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ahrimanofprospero
17-09-2010, 22:34
This is my attempt at writing short stories set in the heresy/pre-heresy timeline in just 60 minutes per story. Don't ask me why, I guess extreme boredom at work is my motivation!


It was a rare honour, especially given Artisan Octans' lack of seniority, to be included in the fabrication of such an historic suit of armour. His deftness in the art in acid-etching was without compare but, assured as he was in the quality of his artifice, even he had difficulty in accepting that he was being afforded the honor in inscribing Horus Lupercal's warplate. Loosely modelled around the Terminator template, the Warmaster's carapace was hugely oversized even by Space Marine standards. Octans had been a relatively imposing human before his acceptance into the Mechanicus had made him something more than that, but he still balked at the idea that any human, gene-forged or not, would be able to accommodate what stood before him.

A language wholly unknown to him scrolled across his vision, fed directly into his central nervous system from a remote-linked file so highly classified that he had not been previously aware that its "Level Zero" designation even existed. He dutifully inscribed the unfamiliar glyphs with the love of a craftsman, smoke rising from the ceramite as the acid did its work. The "Brethren", as they had recently designated themselves, were never far away, closely monitoring his progress. They were comprised of the elite of the Forge, their status allowing them to move outside the normal circles of bureaucracy and to complete projects of great import at unheard-of speeds. Horus Lupercal's battle-plate was, to Octans' eyes, the most advanced and ornate that the the Forge had ever produced, and yet they had completed it in around half the time of even a standard Astartes war-suit. He understood that the Great Crusade was moving at remarkable speed, but the haste with which this project had been undertaken had surprised even him. Not only that, but the lack of Imperial heraldry and devotional text was a shock to the dutiful Artisan, his love for the Emperor in His Aspect of the Machine God eclipsing even his love for his artistry. His discomfort was further heightened by fact that he had no idea what the symbols he was inscribing meant.

Titanic shapes shifted restlessly at the corner of his vision; hulking Astartes that seemed only a little less imposing than usual due to the monolithic slab of armour he was tasked with adorning. Of the four warriors, one in the livery of the Word Bearers put Octans most ill at ease. Cycling his augmetic eye out of the microfocus setting that he used for his work, Octans risked a glance at the darkly enigmatic Astartes whose presence set his ,usually somewhat dull, nerves on edge. Rather than staring at him, as Octans had first thought, the Word Bearer was intensely studying the markings, his lips moving faintly as he appeared to be reading the mysterious language. The Astartes' expression reminded the Magos of an expedition he had been tasked with supervising to a scarcely-populated desert world which was rich in the mineral tantalum. The savages they had encountered there worshipped great beasts that burrowed deep into the sand, only emerging once every three years. The Mechanicus' visit had coincided with their barbarous ceremonies, and on each of their faces Octans had seen the ecstasy and madness of their religious fervour. That same expression was now written on what should have been the stoic, implacable visage of one the Emperor's chosen.

Octans suppressed his foreboding and returned to his craft, his snaking mechadendrites reaching out to interface with the suit in order to manipulate its cruel powerclaws into a suitable position for etching. A wall of silence as deafening as a Titan's warhorn assaulted the Artisan, and for a second he thought that his neural augmetics had suffered a catastrophic failure. The hissing of steam and the mechanical clunking that were characteristic of the forge were gone, and as Octans fearfully looked around in his confusion, the eyes of the Word Bearer bored into him, his expression indicating that he knew exactly what was happening to the Artisan. A sensation crept up his spinal column and into his head, and Octans shuddered as the portion of his brain that remained biological felt as though it had been licked by a jungle cat of ancient legend. His mechadendrites recoiled instinctively and the sounds once again flooded in. His body, augmetic and organic alike, felt cold and numb. The shaven-headed Word Bearer nodded to him, gesturing for him to continue his work. It took every ounce of Octans' will to stop his stylus-limb from shaking, the organic portion at his shoulder reeling from the otherworldly touch.

The huge, amber eye fashioned into the Warmaster's chest plate seemed to leer hungrily at the Artisan as he lowered himself down the pneumatic scaffold, the pride he usually felt at the conclusion of his work replaced with a cold emptiness and a deep-seated sense of foreboding. As the Brethren and Astartes pushed past him to gather around the malicious carapace, all Octans could think of were the savages and their sand-dwelling gods, as grief and remorse rose up to envelop him.

Mystic_Weasel
18-09-2010, 17:07
Well, I got here by clicking the link "30K in 60 minutes" (and not knowing it was story/art section was expecting something like small battles using forgeworld marines!).
I think this is actually a solid peice of work, not bad for being inspired by extreme boredom.
Well written, starts and ends at a nice point, good pace throughout and has a real 40k feel to it. I really like your choice of topic too.
you mention stories (as in plural), if you can keep up the quality in future (if you even choose to) then consider me pretty damn impressed.

ahrimanofprospero
18-09-2010, 18:45
Thanks for the kind comments, Mystic_Weasel. I wanted to say in the original post that if you guys liked the idea of these 60 minute works, it might be fun for you to throw a few 30k-related topics at me that I would base the next story/stories around, sort of like a writing challenge.

AD YEAH
19-09-2010, 00:48
like man (:

Son of Sanguinius
20-09-2010, 17:34
Would you mind if we took a crack at it ourselves? There are a multitude of short and critical topics concerning the heresy that I've always wanted to see fleshed out.

ahrimanofprospero
20-09-2010, 19:05
Would you mind if we took a crack at it ourselves? There are a multitude of short and critical topics concerning the heresy that I've always wanted to see fleshed out.

