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Flegmus strode at the fore of his retinue, glorious warriors of the Grandfather. The street sucked at his every step, glorious decay and the corpses of the rotten dead littered the roadways. His pestilence had struck this world without mercy or limitation. Not a single human, animal, or microbe had escaped its insatiable wrath.

“Blathius,” he instructed one of his henchmen, “gather the Fleshbearers, have them scour the streets. They know what to search for.” At this, one of his personal guard peeled off, marching to the mob of ghouls behind them.

Inhaling deeply, tasting the corruption in the air, Flegmus could not help but be pleased. The contagion had ripped this world to its very core, no living thing was untouched by the holy caress of Nurgle. His God was satisfied in his works, of this he was sure. Jellion Prime was a monument to the implacable and inevitable conquest by the forces of the Lord of All.

If he were human, or even Astartes, he might have felt hope then. Hope that his machinations had come to full fruition, and that this journey had not been for naught. This world served a purpose, for him, for the Death Guard, and for the Grandfather.

Now if only he could find it…
This paragraph appears twice in a row. Copy error I think.

I really do like BoD, it's very well done. Same for Awakening. In answer to you questions, the links do work, and I kind of like the big composite writing like this.

As always, great work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
This story is another entry for the 900-1100 word short competition, and the theme this month is "atonement." I've got a few other ideas up my sleeves, so we'll see how those play out. Enjoy :)



Nothing Left



“What the hell is going on?” Colonel Chafen demanded, “Where are my boys?”

His query went unanswered, his words hanging in the air. All eyes in the room were cast upon the pict viewer, all mouths agape. The Veskassian 28th Light had disappeared five minutes before, the column of men charging into the awaiting maws of the city before them. Wide, gaping streets had swallowed them whole; no flashes of explosions had hinted to close quarters fighting, no vox signals had revealed their very existence.

Until now.

His regiment of nearly ten thousand men had vanished as a fiery mushroom cloud rose from the centre of the settlement. Even in the situation room thirty kilometres away, the blast had been colossal. Tremors had rattled the Leviathan, scattering men and toppling equipment in its unrelenting fury.

“Dammit, I will have you all skinned if I do not get a status report!” He could feel his ire rising with the panic that had already built. Luckily, the threat shocked the staff officers into action, sending men running back to their vacant stations. Were it not for the strain in the shouts across the room, it may have seemed to be business as normal.

“Sir,” a lieutenant called from his console, “Valkyries report that they’ll be doing a flyover in two minutes, call sign Gryphon Six Five.”

Chafen knew, deep down, that the reconnaissance was unnecessary. The blast had been tremendous, an atomic weapon of untold power. Already, the millions of tonnes of dirt and debris that had been cast into the atmosphere were wafting downwards, inexorably giving in to the will of gravity. Irradiated dust particles descended in tainted clouds, obscuring the view of the city with their poisonous haze.

No man could have survived the detonation, not unprotected and on foot. His outrage began to fade, the heat of his temper cooled. Despair filled the gap it left, as he felt his soul and spirits plummet. His stomach seemed to pull downward, his entire gut was sinking.

His men, his beloved regiment, was gone. No, not gone, obliterated. Clearing his throat, he spoke again, “Thank you, lieutenant.” The sound was barely a whisper, the voice of a man who has lost the only thing he ever held dear.

This is my doing. The thought abruptly burst into his mind. I could have prevented this.

“Birds are on station now, sir,” reported the lieutenant, interrupting Chafen’s reverie.

His attention was once again on the pict-screen hanging on the wall. The sudden bustle ceased as the Valkyrie’s optics attempted to penetrate the miasma. Switching to a thermal view, the image suddenly cleared into a decipherable picture, interrupted by specks of white hot dust.

The vista it revealed was utterly devastated. Buildings were shattered and burning, husks of what they had been. Twisted debris littered the streets. Scantly recognizable ground-cars protruded from buildings, where they had been hurled in the shockwave. Lumi-posts were melted and slagged, lining the thoroughfares like beacons guiding the aircraft to disaster.

What he wanted to see, yearned to see, was absent. The only movements were the flames and their shadows, dancing in the wind.

“Two Eight Base, this is Gryphon Six Five,” the pilot’s voice crackled from the vox-unit, “auspex readings are negative for life signs.” He paused, knowing the implications of his next word, “they’re all gone, sir.”

Nodding slowly, Chafen closed his eyes. “Send my regards to the pilot. I will be in my chambers,” he croaked from his parched throat.

With that, he turned and left, leaving the other officers behind. This is my fault, this is my fault. The thought kept repeating in his mind, a broken pict-reel stuck on the same image.

He knew it was true; the Lord General himself had recommended an orbital strike to annihilate the Chaos forces barricaded in the town. But hubris, damned hubris, had led Chafen to insist on a ground assault.

“My Lord, the Twenty Eighth can take it, send us in,” he had said. There was no finer light regiment in the entire Imperial Guard battle group. He was fiercely proud of his men, his boys. There was no fortification too secure, no enemy too equipped to resist the Twenty Eighth. “My boys will cleanse the heretic scum.”

The Lord General had lifted an eyebrow at this, “Colonel, of this I have no doubt. However, our intelligence in the area is bollocks at best. Are you ready to gamble your regiment on that?”

