Page 3 of 22 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 13 ... LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 422

Thread: Just Below the Surface

  1. #41
    Commander guillimansknight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Undercover in Ultramar
    Posts
    872

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    Brutal. Just brutal

    and stupid. They never heard of knockout gas?




    Need I say nice writing?
    Exactly as Planned...
    Quote Originally Posted by guillimansknight View Post
    Today in Biology we learned about mutations and mutants and how we shouldn't judge them - so I burned the Textbooks and then burned the Teacher for being a Heretic.
    Magnus Irish Warp Cider
    ~ Time. - is meaningless

  2. #42
    Librarian BladeWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Battle Barge Fang Imperialus
    Posts
    443

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    That is what Take-down grenades pretty much are (combined with tear-gas in a form or another). and in such large number the dispersion of the gas is really not much to each person, you also have to take into account the Hive's air scrubber and the fact that you cannot feel the Emperor's justice if your unconscious.
    On Hiatus - RL to take care of.
    Grey Knights don't go to heaven: they go to hell and regroup.
    Just Below the Surface: An Adeptus Arbites Story- on semi-regular updates. Now another place you can find this story.
    The Silver Wolf of War - New story, comments welcome
    Brothers of the Lance - advice/comments welcome - may be necro'd in the near future

  3. #43
    Commander guillimansknight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Undercover in Ultramar
    Posts
    872

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    Quote Originally Posted by BladeWolf View Post
    That is what Take-down grenades pretty much are (combined with tear-gas in a form or another). and in such large number the dispersion of the gas is really not much to each person, you also have to take into account the Hive's air scrubber and the fact that you cannot feel the Emperor's justice if your unconscious.
    I wasnae being serious

    It would be more Emperorsl justice just torture them afterwards much more Imperial
    Exactly as Planned...
    Quote Originally Posted by guillimansknight View Post
    Today in Biology we learned about mutations and mutants and how we shouldn't judge them - so I burned the Textbooks and then burned the Teacher for being a Heretic.
    Magnus Irish Warp Cider
    ~ Time. - is meaningless

  4. #44
    Librarian BladeWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Battle Barge Fang Imperialus
    Posts
    443

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    - - - - - - -Chapter Seventeen - Aftermath - - - - - - -

    “Two hundred and fifty three dead, thousands more wounded” The pict-screen blared “civil unrest and protest leads chaos through the streets into the so-called protective light of the ‘most benevolent’ Adeptus Arbites, however, today’s events have started to bring to the front that the light is becoming an oppressive shadow.”

    Thall and Cairn stood in the main pavilion area in the centre of the residential area in the precinct. They stood under the media-totem that was erected in the centre of the circular room. On the totem there were almost a dozen pict-screens, vox-speakers and other multimedia equipment for use by the off-duty Arbites. The two Arbites where stood with their crossed as they watched the images on the screen go from bad to just plain worse. Their faces taut in a hard expression as the greying man on the screen jabbered on.

    “Early estimates put the number of unlawful executions in triple digits, Provost Krael has refused to comment and so we are left with the images of the aftermath and the words of the survivors of this massacre.” The screen changed to show the detritus of the riot. Windows smashed, burning ground-cars and dozens of bodies littered the street. Many showed the tell-tale signs of maul hits. Cairn groaned as the camera switched to a woman weeping over a body.

    The reporter’s voice started over the image. “This single-mother has lost her only child in a flurry of senseless violence; coroners claimed the death was by an Arbite Executioner round. The boy, aged six and ten years, had come to the final with a group of friends.” The image jumped to a clearly ruffed up young man whose sky-blue robe was covered in dust and grime. “He wasn’t causing any trouble; we were just trying to get away. A...An Arbitrator told him to lie down but before he could he... he just dropped after a horrible noise” The boy started to well up and Cairn turned away. Thall reached up and turned the screen off before it could continue the parade of defaming images.

    “Fraker” Cairn hissed “How dare him!” Thall looked to his friend with a worried look. “Defaming an officer is an offence, why wasn’t he arrested!” Cairn continued as his fists balled up. Thall sighed; stupid decisions had caused this, probably an inexperienced Arbite or just a simple misunderstanding. Perhaps the kids were lying and they were actively fighting, who knows.

    Regardless, all Thall knew now was that the public image of the Arbites on Tercius was damaged by the riot. The speed at which it grew and the amazing degree of coordination between the two massive groups had forced a firm hand, Thall rubbed the bridge of his nose. Perhaps the Provost had been to rash to order such decisive action against such a varied crowd.

    “Their calling it excess Arbite brutality, it seems they don’t understand the whole deciding of guilty and punishment bit.” The serene voice of Felicia said as she closed towards the two, her dark body glove changed in favour of an off-duty shirt and slacks.

    “Brutality?” Cairn wheeled around, his face turned a further shade of red by the second. “Yes” the Detective nodded “They are saying that we overstepped our bounds-“ She was cut off by an angered roar from Cairn “Overstepped! We enforce the law! As laid down the fraking Emperor Himself! And those frakers broke it!” He fumed “If they think that the Lex Imperialis is debateable then they are in for a shocking surprise” He continued until he was silenced by a hard glare from Felicia.

    “Please Arbitrator, don’t rant at me, I agree with you.” She looked to the blank screen “There is very little we can do about it” She sighed. Pelmann, the man who had delivered the report and the news corporation he was part of were a sub-division of the main Adeptus Mechanicus contingent, they supplied almost sixty percent of media coverage on Tercius and usually they were respectful about what they broadcast, though it was obvious that the slug known as Pelmann had some sort of vendetta against the Arbites, who couldn’t get to him due to the Mechanicus badge he could hide behind despite the numerous request to have him taken off the air.

    “Getting off such a delicate subject” Felicia sighed “I need to talk to you two” Thall walked forward and tried to look attentive, though he really wasn’t feeling terribly talkative at the moment. “In private” she added. Thall was immediately perked. She glanced towards him again with the same sly smile. Again he mentally hit himself for thinking such things.

    She led the two towards a seemingly unused office. Detritus of discarded papers and data-slates were stacked up in mismatched piles and wrappers of various foods were cast near the disposal bucket in the corner of the room, some where even in the bucket. The old smell of recaf assaulted the two’s senses as the Detective pushed open the door that had a smoked glass window with the letters ‘F. Calamar’ in bold type face.

