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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-26-13, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Default Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories 13-10: Relaxation

Welcome to the year's tenth

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 and be awarded the Lexicanum's Crest award for Fiction excellence!


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:


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) Saturday, November 23, 2013. Voting will be held from 124 November - 30 November. Remember, getting your story submitted on November 23rd will be just as considered by others as one submitted on November 11th! Take as much time as you need to work on your piece! Any entries submitted past the deadline will not be considered in the competition, regardless of whether the voting thread is posted or not.

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 - 1 reputation points, everyone will receive this
3rd place - 2 reputation points
2nd place - 3 reputation points
1st place - 4 reputation points and Lexicanum's Crest

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in this thread.

Without further nonsense from me, let the writing begin!

Table of Contents

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-13, 04:47 AM
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Default huh?

I did not know there was any relaxation in the 40K universe.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-28-13, 04:50 AM
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I'll throw a story in if I can think of a topic between then and now.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-13, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Adrian View Post
I did not know there was any relaxation in the 40K universe.
That is what makes it fun.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-21-13, 11:10 PM
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Default A Moment to Think

A Moment to Think

The sky was ashen gray with clouds of toxic smoke. The clouds rained down ash like snow. The ashes were from the people who once lived upon this broken world. I watched as the first waves of bombs entered the atmosphere and stood in utter shock and awe. Fear clouded my judgment and for a moment I forgot how to even think. In the first wave cities crumbled and the land caught fire. In the second wave the air burned. In the third wave oceans boiled and turned to steam. Nothing was left but brokenness. I watched from the view port of the Faithful Despair along with the others who stood with me. We did not need to invade to ensure victory. We knew the world was dead. The victory was hollow and unfulfilling. It left rottenness in my mouth and I swallowed the bile that built in the back of my throat. This is not the way of the Word Bearers. This is not my way. I read the tattooed script that wound around my wrist. The words were ancient and pure. The words could be translated into Gothic. The words would be read as, ‘Blood spilled is blood earned and if blood is spilled without blood being earned it is useless and corrupt.’ This victory spilled millions of bodies of their blood. The blood was useless and corrupt to me because it was not earned in sacrifice.

When Largar walked among us we were mighty and were unbroken. When he stopped walking among us we watched as our honor stagnated and fell into disrepair. Largar sits in the temple in the Eye of Terror waiting for something to guide his return. I am frustrated and grow tired of watching and waiting for his return. Though I am faithful to the faith, I cannot do as some of my brothers have done and just believe everything is according to the plans of the gods. I am angry and grow angrier as the years go by. I believe that my Primarch knows of my temperament though he is not among us. I believe that his great mind is still knowing of many things and I am grateful for his patience with me. I believe that his patience with me is solely because of the fire in my heart and the purity of my purpose. Below I watch the world burn. I am sickened by it. I turn away. I will seek solitude in my quarters and meditate upon what I have known and seek answers to the questions that still burn in my heart and mind.

Before I can exit the bridge a hand grips my shoulder. I stop but do not look up. My head is bowed and I shut my eyes. Galidor speaks to me and his words are as solid as granite to my soul. ‘Why do you turn away from what you have seen? Is it because you have grown weak and are no longer worthy of the faith?’ He speaks slowly and with bitterness in his voice. I am bitter also. I hold back the flood of adrenalin that rushes through my veins. Galidor has attacked my honor and has challenged my pride. I turn slowly and look into his cold black eyes. Before he can move I have my serrated blade at his throat. He does not flinch away but leans into the blade. ‘Will you slay me?’ Blood runs down the blade and drips upon the sacred floor. Others are watching us, watching me to see what I will do. ‘Dishonor me again and I shall cut you to pieces. Challenge my faith again and I shall rip your soul from your body and cast it into the warp.’

I can see the moment of resignation spark in my brother’s eyes. He knows he has gone too far with me and he understands that I will not stay my hand again. He nods and steps away. He allows me to pass unhindered.

The halls are dark but I can see well. I read the script that is written upon the walls as I make my way to my quarters. They speak of humility before honor. They speak of ancient things that would make a mortal man go insane. The ship is old and these words have been here for thousands of years. They are worn down and unreadable is some areas but I do not have to read every word to understand what they say. I know many of them by heart. I stop in the hall and look upon a section that I have never seen before. It is low to the floor so I kneel and read. I do not know who inscribed them. They seem to speak into my very soul as I read them. I identify with the passage as a beast identifies with water. I am thirsty for truth. They say, ‘When I walked upon the world and saw the endless war I longed to rest in a place where silence was the only noise. I wished at that very moment to be anywhere but here. War makes the young old and the wisdom of ages fade away.’

