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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)

This thread is the place of honour reserved for those FanFic writers who have won the monthly Heresy-Online Expeditious Story Challenges. After each month's voting is concluded, the winning story will be added to this repository.

So, for any authors that are looking at joining us in a competition, this is a good place to check out some past winners in order to find out how to become a winning HOES writer!

Table of Contents:​

2011
HOES #1: Panic - Bane_of_Kings: Emperor's Blood
HOES #2: Thirst - C'Tan Chimera: A Wretched Silence Examined
HOES #3: Betrayal - Mossy Toes: Survivor
HOES #4: Turning Point - Ckcrawford: The Last Tower
HOES #5: Hatred - Akatsuki13: All That is Left
HOES #6: Contagion - Svartmetall: Becoming
HOES #7: Vengeance - Adrian: The Girl on the Black Ship
HOES #8: Mercy - Adrian: A Portrait Rendered
HOES #9: Doubt - Serpion5: In the Face of Reason
HOES #10: Deliverance - Taliesin: Deliverance
HOES #11: Overcome - Mossy Toes: Apotheosis
HOES #12: The End - Mossy Toes: Remembrance

2012
HOES #12-01: A Beginning - Serpion5: Another Chance...
HOES #12-02: Into the Fire - Dave T Hobbit: Kidnapped
HOES #12-03: Rebirth - Davidicus 40K: The Cycle
HOES #12-04: Annihilation - Mossy Toes: To Comprehend (It Matters Not)
HOES #12-05: Falling Rain - Liliedhe: Lacrimae Faralis or Tears of the Dead
HOES #12-06: Restitution - Liliedhe: The Mothers' Gifts
HOES #12-07: Duty - Liliedhe: Rust
HOES #12-08: Loyalty - Adrian: Inquisitor Repentant & Dave T Hobbit: Freedom
HOES #12-09: Family Ties - Bloody Mary: The Brightest Star
HOES #12-10: Failure - Liliedhe: A Question of Perspective
HOES #12-11: Innocence - Mossy Toes: A Memory, Sundered

2013
HOES #13-01: Last Stand - Jonileth: Defense; Futile
HOES #13-02: Grace - Romero's Own: Flames from Heaven
HOES #13-03: Contempt - Liliedhe: The Splinter in my Brother's Eye
HOES #13-04: Competition - Liliedhe: Fuses
HOES #13-05: Treachery - Liliedhe: Out, Damn Spot... & Lord of the Night: He Who Betrays First
HOES #13-06: Serenity - Bloody Mary: Serenity of Purpose
HOES #13-08: Absence - Lord of Night: Lost Memories & Ye Olde Grandma: The mortal affection
HOES #13-09: Delay - Adrian: Worry is Bad & Veteran Sergeant: Delay
HOES #13-10: Relaxation - HonorableMan: A Last Lho-Stick
HOES #13-11: Illusions - Firemahlazer: The Craven Beast & Xabre: A Nightmare Unseen

2014
HOES #14-01: Irritation - Xabre: The Three Wise Men
HOES #14-02: Endurance - Xabre: Lessons of the Masters
HOES #14-03: Granite - Myen'Tal: Maw of Granite & Xabre: Earth, Steel & Fire
HOES #14-04: Infamy - Dark Angel: Brotherhood
HOES #14-05: Laughter - Dave T Hobbit: Chuckle
HOES #14-06: Certainty - unxpekted22: Mayhem
HOES #14-07: Resurrection -unxpekted22: Of Verdurous Nature & Myen'Tal: The Fire of One
HOES #14-08: Vision - Myen'Tal: Sacrifice for Victory
HOES #14-09: Carnage -
HOES #14-10: Wealth - Warhawk: Those Who Count
HOES #14-11: Carnage - Moriouce: Mind War
HOES #14-12: Flight - YeOldeGrandma - Skydancers

2015
HOES #15-01: Theft - Asmodai: Underhive Thieves
HOES #15-02: Memory - jonileth: Catastrophic Loss
HOES #15-03: Alliance - Brother Edmund: Alliance
HOES 15-04: Schism - Honorable Man: A Las-Flash in the Night
HOES #15-05: Patience - Adrian: Dogs of War Beyond the Scope
HOES #15-06: Riot - Adrian: In a Riot of Colours... Perfection
HOES #15-07: Confusion - Adrian: Alive and feeling good!
HOES #15-08: Claustrophobia - Brother Emund: Honora ad Finem
HOES #15-09: Inconvenience - Brother Emund: It ain't nuffink
HOES #15-10: Disguise - Treesniffer: One Day's Hunt
HOES #15-11: Celebration - Brother Emund: Don't Count Your Chickens & andygorn: Unveiled & Treesniffer: Dance Night for the Dwarves

2016
HOES #16-01: Sadness - Brother Emund: The Pain of Sacrifice
HOES #16-02: Certainty -
 

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Discussion Starter #2
HOES #1: Panic

Bane_of_Kings: Emperor's Blood
An Imperial Guard Short Story
1010 words​

SLOWLY, KEEPING HIS head down, Colonel Kardan advanced through the ruins of what had once been known as Hive Hestran. “Watch your backs, men,” he remarked, gesturing to his men behind him. “You never know where these traitors might be hiding. Check every ruin.”

“Yes, Colonel,” there was a chorus of replies from his squad. Climbing through what had once been some sort of pub, a place for hivers to gather and drink; it was here that he first heard the voice.

‘Count the Seven.’

“What was that?” uttered the vox-caster, afraid. He was a young man in his early twenties, and boasted blonde hair. He was named Thestus, and had been with the Regiment ever since Morannos. “I just got something weird on the vox.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Kardan responded. “It’s just your vox acting up – keep going. Remember, guard your flanks. The Emperor Protects.”

“The Emperor Protects,” they chorused as one, and continued their advance.

“The Baneblade was last reported to be several miles north-east of our current position, Colonel,” Jedrec, the man who carried the squad’s flamer, informed his Colonel of what he already knew. Deciding not to respond, Colonel Kardan continued his advance.

“This place gives me the creeps,” Andras was the one who spoke, nudging a corpse with his lasgun to see if it moved. “Why couldn’t we be off on the front line? We shouldn’t have to be searching for a lost Baneblade.”

“Contact was lost with the Baneblade, but the pskyers confirm that it’s machine spirit is still intact,” Kardan turned on Andras. “That’s why we’re going out there. We can’t go in Valkyries or Chimeras because that would give away our position. And we don’t have any Sentinels left, and all our other squads are on the front line.”

