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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-20-12, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Default The Smallest Germ

The Smallest Germ. By Adrian & gothic

‘A single germ is not to be feared,’ the doktor said as he applied his knowledge to his guests, ‘Most here would say that given the opportunity to study a germ is old tech, but I say it is not. The germ is the most basic thing our bodies fight. Germs are far more dangerous than we could ever imagine; far worse than the whole of the Chaos sphere we fight against.’ The doktor stopped to allow his statement to sink in.

Those present in the meeting hall of the Blessed shook their heads in disbelief of what the doktor was saying. He knew it would be problematic to state that germs were worse than Chaos, but the evidence was there. The evidence supported his findings and he would be damned if he did not convey the dangers represented.

He continued, ‘Let me explain. A single germ can multiply into billions within hours and given the opportunity they will infest and inflict a host bringing sickness, infection and if untreated… death.’

The Blessed was moving through the warp and had been for the last six weeks. The air was bitter and stale, but as of yet still useable and breathable to the common human flesh that moved within the confines of the massive Battle Barge.

Those gathered shifted uncomfortably as they listened to the doktor. ‘The reason for this meeting is simple. Upon the Blessed there are eighty-thousand souls contained within a confined area. If a single germ is allowed to multiply the threat of contagion becomes very real.’ He stopped for a moment and regarded the Space marines standing stoically at the back of the room.

‘I know that Space Marines do not fear the threat of disease, but there are eighty thousand unenhanced humans who would suffer greatly under such circumstances. The Blessed will be in the warp for eleven more days and we must be watchful for the signs of sickness among those upon the Emperor’s vessel.’

The Captains representing the five hundred units of Imperial Guardsmen and their Sergeants stood and left the hall when the meeting was dismissed and headed back into the belly of the ship to relay the information to their men.

Brother Captain Bi’cyrus Kricks of the Atoned led his men out into the corridors of the Blessed and instructed Brother Sergeant Gom’el Niiv to gather the legion together in the templium for meditation and instruction.

‘The Emperor’s faithful shall know no fear. They shall be as rocks in the river, unmoved though the universe around them crumbles and the earth beneath them tumbles away.’ Brother Captain Bi’cyrus Kricks intoned.

The legion echoed his words in solemn meditation. One hundred Space Marines knelt upon one knee and rested their heads upon the alter before them. It was rare that a whole legion, a hundred Brothers gathered in one place, but the mission to cleanse Ricirious Primary of Chaos taint was paramount to victory in the O’golison cluster.

Being over seven weeks from reinforcements demanded greater numbers. If the mission failed the Great Enemy would have excess to the rich recourses of grain, meat and hives of the O’golison cluster. They would also be within striking distance of the Peerol Reef. That could not be allowed to happen.

Thus was the reason for the might of the Imperial Guard and the Atoned to be deployed as one.

‘In the end, all flesh shall die. All flesh shell return to dust and our souls shall kneel before the Emperor’s throne. Death has no hold on us for we are the Atoned.’ Brother Captain Kricks read from the scriptoria of the Hallowed.

His Brothers before him echoed the scriptures once more and then stood in their glory, one hundred men who were greater than men, a mighty army.

The Blessed was a mighty ship, a craft world dependent upon nothing, independent and fearsome to behold. Even the mighty Space Marines gave the Blessed their respect. Seven miles long and half a mile wide, it held one hundred and twenty three levels dedicated for individual purposes.

Its armory and weapons systems were blessed by the Mechenicus or Mars with machine tech that rivaled whole planets defense capabilities. Nothing from without could destroy such a power. It was a world killer an extension of the Emperor’s wrath.

Six days now remained until the Blessed could exit the warp. Nearly eighty thousand souls dwelt within the Blessed, attending the vessel, guiding the ship, partaking in training exercises and struggling to keep from boredom.

Seven weeks would drive most men crazy if they could not move about, but the Commissars were diligent and fair in their duties. A power fluctuation that lasted for nearly a complete second raised eyebrows and worried glances throughout the ship. Nothing came of it though and duties were resumed without delay.

‘I detected a power outage for nearly a complete second ensign. Find the reason for the failure and see that it does not happen again. If the Gellar Field fails, we die. I do not want to die. Do you want to die ensign Jaston?’ the Admiral questioned with frustration.

‘No, Admiral. I do not want to die. Doing diagnostics now Admiral.’ The ensign answered quietly.

A few moments passed by like the turning of the sun around blessed Terra; slow and drawn out before the ensign returned with the information demanded of him. ‘The instruments do not show any sign of failure, although there was a slight power surge on deck nine, the warp drive, Admiral.’

Before he could continue the Admiral had opened the vox-com and was engaging the head of security, Sergeant Davis Cohl. ‘Get down to level nine and check out the warp core. Interrogate all staff that are present and find out why the fluctuation was allowed, Sergeant. Please hurry.’

