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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old 08-30-09, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Default Fall of the Old Ones

PROLOGUE

Too long now.

Too long had they been forced to scratch a living from this cold rock.

The Old Ones, as they styled themselves, in their self-righteous anger, had forced the remains of their civilization here; A desolate, charred stone of a planet. But the thing they hadn’t known was what the Necrontyr had found.

With each short life, and each Necrontyr killed, they had searched harder and harder for a new and potent weapon to turn the tide of this failing war. They eventually turned to their own star, the source of their misery, for a way to turn its energies against the Old Ones. What they had found was even greater than mere radiation.

No one was sure, but the Necrontyr scientists claimed to have found an entity, an ethereal phantom, amidst the energies of their star. They were now looking for a way to communicate with it.

Why the great Warrior Poet, Gahat-Siil, was being requested to supervise this momentous occasion, and not one of the lead researchers themselves, was a mystery to everyone except the Tymloche, the highest and most powerful individuals, those who had mastered time itself, and acted as rulers. They had ordered this themselves for some reason.

Siil strode through the cramped, dark halls of the flagship Necropolis. The Cairn-Class had been commissioned specifically for this event, and was practically empty. The grim, taciturn interior had been darkened further to conserve energy for the strange communications relays. The scientists were already establishing communication, trying frantically to plead with the creature, imploring it for its secrets and its knowledge. Sill wasn’t interested.

As a Warrior, Siil, instead of fearing death, welcomed it. Instead of plying the deep of the abyss for some way to survive, he simply wanted to inflict this pain on everything around him. And as a Poet, he was always thinking about his history, the history of his people, and the future of all around him. He turned his constant thoughts of hate towards the creature, and thought that, if this indeed was what they were after, it could be used to destroy the Old Ones, to rid the galaxy of their haughty superiority and empty wisdom. He stopped, his silvery black battle suit going silent, and he turned his relay to the communications going on below.

A sharp hiss came through the relay, and the static evened out. He listened with a mixture of boredom and interest.

The first voice he heard made his hair stand up on the back of his neck. It was an ethereal growl, a sound made by some terrifying, snarling creature of the void.

“And how do I know what you are?”

One of the calm, collected scientist voices came in clearly now, a female.

“We are on one of the planets that revolve around the star you are feeding upon.”

A pause, and then the creature responded, “A planet? What is a planet?”

“A planet is a ball of dirt and metal.”

“I know of these. They are of no use to me. They have no energy. Why should I care about the plight of something with no energy?”

“You do not understand the differences of energy. We have a different kind of energy than that of stars.”

“An energy I do not feel. I will try.”

A cold dread washed over Siil; A feeling he was unaccustomed to. His muscles tightened, and he looked out the window into the circular hall below him, filled with the science crew tasked with this dubious honor. Peering down at them, he recognized the one who had been speaking. The elongated, smooth, slender face, the pulled black hair, and the pallid, bone-white complexion were all familiar. Beneath her shimmering red coat, the outline of her body was visible; She was slender and lithe, but her beauty hid a keen and frightening mind. She was cruel, and he’d seen her kill her own subordinates when they angered her.

He was attracted to her in more ways than one, but his mission came first.

Sensing his gaze, she shot him a quick look of irritation, and went about her work. They had all felt the uneasy dread, but she remained collected. The rubberized surface of her gloves scraped against the broadcaster once more, but before she could reply, the creature’s voice came over the equipment.

“Striking. The flavor of your ship, of your anger and hatred, of your… Lust.”

“Do you believe me now? Our foe is older and more numerous than even we, and their emotions are even more pronounced.”

Several minutes of silence pervaded. The science team shifted uneasily, and finally, a single phrase pierced the silence.

“Make me a body. Place me in it.”

A bright flash and a puff of smoke, and the communicator exploded. The alarms barked, and the fire control systems activated. Liquid CO2 came out of the vents, coating the floor in a ghostly fog that extinguished the leaping flames. She coughed, waving her holopad at the pungent gas, and strode to the elevator. There was much to be done.

As she stepped out of the tube, Siil blocked her path.

“Mind telling me what just happened?”

She sneered at him, annoyed that he’d even try to understand her area of expertise. “Cascade failure due to signal overload. Go write a ballad about it and let me do my job.” She made to move around him.

He sidestepped her, blocking her again. “That’s not what I mean, and you know it. What was that voice, and what did it mean by building a body for it?”

She twisted her face in rage and cursed the Tym for giving him the ability to expect answers to such complicated questions. “That is a C’tan, a star god. Its been feeding off the energies from the star. They feed from pure energy sources, but are pure energy themselves. If you had been listening to the entire conversation, venerable Gahat-Siil,” she snarled mockingly, “you’d know that and I wouldn’t have to waste time explaining these things to you.”

He remained stoic in the face of her blind, but currently impotent, fury. “Need I remind you, knowledgeable Sinnat-Val,” he snarled back, “That the Tym expect me to get a report from you regardless of what I do or do not listen to? Do not make my job difficult, and I’ll make sure yours remains easy.”

She laughed. “You have no idea what is going on here. You don’t know how long we’ve been searching for this. And you have no idea what responsibility is now placed on my shoulders because we’ve finally found it.” Her face went sour. “Do not presume to tell me my job is easy. “

He narrowed his eyes. “I know exactly how long we’ve been searching for this. Every moment of our history, of our tragedies and losses, is scratched into my memory forever. Do not presume to tell me I have no idea what has just happened.”

The two stood there, staring at each other. Each hated the other with a burning passion, but beneath this was a deep respect for the other.

Siil moved to one side, his suit whirring mechanically, and Val moved past him, and neither took their glares from the other until they were out of sight.


Last edited by Iron Angel; 08-31-09 at 12:21 AM.
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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old 08-31-09, 12:01 AM
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Going good so far ill be keeping a eye out for this

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 #3 of 54 (permalink) Old 08-31-09, 12:04 AM
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Cool story man. Nice writing style.
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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old 08-31-09, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Val checked her holopad. Twenty tons of Necrodermis, lost in a transit operation gone awry. She rubbed her temple in frustration. The Old Ones were starting to really crack down on in-system transit. They had stolen the valuable living metal, and now they were without a shell. She slammed her fist into a nearby control panel, her rubberized gloves absorbing the electrical shock. She extricated her fist, and the panel remolded back into shape after a few moments. All of her equipment had to be made of Necrodermis due to her spontaneous violence.

She jumped at the sound of her door chime. She frowned at the interruption, and barked, "Enter."

The door slid sideways, and Siil stepped through.

Val groaned, but allowed him to enter. "Yes?"

"Where’s that block of Necrodermis?" he queried.

She tossed the Holopad at him, and he nimbly caught it. "Why dont you look for yourself?"

He scanned the glowing green screen and the word "CONFISCATED" caught his attention. A sour taste grew in his mouth and he narrowed his eyes. "Those bastards. They know we're up to something and they're trying to keep us from moving goods until they figure it out. We had better hope they don't." He flung the pad down on the desk.

She rubbed her pointed chin. "We could cut a section of the ship's hull. Perhaps from the Tomb Vaults. The ship is basically empty, and we won't be traveling between planets. Maybe we could just use that useless suit of yours."

Before either of them could jab each other further, an alert sounded- There was an inbound Old Ones ship trying to dock.

His communicator hissed, and the distinct, wispy voice of an Old One came over the frequency. “Surrender your warship. We will be searching the premises and confiscating your weapons. You are in direct violation of our orders. We have one of your cruisers, and the shipping log is blank for a block of Living Metal destined for this ship. We implore you, do not make this violent.” The frequency clicked off.