“I know that, Colonel,” responded Andras. “But what about the 22nd? We haven’t heard from them in weeks.”

“The last time they were reported was near the Baneblade,” replied Kardan. “I’ll give extra rations to all of you if we find both.”

That got the men interested. The promise of extra food always got the men interested, as during wars, food was often hard to come by. As Kardan climbed over another piece of wreckage, he heard the voice again.

‘Count the Seven.’

“I don’t think that’s my vox acting up, Colonel,” uttered Thestus.

“Try changing the frequency,” replied Kardan, and continued regardless. “It’s nothing.”

“But Colonel, this is the second time I heard it,” Thestus remarked, anxiously. “I mean, I can understand once, but twice?”

Colonel Kardan shot a look at Thestus, and remarked, “It’s defiantly your vox acting up.”

“But Colonel...”

“Any more words from you, Thestus, and I’ll shoot you where you stand.”

“It wasn’t Thestus who spoke, Colonel,” remarked Andras with a frown. “I heard it as well. Count the Seven. That’s all it is. Just three words.”

‘Count the Seven.’

And this time, Colonel Kardan heard it. It was an eerie voice, deep and dragged out. It echoed across the squad, causing each of them, including the Colonel to stop stone dead.

“Ignore it,” after a long pause, Kardan came to a conclusion. “If it’s not the vox acting up, it’s the enemy trying to scare us. Don’t pay attention to it.”

“Colonel, if the enemy can get into our vox systems, does that mean they know where we are?” asked Thestus, worryingly, as they climbed over another small ruin.

“If they know where we are they would have attacked by now,” replied Kardan.

“Or they’re leading us into a trap,” Jedrec replied grimly. “What’s our next move, Colonel?”

“We follow our orders, unless you want to find yourself as part of the penal legions,” Kardan spat, and grabbed his weapon, a trusty Power Sword that had been with him, also since Morannos, when he had lost his old one to a xenos later classified as a Carnifex. The only reason why he still lived was due to the intervention of an adeptus astartes, from the Raven Guard Chapter, appearing from nowhere to smite the alien with righteous fury.

“So we advance,” the final member of the five-man squad, the only female there, and the highest ranked in the Regiment, Kal, spoke. “And if it’s a trap, we spring it and call in for air support.”

“Aye, that’s what we’ll do,” Colonel Kardan grinned. “Nice thinking, Kal. Sharp as ever. Now, Guardsmen. We wouldn’t want to let the God-Emperor down, would we?”

They continued their advance in silence. About half an hour later, they arrived in what had once been an Imperial Chapel, dedicated to the God-Emperor and the Imperium. Some defiled banners still hung on the walls, signifying that the enemy had not had a chance to taint this place yet.

Which unnerved Kardan, as he thought, if he was the enemy, he would have defiled the Chapel long ago – as it stood out as a beacon of resistance, and a beacon of hope, to any survivors.

“We go inside the Chapel,” ordered Kardan.

“Guns blazing or stealth, Colonel?” asked Jedrec, curiously, lifting his flamer.

“Scan for signs of life,” Kardan responded, looking at Kal, who obeyed.

“There’s... There’s nothing,” Kal remarked, after a quick scan.

“Good. Then we don’t have to-”

“Wait,” Kal held up her free hand. “I’m detecting something... lots of things inside. Some small, some large. But... there’s hundreds, Colonel! And there’s more – behind us!”

“Behind us?” Colonel Kardan spun around, but saw nothing. Then, Kal screamed. Instantly turning around, Kardan noticed it.

Daemon,” he spat, and loaded his pistol. It was small for a spawn of the archenemy, and stank so badly that Kardan reckoned they could have smelt it a mile away, and it was covered in green – but there were more than just one of them.

And they were not all the same size. There were several different shapes of them, some suspiciously man-sized. Recognising the banner that one of them held, Kardan cursed.

“Emperor’s blood!”

At last they had found out what had happened to the Korvannon 22nd.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
HOES #2: Thirst

C'Tan Chimera: A Wretched Silence Examined
1000 Words



You can never comprehend. You will never know what I have tried so hard to forget.

I speak to you now in the body, the rippling surge of matter against matter. My eyes cannot speak for me. My mouth does not move. Only this occupation of space, this metal skeleton can create any expression. The expressions found within the flesh; the gashes, lacerations, gaping holes and carved skin.

You will never know what I feel, what I have spoken; the same words we sowed across Oblivion eons ago. Those words have blossomed into essence upon the universe it sprouted from. Hatred. Weakness. Pain. Genocide. Since the beginning we have thirsted for so much more then what we were. We hungered for that just barely beyond our grasp. We would never have made it this far had we not been gorged on that which one can only find at the bottom.

Hatred kept our will alive. When all else failed to make our blood surge with purpose, it nurtured us and weaned us like a twisted mother.

Weakness kept our ambition alive. The shame that dwelled within, the guilt of unfulfilled destiny brought us forward, one foot after another.

Pain kept our bodies alive. It was our discipline, the reminder of our failures and that we were still alive, if only barely by its fickle definitions.

Genocide kept our race alive. It unified us under one desire. If we couldn’t overcome our fate, Genocide would allow us to drag everyone else down to our level for company of misery.

Yet I know you do not understand this. You do not understand that which I unceasingly try to show each of you as I reach out for you. I understand that no amount of blood spilled and bones broken can ever convey a tangible idea, a message that may be understood universally. Yet I try anyway if only to justify my actions, no matter how weak it really is.

Some things cannot be understood, much like what I desperately try to convey. They have taught your kind that death is a blessing…But for all the wrong reasons. In the end, everything is supposed to die. No matter how briefly or no matter how long, everything dies. Time itself is the only permanent, yet it dares not mingle with the abominations we have become. I am neither alive, nor am I free from the confines of the material plain.

I have become Death Itself. That thin scythed blade that serves as the dividing line between the trillions alive and the innumerable dead. My brethren have been It for so long that they no longer even think of it, let alone anything else. Days slipped into months and months into years. Years became centuries and centuries became seconds. Even the seemingly immortal aspect of time has faded from my comprehension altogether. My condemnation and the agony of its burden will never end for time has lost all meaning. I am the referee between life and death, constantly judging but alone and unable to take part in either role ever again. My brothers have suffered likewise, but I still envy them.

