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Offline Sir Sam Vimes

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The 40konline fiction contest
« on: August 2, 2007, 11:07:51 AM »
Welcome, most revered scribe, to this most sacred of documents, and to this contest.

Index of published stories
At Home, He is a Commissar by No Love Lost
The Longest Road by Ukos Sa'cea Rienn
War of Xyon IV by ShadowBreaker
34th Solinus Stormguard Regiment by ShadowBreaker
Second War of Armageddon by ShadowBreaker
Maiden Guard by Khemri, the Major
Survival of the Quickest by Flonky
Cleanse by His Grace the Duke of Ankh, Commander Sir Sam Vimes
Clean by No Love Lost
The Gunnery Sergeant by Commissar Rusk
Godfall Rising by Locarno
The Lesson by Locarno
So Dies a Hero by CrisisCommissar


Deadline: September 18th 2007

Maximum length: 20k characters (including space)

Da Guydlinez
This competition is open for everybody, but you should still follow some simple guidelines.

1. What should it be about?
This is after all 40k, so let's keep it that way. It is allowed to write anything that takes place in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, and nothing that takes place in the Discworld or any other real world.

2. Where to drop pod it?
Simple, post it here so that everyone can read it. After the 20 of september there'll hopefully be a poll up, where you can vote who you think deserves the title.

3. Purge the unclean!
It is strongly recommended that you read through your text, and correct any grammatical or spelling errors. After all, we're not here to teach you how to write. That's what schools are for.

4. Copyright!
Do not rip stuff from existing fluff or fiction, as that is rude and a violation against Games Workshop's copyright. And copying text from your fellow amateur authors is mostly considered as bad manner. So do behave.

5. They attack in hordes!  
If you're wondering how many texts so can submit, I'll give you the answer here: as many as you want, but remember that Quality often beats Quantity.

6. For the pleasure!
Yes, but don't overact it. Racism, excessive violence and sex do have a role in the world of 40k, but I suggest you don't write anything that could offend your readers.

7. The possessed!
Because of this contest being highly unofficial it is allowed to use texts you've already published, as long as YOU are the author, and not Timmy, your eleven year old neighbour.

The Prize! not yet decided, but will probably be a custom title, and such a trophy cannot be bought with neither money, nor favors. I'll get in contact with the staff and see if it's possible the winner get's one.

So, with that been said, I have no more advice other than that you should turn on your scribe servitor, and get those nasty fantasies you're keeping in your head down on paper.

If you think I've forgotten something or have a question, go ahead and pm me or ask here.

Good luck and Emperor protect!
« Last Edit: September 10, 2007, 03:35:44 AM by His Grace the Duke of Ankh, Commander Sir Sam Vimes »

Offline Onanon

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Re: The 40konline fiction contest
« Reply #1 on: August 7, 2007, 08:24:13 AM »
                 'At Home, He is a Commissar.'
                                            By No Love Lost


The Commissar stopped writing, put down his pen and ached. 50 signatures, his hands washed clean.

Death notes.

He sat back in his chair, letting exhaustion take him in to the leather folds. He huddled in his greatcoat, haunted by smiling, trusting, placid faces. Repeated conversations.  'Did I tell you about my mother, my family, my childhood?'
All dead now, worthless, senseless things. Non-borns, the Anomiens called them. The Commissar thought on this; the manner of their birth is unimportant to the natives, they live and then they die. Empty vessels break just as easily.
He reached out to his imported teak desk, took hold of a bottle and poured himself another glass of Amsec.

The Commissar was alone now, the only off-worlder in this senseless place. An alien among the alienated. He stood up and paced the four walls, his domed ceiling proof against the vacuum outside. Here in this pressurised capsule there was life, his life. The walls were reinforced against outside attack, against decay and corruption. Penumbral stains marked the walls as of late, some foretaste perhaps, some sigil. A pict-slate displayed the radiation forecast. Surviveable levels in a few hours.

The Eldar attack bit hard into the Commissarat-led squads, whether by design or by fortune. The design of the witches or of the enigmatic One, this great man, this Mono they all spoke of. The Commissar found himself attached to a large contingent of Non-born conscripts. They had names, he remembered.
They all had names.



One nominated himself as leader of Platoon 'Triumph'. He was voted in by the remaining 49. 'Mark', one of 5 in the platoon, looked to the hollow-eyed Commissar.

'I will lead us to victory.'

He turned to his 49 comrades.
'We fight for hope!'

The Commissar fitted a pair of dark glasses over his eyes. With his back turned he whispered:
'I have utmost faith that you will.'

The Commissar smiled and turned.

'You will make a fine leader.'

They were like children, infants.

They wept like children on first contact. Flak was insufficient against shruiken, let alone the mind-agony the Eldar witches unleashed. They tenderly cradled the bodies of the fallen, weeping in the hope that bitter water would bring back the dead. The Commissar was almost moved. Almost.

He neckshotted the agreed leader and ordered an advance on where the coven held council. The Commissar would maintain order.

He felt presences as he charged, chainsword moaning in anticipation. A scratching at the edges. Of his psyche. Things seemed to bleach. Out. Slow. A sensation of being here

Then somewhere else.

And then,


He repeats in his mind: 'The Emperor protects protects protects protects...' but the filth rises against it, some unbearable unbelievable understanding, like shards of pure glass truth filth slashing everything real to shreds. Repeats, gabbling now; 'Protects protects protects protects protects protects protects protects' red foaming brain worms devour, blood, sufferance, severed eyes, noses, lips, ears, bleeding down, bleeding for miles around, don't they know?! 'Protects protects protects protects protects protects' scratches, they look like hands, don't they? Little hands... SWEET TERRA BABIES HANDS!
He's here.

Sudden feet first ejection from the cnut of the Void, flat on his back, eyes locked on the terrible wheeling stars above. The silence was immense.

The Commissar found himself crying behind dark lenses, then laughing, then crying. He sat up on corroded volcanic rock and hugged his knees, glad for the comfort auto-contact brings. All the horrors he had known faded, all pain and suffering banished. He felt in the presence of a great ocean of peace, at last his being was filled with love and hope. He walked to the blasted copse and was filled with joy at the sight of 8 corpses, clad in ornate Rune armour. They bled from the eyes. A helmetless Warlock lay dessicated on the ground, frozen, twisted over bleak rock, forever in the grip of abject terror. He wept when he saw their Waystones stolen, a smile splitting his cracked lips. He knew he was in the presence of pure Void, absolute anti-soul.

He spun around, taking in the Culexus Temple, the fire, the smoke, the unending horror. He was lost in death, he ate it, he drank it, he grew strong on it. At last, he had found peace.



The Commissar drifted back from his reverie. The planet was evil, the people were evil, no, something beyond evil. He shuddered from the very seat of his soul, a newfound compassion and sensitivity being infected by the filth that stained his walls. The fluorescent lighting above him hummed oppressively.

The Commissar poured himself another glass of Amsec.

                                       +++++END PART ONE++++++
« Last Edit: August 20, 2007, 01:53:19 PM by No Love Lost »
I like what you're doing, but none the less... It's pretty freakin' messed up. Which is cool. Great ideas and concepts, but again, pretty freakin' messed up.

Offline Onanon

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Re: The 40konline fiction contest
« Reply #2 on: August 7, 2007, 08:30:08 AM »

Staring at a ceiling for eternity, corrugated concrete the new deathscape. The bedroom the modern coffin. Metabolism slows to nothing, no release of energy from destruction.
Heart beats. Exhale.

Shadows that flicker on the edge of vision, fearing the real. Soft bed no comfort now, a padded box that reduces all sensation to nothing. Sleeping eternal.
Heart beats. Exhale.

Returning seemingly to nothing, black hive spikes that blossom across his ceiling, spiderlines in black ink connecting, erasing, destroying; endless distance, some impassive, impassible barrier between the individual and the world. 
Heart beats. Exhale.

The deathscape, in between nothing and everything. There was life here, he remembered. His life, his past, his future. Surfacing, the lone survivor from Innerspace.
Heart beats. Exhale.

The body brought him back.
Heart beats... and sharp, painful inhalation.
___________________ _______________


The Commissar lay on his back.
Ventilation pulses, lights hum, heart beats.

Waking in spirit only from dreams filled with screaming static and white noise. Body rigid with tensions. Dreams that point nowhere, filled with senseless architecture and blankness.

He gritted his teeth and swung his legs over the side of the bed. The Commissar felt like vomiting, but was so empty he decided it would be a futile task. He steeled himself against a wash of nausea from standing up, and kicked an empty bottle across the room where it smashed, spraying crystal shards into his legs, harsh fluorescent lighting making lazy refractions throughout the room.

He was unsteady on his feet, and toppled to his knees when he tried to walk forward, a thousand shards of broken glass piercing his knees, eager roses bleeding into the floor. In anger, in pain or out of sheer machochistic joy, the Commissar scraped himself low against the jagged floor, taking handfulls of broken glass. He rocked back on his knees and squeezed. The pain brought him back, confirmed that he still suffered, that suffering confirmation of existence.

He stood.

Artificial light pierced his skull, hammering into his brain. His mouth was diseased and dry from recycled air and alcohol. He guided himself to the desk where the bottle lay. The Commissar almost knocked the glass over, he was so uncoordinated. He held steady, waiting for two false images to combine to the one reality and the spirit began to leave the vessel, as the glass filled and the Commissar drank deeply.

He was possessed by the need to make an exit of this place. He crawled to the bathroom, barely feeling the thorns of glass, and emptied himself of everything. He fell once more into poisoned sleep, hoping he would not dream.



The tiles were cold on his face. Back again.

He stood up. Better now.

'Terror's the certainty', the Commissar whispered to himself, 'Evil the putrid excess of self-conscious and self-justifying goodness'. He removed the glass from his hands with a tweezers and washed them in Amsec, watching red blood swirl down a white porcelain bowl. He bound his hands in bandages and resolved to escape the room that he had made his prison.

___________________ __________________

The Commissar poked his head out of the door. The quarters were empty, 200 people employed elsewhere. By design? The Anomiens were insubstantial and could seemingly dissapear at will. The pressure of unseen eyes weighed down on the Commissar as he walked up the corridor, up and out to the surface. Ventilation pulses, lights hum, heart beats. Anxiety crept into his mind, doubts a Commissar should not have. Fragments of unwarranted dreams surfaced, with accompanying text from the Uplifting Primer:

'...more likely to crack...feel unwell...visions...'

The Taint. Warp psychosis. Unsanctioned psyker.

Bile rose as he increased pace, taking steps two at a time, like a man starved of oxygen struggling towards light from dark depths, less control, more frantic now '...a grave risk to those around them...mindless killers'. He laughed as the images intensified, the same horrible screaming blankness. 'If you note any strange behaviour, inform your Commissar immediately.' The Commissar, the cold, unthinking, killing machine. That was someone else, not the man who tripped on a step, but continued scrambling to the surface, for release, to respire, to see something beyond grey concrete and antithesis.

The images changed quality.  An agri-world. Oceans of grass. A pale boy, son of a military man. Two soldier boys, who grew up together, mirror images of each other. Words he would never forget, promises that he broke, shattered into ten million pieces, that he smashed and threw up into the sky where they came to rest as stars. The Commissar broke through the final door at the top of the stairs, tears washing away blood.
He broke through to the balcony, out to the very edge and felt the embrace of cold, dead stars.

He had thrown it all away. There was nothing here. Endless brutal rock reflected who he had become and what he had lost. No life here, it was madness to try to live like this. The Commander had gone insane, it was absurd to make life here on a dead, hopeless planet. Children needed green. They needed green. He broke down and hung from the rail, everything at last too much, 10 years of conditioning and atrocity washed away in bitter drops.


The Commissar raised his head, breathing raggedly, his breath catching in his throat. Unshaven, in tears and bleeding, he was a mess.

Mono walked to the rail, clean and inhuman.

They stood.

'You're beginning to understand.'

He stared over the planets' surface, it's mysteries known only to him.
Mono, a name of monumental etched glass, clear, clean, brilliant.
Mono, the One, this great man.

How he hated him.

Before the Commissar could rail against the Lieutenant-Colonel, he was gone, leaving the Commissar bereft and standing on the edge. Everything fell inwards, despair filling the vacuum. Astropath contact with the outside was impossible, some quirk of the planet. He had been unconscious, slumped from excess and pain while the last shuttle for 3 months had left. There was no escape. Rage turned against the self, the Commissar fingering the trigger of his bolt pistol. He was filthy and corrupt. He would give himself absolution, self-administer the Emperor's Justice to one corrupted by the Ruinous Powers.

Another crate of Amsec waited in his quarters, and a suicide pact with himself.



The door creaked open, the final cry for help. It fell on deaf ears, too numb to care. The Commissar stepped into the room, at the end of the death march. Calmer, colder now. So quickly beyond tears it astounded him. The room was dark, mausoleum still. He stood in the black pool, at the end of it all. He peace.

Suicide. He gnawed at his gums. The cause: suffering this condition. The expression: grief, disgust, hate, yearning, anguish, anxiety, horror. He was dissolving into nothing, the ego disintegrating. His mind was quiet.     
'Absolute Terror...' he chuckled to himself.

The Death note. The Commissar sat at the table. His hands ached, everything ached, psychic pain. He put down the Vox-recorder, composing himself. The Last Testament, perhaps. His living will. Gospel truth. The bottle was there when he reached for it, the divine numbing spirit, with the bolt pistol in easy reach. He set it to automatic. Mercy was a full magazine. He hit 'Record' and drew breath.


Brown paper package lies on the table. Open it. Small, black rectangle. Vox-tape! From who?? Agitated, he scrambled to click it into place. He hit play and twitched in his chair, waiting for the tape to run.

Static. Then a hiss.

The empty noise subsided and he heard a throat being cleared.


'Hey Roy...

...It's been a while.'

___________________ ____

Empty agony replaced by a different pain.

He was alive. They were both alive. He played through it again in his head '...Armageddon War... Medusa V... attached to 40th Corps... doing well...decorated... gallantry.' The Commissars' stomach tightened; '...injured...return ed to service'. A jumble of names assaulted him, people he'd never know and couldn't care about. But still...

The Commissar would make a reply without filling in details, things better left unsaid. He clung to hope like a drowning man. He would survive 3 months, find an excuse to execute Mono (he remained a Commissar) and get off the planet. He took his head out of his hands, sat up and huddled in the leather chair. The Commissar poured himself another glass of Amsec, and wondered if he was going mad.

One final fragment of the tape surfaced, and the Commissar held it close for warmth in the Void:

'He said that he loved me'.

« Last Edit: August 20, 2007, 01:52:55 PM by No Love Lost »
I like what you're doing, but none the less... It's pretty freakin' messed up. Which is cool. Great ideas and concepts, but again, pretty freakin' messed up.

Offline Brother Asreus

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Re: The 40konline fiction contest
« Reply #3 on: August 8, 2007, 01:13:32 PM »
I'll sticky this until the dealine hits. Have fun everyone, I look forward to seeing some great work in the coming weeks.  :)

Cthulhu for Pres in 2012!!! Why vote for the lesser of all evils?

Offline Ukos Sa'cea Rienn

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Re: The 40konline fiction contest
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2007, 12:31:30 AM »
The Longest Road

By: Ukos Sa’cea Rienn

     “No matter how far you go, you can always come back to yourself.”

     I don’t know where he heard that, but he used to say it before every mission. I think it was almost like his private prayer that he’d make it back.

     Sitting in the belly of the ship that was flying us to the battlefield which would claim many, maybe most, of our lives, I thought back on the man who had sat next to me for so long.

     He had been sitting there way back on my first voyage, when all I could think about was how stupid I had been to join the Imperial Guard, and he had motioned that I sit next to him. He hadn’t spoken until we were almost in contact with the enemy, and the first thing I ever heard him say was that silly quote.

     To this day, all I can remember of that battle is a blur of reds, screams, and blind terror. I don’t even remember what we were fighting. Some Great Enemy of the Imperium, I’m sure. I have no doubts, though, that, without his help, I would have been just another bodybag - just one more of the innumerable dead.

     But no, he was there for me. I don’t know what he must have gone through to keep me safe, because I sure wasn’t trying to do it. I was too busy trying to hide behind myself.

     There was another thing I remember from that fight. I remember hearing his name, over and over. “Private Delaway, Private Delaway, Private Delaway…”. It might even have been me saying it. And I remember his smile. I remember how his face lit up, and how the grin spread from ear to ear as he turned to me to tell me the fighting was over, that, somehow, we’d won. I think it was the smile that stopped me from losing it completely.

     Private Delaway… Even now, his name springs to mind almost as readily as my own. Private Delaway and Private Carmellan. Wherever I was, he was always around. I didn’t really notice it until later, but he didn’t just keep me alive on the battlefield that day. No, he made it his job to keep me alive in the Guard as well.

     He was a big man, tall and broad, dark and quiet, but kind and amiable as well. More than once he defused a situation that I was unwittingly igniting, and more than once he ended up taking the brunt of the punishment as well. I learned though. Despite being a difficult pupil, when I saw what he was doing for me, I soon learned how to avoid setting off the situation in the first place.

     I remember one time though… I had gotten these three huge guys so riled up, they were just waiting to beat me into a pulp when Delaway stepped in and deflected their aggression. His intervention left him with a badly broken hand – undoubtedly better than what I would have gotten on my own. Rather than be grateful, however, I turned on Delaway afterwards and yelled at him.

     “What’s wrong with you?” I screamed. “Can’t you just let me be? I can handle myself!”

     Delaway stood almost rigid, holding his injured right hand in his left. Still staring straight into my eyes, slowly, and I could see the pain behind his eyes, he pulled a thin white ring off his broken finger and held it out to me.

     “Here you are then. If you think you can handle yourself, take it.”

     Angrily, I grabbed the ring from his outstretched palm and stormed off. Despite being angry with Delaway, I could tell the ring was important to him, so I decided to keep it. It never really fit properly, though. I apologized to Delaway later, and he forgave me, but he didn’t ask for the ring back. I never mentioned our argument after that, but I never picked fights again.

     At the cost of another, I learned and I grew.

     A thundering metallic scream was heard throughout the ship, followed nigh on immediately by a jarring shake of seismic proportions. The disturbance jolted me from my thoughts, making me jump.

     We were entering firing range.

     With the ship shuddering under enemy fire, the immediacy of the situation reasserted itself. I realized that this would be the first time I’d be in a real fight without Delaway.

     We had been in Orion Platoon, Squadron Crius, under Sergeant Emerson, and we had fought the Eldar before. We were winning. Delaway patted me heartily on the back.