Confidence had filled him, “Sir, if anyone can crack that hellhole open, it’s us.”

“Very well then, be prepared to attack at dawn.”


The memory plagued him until he reached his private quarters. Upon entering, he sat down at his desk and stared into nothingness, unable to shake the truth: he had knowingly sent his men to their deaths. There had been no chance, no possibility of fighting back against a weapon like that. He should have listened to the Lord General, should have swallowed his pride and his boys would still be alive.

A soft chime sounded at his door.

“Enter,” he called. What now...

The portal hissed open to reveal a courier. “Dispatch from the Lord General, sir,” the young man said. He marched to the desk and saluted smartly before placing a large yellow envelope onto its surface. Without waiting for an acknowledgment, the messenger about-faced and departed.

Chafen sighed wearily and grabbed for the package, surprised at its weight. Grabbing his combat knife, he cut the top of it open and reached inside. His fingers closed around something cylindrical and cold.

He removed the object from the envelope. An autopistol. A small note was tied around the grip. The sinking feeling in his gut intensified as his heartbeat hammered in his ears. He unfolded the note and read it.

You have failed your men. You have failed me. Atonement is in order.

On the bottom of the scrap was the mark of the Lord General.

Realisation swept over him. He had committed a mortal sin through his pride, and cost the God-Emperor thousands of his sons. Unworthy of the Emperor’s light and grace, there was only one thing left for him to do. He had to offer penance... with his regiment destroyed, his career in ruins, there was but one thing left to offer.

Boys, he thought, I’m sorry. He closed his eyes and smiled sadly as a single tear slowly ran down his face.

The barrel was cool against his temple, soothing and placating his despair.

“God-Emperor, forgive me.”

The shot echoed throughout the chamber.
 

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Wow, that was some reading, Nothing Left was a bit heavy though, I thought that the person at the door was going to be the Commander and was going to blow his brains out, good work Boc
 

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Some of this stuff i s absolutely fantastic, you have a real flair for description sir. This has been shown in your RIAR entries and well honestly i hope your submitting to Bl

"Nothing left" in particular, which i hadnt read is absolutely fantastic. love how it reads, felt the generals emotions were well portrayed but it could be done better, didn't quite feel the overwhelming grief or the numbness. The last line however was beautifully done

A really great collection of writings, have a dollop of rep
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Thanks a ton for the comments, DB, much appreciated. As far as the emotions during the final portion of "Nothing Left," I really got kicked in the nuts by the word limit. Once JD starts putting together the anthology, I'll probably expand upon the scene in Chafen's office.

Incidentally, I just finished my novel submission last night, so pending having a few folks checking it over (as I'm incredibly biased when it comes to correcting my own mistakes) it should be sent off in the next week.

Also, as an aside to my readers, expect a slight lapse in new material, as I'm heading back to the states for the first time in several months and I doubt my wife will let me sit idly by and write (although I'll be able to update Fall from Grace once I get some help!). New stuff will be coming out in the end of the month and throughout the foreseeable future after that.

-Cheers!
 

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Yeah I've been pimping up radical a bit for the anthology and completely understand that the word limit is a real kick to the nuts at times

Enjoy the states and most definitely looking forward to reading more
 

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Bah! I've been gone too long. :biggrin:

The word limit's a shame, but you pulled it off well. I agree with DB that it could be better, but parts of it are terrific.

You have failed your men. You have failed me. Atonement is in order.
I was going to make this my sig... I don't know why, but I really like it, same with the last line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 · (Edited)
Shameless bump.

Nothing Left also came away with a landslide win in the Read in a Rush competition on Black Library Bolthole, so that's 2 months in a row (needless to say, I'm fairly pumped.)

I do, however, have something in the works that will probably be completed by Wednesday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
This short resulted from yet another competition on the Bolthole. An initial joke on AD-B resulted in a competition to tell a Rainbow Warriors story in roughly 1500 words. Despite the temptation to write a parody, I wound up completing (albeit, very rushed) the following story. To be completely honest, I'm not quite as satisfied with this as I have been with my other shorts. I may expand upon this in the future, filling in where I've had to breeze over due to word limit restraints. Who knows...

Questions, commentary, and corrections are more than welcome. Enjoy!

Lumen Imperatis

Prism
744.M41


“It is truly a beautiful night,” he said, his words meant for none but the wind and the heavens. Brother-Sergeant Vermillion leaned onto the balustrade, looking up at the evening sky. Magnificent arcs of light danced through the air, multicoloured bands playing across the sparsely clouded horizon. Every wavelength of the visible spectrum, and many beyond, pirouetted through the heavens in a graceful ballet. Cycling through the optics on his battle helm, he saw that the rainbows of light dominated each setting.

‘Indeed it is,’ a gruff yet soft voice said from behind him.

The intrusion startled him. He had not heard an approach, nor had his armour detected motion from behind him. Abruptly spinning around, he immediately recognized the speaker.

‘Aye Lord, a rare night.’

Brother-Captain Varagol, helm held in the crook of his arm, smiled, the expression spreading like a fissure through bedrock. ‘One that both you and I are fortunate enough to witness.’ He mirrored Vermillion’s stance, grasping onto the railing and casting his eyes upwards. ‘I am one of the few that the Emperor has blessed in such propensity to have seen it twice.’

