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Welcome to the year's fourth

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 May 2015
. 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!


1,547 Posts
A schism (pronounced /ˈsɪzəm/ SIZ-əm, /ˈskɪzəm/ SKIZ-əm or, less commonly, /ˈʃɪzəm/ SHIZ-əm) is a division between people, usually belonging to an organization, movement, or religious denomination.

I thought that a tiff between two sections of the Mechanicum would be a nice story! :grin:

* * *

For the Greater Good
“The Omnissiah directs our footsteps along the path of knowledge”
-from the book Soylens Viridians for the Machine-Spirit
1095 words​

“They all died’ said Chief Adept Linguistica Zimulis, she paused, “overnight.”
The rest of the dig turned from the rock face and studied her features with renewed interest.
Zimulis pointed at a dark line on the wall with her trowel.
“There are words here. I think this was their final resting place.”
Saben u-wong kang mati’ added Zunabaar May, her trusted aid. “Roughly, and my Malagassay is limited, Everyone is dead.” He paused, mumbling under his breath. “Something about an illness… no a sickness…”
“I die,’ Zimulus interrupted, “ Aku mati. I die or I am dead.”

The crater was suddenly lit up from above by powerful lights and a dull hiss was heard. The crew, all of Chief Adept Linguistica Zimulis’s translators, subconsciously moved away from the centre and outwards to the walls.

An opaque circular disk with long tentacles of feeder pipes and cables, descended like an aquatic hydrazone of the old oceans. A small, hunched figure wearing the crimson robes of the Mechanicum, stood in its centre.
“Seventeen billion citizens perished here on Nochestras,” the figure said in a vox-enhanced voice. “All of them died in a single night.”

Zimulis gave an almost painful bow and waved her colleagues out of the dig. She hoped that her body language would not give away the fact that she despised the Magister. The Collegiate Explorator Fleets were responsible for the destruction of countless historical sites, all because settlement and colonisation was all that mattered to them. What and who lived on a planet mattered not. Imperial occupation was paramount.

“Explorator Magister Mikasenoks,” she started “It is, as always, a pleasure.”
“Adept Zimulis,” he hissed, neglecting her real title. “How are you progressing?.”

The Magister had finally settled at the bottom of the dig, the tentacles and cables leaching outwards, stroking the walls and floor. He nodded at the lines of writing.

“Two thousand years. Have you found any trace of them?.” Zimulis moved over to a small table which was covered in objects of various sizes. She picked up a long rectangular plate.
“None of the inhabitants survived the disaster, “ she began, “and we believe that all, save a few, were consumed by the local fauna,” she eyed the Magister wearily. “The was after all a death world, which merely reverted back to its natural state.”
The Magister eyed the object she was holding. ‘Eyed’ was actually not correct, as the Magister had no visible facial features, and what was once a human face was now a blank oval of pure gold.
“This, I believe, is a place sign.” She held it up. “It clearly says “Loza, which is danger, followed by Bio Aleam, roughly… Bio Hazard.”

A faint hiss escaped from the Magisters hidden vox-emitter.
“We are here. This is the place.” There was a series of clicks and hisses and then suddenly the open sky above was filled with descending discs. Zimulis stepped back to the side, pulling the small table with her.
She shook her head, wringing her hands in desperation.
“Magister, please. I need more time.”
The Magister turned to her and raised slowly upwards.
“This is an important find. With it, Adept, we could alter the course of the war.” He made more clicks and then gesticulated to the Mecahnicum servitors decending above her.
“But,” Zimulis continued, almost pleaded. “If this is what we think it is…?”
The Magister held up a hand.
“A weapon. The perfect weapon. A life-eater virus that kills only humans and leaves all other living things alive. We can bombard a planet and then re-colonise it with all the internal systems still in place. In time we can adapt it to target just Orks perhaps, or maybe the infernal Tau. The possibilities are endless.”

Zimulis hopped to one side as a heavy-duty drilling servitor began tearing into the wall in front of her. The last writings of a forgotten race were instantly destroyed, never to return.
Tears began to flow from tear ducts that had never been used. A wave of fear and desperation overcame her. She pushed the servitor to one side and saddled up to the Magister.