I understood the meaning and closed my eyes. There are moments when I would like to withdraw to a place of solitude away from the nagging whispers of daemons and the boastful shouts of war. It is not that I am afraid but because I need a moment to remember what I was and what I have become. I stand and enter my refuge. Upon the walls are ancient texts that I have read hundreds of times even though I have memorized every word. They are life to me as air is life to a man.

Weeks go by and I am longing to be anywhere but here. I am death and knowledge but I feel as though truth has abandoned my legion. I open my eyes and look down upon another world. It is in flames but there is still life upon its surface. They are dug in and will not abandon their faith just as I will not abandon mine. I turn away. Galidor grips my shoulder. ‘Why do you turn away?’ he asks. He does not challenge my faith again. He knows that he will die if he does so. Though I wish to rest I answer him. ‘I go to teach the ignorant the folly of their ways and to give them the truth of my faith.’

1,095 words

A good reputation take a long time to build, but only a moment to destroy. Wow, that's deep! Check out the H.O.E.S. short story competition.
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Last edited by Adrian; 11-24-13 at 03:10 PM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-23-13, 04:54 AM
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Heresy Online Expeditious Stories 13-10: Relaxation
Ash and Iron
1077 words

“To relax,” Ra’kanusk had said, “is human. The end of inaction is the beginning of transcendence.”

He had not needed to say how deep a sin transcendence was; all Salamanders knew that.

Even Nocturne herself relaxed, Emet Iosh’mir considered. Not all of time was a Time of Trial, after all. Periods of relative inactivity, punctuated by great shifts; that was the way of worlds, as it was the way of mortals.

It was not the way of daemons. And it was not the way of machines.

“What did the tech-priests do to unleash these, anyway?” Avium bellowed as he prepared the grav-charges.

“Dug too deep,” Iosh’mir replied. “As Mechanicum engines are want to do, when left unsupervised.”

“Those aren’t Necrons, though,” Ugosol noted, repeating the obvious.

Necrons was what the governor and an Inquisitor had called them, the reason why the Salamanders had been called to the planet of Ovehf in the first place. It had been a sparsely inhabited Agri-World with a single Hive, but a forgotten Mechanicum project from M36 had been left to excavate and sample the world until, a year ago, it had reached the lower mantle and discovered a series of iron pillars. Within them, a strange web of life dwelled. The engines, unguided, had not done a good job of either ensuring peace or waging war.

So the xenos did what xenos did, emerging from their deep lair and beginning to lay waste to the surface.

“Iron-based life,” Iosh’mir remarked, “is rare, but I’m sure the Necrons aren’t the only instance. How are the charges, Avium?”

“Ready,” the hulking Devastator responded. “This should deter them.” For long enough, hopefully, that the three Salamanders could escape Hive Ftaest. Fortunately, almost all of the civilians had made it out; but the evacuation had cost Gatar’gos and Ctyri their lives, and left the remnants of the squad stranded.

The Salamanders retreated, firing plasma weapons as they did; neither was a common occupation for Iosh’mir, but circumstances reigned supreme, here. Neither fire nor bolter shells seemed to have any impact on these aliens. Avium led them across a narrow bridge between two towering sections of the Hive, then up a staircase; and then the countdown finished, and Iosh’mir’s eyes were pinned to the alien horde, running over the charges –

Dozens were crushed in an instant, and yet the assault continued, as if the enemy didn’t even notice the devastation in their number.

“Come on, brother,” Avium called. “We might still make it out.”

And then, in an instant, Iosh’mir recognized where he had seen the “xenos” before.

* * *

“They’re not alive,” Iosh’mir told Magos Anktos. “The actual xenos – they’re probably silicon-based, based on what you’ve told me, not iron – created them as machines to level the surface. It’s similar to what we do with magmabots – almost identical, really, but in reverse. Close enough that the resemblance can be recognized.”

He was still battle-ready. The escape from Ftaest had not incurred any further casualties, except the atmospheric shuttle, which was unlikely to ever fly again. But now the remaining Imperial presence on Ovehf had been reduced to the Mechanicum research station which had begun the whole incident, the human population almost all moved into orbit.

The Mechanicum research station, which was under siege.

Seventeen Salamanders were fighting for Ovehf; those, and a large force of Skitarii, were the only humanoids left on the world. The Mechanicum had sent massive forces with the intent to clean up its mess, though until now that had seemed an impossible goal.

“Of course! That would explain how they survived the pressure differential, too – they were designed for the surface! As for the war…. Some sort of disruptor,” Anktos said, sinking into thought. “We could probably construct that within days, with a bit more observations on what wavelengths they’re using. Thank you, Iosh’mir.”

