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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-02-15, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Default Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories 15-10: Disguise

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!

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:

Disguise

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 GMT, 30 November 2015
. Remember, getting your story submitted on 22nd will be just as considered by others as one submitted on 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!

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-15, 07:38 PM
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Default Roll, Alabama Roll

It's all in the name
By
Brother Emund
1057 words

The Koronus Expanse.. the killing fields, an arena rich for harvest.

Archon Phraan Khilseith leant forward in eager anticipation as the last wisps of warp cloud dissipated around them, fully revealing the delectable blackness of the void. An infinite carpet of stars stared back at him like the soul sparks of millions of his victims; green and yellow Nebulas and dust clouds, their innards on the alter at Commorragh.

“I can smell them,” he hissed, and then pointed. “There.”
A flash, a tiny flicker of reflected light amongst the dull, shifting mass of the asteroid field.

“They hide like vermin.” Added Siirist, the Captain of his guard.
Khilseith spared him a glance. Although loyal to his Kabal and on blood-oath to him, the Captain should always know his place.
Siirist lowered his head and stepped back into the shadows.
“Apologies my Lord.”

They had located six vessels, all deep space haulers huddled together like frightened supplicants.

“Escorts?”
“None located Sire.”

Khilseith sat back and placed his hands behind his head.
Unescorted. They are trying to make the run to Port Wander by themselves.

“The Mon-keigh will pay for their naivety. We attack now. Go for the center and split them up. We will then scour each vessel in turn.” He turned to Siirist and motioned with a nod of his head. “The crop. I want the best of them. Do you understand?”

* * *

“Reavers!”.
Morten Stroms swung his legs out of his bunk and then in an almost fluid movement, made for the next room. He entered the bridge like a tornado, knocking two servitors to the deck and a third into the far wall.

“Beat to quarters!”, he roared, but when he saw Juliana, his head of security (and critic) raise her eyebrow, he added “Battle stations! Everyone to their posts!”

He sunk back into his command throne and toggled the comm.
“Captain Shala bring her about to port two points. Make it quick but make it look lubberly,” he paused and grinned at Juliana. “Make it look like it’s just a natural turn and that we are not aware of them.”
“Of what Boss?”
“Damn pirates,” he brought up a section of the main view screen and zoomed in on several specks in the distance. He closed his eyes for a few seconds. “I have met this captain before. He is over-confident and despises everything. He will charge down the middle and separate us.”

“Sergeant Rodregez, bring your team to the bridge, All non-essential crew to the armoury. Dombi?”

+ Yes Boss + came a deep baritone voice.

“Dombi. Protect the women and children to the end. Do you understand?”
+ Yes Boss + came the almost happy reply.

The rest of the bridge crew were now at their posts, fussing over screens and auspexes.
“Bring main armament to bear and open the gun ports,” he grinned. “Now let’s give him a nasty surprise.”

There were five haulage vessels in the convoy. They were inter-system bulk-cargo beasts carrying everything a planet may require. Tucked in to the rear and starboard was Strom’s long, cylindrical ship with its loading towers and other paraphernalia that marked it out as a merchant vessel. Stroms named it The Alabama after a famous vessel from antiquity.

The clue was in the name.

“The battered ship on the left,” hissed Khilseith. “A tanker of little worth, but the crew will be strong. Leave that until last. Concentrate on the others.”

Four Torture Cruisers went straight for the centre, as Stroms had predicted.

Suddenly the void lit up in an overwhelming flash of the brightest light. Khilseith did not flinch like other members of his deck crew. His super-enhanced physiology just made the experience of near blindness into a feeling of pleasure.

One of his cruisers was spiralling uncontrollably into space trailing debris and sparking fire.
“That came from the tanker Sire!”.
Khilseith rose to his feet and threw his goblet at the screen in front of him.
“Impossible!”
“It was a lance weapon Sire. The Hacathra is lost.”

The Alabama had placed itself between the Reaver’s and the cargo ships, and was now taking fire from the remaining attackers. All manner of Dark Eldar weaponry was being brought to bear on the single vessel which shuddered and rocked under the impact. Flashes and burring revealed exotic shielding and unknown technology.

The Alabama showed them her long hull.

“A hard pounding,” shouted Stroms over the infernal drum of heavy impacts and screaming shields. He managed to smile at Juliana who was desperately trying to remain upright under the assault. “Shall we show them our other tricks?”

