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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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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 1st November
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2010, 07:15:05 AM »
The Chimera pulled into the Governor's residence after a long journey through the rubbled capital. Dropships and shuttles littered the once pretty gardens, as soldiers stood on guard at every defensible position around. Supplies were being taxied around on flatbed trucks, ready to be taken to the front lines where the Berdamian armour was fighting the good fight against the heretics. The compound had not been hit by the heretics due to the efforts of the remaining PDF troops, who had their loyalty rewarded by being stationed on defensive duties only. Whether or not one would consider that a sign of distrust or a gesture of mercy was up to the beholder. The driveway to the entrance of the main building was clear however, and the APC made quick time as it approached to deliver Inquisitor Talan and Colonel Mieza to their meeting.

The Governor's residential building was built in the style of Ultramar, with large marble columns rising to hold up the roof like a temple to the Emperor. Its wide facade boasted many large windows, and it stood on a large limestone foundation that raised it half a foot. On each corner of the roof, a bronze statue to one of the four original governors stood, holding a sword in one hand and a set of scales in the other. As the vehicle made its way, the front door came into view. It was a giant thing, the size of cathedral entrance almost, with fine varnished wood decorated with symbols and Gothic text in red paint.

The Chimera lurched to a halt beside the imposing doors, and the passengers disembarked. The Inquisitor brushed himself off, and took a last swig from his amasec flask before moving again. The Colonel followed him in after ordering her lieutenant to return to the Chimera to direct the continuing battle. The servants sprung into action nervously upon seeing the Seal of the Inquisition swinging casually around Talan's neck on a chain, and the massive doors swung open.

The entire entrance hall was covered with beautiful crimson carpet, so beautiful that most people walking upon it might just worry about their unclean boots touching the floor. Not that Talan had such scruples. The entire space was bustling with activity, as adepts and scribes went from one side to the other, on errands of one sort or the other. The residential guards fidgeted at their posts while pretending to observe the area. The reason why was apparent towards the back of the hall. The silent sentinels of the Imperium stood to attention, fully armed, under a massive statue to the Emperor. The staircases to the Governor's office curved around the hall like wings from the back of this giant, making the Blood Ravens tactical marines even more menacing to the inexperienced eye, as the light did not quite reach them fully.

Talan and Mieza ignored them, knowing that the Marine sergeant would be upstairs with the Governor, and so climbed up the stairs step by step, taking in the frescos and the warmth as they went. They reached what seemed to be a smaller version of the front door in shorter time than they might have liked, and Talan strolled into the office like he owned the place. Mieza soon followed after almost gasping at the sheer luxury of the room. To the left, a large fireplace was being put to good use, a large golden dog sleeping beside it. To the right, a bookshelf lined the entire wall, containing innumerable volumes of Imperial history as well as administrative records. Behind the Governor's desk, portraits of the former governors hung. The desk itself was covered with paper, and its occupant sat facing away from the new arrivals, unseen behind the back of the leather chair.

Near the dog, a fully armoured Space Marine stood, the Blood Ravens icon staring Talan and Mieza in the face.
The soldier's head was shaven bald, and his bolter was slung over his shoulder, as if to emphasise his clear wish to leave and cap some enemies of the Emperor.

"Inquisitor, you are late," the Sergeant said impatiently, "I was hoping we could go hunt down the xenos far sooner."
"There is a battle ongoing," Talan replied, aware of the sergeant's tone, "I can be forgiven for being late when heretics are chucking bullets at me."
"We'll see how long that lasts," the governor interrupted, finally swivelling on his chair to face forward.

He was an old man, overweight but not massively so, with a short and tidy grey beard. He wore a governor's uniform that was slightly too tight for a man of his size, and a medal hung off his chest in clear view as if he had earned it. Colonel Mieza looked impressed, so Talan decided to cut the man down to size courtesy of the Inquisition. Talan quickly introduced the Colonel and received the name of the Sergeant in return.

"Governor Catiline, as much as my presence on your planet may annoy you, I clearly have work to do here," Talan started.
"Work that will soon be finished," the Governor again interrupted.
"Yes, we will deal with the heretics and xenos quickly," Talan continued, "We shall also swiftly discover who is responsible for complete incompetence in failing to find a major heretical cult, and in failing to track down xenoist infiltrators."

The Governor turned pale quickly, while Sergeant Lucius looked progressively more irritated.
"However, onto the present," said Talan as he offered Artemis a seat, which she took, "The Tau are looking for Inquisitor White, and I need information."
"What information," the Governor said as Talan took his seat, "We are not informed about the whereabouts of the agents of the Inquisition."
"You should be aware of where this little revolt started however," the Colonel cut in, "Which is what we need to know."

"The exact position is not really determined," the Governor explained, "Nor would it really be helpful..."
"I'll be the one making the judgments on what is useful here," Talan said, adding more hostility to his voice, "Particularly on the subject of personnel."
"I will send for what we know straight away," said the Governor getting out of his chair and making his way to the door.
"We better get it soon too," Talan continued, "Or Colonel Mieza here will be declared Governor-Militant and you'll spend the rest of your life on an asteroid penal colony."

The man left the room, and Talan grinned at Artemis as he got up from his chair and sat on the table edge instead.
"That should get us the information," he declared, clearly pleased with himself.
"It better," said Lucius, "There is a matter of vengeance for my blood brother."
"Yes, Stavan was a great soldier," Talan replied, sobering slightly.

"It is fine, my troops will deal out plenty of revenge for your brother," Artemis said confidently, "If we can rescue White while we're at it, it's a bonus."
"Indeed," said Talan, "I think I have scared the Governor enough to get the intelligence quickly."
"I must see to my troops," said Lucius, leaving the room, "I will meet you outside when you have what we need."
It was clear that the Space Marine did not like Talan, but luckily, it wasn't a necessary factor anyway.

The Colonel got up quickly and kissed the Inquisitor passionately for about a minute, before sitting down again.
"What was that for?" Talan asked, a bit surprised but again pleased with himself.
"Earlier," she said, "And in case I lose you today."

Talan rolled his eyes, and attempted to explain that his entire capability as an Inquisitor was based on his incredible good luck, until the Governor returned with the necessary documents.

Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 13th November
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2010, 04:48:41 AM »
Semerkhet wandered around the ex-Cathedral of Saints, as the cultists chanted before the desecrated statue of the Corpse God. The vaulted ceilings and massive stone pillars were covered with the dark symbols of Tzeentch, and the stain glass windows were smashed to pieces and replaced with purple cloth. The cultists themselves were clad in their usual garments, but sported deep purple armbands identifying them as slaves. The altar had been split in two, and the symbol of the Changer thrust into the crack, for all to see.

Semerkhet's satisfaction with this world was disappearing fast. When he came to the planet a decade earlier, he found a world corrupt and full of ambitious men to exploit and shape. The local Arbites were incompetent and the world had never before been invaded by an alien power. The world was far from any significant Imperial military forces due to the Tyranids presence elsewhere. In other words, it was a perfect place for a rogue Sorcerer such as himself to build a fiefdom.

Things had turned sour quickly. First of all, his cats-paws in the nearby system of Parmenion had fallen, without word on who or what was responsible for their downfall. Next, a Tau fleet appears in orbit overhead, and forces the cultists to reveal themselves or be slaughtered. To put the icing on the proverbial cake, an Imperial fleet soon lands an Armoured Regiment of the Imperial Guard, Space Marines and Sororitas. Hephaestion changed from a system ripe for the plucking into a nightmare for any Chaotic activity. Furthermore, the aliens seemed to be taking a greater than normal amount of interest in such activity, as the main brunt of the combat was not against the Imperials at this point.

As the Sorcerer paced, he pondered his next move. The summoning process had begun, but would take at least a day to complete to bring forth the minor daemons necessary to hold off the enemy. With the time bought, more forces and favour with Tzeentch could be bought in order to achieve victory.

The gates of the dark chapel swung open, and an ex-PDF soldier rushed in, clearly distraught.
"They're here!" he screamed.

Semerkhet became irritated, and shot the offending man with his pistol. As the body dropped to the floor, figures were becoming visible through the black smoke outside and the purple and blue incense inside.

"Astartes" he said dryly, before calling for reinforcements. The hulking forms of nine Blood Ravens approached slowly, with another figure that Semerkhet assumed must have been an Inquisitor of some description. Behind them, Guardsmen followed far more cautiously.

"Attack," he said to his followers, who were far from earshot, but were well within range for psychic command. They did as they were ordered.
The cultists immediately picked up scattered weapons and quite literally threw themselves at the Space Marines outside.


___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ____________

Inquisitor Ferenz Talan approached the cathedral slowly, the Blood Ravens spread out to either side of him. The outside of the building had been utterly desecrated with symbols and bodies. It had been remarkably easy to get to the centre of heretical resistance, which he had put down to Tau interference and Berdamian armoured might. Regardless, he needed to find Inquisitor White quickly, and this was the easiest way.

