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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-07-11, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
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Default Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories 6: Contagion

Here's how it works:

Each month, there will be a thread posted in the Original Works forum for that month's HOES competition. For those of you interested in entering, read the entry requirements, write a story that fits the chosen theme and post it as a reply to the competition thread by the deadline given.

Once the deadline has passed, a separate voting thread will be posted, where the readers and writers can post their votes for the top three stories. Points will be awarded (3 points for 1st, 2 for 2nd, and 1 for 3rd) for each vote cast, totaled at the closure of the voting window, and a winner will be announced. The winner will have his/her story added to the Winning HOES thread.

Theme

The idea with the theme is that it should serve as the inspiration for your stories rather than a constraint. While creative thinking is most certainly encouraged, the theme should still be relevant to your finished story. The chosen theme can be applied within the WH40K, WHF, HH, and even your own completely original works (though keep in mind, this IS a Warhammer forum) but there will be no bias as to which setting is used for your story.

As far as the theme goes, please feel free with future competitions to contact me with your ideas/proposals, especially given that my creative juices may flow a bit differently than yours. All I ask is that you PM me your ideas rather than posting them into the official competition entry/voting threads to keep posts there relevant to the current competition.

Word Count

The official word count for each competition will be 1,000 words. There will be a 10% allowance in this limit, essentially giving you a 900-1,100 word range with which to tell your tale. This is non-negotiable. This is an Expeditious Story competition, not an Epic Story nor an Infinitesimal Story competition. If you are going to go over or under the 900-1,100 word limit, you need to rework your story. It is not fair to the other entrants if one does not abide by the rules. If you cannot, feel free to PM me with what you have and I'll give suggestions or ideas as to how to broaden or shorten your story.

Each entry must have a word count posted with it. Expect a reasonably cordial PM from me (and likely some responses in the competition thread) if you either fail to adhere to this rule. The word count can be annotated either at the beginning or ending of your story, and does not need to include your title.

Without further ado...

The theme for this month's competition is:

Contagion

Entries should be posted in this thread, along with any comments that the readers may want to give (and comments on stories are certainly encouraged in both the competition and voting threads!) 40K, 30K, WHF, and original universes are all permitted (please note, this excludes topics such as Halo, Star Wars, Forgotten Realms, or any other non-original and non-Warhammer settings). Keep in mind, comments are more than welcome! If you catch grammar or spelling errors, the writers are all more than free to edit their piece up until the close of the competition, and that final work will be the one considered for voting. Sharing your thoughts with the writers as they come up with their works is a great way to help us, as a FanFiction community, grow as a whole.

The deadline for entries is Midnight US Eastern Standard Time (-5.00 hours for you UK folks)Saturday, 25 June 2011. Voting will be held from 26 June - 2 July.

If you have any questions, feel free to either PM me or ask in this thread.

Without further nonsense from me, let the writing begin!


Table of Contents


ThatOtherGuy: Contagion

gothik: The Idol

andygorn: The Hero of Xanthius Ridge

Boc: The Plains of Herdias Prime

Bane_of_Kings: The Grandfather

Svartmetall: Becoming

C'Tan Chimera: Noxious Thoughts

GregorEisenhorn: The Final Charge

Vulkansnodosaurus: Planting

arumichic: Salvation

The_Inquisitor: Contageon


Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories Challenge 13-06: "Serenity" has started, get your stories in by July 11th!

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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-07-11, 03:03 AM
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RiaR runs "Corruption" while HOES runs "Contagion."

Someone up there really wants me to write about plague marines, don't they...

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What sphinx of plascrete and adamantium bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination? Imperator! Imperator!
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-07-11, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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In my defense, I was going to run it as Corruption until JDD posted it up. Foiled by my own procrastination!


Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories Challenge 13-06: "Serenity" has started, get your stories in by July 11th!

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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-07-11, 03:20 AM
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Heh, it's not a bad thing. It means that I can get twice the payoff for half the work!

And I think that I can manage a story idea. I have a story summary from a while back--a character's backstory--that lends itself well to this. And actually, come to think of it, it isn't about plague marines. Time for foot-->mouth.

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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-07-11, 04:30 AM
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Well, since according to webster that Contagion means 'spread', I did my little thing about diseases and plagues.

++++++

There it was, sitting at the top of the hill, laughing at them, laughing at them like this was the funniest thing it ever saw.