Siil thought for a moment. “If we get that block of Necrodermis, how long do you think it would take you to contact the C’tan again?”

Val looked at him with a mixture of shock and disgust. “What do you mean? We’ve just been blockaded! This entire operation is a failure! That block of Necrodermis is on another ship. And they’ll find us before we can get to it. And how do you propose we move it?”

Siil sneered at her lack of resolve. “Its my responsibility to make sure this mission is a success. Do you really want to just let everything keep going on, with the Old Ones pressing down on us?”

Val hung her head in her hands. “What does it matter? We’re all going to die anyway. We can’t change that.”

He stared at her, and his communicator cracked again, this time from the bridge captain. “Sir, the Old Ones have docked and are beginning to board. Shall we open fire?”

He replied, “Absolutely not. Let them search us. It’s a big ship, and we have lots of time.” He now fully understood the Tymloche plan for them.

Tears of anger and despair streamed down Val’s face. “Its all over then. They’ll find our equipment and destroy the ship. We’ll never win this war.” Her face turned to anger, and she once again destroyed the panel next to her.

Siil wasn’t going to give in. He reached down and grabbed her by the collar, and jerked her over the desk, dumping her on the floor. “Lets go. We can still save this mission, if you’ll stop sniveling and get a move on.”

She lay on the floor, and her despair turned to rage. “How!? How will we get it into the chamber to guide the C’tan through the channeling procedure? And how will we even get the block?” She laughed. “You’ve got courage, but you have no sense. It would be adorable if it weren’t so disgusting.”

He was getting tired of this, and they were running out of time. He grabbed her by the collar once again, and dragged her to her feet. “I’ll tell you what. Either you can live out your life knowing you at least helped me try, or I’ll simply kill you now and do this myself.”

She stared at him, and narrowed her eyes. He was threatening her? Who did he think he was? “Whats your plan then? Enlighten me.”

“We don’t bring the block to this ship. We bring the communicator to theirs.”

She laughed again. “Have you seen the size of that equipment!? We would-“

“We would rig up a relay. We talk from their ship, and the C’tan hears it because we talk into the equipment. We then guide it to the block and it inhabits it. We win.”

Her eyes widened as she thought about the plan. He was right; It just might work. She glared at him, and slapped him. “You should have said this the first time I asked instead of wasting my time like this! Are you stupid?”

He contemplated choking her to death, but there wasn’t enough time. The door sounded again, and Siil stood in front of it. He knew who was on the other side, and he knew that lying wouldn’t work.

“Enter.”

The door slid open, and he grabbed the weapon of the first Old One, tore it from his grasp and caved his head in with it. He whirled sideways and brought it around into the second startled Old One, still trying to aim his weapon. It caught him in the side of the head, which jerked sideways with a crack. Siil dragged both corpses back into the room.

He looked back at Val, who was staring at him with her arms crossed. “Are you quite finished?”

Siil hefted the weapon, its gleaming edge crackling with pale violet energy. He examined it; It was crude, but it would do the trick if it had to. “I’ll get you to the Comm array, but you’ll need to be quick.”

“Spare me. I only need you in case I need a sponge for enemy fire.” She gathered up her holopad and rushed from the room. He followed her down the halls, and hoped this would work. They were too close to their vengeance to fail now.

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CHAPTER 1
GLIMMER OF HOPE

“Get out of my light, you lumbering moron.”

Val hooked the receiver up to the microphone system of the C’tan phase communication relay, shoving Siil aside. Siil shifted nervously, scanning the windows of the chamber. The Old Ones would sweep as they usually did, from one side of the crescent-shaped ship to the other. They were nestled right in the middle, and he had no idea how thorough the Old Ones were being. He hoped they were being very, very thorough. Though it was a large ship, they’d used a lot of time already. He looked at his weapon. What he wouldn’t give to have access to their own technology rather than this primitive arc caster. One of the new Electron Magnet weapons maybe, developed behind the backs of the Old Ones. The magnetic beam could pull matter apart at the molecular level. It was specifically designed to overcome the psychic resistances of the Old Ones by creating a projectile which simply could not be blocked or translocated to the Warp.

Val tied a few last controls in place over the casting equipment, and was finished. She keyed in Siil’s command frequency, tested the resonator, and stood, dusting her hands. “They’ve grafted. I sure hope it listens,” she said, staring at the equipment. It was a haphazard rig but there was no reason it shouldn’t work.

“They’re coming this way!”

An elderly Necrontyr, with yellow, mottled skin, bloodshot, irisless eyes, and black veins running beneath his sallow flesh, ran into the room. He was an Afflicted, one of the few remaining Necrontyr who was still alive that had seen the surface of Necrontu, their home world, which was bathed in the light of a highly radioactive star. The skin of the planet was as marred as that of the Necrontyr’s, and they had spent their entire existence devoted to science to somehow overcome their plight, eventually moving away to neighboring systems. Those born on planets away from the star of Necrontu still bore their ancestors’ radiation poisoning, which had forever mutated their genes; They still retained their short lifespans and weak immune systems, but instead of cancerous, radiated skin, instead their flesh was devoid of any pigment whatsoever, rendering them highly photosensitive. This led to an eventual complete nocturnal shift of the Necrontyr civilization as the Pure, those born away from the radiated world of Necrontu, became more numerous, and could not withstand the light of day without lesions and burns on their skin.

But more important than being Afflicted, this man was Voralet-Golen, the Engineer of this ship, tasked with overseeing all scientific operations aboard. He had set up the Communication Relay and facilitated communication, and now was warning the others.

He stopped, looked at the two, and asked, “What is all this?”

Val nodded her head in salute to her superior. “This is a relay. We’re going to guide the C’tan to the block of Living Metal inside the belly of the Old Ones ship, and hope we’re right about how to press its energy imprint into the latticework of the substance.”

Golen nodded his head. “Yes, I see, very well thought out. Brilliant. But the old ones are headed this way. They know about the relay, and they’re here to investigate it. I told them it was just an energy reader, but they want to see for themselves. Being the stupid lizards they are they’ll be unable to tell otherwise. I’m coming with you, other scientists are escorting them here. We need to leave before they find you.”

Val shook her head. “With all due respect, you’re-“

He glared at her. “I may be an Afflicted but I refuse to miss this moment. I was there, during the entire war. I can still run, and I can still fight. And I know more about the strange extra-dimensional technology of the Old Ones than you, twice over. I’m coming with you. Consider that an order.”

She couldn’t stop him without facing an Order of Exile, so she grit her teeth and nodded in compliance.

Siil was getting impatient. “We don’t have much time. We need to circle back around their patrols and get to the docking bay before they leave again. If we get on there and they pull away, they might just do their warp travel and we’ll be completely out of range. So lets go.”

“You will not be going anywhere.”

Siil shouted a very loud expletive in his head, and turned around to see an entire squad of Old Ones, weapons raised. He wasn’t sure how much they’d heard; He hoped nothing about the C’tan. He wasn’t going to let that stop him, however. He whipped his weapon forward and squeezed the firing mechanism. A flash of light and a loud crack of thunder, and an arc of electricity erupted form the tip of the weapon. One of the guards screamed in agony as it seared his flesh, and fell backwards, his cloth armor on fire. Siil didn’t remember arc casters being quite this strong. He squeezed again, but the enemy was quicker, and from the captain’s weapon a bolt erupted and a tingle shot through Siil’s body. His suit overloaded and locked.

The captain strode forward. “We learned long ago to increase the amperage on our weapons. Your armor suits can only take so much current before turning off. We still can’t even figure out how they work, but we know how to get them to stop working.

Siil gazed into the black pupils of the frog-like creature, unflinching and unphased. The armor hissed abruptly, gouts of steam and pneumatic gases erupting from nozzles in the rear.

