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Author Topic: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - Arc Finished!  (Read 13345 times)

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Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - Arc Finished!
« on: July 8, 2010, 05:34:31 PM »
This post is for the fluff for the new Tau army that I'll be collecting. I've decided to make it a piece of fiction as well, so I can build a narrative around the army itself.

The fluff/story itself will be based around documents from various factions in the 40k universe rather than a straight up novel style piece, because I feel that would give a greater sense of realism in terms of how other armies would view this one (as so how my opponents should view it).

So here is the first document (it's long):
Quote

Ordo Xenos Transmission
Astropath ref21004979541
Author: Inquisitor Ferenz Talan
Destination: All Ultima Segmentum Inquisitorial Reference Collectives,
All Planetary Adeptus Administratum Governors; Ultima Segmentum,
Adeptus Mechanicus, Mars,
Adeptus Astartes Chapters Ultramarines, Blood Ravens,
All Adepta Sororitas Orders Militant, Orphelia VII.

Subject: Tau incursion mystery solved, request for troops

 

Message:
Recent incursions by Tau forces of unknown affiliation deep into Imperial territory have been the subject of much concern in the Eastern Fringe since the end of the Damocles Gulf Crusade. Forces aligned not only to the Tau Empire itself, but the Farsight Enclaves and Tau mercenaries, seem to be able to enter Imperial space and land on Imperial worlds at ease. This has allowed not only the so-called "Water Caste" to operate freely on several Imperial worlds, but full military operations by the "Fire Caste" to become increasingly numerous.

Particularly interesting attacks have come over the past three years, the most relevent of which I shall describe in detail, thanks to a patchwork of various sources.

The first occurred deep into Imperial territory, in the Kilarnus system, the events of which you may be aware of.
A remaining splinter fleet of Hive Fleet Kraken of relatively insignificant size had been detected early thanks to a merchant ship encounter and the usual signs of the menace. However, the world was only defended by its PDF due to being behind several heavily defended worlds, and looked to fall easily. Reinforcements were of course requested, but unlikely to arrive before the world was stripped barren and the splinter fleet turned into a much more serious problem.

As the splinter fleet entered the edges of the system, an entire Tau fleet and a small Eldar cruiser entered the system within a short space of time. The Tau fleet, some ships of which had never before been observed by the Imperium and all jet black, soon engaged the Eldar over the moon of Kilarnus V. The conflict was short lived due to the Eldar engines being knocked out early. The Tau and the Eldar soon descended upon the moon together as the splinter fleet began to drop its spores on Kilarnus III, the main inhabited planetary body in the system.

While the Kilarnian PDF fought valiantly for control of their capital, the Tau and Eldar suddenly retreated to the orbit of the furthest planet. The reason for this is that they had awoken a Necron Tomb on the moon of Kilarnus V. Sources conflict as to whether this was deliberate (Imperial sources suggest that it wasn't, secondary sources from the Tau suggest that it was). Regardless, the Necrons descended upon Kilarnus III just as the PDF had stabilised a defence line against the Tyranid threat. The PDF was quickly overwhelmed, caught between wave after wave of gaunts and phalanxes of Necron warriors. We do not have any information on the battles between the Tyranids and the Necrons, only that by the time the Imperial strike force arrived, the tomb on the moon of Kilarnus V had been thoroughly destroyed, and the corpses of the major control Tyranids were missing. Wounds on gaunt corpses and blast marks on Necron tomb spiders suggested heavily that Tau pulse fire had been responsible, though not a single Tau corpse was found. The world was still heavily infested with smaller Tyranids and genestealers however, and was purged by Exterminatus on my authority after the few survivors were rescued and quarantined. It seems likely the majority of the Necrons were destroyed by the Tyranids, with the Tau mopping up the survivors.

While all this is a cause for concern, particularly the very notion of collusion between the deceitful Eldar and the Tau (which is henceforth considered highly classified), the real issue is of the following question: Why were the Tau there in the first place? The answer to this question comes into focus in the second incident report.

The second incursion of note occurred within Tau space, and is only known to us due to extensive interrogations of Rogue Traders operating in Tau space. The veracity of this information seems to be solid, due to the consistency of facts gleaned on the incident, and the confirmation of these facts in the third incident.

As you should be aware, the number of humans residing under the Tau Empire's rule is considerable. An unfortunate fact of repeated Tau expansions and repeated failures on the part of Imperial forces to retake all of the worlds conquered. Imperial forces have even begun to face these traitors on the battlefield, though their numbers and the amount of STC machinery they possess are still modest. The Tau have also seemed to have considerable success in avoiding problems the Imperium faces with regard to the forces of Chaos affecting humans. However, it is clear now that they have also had a few considerable failures.

According to at least seven Rogue Traders who operated in distinct areas of Tau space, a group of humans under the protection of the Tau Empire had fallen to Chaos. Which "sept" they belonged to is unknown (the majority of the traders say Dal'yth). The heretics managed to keep their dark rites a secret from their Tau overlords for two years, gathering supporters from within the human population and generally keeping their heads down. Why the Tau were unable to catch these people is clearly rooted in the inability of the Tau to be swayed by the powers of Chaos (to which some conclude that the Tau have no souls). Clearly this is an advantage to the Tau directly, but a distinct disadvantage if the Tau are to continue to usurp Imperial worlds. It seems the Tau realised this before the incident in question, as I shall explain.

The heretics soon formed the Cult of the Bloody Hand, dedicated to Khorne, and began human sacrifices. Tau alarm bells were immediately tripped when inventories of the population by the Earth caste came up light. Investigating Water caste members also went missing, and the Kroot were drafted in to guard the human settlements. The Cult of the Bloody Hand went on undisturbed however, building greater and greater favour with the Dark Gods. By the time a sweep of the human settlements by Fire Warriors was ordered, a mass human sacrifice had already taken place. The Fire Warriors sweeping the streets were attacked by Chaos Space Marines, summoned from a portal in a desecrated cathedral to the Emperor. Again, reports vary as to what legion of Chaos the cult had summoned, most sources state it was the Alpha Legion.

Regardless, the Fire Warriors sweeping the streets and the Kroot guarding the outskirts were soon slaughtered by a great host of beserkers in blood red armour, and only a quick response by the Fire Caste stopped the Khorne zealots from entering other significant residential areas. These were evacuated quickly before a second assault broke the lines. The Traitor legions were soon joined by minor daemons spawned from the warp, and a whole host of walker vehicles. The attack had seized a two hundred square kilometre area in a week by the time the next phase of the incident occurred.

On the 8th day of the Chaotic attack, a Tau fleet, ships all jet black as during the Kilarnus Incident, dropped into orbit and command of all Fire Caste forces in theatre was ceded to the Commander and Ethereal of the fleet. One of the reports suggest that they were the same person, which while an interesting report, seems highly unlikely given the rigid caste structure of Tau society. It seems the majority of Tau find the arrival of this fleet to be highly irregular as well, as no sept operates a fleet of jet black ships and the military command structure is not flexible, making the sudden change in commander a strange event. Reporting of the event was also "suppressed for the Greater Good", though persistant rumours fly around to this day (to our benefit).

