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Icon The Awakening(PLEASE REVIEW)

CHAPTERS 1-3 REVISED, CHAPTERS 4-6 ADDED.

Prologue

And as I looked at the shadow in the dim light, seeming larger than the Mechanicus Titans from my place crawling on the floor, I knew this must end. I dipped my being into the warp one last time, letting it embrace me and enter me…and I brought the ceramite bunker down around us. I felt warm blood escaping my nostrils from the psychic burst of power, and as it stained my teeth, I mocked the shadow’s screams with a grin. In my final breaths, I rasped “Game over.”

Chapter 1
Appropriately...


5 years earlier, in the snowy backwaters of Cadia...

I concentrated on the screen of the auspex in my hand, scanning the deserted field for any sign of security or life. The soft beeps eased my boredom and my worries.

“Damn this snow! It will get into my servos and rust them, and then what use will I be? None at all, just a pile of scrap metal and human flesh! Vixus, what are you picking up on the auspex?”

I looked behind me at my companions. I was traveling with a tech priest named Quint, almost a walking stereotype. Hunched over and more machine than man, he was exactly what I had expected. I was surprised Inquisitor Gausen had taken him on. Sitting on a rock and looking out at the small shack in the field was Krell, a hulking beast of a man, unaffected by the cold. “All that hair must be warm...” I thought to myself.

We were acolytes of Inquisitor Gausen of Ordo Hereticus, on a standard kill-and-acquire mission. At least, this would have been a normal mission, if I had not been instructed to not use any of my psychic power. As it was, it would be a challenge for me.

Quint stopped trying to keep snow from his cybernetics, and then looked at me. “Gausen.”

I nodded, tapping my helmet vox-link to establish a connection with the Inquisitor. “Field is clear; we’re ready to move in sir.”

“Go. Remember, keep it simple.”

I flicked the kill setting on my las carbine, and shot two fingers towards the shack. We sprinted across the field, and took our positions by the door. Krell lit the pilot light on his flamer, and kicked the door off its rusted hinges. We moved into the shack, to find nothing except shelves full of jarred organs, and a ceramite door and code-pad set into the back wall of the wood shack. Quint holstered his plasma pistol, taking a look at the door. He took off his gloves, pressing the electro-graft in his palm against the codepad.

A few moments later, grey was replaced with black as the door opened with a spark from the codepad. Krell took point, the pilot light of his flamer lighting the way. As we went down, we began to hear loud chanting, and the smell of incense wafted up the stairs.

The stairway ended in a corridor, from which we could smell the sour copper of long-ago spilled blood mixing with the woody earth aroma of the incense. Signs were carved and written on the walls, the sight of them putting an unpleasant taste in my mouth. The main attraction was undoubtedly the appalling display by the cultists. They chanted and prayed as their leader repeatedly sunk his blade in and out of a screaming man. The leader gleefully laughed as blood spurt from the wounds, spraying across his robes. The man squirmed and writhed on the stone altar, his screams fading away a moment later.

Krell soon recovered from the shock of the sight, and the back line of cultists was drenched in burning promethium in retribution for the man. I crouched, took aim and fired a blast into the crowd as they began to turn.
Quint fired several blasts from his plasma pistol into the crowd, hitting one of the cultists in the side of the head. As his brain superheated and exploded from inside his skull, the leader tore his ceremonial blade out of the sacrifice and threw the body at us, running down a side passageway and abandoning his followers as they burned.

“Fight through! We have to get a hold of him before he gets away!” I emphasized this with a blast from my lasgun into the horde of cultists.
Another swath of fire and the cultists were burning, but they were not dead. They ran toward us, a screaming and cackling mass of crazed wretches. Quint launched a fragmentation grenade into their midst from his wrist-mounted launcher, and those who did not fall fled to the side passageways.
I leapt over the smoking heaps and ran down the corridor, to find a gas grenade rolling at me. I kicked it backwards, motioning for Krell and Quint behind me to move quickly. We ran to the end of the hall, making a quick turn right directly into three cultists holding autoguns. I threw myself to the floor to avoid the shots, and to avoid Krell’s devastating flame. I stood, and nodded to Krell in thanks, then looked down the corridor.

“Emperor damn this place! How many of them are there?” I exclaimed, breathing heavily. We ran down the hallway, finding a dead end. We turned around just as we heard a scream, a cultist with a grenade belt worn like a necklace running toward us, two more coming behind him and firing at us with autopistols. Krell denied his own death, kicking the maniac back towards his fellows.

He went up like an overcharged las power pack, giving his comrades pauses as they shielded their heads with their arms. “Leave one alive!” I yelled out, luckily before Krell opened up with his flamer. Quint killed the one nearest the turn with a shot from his plasma pistol, and I ran to the other one, slamming the stock of my lasgun into his head.

I grabbed him by the collar, slamming him to the floor. “Where did he go?!” I yelled. The cultist looked dazed, and I shook him, and repeated the question. “Who?” he asked, confused. “The man slicing open one of your “friends” on the altar, you throne-damned fool!” “H- He went to his quarters...down the hall.” I hit him with the stock again, knocking him out, and ran down the hall.

