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post #1 of 158 (permalink) Old 04-30-09, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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Default Redemption

Now, before my inbox overflows with WTF R A KYTHARIN, I have THIS to tell you everything you ever conceivably wanted to know about my made-up aliens. Thanks all! Oh, and this is going to be LONG. Settle in and share the popcorn, folks.

It is the 47th Millennium. For seventeen thousand years the Emperor has sat immobile on his Golden Throne of Terra. He is the master of mankind and lord of a million times a million worlds. Innumerable battle fleets ply the stars and uncounted quadrillions toil ceaselessly, keeping the Imperium alive. The Emperor is the beacon of light for mankind. And he is dying.

While the Adeptus Astartes and the Imperial Guard vainly try to stem the tide of ideological freedom taking hold in the Imperium, for every one rebellion that is crushed another two succeed. The advent of Mass Relay technology traded from Tau Enclave seperatists allows faster-then-light travel without the brutal dangers of the Warp. On a trillion worlds, Tau, Hrud, Kytharin, Eldar, Kroot, Vespid, and even Orks trade with Human settlers. Species long thought to be little less then brutish heathens prove to have diverse culture. Species long thought to be learned show a darker side.

To be a man in such times is to be one amongst billions, whose life in total means less then the whole, but it is very early days yet. Forget the promise of endless war, for it is meaningless to all save the slaves to Darkness, who constantly battle for supremacy in the Eye of Terror. Forget the value of hiding secrets and covering up progress, for so much has been learned, never to be forgotten. It is the 47th Millienium and Mankind has learned there is only survival.

A Drifter Colony, she thought.

What the hell.

New Athens was a salvage yard, and it showed. The "colony" was actually a massive square, two kilometers in either direction, engines on one side and massive manipulator arms on the others. A gunmetal "ceiling" stretched off in all directions. People bustled about, trading or buying, or even selling. Ships were tough to come by out in the Fringe, a nickname for the dark edge of the galaxy near the edge of the SDF, or Sol Defense Force, the last remnants of the Old Imperium. SDF cruisers and gunships came by every once in a while, sometimes simply destroying everything they could find before vanishing back into the Warp. Even in an age of faster-then-light travel, the Astartes and Imperial Guard chose to utilize the dangerous, unpredictable Warp Engines for their between-system travel.

Kyra leaned back in a military-style bucket seat bolted to a swivel on the floor. She had her feet up on the next chair and a stein of cheap, watered-down alchohol in one hand. The bartender had taken a look of shock at her for one moment, then simply shrugged. The man was a "New" Imperial. The kind that, while they considered the Emperor humanity's savior, wouldn't pull a gun on anyone who walked in without a copy of the Princeps Aquilia in your hand. And standing seven feet tall, nearly two hundred and fifty pounds, Kytharin weren't your average bar customer. Most of them were still attached to the raider fleets in the void near Kytharin space, but a few, like Kyra, plyed the vasts of space as pirates and mercenaries, and occasionally, as scavengers.

She sighed, taking another sip, and the bartender refilled the glass.

"You got some guts coming out here, scalie." said a voice.

Kyra didn't turn, simply taking another sip of the beer.

"You know what the bounty on your head is, girl?" said the voice.

"Two thousand six hundred and seventeen credits last time I checked." said Kyra slowly.

The voice chuckled. "Really now?"

A single footstep and Kyra set the mug down. A second step and she had spun around, a fat-barreled pistol in her hand. The man stopped, his face hidden in the lunatic shadows the bar's less-then-adequate lighting.

"Little Kyra," said the man. "Always fighting. Always running."

Kyra sensed a twinge in the voice she recognized and set the gun down.

"Lars." she said simply. The man smiled and stepped out of the shadows, revealing a broad, bearded smile beneath two ice-blue eyes and a bandana the man had woven around his long hair.

"Last time I heard about you, you were rotting away in a jail on Espandor." said Kyra. "They let you out on good behavior?"