He cut the link and resumed his duties, worried and aware that the smallest failure of the Gellar Field could mean the difference of life and death.

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-21-12, 11:14 AM
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Engineer First Class Kelvin Mala was, like most of the men and women that served on The Blessed a conscript, that was the legal jargon, the real truth of the matter was, like most of the men and women below decks he had been press ganged.

He didn’t remember much about his home world, just that it was a bowl of dust and he had made the mistake of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, clunked on the back of the head and woke up on the engineering room of The Blessed, now and forever more a Naval officer of his Imperial Majesty’s Battle fleet….or so they had said to him.

He was not too sure about the Emperor watching over him but he was certain that he was here for life and at thirty-one that was a pretty sure bet. He had started being the boy of the then Chief Engineer Mortisana Tulita, she was a hard nosed bitch but she was fair. He had liked her, even had perhaps a then sixteen year old crush on her but when she had died some years ago during an attack by the Corsairs and that blasted pirate king Huron, life was not the same again.

Now Chief Engineer Markal Jerona was a bastard and was a little too handy at ordering the overseers to dish out the punishment for even the slightest misdemeanour, he had seen one woman get the lash for arriving a little late on duty, it was only after thorough the tears and blood she had explained that she had been in the Security Chiefs office reporting a death that he allowed her to go to the Doctor. A thousand times Mala had cursed his name and a thousand times more on top of that too maybe one day someone would hear his plea.

He came out from under the panel to see the Chief looking at him and he rolled his eyes, “Look Chief if it’s about that little spat in the bar last night…..”

Cohl shook his head and crouched down “Its ok Mala, that’s not why I am here. The old man wants to know what the energy spike was an hour ago, know anything about it?”

“Energy spike?” Mala frowned “Could be anything really, I mean this is the warp we are travelling through and who knows what Emperor damned energy is lurking around here”

Cohl chuckled a little and had to nod in agreement, he liked Mala the guy was an adept with engines and thus had been placed in here when he had been brought on board, he was no priest but from what he knew the dark haired man had been taught what he needed to know to do his job.

“So where’s the Chief?” Cohl asked.

“Frack knows…probably dishing out punishments again or being chastised by the Tech Priests either or”

“So what do you suggest I tell the old man?

Mala thought for a moment and then a broad grin crossed his face “Tell him it was the old girls spirit getting horny for him after all these years”

Cohl stifled a laugh and got up he looked around and then spied one of the Tech Adepts and patting Mala’s leg he made his way over to where the robed man – of it was a man anymore – was working on the warp drive.

Mala went back to work and muttered an obsience to the Machine Spirit apologising for his crude joke, but sometimes the Old Man wanted explanation’s for things that just were unexplainable he was so glad he remained an Engineer, that way he never had to deal with nervous Admirals who did not accept that strange things happened out here for strange reasons.

Crewwoman Janera Omalis climbed out of her bunk and rubbed her eyes. Her back was still sore from the lashing she had received a few days ago and even though the Doc had insisted she rest she knew that the bastard Chief Engineer would not allow it. She winced as her wounds cracked against her skin as she stretched.

“Welcome to the Emperors Navy” She muttered to herself “See the life on the open waves of the universe and learn….” She shook her head and splashed recycled water on her face. Right now she would give her body for a decent hot shower or even a bath. Still the Old Man had said that if this mission was successful then there would be leave time granted.

What he really meant was that there would be recruitment time but she would ignore that for the lure of clean water, bubbles and a chance to see daylight again. She scowled irritated by the fly that buzzed in her ear. Oh that would be another thing, no flies, no rats and no sweaty men that seemed to leer at her. She shook her head and washed her face once more, it was a whole different world down here and the powers that be on the command decks had no idea about how it worked down here.

She reached under her bunk and started patting around for her work boots when she suddenly drew back her hand and saw the bite mark between her thumb and finger. She had been whipped, bathed in painful stuff that the doc said would seriously hurt and now she as was bitten by a gakking rat.

She picked up her wrench and feeling around grabbed the vermin by the neck then brought her wrench down on its head, hard and battered it until it was dead.

She pulled her boots on and stood up looking at the pulped body of bones and fur; cursing again she picked it up by its tail and tossed it into the waste compartment. One of these days she might get a transfer onto an Astartes Vessel, life was loads more harsher and disciplined but at least they knew how to look after their below decks crew.

She looked at the bite and decided against going to the docs she had to hustle so wrapping it in the only clean bandage she could find she made her way down the halls to her station.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-22-12, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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It was not the lashing that was the problem nor was it the rat bite. Sure the wounds hurt badly, but they would heal, it was the tiredness she felt as well as the fever they paled her skin and caused her to sweat. Her head hurt and she was feeling dizzy and close to fainting, but she knew the Taskmaster would not understand and even if he did he wouldn’t care.

