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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-01-12, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Default The New Order

Hi this is a story set in my Age of Horus alternative history version of Warhammer 40k.https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=111743. No where near finished so let me know what you think Thanks.


*


The New Order


The winds of Norvus wracked the warrior's topknot furiously. This world was dying. Good then, he thought absently. His sea-green armour stood in stark contrast to the blood-tinged skies, and was covered in fetishes and ornate, forbidden runes. His ceramite plate was worn in places, punctured by bullet holes and deep, rust-covered indentations. Crimson stained scrolls and oath-papers clung to his armour. He was standing on a raised mound, consisting of blackened bones and the litter of war.

Banners of every colour, of every kind, whipped at his back. His retinue of battle-scarred brothers, a gang of bloodthirsty and damned souls, waited for his words with barely restrained frenzy.

‘Move the Brigades out. Bring me the Unbeliever’s head,’ said the warrior, his voice fierce and filled with dark authority.

‘By your command.’

His fellow Captains relayed the order throughout the assembled force. Cruel and vicious barks into the various vox-pieces followed, and five thousand gene-altered horrors roared their inhuman approval.

***

Markus screamed as a shell exploded in the trench less than ten metres from him. Blood and mud showered him, and the screams of his fellows joined his own. His ears... his nose... all his senses were bleeding. He fumbled for his las-rifle, his nervous fingers slipping on the soaked weapon. He was drenched and lost. Command was gone. Obliterated. Wiped out. He looked out across the tortured, bombed-out plains before him and wept.

Markus wasn’t a cowardly man; he was too old for it. In the raging battlefields of Terra he had witnessed things that would never leave him, millennia before the dream of a prosperous Imperium even drew its first breath. On the blasted sands of Veridus he watched as men he once called brothers, attack and feast upon one another. He had seen whole worlds die, families and communities butchered and sacrificed on the altar of the insane. He lived now in an age without the Emperor, an age where the helpless dared not hope.

However, one thousand fully-armoured, screaming aberrations, who howled dark oaths of allegiance and servitude to their dark masters, caused Markus to soil his breeches.

He turned and ran for his pitifully insignificant life. Men died in droves as he passed them, and blood hung in the air like a charnel house. A River of red streamed along the uneven ground, and pooled in craters of all sizes.

The city outskirts weren’t far, thought Markus. If he could just reach there he might have a miniscule chance of surviving this killing field. He saw his senior hetman lying on his back, half-submerged in the mud and blood. On a second inspection, however, the man was merely missing the lower portion of his body.

Bolter rounds shredded two men in front of him, and he stumbled past their eviscerated bodies. The roar of chainblades, and the ‘hum-sizzle’ of power weapons ripping flesh and spilling vital fluids, filled the crumbling frontlines. He gasped for air as fear carried him further than stamina ever could.

Hundreds of men were dying, their screams and cries echoing into the pink-tinged sky. A desperate cheer snatched Markus’ attention to the fore, as massive, rumbling engines gave the battered soldiers a moment’s hope. Markus kept going, those battle-tanks wouldn’t hold back the horrors for long. He passed the first tank in ten achingly long seconds, its familiar, massive frame doing nothing to reassure him. He could hear the monstrosities chanting about the planet's impending destruction.

Sound fled the world as its gigantic battle-cannons unleashed hell upon the enemy warriors. Markus stumbled and fell hard. Landing in water mingled with blood and brain matter shook him from his daze, and his senses composed themselves. He pulled himself from the small pool and picked up his rifle.

He ran. He ran with dozens of others. Hundreds of others followed as the main bulk of the enemy charge mauled the frontline. Risking a glance back, Markus saw dark shapes clamber over the awe-inspiring battle-tank he had passed merely minutes before. They tore it apart, literally.

One carried a torn and ragged banner, adorned with spikes and barbs. Painted on its blood-soaked cloth was an all-seeing eye. Markus felt a shiver reach down his spine.

