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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-02-12, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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Default Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories 12-05: Falling Rain

Welcome to the year's fifth Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories (HOES) Challenge!

For those of you that are unfamiliar with HOES, here's how it works:

Each month, there will be a thread posted in the Original Works forum for that month's HOES competition. For those of you interested in entering, read the entry requirements, write a story that fits the chosen theme and post it as a reply to the competition thread by the deadline given. Each and every member of Heresy Online is more than welcome to compete, whether your entry is your first post or your thousandth. We welcome everyone to join the family of the Fan Fiction Forum.

Once the deadline has passed, a separate voting thread will be posted, where the readers and writers can post their votes for the top three stories. Points will be awarded (3 points for 1st, 2 for 2nd, and 1 for 3rd) for each vote cast, totaled at the closure of the voting window, and a winner will be announced. The winner will have his/her story added to the Winning HOES thread.

Theme

The idea with the theme is that it should serve as the inspiration for your stories rather than a constraint. While creative thinking is most certainly encouraged, the theme should still be relevant to your finished story. The chosen theme can be applied within the WH40K, WHF, HH, and even your own completely original works (though keep in mind, this IS a Warhammer forum) but there will be no bias as to which setting is used for your story.

As far as the theme goes, please feel free with future competitions to contact me with your ideas/proposals, especially given that my creative juices may flow a bit differently than yours. All I ask is that you PM me your ideas rather than posting them into the official competition entry/voting threads to keep posts there relevant to the current competition.

Word Count

The official word count for this competition will be 1,000 words. There will be a 10% allowance in this limit, essentially giving you a 900-1,100 word range with which to tell your tale. This is non-negotiable. This is an Expeditious Story competition, not an Epic Story nor an Infinitesimal Story competition. If you are going to go over or under the 900-1,100 word limit, you need to rework your story. It is not fair to the other entrants if one does not abide by the rules. If you cannot, feel free to PM me with what you have and I'll give suggestions or ideas as to how to broaden or shorten your story.

Each entry must have a word count posted with it. Expect a reasonably cordial PM from me (and likely some responses in the competition thread) if you either fail to adhere to this rule. The word count can be annotated either at the beginning or ending of your story, and does not need to include your title.

Without further ado...

The theme for this month's competition is:

Falling Rain

Entries should be posted in this thread, along with any comments that the readers may want to give (and comments on stories are certainly encouraged in both the competition and voting threads!) 40K, 30K, WHF, and original universes are all permitted (please note, this excludes topics such as Halo, Star Wars, Forgotten Realms, or any other non-original and non-Warhammer settings). Keep in mind, comments are more than welcome! If you catch grammar or spelling errors, the writers are all more than free to edit their piece up until the close of the competition, and that final work will be the one considered for voting. Sharing your thoughts with the writers as they come up with their works is a great way to help us, as a FanFiction community, grow as a whole.

The deadline for entries is Midnight US Eastern Standard Time (-5.00 hours for you UK folks)Friday, 25 May 2012. Voting will be held from 26 May - 1 June. The slightly lengthened period is to facilitate discussion amongst the writers about different angles to attack the theme from. Remember, getting your story submitted on the May 3 will be just as considered by others as one submitted on May 31! Take as much time as you need to work on your piece!

Additional Incentive
If simply being victorious over your comrades is not enough to possess you to write a story, there will be rep rewards granted to those that participate in the HOES Challenge.

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

If you have any questions, feel free to either PM me or ask in this thread.

Without further nonsense from me, let the writing begin!

Table of Contents

Bloody Mary: Unclean

Jonileth: Shards of Light; the Angels Come

Davidicus 40K: Bringing Life, Bringing Death

Liliedhe: Lacrimae Faralis or Tears of the Dead

Demonlord24: Civil War

Adrian: The End is Only the Beginning

Andygorn: What Happens when it Rains?

Andygorn: One Last Request

Dave T Hobbit: Blossom

Zinegata: Tears

KjellThorngaard: Night Rain

VulkansNodosaurus: Horizon



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

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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-02-12, 02:08 AM
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Testing a concept mentioned earlier: a meditation upon Falling Rain. Awfully specific, but it can be interpreted a number of ways nonetheless.

