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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-11, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Default Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories 9: Doubt

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:

Doubt

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, 17 September 2011. Voting will be held from 18 September - 24 September.

Additional Incentive
If simply being victorious over your comrades is not enough to possess you to write a story, there will be rep rewards granted to those that participate in the HOES Challenge.

Partipation - 5 reputation points, everyone will receive this
3rd place - 10 reputation points
2nd place - 20 reputation points
1st place - 30 reputation points

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!





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 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-11, 07:45 PM
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Default Doubt, the Death of Faith.

Doubt, the Death of Faith.


The coldness of space is nothing when compared to the death of hope, the death of a lover or the crying out of a broken soul. – Guardsman –

Streams of blood, swaths of viscera, splatters of life’s liquid; the crunching of bone coupled with the sick smacking that happens when teeth tear into uncooked flesh. Screams escaping tormented bloody lips are snuffed out as lifeless cadavers with yellow-brown stained teeth reave through the throat’s tender curtains.

The shuffling dead move through the streets aimlessly, mindlessly, stupidly, mouths agape, eyes milky, flesh feculent, purulent and rotting.

Night and day they creep down the streets, into homes, through businesses, into apartment buildings, sewers and open fields. They attack anything that still bears any semblance of life.

I watch them from the window of my attic, I hear them stumbling around through the halls and bedrooms of my home. There are at least thirty of them in my bedroom, maybe ten in my kitchen, twenty in my hall and who could know how many in my living-room.

I am consumed with doubt and fear as I wait for them to leave. This is not the first time they have been here. Almost nightly they come. There is no keeping them out. I have tried to keep them out by boarding the windows, locking the doors and nailing them shut. I have placed razor-wire around the front porch and broken glass along the window sills but it does no good.

They do not feel any pain so the razor-wire does nothing more than tangle around them and eat through their green-grey flesh. The broken glass simply shreds their hands and fingers until the bone is revealed, but they continue on pushing against the boards and slamming against the doors until they give way and I am left with no alternative but to hide.

The other day they caught a woman as she ran from the house across the street. I figured she could get away, but some among them can run as if the rigor had not set in. I heard them tear into her while she screamed, legs kicking, arms flailing until finally after what felt like an eternity she died.

I watched her struggle to get up some hours later. I watched her milky-white eyes as they moved this way and that from a half consumed skull. There was no sign of recognition, no understanding of what had happened to her. She had become a soulless form, devoid of understanding, reason or purpose.

It was terrifying to think about the multitudes the virus had claimed. One day they were about their business, the next day they were fighting to stay alive.

It is dark in the house, but I can hear them. They know that I am here but they cannot find me. They can smell me but they cannot hone in on my position. I am terrified and I doubt that I will make it through the week.

I whisper a prayer to the Emperor, beloved by all, but he does not seem to answer. I look for a chance to escape, but they are everywhere.

I have not eaten anything for the last twenty-seven hours but somehow food is the last thing on my mind. I am trapped in the attic of my home with no way of escape. My family is lost to me and I weep at the thought. I watched them and heard them as they died, but I could not help them. There were too many and I could not save them. It was the most helpless feeling that I have ever had.

In a way, I think I am as dead as those below me. The other night I considered ending the madness by allowing myself to fall into their hands. I considered slitting my own wrists but what would become of my soul?

I am the last man alive I think. As the winter winds blow I watch for any signs of life from those gathered outside trying to get in. Not a single breath of life escapes their open mouths. I am not surprised.

As I write down my thoughts I understand that no one will ever read this. I mostly write to ease the stress and to give my hands something to do. I am alone and I doubt I will see the end of the night because I hear them clawing and scratching the ceiling below me.

They have found me but for now I am still safe, at least until they figure out how to climb. I have with me a single knife. It is long and sharp but I cannot put any confidence in its ability to stave off the dead. Once they find a way up and in they will consume my flesh and gnaw upon my bones. In the morning I will be as one of them.

