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8,544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Welcome to the year's fifth

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, 30 June 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!


623 Posts
Literally could not think of anything for this month's theme, so I wrote up an original fiction with a random story, but with characters that may be familiar to some. There's still a good amount of time left, people, let's see some stories :victory:!

Alpha Wolves
Word Count: 975​

Blackened clouds swarmed on the horizon, thrown across the sky by a great gale that flocks of crows scattered upon. The burning red eye in the sky, a star transitioning into its later stages, soon vanished behind a great deluge unleashed by the storm. Thunder bristled from above, the skies blossomed with lightning bolts that threatened to strike down the tallest skyscrapers. The free city of Tess was the most advanced nation in the world. By several decades, if the statistics could be believed. Yet there was no technology for staying nature’s fickle wrath.

Jesairis Sil leaned against the railing upon a road that overlooked the city. He carefully observed the glassine skyscrapers that towered into the sky, glittering domes, and countless garden parks that fused with the urban sprawl created by the suburbs. All of these structures were layered upon complex terraces, a grand maze that stretched on for miles. There was no conquering it, but only survival the trials it offered.

The heavy downpour soaked through his jacket, matted the medium length ebony hair on his head so that it clung to his chestnut skin. Rain water dripped into his hazel eyes, but he was used to the burning sensation. He scrubbed his chin in thought, feeling the hairs on his five o’clock shadow prick his skin.

It was nearly time.

“Sil.” Kanaye’s voice was razor sharp and edged with menace. Though Jesairis knew he aimed that menace at just about anyone. The Irothan was pallid of skin, had a loose, but kempt short hair that came down to his ears. He was dressed in his usual fatigues and had a bullet proof vest strapped around his torso. He looked as if he was enjoying the weather. “They’re coming.” He suddenly bellowed out to the shadows. “Get into position!”

The road that was chosen for the ambush was a narrow one, which twisted and writhed almost as if it were a living thing. Of the hundreds that could have been here, only seven brave men and women had bothered to show. Yet Kanaye had deemed them his finest and that they could take on much larger odds even with a smaller, but coordinated force. Three of them quickly gathered in the alleyways with Jesairis and Kanaye. The others were positioned on top of fire escapes or in the windows of abandoned buildings.

The rain came down even fiercer. Jesairis could barely see ten feet in front of him, but then again, he did not need to.

Kanaye whispered through a misty breath. “Here they come. Are the payloads ready?”

Dai, one of Kanaye’s most trusted, nodded quickly as she said, “As ready as they’re going to get.”

The sound of engines roaring came into earshot as did bright beams of light cut through the inky darkness. Heavy wheels splashed through the partially flooded streets as three APC transports sped toward them. Jesairis immediately noticed the soldiers manning the thirty—five caliber turrets mounted atop each vehicle. The turrets tracked back and forth, but in this weather, the odds that they would unravel the ambush was minimal.

Kanaye gestured toward the lead transport. He whispered sharply. “Hand me the charge!”

Dai handed him an explosive pack, half—coated in a sticky residue. The moment Kanaye received it, he primed the charge and slapped it against the hull of the first APC as it sped by. Jesairis gripped his fifty—caliber pistol more tightly now. Adrenaline hammered in his veins and he could not halt the sensation.

Then the explosion was triggered. The earth beneath Jesairis’ boots quaked. The sound of tortured and rent steel pierced his ears. There were two resounding gunshots, followed by the sounds of bodies crashing.

Kanaye stepped into the street. “Let’s move!”

The first APC was completely wrecked, its hull scrunched into the flank of a three story house that had half collapsed inward from the collision. Not a soul stirred from the wreckage. The other transports, however, quickly threw their doors open and disgorged…

Kanaye swiveled his crosshairs from left to right. “What the hell is this?”

Dai answered as she quickly swept through the transports. “Nothing here.”

Jesairis pointed toward the crunched wreckage half buried beneath a house. “Check the first one.”

Dai, Hansuke, and Jiro quickly sifted through the smoldering wreckage. Eventually, one of them called Jesairis and Kanaye over.

“I’ve got something!” Jiro declared from inside the vehicle. “You guys might want to see this.”

“Well, well.” Jesairis sniffed and grimaced at the stench of burnt flesh. He climbed inside the transport and joined Jiro toward the front of the vehicle. The soldier was occupied with lifting a crumpled metal sheet that had something pinned beneath it. That something was leaking a ton of blood. “You don’t really think it’s her, do you, Kanaye? Kei has managed to avoid us for a year now. Surely, she must be smarter than this?”

