Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories 12-03: Rebirth
Welcome to the year's third Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories (HOES) Challenge!
For those of you that are unfamiliar with HOES, 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. Each and every member of Heresy Online is more than welcome to compete, whether your entry is your first post or your thousandth. We welcome everyone to join the family of the Fan Fiction Forum.
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.
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.
The official word count for this 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:
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, 24 March 2012. Voting will be held from 24 March - 31 March.
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.
Participation - 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!
Table of Contents
Adrian - Thus the Song of Legend Sings
Jonileth - Endless Reflection
gothik - Starting Over
VixusKragov - In the Womb of the Warp
Davidicus 40K - The Cycle
andygorn - Blameless Skies
Serpion5 - Old Acquaintances
Dicrel Seijin - Iron Grot
Zinegata - A Boarding Action
Dave T Hobbit - Luck of the Dice
KjellThorngaard - Vulture Down
Thus the song of legend sings.
The ocean waves dipped and lifted simultaneously. At first the rippling effect was small and unnoticeable, but as the winds grew so did the waves. The small boat was not meant for open waters especially not this far out.
The boat was named the Little. It bore its name in truth, but the cargo it carried was worth more than gold. The old man fought with the oars hard against the current the wind and the waves, but try as he might he was just not strong enough to make any headway.
The old man’s heart gave out and as he slumped over and collapsed on the shallow deck the baby began to cry.
No one could understand why the Little did not capsize. Some people believed it was because the baby was blessed while others believed the baby was such a curse the ocean would not accept it. Whatever the case may be, the baby was held aloft in the hands of a young lady who took him as her own.
As the years passed by the baby grew into a man, strong and fleet of foot. His hunger for knowledge grew to such a point the elders could no longer quench his thirst, nor could they answer his questions anymore.
The young man bore the name Obadia. It meant in the language of the coastal people, “For what purpose?”
The name Obadia could not have been so aptly applied than to this young man. Everything was questioned. Everything had to have an answer even if it was as simple as, ‘Why does that rock sit in the sun at that angle and cast its shadow at that angle?’ or as difficult as, ‘Why does death take us all?’
Obadia hated to fight, but when it came down to it he could defend himself with such skill none was a match for him. He was from a place across the ocean, from another tribe…another world. What purpose did he have in this life? He had to find out.
As the sun came up over the ocean waves Obadia said goodbye the woman who had raised him. He left not knowing where he was going, with no direction but the beating of his heart and the rising of the sun.
Years passed, the seasons changed and with them so did Obadia. He became strong from his travels, he became a warrior able to fend off and kill the greatest of beasts. By his hand he clove the enemies of humanity in twain and struck down the great dragon and its child.
Blood had become his way of life and death knelt before him. His red hair grew long and his muscles strong. His skin grew dark under the relentless sun and his eyes strange and cold. In the wilds he felt his purpose. In the darkness he made his home.
His name became a bane to the enemies of men and they cursed him for the fear they felt.
The days passed and with them so did his desire to once again go home. There was nothing left for him of his old life; he had been reborn in the killing fields. Obadia’s mind grew sharp from study. Anything he found with words upon it he took the time to read.
In the Chaos wastes he found ancient libraries buried under time and dirt. There he made his home and there he gained his knowledge. The books were old and cracked. They fell apart when he lifted them too roughly, so it was with a gentle hand that he turned the pages. He covered his mouth when he read lest the pages disintegrate from the breeze his breath would cast.
The things these books taught him were forbidden in the old world; they answered questions that no one else could have answered. If he thought, they knew. It was as if they were alive, old and dying; desperate to impart their knowledge before they met their end.
With the knowledge they taught him he found that the world had not always been a feral place nor was their Chaos in the hearts of men. Death had no place in the land and darkness was natural as was the light.
The minds of men became warped when they were led away by their own lusts and as they sought to gratify their own desires the world began to turn. Darkness seeped in and consumed their minds. It was not the darkness of night, but the darkness of rebellion and faithlessness. It was the darkness of perversity and lust. It was the darkness of curses and murder.
Obadia wept with the sadness of lost civilizations and burned with anger at the travesty and depredation of mankind who had turned their hearts from righteousness and had given themselves unto the daemons of the underworld.