    “See what I mean? I told you they weren’t so bad. You’ve just g-”

     Suddenly, a team of Swooping Hawks dove from the skies and tore a neighboring squadron to pieces, the explosion that accompanied their arrival cutting Delaway off mid-sentence. Before we could do so much as turn towards the sound, however, another team, this time of Warp Spiders, materialized not 15 meters from us.

     As we started to raise our weapons to defend ourselves, they had already begun firing, the monofilament wire flowing like water out towards us. Unlike water, however, the wire didn’t splash when it hit one of us. No, the wire cut straight through. Taking cover was no use either, because the cursed stuff cut through the rocks and the trees. They would have gotten all of us if it hadn’t been for the Leman Russ we were clearing the way for. As it lumbered up behind, the Warp Spiders heard it coming and flickered out to a more secure location.

     It was only once the Russ had arrived and our enemies had departed that I realized what was wrong. There was no cheerful word, no smile. Amongst many other wounded, Delaway lay in three places on the ground. The wire had cut clean through him, cauterizing the wounds as it went. His scream of pain had gone unheard amongst the myriad screams from the others.

     As I moved towards him, I could see his mouth moving soundlessly, and it was only as I got to him that I realized what it was he was trying to say. It was that damned quote. He only managed to say it through part of the way before his eyes, which had always sparkled with an internal light, went dim. I don’t remember the rest of that battle either.

     Lost in thought, I sat, staring at my hands, and, in particular, at the thin metal band he had given me. Many things were spinning through my mind. I had never really known Delaway. I never asked why he always said the same meaningless thing before going into combat. I never asked him anything about himself. And I never asked why he did what he did for me. Now, I’d never get the chance.

     Turning the white ring over in my hand, I realized how much he had rubbed off on me. I had picked up his knowledge, his attitude, and even his mannerisms. I’m not sure if he ever saw me silently saying his prayer in time with him. I put on the ring. It fit.

     The ship shook again and a muffled groan pulled me from my thoughts once again. I looked up to see what had caused it.

     A terrified looking kid was lying on the floor in the middle of the room, dressed in armor that was too big for him. He had clearly been thrown from his feet by the sudden motion and was now trying to pick himself up without losing any more respect in the eyes of those surrounding him. I wondered how I had missed him earlier.

     Soon, though, he was back on his feet and was looking around the room.

     As his gaze passed over me, and the empty space next to me, I nodded and he came to fill the space. We sat in silence for a time, neither speaking, until I heard the buzzer warning us that we would be making planetfall in moments.

     Taking care to speak just loudly enough to be overheard, I broke the silence.

     “No matter how far you go, you can always come back to yourself.”
Congratulations to everyone who took part in the 40kOnline Fiction Contest, and thanks to everyone who voted!

To see the results, visit the Contest Page!

Offline Two Blades as One, Samurai Ichirou

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Re: The 40konline fiction contest
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2007, 06:45:28 PM »
War of Xyon IV
Part I

          Sergeant Corthus looked out at the horizon, watching the last of the sun set below the skyscraping mountains of Tyrinis IV. The sky was a swirling hurricane of fiery black and grey clouds. The ground was black and shattered from the orbital bombardments and huge craters covered the landscape. They had been here for eight months fighting the Dark Eldar Kabals and finally they had pushed them all the way back to a final standoff. He quickly returned his gaze to the shattered ruins of the Imperial outpost, where the last of the Dark Eldar scum were hiding. The xenos monstrosities now operated tall watchtowers and their vile weapons were mounted on the wall. Corthus could see the small outlines of Dark Eldar warriors moving around in the windows and the walls. Tonight the Eldar would make their last stand against the Emperor’s warriors. The marines were to assault from the center point while the 501st Solinus Guard held the flanks.
Corthus walked by the men in his unit, grim faced, looking down into the icy blue-green eyes of his men as he reached the front of the armour-clad team.
“Let us win this, for the NightStalkers, for honour and above all else… Let us win this for the Emperor!” he shouted and was greeted by the cheers of his men.

*   *   *

The Dark Eldar came just after the fiery orange sun set over the towering, gray, cloud covered mountain peaks. Like a dark tidal wave they swarmed over the tops of the hills screaming their insults and challenges to the noble space marines. Their wickedly armed skimmers flew over their heads, screams of terror and pain echoing from them, scythes whistling as they cut through the air as the crew fired at the marines’ trenches.
“Hold your fire until I give the word!” shouted Company-Champion Thaddeus, his black armor blending into the background, from beside the Captain Leonidas side. The Standard Bearer was standing beside the apothecary, the NightStalker’s banner, a flag depicting a sword impaling a deep yellow crescent moon with the number three in roman numerals in its center, in a starlit back-round with ancient texts and trophies on it, waving in the cool evening breeze. The Chaplain-Reclusiarch, Fraser, was ordering his command-squad of terminators into a more suitable position.
The piratical creatures drew closer and closer, until finally…
“FIRE!!!” screamed the champion as he emptied a slew of storm bolter shells into the oncoming black hordes. The chatter of bolter fire, lasgun fire and cracks from various other firearms drowned out the screams of pain and rage of the blasphemous aliens as the Imperial soldiers fire ripped them limb from limb. Nevertheless, through force of numbers, the alien beasts pushed forward. Then, they were in the trenches…

*   *   *

Corthus pulled the crackling blade of his power sword out of the dead sybarite’s body and fired two balls of hot plasma into another warrior’s chest. Twisting away as a warrior with a splinter cannon was about to shoot, he fell to the ground as razor-sharp crystal shards flew just inches above his head. Corthus flipped onto his back as the warrior walked up to him, its gun pointed at the center of his forehead. Corthus looked at the creature, taking in everything, its sickly green face, its black, diluted eyes, the pointed ears, and its sharp, animal like teeth. The warrior smiled as he began to pull the trigger, and then stopped, his smile now a look of horror as he watched a chain sword burst from his upper chest, spreading the ground in front of him with his own blood and organs.
“Thank you Xavier,” Corthus said as he picked himself off the ground
“No problem sergeant,”
“Squad Corthus! To me!” roared Corthus over the sounds of battle
Corthus’ men ran over to him, leaving a trail of mutilated bodies behind them.
“All right brothers, it is up to us to kill their leaders,” said Corthus to his men, “Now let us carry out the emperor’s will by blade and bullet!”
Going into a full sprint, Corthus and his men ripped through the enemy ranks, tearing soldiers to pieces and pushing on toward the Dark Eldar Archons.
Cutting down a squad of haemonaculus Corthus and his men emerged in front of the Dark Eldar lords. Before they could react though, a group of incubi dived toward them. As the incubi flew at them, Corthus noticed that the one coming at him was armed with a disembowller blade and another wickedly curved sword.
So, this is the Blade-master of Serthus, Menthrure. Thought Corthus as he swung his power sword to halt Menthrure’s blade.
*   *   *

Over on the left flank corporal James Lipton’s platoon was taking casualties. James watched as men he had been sharing drinks with an hour ago were snatched back by the Dark Eldar fire. He and his friend Peter Matheson fired at a group of eldar coming at them. He watched as his las-bolts dropped two of the Kabalites. Then he noticed a Kabalite aiming at Peter.
“Peter! Get down!” he screamed as he fired a half dozen shots at the Kabalite only to watch it dodge every one of them.
“By the Emperor,” said James in disbelief and emptied the last of his clip at the Kabalite and finally killing it.
“James! Look!” cried Peter, grabbing James shoulder in mid-reload and pointing at a trio of speeders moving to the trenches.
“By the Emperor!” muttered James.
He and Peter ran over to a nearby missile-launcher team, yelling at them to listen.
“What?” yelled the spotter over the crackle of las-fire.
“Load up! You gotta’ shoot those speeders down before they get to here!” screamed James, pointing at the speeders.
“By the Emperor,” muttered the spotter in disbelief.
The spotter checked the distance and the guardsman armed with the launcher let off a shot.

*   *   *

The sound of the two blades crashing against each other was the closest thing to love that Menthrure could feel. He jumped backward, slashing his other sword at the space marine’s head, but the deathblow was stopped just inches from its target by Corthus’ own glowing red blade.
This one is smart, thought Menthrure as he delivered another flurry of cuts and stabs, all of them being knocked aside, and skilled. Well, this will make his death all the more pleasing. None have ever defeated me and this will not be the first.
Quickly stabbing at the marines face, Menthrure brought his sword crashing down. However, the marine quickly moved to the side and the blade sunk into his left leg plate instead of his helmet. The marine cried out, clutching at his leg and kneeling on the ground.
“Hahaha. Now you die marine!” sneered Menthrure to himself as the marine looked up at him, pain and hate in his eyes.  Bringing back his sword, Menthrure put all his strength into his swing. However, just before his sword hit home, the marine stabbed out with his sword, tearing through Menthrure’s armour and into his chest. Screaming as he felt his life slowly slipping away, he threw his sword toward his enemy in a final act of defiance, catching him in the side of the head.

*   *   *

James watched in growing despair as the missile missed the first speeder. Then the second. Then, to his relief the rocket smashed into the third speeder’s side and sent in sailing to the ground in a ball of flame.
Then the screaming began. Nothing else sounded like it. It came from the remaining two speeders. Horrible, distorted screams of pain and agony. Many guardsmen nearby dropped their guns to cover their ears and block out the sound. But luckily many guardsmen hadn’t, and these men ran to the speeders, some getting shot as they neared it, others getting gored and ripped in half by the scythes that decked the sides of the speeders. However, a few of the guardsmen managed to get onto the netting that hung from the side on one of the speeders and there a storm trooper planted a krak grenade on its hull. The trooper jumped off moments before the grenade imploded and sent its crew into the warp. The last speeder bolted away from the imperial soldiers and headed toward the trench section next to James. It came so close that James could see the vile creatures operating its foul machinery. Suddenly, a pitch-black orb began to appear in front of a long tubular gun at the head of the speeder. Then a ray of black light, darker than the center on a black hole, shot out of the tube and disintegrated half of the trenches it was aiming at and the thirty men inside.
“By the Emperor! Peter!” yelled James at his friend, suddenly getting an idea, “I need a distraction!”
“What!” yelped Peter, looking at him as if he was crazy.
“Draw their fire so I can kill the crew.”
Peter came up close to his face, and then let out a long sigh.
“Don’t screw up,” he said slowly, than broke into a run firing wildly at the speeder.
James slowly brought his lasgun’s sight up to his eye. Thinking of all his training and previous battles, he started firing off shots. He easily picked off the Eldar operating the heavy weapons and then, just as easily, picked off the rest of the crew.
Running back over to James, Peter said, “Good, you didn’t screw up.”
Looking out at the battlefield, they saw the massacre that the Dark Eldar were taking.
“Guess we win today,” said Peter.
“Guess so,” replied James, slinging his lasgun on his shoulder, “Let’s go find some rations, I’m damn hungry.”

*   *   *

Corthus felt the blade sink through his helmet and into his skull. By the Primarchs, it hurt! Looking around, barely conscious, Corthus saw his second-in-command, Xavier running toward him tearing down those who entered his path down with his chain sword and bolt pistol. As he reached Corthus, he knelt down.
“Brother Corthus, I shall get the Apothecary, you will be fine,” said Xavier as the other men in his squad ran over to protect their fallen leader.
   “Xavier, do not let the Dark Eldar scum pass this place,” whispered Corthus as he slipped into dark oblivion, last seeing both the bodies of enemy and comrade lying on the black plains.

*   *   *

   Corthus opened his eyes but the unending black didn’t go away.
   What is this? Thought Corthus, am I…dead!?!
   As fear slowly invaded his thoughts, Corthus tried to push himself upright.
   “Hold it their Brother,” said a voice, “You’re going to have to stay sitting for a few more minutes.”
   “What? Who said that?” said Corthus as he tried again to push himself up but was stopped by a lance of white-hot pain tearing across the side of his head.
   “Hmm, I guess I’d better take off your lenses,” said the voice, “by the way things might be a bit bright.”
   Suddenly Corthus felt a pulling sensation on the front of his face, and then everything went from black to a searing white.
   “AAAAHHHHH!!!” roared Corthus in pain.
   “Aw, come on, it ain’t that bright out here,” said the quickly forming shape of an imperial guard medic. “Dang, man that is one nasty cut. I don’t think I can save the eye.”
   “Damn those Dark Eldar.” said Corthus quietly.  He pushed himself off the ground and onto his feet. Looking around the battlefield Corthus saw the scattered bodies of fallen marines and guardsmen along with the meaty chunks of Dark Eldar strewn across his line of sight. A mist had settled on the field giving everyone who walked in it a ghost-like look that just made the death ground all the more eerie.
   “How many casualties?” demanded Corthus to the medic without taking his eye off the gore-ridden field in front of him.
   “About thirty marines dead,” replied the medic, “and seventy guardsmen. It’s really the wounds that people have, not the body count.”
   “Hmmmm,” grunted Corthus as he walked off toward a troop carrier, disappearing into the mist, to see if they could fit in one more.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2007, 06:52:05 PM by ShadowBreaker »
Still I lay cold, my soul seeks light / my eyes are tired; my heart's last fight
Around my shell of wood and cloth / trickle sound of wound and loss.
Broken voices of tears and cry's / sorrow and love for a Nation's son's life.
Mother and Father alone in thought. / Of the bravery and pain in the battle we fought.
We move slowly we three welcomed home. / A parade of silence, hands and flags wave
Above our bodies, they gather as on, / Along this highway of heroes for two seconds of light.

Offline Two Blades as One, Samurai Ichirou

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Re: The 40konline fiction contest
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2007, 06:52:25 PM »
“And there we go, good as new.” Said Tech marine Siclarius as he finished sticking the bionic eye onto Corthus mangled left eye.
   “Thank you brother.” Said Corthus as he looked around, seeing things in a sharper sense now.
   “Okay, I just need to run a few tests to make sure this thing I working properly.” Said Siclarius as he guided Corthus over to a nearby table.
Pulling out a small piece of paper, he handed it over to Corthus and said: “Zoom in on the paper and read what it says, think of zooming in and the eye will do it.”
Corthus looked at the note, straining to see the writing on it. Slowly the miniscule writing became larger.
“It says There is only the Emperor,” read Corthus.
“Good,” said Siclarius, “now go, it is almost time for prayer.”

After prayer was finished. Corthus headed back to his chamber to prepare for the next few days.

*   *   *
Many months passed before Corthus was finally called to his company captain’s headquarters.
Corthus stood in the firing range; his bolter nestled in his shoulder, whilst a nearby table was laden with all sorts of firearms.
The burst of bolter rounds sent echoes up and down the range as the targets shattered as the bolter rounds detonated. Corthus was just about to fire another round when another marine walked up to him, bowed and quickly said:
“Sergeant Corthus, your presence is needed by Captain Leonidas,”
With a nod, Corthus quickly and expertly safed the bolter and placed it on the table. With a quick bow to the marine, Corthus walked of towards the command centre.
 As he walked through the door, his captain stood up from a huge table covered with mountains, forests and rivers with various flags and stone markers on it.
   “Brother Corthus, I trust you are well.” Said Captain Leonidas, bowing to Corthus.
   “I am, thank you.” Said Corthus returning the bow as he eyed the table-map.
   “Yes,” said Leonidas, noticing Corthus’ interested look, “that’s why I’ve called you here. There have been various reports of Traitor Guard attacking Imperial cities near the planet Xyon IV. We have determined that we being the closest marine force that we shall intervene instead of the nearer guardsmen force.”
   “But sir, if they are just traitor guard they why should we waste our time on them when our guardsmen can just go and do it.” Asked Corthus.
   “Because, Brother-Sergeant Corthus, I said so,” said Leonidas firmly, as Corthus was about to let his pride turn to anger Leonidas continued, “And, if that is not enough for you then maybe this will change your mind. In the traitor’s force there are supposedly Chaos Marines and they are from the traitor chapter of the Night Lords.”
   Corthus’ head whipped over to look at his commander, a grim smile slowly spreading across his face.
   “Well then, when do we leave?” growled Corthus with a new, icy light in his eyes.

“This city here is going to be our forward operations post after you capture it. We will be sending men in this forest outside the city,” said Leonidas pointing at one of the stones. The room had filled up with other sergeants and commanders over time and now Leonidas addressed the whole room. “From there you will take and hold the city from the expected counter-attacks until we get reinforcements and engineers down there. Further actions will be decided once command is set up. This could be a good chance to cripple the Night Lords for a while so we have to make this work.”
   “Sir,” said a Devastator squad sergeant, “everyone in this room will be going on the attack right? And how long do you estimate that this campaign will take?”
   “Yes, Brother-Sergeant Ramius,” confirmed Leonidas “, you will all be part of this campaign. As for the length, we are hoping for no more then eight weeks.”
   This seemed to satisfy Ramius for he nodded his head and resumed studying the map.
   “How many marines will be used in the campaign?” asked the company Chaplain, Joseph.
   “The forty men from third company and a few from the first, we will also be getting some help from our good friends in the Raven Guard,” replied Leonidas, “Now, we all are going to have to do right since this is our first big campaign. We leave in a week so let’s get going. You’re dismissed.”
   With these last final words, the men headed back to their quarters to tell their men the news.
*   *   *

   The men were all silent and were making jokes as Corthus told them the overview of the campaign, until he got to the part about the Night Lords. When the name was mentioned, a sharp intake off breath was clearly audible. From the beginning of their training, the NightStalkers had been taught to hate and terminate any member of the Night Lords above all else. All the joking stopped as the men listened, eager to find out if they would be able to get their hands on their traitorous brethren. When Corthus said the last few sentences, the men slowly picked up their equipment and began slowly and purposefully cleaning, making sure that it was in perfect condition so that it wouldn’t fail them in the ensuing fight.
   Gripping his Crux Terminatus in his hand, Corthus muttered a small prayer as he surveyed his squad.
   “May the Emperor be with us. May he guide our blades and straighten our shots, for he is our Saviour and our Protector,” and with that, he stood up and walked over to his own equipment and joined his men is the preparation.
Still I lay cold, my soul seeks light / my eyes are tired; my heart's last fight
Around my shell of wood and cloth / trickle sound of wound and loss.
Broken voices of tears and cry's / sorrow and love for a Nation's son's life.
Mother and Father alone in thought. / Of the bravery and pain in the battle we fought.
We move slowly we three welcomed home. / A parade of silence, hands and flags wave
Above our bodies, they gather as on, / Along this highway of heroes for two seconds of light.