Sure, the more the merrier. I'm limiting myself to an hour for each so perhaps people wanting to do more elaborate/longer/more in-depth 30k fiction could start another thread. Glad this thread piqued your interest.

ahrimanofprospero
21-09-2010, 17:24
I took a little artistic license with the established background in this one, but I hope it entertains nonetheless.

LUCIFER. Seginus Maaz ran a gauntleted finger over each letter inscribed on his zweihander, his power armour so wholly enmeshed with his senses that he fancied he could feel each decade-old groove in the burnished metal. The huge, double-handed power sword had been a gift from the Emperor himself, but the engraving was the work of Seginus alone. Synthetic ray-skin adorned the grip, a nod to the master swordsmiths of old Nippon, and studded along the flat of the blade were crystals said to be imbued with a fragment of the power of the Master of Mankind, his essence harnessed by the arcane science of the Mechanicum in the early years of Unification. In times requiring clarity of mind, the Emperor's Champion studied his weapon as a form of meditation, but in this instance it was doing little to calm his racing thoughts. To be an Emperor's Champion without an emperor was to know what it meant to be truly lost.

Lucifer. The name had held such gravitas for Seginus, for it was only the chosen few who earned personal monikers from the Emperor. He had proved himself on countless battlefields over two centuries, his scintillating martial skill equalled only by his zeal for the Imperium. Kneeling before the Emperor to receive the Champion's laurel wreath had been an experience that had defined him as a warrior, and further ignited his fury to purge the galaxy of the enemies of Terra. The single occasion that he found himself fighting these enemies side by side with the most radiant being in the universe, however, eclipsed even that.

Seginus' usual steely focus had been tested to the limit that day, but not by the horde of baying greenskins that blighted the shores of Abakum. The Emperor had chosen to lead the charge in person that day, and the Champion inwardly reprimanded himself for his quasi-religious fervour when his master first made planetfall. Although His arrival upon the battlefield bore all the hallmarks of teleportation, the characteristic sonic boom and acrid odour were absent, and Seginus did not think it wholly unlikely that the Emperor had indeed made the journey unaided, via some unfathomable means known only to him. Clad in an archaic form of proto-Terminator armour, he shone with a radiance that seemed to emanate from every joint in his golden carapace, his face concealed beneath a helmet that barely peeked out from behind a high gorget. As He descended upon the greenskins in the frothing shallows of Abakum's azure shoreline, Seginus had followed in his wake, his sublime talent for ending lives utterly eclipsed by the image of martial perfection ahead of him. At the conclusion of that blood-soaked day, Seginus had earned the name "Lucifer" because, as his master had said, he had brought the light of the Imperium with him.

Lucifer. The name now hung heavy around his neck, the biblical irony of his fall from grace not lost upon the scholar of ancient Terran religions. The Thunderhawk shook with a fury he had never before witnessed, as he broke from his reverie to look around at his battle brothers, their faces intermittently illuminated by the searing brightness of planetary defence lasers questing through the void in search of their lives. The fighting elite of the Luna Wolves were arrayed around him, Astartes he had fought and bled with for centuries before his legion had turned to the darkness. He had committed much misguided evil in those past, murky years, and now he descended on the throne-world itself like the Lucifer of old Terran religion, shot back to earth from the heavens to bathe in the fires of his hubris. The "Mournival" remained upon the flagship with their twisted master, and the hatred of those entities who had so perverted his gene-father burned in his veins like acid. The bitterness and regret that had lapped at his feet like the frothing tides of Abakum became a solid wave that washed over him with an all-encompassing sadness. Clarity of purpose was finally his and, rising from his restraint throne with a hiss of steam and a squeal of protesting hinges, he embarked on a quest for redemption that he knew would never come. He moved with preturnatural speed, first dispatching the pilot with a bolt-round to the head, his viscera coating the armoured frontal view-port of the troop transport. HIs erstwhile battle-brothers sprang into action, the element of surprise only allowing Seginus to dispatch a single Astartes before he was able to rise, neatly impaling him through the throat with his serrated combat knife. Warning lights lit up his viewfinder, indicating multiple stab-wounds across his body. The Luna Wolves circled the superior warrior like feral dogs, each inflicting small wounds before retreating to as safe a distance as was possible within the cramped cabin.

Deep beneath the surface of the earth below, the Emperor of Mankind allowed his consciousness to spread out into the void above, searching for any tactical advantage that might be gained from trawling the minds of those he found there. Amid the sickening wails of demons and the lurid thoughts of those he once called sons, he discerned a single, pin-prick of light in an otherwise black night. With a thought, he rotated one of the great planetary defence lasers on its axis, willed it to fire, and it was done. Moments before Seginus was blasted to atoms, along with the traitors he so despised, he swore he heard a voice cut through the melee. "Ego te absolvo", it whispered.