“I told you, Sil.” Kanaye sighed, relieved. “Once I pick up a trail, I can always track it down. There’s no chance that this isn’t her.”

“Oh yeah,” Jiro said as he finally ripped up the metal slab. “That’s definitely the Empress’ sister.”

Jesairis visibly soured. The corpse had been shredded beneath its heavily woven silk clothes. The body even had Kei’s hairstyle: one half pulled back into a bun, while the other half fell straight down her face. A face which had been scorched into ruin. An ill fate for the Empress’ sibling to meet, even if they had been rivals.

“Clean this up.” Was all Jesairis said before he vanished back into the rain.

Out of earshot, Jiro smirked at Kanaye. “Another mark crossed off the list.”

Kanaye agreed. “We’ll celebrate tonight! Because tomorrow, the whole damned nation is going know that the wolves’ are on the hunt.”

145 Posts
One Patient Knight

One Patent Knight

Warhammer Fantasy
J.D. Barbera
Word Count: 1097​

Sir Stranford looked down at his wife. The sweat of effort glistened upon her skin, only enhancing her ethereal beauty. She had fainted at the last. Insensate to the fresh cries of the son she had pushed forth into the world. Stranford looked on as the midwife wiped the birthing from the infant who squalled at the rough treatment and chill of the room. He smiled at the thought that as his wife had pushed their son from her womb, in short years, he would do the same. Pushing their son out of their house and into the world to make his mark. The mark of a Knight of Bretonnia.

"What is his name?" Asked Stranford. The child's name would have been whispered to his mother by the Lady during the birth.

"Leal." The midwife bowed low, her voice quavered with fear. "Milord."

"Faithful?" Stranford snorted. "That is no name for a warrior."


After those short years, Leal celebrated his thirteenth. His manservant, given to him at five, locked down the final buckle.

"Dog! Is he not ready?" Lord Stranford bellowed from the hall.

"Aye, milord!" Dog shouted back.

"Able. He needn't be so rude", Leal rolled his shoulders to resettle the breastplate.

"Nay, sir. He must. Tis his oath and mine."

Leal looked down at his pudgy manservant. Strong as any peasant, Able could not think beyond his next meal nor imagine his life as more than with what he awoke. Leal gave a moment to send a prayer to the Lady, thanking her for his friend, though Able would be frightened and his father mortified if either heard the silent thanks.

"Hmph!" Stranford inspected his son. "Here."

A long sword sheathed in wood and silver, semi-precious stones adorning its hilt and scabbard was tossed at Leal. A short pull to appraise the blade and workmanship. Leal nodded his appreciation to his father and together they headed to the faire grounds.

"By the Lady!" Abrielle cried out as the Stranfords arrived and she swiftly adjusted her skirts as they approached. "Tis a happy hour, your arrival, Leal."

Abrielle was a petite girl of fourteen and Leal could not remember when he had not been in love with her. It was his fifth birthday when the Lady had bestowed upon him his two greatest friends; Abrielle Touchet and Able the peasant.

"Attend to the lists after your hellos, Leal."

"Yes, father."

Abrielle rushed over and threw her arms around Leal. It had been some weeks since they last saw one another.

"And the Lady's blessing upon you, good Able."

She smiled at Able who blushed and scuffed his feet as he mumbled a response. He knew of Leal's love for Abrielle and speaking to her made him feel awkward and confused. Able shouldered the embarrassment gamily, as it never seemed to daunt Leal, and he thought someone should be tongue-tied in the face of the beautiful girl.

"I enter my first tourney today! As a man!" Leal laughed. "At its end, I will ask your father for your hand."

Abrielle's mouth fell open as her face grew flushed.

"Father will be displeased, but deep down he'll take pride in the audacity."

Abrielle began to shake her head and Leal frowned.

"Nay, good Leal. I am already betrothed, I came to tell you before your entered the faire."

Sorrow laced her announcement.

"Whom is to take your hand?"

Abrielle looked away as her hands fell to Leal's arms. He had not relinquished his hold of her and she could feel the tightness of his hands where his fingers dug into her waist. She could not face the look in his eyes.

"Sir Riehl."