Offline Two Blades as One, Samurai Ichirou

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Re: The 40konline fiction contest
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2007, 04:43:01 PM »
34th Solinus Stormguard Regiment

Uploading information from Imperial Archives ......uploaded

Planet Name: Solinus
Planet Function: Adeptus Astartus Home world
Government: Military
Planet type: terrestrial
Terrain: Urban
Gravity: standard
Atmosphere: Type I (breathable)
Length of Day: 28 standard hours
Length of year: 465 Standard days
Hydrosphere: Moderate
Temperature: temperate
Population: 6000000000
Starport: Imperial Class
Tech Level: Hyperspace

The planet Solinus not only houses the tenth Adeptus Astartus chapter (the Night Stalkers), but also one of the most efficient Storm-trooper regiments in the universe, the 34th Stormguard. Their skills range from planetary drop-assaults to quick and quiet special operations deep behind enemy lines. One of their more quiet missions was that during the attack on Alisbuh…

Retrieving Planetary Info......Info Retrieved

Planet Name: Alisbuh
Planet Function: Manufacturing/Processing, Trade
Government: Military
Planet type: terrestrial
Terrain: Urban
Gravity: standard
Atmosphere: Type IV (environment suit required)
Length of Day: 31 standard hours
Length of year: 240 standard days
Hydrosphere: dry
Temperature: hot
Population: 200000000
Starport: standard class
Tech Level: Information

Retrieving battle report…report retrieved

Ops Report written by Sgt. Kemp

   Me and my team of storm troopers stood at the side of a ruined mall. The sun had set almost two hours ago and I had my night-vision on. We had only gotten the new environment suits a few days before and were still getting used to them. The helmet sat heavy on my head as I scanned the rubble covered street ahead for sentries.
   THERE! Standing behind a rock, the traitor guardsman was staring towards the west, glancing nervously to a rock about ten yards to his right, giving away the position of the other sentry. I waved at my team to form into a line, each of them with their weapons shouldered. Moving forward, we slipped into the shadows of the wreckage, the moment we reached them we split up into groups of two. Snaking through the rocks, I pulled out my silenced autopistol. My partner Pte. Aristides and I crouched down behind a boulder, glancing out at the team slipping behind a bullet-ridden billboard advertising some sort of sports drink. I quickly sent the other team a digital countdown from the computer in my helmet to signal the attack. Me and Pte. Aristides crouched behind the rubble, when clock reached zero, we sprang out instantly double-tapping the sentries in the head, ending their miserable lives before they even realized it. I quickly sent out a message telling the other troopers to converge on our location. When everyone was back, we continued toward the target building: a missile factory whose weapons were being used to take down thunderhawks. We hugged the walls of the bombed out buildings, thankful for the enviro-suits protecting us from the visible gases that could kill in a matter of minutes. We met only a few patrols, killing them quickly and silently and then moving on. When we reached the last block away from the target, we began seeing actual patrols, five men armed with heavy weaponry, a tank, and sentinels stalking the streets. We avoided the patrols here, slipping into buildings to avoid direct confrontation. When we reached the building, we knew there was going to be trouble. Guards armed with autoguns and heavy weapons were standing all around the main entrances constantly surveilling the streets.
   “By the Emperor! Corporal,” I murmured into my headset, “set two of the extra C4s on some building two blocks over. And take Pte. Munter with you, it’s about time he learned how we survive in this universe.”
   The rest of us waited as the two spec-ops troopers slipped away. It was about five minutes before we heard the explosions and saw the chunks of stone, plastic and metal silhouetted by the orange red jet of flame.
   The soldiers guarding the entrances whipped around and headed toward the source of the explosion, just as our two men regrouped with us. With a muffled click of a hellgun being cocked, we began moving forward. We moved past the remaining two guards unnoticed, slipping to the side of the building and entering through a side door. The moment we passed through the doorway we spread out double-tapping the few guards inside with our silenced autopistols. In two minutes, the C4s were set and we began exiting.
   When we reached the door, Munter grabbed the door handle and yanked it open. Standing in front of him was one of the guards, whose startled face could be seen through his breath-helmet.
   “Hey! What t-,” he was cut short as Munter fired a blast from his hellgun into him but it was to late. Sirens were going off as we ran toward the back of the facility. The sound of automatic fire cut through the night like a powersword through armor.
“THE GOLDEN THRONE!” roared someone over the comm.-set, “I’ve been hit!”
“I got him,” said another’s voice, “he’s fine, let’s keep moving.”
As we reached the back fence, one of our men ran forward and cut it open with a las-cutter. Then the guardsmen turned around the corner we fired at them as they came round but a few got some shots off and I felt them bouncing of my armor and cracking past my head.
“RUN!” I yelled pointing at the thunderhawk that was flying to the designated LZ.
We sprinted he last fifty meters, some stopping to give covering fire to the others, an RPG exploded ten feet away from the thunderhawk and then another sent Pte. Gorsh flying through the air, his body being dragged by the support crew of the thunderhawk. A round sent Munter head over heels as it pierced the battle armour of his shoulder. I grabbed him at shoved him toward the transport. Stopping, I turned around and blasted my hellgun at the scattered guards, not sure if I had killed any or not. I felt a hand grab me and begin pulling me toward the ship, letting my hellgun hang in its sling as I pulled out the remote detonator.
“Congrates, traitors, you get to have the emperor’s mercy,” I said to no one in particular as I stared through the thunderhawk’s window and pressed the red button.

Retrieving Info… Info Retrieved

Destruction of final arms plant allowed remaining heretic cells to be viral-bombed.

++End of Report++
« Last Edit: August 15, 2007, 04:45:52 PM by ShadowBreaker »
Still I lay cold, my soul seeks light / my eyes are tired; my heart's last fight
Around my shell of wood and cloth / trickle sound of wound and loss.
Broken voices of tears and cry's / sorrow and love for a Nation's son's life.
Mother and Father alone in thought. / Of the bravery and pain in the battle we fought.
We move slowly we three welcomed home. / A parade of silence, hands and flags wave
Above our bodies, they gather as on, / Along this highway of heroes for two seconds of light.

Offline Two Blades as One, Samurai Ichirou

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  • Old men start wars; Young boys die in them.
Re: The 40konline fiction contest
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2007, 05:27:50 PM »
Another separate one.

Second War of Armageddon
Year: 942.M41

Corporal Hïtter was last into the briefing room.
“amphetamine parrot,” breathed Hïtter as he gulped down the last of his Imperial fizz soft drink and lasagna. Grabbing a seat beside his friend Belknap, he stared at the maps and video feed on the computer screen
“You’re almost late dumbass,” muttered Belknap.
   “Okay, street trash,” began Major Reese, he was bald headed but wore a standard military hat. A long scar ran down his face and another above his left eye. He would always joke that the scars were proof that the women of Atilla were as uncooperative as the men until you earned their respect. His deep black eyes though read your mind better than a pysker, “Sector Umbra-Cain has been discovered to be a minor headquarters for the orks in this area. It has also been discerned that three of Ghazghkull’s top ranking lieutenants are meeting there. Therefore, you lucky bastards get to go and capture and or kill them along with Squad Delta. We will have diversion attack on another nearby sector to draw away the main mass of orks. No questions? Good.”
   The briefing went on. Maps were reviewed; checkpoints confirmed and objectives set. After dismissal, the storm troopers headed towards the armory.
   “‘Kay boys,” said Sergeant Rosh, “this shouldn’t be a long mission so pack light.”
   Hïtter slipped into his carapace and power pack, clipped a shotgun to his shoulder latch and pulled his hell gun out of his locker. Putting other gear like grenades, ammo, and knives, he got up and headed towards the last bit of equipment. Grabbing his trench coat, Hïtter slowly buttoned it up, making sure everything was done right. Lastly, he picked up his rebreather, checked for damage, and slipped it on his face. The others were all ready, and with a curt nod, they completed their ritual and headed towards their Chimera, each silently praying that they would come home again at the end of the day.

*   *   *

“One minutes to destination,” stated the computer.
   The twenty men in the transport tensed. Soon they would enter the fires of hell and their skills and faith would be put to the test. A faint clinking could be heard, then, a massive bang shook the APC.
   “amphetamine parrot!” roared the sarge as the men were thrown around, luckily held down by their seatbelts. With a last final jolt, the tossing stopped. The clinking of bullets of the APC’s armor continued.
   A chunk of the wall was sheered off and one of delta’s men was cut in half.
   “Okay, who ain’t dead?” said the sergeant, picking himself out of a bunch of wires. Each f the men replied and unbuckled.
“beslubber,” said Pte. Thompson as he fell out of his seat and landed on his head
   “Okay, let’s get our sorry ass’ outta’ here before they get really sorry,” said Rosh as he kick the side door down. The Chimera was on its side half way through a building. Quickly, the men ducked behind cover and started to return fire. Hïtter blew the face off a green skin and then began to fall back through the house. When they reached the other side, the sarge kicked the door down and they ran out into the street. Bullets peppered the ground as the crossed through the street and into the opposite house. Suddenly they heard a rustling from above.
   The wall on the opposite side of the room was smashed down as six orks ran through it. The troopers fired at the orks.
   “The Golden beslubberin’ Throne,” swore Thompson as he finally dropped the last ork, “Bastards’ skulls are almost as thick as yours, Belknap.
   “Screw you,” said Belknap, and the others knew he was grinning.
   “Let’s keep moving,” ordered Rosh, walking to the other side and firing a shot off one handed at an ork in the street.
The rest of the men followed him and they made their way down the street, hugging every inch of cover that they could.  When they reached the next intersection a crash turned everyone’s’ heads.
“By the-,” shouted one of Hïtter’s squadmates as he was thrown back as a rocket exploded in front of him.
“amphetamine parrot,” swore Hïtter as he looked through his sights to try to find where the rocket had come from. Belknap was checking Furstig’s pulse.
“He’s dead,” said Belknap flatly.
“Sh-, There!” an ork had stuck its head out of an alleyway and Hïtter shot at it, the beam entering just bellow the eye and sending the ork’s head snapping back. Not taking any chances, He lobbed a grenade into the alley and a few seconds later the sound of a massive explosion of ammunition sent echoes down the empty street. Leaving the body behind they moved up the street.
*   *   *
Halfway down the next street, the men heard a honking.
“Wartrukks!” roared Rosh, “Everyone into the alleyway!”
The storm troopers bolted into the alleyway beside them, but one of delta’s men tripped as he was running to cover just as the trukks rounded the corner.
The man was quickly pulling himself up when the ork opened fire with their guns. The man was picked up into the air as round after round crashed into his body.
One of his squad mates began to run to get him, but Hïtter rugby-tackled him down, got up and aimed his gun at his head.
“Don’t be an idiot,” he said flatly.
As the wartrukks sped away, the men slowly crept out of their hiding place. The man who Hïtter had tackled ran over to his mate and checked his pulse. Slowly he got up.
“I could’ve saved him you rather unsavoury chap, what-ho old bean?,” he said to Hïtter, an inch away from his face.
“Keep thinking that you idiot,” said Hïtter and headed back towards his men. They continued moving towards their objective.
*   *   *
“You and you,” said Rosh pointing at two men, one from delta and another from Hïtter’s squad, “advance twenty feet, and poke your head out for two seconds then go down. Signal for advance if nothing happens.
The two men ran off and dived behind two masses of rubble. The man from Hïtter’s squad poked his head up.
The man’s head snapped back in a spray of blood and brain matter.
“Sniper!” screamed delta’s sergeant, “Everybody down! Get some cover!”
Belknap was already moving when the shot went off. Hïtter tried to grab him but rolled away when a sniper round cracked past his head.
“Belknap you’re just a beslubberin’ space marine now aren’t you!” shouted Thompson as Belknap dived beside the body, narrowly being missed by another sniper round.
Raising his hell gun, Belknap stared down the optical sights and as the ork sniper raised his gun, Belknap leaned to the side just as the ork pulled the trigger. The round missed and Belknag fired, catching the ork full in the face and killing him instantly.
“Let’s move, and keep your eyes open,” ordered Rosh.
*   *   *
Rounding a corner, they saw the ork command station, a shelled out office building with boarded up windows. Four massive ork kommandos patrolled the front grounds.
“Snipers, take ‘em out!” whispered Rosh.
The two snipers quickly pulled out their needle lasers and crouched motionlessly at the side of the house, silently waiting for the perfect shot.
The sound of the trigger being pulled signaled the end of each of the green skins lives.
Wasting no time, the men sprinted across the street and set themselves up along the wall. Hïtter put his hellgun onto his back and grabbed hold of his shotgun.
On the sergeant’s count of three, they kicked down the door and threw in four grenades, three frags and a flashbang. Just a second after the grenades went off, the men were rushing into the main hall.
A bullet whipped past Hïtter’s face and ricocheted off another trooper’s shoulder. An ork had ripped the facemask off a trooper’s face and ripped his jaw clean off before goring him on a choppa. Hïtter quickly wasted the ork with a blast from his shotgun. The men ran into the rooms, firing at any orks that were in them.
“I found something,” yelled a man from delta.
A cabinet was poorly concealing a secret doorway.
“Corporal, congratulations, you’re point,” said Sergeant Rosh as he shoved Hïtter through the doorway. Hïtter quickly swept the room. A table was in the middle of the room with a map of the city on it. A few makeshift chairs were lying around along with some shell casings. No one. Moving to a door on the opposite side, Hïtter tried the knob, locked. Standing back, he fired at the knob with his shotgun, sending the door swinging open.
Hustling in, Hïtter saw a splash of green in the corner of his eye. A round caught him in the shoulder sending his shot wild, but his second did not err. Finally, kicking the dead body and looking around the room, he almost threw up.
Twisted human faces stared back at him, their bodies horribly mutilated and bloody. A man’s insides were pulled out of his chest and stuffed halfway down his throat. A woman’s arms and leg had swapped places. Another man’s stomach was cleanly cut open so you could see his half digested member. Stumbling back out of the room, Hïtter took a deep breath then continued to another door, this one unlocked.
Shotgun raised he ran into a hallway, throwing a flashbang grenade and sticking a few more shells into his gun, he proceeded down to the only door at the end.
“No way out,” whispered Hïtter as he smashed the stock of his shotgun onto the handle and kicked the door open. There they stood. The orks quickly dived at him but Hïtter fired off round after round into them until he felt a fist connect with his skull. The others raced in and gunned them down, Hïtter only dimly aware of what was going on, even when a squad mate’s body fell beside his with half its face missing. He finally got up when Thompson knocked him upside the head with his hell gun’s butt.
“Let’s just get the hell out of here ‘kay?” said Thompson.
   Hïtter nodded slowly and headed to the door, hearing Thompson saying how he was just as foolhardy as Belknap until a small crack told that Belknap had just hit Thompson.
   Moving out onto the front of the building, Hïtter saw three Chimeras and a Hellhound zooming towards the building. They pulled up and men poured out. The other men of Hïtter’s team stepped out of the building. A commissar walked up to delta’s sergeant.
   “Status?” said the commissar bluntly.
   “Seven dead, eight wounded and the APC’s scrap metal, all equipment from the dead wasn’t recovered nor were the bodies” replied the sergeant immediately.
   “And the prisoners?” he demanded.
   “Dead,” said the sergeant.
   The Commissar stared at him for a bit, then raised his pistol and shot him in the face. Turning towards the other men he began to raise his pistol, “You all have failed the Emperor and for that you shall-,”
   “Wait!” shouted Rosh and he threw a map to the man’s feet.
   “What is this?” demanded the commissar angrily.
   “The ork plans for assault. I think it should prove quite valuable to our commanders.”
   The commissar stared at him and then nodded, “Get in Chimeras before I change my mind. Bring him along.” Gesturing to the dead sergeant, he walked away.
   The men piled into the APC with mixed feelings.
   A beeping came from Thompson ‘off the books’ hand computer.
   “Hey guys, we got patrol duty down in Hades Hive for the next month.” Said Thompson, “shouldn’t be to bad, not much happens there anyways.”
Still I lay cold, my soul seeks light / my eyes are tired; my heart's last fight
Around my shell of wood and cloth / trickle sound of wound and loss.
Broken voices of tears and cry's / sorrow and love for a Nation's son's life.
Mother and Father alone in thought. / Of the bravery and pain in the battle we fought.
We move slowly we three welcomed home. / A parade of silence, hands and flags wave
Above our bodies, they gather as on, / Along this highway of heroes for two seconds of light.

Offline Heretek

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Re: The 40konline fiction contest
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2007, 05:38:24 AM »
I actually posted this here a looong time ago, but it only ever got one reply. I think it's one of the best I've ever written, enjoy.

Maiden Guard
By: Khemri, the Major

Lieutenant Portman drummed his fingers idly on the console before him. As usual nothing at all was happening at Outpost Pax-736. Portman flicked through the different camera feeds on his console, his face set in a bored frown. He didn’t understand what was so important about the site; it was another lifeless patch of rock on a lifeless ball of rock.

Whatever the Magos Explorator found so interesting about this particular scrap of land was not evident to him. Nor was why it required two full platoons to guard the dig. But he wasn’t paid to have opinions, he was paid to shoot things, neither of which he had been doing after two months on Helexus.

He stopped cycling through the feeds as a flash of movement caught his eye. He flicked back two cameras and studied the feed intently.

“Did anyone else see movement on camera three?” He asked the four other men in the command centre.

None replied in the affirmative. He keyed his vox-link to the men on perimeter detail.

“Sergeant Vassikin, send a couple of men to check out sector three, we might have movement.”

“Roger sir.” The sergeant’s replied, “Troopers Wes and Jackson are en route.”

Portman sat back in his chair; it would probably turn out to be a trick of the light or simple boredom making him see things. But he had to earn his pay, and it wasn’t like his boys had anything better to do. He flicked back to camera three and watched as the two troopers came into view.

They looked around for a minute, then Wes looked up and the screen and shook his head, nothing. Portman was reaching for the button to change the feed, when trooper Jackson exploded, the young man’s body splitting into three neat sections and washing the camera with gore.

One of the men in the command centre vomited explosively over his console as blood sprayed over the camera lens. Back on screen, trooper Wes was looking wildly about himself, trying to catch sight of his enemy.

Time seemed to slow for Portman as Wes raised his lasgun and made to fire, but before he could close his finger on the trigger, there was a flash of silver across the trooper’s throat.

Slowly, grotesquely, a red line seemed to run around his neck, and his head slowly slipped from his shoulders and hit the ground, soon followed by his body.

Franticly, Portman rewound the footage, pausing the screen right at the instant trooper Jackson had been eviscerated.