Val explained stoically. “We learned long ago how to compensate by adding a current dampener coupled with a shock gel release on all pneumatic systems.”

The Old One frowned, not understanding the technical terms.

The corner of Val’s mouth twitched upwards in a twisted grin. “Basically, the armor ups its own amperage and pneumatic pressure during the shock to decrease the jump in capacitor strain, which is what really causes the overload, then vents the pent up pressure. In short-“

Siil’s fist shot forward, the powered armor’s metal fist liquefying the bone beneath it.

“… The new system can’t be overloaded.”

Siil grabbed the dead commander’s weapon before it hit the floor, and using the commander as a shield, sprayed current into the rest of the squad. In just a few seconds, five seared, smoking corpses littered the doorway.

Golen kicked the bodies and shook his head. “They’ll know they died, they can feel it when one of their own is killed. They’re all psychically linked. Fascinating really, if it weren’t so imprecise and unscientific.”

One of the servos in the shoulder of Siil’s armor whined loudly as he moved his arm, and suddenly popped. Siil screamed in pain, and tore the pauldron from the suit. Beneath it, the servo had split in half from the sudden heat of the shock, and the edge of the servo had sliced his shoulder open.

Val peered at the wound. “We’ll have to mark that down for the next issue of this combat suit. ‘Reinforce servos’.”

Siil glowered at her. The busted servo meant that the arm could no longer move at the shoulder; Since the armor was not modular, the entire suit would have to go. “No really, I’m fine. Get me out of this thing.”

“Maybe if you weren’t so careless this wouldn’t happen.” She pressed the emergency release button, and the pieces disconnected from one another.

Siil grabbed the pieces with his hands, pulling each one off, until he was left with nothing but his black neural interface suit. He felt more than a little exposed and vulnerable, used to several inches of mechanical parts and ablative plating separating him from danger, rather than a millimeter of skin-gripping synthetic weave.

Val was intrigued; Beneath the bulky armor, Siil was actually a very slender, lithe individual; She’d never seen a Warrior out of their battlesuit, knowing it was more like a second skin for them than a piece of equipment. She thought they would be more muscular than an average Necrontyr; Apparently, the genetic mutations really did leave the Necrontyr physique with a growth point that could not be passed. Realizing she was staring, she suddenly averted her gaze.

“Where is the armory on this ship?” he asked, infuriated. Fortunately, "Pure" (Those born away from Necrontu, who did not bear irradiated skin) could not go red in the face, so his apparent frustration and embarrassment was concealed.

Golen, unconcerned about Siil’s state of dress, replied, “Not far from here, upper wing. Right outside the tomb vaults. I’d say five minutes to get there. It’s only a short detour from the main path to the docks as well.”

Siil immediately went for the door. It slid open before him, and Val followed behind, making a pointed effort not to look at him. Instead, she focused on her Holopad, intent on trying to find a way into the Old Ones communication network. She cursed their psychic abilities, and realized it was impossible, so instead she began browsing through the security feed. None of the patrols seemed to be in any hurry; Maybe the psychic loss of one of their squads hadn’t registered yet. She kept watching the feeds, going through several minutes of footage before the fight, and suddenly walked into something very solid. Thinking she’d hit a wall, and realizing the hallways were in a grid formation and devoid of corners, she stumbled backwards and looked up from the pad. She became acutely aware of the fact that she’d run into Siil while he was waiting for the armory door to open.

Siil looked backwards at her, his sense of vulnerability amplifying his irritation. “Watch where you’re going next time!”

She suddenly felt very warm, and narrowed her eyes at him. “I’m watching our enemy to make sure none of them are coming for us. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a worry if you weren’t so foolhardy.”

Siil sneered at her, and continued inside the armory once the bioscan was complete. He looked around and sighed.

The place had not been refurbished at all; There were no weapons or ammo, and only a few tools. Two Battlesuits hung in their stasis pods, one in a state of disassembly. The other was riddled with scorch marks and had several charred components. “Typical,” he muttered, realizing this was a waste of time. He opened a few locked cabinets just to make sure, and there was nothing. A crease in the back of one of the lockers caught his eye, however. He looked closer at it, and pulled away the false back.

Val’s eyes lit up with awe; She’d seen holos of them, but she’d never been this close to one of the new weapons. The glistening black length of the weapon was nearly as tall as a Necrontyr, but more than half of it was a transparent polycrystal cylinder with a metal rod as support, tipped with a bayonet- All made of Living Metal. Siil hefted the Electron Magnetism Rifle and looked down its length; despite its size, it was comparatively light. He had lost his armor, but at least he had one of these. It focused a beam of magnetic energy onto a target, which caused the energized air to blue shift into the green area of the spectrum. When the beam struck a solid object, the intense force caused the electrons to leap from the affected atoms, causing them to lose their bonds, and disassembling the matter at the atomic level. The magnetized atoms were then carried back to the gun in an instant by the field, and split to refill the weapon’s charge, creating a fully self-sustaining weapon. The energy could not be translocated to the warp or stopped by a psychic shield; It was simply a force of magnetism, an irresistible phenomenon, and it was lethal.

“Theres a note here,” Siil said. “In case of emergency is what it says. I think this qualifies.”

Golen frowned. “If my calculations are right, they’ll be coming through these corridors soon. We’d best get a move on. I’d suggest we take lifts there. We’re less likely to be spotted and it’ll go much faster.”

Lift trains were risky; If they were spotted there would be no escape, but the trains ran the outer edge of the ship- Straight to the docking bays. They were primarily used for cargo transit, but it was worth a shot.

Golen scurried from the room, and Siil and Val followed. The lift trains were all locked down for the duration of the search; Getting one moving would attract attention, but hopefully the Navigator could pass it off as a reflex.

Val keyed in the override code on her holopad, and the door to the lift train bay slid open with a hiss. The dim light in the room provided enough light to see by, but the tunnels would hopefully be dark enough to stay hidden in. She continued pressing in commands on the pad, and one of the trains lit up and lifted a few feet from the tracks on a ghostly green luminescent energy field, the majority of the train being obscured further down the tunnel.

“Heres to hoping your idiot plan works,” Val spat. She climbed up onto the hovering platform and grabbed hold of one of the rails, still examining a feed. The green light of the pad lit her face, casting harsh shadows across her sharp features as the images scrolled by. Siil leapt up onto the platform, and took up residence near the rail as well. Golen managed to pull himself aboard with minor difficulty, and glared at the two healthier specimens he shared the train with, resentful of their youth and their physical state.

Val pressed a command, and the train began its journey around the perimeter of the ship, building speed until the unlit tunnels of the lift course blurred around them and the air whipped about them.

Long moments of silence passed; Siil shifted uneasily, made keenly aware of his vulnerability with each passing moment of silence, despite his near invisibility in the low light. The only source of illumination was the glowing green of his weapon’s accelerator tube, which cast a ghostly glow on his frail Necrontyr frame. His polished black hair blew sideways in the whipping wind in the tunnel. Val avoided looking at him; She had too much to watch, and she couldn’t risk starting to stare again. She was absolutely mortified by the fact that she had actually found him worth more than a passing glance in the first place. Golen simply sat, invisible, on the other side of the train, watching the two with amusement, until a deep alarm sounded from further in the tunnel. Val looked about, confused. She’d never heard that noise before. Suddenly, the train car shook, and the car behind them began drifting away from them.

A cumulative sense of dread rose over the three as they realized what was happening. The Old Ones knew they were aboard the train, and were trying to detach the cars to stop them, presumably because they didn’t know how to stop the train itself. If their car stopped in the middle of these tunnels, they’d likely starve before they ever found a way out. Below them was nothing but an energy rail, which would kill them if they even got near it; The walls were sheer and smooth. These trains were meant to carry crates, not Necrontyr.