    She waved the two towards a set of seats in front of her messy desk. She smiled sweetly as she sat in front of them, despite the mess, the room still felt warm and accepting, probably helped to no end by the general psychic field projected by Felicia.

    “Now, I have asked you hear to talk about the mutation you discovered.” The Detective asked as she tapped on a data-slate.

    Cairn leaned forward in his seat “Most of what I remember is in my after-action-report” The Detective nodded “I know, I’ve read them.” She rubbed her neck “But I want your direct, unedited, emotional recollection of the event.”

    Thall looked to the face of the Lucius Angel; her face barely contained a laugh. “Just your recollection will do” She smiled “Unless you need to a cuddle.”

    Thall went over his thoughts of the mutant to the Detective “-despite amazing agility and strength, their endurance and durability leaves a lot to desire. I suspect a selective mutation program behind it.” Felicia was scribbling away on the slate with a stylus in one hand and a delivered cup of recaf in the other. Her eyes locked onto the Arbitrator as he finished. “Like a mutant cult?” Thall nodded “With an overarching plan to perfect their mutations?” again the Arbitrator nodded. The Detective hummed as she wrote the thought down.

    Cairn looked to his friend “What about the coordination?” He switched his sight between the two. “They flanked, attacked, fell back with unerring precision.” Cairn shrugged, “If it hadn’t been for those big guys, we may not be having the conversation.”

    “Why is that?” Felicia raised an eyebrow. “Well” Cairn started “The gangers had both numerical and positional superiority , they would have had us if those muscle-bound nutters hadn’t charged in and distracted the purples crazies.”

    “Purple crazies? The gang’s colour you mean” Felicia remarked. Cairn shrugged “I haven’t come up with a witty name to register them with, purple crazies seemed good enough.”

    Felicia agreed with a slight nod. “However they are the gang with the mutations, so I’m sure they’ll get an official designation soon enough.”

    Cairn leaned forward “May I vote that it contains the word crazy? You must have something wrong with you to sleep next to a fusion reactor.” Felicia hummed again “I’d guess it would be warm if nothing else.”

    She noted a few more things before looking back to the two. “Thank you lads, I’ll get back to you when I figure something out.”

    The two Arbitrators stood, saluted and left. Felicia looked over the notes she had collected from the dozens of personnel she had interviewed over the last few hours, from the Arbitrators to the Medical menials.

    Each of the Honour guard had referenced a woman in the Representative’s retinue who had freaked out before the attack. A woman she couldn’t get access to without going through the Governor’s staff.

    The cogitator whirred as she punched the data into it. It threw the facts at a wall metaphorically to see what stuck. A few lines of code danced on the screen before the cogitator returned something legible.

    Felicia’s brow furred as she read the words ‘Classified’. “L-e-v-i-a-t-h-a-n” she continued on through the data “Genestealer” she said quietly. As she delved further into the data, her eyes widened with terror.
    On Hiatus - RL to take care of.
    Grey Knights don't go to heaven: they go to hell and regroup.
    Just Below the Surface: An Adeptus Arbites Story- on semi-regular updates. Now another place you can find this story.
    The Silver Wolf of War - New story, comments welcome
    Brothers of the Lance - advice/comments welcome - may be necro'd in the near future

  5. #45
    Commander guillimansknight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Undercover in Ultramar
    Posts
    872

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    Dun dun dun. ........


    Not that that wasn't obvious since that first block war but still
    Exactly as Planned...
    Quote Originally Posted by guillimansknight View Post
    Today in Biology we learned about mutations and mutants and how we shouldn't judge them - so I burned the Textbooks and then burned the Teacher for being a Heretic.
    Magnus Irish Warp Cider
    ~ Time. - is meaningless

  6. #46
    Librarian BladeWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Battle Barge Fang Imperialus
    Posts
    443

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    For the reader, yes, but the in-story characters, they don't exactly have the Tyranid codex to look up so it is a surprise to Felicia.
    On Hiatus - RL to take care of.
    Grey Knights don't go to heaven: they go to hell and regroup.
    Just Below the Surface: An Adeptus Arbites Story- on semi-regular updates. Now another place you can find this story.
    The Silver Wolf of War - New story, comments welcome
    Brothers of the Lance - advice/comments welcome - may be necro'd in the near future

  7. #47
    Commander guillimansknight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Undercover in Ultramar
    Posts
    872

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    Quote Originally Posted by BladeWolf View Post
    For the reader, yes, but the in-story characters, they don't exactly have the Tyranid codex to look up so it is a surprise to Felicia.
    I wasnae talkin bout that
    Exactly as Planned...
    Quote Originally Posted by guillimansknight View Post
    Today in Biology we learned about mutations and mutants and how we shouldn't judge them - so I burned the Textbooks and then burned the Teacher for being a Heretic.
    Magnus Irish Warp Cider
    ~ Time. - is meaningless

  8. #48
    Commander Exitas-Acta-Probat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    on Crusade
    Posts
    650

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    its called dramatic irony, when the audience know something the protagonists dont.
    "six shots."

  9. #49
    Librarian BladeWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Battle Barge Fang Imperialus
    Posts
    443

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    - - - - - - -Chapter Eighteen - The Representative part I - - - - - - -

    “Milady” An aide spoke to the representative as amber-honey waffles were served to the red headed lady. She looked to the well-dressed manservant. “A member of the Adeptus Arbites is here to speak with you, she does not have an appointment” the aide bowed low as the Representative nodded to allow the Arbite in.

    The gilded golden halls of the palace surrounded the Representative as she took breakfast in what the audacious governor called the Hericius room. Facing north was a wide balcony looking over the upper-level that sprawled out below the palace and its adjacent gardens. The tables were made seemingly of unbroken white marble. On the walls hung portraits of former planetary governors and the faces of valiant Generals and Commanders of Tercian Imperial Guard history. The chairs were, to the Representative’s trained eye, nalwood. A substance that had become very rare due to the loss of supply, the chairs were probably centuries old and perfectly preserved in the personal reserve of the Governor, whom had brought them out of storage to impress the Representative. She smiled as she bit into the doughy food. It wouldn’t hurt his chances she thought.