Doomed men had turned back to fire at the assailants, but their rounds pinged harmlessly off the warriors’ black armour plating or were lost in a mist of otherworldly energy as they struck canine and feline shapes. Laughter bubbled up to mix with the howling of the dying.

The horrors had caught them.

Nothing remained of the frontlines and this was what was left, Markus realised. He touched his worn, ancient necklace and accepted his fate. His fear left him in an instant, as he realised that his life had probably been long enough. Twenty thousand years was quite old, he thought. He prayed to his God as a twisted, corrupted bolter round hit him square in the chest.

***

Last edited by LongfangFenrika93; 08-08-12 at 11:16 PM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-02-12, 09:21 AM
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He's... 20 thousand years old?

Who is he?!

EDIT: (Please interpret my mad questioning as the sign of a good read.)
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-02-12, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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I'll elaborate on it later tonight man. Hahaha. Thankyou for reading the first small part.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-03-12, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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‘Do you know why they are here, Gaius?’ the old man asked quietly. The ground shook ever so slightly, and dust covered everything in a thin film.

‘No,’ Gaius replied. Nor, he thought, did he care.

‘Horus is trying to emulate his late Father’s great dream. His Crusaders are pouring across the Galaxy, boy.’

Gaius flinched at boy. He smirked, ‘So then, what is it that you propose we do?’ He turned to face the wrinkled old intelligencer.

‘Pray.’

Gaius grunted and returned to his drink. The ale was most displeasing, and there was an unpleasant aftertaste of rockcrete and chemicals. Fug this, he mused. He stood up and wandered over to the bar. The tender was a small, malnourished man. Shrewd and ill-tempered, he looked older than he should have. He paid the man and left out into the howling winds.

Norvus was falling apart at the seams. A trail of crying refugees milled on the cracked road and equally terrified Army units led them on, begging them to hurry and covering themselves in long trench-coats. It was freezing. The temperature of the world had dropped almost overnight. The sky had turned from a crimson-pink, to a thick purple, and now, with a disturbing finality, it was becoming as black as night. Red rain fell from the heavens, as if the world had swallowed the blood of the dying and was now unleashing it.

Markus was dead, Gaius knew that much. He felt a slight detached grief, he never knew Markus, but he understood what he represented. Another being like him. He never liked Markus, but had come to appreciate the man he was. He had met few others, a groaning recluse living in the mining stations of Vuxia IV, and a rather detestable fellow named John Grammaticus, who had tried to recruit him into one of his grand plans.

Gaius had laughed in his face when he asked, then pulled a small autogun and demanded that he was to leave him the fug alone. Arrogant little shit. The Galaxy was dead, and nothing would bring Him back. Horus ruled and the Imperium was shattered. That was simply Mankind’s current lot.

Gaius made for his dutiful, ancient Goi-Pattern Warbike, pulling up his collar in the cold wind. He pulled out the gold penchant resting in his deep pocket, and activated the neon-green dial. He put the ancient device away, and started his motor engine. He put two fingers to his temple and pressed lightly.

His vision was filled with holographic displays and multitudes of information, violet runes and icons moved from left to right as his internal compass realigned itself. His goal lay forty-four miles directly to the north-east, set deep within the maze of forests and mountain slopes, just past the mining-habs in Station V.

The Warbike hurtled into motion as Gaius made his way down the dust covered, refugee filled road.



Half an hour later and Gaius was nearing his designated target. He left the broken road nearly ten minutes prior, and was now at the foot of a vast mountain.

Except it wasn’t quite... right. The granite-grey rock, at first glance, was very much what a common traveller would expect when looking at a passing mountainside; unremarkable. However, at a closer inspection, simple yet undeniable markings covered the increasingly artificial-looking stone.

Gaius approached the wall of stone without hesitating and placed his hands firmly, outspread, against it. Tracing his fingers along parallel points until they reached a point of contact, Gaius then stood back, crouched down and activated the small beacon on his left boot. The wall came alive, circles and rectangles and rhombuses of spinning, gyrating light lit the surrounding expanse. Steam billowed from seams in the rock as the entire wall shifted. Within moments, a three metre-by-four metre entrance had been unveiled in the rock.