"Roswald? That upstart from the Empire? Has Chaos taken your father?"


Able's cough broke the tableau and they took in a man striding toward the trio.

"Ah ha! There you are. Both of you!" The swarthy man called out.


"Abrielle has told you the good news then?"

Leal nodded, glaring at his rival. What had been a childhood animosity expanded beyond.

"I will meet you in the lists." Leal turned away, letting Abrielle stumble as she was released.

Roswald grinned darkly.


Weeks later, a letter arrived that told of Abrielle's summoning to the Lady's service at the Lake. A summoning that erased Abrielle's commitment to Roswald as he would not stain his family line with fairy's blood. Leal was already on the road in a band of Knights Errant. It was some time before the letter caught up with the young man. More time passed before a Knight of the Realm found himself in the company of a Damsel.


"We shall escort a Damsel?" It was the word running through the ranks of the Knights. Some in awe, some in apprehension. Leal sat in his saddle disinterested, but straightened when a familiar voice broke his reverie.

"My Lord General. I shall take this knight as my protector."

The Damsel pulled her horse into line next to Leal.


Gone was the shapeless little girl he remembered and he fought the urge to touch the beautiful vision before him.

"In your care I place this Damsel, Sir Leal."

The words faded away, as the world shrank down to naught but Abrielle and himself.

"You have returned?"

"For this battle. Yes. How fares Able?"

"He awaits at camp. Have you time for a visit? He would take pleasure in seeing you again."

"Aye. And how fare you? Word has reached me that you are Lord Stranford. Who is now your lady?"

Leal paused, thinking back to the moments before his first tourney.

"The Damsel Abrielle Touchet."

Abrielle fell silent for a moment, remembering his proposal and her current commitment.

"Then the lady is away?" She asked. "A shame, for if I had the time, I would come visit for I most desire to meet the wife of my greatest friend."

"Perhaps an opportunity will present itself."

The battle horns sounded and across the field the enemy approached. They dismounted as the call for the Lady's Prayer was sounded.


It would be some years before there would be such an opportunity presented to a Grail Knight and a Prophetess.

Abrielle gazed at her lifelong friend. Time and war transformed him from boy to a man of steel.

"Prophetess?" Leal spoke first. "The Lady called me here."

"A prayer was sent. You have come."

Leal frowned, puzzled, as Abrielle moved before him and slid her hands into his.

"Who is your lady wife? Could you remind me? For I would meet this wife of my friend."

(A very abridged 'The Price of a Grail')

368 Posts
Know When To Run

“Know when to run” = 1098 words (not including title) (Warhammer Fantasy by Andygorn)

The northern winds whistle through the hut’s ceiling-holes, lilting through the air and caressing the skin of anyone who hears them.

Your hands reach across the table towards your former mentor...long has she been the ‘wise woman’ of the area and none who gain her advice are ever the same again.

Yet you tell yourself that the risk is worthwhile, for your wife still ails and the medicine supplies ran dry days ago. Who else might save her? None but this ancient crone: Gerel.

Beneath her stinking, dank capes, the hooded eyes blaze violet with hidden wisdom as she grips trembling proffered digits in her own spindly ones. Not for the first time, you’re reminded of soft spiders skittering across your flesh – leaving no footprints, yet indelibly changing all who feel them.

Her parched, croaking voice matches both this blasted land and her broken frame:
“She withers and dies, so you bend the knee to me once more, apprentice.” She lets out a harsh coughing fit, spasming at the sounds.
Your eyes open wide, horrified that death might finally be claiming her in your most urgent hour of need. Seconds later, you recognise it for laughter.

“Yes Gerel, Ancient of our people...she was detained by the Lord of Seven this Spring and there is no other hope than you!”
Your fervent eyes fill with tears as you recall the skirmishes against the Pustulent God’s minions. Nobody knew what happened whilst in his clutches but -although she fashioned escape- she had been plagued by fevers and dreams which daily robbed her of strength.

Despite your eagerness (which now borders on mania), you were reluctant to seek Gerel sooner because of your misdeeds...it had been impossible to follow all of the rituals she ordered, because piety could never feed hungry bellies.