“I cannot allow you…”
“To do what exactly” the Magister interrupted. Zimulis held up a dataslate.
“This is a Linguistica site, not an Explorator rampage-through-the-woods. I have jurisdiction here.”
The Magister made a high-pitched hiss which almost sounded like a laugh.
“Adept Zimulis…”
“Chief Adept,” she finally corrected, her voice rising above the machines and diggers. She held out her arms in despair. “If this is the weapon you think it is, then shouldn’t you exhibit some form of caution. After all, it did wipe out seventeen billion people?.”

The Magister hovered closer, his disc almost touching her.
“Two thousand years have passed, we are in no danger.”
Zimulis looked up, contempt clearly etched on her face.
“There are almost a thousand Imperial citizens here on this planet,” she paused. “I have Skitarii on call who will not allow you to endanger them.”
The Magister hissed again.
“A threat?”
Zimulis scowled.
“Absolutely. You must stop now.”

Pain. Unadulterated pain. Zimulis looked down in surprise as a large spike forced its way out through her sternum. She gasped in disbelief as she realised that the adamantium drill bit was covered in what remained of her heart.
The servitor withdrew his tool and continued tearing at the wall.
“Translators,” hissed the Magister.

“Explorator Magister Mikasenoks!”, shouted one of the menials. “We have found… something.”
The Magister could barely conceal his excitement, skimming across the dig floor to a partially collapsed wall. Powerful lights were already illuminating the interior, which appeared to be a room.

“At last,” said the Magister. “We have it.”
A small table, no bigger than the one that held Zimulis’s ancient objects. A vial.
“What is it?”

Now a breeze, not experienced for two thousand years. A tiny movement of air particles. The small glass holder fell and hit the tiled floor.
The Magister looked at Zimulis’s body lying in an ever-widening pool of blood.
“You were lucky...” He sighed. “...and right. But I had to try.”
He looked down at his hands and watched in fascination as they slowly disintegrated and turned to dust. He felt little pain.
He watched the servitors collapse and saw Zimulis disappear into a dark stain, before his higher brain functions cut off and he died.

“Numquam discere a praeterito. One never learns from the past.”

90 Posts
A Las-Flash in the Night- 915 words

Shit. Shit. Shit. This was bad.

Las-bolts cracked through the darkness, lighting everything up in staccato flashes. He was running, running like he’d never run before, boots hitting the dirt hard enough that his feet hurt with every step. That didn’t matter, so long as he got away.

His coat was too heavy. His boots were too heavy. Everything was too heavy. At this point, it felt like his legs were just too heavy. He should have worked out more. Shit, he didn’t belong in this kind of work.

“Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.” Every exhalation was coming out like that. He didn’t care. It was shit, it had all gone to shit. They’d blown the operation and the puritans were coming. He didn’t know which ones, but it didn’t matter.

They’d kill him all the same. Or worse. He wasn’t sure which he preferred.

He didn’t even have the book. They’d failed utterly- the cult hadn’t handed it over before the shooting started. Shit, if he’d had the book something could have been made of this escape, instead of just a terrified sprint through the woods. The matter remained, though- he didn’t have it. He didn’t have it, the puritans probably had it, and everyone was dead or dying.

His toe hit something, a root, a rock, something hard, and he pitched over on his face. Something cracked- his nose, most likely. Didn’t matter. That could be fixed. He rolled over, grimacing, and hauled himself up.

Remember your training. Remember your goddamn training.

He was running again, one hand up to cup at his nose and stop the blood from dripping everywhere and the other at his holster, fumbling with the catch. It finally came open; the laspistol’s heavy weight in his hand was somewhat reassuring, but not nearly enough. The las-cracks had stopped, and that meant that they’d be looking for survivors. Shit, were there even any other survivors? Was it just him left? That wouldn’t surprise him. Not at all.

He had to get offworld.

He shook his hand free of blood, digging into his pocket for his vox-link. Clicking the transmitter button, he held it up to his mouth. “Ishtar, this is Kental. Ishtar, I need an extraction.”

No response. Just static. “Ishtar, please respond. Ishtar?”

They’d hit them too, probably. Shit, it was all over. They were all dead, or were going to be. The inquisitor was already down- he had been the first one down, actually.

