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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-16-12, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Default Slow Breaths

Hi Guys, after a year-long hiatus from the Warhammer 40k universe, i've finally found the time to get back into the hobby. To try and get more into the game, I've decided to write some fiction for it. And so here is my first little go at a story, please leave your thoughts and opinions on it, and if it's popular, I may start a short series
Thanks, Lucien

Slow breaths

The floorboard creaked as he placed his weight carefully onto it; he grimaced and tensed, waiting for the explosion of violence sure to follow. He waited, and nothing happened. The man in the chair still sat, the radio kept blurting static, and the rifle in the man’s hands kept still. Jensen could feel his partner’s eyes burning into the back of his head from the shadow of the stairwell, knowing that he would get a bollocking for the mistake. Jensen carried on, breathing slowly and steadily, moving with the patience typical of a sniper. The knife in his hand was dulled with soot, and the camo-cloak was drawn tight around his form, to knock an object over now would be bad, very bad. He was now a couple of paces from the man’s back, and he flexed his arm, ready for the kill. Nice and quiet now, don’t mess it up, you’ve been trained for this… He sprang forwards and, covering the traitor’s mouth, stabbed the knife into the bared throat. Squeals erupted from the man, blood poured onto the dusty carpet, and the flailing feet kicked over the table. The resulting crash was enormous, at least to Jensen’s ears. Oh God-Emperor, I’ve screwed it up now...

The realisation that no one was screaming anymore and the building was quiet hit him, the blood in his veins cooled, and he relaxed. With a slight scuff of boots on wood his partner moved up beside him.

“Congratulations, you almost got both of us killed” he whispered, the layer of sarcasm was almost unbearable, and the wince on Jensen’s face was clearly visible as he replied.

“I didn’t see you jumping at the chance to help. In fact, I believe it was your turn to do it anyhow.”

Stony silence greeted the comment, and his partner moved away across the room to the window, where he looked out across the street. Three floors up, they had a perfect view of the colonnade at the front of the Basilica. He could see the crowds growing, a host of worshippers, turned out to listen to the new “Governor” himself. The planet had fallen to the Chaos worship of Slaanesh around a year ago, a government was in power, and the elections for the governor over. This man would be the leader of the people, and the orchestrator of the planet’s death. For once its resources had been used; it would become a barren wasteland. Lambs to the slaughter… He considered the image, they didn’t know what they were getting into, they didn’t understand the evil of Chaos, and it was already too late for most of the populace. When imperial forces- if imperial forces retook the planet, it would be too late, and more likely than not, it would suffer an Exterminatus.

“Where shall I set up?” Jensen asked, joining him at the window. Jensen was a good lad, quick, sharp and brave, but he was young. This wasn’t a terrible thing, but with his youth came naivety and sometimes, overconfidence.

“About a meter in from the window, I’ll fetch the table, it’ll give us something to rest the rifle on.” He hurried over to the fallen furniture and, lifting it up, brought it to Jensen.

“Thanks…” The younger man murmured, concentrating on the swift cleaning of his Rifle. It was brand new, straight from the munitorum stores, and he had already learnt its characteristics. Once the scope was clean, Jensen looked through it to the crowds and adjusted the zoom and focus to the lectern on the platform. He practised his shot, breathing slowly until the final exhale, and pulled the trigger. The Two-stage mechanism ran smoothly and he was filled with pride for his field care. The table was in position, and so he placed the rifle on top, unfolding the bipod attached to the fore-stock. From the table he lined up the shot again and went through the motions.

“Right, that’s sorted” he said triumphantly, as he turned to face his partner. But he was no longer standing there.

“Victor?” he called softly, aware that he was still technically in an enemy building, he started to pad towards the door, keeping to the wall line, and barely breathing.

His heart froze as the barrel of a Las-rifle entered the room, followed by an enemy soldier. Too late Jensen realised the dead body of the man the soldier came to relieve was propped up in the corner. Within seconds the traitor would spot it. He pulled out his knife, and shifted his weight to his front foot, ready to pounce on the intruder. He edged forward, and so did the soldier. He sold me out! The traitorous b****rd. Well I’m not dying today, I have a job to do, and I’m going to finish it. Right, let’s do this. 3…2…1… He pounced.

"I dread to think what heinous crime an Ultramarine must commit to be banished to the eye of Terror. did you turn left instead of right on the parade ground? Forget to say your prayers in the morning?"-Lord Honsou

"The Black Templars, the final one finger salute to Roboute Guiliman."-Calamari
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-16-12, 06:04 PM
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An engaging short piece with a good level of detail.

My only niggle is the changing of POV is a little confusing in places; for instance between "...turn to do it anyhow." and "Stony silence greeted....". For a piece of this length it might flow better from a single POV, especially as Victor's thoughts do not foreshadow the twist at the end so make his change of sides seem less believable.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-16-12, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, but does he change sides? ;) Thanks for the comments, and i get what you mean with the POV, if I do any more It'll be clearer.