They have lost all drive, all meaning, all awareness. They are no longer even the echoes of the ancient hatred that sill resonates within their empty sockets. Only I remain, and only I know that I lead them to become these pitiful husks. I envy them, if they can even be thought of as entities any longer. I envy their liberation from the self imposed definitions of this universe.

They are just grisly toys. But at least they will never know how far they have fallen; how much they’ve let their ancestors down when they once promised them they knew how to save them from pain and suffering. I was not so lucky. I trudge on alongside them, leading them forward into the eternal harvest.

They may never be sentient again and thus never hold judgment, but that which I hold upon myself is enough. The doom of my entire race sags against these tired metal shoulders. It slowly but patiently erodes my conscience, my dignity, my once impenetrable denial. Like damnable waves it seeps its way into every corner, every crevice and every hollow of my being. That which Time itself cannot physically wear down, this Guilt does for it.

Perhaps your leader feels just like I do as this legion’s master. We both had our thirsting to stand above all else. We fought long and hard, just to be trapped within this material prison and forever be unable to escape it. Ambition has given away to the stagnation of eternity, and to fully understand that it has no end is to abandon hope. We both watch over our kind, desperate to save them from the mindless slavery they have willingly undertaken. Yet we are no longer truly your masters. Rather, we are merely sad reminders of our races undertakings. We have taken different roads and used different methods to reach the same destination at different times.

It may be impossible to win that pointless mortal game, yes. I once took my role in it but knew not what I had. What we had. We had an experience and we cared not for it but the destination at its end.

You see me loom before you and know Death. It’s a gift that I may give but will never receive no matter how many times I am struck. All that thirst so long ago was sated and was never enough. It’s simpler than ever before yet all but impossible. All I want now, after so much, is to scream. I just want to scream one last time. I know I have lost. I know I can never be freed from what I have forged for myself. I just want to let it all out before I continue about my impossible task.

I just want to scream.

I can’t.

Yours will have to do.
 

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God dammit Boc... How dare you mislead me with your thread title... I come here expecting to see bitches and hoes, but instead I get stupid fan fic. :p
 

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I wholeheartedly agree- and I'm not saying that because I won this month's edition :blush:. The themes are simple, but provide a fun challenge of figuring out what to make of them. After months of monotonous writing assignments for classes, it's always a blast to have a change of pace with what it is I'm writing about.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
HOES #3: Betrayal

Mossy Toes: Survivor
1098 words​


Inquisitor Thresh chambered a round into his ornate bolt pistol and ejected the magazine. It clattered to his desk.

“Tell me, Interrogator,” he said, offering the pistol to Taros Vutch with a flourish, “what is your single greatest flaw?”

Taros took it, puzzlement slowly giving way to cold, hard fear. He blinked slowly, taking a shuddering breath. “The close bond I have with my twin sister, sir,” he said. There was no denying it. Hadn't Thresh criticized him for that very weakness many times?

“Precisely. In all other matters, you are an exemplary student. I have no other reservations for sponsoring you to the rank of Inquisitor, apart from losing you as an operative. You are one of my most promising protegees—other than your illogical, detrimental attachment to Kay Vutch. The Enemy needs but one lever against you, Taros. I can guarantee you she would eventually be used as that lever, willingly or not.”

Taros stood still, the bolt pistol heavy in his hand. Thresh met his eyes, expression solemn and unyielding.

“Nevertheless, Interrogator,” he continued, “it is with deep regret that I inform you that your sister's soul is irrevocably tainted.”

Taros stiffened, biting back an outright denial. He didn't believe what he was hearing on principle, but his master was bound to have evidence for such an inflammatory statement.

“She has been, unknowingly, the Darkchild's host.”

Taros closed his eyes again. That was it, then. That was how the damnable beast had tracked them unerringly across the sector, and why her psy-sensitivity had so unerringly predicted its coming. That was why she always survived its attacks, however improbably. His heart sank even further. Thresh would not say such a thing without definite proof.

“You are certain?” Taros asked, nonetheless. He had to know, to protect, to deny-

“Irrefutably. I have had my suspicions for some time, but am now certain. When overpowered, the Darkchild named her its mother. Psy-probing and hypnotic interrogation Kay herself turned up further evidence, unwitting thrall though she had been. Chirugeon Jhal's report is here.

“Know this: an Inquisitor must be tempered steel, without flaw. I know this hurts, Taros.” Thresh's tone was the closest to compassionate that Taros had ever heard. “My own master forced me through similarly painful deeds; deeds that I resented for many years, but for which I now see the necessity. I will not release an unworthy Inquisitor upon the galaxy. I know this hurts, but these are the hammer-blows that shape you into the Emperor's blade.

“You are ready to become an Inquisitor, Taros. You need but prove to me that you can put aside your personal ties. You have one final test. Your sister awaits.”

+

Kay shifted in her bonds, despite that the movement send shivers of agony running down her naked, brutalized body. Voices in the corridor outside.

She understood the nightmares, now. Always falling, always bound. She knew what horror was coming, what she—gagged or muted—would be helpless to prevent.

Her body hurt, her head pounded from their drugs, and more than half of her fingers and ribs were broken. Lacerations and bruises throbbed mercilessly, unrelieved by the burning pain in the back of her neck. One of her ears had been torn off, her scalp shaved, and she didn't even want to imagine what that machine had done to the base of her skull—and to her brain. Hanging restrained and immobilized, all she had been able to do was scream.

The portal to the void safe-cum-torture chamber creaked open, and burning light lanced from beyond. She squinted, her puffed-up eyelids protesting.

“Kay,” came the whisper, and her stomach sunk in despair. She knew that tone, those words too well. “God-Emperor above, Kay.”

Taros took halting steps into the chamber. The lumen-strip hanging from the roof flickered on and the door shuddered shut behind him, locking with an automated, irrefutable clatter.

Her nightmares. This was them, played out in flesh. He would stagger forward, apologize. He would jam the blade of the knife into his trachea and his eyes would work silently, beseechingly, as he sunk to the floor. She couldn't let that—she had to stop-

He lurched forward to touch her cheek. Despite the caress's gentleness, it only stung her bruises.

“Don't,” she hissed, her voice cracked and raw. She couldn't let it happen. She could argue him out of it. She could convince him not to commit suicide.