In his heart a fire was kindled and he knew at last the purpose for which he had been born. It was not for him to only kill but to cleanse the land from the stain of Chaos. Reborn from a lowly child into a young man, from a young man into a warrior, from a warrior into a scholar, from a scholar into a priest set apart for the purpose of dismantling the forces of Chaos.
In the depths of the library he came upon a shield and hammer covered in sand and fallen stone. The weapons called out to him in his sleep and bade him come. Once they were in his hands he found he could not let them go. His soul was aflame and his will a fire.
The sword began to glow as the sounds of the minions of Chaos found the city of libraries; the shield began to sing with the power of forgotten saints. As he emerged from the depths his eyes began to burn and from his open mouth the words he had read burned forth in lightning flashes that boiled the enemy in their armor and split the ground as if in a earthquake.
Giants fell before him when he whispered and Chaos gods long forgotten begged for mercy when he slashed his sword. Chained to his soul, the scriptures gave him strength and he fought as if possessed by all who had been slain for their faithfulness.
Ten thousand fell to the songs of his shield and a hundred thousand to the sword in his hand. The earth rose and fell by the words in his mouth and the fire in his eyes.
Thus the song of legend sings.
1,100 words not including title.
Dang Adrian..popped that one out fast :) Working on mine now, hope people like it. Late congrats to last month's winners also!
Justicar Erebus stood on the steps of the ruined building that once housed the Planetary Governor of Ranmer Minor. The building still burned in the unholy purple daemonic flames that had consumed it. Justicar Erebus and his Terminator squad had teleported to the surface as part of an advance strike team, only to find that their intelligence had been wrong. The domed city had been nearly obliterated in the time since the first call for aid had gone out. Most of the once mighty and beautiful buildings now sat ruined, nearly unrecognizable as buildings at all.
“Brother Martayus, do you sense the enemy?” the Grey Knights Justicar asked of his Librarian.
Brother Librarian Martayus walked forward to stand beside his Captain and longtime friend, “No, Erebus. That beyond anything else disturbs me…”
Justicar Erebus tapped the hilt of his sword as he considered the situation for a moment, “It is unlikely that the daemons have left this world. How they are hiding themselves is unsettling to be sure but not insurmountable. Come brothers, let us purge this world and be gone.”
The rest of his squad nodded silently and followed their Justicar down the steps of the once mighty administration building. The streets and squares before them were equally bathed in the unholy purple light of daemonic fire, casting vile shadows all around the squad as they pressed into the city. The lack of corpses made it all the more strange that they felt nothing around them. Erebus considered for a moment the possibility that the flames were somehow distorting their perceptions, but could not readily rectify the suspicion with any knowledge he had ever gleaned from his many decades of battle that would justify such a thought.
Further inside the domed city, the squad came upon a twisted effigy that told the Grey Knights rather plainly what daemonic god of Chaos had sent his minions to prey upon the moon. A tree that had once dominated the center of a pavilion had been desecrated, visages of twisted nude figures writhing in agony and pleasure adorning the entire surface of the tree on all sides, the limbs and branches cut down all around it alight with the daemonic flames.
“Slaanesh…” Justicar Erebus growled just loud enough to be heard.
The squad fanned out and continued along the path they had been taking, finding themselves approaching a structure that had not yet been burned to the ground. A temple that had once been dedicated to the Emperor stood before them, the beauty of the structure marred by the tainted symbols of the Chaos daemons that had been sent to Renmar Minor. The very sight of it fanned the flames of fury within each and every Grey Knight who gazed upon it.
“Brothers, let us purge the filth and reclaim this world!” the Justicar urged his men forward as he drew his sword from its place at his hip. The squad let out an angry cry and followed the Justicar forward, each of them brandishing one of their own weapons. As they charged the building, a flood of daemonettes surged from the entryway, each twisted daemon bearing a horrible form that would have repulsed and entranced any lessor men of the Imperium.
Justicar Erebus was the first to come upon a daemon, his Nemesis weapon blazing angrily with psychic energy as it came crashing down into the daemon’s flesh. His victim screamed in utter agony as the blade sliced through flesh without hindrance, fueled by the Grey Knight’s own psychic might. No sooner had the corpse been cleaved in half did Erebus set upon the next daemon just behind it.