"I dread to think what heinous crime an Ultramarine must commit to be banished to the eye of Terror. did you turn left instead of right on the parade ground? Forget to say your prayers in the morning?"-Lord Honsou

"The Black Templars, the final one finger salute to Roboute Guiliman."-Calamari

Last edited by Lucien7; 06-16-12 at 06:24 PM.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-18-12, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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Back again, I just wanted to post another snippet to see if it's improved at all

As Jensen leapt, his enemy fell to the ground. And, unable to halt his momentum, he slammed into the plaster-board wall that had once been behind the soldier. His breath knocked from him and his shoulder hurting considerably, Jensen turned to face the doorway, scrabbling to grab the silenced auto pistol from its leather holster.

“Calm down Jensen” Victor said, almost cracking a smile at the heap on the floor before him. Jensen regained his footing and rose up to stare down Victor.

“You bloody idiot! I thought you’d sold me out!” He snarled, barely concealing the volume of his voice. At that moment, he didn’t care if the whole Chaos army heard him, and he certainly didn’t care that Victor was now giving him a stern glare.

“I heard someone coming, so instead of warning you and causing a fuss like the one we just had, I slipped out and hid in the stairwell. I planned to get him before he reached the door, but I misjudged it, I’m sorry.” His apology seemed sincere enough, and Jensen was about to accept it when Victor continued “Besides, if I had let you do it, you would’ve messed it up even worse than I did”.

That did it for Jensen; he grabbed the smaller man by the neck and shoved him against the wall as quietly as possible. Victor did nothing, and said nothing, he was letting the lad work out his frustration, and he didn’t want him tensed up for the shot they still had to take. Victor felt that Jensen needed a gentle reminder as to why they were there.

“Jensen, we still need to take that b****rd out you know, and you’re not going to be able to do it with a broken arm, which you will receive if you don’t let go of me right now.”

Jensen relaxed his grip, but held on, staring into Victor’s cold blue eyes.

“If you pull a stunt like that again, a stunt that leaves me questioning you, I’ll put a bullet between your eyes myself, understand?” He tried to keep his voice as level as he could, adding a hard edge to his tone. But he knew his partner saw through it, and immediately regretted the bravado.

“Fair enough” Victor muttered, with mischief in his voice “I wouldn’t have liked it either”. He didn’t add that he doubted Jensen could touch him before a knife jutted from his ribs in return.

Jensen nodded and let go, turning back to the rifle on the table. Neither of them had any idea when the speech would happen, and so they had to be on alert at all times. A terrible thought echoed around Victor’s head, we might have missed our chance... But he shook it clear, it was almost impossible that the Governor could have taken his place without the resultant cheering being heard miles away. He strode past Jensen to the window and crouched at the sill; he pulled out his field-glasses scanning the crowd.

What the hell was he playing at? I could’ve killed him if he hadn’t said something before I drew my pistol, he put the mission in danger, and it was over something as small as one traitor... Jensen continued to fuss over the rifle, it was as clean and smooth as it would ever be, and now he was just filling time. It was a high-calibre auto-rifle, with a solid wooden stock and grip. Jensen had chosen it because solid rounds were far more available on the planet than Hot-shot Las rounds. But also because it reminded him of his time in the PDF of his home world, before he enlisted in the 12th kervaan regiment, one of the guard forces that liberated his world from the clutches of Chaos. After the customary three years of infantry service, he had specialised as a marksman, and was among the best five in the regiment. All five had been sent on the mission, each with a covert specialist paired to them. Unfortunately, I’m stuck with this Nut-job...Time passed slowly, and although it could have only been an hour at the most before the Governor made an appearance, it felt like an eternity. The walls were bare, as was the floor, and soon Jensen had nothing left to look at in the room that he hadn’t seen at least a hundred times before. He filled the ponderous time with scans of the crowd, although their appearances soon gave him a headache and a copper taste in his mouth.

“Jensen, he’s coming”

Victor’s voice broke him from his thoughts, and he quickly readied his rifle. Victor stepped out of the line of sight, giving the sniper a clear view. Neither of them had any idea what teams had made it this far, they only knew that they had to have the kill. Jensen could see the crowd parting and the cheers of millions of heretics filled the hot, dry air. Through the scope he glimpsed his target, the putrid colours and extravagant features of his clothing giving him away. He would take him when he was at the podium, when all his followers could see his fall, and then, they would have to run.

"I dread to think what heinous crime an Ultramarine must commit to be banished to the eye of Terror. did you turn left instead of right on the parade ground? Forget to say your prayers in the morning?"-Lord Honsou

"The Black Templars, the final one finger salute to Roboute Guiliman."-Calamari
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