    A minor cadre of handmaidens stood dutifully at the edge of the room ready to receive the Representative’s orders. The maidens all wore simple robes marked with the crest of the Governor; their hair was pulled back into long ponytails and their eyes were cast down to the floor. They remained silent even as the sounds of feet echoed towards the room.

    The door was carved with even more graven images of the Emperor and nine other giants. The Representative looked over the nine, she smirked. It was highly unlikely that, judging by their first conversation, the Governor would be able to name any of the nine giants that stood at the Emperor’s side.

    The sounds of the footsteps stopped outside the door and the noise was replaced by a rapping of knuckles on the great door.

    The door creaked open as a handmaiden poured a glass of sweetened amasec for the noblewoman. She cast a serene glance over towards the opening doorway. The aide was stood unimposing in the doorway. He bowed low, “Milady, may I introduce Lady Felicia Calamar, Detective of the Adeptus Arbites.” The black robed officer passed the aide with a smile and a nod to the aide. Her off-duty clothes replaced by her usual work clothes, an armoured body glove with a thick black cloak, her two bolt pistols remained in their holsters.

    The Representative stood and nodded respectively to the officer who in return bowed low. “Thank you for your time my lady” The Detective said with a tone of reverence.

    “Oh no, to aid the Arbites is always a worthwhile pursuit.” The Representative indicated a free nalwood chair for the Detective to sit but she refused with a curt hand gesture. The redheaded woman smiled regardless and returned to her exquisitely prepared breakfast.

    After a moment of silence the Detective took the unsaid sign that she should start. “My lady, as you are aware, there were some...disturbances yesterday.”

    The Representative cast a dim glare at the Detective “I am not blind to the universe around me Detective; I have been made completely aware of the civil disturbance.” She paused as she chewed a bite of waffle. “A rather bad piece of business that.” The Detective looked away as the Representative mentioned the riot. Felicia remembered the sheer anger from Cairn over what happened, despite the words he said, she could feel his disgust at the situation as a whole.

    “My apologizes my lady, I meant no disrespect” Felicia half-bowed, “I was merely prefacing my reason for coming before you today.”

    The Representative “Allow me to presume” She took to a long sip of her amasec. “Your men reported one of my bodyguards acting strangely.” The Detective nodded.

    “That is among one of a few questions I wish to ask you my lady.” Felicia checked the data-slate at her waist. Before she could she was caught off by a simple hand wave from the Representative. The redhead held the Detective in a sharp glare. She shook her head slowly. Felicia nodded knowingly.

    The Representative stood; her white dress fell around her magnificently as she turned away, leaving the food left half-uneaten on the table. She began to move away, towards a door opposite the one Felicia walked in. That door was less ornate than the main entrance, instead of the Emperor and nine giants, they were replaced by what looked like rank after rank of soldiers all standing proud.

    As the Representative moved towards the door, a young pair of maidens pushed the door open with a bow as they did. The Representative waved the Detective through after her. Felicia moved forward with an air of stiffness. The heavy boots of the body glove stomped down on the marble floor leaving dusty marks on the previously peerless white surface.

    The Representative waved the maidens to a halt as they attempted to follow her. Even the two finely dressed guardsmen that were usually tucked into the corners of the room were stopped by a simple gesture. They hovered for a second, unsure of how to proceed, the governor’s orders were clear; as was the threat of punishment should they fail to protect the Representative.

    The Representative gestured for the Detective to walk beside her as she walked. The fair haired Arbite fell into step with the noblewoman. As they moved from the earshot of the maidens the Detective listened while the Representative started to talk.

    “I must question, why does that reporter remain in the pict-screens, he said some horrible things about the Adeptus Arbites?” The Representative questioned as the two walked through the portrait laden halls. More stringy old men stared mercilessly outwards towards the two women.

    “Pelmann?” Felicia asked and the Representative nodded. “My lady, Mister Pelmann is an agent of the Adeptus Mechanicus.” The Representative looked on with eager eyes, as if she didn’t really know what that meant.

    “The joint unification of Terra and Mars to create the Imperium is a complex thing my lady, despite the implications the name suggest, the Mechanicus remains a separate entity in terms of the laws and rules. Though we stand shoulder to shoulder in war, we stand far apart in almost all other matters.” The Detective explained as simply as she could. In truth the theological and multi-unilateral matters where astrological in comparison to the line the Detective trotted out. “We, the Emperor’s Adeptus Arbites, have no authority over the Mechanicus at any level, hence Mister Pelmann is still able to produce his reports” Felicia bit back the bile and venom from her tone as she finished.

    Despite the current face the Representative was projecting, the reports form the honour guard showed almost unanimously that the Representative was more then she was letting on.

    “Oh” the redheaded woman breathed as she put her hand in front her mouth. “They have their own laws” The Representative said as if she was shocked to the core “They reject the mighty Emperor’s own laws.” The Detective had to sigh inside. “They are allowed to worship a clockwork version of the Emperor, but they do not bow to his word.” She seemed saddened by it and again the Detective groaned silently.

    “Felicia was it?” The Representative asked as they continued down the obscenely long hallway.

    The Detective nodded “Yes my lady.” The Representative smiled sweetly. “I am Mary, Mary Lognus of the Adeptus Terra” The Representative mimicked a curtsy. “The ‘milady’ thing wears on you after a while.” The Detective stored the name mentally and nodded politely. Her ‘sniffin’ sense, the technical name for her psychic abilities, felt the warmth of honesty radiate from Mary, as if she thought it was a major thing to tell a, in comparison, low level hive-worlder your name. She mentally sighed again.

    “I suppose your here, not to speak about the horrible acts of slander, but with my astropath Relena yes?” Mary questioned as they reached the end of the corridor, a far plainer door welcomed them, and it was still twice the height of either of them, as if the builders expected Astartes to walk these halls.

    “Yes My- Mary” Felicia stumbled “I believe she may have some information that could lead to discovering the mutant cells that attacked your entourage.” Felicia dared not tell the Representative the implications if any of the facts she uncovered proved true.

    “The Shadow?” Mary said incredulously, as if it were something she had seen in a holo-drama. Felicia perked up to that, she only got to see those documents due to an office arrangement that allowed her to use the Inspectors authority. But then again, a representative of the Adeptus Terra probably out ranked her in terms of authority and classification.