As that thought entered his mind, a hail of fire erupted from the entrance of the church, and was soon followed by a wave of fanatical heretics.
The Blood Ravens immediately sprung into action. They continued to march forwards, pouring bolter fire onto the enemy. Where the heretics reached their lines, they dealt with the unarmoured humans with a rifle butt or a stomp with their heavily armoured boots. It did not go entirely the Imperials' way however. As the line came within ten yards of the doors, a heretic threw himself at the sergeant, and exploded. The force of the explosion knocked down Talan, but Lucius was far less lucky, and his large form fell backwards with a gaping bloody hole in his chest.

Talan recovered quickly, sweeping his melta over two heretics that were attempting to disembowel him with bayonets. He ordered the Blood Ravens into the cathedral and followed them in. Coughing through the incense, he waited near the entrance while his eyes adjusted to the darker list conditions. The inside was typical heretical decor, nothing he hadn't seen before. However, there was a clear purpose to the layout of the symbols and bodies; A summoning.
Luckily, it was clear that the ritual was interrupted early.

There was a sharp crack, and the Sorcerer appeared before the altar. The Space Marines immediately opened fire to no effect, and ceased after about a minute.
"Is that any way to welcome a brother?" Semerkhet said, his voice layered with hatred.
"We are not your brothers, traitor," a Marine replied, and so began a rather inconsequential argument between the two that bought the Inquisitor time.

Talan continued to inspect the area to look for the secret of the Sorcerer's defences. His eyes fell on something far more disturbing.
Upon the statue of the Emperor, Inquisitor White lay crucified, a massive spike pinning him by the chest to the stone, his hands folded on top of it and his face in an paused state of agony. Talan winced then turned away briefly. At least the Tau wouldn't be capturing him anytime soon.

"I see you're admiring my work," Semerkhet said, noticing Talan's discomfort, "He was a foolish one, thinking he could enter this holy place undetected."
"He died in service to the Emperor, he will be rewarded," Talan said, unusually resorting to faith, "It is your soul that will be tormented for eternity."
The traitor cackled for a moment, and then with another deafening crack was gone.

Talan ordered the Blood Ravens to return to orbit, and continued to inspect the place for a moment as they left to proceed to their waiting shuttle.
He climbed up the ruined statue of the Emperor, and removed the spike holding White to the rock. The body dropped and Talan landed with a thud beside it.
Closing the man's eyes, he said a few words of peace as he knew White would appreciate them even if he didn't. Inquisitors do not exactly have a low risk job, so respect in death is a given even if respect in life isn't.

"Ferenz, the Tau are retreating," Artemis interrupted via his commbead, "I can't explain it, their forces are packing it in!"
The Inquisitor didn't have time to ponder this when several Tau stealthsuits de-cloaked around him, one of the burst cannons barely two feet from his face.
With his meltagun on his back, he had no choice other than to put up his hands.

The female Tau commander O'Mesme decloaked in front of him.
"It appears both our objectives were ruined by the third party," she said in Tau, appearing to be far more kind than their last encounter.
"As if you would have treated this man any differently once you were done with him," Talan replied dryly, trying to avoid provoking the alien.
"On the contrary, we reward those who serve the Greater Good," she said in decent Gothic this time, "One way or another."
"He would not have cooperated," Talan stated, "Nor will I."

"This world is yours for now gue'la," she said, returning to Tau, "Your knowledge would have been useful."
"Then why aren't you taking me?" said Talan, surprised that he wasn't about to be hauled off.
"It is more useful for the basic knowledge that we exist to spread amongst your elite," Mesme explained, "That we can drop out of the heavens and kill whom we like."

The aliens activated their stealth fields once again.

"Oh, and here is a present," said the commander's voice, its source invisible.
The Sorcerer's head dropped to the floor about a metre in front of Talan, having materialised from nowhere.
___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ _______________

Talan sat on the terrace of the Governor's residence, a full breakfast in front of him on a metalwork table and a beautiful woman beside him.
The Colonel's company was something that he had become highly accustomed to in the two weeks since the death of White and the reclaiming of the Cathedral of Saints. There was still much work to do, as heretic pockets and cultists fought on desperately all over the planet. The capital however had been tamed.

The Inquisitor sipped his tea, admiring the view of the destroyed gardens with amusement.
"Ferenz, why did the Tau want White so badly and yet not take you?" Artemis asked.

Talan turned to her, wondering about that very question as he had done many times since Semerkhet's head was delivered to him.
"I know they told you that you were to spread word about them," said Artemis, seeming to take the look as some sign of annoyance, "But it doesn't make any sense."

The Inquisitor grinned. "I did tell you I was lucky," he said, having no other explanation to give.


Quote from: GreaterGoodIreland
There is the Hephaestion Arc completed! I wish to write much more about these characters as time goes on, with flashback arcs for both Inquisitor Ferenz Talan and Shas'O Mesme. The next arc I will get stuck into right away, I hope you guys enjoyed this one.

Offline Gornon

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 13th November
« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2010, 02:54:53 PM »
I did indeed enjoy it!  Good work!  Overall good characters.  Though your Shas could use some more weakpoints, character-wise.  However, because she is a secondary character here, I would not expect those to have much opportunity to come out.  I also like the bit where you had the two Marines  argue pointlessly in the middle of a battle.  Big damn heroes seem to like to do that, eh?
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Bear not my body home,
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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 13th November
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2010, 03:02:20 AM »
Quote

Ordo Xenos Transmission
Astropath ref21004979541
Author: Inquisitor Ferenz Talan
Destination: All Ultima Segmentum Inquisitorial Reference Collectives,
All Ultima Segmentum Ordo Xenos Agents with Terran-level clearance.

Subject: Falasten system conflict coming to a head

 

Anti-Imperial sentiment in the Falasten system has been increasing in recent years, as some of you who have been reading my reports over the past six months will be aware. Continued support for the Governor's regime by the Adeptus Administratum has caused resentment among the pre-colonial population, and the system has been the subject of many Inquisitorial investigations over the past eight centuries.

For those of you who are unaware of the conflict, its origins are as old as the Horus Heresy, when Imperial power waned considerably in the region.
Human population in the system had been present for about a millenia at the time of Heresy, and had been only recently integrated into the Imperium when the traitor Marines struck. Imperial administration soon broke down as more pressing concerns turned eyes elsewhere, and the system soon became completely independent. Much STC technology remained on Falasten, and was continually developed by the population there, giving the system much trading weight with other local systems in much the same situation.

This state of affairs continued, until an Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator fleet visited the Damocles sector in M35. The population were extremely happy to be briefly reunited with the Imperium, believing that prosperity would follow. The same fleet would later discover the Tau homeworld.

After the brief visit, Falasten continued as an independent system, as the cogs of the Imperium turned as slowly as ever with regard to dealing with such worlds. By the time that Imperial forces re-took control of the region, six millenia had passed and the story of the Explorator fleet was legendary.

The reunion was a happy one for the first century of M41, when Administratum, Mechanicus and Eccleisarchy officials finally reached the system to evaluate it for tithing and to investigate the system generally. Unfortunately for the Falastians, the Imperium's religion had moved on a completely different path over ten thousand years, and the Eccleisarchy found the system bordering on heretical. The Adeptus Mechanicus officials found the lack of proper devotion to the Ommissiah an abomination in its own right, as Falastian technology had twisted the STC into technosorcery. The Administratum on the other hand, particularly the Munitorum, found a system full of willing soldiers for the Imperium, with an advanced military culture due to proximity to Ork-held space.

Obviously, with large disagreements between the various governing wings of Imperial power, a compromise had to be made. It was decided that the native  system of government would be replaced with an Imperial governorship. All non-STC technology in Falasten was to be sampled by the Mechanicus, and the remainder destroyed. Imperial colonists, with appropriate numbers of missionaries, were to be dispatched to the system under the direct supervision of the Eccleisarchy. Lastly, tithing to the world would be heavy.


First Uprising, 216.M41

Needless to say, such changes effectively ruined the native human population over the course of a decade, causing great resentment. Due to the technological downgrade, the productivity and trade profile of the entire system dropped massively. Heavy tithing left the system vulnerable to Ork attacks for several years. However, the greatest source of animosity came from the new wave of colonists, who the Eccleisarchy saw fit to settle on plantation lands directly seized from native areas deemed near-heretical.


Second Uprising, 241.M41

This set of events caused a wave of rebellions that continues to this day, with almost every generation rising up in arms against the colonists due to some fresh outrage, as the colonists continue to slowly take more land from the Falastians. Rural and urban guerilla warfare, terrorism, assassinations and mass protest movements are now cultural norms in many parts of the system. Normally, this would be a problem for the Arbites, and would not warrant the attention of the Inquisition beyond some investigations of heresy.

However, with the arrival of the Hive Fleets, Ork probing, and the proximity of Falasten to the Tau Empire, the opportunity for xenos interference and exploitation of the current situation is far too great for us to ignore. Reports of possible xenoist activity in the system started to pile up as I finish the pacification of Hephaestion. Up until now, the rebellions have not advocated leaving the Imperium, merely the removal of colonial rule and the restoration of full rights for the native population, but whispers of full independence have surfaced.

