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Heresy-Online's Expeditious Stories 14-08: Vision

1524 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  unxpekted22
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!

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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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