Warhammer 40k Forum and Wargaming Forums banner

1 - 20 of 54 Posts

·
visit roleplay threads!
Joined
·
2,259 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Lord Governor Rogal Phlintte, in an ostentatious gold and red velvet chair, sits staring at the eight remaining documents on his desk. Just under two months ago, a perfectly neat pile of almost two hundred candidate profiles lay upon the dark, polished wood surface. Now the eight that remain, are scattered in a seemingly unorganized fashion.

His fingertips dance on the edges of his drinking glass, as he contemplates this turn of events, musing over the eight individuals who beat out the rest and would be receiving the final stages of transformation.

His tired eyes dart over the information again and again, soaking it all in. He whispers to himself,

“Ptolemy… medic core… underhandedness… cartels… 26… brilliant….sociopathic tendencies…. winged skull….monster.”

Phlintte takes a deep breath, leans back with his glass in hand looking toward the vaulted, painted ceiling above him. Before rising to his feet, he takes a final sip of his liquor, setting down the glass, the ice tapping against the sides.

Leaving the documents open on his desk, he walks away from them without a second thought. As he walks through the large room toward the massive set of doors, the echoes of his footsteps echo loudly off the walls.

--------------

The five of you sit in a bright white room. There are no windows, but a sealed door to either side of you and cameras in the high corners. Nothing is bound, not your hands, or your feet. You can move freely, but all of you are exhausted and sore beyond words.

Several weeks ago, the same thing happened to each of you. Whether you were by yourself or with your military groups, you were each taken aside by a group of men you had never met before. They had no insignia upon their person that could be recognized, but they showed you insane looking documents with the Lord Governor’s seal. They said you had been selected, and did not need to say that you had no choice in the matter.

Since then you have gone through all manner of physical and psychiatric evaluations, tests, and experiments. You have been pushed to your limits countless times. You have gathered only bits of information such as the words ‘savior project’ and that you will be changed, your past lost and forgotten. Some of the examiners have suggested forgetting your past here and now, others have suggested thinking on it as much as possible because it will be gone soon and to use it to help you get through these trials. Not knowing the end means to these tests have made them all the more difficult for you to complete. The only other thing you know is your number, and the fact that at least a hundred others had been in this place at the start of it all.

Your numbers… each of you have it on the chest and shoulders of your white clothes. Jackson Ayers with 051. Ptolemy Kraas with 128. Nicholas Jozwik with 272. Alaric Tiranus with 013. And finally, Eisen Strab Von kerg with 111.

You sit on blank metal benches. There are three others here with you. One of them is asleep, hunched over with his shoulder pressed into the wall. The other two sit furthest from the group, and seem to have some kind of connection with each other. One of them has bright red hair, and is similar in design to Ptolemy, except for his face which seems to hold something much more serious. The other has no hair on his head whatsoever, not even eyebrows. His eyes are a deep, disconcerting yellow.

This is the first time you have been in a room with eachother. You have all been told you are ready for the final stages of the project. For all you know, this may be the last time you get to talk to someone.

(For those of you newer to rpthreads, feel free to describe any of the events I mention above. I think creating the scene of the men coming to you and telling you of your selection would be a good one, for example. Other than that, it is of course up to you whether or not your character decides to speak to anyone. Remember, you may PM each other as usual if you want to hash out a dialogue or anything.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
The storm clouds had finally split at the first crack of thunder. Alaric remained sitting in his seat, watching the deluge come down onto the Achilles' Spear's windshield. He didn't want to disturb the moment, to acknowledge what the Command Squad and the entirety of the third platoon, fourth Company, had just been through. Pelting rains washed away the flames of war, blood off the streets, and quenched all that smoldered and blazed until only drifting columns of smoke choked the skies. In this moment, there was nothing he could have wished for more than the feeling of bliss the rain brought with it.

"Tiranus. Can I have word, in private?" All of the Command Squad sat in the dim crimson light within the Chimera's interior. Alaric glanced over his shoulder to see nearly a half dozen battle-scarred men all hunched over and sucking in stale oxygen. They were all painted in splattered blood, lending them the look of vengeful wraiths. The frightening look a wraith had in it's eyes felt manifested in Sergeant Mikhail's own. His shadow fell over Alaric all of a sudden, his stony expression far more regrettable than bleak. "Come on. Let's go for a stroll, Corporal."

"What do you need? Sir." Alaric climbed out of his seat and followed his commanding officer down the rampart and into the damp and chilly ruins of a desolated city.

The last vehicles of the entire fourth company were still rumbling in the streets filled with corpses of black robed cultists and storm grey geared Guardsmen. Techmarines and a legion of servitors were on the sidewalks and other crossroads leading to routes that wouldn't be used. Mikhail looked towards the lobotomized machines working tirelessly to create barricades of debris to shield them from further attack. He pointed at them and smirked very wearily.

"You know, if it hadn't been for me... you'd be one of those things by now. Just standing there from sun up to sun down, building barricades and repairing vehicles. You ever realize that, Corporal?"

"All the time, sir."

"Call me Mikhail, Alaric."

"Right, Mikhail." Alaric didn't have to repress a shudder because of the rain, so did so freely. He didn't like to think about these kinds of things or have these conversations. Especially with his superiors, it's even worse knowing his Sergeant had been his only lifeline that day. The day he ended up blowing up something quite spectacularly. "How did you convince them to let me fight again? You still haven't told me."

Mikhail gripped his shoulder with a firm hand. "Because I couldn’t convince the Mechanicus to make you a preist. Listen, you don't need to know. You just need to listen to me: you play by your strengths, understand? It's the only way you'll survive in this horrible galaxy. It's the only way you'll outlive the war. Do an old man a favor and remember what I've said, okay?"

Alaric's brow couldn't have risen any higher. He gripped his Sergeant in a bear hug before bothering to ask, "Why are you telling me this, Mikhail?"

An Imperial officer -female & high ranking, by the look of her medals and uniform- suddenly pushed through a small throng of tech-priests. A pair of heavily armed men, geared out in carapace equipment and hell-guns followed from a three foot distance. Mikhail gestured to the rapidly approaching group without another word and pulled him towards themselves. His Sergeant offered a crisp salute and Alaric followed his example.