As such, I will be heading to Falasten in secret in my usual cover as the lieutenant of a rogue trader to oversee peace negotiations between the main factions.

Investigating whether or not alien hands played a part in the most recent uprising, which has been the most serious since the first one, will be a top priority. I have requisitioned the 16th Berdam Armoured Regiment and made appropriate arrangements to have them deployed to Falasten's primary planet as a peacekeeping force while negotiations are ongoing.

Inquisitor Ferenz Talan

Offline Gornon

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 16th November
« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2010, 09:20:26 PM »
Ahh, interesting.  Looks like you have several arcs planned.  Neat!
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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 November
« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2010, 05:12:18 PM »
Inquisitor Ferenz Talan walked along the street, hood of his cloak up in the local style, checkered scarf around his neck identifying him as an anti-colonial. On one side of the street, eight metre high rockcrete slabs were lined up in a massive wall, punctuated with an observation bunker every hundred yards or so. The wall was covered with graffiti, and the lower viewports on the bunkers were sprayed over with black ink. On the other side of the street, the native refugee town of Ramlas sat, a slum populated entirely by people displaced by the Eccleisarchy's colonists. The smell of sulphur was heavy in the air, but then, bombs were detonating near the wall all the time according to his contact's reports. Rubbish was strewn about the street, for reasons Ferenz didn't understand. No one was about, but it was a warzone by every definition of the word, so Talan guessed people could be forgiven.

Just in front of him, his comrade stepped alongside him. She had neck-length blonde hair, and was wearing green combat fatigues under some carapace armour, bolt pistol swinging at her hip. Roxana Bactriana was a rogue trader by profession, and had known Talan for a very long time, ever since a Genestealer cult in her home hiveworld was nicely annihilated courtesy of the Inquisition. It was the same organisation that she owed her current success, and so held official status of agent. Furthermore, her dominating personality meant that Talan could hide behind her presence in any room quite easily, eavesdropping being far more simple when everyone is distracted by the beautiful loud lady.

The pair had landed on Falasten Prime after it was confirmed the Berdamians had arrived. Roxana had immediately got in contact with the local merchant guilds, as she always did, while Talan visited Colonel Mieza briefly before voxing his contact in Ramlas. A pleasant ride by groundcar until the barrier wall had been completely ruined thanks to the "border praetors", who demanded that they enter the native area on foot. Talan's patience for the colonial administration was already wearing thin thanks to the incident, as well as the fact the frakkers didn't let rubbish disposal trucks enter either. As he reflected on these matters while stepping over bags of refuse, they made good time away from the border area further into the refugee town.

Roxana and Talan finally reached their destination after a half hour hike from the gates, a bar named in one of the three proto-Gothic languages present in the system. The bar itself was surprisingly clean for its exterior filth, but then, all the booths and tables were filled with armed men and women, demanding customers to say the least. Music stopped briefly, then restarted as most people turned back to their own business. Roxana grinned, as Talan moaned to himself quietly, and approached the bar.

"Two amasecs, straight," she ordered, then leaned against the bar as Talan discovered he was getting glances from practically every table.
"Why are they staring?" he asked Roxana quietly, trying not to let the nearby man on a stool eavesdrop.
"No idea," she said shoving a glass into his hand, "But I'll tell you what will help!"

They then downed the cheap alcohol, and slammed the glasses down so hard they almost broke.

"Maybe it's because you're not from here, but you barge in here in FLC gear like you own the place," a deep voice muttered in Talan's ear.
Turning around slowly, he discovered that the voice belonged to his contact, Aelian. Talan was immediately cheered up, and shook the man's hand.
"Oh, found him have we?" Roxana muttered, as she ordered another round for the group.

Aelian directed the group to an empty booth well away from the rest of the bar population, and the group sat down with their drinks.
"The Falasten Liberation Coalition have been pretty successful lately," said Aelian, getting straight down to business, "The barrier walls have been breached on every planet in several places, and they have a skeleton government set up."

"Not in this area though?" Talan half-asked, sipping on his amasec, "We passed through a checkpoint that seemed relatively unharmed."
"What do you think all these fine ladies and gentlemen are here to do?" Roxana interrupted.
"Your lady friend is right, the FLC are massing for an attack here and the colonials know it," Aelian continued, "Mortarbomb attacks on airbases within range have taken airpower off the table."

"So if there is a xenos presence in the system, it'll be here," Talan concluded, "That makes things a bit easier."
"Depends what aliens you're talking about," Roxana stated. Both Talan and Aelian turned to her in puzzlement.
"I mean, Orks would draw hostility from all humans in the system, right?" she explained after rolling her eyes.

Talan started to see where she was going.

"If the natives take the capital, execute the governor, do what rebels generally do afterwards, then whoever makes that happen will lead the next regime," she continued, "I can see genestealers or the Tau exploiting that sort of leadership change."
"I see you're no novice to violent politics," Aelian replied with a shake of his head.

"All politics are violent," Roxana replied with a smile.

"Regardless, with the Berdamian 16th Armoured here, the FLC will find it much harder to take the capital," Talan said, "Unless the aliens do intervene."
"So what do we do?" Aelian asked.


___________________ ___________________ ___________________ _____________

Fear is an irrationality,
But it can also serve reason,
Master it Shas'la,
The Greater Good requires it.

Mesme ran through the forest, Kaishi barely keeping up, as they fled the massacre of their team. The floor was coated in leaf-needles from the tall evergreen trees around them. It was cold enough for frost to coat surfaces, but it felt like the surface of a star inside the Fire Warriors' helmets, their minds burning with the images they witnessed. Their camouflaged transport was still a long way off, and only when they were inside it would they be safe.

Thankfully, their destination was covered by trees, so the anti-grav bikes that had snatched so many of their comrades lost any sort of great speed.
As Mesme started to climb up an incline, a spray of splintered crystal slammed into the tree beside her. Clearly the tree cover didn't stop the pursuers  shooting. She tripped on a root out of shock and surprise, and fell to the ground. Kaishi immediately stopped, turning on the spot and seeking a target.
Three "Reavers" appeared behind, weaving in and out of the trees as if their pilots had been born to perform such aerial acrobatics. The Dark Eldar soon surrounded the couple, flashing around them.

Mesme raised her own pulse rifle, and went back-to-back with Kaishi, preparing herself for the assault to come. Trees began to fall as the chains and hooks  underneath the jetbikes slammed into them with force. This allowed them to go faster and faster as time went on, trapping the two Tau within a circle of flying death.

"Kaishi, when I say, shoot to your left at the height they're flying at," Mesme said, panicking in her head.
Her friend nodded, and checked his rifle blindly while keeping his helmet lens (and so his eyes) firmly on the enemy.
"Now!" shouted Mesme, turning to her right to shoot at the same place as Kaishi.

A torrent of fire erupted rapidly from their rifles, in the direction of the circle that the jetbikes had cleared.
The bikers had no time to respond, and one ploughed into the river of superheated plasma pulses. The bike spun out of control as its rider's head was split apart, and the crash caused a large enough explosion to divert the other bikers for a second.

They wouldn't be falling for that trick a second time, however, and Mesme knew it.
She reloaded, wondering how to deal with the problem when her communications came online again.
"The dead biker must have had a jammer!" shouted Kaishi, before asking frantically for aid as the bikers started shooting again.

"This is Devilfish Shi, moving to your position," said the pilot of the transport.

A minute later, missiles flew out of the trees and struck another Reaver, which simply dropped and gouged a channel in the soil.
The last one fled as the camouflaged transport appeared overhead.

A sense of immense relief struck the two young soldiers, as their APC began to land.
A sense that was quickly destroyed, as a bolt of what can only be described as darkness struck the back of the vehicle as it descended.
The Devilfish fell, its weapons useless, and clearly unable to move.

Mesme wretched in horror as a dark blue skimmer glided towards them, sails acting as a backdrop to the squad of Kabalite warriors riding on it.
Anger swelled up inside her, and she immediately started shooting. Kaishi followed suit after recovering. The Dark Eldar firing back did not hit anything but the side of the downed Devilfish, redoubling Mesme's resolve with the hope that she might make it out alive if she could just take down this flying monster.

Some of the pulses penetrated the armour of the enemy, and the skimmer began to wobble. The pilot was clearly struggling for control, as the skimmer flew by the Tau quickly, turning slowly. The Fire Warriors kept up their fire, despite starting to run low on ammunition. The cannon on the prow of the Raider finally exploded, and the gliding horror came down, bashing through the treeline. Kaishi cheered loudly, embracing Mesme in the victory, who was grinning behind the featureless helmet on her head. The two broke cover swiftly, to check the fruit of their mutual destructive might.

Suddenly, a burst of splinters struck them, knocking them down. Toxins flooded their systems, and they struggled to stay conscious.
The enemy had survived the attack, and were striding towards the struggling Tau on the forest floor. Kaishi grabbed his rifle shakily, and shot off his last magazine on full auto, catching two of the approaching enemies in the chest.

