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Welcome to the year's eighth

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.

Word Count

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:


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 GMT, 31 August 2014
. 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.

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

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!


· Registered
1,557 Posts

1027 words

“People only see what they want to see”
~ Raldo Merson, Ancient Terran Philosopher​

“NOT FAR NOW trooper, keep going”, Ehrenburg whispered quietly into his companions ear, “hot caffeine and cakes are waiting for us just up the valley”. He shook his head slowly and glanced back over his shoulder for the hundredth time.
Hot caffeine and cakes?, he very much doubted that. More like a bullet to the skull for abandoning our posts.
His companion was finished and he knew it, but he could not leave him now.

“We Never leave our own behind”

That was a motto drummed into them in the Regiment.
Ehrenburg knew that time was running out and the wounded man, good old reliable Bebek, did not have long left, unless he got him to an aid station, and then...?
“It’s too late’ Bebek hissed “they are all around us, I can feel them”
Ehrenburg hauled up his Lasgun and scanned the surrounding area. Night was drawing in so he concentrated on the lengthening shadows around the base of the trees and up high in the branches.

How long had it been since the attack? Two days, three maybe? It all blurred in a haze of pain, death and slaughter. There had been eight of them then, eight from a platoon of thirty-five. All of them gone, everyone that he had ever known. All of them taken by… them.

He lay Bebek down on a mound of soft moss and lifted up his head. Agony stared back at him. Agony and helplessness.
He pulled back the man’s tunic and examined the wound to his chest. The field dressing was dark with congealed blood and when he leant forward Ehrenburg could smell a dusky odour which signalled the onset of infection. He stroked back some of Bebek’s hair and tried to smile at him. It was a weak attempt, but it seemed to brighten his friends mood.
“It’s festering, I know” Bebek coughed “I can feel it”. Ehrenburg turned away and fumbled with his aid kit on his lap.
There is nothing in here that can save him.
“Listen Bebek” he added quickly, “I’ll get you to the Apothecary and you will be fine. They can work wonders you know”
“I have seen..” Bebek whispered. Ehrenburg clamped his hand around the dying man’s mouth.
“You have seen nothing” he hissed “do you hear me, you have seen nothing” he pulled his hand away and sighed “Talk like that will get you shot if the Commissars hear you”
“It’s too late… you filth”. Ehrenburg turned slowly, but all he saw was the wounded Trooper staring back, pain etched across his face and his jaw clamped shut.
Had he heard?
“What did you say”?
Bebek’s wide eyes met him.
“We must go now, I can walk so let’s get out of here”. He pulled himself slowly to his feet and as he did so a feeble cry left his lips. Ehrenburg pulled his arm over his shoulder and shuffled to distribute the weight. He held his Lasgun in his right hand as an improvised walking stick. He glanced back the way they came and then at the darkening forest in front.

“If in doubt, Bebek, go straight ahead. The Emperor will guide us”
A cry rang out behind them. It was faint, but definitely a cry… or a howl.
“Let’s go” Ehrenburg whispered and pulled the wounded Trooper with him. Bebek whimpered but readily allowed himself to be lead.
The Emperor will not help you

“Come on Trooper, have faith. His light shall guide us”
Corpse on a filthy Throne

They came to a clearing and beyond that was a small brook. It was not wide, but the banks were steep on either side. Ehrenburg looked at his companion. Bebek was pale and his skin was pasty. Sweat beaded his forehead and he muttered to himself. He appeared to be unconscious though he was still walking and was still allowing himself to be lead.
“Trooper”, Ehrenburg lifted up the wounded mans head. “You will be fine, just stay with me”. He grimaced. He could clearly smell the wound now and the odour made him retch.
Bebek managed a stuttering laugh.
“It’s really bad. You know how bad it is” he held onto Ehrenburg’s shoulder and whispered into his ear. “Kill me. Kill me before it is too late”
No, he will not kill you. He is afraid

Ehrenburg released his companion, letting him fall roughly to the ground. He raised his Lasgun and pointed it at Bebek.
“No!” he hissed “I will save you”
Like the rest of your Platoon, Lieutenant Ehrenburg?