"Colonel Landi, at your service. At ease, gentlemen." Landi didn't return their salutes, instead extending a very strange looking folder filled with documents. It had a very important looking seal imprinted on the surface. "Alaric Tiranus. Congratulations, you've been handpicked for a top-secret project. I can't tell you what that is, exactly, but these files I'm giving you should tell you enough to know that we've been watching you. Don't try to refuse the offer. Once you're selected, there's no backing out."

Mikhail wrapped an arm around Alaric's neck. "They've come to take you away, Alaric. It's a damn shame, too. You're a damn good Corporal. Just take care of yourself, Alaric. This is goodbye."

The order to move out had finally reached the fourth company and the armored column bellowed restlessly. Colonel Landi took Alaric aside the moment the convoy began rolling through to some unforeseen objective. Battered vehicle by vehicle grounded through the obliterated streets until after a couple of minutes, there were none that remained. Her two bodyguards immediately took him into a relocating medical base where a swift Valkyrie descended from the clouds to pick them up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
448 Posts
Elsen was not accustomed to being issued orders that he could not anticipate. Over the past two decade he'd spent every ounce of effort in collecting a network of informants within the PDF who owed him enough favors to allow him foreknowledge of what his platoon would be expected to do, where they'd be expected to do it, when, and how. Turning a blind eye to the occasional narca or lo-stick snuck through the quartermaster's office often meant the difference between surviving a conflict in tact and dying on the front lines. He prided himself on knowing what the brass was going to have him doing before they did and doing it before they asked.

Yet here he was, stuck in a room with eight men he did not recognize on the orders of the Lord Governor. Phlintte's men had shown up unannounced with papers immediately taking him from his current assignment – from his men – and transferring him to duties 'more pressing for the needs of the Empire.' He'd barely had enough time to put his men in the hands of Sgt. Ames before they'd hurried him to a transport and head to Throne alone knew where.

And now he sat, here, in a bright, white room surrounded by faces he did not recognize. The PDF were irrelevant to his current situation, their rank chevrons identified them as a Trooper, a Corporal, a Sergeant – though the PDF member without rank sewn on his uniform was an oddity – no it was the three men obviously not members of the PDF who merited his attention. They were the ones who likely knew why the group had been formed.

So he sits, he waits, he listens, and he plans for the inevitable fallout, looking at those around the room and deciding what the best way to kill each of them would be, should the need arise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
Alaric was tapping his leg impatiently and focusing with all of his might not to heave up a day's worth of rations. His amber eyes dart around the room, taking in the image of four others all dressed in white. There are a few others scattered about the place: some freak with no hair or eyebrows even, another guy who could fit in as... 128's brother. That one seemed a deal more threatening looking than 128 by a good margin. Judging by first impressions alone never meant much to himself, though, Alaric had been cast aside far too many times in the past to do so.

Alaric slumps onto the bench before immediately glancing sideways to the man on his left. He's a chiseled rock compared to his lanky self, but that doesn't deter him in the least. He reaches out and taps the man on the shoulder.

He attempts to lighten the mood. “Hey. Number 111, right? Don't happen to have any Iho on you, huh? Because if you're going die from exhaustion, be a good man and pass me one before you keel.”
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
448 Posts
Elsen looked down upon the fidgety little man who'd touched him, the Amber eyed twit. His rank pins marked him as a Corporal, his wide grin marked him as a fool. "I'm curious Corporal. You are sitting in secret base after being spirited away by unmarked transports under orders of dubious intent. You haven't the remotest clue what damn fool errand the Administratum has seen fit to assign to us. The only fact that even I know for certain about our current purpose is that we are dealing with a highly connected and obviously covert operation - and in light of all of that, your first course of action is to sidle up to a superior officer and ask him if he's carrying any spare narcotics. Are you completely insane? Even as a joke that was a dumb-ass move."

Elsen punctuated the remark by pointing to his rank pins with the razor taloned augmentic hand, flexing his fingers in a way that intentionally ground the servos loudly. It was the subtlest of threats, a reminder that he could crush solid stone with his fingers.

The boy meant well, but Throne alone knew who could be listening. Covert operations were often overseen by a Commissar or Intelligence operative - either of which would be fond of hidden cameras or surveillance devices. The wrong word or joke could end a man's career, or his life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,071 Posts
Nicholas stood in the entrance to the mess tent, the smoke from one of his best lho-stick’s coiling steadily in the moonlight. About an hour ago the tent had been a roaring den of frivolity. His squad had been having a poker night with a unit which one of his men’s cousin was in. It had been his 10 man unit against the other unit which was over twice their size. The rules were the same as always, but the unit which lost all of its members first lost the pot. Everyone had agreed that it was not fair, but they had played anyway; the other unit because they had thought they would win with almost twice the number and his men because they knew they would definitely win. Amasec had flowed constantly from the start and the noise in the tent had been extraordinary. The night and hands had worn on and Nicholas had counted every card with his usual skill. At one point he had been almost caught out when the other unit’s Corporal had hidden two aces up his sleeve and thought he had Nicholas. In many ways, Nicholas was pleased the man had cheated. It made the game more than just a simple numerical exercise and actually one he had to focus on. For all the man’s cheating, his poker face was not good enough to hide from Nicholas and he had won, as he always did in cards.

Now such noise and laughter had died away and been replaced by the noise of men and women sleeping, the soft voice of the wind and the slow crackle from the burning end of the lho-stick between Nicholas’s first two fingers on his right hand. Nicholas looked up and stared for a moment at the sky. It was clear tonight, one of the first times in many months that he had not looked up into a sky and seen stars obscured by dust and smoke from battlefield fires. The lho-stick came up to Nicholas’s mouth and he sucked in the narcotic smoke. The tip flared angrily and it brushed Nicholas’s face in a light shade of orange colour. Nicholas let his hand drift to his side again, holding the smoke in his lungs for a moment before forcing it gently out with a soft breath. The narcotic smoke coiled and dispersed in front of Nicholas as his eyes continued to watch the constant sky. Nicholas knew it wasn’t really constant and that everything he saw was in constant motion, but from here it looked it and it was nice to just be able to enjoy that cosmic illusion.