We went to the other end of the hall, and as I kicked open the door I saw five guns already aimed at me. I dodged to the outside doorframe as las-fire shot through the doorway, hitting Quint in shoulder. I ran forward, grabbing him and pulling him to relative safety, and looked for Krell. I saw him down the corridor, turning an adjacent hall into flame as cultists tried to overwhelm him.

I unclipped a hallucinogen grenade from my belt and tossed it in, pulling the respirator mask attached to the side of my helmet over my mouth and nose and going in. They were screaming, some writhing on the ground while some shot invisible targets. I brought my lasgun up and shot each through the chest.

As I began to look for other targets, I heard an angry buzzing, then a high-pitched squeal as the front halve of my lasgun was cleaved through by a chainsword. I dropped the useless hunk of metal, and rolled to the side, and stopped briefly to look at my attacker.

It was the one who had sacrificed the cultist, alright. A flak vest had been pulled on over the robes, but I could tell it was him. I reached to my waist, drawing my chainsword and flicking the ignition switch. I could see his eyes narrow, and I raised my blade, just in time to stop his. Sparks of fire shot from the strike, our chainswords whining.

He backed off, raising a hand. The next moment, I was slammed into the walls of the bunker, sinking to the floor. I fended off another psychic attack with one of my own, pulling a glow lamp off the wall and slamming it into his head. I took the moment he was dazed to charge him, swinging my chainsword in an arc that would rip his head from his shoulders, but at the last moment he raised his sword to block.

We broke the sword-lock and swung again. Our chainswords nicked each other as they passed, slowing and re-directing both. My swing went wide, grazing his legs. Metal shards began to pepper my face as his chainsword sawed through my helmet and respirator mask. My roll to the side saced me from certain death.

I tore my helmet off, my hair falling around me, black as my opponent’s soul.As he struck with his sword again, I ducked under the blow, thrusting up under his ribcage. As the teeth chewed through his armor, then through him, shards of bone and wet globs shot out. I twisted my wrist to the right as I ripped it out, slicing through his heart and tearing the entry wound further. With his last breaths, he took one last feeble swing at me, which I instinctively and foolishly attempted to block with my hand. It sawed through my right arm, just below the shoulder. As my fallen limb spasmed on the floor, I remember hearing a scream form somewhere.

Then the pain hit, racking my body.”Throne help me my damn arm my arm my arm I can’t feel my damn arm where is my arm cultist bastards whore-sons of chaos motherfrakker…” It felt like my arm was asleep, pins and needles at first. Then it just wasn’t there, and as the air hit it I felt it slice through. I could feel the muscles pumping out blood. Soon I was in a puddle of it, the smell was horrible, and it was everywhere. And it was mine.

I knew I must disobey my master at this point, or die. I dipped my mind into the warp, letting a hand rest on the spurting stump. I found myself immersed in the Warp, and desperately yanked myself out with what energies I could grab. Skin and bone were mended, but it was still a stump. Blood loss and more power than I had ever used had left me overcome, and I fell unconscious to the sound of Quint’s servos whining as he rushed to me, and cultists screaming as they burned.



Chapter 2
An Awakening


I woke up later, my head bouncing on Krell’s back. We were apparently leaving, as I saw stairs beneath us. I started to struggle, so he put me down. Quint stopped up ahead and looked back to see the cause of delay, looking very shaken up. “He awake? We need to get out there, the Inquisitor is waiting for us, need to move, need to move...”

Krell looked at me, and nodded to my stump. “I’ll be fine, I can walk. Thank you.” He nodded once more, and kept going up the stairs, me in his trail. As I stumbled out of the shack, the cold winds hit me like a slap in the face, even more than the sudden appearance of Inquisitor Gausen standing with a squad of soldiers, a woman in a black body glove and feudal plate standing beside him. The squad moved in after us, most likely to eliminate any remaining cultists.

I saw Quint hand Gausen the book, a small black journal covered in strange blood-red symbols that it hurt to look at. Approaching Gausen, I felt enraged at his sub-standard intel on what to expect. “‘Light Resistance’? There was a bloody garrison in there! By the Throne, it’s like a maze once you get to the tunnels! The leader was a damned witch! We almost died in there!”
He glanced at my stump, mostly covered by the ragged remains of the tattered robe I had been wearing. He then struck me across the face, sending me sprawling in the snow as if I had been hit by a Thunder Hammer.”Remember your place, Acolyte. This was a test.” He got on one knee, grabbed what remained of my arm, and dislocated the shoulder of my already ravaged arm, grimacing at my scream. He whispered into my ear “You failed.”

I was dragged by one of the troops onto Gausen’s personal Dauntless-class ship, the Sol Invictus. As I was dragged up the ramp where Quint and Krell looked on in anger and amazement at the Inquisitor’s brutality, I spat blood into the trooper’s face. I would spend the night in the on-ship medical center, having a cybernetic arm attached after they fixed my shoulder. We then took off on a journey to the hive world of Scintilla in the Calixis Sector of Segmentum Obscurus.

The next day, I was sitting in my meager room aboard the ship, cleaning my chainsword meticulously of bits and pieces from the cult leader. The door opened, light flooding into the dim room. I squinted, looking up to see the woman I had seen with Gausen earlier standing in the doorway. She was dressed in a black bodyglove with a dark jacket, her hair black with streaks of red through it.