He jerked away, obviously thinking she was talking about his touch. But a thrill of elation filled her. She could speak, and he carried a gun, not a knife. The future wasn't set. It could diverge.

“I'm sorry-” he began, but she cut him off harshly.

“Don't do it. I know what you're planning. I've seen it in my dreams; I see it in your eyes. It's not worth throwing yourself away for me. I'm already dead.”

“Kay,” he breathed, agonized. “I've already lost you once, for eight long years. I can't let you get taken away again. I can't live without-”

His voice failed.

“You walk out of this chamber alone,” she said, “or neither of us leaves. It's that simple, Tar. There aren't any other options. Besides,” she said, and coughed, “you always wanted to serve the Imperium and see the stars.”

“I've served. I've seen. But if this is the price—I've served and seen enough.”

“Then who will prevent the atrocities like Hive Colocanis? Like Karisas and Teketomos? Even if it hurts, Taros, I'm too—broken—for you to give yourself up over. You have to live.”

It hurt too much for her to speak. That, she told herself, was why her breath came in ragged gasps; why her vision blurred and ran. Taros's breath was rough too, and his shoulders were shaking. She hadn't seen him cry since they were underhive slum-children on Carcosair, in a hive that had been dead for almost two decades.

The only noise was their breathing. She had to push him, convince him. She had to change his mind.

“I'm sorry,” he said, lifting the pistol. It's barrel lifted and wavered toward her. Nothing was certain until he pulled the trigger. She could see the hole that a magazine would normally occupy; he had been sent in with one bolt. What would she do if he killed himself and left her dangling here, helpless, over his corpse? “I'm sorry, Kay.”

She closed her eyes, waiting for thunder to roll.
 

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HOES #4: Turning Point

Ckcrawford: The Last Tower
1098 Words​

Extract from the pages of an old Terrain book… What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?

Deep Down in the Galactic South of the Imperium, lay the lost and most beautiful worlds of the Imperium. “The Four Titan Worlds”, as so they were called. The first world, “Oceanus” the planet with beautiful oceans. Of all the oceans in the world, these oceans were the most beautiful. The depths and mysteries underneath them all but known. The second, “Cronus” a planet that was known for its fine and gentle forests. The third, “Helious” which bore the biggest mountains in the galaxy. And the fourth, Phoebe, the planet that was most like old Terra yet received the least light of the four due to the distance to the Sun and Moons that it had around it. Some called it, “The Planet of Darkness.”

Each world had been colonized very minimally due to the size of these planets. Each over four times the size of Terra. After they were found by the Imperium, the Emperor had declared these worlds restricted. To be kept as jewels of the Imperium after the Crusade. Untainted and untouched by the warring races of the galaxy, they were admired by the High Lords of Terra.

In doing so, after the Second Founding, four of the most beautiful towers were created along with four of the most successful second founding chapters given the responsibility of guarding these worlds.

After a while, expeditions to these worlds had stopped and their beauty forgotten. Instead each chapter was given command of Imperial Guard Regiments, and many other resources to start extracting the natural resources each world had. The only difference was that each world had its own abundance of particular resource. Knowing that whatever chapter owned this sector, they would have the power to rule the entire Galactic South. As such, every Chapter Master refused to start sucking their planet of their resources. Stating they were protecting these jewels as directly ordered by the Emperor before the Heresy.

Only one obeyed the new administration’s command.

----------

“Burn all of them down!”

The Chapter Master looked upon the Planet of Cronus from his ship as he barked out the order.

“A lesson to all those to employ hit and run tactics and think they can disgrace me. Now, we watch them burn.”

The crew looked at the targets. Guilt stuck in their throats chocking them. But it needed to be done. It had been thousands of years. Their fathers, and grandfathers had fought over this planet. Now they would give them the respect they deserved. And they would bring the Imperium the rightful Chapter to rule this sector.

The Sons of Darkness. The Chapter that had been created to rule “The Planet of Darkness,” had benefited in being the farthest planet away from the three. And the enemy Imperial Guard Regiments had been devastated with the constant night fighting. So dark was the planet that unless you lived on it, you could not employ any strategy. Even with the three Chapters and regiments of the planets fighting against one, they were still massacred, as whole regiments disappeared without a trace. After three weeks, the three chapters had retreated from the Planet of Darkness with 75% casualties.

“Are you alright Chapter Master Syrian?”

Quintus, the Chapter Master’s first Captain had seen him walk away from the scene unnoticed by the rest of the crew.

“Yes Quintus. Its hard to see such a world turn to ash. To see my brothers who defended these worlds annihilated. But we follow the direct orders of the Imperium. “

Quintus looked at his broken Chapter Master. They had lived longer than most Astartes, fighting together against the Green Skin, Tyranids, and renegades pirates that went all over the galaxy to steel resources from planets. Now he was now in the progress of destroying this brotherhood.

“What of the Tower my lord. What shall we do about the survivors in Cronus’ Tower? “

Syrian started walking away and then paused for a moment in the shadows.

“Purge the traitors. A traitor is a traitor, no matter what kind of bond we have.”

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

A century before had seen the fall of Oceanus. With the traitors in full retreat and fully devastated, the Sons of Darkness killed every living thing on the planet’s surface. Syrian had seen the faces of his brothers as they returned from killing their former brothers. The look in their eye’s as though their souls had been pulled from them. And the beautiful Tower of Oceanus had artillery shells barged into it until its existence had been a mystery to the world. But Syrian had seen none of the destruction. He did not want to.

Now they had arrived to their hardest compliance… Helious. It would take everything in Syrian’s power to take down this world’s power. And he would personally have to lead the assault.


The Sons of Darkness were facing as much a disadvantage as the three chapters that attacked the Planet of Darkness. The only difference… they were the darkness.

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

The Imperial Guard Regiments had surrounded the Tower of Helious. It had been built deep within its mountains, and virtually made it impregnable.

The final assault required precision. As the Sons of Darkness dropped down on the fortified tower, they would need the Imperial Guard to bombard the inside of the fortress right before they landed.

As the Imperial Tanks bombarded, it became disastrous as several of the pods were destroyed in mid air. But it didn’t matter; they had gotten most of the Chapter inside the fortress. The tanks had stopped the siege, and the real slaughter had begun.

Limbs had been torn apart as the traitors were easily swept aside. And Syrian chased Helious’ Chapter Master up the Tower.

“Why Syrian?”

The Chapter Master of Helious threw down his sword, accepting his fate.