GraveHound
23-09-2010, 17:14
jeez man I got to say this is just really good!
Seriously, it's like reading a passage from a book

consider me suscribed
(as a request I'd maybe like to read a real battle taking place, up for that?)

keep 'em coming

ahrimanofprospero
27-09-2010, 01:51
WOAH. At least +8 accel! Hardcore! :rolleyes:

Keep up the good work, ahriman (do you mind if I call you that for short? :) )

Thanks man, Ahriman will do just fine! Going to set aside a sneaky hour in work this Tuesday for the next installment, inspired by Gravehound's suggestion.

bravey
27-09-2010, 13:48
Very cool stuff here! I loved the line "LUCIFER. Seginus Maaz ran a gauntleted finger over each letter inscribed on his zweihander, his power armour so wholly enmeshed with his senses that he fancied he could feel each decade-old groove in the burnished metal."
Very well done.

ahrimanofprospero
03-10-2010, 20:39
The frigid air assaulted Geir Skarhaal's lungs as he sucked in his first icy breath on the surface of Mesarthim I. Miniscule ice crystals briefly coated the surface of his bronchi before his elevated Astartes body temperature burned them off, his enhanced body chemistry hastily compensating for the split-second change in temperature and oxygen level. He was loathe to ever remove his helm in the midst of battle, as he regarded it as the single most important piece of warplate in his possession. His one remaining ear was a testament to this, a cruelly micro-edged alien blade almost shearing his head in two in a protracted, tooth-and-nail fight for survival on the irradiated wastes of Cryus Majoris more than a decade earlier. Unlike many of his battle-pack who extolled the virtues of being able to taste, smell and breathe the battle as it unfolded around them, Skarhaal eschewed these baser, canine delights for the dim, crimson glow of his viewfinder. His helm now lay at his feet, smashed beyond repair by an alien projectile. His rouge-soaked view of the battlefield, however, remained the same, as a rapidly-congealing gouge to his forehead sent a stream of blood down his face and into his matted beard, the effect serving to transform him into something from the realm of nightmares.

This slight to Skarhaal's honor only served to incense his battle brothers, their baying and slavering burning hot in his un-guarded eardrum. Muzzle flashes assaulted the periphery of his vision as they loped past, pausing only slightly to return fire at the alien horde whose numbers threatened to overwhelm the advance party of Space Wolves. Chain-axes growled as if in sympathy with their bestial masters, their well-attended teeth dripping with synth-lube as they roared into action. The masters of these machines similarly bared their fangs as they ran, their monstrous visages surely instilling terror on some level even to the normally implacable Eldar. Skarhaal re-joined the fray, the call of his pack an irresistable urge, a subconscious call that demanded it be answered. Comm-links were superfluous in such a situation. He and his pack communicated on a different level entirely, each wolf's movement and nuance directing the others as to where best to deploy. Twenty paces ahead of him, he saw the familiar sight of Brother Alfgeir draw first blood from the xenos, his bolter spitting fire directly into the elongated war-mask of a lithe, apparently female warrior as she sprang from the ground to meet him. Her discordant limbs flailed as she fell to the ground, a sickening stump of flesh all that remained of her once graceful head.

Days earlier, aboard the strike cruiser Lupus Matris, rumors had been rife that the Gene-Father himself would honor the Eighth Company with his presence upon the field of battle. The Eighth had fallen from the Great Wolf's favor in recent years after executing a tactical withdrawal in an un-winnable clash with the Greenskin. The Primarch had later commented that there were at least three avenues that could have been taken in subjugating the green horde that day, and that the commanding Astartes had brought great shame to the legion through their actions. Skarhaal privately disagreed. He and the Eighth would have been wiped from existence that day had they not allowed reason to overwhelm their battle-lust, and his father's disapproval was a hard pill to swallow for one so utterly loyal to the ideals of his legion. He did not feel the need to atone, but knew his battle-pack would fight with a new level of ferocity and abandon should Russ take the field. Passion over pragmatism: the prospect unnerved him.

Gore flicked from the teeth of his chainblade as he pulled it free from the neck of a lithe xenos, the creature's head craning to a nightmarish angle as the bone splintered under the might of the Mechanicus technology. Alfgeir, in his battle-fervour, was a blur of claw and tooth, Skarhaal sickened to see his battle brother biting a helm-less Eldar in the face and spitting the creature's nose back at him before punching a mailed fist straight through the warrior's neck. In that moment, night became day as a new sun arose from behind the ragged foothills at the xenos' rear. Like a god birthed from the heat of exploding stars, Leman Russ took to the field, flanked by two monstrous, fire-belching wolves. Two warhound titans of the esteemed Legio Equuleus vomited their hellfire onto the xenos masses below as the primarch raced ahead, his warp-infused form resisting the magma-like heat of the titans' munitions as they sowed death all around him. His armor was bedecked with cruel spikes, like the carapace of some monstrous beetle, upon which Russ would impale any xenos foolhardy enough to come within his gargantuan reach. Several bodies hung limp from the Primarch's carapace as he fought on, the sight of such an avatar of destruction driving Skarhaal's combat unit to undreamt-of heights of blood-ecstasy.

Howls of adulation and obeisance to their master filled the air, and Russ answered. The earth itself seemed to quiver with the resonance of his bestial call, and the sensory overload broke down all resolve that remained within Skarhaal. He plucked a xenos spear from its master's hands, cynically impaling the warrior from anus to throat like a tyrant of anicent Terran legend. Strength, the likes of which he had never known, flowed through his veins at the presence of his radiant gene-sire. Russ' very presence was a source of strength to his Wolves, through means they were not fully aware of. Superhuman feats, even for Astartes, were commonplace in the shadow of the Primarch, his warriors' powers ebbing and flowing with their proximity to the Great Wolf. Skarhaal swung his still-breathing xenos trophy like a mace, the animal within him having finally asserted its dominance. What little remained of his humanity was left behind forever in the blood and sand of Mesarthim I.