1) First thought: rain is not necessarily water.
A) It's raining men! Drop pods, drop troopers, aerial shock assault. Falling from on high.
B) Other liquids. Raining blood. Chaos rain? Sorcery? Acid rain, sulphur pollution rain. Rain of tears down grieving faces.
C) Rain of artillery, rain of orbital bombardment. As I said in last month's To Comprehend: "Fire rained. Destruction reigned."

2) Second thought: Emotional/thematic accompaniment to rain:
A) depression. Futility as the works of men are washed away. Grey and drab, choked, low visibility.
B) The wrath of the elements. Lessened by "Falling" in the theme (which implies a regular, steady rain rather than a whipping, gusting storm), but thunder and lightning accompanies a storm nonetheless.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakespeare
Lear: Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drench’d our steeples, drown’d the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o’ the world!
Crack nature’s moulds, all germens spill at once
That make ingrateful man!

Fool: (...)

Lear: Rumble thy bellyful! Spit, fire! spout, rain!
Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire, are my daughters:
I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness;
I never gave you kingdom, call’d you children,
You owe me no subscription: then, let fall
Your horrible pleasure; here I stand, your slave,
A poor, infirm, weak, and despis’d old man.
3) An excellent theme for Warhammer Fantasy, which dwells more on the mundane and the small-scale.
A) The Empire fits this well. Drakenwald forest, always foreboding, is wracked by a storm. Dark things lurk and stir. Water dribbles from evergreen branches.
B) Lustria or the Southlands? Rainfall is a constant in rain forests, and carries with it foot rot, interminable dampness, etc.

4) *classified*
I know what I'll be writing my entry on. I have a small fragment of two hundred words or so from the distant past that embraces this rain rather well. Albeit... unpleasantly.

CSM Plog, Tactica

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

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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-02-12, 07:37 AM
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Excellent breakdown, Mossy! I'm going to really have to think about this one...


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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-02-12, 10:34 AM
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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but is this the first time that the writing topic has not been an abstract concept?

When I think of rain in narrative, I automatically think of film noir (where if it's night time in the city, it's usually raining). And I think I have my story seed. (Seriously, I have the beginnings of a story).

Oh, and let me add a tongue-in-cheek #6 to Mossy Toes' list: Name your character "Rain." Now have him fall, and considering the verb is in its gerund form, have him fall for the whole story (and never land).

(And what happen to #5? Like Mossy Toes' 4), it's classified. )

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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-02-12, 11:13 AM
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#7 there are a lot of scenes traditionally happening in the rain: funerals, deaths, executions, partings, somebody musing about his/her life... TVTropes also gives more examples about the use of rain as an empathetic environment.

Rain is associated with tears - tears of heaven/gods/angels, or plain old tears. Rainwater mingling with tears (or blood) is a strong visual. Rain can also be cleansing - see Redemption in the Rain.

Or, in case of weird rain (blood, ash, fallout, body parts) it can be a supernatural sign, mist often a bad omen, sign of impending doom, most likely.

Rain also makes a variety of noises, soothing, or annoying, or unsettlig, depending the surfaces it falls on. It's strongly connected with mud ;), especially in scenes with battlefileds or trenches.

It can be warm or cold, and that once again can mean positive or negative things. Tropic rain is associated with heat and disease, and uncleanness, while a gentle spring rain might be positive and maybe romantic. Cold rain can sooth overflowing emotions, or be a dreary, depressing, even hostile environment. Think refugees or soldiers trecking through endless rain, tents being soaked through, food growing bad, etc.

Just another brainstorming, I dont really have an idea yet...
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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-02-12, 01:10 PM
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thanks Mossy for that breakdown certainly gives me something to think about
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-02-12, 07:06 PM
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What can I say? I was feeling very inspired today.

Unclean

Word count: 963

She is kneeling in the mud, heedless of the mulch staining her heavy white gown and legs. Her hands are clasped tightly, knuckles white and she whispers a prayer over and over, as the rain streams down her face. Her hair is damp, plastered to her head. Down and down, the droplets fall, from her nose and eyelashes, from her hands to the ground.

She can’t remember how she got into the gardens. One moment, she was staring out the window, watching rivulets form on the transparent surface, distorting the view. Then, she was running, through the white corridor, screams and crying and soothing voices all around her. Someone called out her name, but she didn’t stop. They wouldn’t let her go outside and she knew she had to get out.