“I have obeyed the Imperium, and the Emperor. I have done it all in his glory.”

The Chapter Master dragged something from his holster. Quick as he was, Syrian drew his blade upwards through his stomach.

The Chapter Master fell down. As he looked at what the proud astartes was about to draw to him. He dropped his sword as his hands trembled to what he had come upon.

The Flag of the Four Towers. A lost artifact that was given by the Emperor to them but lost until now.

“What have I done?”

Like the Towers, now there was only one. He whispered again.

“What have I done.....?”
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
HOES #5: Hatred

Akatsuki13: All that is Left
1097 Words​

A bowl of figs and a goblet of wine…

It never ceased to amaze him how such simple, simple things could still provoke emotion from him. In life he cared little for such trivial things. Figs were figs and wine was wine. All that mattered was they sated his hunger and pleased his tongue.

Yet now such little things consumed his waking thoughts. When not at war, he would always demand a bowl of figs and a goblet of wine. Wordlessly his servants would always carry out his command, bringing him the simple meal he desired. Why he would want such pointless things was lost even to him. But when he received the meal most times he would just stare at it, remembering back to time when such things were merely small joys in his life. There were rare moments when he could even recall the taste of figs in his mouth, recall the feeling of wine flowing down his throat. Now if he tried to consume the meal all he would taste is sand before the food and drink spilled out upon the floor through his exposed, desiccated chest. It taunted, showing how he could never enjoy such simple pleasures ever again. And as the food withered and rotted, it mocked him. Showing before him the very fate his body had it suffered.

It was always then that it returned. The one thing he could still feel within this world, one simple thing. It would always start slowly, burning faintly within the dead, dried out husk that was his body but would quickly grow into raging inferno. Screaming and curse he would cast the meal upon the floor, crushing the rotten fruit beneath his foot, smearing the once delicious wine across the stone and grinding the broken dishes into dust.

But in time that feeling would pass leaving him empty once more. Until he inevitably demanded another bowl and goblet brought to him, wishing to feel it once more.

When he first marched his great legions north into the lands of the savages, he pitied them. Living in huts of mud and sticks, carrying weapons of sharpened stone, worshipping their savage, false gods they were the lowest of men below even the slaves that labored tirelessly for the glory of the kingdom. Fighting with them was more akin to hunting game than true war though far more enjoyable. Even the most dangerous of beasts are but beasts, men however could be cunning and devious despite their crude and savage nature. Perhaps that was why he always enjoyed his ‘hunts’. One could never tell if fleeing savages were truly running in fear or merely attempting to lure one into a trap.

But time had seen their glorious civilization fall into the sand and death while the savages had thrived like never before. Their scattered tribes had been unified and forged into an empire by a single chieftain. Now they proclaimed themselves to be the greatest empire of man upon the face of the world. Yet they remained obvious to the simple truth.

The Empire was but a feeble imitation of their golden civilization. They divided their lands into separate kingdoms ruled by individual lords while the greatest of them ruled the empire from their grandest of cities just as they did in ages past. The kingdoms of Nehekhara were united into a single empire by the greatest of their kings so too were their little tribes brought together by a chieftain. Worse they in turn deified that man into a god. To elevate a man, no matter how great he was to the level of gods was gravest of blasphemies. Men were men, gods were gods. Not even the greatest of kings would dare tread upon the realm of gods.

Thinking of their arrogance and countless blasphemies only brought fire and fury to his withered breast. For those were not their own crimes. Countless northern men had ventured into their sacred lands to loot and pillage their tombs and cities. They held no respect for a true civilization beyond what they could steal with their filthy hands or mockingly recreate in their parody of an empire.

Now when his armies marched north into their lands and they came upon their settlements and towns he always gave pause before approaching them. Peasants milling about the streets and markets, merchants selling their wares, tradesmen plying their craft all under the watchful gaze of the town guard, just as his people once were. These children of savages had the gull to mock his long dead people in their crude heathen ways.
Always he would order his legions to attack these settlements regardless of whether or not they were intended target. Unlike in ages past when he fought these men for the thrill, these battles were fought for entirely different reasons for those feelings were long dead to him. These battles were punishment for their hubris.

Arrows blessed by Asaph and catapults loaded with skulls would rain down death upon many in the streets just before horsemen and chariots would ride in and strike down those that fought back. But not everyone would die. Only enough to break their resolve and force them into submission. Death by blade and bow was far too merciful for such…people. His warriors would force then them from their settlement and burn it down. After that they would take great pains to keep them alive as they returned south, until they reached the sands of Nehekhara. Then they would march them through the desert without food or water or rest until the last man, woman and child dropped dead in the sand.

A fitting fate for those who dared steal from and mock their betters.
Once however as his legion marched their prisoners into the desert a man had the gull or courage to approach him. He had long forgotten what the man looked like but never what he said.

“Why?” he pleaded in his crude tongue. “Why are you doing this to us? What have we done?”

For what seemed like eternity he stared at man, seeking to put a name to the one thing he had left in this world, the one thing that gave him the strength to endure his otherwise empty existence.

“Once I lived like you…” he spoke. “I enjoyed the simple pleasures of life… But now that has been taken from me… All I have left is my hatred of you savages and your empire that mocks our glorious civilization… I will not rest until yours is like ours, dead…”
 

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HOES #6: Contagion

Svartmetall: Becoming
1099 words​

The subject lay motionless in his restraints, which were easily capable of holding a fully gene-altered Astartes should the need ever have arisen. Above and to either side of the medical table, robotic arms moved tirelessly along the length of the body and back, their motions reminiscent of the slow dance of underwater plants in a gentle current. The sensors which studded the tips of each arm maintained a ceaseless electronic vigil, watching for any change – no matter how minute – in the subject.

Human eyes also watched, from behind an armourglass viewport, and human minds pondered what the electronic tools observed.


Day Six after initial exposure. Subject’s skin temperature locally varying between 23 and 49 degrees; no sign of damage to dermal or subdermal tissue after thermal events. Causal processes of thermal events unknown. Signs of asymptotic neuron behaviour evident in responses to reflex and motor testing; some test responses indicate high levels of kinaesthesia, whereas others show a state of neural inactivity resembling necrosis. No indication of necrotising agents or processes in skin samples taken from affected areas. Causal processes of neural behaviour unknown. PH balance of subject’s sweat and urine varying between human-normal and -4; no variation in content of nutrient feed lines has been induced. No evidence of acid damage to epidermis or tissues of urinary tract. Causal processes of PH-balance variations unknown.