The black-clad Tau descended directly on the portal cathedral with many of their battlesuits, and destroyed it, closing the gate to the warp. The next three weeks were spent annihilating the stranded Chaos forces, sector by sector. Apparently, only the black-clad Tau were permitted to aggressively pursue the remaining Traitor marines, all other Tau forces were made to hold a wide perimeter and saw little action once the portal had been destroyed. By the time they were allowed to clear the area, all Chaos artefacts had "disappeared" along with the forces that had defeated the zealots. The incident now has an almost mythical status in Tau society, despite best efforts to suppress it.

The Tau clad in black who descended to destroy Chaos are generally known as "The Shadows of the Mont'ka" due to their black uniforms and equipment, as well as the tactics they use. The Bloody Hand incident seems to indicate that the "Shadows" operate somewhat like the combined orders of the Inquisition does, though the parallel is not perfect. These Tau do not possess the absolute powers that we who bear the seals do, and we do not engage in the sort of forward incursions on the regular basis that these forces seem to.

The third incident happened very recently on the Fringe border world of Parmenio X.
Like the Bloody Hand incident, a large cult movement had summoned Chaos to the world. Cadian Imperial Guard regiments were on hand to help beat back the heretics, but were unable to defeat them. Bloody fighting continued for weeks until once again, the black Tau fleet dropped into orbit stealthily, and delivered several cadres opposite the focal point of Chaos on the planet. Crossing a large valley soaked in the blood of Imperial citizens, they destroyed the base of the traitors in the system and disappeared with many foul artefacts. The only image in Imperial possession of the ground forces of this force is attached, showing the commander of the force in the midst of battle (though it is of poor quality to say the least).



I suspect that these Shadows are a specialised force to deal with Chaos and other dark powers in the galaxy, most likely to counteract the threat to their growing human population. It would explain their seclusion from the rest of the Tau military, and their consistent appearances where Chaos and the Necron are present.

These three incidents require the utmost attention of the Imperium, lest the method by which these "Shadows" move into Imperial space becomes more widespread amongst the Tau military. I immediately request Adeptus Astartes and Adepta Sororitas Combat teams at Parmenion IX's space station so that an attempt to capture these dangerous xenos can be attempted. As such, all planetary governors in the Segmentum are to be prepared should necessity require them to assist.

Inquisitor Ferenz Talan

« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 12:56:39 AM by GreaterGoodIreland »

Offline bluewpc

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka (Sera'Mont'ka) - Tau Fluff/Fiction
« Reply #1 on: July 9, 2010, 12:21:09 AM »
Hey welcome to the forums and may I say you've made a really good first impression. The dossier is very well written and the images though simple and one blurred nearly beyond recognition add a lot to the speculative nature of the report. Maybe just wishful thinking since these guys seem to deal more with Chaos than anything else but are you planning on perhaps making a report on a border clash with the Imperium? If so sweet! (I'm a diehard IG guy and there's a battle axe been grinding with the empire for a few years now)
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And it ain't yours?

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Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka (Sera'Mont'ka) - Tau Fluff/Fiction
« Reply #2 on: July 9, 2010, 04:23:09 AM »
Well, whether or not they deal with Chaos more or not would depend entirely on the accuracy of the findings of Inquisitor Talan, wouldn't it?  ;)

Offline bluewpc

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka (Sera'Mont'ka) - Tau Fluff/Fiction
« Reply #3 on: July 9, 2010, 11:25:20 AM »
Aye I suppose it does
War. War is your trade is it not?

And it ain't yours?

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Offline Gornon

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka (Sera'Mont'ka) - Tau Fluff/Fiction
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2010, 10:35:25 PM »
Couple holes, 40k Backgroundwise:

1.Kilarnus III seems overpopulated with different species.  Tau, Eldar, Necrons, Tyranids, and the Imperium all on the same planet?  Sounds like a mini Medusa V or Dark Crusade.  More or less, I find it not probable.  I can see that you wanted to show that a black ops raider type Tau group can come, hit the enemey, and then fade, but having everyone going at once seems silly.  I guess what you are trying to do is say the Eldar are letting them use the Web Way?  Still, I would cut out the Nids and Eldar.  It makes the story more believable.

Also, I'm not really sure the Imperium would nuke the planet. 
The Imperium   usually is very loath to give up a world.  From what you have written, it appears the back of the Nid swarm was broken.  Would not the Inquisitor called for more backup and then proceed to take back the world?  The Imperium has reclaimed worlds in worse condition, after all. 

Also, your Khorne cult summoning Alpha Legion makes no sense.  Perhaps you meant World Eaters?  Alpha Legion prefers to worm their way into power with Xantos Gambits lasting years rather than outright attacks.  If they do fight, they do so by having cult cells rise up while they attack the enemy from multiple points using indirect warfare.  Raids, sabotage, Trojan Horses, impersonating enemey officers, and forming anti-current enemey alliances.

Also, they don't have Berzerkers.  Frothing madmen have tendency of throwing wretches into carefully wrought secret plans.  They also don't really use daemons.  Daemons are hard to hide and don't last long, especially outside of Warp taitned areas where the Legion tends to operate.

World Eaters though, do have Berzerkes and will use Bloodletters and would cheerfully come though a portal to wreck random destruction.

Also, if your Tau want to fight Chaos, why would include killing Necrons into their MO?  Necrons have nothing to do with Chaos.
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Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka (Sera'Mont'ka) - Tau Fluff/Fiction
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2010, 03:13:04 PM »
Couple holes, 40k Backgroundwise:

1.Kilarnus III seems overpopulated with different species.  Tau, Eldar, Necrons, Tyranids, and the Imperium all on the same planet?  Sounds like a mini Medusa V or Dark Crusade.  More or less, I find it not probable.  I can see that you wanted to show that a black ops raider type Tau group can come, hit the enemey, and then fade, but having everyone going at once seems silly.  I guess what you are trying to do is say the Eldar are letting them use the Web Way?  Still, I would cut out the Nids and Eldar.  It makes the story more believable.

Also, I'm not really sure the Imperium would nuke the planet. 
The Imperium   usually is very loath to give up a world.  From what you have written, it appears the back of the Nid swarm was broken.  Would not the Inquisitor called for more backup and then proceed to take back the world?  The Imperium has reclaimed worlds in worse condition, after all. 

Also, your Khorne cult summoning Alpha Legion makes no sense.  Perhaps you meant World Eaters?  Alpha Legion prefers to worm their way into power with Xantos Gambits lasting years rather than outright attacks.  If they do fight, they do so by having cult cells rise up while they attack the enemy from multiple points using indirect warfare.  Raids, sabotage, Trojan Horses, impersonating enemey officers, and forming anti-current enemey alliances.

Also, they don't have Berzerkers.  Frothing madmen have tendency of throwing wretches into carefully wrought secret plans.  They also don't really use daemons.  Daemons are hard to hide and don't last long, especially outside of Warp taitned areas where the Legion tends to operate.

World Eaters though, do have Berzerkes and will use Bloodletters and would cheerfully come though a portal to wreck random destruction.

Also, if your Tau want to fight Chaos, why would include killing Necrons into their MO?  Necrons have nothing to do with Chaos.