Lars chuckled and sat down at the bar, moving Kyra's armored talons off the barstool.

"That's right, scalie. I'm a model citizen now."

Kyra chuckled and toasted the man, taking a great drink and setting the mug down.

"So what brings you out here?" she asked.

"A little bird on Espandor whispered "Lars, Lars, there's a little scalie out on Athens that's trying to do something stupid again."

Kyra smirked. "And what do you suspect that "something stupid" is, Lars? Listening to you talk?"

The man laughed. The bartender accepted a credit Kyra handed him and refilled both drinks.

"I guess you're here to buy? Ships are expensive, scalie. I could see you getting a lifeboat for your budget, judging by that armor."

Kyra looked at her own armor, it's dented and chipped frame a testiment to the amount of punishment it had recieved. Her helmet, a sinister blue-grey piece of Kytharin Iron, had bare metal scratches on it, like something had clawed it. Something had, of course. Belts and webbing crisscrossed her chest and waist, and a massive Impaler pistol hung low on her thigh. The armor was nearly skintight, but had overlapping plates with an odd, greyish-blue color. A tattered cloak was hung from her frame and attached at her shoulderpads.

"Actually, I already have one."

Lars gaped in a fake display of shock.

"Wow. Doing a bit better in business since we last met?"

"You could say that."

Kyra did own a ship. The sleek, stealthy form of the Deliverance was docked in the Drifter Colony's outer segments. Sal and Zekt had stayed aboard, partially out of not giving a shit, partially as security. Drifter Colonies had a nasty reputation for thieves and pirates.

Not unlike the kind of thieves and pirates you are she reminded herself.

As to the issue of money, six months of fighting SDF soldiers in the Ultima Segmentum had made her wealthy. Not rich, but she'd payed off a group of bounty hunters sent after her to collect the money she had owed on Deliverance and had completely overhauled their equipment. Brand new shiny QI-74 "Impaler" rifles from back home and other interesting bits from the many races that now traded freely (or near-freely) in once-Imperial space.

"Yeah Lars, like you said. I'm a high roller now." said Kyra sarcastically.

Lars leaned back, toying with a peanut shell on the bar.

"Listen, kid." he said. Kyra felt the weight of his sudden lack of sarcasm and turned.

"I've got something big." said Lars.

"A contract?" whispered Kyra. Without knowing it both of them were speaking in hushed tones. Mercenaries and pirates didn't share secrets.

"No. Bigger." said Lars. "Can we talk somewhere else?"

The bartender put his hands on his hips, seeming indignant.

"No offense to your lovely establishment." added Lars. Kyra flipped a high denomination credit chip onto the bar and walked off.

New Athens was a huge place. It took the pair fifteen minutes walking through the streets to return to the vast Docking Arms that held the ships.

Deliverance sat on it's dampers. The ship was less then five hundred feet long, painted a deep grey color with blue details and edging picked out along it's side. Sal leaned out of the hatch and smiled.

"Hey, it's the jerk." he said. The Kytharin dropped out of the ship, vaulting over the guardrails of the boarding ramp and walking to shake hands with Lars.

"Our buddy's got a business proposition, Sal." said Kyra.

"Does he now?" said Sal.

They clambered up the ramp and into the ship, Sal shutting the hatch and sealing it behind them. Kyra led them down the hallway that ran the length of the ship and up a short flight of stairs to the bridge, sitting in the command chair, turning to face the situation table and Lars.

"So, what's so important I couldn't finish a drink over it?" said Kyra.

Lars knelt down and placed a dataspike into the situation table. A holomap of the galaxy sprang into existence.

Then it died.

Sal kicked the table, and it flickered weakly. A bang sounded from below the table, and a stifled cursing filtered up. A floor panel was lifted off the frame, and a Kytharin covered from head to claw in oil, soot, and data medium crawled from the guts of the ship, an omni-tool in one claw.

"Did you really have to do that?" asked Zekt. He tapped a series of controls and the map flashed back into life. The Kytharin grumbled and walked off to take a shower.