She considered my new arm for a moment. I wasn’t surprised; I had chosen to have it coated in protective substances, but left bare of fake skin.

“Vixus Kragov, correct?” She asked.

I nodded.

“Come with me.”

I stood, pulling a weather-worn sea-green trench coat on over the black shirt I had been wearing. She tossed me my sword belt, and I sheathed my chainsword and strapped it on.

We left my room and I followed her down the brightly lit corridor, the walls furnished with glorified depictions of Gausen’s victories. I scowled at it, much to the amusement of the woman, who chuckled at my expression.
We stopped outside of Gausen’s room. I looked at her, confused, but she simply smirked and reached into her sleeve, taking out a thick black cord with a reflective circle at one end and a small wafer-sized screen on the other. She tapped the screen, and the circle’s lens opened up, revealing it was a small camera. She slipped it under the door, and I watched the screen with great interest.

It showed Gausen at his desk, a single desk lamp on, shining on a book he was reading. She thread more of the wire under the door and angled it so his desk could be seen. He was examining a book with a black cover and...It was the book from the cultist base! He was reading it with great interest, translating its words on an opposite page. The screen turned black as she tapped it again, and slid the wire back up her sleeve. She grinned viciously at me, to see me echoing her expression.

“So good ol’ puritan Gausen’s turned out to be a bit of a radical, eh?” I looked at the woman, examining her and giving a brief psychic push to “convince” her to speak truthfully. “Why are you showing me this? Who are you?”

“I show you this because we both want him to fall out of the power he’s granted himself. My name is not important, but you can call me Seraph.”

I gave a joking sigh and with a mental push said “Is there really need for the cloak and dagger act?”

“I suppose not. My name is Sophia Lanin. Charmed.” She said with a wink and a smile.

I began to speak, when we heard a chair scraping back inside the room. She whispered in a quick voice “You have to steal the book and his translations, for evidence, lest he suspect and destroy them. Do not read either, however. We can’t have two heretics on this ship.”

I nodded, and then we sprinted off in opposite directions, me to my room, her to Emperor knows where. That night, I did not sleep, thoughts of what to do running through my head.

The next day, I was called into Gausen’s office.






Chapter 3
Odd Occurrences
I walked through the doors to find him sitting at his desk. He seemed startled by my presence, and quickly stashed several sheets of paper inside a drawer of his desk. He turned to me, and the circles underneath his eyes and his worn expression, he had spent the night with the book.

“Yes? What is it, I am incredibly busy.”

“You called me, Inquisitor.”

He seemed confused for a moment, then nodded.

“The incident on Cadia. You were instructed to not use your…abilities. “

“Sir, I would have died.

He muttered under his breath sarcastically, “Another psyker gone...oh no!”

“Sir?”

“Nothing. I’ve read your file. It has some…gaps. Where were you born? And when?”

“Why do you need to know?”

“Remember your place.” He hissed. I sighed under my breath, and hesitantly told him.

“I was born aboard my father’s ship, the Emperor’s Outcast, while in warp travel to Gudrun for trading. That was approximately twenty four standard years ago.”

“Void born…interesting. Who were your parents?”

“My father was a Rogue Trader named Matin Kragov, born on Cadia. My mother was named Izahbellah, born on a Shrine World, I’m not sure which. She died giving birth to me. If I may ask, sir, what do you need this information for?”

His expression had shifted from one of slight interest to surprise and…satisfaction? He was trying to find something about me, or my parents. I just had to find out what.

He stood from the desk, going to his liquor cabinet and getting two glasses and a bottle of some thick, brown liquid. He poured out two drinks, looking deep in thought as he did so. As he handed me one of the glasses, he knocked back his own.

“When we reach Hive Tarsus, you will accompany me throughout the city and serve as a bodyguard. You are dismissed.”

I nodded, finishing my drink and setting the empty glass on the desk as I left. As I walked out of the room, I could feel him watching me. After a quick check of my chrono, I went to the common room to look for Quint and Krell.

As I walked, thoughts and suspicions raced through my head. Why was he appointing me as his bodyguard? It made no sense.

As I entered the common room, I saw Krell and Quint sitting in a corner table, their backs turned to me as if they were in discussion with someone. As I drew nearer, I saw they were speaking to Seraph. They turned and nodded to me, and I sat at the table, looking at the group with a confused stare.

Seraph turned to me with a serious expression on her face.

“I saw you going into Gausen’s quarters. Do you have the book?”

“You’re watching me now?”

“Answer the question.”

“No. He called me in, appointed me his bodyguard, dismissed me.”

She sighed, and then nodded. “Shame the chance didn’t present itself. Yes, they have been made aware of what is happening. He appointed you as his bodyguard? Odd… he either trusts you, something I very much doubt, or you are a weak point to his plans. Friends close, enemies closer, right?”

“I suppose. Who is it you’re working for? Why are you doing this?” As I spoke, I layered my will over my voice, only to be met with a mental wall.