On the red-washed screen, he could barely make out a lithe figure, encased in a tight bodyglove, with an odd proboscis-like weapon extending from its forearm. Three long strings of what looked like razor-wire were issuing from the ‘barrel’ of the device, and cutting through Jackson like a power-sword through soft cheese.

“All troopers report!” Portman half-screamed into the vox, “Battle stations, we have unknown enemies within the perimeter!” On the pict feeds he could see men grabbing lasguns from racks, buckling on flack vests, and advancing outside.

Soon the screaming began.

The screens on the console showing troopers being cut down by showers of bright slivers of metal, issuing from nowhere like deadly hail. More were being cut down by the ghost warriors, flickering in and out of sight each time they struck.

Portman could only watch in horror as one-by-one his men fell, until the dusty yellow rocks outside had been washed red with their blood. Not a man still stood outside, and Portman was sure that the things were inside the building.

“Get the Magos on the vox!” Portman yelled to one of his aides, “Tell them to evacuate, tell them to get the hell out of here!”

“Sir, I can’t raise the Magos! He and his team won’t respond, and I’m getting nothing but static on all channels.”

The man looked at him, face white with terror.

“What in the Emperor’s name are we going to do sir?”

They set about barricading the door and lowering the blast shields on the windows, turning the command room into a veritable fortress. They each removed their laspistols from their holsters and armed them.

Then they waited.

Portman went back to flicking through the camera feeds, looking for any sign of their tormentors. Outside everything had gone quiet, even the wind that normally howled over the surface seemed to have stopped.

An hour passed, then two, finally the aide who had vomited when the fighting began stood. “They must have gone by now lieutenant.” He said, “I’m going to take a look.” Portman rose to stop him, but the man had already punched the access code into the keypad on the doorway.

The steel door hummed open, revealing the intersection where the main corridors of the base met in a six-pointed star. The walls were soaked with blood and bodies littered the floor, most weren’t all there. The aide looked back into the command room, “See.” He said, smiling with relief, “I told you th-.” The rest of his sentence was cut off as he was propelled across the room by some invisible force and slammed into one of the blast-shields over the windows.

Portman fought down the urge to throw up as he heard every bone in the man’s body crack sickeningly with the impact. He collected himself and yelled, “Close that door!” One of the men leapt from his seat and hammered in the code, the door slamming shut quickly.

Portman sighed, “Why the hell did he have to do that?” he groaned, turning back to the monitors. He heard a noise behind him, “What was that Skia?” he asked. When he turned in his chair and felt as though all the wind had been knocked from his lungs. Before him were the bodies of two of the remaining men, lying on the floor in a bloody heap, organs spilling over the brushed steel plating.

The body of the last man, Skia, was hanging obscenely in mid-air, by an unseen force, before it was thrown forcefully aside, hitting the door with a splat noise.

Portman tried to back away while still in his chair, and he crashed to the floor, his back pressed up against his command console. He raised his laspistol and fired with a wild cry, the shot striking the invisible something.

The air before him seemed to shimmer, like the air over a hot road, and a tall, grinning, figure in a black-and-white checked suit was standing over him. He realized its face was a mask, fake lips stretched and bone teeth bared in a hideous grin. The thing raised its arm, and Portman saw it was carrying one of the proboscis-weapons on its arm.

The hellish creature laughed, an oddly musical sound, and the impoosibly sharp wires leapt out to meet Portman.

+++ End +++

Offline Flonky

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Re: The 40konline fiction contest
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2007, 05:19:32 AM »
Survival of the Quickest
A what if story of 'A VERY Short Story'...
By Flonky

Private Litnus lifted his lasgun to his chest as he prepared to charge out the back of the chimera with the rest of his squad.

The sergeant, Bob, bellowed, "FOR THE EMPEROR! CHARGE!" Just as the back door of the chimera crashed to the ground.

Litnus and the rest of the squad charged through the open door way to meet the enemy just as an ork boy threw a frag stick bomb inside the back of the chimera.

“RUN!” Bellowed Litnus as he spotted the grenade like device fly through the air. He tried to kick the grenade in mid flight back at the thrower. He missed. Litnus cursed his inability to play football and began to peg it. Something he was surprisingly good at. The thrower, an ork, gleefully stared at the chimera, with a gapping mouth, awaiting the explosion.

Litnus jumped round the side of the chimera just as the grenade went off. Chunks of flesh and mangled limbs flew out the back of the APC. He looked around the side of the tank, trying to find the rest of squad. He couldn't see them.

Litnus drove this from his mind as he focused on the task at hand. He lifted his lasgun and shot at the boy who had thrown the stick bomb into the tank. The ork was shooting into the air randomly. Excited at killing something. The lasgun shots hit the orks right arm. The ork looked round at the private while it dropped its shoota and rubbed its arm.

"Oww…" It proclaimed to the frightened private as the ork bent down, picked up its shoota with its left hand and aimed at Litnus.

Litnus fired another burst of shots at the orks face but they missed. The orks finger curled around the trigger. But all that the gun did was go click. The orks gun was jammed! Litnus laughed at the ork and shot at it again, hitting it in the chest.

The ork, outraged at its gun not working, ignored the wound, dropped the useless gun and charged the Guardsman.

Litnus knew he was too close to the ork to get away on foot so out of desperation aimed and fired yet again at the ork.

The ork was half a metre away from the Guardsman and stopped, preparing to attack with its close combat assets. Litnus ducked as the ork attempted a vicious right hook at his head. He then clubbed the ork in the chest with the front of his gun, the ork, who was just about to deliver a head butt stopped immediately.

Puzzled, Litnus looked to where his lasgun had hit the ork. His bayonet had hit the ork in the chest, the heart, and snapped off! The ork saw where the man was looking at and decided with its puny mind to look too.

The ork looked up at the private and yet again, proclaimed, "Owww…" Before if fell forward. Litnus stumbled backwards, trying to get away from the falling monstrosity and rip his lasgun out of the chest cavity it. He succeeded in the latter.

The private laughed, he had stabbed an ork in the heart! Litnus tried to shove the ork off his body. He made it budge an inch. Litnus thought the, “who ate all the pies?” Song again and again as he inch by inch shoved the corpse of the ork boy off of him. When the ork was only on top of his legs the private dragged them out from under and cautiously stood up.

He immediately dived back to the ground as fire erupted all around him. The battle was obviously still in progress. Though now it was a close quarters one. Litnus lifted his head for a long enough time to see orks butchering Guardsmen. Litnus decided not to interfere. He was brave - he just didn’t want to die. With nothing else to do as he waited for the violence to abate he changed his power pack in his lasgun and checked the pins of the grenades strapped to his waist-belt weren’t loose.

Litnus waited till the violence subsided then lifted his head above the corpse of the ork that he was now using for cover. It was chaos. The chimera behind him was on fire, its turret blown off. Nearby were two other chimeras, the rest of the patrol. They had been fragged too in a similar way. Mercifully the APC nearest to the private hadn’t exploded as with the private so close, he would’ve been cooked. He could see orks beginning to walk away. They were firing their sluggas and shootas into the air victoriously. They were finished here and obviously had something better to do.

Litnus then noticed the bodies strewn all over the war-torn street. There were dozens of bodies, both Guardsmen and ork. The private retched as he saw the bodies of his comrades strewn all over the street. His friends and comrades, dead. Pure hatred boiled in the Guardsman’s heart. Some way or other, these orks were going to pay. He looked around the street again. There were no live orks in sight.

Litnus cautiously stood up again. No shots fired. Nothing. The private walked back round the back of the chimera to see if any of his squad had made it. Cautiously, he looked in. The private vomited all over the floor, all over his dead comrades, before walking slowly into the tank, careful not to step on any bodies. Which was difficult. As he approached the front of the chimera he heard a low moan. Litnus looked around, trying to find the source of the sound.

He didn’t have to look far when he noticed a man on the floor. Both the man’s legs were missing and the stumps were burnt so that they bled little. The man was moving his lips wordlessly. Blood dripped from the man’s mouth and nose. Signs of internal injury, the private knew he the man didn’t have long to live. Litnus placed his lasgun on the floor, and knelt beside the man.

The man was a mess, his short brown hair, unlike Litnus’ which was clean, was covered on congealed blood. The man’s face looked like a pound of mince. “This is one hard mother beslubberer.” Thought Litnus as he bent down closer to the man

“I…I…can’t feel…my legs.” Whispered the man painfully. Turning his blood shot, brown eyes to look at Litnus. “Tell my…wife…Alena…that I love…her.”

The man’s breathing became ragged as he fought for breath. He began to whimper. He was a dying man, and he knew it.

“It’s ok. Don’t worry. You’re gonna be ok!” Whispered Litnus to the man, in an attempt to reassure him. “Bob! Sir! Stay with me man!” Cried the private desperately as the sergeant’s head fell to one side.

Tears stained Litnus’ face as he closed sergeant Bob’s eyes, retrieved his lasgun and stood up. He bit back the urge to kick the side of the chimera and scream with anger as he knew that would alert the orks near his location and make him as dead as his squad. He paused, then took the man’s dog tags. The man deserved a medal. Even if it was post humus.

The private stumbled out of the back of the tank and round the side and leaned back against the hull of the APC. He breathed slowly, trying to make sense of the situation; he had to find a way out of this mess. Without any reinforcements nearby, that was his only option. He wondered if he could find a way of contacting someone…

Litnus looked around as he searched for a vox. He found one lying on its own, devoid of its vox-officer. He bent down to pick up the mike but found a large, smoking bullet hole had penetrated the vox, obliterating its battery - and Emperor only knows how many wires. Litnus dropped the receiver of the useless machine and stood up.

Thinking what to do his eyes were drawn to the bodies again. He suddenly noticed some tracks. Recognising them as Leman Russ battle tanks he began to jog along them in the hope they would take him back to base. “This must be the way back to base camp.” Thought Litnus as he jogged along, lasgun pointing at floor, eyes on the lookout. “Orks can‘t drive that straight.” He reminded himself in his head, worrying if it was a friendly tank he was after.

He had been going for about ten minutes without seeing a soul when he heard a slight rumble. Litnus dived left off the road and through the open door of a manufactorium office. He ran over to a desk and hid behind it. He peered over the top and looked out of the office window.

Nothing happened for at least five minutes and the private was thinking it was just something insignificant, or if he had just imagined it when he heard the rumble again. It was a rumble that Litnus thought sounded rather like a tank. It sounded strangely familiar…

Suddenly a Leman Russ main battle tank rumbled past. Litnus stood up and shouted for help but immediately dived back behind the desk when he noticed the red paint splashed liberally over the hull.

The privates shouting didn’t go unnoticed however and before long the rumbling stopped. Litnus heard some shouting. The shouting of the orks primitive language. The private whimpered in fear as he looked around the office for a way out. He saw an open door behind him. He stood up and sprinted towards it.

He was just diving through the doorway when an ork entered the office and opened fire with a shoota. The burst missed due to the orks famous ability to not hit anything with a gun but it gave Litnus time to crouch behind a heavy metal cabinet that stood to the side of the doorway, out of sight from the ork.

The ork advanced. The private could hear its heavy foot falls as it advanced through the office towards the doorway. Litnus lay his lasgun silently on the floor and unclipped a frag grenade from his belt. He waited…

The first of the ork he saw was its head as it poked through the doorway. The rest of the ork followed. It looked from side to side very slowly, clearly searching the room. Litnus hid completely behind the cabinet as the ork looked this way and the ork didn’t see him. The ork looked to the left of the room, over the top of the cabinet and spotted an open doorway. It began to make a bee-line for it.

With only seconds before the brute would be on top of him Litnus primed and rolled the grenade towards the ork. The ork spotted the grenade and was just bending over to pick it up when it exploded.

Chunks of ork flesh rebounded off the cabinet and the walls of the office as Litnus stood up. Briefly making up his mind he ran towards the door the ork had made his way for. He was just about to go through the doorway when he heard a burst of gunfire behind him; one bullet hit him in the right shoulder, spinning him around.

The private fell over onto his side. He quickly jumped back to his feet and, leaving his lasgun behind, ran down the staircase he had chanced upon. Ignoring the throbbing in his right shoulder, he began to rush down the stairs, intent on out stripping his pursuers.

He was still going running down the stairs five minutes later, wondering where the hell it would lead him the only reason he continued to run was because he could hear the heavy, but fortunately slow, footfalls of the orks behind him. Orks were not the fastest of long distance runners and for that Litnus was eternally grateful. He was also grateful for the flickering lighting which meant he hopefully wouldn’t trip up and break his neck on the wet stairs.

Eventually after another few minutes of frantic running Litnus came to the bottom of the stairs. He looked up. From the sound of things, the orks were quite a way behind so Litnus decided to lay a little trap. He looked around the bottom of the stair for anything useful for a booby trap. He grabbed some rope from his equipment belt and picked up some nails from the floor. He pulled out a couple of grenades, placed them at the bottom of the stair and tied the wire to each grenade’s pin. Then he nailed each end of the wire to each wall of the stair case using his boots. The private could hear that the orks were much closer now so he decided to make a quick getaway.

The corridor was lined with dripping pipes and buzzing cables. It was a maintenance corridor so was very narrow and very dark. Old neon lights lit the way just enough to one didn’t walk into the wall. Litnus doubted if the bigger orks would be able to fit down it unless they went sideways, which was very slow. Litnus began to stumble as his wound to his right shoulder was seeping blood and was continually weakening him.

After fifty metres or so of jogging Litnus came to a room full of circuitry boards and, to his great surprise, weapons. Litnus walked over to the weapons which were in the centre of the room, one was an autogun, the other a laspistol. Litnus, confused by his finds, looked up and around the whole room in one corner he found two skeletons. Litnus stumbled over and found they both had knives in their chests. They seemed to have stabbed themselves. “Underhive thugs.” Thought Litnus as he returned to the weapons.

Upon deciding that he would take these weapons he decided first to tend to his shoulder wound, which stung and was getting quite bloody. Sitting down on the wet floor the private took his small medical kit from his belt and opened it. It contained bandages and a small bottle of counterseptic. Litnus soaked the bandages with the counterseptic and held them to the wound. The stinging worsened but the Guardsman knew that he needed to apply the solution to combat infection. Pulling a length of all purpose-tape from his belt he tied the bandage to the wound. Satisfied Litnus stood up and walked over to the two weapons.

He bent over and picked up the autogun, it had a full magazine. Good. He slung the weapon over his left shoulder. He bent down and picked up the laspistol, inspecting it he found its barrel was bent sideways. Disappointed Litnus discarded the weapon. Now he needed ammunition for the autogun. The private walked over to the two skeletons and searched their clothing for any ammo. One had 3 clips for the autogun in its pocket.

Suddenly Litnus heard a loud bang from the staircase. Along with several loud grunts from the same direction. Smiling the Guardsman praised the power of grenades. Happy that something was going right Litnus put the clips into his clip holder usually reserved for power packs and began to jog down the corridor opposite the one he had entered the room from.

Litnus unsung his autogun and held it in the ready position, aiming with his left hand because of his injured right shoulder. As he jogged down this new corridor he noticed it was just the same as the previous corridor. The private started to muse in his mind about where he was exactly when he fell down a jagged hole in the floor.

He only a couple of metres onto the floor below, confused as to why the stairs didn’t go to this level as well Litnus decided to look around for a way forward. This corridor was dark; he struggled to make out anything in the dim glow of a few neon lights. Seeing no doors he decided to continue walking in the same direction he had been going in on the floor above.

He had only walked about ten metres when he came across a door. Groping for the door handle he found it. He turned it with his left hand and, holding his autogun painfully in his right arm, opened the door cautiously. The door entered into a well lit cosy room. Inside the room was a large sofa and several TV screens. There was also a large metal door on the side of the room opposite of the private.

Litnus took a step into the room. He liked it. He was quietly appreciating the room when the other door opened and a woman walked in.

“Wha-?”Exclaimed the confused woman.

“Don’t worry, I’m an Imperial Guardsman.” Said Litnus, cutting the woman off mid-word. “My patrol got ambushed and I was the only survivor. I’m trying to get back to my base.” Explained the relieved private.

“Ahhh. We heard about ambush earlier today. 3 chimeras wrecked.” Said the woman, “I’m private Kelly. 2nd Battalion.” She added.

“I’m private Litnus. 3rd Battalion.” Replied the strangely dazed man…
She walked forwards and shook hands with Litnus. Litnus looked down into her blue eyes. He bent his head forward…Kelly flushed. She walked backwards saying, “Follow me.” She left the room. Litnus followed out of the room and down a corridor. His eyes wondering from the surroundings back to Kelly’s slender body all the time. “Snap out of it,” thought Litnus, “you’re in the Imperial Guard. Act like it!”

Litnus followed Kelly to another room, one that overlooked a motorway of sorts. Kelly turned around and put a finger to her lips, “Shhh.” She whispered as she pointed to a group of Guardsmen waiting, weapons ready, crouching at the windows.

“We’re about to ambush an ork patrol.” Explained Kelly in a whisper.

Kelly went to one of the windows and crouched next to a Guardsman with a missile launcher. He seemed happy to be next to her and gave her a wide smile. Litnus crouched to the left of her. He could see other Guardsmen in the building opposite them. This was going to be a turkey shoot.

“Don’t fire till you hear the order.” Whispered Kelly as she turned her head towards Litnus’.

They waited for five, ten minutes before they saw any signs of the enemy. First they saw a mob of about twenty orks, then came a captured demolisher leman russ. From the red markings on its sides Litnus was pretty sure it was the one he had seen earlier. Behind the demolisher was another mob of orks of equal size to the first.

The demolisher’s rear rumbled past, sending dust into the air, when it was almost past, a man’s voice  from across the street bellowed, “FIRE!” Immediately everyone opened up. The few men armed with missile launchers fired upon the rear armour of the tank while everyone else opened up with their lasguns and in one case, a heavy bolter.

Litnus added his fire with his autogun when the demolisher blew up, one of the krak missiles sent its way hitting its magazine and wiping out most of the orks. Litnus was picking off stragglers with his autogun when one of the orks from in front of the tank, armed with a tankbusta, fired it in his general direction. Litnus saw it just in time to dive for the floor.

He saw a flash of blinding white light. Then darkness…

+++The End!+++

And yes, it is shorter than 20,000 characters including spaces... ;D

Offline Sir Sam Vimes

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Re: The 40konline fiction contest
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2007, 09:38:07 AM »
by His Grace the Duke of Ankh, Commander Sir Sam Vimes

FILE: AC/5467/257
SECTION: Inq/Her 32081c
ACCESS: Authorized Only

+++Vox recognized as t-88.o9 (Trooper Varon Saymar, executed 995.M39)+++

+++Cold rain washed the streets of the nameless city, and we walked under the grey sky, knowing neither what we were doing, nor why we were doing it.