The body of a convicted underhive ganger had been exposed to the original infecting agent on the orders of the Inquisition, members of the Ordos Hereticus, Malleus and Sepulturum collaborating on the case despite their own widely varying (and sometimes directly conflicting) personal agendas. The staff of the medicae facility itself, offered a choice between co-operation and a bolt round, chose to co-operate; some of them correctly guessed that a bolt round would almost certainly still be their reward once the case was solved. All of them were intrigued by the case itself, offering as it did a chance to study such an unusual disease.


Day Eleven after initial exposure. The variations of epidermal pigmentation observed for the last three days appear to have stabilised, the subject’s skin now assuming a uniform greyish colour. Causal processes of dermal colouration unknown. Subject’s urine has remained steady at a PH of -26 now for two days; superacidic burns have been effected to the catheter apparatus. All perspiration activity has ceased; attempts to induce perspiration by altering test-chamber temperature ineffective. Causal processes of both symptoms unknown. The most interesting development has been the increasing opacity of the subject’s internal organs (and some major circulatory channels), whose progressive deformation now resembles no known configuration in any human or genetically-related abhuman type. Again, causal processes of this are unknown. It must be said that our inability to scan much of the subject’s internal structure via any of the tools available to this facility (including isotopic-scatter tomography and P-ray derivation) has now become a major impediment to further progress. Inquisitor Hartmann has nevertheless insisted, rather forcefully, that we make every effort to continue.


The glittering forest of instruments that surrounded the test subject’s body was so intent on the subject himself that none of them noticed a change in the metal table on which he lay. On the underside of the table itself, the military-grade steel and ceramite alloy had discoloured to a dull grey that matched the subject’s own skin, and patches of the metal appeared to have worn away to show the subject’s flesh behind.


Day Fifteen after initial exposure. An attempt to procure a blood sample resulted in the rapid dissolving of the needle, by what subsequent analysis revealed to be a superacid similar in composition to the last urine sample obtained before urinary activity ceased two days ago. Subject’s epidermis has also become increasingly resilient; two needles broke before we could get the third one through, at which point the subject’s body appears to have defended itself against the needle by producing the acid. A further attempt to penetrate the same area of the subject’s epidermis merely resulted in the needle snapping against the outer dermal layer, which appeared to have hardened drastically and rapidly; scans revealed that the dermal temperature in this area had lowered to match the ambient temperature in a matter of seconds. Two of our orderly servitors that had entered the chamber to retrieve the injector apparatus showed traces of alkali corruption to some of their augmetic components; the servitors were immediately subjected to quarantine incineration.

This prompted a check of all equipment in the chamber, and the subject’s observation table is now showing signs of severe corrosion at every point of contact with the subject’s body. We are fast approaching a point where we are both unable to observe anything beneath the subject’s epidermal layer at all, and equally unable to physically interact with his body.

Dear Throne, what have those madmen brought here?



At precisely eleven minutes past midnight on the twenty-first day after infection, the subject moved for the first time. While only a small twitch of his right leg, nonetheless this tripped the motion sensors and within four minutes the small observation room was packed with facility staff and Inquisitors alike. The subject’s eyes were open, unblinking, and small tremors were coursing through his body at intervals of a few seconds. Fascinated, Inquisitor Barkhorn observed that the table on which he lay now appeared to be only a few millimetres thick yet still supporting the subject’s weight; this was still being debated when the subject’s head turned towards the viewport. While it stared through the tinted armourglass, with no apparent effort the subject raised its left arm and snapped the restraints. This motion caused the table to collapse beneath it, and the subject impacted the plascrete floor with a sound more akin to a large metal weight being dropped than a human body. In fact, there had been much debate as to whether the extreme chemical changes that had been observed meant the subject could even be counted as human any more.

Standing upright, the subject raised its arm and stared intently at it as it changed colour from dull grey to what looked like the silver of pure steel, and then with mesmerising slowness extended out into a smooth blade-like shape. The subject ran his eyes up and down the length of the blade, then turned his gaze once more to the viewport.

His eyes were the dead black of a predator fish. He smiled.



***-mediate assistance! Repeat, this is Inquisitor Rall requesting immediate assistance! Contagion confirmed to be Obliterator virus! Subject has escaped and-***
 

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HOES #7: Vengeance

Adrian: The Girl on the Black Ship
1100 words​

The girl’s eyes were bloodshot to the point of looking blood-filled.

She tried desperately to remember why she was here, what she had done to deserve this. Her mouth had been sewn shut and a rope of deep crimson was tied around her head. It ascended from the bottom of her jaw where it had been sown in, up her face, over her shaven head and back down again to connect to the other end in a sacred knot of warding.

Her small, delicate frame trembled from the cold; the burlap brown smock that gathered around her not enough to stay the cold. The blackness of her cell was total and complete.

There in the middle of the cell she sat chained to the floor; hands clasped behind her back, tied with crimson cords in looping knots.

In the crushing darkness she could hear the sound of her heart beating.

From outside the door of the cell the sounds of other people could be heard moaning, screaming and speaking in random conversations that were both insane and terrifying. Someone was cursing the Emperor.

She wept tears that ran down her face as she tried to speak, to call out for help as the sutures bathed her twelve year old mouth in pain. From somewhere down the hall she could hear hardened voices speaking in low gothic and for a moment her heart leapt with hope.

She listened as the voices grew louder. She could hear the stamp of their iron-soled boots as they drew nearer and her young heart hoped against hope that someone would find her and save her from this nightmare.

She tried to scream, but only moans of agony escaped her tethered mouth.

‘I must open the sutures of your mouth in order to feed you.’ The voice hit the girl like a fist to the face and yet it was as soft as silk. Tears began to rush from her eyes anew as desperate fear overwhelmed her.

‘If you speak or scream or even make a sound the officer behind you will put a bullet through your skull and you will be condemned forever to wander the eye of terror, separated from the most Holy Emperor of mankind. You may nod if you understand me.’ The woman said.

The girl nodded up and down slowly. She felt a gloved hand grab her jaw in a tight grip then the cold steel of a blade slicing through her sutures and gliding against her cracked, parched bloody lips.

As the woman fed her she could feel her strength returning and with it the memories of a past not so long ago.

