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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-05-09, 01:40 PM
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I can't get this image of the Suit at the end of Aliens out of my head, when thinking on how the miner suit looks.
good stuff

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post #12 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-05-09, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Actually the Aliens powerloaders were my mental image of the mining suits

Update this morning.

You'll forgive me, but you must be mistaken. I've met your makers, and they don't even know your name...

(Updated Mar. 19)

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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-06-09, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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Ferrus Mons Forge Complex, 1330 hours

The Grand Master led the sixteen Knight Initiates, as well as the Enginseer and Scribe trainees to the Forge Complex situated in the Mons' front courtyard. The squat building belched smoke and slag into the air. The symbol of the Adeptus Mechanicus blazed from the doorway, beneath the Steel Talons' insignia.

"Greetings Grand Master Doloun." said a robed adept at the doorway. He punched 2-1-6 into the door's controls, and the portal swished open, revealing a hanger-sized room filled with all manner of forging equipment. A single servo-skull with a voxcaster built into it swooped down.

"Bellows. Casting anvil project?" it crackled. Doloun nodded.

"Casting forge." it said. The skull swooped down an aisle of machinery and parts, and the Master followed, Strom, Eryk, and the initiates in tow. The party followed the contraption through a massively reinforced door to a second room the size of a scrumball pitch. The initiates stared in awe.

Fifteen Battle Knights stood at silent attention, each fitted with a Turbo Laser on one arm and a Vulcan mega bolter on the other. A sheathed powerblade was fitted beneath the bolter. Their armor was a dull gunmetal, unpainted and without the colors of the Steel Talons.

"Choose your poison, Lancers." said Doloun. The initiates broke into a wild cheer and ran toward the machines while the Scribes and Enginseers watched in fascination.

Matthews climbed the second Knight by a yellow ladder, sitting in the cockpit above the words Fortis Metallica. Rickert chose the Arcadia Noctis, next to it. Wright ran to the end of the line, watching the initiates, and stopping when he realized the Knights were all chosen. He looked at Doloun in disappointment. The Grand Master smiled.

"Eryk. Do you think your friend could use a partner?" he said. The adept's face broke into a wide smile.

"Yes Master."

Wright gave the adept a look of confusion before a door slid open to his right, and the massive form of Master Rezayle's Battle Knight entered.

"Hello Lancer Wright." it canted. Wright looked at it in shock.

"This is the Sierra Tempest. explained Eryk. "Master Rezayle's machine spirit, the Dominatus Omnia, was killed alongside him. You'll find she's more then ready for another."

Wright's face broke into a small smile, looking up at the Knight in fascination.

"Is she any different from a normal Knight?" he asked Eryk.

The priest nodded. "A little bit. Her armor contains an atomic crystal layer; the Tempest's VI uses it as matrix space. Approximately sixty-five point two percent increase in processing speed and clarity."

"And I'm smarter then these hulks." said the Knight.

It kneeled down, allowing Wright to climb a small ladder to sit in the cockpit. Sierra Tempest rose to it's full height, the armored-over cockpit closing over Wright's head.

"How do I see?" he asked the VI. A mellodious chuckle floated through the speakers set into the cockpit walls.

"Like this, silly." she said. A thick, inflexible coil of wire with a dataspike on the end pierced his spinal cord just above the shoulderblades, making him wince in pain. His senses jolted and rearranged, his sight becoming the multifaceted vision of the Knight. He felt the barely restrained power of the thrumming power fields and weapon systems. He turned slowly, feeling the Knight's body respond instead of his own.

"The power's different then the Knights in the simulators." he said simply. Eryk smiled and nodded.

"It's a new technology I'm pioneering." said Eryk. "Reverse induction cryomoleculars. It's cooled by the reactor's fusion. The more you turn it up, the more juice you have to cool the system. It's very efficient."

The Tempest's VI chimed in. "Are we good, Lancer? Will you fight at my side?"

Wright smiled, his reaction unseen deep inside the Knight.

"Oh, I think we'll be alright."

The Sierra Tempest turned as one with the other fifteen initiates.

Strom stalked out from a side hanger, his own Knight a massive Crusader-Class machine, twin Turbo Lasers and powerblades hanging from it's armored chassis.

"Well, Lancers?" asked Strom. "What do you say?"

The sixteen Lancers turned at his word.

"Sir, yes sir!"

Strom took a step forward, looking each of the Knights in the eye.

"Practice drills on Thursday. Red Team is Holdren, Shmitt, Franklin, Renolds, Wells, Illanis, Edwards, and Kurge. Blue Team is Matthews, Rickert, Lorten, Perkins, Cornelius, Samarkan, Quest, and Wright. Get dye rounds from the autoloader armory. Fall out, Lancers. Congratulations."