    “It hungers” Mary said as she pushed open the firm door with a steady hand.
    Last edited by BladeWolf; 18-03-2010 at 03:15.
    On Hiatus - RL to take care of.
    Grey Knights don't go to heaven: they go to hell and regroup.
    Just Below the Surface: An Adeptus Arbites Story- on semi-regular updates. Now another place you can find this story.
    The Silver Wolf of War - New story, comments welcome
    Brothers of the Lance - advice/comments welcome - may be necro'd in the near future

  10. #50
    Commander Exitas-Acta-Probat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    on Crusade
    Posts
    650

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    nalwood. nice touch.
    "six shots."

  11. #51
    Librarian BladeWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Battle Barge Fang Imperialus
    Posts
    443

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    Sorry latest chapter is a bit late, should be done soon.
    On Hiatus - RL to take care of.
    Grey Knights don't go to heaven: they go to hell and regroup.
    Just Below the Surface: An Adeptus Arbites Story- on semi-regular updates. Now another place you can find this story.
    The Silver Wolf of War - New story, comments welcome
    Brothers of the Lance - advice/comments welcome - may be necro'd in the near future

  12. #52
    Librarian BladeWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Battle Barge Fang Imperialus
    Posts
    443

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    Not really a snappy chapter, more here for Characters and Narrative sake.

    - - - - - - -Chapter Eighteen - The Representative part II - - - - - - -


    Felicia Calamar walked into the inner sanctum with slightly caught breath, instead of the main room she entered into the antechamber of the inner sanctum. The tight hall expanded into a large, wide opening. Several tables where spread out over the carpeted floor. The bodyguards and a handful of others in administratum-style robes looked up from their desks.

    On one desk was a full gun cleaning kit, as evidenced by the two bolt pistols and a laspistol that were taken apart on the table. A tech priest was stood over the guns. He clearly was a Mechanicus judging by the sheer volume of augmentation and cybernetics. The crimson robe flowed down the silvery skin of the priest; it rippled as the Tech Priest looked up. The augmetic eyes whirred and focused as they analysed the Arbite, after a moment he went back to the weapons.

    “Don’t mind Charon” a fair-haired man said as he walked forward towards the two. Felicia smiled as he offered his hand; she took it and tried to shake it. However when she gripped his hand, he turned her hand and brought it to his lips. “He doesn’t play well with others” he grinned “Names Jonas Agrippa, aide-de-camp to Lady Lognus.” He smiled devilishly. His face was peerless. His sharp eyes radiated a cool ease as Felicia looked into them, she couldn’t drag her own eyes away from his.

    “I play just fine” The raspy voice of the Tech Priest broke the locking of eyes. “I have a better use for my time than small talk.” Jonas nodded to the Adeptus Mechanicum representative. “See what I mean?”

    Felicia chuckled slightly. Her Arbite mind was sat, glaring sternly at Felicia as she laughed.

    Mary stepped forward with a slight smile “You’ll excuse my aides” She sent a raised eyebrow to both of the men. Agrippa smiled back to the redheaded Representative. The Tech Priest, if he had any reaction was hidden under the mask of metal that was his face.

    Mary looked to the other who had gone back to the piles of data-slates and papers they were working through. “Relena, could you come over here please.” She said to the room, after a moment the Tech Priest spoke up

    “Lady Relena has exited the sanctum approximately thirty-nine minutes ago.”

    To this the Representative rubbed the bridge of her nose. “A moment Detective, I know where she’s gone.” Mary pulled away through the antechamber. The Representative disappeared through another set of doors.

    Felicia was stood among the aides, servants and assorted others. Excluding the Administratum drones and the myriad servitors and servo-skulls, there were about fifteen people overall. The distinct smell of tanna tea mixed with the smell for high-grade recaf. The number of slates that were piled up on each desk rivalled her own number. Felicia thought to the amount of work required to inspect an entire planet’s worth of data, judging from the number of slates stacked up at the edge of the chamber, it looked like they were looking through the raw data before the Governor’s executives changed the meanings of the words and numbers.

    The whirring of servos overruled the scribbling of the styluses as the Tech Priest Charon continued his work of maintaining the firearms. Jonas returned to his own table. The pretty young man leaned back and stretched in his chair, showing his intense boredom that brought another slight grin to Felicia.

    The bodyguards, or what Felicia interpreted to be the bodyguards based on the Arbitrator’s reports, where sat busying themselves with data-slates as well. The leader, the raven haired woman as described in the reports, was busy flipping through a slate with her feet propped up on a desk. Her plasma pistol was lying on the desk; the charging chamber was dull indicated the weapons status. There was an atmosphere of tense determinism in the chamber. Each of the entourage was working hard in their search for whatever it was they were looking for. Felicia stood around for a moment before Charon moved toward her. She politely smiled and moved out the way of the metal man.

    “Drink?” The Tech Priest rasped to the Detective. She found the entire question a little strange but not off putting.

    “Heavily.” She smiled. “Recaf if you have any.” A snort came from the nearest bodyguard. “A small river’s worth.”

    The Tech Priest maintained ‘eye’ contact as a pair of mechadendrites snaked from under the heavy red cloak towards a table laden with bowls, heating stoves and kettles. The labelled tins that contained sweeteners, tea leaves and the recaf beans were open the air.

    Felicia gave the working Tech Priest her preferences and watched in minor amazement as the machines worked with unerring precision, she had seen a Priest take apart a Rhino’s engine block with similar grace but to see it applied to the steaming liquids was a small wonder in itself.

    Felicia took the steaming bowl of liquid from the proffered mechadendrite. The brown liquid swirled slightly as she brought it to her lips. The liquid rushed down her throat smoothly. It made a definite change from the recaf the Arbite was accustomed to which came in the two differing grades.

    The first grade recaf was easily likened to tasteless lukewarm water. The other, second grade was easily a substitute for molten tar in taste and texture. Of the two Felicia preferred the second one, at least it felt like you were drinking something. However, that suddenly had a new contender from this simple ceramic bowl. She allowed herself a moment to taste it before swallowing. It was indeed high-grade. She thought for a moment of pocketing the tin when no one was looking.