GraveHound
09-10-2010, 15:08
*applauds* Magnificent!

Like it a lot! so, what's up next?


keep 'em coming!

ahrimanofprospero
09-10-2010, 17:04
*applauds* Magnificent!

Like it a lot! so, what's up next?


keep 'em coming!

Throw a suggestion at me and I will make it happen. Thanks for the props!

GraveHound
10-10-2010, 17:33
maybe something guard related? maybe about some turned regiment following the warmaster

(also, any interest about writing about some xenos species? just wondering)

in any case DON'T STOP WRITING, it's awesome

keep 'em coming!

Son of Sanguinius
14-10-2010, 05:26
Well, here's my attempt. If everyone hates it, I'll refrain from posting more of them in your thread, Ahriman.

This one is a two-parter.

++++++

“Why?” the angel asked with his mind.

“You know why. The reason why is the reason you ask. It’s the reason you fear. The reason you hesitate,” came the telepathic reply, from a monster several kilometers distant.

“You think I fear you?”

“You should. You have ‘the gift’. You can sense how much stronger I am than you.”

“I do not fear you. Your threats have no meaning for me.”

“Perhaps you do not fear failure in battle, but you still fear me. You fear me because I have courage where you do not. The courage to take what can be yours. You envy my power. You can feel it coursing through the whole of this false utopia. You have tasted it in the deepest reaches of your soul. You fear this power. You fear I will take your life, and by result, you fear I will take your chance to attain such power. Yes…I can taste your fear.”

“What power? All I see is a warrior-prince who was given everything he could ever ask for, and like a petulant, selfish child, he wanted more. You claim to be free of the yoke, and yet you have not the wit to see you merely traded one leash for another.”

“Ah, petty insults. And here they all thought your beatific form was above such things. They all thought I was naught but a monster, but we…we know better, don’t we? To them, I was just a destroyer. A mindless killing machine that knew nothing of compassion, hesitation, or sane fear. How easy it must be for the lot of them to nestle securely in such ignorance. I cannot blame them. The truth is too potent, too powerful. The truth is I was and am as brilliant as any of them, and I choose this path. And yours? Ha, yours was even more ironic a deception. Ever calm you appear. So collected, harmonic, and beautiful. You so expertly hid the monster within. But I’ve fought at your side. I’ve seen the truth of you, and perhaps only I can. Fitting that you must now confront your true nature before me.”

“Say what you want, you traitorous coward. I will not be dragged down to the depths of despair that you have caged yourself in. Your inability to change, to adjust, and to accept your purpose led you to this. Do not feign epiphany to hide your weakness.”

The monster growled low with an edge of ancient and unbridled malice.

“Do not speak to me of purpose, you little worm. I would rather walk the road to hell for eternity than sit upon a rotted throne, bereft of power and challenge. Even if you could achieve the impossible and scatter these armies to the wind, what then? Whether by the sword or inevitable stagnation, you will die. How will you meet your end?”

The angel swept his blade down in a crescent and unfurled his mighty, feathered pinions.

“I’ve always been ready to die, brother. But there is one thing I know for certain- you will not be my end. You cannot kill me. You will not kill me.”

The monster growled once again in clipped, hoarse sounds. It took the angel a moment to identify them as laughter. The monster turned from its former kinsman and spread its own wings. The leathery appendages extended to a massive span, casting off a fine crimson mist as they did so. Through a brutal, bestial snout filled with overlapping rows of razor teeth, the monster screamed an unholy bellow. The sound raced across the hundreds of kilometers of the battlefield faster than any mortal cry could, echoing in the hearts of a hundred thousand battle-frenzied Astartes and millions upon millions of armed humans. It shattered hill sides and pulped unworthy minds, cowering the fearful and exhorting the faithful. It eclipsed the thunderous detonations of artillery shells and almost matched the rage-fueled response from the serried ranks.

Shivering with agitated anticipation, the monster gazed skyward, awaiting the word of an unseen god.

“Kill them all,” the god said.

++++++

Sanguinius watched as Angron, or the creature that was once Angron, took to the skies. Thousands of corrupted Astartes were hot on his heels, covered in armor the color of boiling blood and molten brass and ascending on twin bursts of flame. They screamed their insane hatred to the heavens, though with nowhere near their leader’s power. Seemingly endless ranks of more Astartes and traitor Army units advanced in their wake accompanied by entire armored divisions and gibbering, mindless mutants.

“My lord?” a warrior said from behind the Angel. Sanguinius recognized the voice as that of his herald and chief guardian, Azkaellon.

“Heed my word, my son,” the Primarch said. “When the Destroyer comes, I must face him alone. You and the Guard may tend to his retinue.”

“I would never doubt your prowess, my lord, but,” Azkaellon began.

“And you must not do so now,” Sanguinius said, cutting him off.

“I am not, my Primarch,” Azkaellon said, his voice an equal mixture of desperate defiance and concern. “He was a fearsome warrior in life. He is a monster beyond all reckoning now. If he were to defeat you, I could not stand idly by.”

“You must, my beloved son,” Sanguinius answered. “Understand this- I will not fall to my lost brother this day, and neither must you. There is much to be done by the both of us, and I will need you before our fight sees its conclusion. Above all else, I need you to trust me.”

Azkaellon, his patrician features etched with doubt, turned to his liege-lord and said “I will, father.”

