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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-05-12, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Default Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories 12-09: Family Ties

Boc is away for a few days, so I am filling in.

Welcome to the year's ninth 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, totalled 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 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:

Family Ties

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)Tuesday, 25 September 2012. Voting will be held from 26 September - 2 October. Remember, getting your story submitted on 6 September will be just as considered by others as one submitted on 25 September! 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

Last edited by Red Corsairs; 10-26-12 at 12:16 PM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-06-12, 09:30 PM
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Things you do for family- 1024 words

The courtyard stinks of animals and much and human waste. And wasted human, I can’t help thinking, because beneath the stench and the louring sunset sky lays the taint of death, like a stain that can’t be shifted. My brother isn’t the first to die here, and he won’t be the last.

I rub my filthy arm across my nose, and then across my eyes because they’re blurred and I can’t see properly. Then I shut them all together and curl up against the parapet. I want to be a hundred miles away, buy what use would I be to Conal then? Anyway, the hideous weight of the crossbow in my arms can’t be ignored. I hate crossbows, I always have: a horrible weapon, brutal and distant, and I’ve never liked to touch them or even look at them. It’s as if I was born knowing I’ve an appointment with one that I’m not going to want to keep.

I sniff and rub my eyes again, wishing I could be more of a man, wishing I wasn’t so afraid. I’m sixteen years old, more than old enough to kill and die, a lot older than I was when I watched my father die. His death couldn’t be avoided and neither can this one. What’s the point in premature grief?
My eyes jerk open. A clattering rattle of wheels on flagstones, and I glance over my shoulder. This is a good vantage point, but I’ll likely be spotted as soon as I fire, and I’ll have to be fast to get down the tower walls and away. I can’t think about that, not now. The mob that so far has been muted, only muttering with the day’s excitement, now raise their voices as one, turning as if by black magic into a single howling beast. I make myself look. And I gasp.

The man I see can surely not be my brother, Conal, the Wolf of the North.
His hair has been cut roughly and his body is covered in grime and blood, his once fine clothes torn and dirty. I swear when I see the girl beside him. He will want me to kill her as well. He was always the noble one. I watch as he speaks softly to her, comforting her, even though in any other situation she would be in the crowd, shouting and jeering with the rest. Even as I think that I see Conal lift his head slightly, his eyes meeting mine through the haze. He smiles at me, glad to see me there.

“The warlocks smiling. Let’s see him smile as he burns in hell”

Something flies out from the crowd and hits my brother upon the forehead. He falls to his knees and the girl starts to fluster about him. But my brother is strong and he rises once more. When he raises his head again I see dark blood flowing from the fresh wound. Spears are thrust at them and slowly the sad pair shuffles onto the ugly pyre which will be their grave.

I wipe my eyes again, to wipe the tears away. Looking down upon him it is impossible to see the brave and well-dressed young man whose future was so bright. I shouldn’t have to do this. But I’m the only family Conal has left and he is all that is left of mine. And that means something, that means when Conal told me what I must do I knew I had to do it, even as I cried I knew I would be here on that night. But this girl! Conal raises his head again, not looking at me, instead gazing into the haze.

“She has a name Seth”

Even as he says it I know I don’t want to hear it, it will only make pulling the trigger that much harder.

“Her name is Emma”

“I’ll do it Conal, for you, not for some feral girl.”

“Her first, I don’t want her to see or feel any pain”

“Is this….”

“This is the only way little brother. Now ready yourself. My story draws to a close but yours, yours has hardly begun”

But before I can respond my eyes are drawn to a flame. With a roar the torch is lit, the resin and bark burning brightly. I can only watch in disbelief as the torch is slowly carried towards the pyre. Burly men, men who once served my father now prepare to kill their old masters first born. Rough ropes bind the pair to stakes driven deep into the cracked earth. The torch draws closer as my brother looks up at me for the final time, a smile dancing in his eyes. And with that the torch drops, time seems to slow as the flame falls through the air before landing in amongst the straw and dry twigs. The kindling works well and soon the pyre is a raging inferno.