“Who said that”?. Ehrenburg scanned the clearing, left to right and then back again, like they were taught. The forest was silent. Even the night sounds were gone.

“Lieutenant” Bebek whimpered “Leave me and save yourself”.
Ehrenburg pulled him roughly to his feet and tugged his arm over his shoulder again. With almost super-human strength, he then threw the man over his shoulders.
Looking back to the forest behind, he then scrambled down the bank and into the cool waters of the brook.
Bebek laughed.

“Shut up Trooper”
“Kill me”
Kill Him
Within seconds they were on the other side and Ehrenburg found new strength. He began to jog, slowly at first, but then, as if his companion was not there, opened up the pace.
“I can see them” cried Bebek.
“Shut up Trooper”

He stumbled forward, jettisoning his charge into the bushes in front. He collided heavily with the stump of a tree losing his Lasgun into the darkness.
“I am here, Lieutenant”
Ehrenburg rolled onto his good side and saw his companion. He was lit up with a faint glow and was standing. On the edge of the light small figures flitted and chattered.

“It was the bite, wasn’t it”? he whispered.
Very good. Yes, the bite was sweet. Now we will feast on your blood

Bebek was no longer the Trooper he knew any more but a thing possessed.
It is a word
“Well I hope I make you sick”
He see’s them all, as you will

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430 Posts
It's been far too long since I've participated in one of these.

Heresy Online Expeditious Stories 14-08: Vision
Darkness Undreamt
1005 words​

Sarhykora watched the Exodite world burn.

She had chosen the Path of the Mariner in the ideal of discovery in both seeing the galaxy and understanding herself. In reality, the former was preventing the latter.

Altansar’s fleet had arrived too late, the Biel-Tan autarch had spat; that was assuredly a sign of Chaos corruption. Not that Biel-Tan, themselves, had arrived soon enough to save Ulcarex; the Imperium of Man had already destroyed the World Spirit by that time. And at least the Altansar fleet had arrived soon enough to save that of Biel-Tan.

Now Ulcarex was afire again, this time from the massive mon-keigh starships plummeting through its atmosphere and hammering into its ground. The desolation didn’t matter. Every Eldar, and most everything else, on the planet was already dead.

“How can we blame the Enemy for this?” Riexcat, standing next to Sarhykora, wondered. “Does this not prove Eldrad’s words on specieswise folly?”

“Biel-Tan nearly fired on us,” Sarhykora answered, in the whisper that the Pact forbade the Altansarians from breaking, “folly breathes in all species.”

Sarhykora watched, inactive in the face of distant apocalypse. What was there to do, but save oneself? And the crimson blooms on Ulcarex’s surface, ugly as Orks (not that some mon-keigh didn’t see beauty even in the swirls of the Eye – well, psychically inactive races had evolved independent ways of quantifying beauty, and humanity was on that fascinating brink between matter and aether) and just as ruinous, dominated the emotions of every Eldar on the fleets, no matter the Craftworld. They had failed. Shamefully, and utterly.

Sarhykora watched, as her kind watched across the fleet, and across time. This moment had been foreseen dozens of times; Ulthwe did not allow such convergences to go unnoticed. And even before the fleet had left, Sarhykora had heard this outcome whispered more often than any other. They had gone nonetheless, because there was a promise. And – though it had been as unspoken, even unthought, as so much of this – they had gone in an attempt to understand. To observe yet another armageddon and to understand, in orbit over crimson greens, something about the changes wrought to the galaxy during their stay in the realm beyond reality.

That was what they had become, now. Watchers. And what did one expect, from an empire’s eyes that had been cut off from its soul? The Craftworlds had never been meant to be alone. Each dealt with loss in their own way, whether by denial like Biel-Tan or by regression like Saim-Hann. Sarhykora could understand many insults aimed at her species, but it could never be said that Eldar did not grieve.

Of course, that was all they had now. There was a reason Altansar had almost faded, before the Pact.