She responded with a smug smirk. “ Nice try. Since you’re so insistent, I’ll tell you. I work for the Emperor and his Imperium of Man through the Officio Assassinorum, with the Venenum Temple. I was sent to investigate your Inquisitor’s odd actions lately, and to determine whether this is heresy apparent within the Inquisitor or his followers.”

“You saw the same I did yesterday, why don’t you turn him in now?”

I heard a mechanic click from Quint’s throat. “ Because, Vixus. She doesn’t have any evidence.”

“Not only that, I want to see how far this may go. Not to mention direct involvement from the Imperium, especially the Officio Assassinorum would throw him off, might make him run.Each of us will play a part in this. Vixus, you’ll steal the book, since you can hide yourself in the shadow of the Warp, and watch his movements on Scintilla through your new position.Krell will hide the books and the translations in his own quarters, since he would be the last to be suspected.Quint will watch the data-nets for suspicious messages. I will try and determine his plans. He believes me to be an ambassador from Luna, and will try to keep me out of his affairs. You may have to do some meddling, Vixus, and try to keep me there as often as possible.”

“Hold on.I’m being put in the most risk here.Since when did I agree to this?”

“Since he beat you down in the snow.”

I frowned, looking down and falling silent.

Seraph rose from her seat, making a short bow. “I must take my leave. If you have need of me, I am residing in the Ambassador’s quarters. Knock thrice to signal it is one of you. Vixus. You must take the book tonight. If he has lost his prize, he will become hasty and desperate in his actions on Scintilla. I can not stress enough that you are not to read any of his writings. Just a glance of these kinds of texts can turn someone to do unspeakable things.”

I nodded, and watched briefly as she left. Afterwards, Quint stood, frowning, and shuffled out of the common room.I looked to Krell, who was staring at the table and scowling. “What’s your take on this?” He looked up from the table, and sighed. “Too risky. This is an Inquisitor, a servant of the Emperor. His methods are harsh but…heresy? Acting on little more than a rumor is unreliable… This could cost us our lives.”

“I agree. But it’s our duty to weed out any hint of heresy.We have to at least investigate. “

He nodded reluctantly.

“So…do you think we can trust her?”

“I’m not sure. She seems to mean well enough, but she is from the Officio Assassinorum. I find it more likely than not that we are part of a bigger game we aren’t aware of yet.”

Hearing him speak was surprising. I expected him to sound angry, ready for battle. Instead he just sounded tired, and worried. For him to be the voice of reason made me feel ashamed, for some reason, like I had been scolded. I hadn’t expected him to be so logical…never hearing someone speak can mislead you. He was right, though. I left to do my task conflicted, but know this was what I must do. As I walked, I thought of the past.


Chapter 4
Somewhere in the Immaterium, 24 Years Ago.
The pilot focused on his screens, trying not to look up at the viewports where the Warp lied beyond. Even though the ceramite blind-screens had risen up from inside, he shuddered to think of the swirling chaos and confusion. He began to think of his younger days, and his younger self.

He thought of his first day in service with the Imperial Guard, uniform crisp and gleaming, confidence and pride soaring.

He thought of his regiment’s first victory, a small rebellion crushed on the hive world of Mastus IV. The gangers had been taken down with little effort, and the nobles put back in power.

He thought of Ferok, where he had encountered psykers for the first time in battle. They had gone rogue, driven mad from the Warp. They had first turned the lower hive levels to their cause through wealth, then the middle hives by false promises. Those who resisted were murdered, and the hive rose up against it’s masters, slaughter and crime filling the streets. As his regiment had attacked the hive along with the Volpone Bluebloods, fire had rained down from the psyker’s combined power, wiping out two-thirds of his regiment.

He thought of three months later, when the hive was finally taken back, and as his Commissar came out of orbit to gain the glory of executing them. He had nightmares of them rising up and finishing him for months.

He thought of Xankime, where the regiment’s commissar had sealed himself inside a bunker with his lieutenants to hide from an aerial bombing by the rebelling forces, leaving his soldiers to die.

He thought of Valmeth, where an entire planet’s innocent citizens had been butchered by him and his comrades because a Xenos artifact was found and they were infected. Later examinations of the corpses revealed there was never any disease.

He thought of his desertion, his desperate flight to Gudrun,fleeing the horrors of war, stowed away on a ship with 5 criminals escaping capture.He remembered getting off the ship as the planet celebrated the creation of it’s newest regiment.

He thought of his first time meeting his now-wife, 7 years ago on the day he arrived on Gudrun. He thought of their unborn child, resting within her womb.

At that moment, the intercom signal went off, yanking him away from his thoughts. “Matin..the baby is coming!” He could hear his wife’s frantic panting as she spoke, and was already turning on the autopilot. He rose from his chair, rushing to their rooms onboard the ship.

As he entered the room, he saw his wife laying in bed, sweating, pain on her face. “You know what you’re doing…” he muttered to himself, though he knew it was just a comforting lie. Over the next hours, he would swing from panic to denial as his wife went through birth.

Finally, the baby came, crying and screaming at this new bright world. It was the most beautiful sound in the world to him.”It’s a boy!” He said, tears of joy rolling down his face. He wiped the baby off with a cloth and wrapped it, and held his son for the first time, smiling.