The alarm blared again.

“We have to go now!” Siil yelled over the alarm and the air whipping around their heads. Val was still trying to override the sequence.

“The sequence is locked! I can’t undo it!” she yelled, shaking her head. The train began to shake again.

Siil sprinted forward and leapt to the next car. Val was still trying to key in commands as the car began to slowly decelerate; Golen grabbed the pad and hurled it off the train. Val looked at him with shock and anger, then realized what was about to happen. Golen ran as fast as he could, and leapt the small gap; Val began running after him, her hard-bottomed boots clacking against the trembling train floor. She hurled herself into the air at the rapidly distancing train car, landing belly-down on the metal surface. She scrabbled to her feet.

“Pay attention!” Siil said, pulling her up by the arm. The three ran, and cleared the gap as that one detached too. The alarm stopped; The walls whirred past them, and they were still moving; The hum of the lift engine rumbled beneath them. But why had they stopped detaching cars?

The answer became all too clear as a second train pulled up next to them. Firing from the crates, several Old Ones discharged their arc casters across the gap; The surface of the train scored and charred, erupting in fountains of sparks with each connection. The three dove behind crates as the electrical shocks impacted around them, and their enemy activated light orbs which illuminated the tunnel around them.

“Well, lets see how this thing works.” Siil said, hefting the magnetic rifle. He peered from around cover; Without his armor, he found he was actually unsure of his abilities. He forced the uncertainty from his mind, and focused only on the thought of destroying his enemy. Anger welled up inside of him, and with a fearsome cry, he stood, looked over the crate, and fired.

A sharp whine pierced the air, and green flash filled the tunnel. A green beam of energy erupted from the weapon, slammed into a crate on the opposing train, and the crate blew apart as it dematerialized. The beam penetrated it, and the Old One caught in the blast screamed in terror as its flesh was flayed from its bones, until its lungs dissipated as well.

The remaining old ones immediately hid, yelling in horror at the sight. The alarm bellowed again, but this time, an entire cluster of cars released; There was no way they’d make it far enough to leap the gap.

Searching for a way to avoid an untimely demise, Val turned her attention to the other train. “We have to switch trains!” she yelled.

Siil looked at the gap; He knew he could clear it, and he figured Val might be able to; But Golen was a different story.

“I’ll throw you two!” he yelled. “Don’t argue, we don’t have enough time. Agree, or I’ll knock you both out cold and throw you anyway!”

Val didn’t want him throwing her, but options looked slim at this point, especially since the opposite train began going by faster now. The three ran to the edge.

Siil gripped Golen, and hurled him across; His feeble, addled fraim was fairly lightweight, and he rolled to a stop on the other train. The Old Ones, seeing this, began opening fire from the car ahead, and Golen scrambled for cover. Siil tossed his weapon to Golen, who caught it with a fair amount of panic.

Val swallowed, and stepped to the edge. Siil gripped her firmly about the waist, and she felt a lump form in her throat. Before it could reach critical mass, she suddenly felt herself hoisted into the air, and then crashed down onto the other train.

Siil eyed the gap; He’d have to jump now if he wanted to make it. He took a step backward, and hurled himself forward. He stretched out his hands, but he simply didn’t have enough inertia. His hands brushed the edge, and he looked down at the energy rails below him. He welcomed death at this point.

He felt his arms stop, and he swung forward into the side of the train car, slamming into it. He wheezed as the breath was knocked out of him, and he looked down; His feet were only a few feet from the energy rail, and he could see the focusing arrays whip by beneath him. He looked up; Val and Golen each had one of his wrists, and they hoisted him aboard amidst a storm of crackling caster fire. The three scrambled behind another crate. Siil’s breathing began to slow, and he watched as the other train decelerated behind them.

Val glared. “Good thing you weren’t wearing that damned suit. You’re have been way to heavy to hoist aboard.”

Siil looked at her. “If I had had my suit on, I would have not only cleared the jump, but I could have carried you both while doing it too.”

Siil grabbed up his weapon and fired it into the train ahead; The blast disintegrated another Old One, who evaporated screaming into a green cloud, which faded to gray and blew past them in wisps as the air rushed about them. He checked the weapon, and finished, “Now, I believe we have a train engine to get to.”

The Old Ones ahead all began to fall back to the front of the train, firing blindly behind them as they fled. Siil laughed, and screamed, “Run, you cowards!”

Val stood up and grabbed him by the shoulder. “You idiot, run! They’re going to detach the cars again!”

Siil stopped laughing as he figured she was probably right. The three sprinted up the line of cars, and sure enough, the alarm blew once again. The cars began to detach, until finally the front car was in sight. All of the old ones were holed up there, watching their approach with dread. The thick hull of the pyramid-shaped front car could probably protect them from normal munitions, but not this new threat.

Siil leveled his weapon, and squeezed the trigger; His aim was thrown up into the ceiling, and a rain of metal fragments came down on them. Looking around to see what had happened, Siil realized Val had hit his gun.

“If you fire that into the engine, you’ll blow the particle reactor, and the entire lift will go critical! If we’re lucky we’ll crash before the car goes thermonuclear!”

Siil eyed the bayonet on his gun; The flash had driven the Old Ones down in fear, so he charged forward, and leapt into the car.

Golen shook his head. “Look what you’ve done. It’s almost beautiful.”

Within moments, the Old Ones holed up inside the engine were attempting to get out, leaping between the engine and the remaining car, and even out the windows. Siil was plainly visible inside, whirling in circles, in almost a dance-like fashion, as he cleaved the amphibian aliens with the bladed end of the long weapon. Val and Golen leapt forward into the engine as the remaining Old Ones built their courage from the car behind them. Val pressed the maintenance release, and the final car slid away formt hem into the abyss. Several tried to run forward, but only had time to replace their look of fear at being left in the tunnel with a look of even greater terror as a narrow, grinning face leered at them from inside the engine car, leveled a green particle weapon at them, and fired.


Last edited by Iron Angel; 09-02-09 at 05:49 AM.
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Quote:
Siil eyed the bayonet on his gun
Wooo! I love you bayonet!! Have my baby!!

....that aside, interesting storyline

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quite good writing style. not overemphasizing, neat and to the point but still with atmosphere. develop the characters a bit more and you'll be on the winning side of some good fiction writing. +rep

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(SOZ FOR HIATUS. I've been busy, but here's the latest chapter.)

CHAPTER 2
DESCENT

The Old One commander poked the strange creature's tank with his weapon. No matter how many times he saw them, the sight of a Necrontyr head with half a torso and gangly arms never got less unnerving.

It sat suspended in a half cylinder, its entire bottom half composed of metal tubing and wires that stretched backward into the ship behind it; The same wires and tubes connected to its arms and head, suspending it, or what was left of it, several feet off the ground. The rest of its body was sickly and anemic, but something about its eyes always took the Commander off guard. They were sharp and vibrant, glittering with data streams, and they seemed to look right through him as though he wasn't even there. The creature was haunting, to say the least, but he had a job to do. He swallowed and built his composure, examining the creature.

Its arms and head moved in a rhythmic, hypnotic fashion as it slowly surveyed him and his team, its eyes slowly gliding over the three of them. This was the Necropolis's Navigator; A Necrontyr dissected, mutilated, and turned into the ship's main computer. It was horrifying and disturbing, but as battle had shown, quite effective. A ship did not need a bridge or specialized crew- A single Necrontyr Navigator could operate the entire ship by itself, even these gargantuan Cairns, it would seem. Blue lights shone from below it, casting an eerie glow over its sunken, pallid flesh. When it spoke, more mechanical instruments were visible in its mouth; Anatomy and voice would suggest it was female before its transition, but he doubted it even mattered any more.