The group of Grey Knights waded into the swarm of lesser daemons with the zeal of hardened veterans, all of them shrugging off blows and dealing death to the foul beasts that had been set loose upon the world. Bolter fire, flashes of lightning, and the sounds of cleaved flesh filled the ears of the Grey Knights as they pushed forward. It wasn’t until they had actually breached the structure that their momentum slowed. The horrific sight the squad became witness to was almost too much for even Erebus to behold.
The bodies of countless hundreds, if not thousands, sat pinned to the walls and ceiling of the building. Their blood caked every inch of the floor, turning it into something of a shallow pool. Many of the ones that hung around them had been given the release of death, but not all. Those that had been unlucky enough to live were screaming in horror, pain, and begging for death. In the center of it all, a twisted Keeper of Secrets stood, basking in the glory of it all.
The foul daemon looked almost entirely human, only the clawed hands and twisted, daemon-like legs of the thing gave it away for what it truly was. It didn’t notice the Grey Knights at first, too wrapped up in the pleasure of the agony going on around it. Once it did turn its twisted eyes to the Grey Knights, it was clear the beast cared nothing for talk.
The Keeper of Secrets surged forward, and so too did Justicar Erebus, the pair clashing in the middle of the temple. The beast exchanged blows with the Grey Knight, each punishing hit being greeted in kind by an equally devastating hit from the Justicar. Erebus managed to cleave one of the daemon’s arms off before it finally managed to send a spiked limb through his armor, impaling him. The world went black soon after…
A pale white light was the next thing Erebus saw. A rush of uncertainty washed over him before his senses finally returned. He felt the familiar chill of metal, the alien tingle of limbs that were not his own. He could perceive the world around him clearly a few moments later, and gazed down upon the man who had woken him from his slumber, from the dream that always waited for him.
“Justicar Erebus,” the man who he had not yet known addressed him, “You have been called upon to serve the Grey Knights once more.”
Erebus’ mind grappled with the implications of it. He had been reborn, fated to serve his brothers again inside the great machine. He could not remember if that had ever truly been his wish, but then… he could hardly remember anything except the day of his death with any clarity.
“I will serve,” his voice emitted from the vox as his massive limbs carried him forward to the next battle against the daemons of Chaos…
1099 words not including title.
Hm. A story of Rebirth...
I write about necrons...
I hate you Boc. :biggrin:
Next month lets do Zombies. :-)
Haha you could easily use Rebirth for zombies, besides, I don't think I could ever justify having a theme of "Braaaaiiins"
A tale of Rebirth
A HOES tale 03-12
Word Count: 1080 (titles not included)
The youth was different, his parents knew that, his scholars knew that and the Priest knew that. Outwardly he was hard a worker as he was a scholar and his thirst for knowledge out weighed any of his class mates. Despite his ethics and his knowledge he was indeed a likeable young man, if not intimidating because of his sheer size. He had grown in what the doctors could only call major growth spurts. When asked if he knew why this happened to him, the boy would merely shrug and say perhaps it was something in his family line that had caught up with him. No one could argue with that logic.
He had a charisma that ensured he was the most popular youth at school, he was never without a girl on his arm and he was never without a place in the sports teams. Occasionally his sleep was fractured with dreams of armoured warriors, tens of thousands of men across numerous battlefields chanting a name in glory. Other times the dreams would turn into horrific nightmares, warriors against warriors, a galaxy in flames and a final battle between father and son.
He would wake without a sound and would tell no one of his dreams. His world was superstitious enough and the last thing he wanted was to be tagged as a demon. He would continue his day as he always had, the people of his mining town would remark how he could clear several layers of the mine by himself. When a mining accident trapped several of his friends he took command of the rescue operation and directed men and women to points that he knew would be beneficial to the search.
He would not rest until such work was completed and when it was successful he would celebrate, if it was not he would blame himself for not being quick enough. Despite his now elderly parents words of comfort to placate him it seemed that he was unable to forget the loss almost as if it were a part of him that had been killed in the mine.
The dreams at night became more and more realistic. Not only did he dream about the dead miners but dead warriors’. Some holding the hand of their mighty Commander as they passed into the halls of warriors past, others staring into blackness, the image of their last moments forever imprinted on their eyes and behind them eyes were accusations’ wordless destruction that pointed the finger of blame at their Commander.