‘Hurry, Gaius Pratus,’ demanded an unseen voice. It was a voice that had witnessed uncountable treacheries and endless betrayals. It was the voice of a lost son.

‘Of course,’ Gaius replied, measurably. He shut down his Warbike and collected his things.

‘You won’t need those, Gaius.’ The figure was visible now. He was huge, his shoulder to shoulder width half the size of the entrance, and his height was towering. He was armoured from head to toe in black ceramite armour, as dark as the deep void. His helm was dripping with ferocity, a snout-shaped faceplate attended by leering crimson eye-slits. No light reflected from the dark silhouette, and almost no ornamentation covered the warrior. Save for one thing.

A small emblem, in the shape of a hawk, gripping a weeping eye in its talons was painted on the warrior’s right shoulder pauldron. He was Astartes, but his story was sadder than the rest.

Gaius approached the Black Hawk Astartes cautiously, eyeing the superhuman with a sigh.

‘Hentar, my lord, you know I am not here to trick you. Must we go through this pointless ritual on every one of these occasions?’ Gaius hadn’t meant to raise his voice at the end of his question, but was well aware that it came out slightly arrogant. He stiffened quickly.

‘Do not goad me, Gaius. Enter, now.’


***

And what are the achievements of your fragile Imperium? It is a corpse rotting slowly from within while maggots writhe in its belly. It was built with the toil of heroes and giants, and now it is inhabited by frightened weaklings to whom the glories of those times are half-forgotten legends. I have forgotten nothing and my wisdom has expanded far beyond mere mortal frailties.-Ahriman.

Last edited by LongfangFenrika93; 08-04-12 at 12:56 PM.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-03-12, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
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‘Your friend is dead,’ said the Astartes leader, when Gaius finally stood in the small amphitheatre after a twisting, and rather painful, long walk through the tunnels of the Black Hawk complex.

The base was small, held by only fifteen Battle-Brothers. It was sizable host, by their standards. They all, for the moment, stood solemnly with Gaius in the darkness of the oval opening. He lifted his eyebrows and smiled as he noticed they all carried fully-loaded boltguns. I’ve still got it.

‘I know. The Capital was taken out about four hours ago. None survived the initial assault, apart from a few thousand civilians.’

The Marine nodded, and removed his helm. His skin was pale, translucent almost. His eyes were deep black pits, and spoke of innumerable horrors. Scars from a hundred thousand battles, skirmishes and engagements lined the draconian face. He placed his horsehair-topped helmet on a small metal table. It sat down with a heavy metal clang.

‘Your kind is nearly extinct,’ he spoke again, staring straight into Gaius’ blue eyes.

Gaius missed a heartbeat. What? The Perpetuals were hidden to all. None save the Emperor Himself knew, and he was dead.

‘How-?’ was all Gaius could manage.

‘You think us naive, don’t you Gaius? You are so content in your ability to deceive that this is almost rewarding. We are not the pawns you think we are Pratus,’ the Astartes chuckled. ‘Sit, please. We have much to discuss.’

Gaius took a less-than-steady step and crumpled into his seat. He put his head in both hands while the cadre of Astartes crowded around him. Their presence was a little distressing now that they knew.

‘Ezekyle Abaddon, or better known by his title as the Warmaster’s Hammer, has been leading the Iron Fist Brigade of Crusaders for nearly five decades now.’ The Astartes commander was pointing at various pict-captures and hololithic displays of the murderous Astartes. ‘He has conquered over seven hundred and five worlds. This will be his seven hundred and sixth.’

‘A small retinue of former-Luna Wolves accompany him, foremost among them Serghar Targost.’ The commander brought the aforementioned Targost up on the main screen, and several Black Hawks murmured and straightened.