Kilarnus would normally only have Imperials and the sleeping Necrons on one of the moons.
The Eldar presence was limited to a single ship, and was there as where the Necron arises, there's a decent chance of the Eldar showing up as well.

The Nids were far from broken. The Tau didn't engage forces on Kilarnus III for very long, instead concentrating on destroying the source of the Necron threat on the moon of Kilarnus V. The reason for their brief presence on Kilarnus III was to cripple the spread of the Nids out of the system rather than destroy them.

Exterminatus was performed as a large proportion of the planet had been stripped bare, there were very few survivors and the infestation of the planet by Nids was still considerable. The risk-benefit ratio meant that attempting to retake the planet was not worth the cost and possible genestealer issues, and the Inquisitor clearly judged that putting the planet to the metaphorical torch was the best course of action. The planet wasn't particularly valuable to begin with, considering its lack of defences and Imperial Guard.

It said "most sources" stated the Alpha Legion, as it is the legion with the most insidious reputation, I figured if ignorant people were going to think of a legion that would plot and test how ready the Tau were, it would be that particular legion.
Of course, the Tau are most likely unaware of the differences between legions, so the information on what legion it was would come from speculation of humans. The whole point about the incident within Tau space is that the information is pieced together from human sources that may be unreliable on certain facts. You are right that I had the World Eaters in mind when it comes to the style of attack though (having read the 3rd Ciaphas Cain novel a few days before writing it).

These Tau aren't just anti-Chaos, which will be explained later.

Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka (Sera'Mont'ka) - Tau Fluff/Fiction
« Reply #6 on: August 4, 2010, 09:46:27 PM »
Inquisitor Ferenz Talan brooded as he prodded the food in front of him with his knife. His surroundings would have normally improved his mood, as the luxurious furnishings of a naval captain's state room and the presumably delicious food presented to him not five minutes earlier. Had this been the usual situation with similar company, he would have indulged himself to the fullest extent possible. His philosophy on life consisted only of two parts, duty and pleasure. Life was too short to ignore either of them. Now, he feared that both tenets would be increasingly hard to fulfill over the course of the coming weeks.
The reason for his growing discomfort was the company around the ornate table in front of him.

At the head of the table, inevitably, sat the Captain. An old and rather fat man by the name of Pelton, he had once triumphed in a great space battle and received considerable acclaim. The details of which Talan did not really care for, as it seems the rest of the man's career had been relatively uneventful. The man's most positive trait was that he was quiet, and intervened in conversation only when he had an absolute opinion on something. Furthermore, he did as Talan said without much hesitation, including moving a particularly perverted officer from the room next to Talan's immediately. While that was generally the norm for requests from Talan, there was none of the negativity due to being ordered around that usually came with it.

To the left of the Captain, Inquisitor Alanis White sat, chewing steadily at a rather large piece of steak. He was a thin and tall man, with greying hair and a sneering face that didn't exactly compliment him. Talan didn't particularly like White, and found him to be suspect in every way. White was a member of the Ordo Hereticus, and seemed to enjoy his work a little too much. Talan, being a member of the Ordo Xenos, naturally found his job to be somewhat distasteful, but also acknowledged that dealing with aliens gives one a lot more flexibility than dealing with heretics and cultists. Regardless of his feelings, Talan knew that White's presence was a necessary for the coming operation. The Tau were firmly within the jurisdiction of Talan's area of expertise, but the creatures they took such a keen interest in were most definitely not. White's knowledge of cults and heretics was invaluable. Lastly, he was far from alone.

Beside White, Canoness Birgitta Siena was reposed in her chair, ignoring her food as well. She was as tall as White was, with white hair far too early for a woman of her years and a reasonably attractive face. She had donned the usual dress of the Adepta Sororitas outside of battle, in the form of an Ecclesiarchy robe. She was commander of the battlegroup sent by the Order of the Blooded Rose from Orphelia VII, on Talan's request. Her troops had arrived swiftly, but brought White along to command them. Talan's reputation with the religious hierarchy of the Imperium was not the best, though they could not act against him. She seemed the typical product of the Sororitas; devout, chaste and extremely naive. Like White, she irritated Talan to no end. However, her powers of command were not to be discounted, and she was well known for several successful heretic hunts on industrial and hive worlds. Talan was not the only one to be irritated by her, however.

Directly opposite the Canoness, to the right of the Captain, sat the saving grace of the whole event in Talan's mind. Colonel Artemis Mieza, commander of the 16th Berdam Armoured Regiment. She was relatively new to the command, having only served on two assignments before this one. She was an attractive woman (in Talan's eyes at least). Dressed in her uniform, possessing nicely tanned skin, a shapely body and long black hair, Talan found her interesting from the get-go. She was from Berdam, immediately removing any idea that she was somehow an inferior commander, ideas that seemed to hang around particularly egotistical men of power in the Imperium about most women. Berdam is a system notorious for its wild festivals and its music, so much so that every Berdamian vehicle had large loudspeakers bolted to them, which played whatever form of music was most popular among the people driving it. All Berdamian military units were mixed sex as well, harking back to a time when there were so many male deaths in the system, the women had to fight as well. This egalitarian and bohemian ideal placed Mieza directly in the path of the Canoness' ideals, and as such, they seemed to despise each other.

One particular person was conspicuous in his absence, however. Librarian Stavan, who was commanding the Blood Ravens' detachment, had opted out of the dinner event, without stating his reasons. Talan liked Stavan, having talked to him on many occasions over the course of the three week period of waiting for reinforcements on Parmenion IX's defence station. Aside from his annoying habit of inserting riddles into his dialogue, Talan found him to be a very entertaining person to be around. He didn't act like the quiet pious soldier that many Space Marines were. Stavan was also discreet about any discussions that Talan might have with him, a very useful trait to say the least.

Talan sat opposite the Captain, as they both watched the conversation taking place before them. The subject of the talk was on the operation ahead.

"The heretics must be destroyed immediately, or as soon as we can destroy them, once we are on the planet!" the Canoness said in a raised voice, shifting her weight in her chair. Talan rolled his eyes, at which the Captain cocked his head to the side slightly.

"I was under the impression our job was to capture a Tau force, not purge our only bait," Mieza responded calmly, "If you know about another cult that is so conveniently bordering Tau space, kindly tell me."

"The Tau will surely come anyway, and when they do come, we will purge them as well," continued Siena, "It does not matter that we will eliminate the heretics first."

"The Tau are not blind, they have reliable means of receiving information about these cults," Talan interrupted, "They aren't stupid either, if we purge the uprising as quickly as you suggest, then they may get wind of it before they arrive and then simply not show up."

"Are you suggesting we leave Imperial citizens to the daemon spawn?" White cut-in, still chewing steak.
"That sounded awfully like an accusation," Talan responded, grinning grimly, "Of course I am not suggesting we leave the planet entirely without aid, only that we employ a strategy that doesn't destroy the heretics before the Tau decide to intervene."

"And preferably one that leaves us with enough strength so we can grab us a few of them as well," Mieza added, looking at Talan for agreement, which was given by a nod.

The argument continued along the same lines for several minutes.