He would get up and pace the floor of his home, ducking under door frames to pass from room to room, attempting to make sense of this jumbled jigsaw of pictures that played in his mind and controlled his dreams at night but , try as hard as he might he could not. It was as if his mind was deliberately blocking anything that would help him make sense of such a mosaic of images.
When the Orks came to his world he joined the army without hesitation and under his guidance they managed to beat the Greenskins back despite the losses felt the world over. The people of his world began to see him as a god of war, never giving up and never giving in, there were those who began to whisper that he was more then human, he was bigger then they were, he was able to talk to anyone and they would listen enraptured with his words.
When he had killed the Ork Commander he had done so with his bare hands, roaring to the heavens as the Greenskins very life blood covered his face and in the moonlight it had illuminated his face with an eerie red light. He was now the saviour of this world and there was no one who did not love this mighty war god.
The vessel approached the planet slowley and cautiously like a Lion hunting its prey. On its ancient and mighty bridge a giant stood with his hands clasped firmly behind his back. His massive armour the first thing that enemies saw and the last thing they would see. His sorcerers’ and Psykers had told him this was the real deal. He was unsure if it was or if it was yet another hoax, or a trick perpetrated by other Legions’, if it was then he would kill this being himself then go after those who dared try this.
The world below him was both familiar to him and unknown she looked like his old home world but before her destruction and long before her rape of minerals. He had recalled the old tales of how she looked before humans had settled in abundance. He closed his eyes and listened to the sounds beyond sounds that only he could hear. The fear in the hearts of those that worked within this ancient and hallowed vessel was like a drug to him, he did not care if they cursed his name, as long as they obeyed him through duty or fear it mattered not.
When the vessel had achieved orbit he took a small retinue in an ancient Stormbird and told the merged pilot to head for the largest township. The pilot had been human once but was now one with the demon spirit within the ancient Stormbird; he patted the pilots shoulder and relayed his orders to his bridge. If this was a wasted journey then this world would burn.
The war god came out as the ancient vessel came into land, his eyes fixed on the craft trajectory and when it had landed a sense of familiarity washed over him. He pushed his long dark hair back and up into a topknot, his muscles’ rippled as his tension built, a wash of adrenalin fuelled through him, only felt when he had killed the Orks and their Commander.
He folded his tree trunk arms across his chest as the ramp lowered and monsters dressed in black and gold armour marched down, causing the townsfolk to step back in fear, their fear reached the war gods incredible sense of smell and he smiled slightly. As he laid eyes on the warriors who stood across from him his mind everything clicked into place, what the pictures meant an who he really was.
Abaddon stared at the man before him “Your name” He demanded.
The silence was deafening and only one word was spoken “Horus”
In The Womb of the Warp
The astropath turned to the Captain. “Sir, we’ve received a message.”
“During warp travel? What does it read?”
“ ‘Mother welcomes you.' Sir, it bears Engineer Adams’ identification code.”
“Alert. Major equipment malfunction. Gellar field shutdown. Critical error. Gellar field shutdown.”
“Shut that damn alarm up!” Captain Soveroc’s voice was lost among the frightened yelling and desperate countermeasures. He turned to the madly twitching navigator. “Pull us out of warp travel! NOW!”
The Captain’s aide turned in his chair. “He can’t, sir! We need to do as protocol dictates and eliminate all psykers before they are possessed. Including our inquisitorial guest.”
Soveroc nodded, accessing the ship’s vox. “Attention crew! All psykers and Engineer Adams are to be killed on sight! All engineers, report to the Gellar field and fix it, on the double!”
At that moment, Soveroc was raised in the air. His back bent backwards, bones crunching together, blood seeping from his mouth. As he fell to the ground, his aide’s head exploded in a surge of blood. The navigator went up in a small warp storm, bolts arching off in the ship.
The astropath began to spasm, looking to the bridge entrance. “I fear…no evil…I fear no death…for the Emperor comes for...”His voice shifted to a deep echo. “ Nobody.” He let out a wail, his jaw cracking and splitting apart. A horrible cracking, like a tree falling, marked his death.