The rest of them simply walked past, except one who was clearly a leader.
She cackled briefly, before kicking Mesme in the face.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Mesme woke up in her cluttered quarters, breathing heavily. She shuddered as she realised she had experienced another nightmare about her first and last assignment as a line Fire Warrior. She got up slowly, and fetched a drink to cool herself down, thankful that she had woken up when she did. The commander had no desire to relive the events that lead to her promotion to Shas'ui. Luckily, Tau did not require much sleep.

"Shas'O, we are entering the halo of the Falasten system now," said El'Ka via a drone that always hovered around Mesme's room, "Your orders?"
"Keep out of patrols' sight and maintain position on the edge of the system," she replied, finding her work a relief, "They're expecting visitors, and we wouldn't want to interrupt our neighbours' meeting."

"Yes, Shas'O," El'ka stated flatly, and the comms went silent.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 08:06:22 AM by GreaterGoodIreland »

Offline Gornon

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 20th November
« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2010, 02:45:59 PM »
I like what you have so far.  You've caught my attention, to be sure.  Your Inquistior character continues to be an interesting character.  As I've said before, the Inquisitor is much more fun to follow than Meseme.  If Meseme is going to have scenes cut to her alone fairly often, I would give her some development. 
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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 20th November
« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2010, 01:23:17 AM »
Development for Mesme coming right up..
___________________ ________________

The outward face of the Empire is mighty and just,
But there is another face to the Tau'va,
That of the sword in the dark,
Thrust between the shoulders of its enemies.

Lament for those lost to the shadow,
For I am the one who wielded it.


Personal Meditations of Shas'O Tau'n Len'ra Mesme'or'es
Bequeathed to her grandchildren,
Public distribution suppressed for the Greater Good.


Aun'chiagor is the Tau Empire's most sacred ceremony, and most practical decisionmaking tool. Rooted in a time when the Ethereal caste saved the species from its own self destruction, it is a meeting between the castes to decide upon major issues. Each caste, Fire, Water, Earth and Air, has their speaker at a round table, with an Ethereal presiding over the entire affair. Typically, every major military force in the Tau Empire had an Ethereal guiding it, using the ancient tool to smooth the differences between the castes, for the benefit of all. Its success is evident, as the species' rapid technological advances showed, despite those attempting to destroy it.

The Aun'chiagor held on the flagship of O'Mesme's fleet was unique across the entirety of Tau existence to date. In the elegant halls of the Serra, Aun'chiagor was held without a presiding Ethereal in the traditional sense. Mesme, with the appropriate mix of blood in her veins, sat where the Ethereal would usually in the middle of table. She reported directly to the highest authority in the Empire, the Aun't'au'retha, and to none besides. This state of affairs was earned in blood, and the trust placed in Mesme weighed on her heavily despite how hard she had fought for it. The memory of the betrayal of Farsight was still fresh in everyone's minds.

The conference room of the Serra was a far more simple affair than usual, as Mesme had ordered its immediate readiness for use as an emergency sickbay as soon as she had received command. None of the usual decorations designated to the castes here, save for some lighting which did not get in the way of the wounded. Mesme did not see the purpose in having a large room for talking only, in line with the practical attitude that many Fire Caste Tau developed naturally. Not that the other castes seemed to mind, except perhaps the Water Caste.

To the left of the commander, the Water Caste representative Por'el Vral sat in flowing blue robes, looking pleased with himself and demonstrating so by boasting somewhat to his attending por'vre. As the chief diplomat in the fleet, Vral enjoyed a much wider span of travel than the average Water caste member, traversing a large corner of the galaxy. It was something which all Por'la aspired to, and so one could say Vral was living the dream. Mesme personally found him ridiculous because of it, mainly due to the fact he didn't have to slog it out with a pulse rifle and get shot at by mentally deranged aliens. Speaking to them was obviously far easier work, in her opinion. Regardless, Vral was effective when called upon, and this was one such occasion in which he performed admirably.

To the right of Vral, El'Ka sat representing the Fire Caste in Mesme's stead, dressed in his uniform and quietly thinking to himself. Beside him, Vre'Kaishi stood at attention, grinning when Mesme caught his eye. She frowned back at him each time with a shake of her head, which simply made him grin wider. Mesme herself was in a battlesuit jump-uniform, which she donned to insure that the idea she wanted to put forward was reinforced. The same had already been agreed between El'Ka and the commander, so she did not expect problems.

Beside the Shas'el, the delegates for the Earth Caste sat. Fio'O Karra, flanked by two fio'vre, was busying herself with some piece of electronics that she had brought with her, while munching on some snack. Karra was the chief engineer and scientist of the coalition, and as such, was wearing her piercing-white laboratory uniform. Mesme enjoyed her company, being by far the most pragmatic Tau she had ever met outside the Fire Caste. She was also a tad eccentric, which is saying something where Tau are concerned, in an endearing manner. She was from Au'Taal, a sept generally regarded as lazy, though clearly Karra had made good use of her system's beautiful greenspaces to study the ways of technology.

Finally, seated furthest to the right, was the fleet commander, Kor'O Quan. The almost impossibly thin physique of the Air Caste was covered in the standard uniform. Quan seemed to be the only one impatient to get started, aside from Mesme herself. The kor'ui beside the admiral were kept busy, as he busied himself in ship reports, which were flowing in at a steady rate given the circumstances. The fleet was still in the halo, the belt of debris left over from the creation of the system, hiding from its enemies.

Mesme herself was flanked by two Aun'vre, clerks sent directly from T'au to record her actions for later scrutiny, and to prevent a repeat of the O'Shovah incident. The commander herself only barely felt the sense of awe that the Ethereals seemed to cast on most other Tau, though it was far more potent in her childhood. Regardless, the two hovered at her shoulder.

This particular meeting was to discuss the developing situation in the system called "Falasten" by the gue'la. Given the circumstances in which it found itself, Mesme failed to comprehend why the empire hadn't taken it before. Regardless, she turned her thoughts to the task at hand, and called the meeting to order.

"Honoured tau'fann, we all know why we have come to this system," Mesme started, "And I know we have made excellent progress so far, but the situation can easily turn on us."

The room stared at her, being brought back to full attention at last.

"Por'el, if you would explain the progress made in full please," Mesme asked, returning to her seat.
"Our por'vre have made contact with our sympathisers on every major planet in the system," Vral explained, "They currently hold some key leadership positions in the anti-colonial resistance, and have galvanised others to fight for them."

The room filled with general acknowledgement and interest, before Mesme raised her hand.

"What news on how the rebels are faring, given the recent ... development," she asked.
"The problem you refer to seems to only be affecting the colonial held sectors," Vral continued, "Making it easier for us to rally more to the cause."

"There is still a small problem," El'Ka started, "Most of the people fighting are not fighting for their liberation by us."
"Once the rebels have triumphed, there will be no problem convincing them that the One Path is truly better," Vral stated, "After all, they will not be able to trade readily with the Imperium if they do succeed."

El'Ka then added his doubts on whether or not the rebel gue'la would succeed or not, sparking a polite argument on the subject between the castes, save the Earth Caste delegates.

"The problem with the situation, is that there is no physical element to swing the rebellion towards the Greater Good," Karra interrupted after a while, "When one wants to create a reaction in a difficult environment, one uses a catalyst."

Mesme smiled, knowing that Karra had come to the same conclusion she herself had.

"Indeed," she said, "But what to use as a catalyst?"
"My por'vre can do the job," Vral said confidently.
"I suggest we send some Gue'vasa advisors," mused El'Ka in response to Vral's evidently non-military solution, "With plenty of weapons."
 
Mesme thought over these options, and then remembered that the Kor'O had yet to speak.
"Kor'O, can you get our fleet to orbit over the capital planet quick enough to get past their defences?" Mesme asked.
Quan looked at her briefly from his quiet ordering about of his acolytes, and nodded before continuing.

"Then I propose we enter orbit over 'Falasten Prime', and offload our entire compliment of Gue'vasa, with full air support," Mesme announced, "The por'el will prepare the appropriate arrangements."

There were no objections, though Mesme carried the authority of the highest offices in the Tau Empire, so there rarely were.
"What about the other problem?" asked Vral.

"The Orks are taking care of some of our enemies for us," Mesme said, shrugging, "Let them feast on war for a little while."
___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________



Offline Gornon

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 20th November
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2010, 11:35:11 PM »
I like the concept of the Aun'chiagor.  Very Tauish and fits with their character.

You do a good job with this line
Quote
The memory of the betrayal of Farsight was still fresh in everyone's minds

I would think that Farsight left a gaping hole in the psych of the Tau.

I like how the Tau would be wary of such a creature as Mesme.  Too much power in one being.  The very idea of such a thing existing taps at the cast system and pings at the balance of power between the casts!  For good reason, too!  The Imperium had a leader who was both a secular and clerical leader.  His name was Vandire.
Quote
Mesme herself was flanked by two Aun'vre, clerks sent directly from T'au to record her actions for later scrutiny, and to prevent a repeat of the O'Shovah incident. The commander herself only barely felt the sense of awe that the Ethereals seemed to cast on most other Tau, though it was far more potent in her childhood. Regardless, the two hovered at her shoulder.