Some have said the plague is from Nurgle, while others believe it is something unleashed or escaped from the Imperial Science and Research labs. At this point I don’t care. I am alone and I doubt that I will live the next few minutes.

Hands are breaking through the ceiling now and along with it the stench of rotting flesh being consumed by maggots and worms. I am going to die now and I hope I stay that way. I hope my soul will rest in the presence of the Emperor, I hope my flesh will not feel what is about to come.

If anyone reads this, know I did not die as a coward, but as a soldier in service to my God!

The hands claw through the ceiling and I lash out with my knife. The corpses do not feel the sting of the blade or the severing of bone. They do not flinch as their fingers are kicked and broken. Not a single cry of pain escapes their lifeless lips as I stab and slice into the meat of their arms.

Like floodwater they rise and climb and crawl into the attic. Their milk-white eyes bleed mucus from their sides as they rest their gaze upon me. I kick and stab at them but they will not stop. I begin to scream as they tear at my legs with diseased broken fingernails and teeth rotten and decayed.

‘Emperor, into your hands I commit my soul!’

The sunrise comes. The corpses shamble aimlessly, stupidly, lifelessly from the house. Among them stumbles a man whose name is lost to eternity, whose fears were made real. Doubt, the death of faith.

1,100 words, not including title.

A good reputation take a long time to build, but only a moment to destroy. Wow, that's deep! Check out the H.O.E.S. short story competition.
Other stories from Adrian.
Look up Adrian in the "Compendium" to find them. Thanks

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-11, 04:44 AM
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Default Twenty years.

Twenty years.


Thuomas was undoubtedly dead. He had been dead for some twenty years. He just wished someone would bother to come down to his cell and finish the job.

Thuomas groaned and scratched his side, “Another day in paradise then.”

A sorrowful dark surrounded him, the same dark that ravaged his being for years. The cell, by Sigmar would he never see the outside of the cell? Had he ever lived outside it?

Yes he had. The memory was vague but Thuomas could just touch the edge of a diaphanous vision of a strapping young thief with a thick red beard. A man possessed of more talent than prudence with an unfortunate addiction to the thrills of his profession. He was just the sort of man to try something stupid. He was just the sort of man to be his own undoing.

The cairns he'd snuck into at the edge of the sawtooth mountains were ancient and imposing, but not without their protectors. Foul men and monsters of Sylvania possessing devilry beyond reckoning resided within places of the dead, protecting the treasures within.

The cruel faced man who'd caught him had to have been a sorcerer of some sort, a necromancer no doubt. He'd smiled as enchanted darkness enveloped Thuomas, flashing jagged yellow teeth caked with filth and grime.

Those teeth haunted his dreams along with the Necromancer's shrill laughter. Night after night he watched the monster of a man weave devilry to kept him within the Cairn as punishment for his trespass, binding him with cold blackness.

His limbs, atrophied from years of fumbling at the cold stone with trembling fingers could never reach into the wide portcullis. His fingers got as close as the first stone before an unseen force burst forth and tossed him to the back of the cell.

And the hunger... would the hunger never abate? Moss and mushrooms grew on the walls, sour tasting and vile. He'd become sick the first time he'd eaten them and many times since. They were a paltry meal but they kept him alive... at least till... no. That was not an option. Not yet. He would not let the necromancer win.

“Curse you, curse you all to the lowest pits of hell,” Thuomas pulled himself to his feet, grasping the thick roots penetrating the ceiling for support. His legs wobbled ominously, atrophied from days of disuse.

“Not all of us I hope,” mumbled a ragged voice to Thuomas' left, “Lady be good, would that I were questing for an age.”

Thuomas fell to the floor in shock, colliding painfully with the ground, “Sigmar be praised am I not alone?”

“No longer,” hissed the voice. The cell echoed with the sound of shifting steel mail, “Ser Brandon of High Waters, questing knight of the realm.”

“A knight of Brettonia,” Thuomas spoke unsure of his words. He must have finally cracked from the pressure, “You're a long way from Albion.”