Secreted along her sides, disguised as panels, ducts and hatches was a row of gun ports.
“Broadside if you please Captain Shala”

A ripple of heavy guns roared, filling the gap between the two sides with streams of white and yellow tracers.
“Torpedo’s!”. Stroms was almost enjoying himself.

The Alabama was a prize, nay a well-earned reward after an epic session of cards with a Rogue Trader called... Stroms forgot his name. The cargo ship was an ex-Imperial ‘Q’-ship. A doppelganger designed to put pirates and other undesirables off-guard before falling upon its considerable hidden weaponry.
A Commerce-raider like its namesake of old... and he won it in a game of cards!

“How long Captain Shala?”
The dark-haired female Captain at the helm growled back.
“One half hour Boss. The civilians are running in the right direction to meet the escort vessels.”

The ship rocked with multiple detonations. Stroms stood and watched a larger Eldar Torturer closing in.

“It’s him. Good. He is a vainglorious egomaniac. He has been bested and now he wants us. The others are safe and should soon find protection from the Imperials.” He smiled at Juliana. “Pop them a few bloopers and then turnabout. Captain Shala, fire up the burners and get us,” he paused and pointed at a distant red smudge in the centre of a nebula. “Take us in there and pronto... as fast as you like please.”

Stroms crossed the space between them and plunged into the Archons mind.

Not today foul breed, not today. Note this. I will find you one day and kill you.

Khilseith smiled revealing his sharpened teeth.

The pleasure will be mine… perpetual. You cannot hide forever. The pain vaults in Commorragh await


.

"Death occurs when a lethal projectile comes together in time and space with a suitable target, in the absence of appropriate armour or protection”


Check out my 40K 'Epic' about the Hunted verses the Inquisition: https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...98#post2184698

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-08-15, 02:29 AM
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Default When Ogryn Are Hungry

One Day's Hunt
J.D. Barbera

Word Count: 1099



It is a hot day. The snows have melted and the day trees have sprung up. You and the tribe have gathered at one of the groves. The break of dawn sprouts bitter flowers, poisonous fruits, and the attacking plants seeking a bit of extra food before the sun sets and the snow's return. The plant eating animals will also come for the day trees, as the Hunters come for the Plant Eaters, and the Killers come for them all. Like your tribe.

Tossed around the camp, the furs of the tribe lie scattered. It is too hot. Everyone is at the edge of the day trees, careful of Stranglevines while seeking them out. Until the animals come, Stranglevines are one of the few plants that can be eaten safely. They also come with the added bonus of whatever animals still in it’s gullet. Several others already have gathered branches from the new growth and taking their new acquisitions, the brush the remaining snow away from rocks and smaller bushes. Simulating the rooting of the Three Horns, the rest of the tribe waits for the investigation of the first waking Stranglevines. For the tribe’s first hunt, this will break their fast in easiest fashion. A good harbinger of the day.

Six of the tribe brush with the branches, alternating between short pauses and banging the ground. It makes noise, but not too dangerously so. The rest of the tribe looks outward. The trees are still growing with the new day’s sun and the Emperor has put the trees near the tribe’s camp. Hunters and Killers will take some time to find the trees. The tribe will be fed on Stranglevines and will be fast enough to chase down the plant eaters. It will be a good day.

Rather than the warmer breeze that heralds the day tree’s grove and blows outward, an invitation to all nearby animals of fresh food, the cold air of the snow dunes falls over the tribe. Heavy upon it, the scent of a Killer. Every member of the tribe freezes in place leaving only the muttering of the wind. Very softly, a woman begins a warbling whistle then waits for your response. You break her gaze and scan the rest of the tribe. Soft as it was, they all heard the woman’s plan. Anticipatory grins answer your unspoken query. Forgotten are the slowly awakening Stranglevines as the tribe’s thoughts turn to the advancing Killer.

You let out a piercing whistle. It is the Snow Bird herd mother’s call to those in her care to gather. The rest of the tribe begins to stomp the snow. The Snow Birds, tall and flightless, are two legged like the tribe and the easiest animal to mimic. Warbling cries and squaks of adolescents are called out. They are easy prey for a Killer, and irresistible to chase and maul. Killers rarely eat their prey, perhaps enough to find another victim, but they seem to exist only to see blood scattered across the ice.