What was it she had heard? A single germ could cause you to die, yes that was it, that was what she had heard. She considered leaving her post but hesitated.

Chief Engineer Markal Jerona was watching her closely. He could see Crewwoman Janera Omalis was sick. Sure he was a harsh man, but he knew his orders; all sickness was to be reported immediately to the doktor. If infection spreads it could mean infestation. He understood quotas, but sickness could screw everything up badly and set everyone to worse troubles than was needed.

‘Crewwoman Janera Omalis,’ he said when he approached her work station, ‘You will go to the medico immediately and you will not return to your work until you are well enough to do your job.’ With that said he turned and walked away not giving her another thought.

Crewwoman Omalis was too sick to care about the perceived kindness from the man who had lashed her. She was too dizzy to even walk straight, so she used the walls for support and dragged her body onward. She could not remember where she was and became confused as to where she was. Her directions became a sea of confusion and turmoil.

She felt herself falling but could not do anything to stop herself from it. She was too tired to care, so when her body stopped before hitting the deck, she could hardly put it together that someone had caught her.

Brother Sergeant Gom’el Niiv had been watching her for the last few minutes, but had kept his distance. He had seen what sickness could do. Plague was a fearsome warrior, deadly in its craft. He was aware of the power fluctuation and the fact that before the fluctuation there had not been any reports of sickness upon the Blessed.

He watched her stagger and stop, stagger and stop again. She looked around as if confused and lacking direction and then she began to fall. Instinctively he reached out and caught her, lifted her into his arms and began to make his way to the medico.

Even through his gauntlets she was hot. She smelled of death and decay and was bathed in sweat. Her eyes were glassy and roaming and her breath was very smell of the grave. He held his nose as far away from her face as he could and kept his eyes straight ahead paying attention to the route he was taking to the medico.

Brother Sergeant Gom’el Niiv did not feel it, the thickness of his armor keeping the pressure at bay, but he heard the grinding of teeth and looked down. The woman was biting his arm. It could have been because of the sickness and the fever so he restrained her head from moving and entered the medico’s doorway.

‘She is sick with a deep fever. I saw her in the halls confused and ignorant of direction and as she fell I picked her up and brought her here.’ Brother Sergeant Gom’el Niiv said to the doktor as he led the Space Marine into an examination room. ‘She bites.’ He continued before turning to leave.

The doktor frowned as he looked at Crewwoman Janera Omalis. She had just been here a few hours ago and she had seemed fine except for the stripes upon her back. There was no reason for this sickness to have taken hold so quickly. ‘Can you tell me anything more about the state you found her in, Brother Sergeant?’ he asked before the Space Marine was out of sight and into the hall.

‘She smalls of death, doktor. I must purify my armor from her corruption.’ Brother Sergeant Gom’el Niiv said and then went his way.

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Last edited by Dave T Hobbit; 02-22-12 at 11:15 AM.
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Fixed random font changes

Very engaging, and the change back and forth between authors is working well.

The use of full names every time a character is mentioned (e.g. Crewwoman Janera Omalis) breaks the flow a little. I feel it would seem less long-winded if they were referred to by part of their name (e.g. Janera or Omalis) in the rest of the chapter, especially when describing their actions. This would let you use full names to signify formality.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-22-12, 12:49 PM
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Like Dave said, it's very engaging and good.

The thing with the names was really the only thing that bugged me throughout, and aside from a few small grammatical errors, it's very good. Haven't heard of a sickness-control type story in a while, so nice idea :D
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Default Hi

Thank you. I am glad you are enjoying the story. Will pay attention to the name thing as well.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-23-12, 03:50 PM
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The Nurse frowned deeply as she read the charts to do with Omalis. She had been with the Sisters Hospitalier before she had taken an assignment here aboard The Blessed. A battle injury on a nameless battlefield had ended her war nurse career so; at the behest of her Sister Superior she had joined the Medicare crew aboard The Blessed.

Her knowledge on the plagues of the foul demon that she would not name was second to none and indeed she had briefed the Doctor before his lecture never for one moment believing that it would affect any one person aboard this mighty Emperor blessed vessel and yet quite plainly it had.

She knew that Omalis was dying, no amount of medicines could heal her from this and with the passing of each hour the young maintenance crewwoman was looking more and more like a creature ready for the grave. Sister Cordelias sighed heavily and lifted one of the dying Omalis’s eyelids.
Her pupils were dilating and there were red veins that spiralled like little red lines from her pupils. She touched her forehead and then stood up as the Doctor came in.

“Any change?” He asked quietly.