“Why must you struggle you poor souls? Why must you fight against the inevitable? Can you not see that you are already loosing?” The great bloated sack of pus jeered. “Sit at ease and let the taint fill your lungs! For I ensure you that you will be feeling much better when this has all come to pass!”

The marines at the bottom of the hill however, felt much differently about this demon’s promise. Rolling on the ground in agonizing pain, the marines coughed and gagged on the noxious air that filled their lungs that the prior brothers passed on. The disease proved to be too much for the harden warriors in the end, their assault on the greater demon was considered futile in the eyes of a spectator. While some gave up to the air born demon virus, some of the marines resisted there inevitable fate. A few stood back up and tried to march back up the hill with their weapons blaring at the monster. Within moments however, the plague finally showed them who was the boss as they began to fall back onto the dead ground. The demon continued to laugh at their pain.

“Do I need to say it once more mortals? Just let the disease take you away and into the father’s embrace! No need to fight!” The demon mocked. “Just like all of the people on this planet before you, you shall too pass away in the gardens of blight!”

Finally the end came as the demon proclaimed. The marines that vainly stood against Nurgle’s greatest were now on the ground dead. This noxious plague proved itself to be the victor today and this greatly pleased the demon. The defense of Pimius was a failure against the ravaging hordes of the plague father.

“Did I not tell you mortals? Peace has come to you! A painful slow peace has finally arrived to take you away… from this torment…” The demon laughed in victory.

The demon then slowly made its way down its hill, his head held up with pride in finishing off the last of the marines. But too much surprise for the servant of Nurgle, one marine did not fall to its plague. There in the mist stood a silhouette of a marine brandishing an eviscator, his posture showing that he was ready to strike with righteous fury.

“And how is it that you, out of all of your brothers managed to survive my ‘blessings’?” The demon asked the marine in a mocking manner.

In response to that insulting question, the marine charged out of the mist with fury, brandishing his eviscator madly.

“I see that you are not in the mood for polite conversation…” The demon smiled “Never mind, if it is death which you seek, so be it…”

The marine screamed wildly as he made his way to the demon, raging out litanies of hate and death on the way. The demon on the other hand, sat their patiently as the vengeful marine approached. When the marine was in appropriate range, the demon laughed and sent forth a cloud of breathing death from his bleeding orifices. The marine however, was not fazed by this demonic magic and continued to run like a madman. The great unclean one was perplexed at this effect in return. How could one man survive this gust of toxins if his brothers did not? But as the demon tried to shake out of this confusing state of mind, the marine lunged forward and drove his eviscator in the heart of the demon. While it was not a killing blow at all, the damage done to the center stunned the demon as he cried out in pain. But the marine did not cease there. He continued to hack and slash at the giant monster of pus at increasing pace, almost to the point where his movement seemed to jump from place to place. The legs, arms and even the back were not left untouched by the Emperor’s enraged.

The demon fought back in return against this assailant, but the ferocity and speed proved to be too much for him. Every time the demon swung his blade at where the marine stood, it missed him with good distance and every time he tried to block the marine’s attack, he was too late. The duel between god and mortal continued into the late of night until finally the wounds proved to be too much. The pus and blood that poured out over the fight were now at dangerous levels. The demon was bleeding to death.

“You cannot defeat me! I am death itself mortal, and it shall be me who stands on top!” The great unclean one raged furiously.

The marine could tell that this bag of pus was on the verge of collapse and thus it was the time to finish him off. With one brisk move, the marine jumped and threw his eviscator at the demon’s throat. With divine luck the blade dug itself deeply into the rotting flesh and sent the demon onto the ground. The beast pulled the blade out but it now could tell that it was not the mortal who would be tasting death today… but him.

“How could this be mortal?! How could you have possible survive my poxes and plagues unscathed?!” The demon gargled as he laid there slowly bleeding to death. “This is impossible even to the insane!”

The marine walked up to the demon’s face and stared right at him eye to eye, giving off a glare of righteous vengeance.

“ITS BECAUSE I TAKE MY MOTHERFUCKING VITAMIN C BITCH!”

++++++

Word count: 964

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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-07-11, 11:52 AM
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nice story thatotherguy really enjoyed it.

am thinking of doing a warhammer one bit out of my comfort zone as i have not really touched the fantasy side of warhammer since i was like....20 so heres hoping it turns out ok when i done it.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-07-11, 06:53 PM
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The Idol


Word Count: 963


My wife has died.