He could hear crashing through the forest behind him now, and the whine of auspexes. They had him now, unless the Ishtar miraculously responded. The Inquisition wasn’t known for its mercy, either. “Ishtar-”

A crack; something hit him in the shoulder, spinning him around and throwing him to the ground. A second later, the pain hit and he let out a strangled cry. Stab-lights from helmets snapped into existence, lancing the night with brightness, picking him out from where he lay among the trees.

They had him.

Someone hauled him to his feet by the lapels of his greatcoat. They were stormtroopers, he could see that now, clad in red and black. All were helmeted, but he could hear muted clicks coming from them. They were talking amongst each other. Deciding what to do with him, perhaps?

That wasn’t up to them, though. Another figure, in the same carapace armor but unhelmeted, carrying a massive hammer rather than a lasrifle, appeared out of the darkness. This one, he recognized. Inquisitor Aethel, a noted monodominant. No hope of recovery then.

Aethel walked up to where the stormtroopers held him, coming face to face. The inquisitor was shorter, even in the carapace, and had to look up; there was a stern frown etched deep on his face, as one would expect from a puritan. He prodded Kental in the chest with the head of his hammer. “Interrogator Kental. Where’s the book?”

“Screw you.” the interrogator spat at him, following it up with a gob of bloody saliva.

A gauntleted hand smashed across his jaw and Kental sagged in the stormtrooper’s grip. “I said,” Aethel gritted out, reaching out and grabbing Kental’s wounded shoulder. “where is it?”

The interrogator cried out; waiting until he was satisified that he’d made his point, Aethel let go. “I don’t know.” Kental replied, panting to try to diffuse the pain. “You stopped the exchange.”

He had nothing left to hide. He’d put up the token resistance, and that was all anyone could ask. He was an interrogator himself- he knew what would happen if he held anything back. That was a fate he didn’t need, especially since his own inquisitor was already face down in the dirt, gone in the first volley. Nobody he needed to protect anymore, and nothing worse could happen to him if he talked...

Aethel lifted his gauntlet to his mouth and muttered something into the vox-link affixed there, turning away. “You know what to do.” he said to the stormtroopers, nodding before dropping his arms to his side and starting to walk away.

The stormtrooper shoved Kental to the ground; the interrogator pulled himself up and began to run, already knowing what was to come. Aethel was whistling something as he walked away; Kental’s heart was pounding loud enough to drown it out, it felt like. Shit, he knew what was going to happen. Why did he even bother running? He knew already.

Still, it was a surprise when the las-bolts finally lanced through his back.

393 Posts
A Secret of the Deep

The walls of the Thereos Underhive were caked in ancient filth, only the Emperor could know precisely what comprised the foul substance; ultimately, Inquisitor Charidis was glad that the task didn't fall to him. In his line of work, it was important that one could appreciate the small things in life...and he would appreciate not having his nose violated by such a foul stench. Yet the newly-ascended Inquisitor knew that his journey into such abysmal depths was a necessity; he had to meet someone within this deep place, someone he knew held the secrets to his investigation. Stopping for a second to assess his surroundings, Charidis reached out with his witchsight; a minor expression of his gifts, the Inquisitor could see no other presence...besides that of the being he sought, and it was indeed a welcome sight. Keeping his hand close to his blade, the Inquisitor continued onwards; ever wary of his boot stepping into something unsavoury. Charidis' dark eyes kept dancing to each part of the tunnel that was steeped in shadow...there were plenty of things in this galaxy that could evade his Second Sight, and plenty of those things called the Underhives home. Such thoughts brought him back to a time when he and his mentor, Madoli, were sent to Necromunda to investigate Hive Sabilis. In ages past, it had been the heart of a Heretical uprising, using the Ruinous Powers in pursuit of their goal. Thankfully, the Ordo Malleus, to which Charidis belonged, was able quell the rebellion and confine it to the Underhive before it could spread any further. Anyways, Madoli, Charidis and his retinue were sent there to investigate, fearing that the taint remained within those depths. Instead, they found that the Plague Zombie infestation had gone unchecked.