The lighting around the young woman was dimmed to almost night; the brightness had hurt her eyes so much she screamed a couple of times.

“She is getting worse. I was considering an infection from her wounds but I am unable to determine if they were from the lashings or the bite” Cordelias admitted and an angry glint hit her eyes “Sometimes Doctor Zickoni I think the Chief Engineer is a little too happy having his task masters flexing their whips.”

“Ours is not to question how the Chief runs his department Sister, he has to keep discipline for if he did not the Admiral would have him shout out the nearest airlock without a suit”

“I know that Doctor…”

“However,” Zickoni raised his hand to cut her off and a paternal tone entered his voice “I have told the First Officer that I believe his treatment of this young woman was a little excessive and that her wounds might have gained some sort of infection from the rather squalid conditions in the crew quarters”

Cordelias nodded once. She understood discipline; she was used to it but even her order showed the compassion required to give their patients some hope, even if there was none. She did not like men and women that over used their whips and rhetoric; this was how the smallest infections started.

She picked a book up and sat beside the bed of the young woman and in a soft voice began to read one of the many stories of the Emperor, telling her that he would be ready to welcome her to his great battle fleet in the beyond to continue the fight against the eternal enemy.

Mala rolled his eyes as the Chief ranted and raved about how no one had even noticed the energy spike, clearing his throat he reminded the Chief that they were in attendance of one of many lectures that he had ordered them to attend, this particular one had been given by Tech Adept Y’gris on how best to encourage The Blessed’s Spirit to respond to what they needed from her.

Jerona had given the man a hard glare and was about to threaten him with insubordination when the man/machine creature Y’gris had confirmed the mans tale. Even so he did not want to loose face in the eyes of the Old Man and went on to say that they had to be careful of any sign of infection. He was already in enough trouble with the Omalis situation.

Mala lit an Iho stick and drew in a deep lungful of smoke then let it out “Well see Chief, if you hadn’t let Ingra there get so heavy with the Whip on her then maybe she wouldn’t have got so sick.”

“You do not know that…. What are you a bloody doctor now Mala!” Jerona spat.

“Nope but I know a rat bite couldn’t have made her like that so damn quick. She had any number of wounds on her thanks to whip happy there” Mala stood straighter and wiped his hands on his rag “Tell you this Chief, if you think that punishing us every time we go against what you want is gonna make us respect you. You are wrong on so many levels…Tulita you are not and never will be”

There were a few murmurs of agreement and the others followed Mala out of the huddle area leaving Jerona fuming. Y’gris cleared his throat which sounded more like a choked engine of a car then a human sound.

“The energy spike lasted approximately 2.456 seconds. I have detected that at that moment the Gellar Field fluxuated slightly and I believe this is from the new warp coil that was fitted at Hydrona IX”

Jerona checked his words and inclined his head a little “Thank you, at least I know what to tell the Old Man”

“I have already informed the Admiral of my report; it was nothing to be concerned about Chief Engineer Jerona.”

“You told the Admiral!” Jerona spluttered and to the men and women in the huddle it looked like he was about to go purple.

“Could you have explained it any clearer then me?” Y’gris responded then went about his business.

Jerona threw his hands up in the air and glared at the other Engineers “Get back to work” He snapped and stormed out.

Mala sat on his bunk and stiffened a cough. He was starting to feel a little under the weather. When Omalis had been told to report to the Medicare he had helped her to the door and then left her to go her own way.

He hoped he was not coming down with what she had, he could not afford to be off sick, and no one else could look after the Targeting Systems like he could. A hacking cough took over and he coughed into his discarded work shirt, and then stared as he saw a goblet of blood stare back at him.

He closed his eyes and lay his head back as the shivers over took him. He did not hear his door open so hard was he shivering he might have been on an ice world, everything was so cold.

“Mala we need to talk!” Jerona snapped.

Mala could not even raise his head it hurt to move, like someone had filled his body with ice cold pin pricks. Jerona took one look at the shivering man and walked over to shake him roughly

“Get up man I am talking to you! You have been on the moonshine again!”

Mala opened his eyes and with a shout pushed the Chief Engineer away roughly “Get me a doctor you Fracker!” he rasped.

Jerona was about to dish his own punishment out but stopped withdrawing his cosh stick and taking a closer look at his best Engineer he yelled for someone to get the doctor.

“Not you as well…Frack!”

Mala didn’t have the energy to tell him were to go, the room was spinning at a rapid rate of knots, everything became hazy and blurred, he did not even recognise the face before him, blood spilt from his mouth like an animal frothing at the mouth in anger.