“For honor's I ride, for honor's I will return,” the knight spat on the ground, coughing violently. In the dim luminescence of the moss Thuomas could make out where Ser Brandon was clasping his side to keep a stomach wound closed, “Though I suspect I shall be passing on to the next great quest soon if we do not get to light and fresh water soon.”

“Did,” Thuomas hesitated, “How did you get here?”

“Twas the drýcræftiga,” the knight rose to his feet and approached the portcullis.

“The what?”

“The filthy necromancer's pawns lad,” snarled Ser Brandon, “Yes... crude works of darkness. I came here to hide from them and nurse my wound. I did not realize it was occupied.”

“Not willingly so,” Thuomas swore in bitterness.

“Ah,” the knight ran his hand over the mucilaginous barrier of shadows blocking the exit, “Time to leave then boy?”

Could it be? Would he finally leave the darkness? His voice caught in his throat, “How?”

“My blade is the æled, a slayer of shadows,” he groaned with agony, “Wouldst that I had the strength in my arm to I would draw æled and free us both. Nay,” tossed the scabbard into Thuomas' arms, “You must do it.”

“I don't know if I have the strength either!” Thuomas felt the hungers of decades gnaw at his bones, reminding of his own weakness. Ser Brandon knew not what he asked of Thuomas, “You must do it friend! Free us both and we shall slay the sorcerer.”

“I cannot!”

“You shall. Lad free yourself from hesitancy.”

Thuomas' arms protested as he pulled the heavy blade from its scabbard. The blade burst into a blaze of brilliant light, glorious and blinding. It was glorious to see anything, even if his eyes did ache with disuse.

Thomas squinted at he handsome smiling form of Ser Brandon, gazing at his blue and white checkered tabard stained with a thick coat of red blood. Thuomas lashed out with the blade, slicing into the portcullis and tearing through the enchantments. It had been twenty years but now he was free. The enchantment shattered with a resonant wail of agony.

The knight's proud face contorted in suprise, then rage, then abject horror, “Lad...” The blade cut in a glittering arc and all was silent, save for the wet sound of chewing.

Thuomas emerged the shadowy cave beneath the cairn and into bright sunlight some two hours later, enjoying the thrill of the sylvan beauty. He collapsed on the soft moss covering the hill, examining the æled and smacking his chops. After ten years of hunger it was glorious to have a belly full of man-flesh.

Thuomas was undoubtedly dead. He had been dead for some twenty years since the Necromancer cast some devilry upon him. Yet still he lived.

Not dead. Not alive. What was he?

Word count 995.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-11, 08:02 PM
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you know Adrian i love your work and this is just fantastic....i can certanly picture the desperation in the man as his end comes....brilliant
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-11, 09:51 PM
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Shards (1090 words, not including title)

Looking down into the mirrored pool it displayed times past...just one of myriad portals in the crystal cavern. However, this was not what he had once seen; some things were...altered.

Gazing down upon the battlefield, he recalled legions smashed, a grand melee nearly reaching each horizon.

Drowning in the quagmire, or pulled down by chainsword and rent by bolter fire, a thousand voices roared loyalty.

A thousand more died in agony, torn asunder by the weapons of their brothers; the very weapons they themselves wielded.

Yet still more came on, each side heedless of casualties, desiring only victory for absent masters.

“As you watch, you feel remembrance stir within you, do you not, Marine?“
It’s voice slithered across his armour, testing him like a questing tongue, seeking a weak point in his resolve in order to taste his confusion and despair.

His will, however, was like tempered adamantium and he had felt it’s touch before: a different time and place perhaps, but he knew this particular fiend’s foul spoor anywhere it infected.

“The knowledge of a daemon is of no use to me...all you speak is abomination and falsehood. You shall find no purchase with me, creature.”

“You speak the truth. Yet there are so few amongst you who still refuse the wisdom we offer.

“Not just the maimed and blinded cultists, but even your lauded ‘Inquisitors’ chain and bind us, torturing us for pleasure and our...secrets...

