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View Full Version : Da Red Gobbo's story (need a title + opinions)



Forgotmytea
04-05-2005, 09:56
Thanks to encouraging words from Xhalax, I've decided to put one of my rather craptastic stories on here. Feel free to be critical about it - I'd appreciate any help making it less cheesy ;). So, here goes...

Shells flew in all directions, streaking across the skies like avenging comets. The sound of gunfire chattered across the field, punctured by the occasional blast of an ordinance weapon pounding its deadly payload into the opposition. Sergeant Gideon scrambled into the cover of a ruin, motioning for the rest of his squad to follow. He clutched his Lasgun in sweaty hands, his breathing fast. Mud and blood was splattered across his breastplate and armour, and the once green fields below his feet were now a quagmire of blood, body parts and mud. The four other members of his squad scrambled into cover after him. His squad had started off as part of an armoured convoy, intended to punch a hole in the Cultist’s lines, thereby opening the way for the infantry to advance. However, it was only when they were halfway to the Chaos lines that they realised it was not simply a group of fanatical cultists they were fighting. Imperial heavy weapons had opened up on them, and they had seen Imperial Guardsmen in the enemy lines, their armour now painted a dark blue and covered in spikes and obscene symbols of Chaos. The smouldering wreak of their Chimera was now about 2 feet behind them, along with the corpses of the members of his squad who hadn’t had the time to get into cover. It had now transpired that the enemy had at least one Leman Russ, and reports indicated they were bringing up Basilisk support to replace the cultist’s crude bomb launchers. Gideon was very glad of Ochon and his meltagun, for if there was enemy armour being mobilised against them, they would need it. They had been forced to advance across this death-trap, with the threats of Commissar Poole still ringing in their ears.

More shots rang off the ruins, sending splinters of stone flying in all directions. Doyle stuck his Lasgun over the top to let off a salvo, and was rewarded with a responding salvo of heavy stubber shells, forcing him to duck down again. Gideon pulled out a grenade, pulling out the pin before hurling it over the ruins. A dull crump and screams announced that he had hit something.

“Advance! For the Emperor!” he yelled, leaping up and sprinting forward. A hail of shots rang out, and he saw Bithr fall, his body suspended by the amount of shots pouring into it. But then he and the other three Guardsmen were in cover again, crouching like rats in a trap behind the Chimera of the now-dead 3rd Squad.

The vox-link crackled, before bursting into life. “…. Marines headed your way! Also, we have conformation that there are at least three Chaos Space Marines in the trenches! The Commissar says to keep advancing like men of the Emperor, and he’ll execute any who desert by his own hand! Good luck!...” Gideon swore, before turning to his men. “Well, men, we have no way to get back to our lines. We’d get blown to pieces as we ran. So, we can either hide here like rats waiting for those thrice-damned Chaos Basilisks to hit us, or for the Chaos Marines to advance and find us, or we can fight like men of the Emperor and take down as many of these Chaos bastards as we can. What do you say?” His men looked around warily, as if they weren’t sure which was the lesser of the two evils. Then Doyle spoke up. “We’re with you all the way, Sir!” However, he still couldn’t quite keep the fear out of his voice. “If anyone wants to stay here and get captured and dragged off to one of their foul sacrificial altars to be sacrificed to one of their false Gods, I quite understand” Gideon said, “and you can stay here, while we charge them and die like men.” That got the rest of the squad round to his point of view. “Ready?” he asked.

Yelling oaths and linaties, the four Guardsmen ran forward, shells exploding all around them. Las-shots flew past them, and rocket launchers blasted craters next to them, sending earth flying in all directions. Yet somehow they carried on, unscathed, charging into the chaos worshippers, almost as if the Emperor himself was guiding them and ruining the cultist’s aim. Bayonets fixed to their rifles, they leapt into the enemy trenches, spearing the first four defenders. Slinging aside his Lasgun, Gideon drew his Chainsword and Autopistol, firing a burst of shots into the first Cultist’s face. Chainsword whirring, he slashed at another cultist, who leapt back to avoid having his guts ripped out by the spinning teeth. As the cultist regained his balance, Gideon lunged forward, his Chainsword taking the cultist through the chest. He spun round, slashing the spinning teeth of his sword across the face of another, who fell backwards, screaming, his face a bloody, pulpy mess. However, despite the momentum of the attack, the four men were soon surrounded by a mass of cultists. As they fought, covered in cuts and wounds, with their backs to the trench wall, they saw the menacing dark shape of a Chaos Marine pushing his way through the Cultists to them, human heads adorning his banner poles attached to his back. Suddenly the whole ground shook, sending even the Chaos marine to his knees. Gideon, his squad and the cultists were all floored by the violent tremor. Gideon thought, “By the Emperor! What foul weapon have they mobilized against us?” But, then, to his disbelief, he saw what had caused the tremor.