Nicholas noticed something in his bottom peripheral vision and his eyes snapped from the sky and its blazing stars to the darkness between the rows of tents where men and women he knew to various degrees slept. Out of this obscurity walked two men, their weapons holstered or hung loosely at their sides. The both seemed fixed on Nicholas and walked swiftly towards him. As they drew closer Nicholas could see that the darkness of their armour was not a result of the darkness around them but because their armour was black and devoid of any insignia. Nicholas didn’t know of a secret police which any organisation held, but it wouldn’t surprise him if one existed. At this point there were only a few possibilities; he was about to be very fortunate and awarded, very unfortunate and arrested or asked for directions and he doubted that the men who towards him with such purpose did so to ask him where they might find someone or something else. Whatever their purpose was, these men would not have come alone, although he suspected that they would be hidden from him behind the endless rows of buildings and tents.

Nicholas took another draw from his lho-stick at the two men approached.
“Nicholas Jozwik?” one of them asked as the lho-stick in Nicholas’s mouth dimmed and dropped once more to his side. He waited a moment and let the smoke escape from his nostrils.
“Who’s asking?” he replied, taking a much shorter draw on the lho-stick at one of the men reached into his pockets and produced orders. More importantly, they were orders sealed with governor Phlintte's seal. The smoke once again exited from Nicholas’s nostrils before he spoke. “I see. Then, yes I am he.” His left hand extended to take the orders as his right also extended to offer the lho-stick to the two men. One refused, but the one with the orders took his lho-stick and gave him the sealed envelope. Nicholas broke the wax seal and read what it said and what it said was not a lot. It was mostly high class jargon basically saying he had been selected for something called Project: Saviour and that he was to accompany the bearers of the orders without question or incident. Nicholas folded the orders along the pre-existing fold lines and then once more down the middle before stuffing them into his pocket. “Seems I’m to follow you two.” The two men simply nodded in agreement and turned to walk the way they had just come. Nicholas walked in between the two of them and reached into his pocket and took his packet of lho-sticks out, putting one in between his lips and then lighting it. He usually had a rule against having more than one at a time, but with such shady orders, he wagered he would not be having one for quite some time. Then, the three of them walked into the darkness and Nicholas’s journey began.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++​

Nicholas opened his eyes, his mind rapidly closing the door on the memory he had just entered and returning to the featureless room he found himself in. With an eidetic memory Nicholas did not need to compartmentalise his memories to retain them, his mind did it on its own. But he found it made for faster recall, like keeping an organised filing cabinet rather than a general morass of papers. The instructors who had pushed his body to near exhaustion had often suggested that it would be good for him to forget his past, focus on the present. Such things were not a possibility for Nicholas, not that he would wish it was. He could not imagine a life where he had gaps in his memory. The idea itself seemed rather horrifying.

The room was a white that was brighter than any shade of white had a right to be. After sitting in this room for so long, Nicholas retreated into his memories for a break in the blinding, sterile monotony of this place. For the first time since the evening he had just recalled, he was actually grouped together with other members of this project. One in the corner was rather disconcerting with his lack of hair and unnatural eyes, but Nicholas didn’t let his discomfort show. He guessed than the man may we have some form of radiation sickness, judging from the external signs, but without blood tests, no evidence of vomiting or nausea, and the fact that he could safely assume that his man had gone through the same trials as him with such an illness made him suppose not. Still, he had not encountered anyone who looked like that man and so radiation poisoning was still his best bet.

Others were rather un-remarkable. The one talking with the man looked like number 128’s more serious brother. One was asleep, exhaustion surely enabling him to sleep in such an unnatural and surely uncomfortable position as he was in. Nicholas watched number 111 eye up each of them and by his glare he could tell he was sizing them up, trying to determine weaknesses. He’s seen the look of men who were trying to learn how to defeat potential foes before and he saw the same look now. Perhaps it wasn’t so obvious to the others, but Nicholas stored that information away in another room. Number 13 was tapping his foot impatiently. Nicholas didn’t mind, it broke the silence which had long since grown past the stage of uncomfortable, but he suspected it would annoy others. Tapping always annoyed someone in a room.

Nicholas sat on the floor, his back against the bench behind him and Number 13 slumped noisily onto one of the one’s opposite him. He tapped Number 111, the man with the killer’s gaze, and asked “Hey. Number 111, right? Don't happen to have any Iho on you, huh? Because if you're going die from exhaustion, be a good man and pass me one before you keel.” Nicholas couldn’t help but chuckle. They had been stripped butt-naked, all their possessions taken from them and Number 13 thought to ask for lho. Where did he think Number 111 was keeping it? Clearly, Number 111 did not find it as amusing as Nicholas. "I'm curious Corporal. You are sitting in secret base after being spirited away by unmarked transports under orders of dubious intent. You haven't the remotest clue what damn fool errand the Administratum has seen fit to assign to us. The only fact that even I know for certain about our current purpose is that we are dealing with a highly connected and obviously covert operation - and in light of all of that, your first course of action is to sidle up to a superior officer and ask him if he's carrying any spare narcotics. Are you completely insane? Even as a joke that was a dumb-ass move."

The ‘superior officer’ Number 111 made the servos in his hand grind audibly as he tapped the badge that marked his rank. “You know that’s not good for the bionics right?” Nicholas spoke for the first time, with a grin on his face. Both men looked at him. “Grinding the servos like that. You’ll wear them out. Besides, if they’ll kill him for asking for lho, they’ll definitely kill you if you break his pretty face with that hand of yours.” Nicholas lent his head back against the bench and continued to speak. “The thing you have to realise is that our rank doesn’t mean shit here. Otherwise why would they have picked such a wide variety of them. If they are trying to erase our names by assigning them numbers, what makes you think they give a damn about your rank or who you commanded before now.” Nicholas breathed deeply as he stretched his aching shoulders and brought his head back up to look at the two men. “They won’t kill him for asking for lho. Hell, I was smoking a stick when they found me. Plus, they won’t have put us through all this just to kill us over something that everyone does anyway, we just aren’t supposed to admit we do. Although, it was a pretty stupid question. Unless I’m the only one who had the delight of being striped to my bare arse and being given nothing but this…” Nicholas gestured to the clothes he wore which were identical in every way apart from the number embroidered on them to everyone else’s “…, where exactly did you think he was keeping it. Because where ever you thought, I’m not sure I’d want any if it had been there!” Nicholas chuckled and let the conversation continue. Talk, even from these men around him, was much better than the boring emptiness of silence…
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
448 Posts
“…, where exactly did you think he was keeping it. Because where ever you thought, I’m not sure I’d want any if it had been there!”