Vermillion watched his captain as the man became lost in thought, his mind reaching back over centuries of battles and memories. Although the balcony was dim, the Marine could see the whimsical expression on the captain’s face as he gazed at the dancing lights, the Lumen Imperatis.

‘It is quite a sight to behold, Lord,’ he said.

To Vermillion’s surprise, Varagol released a frustrated sigh. ‘You should have seen it in the last occurrence, five hundred years ago,’ he said. Waving his hand towards to array of colours, he sadly remarked, ‘With the industrialization of the southern continent, airborne toxins and pollutants have sullied the splendour of the Lumen. Then it was crisp, sharp. Now... as exquisite as it is, the Lights appear tainted.’

The two stood in silence for a moment while Vermillion contemplated the captain’s words. He had never before seen the Lumen Imperatis, as Prism’s magnetic field shifted into the necessary position to illuminate the night sky only twice a millennium. Coupled with the predictable solar winds emitted by the system’s star, the atmosphere of Prism erupted in a panoply of colour to coincide directly with The Enlightenment.

‘But you do not care for the rambling reminiscences of a geriatric,’ Captain Varagol gently interrupted his reverie with a wink. ‘I will see you at The Enlightenment, Brother Vermillion.’ With that, the warrior turned and entered the Fortress of Light, his golden cloak trailing behind him.

Vermillion returned his gaze to the heavens, enraptured by the vision. As an Astartes, his lot in life was to fight and die in the name of the Emperor. He felt his normally grim features split in a smile. Just because I am a warrior does not mean I cannot enjoy the splendour of the Emperor’s domain.

*****

Nearly one thousand warriors snapped crisply to attention, their ordered ranks immaculate and unwavering. Deep azure gleamed in the refracted light streaming in the Cathedral of Illumination. The massive chamber rested atop the Fortress of Light, the pinnacle of the fortress monastery of the Rainbow Warriors. The chamber itself was a gargantuan diamond, hollowed out and converted into an impenetrable bastion from which the Chapter operated.

Brother Vermillion was locked in place amidst his assembled brethren, frozen before the mighty warriors standing before them. At the front of the chamber rested a massive dais, formed from crystals so finely cut and clear that the stage appeared to be invisible. Upon this glorious platform, beneath waving, multi-coloured banners depicting the glorious deeds of the Chapter stood the Chapter Master and his retinue.

Each time Vermillion was in the presence of Master Levis, he was overwhelmed with the power and wisdom that radiated from the ancient Astartes. His thousand-year tenure as the Master of the Rainbow Warriors had blessed the Chapter with untold of success and expansion. His prowess both as a military genius and provincial governor were depicted with honours above him.

Master Levis stepped ahead of his retinue and removed his ornate battle helm. His bronzed face was criss-crossed with the scars from a millennium of never-ending warfare. When he spoke, his voice was as rocks rumbling down a slope.
‘Sons of Guilliman, warriors of the Emperor, Rainbow Warriors, welcome home!’ Unaided by amplification, his words still echoed in the assembly hall. ‘It has been five hundred years since we have all been gathered in reverence before the beauty of our homeworld in celebration to the Emperor and our Primarch.’

At that, Levis turned and retrieved a massive, cobalt mace from High Chaplain Dematrius. Multicoloured script and engravings ran along its entire three-metre length, incredibly rare gems sparkled from its hilt. It was exquisite, a weapon older than the Chapter itself, the relic worth more than the lives of an entire company, of entire planets in the Rainbow Warriors’ dominion. Seeing it, revealing its power to the assembled might of the Chapter, was the purpose of The Enlightening. Vermillion felt chills travel up his body; an excitement like lightning filled his limbs.

The Chaplain stepped back, returning to his station amongst the row of Librarians as Levis brandished the weapon. On cue, Vermillion removed his helmet, placing it in the crook of his arm. One thousand assembled warriors did so simultaneously, a display in martial perfection.

‘Behold, the Warhammer of Guilliman!’ Cheers erupted from the Space Marines as they beheld the relic. The Enlightenment had begun.

Vermillion could not help but stare; it was all he could do from keeping his jaw drop open in absolute wonder at the artefact before him, awe filled him, a warmth of joy that he had not realized he could feel...

The side entrance beside the stage hissed open, revealing a single human serf. Clearly terrified, the man rushed to the stage, directly to the Chapter Master.

When he spoke, his voice was barely a squeak, ‘M-m-my Lord, I have a message.’

Levis turned, a look of surprise evident on his face. He snarled, ‘Human, you dare interrupt The Enlightenment?’ Towering over the quivering man, he continued, ‘Your life is forfeit if you have intruded without good cause.’

Without looking into the Astartes towering over him, the man stammered, ‘Sire, an unidentified fleet approaches the planet!’

Behind Chapter Master Levis, the Librarian Primus abruptly leant forward and vomited. The venerable warrior, along with his entire coterie, collapsed, barely managing to stay on their knees. Those Astartes closest to the dais rushed to aid the Librarians, ushering the afflicted Marines out of the chamber.

A fleet? Vermillion was astounded. The only members of the Rainbow Warriors absent were those crewing the Chapter’s fleet orbiting the planet. Coupled with the astropathic relay posts scattered throughout the system, Prism was proof against friendly vessels arriving unannounced.

Master Levis’s voice cut across the chamber, ‘How many ships?’ His tone had lost its irritation to be replaced with clipped precision.