“Your timing is poor, Novitiate: the green pox is inside her flesh? Her eyes bleed?” Seeing your despairing nods, she continues: The magic shall be wrought, Chieftain, yet the tax...”
You set down a sizeable bag of stolen treasures upon the groaning table, but she dismisses your looted valuables with a shake of her crooked nose and lumpen head.
Letting go your hands, they tingle with the nascent power in her decrepit limbs and the obsessive hope-against-hope in your own.
Sighing heavily, she adds: “It shall be more than you want to pay...now leave.”

There is nothing more to be done, but your mind races with unchecked haste as you leave and begin addressing your commander-at-arms, Denar:
“When will my Queen be free?” “Where is the foe?” “How soon can we wreak vengeance upon those who harmed us?” “Will the recruits be ready in time?”
Denar struggles to keep up with the barrage of questions but all the while noticing the increasing frustrations written upon your face. His hand falls to the hilt of the axe in his belt...your temper is widely-known and even he no longer feels safe in your company.

If you had time to think, you would have realised the signs, yet thoughts come too fast to follow and you push him away brusquely.

Over the next fortnight, only the spectacle of brutal melee is sufficient to slake your haste:
At the culmination, you walk over to congratulate the victor as his foes lie wounded, unconscious or bleeding upon the scorched, hard-packed ground.

“This man shall be my champion!” you announce to roars of approval.
“Yet he has one more task due to him...kill me and take his rightful place...for I have nothing to lose and my wife lies close to the door of doom.”
A harsh blast of air rushes through the encampment, accompanied seconds later by the song of mosquitoes...both unusual for this place and month.

The man’s heavily-bearded visage shows confusion and hesitation, lastly bewilderment as it joins those of the other decapitated victims inside the arena.
Two others are similarly slow to follow and meet the same fates.
Yet the last four react like panthers, attacking from each quarter.
If they sought to defeat their lord by mere numbers, then it was a poor choice. For, as their weapons swung into the invoked illusory body in front of them, you had already spun away to take one head from a pair of shoulders and gutted two more with your axes.

As they collapse into gurgling heaps, a woman’s cry rings out, piercing the evening’s darkening gloom:
“She lives! The Queen lives! Come now!” a hush descends over the throng, eager for their master’s words, yet you hesitate upon seeing the last opponent crouched into a fighting stance.
You drop a weapon and offer him the empty hand of friendship; the soldier stands and accepts it with a look of glee, but his eyes bulge as your other axe smashes into his collarbone, cleaving into his chest.

“No...there is no-one to be my champion this season...not one amongst you who dares call me equal. Fetch me some new guards...these are fit only for horse-meat!”

Ignoring the screaming protests of the ones being led away , you swiftly run to your tent, espying Gerel inside...your eyes blaze with hunger and news, yet she shakes her head and drops your wife’s lifeless hand like so much lifeless meat that you now know it to be.
Your axe takes a lady in waiting across the throat, opening her arteries to the cool crisp air and she sinks with barely a murmur.

Now dripping with crimson vitality, Gerel’s face hardens and then her body sags as though giving up the will to live...her voice demonstrates the same weary emotion, so how can it halt the protests in your throat like the strongest of hands?:
“Chieftain Anket: you were called upon the wind, but failed to listen?
“Or perhaps you listened to the insects’ call, but in ignorance failed to comprehend?
“At the last, even the shout of that poor lady was insufficient to stir your limbs to movement, or had you found something more urgent to occupy your time?
“Whichever it was, does not matter...because my master does not suffer fools gladly, nor does he offer any boon thrice. He has handed you...me...us all...over to his nemesis as playthings. The Lord of Seven’s handiwork can no longer be undone by any mortal means...you have ended us all.”

With a slow cracking sound, your wife’s body twists and contorts on the bed, bending almost in half before finally snapping in twain as a million hungry horse-flies exit her ruined body, burrowing into the eyes and ears of every member of the tribe, leaving you as their final meal.

1,547 Posts
City of Death

City of Death
Brother Emund

1098 words​

UMRIELYTH WAS a paradise… until the Mon-keigh came.

Vulre Estalar could still remember what it looked like, the pure perfection of its being… a new world. A world that belonged to the Children of the Stars.

Then they came in their grotesque craft, belching pollution and death, and the vision of beauty had gone, to be replaced by the Dominion of the Man and their corpse-God.
Estalar and his kin were the first to arrive and discovered the desecration. Now all of the Yr-Arth Craftword Rangers were here and an entire Warhost was battling the Mon-keigh plague.