I can hardly make out my brother and the girl but I know I have to. I wipe my eyes once more before raising the crossbow and levelling it carefully. Taking a deep breath I squeeze and the string twangs. The bolt flies true and I see the girl slump forward and remain still. Too quick for anyone to react or notice I slide the second bolt in, draw back the string and pause for a second. Blinking tears from my eyes I squeeze and turn away quickly so as not to see my bolt hit its mark. Scrambling forwards I hear angry shouts behind me as realization daws.

Clambering over the parapet I half tumble half scramble down the pile of rubble. Landing heavily upon the flagstones I drop the crossbow and run. I run, my feet hitting the flagstones as I sprint through the ruined doorway. Now I’m on the road my footsteps fall more quietly and I run faster. I never look back and I never thought of what I had done, instead I ran. Only when I reached the old stone bridge that crossed the river did I allow myself to stop and collapse into tears.

Hope everyone enjoys



The Silent Lions Chapter

Winter Falls

Darkness

Give a man a match and he will be warm for a day.
Set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

Last edited by Romero's Own; 09-06-12 at 09:40 PM.
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This has nothing to do with that stupid show in the early 80's does it?

We move slowly through the shrouds of fog sending pestilence before us. There is no hope! We are the Death Guard. Fear us for we are coming for you!
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LOL ade and i will be entering this one i think
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Bloodlines.

A Renegades Short.
Word Count: 1069 (not including title)

The Giant stood over the Justice Keeper, annoyed by the lack of co-operation on the humans’ part. He had been obstinate and disrespectful to the Astartes since he had first come into the Precinct house, was this how far the people of this night world had fallen? Did the fear of what their King would do if he saw fit not compute in their brains? The Astartes did not even want to contemplate the answers to that.

“You think I am afraid of you Night Lord?” The Justice Keeper sat back in his chair and folded his hands before him into a steeple. “Well I am not”

“That is obvious Justice Lord….. I did not get your name?”

“In your arrogance you did not ask it, so it matters not”

The Astartes growled deep in his throat, he was not used to being spoken too like this and he was within his rights to take this man’s head off his shoulders. The Night Lords were the masters of the darkness; they were the Emperors justice, his hunters of witches and those who would usurp the Emperors authority. He had returned to Nostramo upon rumours of upheaval and a return to the old ways, before the forming of the Legion, before the days of the Emperor and when his father ruled the world with fear.

He was the bogeyman that parents would tell their children about to get them to behave, he was the name whispered n hushed conversations’ in taverns, when the latest murderers had been found and he had never hidden the fact it was he who had killed them. His works of art deterred even the most hardened crime lord from doing anything that was going to get him noticed by the Night Haunter.

But of course they did and he dealt with it.

He always did, he made Nostramo safe and this idiot Justice keeper had no idea what could happen if, no not if, when the Primarch found out about how bad Nostramo had become in his absence he would take notice. This is why Seventh Claw of 52nd Company was here. Their Captain was a cousin of the First Captain, and he had been asked to send a squad to investigate.

The Battle Brother had been in the station house asking for information on bribes that the Chief Justice Keeper was apparently taking and right now, he was starting to lose his temper. Many of the other Justice Keepers had almost defecated themselves when the Night Lord had strode into the prescient house. The sons of Curze were, like their father, not known for their geniality like some of their brothers.

Since the arrival of the Night Lords back to the Home world, attendances at the newly consecrated Churches that had sprung up over the continent had risen.

He had been quite scathing in his comments, he believed that suddenly the Nostramans had found god not because they feared god but they feared what his warriors would do, and more than that, they feared what his archangel son would do. Curze’s brutality was known imperium wide, and it did not bode well for them. He would see the return to their darker ways as a stain upon his honour, and no matter what the Astarte said, or tried to convey across to the Justice Keepers this, idiot was not listening.

Or did not want to listen.

“Tell me, Astartes, how long have you been in the service of the King?”

He arched an eyebrow behind his helm and rumbled “Why do you ask?”

The Justice Keeper sat forward in his chair. He was a man of middle age maybe a little older and his once black hair was going white, his eyes spoke of horrors that he had seen and, judging by how violent Nostramans were, committed himself as a younger boy in the gangs.

