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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-07-10, 12:41 AM Thread Starter
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Default Tiny Short Story (Marines)

I rarely write, but i do enjoy it. This idea just popped into my head and i thought i'd type it up.

I think the metaphor is a bit too clumsy, so feedback is appreciated - i wouldn't mind fleshing it out a little more.

Tell me what you think and (hopefully) enjoy


The Thunderhawk breaks violently through the planetís atmosphere, calming itís thrusters as it approaches the forward operating base.

Inside, the marines sit shoulder to shoulder in silence, seemingly untouched by emotion. Brother Shaeed grasps his bolter and skilfully frees the ammunition clip, as he has done a hundred thousand times before. The shells drop slowly into his hands, one by one, a dull and lifeless chink as the metal impacts on one another.

As the last shell is emptied, he grasps it between his finger tips, holding it steadily before his eye line. The craftsmanship is perfect. Unique, yet clearly moulded from ancient, powerful designs which have seen a million foes fall. A deadly hollow vessel, devoid of worry and anticipation, a lifeless killing machine. He admires and despises the shell in equal measure, and as he catches his reflection in the polished surface, he cannot help but feel an uncomfortable affinity.


It slides into the magazine faultlessly with minimal effort, and the marine closes his eyes and imagines firing his bolter. He realises he cannot describe how to pull the trigger, he cannot express the actions involved, nor the movements intrinsic to a successful shot. As he mulls on this, he feels the muscles in his arm spasm with reactionary impulse, yet still he cannot describe the movements.


The next round sits snugly atop the first, Brother Shaeed glimpses the battlefield ahead and watches the shells fly purposefully towards the enemy. Each shot finds its mark, stopping an Ork soldier dead in his tracks.


These three spray across a charging hoard, rending flesh and destroying bone. Two more Orks thud mercilessly to the ground, trampled underfoot by their brothers.


A nob slowly comes into view from the rampaging sea of green skins, his vast size immediately noticeable as the ground between the opposing forces is swallowed up. The shots find the nobs arm, grinding into his aged flesh, but he lunges unfazed at the marine line.


Two more shots drill into the nobs chest, he staggers backwards and screams a bloodcurdling, inhuman cry. Brother Shaeed savours the noise in his mind, he has heard it many times before on a hundred battlefields not unlike this one. Whilst he cannot understand the orks language, he knows instinctively there is nothing of pain in the monsters scream, only anger, hate and bloodlust.


The towering nob regains his footing, piercing eyes fixed solely on Brother Shaeed. The ork wraps his long powerful fingers around his hideous axe, raises it high against the dull red sky and swings it violently at the marine. Brother Shaeed thinks again about firing his bolter, about the perfect, deadly, lifeless shell in the magazine. He thinks about raising his arms and pulling tightly on the trigger, releasing the polished slug into the brutes face. He thinks back to the first time he fired the bolter, the first kill. He realises then that he has never known how to fire it, only that he was born to.

Now it is too late, and the ork cleaves brutally though armour, flesh and bone with one almighty swing. As Shaeed falls, his bolter drops to the ground and spills open, the remaining shells rolling to a standstill in the dust.
Each shell perfect and unique. Buried in the dust, never to be fired, but just like the many millions that have gone before them, their purpose is fulfilled.

My Salamander Logs & Army Showcase:
The Ashbringers 3rd co. ::: Into the fires of Battle:::Army Showcase

Currently Painting:

Landraider Redeemer
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-07-10, 01:00 PM
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I like, i like alot.
I'm uncomfortable with the perspective, yet it is highly effective detatched yet present.

I think Shaeed's death needs far more detail of his last sentient thoughts, of how the blood spills, of how his muscles do not spasm and pull the trigger., how the axe clefts his soul.

For some reason i think a better ending would be a really graphic description of Shaeed's dying moments how the ork roars in triumph the bolt shells in his arm glittering around blackened blood and then another *Click* or something of that nature.

The whole click of a bolter shell being fired was for me the most dramatic part of this story

It was a really good short and very dramatic

A dollop of rep to you sir

kudos to lillian thorne for the awesome sig
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