The commissar shouted in tandem with the priest. They stood both in the plaza, the commissar barking orders at guardsmen and stormtroopers alike and the priest preaching with fiery devotion. Both of them looked like all the others of their kind I’ve seen in my life: the Commissar, a tall and slender but cold man in his smart uniform, and the bearded priest, filthy and devoted to the Imperial cause.

There were bodies in the streets. Thousands of them. Men, women, children. All of them dead. Wherever you looked you saw them. They littered the streets. Eyes – hundreds, thousands – staring blindly at us. Grey faces, some of them a dirty red from their own blood, were frozen masks of agony and terror. So this was what the Emperor delivered to his servants? Death and destruction?

Dumb ogryns carried and dragged the bodies to the centre of the plaza where the carcasses were thrown in piles to be burned. Already were bodies on fire and thick black smoke had enshrouded the plaza. The stench of burning flesh was everpresent. The huge abhumans walked around the open place, stupidity and ignorance taken form. By the Throne, they didn’t even know what they were doing!

"You!" I can remember the commissar shouted and pointed at my squad with his powerfist. "Take barracks five and seven. Cleanse them all!"

And we did as we were told. The sergeant of my squad saluted, faced us and barked orders. I saw how the commissar turned and walked quickly towards one of the guardsmen. The poor private – still a fresh recruit – stood over a woman with his lasgun in hands, hesitating, not wanting to extinguish innocent life. The commissar took his gun, hit him with the butt of the weapon, sending the youngster crashing to the ground. With one hand the commissar fired the lasgun, killing the woman. He then turned and executed the guardsman with the man’s own weapon. He threw the gun at the dead youngster.

"They are heretics!" he shouted. "Show no mercy, for you shall receive none from them! Exterminate the vermin before it can multiply! The Emperor commands you to do so!"

Anonymous behind our masks we marched down the street towards our objective, oblivious to what we had just witnessed.

The 'city' was a refugee camp established near the planet's capital, a small village that had been swallowed by the masses of barracks and sheds the refugees had built.

I can remember that during the debriefing we were told that this planet had no name. It only had a number assigned to it by the Astronomican. I can't remember what it was...…

The inhabitants simply called it ‘home’ as they didn’t have the need to name it in any other way. It was a backwater world, settled by farmers and villagers. Rumor has it that there had never been a taint on that world. Terra only wanted to make an example as the nearby systems had grown independent over the centuries, and they didn’t want to lose a forgeworld or hive world. So they took this one. No one, except it’s five million inhabitants, would miss it. But who can really trust rumors?

For hours we kicked in doors, dragged out civilians in the streets, emptying our guns at them. Blood soiled the cobbles before it was washed away by the rain.

“Purge the heretic!” we could hear the priest screaming in the distance. “Leave none alive! For every traitor we spare, two more will rise and follow him!”

The women screamed when we forced them out of the barracks, children wept and men begged for mercy. If not for their sake then for their children. Some of them tried to flee but were cut down by sentries guarding the access and exit points to the plaza. Their bodies remained there, serving as a warning for those who still hoped there was a chance. None could escape the wrath of the Emperor.

Dolls and toys were trampled underneath our feet, playthings left behind by the children that were already dead. One of the stormtroopers picked up one of these toys and watched it for a moment as if it was something alien, something xeno. Then he simply dropped it and crushed the doll with his boot. I remember how the children cried… and how… they fell silent when we…

+++Unknown audio, presumed emotional outburst+++

+++For hours we executed the civilians, hellguns ending life, giving birth to death. The nullifiers we temporarily had implanted in our brains – a crude and outdated device issued to the regiment by Mars – suppressed our feelings but could only take so much emotional activity before overloading. And by Terra, did we suffer emotionally. Humans aren’t designed to slaughter their own kind I believe. Why should we kill each other when this is exactly what our enemies want us to do?

Fear, sorrow, hatred… I can’t recall what I felt when I butchered entire families…

Screaming, shouting and shrieking in the streets. The commissar executed guardsmen who wouldn’t do their tasks. The nullifiers had been given only to stormtroopers. We weren’t expandable. Guardsmen were. And he who didn't want to kill a traitor, was to the commissar a traitor and should be punished as one.

The priest raised his tome and slammed his fist against it while he preached. And the ogryns, not understanding what they were doing; only dragging limb bodies across the wet cobbles.

We exited the last barracks. My legs were shaking and I sat on the ground. Trooper Ferris had taken off his backpack and breathing mask and placed them carefully on the ground in front of him. I can still see his face before me to this day. How his eyes were all void and how the tears were running down his cheeks. Ferris’ hands didn’t even shake when he reached for his pistol – autogun tech – raised it, and fired. His body hit the ground, no one saying anything, just watching silently. His nullifier had overloaded.

Next was sergeant Tomas. After we had left the barracks the sergeant had walked straight to the great statue of the Emperor in the middle of the plaza. Tomas stopped before the statue, saluted one last time and ended his life in similar fashion. The priest that stood nearby spat on the ground in the dead sergeant’s direction.

We others remained before the slaughterhouse we had just left.
Suddenly the commissar stood in front of us. His eyes radiated hatred.

“We are not having doubts in the Emperor’s wishes, are we?” he asked us with a cold voice.

As I recall no one answered at first. Then one of us replied with a low “Sir, no, sir”. We marched on. One of the ogryns grabbed Ferris’ feet and dragged the body towards a heap of corpses. The dead stormtrooper left a bloody stripe from the mortal wound behind him on the ground.

“Take barracks twelve and fourteen”, the commissar shouted after us.
And we did it. We executed orders, and we executed civilians. Can we do anything else I ask you?

Can we defy the will of the Emperor?+++
« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 05:27:30 AM by His Grace the Duke of Ankh, Commander Sir Sam Vimes »

Offline Onanon

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Re: The 40konline fiction contest
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2007, 11:42:39 AM »
                                                        No Love Lost


Any soldier found worshipping anything other than the Emperor or a saint of the Imperial Cult will be mind-scrubbed and sent for use in the workshops of the Adeptus Mechanicus as a servitor. This infraction includes verbal or written benedictions or setting up an unsanctioned shrine.

Chapter One: Principles and Regulations, Section Two: Rules and Regulations.
                                         -The Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer

The smell of bleach hit me first. Heavy footsteps behind me indicated I should continue into the room. Back in this cell, this sanctuary, Madness surrounded me, and the walls seemed to crack a little more every day.
         I half-limped to a rusted camp bed without a mattress, my weakness betraying me further. I sat down. The bleak rockcrete around me was encroached on by the rising damp, gravity no obstruction to the black decay seeping upwards to the white ceiling.
        They had plastered over my dates, my last tether to reality. I gritted my teeth and made sure it didn't matter. They watched every tic, read every emotion.

With the cry of tortured metal my 'friend' arrived. Dead Eyes was a Killing Machine. Empty marionettes dancing grotesquely on fibre-optic strings.
The Dance of Death.

The smell of the counterseptic conspired with the bleach, making my eyes water. I was off balance, disorientated by all these conflicts and shades of things. Was this a hospital or a prison? I looked to the rusted bars. Definitely prison.

My hated friend standing guard certainly fused the medical with the criminal. Crimes against the soul and the God-Emperor-if he still lived. Imagine a butchered corpse, stitched together with blackened wire, and strapped with a Gatling gun arm. A friend or family member would be unrecognisable.
They defied reason, yet killed with cold logic. So far beyond human horror....

His stretched face had a look of pain to it, wires awkwardly splitting the not-quite-dead flesh into a smile. A rigor mortis grin. It made him unique, special to me. I was closer to him than I acknowledged, closer to him than the rest of God's creatures.

If he was still human, he'd be screaming. I'd seen it happen before, in the faulty ones. They'd be sprinting at us and suddenly stop and stand. 'The Ghost in the Machine', we called it. They would wake up and see the horrors inflicted on them and remember.
They killed themselves then.

A Second Death.

That it got a laugh indicated the grimness of the war. I walk through hell in my sleep. I was the survivor, the last living soul. We fought like machines against them, God-Machines. They made machines as gods, we were god-machines. The young men, the weight on their shoulders, knocking on that last darkened door. Pushed to the limit we dragged ourselves in and waited for them to come. Ammunition checked again and again. We found that child. I wish I could say he didn't suffer. The sadism wasn't programmed; it was some old humanity poking through the code.
The blood, the lights. The blood, the darkness.

My hand convulses as I stare at it: A dull ache from some old trauma. The machine in front of me twitches, reliving some past horror. We are kin, cousins if not brothers. Two dead souls, held against our will.

My captors had been taunting me with pictures of my daughter recently. She looks happy in her mother's arms. The woman triggers no recollection in me, but the child....
Perhaps it was before I was corrupted by wires. Perhaps she does not exist, the product of some misfiring neuron.  They need me to break down, to implicate, to collapse and tell them everything. They mistake my absence for subterfuge. I simply know nothing.

I shifted from the edge of the bed onto the bare springs. Lying back, they took some of the strain away, complaining in a squeaking child's voice. They will erase me soon. It will be bliss. My hands searched their way to my face, augmetic nerves feeling the waste and degeneration of what was real. The journey was coarsened by unexpected grasslands along my neck, then cresting the ridge of my chin to find a veritable forest.

A buzz of something rose in my chest and a smile ghosted my lips. Kalma. Sepia tints filled the room. Warmth and numbness pulled me into in the floor, a patch on my arm administering a brief cure for this human condition. I sighed, almost in pleasure.
Even in this wonderful, drowsy state I picked out boots coming up the corridor. I rose to my feet. It was always better to stand.

Human contact.
Oblivious to my nakedness he handed me a mirror, shaving foam and a cup of hot water. Sipping it, I studied myself in the mirror. A junkie glow suffused what was still human, the rest of my shell oddly robust and pale against this golden brown toast-rack. There was nothing in the eyes of the soldier who stood at my door, not even fear or disgust. Lobotomised Skitarri, he was less human than my brother standing beside me. Strange, this was a zoo. I was a rare and exotic creature, the last of a race of monsters.

My new acquaintance turned to go.
                    'A razor?'

Wordlessly, he jerked his head towards my brother. Four pneumatic blades punctured the air.             
                      'Of course...'
« Last Edit: August 29, 2007, 12:09:35 PM by No Love Lost »
I like what you're doing, but none the less... It's pretty freakin' messed up. Which is cool. Great ideas and concepts, but again, pretty freakin' messed up.

Offline Rusk

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Re: The 40konline fiction contest
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2007, 11:06:01 AM »
Edited from original, for your pleasure.

The Gunnery Sergeant

15:32 Standard Hours  138.559 M40  14th Battalion Base  Lembis IX

 The Gunnery Sergeant kicked open the rusty door, silencing the men of Recon platoon. They were an ugly bunch, the Gunney noted, a mixture of petty criminals, teenagers and fat laggards.

 ‘’Listen up, ladies,’’ the Gunnery Sergeant – a big, ugly man with bulging muscles and a sinister moustache – snarled in their faces,’’ I’m your new Gunnery Sergeant. You nitwits have had it easy the last couple of months. Well, let me tell you, I’m nothing like your old Gunney. Outside, immediately!’’

 The men scrambled out. The Gunnery Sergeant counted 22 of them. There were 25 men in the platoon, including the Gunney and Lieutenant Holefield, who bunked elsewhere. So where was the last man?

 Walking through the platoon barracks, the Gunney spotted the last man – a big, blonde Lance-Corporal – snoring on his bunk. The Gunney let his rage build before letting it out.

 ‘’What in hell’s name are you doing?’’ he bellowed in the mans face, who snapped awake, ‘’Up! Up! Move your fat backside, you son of a- and get outside!’’

 After the LC ran outside, the Gunney followed him. He screamed at the men to get in line, before surveying them. The LC was only wearing his polkadot underwear, and the rest had casual clothes on.

 ‘’Colonel Montgomery,’’ the Gunney spoke aloud to them all, ‘’Has transferred me from 1st Battalion to train you pitiful sods. Your PDF Battalion is going to be deployed to frontline action in 3 weeks, and I’m supposed to get your sorry backsides ready for that day. We begin tomorrow. Now get the hell out of my sight. Except you’’ He pointed at the Lance-Corporal, ‘’Get dressed, full gear, then give me ten laps round the base. I’ll be watching.’’


 ‘’Did that ugly bugger say we’re being deployed in three weeks?’’ PFC Grenz asked some of the other members of Recon platoon in the Battalion bar that night. Grenz was of average build, bald and dark-skinned, and had a ridiculously high-pitched voice.

 ‘’I dunno, but he’s gonna pay for messing with me,’’ Hebrevre replied. Hebrevre was the LC the Gunney had picked on.

 ‘’No you aren’t,’’ Private Sheww said to Hebrevre, ‘’That Gunney’s a Maniac. I think he could take anybody. It’s the way he looks at you. Scary.’’

 ‘’Someone should teach him a lesson,’’ Hebrevre finished, ‘’that’s all I’m saying.’’


 ‘’You call that shooting?!’’ The Gunnery Sergeant raged, ‘’My grandmothers better than you! And she’s dead!’’

 Recon platoon was on the shooting range, along with 14th Battalion’s A company, led by Colonel Montgomery. A company was making mincemeat out of Recon platoon, with an average hit rate of 64% to Recon’s 37%.

 At the end of the session, the Gunney got everyone who scored 50% or below in front of him. This was the majority of the platoon, including Grenz and Hebrevre. Sheww had scored 51%.

 ‘’You,’’ the Gunney said to them, ‘’Are the most pathetic group of useless morons I have ever had to deal with. You deserve no respect or recognition for anything we do. From now on, you will be called Balls-up 1, Balls-up 2, Balls-up 3…’’ And so it went on. Grenz was Balls-up 8.

 When he came to Hebrevre, he stopped. ‘’You are Big-Balls. The worst of the worst. Especially since you are my new adjutant, I will make you look even worse.’’ Then the Gunney screamed at them all ‘’Do bloody better next time, or I will kick each and every one of your backsides so hard when you need a dump the brown stuff comes out of your mouth! Dismissed!’’


 A week later, after the Gunney’s incessant insults and complaints, Recon platoon were to take part in a training exercise with platoons A3, B3 and C3. Recon platoon were teamed up with C3, led by lieutenant Green, an old friend of the Gunnery Sergeant. Green was glad of the Gunney – not so glad of the rest of them, Lieutenant Holefield included.

 The ‘’arena’’ was set up in the valley between 2 steep hills, covered in long grass and large coniferous trees. C3 was on their teams left, and Recon platoon on the right.

 Flanking maneuvers. A textbook move. Disaster guaranteed.


 Lieutenant Holefield had split the platoon into three squads. Holefield had 1st (a 5-man squad), and they would back up either 2nd squad (Gunney’s men, including Sheww) or 3rd squad (Hebrevre’s mob, including Grenz).

 Hebrevre was on Recon’s left, closest to C3. Of course, he didn’t know this, and when he saw a platoon of PDF moving on his left he assumed it was the enemy moving in the wrong direction.

 To Hebrevre’s credit, C3 didn’t see him coming. When they were all eliminated by low-level las-fire (harmless, but if you were hit you knew about it), Hebrevre called up Holefield’s squad using his micro-bead, to ask him to sweep left to look for any more enemies.

 ‘’You idiot!’’ Holefield hissed at Hebrevre, ‘’You killed our own team! Can’t you tell? They have red bands on their arms, just like us! If you ever, ever, do something this stupid again, I’ll set the Gunnery Sergeant on you. Though he’ll probably find out anyway…’’

 Then las-fire rained in on the 2 squads. While the leaders were busy arguing, some A3 soldiers had snuck up on them, and 5 or 6 were out before Hebrevre realised what was happening.

 Holefield triggered his micro-bead, ‘’1st and 3rd to 2nd, we are pinned. Requesting ass- oh, crap. Man out!’’


 ‘’What the hell has that nitwit done now?’’ The Gunney muttered to himself, then called ‘’2nd squad! Follow me!’’

 As they moved round to Hebrevre’s position, they walked straight into an ambush, because the men watching the flank weren’t doing their job. Only the Gunnery Sergeant and Private Sheww escaped, and seemingly disappeared. The ambushers couldn’t find them, but were stuck, one by one, by paint sticks.

 1st and 3rd were all eliminated. However, their team still won. Members of A3 and B3 slowly trickled out of the arena, with paint splodges on their flak armour.

 Evantually, they were all out. The Gunney and Sheww had taken them all out.

 The Gunnery Sergeant earned unconditional respect from Recon Platoon that day. They realised that when they were deployed in under 2 weeks – no idea where to – they were lucky they had the Gunney to lead them.

19:30 standard hours  156.559 M41  Battalion Briefing Room  Lembis IX

 ‘’The equatorial islands, gentlemen,’’ Colonel Montgomery said to the men of 14th Battalion – 325 infantry, 9 Leman Russ tank crews and 23 Heavy Weapons Platoon members - , ‘’This is where we are going. A Chaos cult was discovered in the island cluster’s lower ranks, almost 20 000 strong. They rose up and captured all 5 islands, declaring them free of the Imperium. We are going in to kill the cultists and rescue any captured loyalists. Our Battalion is going to Eudamac island, along with 12th Battalion and 15th Battalion. Recon platoon will be grav-chuted in, and will secure the village of Magascar, while the rest of the Battalion performs an amphibious assault on West beach. Further orders will be given when Magascar is secured. The PDF battleship Cruiser will transport us there. We board at dawn tomorrow. Dismissed.’’


 This sucks, man,’’ Grenz announced in the bar that evening, ‘’I know Recon is supposed to go in first, but what about 12th’s Recon? Or 15th’s?’’

 ‘’What I heard,’’ Sheww said, ‘’is that 12th Battalion is being deployed on North beach, and 15th is going in on South-East beach, so their Recon platoons are tied up capturing other villages. So yeah, this sucks.’’

 ‘’You just heard that from the Gunney,’’ Hebrevre teased, ‘’You being his golden boy n’all.’’

 ‘’Hey, its not my fault those ambushers missed me in the exercise,’’ Sheww replied, ‘’And you’re just jealous. If you hadn’t been asleep the first day he might not hate you.’’

 ‘’He hates everybody,’’ Pvt. Copper cut in from another table, ‘’He just hates Hebby more than most.’’