At first it was straightforward. The Mon-keigh soldiers were easy to kill. They were clumsy and slow and their archaic weapons were no match for Eldar perfection. Even the terror-troops of the secretive robed Mon-keigh, who were more machine than Hu-man, died by the blade and the disc. Their machines were smashed and their ships ravaged and broken.

Then the armoured giants appeared in their thick armour with their insane bravery and brute force.
They call them Space Marines, the Corpse-God’s finest. They would die like the rest, it was just a matter of time.

Estalar had never fought them before though he had heard of their rumour, had heard the tales. These Marines wore armour of the deepest black.

They were harder to kill… much harder.

Estalar had been stalking one of them for days through the ribs of one of their great ships which had been brought down by fighters of the Yr-Arth. The colossus was buried nose first into a hillside, with its back broken and its innards exposed. It looked like some ancient beast from antiquity and Estalar wondered how such a beast could actually fly.

+ Vulre. I see you + Came the voice of Evindal over his Comm link. Estalar was brought abruptly back to reality.

+ Evindal. The Mon-keigh has gone to ground behind that large domed appendage. Can you see it from where you are? +
I see it but beware, it is a cunning foe. It has killed Aravie and wounded Almon. Aravie was to be my mate. I curse the filth that dare +

+ Stay focussed Evindal. Wait.. it is on the move +

Estalar saw the helmet of one of the Mon-keigh pass between two metallic spars before dropping down behind more of the superstructure. Estalar moved the barrel of his Longrifle to a position where he believed the head would appear further along.

+ Estalar, I am moving around to your right. I see your target. It is crouched down. It appears to be cupping its ear +

It is listening, thought Estalar, but it cannot hear us.

I yearn The Path of Damnation. I am the Outcast.

The Mon-keigh had not appeared where Estalar thought it would.

Patience is my discipline. I am the shadow, the creeping death in the night.


Slight movement, nothing to the normal eye, but to an Eldar ranger it was all that he needed. He could see the Mon-keighs helmet now, even down to the green eye lenses that stared back with a deep malevolence.

He squeezed the trigger. I tiny movement.
An energy bolt struck the helmet shattering the lens and punched it backwards. Estalar saw a hand raised and then the main body mass fall down into the wreckage.

+ Kill +

+ Estalar, I see it. It is still sitting there. You did not hit it +

Estalar saw the flash to his right and watched the fall of shot from his kinsman hidden further along the ridge. The bolt struck the Mon-keigh dead centre, punching a large hole through its breast plate.

+ Kill +

Estalar watched the body slump forward, its hand still up to its ear.
It was a perfect shot, but the Mon-keigh marine died too easily.

IT was not the same…

+ Evindal, there are two of them +
He tried not to sound too alarmed. That was not the way of the Ranger.


He rolled backwards over the ridge and then once clear he ran to the left, bent double at the hip. He cradled his Longrifle like it was an Eldar child and not the deadly killing machine it was.
Estalar found the remains of an armoured vehicle, designation Rhino by its shape, and he pushed inside. From this position he had a good view of the killing site.
He could see the dead marine.

Good Kill

He felt a doubt, a fear. It did not look right. The Mon-keigh was too pale, too wretched. It was a corpse, cold and long dead. His blood froze.

He was being stalked.

He dared to go on the comm-link once more.

+ Evindal +

A series of loud reports brought him up. A heavy weapon was hammering to the left.
He knew the sound. It was the brute weapon the Mon-keigh used. A weapon not designed for subtlety.

+ Evindal? +


Estalar found the escape hatch on the deck of the vehicle and dropped down to the earth below. He rolled to the left and pushed up against the wheels of the Rhino. He dared scope over to the left but could see nothing amongst the wreckage. Almost subconsciously, he pulled his camouflaged cloak up over his head. To all but his kin he was now invisible.
He clicked the comms button twice but nothing came back. Either Evindal was hunting… or he was dead.
He cursed the Mon-keigh.

The heavy weapon coughed again and this time Estalar saw the flash and smoke from its barrel. The Mon-keigh was moving around to his left. He moved in turn, slowly like the ancient feline, bringing his barrel around.
The helmet again. He saw it very briefly. This was red in colour which signified a higher rank.

This would be a worthy kill.

My mission is before me, the enemy is around me, my mission is death…

His finger curled on the trigger, a slight recoil and the round smashed against the helmet and then ricocheted off to the right.