“What is the occasion,” a loud voice said from behind Sarhykora and Riexcat, “observing your handiwork?”

The Altansarians turned to face their partial ally. Aurhzh’ach, the representative of Biel-Tan’s fleet on the Goldlit Moment, was a mariner and not a diplomat, but that did not excuse his obsession with antagonizing his hosts.

“We should not have come at all,” Riexcat snapped, “seen how your warhost would have done without us.”

“As well as we were fated to,” Aurhzh’ach replied, leading Riexcat to shake his head in frustration. Sarhykora knew that Aurhzh’ach was far more hateful towards Altansar even than most of his Craftworld; that was most likely why he had been sent here, to learn his error. Or, perhaps, simply in the hope that someone would lose their temper and shoot him.

“Your ingratitude does your reputation no service,” Sarhykora calmly noted, “neither personal nor worldwide, xenophobia is not a virtue.”

Aurhzh’ach shrugged. “Endless vigilance,” he said by way of explanation, “Chaos is everywhere, tendrils on Biel-Tan too.”

That was true; Eldar did fall to Chaos Cults, though rarely, on every Craftworld. The logical connection to anything they were talking about was absent, of course, but logic was no more Aurhzh’ach’s strong point than it was for the mon-keigh.

“My shift begins soon,” Riexcat said, “I wonder if your visit had a point besides accusing us.”

“No,” Aurhzh’ach said with a smile. Riexcat punched the air in luminous rage, before leaving the room, hair crackling with power. The Biel-Tanian waited for a few moments before continuing his tirade. “I see you for what you truly are,” he said, with his own brand of twisted anger, “the others think me a fanatic, you are the true faithful. Faithful of darkness. You have abandoned the old gods for a monster.”

He was not entirely wrong.

There were times, Sarhykora knew, when she herself regretted the Pact. They had lost as much as they gained in it, truly. Gave freedom for survival.

“If I took off your helmet,” Aurhzh’ach asked, coming closer, “what would I see?”

There was a momentary psychic flare, and Sarhykora wondered what had possessed the diplomat. They grappled physically, too, as the Biel-Tanian yanked a blade from his belt, trying to press it into Sarhykora’s side before his psychic defenses collapsed.

He did not succeed, and flopped to the floor unconscious, the dagger clattering onto the deck. Sarhykora glanced at him, then pushed the indignation from her mind. She would deal with the diplomat later. Coming up to the window, she looked towards Ulcarex, watching the Exodite world continue to die.

If I took off your helmet, what would I see?

A well-shaped Eldar face. Long cerulean hair. Ears slightly longer than species average. And, in the place of eyes, spheres of shadow, the mark of their god.

The world below was failing, like so many of the Exodites. Biel-Tan’s so-called empire was shrinking with each decade. Yet the Craftworlds themselves still lived on – if that was life. They watched. And they lingered.

Like the last of their species' gods, Altansar’s partner in the Pact.

“I only hope all this was not in vain,” she whispered quieter than usual, to herself and to Qah, “and that in darkness undreamt truth shall flow once more.”

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2,989 Posts
Here's my entry, for this month, something a bit different. I haven't really dabbled much into first-person or present tense, but, I think it reads well enough! It weighs in at 1039 words.

What if?​

It was upon Xusa, a world of tundras and plateaus, that I lost my taste for war. The local populace, primitive humans, had refused to acknowledge my authority. My Legion, the Second, had fallen upon them. Genocide, a night of bloodshed, where continents burned, cities became necropolises, a people ceased to exist. During the slaughter, I wandered the largest city, alone, pondering the tragedy. Through the streets, strewn with debris and dead, down into the harbour district, where sea-ships lay shattered in their berths, the surf swollen with corpses. Here, the city collapsing behind me, I found her. She was a child, streaked in ash, blood and shit. Her eyes were wide, not with fear, but anger. She shook, hissed, bunched her fists.

I approached her, a giant, a pinnacle of genetic experimentation. This firebrand, standing over the torn body of her father, sneered at me.