“Why have you come here, those who call themselves old?” her voice echoed and thrummed with a ghostly chorus of mechanical feedback. She spoke slowly and deliberately, with a disconnected, ethereal tone that made her seem like she was hardly even paying attention. “What answers do you seek from us? We are simply reading energies from the star.”

He frowned. It was always trouble getting answers from these Necrontyr; Navigators were even worse. Navigators, basically being the ship itself, knew everything that went on inside, making their uncooperative nature even more frustrating. “Don’t play with me. I want to know why,” he said, tapping the thick glass with his finger.

The Navigator’s eyes flashed slightly as data scrolled across them. It was playing another game with him- He knew these living supercomputers could access any piece of data they wanted instantly. At least, he was pretty sure. Nobody really knew how any of the Necrontyr technology worked, to be honest- All they had accomplished in labs was breaking it.

Her rhythmic, hypnotic movements continued. “We seek to make sure radiation levels in this star system are habitable. We do not want to risk another deadly star.”

A lie. “We checked this system before we sent you here. We know its safe.”

Her eyes passed over him again, and he felt a chill go up his spine as she examined him, and moved on. “Your technology is not as… robust as that which we possess. We are simply double checking work we are sure you were kind enough to do.”

Insolence and sarcasm as well? These Necrontyr truly were an infuriating bunch. He rocked back and forth on his heels and licked his teeth- a sign of frustration. “Very well. You are only delaying the inevitable. We will uncover the meaning of this operation. And if it turns out that there is anything more going on here, I will have this ship disassembled.”

Her head cocked and her eyes focused squarely on him, remaining stoic. “How would you be able to tell if I am lying? Your old trick of mind probing a ship’s navigator has been…” her eyes slowly examined the glass wall around her. “…Dealt with.”

He smacked the wall. “This wall won’t stop everything. There’s a way through it. And you assume that my soldiers scouring your ship won’t find anything.”

“New failsafe procedure 23-8: If the Navigator Defensive Screen is breached, Navigator will instantly terminate. And search as you will, Commander. We have nothing to hide.”

He rocked back and forth again. They were getting smarter. “I hope for your sake that what you say is true. Both accounts,” he said, tapping the glass with the edge of his weapon.

As he finished, his subconscious was touched, and he could make out a subtle signal, but it was muffled, like someone screaming from inside of a thick container. He tried to concentrate on it, but it ended. As it ended more came, and he suddenly realized what was going on. He fired on the wall in rage, leaving little more than a scorch mark. The flash lit the Navigator’s frame; She didn’t even flinch, and continued to stare into the distance stoically. He banged on the cylinder with his fist. “Whatever trick you’re using to interrupt our communication, I order you to stop at once!”

And then, the Navigator did something he’d never seen one do before. Its eyes narrowed, its rhythmic movements stopped, and its head jerked quickly to face him; Most unnerving of all was the sadistic, twisted grin that stretched across its face as it leered into him. “I’m afraid I can’t do that, Commander.”

He was horrorstruck. He, Captain Shaula Unua, was to die this day, he knew it. The face continued to leer at him, her stretched, pallid skin taut in her terrifying sneer. The doors slammed down and locked; He was trapped in this room with this creature. He calmed himself; It couldn’t leave the tank, or it would kill itself; Hell, it couldn’t move at all. It was hooked to the ship. He stood and looked at it. “You have broken the laws of your surrender, you foul abomination. I am hereby decommissioning this vessel. And when my men find out whatever it is you’re doing here, they’ll report it back and an entire fleet will arrive here in a matter of days and scour this ship.”

Her expression did not change. “Do not be so sure.”

He frowned, and hit the glass again. “And what does that mean? Are you threatening me?”

She resumed her hypnotic gestures, and did not respond. Little did he know, that data scroll he had seen was the activation sequence for an unscheduled train; As long as the mental dampers were in effect, they would not be able to communicate psychically.

Seeing her uncooperative nature, he narrowed his eyes and turned to one of his guards. “Blow the door. We’re leaving. And we’re going to find out what is going on here.”

The door slid open of its own accord, and the ship’s Keeper stepped through. His form was hidden under the black robe he wore, his face nearly invisible. He was keeper of the ship’s Navigator, as well as a sort of coroner. “I apologize for the Navigator’s temperament. The minds of larger vessels are more prone to spontaneity than others. I trust she has not harmed you?” he lied. Navigators were anything but unstable- They were arguably the most stable members of the crew.

Shaula stood straighter and aligned his collar, peering down his blunt snout at the Necrontyr, even though he stood a full foot taller than the frog-like Old One. “No. Aside from some extraordinarily difficult behavior, as well as an attempted imprisonment, no harm has come to me or my officers.”

The Necrontyr nodded slowly. “I am pleased to hear that. I would not want the council thinking we had any hostile intentions. Is there anything else you needed?”

Shaula was relieved to see there was still someone on this forsaken vessel with some decency. “No, I believe that’s all I needed from here. I’ll need clearance throughout the ship. I’ve noticed some areas are still locked. Why is that?” He narrowed his eyes.

The Keeper shook his head. “It is hard to organize all the systems of such a large ship. Especially on a whim. Sometimes certain systems get passed over accidentally. I’ll go over the network again and unlock the sealed areas for you as you request, and hope it has not been too much hassle.” The Keeper bowed to him. In fact, this was a bold-faced lie; Necrontyr systems worked in perfect order, all of the time. The shut out areas contained weapon caches that had to be hidden through use of hidden passageways. But the Old One didn’t know that.

Shaula grinned at the gesture. It had been so long since a Necrontyr had shown him any sort of respect whatsoever that he was not going to turn it down. “I’ll be taking my leave then. I hope we do not turn up anything out of the ordinary. For your consideration and cooperation…” He cast a scathing glare at the Navigator. “… I will consider not decommissioning this ship.” He brushed past the Keeper, and he and his officers strode through the door and out into the commons.

The Keeper watched him go, and when he was out of sight, he turned back to the Navigator. “Why would you do something so reckless? That was an extraordinarily stupid thing to do.”

She gazed at him blankly. “I wanted to toy with him before the end.”

He shook his head. “We don’t even know if they will be successful. But enough talk of that. We don’t want ears overhearing any of this. Continue doing your job, and next time, try to prevent the Old Ones locking you out of systems. I was watching the trams, and one more fumble like that could cost them their lives.”

Shaula went to make sure the Navigator had made good on his orders; His first stop was a room of unremarkable nature, some kind of living quarters.

The door slid open; This one had been unlocked, at least. He looked around and inspected the sleeping places of these Necrontyr. It was cramped and the beds were small and hard, with high rectangular sides stacked on top of one another. Wires and tubes for life support were visible, and blinking lights could be seen within. From what he could tell, to get in or out, the ones above you hade to be retracted by a large metallic rail at the head of each stack. To him they looked more like coffins than beds, especially considering the large amount of space they had available. He checked each one, knowing this would be a good hiding place for weapons, but found nothing. Satisfied the room was empty, he left, and the door shut behind him.

He was close to the dock at this point; He had done his job of interrogating the Navigator, and though she was uncooperative, he had gotten what he’d needed. His crew could take care of the rest. He decided he could take a look at the ship’s cargo before heading back; Their ship was hooked directly into the cargo bay of this ship.