When it cleared, the Inquisitor stood in the doorway of the bridge. He stepped forward, his movement seeming stiff…unnatural. He turned his head, almost in a twitching movement. He opened his mouth, a small clicking sound coming from his throat. He then lowered his head, and when he raised it, he was smiling.
The former Inquisitor looked around at the slaughter, and then he laughed, screams haunting the background of his voice. “Your guest is gone. You are the Warp’s guests now.” When security rushed towards him, he held a hand out, fire stealing the air from their lungs as it burned.
I watched this all from my station on the bridge. I was powerless to stop it- I didn’t even have a gun. I began to tremble, terrified. I thought of my wife on Chosin, my son waiting for me to return.
Then, the Inquisitor looked to me, and his presence overcame my mind. I turned and began entering the override code for the ceramite blinders. They rose from the viewports, and the crew was exposed to the Warp.
Thunderstorms raged in the midst of infernos, beings of unimaginable power lurking just out of sight. I heard far-off explosions, and screams. Things-monsters- began to rush into the bridge, taking form in nightmarish shapes. I couldn’t tell if they were screaming or laughing. They were held back by the Inquisitor raising a hand. He looked to the crew.
“Welcome to our Mother. Welcome to the Warp.”
They took over the ship. Small battles were fought against them, but we knew we had already lost. Demons continuously poured into the ship, held back from the loyal, and set upon the resistance with unending numbers. Madness lurked around every corner, whether from the constant fear of attack or the Warp’s overpowering presence.
Soon enough, we were broken. The lucky ones were taken by the demons as host bodies, their minds torn asunder. The unlucky became slaves to the Inquisitor, keeping the ship working for some unknown purpose. Engineer Adams had been made the Inquisitor’s lieutenant. He was given the gift of mutation from exposure while repairing the ship, his legs morphed into a single worm-like appendage.
The Inquisitor began to transform. As time went on, he became more and more hellish. An unholy fire seemed to burn within him, glowing out from his veins. Great angelic wings sprouted from his back, and he wept blood. He was a monster. A god turned daemon.
Demons lurked in every corner, every nightmare and fear you didn’t know you had residing in them. Whether they were wraiths of a figure, mouths frozen in silent screams, or immense crimson berserkers, every move you made they wished to use an excuse for slaughter.
Our hope of reaching our destination and being freed from the warp were broken. We were lost inside the womb of Chaos.
The changes among the crew were subtle at first. Reluctance to serve lost, eyes morphing, teeth sharpening, thoughts of murder haunting minds. They became more evident as our ship continued to wander through the Warp. We began to grow talons, dark leathery wings among some. The taste and smell of blood sent us into uncontrollable rage and violence.
The Inquisitor sacrificed those who did not obey. We hated him at first. Now we saw how he protected us from the ignorant. Fed us knowledge. Controlled the savage demons that would destroy us. We who were not possessed thought ourselves unlucky at first. In truth, we were the luckiest of all.
The Corpse-Emperor was an illusion, a fairytale. The true Gods were ones of power. The Inquisitor told us that the greatest and most powerful of them all was the Blood God, the Lord of Skulls. Khorne. Soon, we would give him a great offering.
The Inquisitor tells us we are like a long-lost animal, the Phoenix, during its change. Before, we were foolish, serving the false one. We burned ourselves with the Warp’s great beauty, were reborn in its glory. Soon, we would rise from the ashes, and rain the Warp’s wrath on the foolish, he told us.
“Say goodbye to your Mother, children.”
We burst from her womb, the Inquisitor’s demon followers going into their hosts, taking over them, letting them taste the Warp’s greatness before their mind was obliterated.
A planet filled the viewport. Gunmetal gray dotted with the cities of lies, broken by swirling seas between. This world would fall, and it would be Khorne’s. Thoughts raced through my head of slaughter and blood-letting. This day would be glorious.
“We have risen, my children. It is time to give the gift of Imperial blood to our master.”
We cried out words of praise to Khrone, as our ship hurtled towards the soon-to-be fallen world.
The Inquisitor smiled.
I smiled with him, my teeth slashing open black lips, blood dripping to the console in front of me. An appetizer for our master.
1,056 words not including the title. Thanks for reading my first HOES story! :thank_you:
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