    She opened her eyes to see a similar bowl in Charon’s mechadendrite embrace. She mused for a second as to the meaning of why, the Tech Priest had no visible mouth to which to drink from the bowl. She watched intently as the Tech Priest raised the bowl to his head, only to see Charon’s hand come up under his chin. The metallic fingers fiddled with something she couldn’t see and a moment later a small, clear pipe dropped down. Her eyes must have widened as the pipe turned brown as the liquid rushed up, as Charon chuckled, or at least what the vox-speaker allowed.

    “It is one of the few human pleasures I allow myself” The Tech Priest said as the liquid continued to drain from the bowl much to the stunned expression of the Detective.

    The sounds of footsteps dragged Felicia’s attention away from the Tech Priest and to the now returned Representative and her Astropath. The white-haired woman fitted the description of a psyker to a T, The slightly distant eyes and the minor distracted demeanour, as if seeing things that weren’t really there. The Astropath snapped out of her trance to look at Felicia. The Detective realised a moment later that it was her sniffin sense, her own psychic abilities that had caught the psyker’s attention. The aqua robed woman nodded kindly to someone she saw as almost-kin. Felicia nodded back unsure of the protocol defining the meeting of a full Astropath and a ‘sharper-blunt’ as some more advanced psykers would call her.

    The introduction was cut off for a moment as a giant of a man walked past the Representative with barely a nod to the woman. The man was easily the same size as the Provost if not bigger. The tunic he wore barely concealed a sculpted chest and stomach. The fair hair was hung around the head of the man. As he passed Charon he shot a perfect smile to Felicia. She felt the more undisciplined parts of her mind melt but the strict Arbite remnants held her knees steady. She returned with a slight bow. Around his shoulders was a black cloak similar to the one she was wearing but ever so different, she couldn’t quite put her finger on what though.

    The giant scooped up a bowl from the refreshment table and made himself a generous amount of recaf.

    Agrippa appeared beside Felicia, a little too close for her liking but she allowed it for the sake of politeness to the Representative. “We call him, Lakios, though what his beast parents call him, we have no idea” the Aide smirked.

    The giant turned his head and mock-laughed “Very funny” Lakios turned towards the Detective, she suddenly felt very small, he was easily a head and a half above her, and Felicia was a moderately tall woman.

    “Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Miss?"

    Felicia's told Lakios her name quickly and politely, unsure of the huge man's accent, a jocular yet strong tone impossible to place.

    "Miss Calamar, I am Lakios Darrios of the-” he stopped for a second before starting again “Of the Lady Representative’s personal security team.”

    Felicia leapt on the words with all the eagerness of the Detective she was trained to be. “I don’t remember someone like you being mention in the after-action report.”

    Lakios nodded solemnly, “That was unfortunate, I was on the second shuttle down with all the others you see around you.”

    Agrippa nodded to confirm it, as did the Representative, if the Tech Priest made any expression on the subject, he wasn’t sharing. Felicia smiled to the man as she turned back to the Representative. “Detective, may I introduce lady Relena.” Mary smiled pleasantly. Felicia smiled back to the two of them and Relena partly-bowed. “I hope she knows the answers you wish to learn. If I may ask that she remain nearby, I may need to send an emergency communication.”

    Felicia nodded her agreement to the terms and indicated to the Astropath that she should walk with her. “Thank you for your assistance Lady Lognus” The Detective said as the two left.
    Last edited by BladeWolf; 18-03-2010 at 03:23.
    On Hiatus - RL to take care of.
    Grey Knights don't go to heaven: they go to hell and regroup.
    Just Below the Surface: An Adeptus Arbites Story- on semi-regular updates. Now another place you can find this story.
    The Silver Wolf of War - New story, comments welcome
    Brothers of the Lance - advice/comments welcome - may be necro'd in the near future

  13. #53
    Commander guillimansknight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Undercover in Ultramar
    Posts
    872

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    Man, you love the details.
    Exactly as Planned...
    Quote Originally Posted by guillimansknight View Post
    Today in Biology we learned about mutations and mutants and how we shouldn't judge them - so I burned the Textbooks and then burned the Teacher for being a Heretic.
    Magnus Irish Warp Cider
    ~ Time. - is meaningless

  14. #54
    Commander Exitas-Acta-Probat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    on Crusade
    Posts
    650

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    indeed. good stuff
    "six shots."

  15. #55
    Librarian BladeWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Battle Barge Fang Imperialus
    Posts
    443

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    Author note: Sorry for being so late

    - - - - - - -Chapter Eighteen - The Representative part III - - - - - - -

    The Detective led the Astropath out through to the main pavilion inside the Governor’s gardens. At most times of the year they were open to the citizens to tour and walk through at a moderate fee.

    The Detective indicated an empty seat in the corner of a recaf bar that was burrowed inside a minor indoor forest just outside the guest house of which the Representative was staying. The upper-level artificial solar-lamp shone down gloriously on the entire mini-city. The myriad crowds chattered among themselves, young couples walked the well-trodden paths of the gardens to the hidden areas. Mothers and fathers guided their children through the trees and small wooded areas.

    The occasional patrol team of Arbites in light combat armour waltzed past, the laspistols in their holsters and frozen sweets in their hands. As they saw the Detective they immediately tried to hide them. Felicia raised a judgmental eyebrow despite the fact she really didn’t care, the temperature within the high-level was quite high today.

    The two women sat in the wooden seats at a quiet corner table. A simple word to the manager and a flash of identification had coerced the manager to ensure that no one would sit near them.

    A nervous waitress wandered over at first, a paper pad and stylus in her hands. “Recaf for me” Felicia smiled to the clearly nervous young girl.

    Relena shot a glance to the Detective, “Are you addicted to the stuff or something?” Felicia laughed in response “Probably, definitely all that keeps me up some days” The Astropath looked into the menu that she picked up off the table intently for a second.

    After a moment the Astropath looked towards the waitress with an intense gaze. An instant later the woman nodded snappishly and walked away with a brisk gait. Felicia cast a raised eyebrow towards the psyker. Relena shrugged with a smile. “Gotta get your kicks somewhere” The pale-haired woman smiled.

    Felicia was less than amused, “What did you do to that poor girl?” The Detective narrowed her eyes on the Representative’s young astropath.