He reloaded, aimed, fired again.

Dead centre. A kill.


Estalar shuffled backwards and out from under the vehicle. He would use it as cover and move around to the right.

A noise, faint.

Estalar fell forward dropping his Longrifle. He was confused, scared. He rolled onto his back and saw the exit wound in his abdomen. The round had severed his spine.
The Mon-keigh stood up and waved the red helmeted one over.

He was smiling.

Estalar could do nothing but watch and hear their foul speech as they pointed at him and pointed at his wound.

They mocked him.

1,547 Posts
Training Day
Brother Emund

(1012 words)​

The average Space Marine gets up at 4am in the morning and retires to rest at Midnight. Sixteen and a half hours of this day is taken up in training.

The battle had raged for a week before they were called in.

Sergeant Justesen lead a file of his scouts through a winding communication trench which lead to the Headquarters area. Startled Guardsmen leapt out of the way and exchanged anxious glances as the ten Marines in their heavy armour stamped by.
The fighting had been heavy, unexpectedly tough, and the losses were high, but there must be something seriously wrong if High Command were bringing in Space Marines.
A few of the veterans smiled to each other.
“It will soon be over now.” They reassured the rest.

A squad of heavily-armed Stormtroopers stepped aside as the group approached. Only the red-helmeted sergeant continued into the bunker.

“Sergeant Justesen reporting as ordered,” and almost as an after thought he added, “Sir.”
Lord General-Militant Tanabe Michio did not even bother to look up from the huge chart laid out in front of him.

“I was promised a company of Space Marines and am sent a squad.”

Justesen smiled inside his helmet. Entire worlds had been conquered with less.
He slowly released the seals on his helmet and took it off, revealing his face for the first time.
The look from the gathered staff was all the old veteran needed.
Scarred and burnt by a lifetime of combat, Justesen’s face was a battered, ruined tapestry of scars and pain.
A single service stud was stamped into his forehead.

“Well Sergeant?”. Justesen was a million miles away. He was already analysing the chart, studying dispositions and layouts. Picts and data flow screens filled him in with the rest of the information he required.
“The vaunted Emperor’s Vengeance. Scourge of the Ghoul Stars.” The General frowned. “I have a planet to pacify and they send me a squad.” He waved a hand dismissively. Some of the assembled staff officers laughed.

A glance from Justesen put a halt to that.

“My Captain sends his apologies Sir. The rest of the Company are involved in boarding actions on the Eldar fleet. We were all that could be spared.” He cleared his throat, the rasp as loud as a krak grenade.

The General looked up.
“Indeed.” He pointed at a mark on the chart. “Ever since they brought down the frigate Hougoumont with their heretical weapons, I have been stymied by Eldar forces operating out of the wreckage.” He stared at a group of Guard officers in the corner. “I have lost a considerable amount of men and material in there.”

Justesen looked down and then spared the officers a glance.
“We will have it cleared in two days, Sir.”
The general looked exasperated.
“Two days?”
“Yes Sir. I am afraid you will have to be a little patient, these men are only neophytes from the scout Company.”
“They send me scouts.”
“They will suffice.”
The General scoffed.
“I will hold you to that Sergeant. You have two days to clear the Hougoumont. Two days to prove that The Emperor’s Vengeance are the ultimate force in this sector.

* * *​

“Excellent shot Scout,” said Justesen. “You have severed its spine and it is completely helpless.”
“Thank you Sergeant,” replied the young Marine. The Sergeant held up his helmet and studied the damage again.
“The eye lens is gone,” he said with a hint of emotion in his voice. “This was my favourite.” He turned to the young Scout who visibly straightened. “Nothing the Enginseers cannot fix, eh, Stromssen?.”
The Sergeant turned around to the other scouts, motioning them to move in closer.

“Some excellent work today, you are all improving.” He turned to a stocky Scout with his M40/A1 Pattern Sniper Rifle held in the crook of his arms.
“Siegar’ the Sergeant frowned. “An unorthodox method of distraction, using one of our dead as a decoy,” he held up a hand to stop any reply. “I would say that it was disrespectful of you to use a Brother in such a way.” He paused and a faint smile spread across his face. “However, our late Brother Hagen would have approved and would have been happy that he fought on even after death.”

The gathered scouts laughed, breaking the tension.

