywhere staying home, he took up his staff and decided to for a little walk. His meander took him close to the eastern gate. Here the neighborhood was a bit poorer (even by Empire standards, poor was an understatement) and the guards not quite so hidebound to their duties. As he reached the square, he was greeted by the sounds of wails and smoke. Turning to see what all the fuss was about, he noticed some fool had set his house on fire.

“Must have been a cold night”, he mused to himself, watching the flames sidle their way up the sides of the wooden building.

Eric glanced to the staff. It was still struggling valiantly against the ensorcelled restraints but for now they kept his yap well and truly shut. There’s nothing in this world (short of cursing Sigmar, setting your testicles on fire or growing an extra appendage in the middle of a rousing sermon against the impure) that gets another person’s attention than a talking staff (especially an orcish one given the distasteful nature of the marauding greenskins and their proclivity to set things on fire ((minus their testes of course…do they even have testes? I’ve always wondered about that. Sure, they’ve got the sausage, but do they have the bread? Come to think of it, meat and potatoes would probably be a better euphemism. Err…where was I…)).

Drawing closer, von Vandersnoot found himself accosted by several of the more buxom (if not toothless) harridans amongst the crowd of looky-loos who spent their time between tearful cries and gesticulating wildy towards the house. Given his habit (that would be his attire…not his personal foibles. That in itself would be a scrolling epic worthy of several volumes), pale disposition and perpetual stoop, many mistook him for a priest of Morr. Granted, his profession did put him close to death, but it was in a manner totally opposite of those fusty old codgers who spent their time looking for ways to bilk old women out of their precious monies (and sometimes knickers…hey, being a priest of the whole god of death doesn’t lend itself to many romantic rendezvous with the opposite sex…well…the living ones at any rate).

Before the building, Eric could clearly see a group of men fruitlessly laboring to put the fire out with buckets of water. Amongst their number one fellow stood out. His bright orange hair and robes marked him out as a pyromancer. The leader of the gathered men seemed to be speaking with him. Von Vandersnoot could make out snatches of their conversation given the heated (aye, tis a poorly crafted pun but you’re the poor daft sod reading this, not I!) nature of it.

“Can’t you put it out, Tymon?”, came the voice of man in charge, one Greigor Hautmann.

“I start fires you fool… I don’t stop them”, replied the wizard in a haughty tone.

“Sigmar preserve us… What use are you then?” the man snapped angrily.

“Apparently none at all. I don’t even know why they woke me up for this. They’re just some stupid peasants. Let them burn", was his only response.

This elicited a rather angry snarl followed by clenched fists and death threats. It would get him no-where of course. Wizards being what they were, the man knew not to get too uppity.

While he watched, one of the more odiferous hags clutched at Eric’s robes, pleading with him to pray for those lost inside.

“Madam, unhand me lest I turn your innards into outards!”

That was enough to see her loosen her vice-like grip. A cry went up from many amongst the crowd.

“Look there! The child! She’s still in there!”

To be Continued


Word Count - 1,063 including title.

"If you can't stun them with your tactical brilliance, baffle them with your superior grasp of BS."

"I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man."

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAllFather View Post
Well, seeing as how you capitalize your characters, use proper grammar and punctuation, I'd say you qualify.

Last edited by Shogun_Nate; 02-26-12 at 04:58 AM.
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post #25 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-26-12, 10:44 PM
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Just saw this, got idea for a story, and noticed the deadline . Oh well. Always next month

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