“We still have to retreat,” Avium – newly promoted to Sergeant after Gatar’gos’ death – opined. “Send out the pulse from orbit, or send a team down when it’s ready. We cannot hold this station, not even for days, not against these numbers.”

The Magos let out a buzzing sigh. “True. I will send out evacuation orders.”

Avium nodded, as unperturbed as ever. “Come on, brother,” he told Iosh’mir. “The fires of battle call.”

They walked through metallic corridors, surrounded by whirring gauges and rushing servitors. And then the yellow sun of Ovehf was in zenith, and the smell of plasma discharge excited the air about them, and inexorable steps sounded out the enemy advance. Ranks of machines advanced, firing into the Mechanicum perimeter and being fired on by turrets, skitarii, and servitors. Raising his plasma pistol, Iosh’mir fired –

And then, as the bolt zoomed towards the subterranean invaders, their steps ended, and every gray engine flopped to ground.

The bolt flew over it, bursting a fireball in the distance; and then the hammering of gunfire was halved, as the machines were ground into dust by impact upon electric impact.

Avium and Iosh’mir stared at a vista of iron ruins, and tried to comprehend.

* * *

“They were always meant to do this,” Magos Anktos confirmed. “They were designed to cause an amount of destruction proportionate to that we did, and then shut off. There was even a message, in binary, that said as much. Only we weren’t listening.”

The farms of Ovehf were even now being repopulated, agriculture beginning again on a scorched earth. Hive Ftaest was a ruin, though; refugee fleets were leaving the system, under an unclear repopulation program.

“We expect no repeat,” the magos concluded.

“So,” Avium suggested, “we are no longer needed.”

Anktos twitched. “We are already planning to return into the deep mantle, to exterminate the xenos once and for all. We would be honored if you were to join us in this endeavor.”

Avium chuckled. “How?”

The pause was deep.

“We cannot do it,” the Magos finally admitted. “Not in the nearest decade, at least. But Magos Kestrenni is obsessed with achieving vengeance, and it is true – vengeance would be the proper response.”

“It would,” Avium concluded; Iosh’mir felt his smoking fury at the casualties, though in truth his own was weak. “And we would fight, if it were possible. But if Kestrenni has lost his mind and desires the impossible, the proper response is not to humor him. Get him back to his senses; we, for our part, will depart. Frankly, I need to rest from this planet anyway.”

Renegades Saga contributions
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
What was broken has been mended. And what was burned away can never be reforged.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-23-13, 09:46 AM
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A Last Lho-Stick-1100 words

They came out of the darkness, the soot and smoke congealing into gold-trimmed war-plate of the deepest black, roaring chainweapons raised high and already coated in drying blood. Boltfire rang out, mass-reactive warheads blasting away at both Cadian trooper and concrete cover; answered by eye-searingly bright las bolts, the armored giants nevertheless moved forwards, inexorably, inevitably.

It was a losing fight, the Cadian sergeant knew- but they were Kasrkin, the best of the best, the Caducades sea-eagle brand upon each and every trooper’s neck. They would not break, would not fall back, would fight to the bloody end. That was what the Imperium asked of them, and they’d be damned if it got any less than that.

He popped up, leveling his hellpistol and snapping off a shot. The bright ruby beam leapt from the weapon’s muzzle, flying true; one of the towering traitor warriors faltered and then fell to his knees, half of his helmet and head missing. Four more searing bolts of energy lanced out, transfixing the traitor Astartes’ torso, and it finally collapsed.

That would not be enough.

A bolt-round hit the waist-high concrete barrier that the sergeant crouched behind before detonating, sending shrapnel ripping across the faceplate of his helmet; the elaborate HUD inside his visor flickered and died. He didn’t have time for this. Ripping the helmet off and throwing it aside, the sergeant stood and snapped off two more shots, striking another traitor but doing absolutely nothing to stop it.

They were drawing close now, despite the increasing volume of hellgun fire and the slowly-rising number of Astartes dropping under its weight. The sergeant ducked down and drew his sword, more than a meter of adamantium crackling with energy, a weapon that could easily cut through even these traitors’ power armor, and stood-

There was a Chaos Marine right there, and the sergeant realized that there was something cold against his stomach.

He looked down, weapons falling from suddenly nerveless fingers.

The Chaos Marine wore a pair of lightning claws, and three half-meter blades were embedded in the Cadian’s gut. A slow smile spread across the traitor’s pallid, unhelmeted face, revealing teeth that appeared to be pointed fangs, and a tongue sporting its own mouth.