Jerona ran out the room and locked the door he turned to his two guards “No one goes in there! Not until the Doc gets here”

He looked at the door and wiped his hands over his eyes, unaware of the small drop of blood that was on the back of his hand and was even now making its way into his blood stream.
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The Blessed forced its way through the warp, drawing ever closer to their destination: a place called Ricirious Primary. Populated with over seven billion people, it was a crossroads between star systems, a supply dock and fitting world, a stable platform where the hives produced ore and fuel for the Emperor’s armies.

Two days remained before the Blessed could exit the warp, but what would remain of its crew and the armies trapped within?

Disease, infection and death made its way from the lower decks to the upper and inner decks with as much force as a solar wind. The purification filters could not halt the flow of airborne germs; they became dark within seconds and became brittle to the touch within minutes, before finally collapsing from their stands within hours.

Thirty percent of the crews and forty percent of the military might upon the Blessed had become bed ridden and helpless. So far the survival rate once the sickness was discovered within a host was zero percent. Once the sickness had its grip upon the flesh of a man he was dead within hours.

Fear and dismay filled the hearts and minds of every human being within the confines of the Blessed and even the assurance of the Astartes being aboard could not quench the terror of meeting their end in sickness.

Twelve hours had passed since the power fluctuation had been detected. The dead were being stored within the confines of an empty storage deck. Already there were twelve thousand souls that had been laid like corkwood, one upon another, row upon row and more were being added by the minute.

In the darkness of the chamber a body slipped from the top row and slammed into the iron floor below. A bone broke, its right arm, and it was twisted in an unnatural pose pointing to the wall and then the ceiling above. A moment later the arm began to move. It shifted and slapped upon the floor before swinging back against the body that it was attached to.

The corpse lifted its head and looked around before standing upon unfeeling legs. It began to walk. Another corpse fell behind the first and then another. A body crawled from the middle of a short stack of flesh. They moved from the back of the massive storage space, silent, breathless and mindless. They moved along the walls and bumped against each other in the darkness. Within minutes nearly twelve thousand corpses were upon their feet, shuffling shoulder to shoulder toward the closed entrance.

A moment passed and the two ton sliding doors began to open. Two men pushed a gurney bearing the bodies of fourteen of the deceased. The two living men were dressed in white haz-mat suits, protection against the germs in the air.

The doors slid all the way open before the light from the storage area flickered into life. The two men froze as the shadows beyond began to move and stumble out into the hall. The corpses on the gurney began to stir and shake as those inside drew near.

The two men in the haz-mat suits turned to run, but they were restricted by the suits weight and their own fear. Pale gray hands laid hold of them and pulled them down. The men screamed as the masses tore their face-shields away.

White eyes stared down at the men, unfeeling and without emotion. A moment passed before the carnage began and the two men were torn limb from limb and consumed.

The lower decks were flooded with the dead and no one survived to report. Alarms that could have been sounded were left unused because of the terror of the crew. Panicked crew ran for their lives screaming mindlessly unable to cope with what their eyes were seeing.

And like a flood the dead rose higher and higher and deeper until seven complete levels had been compromised. But the dead were moving elsewhere within the Blessed too. Upon every level, within every medico the sick fell into darkness and rose to consume their neighbors. The week could not fight back and the strong were consumed with their worst nightmares before they were consumed by the corpses.

Brother Captain Bi’cyrus Kricks of the Atoned stepped from the templium along with all of his brothers in arms. Their prayers had been deep and the study of the scriptorium had been soothing to the soul. All were adorned in their battle plate, ready for war if the Great Enemy should attack. Little did they know that Chaos was all around them, not just figuratively, but tangibly.

As the sacred doors beyond the templium opened the dead fell into the halls. It seemed that every person that was on board had filled the halls beyond and now were seeking the only flesh that still held the heat of life.

Kricks pulled his boltgun from its holster and fired a single shot. The bullet disintegrated the torso of the first body and did likewise to ten more. The dead moved like the waves of the sea unconcerned at the carnage of a single shot from a single Space Marine. They trampled the dead that had fallen and filled the hall.

Kricks could see that the dead were once the Emperor’s own, but he knew they were not any longer. He fired again and again and was accompanied by the Atoned. The dead continued to crawl upon broken limbs and segmented bodies separated by the wrath of exploding rounds that tore them apart. The climbed upon each other and filled the space so completely there was no space to move.

Those who were still intact pushed the broken corpses forward, their pulped flesh soaking up the destructive force of the bolters being fired.

Kircks stepped back and gave the order to retreat. It was not because they would fall, although the possibility was there, but because he realized the tactical situation. ‘The Bridge must be protected at all costs.’ he commanded. He knew it would be a brutal battle to get to the bridge, but if what he suspected was true, already the Admiral was in peril.