    “I may or may not have placed a fake memory of my order into her short term recall. She’ll have forgotten by tomorrow, no harm done.” The white haired psyker smiled innocently. Felicia maintained her gaze. The Astropath clearly picked up on the thought drifting around Felicia’s head. “It doesn’t work on those with more disciplined minds or other gifted.”

    “Gifted?” Felicia questioned.

    “The Emperor’s own, those touched by His gift, like you and me.” Relena said reverently. “The Psyker gene in all its forms.” The Detective sat back and scribbled something on her data-slate. “Do you not feel His strength within you?” Clearly the psyker was referring to the Soul Binding, a staple of the Astropath training regime.

    Astropaths receive their training at the Adeptus Astra Telepathica; they are selected from the second ranking of the psykers collected by the Imperium's Blackships, from those psykers whose powers are considerable, but whose mental strength is insufficient to resist the danger of daemonic possession. They must undergo a special process known as the soul-binding ritual, which shapes their powers as well as enabling them to withstand the attentions of predatory warp entities.

    Before they receive the soul-binding they receive basic psychic training which prepares them for the process; they also learn to read the Emperor's Tarot, how to cast horoscopes, and the practices of chiromancy and augury of all kinds.

    Only the Emperor is powerful enough to perform the soul-binding. Astropaths are led before the Emperor, where he reshapes their very minds a hundred at a time. The psykers are knelt before the Emperor and must endure several hours of agony as the Emperor redesigns their minds, mingling a tiny fraction of His immeasurable power with their own. The Emperor's mind is so powerful that some do not survive the traumatic ritual despite years of preparatory training, and not all who survive retain their sanity. All have their personalities altered to some extent.

    Those who survive are almost invariably blinded; some may also lack other senses, such as touch, smell or hearing. However, the loss of their physical senses is generally made up by their increased psychic senses. The process gives the Astropath some measure of resistance against daemonic possession, and the ability for which they were chosen, to send and receive psychic messages.

    Relena it seemed, had come out the other side relatively intact, she still had her eyes and other senses, at least mostly intact, though it would be plausible that Relena had restored her youthful looks through augmetics and juvenat treatments to provide a more presentable face to her close companions and the public, as part of the Representative’s entourage.

    “His strength? Not in the same way I’m afraid, to low level” The Detective admitted.

    The Astropath nodded in return. “But His gift must lift your spirits nonetheless.”

    Felicia sighed as she placed the recaf bowl down, “Remove the Ecclesiarches hypocrisy surrounding the psychic gifts, the ‘gift’ is at the end of the day, a mutation, plain and simple, a biological mutation as defined by the Adeptus Mechanicum and the rest of the secular authorities who regulate its proliferation through pre-determined breeding pairs, not to say all psyker-gene births are regulated. I am the product of one such assigned breeding.” The Detective said clearly.

    The Astropath laughed openly. “So says one that has not seen the Emperor’s holy light directly, but I see where you thought processes comes from, even if they are flawed.”

    Felicia sighed to the astropath as she flipped the slate to the questions she had prepared. Those were words you don’t want to put to a Adept of the Mechanicum any time soon she thought.

    “Lady Relena, yesterday, you reported seeing a ‘Shadow’, a fact corroborated by each of the Honour Guard and the Representative herself, could you please explain this.” The Detective said officially after the waitress returned with the bowl of recaf. Felicia watched as the waitress placed another one in front of Astropath along with a simple platter carrying what seemed to be a slice of coco-cake with cream and akenberries. The psyker had smiled sweetly had motioned for the Arbite to continue.

    “The Shadow, for want for a better term... is what it sounds like, a Shadow in the warp.” The fork was held between the Astropath teeth while she thought of the correct terms “It’s a somewhat common occurrence towards the eastern fringe, beyond Nimbosa and the Empire of Ultramar.” The Astropath caught the glance of the Detective at the mention of the realm of the Ultramarines.

    “The Shadow suppresses Warp activity, making all activities involving the Warp quite difficult.” The Astropath swallowed another mouthful of the fluffy cake slice. “It tends to make my job impossible.” The white-haired woman smirked.

    The Detective noted it all down dutifully before moving on to the next question. “What causes the Shadow?” The data-file had told the Detective only a tiny amount, she knew the name of the beasts but almost nothing more, hopefully the Astropath could give some insight.

    “A Xeno species of unknown origin.” The Astropath said with conviction. “That’s all you need to know Detective.” she added.

    The Detective leant forward, looking the Astropath in the eye. “What are these Xenos, are they the same as the ganger we have locked up in cold storage?” The Astropath locked Felicia in a hard stare.

    “Much worse” was the grave response.

    Felicia thought back to the name she had encountered in the data-file. “What is Leviathan? Is that the species name?” Again the Astropath looked to the Arbite with a glare. She held it for a moment intensely. The Astropath breathed hard as clearly something was happening behind the scenes.

    The Detective stared straight back. She was not blind to the level of information she had asked, that after all had been why she asked, she could not defend against whatever Leviathan was without knowing what it was. If the Detective couldn’t report to the Inspector and Provost or maybe even the Marshal about what they were fighting, experience had shown time and again that any counter was flawed.

    What the Detective didn’t expect was for the Astropath to touch the hand of Felicia. The psyker’s eyes maintained their now-glazed over look at the Detective.

    ’It is too dangerous to speak openly on such a subject’

    Felicia suddenly jerked back, her eyes widened in shock.

    ’Don’t worry, the Lady has allowed this-’

    Felicia stared at the Astropath as the voice filtered into her thoughts. In a blind panic her free hand flew to the holster of her bolt pistol.

    ’Stop, I mean no harm to you or your mind, but the words that need to be said cannot be allowed to be heard by undeserving ears.’

    Felicia fought against every instinct not to yank the weapon from its holster and destroy the psyker. “You can’t just force your way into my mind” Felicia hissed uselessly.

    ’Why? We’re the same, sort of; we’re both touched by the Emperor’s gift whether or not you ordain the spiritual element behind it. If it would make any difference to you, the Lady Representative has allowed me to lend you this branch of cooperation’

    The eyes of the psyker mimicked a pleading look of honesty; the sniffin’ sense was pleased with the feeling that emanated from the young woman. Though Felicia gave little credence to it considering the fact that the Astropath was easily more powerful then the Detective and could probably overwhelm the meagre sense by sheer raw psychic power.

