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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-24-08, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Default In the Hands of the Emperor - Space Marine Short Story Competition Entry

Hey fellow fulfferteers. This was my writing example for this years black library short story comp. Unfortunatly it didn't get through. I was a bit gutted but ah well, have to try harder next time

Here goes



“INCOMING!!” The pilot screamed over the vox. The Thunderhawk groaned as its pilot threw it to the right to avoid the incoming missile. Xavyer Thaddeus, Captain of the fourth company of Imperial Fists sat in the hold of his lead Thunderhawk as it descended upon Western City’s space port. His storm bolter was safely stowed above his head and his power sword laid waiting in its sheath. The space port was heavily guarded and missiles and lascannon beams streaked into the sky, each one potential death for the incoming Thunderhawks. Thaddeus gritted his teeth, enraged that he was not yet delivering the Emperor’s divine justice upon the well dug-in defenders. The hold lurched as the shockwave of a destroyed Thunderhawk hit the hull, fragments and debris ricocheting from the lead Thunderhawk. With an impatient roar the Captain unfastened himself from his harness and approached the cockpit.
“Pilot how long till touch down?” he asked.
“Fifteen seconds Brother-Captain” the pilot replied.
“Thank you Brother. Bring us down as close as you can to that sandbag emplacement” the Captain said, pointing to an octagonal shape of sandbag walls “And inform the other transports. Drop off then lift off. We’re going in hot”
The captain returned to the hold and addressed his Marines. “Brothers, gear up”

The rear ramp of the Thunderhawk crashed down and Thaddeus was straight out, firing his storm bolter from the hip. Behind him thirty marines followed suit, a Brother with a missile launcher sent a frag into a nearby pillbox. Three Imperial guardsmen stumbled from the blacked ruin and were cut down in short order.
“Perimeter” the Captain called as he took cover behind a low wall “Form a defensive for the other transports” the Space Marines followed the Captain’s order quickly and without question. The tactical squads formed firing lines and gave suppressive fire as more Thunderhawks landed. The fourth transport landed and Brother-Chaplain Varthes stormed out, his skull helmet grinning in the midday sun, and his crozius arcanum an ornate badge of death.
“Brother Captain!” the Chaplain exclaimed “We’ve landed into an ambush!”
“Thank you for that brother” Thaddeus replied, tossing a frag over the lip of the emplacement
“I hadn’t noticed!”
“What are your orders Captain?” the Chaplain asked.
“Brother-Librarian Marneus’ Thunderhawk is yet to land. We need to lay down cover fire for him. Once he has landed we can take control of this situation. On my mark...” The captain said as he braced himself.
“Covering fire!” he called as he leapt up and unloaded his storm bolter into the enemy.
The final Thunderhawk landed and Brother-Librarian Marneus ran out, his force staff crushing the skulls of the rebels and his wielding of the warp destroying their souls.
“Warriors of the fourth, on me” Thaddeus called “For Dorn, Terra and The Beloved Emperor!”
With a glorious cry the warriors of the Imperial Fists rose as one and charged the embedded rebels.