‘You are a psyker. The black ship is where you will live out the remainder of your life unless you can be trained, unless we can find a use for you.’ The woman fed the girl another spoonful of protein mush.

The girl started to ask a question but felt the cold barrel of the shotgun press against her skull. She began to shake with renewed fear as she felt the malice of the man’s thoughts. Her memories were beginning to flow again with images of blood, screams and death.

The fear of the man behind her was enough to jar the memories into action.

The smell was like that of copper on fire, the blood of her mother, father and brothers boiled within the kettle before them. The townspeople chanted around it and drank of its contents even as they partook of the flesh of her still screaming mother.

The girl smiled as she remembered how she had taken her vengeance upon the townspeople. She smiled as she opened her eyes for the first time in this dark room and looked into the face of the woman standing before her.

The woman’s face turned white with fear. Within the girl’s mind she was at home standing in the midst of the townspeople who had butchered her family. The girl’s hatred of them welled up within her breast and into her bones; she began to scream!

All around her the townspeople began to convulse and fall to the ground. One by one their fragile bodies began to pop, the insides trading places with the outside, bones splintering into mushy paste. Eyes popped in their sockets and brains exploded from shattered skulls.

She had begun to dance as she sloshed around in the contents of the corpses. She twirled and stepped back and forth in their blood, their guts and intestines oozing between her toes, covering her feet and licking her shins.

Outside people fell on shattered legs and burst into flame, their flesh alighting in synchronized pyres that lit up the night.

Stepping outside she could see that some of the people still moved, trying to crawl away, fear of the little girl causing them to bray like wounded cattle.

Slowly she walked up to them and screamed into their ears. At the sound of her, their skin melted and their bones were laid bare. She began to laugh at the plight of the townspeople. She leapt through their blood and danced on their bones. She could taste their terror even as they died.

Her vengeance turned to sadness as she remembered her family nailed upon the walls of their home. Slowly, exhausted the girl went back inside.

At the feet of her father the Inquisition had found her. She lay there as if in a trance. At once Inquisitor Gilda Macie understood what had happened and transferred her to the black ship.

The blackness faded from the girl’s eyes slowly as if a fog dissipated before her. Bound to her chair she could not break free, all she could do is look into the once beautiful face of Inquisitor Gilda Macie.

The officer that had placed the shotgun to her head was now in the corner twisted inside out and covered with blood from where his shattered bones were now exposed. The woman was slumped backwards with not a shred of flesh still upon her torso or face.

The black ship drifted in the cold blackness of space for three days before a search party braved the confines of the psyker vessel. As the girl opened her eyes they focused upon the twisted soulless eyes of the captain of the Unfailing Eye Chaos Marine chapter.

His voice was like gravel as he turned her face from side to side. ‘What do we have here?’ he asked coldly. He began to laugh until she began to scream.
 

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HOES #8: Mercy

Adrian: A Portrait Rendered
1073 words​

Lord Inquisitor Barthalemiew Barlott walked through the vast halls of the art museum. His practiced eye caught the glories of works rendered and ideas brought to light. He had been here before; years ago when he was a boy around thirteen years of age.

That had been a long time ago indeed. He had been dying of an illness that had ravaged his lungs and his parents had brought him here upon the request of the museums facilitator. She had said that art could heal all but the most broken of souls.

The Lord Inquisitor smiled as he thought of that day. The sickness did go away, not because of the art but because of the Apothecaries administrations.

One hundred and seventeen years had passed since he had set foot into this place. Almost everything had changed. The ceiling bore a mural of the Emperor dressed in battle plate and terrifying in his vengeance as he destroyed the works of his wayward sons.

The walls held portraits of magnificence, glorious depictions of landscapes, oceans, figureheads and animals. Some of the artwork bore the cruel faces of brutal overlords and criminals, masterminds of atrocities and destroyers of worlds. These were called “Historical Remembrances”.

Lord Inquisitor Barlott stopped before one of these portraits and allowed his eye to take in the full detail of what was before him. The likeness, color, skin-tones, the hair and even the look in the man’s eyes were perfection.

He saw the signature of the artist and recognized the name as the person that he was there to see. Mrs. Millissa Hecktar. Her work was renowned for the skill and awareness she put into it. The work she did could not be matched throughout the known galaxies.

‘Lord Inquisitor.’ The elder servant said. ‘Lady Hecktar will see you now.’

The woman was surrounded by her own private collection of portraits the world had never seen. Thousands of faces stared down as silent witnesses to the floor below.

‘Are you comfortable?’ The Lady asked kindly. The Lord Inquisitor was taken aback when he first had seen her. She was much older then she sounded, wrinkles over a once beautiful face, gray hair that once was raven black. Her shoulders were hunched from the weight of years.

‘Yes, I am quite comfortable. You may begin when ready.’

The artist smiled and approached the Lord Inquisitor. ‘Sir, if my work is to be authentic and truly a union of your very soul to the canvas, I will need a pinprick of your blood to add to the paints.’

‘A union of my soul?’ The Lord Inquisitor asked. ‘Simply a figure of speech, sir.’ She answered.

The Lord Inquisitor politely extended his hand and consented to the pinprick. ‘Now, can we begin? I have appointments and schedules that must be kept.’

The woman bowed her head and whispered something over the paints as she mixed in the blood. Lord Barlott did not hear what it was she had said.

Slowly she began to apply the paint, fashioning the details in perfection. ‘Lord Inquisitor Barthalemiew Barlott. Your name does not escape me.’ She said quietly while intricately detailing the set of the man’s jaw.

He tried to speak but found he could not open his mouth. That was odd. As he watched her work his body settled into the warmth of comfort. He was too comfortable so he tried to move, but found that he could not.

The woman looked up from her work to study her subject. She smiled warmly before beginning again. ‘Your heart is in the right place, Lord Inquisitor, but you lack mercy. In your zeal you have become a tyrant and a murderer. You have sought out the heretic and the denizens of evil, but never once have you looked into your own soul and seen what it is you have become.’

As she worked he began to feel himself slipping away. Fear stabbed at his heart and gnawed at his very soul. Within his great robes he held weapons enough to destroy cities, but now, at this very moment an old woman held him bound with powers he could not resist.

‘You destroyed my home world because you detected taint from a single person. You said where there is one heretic there are thousands and where there are thousands there are billions. My family was there, upon that world and they died. Their flesh fell from their bones.’