There was no ceremony; there was no great priest of Morr standing over her grave giving her the blessing to enter the god of the deads realm.

My wife had died as a traitor and a heretic to the Emperor and the gods of this world, oh the neighbours had come around expressing their horror and their sympathies, proclaiming their innocence in the whole sordid affair.

I listen to their procrastinations and I nod my head politely, a word of thank you escape from my lips but it does not touch my eyes. My beloved Anja had tended to their sicknesses and their petty colds.

She had brought many of their children into the world but, she had refused the advances of that fat bastard up at the tower and that had been her downfall. She had followed Shalya without fail and without recourse.

A few coins here and there and promises of wealth and prosperity and suddenly the grateful sheep do as the burgomaster say. Rumours began of her copulating with unnatural powers, making deals with the dark gods to get the results she required and finally the witch hunters came into our small village, with witch hunters come fear.

One by one, for fear of getting the zealotry that is Sigmars witch hunters encroaching on their personal affairs, the cowards bowed down to the burgomaster and did, as he wanted.

My wife was tried and convicted and burnt at the stake with me unable to do anything.

My wife has died and soon they will all die too.


For weeks I wander the forests outside the village, planning and plotting, each morning at dawn I leave and return at nightfall, ignoring the pitying looks and the sorrowful shakes of the head.

I have letters from my grandfathers’ archives that speak of an idol, buried by the long dead warrior kings that once ruled this land during the time of Sigmar. The story went that before Sigmar conquered these lands they were ruled by warriors of great renown, strength and power, warriors that could call upon the gods for revenge against their enemies when a great harm had befallen their line.

Following my grandfathers paperwork to the letter it is the ninth week before I find what I am looking for and then under the full moon of Moorslieb I start to dig, at the foot of a diseased and dead tree.

It takes me most of the night to dig down, I am not an old man but this is a job for two men not one, and even with my youth it takes me a fair while to dig. Finally my shovel hits something hard and setting it down I kneel down and begin to smooth away the accumulated dirt and grit.

It is a plain box, made of some sort of metal. I have never seen anything like it and the writing along the side is alien to me, but I know that my grand fathers papers will enable me to enact my revenge.

My wife is dead and they will soon learn the price of my anger.


The box is sealed shut but with some prying and poking I manage to finally open it, the rust flakes away like iron sand. It is not easy to do but one I am in I knows that my revenge will be complete.

I take the wrapped idol from its housing and reverently unwrap it. As I clean it up I see before me a knight, or at least what looks like a knight. The paint has all but gone but the features are still visible.

Made of stone, carved and whoever created this must have taken many painstaking hours to create such a lifelike individual. I set it to one side and rifle around looking through my grandfathers’ notes but to my frustration I cannot find anything to aid me in my plans.

In my frustration I cut my hand on the edge of the box and it stings so much that I am waving my hand around. Some blood lands on the statue and before my cursing eyes my blood is soaked within the statues shield.

I move towards it and place my blooded palm around the entire statue and waited. I try to clear my mind, the way my Anja would do when she was praying to the goddess for divine inspiration but all in my mind is revenge.

The sane side of my mind tells me that this is what my wife called contagion magic, magic that is passed from the emotions of another through to an idol or object to enact their desires.

My wife is dead and all I care about is revenge.


Now I can only watch as my body, transformed into image of the knight slays the inhabitants of my village, I take pleasure in hearing their screams, I bathe in the bloodlust that enriches my senses, the scent of destruction wrought by my own hand.

I save my wrath for the burgomaster and make him watch as I rape his wife and daughter. I slit his throat from ear to ear and neck to sternum. All around me the contagion of my wrath flies through the village like an unchecked storm and when it is over it is only then I realise what has become of me.

I am an avatar of grief and an being of destruction, I am driven by my urge for revenge against the gods who forsook my wife in her hour of need and those that would serve such folly of fools.

My wife is long dead and I am an avatar of chaos undivided, they call me Contagion.
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-08-11, 09:46 PM
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I was torn between two subjects for this one...maybe I picked the wrong one (lol), but here goes. (In my -probable- ignorance, I'd thought that 'contagion' could be akin to 'sickness', but maybe that might not be the official/dictionary-based definition?).