 At dawn on the 159th day of 559.M40, Recon platoons assigned Valkyrie transports grav-chuted the 25 men just north of Magascar town. ‘Town’ was a laughable term – only 8000 people lived there before the uprising.

 Holefield had asked the Gunnery Sergeant to keep an eye on Hebrevre while they were on-board the Cruiser, and explained what the Lance-Corporal had done to the C3 squad in the training exercise. The Gunney let rip in unconsiderable fashion.

 ‘’Big Balls!’’ He bellowed, making Hebrevre come running, ‘’I heard about what happened in the arena. I’m not going to get angry… yet. You are now transferred to my squad, and Private Sheww will become 3rd Squad leader. Sheww!’’

 Sheww came running. ‘’Sir?’’

 ‘’Field promotion,’’ Gunney said to him, ‘’Lance-Corporal. You’re now in charge of 3rd Squad. Follow orders, and don’t mess it up as badly as Big Balls here did.’’

 ‘’Yes sir!’’

 ‘’Now sod off,’’ Gunney growled, ‘’Just because you’re Lance-Corporal doesn’t mean you’re special. And Big Balls? Get the hell out of my sight.’’


 ‘’Spread out!’’ The Gunnery Sergeant hissed to 2nd Squad. They were about half a kilometre from Magascar town, and coming up on a squad of dug-in cultists occupying a cluster of wooden buildings in a hayfield. Holefield’s 1st Squad was somewhere to the Gunney’s right, coming in to flank the cultists. Sheww’s 3rd squad had completely missed the farm complex and was near the bridge that crossed Eudamac’s only river, into Magascar town.

 ‘’Supressive fire on the farm complex,’’ Holefield told Gunney down the comm.-link, ‘’Buy us time to come in and flank them.’’

 ‘’Roger,’’ Gunney replied, before hissing ‘’Supressive fire! Now!’’

 2nd Squad opened up. Because the job wasn’t to kill any of the grey-robed cultists, just keep them ducking, the squad blazed away happily. As they did so, Gunney drew a bead on a cultist who thought he was in cover, dropping him. Then he killed another, who was trying to set up a heavy bolter.

 Holefield’s 5-man squad came within range, and wiped out the rest of the cowering cultists. As Gunney sent his squad forward to clear out the rest of the complex, he heard a distress signal over the comm.-link.

 ‘’Lieutenant! Sergeant! This is Sheww! At least twenty cultists are attacking my squad, and we have already suffered casualties! Requesting assistance!’’

 ‘’Stay put,’’ The Gunney told him, then turned to his squad; ‘’Sheww’s men are in trouble. Be quiet and stay quiet; let’s do this stealthily.’’


 ‘’Domino!’’ The Gunney hissed, ‘’Are you actually gonna use that damn gun, or wait ‘till you can fart them to death?’’

 ‘’Sorry, Sarge,’’ Domino mumbled, before raising the barrel of his grenade launcher and aiming it at the biggest group of cultists. There was a dull thump and a satisfying explosion, before the cultists re-orientated themselves to face this new threat. This gave Sheww’s squad the time to return fire, so the confused cultists were whittled down and killed. Sheww’s squad came out of hiding to greet the Gunney’s.

 There was only one dead – a private – and another two were injured. Sheww and Domino bound up one of the injured’s shattered arm, whilst Grenz filled up the others shoulder with biofoam. Hebrevre lifted the dead private and lowered his body into the river.

 ‘’I’m sorry, sir,’’ Sheww said to Gunney, ‘’There was nothing we could do. They were on us so fast – ‘’

 ‘’Its ok, Corporal,’’ Gunney told him, ‘’You did good. A lot of people would have frozen and really messed up. Especially that beslubberer Big Balls. Now get up, reorganize your squad and move out.’’


 Recon platoon entered Magascar warily, expecting more fighting. Instead the civilian population came out, waving the Lembis IX international flag and cheering.

 ‘’P-D-F! P-D-F!’’ They chanted, offering the platoon brandy and fine meat. They said the cultists had gone, to repel the West beach landings. Holefield had still been cautious (after all, Chaos is not renowned for letting prisoners live, but the civvies said that most of the prisoners had been loaded up into big trucks and transported away to the centre of the island) and decided to detain the civilians in the town centre whilst Gunney’s squad swept the town. It was abandoned.


 Colonel Montgomery and the rest of 12th Battalion arrived in Magascar town 2 hours later. The size of the Battalion had shrunk by about forty men, and 2 of the Leman Russ’ were missing.

 Montgomery gave the orders; there was a large hill which gave an excellent vantage point with which to observe the enemy movements. Recon platoon were to scout the hill and capture it if at all possible.

 It was also reported that there was enemy armour up the hill. To counter this, Recon platoon were assigned one of the heavy weapons platoon members – a short, bald man called Tanner – to them. Tanner was equipped with a missile launcher and had 8 rockets for it.

 ‘’it’s a ‘Death or Glory’ job, sir,’’ the Gunney remarked to Holefield, ‘’Take the hill or die trying. Probably die trying.’’

11:22 Standard hours  159.559 M40  Hill 05  Lembis IX

 ‘’Holefield!’’ The Gunney hissed down his comm.-link, ‘’There’s the top of the hill! Look closely; the cultists have fortified the building on the peak. Though I don’t think anybody’s home, or there’d be sentries on the roof.’’

 ‘’Good observations,’’ Holefield replied, ‘’Recon platoon! Advance!’’

 ‘’Wait! No no no no no no!’’ The Gunney said, ‘’It could be a trap!’’

 Too late. Half the platoon had already waltzed out of the woods into the field, and the rest followed them.

 It was a trap. Halfway up the field, a line of fifty cultists appeared to the cultists left, with three armoured cars in tow. Lasfire sparked from their ranks, and 3 of Holefield’s men were down before they realised it.

 ‘’Go! Go! Go!’’ the Gunney bawled, ‘’Into the house!’’

 Grenz and Sheww went first, firing from the hip at the advancing enemies. Copper was right behind them, but las-shots messily cut up his face and chest. His body slumped against the wall.

 Domino fired his grenade launcher, destroying one of the armoured cars. Then he was hit in the shoulder and span away. Hebrevre grabbed him and pulled him and pulled him the last few steps into the building. Behind them, Tanner was decapitated at the waist, and no-one thought to grab his missile launcher.

 Another ten made it in to the building, including Holefield and the Gunnery Sergeant. The dead lay sprawled out across the field. Some of them may not have been dead, but there was no way in hell anybody was going to go get them.

 Holefield activated his comm.-link. ‘‘Recon to command! We are on top of the hill and being assaulted! Heavy casualties have already been inflicted upon us! Requesting assistance!’’

 ‘’Hold on, Recon,’’ came the reply, ‘’The cavalry’s on its way. Command out.’’

 Hebrevre had given Domino a handful of painkillers. His wound was superficial, but in Domino’s own words, ‘It hurts like hell, Hebby!’. As the heavy high smacked into his brain, he got up, went over to one of the windows and began firing. Hebrevre came up beside him and killed one of the armoured car’s commanders, who was firing a pintle mounted storm bolter.

 A las-shot came through the window behind Sheww and hit him in the back of the head. His face exploded outwards, covering the man beside him in blood and brains.

 ‘’Behind us!’’ The Gunney screamed, ‘’Cover the rear windows!’’

 Grenz, Holefield and 2 others turned round and began firing out of the rear windows. Thirty cultists had appeared seemingly out of nowhere, adding their fire to the assault.

 A massive cannon shell hit one of the armoured cars, obliterating it and scything down five or six more cultists. A second shell vaporised the cultist commander, and a third destroyed the last armoured car.

 The cultists fled, screaming in terror. The Gunnery Sergeant peeked out one of the windows, and saw 4 Leman Russ battle tanks rolling up the hill, followed by at least a hundred infantry.

 Hebrevre dropped his lasgun and sat on the dusty floor. Against all expectations, Recon platoon had survived.


 The Gunnery Sergeant led the platoon back to Magascar town. Hebrevre was carrying Holefield in a fireman’s lift. The lieutenant had been shot in the chest in the closing stages and was probably not going to live much longer.

 The surviving members of Recon platoon – seven men, including the Gunney, Holefield, Hebrevre, Grenz and Domino – traipsed into the town, to a hero’s welcome. They would later be informed that they had held off the vanguard of a serious enemy counter-attack long enough so reinforcements could come and repel the heretics. The main force, almost two thousand strong, was decimated in the valley east of Magascar town.

 Eudamac island fell 4 days later.


 In Magascar town center, the Gunney bellowed for the platoon to form up. It was a pitiful sight, with two thirds of the original men dead.

 The Gunney surveyed them, looking from one man to the next. They were all covered in dust and had at least minor injuries.

 The Gunnery Sergeant saluted them. They all returned it instinctively.

 The Gunnery Sergeant half-smiled, ‘’You’ll make decent soldiers yet.’’


PFC Grenz was promoted to Corporal to fill Sheww’s vacated position.

Pvt. Domino was transferred to A company, and became the regiment’s best grenadier.

Lieutenant Holefield died from his injuries three after Hill 05. He was promoted to Major posthumously.

Hebrevre was sent to a hospital for the clinically insane, having gone crazy seeing most his friends die and taking the brunt of the Gunney’s insults.

The Gunnery Sergeant was conscripted into the Imperial Guard, where he became the most hard-nosed disciplinarian in the regiment. After all, he knows how to make a good job out of it.

*** THE END ***
My 40K Fluff

The Ark of Cruxis - Finished

Offline Locarno

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Re: The 40konline fiction contest
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2007, 03:13:02 AM »
Hmm.. I've been meaning to post up an entry - have finally got the intro piece for a planned story finished, and remembered a slightly older story as well that might be suitable, so here we go:

Godsfall Rising
By Locarno

Cardinal Antoninus, Ecclesiarchial Nuncio and the Ecclesiarch's Ambassador-at-large to the Tarok sector, closed his eyes and gripped his rosarius fiercely, his knuckles turning white. He could feel the ship itself shake through his seat as its engines tried desperately to overcome the tens of thousands of tons of inertia of a Sword-class frigate.

Imperator Rex Astra, do we beseech thee in our hour of need....” Antoninus whispered under his breath, trying to shut out the panicked yelling of the bridge crew.

The Imperial Frigate Defence of Stalinvast turned hard to port-zenith to avoid another raking burst of lance fire from its massive pursuer, the bolts of electric blue fire barely missing the outer perimeter of the ship's void shields.

The attacking cruiser had surprised the squadron; emerging from the upper atmosphere of Tanium (the system's Jovian gas giant) as the frigates passed its orbit. Only the capital ship's massive void shields could have allowed it to endure the pressure it must have experienced – but whoever they were, the Stalinvast's Captain thought, it had proved a risk worth taking. The Stalinvast's sister ships had been gunned down in moments by those damnable lance batteries, and only by diving his ship (near suicidally) into Tanium's orbital rings had he survived this long. Erratic manoeuvring and the density of ice and rock chunks had – so far – prevented a killing shot, but to leave the shelter of the belt, as they must eventually do, surely meant immediate death at the hands of the bigger, faster, better-armed cruiser.

Their passenger, the Captain noticed, was praying. He wasn't a religious man himself – the Admiral had selected him to convey the Nuncio on the grounds of his competence, not his piety – but right now that seemed as good a solution as any he could think of. The enemy commander was exceptionally skilled, and the Defence of Stalinvast never managed to break away from sensor contact for more than a hearbeat. The ship's astropath could not make contact with the fleet – his powers rendered useless by some dark arts aboard the enemy ship, and the same dense ice and rock that protected them left their vox systems uselessly mute.

Taking a deep breath, the Captain turned to the Ministorum Envoy.

“Your Eminence. I am not sure we can evade this beast forever...if we leave the belt we'll be blown to scrap by her guns, but so long as we stay, we cannot summon aid. We should seek to save you whilst we can. If you were to withdraw to a saviour pod, we can eject you when we next...”

The Cardinal's grey eyes opened, fixing the Captain with a look that had seen too many centuries of sadness and barbarity.

“And do what, Captain? I respect you for offering this, but no-one knows where we currently are, is that correct?” Antoninus asked. The Captain sighed, and nodded.
“The Emperor guides my steps, and if He has decided this is to be my end, I would rather meet it here, amongst his servants, than choke to death alone in the void.”

The Captain bowed. “Then there is not much we can do, I am afraid, but continue to buck like a wounded grox and hope we can shake auspex contact long enough to hide somewhere.” He turned back to the bridge officers.

“Sensorman? Range to target?”

“Enemy heavy cruiser at two thousand miles, holding more or less steady. Her lances are still cooling after that last volley, I think. She's currently heading deeper into the belt.”

The Captain weighed up the new information, glancing at the hololith display for confirmation. If they pulled up now....

Making his decision, he rattled of a string of clipped orders, the bridge crew turning to obey with the efficiency of decades of service together.

“Cut main drive. Rotate plus sixty-five by plus twenty and re-engage at full power. Guns; suppression barrage into the ice asteroids above us – create as much dust and debris as you can.”

The Defence of Stalinvast lurched again before the main drive flared up to maximum, pressing the crew into their seats at half again their own weight. There was a shudder as the starboard gun mounts fired in synchrony, a hail of heavy cannon shells pulverising the mile-wide ice asteroids into glittering, refractive dust. The frigate plunged into the far edge of the dust cloud, seeking shelter.

The auspex picture was flickering – the sensors barely able to discern the outside world through the  static-charged cloud of debris. With the Throne's Grace, the Enemy would have the same problem as well. The Captain was just about to order a hard turn back into the outer rings – another desperate attempt to break contact whilst visibility was poor – when the Sensorman yelled in alarm.

Contact, contact, contact! Multiple contacts, Aft-keel, range nineteen thousand and closing! Contacts manoeuvring and accelerating – count at least twenty seperate targets!”

One edge of the hololith turned an ugly red as the hashed-out signatures of the incoming targets appeared, along with a stream of tactical data.

“Identify!” The Captain replied.

“Probable: Strike craft – most likely assault pods, given their size and speed. Cannot confirm through the interference, but signature appears consistant with Dreadclaw-pattern. Range eighteen thousand and closing.”

The Captain's jaw dropped. The enemy ship – wherever it was – wasn't a carrier. How had it launched an assault boat wing?

“Range seventeen thousand and closing...” Prompted the sensorman. The Captain snapped back out of his stunned state.

“Vox – shipwide.” The vox officer nodded, reaching across his board to reset the plugboards. A moment later he made a quick confirmatory gesture, and the Captain continued.

“This is the Captain. All Hands; Defence Stations -  seal all interior bulkheads and stand ready to repel boarders. Naval Security to posts, all armed crewmen stand down from duty and ready for combat. Contact immanent in...” He glanced at the Sensorman, who gestured back, “...Twenty seconds. Emperor protect us.”

At this announcement, the grinding of closing bulkheads throughout the ship could just be heard over the blaring sirens, as the frigate's flak guns began to stitch weapons fire at the incoming craft.

The defence turrets of the Sword-class frigate blazed streams of fire into the void, but now the very clouds of dust it had created to hide within served to obscure the enemy attack craft. The Dreadclaws screamed in, trailing fusion fire from their drives. Their glistening hulls were warped, appearing almost like shimmering scales, whilst their docking claws, whilst still the adamantium of their design, bore serrated hooks growing like teeth; giving the hideous vessels the appearance of great fanged maws.

The flak fire ripped through space, and tore several of the incoming vessels apart, their hulls buckling and ripping, spilling fuel, blood and the mutated flesh of their cargo into the freezing void. Over a dozen of the assault craft, though, swept through the hail of fire, wheeling and diving on the frigate. Their mutated jaws bit into the hull, tearing through armour plate and ripping power conduits and oxygen lines. The Defence of Stalinvast shuddered under the impacts, and columns of fire ripped through the upper decks of the ship, incinerating scores of crewmen. Their screams echoed through the vox-net, as the Captain and Antoninus listened.

<Multiple hull breaches! All defence units move to intercept; upper decks between bulkheads two and twenty!>
<Throne! Drive them back! Shoot! Shoot! Dear Emperor, what are...> [Transmission Terminated]
<Team four requesting suppression support, we are being pinned down.>
<Team one, confirmed breach location deck three, bulkhead seven. We need Naval Security up here.>
<Team six, it's moving toward the main drives – move to cut it...> [Transmission Terminated]
<Naval Security, forward corridor secured. They...oh, Throne! No...please tell me that wasn't...>
<Anyone have a visual on Team five?>
<This is Team four! We need that backup now! We're being overrun...Get back to the intersection!>
<Run! Run! We miggggghhhhhtttt... ....cccrrrrr....ggg> [Transmission Terminated]
<I have a visual! Team five advancing up the central corridor. They look to be battered but...Under fire! We are under fire from Team five! What in the Throne...>  [Transmission Terminated]
<It's coming through the roof!>
<Gggggkkk.....kkkklllll> [Transmission Terminated]
<Forward corridor is breached! I repeat, bridge staff, you kkhhhh...> [Transmission Terminated].

With the last warning dissolving into an almost mechanical static, the Captain stood, drawing an elegantly crafted power cutlass that  - despite years of service – he had never had to wield in combat. Reaching down, he unholstered a heavy naval revolver along with it. Antoninus moved to stand next to him, lifting his ceremonial staff and holding it ready – the relic contained a power generator and was just as deadly as the Captain's cutlass.

There was a hammer-blow to the bulkhead, the metal creasing and ripping. This was followed by a second blow, then a third. At each impact, the bulkhead shuddered in its frame. At the fourth blow, it tore, a glistening claw tearing a hole clean through the heavy armaplas door. Dozens of slim, metallic tentacles darted into the hole, pulling outwards to open the breach wide enough for the attackers to pass.

The Captain and his officers fired into the gap, the echoing report of the heavy-calibre revolvers deafening in the enclosed space of the frigate's bridge. Several tentacles were ripped in half before the first of the attackers scuttled through into the bridge itself.

The bridge officers halted for a moment, shocked at the horrific things which clawed towards them. They were obscene, glistening scales of metal covering most of their skin, with wormlike tendrils waving from jaws, limb stumps and shoulder blades. Mechanical claws gouged scars into the decking as they pulled themselves forwards, murderous insanity in their eyes.

They were – or had been – human. That was the worst thing. The vestiges of faces could be seen amidst the warped flesh and metal, and human organs could be seen melded into mechanical systems. Now there was nothing left but hissing, choking, half metal wreckage of corpses that should by rights be long dead. The bridge crew opened fire again, in disgust as much as fear, dozens of their foes being gunned down in pools of blood and black, oily ichor.