“You have seen such through the ages and know it in your hearts, do you not?”

“I have seen as much myself,” he admitted. “Yet it was always with a purpose to unbind the machinations of your kind, to keep Humanity safe and strong.”

It’s laughter ran across his body like ice-cool rain, numbing his sense of purpose:
“What is ‘safety’ when the enemy is in all places?"
“What is ‘strength’ without knowledge and wisdom to guide it?"
“No, both are mere shells, hiding vanity and insecurity."
“All this is offered to your kind...and oh so many such delicacies have taken up our pacts."

“Your kind will be harnessed and chained to the will of Mankind, used for all we can wring from it, then extinguished! That is The Emperor’s word and none shall countermand it!” the mortal bellowed.

Completely unexpectedly, it gave light applause:
“Spoken like the truest of Generals! Your skill always was without question and even I doubted you could succeed.
“Yet triumph you did, almost sitting at His right hand as the Lord of Hosts. It’s a pity that things...changed..?”

“I was never chosen for any rank so highly, I live to serve Him, nothing else.”

“Spoken again like a modest servant, yet the fire of ambition still burns brightly within. I see your love for Him. You could have been the most loyal amongst Champions. The highest-favoured of all His sons...”

Rounding upon his questioner, the Marine’s eyes blaze with ferocity and twin beams of scarlet fire lance out, transfixing the monster with pure hatred.
“You mistake me for my Primarch?! You are not even worthy to speak his name, formless abomination!”

Shuddering in the bale-glare of the psyker’s massive power, the daemon gives up the struggle of resistance a little too quickly and hangs suspended before his former captive.

“If that is what I am,” it gurgles “then what are you..?:"

“A 'servant'? What is a follower without a master...nothing except a puppet with it’s strings cut. A reflection in a misshapen and broken mirror. A shard of an existence long passed.”

“A ‘man’? No description for one reformed in the image of a God?!

“‘Marine’, then? Those days are long behind you; you know there’s something other about you now.”

“‘Librarian’ perhaps? No, one does not look at an ajar door and then laud it for it’s openness, thinking that this is all there is; never seeing what it leads to.”

“‘Blood Angel’, surely? Now you see the true meaning set aside for you: the one which you cried out for in anguish; the same one that was freely offered, although even I know not why; the same one you feasted upon and greedily drank into your soul."

Despite the crackling crimson chains which held it in a vice-like grip, the monster’s laughter barked out, ringing around it’s empty caverns.

“The followers of my Lords have a name for it. We have many names for it, as is our way. Yet you already know many do you not?"

“Look back upon events: saved from death many times; calling upon a patron; suddenly becoming more than you were.
"Confusion and -dare I say it?- chaos in your mind about what it all means.
"Driven by duty, yet blinded by what has been done to you?
"No, not some external force, but something that you have willingly allowed to occur...”

Still keeping his prisoner bound, the Blood Angel turns away, trying to turn his back on the truths spoken.
Even though it cannot see his face, here in it’s own realm, the daemon does not need to look into his eyes to know what he is thinking.

All Daemons are lies, yet they possess knowledge that he -amongst only a handful in the galaxy- knows has been put to countless good uses for Humanity’s benefit over the millennia.

Shutting out the lascivious voice, he tries to to reason the words and seek refuge for his reeling mind, yet finds little.

One swipe of his empowered psychic blade smashes through the illusion of the cavern’s walls and he can return to the world he knows.

The prison of the daemon’s making disintegrates at an exponentially faster rate, it’s howls stifling as the scarlet chains throttle it from existence.

Blind to hate, he does not see the reflection of a third being in one of the few intact mirrors: standing tall and proud, it radiates a fierce energy and admiration for its' descendant.

The daemon’s words sounded true enough, speaking of innermost thoughts he himself had sought to not give voice.

The Blood Angel scratches his head as a nagging doubt occurs to him:
Yet they go against all that he knows, so they cannot be true!
He must quash and repulse them with every fibre of his being!