'Murderer,' The girl said, pointing a finger, accusingly, at me. She was crying, I realised. 'You killed them all. And, why? Because we would not bend the knee? How can you say, monster, that your truth is better than ours?'

I looked at her. Such a curious, fierce girl. Maddened by the loss of her father, the tumbling and crumbling of her civilisation, I decided.

'My father was a fisherman,' She called. A Stormbird rocketed overhead, kicking up spray as it banked over the bay, and disappeared behind the headland. 'He never hurt nobody. He was a good man, you hear me, you bastard?' She tossed a rock, which struck my chest and fell away. 'You fired first,' The girl continued, stumbling towards me. 'You did this, destroyer of cities, killer of men, you-'

There was a crack. The girl, her head obliterated by a bolt round, fell over. A figure, in the gold and grey of my Legion, approached, a smoking bolt-pistol in one bloody gauntlet. 'Sire,' He said, bowing, and I recognised Karez, my Third Captain. 'The Xusans are broken. Those that live are running, eastwards, Teleph and Ptelarch are pursuing, with the First and Fifth.'

I reacted without thinking. I roared, enraged, swung my guisarme. It crunched through the Captain's helmet, continued onwards, lodging deep in reinforced ribcage. Rich, sparkling blood, blood which carried my genetic lineage, spurted.

I looked at him, twitching on my blade, and then at the girl. It was then, in that moment, that I realised what I had become. She was right, that child, I remember thinking. I was a monster.

And so it was, in the hundredth and third year of the Great Crusade, that I, Kollarch, Primarch of the Second Legion, withdrew my forces and headed home. I was done. My Legion was done. Damn the Emperor, damn his Imperium. I had a vision, upon Xusa, of something greater, of something grander. Peace and prosperity, an empire that preached friendship rather than xenophobia.

In doing so, I damned myself. He came, at the head of a thousand ships, demanding answers. I, in my ignorance, resisted. I struck first, once again, and began something terrible. Numberless drop-pods, countless transporters, the might of my Father's fledgling empire, fell upon my world.

My people were slaughtered, not unlike the Xusans. I led the defence, guisarme in hand, hacking and slashing through Space Wolves and World Eaters, crossing blades with the Legio Custodes and the Silent Sisters. Fires rage in my city, once beautiful, now a funeral pyre. We have collapsed streets, onto the heads of armoured columns, destroyed museums and art galleries, denying them the pleasure. Now, the end has come. My Legion has scattered, some with me, into the ornamental gardens, others into the flatlands and mountains beyond. I watch the skies, wishing that I could see the stars, for one last time. I know that my wishes fall upon deaf ears. The Fates have no time for oathbreakers and kinslayers. A ship, one of mine, has fallen in the distance, setting the horizon aglow with nuclear flames.

'Sire, you must flee,' Teleph, my oldest and truest friend, pleads. His Company, battered and bloodied, stands at fifty-seven Marines. At dawn, there had been nearly a thousand. I grit my teeth, feel the blood running from my gashed head.

'I cannot,' I say, solidly. I must not show weakness. 'I will not. I will not slink away, like a whipped cur, on my world. My fleets are shattered, my Legion decimated, my home torched. No, Teleph, I will not flee.'

Over the burning trees, I glimpse God-Machines, a dozen or more, marching towards my lonely hillock. Down below, through the trees and the bushes, I see the lake ripple. I look down at Teleph, his armour cracked, his skin scorched, his ammunition spent. Someone has sheared away an hand, speared a lung. He is dying, and he knows as much.

'You must go, brother of mine,' I say, after a moment. The Golden One is coming, bringing a wolf and a warhound, and above all of that, death and destruction. I unlimber my guisarme, drenched in transhuman blood, and loosen my muscles. 'This is my reckoning, not yours. Your oath is fulfilled, Teleph of Corine, you have served me, faithfully, for too long. Gather what remains of the Legion, run and hide. Remember this day, remember my sacrifice.'