    ’Leviathan is not their name, that’s is the name of their Hive Fleet, or at least the Imperial designation for it’

    “Then what are these things actually called.” Felicia sub-vocalised having never communicated telepathically in any way before now, the entire sequence was incredibly unnerving as it was.

    ’The one you have locked up? A Hybrid, more specifically a Genestealer Hybrid, a Pure strain Genestealer is something to be feared and is most likely guiding the mutant cell, but they are, unfortunately, the least of your problems’

    “You didn’t answer my question” the Detective reminded the Astropath. The young woman seemed to pale as the voice in Felicia’s head began again.

    ’The Xenos themselves, they are ravenous beasts known only as Tyranids, a unnumbered horde of carapace, claws and teeth and a insatiable hunger that will know no end. The Emperor’s Astartes Chapter Ultramarines barely defeated the first incursion but at great loss.’

    The Astropath removed her hand from Felicia's and sighed loudly as her head dropped for a moment. She breathed deep before returning eye contact with the disturbed Detective. The voice had carried along with it, images, they lasted only a split second but the contents were clear. Worlds stripped clean on life.

    “There is hope however” Relena said after a moment. “Corania, Periremunda, Macragge. Each of them a victory against them, a list I am thankful to say, is growing, slowly but surely, it is growing.”

    Felicia looked on at the woman as she regained her composure. “You’re not here to inspect our planetary finances are you?”

    Relena chuckled grimly “Not just, Lord Macekre has been skimping out on the tithes a little and the Guard regiments don’t cover it entirely.”

    Felicia returned the smile and jotted some more notes down.

    “And for the record Detective, I’m more than a simple Astropath” The woman smirked as the Detective’s portable vox blared loudly.
    Last edited by BladeWolf; 18-03-2010 at 03:32.
    On Hiatus - RL to take care of.
    Grey Knights don't go to heaven: they go to hell and regroup.
    Just Below the Surface: An Adeptus Arbites Story- on semi-regular updates. Now another place you can find this story.
    The Silver Wolf of War - New story, comments welcome
    Brothers of the Lance - advice/comments welcome - may be necro'd in the near future

  16. #56
    Librarian BladeWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Battle Barge Fang Imperialus
    Posts
    443

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    Author Note: A Small intro into the next set of Chapters, these will be more action based after the stint on the more restrained parts of the story. Also trying out chapter fonts/sizes

    - - - - - - - Chapter Nineteen - Opening Moves part I - - - - - - -

    Corbal sat in the makeshift company command tent, a tent was giving it to much credit, it was a simple dark green tarpaulin draped over a shoddy wood framework. The desk was a simple administratum table dragged in by bored looking guardsmen a few hours earlier. The cogitator was placed unceremoniously on the said desk a few minutes later and it was currently going through the raw combat data.

    Corbal looked around his hot, uncomfortable tent command post. He silently wished for his cramped armoury administration office again.

    His seat was hard and uncomfortable. His chaffing flak armour wasn’t helping his current mindset. The sombre Captain sat with his lasgun on his lap. A bottle of cleaning liquid sat open on the desk in front of him filling the room with a smell that would burn the nose of most people. As Corbal laboured away with the cloth on the various mechanisms within the rifle, the smell ceased to bother him.

    The bowl of lukewarm recaf sat unattended, staling in the dry heat. The foul mood of the captain had driven off the lieutenants and the gaggle of support staff, even Colonel Kravitz had given the captain his room at the debriefing. The relocation to Mostatia Plaza itself was enough to damper on anybody’s day but the tunnel link up was just plain horrendous, it still wasn’t clear what happened in there. Corbal knew that he sent a platoon in and suddenly they were down thirty percent casualties.

    Lieutenant Jacob had preformed admirably for his first operation. His quick thinking had saved probably more lives than he thought. Each of the soldiers that returned from that mission after the 507th had taken over the watch of the tunnels described what they fought as monsters and beasts. A fact the regimental chaplain, a simple ministorum stand-in until a proper Imperial Guard priest could be assigned from the Departmento Munitorum, leapt on, decrying that it was a sign of the underhive's unrepentant sins and proof of their hideous barbarism. Full of fire and rhetoric, but little in substance, but after today, a little reassurance of what they did was right was enough for the men.

    Corbal took no pleasure in the words of the rambling lunatic. He was down a lot of fresh faced soldiers and a dozen of the returning ones were on the verge of full battlefield psychosis. Those dark tunnels held something that he was not informed of, and now his men were suffering the consequences. The Colonel had left her condolences and returned to the welfare of the newly-battered regiment. Overall the Third Company had suffered almost fifteen percent casualties on its first real operation. Most of it down to the line troopers sheer unwillingness to fire on civilians, at least to begin with. The Third had taken easily the most casualties that day, and the tactical forecasters expected the level of violence against the Imperial Guard presence to increase.

    In the end of the day, all the fighting had done was bring the Hammer of the Emperor down harder. The gangers were well armed and prepared for the Guard. Corbal sipped the stone-cold recaf.

    The underhive was ready for them.
    Last edited by BladeWolf; 31-03-2010 at 01:10.
    On Hiatus - RL to take care of.
    Grey Knights don't go to heaven: they go to hell and regroup.
    Just Below the Surface: An Adeptus Arbites Story- on semi-regular updates. Now another place you can find this story.
    The Silver Wolf of War - New story, comments welcome
    Brothers of the Lance - advice/comments welcome - may be necro'd in the near future

  17. #57
    Librarian BladeWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Battle Barge Fang Imperialus
    Posts
    443

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    Sorry, no update today. Currently in the middle of writing the next two so don't fret.
    Last edited by BladeWolf; 01-10-2009 at 14:07.
    On Hiatus - RL to take care of.
    Grey Knights don't go to heaven: they go to hell and regroup.
    Just Below the Surface: An Adeptus Arbites Story- on semi-regular updates. Now another place you can find this story.
    The Silver Wolf of War - New story, comments welcome
    Brothers of the Lance - advice/comments welcome - may be necro'd in the near future

  18. #58
    Librarian BladeWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Battle Barge Fang Imperialus
    Posts
    443

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    - - - - - - - Chapter Nineteen - Opening Moves part II - - - - - - -

    Departmento Munitorum Official Document – Do not alter under pain of punishment


    Document Type: After-Action Report [Form 0-245-A34-C]

    Date: 34~946.M41

    Document Originator: Lieutenant Jacob Ruthann; Tercian 509th
    Document Signed By: Captain Jeremy Corbal; Tercian 509th

    Subject/Mission: Manoeuvres into Lucius Hive Under-level.

