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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-12-10, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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Default The Resistance

Just a short start. Not sure when I'll have time to update, but it may be a while. Enjoy.


The Resistance:


1 - REARGUARD


Orlais noticed the bird as it tentatively tiptoed across the rock five yards in front of her. It was small but beautifully coloured. It's wings were turquoise, blending into a seamless blue across it's body up to a fiery orange beak that curved at the tip towards the ground. It's eyes were wide and red, with black irises that took in Orlais Montague in all her dirty splendour as she crouched back up against a rock.

It seemed as though they'd been waiting forever, waiting for the call to strike. It was making her edgy. Orlais watched the bird startle into flight as her teammate threw a rock at it.

“You missed,” she said, her face stern as she turned back
round to face the road fifty paces below.
“You think I was aiming for the bird? Why is it you always think the worst of me?”

Orlais turned to the man by her side. He was tall and lean, handsome in the classical way, clean-shaven despite the conditions of their circumstances, out in the thick, the slicks, the bad-ass mountains of Bejou.

“You forget I know you, Enrich,” said Orlais.

She peered down the rubble strewn path and across towards the opposite slopes. Between the grey, green boulders and thick fir trees, her unit was pretty well covered. Twenty-two men and women, ready to buy the rest of their fleeing friends some much needed time.

“And here I was being all brave and stuff.”

“You tried to kill a bird.”

“There's obviously no way I'm going to win this, is there? For your information my goal was simply to startle it. Had I wanted to brain it, perhaps take it back to camp to cook and eat, well I would have hit it!”

“Sure thing, bullseye,” said Orlais.

Then she heard them, marching, stomping the ground. They emerged round the bend like a black tide bristling with weapons. She could see lots of guard issue equipment among them, mostly lasguns and autoguns, but she could see some wielded heavier weaponry, while between the columns of infantry rolled tanks, with large turrets and mounted gunners at the top. Orlais gripped her lasgun tightly.

“Ready up. Pick your targets. Make them count.”

She knew she didn't have to say it, but it had been instinct, drilled into by the Territorial Militia instructors of Panon Twilight.

She looked along the iron-sight and picked her first target, a broad shouldered man in black fatigues, his face covered in blood, which he had smeared over his lips. The man was training a large boltgun above the tank turret, eyeing the slopes.

Orlais knew the tank busters Awen and Laoin would be targeting the tanks. She prayed they did not miss.

She couldn't hear the birds, only the stomping feet and rolling treads of the heavy vehicles. Fifty infantry and two tanks. It would be a lot to ask to win it, but Orlais was known for being a determined bitch. She even revelled in beating the odds, and it didn't come much bigger than this. Today was life and death.

She held her breath, then breathed out slowly as she squeezed the trigger. A hail of lancing red lines struck the invading chaos forces, smashing into flesh and dropping dozens.

Grenades dived from thrown arches, landing amidst the shaken foe like discarded balls. Seven explosions rocked the tight valley road, razor shrapnel tearing through bodies, opening them like ripe fruit, sending bodies flying in the air, smoke fanning out like white mist.

The enemy fired back, breaking ranks, skirmishing. Orlais ducked as a clatter of fire struck the rocks by her head. She heard a scream to her right and saw that one of her team was down, clutching at his throat.

“Doctor!” shouted Orlais, her voice loud despite the echoing cacophony that rippled across the valley.

Orlais squeezed her trigger again, dropping an officer in the face whose arms flapped like bird wings as he tumbled to the ground. She heard the click-whizz of the missile launcher, then heard a roar as a missile shot at the tank, a heavy white cloud following it's trajectory like a jet in a blue sky. The missile struck it dead-on, the explosion tearing off its side like a tin can, exposing bloodied crew within. A hail of shots thundered down the slopes as Laroux opened fire with her heavy stubber. She could see the stocky woman held the weapon in her hands, one hand firmly locked around the fore-grip, the other squeezing the trigger of the heavy weapon. She rattled from the kick of the weapon but held steady, guiding her aim from the slope across the exposed ground below.

She noticed that Doctor Hakspear had managed to find a route to the injured party, but it did not look good. Orlais ducked fire as she raced towards the Doctor who had dragged the wounded party behind the cover of a large boulder. Orlais slid down, the ground behind her slapping with shots, burning with las fire.