The serf, staring up at the towering Marine, whispered, ‘Thousands, Lord.’

Levis’s eyes narrowed into slits. Once again he regarded his Chapter, the Marines of the Rainbow Warriors. ‘My brothers, the enemy has seen fit to disrupt our holy celebration,’ he bellowed. ‘Our time of reflection is at an end. Our home is defiled, our Primarch dishonoured. The enemy has brought the fight to our very doorsteps.’ He paused, hefting the Warhammer of Guilliman over his shoulder. ‘We will answer this insolence with the holy wrath the Emperor has graced us with.’ Holding the relic high above his head, he roared, ‘To arms, my brothers! The Rainbow Warriors march to war!’

*****

Vermillion stood behind Captain Varagol, maintaining a respectful silence while the Chapter leadership gathered in the war room. All eyes were focused on the pict-screens, all ears on the now-silent vox transceivers.

The battle in space had been over in minutes. The enemy fleet had struck at once and without mercy. Despite the might of the Rainbow Warriors’ vessels, they had been overwhelmed with the single-minded and unrelenting assault of the as-yet unidentified enemy. Even now, the shattered remains of the once-noble strike cruisers rained upon Prism, their fiery deaths blemishing the Lumen Imperatis.

Aided by a helmeted Astartes, the Librarian Primus entered. The frailty and vulnerability of the psyker, no, the entire Librarius, unnerved Vermillion. Only one enemy had the power to affect them like this...chaos.

Breathless, the Primus spoke, ‘Master Levis, the astropathic choir is in distress. All of them have become afflicted, and fully half have died. Something is affecting the warp, twisting it and breaking those sensitive to it.’ His voice wavered as he spoke, barely stronger than a whisper. As terrible as he appeared, he sounded worse. ‘The Librarius are supplementing their powers to broadcast the warning out farther, but I am afraid that they will all die in the attempt.

‘I am sorry to say, my lord, but we are cut off from the Imperium. Unless our distress call is heard in time, we will be unable to repulse the enemy.’

Silence fell in the room, a smothering blanket. Vermillion, in the first time since he could remember, felt something deep within him. An unfamiliar sensation, dread. The Rainbow Warriors were on their own, on the fringe of the galaxy. There would be no aid, no respite, no legacy for the Chapter.

The unstable image on the pict screen zoomed in and froze for a moment on the Lumen Imperatis. The sickly green hue along its fringes had swollen into something else, something vast and without number.

An hour later, the first mycetic spores impacted on Prism.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
This is most certainly a work in progress. Unlike my last work in progress, however, I've actually got an outline done, so this will actually go somewhere... as of now, this will be constructed as an episodic narrative.

Any comments/critique/really anything would be greatly appreciated.

Sons of Larilla​



++Incoming transmission, sequence designated 1115039351A09

++Clearance Cordovan Primus Six Eight Gamma, Larillan Seventy-Second Expeditionary. Transition in-system completed 210.853.M41, fleet will be arriving at Larilla on 214.853. Recent losses in the Dalmian Crusade have necessitated a refit for the First Armoured. Requesting landing craft to be standing by to transport personnel and material to the surface for immediate refit and repair.

++Code confirmed. Larillan Flight Control acknowledges receipt of correspondence 1115039351A09. Lord General Gigatti acknowledges receipt of message, Code Cordovan Primus Alpha Alpha One One. Transports, facilities, and personnel are standing by to receive fleet. Query: LG demands update on additional manoeuvre and support elements.

++Armoured assets, super-heavy: four; losses thirty-three percent. Armoured assets, main battle and variants: eighty-three; losses sixty-seven percent. Infantry assets: zero. One Zero Two Infantry casualties one hundred percent. Artillery assets: zero. Three Two Artillery casualties one hundred percent. Organic landing craft assets: sixteen. Casualties sixty-three percent. Will require combination with regiments currently on planet before departure, as well as re-founding of First Armoured.

++Eff See acknowledges. Recruitment command acknowledges. Schola recruits are standing by and ready for equipment and crew distribution. One Nine Artillery standing by and ready, currently reporting one hundred percent on personnel and equipment. Six Four Infantry standing by, press gangs gathering numbers now, will be ready within planetfall plus three days, vehicular assets and equipment one hundred percent. Lord General Assembly requires debriefing on actions taken in Dalmian Crusade to update strategium and required force projections.

++Seven Two Expeditionary acknowledges and will comply. In the Emperor’s Holy Name, for Larilla. Colonel Holletto out.

++Praise Him. Eff See out.

Book I

Refounding



I​

She was dying.

He was under no illusion to the contrary. She was withering away before him, and there was nothing he could do save her. The helplessness was crippling; he refused to eat, to drink, to even move from her side. The Sister Hospitaller responsible for her care had urged him on several occasions to get out, to take some time away. He could not, not now, not when...no, he refused to think of it.

Gazing longingly at her, he could not help but feel... regret. Honey, I’m so sorry. She had been so beautiful, so vibrant.

Antony Enzo leaned forward, taking her hand in his. She was so light, so cold. He could hardly bare to look at her, it made the circumstances of her hospitalization too real. He tried remember her skin as it had been, warm soft and bronzed. Now, her entire body was pale, veins traversing her limbs in purple streaks. Gently placing her hand beside her, he saw dehydrated flakes waft to the linens.