If the Admiral lost the bridge, the ship would fall into the endless currents of the warp. Brother Captain Bi’cyrus Kricks knew the ship was lost and had to be destroyed, but the Blessed would have to exit the warp first. If the bridge was taken there would not be any chance of escape for them. They would have to destroy the vessel and be lost with it.

One hundred Atoned could not be lost. They had to survive for the lives of billions depended upon them. They had to leave the Blessed and destroy it utterly or hundreds of worlds might be lost as well.
The fate of a legion depended upon the grace of the Emperor and the power of their will.

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Sister Cordelias backed out of her Medicare bay shooting her blessed bolter at not just staff but patients as well. She groaned as she saw the doctor, where one moment he had been struck with the fear of immobility and mouthing denials for what his eyes had seen, then he had been ripped to shreds. They had torn at his stomach like rabid wolves and when those that couldn’t get to the fresh meat reached his body they tore his limbs off; with a prayer to the Emperor she shot him in the head to ensure he did not get up again, although throne knew what he would have been like.

She felt an arm on her shoulder and went to strike whoever was behind her when a familiar voice told her to come with him. Battle Brother Yvenana Py’galis had heard the bolter fire and had seen the former Sister Hospitalier come out of her medical bay.

“You shoot them in the head Brother” She breathlessly told him “It’s the only way to keep them down”

“Isn’t that a little far fetched Sister” He jogged along the corridor with her, his Bolter sweeping from side to side.

“Do you have any better ideas?” She snapped as she fired her Bolter at what had once been the Chief Engineer.

She felt a moment of satisfaction that the mans cruelty had come back to bite him on the arse but then chastised herself and – assuming they got out of here alive – would do some penance for such thoughts.

Py’galis watched the body fall with a clean round to the head and shook his head “In the head it is then Sister. We are to fall back to the bridge; the Captain believes that is where they are heading.”

“It would make sense. They are mindless beings but they retain a little memory, however they have an insatiable need to feed” She informed him as they headed down the tech labs which would bring them out with the other Atoned.

“Have you seen this kind of plague before Sister?” He asked snapping a round off at two technicians as they lumbered out of the labs.

“Too many times Brother Py’galis” She sighed “When the bastard sons of Mortarion came to rest on my home world, it is how I ended up joining the sisterhood”

He glanced her way, and went to pull her away when she span round and with her sword she took the half eaten womans head off her shoulders then stomped on the head several times. Py’galis cursed himself for forgetting that the Sisterhoods were not just trained in their specific schools but were fairly good fighters. Limited enhancements to allow them to do their holy work but they were still better then most mortals. He nodded his respect to her

“Then we had better make sure we get you to the Captain in one piece. He will want to know what you know Sister”

“He shall Brother” They both began to sprint.

Security Chief Cohl was having enough problems of his own. Half his security team had descended into the gunnery crews when news of the dead coming back to life had reached him. He had tried to contact the Bridge but as yet had not received any orders. He assumed the Astartes would deal with that, he had to restore order.

What had been a squad of over fifty was now reduced to ten and he couldn’t get hold of the other teams, he had to assume that they had been overwhelmed and well…. dead. It was a hollow thought in his mind that the Emperors own people could kill each other, they were supposed to be killing the arch-enemy not each other.

He tapped one of his officers shoulders “Hold the line I am going to see if I can get hold of the bridge”

Security officer Melaka nodded and taking aim fired her shotgun into the head of an on coming Imperial Guardsman. She briefly clasped her Aquila and muttered a prayer to the Emperor then relayed the Chiefs’ orders down the line.

Cohl threw down the vox in agitation when once more his pleas to the bridge went unheeded. Either they had problems up there or the Old Man was in denial about what was actually going on here. He heard a female voice call his name and recognised the Sisters tone.

“Chief Cohl, can you hear me?”

“Yes Sister I hear you but we are a little busy here right now”

“Fall back towards the bridge, The Astartes are here and want any armed force that have not become – have not succumbed to fall back to the bridge and shoot them in the head it is the only way to keep them down!”

“Understood Sister” He set the vox down and turned to see Mala come through the door and it broke the Chiefs heart to see his friends’ appearance.

Mala had been a joker in his own way, and he had more fights then a pole cat but he was good at his job and always had been a likeable chap, many had believed he should have been the Chief with the old one died but he was happy to tend his stations and the systems.

Now he was a shadow of his former self, he was not bitten so the Chief assumed he had gone the way of Omalis. Many of those that had succumbed were not bitten maybe thirty or forty but in that short space of time they had more then made a meal of the rest of the crew.