Hakspear couldn't save the man, it was evident from the savage wound that had torn apart the man's throat. It was Dougen, the school teacher – what was it now, yes, music, classical music. The man held his throat, bleeding profusely, the blood streaming between his own fingers. His eyes were wide open with horror. Orlais felt even angrier, and she already thought she was pretty mad, than usual. The Doctor shook his head and closed Dougen's eyes. The teacher had stopped thrashing having bled to death.

“Well, I'd mark the time of death, but I haven't seen the time for about a day now. It's almost liberating not wearing it.” He smiled broadly as he wiped his hands on a cloth he discarded quickly.

Orlais found the Doctor spooky, he looked the creepy villain, with a dangerous dark stare. He often seemed to enjoy working around death. She often wondered what he did before being a Doctor, and joining her Unit, the Razors. Some kind of bio-assassin, some sick, twisted torturer employed by the gangs of the City.

War was grim, thought Orlais. Why the hell did this have to happen to us. Why not some other planet? Somebody else. It wasn't a nice thought, but after all the pain and suffering, she felt entitled to it. Maybe it was a sentiment shared by everyone, but she didn't voice it.

More explosions rocked the valley, screams flying through the air along with deadly shrapnel.

Orlais turned back to face the enemy. Some had found cover behind rock and tree, pushing up on the opposite flank, forcing her troops back across the slopes.

Heavy fired rained from the remaining tank, it's treads smoking ruins, it's turret barking fire straight at her men. The boom echoed, smoke engulfed the turret and Orlais ducked as the missile screamed overhead, landing fifteen metres above, right into two of her men huddled, sniping from a parapet of stone. They were launched into the air like ragdolls, spinning back with the force.

The turret began to rain metal across the slopes, pinning the Razors down as the enemy infantry advanced up the slopes. Confident behind the wailing heavy boltgun.

Orlais grinned and shouted.

“Keegan, now!”

A young boy, not much older than ten, pushed the button on a pad he held in his arms from the cover of a thick tree stump. A series of thundering explosions lit up like smoking geysers across the slopes, halting the enemy advance, dropping several as the Razors retreated further up the slopes. The boy took a look at his handy worked with wide eyes, then dashed off to safety to the rear. Orlais turned round to fire and felt a bullet strike her in the chest, flinging her backwards to the ground.

She couldn't breath, but she could see, gasping as Enrich hoisted her to her feet and dragged her to cover behind solid rock.

“You're okay,” he shouted. “Kevlar stopped the bullets cold. Five little bastards.”

He grinned maniacally at her as she felt across her chest, feeling the embedded bullets.

“Lucky bitch,” he said.

She slapped him hard, smiled at him then resumed the fight, firing from the rocks, her shots knocking men off their feet with force.

The Razors were winning, she could sense it through the smoke filled haze, from the savagery of their initial strike. The mines had done nasty work too. The enemy boltgun had ceased fire and she could see thick black smoke twirled into the blue heavens.

The sound of Laroux's heavy stubber still thundered, but enemy return fire was minimal. From what Orlais could tell, between the burning metal frames of tanks, were torn up bodies, or wounded, the remaining figures retreating back down the road, firing over their shoulders as they fled.

Orlais sank to her knees, shaking, relief surging through her body. She was still alive. Still hero of the resistance. Still just in the shit.

Last edited by dienekes; 03-12-10 at 06:00 PM. Reason: correction
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-13-10, 08:56 AM
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Good story keep it up.

No Pity! No Remorse! No Fear!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-10, 08:44 PM
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Hey like it. There are a few grammar, paragraphing and punctuation points but not enough to make a deal of really. I would like to see more though.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-18-10, 04:32 AM
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Dien?! Is that you? Holy Throne, this internet is small!

Now, the little fumbly bits.

Is there any particular reason that the "Chapter 1" heading is larger than the story's overall title? Just, you know, wondering.