Six Space Marines, armoured in black with black trim, and with the white image of a dragon on their shoulder pads, stormed into the trenches. Blazing with their Boltguns, they cut a swathe through the Cultists. As Gideon watched in amazement, the Chaos Space Marine pounded forward, chainsword in hand. But then the Black Dragon Sergeant stepped forward to meet him, drawing his own chainsword. Gideon and his squad could only watch in utter amazement as the Black Dragons Sergeant and the Chaos Marine exchanged blows. Much faster than any normal man could attack, they fought with utter hatred for each other. Their Chainswords clashed again and again, sending teeth flying off. The Chaos Space Marine’s bare face was contorted in fury, his lips twisted back in an animalistic snarl. The Black Dragon Sergeant’s face was impassive due to the helmet, but his blows were full of rage and malice as the two Marines fought. They kept hacking at each other, putting all their God-like strength into every blow. Fighting in this style would have a normal man panting for breath and unable to lift his sword within minutes, but these were not normal men. Sparks flew as their swords crashed together again, both equally hacking, slashing and blocking the others blows. But, it was obvious the Black Dragon was superior. Swinging his chainsword down, he sliced off the Chaos Marine’s left arm at the elbow, leaving a bleeding stump. His next swing took off the Chaos Marine’s chainsword hand, and his final blow decapitated the traitor, his headless corpse falling into the mud. The Cultists and renegade guardsmen were already falling back, but could not get far – the trenches were thin, and the Marines poured bolter fire into them, accompanied by a spurt of flame from a Space Marine with a flamer. Gideon was still in shock as the Sergeant turned to him, his chainsword still splattered in blood and ichor.

“Greetings, Sergeant” he intoned in a deep, resonating voice. “Do you serve the Emperor?”

“Yes, My Lord” replied Gideon.

“Are you ready to enforce His will?”

“Yes, My Lord” replied Gideon.

“Are you ready to exact justice in His name?”

“Yes, My Lord” replied Gideon, once again.

“Then let us burn these traitors, and send them screaming into Hell together. Marines, advance! Sergeant, follow us and together we will cleanse this world.” With that, the Black Dragon Sergeant turned and strode deeper into the Trenches, his men effortlessly forming up behind him. Gideon and the remainder of his squad instantaneously followed them, heading deeper into the trenches.

Any thoughts? BTW, I also still need a title :o.

*EDIT* Updated the story a bit :).

ArkhathBeltaine
05-05-2005, 09:10
The trick to writing stand-alone short stories is focus. If you don't have your focus clear, you end up with ongoing serial stories like Xhalek's and mine. A story about one squad of imperial guardsmen fighting in a planetwide battle is good. I think having the ending of the story encompass the ending of the entire battle for the planet is reaching a bit too far. Ending it without the last two lines and instead leaving it open ended would be perfect.

I really liked how Doyle stood up and backed the sergeant. That's great characterization, and having realistic characters that the reader can understand and get aquainted with is important to a story. Even more characterization would be great.

Your descriptions of the duel between the Black Dragon and the Chaos Marine were nice and vivid. I especially liked the three-stroke ending. That was a choice bit. Vivid descriptions make it easier for the reader to see as they are reading what you're seeing as you're writing.

I would suggest you take a look at any novel on your shelf and see how the dialog breaks up the paragraph structure. Having dialog in the body of a paragraph causes the importance of the dialog to blend into the action of the paragraph.

All in all, good stuff. Keep writing and you'll find your work will get better and better. And never let criticism get you down. If it's constructive, listen to it and give it a think. If it's just some jackleg talking crap, ignore it; they can go sit in the milk.

Forgotmytea
05-05-2005, 12:13
The trick to writing stand-alone short stories is focus. If you don't have your focus clear, you end up with ongoing serial stories like Xhalek's and mine. A story about one squad of imperial guardsmen fighting in a planetwide battle is good. I think having the ending of the story encompass the ending of the entire battle for the planet is reaching a bit too far. Ending it without the last two lines and instead leaving it open ended would be perfect.

Yeah, I thoguht it was cheesy. I try to focus on how the Maarines are fluff-wise, where a squad of 5 can fight off whole cultist armies, but I think I went a bit too far at the end. I've cut off the cheese, all I need now is to either leave it like that, or give some indication that the Imperium wins. Desicions, desicions....


I really liked how Doyle stood up and backed the sergeant. That's great characterization, and having realistic characters that the reader can understand and get aquainted with is important to a story. Even more characterization would be great.

Thanks! :) I'll try and make some of the other Guardsmen more characterful as well when I get time...