“The Hero of Xanthius Ridge” (HOES #6 “Contagion”):
(1096 words I think)

“Of course: it is a disease, Staff Sergeant Lyman; the most virulent cancer to be excised without mercy. Didn’t you know that?” Venkov’s voice broke the silence in the command bunker.
“No sir.”
A sharp intake of breath and the harsh <kerchunk> of the other man’s pump-action shotgun told Lyman that he’d made another mistake. Despite his exemplary 22 year service record, his commander did not suffer fools so -in his best ‘parade ground’ voice- added: “No I did not know that, Lord-Commissar Venkov, sir!”
“That’s better”, said the other man turning around and visibly relaxing, yet still cradling the chrome-plated weapon in his arms.
Seeing the lower-ranked soldier eyeing the gun, yet mistaking the Staff Sergeant’s fear of it for interest, Venkov added: “I can see that you like guns, Lyman. That is good. Soldiers like you and I must sometimes use the most awful tools of our trades.”
“Indeed, Lord Commissar, sir” came the reply, yet the superior officer continued talking -almost as if there had been no response at all- whilst he seated himself in the ancient tactical command chair.

“This gun was given to me by my mentor, Commissar Adraeus, a fine man. You'll recall that it has performed much bloody work for us in this sector. Which is why I was so dismayed to hear reports of your treachery in the assault yesterday...most unbecoming of a decorated man like yourself. Isn’t that the Xanthius Ridge medal upon your chest?”
Confused and bewildered by Venkov’s statement, all Lyman could do was furiously nod in agreement with the question, whilst trying to work out what was happening: “Yes, Lord Commissar Venkov, sir. Two years ago, we wiped out the main warband of a greenskin menace in those valleys. It was one hell of a battle and I am honoured that you saved my life Lord Commissar, sir!”

A note of desperation had entered his voice as his mind fought to recall what he might have done to be accused of such things. ’Surely a couple of bets on the canid-racing and few snifters of looted amasec couldn’t count anywhere near equal to treason, could they?’

“I see that you are confused. Normally I would reserve such information for a court-martial but -given our history- I will indulge you, Lyman, a sort of ‘head-up’.”
“I would be very grateful for your patience, Lord Commissar, sir!” Lyman almost screamed in thanks, as it could buy more time to discover the truth. Venkov was surely a reasonable man: if he just had a minute to explain, Lyman knew that his superior would see the outright lies of these rumours and fully exonerate him.

“You and your platoons attacked the enemy trench at 9:00 did you not? You cleared the trench and began to work your way through them, exterminating the foe as you went? Why then did you stop to loot the foe’s corpses like common thieves? Didn’t we train those base practices out of you people in the transports on the way here?”

“Lord Commissar, sir: as we neared the end of the earthworks, the foe had brought up various heavy weapons and were in danger of strafing the entire trench and over a hundred of our men in it. Whilst we kept their heads down with covering fire and waited for support, I noticed that one of the slain enemies was a Captain who carried a document-pouch. I saw it contained plans and maps which could be vital to our war-effort and believed that these might help to end this struggle sooner...perhaps even years earlier and much less costly in lives than envisaged...”

Venkov’s venomous interruption stopped Lyman’s explanation dead in it’s tracks: “So, you not only derelicted your orders by failing to advance and staying where you were, but you also encouraged many others to do so? Then, you took it upon yourself to ‘Play General’ and dictate the Imperium’s war-policy..?! We did not give you that rank just to throw it around like a playground bully’s swagger and let you start deciding what is best for the Army...”

Desperately trying to appeal to his superior’s sense of duty and the command structure, Lyman retorted almost angrily: “I was the highest-ranking solder still standing; all the helmetless officers had been picked off by enemy snipers in the final hours before our assault. My soldiers are battle-hardened and courageous men, but you yourself know that men need bold leadership during adversity and these men had no-one else to show it to them, Lord Commissar sir.” Lyman almost spat out the last words through his gritted teeth, as he seethed at how his words were now being twisted right in front of him.

Face almost purple with rage, Venkov launched into his reponse: “Your guilt in the matter is manifest, Staff Sergeant Lyman! I will hear no more from your coward’s tongue, but you are allowed one chance to see if you can be cured of this sickness.” Even though the large bore gun did not need to be accurate to be deadly, the twin barrels of the shotgun swung up to align with Lyman’s upper torso.
The finality of his situation hit Lyman like a sledgehammer and he began to sink to his knees. However, with his end swiftly approaching, Lyman’s sense of duty and personal honour were the only things keeping him upright and the Lord Commissar saw this in his eyes, granting a brief reprieve as the Staff Sergeant straightened before him, resuming his stance of being at full attention.
“I will not run from battle, nor allow the enemy to gain ground...” Lyman began to invoke his unit’s battle-cant just before the heavy manstopper shells took him in the chest, shearing him almost in two as his corpse hit the bunker’s reinforced wall.