“All units, open fire. FOR THE EMPEROR!”

Sanguinius’ recognized the fire in his brother Dorn’s voice and turned back to the advancing horde. As one, thousands of gun emplacements erupted into a hailstorm of lethal ammunition. Fat bolter shells and autocannon rounds quested for Astartes warriors as they leapt forward in great bounds. Lascannon beams sliced through pack groups, scattering the assault troops and obliterating those caught in their paths. The solid shots pattered off the Red Angel’s armor like rain on pavement, and even the anti-tank weapons merely caused the demon prince to shrug.

Angron slammed into the ferrocrete walls at full tilt, his unnatural talons carving deep gouges into the material. He flung himself skyward on his brute strength and a great flap of his wings, screaming as a primal insanity took over his mind. As the other World Eaters closed on the walls, they fired their engines to maximum power and followed their monstrous lord up into the heavens.

++++++

Part 2 to follow soon.

GraveHound
14-10-2010, 17:59
Wow, nice story SOS, like it a lot
...but did you ask ahriman if you could post it here?

Son of Sanguinius
15-10-2010, 04:47
Wow, nice story SOS, like it a lot
...but did you ask ahriman if you could post it here?

Yes, I did.




Would you mind if we took a crack at it ourselves? There are a multitude of short and critical topics concerning the heresy that I've always wanted to see fleshed out.

Sure, the more the merrier. I'm limiting myself to an hour for each so perhaps people wanting to do more elaborate/longer/more in-depth 30k fiction could start another thread. Glad this thread piqued your interest.

ahrimanofprospero
03-11-2010, 21:52
Nice work, SOS. Good use of dialogue, something I neglect in my writing.

Here's a little blurb I came up with this afternoon. Constant interruption meant that I didn't really stick strictly to the 60 minutes, and halfway through I decided I would perhaps make this one a little longer, adding installments over the next few days. Anyway, here goes:



Brighter than the fingers of lightning painting the night sky above him, the explosion robbed Gelt Malak of his one remaining organic eye, moments before he was dashed head-first into the Terran subsoil. The powerpack ripped from his carapace, the warrior of the Imperial Fists shifted the dead weight of his ceramite shell from prone to supine with a titanic effort, his augmetic eye whirring furiously in its effort to compensate for the blast. As he looked up, framed in warning runes of the highest priority, an obelisk of lumpen, misshapen muscle bellowed at the sky, its left arm a blackened stump below the elbow. The beast made a lumbering advance, its left flank a charred ruin from tearing an Astartes power source from its host. Searing rage, infantile in its ferocity, coursed like acid through veins as thick as Land Raider fuel lines, as the ogryn of the Al-Bedik 9th drew a blunt, hooked blade from its scabbard. Malak struggled to his knees, the weight of his armour a millstone around his neck since the catastrophic energy de-coupling. His bolter lay wasted and broken at his side, the amunition clip having detonated in the conflagration. It was all he could do to draw his combat knife, sword-like by human standards but pitiful next to the Ogryn's crude blade of black pig-iron, and brace himself against the onslaught.

Evolution had dealt a cruel hand to the human settlers of Cyrus Lucens. A planet subjected to near bone-crushing gravitational forces, the populace had been cruelly warped over time, their genetic code adapting in order to survive. Labeled "Brutes" or "Heavies" by the conquering force of Luna Wolves during the fledgling days of the Great Crusade, they had sworn fealty to the Emperor of Mankind without a shot fired or sword drawn. Witnessing the majesty of Horus Lupercal, the abhumans had declared for the Emperor, and had fought with righteous zeal in His name ever since.

News of the Heresy had broken Grakt's heart. Standing aboard the Warmaster's flagship, surrounded by the Sons of Horus, Mechanicum war machines and regiments of Imperial Guard, he had listened with rapt wonder to the Primarch's proclamation. Although almost half a mile distant across the viewing deck of the Vengeful Spirit, Horus Lupercal's voice poured into Grakt's ear like warm honey, explaining with the heaviest of hearts that many of the Emperor's once-loyal sons had rebelled, including the Imperial Fists, Blood Angels, and Space Wolves, Astartes that Grakt had once held in childlike veneration. For an indulgent moment he visualized himself as a warrior of the elite Custodes, smiting the rebels with the flair and noble rage that only a Praetorian could.

"Concentrate, Grakt", chided his sergeant, a neuron-enhanced ogryn of the same ethnic tribe back on Old Cyrus.

"Yes Gurek, I mean, Sergeant", rumbled Grakt, as he continued to mentally smite imaginary enemies of the Imperium.

Making planetfall onto Terra had been terrifying, even by ogryn standards. The rebels had somehow taken control of the orbital batteries, as far as Grakt could discern, and were punishing the Warmaster's landing force severely. The rattling cargo vehicle used to transport the 9th could be described as "agricultural" at best. Despite performing valuable functions that other regiments either could not or did not want to do, ogryns were largely derided, and were always at the back of the line for equipment and supplies. Improvization was always necessary. Grakt regarded the blade he had fashioned by his own artifice. Formed from a section of plating recovered from a devastated Rhino, it was, much like Grakt himself, a blunt instrument that could be wielded with deadly effect

Son of Sanguinius
03-11-2010, 22:08
Nice. Glad to see you haven't left this one. :)

I enjoy writing dialog and fight scenes more than anything, and I see this as cool outlet for that, so thank you for coming up with a good idea. :D

ahrimanofprospero
04-11-2010, 21:05
The carrier began its fiery plunge through the upper atmosphere, its structure threatening to shake itself apart at any moment. Despite the hellish descent, Grakt found his mind wandering, as was his wont. The transport's usual, foul reek was particularly pungent, even for the 9th.