“Altmann!.” A small dark-skinned Scout stepped forward. He was wiping blood from the blade of his combat knife with a piece of torn Guard uniform. Blood was also splattered over his face and the front of his Infiltrator armour. He wore ritual gang tattoos on his face as a mark of honour.
“Good use of the decoy, very good in fact. However,” he held up a hand again. “We have trained you for a long time in the skills needed to FIRE a Sniper Rifle. It is not exactly designed as a primitive club to smash in someones head.” The scouts laughed again.
Altmann grinned.

“Punishment detail at 5am tomorrow during Firing Rites. Report to Techmarine Tobius and help him service the Scout Cadres Weapons.”
Altmann nodded.
“It will be an honour Sergeant.”

Justesen turned to the Eldar, who was now grey and close to death.

“It is well that these so-called Rangers tend to fight alone as it favours our tactics.” He tapped the dying Eldars leg with his boot and it gave off a faint moan.
“They are a pathetically weak race, but their weapons are good and they move fast. They are however… predictable. The Rhino was an obvious sniper position.”
The sergeant turned to the group.
“Never, ever get into position where you have not got a clear escape route.”
The Sergeant beamed.
“And remember the most important rule..”
“Hunt! Hide! Kill! Reposition!… Sergeant!”, roared the Scouts.
“And above all,” added the Sergeant. “Patience. The prey will always come to you.”

Justesen looked down at the dying Eldar and then back to Stromssen.
“It will not be long before you may all call me brother.”
He nodded towards the Eldar.

“Now finish it.”

580 Posts
Dogs of War Beyond the Scope

Dogs of War Beyond the Scope

I watched through the scope as the world before me burned. Tears ran down my face as my world burned. Through the scope I am able to compartmentalize and separate what I see. Through the scope I am able to hold onto my sanity. Above me the clouds are black with smoke. In front of me the fire rages out of control. Body’s burn and flesh is boiled by the heat. The screams of children are more than I can take. I fire my rifle and a man fall to the ground. Smoke pours from the barrel. I move quickly low to the ground. I set up again and look through the scope and target my next mark. He is dismembering a mother while her children scream. I hate him for doing it. I fire and the bullet takes part of his head in a shower of blood and bone. I move again.

This is my life now. Move, scope, shoot. Move, scope, shoot. The world around me is fallen. We are a ravaged people. I know this but I will not surrender to become the prey of the wicked. Every part of me wants to rush in and kill them all, but I cannot be foolish with my life. I must be patient. I must be patience. I must make the enemy pay for every step of ground they take, for every life they take. The dogs are coming! They are coming for me! Their handlers are running behind them chanting and shouting in their wicked tongue. I pull the scope from my eye and run.

I hear the dogs sniffing and growling and see their iron capped teeth. They are inches from my face but I do not move, I barely breathe. The dead surround me and cover me with the putrid smell of decay. I hope it will be enough to save me. The dogs move on and drag a corpse away with them. They consume it and break the bones. I watch as their handlers reattach the leashes. They speak to the dogs and the dogs obey. The corpse is torn and bleeding and the dogs are hungry. But their masters have full sway on them and their will is iron in their words.

I am patience. I am patient. I crawl from the dead and move slowly away.

I find a hole in a broken wall and press my body into it. I have been awake for three days and am unable to move anymore. With the fires all around me and the enemy close at hand I close my eyes and do not open them again until the sun is up.

I dread the daylight. I hate to look upon what the enemy has done. The buildings are nothing but rubble. They are black with soot. Thousands upon thousands of corpses cover the ground blackened by flame. Before I move from the hole I fix the scope to my eye. The world shrinks around me until it is a focused controlled environment. My stomach is growling so loudly I think that surly the enemy can hear it. I am thirsty; my lips broken, my mouth and throat so dry it burns with every breath I take. Ash covers everything. It is all that I can taste. I hate it, but do not have enough saliva to spit it out. I wait in the wall and do not venture out. I want to run. Fear holds me so tight it is a vice around my heart and a hook in my guts. Not more than a step away a man is sleeping. He is my enemy. He is one of hundreds. They are part of thousands. They are camped all around me. I am trapped.