His wife, breathing heavily, smiled. “Let me see him too, Matin.” She laughed softly as he was reluctant to let go, and reached out as he handed it to her. Gently rocking it, she soothed the baby’s crying. As the baby reached out to her face, pawing at her chin, she said “Let’s name him Vixus. Vixus Kragov.”

Just then, she smiled, but her eyes dimmed, and began to close. Her arms started to fall from her chest, her grip on Vixus loosening. The last she heard was her son’s crying, and her husband screaming.

“Izahbellah? Izahbellah!”

The ship jolted as they came out of warp travel.





Chapter 5
Warp Shadows
I stopped in front of Gausen’s door. Reaching into the warp, I filled the area around me with static, disrupting any cameras or bugs in his room, and clad myself in the warp’s shadows. I put my ear to the door, listening. Nothing.
I slammed my boot into the codepad beside the door, sparks and colored bits of electronic falling to the floor. The door juddered open, and I crouched inside, going to the desk and flicking on the lamp, and began to search through it.

I tossed papers out, pulled drawers out of their rollers, and rifled through every cranny of it. There was not time to be neat. Finally, I found the book. Now that I saw it closer, it was a truly awful thing. The cover was blackened skin, Chaos symbols written all over it. It seemed to tremble with the power it contained. In the center, there was the title: Ahzek’s Donum of Scientia.

I felt a powerful temptation to read it, to gain the forbidden knowledge hidden inside. I opened the cover uncontrollably, and saw the translations tucked inside, reminding me of what I needed to do. I tore myself from the book’s grasp, feeling as if my mind had been torn as I did so. I slammed the book shut, tucking it in my coat, feeling it’s icy touch still.

I turned towards the entrance to leave, but backed to the wall as I heard someone walking outside.The sound stopped, then intensified as they ran to the room. Inquisitor Gausen burst into the room, frantically looking about for an intruder. He ran straight past my shadowed self, to the drawer where the book had been. As he began to desperately search, I slipped out the door.
I began to ran down the hallway, Gausen’s incoherent screams of rage echoing behind me, chasing me. “Too close..too close..much too close..” I told myself that I was talking about being caught by Gausen, but I knew that wasn’t the truth.

My sprint ended as I reached Krell’s room. I slammed my fist on the door three times, letting my focus drop as I did so, revealing myself just as Quint opened the door. He rushed me inside, looking both ways down the hall and closing the door.

Krell was sitting on his bed, and from his expression, he and Quint had been echoing I and Krell’s conversation earlier. I ripped the book out of my coat, letting it fall to the nightstand. I sank into a chair, exhausted.

Quint looked at it. “Is that..you actually…”

“Yes.”

Krell shot me a look of disapproval. He stood from the bed, reaching up to the ceiling and pushing up. One of the tiles went up, then recessed back as he slid it away. He picked up the book, holding it like it was his death, and put it up in the ceiling.

“So..it is done.”

“It was the right thing to do. His translations were there. He is a heretic.”

“How can you be so sure? We don’t know how powerful it is. It could be a bloody ledger of the cultists for all we know!”

“It has power. I could feel it, enticing me to read it. I can still feel the pain from tearing myself from it. I couldn’t fight it, I even-“ I stopped, cursing myself.

“You even what? By the Golden Throne, you didn’t read it did you? You did! You damn fool!”

“I didn’t read it! I was going to…but I restrained myself.”

“The thought shouldn’t even cross your mind.” He glared at me, I returning it, until Quint broke the silence.

“You should tell her about this.”

I nodded and stood, my legs still shaking a bit.

Quint opened the door for me, gesturing to go. “Omnissiah grant you luck. Come to my quarters afterward. We need to combat-outfit your arm before we reach Scintilla tomorrow.”

I nodded at Quint, buttoning up my trench coat and leaving the room.



Chapter 6
Interrogation
As I began making my way to Seraph’s rooms, I wondered about her. Why was she here? Was she really doing this for our benefit, or were we just tools, to be discarded and detained with Gausen when she was done with us? Why did she even need us?She was a Callidus assassin. Deceit and trickery was her temple’s trademark, she should have been able to handle this alone.

Arriving at her rooms, I hesitated before knocking. What if she was waiting in there with Gausen? I scolded myself for my silly thinking, knocking thrice on her door and waiting. A few moments later, the door was cracked, then swung open. I entered the room, and a quick skim revealed that being an Ambassador surely had it’s benefits over an Interrogator.

“You’ve acquired it?” She said from behind me.

“Yes.”

She went to my side, smirking slightly. “Did you sneak a peek?”

“Of course not. I read nothing.”

She grinned wickedly, circling me like a cat waiting to pounce on it’s prey.
“But you wanted to.”

I hesitated, watching her as she circled. “…Yes.”

“The psyker wants forbidden power for himself..but cliché don’t you think?”

I scowled. “It was the book’s power that enticed me, not my thinki-“

“LIES! You can convince yourself otherwise, but not me. I can see it in your eyes. The desire for power, to crush your foes with the force others dream of. You wanted to read it. You wanted what it offered.”

I fell silent. She was right.

“Yes! You can’t deny it, because you know it is true.”She stopped in front of me, still wearing that wicked grin plastered over her face.”It’s okay, you heretic. As long as you keep your traitorous self in check, I won’t detain you…yet.”