"We are only a few hours from Hephaestion now, and you still haven't agreed upon a strategem," the Captain started, "I suggest you hurry."
Talan shared the Captain's concerns, the will of the Hereticus personnel versus the needs of the mission was a battle becoming quite tiresome..

"If I might make a suggestion."
The Blood Ravens Librarian entered the room from the door behind the Captain, and took a seat beside Colonel Mieza.
He was clad in a robe himself, covering the majority of his genetically enhanced muscles, but not quite hiding them.
Everyone agreed to hear his idea almost at once, which caused another grin to appear on Talan's face.

"We land the Imperial Guard and my Blood Ravens to bolster the lines of the Hephaestion PDF, and allow the Sororitas to conduct offensive operations against the heretics until the Tau arrive," Stavan explained quietly, "When the Tau arrive to conduct their business, we allow them to land and then launch a full offensive."

The room went silent, each party thinking upon the plan.
"That is satisfactory," said the Canoness, breaking the silence.
"It is far from perfect, but it will work," agreed Mieza, a look on her face indicated that she wasn't pleased to be agreeing with the Sororita.

"I must attend to my duties, now that we have agreed a solution," White said, rising from his chair and taking a quick last bite of steak, "I will see you when we drop out of the warp." He glanced in Talan's direction before leaving the room.
"I'm afraid I must go also," the Captain said, before drinking from his goblet a last time, "Feel free to finish your meals."

"We shall," Talan said, finally starting to eat his own steak.
Conversation then turned to less relevent matters, such as the movements of Tyranid splinter fleets in the sector, and small talk on the subject of what each person had been doing prior to the mission at hand. Of course, half of the talk from most people present were half-truths and lies.

Eventually, the plates were clean and the goblets were empty, and all parties decided to go to bed, one way or another..

___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ____

Talan woke up several hours later to the sound of alarms ringing violently in his ears.
He sat up in bed, massaging his temples, an amasec-produced headache penetrating his head. At least the night before hadn't been a complete loss.
Mieza stirred in the bed beside him, half awake, and mumbled something in her homeworld's dialect of Gothic.

"Duty and Pleasure," he muttered to himself, as he got out of bed to get dressed.
He thought about his asset-building, as he put on his clothing and carapace armour.
Artemis finally woke up properly.

"Ferenz, what's going on?" she asked, suddenly aware of the alarm.
He winced at her using his first name, but was strangely comfortable with it at the same time.
"I don't know, but we better present ourselves in the transport hold quickly," Talan replied, slipping on his boots.
Artemis began to get dressed as Talan admired her back as he strapped his bolt pistol to his waist, but quickly snapped out of it when a banging on the door erupted.

Talan waited until the Colonel was decent, and then went to the door.
Stavan stood there in full power armour, looking slightly amused, but not that anyone who didn't know him could notice it.
The psyker clearly had picked up on the irritation on the other side of the door.
He quickly snapped out of it, however.

"We dropped out of the warp a few minutes ago, the Tau were already in orbit," he explained quickly, glancing into the room.
Mieza soon appeared beside the two men.
"Then I need to get to my troops," she said, taking Talan's hand briefly before rushing off.

The Inquisitor and the Librarian stood silent for a second, and then proceeded to their own transport hold.
"I see you're up to your tricks," Stavan stated as they paced towards a staircase, the corridor bathed in red light and frequented by naval personnel running to their stations.

"I am a member of the Holy Inquisition," Talan replied bluntly, "I need allies everywhere."
"And yet.." Stavan started.
"Don't," Talan interrupted quickly, "We have more pressing matters."
"Quite," the Librarian said after a pause, "The Tau were within range to fire upon us when we dropped back into real space, and could have caused a great amount of damage, but are retreating to the other side of the moon."

The pair reached the bottom of the staircase, and proceeded down a much more wide corridor.

"Strength?" Talan asked.
"They could almost certainly destroy us in space, but it would likely cost them heavily," the Librarian responded, "Their strength on the ground is unknown."
"We need to get down to the planet now then," the Inquisitor said loudly.

They finally made it to the aft transport bay, where the Sororitas battlegroup was readying for deployment.
Stavan's Blood Ravens were already in a shuttle, and he quickly joined them.

Talan approached the Canoness, now wearing full power armour.
"I presume you are ready for combat?" Talan asked, retrieving a melta gun from the rack.
"As the Emperor wills," replied Siena, much to the Inquisitor's discontent.

"We're ready or we're dead," said White, arriving with his entourage.
A sentiment Talan agreed with entirely.

___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ________

The Hephaestion PDF sargeant stared at the situation in front of him. His unit had held off the cultists in the capital, Batana, for a day now, but they kept coming in their droves. Now, another wave was incoming. Lasbolt fire immediately started from the three platoons around him, as the cultists charged, overwhelmed by fanaticism. The troopers felled many of them, but this wave was twice the size of anything that had previously attacked. The maddened heretics fell upon the PDF lines, and the street turned into a bloodbath.

A great hulking man, daubed in red painted stars, approached the sargeant with a chainsword.
Terror struck, as the man started into a run, but before he could swing his blades, a loud noise followed by a hiss rang out into the evening air.
On top of the buildings around them, strange alien Dreadnoughts hovered. The two groups of humans were stunned, as the alien weapons leveled to fire.
Missiles streamed down onto the pavement, while white hot plasma ignited both heretics and troopers.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 06:08:05 PM by GreaterGoodIreland »

Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka (Sera'Mont'ka) - UPDATED 5th August
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2010, 12:43:04 AM »
The alien is not intrinsically evil.
Do not hate him. Pity him his ignorance.
Seek to understand his differences
And acquaint him with his inadequacies.
Only then will he accept his place
in the Greater Good.


Mesme sat legs crossed in her room, tucked away in the aft of the ship. Slowly eating her relatively simple meal, she enjoyed every minute of it as she had learned to do in these dangerous and unpredictable situations. The room itself was large, large enough for several people to live in, but it had been allocated to her out of rank, so she accepted it. Instead of people, the room was filled with machinery of varying purposes. In front of her, the tactical situation floated, projected from a holo-drone that was humming near the ceiling. On tables arranged along the walls, the tools of her trade laid in rest. Sighting equipment, blacksun filters, pulse carbines, deactivated drones, and even a rail rifle were among the clutter around the edges of the space. On the walls, itineraries were placed in a seemingly chaotic fashion, though Mesme never had any trouble finding what she needed.

Despite enjoying her meal, her mood was only picking up from what would be described as increasing depression. She had entered the time in her life that was traditionally one for childbirth and mating. However, the circumstances of her own birth meant that the assignment of a mate was troublesome for the authorities of these matters. Mesme means "combination" in the Tau language. Born to a Fire Caste female and a high ranking Ethereal male, her destiny was never going to be along the same lines tread by so many other Tau. Her lineage was a secret of the Empire, as was her work. Luckily, the most obvious physical characteristics of the Ethereal Caste are inherited via the maternal line, so the vast majority of her peers had no suspicions of caste mixing.

Who her partner would be bothered her for these reasons. Of course, given her rank, she could most likely choose her own partner should she wish it, but she was hesitant to do so. She served the Tau'va nonetheless, her problems irrelevent before the immediate demands of the Greater Good.

As she continued to eat, her comms piece buzzed with static for a second, before a voice erupted from the earpiece.