Mala’s eyes were dead, glazed over but somewhere deep within an unholy light shone, an ancient need and one that Cohl was beginning to know well. He had seen it more times these last few days then he had in his entire life.
He held his Las-Pistol and raised a hand

“Mala, come on now back off”

The shuffling engineer stopped for a moment and looked to the Chief like he could understand him. He heard the screams as the last remaining members of his squad were overwhelmed by the hordes coming towards them. He heard Las shots as the few survivors turned their weapons on themselves,
something that had all said they would do to prevent becoming one of them.
He returned his full attention to his friend and aimed his pistol

“Damn it Mala, now I’ll never get to hear that joke”

The slow moving creature that had been Kelvin Mala suddenly moved fast, faster then the dead should ever walk and smacked Cohls weapon out of his hand, then like a venomous snake he sank his teeth into the Cohls neck and began to rip and tear, drinking the blood like a thirsty man and eating like a starving dog the last thing Cohl saw before his friend ended his life was the dead look had become suddenly animated once more.

Sister Cordelias looked at Py’galis and shook her head as she heard the sounds of feeding over the open vox link the Security Chief had left open. With a sinking feeling they both headed for where the other Atoned were before they too were caught up in the tide of walking stinking dead.

Last edited by gothik; 02-27-12 at 08:46 PM.
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Default Chapter 7


‘Beat them back. Strike them down and send them back to the warp where they came from!’ Brother Captain Bi’cyrus Kricks shouted over the shriek of his chain sword and the blasting of his holy bolter.

Brother Sergeant Gom’el Niiv stood shoulder to shoulder with his Captain, teeth gritted in frustration and bitter hatred for what Chaos was able to do. The dead clogged the halls for as far as the eyes could see in the gloomy shadows. There was no reasonable explanation as to why the Blessed refused to give its light; it was as if the Blessed could see the horrors walking, crawling, clawing and squirming through its body. The Blessed was seeking to shut out the lights and hide like a small child in the night. The Blessed was afraid, its spirit terrified that the monsters would claim it in the light.

‘Hate the unclean, detest the wicked, have no mercy upon those who give themselves over to Chaos!’ the Chaplin intoned as he wielded his chosen warhammer. It was infused with the spirit of fire and wherever it struck lightning flashed and bodies burned. Against a mortal foe the hammer was a terrifying thing to behold; the many torments the Chaplin could inflict upon the enemy devastating. But these were not the living who could feel fear, but the dead who did not even remember their own names.

‘Strike them down for they are no longer our brothers, but the hosts of Chaos; curse that unholy name.’ he continued. As the Atoned marched and fought, the dead fell and were trampled upon by armored feet, shod for war. But even as the dead fell they continued to fight.

The dead clawed at their legs as they passed them by and ground them underfoot. They broke their teeth upon the boots but they did not feel it. Their limbs were crushed and ripped asunder, but they did not care, nor did they understand that they were cast down.

The Atoned marched, a hundred strong, but because of the confines of the corridors they could only stand shoulder to shoulder; therefore they adjusted to their environment and lengthened their spacing. Four strides separated the front two Space Marines from the next two and four strides from them to the next and so on it went.

Brother Captain Bi’cyrus Kricks and Brother Sergeant Gom’el Niiv were the first two at the forefront of the column. They were the spear head that entered the body of the enemy. They separated the flesh so their Brothers behind them could strike the organs and the bone.

The goal was not to kill every lost soul before them, but to hammer a path to the bridge. Emperor willing, the Admiral would have realized the danger presented and locked the security doors and shut off the elevators. Hopefully he secured the ventilation systems and put down any of his bridge crew who may have turned. Kricks hoped so, but deep down he worried that it was not too be.

The chainsword screamed and wailed as its blessed blades consumed cursed flesh and tormented bone. Bodies fell to the floor in clumps of severed arms, heads, legs and torsos. Blood caked the walls, ceiling and floors. Black blood coated the armor of the Space Marines. Flesh slapped against the faceplate of Gom’el Niiv as it was flung from the swirling teeth of the chainsword. The flesh stuck to the eyepiece and momentarily obstructed his view.

In the brief moment it took for him to pull the sticky flesh away the enemy was upon him, striking his armored form with bloodied hands and laying siege to his shell with bleach-white teeth.

The sheer weight of the corpses sought to pull him down, but he surged forth with his anointed power fist and ripped their frail bodies apart, smashing the dead to the floor, pulping bone and skulls with every swing of his electrified weapon. Energy was released and bodies popped and fell like popcorn in a kiln.

‘Will you stop playing with them, Niiv? Now is not the time for fun.’ Kricks bellowed as he fired his bolter and destroyed seven corpses.

‘I do not play with them, Captain. Flesh from your reckless swinging of that toothpick blinded me for a moment, so I was forced to feel my way through as a child in the dark.’ Niiv retorted. He was too angry with himself for faltering to realize that Kricks was joking.

‘Faith and honor!’ Kricks shouted. Those behind him fallowed the course, ‘Honor and peace through killing our enemies and the Atonement of our shame.’

