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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-14-12, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Default [Short] An Important Lesson

An Important Lesson
by Christian D'Amico

His arms pumped like mad. The red bandana tied around his left bicep was so tight that veins bulged above and below it. The jungle foliage blurred past at an astonishing rate as he pounded through it like a grox in a stampede. His legs wouldn’t - couldn’t stop. It would be close, real close.

In his right hand he held his Fang, inverted so that the blade ran underneath the length of his forearm. His left hand was open; bolt pistol holstered as it was too wieldy for this situation. He used the free hand to react quickly to changes of direction, swinging himself around branches, tree stumps and other obstructions.

His close-cropped hair was black; not by choice, but the mud camouflage he had been using covered him head to foot. The dirt sloughed off him as he ran, offering glimpses of tanned, muscular flesh beneath. The vest top was a faded green, mixed with the mud from moving on his belly for much of the last few hours.

Swinging around the trunk of a particularly large tree, he found himself in front of a clearing. Fallen trees, branches and tall reed grass offered no clear view to the other side. He stopped for a second to gain his bearing, kneeling to feel the soil under him.

As he scooped up a handful of dirt, a series of small, needle-like darts smacked into the bole of the tree he was leaning against. A second earlier and that would have been the back of his head.

‘Won’t make that mistake again,’ he said. The lictor was closer than he had realised. Time to move again.
Launching himself into the tall grass, he slid the Fang into its sheath on his leg and used both hands to vault over obstacles, rolling and zig-zagging as he did so. The creature was metres behind him by now, using its powerful legs to spring clear of anything the Catachan tried to put between the two of them.

About halfway across the clearing, he sensed something change. Without stopping mid-jump, he looked back to check his six. There was nothing. Barely had he registered the lack of hunter when he snapped his head back around and found himself barrelling towards a pair of barbed, lethal hooks, seemingly hanging from the overhead canopy. The lictor was tailing him from above!

He ducked, turning the sprint into a roll. The right-most hook caught the top of his back as he rolled under, tearing open the vest and skin beneath in a burst of blood and pain. He roared as his body screamed at him for a moment’s respite, but he offered it none.

Springing back to his feet at the end of the roll, he barrelled on through the foliage, vaulting trunks and skidding under low branches. The lictor was shadowing the Catachan from above. He couldn’t see it but the shadow was obvious below him. His peripheral vision gave him an estimate of about ten metres or so. This was going to be close.

With a final leap from the top of a fallen tree, he cleared the clearing and landed roughly back into the jungle once more. Behind him he heard the lictor fall to the floor once more as it found its route blocked from above. A small grin appeared on the Catachan’s face as he thanked the Emperor that the creature couldn’t tell it was an artificial block. It was time for the hunter to become the hunted.

He carried on running. His blood felt like it was turning into battery acid as he sprinted through the jungle, catching a million and one nicks and cuts from the branches as he streaked past them. His body screamed for a rest, but he could afford none.

It was time, he realised. He had just passed a marker on the last tree to his right. A hundred metres to go. Chancing a look behind him, he saw it fully for the first time.

The lictor had given up with stealth. It was infuriated at the length of this chase and simply wanted its prey now. The Catachan had lured it in after laying down false track markers for days, confounding the animal and causing it all kinds of problems in the process. The creature was lagging slightly, as if on the verge of giving up the chase, but he knew it wouldn’t. Tyranids never gave up. That’s what made them the ultimate hunters.

This one, however, was about to learn a very important lesson.

Ten metres.

The lictor shrieked once more, before putting on a burst of speed that caught the Catachan by surprise. He dropped his head forward and put everything into the final sprint.

As he ran past the next tree to his left, he ducked further, drawing his shoulders in and dropping his knees slightly. He drew his blade in his left hand and swung it outwards in a frontal arc, cutting through a thin vine that seemed absolutely inconsequential. A creaking noise was his reward, and he tucked his blade arm in once more.

‘End of the road, Mr. Lictor...’

A rush of air over his head signalled the final move, and a moment later, the large wooden frame slammed straight into the following Lictor. The force was so great it lifted the creature clean off the floor, and would have sent it flying into the jungle for many metres, if the front of the frame wasn’t covered in pin-point sharpened wooden stakes. These nailed the animal in almost every part of its body, picking up the creature and carrying it around as the trap unwound from the tree it had been set from.

The power was so strong that when the Lictor was finally stopped by the target tree trunk on the other side of the trap, its body was embedded into the wood. Ichor fled from the creature’s body like a sieve from the puncture wounds; the lictor wouldn’t be recovering from this one.

Wiping his blade on the grass just in front of the slowly dying creature, the Catachan stood straight, a satisfied smirk on his face.

‘Gotcha,’ said Marbo as he stared into the eyes of the Lictor, a wicked smile making its way onto his features.

Running his Catachan’s Fang across his combat fatigues, Marbo patted his left palm with it. ‘I’m going to enjoy this,’ he said as he considered the lesson for today.

Just because you’re running after something, doesn’t make you the hunter.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-14-12, 08:25 PM
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very nice work. this is awsome. +rep

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-14-12, 09:11 PM
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Overall a pretty good short, nice and tense with some good action, some points though:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phal4nx View Post
An Important Lesson
by Christian D'Amico

His arms pumped like mad This is a very very weak opening line, with a poor description that almost made me want to stop reading. Your opening line needs power, something to draw the reader in and make them stay. The red bandana tied around his left bicep was so tight that veins bulged above and below it. The jungle foliage blurred past at an astonishing "astonishing" is such a long word that it takes you out of the action rate as he pounded through it like a grox in a stampede. His legs wouldn’t - couldn’t stop. It would be close, real close. "It was close" this line is a much more powerful opening line, it immediately raises questions: What's close? Who's running? What's going to happen if it catches up?