I like how Mesme is not enthralled by the Aun.  But why?  Do her genetics shield her?  Or is it willpower?  Courage and Honor seems to indicate a psychic ability, so both answers could work.  I also like how High Command is looking at her like a predatory beast that's caged.  It makes sense, too.  A powerful military leader who does not hold the Aun in awe?  That's not good.  Is it wrong to think that they are waiting for her to fail, as opposed to succeed?

Quote
There were no objections, though Mesme carried the authority of the highest offices in the Tau Empire, so there rarely were.

Hmm, I would add an undercurrent of discontent here.  Their authority figure is a strange freak, and the Aun clearly don't trust her fully.  Wouldn't the other Tau be naturally worried or resistant to the thought of being governed by such a Tau?  Though it could be argued that Tau 'fold up' any disagreements once a meeting has been settled and then work towards the goal irregardless of their personal feelings.

Quote
Fio'O Karra, flanked by two fio'vre, was busying herself with some piece of electronics that she had brought with her, while munching on some snack.

I admit, I smiled a bit at this part.  Karra reminds me a lot of one of a friend's character in one of my best roleplaying groups.  Ditzy inventors are always fun and, combined with the nostalgia this one invokes, makes me wish to see more of this character.

Overall, very good so far.  I like it!
"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."
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Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 20th November
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2010, 07:04:18 PM »
Mesme sat in her quarters, having returned to her quarters, after being briefed on how exactly the fleet was to drop into orbit over Falasten Prime. The room’s central space had been cleared, to allow for a communal meal to be had shortly. The commander had invited her bodyguard, her lieutenant and Fio’O’Karra to discuss the coming operation over a last meal before battle.

The admiral, despite invitation, refused due to a large workload. His plan to get the ships to orbit quickly was genius. The Tau were incapable of making long trips into the Warp, an incapability that prevented highly rapid annexation of large areas of human-held space. However, the Tau were capable of skimming the edge of the Immaterium. Using this, the admiral would perform a micro-jump, placing the fleet in orbit from the edge of the system in the same time it took to blink.

Drinking some warm ky’husa with energy, Mesme registered the entry of the two Aun’vre with a frown and a slight shifting of her weight on the ground. She motioned for the two to sit, which they did as her drone buzzed around the room. They obeyed, sitting opposite her across the table played host to a projection of the strategic situation on the capital planet.

These clerks from the ethereal caste had not informed Mesme of their names, and did not seem to have any intention of doing so. One was thin and short, the other was taller and more built, but both displayed the raised bone in the centre of their face typical of their caste. Mesme could still remember her father’s own.

“Why do you enter my quarters?” she asked plainly, “What business do you have?”
“We are here to express concern about your continued refusal of summons for the Propagation Department,” the thin one said, “Your genetics are considered essential to the Empire and the Greater Good.”

Mesme looked up from her work, amused by the audacity of the pair. The Aun taking an interest in her apparent indecision on choosing a mate, and a complete lack of cooperation with the Earth Caste geneticists who would choose for her, was far from a new event. Their attempt to mix the castes to create new traits had resulted in failure, but bore them fruit in the form of Mesme’s apparent natural ability to be calm in even the most dire military situation. Now they were looking to experiment further.

“I recognise your concerns,” Mesme said, barely able to contain her irritation, “However, the Empire has more pressing concerns for my attention, I am young, there will be plenty of opportunity for propagation once I have fulfilled my duty.”

“We have been instructed to inform you that T’au is unsure that you will live long enough for that to be true,” the tall Ethereal stated, “Your continued insistence on frontline command poses a great risk to your life.”

Mesme laughed for a moment.
“How would you evaluate my continued progress if I did not insist upon it?”

“Regardless, we must insist that you choose a mate now,” said the thin one, placing a data card on the table, presumably with a list of names deemed suitable by the Fio’O geneticists on Tau‘n. Mesme eyes widened, shocked by this sudden move. She was speechless.

“For the Greater Good, Shas‘O.”

___________________ ___________________ __________-

Vre’Kaishi stood in his jumpsuit in the launch bay of the Serra, overseeing the gue’vasa troops preparing for battle. They had donned the grey-blue Sacea-pattern camouflage for their fateful mission to the surface of Falasten Prime. The troops would be making history as the first majority-gue’la strike force in the empire’s history. As Kaishi pondered on whether this was a sign of the future or just the result of the unique nature of the Serra’shan’al, he couldn’t help but notice the smells of the humans.

They were nervous, or so the bodyguard guessed. Not that they could tell that amongst themselves, but the Tau had a far more potent sense of smell. The ability to sense mood vaguely but wordlessly was something natural to all Tau, and Kaishi’s extensive experience with gue’la made him an educated guesser.

The launch bay was a massive cavernous space, with Orca dropships lining an entire wall. Their sleek black paintjobs made them look something like massive whales, with deadly cargos piling into their mouths. Some were troop carriers, others were the highly modified versions for carrying gravtanks.
Air and Earth caste engineers were making their last minute checks on them, as the gue’vasa started taking their seats inside.

El’Ka entered his battlesuit as Kaishi finished his last look at the scene before him, and took a step towards his own death-dealing second skin. He stopped dead in his tracks as the doors from the main corridor opened, and Mesme walked swiftly past him.

Kaishi greeted her casually as usual, but she completely ignored him, stepping into her battle suit quickly. The two Aun’vre appeared at the doors soon afterwards, observing as Kaishi had been not a moment earlier. The meal had been cancelled, and now he knew why. Clearly the Aun had made some demands that Mesme found highly irritant, her face reminding Kaishi of their youth when he saw that expression many times. The bodyguard finally reached his wargear and continued his thoughts as the faceplate connected and his commander began to speak.

“Gue’vasa of the Serra’shan’al,” Mesme said, addressing the humans,
“Almost two hundred and fifty tau’cyr have passed since your ancestors found themselves abandoned by the Imperium. In those dark days, after fighting nobly against us, your relatives found themselves without a home, without hope. Thrown away into a mindless war against the Greater Good, they found that they were thrown away even more readily as the Y’he appeared to scourge the galaxy. But they were not alone.

The Empire accepted them, gave them a home, a real one. Far from the cramped slums of the gue’la slum worlds of their birth, they found a comfortable place. However, the descendants of their cousins  remain in servitude, remain under tyranny. We go to battle today to liberate them from their overlords, their poverty and their ignorance. Today, you will fight alongside those of your cousins who have seen the light of the Greater Good, and bring their planet to a new age of prosperity and greatness!”

A great cheer went up among the gue’vasa, thoroughly encouraged by the speech as Kaishi knew they would. The descendants of the first generation of human colonies were slowly integrated in the Empire proper, and these were the first to speak the Tau language as their mother tongue. Their knowledge of the native language was retained however, which was extremely useful. They were recruited for their loyalty and their skills. All of which was about to be put to the test. The ship lurched briefly, and Kaishi knew they were now in orbit above the planet.
The invasion had begun.

________


Inquisitor Ferenz Talan stood over the corpse of the Warboss Nekchoka, breathing deeply. The smell of sizzled Ork flesh, while unpleasant, signalled the end of the foul creature’s life, as its head had dissolved in a wave of superheated gas. The boss’ personal entourage of assorted Orks stood in stunned silence, amazed at the result of the duel.

The infighting came only when Roxana jumped down from the hole in the roof, bolt pistol and chainsword at the ready. The biggest Orks immediately began a fistfight worthy of any hiver-gang bar brawl. Talan grinned, and immediately jumped in, mace swinging, as the lesser Orks fled. Roxana shot them in the backs, and joined the close quarters fight.

________

In the end, any Ork that could have plausibly commanded the attack force had been eliminated from the equation. Aelian returned to his information gathering, while Roxana and Talan returned to the capital‘s high class district. The social was going ahead now that the enemy presence had been reduced to low level fighting, as the Governor had refused to believe that more xenos could be present in the system. The man liked parties a little too much, which would not bode well if it endangered Imperial interests. Of course, it would be Talan who decided where those interests lay.

“I can’t believe you went toe-to-toe with a warboss,” Roxana said flatly as they entered their hotel room, “Who do you think you are, Commissar Cain?”

Talan found himself amused at the reference to a hero of the Imperium, who had famously duelled a war boss during the Siege of Perlia among other numerous achievements. Talan found something off with him, but then, as one of Inquisitor Vail’s acolytes, that wasn’t unusual. Only the Emperor only knew what she needed him for. Regardless, the decision to fight the warboss personally had been necessary, in order to avoid a withering counterattack.

Talan inspected the room as he shed his bloodstained armour. The blue carpet and wood panelling gave off a low sort of luxury, and the closet was empty. The drinks cabinet was respectably full however, to the Inquisitor’s relief. His heart almost stopped after he noticed the double bed in the middle of the room.

“Something wrong?” said Roxana, taking off her own bloodied fatigues to reveal a white undershirt that hugged her features in ways that astounded male senses. Talan was almost embarrassed at the woman’s not-so-subtle actions. Almost.