"The Imperials have arrived, Tau'fann," said the voice of an Kor'ui, speaking from space.
"Very well," she replied, continuing to eat despite the task of talking at the same time, "Move the fleet away from their jump zones and behind the moon of the primary target planet. Alert our ground and space forces to start combat operations."
"Yes, Shas'O," came the reply.

Mesme was commander of the Coalition of the Shadows, the Serra'shan'al.
Her full name was Shas'O Tau'n Len'ra Mesme'or'es, literally meaning "Cautious Warrior of the Powerful Combination".
The youngest Shas'O in Tau history, she was destined to never appear in any Tau history lesson, por'hui media report or public record, though Imperial records of her exploits would be poured over by Inquisitors and Warmasters for centuries to come. Where there were rumours of Tau influence spreading deep within the Imperium, her name would inevitably be mentioned in company aware of her existence. Commanding the Tau Empire's covert military units, assembled to conduct deep cover and commando raids, she was the leader of an army of ghosts.

Today, she continued a mission of great importance to the Empire, beyond the considerable significance that might usually be attributed to her unit.
She finished her breakfast quickly, and dressed herself in her jumpsuit. Strapping her pulse pistol to her waist as she left the room, Mesme inhaled deeply before setting off at a strong pace towards the launch bays. The second stage of the plan had begun.
___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ __________

Offline Gornon

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka (Sera'Mont'ka) - UPDATED 17th August
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2010, 09:43:16 PM »
Hmmm, interesting story.  I like it and want to read more.

I'm not sure about the mixed cast main character, but I don't think it is too far divergent from Tau canon as to be unbelievable.  I think Rummy said something once at that topic amounting "It would be a good idea.  Uncontrolled breeding would be bad, but carefully controlled cross breeding might be good."  I would send him a PM.  He's more or less to Tau as I am to Imperials.
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Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka (Sera'Mont'ka) - UPDATED 17th August
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2010, 10:31:38 PM »
Hmmm, interesting story.  I like it and want to read more.

I'm not sure about the mixed cast main character, but I don't think it is too far divergent from Tau canon as to be unbelievable.  I think Rummy said something once at that topic amounting "It would be a good idea.  Uncontrolled breeding would be bad, but carefully controlled cross breeding might be good."  I would send him a PM.  He's more or less to Tau as I am to Imperials.

I wanted to operate on the edge of canon in creating Mesme, because the force she is commanding is so unique, but I didn't want to make her seem ridiculous.
She doesn't have the abilities of an Ethereal for instance, nor will she be any more persuasive than any other Shas'O.

Glad you enjoyed it though, more where that came from.


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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka (Sera'Mont'ka) - UPDATED 17th August
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2010, 10:10:48 AM »
No expansion without equilibrium.
No conquest without control.
Pursue success in serenity.
And service to the tau'va.


Mesme was clearing her mind for the battle to come. She had long resigned herself to death on the battlefield, wishing with all her heart to avoid the fate of Puretide. Becoming a hermit after her usefulness had disappeared did not appeal. The acceptance of her inevitable death gave her a serenity in battle that few could match. Despite Mesme's lack of respect for the end to which Puretide came, her battlefield strategy was regarded by the Aun as the closest to the great general's since the two separate schools of Tau military thought had been created. However, this was not because Mesme was a devoted student of the historical master of Tau strategy, but instead because she preferred to act outside orthadoxy. The paths of Kauyon and Mont'ka seemed far too rigid for her liking.

"Geneprint acknowledged, welcome Shas'O Tau'n Mesme," the computer chimed cheerfully, as Mesme activated her battlesuit systems. She allowed the faceplate to drift into position comfortably, and awaited the diagnostics report.

"All systems optimal, full ammunition load," the computer continued.
The drones circling the hold of the dropship beside her repeated similar sentiments, and Mesme smiled, ready for the fight.

"Kor'vre, how many Rai'kor to the target?" she asked.
"Two," replied the pilot in an almost amused tone, as the drop warning lights began to flash, "Prepare for high altitude drop."

Mesme then switched channels to the strategic network.
Things were not going well. The force she had sent to block reinforcements from accessing the target area had held, until elite Imperial forces had arrived on the scene and caused serious casualties. Fanatical gue'la females in power armour tend to do that when they show up unannounced, even to us, she thought to herself as the deck began to split.

"Umbilical separating," Mesme said, and was soon hurtling towards the ground, drones not far behind.
She had always loved this part of her duty, the thrill of the drop. However, it ended quickly, as she activated her suit's engine pods and began to slow her descent. Meanwhile, she listened in on the battle raging below her.

"Shas'el, we are going to be overrun!" shouted a Fire Warrior squad commander to Mesme's lieutenant, "The gue'la are insane!"
The comms band was then suddenly filled with the unmistakeable sound of bolter fire. Mesme immediately redirected her descent towards the source of the transmission.

"Blade Squad, do you read?" the Shas'el said, a hint of desperation in his voice, "Report!"
Silence reigned for several seconds. "I am alone!" said a voice, finally responding, "They are everywhere and I am alone!"

Mesme was approaching the ground fast, and a final burst of power from her engines put her at the correct speed.
She could already see that the trooper was right. "They" were everywhere.

The next few seconds seemed like eons.

"We are never alone," Mesme stated, as her battlesuit landed with a thud amongst the Sisters of the Blooded Rose.
Their astonishment was shortlived, as the Shas'O put her weapons to use, bathing the nearest Sororitas squad in plasma and fusion fire. The remains of the squad refused to retreat, and their boltguns turned on the battlesuit, but they could do nothing to the iridium armour or the shielding protecting it. Mesme's drones arrived, and drowned the aggressors in pulsefire from above as she repositioned behind a building with a quick burst of power from her jets.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2010, 03:37:00 PM by GreaterGoodIreland »

Offline Gornon

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka (Sera'Mont'ka) - UPDATED 17th August
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2010, 11:50:24 PM »
Well done.  I like the quote at the start.  The scene itself is well done and seems to be a standard story writing tool used to demonstrate to the reader how skilled the main character is.

I do wish to suggest a way to flesh out your main character and make her more interesting.  Your Mesme has some bumps in her road, yes, but to me, at this time, she seems to be more Cursed With Awesome as opposed to being really crippled by her flaws.  In exchange for not really fitting in and never having songs sung about her deeds she gets to be the youngest Shas'O in history, have the genetic advantages of both Aun and Shas, and command an elite fighting force with bleeding edge technology at their disposal.

I would add in a section, perhaps flashback style, and make it seem like being of mixed breed and leading a shadow unit could have downsides.  Giver her enemies in the high command, have her political opponents make slurs about her genetics (its easy for higher ups to be in the know, so to speak), have her struggle to find funding.  In addition, upon rereading your comments with the benefit of being rested I have noticed this

Quote
She doesn't have the abilities of an Ethereal for instance, nor will she be any more persuasive than any other Shas'O.