The Sergeant laughed at his own joke, apparently pleased with himself as he smiled past his bent nose. His eyes were tinted with the meagerest suggestion of contempt for Elsen, a dislike of those who placed themselves above others. There was an edge to the Sergreant – the hint of menace and cruelty that only another monster could see. The man would be trouble.

Elsen didn't give a damn about the Iho. The insubordination, however, was not acceptable.

“Sergeant, until I am informed otherwise I am a Lieutenant in the Emperor's most Holy Armies and will act as such.” Elsen tapped his Adam's apple surreptitiously with his finger. It was a common sign in the ranks of enlisted men that a Commissar was listening and he was not free to speak as freely as he would wish. “We are bound by rank and duty even here. Who knows what goal they have in mind for us or what the price of victory might be. It is foolish to abandon protocol when put into a new command – especially one where we know nothing of our commanding officer. ”

He tapped his throat again as he turned to the Corporal, “Trust me, a man gains nothing by volunteering compromising information without cause. We are all here for a reason – a secret purpose – and if they've brought me into this I can guarantee you their purpose is long, bloody and near-fatal to all of us.”
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
Alaric was trying not to laugh in the face of a superior officer, but number 272's remarks on their conversation was too much to pass up. His breathing had gone ragged with his acting up funny bone. "Fatal to all us, huh? Well if you don't have any Iho on you, then sorry for bothering you. Hell, you can keep it all after 272's astute observation over there. I can clearly see it now, it's all stuffed up your ass. I knew Lieutenants acted funny for some reason, guess they have to hide it all from the Commissariat somehow."

Alaric's gaze fell down onto the Lieutenant's flexing bionic arm and hid the chill running down his spine like an expert. He honestly prayed that 272's hypothesis for the project's outlook on rank proved correct. If he had to be led anywhere by this epitome of good Imperial leadership, he knew 111 would probably throw him a couple of leagues out in front of him as human meat shield. No doubt that the Lieutenant was probably used to pulling off stunts like that. And taking all the credit.

He spoke a little more respectfully, filled with a grim sense of curiosity. "Where'd you earn that arm? Lost your original one punching through a Tyranid's spikey backside?"

The word's left Alaric's mouth after some thought of the potential consequences, but the inquisitive comment remained about as serious as he could with someone he didn't know. In the back of his thoughts, he considered 272 and his position in all of this. He glanced over the Sergeant -he could tell by his rank pins, and saw that he was a little shorter than most others in the room. Yet there could be no doubt about it, the man had more than just the thousand mile stare. Like he had been in wars across the galaxy, had seen more than his fare share of horrific xeno species and filthy mutants. And had killed them all at some point in his life. It gave Alaric the creeps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
448 Posts
Elsen's voice grew quiet, quivering with barely controlled rage. "No Corporal. It was not. The men who kept me as a prisoner for most of my childhood cut off my arm as a punishment for trying to stop them from harvesting the organs of the other slaves. "

His remaining biological eye twitched briefly as he shuddered, momentarily lost in memory. His voice was bathed in past agonies as he spoke, a decade and a half of torture in every word. "I made the mistake of trying to shove their doctor off a girl who they were vivisecting. It was foolish - I was a quarter his size. I paid the consequences of my hasty action. I lost my arm - and found myself in the next batch of children whose organs were harvested by vivisection."

"I was lucky - the governor's forces assaulted their outpost and managed to keep me from dying. I was given life and purpose after the suffering - service to the Emperor was my salvation." He tilted his head, smiling in a cheshire parody of camaraderie, allowing his augmentic left eye to glow with a dull red light. "Does that satisfy your curiosity, Corporal? Perhaps you'd care to hear about the hot poker they used to take my eye?"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
Alaric shrunk away from 111's furious glare, raising his hands in his own defense. "Whoah there, Lieutenant! I can tell now, you're not a fan of jokes. Right, I guess I'll the leave the hot poker story alone. Sorry about that. I suppose being a little more professional couldn't hurt, now would it? Here..."

Alaric quickly slipped out of his chair, clambering to his feet and formerly snapped up a salute. He smirked back at the Lieutenant, uncertain if he was going to look stupid or not. "Corporal Alaric Tiranus, first squad, fourth company of the Eleventh "Consetum Mechanized" P.D.F. Regiment. Believe it or not, I'm not here just to raise pulses, Lieutenant. So now you kn...

"One moment, gentlemen." In the same moment of lowering his hand, Alaric sprinted towards the closest corner inside the sterile room and heaved up today's breakfast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
448 Posts
Elsen sighed, watching the Corporal vomit in the corner and feeling his anger bleeding away. There was no point in being mad at the Corporal - or even the Sergreant - it wasn't their fault that he'd been taken away from his men. It wasn't their fault that his body armor was taken away from him or that his weapons were further than arms reach. It was unbecoming of his rank to take out that on them.

He turned from the Corporal, giving the man a measure of privacy.

Turning to the Sergeant, he held out his hand. "Sergeant - I apologize. I am reacting poorly to what is happening. There is a platoon of men heading to the front lines without me right now and I'm stuck here in this room instead of leading the charge."

He looked around the room to the other PDF, "If we are destined to be anything other than what we are - so be it - but I'm not willing to abandon my duty to protect those under my command without a fight. My men, my men are fighting and dying as we speak - and I'm here. It isn't right."
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,442 Posts
Jackson had been resting against the wall, his remaining eye closed as the conversation moved around him. Many could be mistaken and believe he was sleeping, but unlike the man beside him who was faintly snoring in his sleep, Jackson was alert and awake.