Your descriptions of the duel between the Black Dragon and the Chaos Marine were nice and vivid. I especially liked the three-stroke ending. That was a choice bit. Vivid descriptions make it easier for the reader to see as they are reading what you're seeing as you're writing.

I would suggest you take a look at any novel on your shelf and see how the dialog breaks up the paragraph structure. Having dialog in the body of a paragraph causes the importance of the dialog to blend into the action of the paragraph.

Yeah, those paragraphs were a little bit too long (sligh understatement there :p). I've cut them up a bit now, what do you think?


All in all, good stuff. Keep writing and you'll find your work will get better and better. And never let criticism get you down. If it's constructive, listen to it and give it a think. If it's just some jackleg talking crap, ignore it; they can go sit in the milk.

Thanks for the advice - very gratefully recieved, and it definetly falls into the former catagory :).

rogal_dorn
06-05-2005, 02:48
Eh, when I saw the thread title I thought this was about Da Red Gobbo. Otherwise it's good, the Red Gobbo would have been better though.

Forgotmytea
06-05-2005, 11:25
Sorry. Should've picked a different username.... :p

But, I'm currently halfway through making the other guardsmen more like Doyle. I'll update it when I finish...

Thanks for the compliments - I'll try and write a story about Da Red Gobbo for you sometime... :)

Forgotmytea
09-05-2005, 11:02
I really liked how Doyle stood up and backed the sergeant. That's great characterization, and having realistic characters that the reader can understand and get aquainted with is important to a story. Even more characterization would be great.

Added in more characterisation - any opinions?

Shells flew in all directions, streaking across the skies like avenging comets. The sound of gunfire chattered across the field, punctured by the occasional blast of an ordinance weapon pounding its deadly payload into the opposition. Sergeant Gideon scrambled into the cover of a ruin, motioning for the rest of his squad to follow. He clutched his Lasgun in sweaty hands, his breathing fast. Mud and blood was splattered across his breastplate and armour, and the once green fields below his feet were now a quagmire of blood, body parts and mud. The four other members of his squad scrambled into cover after him. His squad had started off as part of an armoured convoy, intended to punch a hole in the Cultist’s lines, thereby opening the way for the infantry to advance. However, it was only when they were halfway to the Chaos lines that they realised it was not simply a group of fanatical cultists they were fighting. Imperial heavy weapons had opened up on them, and they had seen Imperial Guardsmen in the enemy lines, their armour now painted a dark blue and covered in spikes and obscene symbols of Chaos. The smouldering wreak of their Chimera was now about 2 feet behind them, along with the corpses of the members of his squad who hadn’t had the time to get into cover. It had now transpired that the enemy had at least one Leman Russ, and reports indicated they were bringing up Basilisk support to replace the cultist’s crude bomb launchers. Gideon was very glad of Ochon and his meltagun, for if there was enemy armour being mobilised against them, they would need it. They had been forced to advance across this death-trap, with the threats of Commissar Poole still ringing in their ears.

More shots rang off the ruins, sending splinters of stone flying in all directions. Doyle stuck his Lasgun over the top to let off a salvo, and was rewarded with a responding salvo of heavy stubber shells, forcing him to duck down again. Gideon pulled out a grenade, pulling out the pin before hurling it over the ruins. A dull crump and screams announced that he had hit something.

“Advance! For the Emperor!” he yelled, leaping up and sprinting forward. A hail of shots rang out, and he saw Bithr fall, his body suspended by the amount of shots pouring into it. But then he and the other three Guardsmen were in cover again, crouching like rats in a trap behind the Chimera of the now-dead 3rd Squad.

The vox-link crackled, before bursting into life. “…. Marines headed your way! Also, we have conformation that there are at least three Chaos Space Marines in the trenches! The Commissar says to keep advancing like men of the Emperor, and he’ll execute any who desert by his own hand! Good luck!...” Gideon swore, before turning to his men. “Well, men, we have no way to get back to our lines. We’d get blown to pieces as we ran. So, we can either hide here like rats waiting for those thrice-damned Chaos Basilisks to hit us, or for the Chaos Marines to advance and find us, or we can fight like men of the Emperor and take down as many of these Chaos bastards as we can. What do you say?” His men looked around warily, as if they weren’t sure which was the lesser of the two evils. Then Doyle spoke up. “We’re with you all the way, Sir!” However, he still couldn’t quite keep the fear out of his voice. “If anyone wants to stay here and get captured and dragged off to one of their foul sacrificial altars to be sacrificed to one of their false Gods, I quite understand” Gideon said, “and you can stay here, while we charge them and die like men.” That got the rest of the squad round to his point of view. “Ready?” he asked.