I would take that background and maker her a failure.  Have her be some sort of expensive cross breeding experiment whose goal was to create the ultimate general with the charisma of an Aun and the skill of Shas.  The end result?  A slightly different looking Shas'O.  The big experiment that was so lauded to the movers and shakers of the Tau Empire as the wave of the future despite massive political and ethical controversy has come to what appears to be nothing.  So now our heroine has to deal with other commanders and leaders who think she is some sort of abomination and her own creators turning their backs on her.  Now she has to prove herself.

This is not say what you have is terrible.  Not at all!  It entertained me and I can't ask a work for anything more!  Please don't read the above comments as a scathing review.  They are not in any means.  I have enjoyed your writing.  I only mean to suggest some things that would help to expand Mesme as a character.

(edit: and I realize that my own story needs to show that its not all fun and games being buddies with Nids)  Also, I like your Inquisitor.  The fact that he is more than willing to put pleasure before business actually makes him a rather appealing character.  It makes him seem very realistic.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 08:05:20 PM by Gornon »
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Bear not my body home,
For all the earth is Roman earth
And I shall die in Rome."
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Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka (Sera'Mont'ka) - UPDATED 17th August
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2010, 11:25:55 PM »
I intend to flesh Mesme's full story out in later chapters.
The story at present is based after she has overcome such obstacles, a point where she is at the pinnacle of her career.
This is because while she is important to the story, she is not the main character at the moment, Inquisitor Talan is.

In future arcs, she will be the subject of much deeper literary inspection, I assure you.
And most of all, thanks for the ideas, they've got me thinking on those arcs already.

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka (Sera'Mont'ka) - UPDATED 17th August
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2010, 07:09:55 AM »
Inquisitor Ferenz Talan walked down the street at a brisk pace, inquisitorial seal swinging at his neck, with the Berdamian squad and Librarian in tow. The buildings were a shambles, either having their windows broken in by looters and small arms fire, or smashed up by barrages of bigger weapons. The street was suitably littered with bricks, glass and rubble, and every now and then, Talan would have to use his melta to clear a path. Beside him, Stavan walked with far more ease. Luckily, he wasn't the only one stumbling over the bricks, as the rest of the Berdamian squad picked their way through the detrius in their grey and blue urban uniforms.

The squad leader was named Rala (a typical name on Berdam III apparently). She wasn't a particularly attractive woman, but she handled herself well.
Beside her as she walked, the unfortunate radioman had a large crimson flag, emblazoned with the Imperial eagle surrounded by a cogwheel and grain in the top corner, attached to his radio mast. Talan found the Berdamians increasingly strange the more he associated with them, but knew better than to complain that the flag increased their visibility. Tau sensory equipment made such considerations meaningless.

Stavan signalled for the squad to stop. Everyone in the group dropped onto one knee and went dead silent.
"Do you hear that?" he asked the Inquisitor quietly.
Talan strained his ears, but heard nothing.

He was about to remark on it, when a screeching started all around them. Talan recognised it immediately.
The Kroot had surrounded them. Appearing on the rooftops and the alleyways, the humans were outnumbered at least 3 to 1.
"Run! We're only a kilometre from my brothers!" shouted Stavan, beginning to shoot as he followed his own order. The rest of the entourage followed suit, as the Kroot began to jump off the rooftops.

A shaper landed in front of the group, and raised a pulse carbine, but was pushed aside violently by a psychic blast from the Blood Raven, as Talan ended the lives of its brethren with a sweep of his melta. He couldn't help saying "BBQ" in his head when the smell of cooked flesh met his nostrils, but kept moving nonetheless. The Guardsmen were less fortunate. A kroot had landed beside Rala, and swung the blade on his rifle straight through her chin and mouth into her brain. The radio operator shot it on rapid fire as the blood erupted from his squad leader's head, before being confronted with three more of the aliens with an empty magazine in his lasgun.

Talan tripped, not paying attention to the ground as he swept another two kroot into the fire of his melta. Another shaper was quickly on him, and Talan struggled to get his mace to smash the xenos in the head. The Kroot was also reached for a knife to open up Talan's throat. Just as both of them reached for their weapons, a power armoured boot smashed into the shaper's head, pushing it a good ten feet. Stavan finished off the victim of his kick with a burst from his bolt pistol, and helped Talan up.

Unfortunately, the Kroot had closed the distance, and with half the Guardsmen down, they were now utterly without escape.
The clicking and screeching from their enemies was deafening.

"Hold your ground," Stavan said, "No surrender."
Talan pulled his mace from his belt, preparing for the inevitable assault, while the Guardsmen reloaded quickly.
The group began firing, and the Kroot rushed to engage. Lasbolts felled a few Kroot before they spun their massive rifleblades into the bellies and heads of the unfortunate Berdamians. As this was happening, Talan downed one of them with a dull thud as the mace connected to the side of the thing's head, while Stavan shrugged more than three off with a swing of his staff, using his abilities to push them away yet again. It was not enough however, as the squad was now dwindling to nothing. Talan soon found his melta ripped off him before he could respond, and almost received a riflebutt to the face to add insult to injury.

Suddenly, a pair of battlesuits appeared overhead, and the Kroot retreated quickly. Fusion weapons leveled in the direction of the Blood Raven. To say he was incinerated would be an understatement. The Inquisitor was now alone. The battlesuits landed.

Talan prepared for the Kroot to move in again.
A Shaper stepped forward.

"Inquisitor, as you can see, you are outnumbered," it said in the strange clicking accent of the Kroot, "We urge you to lay down your arms."

Talan was confused by this, and became more perplexed when he realised that the battlesuits could have easily destroyed him along with Stavan.
He concluded that the Tau must need or want him alive for Emperor knows what reason.

"Very well," said the Inquisitor, dropping his mace to the ground, "Take me to your commander."
"Consider yourself a prisoner of the Tau Empire," replied the Shaper, picking up the mace as two Kroot put Talan in cuffs.

___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ _____________

Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka (Sera'Mont'ka) - UPDATED 17th August
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2010, 07:58:14 AM »
Extract from "The Gulf Wars Vol 2: Imperial Clashes on the Tau Border"
"....
As the engagements on the surface of Hephaestion continued, Imperial forces were both rewarded and punished in their efforts.
The Imperial Guard held out bravely against the followers of the Ruinous Powers, with the armoured might of the 16th Berdamian Armoured Regiment proving more than a match for the cultists and heretics who sought to drag the entire subsector under their sway. Colonel Mieza, more than aware of this fact, had wisely opted for a strategy of a controlled offensive, retreating after inflicting casualties and then waiting for enemy reinforcements to arrive before repeating the process. Indeed, many thousands of heretics would die by the end of the incident.

In stark contrast, the holy maidens of the Adepta Sororitas had walked into a slaughter. Their offensive against the heretic positions in the capital city ran immediately into a Tau cadre, which they forced back a kilometre, until the intervention of the Tau force commander directly. The shadowy Fire Caste leader, designated Case M by the Inquisition ever since, dropped straight into combat and the Sororitas fell into complete disarray. A counterattack by the remaining troops of the cadre that had previously retreated caused massive casualties, while Canoness Siena died a noble death at the hands of the highly advanced technosorcery available to the xenos.

To add insult to injury, an Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos was captured. The Imperial Guard, under Inquisitional order, were forced into a full offensive against the Tau in order to retrieve the imprisoned servant of the Emperor, and were soon to achieve just that with minimal casualties...."