She opened the door, and I turned and left, speechless. I walked back to my rooms confused, and ashamed of myself. I was ready to sleep after the eventful dead, to just fall into bed and be lost in my dreams.

But not this dream. Gausen waited in front of my open door, and from my view inside he had already searched it.

“Hello, Vixus. Returning from a stroll of the ship?”I took some delight in his manner, hate hidden under a mask of innocent questions. “How has your day been? Fun? Busy?”

“Not too busy, but it has been a good one considering my new position, sir.”

“Yes, a bodyguard to an Inquisitor now. Tell me, should someone in that position be a heretic? Would they make a good bodyguard?”

“No sir, absolutely not. I don’t quite understand your direction though.”

“The book you retrieved from the psyker scum on Cadia. It’s been stolen. Who would have use of such a text but a psyker?”

“I’m not sure. I don’t know it’s contents so I can’t-“

“Cut the shit, Vixus.Empty your pockets.”

I did so, dropping a small bag of thrones onto the floor, my ID, several scraps of paper from various places,a small utility knife, a personal auspex, and filtration plugs.He took special interest in the scraps of paper, reading each carefully. He tossed them to the floor in disgust.

“I know you have it somewhere. I will find it. And when I do..” He thumbed the hilt of his power sword intimidatingly, then walked off, scowling.”

I loaded the contents back into my pockets, going into my room and straightening the worst of the mess before locking my door and falling asleep.



((This is my first time writing, and very much a rough draft. As the story continues, I have some idea of the plot and how the characters will develop, which I can tell you if your are interested. Please review this honestly, and give any tips for a beginner you can.))

Spaced paragraphs to aid readability - DTH


Last edited by VixusKragov; 03-21-12 at 01:14 AM. Reason: Adding chapters.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-12, 08:36 AM
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God.
Damn.
I love it!
I'm definatly gonna be waiting for more on this
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-12, 12:12 PM
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An engaging beginning: I am looking forward to more.

I have a couple of comments on the style:

Firstly, as he fails the test for healing himself, should this line:
"This would have been a normal mission, if I had been instructed to not use any of my psychic power. As it was, it would be a challenge for me."
be:
"This would have been a normal mission, had I not been instructed to not use any of my psychic power. As it was, it would be a challenge for me."
as it seems contradictory at the moment.

Secondly, many of your sentences have multiple clauses separated by commas. For example:
I slammed a fresh magazine into my las carbine, gestured to the shack with two outstretched fingers, and we sprinted across the field, taking positions in the doorway.
Sentences, especially in high-tension situations such as assaults, often work better if they are shorter and cover smaller amounts of detail. For instance:
I slammed a fresh magazine into my las carbine and gestured to the shack with two outstretched fingers. We sprinted across the field, taking positions in the doorway.

Last edited by Dave T Hobbit; 02-21-12 at 12:15 PM.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-12, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VixusKragov View Post
Prologue

And as I looked at the shadow in the darkness [surely you couldn’t see a shadow in darkness], seeming larger than the Mechanicus Titans from my position, a broken heap [this is a little cliché] lying on the floor, I knew this must end.

I dipped my being into the warp one last time, letting it embrace me and enter me…and I brought the ceramite bunker down around us. I felt warm blood escaping my nostrils from the psychic burst of power, and as it stained my teeth, I mocked the shadow’s screams with a grin. In my final breaths, I rasped “Game over.”


Chapter 1

Appropriately...

5 years earlier, in the snowy landscape of Cadia...

I concentrated on the screen of the auspex in my hand, scanning the deserted field for any sign of security or life. I tried to ignore the cold winds chilling me through my heavy leathers, and the snow that kept coating the screen. [we don’t need to be told about the snow, it’s implied in the dialogue.]

“Damn this snow! It will get into my servos and rust them, and then what use will I be? None at all, just a pile of scrap metal and human flesh! Vixus, what are you picking up on the auspex?”

I looked behind me at my companions. I was traveling with a tech priest named Quint, almost a walking stereotype. Hunched over and more machine than man, he was exactly what I had expected. I was surprised Inquisitor Gausen had taken him on. Sitting on a rock and looking out at the small shack in the field was Krell, a hulking beast of a man.

From what Gausen had told me, he had come from a feral world. I could believe it. He had tribal tattoos circling his arms, barely visible beneath the hair he had. By the Emperor, it was more like fur than hair. He was, appropriately, our heavy weapons expert. [this section is written more for your benefit than the reader’s. There is too much “telling”. It’d be better if you “showed” us these characters through their actions and dialogue. We don’t need to know EVERYTHING all at once. Drip fed information is better!]

We were acolytes of Inquisitor Gausen of Ordo Hereticus, and as far as I knew I was the only psyker in his group. Gausen was one of the few non-psyker Inquisitors, which made the other acolytes more comfortable, but to me it just meant that he would be suspicious of me. He had assigned us to eliminate a cultist group on Cadia to acquire a heretical text for turnover to the proper authorities. [Again, this bit would be better revealed slowly instead of outright telling.]