In daylight I am exposed. The enemy is sleeping, recovering from the torment they have inflicted upon my world, upon my people. Most are drunk. I watch for nearly two hours. My patience is tested to the breaking point. If I stay here than I will surely be found. Slowly I pull the knife from the sheath in its harness and slide from the hole. The man before me is snoring. He stinks of decay and smoke. He is as covered in ash as I am. I cover his mouth and slice his throat. I push it between his ribs and puncture his lungs. He kicks once and then is still. I move skillfully and quickly from one sleeping person to the next slicing and stabbing. My heart is beating so hard I can barely hear anything so I watch and move and kill. Watch, wait and kill.

Behind me is a trail of death; twenty-six broken bleeding bodies leading from the corner of the building to the hole in the wall. I smile grimly as I turn the corner and slip away.

Night comes all too quickly. I am rested and full. I made my way inside a home that had not been completely razed and found food drink and a carpeted closet where I slept the day away. It felt good to eat and sleep but I felt guilty for feeling a moments respite from my pain. The world is dyeing all around me. Joy and relief are swords in my gut. Under a blackened burning sky I moved and readied for war.

The rifle is in my hand. The brace is against my shoulder. The scope is to my eye and the enemy is before me. I fire and am moving even before the man falls to the ground. I am set and fire once more. The man eating a screaming little girl loses the top of his head. I move and take joy in the fact the Emperor has let me fight. It feels good to fight and kill. It feels good to strike fear in the hearts of those who cause fear.

I did not see them. I should have seen them but I was so focused on what was within the sites of my scope I lost sight of what was beside me. I moved with vengeance in my heart, but a lack of patience has delivered me into the iron capped teeth of the dogs of war.

1,050 words. 6/30/15

623 Posts
Brother Edmund, I'm not sure I'm correct, but I think you can only have one entry per H.O.E.S?

Dave can correct me if I'm wrong.

1,547 Posts
Brother Edmund, I'm not sure I'm correct, but I think you can only have one entry per H.O.E.S?

Dave can correct me if I'm wrong.
I got carried away! If that is the case, close your eyes, pick one of the stories, discard the other and then vote on the one left (if it is any good!) :victory:

Also, I looked back to the first competition in December 2010 (yes I did!), and it does not mention that you can only do one story only, in fact, the rules have not changed (much) over 5 years!

Super Moderator
8,544 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Voting is.

Brother Edmund, I'm not sure I'm correct, but I think you can only have one entry per H.O.E.S?

Dave can correct me if I'm wrong.
Nothing in the rules to say you can't enter several times. So I am going to allow them both.

I can see arguments either way: on the one hand, it gives a greater chance of entering something people like; on the other, it potentially splits your vote. Does anyone have a strong opinion either way on whether or not to change the rules?

623 Posts
Nothing in the rules to say you can't enter several times. So I am going to allow them both.

I can see arguments either way: on the one hand, it gives a greater chance of entering something people like; on the other, it potentially splits your vote. Does anyone have a strong opinion either way on whether or not to change the rules?
Well, if it isn't against the rules, then I suppose I'm fine with it. I think this is the first H.O.E.S. I've participated in with multiple stories from one author, so I wasn't sure of the rules.

580 Posts

Well, if it isn't against the rules, then I suppose I'm fine with it. I think this is the first H.O.E.S. I've participated in with multiple stories from one author, so I wasn't sure of the rules.

I'm fine with it. I once posted two stories in a competition here. I have seen others who did the same too. Not a problem. The thing is it may split your votes and you may not win simply because of the split votes. and then with all the work you put in you feel like :shok: and then you feel like :scare: and then the person who won is :taunt: and you are going :crazy: with :ireful2:. you don't want to piss anyone off so you have to act like an :angel:

1,547 Posts
I could not resist it. A scenario from both sides! Boy did I stir up a hornets nest! :laugh:

623 Posts
I'm fine with it. I once posted two stories in a competition here. I have seen others who did the same too. Not a problem. The thing is it may split your votes and you may not win simply because of the split votes. and then with all the work you put in you feel like :shok: and then you feel like :scare: and then the person who won is :taunt: and you are going :crazy: with :ireful2:. you don't want to piss anyone off so you have to act like an :angel:
Yeah, that's the unfortunate thing about it. But it has gone smoothly in the past, so I guess there's no reason for me to fuss over it.

I could not resist it. A scenario from both sides! Boy did I stir up a hornets nest!
Nah, you're fine Brother Edmund. Alpha Wolves actually got more points than I initially expected, so there's an accomplishment there. I don't think your two stories really affected the outcome much, because everyone favored one in particular.
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