"Remember if I go nobody's gonna fix this tub." said Zekt.

"Wit, spit, and duct tape." said Kyra at his back. "Fixed it before you, it'll fix it after you."

Zekt gave her the finger as he walked off the bridge.

Sal made sure he was gone and mouthed I really had to do that at Kyra. She smirked.

"Alright." said Lars. The map zoomed in on the Ultima Segmentum.

"I've got a contact in the ISO, who says the SDF is ready to start a serious push into the Ultima Segmentum and the Segmentum Tempestus."

"They know they're not going to retake the entire Segmentum." said Kyra, confused.

"Ah, but that's it. They aren't here for a land grab, kid. They're going for all their relics that they lost in The Fall."

The Fall was the hushed-up destruction of the Imperium at large. Millions retreated behind the Maginot Sphere, the mass of fortified planets and fleets that surrounded the Segmentum Solar.

"All that stuff they left behind." thought Kyra. Imperial relics were worthless outside the Imperium, unless you got lucky and stumbled on a collector or something. She'd found a bolter marked "Calgar" on Calth more then five years ago, and had offered it to her own contact in the SDF, who informed her the Astartes would kill him if he spontaneously came up with the weapon. He never told her why.

"Yeah. And they'll pay some serious green for it." said Lars.

Kyra was suddenly alert.

"That sounds pretty good, actually." she admitted. "I like serious green."

"I thought you might." said Lars. "But there's a catch."

Kyra sighed. "There always is."

"One, the SDF is starting their push in less then a week. Two, I only have fixed locations on two relics, the Shroud of Terra and Commissar Richter's Bolt Pistol. The others I need some time to find. Oh, and I get to come with."

"You get to come with?"

"Yeah, why not," said Lars. "I'm as tough a man as can swing a chainsword."

"Chainswords are barbaric." said Kyra. Sal snorted.

"So are spiker rounds." said Lars, indicating the heavy pistol she carried.

"You're not a Kytharin. How am I going to explain to the cabal I've got a paleskin on board?"

"You'll say it's your very good best friend Lars, who's better looking and has better aim then any of them."

Sal snorted again, burying his face in the crook of his arm.

"They'll tie you to the decks and pull your guts out if I say that, and I'll get relegated to guarding the spire."

Zekt piped up from the living quarters down the hall.

"Or breeding." he yelled.

"In your dreams, maybe." said Kyra.

"You know it." replied Zekt.


Lars smiled. "So, are you in?"

Kyra rubbed her forehead, thinking. She looked at Sal. The Kytharin gave her a half-smile and nodded.

"Lars, you know me too well. We're in."

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 #2 of 158 (permalink) Old 04-30-09, 12:35 PM
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ooh! intriging! just what other relics might be found? and just what will stand in our intrepid anti-heroes way? why did calgar leave his bolter behind?

Find out soon on Redemption!

and in case you can't tell, me likey me likey alot!
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post #3 of 158 (permalink) Old 04-30-09, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lawrence96 View Post
ooh! intriging! just what other relics might be found? and just what will stand in our intrepid anti-heroes way? why did calgar leave his bolter behind?
1. Not telling, still populating the list, actually.

2. There's the SDF, LaMoE, other pirates, Xenos Raiders, Imperial stranded, indigenous creatures, and of course the Inquisition.

3. I'll be fleshing out the 47th Millennium soon enough :D

Thanks for the feedback!

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 #4 of 158 (permalink) Old 04-30-09, 06:16 PM
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great work dirge i have a question though what is LaMoE?

Nyctophobia- Fear of the Dark Angel.

"No one ever spoke about of those two absent brothers. Their separate tragedies had seemed like aberrations. Had they, in fact, been warnings that no one had heeded?"