“I was a boy when my father told me the same story I am about to tell you. His grandfather had a brother. When the call for the Legion came, when Nostramo was more or less well behaved, both of them stepped up to the call. The one who was careful about what he did, cleaned up after his brother and never really did anything but look out for him was killed during the trials.”

“Such is the way; he would have brought honour to the family for merely being chosen. The Primarch would have ensured they were compensated”

“And so he did, but see such is the way of society both brothers had sired children, the brother who lived sired a son and a daughter, the one who died sired a son.”

“I do not see the point of this”

“The point is this, the man you are hunting is my brother and he deals violence with violence, he is not corrupt, he accepts no bribes but, he dispenses justice in the way the King would see fit if he were here”

The Astartes watched as the man got to his feet and it was then he saw the name, Clause Balor, just as he was registering this in his mind, the door opened and the Chief Justice Keeper came out.

“Chief Balor, I believe this Astartes wishes to talk to you?”

Jarred Balor looked at the Astartes “Come to kill me son of Curze?”

The Astartes shook his head “I just wanted to know if you had returned to the old ways, it would appear my question has been answered.”

He walked to the door and removed his helm “It would seem my mortal line carries on the just fight of the Primarch I am Brother Balor, of Second Claw of 52nd Company, I am relieved that I have no traitors in my line”

He walked away leaving the two mortals stunned and both sat on the desk as they realised they had just seen their great grandfather.

“Dominus Nox” They both said at the same time.

Battle Brother Balor grinned as he walked away, such was the way of the Legionnaires early lives, maybe one day they would have children to carry on the name when he died.

“Ave Imperator”
He whispered and made the sign of the Aquila, pleased in the knowledge that his great grandsons were living according to the doctrines of the Primarch, and serving the Holy Emperor as loyal sons of Nostramo.
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Only The Guilty Should Suffer!


What could be said for my family? The fact that I never knew them? The fact that my father was never around and my mother was a whore? Maybe it was the fact that I was never around. No, my father and mother and brother were around. My mother was not a whore and my father did not forsake us; it was me, I forsook them and it was because of me that they died.

They died by the hand of the Inquisition. They died because I was the heretic, the sinner in the midst of the righteous. They died because I did wrong when I could have done right. I hate myself for that. I hate the fact that my mother wept as they butchered my brother and father, as the Inquisition sought information my family could not possibly have known. I hate myself for betraying them, for delivering them up to execution by our family ties alone.

Inquisitor Fredric Maston was a brutal man, a man devoted to the purification of the Emperor’s worlds by any means necessary. The scriptures of the Pure were constantly upon his lips and tattooed upon his flesh. His armor was inscribed with prayers and symbols of warding as was custom for the Brotherhood of the Light. For every sin there was a punishment, for every wrong perceived upon the righteous there was a brutality dealt out.

‘You have been found guilty for the aiding of a heretic!’ he proclaimed. The cuts of his blade split the skin of my mother and she screamed and begged for him to stop. ‘The suffering I place upon your flesh will purify you of your many sins. Your screams will testify of your purging.’

She died after many hours of torment, after seeing her husband and son murdered before her very eyes. The last words she spoke through a lipless mouth were these, ‘We are innocent.’ The Inquisitor’s last words to her were, ‘Innocence means nothing.’

I wept as the blood dripped upon my head as it seeped through the floorboards. My family would not have divulged my place of hiding even if they had known where I was. The fact of their innocence meant nothing to the Inquisition. The very fact that I was alive was testament enough of their guilt.

Six years have come and gone since the last time I had been home. I was now a very different man, very different from the child I had once been. When I was a child I spoke and acted as a child should. The sins of my past had long been a plague to me, a stain upon my soul. I remembered the crime that had branded me a heretic, the theft of an amulet from the local jeweler. I had been eleven years old at the time, a little boy who should have known better then to steal from anyone.