He and his officers strode forward into the cargo bay. Glittering black boxes rose into the air above him like large tombs, sending a chill up his spine. What a macabre bunch. He pitied them more than anything, that they could not have simply taken their hand in friendship, but instead had chosen war, at a cost that drove them only deeper into their species-wide despair. He had scant time to contemplate this philosophical moment when a low thrum began reverberating through the cargo bay. He frowned. No machinery was supposed to be moving; Perhaps an errant cargo lifter?

As the sound grew in intensity and volume, it became apparent that whatever made that sound was much larger than a cargo lifter. He scowled, knowing suddenly he had been played by the clever Necrontyr; They were transporting something, trying to store it in the already-checked section of the ship, in the hopes that it would not be searched again. He had not forgotten the psychic dampening; Maybe that was what they were transporting- Some sort of new weapon to combat the psychic powers of his kind. The thought chilled him to the bone, and he was determined to stop it at all costs.

The sound reached a crescendo at the lift terminal, and he gave silent orders to his officers to take up positions behind cover in the boxes at the base of the elevated platform. He steadied himself, and once he was sure everyone had moved behind something, he peered out. He realized there were no cars; Only the engine itself. Another errant system. If these large ships were so hard to keep control of, why didn’t they just use smaller ships instead of all this?

Then, something happened that Shaula did not prepare for.

Three individuals leapt from the engine; He recognized only one, the ship’s Engineer. The one they had been told about. He narrowed his eyes at him as he went by, but never gave the order.

One of his officers became frustrated, and eager for the kill, leapt from cover and fired an arc of light at the Necrontyr. The sizzling energy blistered the plastic shell of the boxes it passed, but the inaccurate arc of energy swerved and collided with the deck. One of the Necrontyr, a young male, turned to face them, and his face twisted in rage. He leveled something- A weapon, presumably, but unlike anything Shaula had ever seen before- at the officer. A moment later, a flash of light and a green stream of energy connected with him. He shrieked in agony for a moment- Until his entire torso dissipated, and only a pile of limbs fell to the floor. Blue-green blood oozed from the shredded joints, and Shaula and his other officer held their breath, staring at it from behind cover in horror. What was this new terror? What horrifying new science had these monsters worked?

The trio of Necrontyr continued running through the boxes. Shaula swallowed and gathered his nerve. He looked down at his fallen comrade, and swore he would discover what vile technology had done this, and when he had proven illegal weapons research, he would have his vengeance against the whole race for this new terror.

He signaled his remaining subordinate, who nodded. The Old Ones were not fast or strong, but they were adept at close quarters pursuit; He had run down more Necrontyr war criminals than he could count on his four-fingered hands. He could hear them running, panting- Necrontyr were not particularly fast or strong either, at least not their warrior roles. Their footsteps told them all he needed to know, and he cut them off at a junction between the boxes.

The Necrontyr rounded the corner, and the young male had a brief look of shock on his face when he walked into the danger end of a pair of arc casters. Then it was replaced with boiling rage as he brought his long, slender weapon to bear, but he was too slow, and the weapon to weighty. Shaula pressed the weapon sideways, lodging the end of it into a crease between the crates, and pressed his weight into it. His officer primed his weapon, the whine of electric current screeching to life as the conical end of the caster crackled with energy. He leveled it directly into the young male’s eye, still burning with sorrow and rage at his comrade’s death. The Necrontyr glared at him, his eyes burning with hate, but he made no moves.

“Drop it, criminal.” Shaula growled, and pressed his weight further into the barrel of the weapon.

The second, a young female, reached for her coat, but the officer reacted and pointed his weapon at her. She froze, and adopted the same facial expression as her male accomplice.

The young male let go of the weapon, and it clattered to the floor. Shaula moved away, letting it fall, and kicked it away and stood straight. “You are murderers and war criminals. Officer, claim that device,” he bellowed, as he reactivated his own weapon. The officer backed away, and bent down to claim it.

“What are your names?”

The young male narrowed his eyes at Shaula. HIs lip curled in disgust that this oppressor would dare to ask him who he was. “My name is Gahat-Siil. Role: Warrior. Profession: Poet.” He paused. “You would do well to remember this name, because it will be the one you utter with your dying breath.” He eyed the officer, waiting for his hands to be on neither weapon.

Shaula gazed at him as though he were mad; Indeed, he was sure he was. “Well, Gahat-Siil, the council will have you strung up by your innards for this. But I wont give them the chance.” He strode slowly closer.

The officer leaned forward…

“I’m going to claim you resisted, and I had no choice but to eliminate you.” He cocked the weapon, and it whined angrily, purple energy flashing along the length of the conical tip.

...And the officer reached forward, taking his hands off his weapon.

Gahat-Siil struck fast, slapping the arc caster to one side, and lunging into the Old One. As he fell atop him however, he felt a strange obstruction between himself and the frog-like creature. Looking down, he caught sight too late that the Old One had flipped the weapon around, and the tip of the weapon was pressed firmly into Siil’s gut.

Shaula grinned, satisfied he would have vengeance for his subordinate, and pulled the trigger. An electrical shriek pierced the air for a moment, and Siil’s form writhed in pain, smoke bellowing from the gap between them. Siil rolled off of him, revealing a smoking section of charred and blistered skin where the weapon had discharged straight into him. He screamed in agony as he landed on his back.

The officer, completely taken aback and shocked by what had just happened, struggled to get a grip on his weapon again, but was tackled aside by the younger female. She was obviously not a warrior role, and was light; He toppled, but as they fell he pinned her to the floor.

Siil’s thoughts swam; Agony tore through him like red hot stakes, and he saw white spots in his vision. It was horrifying, but glorious all at once. He would not be felled, not like this. He got his bearings, and struggled to his feet, as Shaula did the same.

Shaula kept his weapon pointed at Siil. Siil strode resolutely forward, ignoring the immense searing pain in his stomach. Shaula was shaken; That blast should have incapacitated, even killed the Necrontyr; This one, however, seemed barely harmed. Before he could regain his nerve, the Necrontyr grabbed his weapon, tore it from Shaula's grasp, and swung it by the barrel into a wall of boxes, splintering and ruining the caster. Before he could grapple with Shaula, however, Val’s scream pierced his thoughts.

The officer had wrestled her into a meat shield position, his weapon in the back of her shoulder. It was an awkward position, but he knew she would be dead in an instant if he pulled the trigger; Siil contemplated allowing him to kill her, but her captor’s eyes lit up as a green flash erupted from behind him. He foamed at the mouth, and fell forward, his weight pinning Val beneath him. His entire back had disintegrated, and behind him, Golen stood awkwardly holding the magnet rifle. GOlen hunched over, and dropped the cumbersome weight of the device.

Siil turned back to face Shaula, but he had already left; The coward had run. He would chase him, but there were more important matters to attend to.

He rushed to Val’s side; What was visible was unharmed, but she had passed out from the struggle. Her head was bleeding from her impact with the ground, and she was out cold. As he bent over to inspect her, the pain in his stomach came rushing back to him, and he screamed and doubled over in pain. The smoldering ruin of flesh that was his stomach cracked and began to bleed profusely, staining the grey floors a milky lavender. He applied pressure to the wound, despite the searing pain.

Golen rushed to him, and looked at the wound. It would be deadly if not treated. There had to be some sort of medical supplies in these crate blocks. He considered his options here.

Shaula ran as fast as he could. How did this happen? He was the one they were told about. This should never have turned out this way. Something had gone wrong. Maybe he couldn’t be trusted after all.


Last edited by Iron Angel; 12-01-09 at 05:30 AM.
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A few character sketches I did a while back. Just to get an image in your head.
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CHAPTER 3
UNFURLING

“What!?”