'Killing a man is like fucking, boy, only instead of giving life you take it. You experience the ecstasy of penetration as your warhead enters the enemy's belly and the shaft follows. You see the whites of his eyes roll inside the sockets of his helmet. You feel his knees give way beneath him and the weight of his faltering flesh draw down the point of your spear. Are you picturing this?'
'Yes, lord.'
'Is your dick hard yet?'
'No, lord.'
''What? You've got your spear in a man's guts and your dog isn't stiff? What are you, a woman?'
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post #5 of 158 (permalink) Old 05-01-09, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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You'll see. Hee hee! I love secrets! Oh, and I was eating while I wrote this, and now I feel kind of queasy. A word to the wise.

Bacilla was a world colonized in the early M41, a death world renowned for a horrific variety of fungus and molds that could eat a full-grown man in a day. Huge mushrooms grew from the earth, while greenish molds dripped from the higher levels. Odd, disk-shaped leaves sprouted from the rocks and even the earth held a loamy, fleshy feel. None the less, it held a remarkable amount of natural resources, and a group of miners were sent to the planet. The settlement of Hell's Edge had catered to their needs, watched over by a company of Imperial Guard and a single Preacher, who held the Shroud of Terra in a suspensor field in the town's chapel.

Kyra turned off the holotable, disgusted.

"Really? A mold planet? Really?" she said to no one in particular.

"I know, right?" asked Sal. He too was fully suited up, including respirators and air tanks for the spore-choked air. Apparently Bacilla was home to a particularly foul contagion known as Lung Rot, a spore that took root inside one's lungs and grew out of the chest in a burst of gore and other spores. Kyra didn't want to test the legend.

Deliverance set down in a haze of spores just south of Hell's Edge. Kyra and Sal stepped off the ramp and the autoturrets on the bottom of the ship sprang to life, beginning to track the pair as their movement registered. The ramp closed behind them and they set off.

Sal stepped gingerly around a pit in the ground ringed with teeth.

"Bacilla snapper." said Kyra. She too gave the maw a wide berth.

The gate of Hell's Edge was covered in phosphorescent molds and mushrooms. Sal slung the Impaler over his shoulder and grabbed the Scorcher from the magnet mount on his armor, twisting the nozzle and unleashing a torrent of liquid fire onto the gates. The molds made an odd squealing noise as they were torched. The gates stood unmarked, besides the odd pit or scratch where the fungus had found a weakness. Kyra set a scrambler against the doors and they parted, opening into an airlock. The pair entered and Kyra hit the green button. The spores and fungus that had already attached to their armor was sucked into the vents and a familiar squeal indicated it too had been incinerated. The inner doors parted and the pair stepped inside Hell's Edge.

The place was deserted. A total lack of weather gave it the feel of a tomb. Kyra stepped across the gate square, spying the steeple of the chapel across the massive geodesic dome that Hell's Edge was built in.

Sal and Kyra made it to the chapel in six minutes, and Sal kicked the heavy wooden door in. Across the church, a suspensor field generator sat on the altar, a piece of cloth enclosed inside it. The entire assembly was the size of a large book, about a foot long and eight inches wide, perhaps two thick. The cloth was imprinted with what looked like a face. The entire thing radiated a sense of timeless age.

Kyra took the device and placed it in the airtight backpack attachment of her armor.

"Kyra." said Sal.

"What?" she asked.

"The candles... look."

Kyra turned, and started.

The candles to the altar's left, the votive lights, were lit. A smoldering lighter sat to the side.

"I think it's time to go." said Kyra.

Sal nodded and the pair ran for it as an unearthly screech echoed up from the undercroft of the chapel.

They bolted across the town, not looking back even for a second for fear of losing their balance. In their haste, they took a wrong turn at some point, ending up at the southwest corner of the city. A square with a fountain sat in the center, now dry and cracked. A boarded-up house was in the corner of the walls.

"What the frak were those?" asked Sal.

"I don't know, I didn't look." said Kyra.

Sal began to sit down on the fountain and then sat up swiftly, a look of horror over his features.