Strom stomped out, followed by Doloun and the non-Lancer initiates.


That night, Wright slept in the cockpit of Sierra Tempest, unwilling to leave his mount for fear it would disappear at any moment. The VI cooed softly to him as he slept, happy to have a pilot and mission at last.

You'll forgive me, but you must be mistaken. I've met your makers, and they don't even know your name...

(Updated Mar. 19)

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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-06-09, 04:27 AM
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very cool stuff dirge, as always.
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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-07-09, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
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Noctis Pulveria Ash Waste, east of Ferrus Mons, 1230 hours

The Sierra Tempest's floodlights cut through the dust and ash clouds of the Noctis Pulveria wastes. The Black Dust, as it was known in the mines, could cut the flesh from a grown man in seconds. The Knight's adamantium skin barely felt the screaming winds.

"Getting some slight auspex returns." said Rickert, ten meters to his right.

"Where?" asked Wright. As the team lead of Blue One, Talon One, he was in charge of Matthews and Rickert.

"Behind the dune there. Two energy sigs."

"Alright. Track steady, and keep it tight around here... ground's soft enough."

"Of course."

The three Knights stomped through the near-blinding ash clouds. It was six hours into the practice run against Red One, their rival from Talon Two. One of Red One's Knights already lay powerless and dead on the ash waste's surface, her pilot congratulating Wright on the "kill" before killing his comms and calling for a bulk-hauler to drag the Knight back to base.

"Contact. Lancer-Class at zero-nine-two, three hundred meters. I don't think he sees us." voxed Matthews.

"Close steady, wind up autoloaders."

"Copy that."

The three Knights broke into a run, their weapons spooling up to fire. The Red Team Knight turned slightly as they approached, and appeared to twitch.

It toppled over, sixteen EMP bolts lodged in it's back.

"Shit! Full Stop! Auspex at max, watch your backs!"

Blue One stopped, surrounding the dead Knight. Their weapons charged.

"Anyone got hard rounds?" asked Wright. For the exercise, the Lancers had equipped dye and marker rounds into their autoloaders.

"No, but I've got charge for six turbo laser shots." said Matthews. Rickert echoed him.

"You've got twelve, team leader." said the Tempest's VI.

A bloodcurdling howl echoed across the wastes.

"Rogue suits, incoming nine hundred meters." voxed Rickert.

"Close it up, covering fire, run out of ammo, switch to your powerblade." ordered Wright. The two other Knights voxed affirmations. Turbo Lasers whirred and crackled as they charged.

"+Death to+ +eel Talons!+" a voice crackled over the vox. A dozen Miner suits stampeded over the dunes, led by a massive Planet Cracker class Mining mech. The mech was fully twice the size of the Knights, twin hydraulic claws and Hyades breacher drills in it's arms.

"Shit! They've got a big brother! Matthews, vox the Nex legion, see if they've got somebody around here. Rickert, ready lasers."

Wright aimed his turbo laser, letting a single shot fly. The bolt struck the leading Miner dead in the cockpit, smashing it to the ground. Rickert's shot hit a second in the legs, sawing the machine's limbs off and making it collapse.

"I've got somebody!" yelled Matthews.

"Blue One of the Steel Talons this is the Astra Irae of the Legio Nex, what's the problem?"

"Astra Irae this is Sierra Tempest! We're under attack by a Cracker and miners! Need immediate assist, over!"

"I read you, Sierra Tempest. ETA thirty seconds."

Wright heard a low blaring against the wind.

The Cracker's horns blared in hatred and death, smashing aside a smaller miner suit to charge at Matthews. The Lancer pivoted aside, placing a shot into the Cracker's back as it barreled past. A mining suit grabbed Rickert, pushing the Knight over. A powerblade shot from Rickert's gauntlet, impaling the suit.

A three round burst of turbo laser fire from Blue One killed three more of the miners. The Planet Cracker turned, it's horns roaring.

The suit exploded in a mass of twisted metal and expanding plasma, vanishing in an instant.

"What?" asked Matthews, his suit turning around to see what had destroyed the suit.

A massive foot, fully the size of Wright's suit, smashed down, crushing two of the miners like tin cans beneath it. Sierra Tempest looked up, to barely see the edge of Astra Irae's chest.

"A Warlord?" asked Wright incredulously.

The machine's warhorn screamed in triumph and it's vulcan bolter opened fire, shredding the miners too stubborn to run.

"Thanks Irae." said Rickert.

"Not a problem." the machine responded.

The Warlord blared in victory again, and turned away, stomping to the south.

Wright turned, the Tempest's VI scanning the waste for any other miners.

"I'm picking up faint auspex klick south."

"Looks+ +a Knight+" said the vox-man on the Astra Irae, before the Warlord's auspex signature vanished from Wright's screen.