And he does so.

Returning to his people to carry on the war with renewed vengeance, the Blood Angel does not see the tall warrior now on his knees, weeping.

Powerful hands cover a ferociously handsome face, now stained with crimson tears; it’s pristine alabaster wings swept wide, laying fallen in despair.

************
If you hadn't already guessed, this tale concerns that 'what may have been' regarding Blood Angel Chief Librarian Mephiston's meeting with M'Kari in the caverns of Solon.

When I get a new Codex, I always read the named characters' decriptions first before reading that army's history/timeline/etc.
As soon as I read the characters in the Blood Angel Codex, the concept struck me that perhaps Sanguinius isn't 100% dead...what if his soul just got split up between various named heroes?
This is just one exploration of what may have happened to at least some of it.

I write from 'inspiration' not 'perspiration', so I'm not sure if this is sufficiently 'original', but I merely try to transcribe the concepts which arrive in my head in a (hopefully) legible format.

The stories here at 'Heresy' always spur me on to try harder each time and I'm constantly trying to improve as a writer, so comments and criticisms always welcome (will change if needs altering to read better).

Thanks for reading,
AndyG.

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.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-30-11, 11:41 PM
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Metaphorical cookie to anyone who spots the ref in this story ;)



Word Count 993

The Protection of Faith

Al’Shien sprinted up the steps of the basilica, desperately trying to block out the sounds of screaming all around him. A light rain fell from the sky, staining the marble steps with blood and making them slippery underfoot. Overhead, eldritch lightning flashed, tearing vile runes in the burning sky, searing an imprint onto any who looked up.

Al’Shien threw himself against the heavy oak doors in an attempt to force them open. In his panic driven state, time stretched, the action seeming to take an eternity. Inch by inch he forced the door open, casting glances back at the gibbering horde rushing across the plaza, tearing apart all the other who were trying to flee to the sanctity of the basilica. With a final look back at the warpspawn, he gave anther heave and squeezed through the crack between the two doors.

Inside, the basilica was a different world to the dying city around it. Thick stone walls dampened the screams of dying humans and the cackles of the invading daemons; ornate stained glass shielded the interior from the worst of the warp rift’s mind flaying light. But most importantly, in Al’Shien’s mind, you could feel the holy presence of the God-Emperor just by being inside.

Al’Shien sighed in relief and slumped against the door. However, the respite was not to be.

Without warning, a clawed hand covered in rippling pink flesh plunged through the gap and grasped at the door. The Tallarn guardsman screamed in horror and leapt away, scrabbling across the floor. With a mighty shove, the hand hurled the door open and the owner stepped through.

Seized by fear, Al’Shien opened up with his lasgun on full auto, spraying the doorway with fire. Capering, the daemon leapt aside, dodging the lasbolts and Al’Shien’s action would have been for nought if it had not been for the fact that the daemon was but the first of many.

Al’Shien continued to back away and accidentally knocked over a brazier, spilling hot coals over the flagstones. More daemons spilled through the doors but halted their stampede, shying away from the coals. Seeing this, a smile passed Al’Shien’s lips. It was obvious now. The greatest weapon in his arsenal was faith!

Reaching into his tunic, he pulled out a silver aquila and brandished it before himself.

“Be gone!” he commanded, continuing to back away. Powered by his faith and the hallowed ground upon which he stood, the trinket radiated a faint light. “Be gone!” he shouted once more.

“Foolish mortal,” giggled the daemon who had been the first to enter. Having dodged Al’Shien’s first attack, it’d been able to skirt the coals and was flanking the guardsman. The daemon flexed non-existent muscles, it’s body flowing and reforming from an oversized head on gangly legs to a lithe man-like creature wreathed in robes or a cloak – Al’Shien could not tell which for the ‘clothes’ rippled and changed in the same manner as the creature’s skin. It reached inside its ‘robes’ and pulled out a mask.