A man, or what must have surely once been a man, was laying in the fountain, a pool of tar-like black ooze surrounding him. Fronds and feelers grew from his body apparently at random, and his left arm had been replaced by two long tentacles. Molds and fungus covered his frame and a massive hole in his chest was occupied by a single spike of mold, the number of holes in it telling Kyra it was the vaunted Lung Rot virus.

"Oh, gods." said Sal. He seemed perilously close to vomiting.

"Don't frakking throw up in that suit, idiot." warned Kyra. She steered him away, kicking in the door of the boarded-up house.

A man fired a pistol at her.

She ducked out the door and returned fire, the man giving a surprised yelp as an Impaler bolt stuck in the wood a foot from his head.

"What's.. what's that thing?" asked Sal, pointing at the fountain in horror.

"I don't know, come on. LaMoE's giving us some trouble."

Every Kytharin pirate or mercenary knew LaMoE. Last Man On Earth, they were called. During the chaos and panic of The Fall, many of the survivors had banded together, originally, but as time wore on they could not sustain a population and spread out. The battered, beaten, paranoid children of the original stranded were violent, uncooperative, and mostly psychotic.

Sal retched and handed Kyra a Spike grenade. She tossed it into the house and a piercing scream indicated the man had been hit.

She ran inside and found the man against the wall, two spikes through his chest and pinning him.

"You... you'll bring them!" whispered the man. Blood flecked the corners of his mouth.

"What the frak are those things?" asked Kyra. Sal followed her in, looking around at the disheveled home.

"The.. the Lung Rot. It doesn't kill you, no. It makes you living colonies. I won't be like you! No! I'll die before I'm like you!"

"He thinks we're the rot zombies." said Sal.

"And now you know I'm here! No! Noo!!" yowled the man. Sal snapped his neck with a quick gesture.

A shriek echoed down the street, followed by a series of roars and the growing patter of dozens of feet.

"Shit." said Kyra. Sal threw open an emergency airlock in the house's rear and they stepped inside just as the first figure appeared in the door. Kyra tossed a Tetrahydride Peroxide grenade out of the lock just as the door closed and the Infected erupted in flames and squealing, boiling molds. They toppled over in a heap in the door and the airlock closed. Dozens more rolled over the scorched pile of dead and began to beat frantically on the airlock.

The outer airlock opened and the two Kytharin were stunned by the sudden voices in their helmets.

[-gain, ground team respond!]

Kyra keyed the mic. [Ground team in, over.]

[Oh, gods, boss. Thought the things had got you.]

[No, Hell's Edge must be radio-shielded.]

[We're going to pull a fly-by, they're attacking the airlock doors on Deliverance. Ready for pickup?]

[Yep. Get us the hell out of here, Zekt.]

A growing roar built in the south, and the ship launched into the air, the bottom of it coated with the molds and fungus that permeated the area. Kyra and Sal's armor was already covered with it, they'd given up trying to fight the ever-pervasive force. Luckily Kytharin Iron was stronger then the flimsy Carapace armor Kyra has seen the Lung Rot penetrate, or else they might already have been infected.

Deliverance swooped low overhead, the boarding ramp down, and both of them jumped onto the ramp as it closed and the ship lifted away from the surface, the auto-turrets killing a few of the Infected as they sprinted for the ship.

"Oh, gods. That was too close." said Sal as the ramp closed. A field suddenly snapped into being in the airlock and the molds and fungus on their armor was vaporized in a heartbeat, the ashes sucked into the vents on the sides of the lock to be vented into space. The growths on the hull itself peeled back and burned as Deliverance cruised through the atmosphere.

Kyra peeled off the armor, feeling unclean from the planet. She helped Sal out of his, then pulled on a pair of pants and a shirt from the shelves set into the airlock.

"Shower, food, sleep." she said, prioritizing.

"Shower, then another shower." said Sal.

She nodded to Lars and Zekt at the controls and stepped into her cabin, closing the door of the attached refresher. A hot shower felt good on her skin after the horrors of Bacilla. After fifteen minutes under the soft drizzle of water, Kyra stepped back out and put on a new set of clothes, happy to be off the planet.