Gaius knew why. Targost was responsible for the systematic purging of several notable former-Imperial Worlds. Sacrifices. Blood rituals. The once-noble Targost was now feared throughout the ashes of the Imperium. He was also responsible for the death of tens of thousands of Loyalists. He was a monster on par with Abaddon.

‘You and I both know why he is here, Gaius. Targost seeks to unravel the cover of this world. He seeks to let Chaos consume and destroy it. He must be stopped.’

‘Five thousand crazed, warp-altered Thunder Warriors might have something to say about that, Commander Branne.’ Gaius replied, shaking his head. ‘Even if you could put a bolt through Targost’s warp-cursed mind, what use would it do anyway? Another of Horus’ lackeys will take his place.’

‘Just so, Gaius Pratus, just so. However, that is not what concerns me. I believe that Targost is looking for something. Something in particular,’ Branne replied steadily. He was facing Gaius now, leaning on his huge, gene-bulked arms.

‘What brings you to that conclusion?’ Gaius asked, quite confused.

‘Because Gaius, Erebus of the Word Bearers is by his side,’ Branne said with a thin smile.


***

And what are the achievements of your fragile Imperium? It is a corpse rotting slowly from within while maggots writhe in its belly. It was built with the toil of heroes and giants, and now it is inhabited by frightened weaklings to whom the glories of those times are half-forgotten legends. I have forgotten nothing and my wisdom has expanded far beyond mere mortal frailties.-Ahriman.

Last edited by LongfangFenrika93; 08-04-12 at 12:57 PM.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-04-12, 12:09 PM
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Alternate universe stories have difficulties of their own as it is always a temptation to immediately describe large differences to let the reader know how the universe differs; however you have managed to avoid large areas of narration and historical exposition.

I also like the pacing of the plot so far; there is progress toward a goal but plenty of room for reversals and challenges.

I feel your paragraphs are too short; the tale would flow batter with fewer longer paragraphs. Apart from dialogue, I suggest only starting a new paragraph with a significant event. For example:
Gaius grunted and returned to his drink. The ale was most displeasing, and there was an unpleasant aftertaste of rockcrete and chemicals. Fug this, he mused. He stood up and wandered over to the bar. The tender was a small, malnourished man. Shrewd and ill-tempered, he looked older than he should have. He paid the man and left out into the howling winds.

Norvus was falling apart at the seams. A trail of crying refugees milled on the cracked road and equally terrified Army units led them on, begging them to hurry and covering themselves in long trench-coats. It was freezing. + (Continues the description of the world so does not need to be a new paragraph)The temperature of the world had dropped almost overnight. The sky had turned from a crimson-pink, to a thick purple, and now, with a disturbing finality, it was becoming as black as night. Red rain fell from the heavens, as if the world had swallowed the blood of the dying and was now unleashing it.

Markus was dead, Gaius knew that much. He felt a slight detached grief, he never knew Markus, but he understood what he represented. Another being like him. He never liked Markus, but had come to appreciate the man he was.
Longer paragraphs will add a sense of continuity and flexible time, and allow you to use short paragraphs to convey a contrasting mood or focus on time, e.g. combat.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-04-12, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thankyou for helping me out, I'll get right to the changes.

And what are the achievements of your fragile Imperium? It is a corpse rotting slowly from within while maggots writhe in its belly. It was built with the toil of heroes and giants, and now it is inhabited by frightened weaklings to whom the glories of those times are half-forgotten legends. I have forgotten nothing and my wisdom has expanded far beyond mere mortal frailties.-Ahriman.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-11-12, 07:29 PM
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Looks awesome so far- please continue! (As well as your Age of Horus TL in the Homebrew Fluff section. It's a great AU.)

Renegades Saga contributions
(https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...tions-cry.html)
(https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...s-scarlet.html)
(https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...lesh-weak.html)
The Emperor has turned to Chaos. The dream of the Imperium has become a nightmare. But Horus and his Coalition stand against the dark, here at the end of time.

Lorgar's Betrayal
(https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...te-heresy.html)
What was broken has been mended. And what was burned away can never be reforged.
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