The Keeper frowned as he listened to Golen calmly explain the situation. “Keep pressure on it. Don’t let him bleed out. His implants should be responding to the wounds.”

Golen examined the unconscious form of Siil; He’d gone into shock and passed out a short time ago, and the pale indigo iodine blood had not slowed its progression from the wound. His breathing was shallow and slow, as his body’s mechanical implants fought to keep him alive despite the massive internal bleeding. Golen, unphased and unshaken, placed his hands on the wound; The skin was blistered and charred, and cracked beneath his hands, but he placed pressure on it to stifle the flow as the Keeper had instructed. “And then I simply wait, Veir?”

Tanet-Veir crossed his arms, then tentatively placed his hand on his chin. He shook his head, and glanced backwards at the Navigator. “Vitals?”

The navigator stared into space.

Vier’s eyebrows drew together in a frustrated scowl. “Talan-Neri! His vitals!”

Her head snapped towards him, a brief look of irritation at having her thoughts interrupted crossing her face, before her stoic expression resumed. “I am currently tracking the fleeing enemy. But if you insist.”

“The fleeing old one is unimportant. We need to know if Siil is going to survive this ordeal.”

On the screen around her, anatomic displays and vital signs flashed and blinked, casting the gloomy chamber in pale green illumination.

Vier shook his head once more. “He’s erratic. We’re going to lose him.” He wrung his hand around his own forehead.

Neri gazed at him, almost sympathetically. She cast out feelers for anything she could do to help. She extended her presence into the whole ship- The dampening network, the cargo, the tombs. She felt nothing. The cargo had been cleared of anything that could help them. She remained stoic; His death would mean nothing in the long run. They could find another block and contact the being once more. This precipice was already reached, and this knowledge could not be un-learned. However, his survival would mean a more expedient situation, so it was the more logical of two outcomes. She continued monitoring the ship and Siil.

Golen stared stoically as beneath his hands Siil’s body bucked. His face contorted as his body began its final bloody struggle against its own injuries. His implants would administer biorestorative agents, but the damage was severe.

Val blinked once, and coughed. She realized she was staring at the floor. Her head swam, but she regained her composure. She pressed against the floor, managing to raise, and realized she was pinned down by a heavy weight. She suddenly snapped back to reality, and pushed the shredded corpse off her.

“You’re awake.” Golen noted.

Val looked forward to him, and saw Siil beneath him. She remembered a flash of light, and…

Her eyes widened as she realized his body was in its death throes. She scrambled forward to him, and took in the entire scene; Siil, laying in a pool of his own blood, with Golen stemming the bleeding. She was in shock. “What happened?” she asked as she knelt at his side, her hands over him, unsure what to do with them.

“He was shot at point blank by an arc caster. His implants are fighting it, but he may not make it.” Golen calmly answered.

Her face contorted with anger and disbelief. “What do you mean he won’t make it?”

He sighed. “Exactly that, Val. He’s likely to die. That shot scrambled his organs, and he may not regenerate fast enough to stave off death. He’s already in shock.”

“There has to be something we can do to bring him back!” she frantically hoped.

He shook his head. “The cargo has been cleaned out. No medical supplies here.” He looked at her. “You seem awfully concerned.”

She gulped. “I am certainly not. He’s a meat shield, to absorb fire so that I can get on that ship.”

“Hmm. Well, he served his purpose to you then.” He said, and returned his gaze to Siil.

She stammered, realizing that he had indeed. And yet somehow, she seemed unfulfilled at his accomplishment of the role.

Siil’s body slowed, and eventually went limp, as they watched.

Several moments of silence pervaded, settling over them like a still, stagnant, oppressive blanket of dread, as both of them looked at his failing body.

“Is he…” Val stammered.

Golen shook his head. “Not yet. But he will be soon. He’s still fighting. He’s quite formidable, I must say. There’s something keeping him hanging in the balance.”

Val could no longer resist. She grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him. Her face twisted into rage. “Wake up!”

Siil stumbled through the darkness. A miasma swirled about him; He was numb completely, and was barely aware he existed at all.

“Where am I?” he pushed out through heavy breaths. There was no reply. He continued fighting; He could feel his mind slipping further and further away with each moment.

He stopped. “Am I dead?”

A sound pierced the silence, a single pinprick of sensation that forced his body upright and sent swirling streams of pain through his body. Then a voice reverberated through his mind, and seemed to course through his body; It was smooth and liquid, and brought with it a slight tingle in his spine. He felt as though a thousand hands appraised him with each word. It was not painful or uncomfortable; It simply was.

“No. You are not dead. But you soon will be.”

Siil recoiled at the sudden sensation, but refused to fall over. “Who are you? Where am I?”

“My name is not important. You will come to know me, however, but not now. You will not die, not here. I am keeping you alive.”

The energy pierced Siil again, and Siil was once more forced upright.

“Amazing, your technology. I’ve been watching you for quite some time.”

Siil doubled over again, in pain from the sudden loss of the energy. “Where… Where am I? Am I in the warp the Old Ones use?”

A shrill laugh pierced the stillness. “Of course not. You are in another dimension entirely. A dimension where I reside, and I am going to save you.”

Another burst of energy, and then the inevitable pain of its absence once more. “Why? Who are you?” he asked, holding his side.

“So many questions. As I said, who I am is not important. Not right now. And I will save you because you will be of use to me long from now. If you die now, you will be of no use to me in the future, when I have seen you being use to me.”

Siil shook his head. “What? That doesn’t make any sense at all!”

“That’s how time travel works, I’m afraid. Suffice to say, I have seen the universe through the looking glass of time, and I must keep you alive to be there for it.”

Another pulse. Siil’s breathing became deeper and heavier. “Are you a Tymloche?”

The voice laughed. “No. Not that it matters. You’re about to wake up, after all.”

“What?” More energy.

“We shall meet again, Siil.”

Another shot of energy rocketed through his body, more intense and pronounced. It came again, longer, and then once more, but this time, it did not stop. The world flashed around him, visions of the world, the stars, and finally it all stopped.

Siil gasped, sucking in as much air as his body could hold, and the pain in his stomach nearly took him under again. He could feel his insides squirming, and looked down at his body. Golen stood with his hands pressed firmly against the wound, with Val’s fists wrapped around his suit.

He glared at her, and opened his mouth to admonish her, but instead choked on a mouthful of his own blood. The sudden contraction caused a searing pain in his stomach, and he doubled over.

He rolled to one side, and Golen let him go. Val panicked and removed her hands, in awe that he was alive. He rolled onto his hands and knees, and spat a gout of his own fluids onto the floor. He collapsed atop Val’s lap, breathing heavily.

Val was in shock. Her hands wavered in the air, unsure of their destination. She looked at Golen, who simply nodded at her towards Siil.

Her hand slowly found the back of his head. She kept her gaze on Golen, unsure of herself, or if this is what he had wanted her to do. He simply stared at her. “Don’t look at me. I’m not the one who just came back from the dead.”

She slowly looked down at him. She could feel his breath in his chest, rough and uneven, as he struggled. She wasn’t sure what she could do to comfort him, and she had no idea how to proceed with a wounded Warrior collapsed on her lap.

For a moment, he felt her hand on him, and considered ordering her to remove it. Suddenly, he realized he didn’t care; That, or he didn’t mind. It didn’t actually matter right now. He just wanted to catch his breath and figure out the vision he had just witnessed. A stream of blood dribbled from his lip as it drained from his lings, the thin liquid spattering against the floor in front of him.

A voice pierced the silence. “A victory for us,” Vier said, relieved.

Neri eyed him. He was an amusing creature; Very young, and yet still so important. Indeed, it was a victory. She was unsure how, and would have to file this occurrence away for later study. But for now, she had to worry about the resuming of their mission. “Vier, if you would, please re-inform them of the direness of their mission.”