He reached out and brushed the flakes away. More skin separated, revealing cracked and raw muscle below. Her condition was accelerating, her body incapable of accepting moisture. He was surprised at how cool she was; chill to the touch, the only indications that she lived were the slight rise of her chest and the pinging of the machinery attached to her. Marianna...

Enzo rubbed his cheeks, feeling the thick stubble that had grown over the past week. A week, that was it. Seven days ago she had stood on her toes, flashed her gorgeous smile, and kissed him on the cheek before shuttling to the Districta Industrium. Just as she had done every morning for the past six years.

Six years. They had shared six wonderful years, each day a comforting normality amongst the chaos of hive life. His stress from work, the foremen, all of it melted away as the snows before the spring sun when he returned to their hab and seen her smile. Her smile that he would never see again. Her eyes, the colour of the deepest oceans, would alight when he crossed through the threshold. She would run to him, throwing her arms around his neck as though it had been years, not hours, since they had parted.

Beep. Beep. Beep. The persistent tolls tore him back to the present. No longer was she effervescent, but... lifeless, a husk. Revulsion filled him as he thought of the word. I loved her, no, I still love her. Her condition had no part of his feelings, did not negate the nuptial vows he had made to her before the Emperor. Somewhere, deep in her comatose mind, was the woman with whom he had spent the last six years. She lay there, dormant and waiting. She was still there, still alive, and he would be damned if he left her side while she suffered in silent agony.

Sighing, Enzo leaned back into the cheap plastic chair which creaked in protest. He would remain here, locked inside of this cell with his beloved, for as long as it took. Marianna was, if nothing else, a determined woman who lived her life with an almost carefree abandon. That she could be brought so low... those bastards.

His melancholy quickly evaporated before the wrath of his blazing fury. He would find the men responsible, find them and kill them, just as surely as they had murdered Marianna. Unable to contain the rage building within him, he dug his fingers into the cheap wood of the armrests; the pain of his nails distracting him from his internal inferno, cooled his anger.

By no means did he consider himself an immoral man. Quite the contrary, he attended services regularly and believed fervently in the divinity of Him on Earth. He had sat through sermons about showing mercy to his fellow Man, that none but the Emperor were perfect and should not be treated as such. A fairly conservative sect of the Imperial Faith, his was one that placed great value on the life of the individual man, for in His eyes, all loyal sons were worthy of His Grace.

But, as he sat alone in the pallid treatment, fixated on the only being in the galaxy that truly mattered, he knew in his heart that, in honour of his love, he could not sit idly while those responsible were still walking, breathing, laughing, loving.

‘I’ll kill every last one of those bastards,’ he said, verbalizing a new set of vows to his wife. 'By the Golden Throne of Him-on-Earth, I swear it.' She responded only with silence.



Link to Part II
 

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It just seems to short too me. I realize that 1500 words is not enough to get into so much detail but defnitley still awesome like all your works. Looking forward to maybe 2 or 3 chapters on this one to see what happens...
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
A day, one and a half new pieces, and the only reader was one of my soldiers who had no choice in the matter :p

DA, I feel your pain!
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 · (Edited)
And I got distracted by this month's 1000 word writing competition. I tried to do something really different, yet still adhere to the theme of 'Victory.' Somehow I wound up with an intent to write something in the same manner as the Bible... which is, I know, pretty weird/messed up. Depending on how the reception is for this piece, I may need to write another.

Vraks

Recovered from the carcass of a slave of the Ruinous Powers on the western outskirts of Armageddon Prime. Tome was confiscated by Inquisitor Paellian of the Ordo Hereticus. Most of the ancient text was too severely damaged from exposure to determine the contents. An extract from the Third Book in the tome, the Book of Blood, is the only decipherable portion. Below lies the account, detailing the events following the summoning of a Greater Daemon from the Warp during the Vraks Campaign.
Recommendation: immediate suppression.


Book of Blood

The Summoning of An’ggrath

Chapter 13​

1. And on that day, An’ggrath the Unbound was finally summoned from His domain and dominion in the warp. A great cheering and outpouring of Bloodlust was ignited by His presence as His acolytes rejoiced.

2. The Great Bloodthirster was deeply displeased, having been torn away from His endless Slaughter and Reaping of souls from the Warp. He unleashed His Unholy Wrath in his displeasure at being awakened. And He did slay His worshippers in great multitudes, reaping vast quantities of Blood from their number, killing them with abandon.

3. Millions of His Faithful were Butchered in His Fury, millions of Skulls added to the Great Throne for the splendour of His Master. Planets burned and stars went dark from with His Anger.

4. The six months of Bloodfrenzy ended. The great servant of the Lord of Rage, finally satisfied, rested. His Master’s irritation at losing His most loyal and fervent Bloodthirster and Guardian of the Skull Throne was quenched.

5. At that time, the Great and Terrible An’ggrath, the Most Favoured of KHORNE, the Deathbringer, walked amongst mortals.

6. His minions had gathered themselves in a great multitude upon the Mount Sanguis, and He did teach them of the Truth of His ways, the Path of Blood.

7. He spoke, and His voice was terrible and thunderous, echoing from the mountainsides so that all upon the planet could hear His Message.