Still they came on, clambering over railings and consoles towards where the crew stood in a last circle, ready to sell their lives as dearly as possible.

Cardinal Antoninus drew back his staff, ready to charge into the twisted horrors. He suppressed a shudder. This one, last time he had to be without fear, if only for the sake of those who stood behind him.

Stand fast!” He called out. “The Emperor Protects!”

Antoninus almost stumbled, ready to charge, as the things halted at his words, and spoke. The tortured, choking voices hissed with malevolance, speaking as one.
Perhaps. But not Us. And not You."

The things surged forward again. Antoninus could not summon the will to raise his staff in his own defence before one of the things slammed into him, blades and hook-tipped tendrils ripping at his flesh. Despite himself, he screamed in agony as the tendrils plunged into his ribcage.

Then...there was nothing but the darkness and the pain.

Stories to read....
Songs of Earth
The Will to Survive Series

Tervigon Army List:
Games Played: 35
Termagants expended for the Hive Mind: ~2685

Offline Locarno

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Re: The 40konline fiction contest
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2007, 03:25:49 AM »
...and number two - a rather older Dark Eldar piece that was a forerunner to The Will to Power.

The Lesson
By Locarno

The Initiate's punisher slashed from guard to guard, striking and warding, describing precise arcs between the various classical stances - and those of his own devising. as he did so, he watched the other initiates and adepts practising and sparring in he Dojo's hall, scrutinizing their fighting styles with the same clinical hunger which he applied to the Dojo's library, or to the arena beyond the Dojo's walls.

Like all initiates of the Incubi Order he had neither name nor personal history. He did not know his parentage; he could be the younger heir to the most powerful of the Archons, sent to the Order to dispose of a potential rival, or he could be the child of Commoragh's lowest trash, selected as a babe as merely promising warrior stock. The Dojo's Masters would never tell him - for that matter would never think to ask such a question themselves.
He was Incubi, nothing more and nothing less.

Denied a personal identity of their own, taught to merely be peerless warriors and nothing more, the initiates of the Incubi sought to define themselves instead through their fighting styles; each developing his own unique art - countless subtly diverse techniques with the punisher, with elements drawn from their teachers, their allies, and their foes.

Much of what was unique to the Initiate's art had come from his own source of inspiration; from one of the high spires of the Dojo, he could see one of the nearby combat arenas - and no less a place than the great Diavent Arena itself. He had spent many hours watching the wych gladiators and their slaves duel in bloody combat, mentally dissecting their techniques with impaler and hellglaive for elements he himself could use. He had watched as a giant halberd-armed Mon-keigh slave, armoured in broken grey and gold-trimmed plate, had fought off a dozen of the arena's fiercest beasts before finally being slain.
Once, he had even seen Lelith Hesperax herself. A whirlwind of spite, fury and arrogance totally at odds with the controlled Incubi style, yet no less lethal for that - her lithe and deadly form enhanced beyond imagining by arcane combat stimulants and the vitality of stolen souls.

He finally completed his kata, his punisher coming to rest in a low guard. Focusing now on himself, he analysed his own performance.

Good, but not yet flawless.

Whilst the armour he wore - so newly won! - was light and flexible as only that fashioned by his kind could be, armour it was, and he was not yet fully attuned to it; the presence of the protective plating would slow him by imperceptible fractions until he could properly understand precisely how the armour would, and would not, allow him to move.

But for now it would suffice. He was summoned to the Anfract.

The eight initiates stood guardant, punishers held at ready before them, forming a defensive ring around another initiate who stood at their centre. Bereft of punisher, the ninth initiate was to be the figure they were to guard - his selection a subtle insult, suggesting he was the least competent of the nine.

This was the heart of this sect's secretive Dojo, the Anfract Arena. Smaller than the grand arenas of the Dark City, yet in its way no less impressive - for it was designed for no audience other than its combatants. Built into a twisted knot of the Webway, the shifting walkways and gates turned back upon themselves in ways impossible in what most would think of as 'reality', and the uneven footing and bladed pits waited to trap the clumsy or unwary. Light itself seemed to bend away from certain parts, so only close attention to the arc each initiate was to ward allowed them to track their enemies.

Their foes circled them methodically in the shadows - eight Incubi Adepts, full members of the Order, wearing the ornate armour denoting their status, and helms set with gems and sophisticated neuro-linked weaponry - weaving amongst one another, awaiting the signal to attack.

The Initiate tried to prepare himself for the attack, watching at the edge of his vision the likely source of that signal; the other who stood at the circle's centre - the Incubi Master Manakh, one of the Menshadnae.
He had never encountered one of the Menshadnae before that day - the highest of the Incubi Masters; those who had, through their mastery of the arts of combat, both with the punisher and other weapons, and as bodguard and leader, forged a complete and unique presence amongst the Incubi, and so won the right to self, and name, and identity beyond their warrior personas. They were the secret voice of the Incubi Order amongst the lords of Commoragh, members of an inner Order almost as secretive to the lowly initiates as was the Incubi Order as a whole to those with whom they shared the streets of the Dark City.

Manakh wore black robes; and enveloping cloak woven with runes in silver thread. Unlike the other seventeen figures in the Anfract, he wore neither armour nor helm, and his head was bare. His long black hair, tied back in a warrior's queue, spilled down past his shoulders. His face was utterly impassive - so much so that the Initiate found it almost unsettling - wearing a helm could deny one the chance to read an opponents face and eyes, but surely something should be visible when one did not.
Did the revered Incubi Master feel the same depths of emotion as the others of the True Kin? If so, his control was...unnerving.

He registered Manakh's signal rather than precisely seeing or hearing it. Manakh's weight had subtly shifted, and instantly the Adepts emerged from the shadows and moved to attack. Their punisher's snapped forwards into aggressive stances, then, as one, reversed their halberds and de-activated the shock fields surrounding the blade.
Such things were not needed when facing mere initiates.

Forewarned by a heartbeat, the Initiate fared better than most of his peers. Striking forwards at his advancing opponent with his punisher's shock-fielded blade in a wide Maug Druakh cut at the Adept's Neck, he forced the Adept back a step, delaying his attack. The Adept was quick to respond, though, bringing his own punisher up and around the Initiate's haft, preventing him from returning to an effective guard, and stepping inside the arc of the deadly shock field of the Initiate's punisher's blade.
The most obvious course of action was retreat, but the Initiate knew he could not.
'Only when on the attack can you circle, or trade space for advantage,' He had been taught, 'to do so when on the defensive is to compromise the defence of your ward.'
Instead, drawing on his own refinement of the giant grey-armoured Mon-keigh's crude style, he counterattacked, extending fully his punisher's haft and exchanging a swift series of blows with the Adept, using the haft of his punisher as a fighting staff. At last, he grudgingly forced the Adept to open the distance once more.

Most of the other initiates were beaten, or being overwhelmed, but he stood, facing the Adept, both punisher blades held in classical guards. As he watched, the Adept reversed his blade and touched the controls. With a momentary crackle, the Adept's punisher ignited its shock field - its wielder acknowledging a foe worthy of the blade.
It seemed like the Adept and Initiate stood at bay for an eternity, facing one another across their energy-sheathed blades. Another of the countless lessons he had been taught so painfully was foremost in his mind.
'Muster your spite, your hate, your rage. Your passions are weapons and will strengthen you. But release them though only when it is to your advantage to do so - or be led unready into unwise action.'
And so, spite and rage as keen as his blade, he watched, and waited, muscles taut but unmoving.

His world had contracted to nothing save himself and the Adept. Only two of the other initiates still fought their lone duels, but their struggles no longer registered. Whilst nothing intruded within the reach of his glaive, there was nothing but his single foe.
He did not know who moved first - both he and the Incubi Adept seemed to strike at once, the shock-fielded blades clashing again and again in a hail of blows. Again and again he parried, although he knew that eventually the Adept must break past his defences, or sever his punisher in two with his ignited blade.
Suddenly, the Adept withdrew, dropping back into a defensive stance. Momentarily surprised, he switched to a high guard, cautiously ready to pursue. Then, before he could respond - before he even registered the additional presence - his ribs exploded in pain as Manakh stepped forwards and buried a dagger cleanly through the joints of his armour and into the meat of it lower back.
The knife withdrew almost as he registered he had been stabbed; the wound neither deep nor crippling, but venoms along the blade's edge inflaming the wound to agony, and caused him to collapse slowly to the ground, his limbs no longer obeying his brain's command.

When he regained consciousness, he looked about the Anfract. All seven of his compatriots were kneeling, punishers on the floor before them, and arms crossed over their chests in submission. Each had one of the Adepts' punishers resting at their throats, while the Adept the Initiate had faced held his punisher at the throat of the ninth who had been their Ward.
Manakh stood over him, resplendant in his robes, his face impassive as ever. He offered his hand to the Initiate, helping him to his feet. The other initiates were also allowed to stand, and left the arena, replacing their punishers in the armoury racks of the portal. The Adepts formed into a precise phalanx, and left after them. The Menshadnae, however, remained, facing the Initiate. The Initiate looked again at the Incubi Master's robes, removed his helm, and bowed deeply, thanking the Master for the lesson.

The Initiates had failed because they had failed to protect their ward - but not just from the Adepts. They had arrogantly and foolishly ignored the greatest danger, already within their defensive circle - The Incubi Master Manakh himself.
'Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of what you think you know of a person, only those who wear the armour of the Incubi Order can be trusted.'
A simple - but crucial – lesson. One lesson of many still to be learned.

Manakh returned the bow with the slightest nod of acknowledgement, then turned and left. The Initiate returned his punisher to the weapons rack and made his way back to the Initiate's chambers to see to his wound, and the damage to his armour. He would need to practice more before the next time he entered the Anfract.
Good, but no, not yet flawless.....

Stories to read....
Songs of Earth
The Will to Survive Series

Tervigon Army List:
Games Played: 35
Termagants expended for the Hive Mind: ~2685

Offline CriscoCommissar, The Valorous Sludge

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Re: The 40konline fiction contest
« Reply #16 on: September 3, 2007, 05:23:47 PM »
So dies a hero

By CrisisCommissar

He swiped a sleeve across his wet face. He couldn’t tell why it was wet; blood (his own or his enemies), sweat, perhaps tears. He crawled quickly across the rubble strewn street to where he could see men of his own platoon huddled in a small building. It took a few moments to realize not all of them were alive. He saw them, attached names to faces. Private Cummings, the fething numbskull from first squad that had put an angry Catachan fire scorpion in the Lieutenants boot, missing part of his head. Corporal Farthings from his own unit, the man that had taught him more curse words than he had known existed, bloody stumps where his legs should have been. Men that would never see their families again.


“When’s daddy coming back?”

“Soon sweetheart…”


Nobody knew where the explosion had come from. A stray artillery round, something the fething Eldar had planted for them? There were three of them left. Only three. Someone suggested they keep moving, maybe it was him, he couldn’t tell. The objective was close. Why bother? What did they hope to accomplish? He couldn’t find a curse word vulgar enough to describe how he felt. They moved on, leaving the dead where they lay.


He kicked the back of the seat in front of him, ignoring the withering glares from the sisters singing hymnals. He hated it here, didn’t understand why his mother felt the need to pray all the time. It was useless. His father would never come back.

“HE’S NOT COMING!” he yelled, stomping from the hall, leaving his mother to her prayer.

“Emperor protects….”


The three men ran, limped and hobbled across the road, taking cover behind what was left of what might have once been a church. They gasped for breath, looking frantically for any sign of their enemies. The distant sounds of  las fire, explosions and the calls of the dying filled the air with a sick sort of ambient noise. Nobody spoke. They continued through the ruins.


He held her hand, feeling it go limp even as she smiled. He stood, the medical servitors already pushing him toward the door, unable to wait. There was an empty bed now, and others needed it more than the dead.

Friends were waiting, and they would all say the same things

“She’s with him now”… “There’s nothing you could do”….”Emperor protects…”

The ride to the hab block was the longest of his life. Thinking of all the things he had missed until it was too late. Things he had said, things he had not said… The door clicked shut behind him. It was dark, empty, strange he had never noticed it before. He was alone. He wept…


The shrill whistle was unmistakable. Shuriken landed around them, kicking up dozens of little puffs of dust at their feet. He didn’t know when he had lost his gun, but someone had theirs. The rapid snap-crack of las fire joined the whistle of the aliens fire, drowning out all other sound. Then it stopped.

“Move!” The man with the las rifle shouted. The Eldar warrior lay farther down the road, a dark stain spreading slowly around him.

Two steps, then another sound. He was suddenly covered in blood. He didn’t know whose until the body hit the ground, a small round hole in its forehead. Blank, empty eyes staring accusingly up at him. He hadn’t even know the mans name. A quiet kid from Sergeant Ellamys bunch. Another crack, and a bolt whistled past his ear, adding another minor wound to the dozens he had acquired here today. He ran full out, diving into the first cover he could find, the last man behind him. And then there were two…


“Miss? Miss?!”

He picked the rations chit off the ground where she had dropped it. Rations were hard to come by now days. Everyone was hungry, there just wasn’t enough food. She turned her head, her straw blonde ringlets blowing slightly with the breeze. He stood, staring into the most beautiful clear blue eyes he had ever seen.

“I… uh… You dropped this.” He offered the rations chit sheepishly.

“Thanks” She had a soft voice, the kind that didn’t get used often. She shifted her bags to take the chit from him.

“Can I… er… Help with those?” He smiled, embarrassed.

Such beautiful eyes….


“Emperor protect us…” Private Jones breathed as they lay on their bellies in the rubble. Jones had been there in the beginning, when they didn’t even know how to fire a las gun, much less fight a war. “You are soldiers of the Emperor” the Commissar had told them. He didn’t feel like a soldier now. He felt like a child. Helpless and alone.

Sharp rocks and glass bit into his palms as he crawled through the ruins. He would do it. He would complete the mission. For Cummings, Farthing, the kid from third, and countless others who had all had names. Had all had families to go back to? Had all died mere statistics on a world far from home. Jones followed behind him, thinking thoughts likely very similar. A long time friend following him on one last mission.

No. He wouldn’t think that. This could not be the last mission. He had a family. He had to see her again. He would live where others had died. He would carry on and remember them so that, at least to someone, they would not be just nameless numbers. He pulled himself to his feet, ignoring the aching of his entire body, the pain of dozens of small wounds. He would ignore death itself to remember them, to see her again.


They lay in silence, her warm breath on his chest. His fingers entwined in her soft, straw colored ringlets. The hab was no longer so dark, so empty. He was no longer alone. He no longer wept.

“I’m going to have a baby…” She waited, apprehensive of his reply.

He remained silent. There were no words for this. He turned his head, staring at the pict slate next to the bed. His mother, giving him the brightest smile, even in death. He smiled back.


He heard the slight crunch of gravel underfoot. They had not been moving. He ducked low, peering slightly over the edge of his cover, Jones right next to him. The alien stepped nearly silently into view, pistol in hand, a rifle over his back. It walked slowly, peering intently into the darkness, searching for its prey.

“DIE SCUM!!” screamed Jones as he bounded from cover, intending to impale the Eldar with his combat knife. The Being turned faster than he could have imagined, letting shuriken rip into Jones body. The young soldier fell to the ground, crying as he attempted to staunch the blood flow. The alien loomed over him, clearly intending to finish what it had started.

“Die mon’keigh”

“NO!!” He stood without realizing it, ripping his las pistol from its holster, catching the alien by surprise. He fired again and again, with at least half of the shots catching his target full in the chest. It hit the ground, its helmet rolling away, its eyes containing a look of shock. He kneeled at Jones side, attempting to stop the bleeding, knowing it was too late. Jones took his hand, squeezing it tight.

“I can’t die.” He mumbled. “I can’t”. The mans grip went slack, dead.

He stood, tears of anger and sadness streaming down his face. Jones. Another name to add to the list of the dead. His friend and comrade. Dead. He gripped his pistol so tight he thought it might break. Then pain hit him like a ton of bricks. At first he thought it was just his friends death, then he noticed the searing hurt and ragged hole in his side. He spun on his heel and fired non-stop into the Eldar that had not yet died. At point blank, with his target lying on the ground, dying, nothing missed. He shot, and kept on shooting until the trigger just clacked, and nothing happened, he dropped the weapon. Empty. He lunged onto his long dead enemy, a gaping, bleeding hole in its chest.

“FETHING! ALIEN! FILTH!” He screamed as loud as he could, heedless of anything that might hear him, each word punctuated by a savage punch of the creatures face. He kept on beating it, taking out all his anger on the thing that had killed his friends. Finally, exhausted from beating it. He rolled off onto his back. A sudden thought hit him, something he had learned about the enigmatic Eldar from an officer now long dead. He reached for the dead beings chest, there, gleaming brightly despite the horrible damage done to its hosts body, was a waystone. He ripped it from its socket.


He buried his head into her shoulder, trying hard to hide the tears. He knew he had to go, but the thought of leaving her was nearly too much to bear. He pulled back, gazing into her beautiful blue eyes, now filled with tears.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be back.” He told her reassuringly, his hands on her belly, now large with his unborn son. He knew it was a boy. He could feel it. He kissed her, making it last as long as he could, before the impatient officer organizing the boarding practically yanked him away from his love.

“Get on the fething shuttle soldier.”

“I love you.” His last words to her, though he didn’t know it yet. She smiled.

The walk down the boarding ramp was a long one, everyone sullen and brooding. Families left behind. Except for one.

“Hey! I’m Michael Jones. what your name?”


He dragged himself through the dirt, shards of waystone embedded in his hands. He pulled himself to his feet and limped along, clutching his side. He had to go on. He could hear it approaching, the whine of the engines. He had to move. He wasn’t going fast enough, he had to get away. Too late. The grav tank screamed over his head and continued onward, then performed an impossible hairpin turn, and came back towards him. He turned and attempted to run, knowing in the back of his mind he could not escape. The vehicle slowed to a stop, hovering a half dozen feet off the ground, he could see the pilots, anonymous behind their high tech visors. The back ramp opened, and a half dozen figures in ornate elder rune armor dropped lithely to the ground. One turned to him, leveling its weapon. He would not go down easy. He dived right and unloaded with his pistol, the warlocks shots went wide as a las shot clipped its head, spinning it around and knocking it to the ground.

He changed his aim to the next closest alien, resolved to take as many with him as possible. He had just begun to tighten his finger on the trigger when he was engulfed in agony. He could feel it in his head, his brain was on fire. He dropped his gun, tearing at his hair attempting to rip his own mind out. He could feel the blood leaking out his ears, his eyes, and his nose.