At the sound of the man who had identified himself as Corporal Alaric Tiranus vomiting, Jackson opened his eye, and surveyed the scene. The lanky Corporal was still doubled over in the corner, the scarred Lieutenant holding out his hand to the smaller-framed Sergeant. However, Jackson knew that rank meant little, only the ability to control those below you. Jackson had cut open men of nearly every rank and knew that they all bled and screamed for mercy, no matter if they were a Trooper or a Captain.

However, the Lieutenant's words caught Jackson's interest.

"If we are destined to be anything other than what we are - so be it - but I'm not willing to abandon my duty to protect those under my command without a fight. My men, my men are fighting and dying as we speak - and I'm here. It isn't right."

Jackson met the man's look, and slowly rose to his own feet.

"I don't know how much any of you know about what we're all doing here, but I'm guessing from the collection of ranks and professions gathered in this room, that perhaps if it is duty and service to the Emperor we seek, we will soon be seeing it in amounts we had not previously counted on."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,996 Posts
'How many men,' Jurnal Hoyt, Chemoran Military Intelligence, always drank. He had offered Ptolemy a finger of amasec, and sighed when the young man declined. He was tapping away at a leaf of notes, looking up at the tall, blonde soldier. 'Does this report condemn?'

Ptolemy straightened, palms pressed flat against his hips. Hoyt was a right bastard - An overweight, lumbering giant of a man with too many chins and a taste for too-young girls. 'Two-thousand and fifty-three,' Ptolemy replied, corners of his mouth twitching into a sneer. After a moment, he regained his composure and added - 'Sir.'

'Don't be a bleeding heart, Ptolemy,' Hoyt growled, necking another glass of amasec. 'These men are cowards, traitors and malingerers,' Hoyt's eyes narrowed. 'You are doing the Emperor's work.'

That wasn't necessarily true, Ptolemy knew. He had written up the report himself - Read the files and service records of each individual, examining the data with an eagle's eye. Most of the men, and even a few women, were not cowards, traitors or malingerers. They were afraid. The true mutinous elements, like those that Ptolemy had dealt with, were long gone - Executed by their Commissars, gunned down by the Archenemy forces, or having slipped between the floorboards during the hectic aftermath of the War. Just last week, twelve former PDFers had raped and murdered an elderly woman in Sparrowtown - Ptolemy had led the retribution team, rounded them up, and shot them all. Dogs.

That was the true problem; the deserters, the former gangers. Even now, in Ashsmear - That terrible and poisonous wasteland - Operations were underway to destroy the remaining Archenemy foot-soldiers. The War was far from over. Insurgencies would continue, Military Intelligence knew, for weeks, maybe months. The Chemorans were stretched thin, the draftees having been discharged, the career-soldiers mauled during the War's opening stages. Ptolemy's fingernails dug into the soft flesh of his palms.

'So,' Hoyt grunted, knuckling his eyes. 'Is there anything you would like to say?'

You're a fugging idiot, Ptolemy wanted to say. He anted to scream, to ram his fist into Hoyt's round, ugly face. You're a fat fug, sir, and a bastard. The men hate you. One of these days, someone is going to-

'Well?' Hoyt pressed.

'No, sir,' Ptolemy said, with an half-smile. 'Absolutely nothing. Emperor's work, sir. Those men, those boys and girls and greybeards, deserve everything they get.'

Ptolemy did not wait for a dismissal. He buttoned up his knee-length trenchcoat - Not dissimilar to those issued to the Commissariat - Spun on his heel, and left. He emerged into an empty lobby, the marble pillars and floor scoured clean, though they still failed to hide the pockmarks and chips. This entire building, this entire sector, had been ravaged by brutal combat.

At the end of the lobby, in jerkins of carapace and bowl-helmets, were three men. Lean, hungry-looking men, armed with las-guns and bayonets. Their uniforms were grey, unmarked. They caught sight of Ptolemy and began to advance, wearily. Oh fug.

Ptolemy wrapped a hand around his bolt-pistol, caressing the trigger with his finger.

'Who the fug are you?' Ptolemy challenged. The men halted.

'Ptolemy Kraas?' The tallest called. His accent was strange - An off-worlder, perhaps. 'Are you Ptolemy Kraas?'

'Depends on who is asking,' Ptolemy shot back, all venom.

The man saluted. Ptolemy must have looked shocked, because one of the men grinned cheerfully. 'We are Lord Phlintte's men, sir,' The tallest said, once more. 'You have been reassigned. Welcome to Project: Saviour.'

What the fug was Project: Saviour?

***​

Long, tough weeks passed. He went through countless evaluations, both physical and mental - Live firing exercises, hand-to-hand combat, too many blood tests. There was a long, red line down his ribs - Where one of the Mechanicus had made an incision, for whatever reason, and it itched.

He was now sat in a room with seven others, all in featureless uniforms with numbers stitched onto them. 051 was an ugly, one-eyed bastard - Scarred and angry-looking. 272 and 013 were both unremarkable - Boring. 111 was interesting, with his bionic hand and hard, cold eyes. I know you, Ptolemy thought. He couldn't remember where, or when or how, but that bionic hand.. Hm. Such an odd collection of ranks. Claw-Hand and Ptolemy held command, as far as he could tell.

Three others were sat further along, their numbers hidden from view. One was completely hairless and had curious, unsettling eyes - Another was handsome, his mouth set in a firm line. Serious bastard. The other was asleep, curled up. Lazy bastard.

Everyone was talking. Ptolemy wasn't paying attention - Drumming his fingers incessantly against the cold, hard, metal bench. Ptolemy missed women. Before being seconded to Project: Saviour - Whatever that was - Ptolemy had been seeing a noblewoman, far younger than him. He missed her touch, her scent, her warmth. He missed being-

One of the men, 013 - Alaric, as he named himself - Hunched over and emptied his stomach. Ptolemy laughed, loudly and mockingly. He couldn't help it - It was comical, the man's bile splattering over his boots and trousers. For a moment, Ptolemy considered helping, and then smirked. Fug that. He wasn't going to get messy for him.

'Well,' Ptolemy said, eventually. 'I'm fugging bored.'
 