8. ‘In the last days shall He be known. His glory, majesty, splendour, and power unleashed on the galaxy. The unbeliever shall be Destroyed, the doubter Annihilated.

9. Only then will the worlds of Man be able, nay, worthy, for His arrival.’

10. His words caused great distress amongst His followers. They cried out to Him as one, begging for His wisdom. ‘Why, Lord! Why must we wait for this day, this Unholy and Blessed Day?’

11. An’ggrath looked upon them, his gathered Students of Carnage, and saw promise. A promise in their lust, their desire to follow His God. He did bless them again with His voice, ‘Why, you ask? Why must He wait, atop His glorious Throne, inactive and idle? Why must He be starved of the satisfaction of the Slaughter, the beauty of the Butcher, relying on others to do His bidding?

12. 'To test the Faith of the Worthy, the dedication of those willing to cast aside their false bonds, to break free from the deprivation of humanity. To become truly free and liberated from their, from your, shackles.’

13. Again, His servants were distraught at His words. They wept great tears of Blood which dropped upon the soil, already saturated with Lifeblood of the fallen to appease His displeasure. With one voice, raised in supplication to His Might and the Power He promised, they shouted, ‘How may we become worthy? How may we, weak as we are, gain the favour of KHORNE?’ A great moan shook the countryside, sending tremors through the rock. ‘How may we become His Champions?’

14. An’ggrath laughed, the laughter of ultimate Power and Wisdom, of aeons of Murder and bloodshed. ‘How may you become worthy, you ask? What must you do to gain His favour, His blessings? His demands are pure, his desires simple. A never ending ocean of Blood, spilt in His name. What must you possess in order to become His Champion?’ He asked of His followers.

15. The eagerness of the multitude was released in an hour of Bloodshed, so much did they desire His answer. Men fell upon Men, Astartes upon Astartes, Mutant upon Mutant. The valley below the Great Mount filled with the Skulls of the Fallen, cast down to please their Lord.

16. The Deathbringer was pleased by the dedication of His minions, their desire to serve KHORNE. In that moment, He was contented by the Bloodshed, and again spoke. And when He did, all became still, as the living listened intently to His Unholy Word.

17. ‘The strength of character to commit Genocide, to Murder those deserving of His Unholy Wrath.

18. 'The fortitude of mind to accomplish what must be done to appease Him.

19. 'The purpose and will to never relent, to never show weakness.

20. 'But, my Children, there is one thing that, above all, the Great Butcher asks of you.’

21. He paused in His Unholy Sermon. Those gathered were so distressed by His silence that they were again overcome in their Bloodlust. Thousands more fell in their desire for His Wisdom. During the Slaughter, all throats still capable of sound called to their master, ‘What, Lord? What does he demand?’

22. The Deaths of His servants amused Him, and He laughed again. The mountains of Bone crumbled before His tremendous mirth. He spoke to them again, and His words brought respite from the butchery. ‘Most of all, my Disciples, He demands Victory. Victory over Death, Victory in Blood. Blood in Victory.

23. 'Victory without Blood is pitiable, despicable before His eyes. Victory without Blood is weakness, to be culled and destroyed. Victory without Blood is defeat.

24. 'Victory is Blood. Blood is Victory. His thirst is insatiable, but must be satisfied.

25. 'The Imperium of Man is replete with blood. Sordid with weakness. Cast off your vows to your False God, free yourself of the Bonds of Humanity. With this, Blood will be yours. With this, Victory will be yours. Crusade against Man, Crusade in His Unholy Name, and He will bestow you with His Blessings!’

26. And the Daemon took flight on his great wings, roaring a cry of unending hate and rage.

27. The multitude, caught up in His fervour, took flight. They did take their Wrath and Hatred to the Imperium of Man, and Crusaded against the Corpse God. Billions died for KHORNE, their Skulls added to His Throne, trillions of litres of Blood filled His oceans. They found their Victory, Victory in their own Blood and that of Men.

28. His followers fell in their great numbers, drenching the planets with their Blood.

29. Ang’rrath was pleased in His followers, as their Deaths fuelled the powers of His Master. His Bloodthirsters and Bloodletters Reaped countless lives for their God.

30. And upon His Throne of Skulls, KHORNE laughed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 · (Edited)
Sons of Larilla, Book I
II

‘Major, are you seriously saying that I have to lead the recruitment actions on the surface?’ The voice demanded. ‘I am hardly being used to the fullest of my potential to gather gutter trash.’

No, ‘Sir, may I have a moment of your time?’ or ‘Sir, may I bring up with you an issue regarding planet-side assignments?’ None of that rank formality.

The insufferable little shit. He wanted to slap him, to knock the smug self-entitled expression that he knew would be on the man’s face. But no, that would be uncouth, unprofessional, and, most of all, it would make him appear weak. While he was of at least equal social standing with the vast majority of the men in the First Armoured, a sudden and unbecoming lapse in self-control would be damning to both his reputation and standing.

Major Gio Anton took a deep breath, willing himself not to spin on the incredibly bothersome officer behind him and backhand him like a commoner. He turned, slowly and controlled, and forced a well practised half-sneer.

‘I’m sorry, Lieutenant, you said something?’ he asked, pleased with the level of condescension he managed to convey. The uppity junior officer, despite returning from intensive action, still assumed his social status meant something in the Guard. Unfortunately, so does everyone else. Regardless, Anton took pleasure in any occasion that allowed him to laud his rank over their perceived self-importance. ‘You’re going to have to speak up; I couldn’t hear you over the sound of my not caring.’

