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View Full Version : Space Hulk story idea; also, a quick Q on POV



2_heads_talking
12-10-2010, 19:48
Hi all,

I've had an idea floating around my head for a while now, a short story based on an IG expedition aboard a space hulk. Not a wildly original idea, granted, but as I've not done any writing for a few years now I thought I'd start off small and see if I can write something halfway decent.

Now, the issue I have is that the main character is supposed to be a major, with the secondary character and eventual bad guy/pawn being the regimental colonel, an officer celebrated and much-loved by his men.

Now, my story was going to be the following:

1. Veteran IG regiment, having won their right of conques are on their way to their new world when the transport is forced out of warp after a close encounter with a space hulk.

2. As they are deciding what to do about it, Ad Mech on board indicate that amongst the mishmash of melded ships is an AdMech "hoard" craft, that had vanished a few thousand years ago whilst carrying new STC to its forgeworld. No space marines or other forces are nearby and they dare not lose the hulk in the warp, so celebrated colonel agrees to take a team aboard to try and find it (with tech priest contingent).

3. Basically they get quite far in, when they're attacked by genestealers; the colonel gets implanted, and one of his retinue sees this before fleeing the 'stealers who begin to hunt him. Later, as the regiment thinks they've lost him, the colonel comes back and leads them in an assault against the 'stealers, fighting their way to the STCs. Of course, the 'stealers willingly sacrifice themselves when going against the colonel, as they have other plans...

4. Major finds the retinue member, hiding and half-insane with fear, who tells him about the colonel's implant; 'stealers kill the retinue member before the major's team kill them.

5. As the IG are falling back with their prize, 'stealers start killing everyone who is not directly attached to the colonel. Major hears about the IG renforcements coming to save them and realises he can't let the colonel escape. His old friend is now too dangerous to let live. Hounded by 'stealers, his retinue dying one by one, the now alone major reaches the extraction point and tries to warn the reinforcements. However, screaming the colonel's name and brandishing a bolter, he is shot down by his comrades.

6. Colonel stands in his ready room, is advised that they are reaching their planet. Thanks to his actions aboard the hulk, he is told he will be given a position of high authority when planet-side, with access to the planetary governor and others. In bowels of ship, single stowaway genestealer begins to evolve, becoming patriarch for the new infestation that will afflict the conquered world.

So, that's my idea. Besdes the usual requests to tell me what you think, I'm wondering how to accurately base the story around the Major when it's his colonel who is the "star" of the show. I know what I'm trying to do, I can see it in my mind's eye, but any advice would be helpful.

Thanks in advance.

GraveHound
12-10-2010, 22:19
seem's interesting enough

hope to read a sample soon
keep 'em coming

Exitas-Acta-Probat
12-10-2010, 23:10
i would suggest starting by writing out a chapter or two in the rough, and go from there. also, stick to your plot! theres nothing worse than a good stroy that stagnates and dies because the author went off on one :rolleyes:

kurisawa
13-10-2010, 00:06
Greetings fellow aspiring writer! :)

When I first started reading this, my first instinct was "IG going onto a hulk? They'd be the last soldiers for such a mission."

However, you have explained the circumstances well, and I think it will work. It is also your "unexpected and surprising event" that all stories should start with. I like that they are on their way to a happy life after surviving their tours, as it adds emotional resonance to their living through this adventure (or not).

I think having the major as your main focus character will work fine, as the reader should not "see" the implantation, but have it come as a surprise just as it does to the major. Just have an epilogue for the final scene where the colonel is congratulated. Stick with the major POV for the rest of the story to give the reader concealed events.

Now, a couple of nitpicks: There is no such thing as a new STC. They are ancient and lost in the depths of the Dark Age of Technology. The Tech priest can still pick up signals from the hulk which lead him to believe it to be an STC, and that is still a worthy treasure to go after. But, isn't it always an STC? I think you would be rewarded if you came up with another treasure.

Second, the genestealers (and your plot) are too "Aliens". I think you would be rewarded if you could come up with something more unique to the 40k universe. I would suggest daemonic (or at least psychic) possession instead. The hulk can be inhabited by mutants or some kind of alien. I think in one of the Eisenhorn books there was an alien rock buried deep under a planet which had some sort of daemonic presence in it; the acolytes would stick slivers of it into their flesh and thus come under its control. The "implant" event would be much harder to detect for the Imperial forces then. How about an Enslaver psychic entity controlling zombie mutants? :D

This is much more 40k, and again it's always genestealers on hulks. :eyebrows:

Apart from that, I think you're good to go. I have to ask though, you have an overall story arc, but what about a personal arc for the major? Does he have some girlfriend waiting for him on his new world? He would probably disagree with the mission to go onto the hulk then: He's survived 10 years in the Guard, and he's damned if he's going to blow it now! I understand he is friends with the colonel, giving an emotional edge to becoming his enemy, but I feel the main character needs fleshing out a bit more, with his own cares and worries.