Note: All superior Tau commanders are given a case designation when being referred to in incident reports, the fact that the commander of the Serra'shan'al was given one is not noteworthy. However, how the author of this extract gathered that information would be of extreme interest to the Inquisition.
Inquisitor Ferenz Talan

___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________

War is full of false alarms,
hesitate we must not,
for strength of arms alone,
secures the Greater Good.


Mesme landed outside her lieutenant's command post, and exited her battlesuit. Her drones immediately went into guard mode, spreading out in a wider formation as the battlesuit closed itself. Fixing the braid in her hair, she proceeded inside the building in front of her.

The small warehouse was a hive of activity, with mobile monitors and communication drones everywhere. Fire Warriors punctuated the stations where Earth  Caste scientists and coordinators laboured feverishly. As she reached the centre of the space, her lieutenant approached. El'Ka was a good decade and a half older than Mesme. He also stood a full foot taller than his superior officer, and was well known as a man of unusual height. He was an excellent defensive commander, which balanced Mesme's own preference for offensive action. His recruitment into the Serra'shan'al was a recent development, which gave him a great knowledge of how to deal with regular Fire Caste officers which Mesme could not match due to her history. Needless to say, Mesme found him incredibly useful.

"We have captured the Inquisitor," El'Ka said, "Do you wish to see him?"
"Yes, thank you commander," Mesme replied, "Is my bodyguard present now?"
"Yes, Shas'O," he replied, tilting his head slightly as if to ask why.

Mesme indicated for him to lead the way, which he did.
They exited the warehouse into the large courtyard behind. The ground was layered with dust, that was kicked up by the activity in the yard.
Large, dull grey walls surrounded the space, which was large enough for five Devilfish to land in comfortably. Two of the vehicles, sleek black with the orange markings of the Serra'shan'al, idled at the back of the compound, rear hatches open and facing the warehouse door. Inside them, Kroot were fidgeting and waiting for orders. Closer to the entrance, two black battlesuits stood like incredible statues, their pilots speaking with one another.

Mesme recognised one immediately.
Kaishi, or "Skillful Victory", was her bodyguard and comrade from the very earliest days of her life.
He was slightly taller than Mesme, which had always irked her in her childhood, and the general build of the male Fire Caste warrior. He was of the most noble blood, being directly related to several high ranking Fire Caste commanders, but he was not particularly proud of this fact. He had suffered from Ho'or-ata-t'chel when his battlesuit's head was taken off by a lascannon, and so was hospitalised as operations on Hephaestion began. Battlesuit technology, however mighty it made the warriors of the Tau Empire, had its drawbacks.

Mesme approached Kaishi, who noticed her and saluted as his fellow pilot did the same.
She saluted back playfully, to El'Ka's amusement, and embraced Kaishi briefly before speaking.
"Back already?" she asked, "I thought you would miss all the fun."
"I didn't get to drop in from forty thousand tor'lek," Kaishi replied, "so as far as you're concerned, I already did miss the fun."

"Vre'Kaishi, go retrieve the prisoner!" El'ka ordered before the conversation could continue.
"Yes, Shas'el!" Kaishi responded after waiting for a nod from Mesme.
The pilots wandered off in the direction of the transports, as an uncomfortable silence drifted over their commanders.

"Your behaviour is strange around that one," El'ka said, breaking the silence, "You soften up in his presence."
"Kaishi is the one person I have known since I was a child," Mesme replied, "I cannot help but be a child around him."
"A word of advice, try to remain sharp in front of the troops," El'Ka continued, "You have a reputation to protect."

Mesme turned to El'Ka and found him grinning, which was something he did when he delivered advice to her.
As such, she found it incredibly disarming. "Very well," she replied, clenching her jaw slightly, "It serves the Greater Good, I suppose."
Such was the behaviour of the commanders away from their subordinates.

Kaishi returned with a tall gue'la and a squad of Fire Warriors.
The Inquisitor was dressed in the standard imperial armour, with the added protection of the primitive shield technology the gue'la possessed.
The seal of the Inquisition was dangling on a necklace, which Mesme grabbed and looked at closely.

"He certainly looks like an Inquisitor," she said, "But is he the right type?"
"Why would any other kind of Inquisitor be here?" El'Ka asks, "Our reason for being here is secret."

"Not as much of a secret as you think," the Inquisitor replied in perfect Tau, to the disconcertment of everyone except Mesme.

___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ __

Talan was much amused by the reaction of his captors to his knowledge of Tau language.
He thought he might as well have a little fun, before he was deported to some Tau re-education camp or intelligence facility.

The commander, a Tau female, circled him as her colleagues recovered.

"So, you speak our language," she said, continuing to circle, "You are an Inquisitor of the Ordo Hereticus, correct?"
She had said Inquisitor and Hereticus in Gothic.

Talan frowned to himself for a moment, almost disappointed that Tau intelligence had been unable to determine what section of the Inquisition he belonged to.
"I'll take that as a no," the commander stated, apparently noticing the change in his body language, "And yet you are definitely an Inquisitor.."

"He must be Ordo Xenos," she said to her entourage, turning away from Talan, "Which means he is near useless for our purposes."
"Why are you here?" Talan asked, "You do realise what the heretics are trying to do?"
"Yes, which is precisely why we are here," the commander responded.

The pilot put his hand up to his ear, listening in to an earpiece.
"Mesme, the gue'la are attacking in this direction with armour," he said.
Talan immediately noted the commander's name.

"Prepare to pull out," Mesme ordered after a pause, "Send the stealth teams to delay the enemy."
The alien then turned to Talan.

"Keep this one in cuffs and leave him here," she stated, "Rig the building to blow."
The commander then began to walk away with her entourage.

"You think this world is yours?" Talan shouted at her, "The Imperium will send millions upon millions to stop you if you try and take this sector!"
A statement of frustration, but he was about to be blown up, so Talan did not particularly care.

Mesme turned, grabbed Talan by the scruff of the neck, and brought his face to her eye level.
"The Tau'va asks not how many there are, just where they are," the Shas'O said, "Your armies will join us sooner or later, gue'la."
She then threw him to the ground, and left.

Offline Gornon

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 16th October
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2010, 04:17:04 AM »
I'll go over your story in greater depth, but one thing caught my eye:

Quote
The Inquisitor was dressed in the standard imperial armour, with the added protection of the primitive shield technology the gue'la possessed

Umm, how is Imperial shield technology primitive to Tau's?  If anything, its more advanced.  It provides as good protection in a much smaller package.  Imperial Rosarius are just that, Rosaries.  The entire generator is smaller than a wallet.  Hardly primitive, and the Imperium has other examples of small generators, such as Iron Halos, Belts of Russ, and Refraction Fields (though the Fields are not as strong).  The Tau, meanwhile, need Battlesutes or Drones (at least judging by the pictures) half the size of a man to achieve similar effects.
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For all the earth is Roman earth
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Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 16th October
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2010, 09:23:09 AM »
I'll go over your story in greater depth, but one thing caught my eye:

Quote
The Inquisitor was dressed in the standard imperial armour, with the added protection of the primitive shield technology the gue'la possessed

Umm, how is Imperial shield technology primitive to Tau's?  If anything, its more advanced.  It provides as good protection in a much smaller package.  Imperial Rosarius are just that, Rosaries.  The entire generator is smaller than a wallet.  Hardly primitive, and the Imperium has other examples of small generators, such as Iron Halos, Belts of Russ, and Refraction Fields (though the Fields are not as strong).  The Tau, meanwhile, need Battlesutes or Drones (at least judging by the pictures) half the size of a man to achieve similar effects.