She returned to the airlock and pulled the Shroud from her pack, carrying it to the bridge and setting it on the holotable.

"Woah. So that's the money shot." said Zekt. He flicked the AUTOPILOT function on the control panel and turned the chair around, staring.

Lars stood up from his own seat at the autoturret station.

"Yep. That's it." he said, running an auspex over the shroud. "Current market value set at twenty-four hundred thousand credits, and that's if we sold it as an Ancient's cloth, and not a holy relic."

"What if we do sell it as a holy relic?"

"Uh, the auspex doesn't count that high, sorry."

Even Zekt looked up at the mention of that.

"No, really."

"Well, we won't get a fraction of it's real value, but you better believe it's worth something to the SDF. They'll pay up."

He whistled cheerfully and stowed the Shroud in one of the lockers under the holotable.

"So, anybody a good fence in the art world?" asked Kyra.

"The fine arts are my natural territory." said Zekt.

"You're an uncultured barbarian." said Lars. "But I think an old buddy of mine could help. Got anywhere out of the way we could meet?"

Kyra smiled, sitting her head on a closed fist in an exaggerated thought.

"Well, Zekt, where's out of the way, pleasant, a good place to sell stolen goods, and an equally good place to buy?"

"Kytha'yaim? Zekt responded hopefully.

"How about it, Lars? See the home front?" asked Kyra.

Lars looked uncomfortable. "Aren't they going to pull my guts out as you so richly described?"

Kyra laughed. "No, probably not. Depends on which clan world we go to. Zekt, take us home."

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 #6 of 158 (permalink) Old 05-01-09, 08:48 PM
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Brilliant Dirge, I like it a LOT!
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post #7 of 158 (permalink) Old 05-02-09, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks OXC!

[Ven'couyt TC, this is mercenary frigate Deliverance, request permission to land.]

[Deliverance, this is Ven'couyt TC, feel free. Proceed to pad seven.]

The ship flashed by the highest spires in Sai'rag, the planetary capital. The landing pad came up and with a low bump the ship was home for the first time in four years. The landing ramp descended with a hiss and Kyra walked out wearing full armor minus a helmet. The Shroud was safety tucked into her backpack.

A lighter-colored, elderly Kytharin stood at the edge of the pad, steadying himself on a staff carved from some sort of bone. A cloak of deep red and silver was draped over him, and he carried himself with a weary pride. At the sight of him, Kyra handed her Impaler to Sal and ran down the ramp to embrace him.

"Dad." said Kyra. The Kytharin smiled.

"Kyra. It's been too long since you've been home. Your mother's been worried sick."

"How is mom?"

"She's fine, Ky'ika. What brings you back?"

Kyra looked up at him. "We've got something, dad. Something nice."

Her father gave her an odd half look.

"Well, come with me." he said. Sal, Zekt, and Lars followed as he led them through the streets, past dozens of merchant stalls selling everything from food to scrap metal. Lars was gaping at the city, made of tasteful grey stone and wrought steel mountings. The beauty was skin deep. Sai'rag was a fortified city, and it showed. Steel mountings held rappel hooks. Thin windows were gunslits. Every door had a thick durasteel frame.

Kyra's father led the party through the streets until he stopped in front of a small villa set back from the street. He opened the door, beckoning them inside.

"Guys," said Kyra. "This is my father, Rek."

Rek gave them a shallow bow. "Sal I already know. But who are you?" he asked Zekt.

"Zekt." he said. "I'm the ship's engineer on Deliverance."

"And you?" asked Rek, looking at Lars.

"Lars Adamson. I'm the map." said Lars.

Kyra pulled up a chair at a large holotable set into the floor of the living room. She put the Shroud's casing on the table, and Rek stopped.

"Is that.." said Rek.

"It is. We had to go to Bacilla to get it."