"You soil you'self, Gramek?", snorted Grakt, amused to no end at his attempt at humour.

"You mind you' own, desert scum", came the reply, Gramek visibly shifting in his hugely-oversized restraint throne.

"Mountain-kind think they better than everyone. Bet you think you better than the Astarties...". Grakt abandoned his tribal rant as he spied movement amongst the cabling trailing beneath Gramek's seat. Grakt leaned forward, the structure of the troop carrier still howling in protest around them. Two jade-green eyes stared back at hiim, followed by a flash of white as the creature bared its teeth at Grakt's unwanted curiosity.

"You brought you' freggin' skelt with you?!" spat Grakt, his outburst attracting the sergeant's attention even over the tumult wracking the thermosphere outside the armor-plas windows.

Sergeant Gurek existed in a perpetual state of irritation. Neural augmetics had elevated his mental capacity to something akin to a human in his early teens and he had come to the painful realization that, when dealing with his fellow ogryns, ignorance was bliss. Petty, selfish and, at times, spiteful, his kind were rightly despised by the other fighting units, he decided. His elevated perspicacity was more of a curse than a blessing, and his position as sergeant not so dissimilar from his previous life as a herder of frek-beasts. The beasts trumped his squad on several fronts; dignity and hygiene being only two.

"Gramek!", barked the sergeant. "Stown that fregging thing away or I will open this hatch and feed it to the defence lasers for breakfast. How you smuggled that damn thing on board I don't know, but it's here now. Grakt, sit back and shut up. The Emperor is counting on us today. Shame me on his home planet and I will end you myself!"


Mention of the master of humanity caused all bickering to cease. Gramek's skelt still bared its fangs at Grakt, its cobbled-together warplate jangling on its lupine frame. Renowned as able hunting dogs back on his home planet, Gramek had decided to test the abilities of the skelt in the prosecution of war, and had outfitted it with some rudimentary protection as well as cruel barbs on which to impale unsuspecting rebel guardsmen. the sergeant was less optimistic regarding the animal's chances. I give that thing 30 seconds, thought Gurek.

ahrimanofprospero
09-11-2010, 21:42
(continued)

With the air of a craftsman who has done all he can do for the day, Rogal Dorn sat his monolithic frame down upon a freshly-hewn cube of Ordovician limestone. As he surveyed his travails atop the ramparts of the Imperial Palace, he felt pride and regret in equal measure at the defensive desecration he had been forced to commit.The human species had made great advancements in synthetic materials, yet the defender of the Imperial Palace chose to put his faith in solid rock . Visible on one side of Dorn's makeshift throne, a giant ammonite lay frozen in time, its presence a reminder that the snowy peaks around them had once lain at the bottom of a great ocean. Terra had raised herself out of the primordial sludge to swim among the stars, but her ascent to greatness had been arrested by the treachery that now unfolded in the breath of her upper atmosphere. Rebel transport ships and drop-pods fell through Terra's hallowed skies like the burning meteorites that had once sown the first seeds of life on the planet, the difference being that the traitors' advent signalled the end of life for many of the world's inhabitants. Unarmored and caked in rock-dust like the survivor of some volcanic cataclysm, the Primarch was nervously attended by several artificers of the Imperial Forge, eager to equip him for the war that was about to unfold. "Master of the Forge and Artificer to the Emperor of Mankind" was Dintzmann's official title, but he never felt truly at ease with it. Having designed and built carapace for the Emperor and His proto-astartes since the days of the Unification Wars, he was of a greatly elevated age and it was starting to show. He had reluctantly submitted to several augmetic procedures, both to aid longevity and to heighten visual acuity, but his flesh was reaching the bounds of its usefulness, and he refused the de-humanizing processes of the "Martians", as he called the priests of the Red Planet, in order to live virtually forever. Armoring the Emperor and the remaining loyalist Primarchs was his swansong, and he could think of no greater honour than to help protect humanity's champions as they stared into the abyss.

In sharp contrast to the icy battlements above, the Forge was hot with the breath of industry. Everyone, from mono-tasked servitors to the finest of artificers, was wholly engaged in the battle preparations. Dorn mused on the novelty of passing almost completely unnoticed through the workspace; so single-minded were the craftsmen in achieving their projected targets. Dintzmann's chamber lay beyond two imposing bronze doors, etched with scenes depicting one of the Emperor's many victories over a particularly savage and despotic regime of pre-unification Terra. A fine mark of warplate he had worn that day, thought the Master of the Forge, as he remembered youthful hands aligning and calibrating each and every, now-antiquated, servo motor in his master's burnished armour. Above the entrance, eight gleaming, ruby-red eyes surveyed them like one of the many arachnids who spun webs throughout the forgotten recesses of the ancient and un-mappable palace. "Cerberus", as he had christened the beast, was a construct of Dintzmann's own design. The eight cannons mounted on its periphery were of an antiquated but, if rumors among the younger members of the Forge were to be believed, incredibly potent mark. Dintzmann liked to discourage the inquisitive minds of extraneous Imperial sects from entering his sanctum, and the mystery surrounding his favourite pet was a fine aid in that respect.