It was not a crime worthy of anyone’s death; not a crime worthy of anything more than a fine, but the smallest infraction was a sign of guilt and theft was not tolerated by the Inquisition. Now I am seventeen and have lived a lived of violence. I had been taken in by the Brotherhood of the Vengeful, a local cult that wielded enough force to give even the Inquisition pause from their normal brutal ways of enforcing the law.

‘What is your name, boy?’ the man had asked. ‘Sven, sir.’ I had replied. The scar upon his face was terrible, the result of a fire long since extinguished. His cold black eyes regarded me for a long time before he slapped my face and knocked me to the floor. I cried out and when I did, he slapped me again and punched me in the gut. ‘I will teach you how to take pain and how to give it, boy. You will learn to be more than you have ever known. The Brotherhood will be your family now. We will be your brothers and sisters and I will be the father the Inquisition has taken from you.’

I grew up hard and became cold and soulless, and deep inside I knew there was a purpose for the pain. There was a reason I was still alive.

Inquisitor Fredric Maston walked through the alley with a confidence that had been born of pride and fanaticism. With him were seven men, all his arms of purification upon the sinners who dared cross his path. I watched them as they cleared the alley and crossed the street. The reason they were here was because of the contact I had made earlier in the day. ‘There are heretics in the Stalwart district. I have seen them butcher a man and praying to the lords of Chaos.’ That had got his attention.

As they entered the boarded up abandoned building I knew I had them. I knew where they would go and I knew what lay in store for them. I smiled, but it was not from joy but from the understanding that vengeance would be meted out. The Inquisitor would pay for the death of my family. He would know that killing the innocent to reach the guilty was a sin unworthy of the Emperor or the true followers of righteousness.

The initial blast dropped the floor out from under two of the vanguard of the Inquisitor. They died instantly when they fell upon the spiked bed on the floor below. The second blast dropped the slabs of plas-create above upon three more of them, flattening them like cakes crushing their bones and popping their bodies like air-filled bags spilling blood across the floor and up the walls with the weight of rubble.

The air was filled with dust and smoke and the screams of one of the last two remaining soldiers who had accompanied the Inquisitor. His leg had been smashed flat by a section of the ceiling. The Inquisitor and the last of his retinue knew they were trapped. He cursed and proclaimed the scriptures of hate he had tattooed upon his flesh. When he saw me and my brothers stepping over the rubble he pulled his plasma pistol and fired. The shot immolated the person beside me.

I fired my shotgun as did my brothers and killed the last of the Inquisitor’s men and injured the Inquisitor himself. He tried to curse us but I broke his jaw with the butt of my shotgun. ‘You killed my family. You are guilty.’ When I close my eyes I can still hear his screams.

1,099 words, not including title.

We move slowly through the shrouds of fog sending pestilence before us. There is no hope! We are the Death Guard. Fear us for we are coming for you!
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And, for the third time...

Vindication

Where does madness start? In the flame of a candle, fluttering despite closed windows and doors? In the light reflected in dead eyes that never held any when they were alive? In the wish to touch cold, dead skin just to know it is real?

It sat on the table before him, in the flickering light of the candles. They guttered in a wind that should not exist. Or was it merely his breath? They formed a tiny shallow pool of light in a darkness too deep for even his superhuman eyes to penetrate. The glow of the candles was golden and warm and fading, and cold and blue and sharp was the stasis field. The hololithic recorder sat on the edge of the dark stone table, a sphere of dull bronze, almost swallowed by the tenebrous air, holding a promise never to be fulfilled.

Inside the field sat his brother's head. Eyes open, skin white. Black hair turned grey, pooling on the bottom of the crate, like a threadbare pillow. He reached for it, out of instinct, his fingers stopping millimeters from the field. Blue sparks arced from it and played over his golden armour. He would not be seen outside his armour in his brother's presence, he would never trust again. Not even now that the other had been claimed by death.

Where does madness begin? When eyes can no longer be relied on? When only the touch, and the smell, the sound of dripping blood can convey the inevitable?

Dead eyes stared. Pools of blackness, reflecting the candles’ flames. Black blood crusted in the lines around a thin mouth with milkwhite lips, where teeth filed to fangs had cut into skin, in or after death. Sharp cheekbones strained against skin like parchment, white and chalky, casting shadows over gaunt and hollow cheeks.