"The Shroud of Terra, by the gods." said Rek. He reached out and brushed the casing.

"Do you know a fence?" asked Sal. Rek nodded.

"Of course.. but it's.. it's something I'd never seen before. An Imperial relic. Do you know what this will fetch from the SDF?"

Kyra smiled. "A lot."

"Oh, Ky'ka!" shouted a voice. Another older Kytharin bustled in from outside, holding two military-style rucksacks filled to the brim with all manner of goods.

"Nov'ika," said Rek. "Kyra magna aurum ferret."

The rucksacks were placed against the doorframe.

"Well, we always knew she'd end up stumbling onto something."

Kyra smiled and tucked the Shroud back into the pack.

"Can we go to the fence tomorrow, dad? I'd really like to get going. The SDF's pushing into the Tempestus less then a week from now."

"'Course, Ky'ika. But let's eat, relics make me hungry."

An hour later, they all sat down around the holotable, laughing over stories. Sal told them about Bacilla and the crazed man who'd attracted the creatures. Kyra explained the war on Murder and the last Imperial bastion blowing itself up rather then fall to the Tau.

Finally Rek set his glass down and began his own story.

"Well, this must have been thirty years ago, just before you were born. Your mother and I had met a year before after the Massacre of the Astartes on Aay'han. We had been deployed onto Ceris V, as part of an invasion force to destroy the shipyards and refineries.

So this place was total jungle, couldn't see ten feet ahead of you. Bugs the size of your fist. So on the first night we set up camp, dug our snake holes in the ground and began to wait till' morning. When the morning came around, we all started stumping off to the nearest town. The warrior in front of me in the line was named E'ru. Beast of a Kytharin, maybe three hundred pounds and seven nine. So he torches this place, uses a full tank of Scorcher fuel, and as he's shifting through the rubble, our warband leader shows up. E'ru explains the situation, and the warlord looks him over, all covered in ash, and says "Always make sure to pillage BEFORE you burn."

The Kytharin roared with laughter.

Nov cleared her throat and nudged Rek with her elbow. "Men love wars, because it keeps women from laughing at them."

Rek smiled and finished his own drink, getting up and taking a last look at the Shroud.

"Anything you guys need? Are you staying here?" he asked.

"Might as well." said Kyra. "Sal?"

Sal shrugged. "I'll go back to Deliverance, take Lars with me. I don't think the merchants would take kindly to him, heh."

Rek chuckled. "Probably for the best."


The next day, Rek led Kyra and Zekt to the market district, a maze of colorful stalls and vendors from every corner of Kytharin space. Merchants, servants, and soldiers mingled in the stalls, trading and talking. A woody, smoking smell hung over the food vendors, while machine oils and ozone smells wafted from the fabricators. A female Kytharin wearing only a thin, translucent robe walked past Zekt and Kyra, as if she wasn't semi naked.

"What do you think?" said Kyra. She held the backpack containing the Shroud in both hands.

"She's very attractive." said Zekt, following the pleasure girl with his eyes. Kyra rapped him on the side of the head with her knuckles.

"Focus, mir'osik. About the Shroud?"

"It's going to bring a great deal of money." said Rek. "You should be proud to have acquired it on such a planet as Bacilla."

He opened a metal door in the side of a building and hustled them inside. A thin, almost cadaverous Kytharin sat at a tabaac table, the tabaac orbs randomly placed on the surface as it someone had just been playing. A bac-stick was held in one claw while the other rested on an airtight backpack similar to Kyra's.

"Hello, Rek." said the thin Kytharin. He got up and the two gripped each others' forearms in an extended handshake. Kyra had heard the handshake was first invented when Kytharin invented swords, to keep a stranger or new acquaintance from drawing a weapon.

"Hello, Wes. Kyra, Zekt, this is Wes. He'll be your fence on Ven'couyt."