This would have been a normal mission, if I had been instructed to not use any of my psychic power. As it was, it would be a challenge for me.

Quint stopped futilely [it’s obvious the effort is futile, we don’t need to be told] trying to keep snow from his cybernetics, and then looked at me. “Gausen.”

I nodded, tapping my helmet vox-link to establish a connection with the Inquisitor. “Field is clear; we’re ready to move in sir.”

“Go. Remember, keep it simple.”

I slammed [when out of combat, would you SLAM In a mag? Or would it be a bit more casual. And why is he only reloading now? Have they just fired? If so, why has it not been mentioned, if not, why does he need to reload?] a fresh magazine into my las carbine, gestured to the shack with two outstretched fingers, and we sprinted across the field, taking positions in the doorway. [I would take Dave’s advice for this part]

Krell lit the pilot light on his flamer, and kicked the door off its rusted hinges. We moved into the shack, to find nothing except shelves full of jarred organs, and a suspiciously modern [so if it is suspiciously modern, then this area is quite rural and backwater? Why not let us know that in another way before this point. Then you can describe the door in such a way that it’s obviously more advanced than all the tech around it, but you’re not explicitly “telling” the reader.]door. Quint holstered his plasma pistol and took off his gloves, pressing the electro-graft in his palm against the pad next to the door.

A few moments later, the door quietly [This may be personal opinion but, as far as I’m concerened, you should NEVER used adverbs. Their weak and easy. There is always a better description to be had. Even something as simple as “the door opened in silence” is better than “quietly slid open”] slid open to reveal a dark stairway leading down. Krell took point, the pilot light of his flamer lighting the way. As we went down, we began to hear loud chanting, and the smell of incense hit us [“hit us” is a bit of a cliché]. As we went further, it only got worse. [Save this for the next paragraph somewhere perhaps?]

The stairway ended in a corridor leading to a small central room in which we could see at least ten cultists on their knees in makeshift uniforms, chanting as their leader stood at a stone altar, slicing open a cackling cultist. [this is a bit too matter of fact. Not enough emotion. How does the room smell, what scent is the insence? How does the blood smell. What else is in the room? Symbols? Candle, books?] I grimaced [grimaced is a weak description, find a more powerful emotional response.] at the sickening display. A moment later, the back line of cultists was drenched in burning promethium from Krell. I crouched, taking aim and firing [fired.] a blast into the crowd as they began to turn around. [del. Around.]

Quint fired several blasts from his plasma pistol into the crowd, hitting one of the cultists in the side of the head. As his brain superheated and exploded from inside his skull, the leader tore his ceremonial blade out of the sacrifice and threw the body at us, running down a side passageway and abandoning his followers as they burned.

“Fight through! We have to get a hold of him before he gets away!” I emphasized this with a blast from my lasgun into the horde of cultists.

Another swath of fire and the cultists were burning, but they were not dead. They ran toward us, a screaming and cackling [repetition, you used cackling in the previous paragraph] mass of crazed wretches. Quint launched a fragmentation grenade into their midst from his wrist-mounted launcher, and those who did not fall fled to fall in smoking heaps moments later.

I leapt over the smoking heaps [again, repetition.] and ran down the corridor, to find a gas grenade rolling at me. I kicked it backwards, motioning for Krell and Quint behind me to move quickly [adverb]. We ran to the end of the hall, making a quick turn right directly into three cultists holding autoguns. I threw myself to the floor to avoid the shots, and to avoid [repetition] Krell’s devastating flame. I stood, and nodded to Krell in thanks, then looked down the corridor.

“Emperor damn this place! How many of them are there?” I exclaimed, breathing heavily. We ran down the hallway, finding a dead end. We turned around just as we heard a scream, a cultist with a grenade belt worn like a necklace running toward us, two more coming behind him and firing at us with autopistols. Krell acted quickly [adverb.], kicking the maniac back towards his friends.

He went up like a supernova [very cliché], giving his friends [do mad cultists have “friends”] pause as they shielded their heads with their arms. “Leave one alive!” I yelled out, luckily before Krell opened up with his flamer. Quint killed the one nearest the turn with a shot from his plasma pistol, and I ran to the other one, slamming the stock of my lasgun into his head.

I grabbed him by the collar, slamming him to the floor. “Where did he go?!” I yelled. The cultist looked dazed, and I shook him, and repeated the question. “Who?” he asked, confused. “The man slicing open one of your friends on the altar, you throne-damned fool!” “H- He went to his quarters...down the hall.” I hit him with the stock again, knocking him out, and ran down the hall.

We went to the other end of the hall, and as I kicked open the door I saw five guns already aimed at the door. I dodged to the outside doorframe’s side as las-fire shot through the doorway, hitting Quint in shoulder. I ran forward, grabbing him and pulling him to relative safety, and looked for Krell. I saw him down the corridor, bathing [cliché] an adjacent hall in flame as cultists tried to overwhelm him.

I unclipped a hallucinogen grenade from my belt and tossed it in, pulling the respirator mask attached to the side of my helmet over my mouth and nose and going in. They were screaming, some writhing on the ground while some shot invisible targets. I brought my lasgun up and shot each through the chest.