“Nothing,” he said, sitting on the bed, “Just wondering what your intentions are exactly with this?”
He thumbed at the bed.

“All in good time,” Roxana replied, undressing herself further behind the Inquisitor‘s back, “Remember the first time we met?”
“It’s a bit hard to forget when a genestealer tries to eat you on your first cult discovery as an Inquisitor,” Talan said, re-examining his memory in his head.
“Good,” said the rogue trader, and inspected herself in the mirror.

Talan grabbed his own formalwear and changed in the bathroom. He exited wearing a black casual suit with Roxana’s trade logo on the jacket, under his highly decorated combat webbing, which contained his meltagun and mace. Rogue traders were armed at all times where possible, after all.

The sight when he left the bathroom would be the envy of many. Roxana had changed into a deep red dress, which hugged her form somewhat, but left enough to the imagination to be considered highly respectable. Strategically placed rubies studded the material, giving it a rigidity in places, and the cloth reached the floor easily. All in all, it complimented the rogue trader’s natural beauty very well.

“How do I look?” she asked.
Talan decided not to play her game, despite his instincts stirring strongly against his decision, and simply shrugged.

___________________ __________________

The trip to the reception hall was quiet, as both the Inquisitor and the Rogue Trader lost themselves in thought. The groundcar finally pulled up to the doors, and the two stepped inside. The high glass ceiling was supported by elaborately decorated metal pillars, which seemed to pierce the wooden floor like stalagmites. The walls were draped with the heraldry and colours of the colonial noble class, and the party was in full swing, as there was much chatter that almost drowned out the music.

Talan walked a step or two behind Roxana in keeping with their cover, until they reached the chief servant.

“Captain Bactriana and escort,” the chief announced, which caused many heads to turn in the direction of the pair. Among them was Colonel Mieza, who immediately dropped her jaw at the sight of two newcomers.

“Oh frak,” Talan muttered to himself, which earned him a glance from Roxana.
“I’ll see you later then,” she said, in a tone that could have been either hostility or impatience.

Talan wandered over to Mieza‘s position near the wine table, negotiating the gaps between talkative noblemen with practiced ease. She was wearing full dress uniform, which enhanced her beauty a tad more than a dress would have in Talan’s opinion. The bolt pistol at her side was ornate as usual.

“Who is that?” Artemis asked.
“An agent of mine,” he replied, “Have you talked to the governor?”
“He hasn’t shown up yet, but sent word ahead to start regardless,” she said, noticing the clear change of subject, “What’s she do?”

“She distracts noblemen while I eavesdrop,” Talan whispered into her ear, and then kissed her on the cheek. The Colonel seemed to relax afterwards, though not by much, keeping her eyes firmly on the rogue trader.

Talan retrieved a glass of wine, and sipped it casually as he waited for the Governor to show up.
He turned away, and eavesdropped on two Administratum adepts for a few minutes, pretending to speak to Artemis. They were talking about the administration of the native areas, which Talan found amusing for a little while until he received a tap on the shoulder.

Roxana was behind him, some sycophants and/or admirers in tow. Artemis seemed to be just as ambushed as Talan was.

“Darling, aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend?” Roxana started, two fingers touching Talan on the shoulder.

“Eh, certainly,” Talan said slowly, “Artemis, this is Roxana Bactriana, captain of a fringe trade ship with the Lue Trading Guild. Roxana, this is Colonel Artemis Mieza of the 16th Berdamian Armoured Regiment, his Majesty’s Imperial Guard.”

The two women made to shake hands, but were interrupted as one of the adepts suddenly swung a sword between them. The pair dodged it admirably. Talan immediately struck with his mace, forcing the traitor back. The rogue trader and the colonel, their hands already at their weapons before the attack, instantly gunned the man down with twin barks of their bolt pistols. Panic erupted as nobles and waiters alike rushed the doors to get out.

The three glanced between each other, and then around the room. Against the tide of escaping civilians, a few people were making directly for Talan, melee weapons in hand.

“I suspect our cover is blown,” he said.
________

Offline Gornon

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 18th December
« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2010, 04:02:53 PM »
Looks good so far.  I must admit, though, the part about fighting the Orks seemed to be from a different Chapter.  I don't understand what was going on there.  Last we saw the Inquisitor, he was nowhere near the front lines.  Then, suddenly, he's battling a Warboss?  It seemed a sudden shift, though the actual content, as with the rest of the story, was fine.

Also, you know that saying about buying a red car and seeing red cars?  I just finished reading that scene in Duty Calls, never having read that story before, when I read your post.
"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."
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"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-Carl von Clausewitz, Prussian Military Theorist

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Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 18th December
« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2010, 10:58:56 PM »
The Ork scene is just to show what Talan had gotten up to while the Tau were planning/preparing etc.

What's all this about red cars lol

Offline Gornon

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 18th December
« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2010, 01:23:05 AM »
"When you buy a red car, all you see on the road are red cars".  I literally just finish reading about Cain's fight with a Warboss and then you reference it.  I found it strange and that saying popped into my head.
"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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Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 18th December
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2011, 10:03:58 PM »
The ballroom was a complete shambles. The corpses of about a dozen or so traitors lay strewn about the wooden floor or slumped against the massive metal pillars, all dressed in formal wear now soaked in blood and torn to shreds. The smell was not pleasant either, due to liberal use of a meltagun minutes earlier. The guests had all escaped, which was something to be pleased about.

Inquisitor Ferenz Talan crouched over the nearest body, another Adeptus Administratum official who was dressed appropriately in ink-stained robes, pondering on the latest twist in this incredibly annoying situation. Behind him, Roxana sighed, examining her dress, which now fell only to her thighs after she had ripped it to gain more mobility. She shrugged, then examined her bolt pistol, clearly in the mood for some vengeance.

Beside her, Colonel Mieza busied herself on the comm network, brushing back her long hair as she placed a finger on her earpiece, calling up a Chimera to transport the Inquisitor back to the hotel. Her eyes remained fixed on Roxana, in an expression that Talan couldn't quite place.

Rifling through the adept's pockets, he found nothing unusual, which was unexpected.
"If these men are xenoist infiltrators, they aren't showing it," he concluded aloud, standing up and brushing himself off, "They don't appear to be 'stealer hybrids, though I can't be sure without a gene check."

"And here I was thinking the Tau were our biggest problem," Talan said, pacing to inspect another corpse.
"Why aren't they?" Roxana asked, as Artemis finished her commlink and started listening in.
"There is no way these people would know what our names are, nor have we met them before," Talan explained, "So in order to verify our identity with their masters, and to know when to strike, they should have some sort of communicator."
"Surely they just acted on their own?" Artemis asked, "Why do they need to be in contact with xenos in order to kill you?"

"Because the Tau don't frak without a plan," Talan stated, "They are masters of control that would put psykers to shame."
"Then how do you explain this?" said Roxana, waving her pistol around the room.
Talan shrugged, and turned to Artemis to ask her something, but found her looking shocked.

She was clearly listening to something on her commbead.
"What?" asked Roxana, noticing the Colonel's behaviour.

"Three Tau battleships just appeared out of nowhere, with a large escort fleet," she said quickly, continuing to listen,
"The SDF are being overwhelmed, and the xenos are making their way towards low orbit."
Talan immediately understood why Artemis was shocked, the Tau had executed a masterstroke.

"How long until they're in range to launch landing craft to our position?" Talan asked Roxana, who was in contact with her own ship in orbit as soon as she had heard the word 'fleet'. "They're in range already, but they won't reach optimal for another 2 hours," she said, "They have detected my ship, it's fleeing."
"They probably won't land forces here until it's destroyed," Talan thought aloud, "They'll take the outer regions first to starve us out."
"What about orbital strikes?" Artemis asked, "They could just eliminate our entire force in minutes!"
"They want the planet intact," Talan stated, "Or at least, they should."

"We have time then," Artemis said, "Let's go."
The trio exited the building, into a waiting Chimera, which soon took off at maximum speed.

___________________ ___________________ ___________________ __________--

Aelian had returned to Ramlas, and went immediately to the bar where he had met Inquisitor Talan and Captain Bactriana. The weather outside was very wet and very windy, and the agent of the Inquisition was glad to be inside. The usual characters were there, mostly FLC guerrillas and the local people who tolerated them. Aelian ordered a drink from the waiter, and sat down in an empty booth amongst the crowded section of the floor. When his drink arrived, he drank deeply, finishing off with a refreshed gasp. His mental exhaustion seemed to evaporate immediately.

The Inquisitor was exactly as he expected. Aelian had found him eccentric the first time he had met him, but seeing his behaviour on the job confirmed his every perception and rumour about Inquisitors. Their dedication bordered on insanity. Talan's acolyte, the beautiful Roxana, had been different though. She enjoyed combat greatly, relishing every swing of her chainsword and every shot of her pistol. Aelian greatly suspected she had been a gang member in some city or another when Talan must have come along.