Yelling oaths and linaties, the four Guardsmen ran forward, shells exploding all around them. Las-shots flew past them, and rocket launchers blasted craters next to them, sending earth flying in all directions. Yet somehow they carried on, unscathed, charging into the chaos worshippers, almost as if the Emperor himself was guiding them and ruining the cultist’s aim. Bayonets fixed to their rifles, they leapt into the enemy trenches, spearing the first four defenders. Slinging aside his Lasgun, Gideon drew his Chainsword and Autopistol, firing a burst of shots into the first Cultist’s face. Chainsword whirring, he slashed at another cultist, who leapt back to avoid having his guts ripped out by the spinning teeth. As the cultist regained his balance, Gideon lunged forward, his Chainsword taking the cultist through the chest. He spun round, slashing the spinning teeth of his sword across the face of another, who fell backwards, screaming, his face a bloody, pulpy mess.

Two Traitors ran at him, knives and Laspistols drawn. He fired his Autopistol in full auto into the face of one of them, the traitor’s body jerking like a puppet when it’s strings have been cut. But, the second traitor was on him. He felt spikes from the traitor’s armour dig into his armour as he was slammed to the floor by the charging Chaos-lover. An evil grin split the traitor’s face, his lips curling back to reveal sharpened, white teeth ending in knife-like points. He raised the serrated blade, ready to behead Gideon. However, before the blade fell, N’kar spun round, raising his Autogun, a blaze of bullets ripping into the traitor and blasting him off Gideon. N’kar advanced, a grim look of determination on his face, pouring a stream of fire into the heretic as his body twitched until he was certain he was dead. He extended his hand, pulling Gideon to his feet. Gideon nodded his thanks, making a mental note to recommend N’kar to the Captain if they ever got out of this hell-hole. Joining N’kar, Ochon and Doyle, the four guardsmen fought together, as the traitors and cultists flung themselves at them. However, despite the momentum of the attack, the four men were soon surrounded by a mass of cultists. As they fought, covered in cuts and wounds, with their backs to the trench wall, they saw the menacing dark shape of a Chaos Marine pushing his way through the Cultists to them, human heads adorning his banner poles attached to his back. Suddenly the whole ground shook, sending even the Chaos marine to his knees. Gideon, his squad and the cultists were all floored by the violent tremor. Gideon thought, “By the Emperor! What foul weapon have they mobilized against us?” But, then, to his disbelief, he saw what had caused the tremor.

Six Space Marines, armoured in black with black trim, and with the white image of a dragon on their shoulder pads, stormed into the trenches. Blazing with their Boltguns, they cut a swathe through the Cultists. As Gideon watched in amazement, the Chaos Space Marine pounded forward, chainsword in hand. But then the Black Dragon Sergeant stepped forward to meet him, drawing his own chainsword. Gideon and his squad could only watch in utter amazement as the Black Dragons Sergeant and the Chaos Marine exchanged blows. Much faster than any normal man could attack, they fought with utter hatred for each other. Their Chainswords clashed again and again, sending teeth flying off. The Chaos Space Marine’s bare face was contorted in fury, his lips twisted back in an animalistic snarl. The Black Dragon Sergeant’s face was impassive due to the helmet, but his blows were full of rage and malice as the two Marines fought. They kept hacking at each other, putting all their God-like strength into every blow. Fighting in this style would have a normal man panting for breath and unable to lift his sword within minutes, but these were not normal men. Sparks flew as their swords crashed together again, both equally hacking, slashing and blocking the others blows. But, it was obvious the Black Dragon was superior. Swinging his chainsword down, he sliced off the Chaos Marine’s left arm at the elbow, leaving a bleeding stump. His next swing took off the Chaos Marine’s chainsword hand, and his final blow decapitated the traitor, his headless corpse falling into the mud. The Cultists and renegade guardsmen were already falling back, but could not get far – the trenches were thin, and the Marines poured bolter fire into them, accompanied by a spurt of flame from a Space Marine with a flamer. Gideon was still in shock as the Sergeant turned to him, his chainsword still splattered in blood and ichor.

“Greetings, Sergeant” he intoned in a deep, resonating voice. “Do you serve the Emperor?”

“Yes, My Lord” replied Gideon.

“Are you ready to enforce His will?”

“Yes, My Lord” replied Gideon.

“Are you ready to exact justice in His name?”

“Yes, My Lord” replied Gideon, once again.

“Then let us burn these traitors, and send them screaming into Hell together. Marines, advance! Sergeant, follow us and together we will cleanse this world.” With that, the Black Dragon Sergeant turned and strode deeper into the Trenches, his men effortlessly forming up behind him. Gideon and the remainder of his squad instantaneously followed them, heading deeper into the trenches.

Hell's Angel
26-05-2005, 08:38
The Black Dragon Sergeant’s face was impassive due to the helmet, but his blows were full of rage and malice as the two Marines fought.

avoid using non-descriptive language in your writing.