Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories 16-07: Collaboration
Welcome to the year's seventh
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, totalled 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 and be awarded the Lexicanum's Crest award for Fiction excellence!
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 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:
CollaborationEntries 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 GMT, 31 August 2016. Remember, getting your story submitted on 22nd will be just as considered by others as one submitted on 11th! Take as much time as you need to work on your piece! Any entries submitted past the deadline will not be considered in the competition, regardless of whether the voting thread is posted or not.
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 - 1 reputation points, everyone will receive this
3rd place - 2 reputation points
2nd place - 3 reputation points
1st place - 4 reputation points and Lexicanum's Crest
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in this thread.
Without further nonsense from me, let the writing begin!
Collaboration - Collaboration is a working practice whereby individuals work together to a common purpose = Alliance?
I'll be honest with you, I am struggling with this one as it is very similar (depending on the dictionary definition) to the Alliance theme?
I guess that might be an option ..
Conscience- 918 words
Sometimes, bad things can be beautiful. Blood on the snow is one of those things. I don’t know why- honestly, it might just be the contrast. Whatever it was, it was beautiful, and although I know I shouldn’t be enjoying it, it’s not like I can really help it.
Just keep telling yourself that, Clynt. Might make it easier.
Seriously, it’s actually rather pleasing to the eye. The splatter patterns are pretty interesting. I don’t generally see those on snow, and it’s somewhat distracting. Hard not to lose myself in the intricate relationships between each dot…
It is quite nice, isn’t it? Still, Clynt, I think it’s time to move on.
Hands are really cold. Or I just can’t feel anything with them anymore. Sort of on autopilot now, so the latter wouldn’t surprise me. With a bit of effort, I depress the lock switch and break the revolver open, spent brass tinkling out of the cylinder and dropping to the stained snow at my feet. All six, for one target. That was rare. These were big rounds, nearly the size of my thumb, and they had quite the impact. Normally something really big and tough would take all six, but not this time. He’d been dead even before I fired the last four, maybe even one before that.
You’ve got more ammunition, Clynt. Don’t worry about it. It was worth it, after all.
Belt pouches are hard to get open with numb fingers, but I can manage. The clip’s a simple matter, disposable; reloading, I drop it to the snow, too. Six more rounds; snapping my weapon closed, I’m still not quite sure what they’re for.
Oh, you know, Clynt. It’s okay. This will be the least painful thing for the rest of your existence.
Could just use one for that. Didn’t take more than one. Not like I can just keep shooting, after all, like I did to the inquisitor. Vanclev had gone down on the first one, and the second had just made sure of it. All those nice furs, all bloody and wet. The rosette, dropped into the snow. So unceremonious, so… so easy. If it was possible for a corpse to look peaceful with the back of its skull missing, Vanclev was doing it. He’d fallen flat, remnants of his head turned slightly to the left, right hand up, clutching at the snow with thin fingers. Eyes rolled back, white- well, the one that was intact. The other wasn’t there anymore. Couldn’t really see from the front- that part was in the snow- but through the mess that I’d made of his cranium, it was pretty visible that there wasn’t much left in that area.
Focus, Clynt. You’ve done the important work. Time to finish things up.
Daggers in my head. It hurts. A lot. In my neck, too. Like something digging bladed fingers into me, rooting around inside my body. I hurt a lot normally- Vanclev and I had done some pretty hardcore stuff over the years, and I had the scars to prove it- but this was a bit different than the normal aches and pains. Shit, now I know what it’s like to be a pack animal, goaded on against its will.
Clynt. I’m starting to get angry. And you don’t want me to get angry. Things will not go well for you. Release me, release yourself, or bad things are going to start happening and you are going to watch through your own eyes, unable to do anything about it.
Yeah, I’m not a fan of bad things. And he knows where Jinna and the kids are. He’s in my head, after all. I actually like Jinna, and would rather her just go on, even if she was in that pathetic little hovel with that bastard she ran away with. At least Therise and Merie had a home that made some sense to normal people.
Exactly, Clynt. And I’ll have a lot of fun with them, should you keep stalling, but I think it’d get boring very quickly. Human screams stop being entertaining after a little while, after all. I’d rather you just let us both go now. And I’m sure you would, too.
Fair enough. I mean, if I let him go, he goes and enjoys his time unbound. If I don’t, then he takes full control and starts destroying everything he can in the cruelest way possible, before someone else tries to contain him. And before you know it, they’ve got another possession on their hands. Or they’ll imprison him, try to get him to work for them- and that won’t work out. Vanclev tried it, and look what happened to him.
I’m glad you can see reason, Clynt. Now- do me a favor and see what that gun tastes like?
Oily. Not quite appetizing. Doesn’t really have to be, though.
Don’t worry. It will be gone soon enough.
For a moment, I rest the tip of my finger on the trigger. This really wasn’t how I’d expected to go. Honestly, I’d thought someone would stab me in my sleep. Don’t know why. Either that, or a starship accident. Spent a lot of time on those death traps, and atmospheric equipment went wrong a fair amount of the time. Had a couple friends who’d bought it without even noticing, aboard a freighter when the air-mix went wrong.