The younger hunters run about, hopping in imitation the Snow Bird’s play-gait while the main body of the tribe sinks into the snows, burrowing just beneath the powder. You do not hide, you must continue to call the Killer with the Herd Mother’s voice and when he arrives, land the first blow.

You hand feels warm, grasping the haft of your spear. Light and short, it is a weapon of the Smalls. The Smalls come to try their hands at hunting. Sometimes just the animals of a day tree grove, but sometimes to hunt Hunters or Killers. Trying to be Men, but they are only Smalls. It takes Men to bring a Killer down. Your odd spear is all that remains of a Small who thought to take on a Hunter in the fashion of Men. You have carried it ever since.

A wave of snow is pushed before the great bulk of the creature, but that is all that is visible. Burrowing just beneath the surface snow, its claws dig into the permafrost for purchase and speed, only the swiftly moving dune of snow gives testimony to the presence of the creature.
With an angry roar, the Killer rears itself up out of the snow, looming over the assembled tribe, it’s maw and eyes are easily as high as four of your tribe atop one another.

Expecting Snow Birds, it is instead faced with your tribe. Rather than the simple Snow Birds that never seem to notice the signs of a charging Killer and respond to the hunting roar by either freezing or falling to the ground in a faint, the Killer fails to make its signature strike of falling across it’s prey as it tries to pick a target from the milling members of your tribe.

Your people keep moving about. What is sound strategy when facing Stranglevines, or a pack of Hunters, is death at the claws of a Killer, for Killers always strike first at the slowest creatures. Now, as if movement of the tribe somehow points to you, the four eyes’ of the Killer focus at your immobile state. A breath’s pause and the head of the beast strikes downward.

You roar out your own challenge and, with all your might, hurl the spear into the face of the Killer. The roar is the signal to the buried hunters and they break out of hiding, attacking multiple legs of the Killer. The Killer’s strike is interrupted by your spear, lodged inside one of the eyes, and the gigantic creature rears back in shock and pain. Whipping back and forth, the Killer attempts to shake the spear loose.

The writhing unburies the remaining two thirds of the beast. Legs uncountable sprout from the long undulating body of the Killer. As long as three hands worth of tribesmen, the Killer dwarfs you and your tribe. It’s claws, teeth, unstoppable strength, and gigantic size are mere obstacles to be overcome, for the Killer represents not danger to your tribe, but a couple days of food without the need to hunt again. Any lost in the fight simply ensure more for the survivors.

******* ********** *******

Far away, in a heated room, two men watch the fight on a vid screen. A few minutes after the spear has been cast, the giant creature falls still. Without preamble, the surviving ogryn begin consuming the carcass.

“Only ogryn would think hunting one of those would be a smart idea. With their bare hands. Send a recruiter, these will make a good addition to our forces.”


.

Last edited by Treesnifer; 11-16-15 at 02:35 AM. Reason: punctuation/word choice changes
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-01-15, 08:16 AM
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Now who should I vote for? Hummmm, difficult one this month?

.

"Death occurs when a lethal projectile comes together in time and space with a suitable target, in the absence of appropriate armour or protection”


Check out my 40K 'Epic' about the Hunted verses the Inquisition: https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...98#post2184698

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-02-15, 02:11 AM
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lol!

The Book of Grudges will know their name.

The Worlds of J.D. Barbera
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-02-15, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treesnifer View Post
lol!
Where were you this month??

.

"Death occurs when a lethal projectile comes together in time and space with a suitable target, in the absence of appropriate armour or protection”


Check out my 40K 'Epic' about the Hunted verses the Inquisition: https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...98#post2184698

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-02-15, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-02-15, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brother Emund View Post
Where were you this month??

.

Yep, it's that writer's block/last minuet posting that has me writing early in the month!

The Book of Grudges will know their name.

The Worlds of J.D. Barbera
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-03-15, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treesnifer View Post
Yep, it's that writer's block/last minuet posting that has me writing early in the month!
Doh! It's me and you... I was looking at your 'pen name'

.

"Death occurs when a lethal projectile comes together in time and space with a suitable target, in the absence of appropriate armour or protection”


Check out my 40K 'Epic' about the Hunted verses the Inquisition: https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...98#post2184698

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-03-15, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Treesnifer View Post
J.D. Barbera
= Treesnifer!

.

"Death occurs when a lethal projectile comes together in time and space with a suitable target, in the absence of appropriate armour or protection”


Check out my 40K 'Epic' about the Hunted verses the Inquisition: https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...98#post2184698

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