Thankfully, the Inquisitorial warband had managed to hole up in an abandoned manufactorum before the specialists amongst the Ordo Sepulturum had arrived and used their knowledge to contain the undead. Charidis shuddered internally at the moans of the zombies. Yet that was not why he was here; the Inquisitor had been sent to investigate a cult that had been operating covertly whilst their Daemonic puppets, fabricated as rumours, had committed their vile workings. Whoever led them was very well-versed in the art of Daemonology. Charidis exited his train of thought the moment his eyes laid themselves upon a most welcome sight, both familiar and the reason why he was here; and that reason then greeted him.

"Felicitous returns my old student."

Indeed, the man before the Inquisitor appeared the total opposite compared to himself. Whereas Charidis was possessed of a fair complexion that appeared to have never seen a sun or been kissed by time, Charidis' own skin was dusky and tattooed with an Aquila. The contact's receding short-styled hair was blonde, flecked with encroaching silver slithers; the Inquisitor himself had long, ebony hair braided along the back with the front half shaved. The other man was dressed more flamboyantly, his Inquisitorial rosette on display, whilst the Inquisitor had his concealed...it was best to go unnoticed until the very last minute. A smile came upon Charidis' face.

"And they are accepted my Lord."

"Last time I checked, I am no Lord...I guess old habits die hard. Now come quickly, we've much work to do."
And those words were the last thing Charidis realised he did not wish to hear. The chamber before him was smeared in blood and flayed skin...yet these were nothing compared to the confessions Madoli. That it was he who had unleashed the Daemons, to use them in the Eternal War against the Ruinous Powers. Madoli, who had plucked the Feral-born Inquisitor from a murderous tribe, who had shown him the way of the Ordo Malleus to save Mankind from what lurked in the Empyrean; had delved into the very arts that he had sworn to fight against. Furthermore, Madoli had the gall to justify himself. "The Great Enemy fight amongst themselves," he began, "Why should we not use it to our advantage?" Those words echoed within Charidis' mind; they were Polypsykana, Inquisitors who acknowledged Humanity's psychic fate. The madman before him, before his corruption, had once told him that as a Psyker, he should strive to prove that they were truly worthy servants of Humnity. Yet here before him stood a man unrecognisable, delving into the unredeemable depths of Xanthism that would ultimately taint the cause of the Polypsykana. Soon enough, the Fallen Inquisitor turned to his former protégé with a mad glint in his eye and a blood-red box in his hands.

"Take this now my boy; this has been your destiny ever since I took you from that savage rock you once called home. Whilst I finish the rites, use your power to open the box."

As Madoli handed him the artefact, many thoughts had begun to scroll through his mind. This thing of Chaos held much power, that he could not deny; yet he knew it was power that no loyal servant of the Emperor would dare wield. Soon enough, a silky voice manifested within his mind as though it were a lover inviting him into bed. The voice spoke of the power contained within box, the glory that Charidis would have should he open it. Slowly, his hands began to twist, attempting to open the box; yet he soon broke himself free of the cursed thing's embrace. Casting it aside in righteous anger, the Inquisitor pulled his Force sword free and planted his blade through the back of Madoli's left lung. The runes upon the surface weren't glowing, he wanted to speak to his former Master before prescribing his judgement.

"Enough of this Heresy, you are not Madoli! As Polypsykana, he would have preached that the stuff of the enemy would bring ruin upon the Warp-touched. Madoli died the moment you spoke the tongue of the enemy, and I will not have you ruin our cause!"

The renegade Inquisitor tried to speak...but his words only spewed forth as blood from his ravaged lung. With a sickening squelch, Charidis pulled his blade free from his former mentor's body and then held it in an executioner's stance.

"In nomine Imperator Sancti..." He sighed, "I declare thee Extremis Diabolus, may the Emperor judge your soul to be cast aside for its taint."

The very moment the last syllable was spoken was the moment the Inquisitor brought his blade into Madoli's neck. The only sound that came afterwards was the sound of steel parting flesh and bone, followed by a solid object striking the ground.

1,547 Posts
1) HonorableMan, A Las-Flash in the Night, 3pts
2) Farseer Ulthris, A Secret of the Deep, 2 pts

Strange that both entries involved the Inquisition!
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