·
visit roleplay threads!
Joined
·
2,259 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Perhaps due to the sudden start of voices conversing, or to the smell of vomit, the individual who was sleeping wakes up, slowly sitting up straight and looking around dizzily, shaking his head some.

As he sits up he reveals his number on his clothes: 048


Suddenly a powerful voice comes into play.

"Stop your incessant bickering over rank. You're all under me."

It is the muscular red-haired candidate, number 077.

He continues, saying, "I am a captain."

The yellow eyed man across from him, number 001, smiles mischievously, still not looking at any of you but turning his face toward the floor as if he gave something away. Perhaps figuring it didn't matter, he raises his head back up in a flash and with a peculiar voice speaks next, "Yes. And I am a Colonel."

077 speaks again, "And why so worried about the 'men' of yours. They can't handle themselves against a bunch of unorganized fools trying to take advantage of anarchy in amongst the Hive's ruins? I'm sure you have all been adequately replaced, and that they are all doing...just fine."

"You should be more focused on yourselves. Your own well being." says 001.


Please continue the conversation from here, with Aiden Jere joining in. I will respond for 077 and 001 as necessary. Feel free to come up with another significant memory for your character. Keep your character sheets in mind. What kind of people they like and don't like, what they are good at, what they know, what they may have aspired to be before this, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
626 Posts
Rather embarrassed, Alaric folded his arms and plopped himself back into his chair. He listened in quietly while the higher ranks began quelling the commotion. Duty. Honor. High stakes. Impossible odds. Watching those in the chamber who were on number 111’s train of thought speaking of whatever it was that had brought them all here. No doubt it was the war effort, an effort to stop from affront, some disaster from striking every sane human being from this cruel galaxy towards the Emperor’s side.

He had to admit, there was something to like about all of it. Heroes. They could be real genuine heroes. Even if that meant receiving your praise through national memorials. In this rotten life he had been dealt, the honor, respect, and dignity that comes with exemplary service could change the fate of his family name in the span of a heartbeat. All it took was a Governor’s seal, he supposed, and he had already gotten one of those.

Alaric sighed under his breath. “Hell. Why not aim for two?”
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,996 Posts
The sleeper - Lazy Bastard - Sat up, dark, roughly-sewn numbers showing on his chest; 048. Ptolemy eyed him up, brushing his lips with soft, untouched fingertips. There was a collection of numbers, here-- But did they signify something? Were he, and his motley companions, the only successful entrants of Project: Saviour? Were they successful? A hundred questions wormed their way into Ptolemy's head - A collision of words, mangled and incoherent, slamming into Ptolemy's pounding head. He continued to ponder, chest rising and falling, when Handsome Bastard spoke up.

Captain, eh? Well that's fugging nice, isn't it, sir?

Strange Bastard smiled, a malign and mischievous show-of-teeth, and declared his rank - A Colonel. He should be at the head of a Regiment - More likely in the rear-ranks, Ptolemy thought with a sniff, - Not sat on his arse with a bunch of misfits and brigands. And Ptolemy.

'Do you think,' Ptolemy said, aloud, after a moment. The lights were making him feel dizzy - An unrelenting, eye-stinging glare. Fug, he was starting to get irritated. He crossed his arms, pressed his head against the cold metal, and whistled between his soft, cherry-red lips. 'Rank matters, now? Don't delude yourselves, sirs,' He looked at 001, smiled, and winked. 'But, then, judging by that number of yours... You're important, aren't you?' Ptolemy laughed, just a little. 'I feel sorry for 272. Name's Ptolemy,' He tapped his chest with his index finger. 'Military Intelligence. Perhaps, just perhaps, introductions are in order.'
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,071 Posts
Nicholas continued to sit with his back against the metal bench as the conversation and bickering continued. The Corporal who later identified himself as Alaric glanced over at him and Nicholas half smiled and winked at him. The man flip-flopped his position. One moment he was acting strong, standing up to 111, refusing to be cowed by the lieutenant’s rank, but then it took little more than a story which Nicholas was sure was supposed to be both heart-warming and woefully heroic on 111’s part for him to offer a full military salute. The Corporal was weak willed and either a sycophant or a lickspittle. Nicholas filed that information in the dossier he had started in his mind on his fellow members of this project.

111 extended his hand and babbled something about reacting poorly to the situation before immediately getting fired up about the possibility of his men being killed in battle. Nicholas took the hand and shook it firmly and briefly. You could gauge a lot about a person by how they shake hands and Nicholas wished to show that there was power in him. His grip was firm to indicate strength but not crushing. Sending the right message in these early moments was critical and if there was to be some collaboration in later moments he wished to be considered to be invited in, if he did not orchestrate them himself, which required those he was meeting now to believe that he was worth something. However, especially to 111 with his murderous gaze and bleeding heart, Nicholas did not want to appear so strong as to display himself overtly as a threat. No, the handshake was something Nicholas had practiced and perfected so that his had just the weight and power behind it to show that he would be useful but not too much that he would be feared, although it might be wise to do so at times. But, such revelations would come much later, if they needed to come at all.

After that, Nicholas mainly kept quiet and merely listened. 111 clearly had very powerful emotions and that was something that Nicholas could use in future potentially. Alaric was not much better, but his reasons for cowing to easily to the lieutenant were not entirely clear to Nicholas yet. It could be out of respect for rank, but given how he had initially stood up to someone who out-ranked him, he guessed not. More likely it was some form of admiration for those who were sacrificial or noble in nature. Perhaps he had an intrinsic trust and respect for those who could tell stories of bravery. Nicholas understood that the line between bravery and stupidity was usually dependent on the results, but if that was what Alaric valued then as long as Nicholas could present a task in such a light, he could possibly be persuaded. He would need more time to observe him before he put anything concrete down, but it was a note in Alaric’s dossier. 51 stood up and said something noble about service the Emperor. Not relevant. 128 regarded him briefly with a look of vague contempt and declared he was bored. That made Nicholas smile. What did he expect them to do; produce juggling balls and perform a routine for him. Still it could indicate a short attention span and a need for excitement, something that might be exploited.