Shit, it’s hard to cock at this angle. One click- two clicks. There we are.
Goodbye, Clynt. No hard feelings.
Not entirely happy with this one, but sent it in anyway! :laugh2:
Sarban Memon slammed hard into the blood-soaked sand. His head crunched against the remains of his Lasgun sending a flash of white light behind his eyes. Instinct told him that the killing blow would soon follow.
“The whelp dies well.” Said a gruff, rasping voice. “The smell of his blood is most stimulating.”
Memon pulled himself into the foetal position and prepared for the end.
Only in death can you receive the Emperor’s judgement
The blow never came.
He dared to open an eye and saw a vision from his nightmares. Silhouetted against the rising sun was a huge Space Marine in corroded green power armour; a back-to-front ‘S’ badge stamped on his spiked shoulder guard.
Betrayers of Pain. So the rumours are true, they were here on this planet. Their presence would now tip the balance against the forces of the Imperium.
Both his tormentors, mid-rank Tanlangan Necha Centurions, were down on bended knee with heads bowed low. Even their venerated rank and positions were of little consequence to a Champion of Chaos.
“This is the… deserter.” It hissed through a face grill shaped into a horned, fanged wolf.
“I did not desire an answer. Your actions have decided your fate already. This… thing has called for parlay and yet you purpose to make fun with it. From whence did that power come from?”.
“Apologies my Lord. It is of no rank or standing.”
“Yet it is the first one to come over. You are both relieved of your rank, you may now join the Cohorts…”
“Think carefully about your next words Quyidagi Askar, they might be your last.”
The two Centurions, un-ceremonially reduced to followers, came to their feet and slammed their fists against their breastplates in salute.
“As you command.”
It was an eternity, the pause unbearable.
“You may stand.” The Champion’s voice oozed venom and hidden violence.
“Memon, Sarban, Sergeant…”
“You came to us. Remove the formalities or this parlay is over.”
“221st Bauerian Jaegers… my Lord.”
The Betrayers of Pain Champion was a colossus of ceramite and adamantium with hidden powers yet to be revealed. His Mk2 Power armour was a relic of a bygone age which bore the scars of a thousand battles. A glowing Warhammer hung from a sleeve across his back and an ugly, modified Bolt pistol hung lazily on his hip. Small clouds of black smoke puffed from hidden valves and sluices.
“Why did you betray your people?”. The question was direct and took Memon by surprise and he had to think quickly. Chaos Space marines were not noted for their patience and were avatars of instant violence on a grand scale.
“The siege is taking its toll on our army my Lord. Men are dying every day of starvation and depredation. The Commissar’s are harsh and unforgiving,” he dared to glance up at the Champion and saw only the wolf helm and the strange, ever-moving markings that adorned every inch of the marine’s armour. “I have lost faith in our commanders. We lost long ago. The dark forces will overcome our defences and… I want to be on the winning side. I want to live.”
The Champion cocked his head slightly, hidden eyes drilling into Memon’s soul.
“If I grant you your wish, human. I will want something in return.”
“Of course,” Memon hesitated. “I will give you what you want.”
The Champion chuckled, a deep baritone rasp that was both mocking and beguiling.
“A way in to the fortress and I will grant you protection.”
“Yes my Lord.”
The Champion held up his massive hand.
“I will have your soul.”
It had been so easy.
Memon had been given the death watch; the hour before dawn when an enemy was likely to attack and the defenders were at their lowest ebb. He had slipped through the outer wire, crossed the mine fields and the death traps and finally made contact with a traitorous outpost. It had been a risky undertaking and was statistically doomed to fail, but Memon was no ordinary Guardsman or lowly cannon-fodder. As a child he had been brought up in the Underhive and knew how to survive. He believed that the enemy fanatics would see his heritage and allow him though.
Now he was leading a Champion of Chaos with his war band and a host of mutated Followers known as the Quyidagi Askar. He had been promised everything he desired; rank and riches, women and vittles’ and a life away from the Guard. The soul thing was a problem, but he would cross that bridge when it came to it.
Memon sensed something was wrong. He felt a deep ache within his chest and knew it was a warning. He looked up. The sky was ablaze with a thousand pin pricks of light and a pattern of flickering lightning that turned the grey clouds inside out. Bright streaks of dazzling plasma and blue stabs of immense power reached down towards their position.
He turned to the Champion and at the moment in time they both understood the gravity of the spectacle enfolding around them.
They had all gone.
“You have betrayed me.”
“I did not know…”
His brain registered the blade swinging upwards, but it did not tell him that he was dead. He never felt anything as his head was severed and his life blood erupted around him.
Then there was a sound, barely audible at first, but Memon sensed it was getting louder. Voices. No, there were screams, screams of pain and delight all at once. He was in a sea of unimaginable colour and shapes; it was beautiful but he feared it as well.
His mind was playing tricks on him.
Something brushed by his shoulder and he turned. The Champion was nowhere to be seen and all the others had gone. It had now turned dark, but Memon was in a circle of light. It felt like he was swimming. Now he felt the presence of others circling him. They were not human; they were creature’s unknown to him. A sea of creatures watching him and they were hungry.
I shall have your soul.
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