His response elicited an immediate reaction from the lieutenant. A shudder ran through the man’s wiry body, from his spit-shined black boots, up his immaculately pressed scarlet jumpsuit, all the way to the pimpled, thin face that Anton wanted nothing more than to punch off its shoulders. Prick.

‘I beg your pardon, sir?’ His nasal tone had actually managed to up a few pitches. Rather than assuming the position of attention before his superior, the lieutenant placed his hands on his hips and locked a single leg out. It was all he could do to stifle his snicker.

‘I said, Lieutenant, that I don’t give a grox’s arse about your sensitivities or where you think your talents would be best utilized,’ he half-shouted. The junior officer’s tone had been the last straw; Anton was busy and had far better things to do than listen to the whining of an officer hardly out of puberty. ‘You’ve been in the Guard long enough that you should, ideally, have the common sense to do what the hell you’re told, when the hell you’re told it.’

He scowled, snarling, ‘So, if I could make a recommendation to you, and you can be damn sure that I will, you should remember your place in the galaxy, and that, as far as you are concerned, your battalion commander’s word is the fekking law.’ Ah, how he loved releasing his frustration. He crossed his arms and continued his rant. ‘And in case you’re too damn stupid to realize it, that would be me.’

Anton now had the lieutenant’s undivided attention. Fortunately, his training had taken over and his heels clicked together as he came to attention. His pale eyes had widened to the size of bolter rounds, Got you, fekhead.

‘Y-yes, sir. I didn’t mean to-‘

Oh no the hell you don’t get a say. ‘The proper fekking response is “No excuses, sir.” Even a damn private knows that.’ If flamers were attached to Anton’s eyes, the prissy man would have been a quivering mound of crispy-fried man-kabob in seconds. ‘So, if you were a smart man, and the damn rank on your collar indicates that at least someone thinks you are, you should probably about face, and march your sissy arse to the hangar and get your men ready, otherwise I’ll have you dig some piss trenches with your hands while they’re being used.’

The man was frozen in place, completely startled. Anton took a moment to savour the lieutenant’s discomfort. He was a favourite of Colonel Holletto, one of the supposed ‘up and comers’ within the newer officers in the First. Anton knew full well he could get his arse chewed for at least an hour over this, but it was well worth it. Anything to put some of these kids down a notch.

Cocking an eyebrow, Anton asked, ‘Did I stutter, Lieutenant?’

Still visibly shaken, the junior officer stamped his right foot and saluted smartly. ‘No, sir! Moving, sir!’ He spun quickly on his heel and marched away.

As he stared at the lieutenant’s hasty retreat, Anton heard an ill-subdued snicker behind him. He turned and saw Captain Marcelo Rao leaning against the bulkhead, a toothy grin splitting his tanned face, which began to transform into a bright purple as he struggled to contain his laughter.

Anton’s angry grimace melted, replaced by a hearty grin at his executive officer. At that, Rao lost his composure, bending over double as hysterical laughter racked his body. The major waited patiently, as the fit generally subsided, and Rao slumped against the wall.

‘So, Marc, how much of that did you see?’ Anton asked.

‘Pretty much all of it, sir,’ he said, wiping tears from his eyes. ‘You do realize that the Old Man’s going to have your balls in a vice for this, right?’

‘Yes.’

‘And that you’re going to have to apologise.’

‘Yep.’

‘And you’re pretty much completely fekked.’

‘Aye, but it was worth it.’ Noticing that Rao was carrying a data slate under an arm, he sighed. ‘What’ve you got for me, Marc?’

The captain held the data slate out to Anton, who took it. Scrolling down the screen, he groaned, ‘Troop dispositions, equipment maintenance readiness, ammunition resupply, personnel refit... Throne, I’m already busy enough.’

His executive officer shrugged apologetically, ‘I just got it from Regimental HQ, sir, passing along the buck.’ He winked at the major, ‘Besides, sir, you know I’m terrible with paperwork.’

Snorting, Anton nodded. ‘Now that is the truth. You’re just lucky you aren’t too terribly aggravating so I keep you around,’ he said, deadpan. ‘Otherwise I’d probably just have to push you out an open airlock.’

Captain Rao adopted an expression of mock indignation. ‘Sir, I am hurt.’ He snapped a salute, saying, ‘If you need me sir, I’ll be in my quarters sobbing uncontrollably.’

‘I'm already over it,' he said, smiling. 'Dismissed, Marc. Get some rest.’ Anton looked over the arduous task listing on the slate. ‘You’re going to need it.’
 

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What can I say Boc? You are a masterpiece incarnate :) Gio Anton, is to put it simple, me :laugh: nah seriously, I loved it mate. Keep up the good work, I cannot wait to see more!
 

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This is another 1000-worder for the monthly competition over on the Bolthole.

I must say, I wish this one had turned out better, but RL has been relatively time-consuming as of late and I only finished it 30 minutes early.

The theme for this entry was 'Judgment.'

Betrayal​

Thousands of tonnes of rubble, of shattered stone, pressed upon him from all sides, suffocating him. He was pinned, incapable of the slightest of movements. The weight was incredible, a pressure that he had never known, but it paled in comparison to the rage and frustration that he felt burning within him.