Now, she is there, the rain all around her and there are no screams, only faint wet sounds, as the water meets the ground. There is her voice, rasping, words mingling on her lips, rushing out in a frantic pace, as if taking a breath might still them forever.

They will come for her, she knows that. They will drag her back and feed her pills and strap her to a bed, and she will fight and bite and scream, beg them not to. She is not clean. She has to wash it all away and the showers will not do. She tried, but they were there, the fingers, the claws, the twisted limbs of the unclean reaching out for her.

They twisted everywhere, under the beds, into the ventilation ducts and brought their filth with them. She had burned them, as had her sisters, but it was not enough. They came and came and came, an unending river of mutant waste, howling their obscene prayers and reaching out to them. They grabbed and pulled, tore and bit, until only one was left.

The promethium had long run out, so she cut, the howl of her chainblade joining their screams. Her armor was stained, unclean, everywhere filth and the screams, they never stop, why, they are dead, they died, her sisters died and they touched her.

She needs to wash away their touch and they couldn’t have touched the rain, could they? The water will be still pure and so will she, if she just stays outside long enough. It will all go away, seep into the ground, away from her…

She can almost feel it, something sloughing down her skin, thick as tar and sinking into the mud, deeper and deeper.

The rain is cold. It falls heavily. She rises again, slowly and tears away the stained gown. It’s wet and caked in mud, but it had touched her skin, her filthy, filthy skin and she needs to be clean again.

The change is minimal—she had been wet long ago, but now she can free herself from the taint. She cups her hands and holds them out, letting the water gather in them and then she looks at her hands and sees its still there, it’s under her skin, crawling deeper.

She needs to get rid of it, the taint it’s there, it will corrupt her, she will be one of them.

It hurts, but this is good, pain is clean and she scratches into her skin, tearing and tearing, at old scabs and scars, she needs to get it out.

Blood mingles with rain and they fall to the ground, pink little droplets lost as soon as they are formed. She doesn’t care, all she cares about is that she needs to get the taint away and its inside, so she needs to get the rain inside, but she can’t find the taint, only blood.

Red—her hands are red now, like her armor had been, but it wasn’t the right red. It was their blood staining it, so she had to scour all away, her armor was desecrated, so she scrubbed and scrubed, and tore away the paint, marred the etchings, but it was all there and then she knew it was on her skin, it seeped through the armor and now it was inside.

And then she sees, it’s the rain, it’s always been the rain. She backs away and looks around wildly, but where can she hide? The taint is everywhere, she was breathing the air and drinking the water, polluting all that she touched, she cannot hide and she cannot wash it away, because it will be back.

She runs. Her movements are jerky, wild and she trips. Even now, even as broken as she is, she instinctively catches herself and picks herself up to run. She doesn’t look where she is running and she barely notices when she collides with another woman.

The newcomer is dressed in serviceable simple clothes. Rain is simply rain for her. She is calm, solid, her face lined with age and worry. Without hesitation, she places her large hands on the naked woman’s shoulders and smiles reassuringly.

The broken thing doesn’t seem to care that one of the hands that is resting on her shoulder is a cold augmentic limb. She stands still, like a statue, eyes wide. Her breathing comes in ragged gasps and she trembles.

“Come now, Sister Aurelia,” the newcomer says gently. “You will catch a cold.”

There is nothing to show that Aurelia understands the words. She is still for seconds, before breaking out into a scream. It’s a long wordless wail of a trapped animal, a sound that ought to never come from a human mouth. The other woman remains firm and pulls Aurelia away, towards the large square building. She drapes her raincoat over her naked shoulders and murmurs soothingly.

The rain falls around them, slowly washing away the footmarks they leave.

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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-02-12, 10:07 PM
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Hey man, did someone say Purple rain? {said in an Oddball voice}

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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-02-12, 10:35 PM
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Shards of Light; The Angels Come


Miya looked to the heavens as she did every night from the small shade tree not far from her small home. The stories her grandfather had told her of the realm above captivated her even after his death, driving her to sit beneath the tree as she had since she was a child and remember. The Eldar girl had never seen the fanciful things that her grandfather had spoken about, nor did she ever believe she would. Her parents had warned her many times that listening to her grandfather’s stories would do nothing but drag her into wistful wanderlust. And sometimes Miya had to admit they were right.