The difference between Nicholas’s evaluation of his comrades and 111’s was that 111 saw them as enemies. Nicholas was certain of that much. 128 regarded him with contempt, but not as a threat. 111 sized each of them up at the start trying, probably anticipating an inevitable conflict. Nicholas knew that this was entirely the wrong thinking and actually more likely to provoke conflict than prevent it. The best course of action was to try to make allies, so that if there was a conflict then you did not stand alone. If everyone is your ally, then you don’t have enemies to worry about as long as your allies stay your allies. However, the more allies you gather the easier it is to convince others to become allies because of superior strength, wealth, numbers, resources, whatever was needed. If not that, then an in-depth evaluation like the one Nicholas was trying to do simply by listening rather than looking everyone in the room up and down would allow you to apply pressure to resolve conflict without violence. Only if everything else failed would someone with a comprehensive analysis of those around him have to resort to violence and if it did come to that, someone with an in-depth analysis of his opponents would be able to resolve the conflict as quickly and with as little spilt blood as possible. That’s why Nicholas listened and evaluated rather than stared obviously at those around him like a cornered wolf.

The one who had been sleeping and revealed his number to be 48 stirred and shook his head as if trying to clear the cobwebs from his mind. They were all tired, but Nicholas’s experience was that fleeting moments of sleep would do more harm than pushing through the exhaustion until you could get at least one full REM sleep cycle in. Suddenly a voice which Nicholas could admire for its sheer power came into play, followed by voice which was just as peculiar as its owner. Number 77 and 1 had ceased there internal discussion and decided to join in with the rest of them. Alaric sighed something about aiming for two and Nicholas wondered what he meant by that until 128 made some joke about his number being lower than all the rest of them. Nicholas figured that they were likely randomly assigned, given that the ranks thus far had no correlation to the value of the numbers on their clothes. Still, it would look strange if he remained silent after being directly referenced. “Don’t feel too sorry for me Ptolemy. I’m the only one with a higher number than you, so we aren’t so far apart.” Nicholas smiled at the man although he looked unimpressed, but Nicholas was quickly getting the impression that he was rarely impressed by anything. “Alternatively, perhaps my number being the largest means I’m most important. You never know!” Nicholas breathed deeply and his lips settled in the curves of a very slight smile. “Since we’re doing introductions I’m Nicholas, but most just call me Nick.” Whilst they were all getting acquainted on a first name basis, Nicholas suspected whatever they faced next would try to beat their origins out of them. After all, if they were going to refer to them all by name they would have printed those on these clothes, not serial numbers…
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
448 Posts
Suddenly a powerful voice comes into play.

"Stop your incessant bickering over rank. You're all under me."

It is the muscular red-haired candidate, number 077.

He continues, saying, "I am a captain."

The yellow eyed man across from him, number 001, smiles mischievously, still not looking at any of you but turning his face toward the floor as if he gave something away. Perhaps figuring it didn't matter, he raises his head back up in a flash and with a peculiar voice speaks next, "Yes. And I am a Colonel."

077 speaks again, "And why so worried about the 'men' of yours. They can't handle themselves against a bunch of unorganized fools trying to take advantage of anarchy in amongst the Hive's ruins? I'm sure you have all been adequately replaced, and that they are all doing...justfine."

"You should be more focused on yourselves. Your own well being." says 001.
128 glared through his obvious hangover and spoke , 'Do you think, rank matters, now? Don't delude yourselves, sirs,' He looked at 001, smiled, and winked. 'But, then, judging by that number of yours... You're important, aren't you?' Ptolemy laughed, just a little. 'I feel sorry for 272. Name's Ptolemy,' He tapped his chest with his index finger. 'Military Intelligence. Perhaps, just perhaps, introductions are in order.”

That the slurring foul-mouthed lout was a member of military intelligence spoke volumes about the irritating, often conflicting, and seemingly irrational reports he'd been relying upon. Small mercy that his network of informants allowed him alternate routes to obtaining necessary intel.

111 let go of Elsen's hand, a slight quirk to his lips hinting at a smile but lacking any mirth behind it, “Don’t feel too sorry for me Ptolemy. I’m the only one with a higher number than you, so we aren’t so far apart. Alternatively, perhaps my number being the largest means 'I’m' most important. You never know!” Nicholas breathed deeply and his lips settled in the curves of a very slight smile. “Since we’re doing introductions I’m Nicholas, but most just call me Nick.”

Snapping into a hasty salute, he faced his apparent commanding officer. “ Lieutenant Elsen Strab Von kerg, reporting for duty sir.”

None of his compatriots followed suit – a fact that troubled him deeply. Elsen was becoming increasingly convinced that he'd been roped into a suicide mission. Apparently neither gifted with any sort of respect for rank or burdened with even the slightest modicum of common sense. These seemed less and less like the best and brightest of His Imperial Majesties PDF and more like the dregs most easily disposed of when the chips went down.

With any luck his reputation would be enough to subdue some of their apparent distaste for authority. Elsen went to great lengths to keep his more interesting exploits under wraps but even he could not stop all rumors. His tenure in the northern provinces alone was the sort of thing troopers would tell each other around the campfire to scare new recruits.

It was common knowledge that he'd skewered a dozen men on pikes and left them to rot in the sun, drinking his tea in their shade as he watched them die. They'd be heretics and traitors who'd butchered children but the vid-capture of him at afternoon tea on blood soaked earth left an impression. It was the only publicly captured moment of his own brand of justice but far from the most colorful.

He was not ashamed of anything he'd done but the Imperial Code of Military Justice might have alternate interpretations of the proper conduct for a military officer. Burying his quartermaster alive for rape, shooting a Commissar between the eyes for executing a retreating soldier, or any one of a thousand other snap decisions would be cause enough for his summary execution.

“Sir,” He addressed the Captain, trying not to dwell on precisely what the Captian's definition of 'just fine' or 'acceptable losses' might be. “Why are we here?”
 

·
visit roleplay threads!
Joined
·
2,259 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Raucous laughter fills the chamber as 077 throws his head back, theatrically, and claps his hands together one time.

001, his yellow eyes still staring at seemingly all of you at once, says, "Apparently, 272 is the smarter one."