“Do you really think a mere trinket can stop me?” the daemon spat with the voice and face of Al’Shien’s father.

“It is faith that will stop you,” retorted Al’Shien, moving ever backwards, “For as it says in The Book of Cain ‘Then the prophet spake: saying ‘Frak this, for my faith is a shield proof against your blandishments.’’”

The daemon roared with laughter. “Is that what he said?” it sneered, “I heard it was more like ‘Frak this. My soul’s my own, and I’m keeping it!’”

“N-no,” stammered Al’Shien, still retreating, “The prophet would never be so selfish. H-how could an avatar of the Emperor’s will speak thusly?”

The daemon’s hand slipped inside the robes again a produced another mask.

“The Corpse God has no real power,” sneered the voice and face of Al’Shien’s boyhood chaplin.

Al’Shien shook his head in disbelief.

“It’s the truth,” cooed the voice and face of his mother.

Al’shien stumbled and fell back against the steps leading up to the pulpit and font. Thinking fast, he swung his lasgun up and fired on the font. A torrent of holy water gushed down the steps, drenching him and pooling at his feet. A few of the lesser daemons who had tried to take advantage of his trip by leaping forwards recoiled in agony, their flesh searing and steaming where the water had splashed them.

“And even if your God does have power,” scolded the face and voice of his drill sergeant, “Why would he waste it on you?”

“You’re pathetic,” barked the face and voice of Commissar El’Druush, “The only reason you weren’t executed was because you’re not worth the bullet – let the enemies of the Carrion God deal with you was the enforced philosophy.”

“No,” whimpered Al’Shien.

“Yes,” hissed the voice and face of Private Sonja Kastanova, a Valhallan trooper he’d become...intimate...with back on Valsheen IX. “You cower here,” ‘she’ growled, “You ran and hid while good men died. Why should your God care for you? Why should he protect you?”

Tears blurred Al’Shien’s eyes.

“T-the Emperor Protects,” proclaimed the guardsman, but without conviction.

“Yes he does,” hissed the daemon, once more with the chaplin’s face, “He’s done such a great job of protecting this world. How long has it been since the rift opened?”

Al’Shien did not reply.

“Hours?” asked ‘father’.

“Only a few,” replied ‘mother’.

“Two at most,” nodded ‘El’Druush’.

“Two hours and this world has already fallen,” snorted ‘Sonja’.

“The Emperor Protects...” smiled ‘sergeant’.

“The Emperor Protects Himself,” gurgled the daemon.

Al’shien’s head slumped in defeat. He couldn’t believe it. He refused to believe it. But...

The daemon reached out with a clawed hand. Silver steam sizzled around it as it passed through the water vapours. A single tear fell from Al’Shien’s cheek and the sizzling stopped.

“There is but one chink in the Armour of Faith,” cooed the daemon, as it stroked his cheek – a touch gentle beyond expectations. “Doubt.”
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-31-11, 03:02 AM
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Originally Posted by gothik View Post
you know Adrian i love your work and this is just fantastic....i can certanly picture the desperation in the man as his end comes....brilliant
Thanks. I do appreciate the compliment. We will see if my story lasts the test of time. I hope, gulp.

A good reputation take a long time to build, but only a moment to destroy. Wow, that's deep! Check out the H.O.E.S. short story competition.
Other stories from Adrian.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-31-11, 05:23 AM
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I must confess that the work you submission for this edition of the expeditious stories competition is very well executed.

Last edited by Todeswind; 08-31-11 at 11:35 AM. Reason: spelling error.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-31-11, 08:14 AM
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I walk the line

A tale of doubt



Word Count: 951 (excluding title)


They say that faith is what makes a man strong, that it is the spark of hope for something better that keeps him high above everything else in the food chain and the life forms that plague the universe.

I believed that once and yet now I find myself doubting it even exists.

We are taught that the Emperor is a god, that he is a being set so high above us all that all we can do is worship him as the Supreme Being amongst many. That I as a Chaplain must minister to the needs of my brothers and keep their faith firm in the sight and theatres of so many obstacles.