The sound was deafening. The harsh snap of bolter fire met with the excruciated sounds of rebels dying at the hands of the mighty Astartes. Thaddeus brought his power sword across in a wide arc, cleaving two rebels in half. To his right a guardsman charged Brother Varthes, the great Chaplain took the traitor by the neck and drove his helmet to his face, shattering it into bloodied fragments. A second lunged at the Chaplain with his bayonet, rage in his eyes and blood on his hands. With a twist of his crozius Varthes had him grounded. A swift deliverance from the underside of the Chaplain’s boot ensured the rebel would not be rising again.
“Brothers” Thaddeus called “Let’s finish this, for the emperor!” With a zealous cry the marines charged forward.
Thaddeus dashed around the corner of the corridor, firing from the hip. The warriors of the fourth were working their way through the spaceport complex, purging the rebels from its bowels. Fifteen minuets of intense fighting followed before the Space Marines advanced was slowed to a halt. The rebels had taken up a position upon a large flight of stairs. At the end of the narrow stretch laid a pair of heavy bolter turrets and two dozen rebels. An unfortunate marine was ripped apart as he tried cross the gap, his body sent rolling, blood-soaked across the ground.
“Captain” Sergeant Titus called “We’re pinned down. That emplacement will make short work of us!”
“Understood Brother-Sergeant” the Captain said as he opened a comms channel
“Untouchable Faith, this is Captain Thaddeus, requesting the teleportation of terminator support”
“Confirmed Captain, terminator support granted”
The air around the emplacement began to crackle and buzz. There was a blinding blue light and suddenly five warriors of the first stood mightily amidst the defenders. Unfortunately for the defenders the teleportation had been a little too precise. One terminator, a Brother with an assault cannon, had materialised inside a rebel guardsmen. The rebel’s supple flesh burst apart and the veteran unleashed a storm of assault cannon-fire upon the enemy.
Against the might of the Space Marine’s finest the rebels stood no chance, all of the traitors were killed in seconds, either blown apart by storm bolter and assault cannon fire or crushed by powerfist and ceramite boot. After the emplacement had been cleared Thaddeus allowed himself a moment to take respite. Unsealing his helm, he took a long draft of cool air, its taste more pleasing than his suits recycled product. The captain checked his storm bolter’s ammo and ran minor system checks upon his armour. Brother-Sergeant Magnus of the terminators approached the venerable captain.
“Orders Captain?”
“We could use your help to clear any emplacements similar to this one. Open a comms to the squad Sergeants and lend aid...” the captain was cut off by his own comms springing to life.
“Captain!” The voice screamed, it was the voice of Brother-Chaplain Varthes. “Captain my troops need immediate assistance”
“What is it Brother?” the Captain asked.
“It’s the leader of this rabble sir...It’s a rogue Psyker!”


Check out my blog for further stories

https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/blog.php?u=8631

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-08, 04:48 AM
 
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thats pretty good

im surprised you didnt get in
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-08, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah i was pretty disappointed, but ah well. Thanks for reading.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-08, 04:38 PM
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I certainly was expecting worse, infact I was quite surprised. The action scenes were very well done, and breathed alot of life into the events.

However, there was a few problems with the overall story which hampered your entry quite significantly. If this is all you sent in, it's very short. For a short story, it's still very short. A short story needs to be atleast 3x the lengh, usually with a beggining, middle and conclusion (or an event which magnifies the situation to greater effect as an ending) Whereas this has only one element, the beggining. The main characters were very throw-away. What're their personalities? Sure, you can't be expected to tell a really interesting personal history of a Space Marine squadron in a short story, but there has to be some connection. A third-person camera-view on the chaplain would have more interesting reading. And lastly, the talking. It was taken literally nowhere. It was a list of acknowlegements. "yes sir" "that was good sir" as an example. There was no story telling, character building or atmosphere. The problem with a fictional world is that you have to create the atmosphere around it, show off your characters in their actions or speech.

But if you were aiming for an action-story, you were heading in the right direction, it was quite gripping and forward-moving, as a decent action story should be. If you cut out all the meaningless chatter and congradulatories, fleshed it out with infomation and continued the dramatic imagery this could have done well.

I've read a fair few Black Library novels, and some can't do action very interestingly. I think you could prove your worth if you spent more time on details and pacing. What I think would do you some good to practice is a central small amount of characters you give a small amount of page-time to each. Say, a chaplain, an ordinary trooper and anouther trooper who uses psyker powers on the field without the knowlege of his comrades. Something like that, to give the reader a mix of perspectives. It's your story. All on the same battlefield fighting closeby. Then you can individualise their actions and mix them up at odd points. Tell it from a third-person perspective as you've been doing. I think it'd be a good framework for you. Take it or leave it.

... Anyway. Keep writing. PM me when you post your next story.

Last edited by EndangeredHuman; 08-17-08 at 04:41 PM.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-08, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot Endangered. The first round of the competition was only a 1000 word limit so i couldn't add any more to it. I felt the characters were weakly built upon as well, but I was more concerned with getting gripping action. I'm normally quite detailed on character description, i like to let the reader know who their reading about. But word count was an issue. I like your suggestions, you've made me want to carry the story on. I might go back, re-do the dialouge and further the story.

Thanks for reading

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-08, 06:35 PM
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Ah! Silly boy that is I. I forgot about the entry word limit. My appologies on a couple of sentances.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-08, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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No worries, at least the C was constructive working on the editing at the moment

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-17-08, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imm0rtal reaper View Post
No worries, at least the C was constructive working on the editing at the moment
Good lad, i'm sure one GW cover save will fail! Just make sure you have a high strengh attack.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-02-08, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Hey hey all, Stil lin the process of editing the story at the moment. Should be much longer and more gripping when its done.

Much love

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