He deactivated the field, and the blue light vanished. Now only the candles remained. They guttered, and two of them went out, extinguished by the release of trapped air. Or was it something else that had smothered them? And the eyes continued to stare at him, now free of the distortion of the stasis field. But their gaze wasn’t the only thing that had been freed...

The smell then hit his enhanced olfactory apparatus: dead blood, starting to go rancid, but preserved inside the field: coppery, rich, intense. Far different from human blood. Impossibly different. The sweetness of decomposition was yet absent. Softly, the smell of the dead man as he had been in life crept in, became noticeable over the overpowering scent of his blood. Sweat, unwashed hair. A faint suggestion of lapping oils from armour that had been like second skin. Mould and dust, the faint odor of decaying feathers. Where did that come from?

Where does madness begin? In the whispers of the dark, burning on fevered imagination? He relit the candles, to banish the shadows pooling in the dead man's eye sockets.

Slowly, they withdrew, evaporating with sirupy reluctance. Black eyes were revealed, staring into the distance. Black in black, bloodshot and bruised. Full of...

Nothing. His fingers were cold, despite the environmental systems of his armour being fully operational. He yearned to touch the cold, pallid skin of the corpse, to feel the reality of his brother's death.

A death he had ordered. A death met willingly, as the final validation of a life lived in service to an ideal. An unspoken denial in a redundant gesture of his hand. There was a faint tinkling sound as the recorder rolled off the table and fell to the marble floor. An unnecessary valediction. He was held spellbound by a dead empty gaze alone.

Where does madness start? In flinching from accusations nobody will ever voice?

He turned away, bending over and picking up the bronze sphere. It was tiny in his massive fist, dull against the shining gold of his gauntlet. The surface dented slightly as his fingers closed around it and after a moment of stillness, he carefully placed it on the table, inside the circle of candles. Such a little thing... It rolled forward, only to be stopped by a dead man’s jaw.

Where does madness begin? In imagining the feel of cold, hard skin, white as marble, stretched over black veins?

On his armour the flickering lights danced. With one hand outstretched he stood, still as a statue. As the wind played with his lank grey hair, the severed head had more life than him.

Where does madness begin? Speaking to the dead? He was silent, his mouth firmly shut.

The dead man's smile was a thing of shortened muscles and differing temperatures. The candles' corpselight gave an illusion of life to a skin that had looked as pallid, as lifeless when still covering a body with beating hearts. Pointed teeth protruded between bluetinged lips. Delicate grooves cut into flesh that had never been soft and now looked like stone.

A finger gently pushed a strand of hair back, where it lay over a black eye. The skin was cold, sensors embedded in his armoured fingertips told him. But not as cold as his. An inane caress.

Where does madness begin? In images in the dark, given life by one’s own fevered mind?

He stood back, closing his eyes. He had feared he might see his brother's face as it had been in life, might see his accusation, his triumph. But he saw only darkness. Once more, lightning struck, and the tower fell. For the last time.

Under his tread, the marble floor cracked.

The door flew open, and the guards jumped, taken aback by his ferocity.

"Take it away."

Words: 942 without title.
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Grumble grumble... I'll extend the deadline till Halloween, voting will be done the first week of November and the new topic will be posted while voting is going on. Curse you, Russian hacker!


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

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The Brightest Star


The Warmaster seldom has a moment of peace. The title is but unworn and new to him, but the duties that burden him have all but increased. The paperwork alone occupies a large bulk of his time. He can only hope that soon he will be able to delegate it to his subordinates. What is more, his elevation has not absolved him of his duties as the commander of an Expedition Fleet. The usual complications and issues await his attention.

Nevertheless, he has managed to find a moment, in which he will not have to be the Warmaster. For a while, he can just be Horus. He has sent away his advisors and instructed them not to bother him, unless it’s at least a small scale invasion. Now, he stands in his sanctum and tries to chase away the thoughts of obligations.