The agent had also met Colonel Mieza briefly, and could sense the chemistry between the Inquisitor and herself.
"Bastard," Aelian muttered to himself, "Is mad the latest trend with women?"

Aelian was attempting to signal for another drink, but was interrupted by the shriek of aircraft engines outside, which disappeared as suddenly as they had come. The entire bar went brutally silent for a minute, waiting for the sound of explosions or gunfire. Colonial aircraft would often launch airstrikes against the city, on targeted assassination runs, often flying low for accuracy. When the only sound to be heard was continued rainfall, the bar went back to its business, though with somewhat less vigour than before.

His drink arrived soon afterwards, and Aelian flirted with the waitress to take his mind off the ridiculous amount of Ork killing he had done in the day.
Her name was Leila, and apparently she was an FLC fighter, but worked in the bar for money. After her shift ended, she sat down and continued talking with Aelian, who was well pleased with himself as a result. The flirting ended after an hour with a kiss and an address, reminding the agent exactly why he had taken the job in the first place: ninety percent of it was sitting around in bars, talking to people and flirting with younger women.

One of his informants walked into the bar, and sat down beside him.

"Well, what's the damage?" asked Aelian, his mood considerably dampened.
"How long have you been here?" the informant replied, "Do you not know what is going on?"
"...What is going on?" Aelian asked, dreading the answer.

"Dropships have been landing on the outskir.." the man started.
"Ah, I heard them!" Aelian interrupted, "So the colonials are making a move at last?"
"No.."

The bar was informed of the front door swinging open by a massive gust of wind, and every head turned in that direction. Hooded men and women, with their faces covered with the white and black patterned scarf of the FLC, entered the room. Most of the drinkers continued about their business, but Aelian had noticed something, and he began to panic in his mind, struggling to remain calm on the outside.

The newcomers were all armed with pulse rifles.

Their leader got the attention of the entire establishment, pulling her scarf off her face and putting down her hood.
She was quite short, with black hair framing a decent face. Her body was definitely armoured underneath her rain fatigues that were a strange dark blue, but she was quite attractive to behold. Aelian recognised a honeypot when he saw one.

"Our leader, Comrade Yafa, was assassinated by colonial forces this morning, on the orders of the Imperial Guard and the Eccleisarchy!" the woman said,
"All patriots of Falasten are ordered to take up arms immediately!"

A massive uproar began at the news, with many of the armed people coaxing as many metallic sounds out of their weapons as possible to indicate their wish for revenge. People were shouting, extremely angry at the latest development. Aelian started to become very uncomfortable indeed, and his informant left his table for the bathroom.

"Some doubt our strength to defeat the colonial forces, particularly as they have received reinforcements from the tyrants in the Imperium, but know this:
Our comrades from the Tau Empire have arrived, and we shall liberate our system from the tyrannical rule of the colonials forever!"

A great chant went up:
"One, Two, Three, Four, Occupation No More!
Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Frak the Imperial Fascist State!"
« Last Edit: January 12, 2011, 01:33:34 PM by GreaterGoodIreland »

Offline Gornon

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 12th January
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2011, 09:19:59 PM »
Well, now things start to get interesting!  I'll have to wait and see how the action develops, but it looks interesting.  You have the Tau doing Communist 20th century infiltration tactics, which matches how I think they operate if they want to take a more direct approach to invading a world.
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Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 12th January
« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2011, 03:38:46 AM »
The PDF command bunker was a hive of activity. Various subordinates of the systems' numerous military forces flew around the room, dodging their superiors, the communication equipment lining the walls and the large holoprojector in the centre of the room. Techpriests stood around it, chanting in their ancient technological tongue, the mechanical augmentations that had been grafted onto their bodies making them look as much as part of the projector as human. The PDF commanders stood to the side. These men seemed to have gained their posts once they reached a certain weight, though the scars they displayed indicated that they were not entirely without experience. Most of them wore the colourful uniform of the Mordian style, which probably explained the current situation.

Colonel Artemis Mieza of the 16th Berdam Armoured Regiment, stared intently past the clutter of techpriests into the hard eyes of her counterpart. Like the PDF commanders, he too had donned dress uniform, but kept his cap on so that his shaved head remained hidden. Mieza found her green eyes locked firmly on the deep blue, ragged irises of this person.

Prelate-Colonel Jerwalt, commander of the 77th Mordian Iron Guard, returned the Berdamian's stare with freezing contempt.

The two colonels could not have come from a more opposing set of cultures. Berdam coped with the horrors of unending war by engaging in pleasure and fun wherever possible, its cathedrals playing host to massive night celebrations and revelry, as the citizens dedicated their unending festivals to the Emperor himself. Berdam wanted for nothing either, having many resources to sustain its population. Mordian, on the other hand, was dominated by autocratic rulers that ruled through steel-like discipline, cracking down on the slightest infraction with the highest penalties available. The planet itself, tide-locked towards its star, was not prosperous beyond the highly-coordinated troops it provided.

It was apparent that the Eccleisarchy had called in this man through their Administratum contacts, as soon as the Falasten Liberation Coalition had started to fight the colonial governor's rule, and so gave the Tau a perfect opportunity.

"Colonel, the governor placed military affairs of this system in my hands several months ago," Jerwalt began, pre-empting Mieza's start,
"My regiment have been here, training the local PDF and fighting these heretics on a daily basis. I am in command."

"As I have said, I have the authorisation of the Inquisition to be here," Mieza responded, "I am not subject to your authority."
"Yes, and where is the good Inquisitor?" the Prelate-Colonel asked, "He has not graced us with his presence, I am beginning to wonder whether he exists or not."

Mieza suddenly burst out laughing, much to the Mordian's disconcertment.

"You'll meet him soon enough," she replied, wondering how Talan would execute the pompous fool, "I suggest you treat me with a little more respect in the mean time."

"Your regiment deserves whatever respect I choose to give it," Jerwalt replied, "Given your clear lack of discipline, and the mannerisms of your planet, I'm surprised the Munitorum saw fit to tithe from your system at all."

"Bark all you want about my planet, we will be counterattacking against the xenos immediately," said Mieza, a wolf's grin plastered to her face.
"If you can get there in time," replied the Mordian.

"What do you mean by that?" Mieza asked, her grin disappearing.
"The Tau offered battle relatively easily," replied Jerwalt, "The PDF will engage them within minutes."

Just then, the techpriests finally managed to get the holoprojector working, which immediately started displaying the open fields to the north of Ramlas, along with many icons displaying the positions of the Imperial troops and the enemy.

"We'll see if your Inquisitor is in any position to act on your behalf when I steal victory from under your feet," stated Jerwalt blandly as he started to inspect the positions of his troops.


___________________ ___________________ __________________


The railgun is a fine weapon, but the strength of the Tau Empire is in the Fire Warrior and their pulse rifle.
Personal Meditations of Shas'O Tau'n Len'ra Mesme'or'es

The rain beat the ground like Demuirg drummers during a parade, heavily and rapidly, creating a beating noise as it struck the grass and mud. The open field, usually calm and empty, had become a staging ground. The last Orca dropships were dusting off, having delivered their deadly cargo to the outskirts of Ramlas. Squads of human troopers, speaking in Tau and carrying their pulse rifles, secured the perimeter with efficiency, creating killzones in the areas most likely to see enemy action. Hammerhead tanks, hovering off the ground and bearing ion cannons, hummed slowly as they manoeuvred into supporting positions.

Shas'O Mesme, her battlesuit landing softly after another enjoyable high altitude jump, turned to her bodyguard and nodded, the exoskeletal suit repeating her movements exactly. After receiving a nod back, she listened to the comms network, receiving reports from her Pathfinders.

"Shas'O, the guerrillas are taking the city," reported El'ka via the relay, "Ramlas is now ours."
Mesme turned in the direction of the fighting, and did indeed see the blue flashes of pulse rifle fire dying down significantly.
The decision to arm the sympathetic population had paid handsome dividends.

"Mesme, I'm receiving reports of a large military force approaching from the direction of the capital," Kaishi said,
"Consisting mostly of infantry with some heavy weapons support."

"No tanks?" Mesme asked, "Reports indicated that the Imperial Guard had landed armour."
"They appear to be colonial troops," Kaishi explained, "We have a video link now."

Mesme opened the video link and her vision was soon filled with that of a Pathfinder's camera footage.

The humans were uniformed colourfully, banners and flags waving in the wind, seemingly ignoring the rain as if it wasn't there. They marched in columns in tight formation, as if they were on parade. Alongside them, teams carrying lascannons marched in similar manner. However, the number of troops approaching was quite overwhelming; The entire continental infantry seemed to have been mustered for this attack.

The Tau commander was amused at the sight of it. She had expected that the arrival of Imperial Guard forces would have put some sense into the system's commanders, but clearly there were some internal divisions within the human tyrants' command structure.

"Shas'vre, the gue'la wish to go muzzle to muzzle with us in an open field," Mesme said calmly, "Let's indulge them."
"Yes, Shas'O," replied Kaishi.[/font]

Offline Gornon

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 16th February
« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2011, 09:52:57 PM »
Ahh, a big battle.  Fair enough.  Let's see how badly the PDF get mauled.