The worried visage of Ariel Trappe greeted the visitors as they entered, his rotund form dripping with the sweat of exertion and a low-level panic. Dintzmann's most trusted apprentice, Trappe had displayed a precocious talent as a teen almost 100 years ago, and had quickly risen to the coveted position of Apprentice Primaris. The honor of the position was lost on Trappe in this particular moment, however, as he fumbled like a neophyte in the presence of the being he was attempting to armour. The sight stole even the somewhat stilted Dintzmann's breath away. Wings the colour of the snow now falling over the palace stretched the full width of the armoury chamber, the tips lightly brushing the opposing walls. The Primarch of the Blood Angels stood, arms outstretched, as Trappe atempted to attach his titanic breastplate with the aid of a gravity-suspensor.

"Peace, friend', smiled Sanguinius as he took the section of carapace and affixed it with ease. Trappe's countenance descended to an even deeper shade of red in his embarrassment, but the beneficence of the Primarch was a potent force and his words had the effect of making the Apprentice feel at ease.

"Have you come for a bath, brother?" boomed the golden-haired warrior as he furled his wings, the rush of displaced air mimicking the wind that howled through the mountain ranges outside.

Dorn allowed a miniscule smile to crease his stoic features, his temperament much like the rock he had spent weeks fashioning. He held Sanguinius in the highest regard and, although the Angel of Blood was imbued with a flair, grandeur and, for want of a better word, beauty that was most inimical to his own disposition, Dorn had always appreciated the difference between these aspects of his brother's character and those of some of the more flamboyant Primarchs. The obsequiousness of Horus and the vanity of Fulgrim had always rankled him. When Sanguinius fought with flair it was because he was born with it, thought Dorn. Fulgrim dedicated his life to an impossible notion of perfection and yet could not emulate the Blood Angel's grace. When Sanguinius consoled the despondent Apprentice it was not because he wanted to inspire loyalty, like the manipulative charisma of Horus. It was through a genuine beneficence and regard for others. Dorn had always found it hard to reconcile himself with the needs of mortals, but he kept in mind that their father had mandated him with their protection, and so he tempered his aloofness.

"I fear that your primping has run the Palace dry, Sanguinius", retorted Dorn.

Grasping each other by the forearm, the giants met, a plume of dust shaken up by the embrace to coat Sanguinius' jewel-encrusted vambrace.

"That's better", snorted Dorn. "You look more like me now."

GraveHound
12-11-2010, 08:43
Taken to writing in the primarch's names now are we? not an easy feat to accomplish but you have done so brilliantly as ever

looking forwards to more!
keep 'em coming

malika
14-11-2010, 20:58
Dude....very awesome stuff! I prefer the non-battle oriented stuff, like your first story. Keep up the good work!

Son of Sanguinius
19-11-2010, 04:01
I lied. This will be in three parts. Here is part two.


+ + + + + +

Azkaellon watched as the devil descended upon his beloved liege. The demonic champion fell like a blood-drenched gargoyle, its burnt wings and slathering jaw leaving trails of crimson mist in their wake. The Herald had every bit of faith in his gene-fatherís skill and valor, but in that moment, Azkaellon could not see how anything would best such an avatar of destruction and hatred.

The Herald had seen Angron only twice during the Great Crusade. On both occasions, two conflicting emotions warred with him. The initial sight of the Primarch Angron left one terrified and cowered at his sheer physicality and potential for violence, but that was followed by an intense relief that one felt knowing such an awesome weapon was on his or her side. Now nothing was left of the Emperorís most brutal champion. In his place was a winged nightmare that threatened the existence of all things just and sacred, and at that moment, of everything Azkaellon held dear.

That moment was one of pure dread for the Blood Angel champion. The Blessed Angel had not moved from where he stood, even as his corrupted brother came to claim him. There was a barely perceptible flash of movement as Angron hit with the force of a drop pod, shattering the ceramite rampart beneath him. To a man, the Sanguinary Guard brought up their arms to shield their necks and faces from the shards of pulverized material that came at them like bullets. As the cloud of dust receded, Azkaellonís heart leapt in joy.

Some ten meters from the snarling form of Angron, Sanguinius floated gently to the ground and furled his alabaster pinions. The eyes of the Blood Angel Primarch narrowed and came alight with psychic fire. The air shifted and pulsed as Sanguiniusí awesome psychic potential slowly released and flooded his body. The runes along the Angelís magnificent two-handed sword began to burn as if fresh from the forge. Azkaellon looked on with awe as the Primarchís skin glowed with an inner warmth and his face took on an outward hardness born of the need for vengeance. Never had Sanguinius been so terrible in aspect, not even in the face of Kabandha.

ďFather,Ē the Herald whispered helplessly.

+ + + + + +

Pure silence. A fraction in time where nothing but an eerie harmony purveyed, perhaps perceptible only by one such as a Primarch. In that moment, Sanguinius came to fully digest everything his brother had become. A sadness threatened to overtake the Angel, but the fury within him would not be denied.

The instant passed into history and the brothers attacked.

Rune-encrusted adamantium struck jagged demon-steel with enough force to knock flat all others present. Wings flared, muscles flexed, and aetheric storms thundered into one another. Before the Blood Angels and Army soldiers could begin to rise, a dozen blows were traded. Each tremendous strike shattered sensors and ear drums, assailing lesser mortals faster than they could comprehend.