After what seemed to be days of fighting, but in reality had only been hours, the Atoned caught first sight of the massive arched doors that led to the bridge of the Blessed. Before them stood servitors from the retooling bay. Their altered forms supported hydraulic drills, hammers, presses and torque devices. Some held blurring blades that resembled chainswords, but were nearly triple the length and double the thickness, trenching tools meant for earth work.

As the Atoned emerged from the shadows of the darkened halls the servitors, tainted from infection and altered by the Mechanicium stopped trying to tear the bridge doors apart. Slowly they turned their dead eyes upon the Atoned.

The hall opened into a small area before the iron doors. This was the place where the Atoned began to fall. A trenching tool tore through the armored form of Brother Izak Mastrol and ripped his body into paste. His bones were shattered and splintered and cast from his form. The blood and bones covered those nearby.

Brother Klor Sander fell to a hydraulic hammer that slammed into his chest. The armor folded in upon itself crushing the sternum and breaking the ribs. One heart burst instantly while the other failed to function because of the turned rib spearing it.

The dead masses the Atoned had fought to get through to reach the bridge crawled and pulled their broken bodies through the slippery sanguine fluid, through severed limbs and spilt intestines, through torn flesh and broken bones. They were joined also by the shambling masses untouched by the carnage of battle.

A wall of the dead behind them and the altered forms of the corpse servitors before them, the Atoned surged to meet the challenge. Brother Chalos Blae Fired his bolter into the face of a massive servitor wielding a massive set of sheers. The corpse thing fell instantly as its head was pulped by the mass reactive shell.

He fired again and took off the arm of a servitor with a hydraulic hammer. The arm fell away spinning into the masses, but the unfeeling foe did not hesitate in its attack. The hammer came up in a flash and slammed into the Space Marines right leg. The leg was blasted backward by the hammer blow and Blae fell forward onto his face in the blink of an eye.

Before his brothers could come to his rescue the hammer came down again onto the fallen warrior’s head and smashed it flat like a can in a press. Blood and brain matter erupted like past in a bag being stomped upon. The body kicked three times before stopping and finely becoming still.

Brother Cree Hes swung his chainsword and decapitated the monstrosity. It fell spewing blood and hydraulic fluid into the air.

The dead shambled into the fray unheeding of the carnage taking place. The dead did not care about the chainswords or the bolters or the hammers or power fists; they did not fear the living, for their purpose was to consume the flesh of the living. The predator does not fear the prey.

They flooded into the battle and clogged every avenue of movement. While they seethed into the combat area the servitors continued to hammer, cut and besiege the Atoned.

One swung a trenching tool the length of two Space Marines combined, its whirring teeth ate the dead and the living as well. Blood, bone, limbs, crap, intestines, lungs and legs spattered and exploded as the seething blades ripped, mulched and stripped the soft meat before them. The dead did not care about their plight, but the living screamed as their bodies fell apart and was consumed by the relentless hoards.

Already seventeen Space Marines were dead while three more had been pulled down and were being set upon. Seven had been severely injured, blood flowing freely from severed limbs and crushed, pulped flesh.

Brother Fer’Klenus turned slowly and attacked Brother Nios Lop. The attack was unexpected, but weak. ‘What are you doing, Brother?’ Lop asked. The Space Marine did not answer, but tried to attack again using his severed arm.

A bolt round entered through the eyepiece and exploded Brother Fer’Klenus’s skull. He fell like a rock from a cliff. Lop was shaken by the moment and almost lost his balance from the sickness he felt. Seeing his Brother cast down by his Captain was unfathomable.

‘The virus from their blood mixed with our Brother’s. I granted him mercy.’ Kricks said as he thrust his chainsword through the head of a servitor covered in blood and grease. ‘Even our gene-hanced physiology cannot save us from direct infusion of their blood into ours.’

No one spoke as they took in the reality of the situation. Those who were bleeding from open wounds would most likely become one of these things. There had been seven with such injuries, one had turned and was executed while the others fought on helpless to interfere. The other six Atoned began to faultier in their fighting, becoming more and more weary as it were. The enemy was upon them, but they no longer seemed to care.

They were no longer themselves and as they turned the Captain shouted, ‘Grant them the Emperor’s mercy.’

Tears ran down his face even as Kricks fired upon those who had been under his command; even as he fired upon his Brothers, even as he took the head from his long time friend, Brother Sergeant Gom’el Niiv.

They continued to fight even though the odds were against them, even though the masses surrounded them, even though their Brothers fell before them. The Atoned would never give up for they were the Emperor’s right hand, but Brother Captain Bi’cyrus Kricks knew that if they did not get help soon no amount of prayer or battle would save them. They would be dead and most likely turned for the purposes of Chaos.

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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