It stopped. The largest being of the group, wearing the most ornate armor, took a few steps closer. “You are tenacious mon’keigh.” He felt the words rather than heard them. “But you have destroyed a waystone, sent one of my kin into the very jaws of chaos. For that, you will die a most painful death.” The agony filled him again, and he tried to scramble away from the terrifying alien. He dropped to his stomach, unable to move, screaming in indescribable pain. It stopped again. He gasped for breath, dreading the next attack. His mind felt ravaged and violated. The pain was unlike anything he had ever felt. He felt an odd bulk beneath him, and struggled to think of what it was. His eyes opened wide as the answer came to him.

He shifted his weight, putting an arm underneath himself as if to clutch the wound in his side. As he did so, he primed the cylindrical melta bomb he had taken from Jones body. His friend had given him one last gift, a parting present. He smiled the mocking smile of one who knows he is dead. The Farseer assaulted his mind again, and his shrill screams of pain blocked out the low beep of the bombs countdown timer. Death would be a release. The pain stopped for the last time as he rolled onto his back. He saw the creature recoil and attempt to run, the grav tank moved forward to collect its passengers, unaware of the danger. A smile split his lips as the explosive flames washed over him, engulfing the transport and the seers. The Falcons fuel capsules detonated, leveling any structure over a foot high, and out of the fireball came the shrieks of the dying.


His eyes closed, darkness took him. He was home again; he could see his beautiful wife, his adorable young daughter. Hmm, he had been wrong. The image faded, and resolved into a light so brilliant he was sure it would blind him. He was where he belonged, at the Emperors side. And he knew, one day, he would be joined by the family that would continue on without him, as others had before. He would see her again.

Such beautiful eyes….
"Degeneracy can be fun, but it's difficult to seriously pursue as a lifetime occupation."- Robert Persig

--3rd platoon (Reapers!), Fox company, 309th--

Offline SnipingSnowman

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Re: The 40konline fiction contest
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2007, 02:24:51 PM »
No!!! I got the bloody date wrong! >:( >:( >:( >:(

Offline Ukos Sa'cea Rienn

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Re: The 40konline fiction contest conclusion!
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2007, 12:38:46 AM »

The atmosphere in the room was tense. Never before had so many different peoples come together in one place without breaking immediately into horrible battle. Dark Eldar looked to Guardsman, looked to Tau, looked to Space Marine. The results were about to come through. As one, the numerous delegates leaned forwards towards the vote tallier.

If it were possible for an already unspeaking congregation to go into a hush, that is what they now did. A chime sounded, breaking the silence, and marking the end of the impartial computers' computations. A small piece of paper wound out through a slot marked "results".

The paper was passed from one to the next, still equally mute. However, each time it changed hands, the atmosphere in the room darkened, until it rested in the hands of the Tau delegate. He read the paper. And read it again.  He stood up slowly, as if to speak, turned, and sprinted for his ship and for safety. Before he had finished turning, the rest of the delegates were on their feet and chasing him - the spell had been broken and the armies were once again at odds. The chase was on.

Who knew when next the races of the universe would come together again, but when they did, it would, once again, be a time to remember...

Silly stories aside, this post marks the end of the 40kOnline Fiction Contest. We sat down, wrote stories, put them up for public scrutiny, and the people - or at least, some people... - voted.

It was a close competition, with well written stories from all participants, but this is a contest, and, as such, there must be winners. Here are the winners of third, second and first place, with their entries and the number of votes they obtained.

Tied for third place, we have...

Flonky, and his story, "Survival of the Quickest" and Khemri, with his story, "Maiden Guard", with 4 votes each.

In second place,

No Love Lost, with his story, "At Home, He is a Commissar", with 5 votes.

And, in first place,

Ukos, with his story, "The Longest Road", with 8 votes.

Congratulations to everyone who entered - the contest wouldn't have been the same without you - and keep writing! All of the stories were great, and, I, for one, would love to see more from all of you.

And with that, I bid you farewell. Those of you who wrote for the contest, feel proud, for you have taken part in one of the most verbose contests ever to hit 40kOnline, and good luck with whatever you write in the future.

There may be more contests to come, but for now... This is...

The End


P.S. For those of you interested in seeing the actual rankings in full, follow this linky to go straight to the poll itself.
Congratulations to everyone who took part in the 40kOnline Fiction Contest, and thanks to everyone who voted!

To see the results, visit the Contest Page!

Offline Void_Dragon

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Re: The 40konline fiction contest
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2008, 12:37:05 PM »
Look Before You Leap
By: Void_Dragon

   Koltheq trembled slightly. The anticipation of the kill always excited him. His heart would race into his throat and his breathing quickened. He would smile his terrible rictus grin, stretching the pale skin on his thin face until it revealed far more of his wicked teeth than any sane creature would be comfortable with. His fists clenched spasmodically of their own accord as he crouched lower into a leaping stance, ready to hurtle himself from the small transport craft into the fray.  His pilot was muttering to himself, pushing the small skimmer to the limits of its abilities, and adjusted its trajectory to bring it in line with a small skirmish in which Koltheq's kindred appeared to be in the process of being decimated.
   Fools, he thought, thats what they get for allowing themselves to be caught by those barbarians.  He scanned the knot of violence for whichever enemy seemed to be causing the most damage and took note of his face.
   Such an ugly face. Wide, flat, creased, dark, and hairy. Covered with scars, gouges, brands, piercings, war-paint, and blood.  It's armor was similarly disgusting. Ugly, blockish greaves led to blunt nosed, steel shod boots. Massively oversized and cumbersome looking pauldrons led down to black gauntleted fists. Power cabling appeared between the joints of its armor, and some kind of reactor unit belched forth blood colored smog from its back. Its armor was the color of dried mon'kiegh blood, and it's details were worked in bone. Not bone colored paint, he realized as the craft hurtled him and seven of his assault cadre towards the bloodshed, but actual bone. It's compatriots were similarly armored, and all sported the whirring, obnoxious, axe-saws of their kind.
   Koltheq was ready. He had fought many such abominations. Proof that the mon'kiegh were weak. Weak, and easily overpowered by their own failings. If he was being honest, he would admit that they were formidable adversaries, fully capable of tearing him or any one of his kin in half with their bare hands. Koltheq, however, was rarely honest, nor did he have any intention of allowing one of these beasts to get their primitive hands on him.   
   There was a faint drop in decibel level as his transport slowed just enough for Koltheq and his cadre to disembark without injuring themselves in the process, and with out a seconds thought, he was in the air. Flying, grinning his dead grin, he freed his weapon of choice from its harness around his slender waist. To his great irritation, the rest of his band had not been as quick to dismount their craft, perhaps subconsciously forcing him to make contact first, so he would bear the brunt of the brute's attack. Perhaps it wasn't subconscious. Perhaps their heads would roll if they managed to keep themselves alive through this engagement.
   His mind was burning hot with anger and expectation now, and he hit the blasted dirt running. In one smooth, deadly motion, he absorbed the impact of his dismount and used the energy of it to propel him sideways, simultaneously allowing his cadre to gain ground on him, and also freeing their firing line. Koltheq was not so easy to shoot in the back.
   With a twitch of his wrist, his weapon, which he had taken to calling Despair, flew out to its full length. Despair was a two meter length of segmented, mono-edged razors, only as wide as his smallest finger. The end was a brutal serrated vibro-hook, which held a psycho-electric charge, fully capable of  searing the mind and body of anything that lived, or frying the circuitry of anything that didn't. It made a wailing sound like a mourning mother, and this is what it was named after.
   Their transport screamed overhead, a blast from its hull weapon streaking, leaving an after image of darkness in his minds eye. To his amusement, it had taken the head clean off of one of the hulking berserkers, and it now stumbled dumbly in its death throws, its clumsy axe-saw cleaving through the leg of one of its brethren. The second warrior, however, barely seemed to notice the wound, and without taking its eyes of any of Koltheq's kindred, he reached behind him, picked up the still screaming axe-saw, and used it to cleave the closest of its enemies from shoulder to hip, splitting her open, and sluicing innards and gore at their feet.
   Koltheq realized that he was watching Loriak's vanguard cadre get cut to shreds by the enemy, and that his own  force would not be able to reach them in time to assist in the melee. His warriors realized this as well, and threw an avalanche of weapons fire towards the enemy as they charged. Szalek, largest of the pack, was sweeping his cannon in a tight cone in front of him, snarling as it chattered out death at an obscene rate, his unkempt hair flying in all directions as he hurtled forward. The impacts of his projectiles threw some of the enemy from their feet, spinning them in small circles, but Koltheq saw no blood, and was displeased to see them stand back up.
   Grokari, the only one of his pack that he fully trusted, for she hated all things living in equal measure, took careful aim and fired her weapon. A superheated lance of blackness flashed from her to the weak armor underneath a barbarian's chest plate, causing it to break apart and fly open.  Her target's spine broke as it flew backwards so hard it rotated enough to land on its head.  Lotrak and Kartol, twins with annoyingly clever names, in Koltheq's opinion, screamed as they charged. The two unleashed a fusillade of rifle fire with their typical mix of more excitement than skill, and the results were underwhelming. The rest of his cell, Subdae, Yoldmei, and Ueul, were firing from the hip as they freed their weapons and affixed combat blades to their rifles. They had little effect, however, besides making one of the berserkers scream in rage when the viewing lens in its helmet was shattered, revealing a bloodshot eye with a square pupil.
   In fact, it would appear that the only one who made an impact was Grokari, as there was only one less warrior standing when Despair was finally within striking distance. Leaving four warriors standing to receive the charge. The remnants of Loriak's vanguard had used the advance of Koltheq's to make their escape from combat, and Koltheq doubted they would return to assist him. The enemy leader that Koltheq had singled out was charging to meet them, swinging an enormous axe with a burning brass head. Koltheq was forced to engage a lesser foe, and used his momentum to propel Despair forwards, wrapping it around the neck of the closest enemy. His attack was perfectly timed, and he allowed himself a heartbeat of self-satisfaction for his masterful timing.
   Despair's wailing hook buried itself in the eye of the warrior who had lost his viewing lens to Ueul's fire. Still hurtling forward, Koltheq spun, pulling Despair along with him, and ripping half of his enemy's head apart, pointed yellow teeth flying  in a spray of black blood.
   The enemy leader bellowed like an animal, swinging its enormous axe with far more speed than Koltheq would have expected. The attack took the twins by surprise and they fell backwards trying to avoid it, only managing to expose themselves more, and they died howling in shock. Their limbs flew as the warrior swung downwards and then upwards in the same motion, severing all of their limbs, save the left arm of Kartol and the right arm of Lotrak. The burning head of the axe caused their armor to smolder, and the stink of burnt blood and meat rose to Koltheq's nostrils.
   Blood sprayed in Subdae's mouth and eyes and she gagged, giving her enemy a chance to skewer her on a barbed spear with a blackened blade. She folded in half where the spear ran her through, and her enemy grabbed her by the back of the head and pulled her further in towards it, shoving the spear all the way through her, and pulling it out the other side. She dropped on her face and it crushed her head beneath its monstrous boot.   
   Koltheq was still moving with his original momentum, and brought Despair around in a wide arc, at his next victim. His attack forced his vile opponent to hastily block, and Koltheq used his free hand to draw his secondary blade from its harness on his thigh. He pulled on Despair as hard as he could, using the size of the beast he had entangled as a counter weight to his own leap, and buried his blade deep in its neck. He landed with one foot on it's knee pad and pushed off of the mon'kiegh's own body, wrenching the blade up, and tearing out its entire neck.
   The beast that had killed Subdae planted a brutal kick in the middle of Yoldmei's stomach, its foot almost the size of his entire torso. The force of the blow caved his chest and burst his stomach, a spray of gore and digestive acid spewing from the monstrous impact wound and causing the unholy abomination to slip in Yoldmei's blood.
   Grokari slipped the combat blade from her weapon into the same weak spot under the chest that she had used to kill her last victim, opening its guard, and fired. The blast of darkmatter bored a hole through it's body and erupted from it's shoulder, sending it's serrated, skull emblazoned,  blasphemous pauldron flying through the air.
   This left only the leader, which laughed as it severed Ueul approximately in half, her legs stumbling forward while her torso slowly spun sideways and fell on Yoldmei's corpse.
   Szalek was forced to sacrifice his splinter cannon in a desperate parry, as the burning bronze behemoth hurtled towards his head. The leader forced his way through the block and Szalek had to abandon his weapon and throw himself sideways to avoid being torn from stem to stern. Grokari attempted to seize the initiative and attack from behind, but the beast was fast as death, and let go of its axe with one hand to send a back-fist towards her head. She leapt backwards, giving Koltheq a clear entrance.
   Despair sung angrily as it chewed through the air. The mon'kiegh heard it coming, and used its free arm to wrap the chain around its gauntlet, throwing off Koltheq's timing, and pulling him forward. The beast's armor protected it from the blades of the chain, and Despair's hook dangled uselessly from his arm. It pulled Koltheq from his feet as it spun to try and crush Szalek with the weight of the axe, moving too fast and with too much uncontrolled rage to properly aim. It jammed the head of the axe straight at Grokari's faceplate, and she had to fall backwards to avoid having her skull caved in. She tucked into a tight backwards tumble, and came up on her toes, ready to strike again.
   They were getting nowhere. This animal was deadly fast, unpredictably enraged, and unfathomably dangerous. Koltheq spit the most virulent curse he could muster and was forced to release Despair. The sudden loss of his resistance made the berserker stumble, and Grokari attempted to shoot the hateful thing in the face. Ever the persistent opponent, the beast seized its axe with both hands  and slammed Grokari's weapon from her hands with the pommel of its shaft.  A brutal spike mounted there virtually ripped her arm off, but she squirmed out of the way in time for it to simply gouge her armor, half tearing it off.
   Koltheq's grin was gone now, and the four of them circled one another, trying to keep their eyes on their opponent while attempting to avoid slipping in spilled gore or tripping on a severed limb.    Szalek's scowl looked as if it was about to break his face in half. He was trying to crouch and scavenge a weapon from one of the corpses at their feet, but the mon'kiegh wouldn't give him enough time. Grokari was doing the same, trying to work her way back to her favored weapon and it's sorely needed power. That left Koltheq, keenly aware of the size discrepancy between his own blade and that of the raging inferno of hate in front of him.
   The thing was screaming constantly, blood flecked spittle flying from its black teeth, eyes bulging from his hideously scarred head, veins bulging and squirming beneath its flesh. It seemed to be tireless, throwing fists, elbows, kicks, knees, shoulder charges, head butts, axe swings, hacks, chops, and anything else it could think of, keeping the three of them ducking and weaving, stumbling and diving, trying to avoid the onslaught.
   Grokari ripped her armored sleeve off and threw it at the things head, hoping to at least make it flinch, and give her enough time to dive for her weapon. To her dismay, the thing laughed and used its face to slap it out of the way, then pointedly stomped on her assault weapon, splintering it to pieces.   
   In the small instant that exchange took, Szalek leapt for a fallen splinter canon, the one carried by Loriak's support gunner. Without bothering to aim, he held its trigger down and fully intended to not stop shooting at the thing until it stopped moving. He was so close that he couldn't miss, each round hitting the beast from point blank range, the barbed black projectiles like a cloud of insects swarming around a rotting corpse.
   At first, it seemed not to notice. As the fusillade grew more intense, however, it began to stumble. Each round would have been enough to knock one of Koltheq's kindred from their feet, but this thing was too massive to be put down so easily. Szalek screamed and continued to fire, deadly bile spilling from his curses and his weapon. A round caught the thing in side of the knee, forcing it to correct its stance. Then, another caught the underside of its shoulder guard, spinning him slightly. Another, in the face, ripping the skin from above his eye and upwards, leaving an exposed patch of skull that was somehow etched with oaths and curses that hurt Koltheq's mind to gaze upon.
   It began to scream now, even more enraged than before. It tried to lash out at Szalek, but it was off balance, and it swung wide, missing him by a wide berth. Szalek continued to fire. The air was full of the whine of barbs hurtling through the air at insane speeds, some lodging in the things armor, some ripping power cables apart, some shattering off of its adamantine hide. It choked as it caught one straight in its mouth, and drooled blood and teeth on the ground, its jaw crooked, but didn't stop screaming.
   And then, like that, the firing stopped. Whoever died wielding the weapon had been thoughtless enough to not reload it for Szalek. He threw it at the beast and leapt backwards in anticipation for the inevitable resumption of the onslaught.
    Koltheq was ready. The  instant the firing stopped, he shot through the air in a straight dive, directly at Despair, who had been loosened by the mon'kiegh's exertions. He flew under the beast's guard, freeing Despair, dropped into a forward roll, turned as he righted, and lashed out with a vicious strike. His centrifugal force added to the strength of the swing, and the hook whined nearly as loud as the cannon had. The beast never saw  Despair's hook as it came over the top of its head and was buried in its mouth. The vibro-blades churned as they burned through its head, and the psycho-electric current set the beasts eyes on fire, even as its skull was ripped in half.
   Koltheq began to tremble again. Blood tap tap tapping, dripping of his face, and onto the beast's chest plate. As his grin returned, he leaned his head back and closed his eyes. He let the violence wash over him, and reveled in the glory of victory. His grin, however, was not just due to overcoming a deadly opponent.
   This clutch of lunatics had been gathering slaves and sacrifices from a hundred miles around, and piling them into a series of pens not a kilometer from where the battle just took place. There were thousands of souls there. All of them conveniently packaged for him, and ready for delivery to his lord.     The mon'kiegh were going to sacrifice them all at once as a tribute to their lord, but now, they would be tribute to Koltheq's lord.  The honor of victory was his, even though the attack was planned by Loriak. That was his mistake, thought Koltheq.
    In his greed, Loriak wanted to strike first, break the enemy, and be sure to seize the prize before Koltheq could. He didn't plan on the foe being so indomitable. Loriak had fled the field of battle, and Koltheq had won, and he would profit.
   Koltheq looked to his two remaining warriors, both of them picking through the remains of Loriak's pack in search of valuables or weapons to replace their own.
   Szalek's hair was matted down with blood and chunks of flesh, and Grokari's green armor was stained black-red with the tainted blood of their enemies. Her white flesh contrasted with her black-green-red armor in a most pleasing way, to Koltheq's mind.
   “Come,” he ordered as he replaced Despair in its harness, “let us feast.”
Continuous Painting Challenge Failure


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