Teleph weeps. I clasp his remaining hand, squeeze it. 'Goodbye, old friend,' I say, and descend the hill. The Titans draw nearer, their warhorns echoing through the smoke-choked night. I throw down my cloak, a blackened rag, and toss my helmet. I unhook my gauntlets, detach my chest-plate. By the time I wade into the lake, bleeding from a dozen wounds, I wear but my robes, tattered and fluttering.

On the opposite bank, a hundred thousand Legionaries, bolters and chainswords held tight. At their centre, sunlight-given-life, the Emperor of Mankind, my creator.

I raise my guisarme, high above my head, and bellow. I find myself remembering Xusa, remembering the girl. She was right, I have become a monster, an instrument of destruction. I lock eyes with my father, spit into the water, and thrown down my guisarme. The Master of Mankind, a single tear rolling down his cheek, utters something and turns away.

A hundred thousand bolters fire.
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623 Posts
The Sacrifice for Victory

Word Count- 1089

“Heed the words of the fallen, sons and daughters of Khaine! The blood of the exiles shall weep from grotesque and crude altars, the shrines of worship dedicated to a corpse of a God!”

Landrun answered the animalistic brute with two imperceptive shakes of his head. He looked out over the shrine of Uppsala, a labyrinth of ferrocrete adorned with gold and silver. The Outcast Ranger swept his long rifle back and forth, no matter which angle he chose next, the inexorable legions of chaos were present. Unaware, perhaps, but present. “Perhaps your Emperor does indeed look after your kind, Brynjar. It’s a miracle that our presence hasn’t been detected yet.”

The Wolf Guard Brynjar White—Beard snorted as any predatory creature would when eluded by its prey. The Space Wolf towered over Landrun, his massive bulk laid down upon the ruins of Gotland Hive beside a dozen handpicked Eldar Rangers, also observing the temple with discerning eyes. He flexed that massive claw interconnected to his gauntlet in unbridled anticipation. The aged monstrosity of a mon—keigh sniggered under his breath, the pure hate in his gaze channeling into the alien beside him.

The Wolf Guard growled, a primitive and crude gesture. “What do your witches say? They can see the future, can they not? Shall my lads fall to bloody ruin this day?”

Landrun sighed. “If we mount an assault without much more of a plan than ‘shred our foes with claw and fang’ than yes, the assault will not go as planned. The enemy can surround us easily if they were aware of our presence. In my opinion, waiting for your other ‘lads’ to arrive will probably be our greatest chance of success. I am signaling kin to withdraw.”

Brynjar snapped his jaws in disapproval, a frightening reaction that made the Eldar around him flinch. “Retreat!? I will never take a step back from the enemy, less our foes overrun us with their heathen armies.” He cast his gaze back down the slope of the ruined building. The White—Beard’s strike force of Space Wolves awaited his command eagerly. “I despise the thought of retreat! Sons of Russ and the All—Father! Attack!”

The distinct bellows of an artillery barrage disturbed the still air of the temple. Sirens wailed the very moment that portions of the ancient shrine collapsed in the wake of the barrage. Hundreds of cultists and dozens of Chaos Marines were buried beneath the rubble. The Sons of Russ hollered over the screams of the dying, charging over the lip of the ruins and into a no man’s land just beyond the Uppsala Shrine. Squadrons of sky blue and bright yellow Predators and Vindicators emerged from the rubble strewn roads of the Hive City, answering the blockading formations of enemy armor with precise barrages. Massive aerial craft that resembled flying buildings swept through the skies, shattering enemies with cannons that turned the lands around them into frozen hells.

Landrun realized that his fate had been sealed. “Rangers of Alatoic! To battle!”

Landrun picked out a dozen skull faced helmets within a minute, placing a charged bolt through each ceramite surface with a precision that would put even the marksmen of the young Tau to shame. He heard the distinct discharges of a hundred long rifles supporting his efforts. Everywhere around the charging Space Wolves, Champions of Chaos and the leaders of the hordes were put down like rabid dogs from afar. Chaos Space Marines noticed their brethren falling over wordlessly, but the bravado of the Space Wolves’ onslaught distracted them from responding altogether.