Wes smiled with a friendly look and pushed the backpack along the table, Rek opening it. The old Kytharin's eyes widened. He nodded to Kyra, who handed the Shroud of Terra across the table to Wes. Wes ran a scanner along the side, and seeming satisfied, replaced the backpack and threw it over his shoulder.

"Pleasure doing business." he said. "Call me up next time you're in town."

Kyra nodded as the Kytharin left through a side entrance with the Shroud.

"Was it worth it?" asked Kyra to her father. Rek smiled and hefted the backpack.

"Oh, I think it was worth it, Ky'ika."


Back on Deliverance, and preparing to depart, Kyra emptied the bag onto the bridge holotable.

"Gods." she said. Over a million Imperial ducats and Kytharin credits tumbled out onto the table in a great pile. Rek smiled.

"See, sweetie?" he said.

"What's the handler's fee?" asked Kyra.

"Ky'ika, I'm disappointed in you. I'm your father, no matter what. Keep your money."

Kyra shook her head and pressed a ten thousand credit chip into her father's hand. "Thanks, dad. For everything."

Rek tried to put the chip back down, but seeing the look on Kyra's face was enough for him to pocket it.

"Alright. Do come back and see me when you've gotten something like that again. It's nice to have my daughter home every once in a while."

Kyra nodded, and accompanied Rek to the boarding ramp. The pair embraced again, hard armor on the soft cloak Rek wore, and he stepped down the ramp, the heavy neosteel plate closing behind him.

"Alright, fellas." said Kyra. She swept the loot into a locker and stashed it under the holotable. Zekt was under a console on the port side of the bridge, fiddling with the autoturret controls. Sal sat at the helm, tapping out a tune on the armrests of the chair. Lars stood up against the navigation helm.

"Where to next?"

Sal and Lars approached the holotable, the image springing to life now that Zekt had worked on the emitter.

"The Ultima Segmentum." said Lars. "Some relay station called The Lighthouse. The Imperials used it as a fleet beacon until The Fall."

"What's there?" asked Sal.

"Apparently a man named Commissar Richter was on board during the Fall. Some kind of backlash from the "Astronomican" killed everyone on board."

"A psyker backlash?" asked Kyra.

"It would seem so." said Lars. He tapped a control and an image of the station appeared. Only three decks high and sixty feet long. Two massive docking arms extended out from it's sides. One was clearly blocked by debris. A ring of shrapnel and flotsam orbited the station weakly.

"Nice." said Kyra. "Any word on SDF presence in the area?"

Lars seemed to flinch, then Zekt physically did as the console he was working on sparked and shocked him. He cursed.

"Well," said Lars. "That's the problem. An Explorator team was sighted two days ago."

"Then we've no time to lose." said Kyra. "Sal, get us the hell out of here."

Sal nodded, and Deliverance shot off the ground, in pursuit of another relic.

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)

Hat in the Ring
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post #8 of 158 (permalink) Old 05-02-09, 07:06 AM
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Awesome work. I have some good news of my own. The 409th ODJJ are officially underway, and Zulu is shaping up to be a very characterful squad, as you will see when I get the models up
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post #9 of 158 (permalink) Old 05-02-09, 08:26 AM
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If you dont mind me asking what does SDF actualy stand for? Or did I miss somthing (more than likely as its. 12:15)

Anyway... this is awsome! 47K is verry diferent from 40K. How do I put this... 40K is an awsome stratagy game, but yours would make a much more interesting RPG than dark heresy by lightyears.

+rep. And another thing... can I borow the setting for my next project? After I finish rebirth of course, so It might be a while.

"A true king is never alone, his will is equal to the will of all of his followers."
-Alexander the Great, kind of
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post #10 of 158 (permalink) Old 05-02-09, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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@OXC: Nice! As soon as you can get some pics up, I'd love to see them!

@Col. Schafer: lol. SDF stands for Sol Defense Force, the Segmentum battlefleets and armies of the Segmentum Solar, the last vestige of the Imperium. And yes, feel free to use the setting. Thanks for the feedback!

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)

Hat in the Ring
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