That way, it'll be much more powerful when he dies at the end. :evilgrin:

Hope some of this helps. Remember it's all just suggestions and my opinion only. Do with it what you will.

K.

kurisawa
13-10-2010, 00:37
EDIT: I've just come up with some more suggestions to give your story its "hook".

Have your main character (the major) a gambler. He's lost all his hard-earned savings to his men during the trip, so he has no big pile to offer his wife-to-be. His flaw (and every good character needs one) is greed. His friends tell him his girlfriend will still accept him with what he has, but he wants more.

He's good friends with the colonel, right? When the hulk turns up, the colonel (who is loved by his men because he protects them) is naturally wary of going in to search it. The promise of unknown treasure is too dangerous for the colonel, but have the major argue passionately for "one last mission" to get some booty (it need not be an STC, but hulks are known to be full of all sorts of valuable archeotech). He finally persuades the colonel. This is good because the story is driven by character choice rather than just "following orders".

Then the story unfolds as you first describe, and the story mind tells the reader that greed, which led to that fatal choice at the start, is *not good* - either for the major or everyone that he cares about. He could have attacks of guilt as he loses his men, but it is too late to repent by then.

Second, have a sanctioned psyker attached to the IG as a minor character. He can have visions of "something terrible" on the hulk but no-one listens to him. Finally it is him who witnesses the possession/implant event and tells the major about it.

Third, have the IG men from a tank company. Just another way to have them "out of their element" wandering around on foot in a strange hulk - totally different to their normal mode of warfare.

Hope this helps! :)

K.

2_heads_talking
13-10-2010, 20:46
Thanks to everyone for their opinions, it's given me some good ideas especially with regards to changing the enemy. I'd known that choosing genestealers was a "samey" option, but I'd thought that most people only really consider 'stealers when it comes to Space Marine Terminators; it may be that it is a little too "Aliens"-esque, but I genuinely hadn't thought that at the time.

As far as the characters were concerned, I'd originally planned that the Colonel had obtained something of a God-complex; the adulation and love of his men towards him had made him believe himself infallable, a major factor in his gung-ho decision to board the hulk. The Major, for his part, was going to be weary of war; he just wanted to make his way "home", and alone (due to his close relationship with Colonel) had noticed this change in his friend's character. As such, he feels the mission is flawed, and as they push further, quicker, he starts to feel the Colonel isn't considering his men more than he is the glory of finding this tech.

Also, with regards to tech; I did know that there is no such thing as "new" STC, rather it was meant to be found STC that then went missing again! Unfortunately, I did not make that clear but this is more down to my beng out of the hobby for a while. So, apologies on that one.

Still, your ideas about different "treasure" than STC is something I will seriously consider; I'm even thinking of a sword, like the sword of a fallen SM captain, part of a SM force that had found the hulk before, which would grab the Colonel even more (the praise and thanks of a Space Marine chapter master) but make the subsequent loss of life even more pointless to a regiment that had already proven itself.

Once again, thank you all for your advice. Please don't think I haven't taken it all on board, and I will try and have something up shortly. Again, if there are any further opinions or advice from existing posters or from anyone else, please jump in! :)

kurisawa
13-10-2010, 22:56
Thanks to everyone for their opinions, it's given me some good ideas especially with regards to changing the enemy. I'd known that choosing genestealers was a "samey" option, but I'd thought that most people only really consider 'stealers when it comes to Space Marine Terminators; it may be that it is a little too "Aliens"-esque, but I genuinely hadn't thought that at the time.

It's your story, so your decision. Genestealers are still pretty scary. But you have my opinion, so there it is. :)

As far as the characters were concerned, I'd originally planned that the Colonel had obtained something of a God-complex; the adulation and love of his men towards him had made him believe himself infallable, a major factor in his gung-ho decision to board the hulk. The Major, for his part, was going to be weary of war; he just wanted to make his way "home", and alone (due to his close relationship with Colonel) had noticed this change in his friend's character. As such, he feels the mission is flawed, and as they push further, quicker, he starts to feel the Colonel isn't considering his men more than he is the glory of finding this tech.

Ok.

Also, with regards to tech; I did know that there is no such thing as "new" STC, rather it was meant to be found STC that then went missing again!

Oh, ok. My bad.

Still, your ideas about different "treasure" than STC is something I will seriously consider; I'm even thinking of a sword, like the sword of a fallen SM captain, part of a SM force that had found the hulk before, which would grab the Colonel even more (the praise and thanks of a Space Marine chapter master) but make the subsequent loss of life even more pointless to a regiment that had already proven itself.

He might even want to keep the sword for himself!

Once again, thank you all for your advice. Please don't think I haven't taken it all on board, and I will try and have something up shortly.

No problem. Don't feel obliged to incorporate every single suggestion, as they are just that; suggestions. :)