A Long Rifle fired just over the veteran Ranger’s head. Something on his other flank grunted in pain before collapsing in a heap. Ulreath called out from mere feet away. “Landrun, watch out!”

The Jump Pack wielding Chaos Marines known simply as Raptors soared through the air from unknown positions. They had been waiting for this moment for a long time, judging by their close proximity to the Eldar. Chainswords whirled and Eldar blood spilled freely as six of the Marines fell upon the unsuspecting Outcasts. The Rangers instantly shifted their fire from the outlying towers or were on their feet, blades in hand.

“Damn Mon-Keigh!” Landrun shouted, rolling away from the overhead strike of a whirring chainsword. He managed to leap to his feet, ducking beneath another arced sweep through the air around his head. A kindred Ranger leapt from behind his assailant, but the bark of a bolt pistol tore through his chest, leaving him sprawled amongst the rubble. Landrun fired his Long Rifle, the bolt knocked back the Chaos Marine’s right arm.

The Champion of Chaos roared in fury, unleashing saliva and heated air through the torn gaps in the grill of his helmet. His blade worked back and forth, cutting off each escape route Landrun attempted to take around the bellowing monstrosity. He continued his toying manner until the Eldar was pinned against a half collapsed wall.

“Oh, Bloody Handed Khaine…” Landrun murmured as the Raptor Champion retracted his sword arm for the killing blow. “Forgive me for working with these stupid, lumpen creatures, whom have sealed the fate of me and my kin.” He closed his eyes.

Bright light flashed inside of Landrun’s eyelids, he cried out as a shower sparks touched against his face. There was a wet growling in the air and the sound of blades crackling and clashing. He opened his eyes to reveal Brynjar’s bulk towering in front of him, the massive claw in on his gauntlet cleaving through the Raptor’s chainsword without effort. The Wolf Guard’s axe hand flexed and came down on the Raptor’s skull with all the thunder of a lightning strike. The Aspiring Champion fell, cleaved from skull to chest.

Brynjar’s younger warriors, the ‘Blood Claws’ came storming back towards the Eldar, charging into their foes with an unholy frenzy that made even Landrun pale with fear. Chainswords whirred back and forth, splitting through ceramite and flesh, Blood Claws fell before the expertise of the Raptors. Yet in the end, the Space Wolves were too numerous and tore apart the remaining enemy.

Brynjar smiled and snarled simultaneously. “Bleed your kind may, but that is the price of a victory worth attaining. Come, join the Space Wolves as they revel in the glory of battle! There are many yet that need killing!”

Landrun smiled, relieved. “Yes, we shall see what destiny entails for us, what vision that fate is guiding us toward.”

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2,152 Posts
Just tinkering around with an original universe I've recently thought up. So, my apologies if some of the ideas seem nonsensical.


Ulysses was blind.

He had downed his enemy, but the Velvetyrn Martyr wasn’t dead. He could hear the Martyr’s armor slowly dragging over the rubble, and the muffled grunts of pain coming from inside the bastard’s E.O.V.P. suit. The two had exchanged shots, and his helmet’s optical window had taken the hit. He felt the impact of the round crash against the face of his helmet, shattering the complex system of lenses. By some miracle, the round hadn’t gone clean through his suit, and out the back of his head. He was terrified.

There was no way to know if his suit had been compromised, and if the virus was getting in. He couldn’t tell if his suits grav-systems were still functioning. All he could see was the black void of nothingness. His optic display had gone out with the hit and he had been knocked off his feet onto the ground. His pursuer had chased him after they had parted ways from the battle into a ruined building. The Velvetyrn Martyrdom had never ceased being relentless in their pursuit of ending the rest of humanity, since day one of the E.O.V. Age.

E.O.V, the virus that decimated the world. It had killed off plants and animals alike, simultaneously. The epitome of plague. As outbreaks of disease often had in humanity’s past, E.O.V. had spread like wildfire. It was the great equalizer, reducing its victims to their common carbon roots. The worlds of science and medicine rushed to find a cure, a vaccine, or any form of preventative measure. Certain groups focused on an offensive cure, which never came to any fruition. A small group of those focusing on defensive measures had managed a modicum of success, a way to delay the extinction of humanity. Hope came from a combination of three things: heat, gravity, and sight.