Outside, even Venkov’s iron-willed and steel-visored bodyguards shuddered at the resounding blasts from the weapon’s dual discharge, but said not a word to the disarmed prisoner-troopers in front of them.

Inside the room, Lord Commissar Ulatrius Venkov brutally suppressed his emotions at the waste of life that it was his calling to inflict. Closing the eyes of former Staff Sergeant Isak Lyman whilst he whispered: “Cowardice. Dereliction of duty. Ignorance of the chains of command. These things are the gravest of diseases afflicting the Imperium.”
Pressing the button for the bodyguards to admit the next criminal for execution, he intoned the same mantra he had already used twenty two times that day: “I use the most awful tools at my disposal to burn away and purge these contagions...lest you infect the whole body.”

Urgently trying to trace any living relatives of Private Sam/Samuel "Jock" Wilson (Black Watch, No. 6 Commando, UK Army Service ID 2764432, died 10.06.44). Any info/suggestions gratefully received.

"Mockles! Pent on silpen tree, blockards three a-feening. Mockles! What silps came to thee, in thy pantry, dreaming?"

Please check out the HOES (Heresy Online Stories) threads and vote for the tales.
More feedback = better stories for everyone.

Last edited by andygorn; 06-08-11 at 10:19 PM.
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-09-11, 04:39 AM Thread Starter
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The Fields of Herdias Prime
Word Count: 1099 including title

He fekking hated the trenches.

Then again, each world seemed like a shithole just a little bit worse than the last. The grass is greener on the other side of my arse, he mused.

Shaking off the rain collecting on his matte black helm, Derik Vigo grimaced. The humidity, the heat, and the mud were the great triumvirate of Herdias Prime, and he doubted he would be done with it any time soon. The cultists on the other side of No Man’s Land seemed more than happy to sit out the long coming months of the rainy season in their bunkers while the Guardsmen of the Larillan 41st wallowed in filth.

As if reading his glum mood, Cranson chuckled beside him. Glancing over, Derik noticed his squadmate watching him from the autocannon’s mount. ‘Well look at the bright side mate,’ Cranson said, ‘it could be raining the drips!’

Derik sniggered; Cranson, the never-ending optimist, had contracted a venereal disease the last time he had visited the whores on ‘furlough.’ Despite the man’s discomfort while urinating, he still found the whole episode hilarious, and brought attention to it whenever he could.

‘Just keep it in your pants, Cranson,’ he responded, ‘I have no need to have your crotch-contagion spreading, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the commissar would consider you spreading it treason.’ Derik sighted back down his sniper scope, trying to find any movement in the deluge. ‘”Corrupting the holy masses of the Emperor’s Guard,” he’d say. “hampering the ’

‘True, true,’ his friend replied, ‘he’s just jealous I’ve gotten tail.’

Derik resisted bait and kept focusing on No Man’s Land. Truth be told, as much as he liked Cranson’s amiable banter, sometimes he just wanted the man to shut the hell up. It was hotter than a whorehouse on discount days, and Cranson’d know, the mud was deep enough to suck the boots from his feet each time he tried to move, and the meteorological team with the 41st reported no end to the rainstorms in the near future.

The damned rainstorms were the reason he was stuck in the trench in the first place. The sodden terrain was too soft for high amounts of armoured traffic, and the tanks and artillery pieces from the rest of the battlegroup had been deemed more important than the 41st’s troop transports. Therefore, Derik and the other four thousand riflemen had to spend a solid week digging trenches. He scowled and stretched his still-sore fingers, feeling the raw skin rub painfully against his flak gloves.

Well, too late for that synth-skin now, he thought. The skin was at least starting to heal, and despite his complete inability to keep the torn blisters dry, at least the pain had receded to a constant ache radiating up his arms instead of the biting stabs it had been.

‘Enjoying the rain, fekkers?’ a voice said behind them. Derik turned to see the Sergeant-of-the-Guard, Lenitto, leaning bareheaded in the shoddily-constructed wooden fighting position. ‘Just making sure you weren’t grabbing a bit o’ shuteye, la-’ He abruptly cut off as a fit of vicious coughing seized his body.