The sergeant flopped to the ground as the traitor withdrew his claws, violet eyes open wide, his breath a cloud of mist in the cold air. It was so very cold, despite the armored and heated bodysuit; almost instinctively, he curled up on his side- or tried to, legs not responding to his will.

With a derisive snort, the traitor Astartes turned away and moved on. He was too close for that cursed battle-plate to provide any protection from a hellpistol- with a grunt of effort, the Cadian reached out for his dropped weapon. He couldn’t reach it; dragging himself closer, his gloved fingers finally closed around the pistol’s grip, but his killer was already gone, disappeared into the rubble.

The sergeant coughed. Something dribbled out of his mouth, and he was fairly sure he knew what it was. He became aware that he was lying in a puddle, a ruby-red puddle that was only growing, fueled by the founts of his wounds.

It didn't hurt very much. That was a bad sign.

Dragging himself over to the concrete barrier that had provided him cover earlier, the Kasrkin sergeant propped himself up on it in a sitting position. He had no illusions- this was a mortal wound, and there was no help coming. His squad was dead, of that he had no doubt- Astartes weaponry made quick work of most beings, often rendering them into unrecognizable gobbets of bloody flesh, such as he could see carpeting the ground not far to his left. Apparently the rest of them had been butchered while he had been distracted.

A burbling laugh left the sergeant’s mouth. Trained from childhood, equipped with the best armor and weaponry available… and slaughtered like this, all dead in a single cold afternoon on some little-known shrine world.

It was almost funny.

The sergeant dug in a pocket with shaking hands, gloved fingers finding the battered pack of lho-sticks and closing around it. There weren’t many left, and he dropped two before finally getting one out and between his lips. It didn’t matter- he wouldn’t need them again, that was for sure. He dropped the pack, too, trying to put it back in his pocket; his lighter came out of a different pocket, smooth chromed metal cool even to his gloved hand.

It took two tries to get a flame to leap out, orange at the top, blue at the bottom, wavering in the breeze. It caressed the end of the lho-stick for a brief moment, as the Cadian brought it close; snapping the lighter closed, he dropped that too.

He inhaled deeply, letting the lho take away the pain and the shaking. Reaching up, he took the small paper tube from his mouth with two fingers, dropping his hand to his lap. The end was stained red, the sergeant noticed; almost as if that had caused it, he coughed hard. It was a wet, rough cough, the kind that hurt his throat; flecks of blood came out, and more dribbled thickly out of each corner of his mouth.

There wasn’t much to do, he idly reflected, as one died. All one could do was sit around and wait for it- for some reason, the wounds weren’t quite so painful, or else he’d have contemplated finishing it quicker with the help of his hellpistol. But no, it wasn’t so bad, not at all- in fact, it afforded an opportunity for sitting down and not doing anything.

He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had a chance to just sit down and have a smoke.

Taking another drag from the lho-stick, the sergeant tapped ash free from the end. No, transit through the warp he’d heard was boring for other soldiers, but for a Cadian, a Kasrkin? God-Emperor no, they spent that time training, mock-assaults, hand-to-hand combat, intensive studies on the enemies they’d most likely encounter. And when they weren’t on board a naval vessel, they were fighting. No respite for the best of the best, none at all. Never-ending training, and then battle. That was the life of a Cadian- he’d never really known anything else and hadn’t even thought about it. Not until now.

Something cold landed on his cheek. Something else. Again. Again.

It was snowing.

The lho-stick dropped from between his fingers, sizzling and dying in the claret-red pool that had formed beneath him.

"You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honorable man."

Last edited by HonorableMan; 11-23-13 at 11:14 AM.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-13, 02:58 PM
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Default my votes

1st place - A Last Lho-Stick - HonorableMan

2nd place - Ash and Iron - VulkansNodosaurus

I liked both stories. V, I have always enjoyed reading your well talented writing. I think the story you wrote could be better served as a longer more drawn out thing. In a longer version I think the character development would be better and the world view would be more complete. Also the necron invasion would be better developed. In this shorter version I felt things were a bit mottled. I do look forward to the longer version. I will be watching for it.

H, This is the first time I have read one of yours I think. Good job. Great story. I was able to really get a firm picture in my brain about what was happening and the feelings involved.

I fixed some grammar issues and spelling in my story. I was at a motel when I wrote this. They did not have a good spell check.

A good reputation take a long time to build, but only a moment to destroy. Wow, that's deep! Check out the H.O.E.S. short story competition.
Other stories from Adrian.
Look up Adrian in the "Compendium" to find them. Thanks

Last edited by Adrian; 11-24-13 at 03:12 PM.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-13, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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The voting thread is now up.

Commendable dedication to voting, Adrian. I have copied your votes over.
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