As the stars grew ever brighter in the night sky, the young woman wondered idly if her grandfather had simply imagined everything he’d spoken about. The great cities in the heavens, the ancestors who walked among the people in suits made of living bone. And the enemies that he had conjured up in many of the stories he told… were they too simply figments of his increasingly addled mind. As ardently as Miya wished it were not so, at times it seemed to be the only explanation.

Most of the tribal elders had spoken of the ancient times when her people once ruled the stars, but none of them had been alive to see such times. Most of her tribe thought of gallivanting through the heavens as nothing more than flights of fancy. Only a precious few even cared to hear the stories that Miya’s grandfather had once told, and of them only she still believed them to be true.

The young Eldar sighed as she closed her eyes for a moment, her mind conjuring up the images that had once been inspired by the voice she could no longer truly remember anymore. She watched in her mind’s eye as figures danced about before her, the tale weaving through her sight as if she had been standing their bearing witness. When she opened her eyes again, the images vanished as the world came back into focus.

A streak of light passed before her vision, a sight all too rare for her not to take notice. Miya rose to her elbows and scanned the sky in hopes to catch another passing of light along the evening skyline. She waited patiently for more heartbeats than she cared to count before she finally sighed and sank back down. No sooner did she give up her search that another streak of light appeared. And several heartbeats later, another made its way across the sky.

The longer she watched, the more frequent the streaks of light became. Before too long it was like the heavens were sending down a shower of lights, much like a gently rainstorm sent down streams of falling rain on a lazy spring day. Miya rose to her feet with a kind of childish joy at the notion that she might be the only one watching the star shower. She wondered for a moment if it might not have been her grandfather’s spirit sending down the shards of light, though deep down she knew it was most likely not the case.

Miya watched as the shards of light grew even brighter, now taking shape as pillars of fire and smoke descending toward the ground. Bright flashes on the horizon gave evidence that the lights were much more solid; something was falling to the ground from above. The girl’s curiosity got the better of her when one of the falling balls of flame landed not far inside the tree line. Despite the warnings of her parents not to venture off into the woodlands after the sun had fallen, Miya sprinted off to chase after the fallen star.

The soft amber glow of fire was her guide through the woods, bathing the entire area around the Eldar girl in an eerie light that threw more shadows around than it dispelled. Even so, Miya charged ahead undaunted by the tricks of light dancing playfully in her sight. Several times as she traversed the woods the girl had to stop and make her way around a cluster of brush and undergrowth too thick to simply go through. Despite this, the girl finally managed to reach her fallen star.

In the place of a glowing orb of light, or some other more whimsical interpretation of celestial bodies, Miya found an obelisk-like structure, most of it black either from the fall and impact or by design. Parts of the thing glowed in strange hues of green and blue, vastly different from any fires the Eldar had ever seen. And the symbols adorning the thing were unlike anything she’d ever seen. The most prominent was a symbol that looked like a bird, but it had two heads rather than one.

Miya thought to approach the strange metal thing until it issued forth a sharp hiss. Several more sharp hisses erupted from the thing before parts of it began to fall to the ground, crashing into the burnt husks of trees the thing had fallen on and practically incinerated. What the girl witnessed next was beyond anything she’d ever thought she’d be privy to. Men of iron came strolling out, their vibrant red eyes searching the fire-lit tree line before them. Miya counted three from where she stood, though the giant obelisk looked as if it were able to carry many more.

“What are you?” The girl asked the men of iron.

One of the men of iron stepped forward with a weapon raised in its hand, “Angels of Death. We’re here to purge your kind…”

The sound of thunder issued forth from the Death Angel’s weapon. In the span of seconds it took for the bolter round to reach her skull, Miya found herself cursing the falling rain of fire that had brought the Angels of Death to her world. A heartbeat later her head exploded and her body crumbled to the ground. Overhead, the rain of fire continued to fall…


1001 words not including title.


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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 05-03-12, 01:07 AM
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A good start to the stories....

To add to the rain discussion: 8. What, exactly, is falling? Remember that going around in orbit is, technically, falling. Or you can be falling into something other than a planetary surface. A stellar rain of dead spaceships, crashing into the star around which battle still rages, or the sinking rain of nutrients into the unfathomable depths of the sea.

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