The three Knights stomped over the dunes, catching sight of the third Red Team Knight. It's carapace was cracked in a dozen places, compressed by the horrific power of the Planet Cracker. The pilot was gone, the Knight's cockpit broken and laying open.

"Oh, damn." said Matthews as the broken Knight came into view.

"Call out a bulk hauler." said Wright. "Make sure it's escorted. This just got real."

You'll forgive me, but you must be mistaken. I've met your makers, and they don't even know your name...

(Updated Mar. 19)

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post #16 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-07-09, 08:43 AM
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oh wow, quite a twist to the casual training run! awesome, next chapter please!
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post #17 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-08-09, 05:04 AM Thread Starter
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Seven on the Seven7h!

Ferrus Mons Repair Ward, 1845 hours

Rickert sat atop the Arcadia Noctis with a power spanner in his hand, mending the machine's pains.

The Fortis Metallica stood next to the wounded Knight, Matthews having gone to the mess hours before. Only Sierra Tempest stood vigil over the Knight and Rickert. When the Knight had only just limped back to Ferrus Mons, the enginseer in charge had deemed the Noctis unsalvagable due to ruptured power conduits. Rickert and Strom had petitioned Doloun and Gregor to intervene, and by the time the messanger had gotten to the Lords, the breakers were prepared.

Sierra Tempest had interposed herself between the servitors and the wounded Arcadia Noctis, weapons charged and spooled up, the VI's anger white-hot. Rickert stood beside the Knight, his sidearm in his hand. The pair had held off the scrappers for ten minutes until the messanger returned with Gregor's affirmation, and repairs had begun.

Wright climbed from the Tempest's cockpit, his hair matted to his head with the sweat. He brushed it back, pulling on his jumpsuit to cool himself off.

"I'll turn up the heat exchanger next time." promised the Tempest.

"Thanks." said Wright. He looked up at Rickert, atop his wounded mount.

"You be OK here?" he asked. The man nodded an affirmation, face unreadable behind a heavy fitter's helmet.

He stood beneath the arch leading to the Lancers' barracks, staring at the inscription.

Each man is a spark in the darkness.

Wright swallowed, thinking of the blackness of Thracia's deep mines, and walked through the doorway, laying on his cot.

Ferrus Mons Great Hall, 830 hours

Strom crossed the Hall with every sign of haste, brow furrowed in confusion and holding a thick wad of papers.

He swung open the door, surprising Grand Master Doloun and sixteen Adepts of the Steel Talons.

"Strom." said Doloun, looking irritated.

"My lord." replied Strom. He gave a shallow bow. "You really must see this."

The lord took the fat tome, flipping the first few pages before his face went white and he handed the papers weakly back to Strom.

"Marshall the men. All Knights to battle readiness, battle stations at the walls, Crusader."

"Of course, my lord."

Strom looked at the page Doloun had left on top of the stack.


"Wright." he said into the commlink at his ear.

"Get everyone up. The shit's hit the fan."

You'll forgive me, but you must be mistaken. I've met your makers, and they don't even know your name...

(Updated Mar. 19)

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post #18 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-08-09, 09:06 PM
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excellent fluff Dirge +rep

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post #19 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-09-09, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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Avenger Field, near Ferrus Mons, 732 hours

Sierra Tempest loped smoothly along the wind-swept dunes of black, crumbly ash, her companions matching the Knight stride for stride. Sixty-seven Knights of the Steel Talons marched north, intercepting a force of nearly three hundred Renegades, intent on looting and slaughter in the south.

"Contact, twelve hundred meters." said the lead Knight.

"Spin up weapons, come to flank speed. Ready destructors." ordered Gregor, striding alongside the machines.

The leading renegade machine turned and a booming exclamation echoed out from across the plains. The renegades turned as one, staring in horror at the line of smoke grey and blue Knights. Syrus stood next to Gregor, the immense banner of the Steel Legions flying proudly from his Knight.

"Filth." spat Gregor. "Sound the charge. My brothers, my comrades. We stand at the brink! These vermin crawl from the shadows, intent on easy pillaging. Will it be so?"

The Knights answered as one, sixty-six voices raised in a howl.


"Will they find the Steel Talons lacking?"


"Then prove it, my brethren! Kill them all, for the Talon! CHARGE!!!"

Gregor's warhorns sounded, a booming noise that set Wright's teeth on edge. The Knight stomped forward, powerblades drawn. Syrus crashed after the Grand Master, and sixty-five Knights followed, a sweeping charge down the Pallidus dunes. The renegades desperately tried to realign their flank, to present their armored Planet Crackers and Devastators to the front, but the machines were too tightly packed. Laser Destructor and Vulcan Bolter fire hammered the first ranks, scything them down. A few EMP bolts and lances flew from the renegades' ranks, killing two of the Knights. Gregor stomped over their bodies, his warhorn still blaring in hatred. The Knights all along the line sounded theirs as well, filling the Pallidus for leagues around with noise. The miners panicked, the front ranks trying to push their way into the mass of machines.