In his right hand he held his Fang, inverted so that the blade ran underneath the length of his forearm. from "inverted" can be cut, it adds nothing to the description, cut and edit straight to "his left open, the bolt pistol too un-wieldy (weildy means easy to control). His left hand was open; bolt pistol holstered as it was too wieldy for this situation. He used the free hand to react quickly to changes of direction, swinging himself around branches, tree stumps and other obstructions.

His close-cropped hair was black; not by choice, but the mud camouflage he had been using covered him head to foot. The dirt sloughed off him as he ran, offering glimpses of tanned, muscular flesh beneath. The vest top was a faded green, mixed with the mud from moving on his belly for much of the last few hours. this entire section ins't needed. We don't need to know all this in a single, almost "bio" delivery. Let us know how dirty he is elsewhere, and do we need to know his hair colour? "show" the reader more, instead of "telling" them

Swinging around the trunk of a particularly Cutlarge tree, he found himself in front of a clearing. Fallen trees, branches and tall reed grass offered no clear view to the other side. He stopped for a second to gain his bearings, kneeling to feel the soil under him. beneath him

As he scooped up a handful of dirt, a series of small, needle-like darts smacked into the bole of the tree he was leaning against. A second earlier and that would have been the back of his head. this is implied.

‘Won’t make that mistake again,’ he said. The lictor was closer than he had realised. Time to move again.
Launching himself into the tall grass, he slid the Fang into its sheath on his leg and used both hands to vault over obstacles, rolling and zig-zagging as he did so. The creature was metres behind him by now, using its powerful legs to spring clear of anything the Catachan don't use catachan, keep to him/he/his. the catachan part is implied anyway, I certainly knew he was a catachan before this point. tried to put between the two of them.

About Be precise, "about" makes it seem almost like you doubt yourself. Just say "half way" halfway across the clearing, he sensed something change. Without stopping mid-jump, he looked back to check his six up until this point there hasn't really been any military talk, so this feels unnatural. Just use behind him . There was nothing. Barely had he you've changed tone here from a modern order to a more traditional English. "He had barely" works better.registered the lack of hunter when he snapped his head back around and found himself barrelling towards a pair of barbed, lethal hooks, seemingly cuthanging from the overhead canopy. The lictor was tailing him from above! implied. Cut.

He ducked, turning the sprint into a roll. The right-most hook caught the top of his back as he rolled under, tearing open the vest and skin beneath in a burst of blood and pain. He roared as his body screamed cliche. cut. at him for a moment’s respite, but he offered it none good.

Springing back to his feet at the end of the roll, he barrelled use different adjective on through the foliage, vaulting trunks and skidding under low branches. The lictor was shadowing the Catachan from above. He couldn’t see it but the shadow was obvious below him. His peripheral vision gave him an estimate of about ten metres or so. This was going to be close.

With a final leap from the top of a fallen tree, he cleared change, cleared the clearing seems clumsy. the clearing and landed roughly back into the jungle once more. Behind him he heard the lictor fall to the floor once more as it found its route blocked from above. A small grin appeared on the Catachan’s face as he thanked the Emperor that the creature couldn’t tell it was an artificial block. It was time for the hunter to become the hunted.

He carried on running. His blood felt like it was turning into battery acid use a different description as he sprinted through the jungle, catching a million and one this is a very weak description nicks and cuts from the branches as he streaked past them. His body screamed for a rest, but he could afford none. you've already basically said this, it isn't needed

It was time, he realised. He had just passed a marker on the last tree to his right. A hundred metres to go. Chancing a look behind him, he saw it fully for the first time.

The lictor had given up with stealth. It was infuriated at the length of this chase and simply wanted its prey now. The Catachan had lured it in after laying down false track markers for days, confounding the animal and causing it all kinds of problems in the process. The creature was lagging slightly, as if on the verge of giving up the chase, but he knew it wouldn’t. Tyranids never gave up. That’s what made them the ultimate hunters.

This one, however, was about to learn a very important lesson.

Ten metres.

The lictor shrieked once more, before putting on a burst of speed that caught the Catachan by surprise. He dropped his head forward and put everything into the final sprint.

As he ran past the next tree to his left, he ducked further, drawing his shoulders in and dropping his knees slightly. He drew his blade in his left hand and swung it outwards in a frontal arc, cutting through a thin vine that seemed absolutely inconsequential. A creaking noise was his reward, and he tucked his blade arm in once more.

‘End of the road, Mr. Lictor...’

A rush of air over his head signalled the final move, and a moment later, the large wooden frame slammed straight into the following Lictor. The force was so great it lifted the creature clean off the floor, and would have sent it flying into the jungle for many metres, if the front of the frame wasn’t covered in pin-point sharpened wooden stakes. These nailed the animal in almost every part of its body, picking up the creature and carrying it around as the trap unwound from the tree it had been set from.

The power was so strong that when the Lictor was finally stopped by the target tree trunk on the other side of the trap, its body was embedded into the wood. Ichor fled from the creature’s body like a sieve from the puncture wounds; the lictor wouldn’t be recovering from this one.

Wiping his blade on the grass just in front of the slowly dying creature, the Catachan stood straight, a satisfied smirk on his face.

‘Gotcha,’ said Marbo as he stared into the eyes of the Lictor, a wicked smile making its way onto his features.

Running his Catachan’s Fang across his combat fatigues, Marbo patted his left palm with it. ‘I’m going to enjoy this,’ he said as he considered the lesson for today.

Just because you’re running after something, doesn’t make you the hunter.

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