The woman stopped speaking as she considered her next words. The lord inquisitor watched her now from two places. It was strange. He could see her from the portrait and from his own eyes. He knew that what she said was true and terror clutched his soul as he sat before his judge.

The old woman dipped her brush into the paint and began once more. She set to work upon the nose and mouth, the crows-feet at the sides of the eyes. She flecked grays along the hairline and placed the sternness into eyes that had caused nations to tremble.

There was a crowd of witnesses watching from the walls. Lord Inquisitor Barlott suddenly understood what was happening and screamed with a voice that only he could hear. The portraits bore the souls of those who had committed great evils. He recognized them now for what they were, cages for the damned!

‘For the longest time all I wanted to do was kill you and take the vengeance that I was owed, but I learned something about vengeance and cruelty from people like you. In mercy I will allow you to live. You will be bound in art for eternity. You will never die.’ She was no longer talking to the man in the chair, but the man in the portrait.

She could see into his very soul and what she saw was no longer pride of position, coldness of heart or determination to seek out the heretic, but raw uncontrolled terror.

‘You ordered the deaths of billions in the Emperor’s name and said that it was a mercy to the universe. Billions died without ever knowing why. Most never got the chance to repent, but this is the mercy that I will show you Lord Inquisitor Barthalemiew Barlott. I give you everlasting life in order for you to consider what you have done.’

The portrait complete, Mrs. Millissa Hecktar turned to the chair. It was empty.
 

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HOES #9: Doubt

Serpion5: In the Face of Reason
1100 words​

Two steps. A swing, a decapitation, a spray of blood. Three more steps. A thrust, a crunch and a sputtering of bile and vomit. They were suffering now, all of them. The Necron once known as Mithrahc was in his element. Striding the battlefield like the ancient god of death that he was, he wrought pain and ruin upon any and all that stood before him.

This isn`t who you are...

He surged forward, the legion of undying metal warriors at his side reacting to his will. The human attack was renewing itself and even now more weapons fire had begun to fall upon him. Pitiful laser weaponry for the most part, but there were stronger weapons amidst the humans ranks as well. A crude fragmentation explosive detonated nearby, knocking several of his warriors from their feet and damaging a third. It was inconsequential, as moments later the felled Necrons stood once more. Mithrahc laughed a hoarse metallic laugh and swung his staff in a wide arc, brutally cutting down four more human soldiers.

You shouldn`t be doing this.

He ignored the voices in the back of his mind. They had come and gone for millennia, even before his great sleep had begun. Part of him had hoped that the voice may have vanished under the weight of time, but it had persisted, just like the rest of him had. He paid it no mind as he willed his army to advance. He saw the crude lumbering armour of the young race`s devising struggling to inflict anything more than superficial damage to his grand monoliths. He grinned savagely, a truly terrifying expression on the death mask he wore, and with a thought summoned those who would spearhead the next surge.

It isn`t too late. You can still spare these poor people.

There was no chance any of these humans would survive this. Once the pathetic defenders were taken care of, the populace infesting his glorious home planet would be purged. There would be nothing but necrontyr presence upon this, the jewel in his kingdom`s crown. These lands were once barren and lifeless, the way all should be. He had seen to it that every plant, every animal, every damn microbe on his world had died. How rude it had been of these creatures to simply assume they could take it from him! His anger was renewed and he watched with morbid fascination as the destroyers zoomed overhead. These were Necrons lost to the Destroyer Curse. Their only thoughts were to destroy and they fitted this role perfectly. Mithrahc nodded in grim satisfaction as the green arcs of the destroyers gauss cannon fire annihilated humans by the dozen with each salvo.

Is this how you want to be remembered? As a tyrant? A murderer?

He paused. He had always been a great ruler. They had never called him a tyrant! Never! He growled in frustration as he increased his pace. At his unspoken command, his warriors followed suit, many of them breaking into a run. None would dare to fall short of absolute perfection, especially in the presence of their Royarch.

You are a tyrant.

He roared in anger as he brought his staff down. The blade cleft an unfortunate human in two and he decapitated another on the backswing. He was a patriot, a herald of necrontyr dominion. Long ago the slaves of the Old Ones had tried to destroy his kingdom and false gods had subsequently tried to enslave his race. He had been foremost in their salvation. It had been his decision to rally the royarchs of the many kingdoms to strike back at the height of the false gods tyranny. They had acquired the technology and the fortitude needed for the task, and their counter-crusade had been successful. Why then, did he have this doubt at the back of his mind? He had ignored it for so long that it had become an entity of itself, threatening to invade and destroy who he was!

Who you think you are? You are wrong. You were never supposed to be this.

He screamed a metallic curse at the darkening sky and broke into a run. There were only pockets of resistance now before the humans space port and these were beginning to break and retreat. He could see the non combatants of this pathetic species attempting to escape their doom. As one of the shuttles made to take off, Mithrahc waved a simple gesture towards it. From several miles behind, a beam of intense green energy scorched the air and hit the ship hard. There was no impact, no concussive force, no explosion. Such was the nature and power of the Gauss Pylon`s wrath that the shuttle was simply gone but for the smouldering rear section and one of its wings. He laughed maniacally as the screams began.

Murderer.

He was not these things! He was a saviour of his people! He was a hero of his time! He led the spearhead as the wall of the spaceport was reduced to nothing by gauss fire. His guardians followed him in, staves and scythes reaping a bloody tally from their hapless prey. It was almost too easy for him to snuff out their worthless existences. As he stopped to survey the carnage, willing his guards to continue unabated, his gaze came to rest on one of the few surviving human militia of this world. The human`s eyes met his, and at once he saw the fierce determination in the mortals eyes.

He is you. A mere mortal facing down a deathless enemy. Do you remember?

He fell to one knee, beset by a doubt stronger than any he had ever felt. Almost instinctively, the foremost of his guards vanished from the melee ahead only to rematerialize at his lords side. Mithrahc looked up at his trusted protector, grateful for the loyalty of Alkvar. The warrior had been his champion and guardian through life and the eternity that followed, but more than this, Alkvar had been a constant reminder of what it meant to stay strong and true.

I may have been this, once. He thought. And I may always have these doubts. But no matter what you say, you cannot change what I have become. This is who I am. Who I was is no longer relevant.

He listened. Following his acceptance of the doubt in his mind, the voice had fallen silent. It would always be there, but he would never let it hinder him.

For he sought the resurrection of his kingdom. How could he doubt that?
 
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