The scientific community that Ulysses now worked for as a soldier, explorer, transporter of goods, and infield researcher was now called the Corrective Catholicon. In short, he was a ‘Nostrum’. They had developed the E.O.V.P. suits, and structures that used similar technology to keep the virus out. They created a mode of vision that when used, one could actually see the microscopic virus cells, lit up brightly against the background. It could be seen floating through the air or crawling over a corpse. Extreme heat would kill the virus, but this was not something individuals walking on the ground could readily employ without excessive danger to themselves. The fortresses utilized this, whereas the Nostrums utilized the grav-tech.

These suits of armor fully enclosed the wearer from the outside. The shoulder pieces were long, thin plates with barred circles in their center that served as gravitational generators, which created a spherical gravity field around the wearer. In an almost humorous, clear sign of mankind’s desperation to find preventative measures from the virus, the gravity fields were used to push the microorganisms away upon contact with the sphere’s edge. The E.O.V.P. suits had barely been developed in time, and very few individuals were able to be selected and trained after the last foundations of humanity crumbled.

No one who was part of the Corrective Catholicon knew how the Velvetyrn Martyrdom had gotten a hold of the technology. Not only this, but theirs seemed to be even better than those of the Nostrums. They even had had time for aesthetics, apparently. Their suits were a deep red in color, and the grav-tech was so refined that large, thick ribbons of cloth wrapped around their arms, legs, and chests, floating in place without actually touching the suits at all. The Martyrdom was of the belief that Man needed to die. They preached that once they killed all who were not of the Martyrdom, they would then commit mass-suicide. They believed the E.O.V. was meant to cleanse the earth, and that fighting against its efforts was a sin of sorts, a slap in the face of the higher powers who clearly wished life as it was be gone from Earth.

Ulysses was part of the Onyx Nostrum, a team that had dwindled in recent months from arduous warring with the Martyrs and from missions he didn’t agree with. His suit, like all Nostrum suits, was merely the color of the metals that comprised it, bar the jet black detail denoting his faction. The E.O.V. was now believed to be sentient, or, more complex in its consciousness than other viruses. The leaders of the Onyx Antivenin were determined to use the E.O.V against the Martyrs, as if it could be swayed to do so. The Nostrum had been sent over and over again to areas of dense viral contamination in odd efforts to begin the process of measuring its potential for weapon adaptation. Everyone in the Nostrum was fairly certain, that if the E.O.V. could be influenced, then the Martyrdom had already done so in their favor.

He did not share the Martyr’s vision. He did not share his leaders’ vision. And apparently, neither had Cobalt.

Onyx had stopped receiving support and reinforcements from The Cobalt Antivenin and its Nostrum some time ago, which had decided the Martyr presence here had become too overwhelming and moved on further West. Ulysses missed them dearly.

Beep-beep-beep… berr berr

Through his petrified breathing, he had heard this sound non-stop since the round took out his sight. The suits internal systems were attempting to reboot the optics, only to fail and immediately retry each time.

Beep-beep-beep… berr berr

Finally, Ulysses heard the crunching steps over debris of another E.O.V.P. suit as it rounded the corner. He heard the toad croaking whir of its grav-field generators calmly spinning their web of life that made melee nigh impossible between suits.

Beep-beep-beep… berr berr

He could hear the discordant whistle made from the constant air intake of a pancurion cleaver primed to fire.

Beep-beep-beep… berr berr

The Martyr, was not blind. A dull roar came from within the confines of his suit- a wave of relief to Ulysses.

Beep-beep-beep… berr berr

The cleaver’s whistle steeply climbed to a heightened pitch, before unleashing its thunderous torrent of automatic shot.

‘Iledi... thank God it’s you. I can’t see anything. Until we find our way back, I’m blind.’

Beep-beep-beep… berr berr.

1070 words.
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