‘Get in uniform before you try calling us out, eh?’ Cranson called back, ‘And announce yourself ahead of time, I can’t hear shite in this rain.’

Sergeant Lenitto could not respond, his body just kept convulsing with coughs. ‘So-cough-rry cough don’t kn-cough-ow wh-cough-at the fek...’ his words died off as he collapsed against the frame of the entryway, clenching his throat.

‘Is he fekking choking?’ Cranson’s voice had risen noticeably, ‘Keep watching, I’ll help him.’ Cranson rushed over to kneel by the hacking sergeant, tossing his kit carelessly to the ground.

Derik tried to focus on No Man’s Land, but there was something about Lenitto’s coughing that made him queasy. It was not the same dry hack or wet wheeze that normally accompanied the ague. He heard the man retching behind him, the heaves and solid splashes into the puddles distinctive over the rain. He felt a wave of nausea rush over him, raising the hairs on his neck. The incessant hacking continued, and he could hear it being echoed down the line.

Glancing back, he saw the sergeant sprawled face down in the mud, a bloody, black ichor spreading from his head. Cranson grasped futilely at his throat from his knees, reaching out to Derik for help. On the man’s pale skin, Derik could see a black stain creeping, corrupting.

He was frozen, not with fear, but with disgust. These men were plagued, and he knew he could do nothing for them. Helplessness welled in his chest as Cranson’s outstretched hand began trembling. The dark rot ate through the fingers, and each fell in a grotesque splash in the water. The taint spread in the water, rancid tendrils shooting out in all directions feeling for a new host.

Pushing himself back into the corner of the fighting position, Derik could do nothing but watch in utter horror as the seeking fingers of decay spread towards him, searching for an opening in his uniform. It found a seam, and he felt his leg ignite. Something was burning him from the inside, a fiery agony that he had never known exploded up his leg as his body consumed itself.

‘God Emperor, preserve us!’ he cried, ripping his flak jacket off and exposing his chest to the rain. The blackness was spreading, filling his veins with decay. So focused was he, staring in abject horror at the stain that he did not notice Cranson collapse limply in the trench, with his rotting stump still stretched to his friend, nor that his boots had fallen freely from feet that had rotted to mush, nor did he see the massive, bloated armoured figure approach his position and gaze inside. He could feel nothing below his waist, only a burn and the sweet odour of his own festering flesh as his chest cavity collapsed.

Voices... ‘Nothing here, Lord,’ a metallic, gurgling voice said from behind him. He tried to turn and look, but his spine had long since liquefied, and his head swung freely from his neck. As his head lolled back and forth and his brain was consumed, he thought he saw the outline of an angel of death.

*****

‘All are dead,’ Nosfer reported, ‘None resisted.’

Flegmus nodded, unsurprised. These hosts were too mature to adapt to survive the Cleansing. No new souls would be garnered in the Grandfather’s army this day. ‘To the next world, then,’ his voice bubbled, thick with mucus. ‘The Wrathful demands more.’


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Originally Posted by spanner94ezekiel View Post
3. Nothing Boc said should ever be taken seriously. Unless he's talking about being behind you. Then you run like fuck.

Last edited by Boc; 06-09-11 at 05:51 PM.
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The Grandfather
1049 Words


In the embrace of the great Nurgle, I am no longer afraid, for with His pestilential favour I have become that which I once most feared: Death.
~Kulvain Hestarius of the Death Guard

774. M41


THE COUGHING HAD begun several weeks ago. Several weeks ago I thought it was just a normal cough, with no strings attached. That was, a perfectly normal one that would go away in a couple of days.

Only this one, it was persistent. It stuck to me like a fly is attracted to a light, never letting go, be it at sunrise or sunset.

And worse, it had spread. Spread throughout my squad, infecting five of us so far. Leonas, Kulvain, Harkness, Lok and myself. All fine warriors, all veterans of Cadia. We had withstood the brunt of the Despoiler’s attack, and survived the seven day siege of the Fortress-City of Theranis.

And now we were succumbing to this. The Legends told by people in bars mention of a plague which swept Terra thousands of years before Him on Earth came to power, a plague which sowed nothing but devastation through the likes of every person, be they innocent or not.

Loyal or traitor, xenos or worse, nothing escapes the plague. It is the one thing that has caused devastation for millions of people throughout the Universe, the one thing that almost every planet, even Holy Terra itself has in common.