Betrayal.

That word kept him breathing, that knowledge fuelled his will to live. Any lesser being would doubtlessly have perished beneath the deluge of rubble that had fallen around him and become his tomb. Any lesser being would have given up days ago, without food or water, giving his body up to the galaxy. Any lesser being would have submitted to the... darkness.

He was no lesser being, no normal human. He was an Astartes, the son of a legacy that had seen Mankind’s implacable advance across the stars, the very will of the Emperor given form. Never in his prolonged had he felt despair, and he refused to give in to its plaguing whispers now.

A rune inside of his shattered helm flickered dimly; his armour’s power source was nearly dead. Straining his damaged and concussed mind, he recalled the meaning of the symbol.

His life support systems were failing. Soon, his armour would no longer be able to recycle his bodily by-products and he would asphyxiate. While his superhuman physiology would prolong this process, it would still be a drawn out and painful death.

He snarled at the though. Pain, he could deal with the pain. It had been his constant companion for hundreds of years of constant battle. No, the pain was not what sorely tempted his thoughts, and pulled him irrevocably towards the precipice of despair.

An ignominious death, trapped beneath a ruined building, unable to move or fight, this terrified him.

‘This cannot be,’ he stated, casting his words into the galaxy. A glimmer of hope, faith in the Lectitio Divinitatus, sparked into a flame.

Frustration overcame his anguish. His limbs, cool and stiff with rigor mortis, filled with an inner fire that he thought he had lost. Hatred of his... brothers conquered his turmoil.

He curled his gauntleted fingers into a fist, crushing the stone to dust. He had been betrayed by his brothers, been judged by them and found unworthy of their cause. They had cast him aside, thrown his life away, and then sought to exterminate him, to hunt him like a dog.

This cannot be! he spat. Stones creaked as the wind across dry bones as his armour’s devastated servos strained against his tomb.

They had hunted him and his comrades, to the last man they had hunted them.

He clenched his eyes and pushed. Tears streamed down his face while his muscles strained to the tearing point. The throbbing ache that had become his constant companion was replaced by a sharp, intense pang. But still he pushed.

Traitors! The bastards, he had fought with them, bled with them, been loyal to them. He could see their faces now, clearly, each of them taunting him, laughing at his feeble attempts at escape.

You have been judged and found wanting! Your pathetic life is at an end, you fool! Follow your False Emperor to your doom!’ He could see them as clearly as if they were standing before him now.

Exhaustion started rearing its ugly head again, threatening to prematurely end his struggle for freedom.

Who are they to judge me? Traitors and whoresons, oathbreakers who turned their backs on all they had ever known. On what they had sworn and died to protect and preserve. On the purpose of their existence .

The tremors intensified. He could hear it now... is it really happening? Rocks against rocks, movement. Although there had been several earthquakes and tectonic disturbances since his entombment, all had been minor. This was something completely different.

Straining his hearing, focusing on the individual sounds, he could hear more boulders tumbling down into a rock slide.

‘My Emperor!’ he cried, his voice hoarse with exertion, ‘I give myself to you! If you can hear me, your loyal Son,’ he called, struggling against the unrelenting crush of the rubble, ‘move these rocks! Free me from this prison! I will bring your,’ he halted in his pleas, unsure of the word to use, hesitant to give it voice, ‘Holy Judgment to those who have defied you!’ His roar faded to a whisper, all effort focused on moving the rocks encasing him. ‘To those who have betrayed you!’

His last reserves of strength, fuelled by his final combat stimulants, exploded outwards in a release of energy. Without warning, the overwhelming weight vanished and he found himself standing knee deep in the rubble.

Around him, stretched as far as his occulobes could ascertain, was a vista of utter devastation. Once proud towers, shining and elegant in their grace, lie crushed and strewn about the landscape. While the fighting here had been apocalyptic, on a scale he had not seen since Ullanor, there were no bodies. No sign of the immense betrayal that had been revealed on these streets.

His fists tightened, as he thought of the... how long has it been? Weeks? Months? He did not even know anymore, none of it mattered.

All that mattered was vengeance.

He fell to his knees and ripped off his helmet. Casting a longing look into the heavens, charred black with the fires of the death of the Choral City, he gently touched his pauldron..

‘My Emperor, your Traitorous Sons have turned their backs on you and renounced you,’ he said, ‘There are none present to witness my words, to hold me to my Oath.’ He paused, closing his eyes against the intense glare of the sun through the soot-filled skies. ‘I have no weapons to swear upon, as I have lost them in the shame of my defeat.

‘I am broken, but not beaten. Although my fellows have administered their judgment upon me, I know that I have not been found wanting in your eyes. I swear to you, from this moment, from this rock, that I will not rest until I have brought these traitors, your trusted sons, to justice. I will administer your judgment upon them, without mercy and without respite.’

He stopped speaking and struggled to his feet with a groan as his broken bones ground against one another. He cast his eyes again around the desolation.

‘Now how in the hells do I get off of this rock?’ It would not be easy, but he had been given a second chance. A chance that Garviel Loken would not squander.
 

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Boc, my friend, if Black Library do his return even a quarter as good as that, I will be happy :) awesome work mate, keep it up and have some rep to show my appreciation!
 
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