Vier’s face resumed its seriousness. “Yes. Yes, of course. No time for rest, not when something this important is at stake.”

Golen sighed. He was relieved to get this back on the move; He couldn’t lose Siil, not now, not when he still needed him to finish the job. It had been close, but they were back on the right track now. He would finish his task.

Siil struggled, and stood. The pain in his stomach was still there, and would be for days; But the medical implants had done their job. They would have to be replaced and refilled, however, before they could work again. He felt the skin on his stomach; Still scarred and burned, but no longer bleeding.

Val stood uneasily, and both of them looked at each other. Both opened their mouths to talk, but nothing came out.

Val swallowed and regained herself. “Never do that again. You aren’t allowed to die yet.”

Siil tilted his head to one side. “I don’t take orders from you, Val,” he said.

Val bit her lip. “It wasn’t an order.” She looked him in the eyes and examined him for a reaction.

Siil looked at her for a moment, determined not to provide one.

Golen shook his head; They didn’t have time for all this young foolishness. “If we don’t go now, that commander will return with reinforcements. Lets get a move on.” He ordered as he brushed past them.

They spent one more moment scrutinizing the other, then turned to follow him. Siil scooped the rifle up off the floor, and hefted it, ignoring the pain in his stomach. His insides would heal, eventually. For now, he was alive; Alive to wreak vengeance upon his foes.

They moved through the ship’s cargo bay, until the brilliant yellow and white docking lamps were visible. Siil and Val were nearly blinded the instant they rounded the corner; The bright, pure light seared into their retinas, and they ducked back behind cover with a cry of surprise. Golen looked toward the lights, and realized they could not follow.

Siil and Val blinked; They were both basically blind, and spots swam in their vision. Siil cursed himself for walking into it like that.

Golen was unaffected due to his nature. “I forgot about that, my apologies. It’s a defense the Old Ones devised to keep the Necrontyr off their ships when they dock. Pure cannot take the light, even with their eyelids shut, and thus cannot counter-board them. Fortunately, you have me here.” It was, indeed, completely fortunate. He could not complete his task without them.

Siil was still trying to blink the spots away. “And what do you think you can do to help us?”

“Cover your eyes, grab my shoulder, and keep up. We don’t have much time.”

Siil reluctantly covered his eyes with his left hand, and gripped Golen’s shoulder with his right. Val did the same.

“Ironic,” Golen mused. “The old helping the young to walk.” He strode forward, and the two younger Necrontyr stumbled forward. Even through their hands, the light was bright enough to give them pain. The light faded from view, and their footsteps transferred from harsh, metallic clacking to soft thudding.

“You can let go now,” Golen said, stopping. “You should see this.”

They both let go of their eyes, and looked around; Smooth, white walls stretched out before them in either direction, with curved decorations, gold etching, and more importantly, more tolerable light conditions.

“Hmph.” Val dismissed it. “The insides of Old One cruisers are hardly interesting. Featureless, dull, and too brightly colored.”

“We aren’t here to sightsee. How do we get to the hangar where our missing ship is?” Siil asked impatiently.

Golen shook his head. “I haven’t seen the inside of one of these for a couple of…”

Siil narrowed his eyes.

“Decades. Yes, it has been some time.” Golen muttered irreverently. “Not long enough, however.”

He plodded forward, into the depths of the ship. His followers plodded along after him. They passed through several corridors, ornately carved and made of smooth white plastics. They went quite some distance before anyone spoke.

“Does anyone notice anything strange?” Siil asked.

Val nodded. “We haven’t been attacked yet. Not a single Old One in sight, despite how far we’ve gone. Do you think perhaps they are all searching the ship?”

Siil shook his head. “It wouldn’t take the entire crew of this ship to sweep our vessel. Maybe half, at most. The size of our ship is unimportant, its how they cover it.”

Golen swallowed. He hoped they were close; There was indeed a lack of resistance.

Siil gripped his weapon tighter. “It may be an ambush. Keep your guard up.”

Val wished she could hack into the system, find out their communications, view their surveillance, override their security, but the simple fact of the matter was, all of this was done through powers they did not understand; The Warp, as they called it. Finally, they rounded a corner to a large door; Outside it were several consoles and a large silver disk on the floor.

“What is that?” Val asked, eying the silver disk with contempt.

“A warp pad. Its how they move large supplies across the ship. They open a warp right on that disk, and it gets sucked through and deposited elsewhere.”

“Interesting.” Val said. She resented the fact that they did not have similar technologies. “Where does this door lead?”

“To our destination. This is the entrance to the central hangar.”

Val’s eyebrows cocked. “We didn’t travel nearly that far.”

Golen looked at her, and frowned in thought. “Not by our standards, no. But by the standards of warp powered technology, yes.” He said, and tapped a few commands on a nearby panel. The door slid open, revealing a large room, made of the same materials as the rest of the ship, with high, ridged walls and curvilinear cranes protruding from the ceiling.

In the edge of the large floor, taking up a section not occupied by large rounded crates and containers, was a single Dirge.

Siil looked over the entire area for several minutes, his weapon hoisted to his shoulder. He saw no movement; Not even any machinery. He was not satisfied there was no ambush, but they wouldn’t accomplish anything waiting here either.

Golen swallowed. They were so close to finishing this damned thing. “Lets go, we can’t stop now.”

Siil was unconvinced they weren’t walking into a trap of some kind, but Golen was right. The three of them sprinted across the open floor separating them from the ship. Feeling more than exposed, Siil kept his weapon ready; He couldn’t take any more hits. He fought the searing pain in the pit of his stomach, and they finally made it to the ship, winded.

The ship’s landing gear was down, meaning it had been landed inside the docking bay voluntarily. Old Ones couldn’t do that, and small vessels were crewed rather than operated by Navigators. Most Necrontyr Escort pilots would rather suicide their ships into the enemy’s hull than relinquish their cargo voluntarily. Siil had simply thought they used some sort of device to pull them aboard; They were beginning to do that because of the suicide dives. Siil dismissed it; Perhaps they had, and rather than let them damage his ship the pilot landed willingly.

“Val, can you lower the cargo lift to get us faster access to the block?” Siil asked.

Val nodded, and walked up the ramp into the ship. She keyed a few commands inside the door and verified her genetic scan, and the cargo bay released.

Gouts of hydraulic release fumes blasted the area beneath the ship, and a circular portion of the hull lowered to the ground. Settled in its center was a glittering block of pure silver, a cube ten feet high, ten feet thick, and ten feet wide; It glistened with iridescent green sheen.

Val rubbed its surface. An unimprinted block of Living Metal. Living Metal was a substance that was “imprinted” with a shape by an external source; It maintained that shape forever, and if forced out of that shape, would seek to regain it. It was intelligent, and even if blasted apart, it could come back together as crawling pieces of shrapnel. It could not be “un-imprinted”, however. It was possible, but the metal always exploded violently as a result, resulting in not so much a usable block as a hunk of twisted shrapnel. It could be reformed, but the process was long and pain-staking.

But this… This was pure and unadulterated. It could be used.

Siil nodded to Val, who glanced back at him, a grin on her face; Of sadistic anticipation or overjoyed relief, he could not tell; It was likely a mixture of both. He reached for his rigged communicator, and stopped when he heard a click directly behind his head.

A click that sounded specifically like an ion pulse pistol. A Necrontyr weapon. A weapon none of them had. Or, at least, none of them were supposed to have.

It was then he realized that he had, in fact, walked into a trap.


Last edited by Iron Angel; 12-11-09 at 02:50 AM.
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