"Sit down fool!" yells 077. "Our associates told us the remaining numbers were all cunning individuals. I see now, they are so cunning that they can't even pick up on obvious sarcasm! not to mention queasy-belly over here! There is no way of telling what rank any of us really are. The only reason I know you're actually a lieutenant is because of your reputation among the ranks, Kerg. I know your face." He points to his own with his index finger as he says this.

"272 is right," he continues, "rank is meaningless here. They left us no way of designating it."

Suddenly, raising a long arm pointing two fingers, one of them at 051, and the other at the still awaking 048, 001 abruptly changes the subject saying, "These two...I bet these two don't make it."

Ptolemy looks over to him, becoming a bit stunned to find those intense eyes staring straight into him, as a hissing noise erupts from the walls and gas begins spilling into the chamber. Even as the cloud of gas begins to fill the air, 001 never breaks his stare with Ptolemy. Not even a blink.

All of you feel the effects within seconds, your bodies weakening and unable to respond to your brain's commands. Soon enough, there is enough gas in the room that seeing your hands in front of you is difficult. Some short moments afterward, everyone in the room is passed out cold.

-----------------

128's consciousness comes back to him first. Through glass-like material and bluish colors, he sees a dark figure in front of him, but it seems hunched over. There is no face to see, it being covered by a black cloak. Behind it, further on the floor below, a handful of other figures run across the floor, seemingly toward an exit. They are all large humanoids.

The figure in front of your glass suddenly stands up, and seems to notice that you are already conscious, swiftly turning away and following the others before you can get a good look.

128, 013, and 272:

The other two wake now as well, also seeing little but blue fluid and glass in front of them. All of you feel enormous amounts of pain. The fluid begins to drain toward your feet, and a countless number of cables detach from your bodies. Needles exit their insertions, and the rebreather-like device over your mouth and nose cutting off its function. There is no noise but the draining fluid, until another loud hiss hits your ears. The glass panel in front of you begins lifting and with it comes the pounding noise of an alarm. The room that unveils before you is dark, with red lights beating like a heart.

All three of your tanks open simultaneously and you can see the other two stumbling out of their own across the room from you, the white overhead lights in the tanks the only noticeable change in scenery from the red lights and shadows. None of you have any idea who the other two are. Automated servitors begin their apparent tasks, spraying you each down with chemicals of some kind, robotic arms swinging in to check you, and assisting in cable disconnection as the fluids stream down your legs, over your feet and down into the drain lines placed in the floor panel you now stand on.

There are five other tanks like the ones you just emerged from in this room. Two of them are at the far end, clearly already open with the white lights inside of them still shining brightly. Another is empty, but the glass panel has been violently shattered, and several ripped cables dangle out from the wreckage. Two tanks have yet to open, cast in a blue glow, still being filled with the fluid. You can make out figures inside of them, but cant gather any details. They mostly appear as shadows inside the fluid. One of them seems calm, as if simply not awake yet. However, the other one is struggling harshly; its hands and feet pounding soundlessly at the glass panel, to no avail.

You stand, shivering, looking over a walkway full of murders as a machine places a simple beige cloak over your form. Upon the grated walkway that meets your feet as you descend the short ramp leading away from the fluid tank lay several dead bodies. Some are humans in white medical uniforms, and others are heavily cybernetic individuals in dark red robes.

111:

When you come back into a state of consciousness, the first thing you feel is extremely intense heat. The burning hell of a hot poker going through your eye and moving around on the inside of your skull. Then all you can feel is cold. You manage to raise your head out of deep snow, and find your whole body half sunk into it. Its night here, windy beyond reason, and still snowing furiously, though most of it feels like tiny shards of ice. As you go to stand up, your legs fail you and you fall again. You notice large gashes and cuts on your red washed hand and arms. Frost has collected quickly on the parts of your mechanical limb, sticking to the drying and freezing blood. Your only clothing is some form of undergarment.

Some ways in the distance behind you is a bright light, coming from an opening in what appears to be a large structure of some kind. You can hear a thrumming siren coming from the building, and see only your footsteps in the snow leading from it.


All of you: You now have, for all intents and purposes, the body of an Astartes. However, you can hardly recall what your body was like before. In fact, you can hardly recall anything from before. Like most cases of amnesia, you will still understand the basic world around you. You can still talk and recognize the world around you and such, but your personal memories are pretty much blank right now. Your numbers are laser burned into your chest and shoulders. You are free to do what you want within reason but are limited to the spot I placed you in. If you choose to leave or go somewhere you can declare your character is heading in that direction but I will reveal if thats happens or where it leads in the next update. For example, 111 could choose to go back towards the building, but it would end there, todeswind not knowing what would be inside. Your post should include your character's reaction to the end of the scene in the white room, their point of view when regaining consciousness and the following decisions:

272, 128, and 013: Do you try to help the figures still in the tanks? How so? I will determine if this is successful based on whether or not Romero or Santaire let me know they still plan on posting. Regardless of that though, you can still have your character try to get them out.

Do you communicate with the other two at all? Do you interact with them at all? (remember to be careful when interacting with another player's character. Its easy to god mod with that. Check with me and the player before deciding if they actually touch the other player, and to see how the other would or would try to react. This always includes NPCs as well, as a side note).

Do you decide to stay in this room and figure out what the hell is happening or leave toward one of the exits on either side of the chamber? If you decide to leave, will it be at a slow and steady pace or a darting run?

111: Even though 077 says he is familiar with you, you know you have never met him before. Once you wake up and muse over the observations given, do you decide to try and continue your venture out into the snow storm and away from the building, or do you decide it would be smarter to head back? Your cybernetic parts have been adequately enhanced to accommodate for the changes in your biology.
 

·
visit roleplay threads!
Joined
·
2,259 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Before anyone can approach the tank with the struggling figure, its mechanisms finally give way.

048 comes out similarly to the rest of you, though shorter of breath and in seemingly even more pain than the rest of you.

You all can still choose to inspect the remaining tank with someone in it if you wish.



048, you're update is now the same as 128, 272, and 013's
 
1 - 20 of 54 Posts
Top