Also, the word "It" or "It's" is used to begin four of the first five sentences. A minute, unimportant thing, except when considering two parts of it:
1) this is the very beginning of the story, so your first words and images are VERY important for hooking the reader. A bit of clumsy (in my eyes, at least) wordage here could, potentially, lose you the reader.
2) "It's" always means "It is", without exception. Those should be "Its", odd lack of apostrophe regardless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dienekes
“You missed,” she said, her face stern as she turned back
round to face the road fifty paces below.
“You think I was aiming for the bird? Why is it you always think the worst of me?”
That middle bit should be a part of the top bit, the line in the middle should be empty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dienekes
She couldn't hear the birds, only the stomping feet and rolling treads of the heavy vehicles. Fifty infantry and two tanks. It would be a lot to ask to win it, but Orlais was known for being a determined bitch. She even revelled in beating the odds, and it didn't come much bigger than this. Today was life and death.
I believe that it's "reveled", not "revelled". Also, it's common procedure (though not mandatory, of course) to put, if only one character is in a paragraph, the name in the first sentence rather than a personal pronoun, rather than just stick it in the middle. It's nothing major, at all, it just jarred me a bit while reading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dienekes
Orlais squeezed her trigger again, dropping an officer in the face whose arms flapped like bird wings as he tumbled to the ground.
"Dropping an officer in the face"? "Dropping an officer with a shot to the face" might work, but currently, I'm left wondering how she managed to lift him upside-down in the first place. Also, I think that the "arms flapped" bit might work better as a separate sentence, to avoid trying to cram an action too many into one sentence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dienekes
Hakspear couldn't save the man, it was evident from the savage wound that had torn apart the man's throat. It was Dougen, the school teacher – what was it now, yes, music, classical music. The man held his throat, bleeding profusely, the blood streaming between his own fingers. His eyes were wide open with horror. Orlais felt even angrier, and she already thought she was pretty mad, than usual. The Doctor shook his head and closed Dougen's eyes. The teacher had stopped thrashing having bled to death.
Again, nothing but minor, over-petty complaints.
1) Might "that was evident" work better than "it was evident"?
2) Need his eyes be "wide open" with horror, when just "wide" gets the point across perfectly well, and more succinctly?
3) I recommend the insertion of a comma into that last sentence after "thrashing".

Quote:
Originally Posted by dienekes
Some kind of bio-assassin, some sick, twisted torturer employed by the gangs of the City.
This is an incomplete sentence. Might I suggest, "Some kind of bio-assassin, she suspected, some sick, twisted..."

Quote:
Originally Posted by dienekes
Confident behind the wailing heavy boltgun.
Fragment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dienekes
Orlais turned round to fire and felt a bullet strike her in the chest, flinging her backwards to the ground.
And then immediately after, you say it was five bullets. Perhaps say something like "...and felt the impact of multiple bullets strike her in the chest".

You mention "the tank busters Awen and Laoin", but we never see them or any mention of them in action. Is this omission intentional?

Also, at the beginning, you say "It seemed as though they'd been waiting forever, waiting for the call to strike." This seems to imply that she is waiting for the call to strike too, but she's the one who gives it. Can you clarify this?

I very much like that last line.

Now, onto the dissection of the meat of it. This was definitely a powerful little piece, and raises all sorts of interesting questions. Are these people Imperials in a fallen world? The blood smeared on the enemy soldier's face suggests as much. On the other hand, any mention of the Imperium is (in)conspicuously absent, on the defenders' side, and such a thing as blood on the face could be explained away by some death-cultist like thing of the Ecclesiarchy.

It presents an intriguing concept, definitely, and one of which I am certainly interested in seeing more. I really like the use of more casual slang and thoughts, which really lend a humanizing touch to normally rather formal and poetic descriptions in the higher quality fanfiction out there.

So go, and write more pronto!

CSM Plog, Tactica

What sphinx of plascrete and adamantium bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination? Imperator! Imperator!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-18-10, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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hey, thanks for reading and your comments guys! yo mossy, been a while fella! good to see you're still writing, i'll have to check up some of your latest work dude. anyone know when the bl will be back up?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-18-10, 06:28 PM
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The BL site came back up about...three days ago.

No forums.

Damn.

Still, now they're redirecting us to "The Black Library Bolthole", a refugee camp-forum established after the site first went down. All sorts of people are returning there: Chun, Xhalax, shafer("what", instead of "lord", now), Squiggle, Narry, and a whole lot more. Also, about seven BL authors have come over since, too, including CL Werner, Gav, A D-B, Jim Swallow, Richard Williams, Chris Wraight...and so on. Also, several BL employees swing through on their spare time, too.

So yeah, it's getting cozy again. I hope that you'll drop on by too, if you're willing, even if it's only semi-official.

(and, um, if you want to read anything of mine, I'd have to recommend my as-of-yet 62k word work, Plaything. Of course, for short and nasty, Gehemisnacht is also enjoyable)

CSM Plog, Tactica

What sphinx of plascrete and adamantium bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination? Imperator! Imperator!

Last edited by Mossy Toes; 03-18-10 at 06:38 PM.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-18-10, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dienekes View Post
anyone know when the bl will be back up?
It is back up, but no forums I am afraid. Ther is a topic over on the Black Library Fiction Forum.
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