At least one person has died from the plague.

And now it has come to us, the 105th ‘Siege Breakers’ Cadian Regiment, the one that held fast whilst others fell back, the one that earned its nickname after the Seven Day Siege.

Where others dared to tread, we saw the opportunity. Where others couldn’t break their target, we broke it for them.

We were one of the most elite non Glory Boy Regiment that the Imperium had at its disposal. Victory after victory, mission after mission. Indeed, there are only a few Regiments that I’ve heard of that can even match our record of consistent victories, let alone beat it.

Every now and again I hear of the Sabbat Worlds Crusades, the mass purge of heretics in that area. I hear mentions of Ghosts, Imperial Guardsmen from nowhere, lead by their Inspirational Colonel-Commissar.

They must have been a pretty undisciplined lot. I mean, to have a Commissar who’s also a Colonel... I shuddered at the thought. Put it this way, if our newly attached Commissar Leves was granted command of the whole regiment...

God-Emperor help us all.

Well, that was what I would have said if I was still part of the 105th, still a warrior – still fighting for the corpse that sits upon the Golden Throne.

Yes – I no longer serve him, that bastard Emperor who has let countless of lives fade away without caring, without even –

- The Imperial Guard. Bullets spray over his shoulder as he notices the traditional colours of his brethren. The ones who have still remained loyal. Although they are few, they are strong.

“How long have we got until the blasted Death Guard get here?” Kulvain yells in his direction, bringing a loyalist down with his lasgun, a superb hit.

Just because we had forsaken our oath to the Emperor doesn’t mean that we’re not good fighters anymore. “I hope they get here soon,” the soldier responded. “This is getting boring. You know the Commissar just fell, right?”

“You’ve got to be shitting me,” Kulvain chuckled from behind the wall. “That’s the best news I’ve heard in ages. Makes me almost wish I was still one of them now.”

“We’re screwed unless those Death Guard get here,” Kulvain commented. “They’re fighting like inspired men. If they keep it up, we don’t have a chance.”

“It won’t take long for them to run out of ammo,” the first man remarked. “Besides, they’re surrounded.”

“Yeah, but they’re still the 105th. Siege Breakers, right?” Kulvain rebutted. “They may have lost three quarters of their men but that still doesn’t mean they can’t break out from a siege.”

“Sir!” the vox-operator, Leonas – turned to the unnamed warrior. “Death Guard Terminators en route. They’re finally here.”

“Excellent,” Kulvain smiled, and turned to the figure. “See – you’d never have got this far as part of the loyalists, people’d never call you sir in that rabble.”

The man addressed as sir chuckled slightly, before saying after a moment - “I think I could get used to it.”

And then it happened.

Suddenly, materialising directly in front of the renegade Imperial Guardsmen was the warriors who the commander now owed his life to. Half a dozen green-armoured clad adeptus astartes, warriors who had long ago forsaken their oath to the Emperor now spearheaded the assault, with it only taking a round of weapons fired from their anti-armour figure to bring death to a Leman Russ Battle Tank, crippling its machine spirit and killing the crew without mercy.

“Die, Loyalist scum!” one barked, and a searing flame erupted from its bloated armour, causing several Imperial Guardsmen caught under the fire to scream in agony.

“Now’s our moment! The Terminator’s can’t win this alone!” The Commander roared, lifting his stolen Sword and holding it skyward, before leaping over the barricades and into the thick of battle –


- Oh, how glorious my first battle as a renegade was. It was not my last, which was a very nice thing, for I am still fighting. Still fighting, for I no longer fear death on the battlefield. The Grandfather has made me stronger, much more powerful than I could ever become.

They whisper my name throughout the warband now, as the man who destroyed an entire Imperial Guard Regiment with one cough. This is alone is enough to see me elevated, and praised by the almighty Grandfather who has kept me alive thus so far.

I never had a name, as a member of the Imperial Guard. Just a service number, for I had never needed a proper name in the past. So, when I turned my back on my fellows, cast aside my oaths of devotion and became an oath breaker, all I needed was one new name – that would inspire my new brothers and bring woe to the opposition.

And that name, that one name – is Contagion.

+++

Sorry Gothik about the similar ending - I thought the name suited the guy's background though. Nice stories so far folks .

Last edited by Bane_of_Kings; 06-10-11 at 01:31 PM.
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