Shaking his head, he stops in front of his books. Those he keeps in his private sanctuary are merely a drop in the sea of knowledge he has absorbed. They are his most beloved pieces of writing, the ones he enjoys most. All of them are worn from multiple readings. His hand hovers over the tomes, before electing to take the oldest one.

It is not a book the public would expect a Primarch to read, but it is one of Horus’s most treasured possessions. While he does concur that he cannot learn anything of value from this tome, he considers it a treasure none the less. It is the very first gift he has received from his father. The memory of the day when he was given it is still fresh in his mind.

He flips the pages casually, as he wanders back to his desk. Once he stops, he leans against the massive piece of furniture, his hand resting on the scarred wood; too engrossed to bother sitting down. He opens the tome and starts reading the chapter on the Dreadful Sagittary anew.

By now, he knows it practically by heart, but it is of little consequence to him. It is the sign Father has chosen for him and when he reads about it, it feels like he is still with him.

***

The book is old and worn by numerous readings. Abbaddon recognizes it—Horus had shown it to him and the Mournival, back when Loken and Trogaddon were still his brothers. A gift from the False Emperor, he had thought the Primarch had gotten rid of it long ago.

And yet, he found it, lying innocuously among the other books. A bitter laugh escapes his lips—as if he needs more evidence that Horus was weak. The old primer is nothing but further proof that the former Warmaster had not been the chosen one the Gods needed.

Horus was weak. Abbaddon had learned the truth of it as he watched their cause crumble just as the Warmaster’s life had crumbled in the face of the wrath of the Anathema. Even with all the might of the Gods backing him, Horus had been too weak to deal the final blow. He faltered and died, leaving his forces headless and bleeding.

Absent-mindly, he leafs through the book. It has no value that much is clear. The information within are inexact at best, and incorrect at worse. A child’s book, given by a parent to keep them ignorant of how the world truly works. By keeping it Horus had proven he was such a child, unprepared for the great duty placed on his shoulders.

And so he failed.

No one has stepped up and taken his place—the Primarchs had each taken their Legion and fled. In the end, none of them dared to usurp Horus place, even after he had proven himself unworthy. The demagogue Lorgar, the first to discover the true Gods, bitter Perturabo, who had resented Horus’s rise to Warmaster, blood-thirsty Angron and charismatic Fulgim, none of them had even tried. They had fled.

He gazes down at the book and slowly, methodically starts tearing it apart. Page by page, he rips them from the cover. They scatter around him, like snowflakes, but he picks them up and continues his work of destruction. Each page becomes nothing more than scattered fragments. He spots the title “Dreadful Sagittary” and deliberately rips it letter by letter, and then the letters until the fragments are too small for his large fingers to grip. He lets them fall with a snarl and picks himself up.

He casts his gaze around the room, feeling memories assault him from every corner. Here, on this couch, Horus would lounge and speak with him and his brothers. There, on his desk he would sit and write, penning directives and signing reports. Shadows of the dead surround him—Horus towering over him in his black armour, Trogaddon laughing at Loken…

He shakes his head. The room belongs to the ghosts and he has no place for them. Without thinking, he throws himself at the desk, raining blows upon its sturdy surfaces. He rages, wrecking furniture and scattering belongings, until only ruins remain. And still, he cannot shake away the feeling that Horus is there, watching him with disapproval, as if he had any right to judge him.

Too much like his father, Horus had been prideful. Just like the Emperor, he had failed his sons. He left them with only bitter disappointment and broken dreams of glory.

Abbaddon looks around, taking in the destruction he had wreaked. He feels empty: the abandoned son of a god. Horus had left him, just as the Emperor had left the Warmaster back on Ullanor.

The brightest star had burnt out too early.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-25-12, 02:31 AM
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A month of HOES, devoured by She Who Thirsts. Tragedy.

Well, I'd given up being able to post anything, but I suppose I might as well whip something together, now that I've been given a second reprieve. Were I clever and on top of my crap I would have long since completed my entry, even if I were incapable of posting it, and have found myself in readiness come this renaissance. Alas, I am not as such. I dare eat a peach, I dare disturb the universe, etc.

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