Yet recently I have cause to doubt my own words. When I deliver them they are empty and devoid of everything I know and what, I hear you ask, brought me to this revelation that would shake my core and my being?

It was not so much an explanation on theology but more a question of what I believed. Do I believe that the Emperor is merely a powerful being who exhibits god like powers or truly a deity that despite his denials was, in reality just that.

Do I follow the history of my Legion as is written or, do I believe that there is something more then what history tells us?

When the time of the Heresy befell all did he expect it for as a god surely he would have done and could have acted to prevent the disintegration of our golden age? Or did he harbour jealousy towards his sons who were very quickly coming to power and out shining him in many mortals’ eyes?

My own father included.

I look around at my brothers, their heads bowed in prayer reciting the litanies that would take us into glorious battle in the name of our father and he who sits on the throne.

They will expect me to offer words of fervour to them but although I can deliver the words I do not know if I still mean them in my heart. Was Luther right all along and was the Lion wrong?

Did the Lion truly have the touch of Chaos in his heart and did Luther merely do what he had to do to defend Caliban from what he saw as a traitorous son?

Before I would have laughed off such accusations as the ratings of a madman and a man looking for anyway to justify his crimes against the Emperor and our father.

A Fallen Angel who took months to finally repent his sins.

But whose last dying words hang in my brain plaguing me for I know on some level they are truth.

I was alone with him.

I saw his wounds and the marks of his repentance, blood caked his lips and his nose as he spoke. I had to give him respect for lasting as long has he did against one such as me.

When he spoke it was with dignity and I listened, it was the least I could do to hear such a noble confession.

“Brother, will you let me say something final to you before I am sent to the Emperors judgement and that of the Lion?” He had asked.

“Your soul has already been forgiven brother” I held his head my blade ready to administer the Emperors peace, his forgiveness already given.

“Let me ask you this brother” He half closed his eyes and I had to learn over to hear him.

His body stank of charred flesh and blood, urine and excrement but it was a stench I had long since learnt to ignore.

“All I ask is that you think on this…. if we were so wrong why is it that the Dark Angels would attack any to prevent their secret shame, even if it means firing upon another brother chapter”

Now his words come back to haunt me as we are ready to hunt yet another. Fallen. Almost thirty years have passed and I have made it into the inner circle and his words come back to haunt me.

If we are such a proud and loyal chapter why then do we hide the fact that Luther is alive deep within the rock alongside Astelan? Why is it that we do not tell even our own brothers these facts?

Could it be that our fathers’ inherent paranoia has made us suspicious of ourselves? And why did the Gulf, a vessel of the Templars vanish after handing over Cypher to our brothers?

I begin to wonder who the real enemy is and doubt plagues my mind. I walk the line to discover if the Lion was right or – if Luther was right all along and if he was…would that have made Horus and Lorgar right and we who call ourselves loyalists are the ones who were in fact the traitors?

As I sweep my skulled visage over my brothers I also begin to doubt that we are the purest legion. When our masters hide so much from our own, resort to acts no other chapter resorts to just to keep our secrets.

Will life ever be the same for me and can I serve him on the throne and my father in the same light again? When the chant for the Lion roars will I be singing with glory in my heart and love for my gene-sire, or will I be dreading those words knowing what I now know?

I understand that every chapter has its secrets but ours, ours mark us out as close to the line, close to damnation. As we land and I lead my brothers in another battle for the Emperor, doubt takes hold of my heart and I am aware that I will never be the same again.

Last edited by gothik; 09-06-11 at 03:12 PM.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-01-11, 03:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todeswind View Post
I must confess that the work you submission for this edition of the expeditious stories competition is very well executed.
Thank you.

A good reputation take a long time to build, but only a moment to destroy. Wow, that's deep! Check out the H.O.E.S. short story competition.
Other stories from Adrian.
Look up Adrian in the "Compendium" to find them. Thanks
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