With sixty-five voices raised in a howling roar, the Steel Talons hit the front lines of the renegade army. Miners were thrown into the air. Suits were crushed beneath the weight of the adamantium machines. A Planet Cracker tried to turn, but seven Laser Destructor bolts caught it in the midsection and it came apart at the middle, shedding debris. Wright slew two miners who turned far too sluggishly to match the screaming Sierra Tempest. His auspexes overloaded in the target-rich enviornment. He glanced up as a third miner died, it's cockpit shredded by hard rounds. The banner of the Steel Talons still flew proudly above Gregor and his cohort, who had formed a flying wedge through the middle of the horde. The Knights in the rear, armed with Turbo Lasers and hellstorm rockets, reaped a fearsome toll, while the outer edges were vulcan bolters and powerblades. At the tip of the spear was Old Gregor himself, wielding twin powerblades with a mastery only time can bring.

Matthews was next to him, a plasma destroyer singing death. Rickert kicked a suit away, stabbing it through the chest. The miners were beginning to crack, their resolve in numbers being grinded away by the Knights' skill and ferocity. A Devastator suit clanked over Wright's head, the machine turning to open fire. Wright pivoted on the spot, Sierra Tempest's VI slowing the world down as his senses sped up.

There. he thought. His powerblade sheared straight through a lightly damaged knee joint, and the Devastator toppled, it's warhorn howling in pain. He finished it with a burst of Turbo Laser fire and moved on.

Gregor had reached the opposite end of the horde, and had split his warriors, each taking half of the now dwindling army of miners. A Planet Cracker smashed into Syrus, crushing the man's cockpit and killing him instantly. Gregor unsheathed his blades, cutting into the Cracker's hydraulics. A burbling howl echoed from it's horns as the fluid leaked into the cockpit, drowning the pilot. The machine toppled over, a pool of blue ooze leaking from it.

A warrior Wright didn't know pried the Steel Talons' banner from Syrus' dead machine. Wright smiled deep in his engine as he realized even in death, Syrus hadn't allowed the banner to fall. Matthews stormed past him, vulcan bolter chattering. A miner on his knees shuddered under the impacts, and disintegrated.

The miners broke, all order lost as they ran for their lives. The Talons gathered in the center of the field, firing outwards, and a gratifying number of miners failed to escape. Wright only saw twelve clear the dunes on the edges of Avenger Fields.

"Victory!" yelled Gregor. "We have victory!"

The Talons cheered as they celebrated in the slaughter.

Ferrus Mons Repair Ward, 1634 hours

Sierra Tempest was annoyed.

She routed herself into the Ferrus Mons' communique dossier, tunneling through their counterintrusion software.

A simple aegis matrix blocked her path. She sighed in frustration and initiated a laughably obvious viral path. The barrier howled in rage and fled from the communique channels to chase down the Trojan, leaving her free to enter the communications MAJCOM.

A dozen files filtered down from the MAJCOM channels, and she filed them in less then a nanosecond into her own hardware. She would review them later. A single file marked "Operation: COVENANT" caught her attention.

She opened the file.

++++To Master Doloun, Steel Talons, Thracia.++++

Recent intelligence from the STI spooks indicate possible xenos presence in the renegades' ranks. Caution advised. Sightings include Kroot Mercenaries and even Tau battlesuits. A single miner survived the raid on Harper's Ferry and described to me in great detail a Crisis XV8 suit. Careful out there in the Noctis Pulveris, Adam. This might be over both our heads.

-Magos Garretan

++++Communique Ends++++

Sierra Tempest spent two full processor cycles contemplating the news. The Grand Master clearly knew more about the rogue miners then he was letting on. She reviewed the history on miner sightings. Less then ten years before there was no such thing as a "renegade miner" on Thracia. Now the Steel Talons fought bitterly against hundreds.

She withdrew from the Mons' network, feeling Wright shutting her power cells down in preparation for the night.

"Sleep well, my friend." she said as he walked away. "You and your comrades have earned that, at least."

You'll forgive me, but you must be mistaken. I've met your makers, and they don't even know your name...

(Updated Mar. 19)

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post #20 of 50 (permalink) Old 02-09-09, 04:30 AM
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Great story Dirge, would have read it sooner but i still had to finish 409 well done anyways.


Rambling since ...... hmmm now you see I cant remember but when i was a little ripper.......

Honour & Vengence: (finally has the forgotten finishing bit)

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