So, the PDF is Mordian trained, if I am reading it correct?  If that is the case, I expect the PDF and Mordians to get mauled.  Mordians are great against zerg rushers, like Tyranids, Orks, angry mobs, or Daemons (who the fight a lot in the background or background images).  Rank and file tactics are great against those armies.  Against Tau?  Not so much.  I.G. need mass armored/mobile or artillery forces there.
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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 February
« Reply #37 on: February 17, 2011, 04:54:18 AM »
Ahh, a big battle.  Fair enough.  Let's see how badly the PDF get mauled.

So, the PDF is Mordian trained, if I am reading it correct?  If that is the case, I expect the PDF and Mordians to get mauled.  Mordians are great against zerg rushers, like Tyranids, Orks, angry mobs, or Daemons (who the fight a lot in the background or background images).  Rank and file tactics are great against those armies.  Against Tau?  Not so much.  I.G. need mass armored/mobile or artillery forces there.

I'm not even sure there has ever been mention of Mordian guard facing Tau before.
Probably for good reason.

Offline GreaterGoodIreland

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 16th February
« Reply #38 on: April 9, 2011, 01:23:33 PM »
Mieza watched the scene unfold on the holoprojector, fixated on a field located several hundred kilometres away. Jerwalt, the arrogant Prelate-Colonel, did the same, though was considerably more chatty, issuing orders almost constantly and punctuating them with predictions of massacring both heretic and xenos alike. The droning of the techpriests had died down significantly, the machine spirits calmed and appeased with little difficulty, though there was an occasional outburst of babbling when the image became fuzzy.

The Berdamian was apprehensive, having ordered her regiment to stay in the capital city so that it wouldn't be defenceless against a Tau orbital drop. Her confidence in the Mordians and the colonials was minimal, considering the way they operated. The battle was a mere moment away from raging with ferocity unseen, and she was sitting in a bunker with fat idiots, rather than a tank on the front line.

The double metal doors opened violently, slamming against the walls and sending attendants scattering away. Inquisitor Ferenz Talan of the Ordo Xenos, Mieza's lover and longstanding opponent of Tau interests, stood in the doorway looking very unamused. The powermace that would normally be found swinging at his hip was in his hand, crackling with energy. Jerwalt, a man usually unperturbed by violence, looked genuinely surprised. The Inquisitor marched over to the Mordian and stood about an inch from the man's face.

"What in the name of the Emperor have you been doing?" he growled, "You have jeopardised the entire system."
"Inquisitor Talan, I presume?" Jerwalt replied, recovering well from his initial shock.
"I might as well be Lord Macharius himself, as far as you're concerned," Talan replied sharply, "Explain the situation. Now."
Jerwalt nodded, clearing wanting to defuse the situation.

The pair turned towards the holoprojector.
Mieza's wolf-grin had returned, to Jerwalt's great discomfort and Talan's amusement.

The Mordian quickly started explaining.

"Our forces have met the enemy in the open field around Ramlas," Jerwalt said reluctantly,
"Our battle lines are drawn and the enemy has responded by moving their infantry into a similar formation parallel to ours. Reports indicate that there are minimal Tau forces present and that the vast majority of the enemy are xeno-sympathisers. We outnumber the enemy significantly to boot. I predict a swift victory after which we can clear Ramlas and purge it of any Xenos we do find."

Jerwalt's confidence seemed to be building, considering the great advantageous position he thought he found himself in.

"Retreat immediately, Ramlas is lost and you've left the entire continent with only one Imperial Guard regiment as a defence," Talan ordered.
"But we can smash the guerrillas and the Tau here!" Jerwalt protested loudly, "Are you a coward?!"
"I ordered you to retreat!" Talan shouted.

The Prelate-Colonel drew his laspistol and pointed it towards the Inquisitor, who responded by pointing his meltagun in the opposite direction.
"Cowards die in shame," Jerwalt said, "I will not yield to a coward and let heresy take this planet!"
The various attendants of the room soon got their own weapons ready, with the Berdamian contingent facing off against the Mordians with everything from a sniper rifle to stools.

"Quite the Necromundian standoff we have here," said Talan, his hands steadying his meltagun.
Using his free hand to press down a comms button, Jerwalt gave his order.
"All units, attack."


___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________

The Second Battle of Ramlas was so decisive in deciding the first part of the war, that the Imperials' tactics had to shift completely to even begin to deal with the popular uprising. All I can say is that I'm happy we won and served the Greater Good.
- Gue'vesa'vre Mont'yr Leila Badel

The sky had lightened slightly as the rain stopped over the open fields, but the low hanging clouds still made the spacious environment seem almost claustrophobic. Luckily, the drainage in the fields was excellent, or this battle would have been a lot more complicated than it needed to be.

Shas'O Mesme inspected her forces via recon drone link. She had sent her heavy support away, so that they would be fresh for when the Imperial armour eventually came to seek battle.

Directly in front of her however, stood the gue'vesa'la, the human soldiers of the Tau Empire. They were mostly locals, armed with lasguns and some pulse weapons given to them by the liberation army. These warriors had formed loose lines, inciting the enemy to attack.  They were out for blood this day, vengeance for generations of occupation. Their flag, a black, white and red tricolour, could be seen with each unit, as could the distinctive patterned scarf around each trooper's neck. Alongside them, the troops of the Serra'shan'al, dressed in deep blue urban camouflage, bearing the most advanced weaponry and body armour, stood in disciplined columns, ready for the order to attack. They fought for the Greater Good, rather than vengeance, and would form the military backbone of the coming assault.

"We're ready," Kaishi reported, landing beside his commander.
Mesme nodded, satisfied with the situation and glad to away from politics on the flagship.

In the distance, the enemy was arranged in firing ranks, reminding Mesme of the ancient depictions of Fire Caste warriors in the wars during the Mont'au, the time before the Ethereals came to save the Tau race. She couldn't help but think that they were truly fighting against the evils of division and stagnation.

Her comms buzzed to life in her head.
"Shas'O, we have intercepted a message, the enemy are proceeding to attack," stated a Pathfinder hidden somewhere ahead.
"All La'rua, advance!" she ordered in reply.

The entire line began to advance, the ancient battle songs of Falasten beginning to be sung as the pace picked up. The enemy too had begun their attack, moving up at a slower pace to put their weapons at optimum range. Soon, the shooting started. The Tau shot first, with the locals firing continuously and the more disciplined Tau-born squads advancing as another fired to cover them.

"Mesme, the gue'la are going to be in range soon," Kaishi reminded his friend.
"Y'eldi, now!" Mesme ordered, taking heed of the advice.

Suddenly, a flight of Tiger Sharks appeared overhead, dropping out of the low clouds. These jet black birds of death swooped over the enemy lines, burst cannons chattering, dropping a particularly deadly cargo. The first few aircraft had dropped marker drones, which hovered above the enemy, designating enemy officers, heavy weapons teams and specialists. The rest of the Sharks dropped kles'tak drones, mini-drones containing high explosives with tracking systems.

The explosions were timed to coincide exactly, and the many hundreds of detonations combined to crack open the PDF and Mordian units like an Ork chomping on a Squig's head. All the enemy heavy weapons were turned into scrap metal, the enemy command structure shattered and at least one in three of the soldiers being blown apart.  A great roar went up from the Falasten natives, and the order to charge was given. From a march, the entire Tau line went into a sprint, a torrent of lasfire and pulsefire pouring from it.

Mesme and Kaishi, their battlesuits being much more mobile than the footsloggers, activated their suits' jetpacks and jumped straight into the middle of the enemy.
Their flamethrowers were immediately burning up entire squads of the enemy, while their missile pods fired repeatedly at enemy guardsmen at a distance. After a minute of sheer slaughter, the PDF started to flee.

"All la'rua, do not pursue, return to," Mesme ordered, fending off a priest with a swipe of her armoured arm, "Y'eldi, destroy what's left of them."
Confirmation of the orders came as the fire from the ground ceased and the fire from the air started in earnest. The rest of the Serra'shan'al fighter-bomber wing swooped in like Kroot after a decent meal, tearing the retreating colonials to pieces.

A victory which would go down as one of the finest Mon'wern'a, or deceptive assaults, in Tau military history.
« Last Edit: April 9, 2011, 10:02:54 PM by GreaterGoodIreland »

Offline Sheepz

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Re: Shadows of the Mont'ka Tau Fiction - UPDATED 9th April
« Reply #39 on: April 9, 2011, 07:35:51 PM »
It's good. I admit, I have not given it the due attention it deserves, only reading some of the more recent entires - which kind of undermines the point I'm about to make, I suppose.

My only concern is the number of PoV's coming in. You've got Chaos characters, Imperial ones, and Tau ones, which can lead to a bit of a confusing picture for the reader. Remember, we don't know the characters as well as you, their motivations or final place in the story. Having a lot going on is fine, but you don't want it getting too confusing.

Anyway, it's an interesting story and I really enjoyed the bits I've read. Looking forward to how it pans out.

 


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