As I began to look for other targets, I heard an angry buzzing, then a high-pitched squeal as the front halve of my lasgun was cleaved through by a chainsword. I dropped the useless hunk of metal, and rolled to the side, and stopped briefly to look at my attacker.

It was the one who had sacrificed the cultist, alright. A flak vest and chain coat had been pulled on over the robes, but I could tell it was him. I reached to my waist, drawing my chainsword and flicking the ignition switch. I could see his eyes narrow, and I raised my blade, just in time to stop his blade. Sparks of fire shot from the strike, our swords whining.

As he struck with his sword again, I ducked under the blow, thrusting up under his ribcage. As the teeth chewed through his armor, then through him, shards of bone and wet globs shot out. I twisted my wrist to the right as I ripped it out, slicing through his heart and tearing the entry wound further. With his last breaths, he took one last feeble swing at me, which I instinctively and foolishly attempted to block with my hand. It sawed through my right arm, just below the shoulder. As my fallen limb spasmed on the floor, I screamed in agony [this is very passive for someone having their limb cut off].

I knew I must disobey my master at this point, or die. I dipped my mind into the warp, letting a hand rest on the spurting stump. I found myself immersed in the Warp, and desperately yanked myself out with what energies I could grab. Skin and bone were mended, but it was still a stump. Blood loss and more power than I had ever used had left me overcome, and I fell unconscious to the sound of Quint’s servos whining as he rushed to me, and cultists screaming as they burned.
I only have time to go through the first chapter, but I've added my notes.

It's good, but there is a lot of "telling" in there. You say it's a first draft, so a lot of that stuff is subconciously there to remind you what's going on. But, we as the reader would prefer this information delivered over time and in a more interesting manner.

Keep it up!

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-12, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the reviewing. Special thanks to immortal reaper, do you edit books for a living? Would love it if you could review the rest(if you want!) because your help is awesome xD.

I did struggle with how to portray the pain of getting his arm cut off. Any suggestions?

Last edited by VixusKragov; 02-21-12 at 09:30 PM.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-12, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VixusKragov View Post
Thanks for all the reviewing. Special thanks to immortal reaper, do you edit books for a living? Would love it if you could review the rest(if you want!) because your help is awesome xD.

I did struggle with how to portray the pain of getting his arm cut off. Any suggestions?
You're most welcome.

I'm a writer too, just finishing up my degree (had a little published) But I am a stickler for editing, do a lot of editing for friends and such.

I will take a look over the rest tomorrow for you.

I think a break in the structure, for example:

la la la i'm running around all happy and merry and everything is fine with the world and I just took my dog to the parlour and it was awesome he's so cute and I have a dragon his name is bob and he likes -

- description of the pain.

Try and relate it to average pain. So maybe mention it sort of feels like his arm has gone to sleep below the cut. That sort of thing :S

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-12, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
As my fallen limb spasmed on the floor, I remember hearing a scream form somewhere.

Then the pain hit, racking my body.”Throne help me my damn arm my arm my arm I can’t feel my damn arm where is my arm cultist bastards whore-sons of chaos motherfrakker…” It felt like my arm was asleep, pins and needles at first. Then it just wasn’t there, and as the air hit it I felt it slice through. I could feel the muscles pumping out blood. Soon I was in a puddle of it, the smell was horrible, it was everywhere. And it was mine.
How is that? I tried to put some average pain relation in it, and threw some disbelief that it had happened in there too. I tried to break the structure when he talked, and threw in a good measure of swearing like most people do when they get hurt badly.

Another issue I've had is that I don't really know how to describe how he uses psychic powers. I can describe the effects, but now how he gets the energy and all that. "Dips his mind into the warp" seems sub-standard to me. Anyone have any suggestions?

I revised Chapter 1 and changed one or two things in Chapter 2, and added Chapter 3 for those interested.

Last edited by VixusKragov; 02-22-12 at 04:52 AM.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-12, 10:16 AM
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The dialogue following Kragov's meeting with Gausen seems too calm and trusting; Kragov is being asked to betray an Inquisitor by someone he does not really know so it feels unrealistic that they all talk openly and calmly about all being part of the conspiracy. I believe it would work better if the conversation was more stilted, with hesitation, evasion, and a lack of trust.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-12, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Okay. Revised their convo, tried to make it look better.Thanks Dave!

Chapters 4-7 Added


Last edited by VixusKragov; 02-26-12 at 04:01 AM.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-27-12, 01:13 AM
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Howdy bud!

First off, good start to your story. You have quite a bit of the basics down (which made this a good read) but there are some small bits and bobs you could work on. I didn't get to this until much later than I had expected so I'll be brief. Don't expect much. I'm neither a professional nor well-versed in the intimacies of the English language and all its wonderful little subtle nuances. In other words, don't expect the level of proper detail as voiced by the others. I can only tell you what sounds right to me and how I do it.

I recommend pretty much the same thing I mentioned in the PMs bud. While you have the basics down, it's in the way you execute them. At the moment, I really can't go into detail over your work. Also, it may be a day or two before I get the time. However, if you can bear with me, I will get back to you, either here or in PMs if you prefer. I am sorry about that one but I will do my best to let you know exactly what I think.

Good luck and good gaming,

Nate

"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.
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