Sanguinius leapt back once again, using his pinions to slow his retreat. His sword was now aflame, bright orange with the heat of the impacts and its wielderís aggression. Angron gave him no time for composure, charging forward with a roar. The Demon swung in tremendous arcs, each enough to reap a dozen warriors. It took every ounce of Sanguiniusí instinctual agility to evade the attacks, and he could hear the thirst of another demon bound to his brotherís sword, screaming for potent blood.

The Angel leapt high, searching for space, but Angronís newfound size did nothing to slow him. He caught Sanguiniusí gilded boot and greave, arresting the ascent. With a bestial roar he slammed the Angel into the ground with all the force of his own arrival. Angron thrust his blade downward, seeking Sanguiniusí head, but found only ceramite in which to bury his blade. With his head angled to the side, Sanguinius drew his pistol and emptied an entire magazine of explosive rounds into the Demonís face. The force of the repeated impacts ruined the monsterís face and weakened his grip. Sanguinius kicked up, sending his free leg into Angronís feral chin and freed himself.

All around them, Blood Angel warriors and Army soldiers whose sensory organs had not been pulped picked themselves up and took up their weapons as frenzied World Eaters leapt atop the ramparts with wings of jet exhaust.

Angronís face began to reshape itself, wiping away damage that would have felled a squiggoth. Sanguinius leapt again, sword raised overhead. The blade disappeared in a psychic inferno and was poised to split the Demon from head to groin. His face not yet reformed, Angron jumped and grabbed his brother with two massive hands. Talons pierced into the front and back of Sanguiniusí armor and the Demonís weight took the advantage. He put his knee into the Angelís stomach and drove him into the ground once again, making the Primarch drop his sword and spit a glob of enriched blood. The liquid splashed on the face of the Demon, making the traitor bray like a victorious predator.

Sanguinius looked up into the descending maw of his brother, watching the rows of misaligned teeth drip with acidic saliva and smelling the foetid stink of unnatural bowels on the monsterís breath. With a silent prayer to his father for forgiveness for his failure, Sanguinius closed his eyes and welcomed an unexpected death.


+ + + + + +

ahrimanofprospero
19-11-2010, 21:16
Nice one, SOS. Pretty epic stuff.

Below is a continuation of what is becoming a collection of Siege of Terra short stories that hopefully will be tied together eventually.

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There had been a time when the only sounds that permeated the Laboratorium Imperialis were the friction-whispers of the workers' insulated synth-skin. Closing his tired eyes, Gene-Master Wezen Caph could still see the gene-artisans scurry around the near-freezing laboratoria, expanding the Imperium not with blade or bolter but with the adroitness of their hands and minds. The practiced efficiency with which his workforce operated had always brought a certain level of peace to Caph's mind, and he drew upon those memories now to calm his racing thoughts.

He traced a gloved hand across a red-veined wall. The capillaries that laced the room were not formed from geological processes like the marble adorning much of the Palace; rather, the entire chamber was a gene-threshing facility, and through its glass walls flowed brackish tributaries of blood being taken apart at the molecular level at every meander, bend and reach. During his centuries of service to the Emperor, indeed since his creation by the Emperor, Caph had spearheaded many advances in genomancy and, as the traitor legions now descended upon Terra, the Gene-Master was acutely reminded of his greatest failure.

Clumsy lifting servitors gathered centuries worth of research and data from the lab, their treads grinding the once ice-smooth floor of the hallowed space into rubble. The Sigillite, with the Emperor's blessing, had decreed that the destructive potential of such a facility was too great to leave intact, lest it fall into traitorous hands. Caph let his glance come to rest on a chamber that, centuries ago, had birthed the Primarchs into the material realm. Almost shrine-like in its neglected preservation, it was the only area of the sprawling gene-complex that had remained untouched since the cataclysm. If the Emperor had been the architect of their creation, Caph mused, then he had been the foreman.

Much like the Custodes were hand-forged by the Master of Mankind to be singular warriors, Wezen Caph's existence was pre-determined to be a life of discovery and creation. He had ably assisted the Emperor in forging the Primarchs, and the despair he felt at their loss was only matched by the joy that had filled him upon being reunited with the first of the boys.

"From what my Father tells me of your achievements, I suppose I must now call you 'Uncle'", was how the future Warmaster had greeted him that day.

Only through Caph's enhanced genetics was he even able to look squarely at the adolescent Primarch. Words, he recounted, had been much harder to come by in the giant's presence.

"A...a humble servant of the Imperium, my Lord", was all that the Gene-Master could manage.

Horus extended his hands, palms upward, his magnetic gaze never leaving Caph for an instant.

"Worlds will be conquered with these hands, Wezen. The greatness you encoded into my blood will see the galaxy brought to its knees."

As Wezen Caph stood watching his life's work being carted off for incineration, the irony of those words brought a wry smile to his ancient lips. Turning over a vial of Horus' blood in his wizened hand, he studied it as if somehow the key to his failure could be discerned in the genetic patterns locked within. The Emperor was infallible, he knew that. The error had to have originated with him.

Super-heated air buffeted his face as servitors tipped irreplaceable works of science into the nuclear furnace. He had wanted to witness the destruction first-hand, to punish himself for his mistakes. His knuckles blackened and split as he held the vial over the mouth of the incinerator, the toughened glass vial eventually exploding, the heat reducing the Primarch's blood into steam. In his despair he ventured a foot over the mouth of the precipice, feeling a palpable need to atone. Terra was burning because of him. This death would be fitting.