Tau knowledge of these systems has generally been lax in my reading of most Tau fluff, and the Tau have do adopt a superior tone when talking of Imperial technology in my opinion. The general idea is to show the disdain of Mesme for the Imperials and their refusal to accept Tau hegemony.

Also, Tau battlesuit shield gens are about the size of a small shield in reality, and remember, they're built to protect a battlesuit sized area.
It's hardly inconceivable that they can build personnel-sized gens, but all the superior military staff are in battlesuits to begin with and Ethereals can just use drones when on the battlefield.

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 16th October
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2010, 07:06:52 PM »
Quote
The general idea is to show the disdain of Mesme for the Imperials and their refusal to accept Tau hegemony.

Fair enough.  Also, to outsiders, Imperial aesthetics would make their tech look more primitive then it should.  That Imperial PDA might have ten times the computing power of a modern PC, but its wood and brass finish makes it look more primitive then a Blackberry.

EDIT: Also, very good work so far, the one thing that confuses me is that all the effort to capture the Inquisitor seems to have been thrown out the window.  I suppose he would be bait for a trap.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2010, 05:37:35 PM by Gornon »
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Bear not my body home,
For all the earth is Roman earth
And I shall die in Rome."
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Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 16th October
« Reply #18 on: November 1, 2010, 03:21:34 AM »
Talan pulled at his cuffs which were attached to a railing, as he looked around the empty warehouse. He had calmed down since the xenos left, and was determined to escape to warn his Hereticus colleague of the danger he now faced. It didn't take Talan long to realise that if they were looking for an Inquisitor, but not one of his order, then they must be after Inquisitor White. The information White possessed on the followers of the Dark Gods would be incredibly useful to the Tau Empire, particularly for its expansion into the Imperium.

The immediate problem, however, was that Talan was in a warehouse complex wired to blow up if anyone entered. He began to think on the issue. The Tau commander almost certainly would have allowed the information on his whereabouts to become known to Colonel Mieza, who would almost certainly act upon it. Unfortunately, she would have no way of knowing about the explosives, though she would probably assume it was an ambush. There was certainly enough explosives to cause some damage in the surrounded streets, but hardly enough to stop an armoured regiment. There was something a tad more strange however. The Tau had left his weapons and commbeads on a table at the other side of the room.

Talan hoped briefly that the Colonel would not personally lead the front elements, before suppressing it and pulling at the cuffs violently.
The railing came loose from the wall slightly, and the Inquisitor grinned to himself. He began violent bursts of pulling, until his wrists started to bleed, but he was soon rewarded with the scent of concrete dust as the railing came out of wall entirely. First problem solved.

After retrieving his weapons, he stuck a commbead in his ear just as a loud explosion was heard outside and the distinct sound of Berdamian rock music got slowly louder.

"Oh frak," he said to himself out loud, realising that his lover's competency for military action might just get him killed by accident.
He immediately searched out the command channel.

"This is Inquisitor Talan, to any Imperial forces in the city industrial sector," he said with as much authority as he could muster, "I am trapped in a warehouse rigged with explosives that will detonate if the building perimeter is breached. I do not know my exact position."

"Ferenz?" came the reply from the Colonel as lights on the explosives in the building began to blink.
"Artemis, the place is going to blow!" he said, running around the space looking for some way out.

Static met his ears and he kicked the ground in frustration, removing the dust from the floor, revealing a manhole cover.
Without the time to feel relieved, Talan brought his melta to bear and shot the cover off, and jumped down.
He landed, just when an ear-shattering shockwave hit him. The warehouse was on a moon by now, but rubble blocked his entrance.

After a quick scout around the darkened tunnel which was the top layer of the city's underhive, he found another one that lead to the street, and Talan found himself emerging in the midst of the Colonel's Leman Russ tanks. Mieza was still on the command channel, a hint of panic clearly present in her voice.

"This is Inquisitor Talan, I escaped," he said quickly before the Colonel dispaired further, "Requesting a pickup."
He then gave the unit designation of the unit he was nearby, which by now was staring at him out of various hatches.
The command vehicle was soon pulling around the corner. Mieza had personally lead the attack, though that would have been dictated considering the importance of the mission. The rear hatch opened, and the Colonel stood looking very relieved in the space, with her command squad.

"Honey, we really have to do something about these neighbours," said Talan as he boarded the Chimera, finally calm.
He collapsed into a seat, and took a sip of amasec from a small flask he had in a pocket.
"Emperor save me, I needed that," he said as the Colonel sat down opposite him, the look of immense relief still plastered on her face.

"You worried me," she said after a few seconds, "I thought you were dead."
"I'm sure the Inquisition would not have looked on my death as your fault," Talan said quickly, trying to place the other passengers' impressions in the right place. Artemis leaned in for a brief second.

"You know that's not what I was worried about," she said into his ear quietly.
"Quite," he replied, as she returned to her seat, "What of the Tau?"

"They retreated as fast as they could," Mieza continued, "We hit them pretty hard."
"Good to hear," said Talan, with particular relish at the second part of the statement. He wasn't in a tolerant mood.

"Where is Inquisitor White?" he added, remembering what he had discovered.
"We do not know, he dropped to the surface with his entourage before anyone else," Mieza explained, "Only the Canoness knew where he went."
"Knew?" Talan asked.
"Yes, the Canoness was killed by the Tau commander," Artemis said slowly, "Along with the majority of her sisters."

"Frak me, this is turning into a real nightmare," Talan said after a pause.
"Why do you need to know where Inquisitor White is?" the Colonel asked, not expecting an answer.
"The Tau are looking for an Inquisitor," Talan stated, "An Ordo Hereticus Inquisitor."

"Why?" Mieza continued.
"I can guess," Talan said after a short think, "But I have no solid idea."

"We need to find White," he ordered, "Contact the Blood Ravens and inform them they under my direct command now."
"Yes sir," Mieza replied, regaining her usual air of professionalism.

___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ _____________

"Shas'O, the gue'la are moving off to the east now," reported the Shas'vre as he hovered in his battlesuit, protected from detection by a stealth field generator.
"Excellent," the comms replied, "Follow the command vehicle and stay hidden."
« Last Edit: November 11, 2010, 04:40:34 AM by GreaterGoodIreland »

Offline Gornon

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 1st November
« Reply #19 on: November 4, 2010, 12:11:52 AM »
Good job on this one!  I really liked it!  Keep up the work!  You have created some sympathy for the Inquisitor and his lover.  It seems that the whole thing was a trap after all.
"Lift not my head from bloody ground,
Bear not my body home,
For all the earth is Roman earth
And I shall die in Rome."
-G.K. Chesterton, The Ballad Of The White Horse

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-Carl von Clausewitz, Prussian Military Theorist

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