    Mission Objectives;

    Primary:

    1. Secure path to Mostatia Plaza
    2. Secure area Mostatia Plaza
    3. Link up with elements of the Tercian 507th through Eastern Tunnels

    Secondary;

    1. Eliminate Gang presence along route towards Mostatia Plaza
    2. Remove civilian element from Mostatia area with minimal casualties to Imperial Forces
    3. Reclaim Entire Eastern Tunnels

    -This description of events as seen and monitored by the officer in question with the benefit of hindsight is truthful as to the extent of the officer in question. -

    Convoy deployed from Staging Area 5 at 21:00 Local time. Third Platoon was mounted in Chimera Armoured Personnel Carriers.

    Third Company entered into Hive Lucius through mass transport route beta (Waypoint 0) with little infraction from the locals, an Adeptus Arbites Rapid Pursuit squad cleared the gateway and roads just beyond.

    Third Platoon was forced to disperse swelling civilian presence at Waypoint 1. I ordered my troopers not to fire on the public despite a precedent order sent from the Planetary Governor to fire at will, First and Second squads successfully removed the majority of civil presence with no notable incident. Third Platoon continued to Waypoint 2.

    After arriving at Waypoint 2, I ordered my squads to form a junction cordon (pattern Defence Secundus Cadian-Pattern) to allow First Platoon to move free of interruption.

    Shots were fired towards the cordon by previously hidden hostile elements in the nearby hab-blocks. Weapons were identified as Auto weapons, primarily rifles. A number of Las weapons, again primarily rifles, are also fired. First Squad suffered a casualty, Trooper was recovered by my command squad’s medic, but unfortunately the trooper died from his wounds. As per their training, the Guardsmen returned fire. Shots from hostile elements diminished for a moment.

    Noticeable gathering of civilians begin to move towards the cordon, Sergeant Germaine asks to open fire; I withheld the order for the moment. I repeated the order when our lead Chimera requested to fire.

    Individuals within the gathering opened fire on the Platoon. First and Second squads returned fire, Third Squad moved to supporting positions. Fourth Platoon passed through the junction.

    The Chimeras of Fourth Platoon fired upon the crowd with their heavy bolters. The gathering is immediately sent into a rage, many charge towards the Imperial lines. I must note that I observed some of the crowd begin to beat each other instead of fighting the Imperial line. I order the Chimeras to draw a ‘line in the sand’ with their heavy bolters.

    The strategy worked, it forced a good majority of the hostile elements back, many not wanting to be hit by the explosive ordnance. First squad pushed forward and started to gain fire superiority over the hostile elements.

    I ordered the Chimera to fire directly into the incoming wave after a group bloodlust seemed to overtake them. The group issued a battle cry. Luckily my Vox-Operator captured the noise and extrapolated the cry in file VOX RECORDING 563A45-1.

    Several hostile elements were gripped in a ‘berserker’ like rage and charged recklessly towards the First Squad. Again the training of my Guardsmen shone through and several of the assaulting units were killed before they could engage the squad. Third Squad reallocated their targets to the charging hostiles.

    Sergeant Germaine tactically withdrew from the position after directing a trooper equipped with a flamer unit to lay down a wall of fire. This downed another handful of the hostiles. But unfortunately the main bulk of the assaulting force maintained their momentum. I directed my own Chimera to fire on the reminder of the charging force.

    The trooper attempted to withdraw. But a thrown weapon, assumed to be an axe hit the trooper. The trooper fell and was overtaken by the hostiles. I ordered a full firing on the squad. Sergeant Germaine brought her squad’s chimera into direct fire. The heavy bolters eliminated the hostiles in a few seconds.

    Fifth platoon rolled in behind us, they lent their fire to the members of the third platoon. The gatherings on both sides of the junction were driven away through sheer firepower. I mounted my squads with haste to continue the advance.

    I noted that Sergeant Mitchell of Second Squad was visible shaken by the events. His squad had been faced with severe fire from the hostile elements.

    We moved through the next junction under the protection of Second platoon. Even inside my command chimera I could hear the sheer volume of fire outside the armour plate.

    From here on we moved straight to Waypoint 6. We deployed in standard formation under the direct watch of Captain Corbal. He ordered my soldiers towards the eastern entrance to the plaza. Immediately we were assaulted by waves of hostiles.

    I directed Fifth and Third Squads to the left of the road and Second and Fourth to the right. First Squad took cover in a nearby groceries emporium and opened fire of the flank of the hostiles.

    I took direct command of the Chimeras and directed them to provide fire support for the advancing squads. I ordered the Fifth Squad to move towards First Squad while I directed two of the Chimeras to lay down fire for the advance.

    Hostiles overall, form beginning to end were fighting with unnerving professionalism, not to dissimilar to training of a militia unit. They covered each other’s advance, sparred with my soldiers for fire superiority etc.

    <Captain’s Note> I have recommended to the Tercian Planetary Commissariat that they investigate the status of the Planetary Defence Force drill sergeants and instructors. I don’t like the idea that hostiles are being trained in the ways of combat.

    After a tense few minutes, the hostiles fell back when faced with a determined advance of Third and Fourth Squads combined with fire support from their respective Chimeras.

    At Mission Time 2h:35m. I was summoned to the Company Command Chimera. Captain Corbal had assigned me and my platoon to the daunting task of cleansing the eastern tunnels of hostile presence, presumably from ganger and other degenerates that made their home in the service corridors that were drilled through the rock.

    <Captain’s Note> It should be noted that Lucius Hive was originally built into the side of a mountain. Over nine or so millennia, the mountain was mined, refined and eventually eroded away by the constant expansion of the then-fledgling hive.

    I will make an additional report for my platoon’s excursion into the tunnels.
    Last edited by BladeWolf; 03-10-2009 at 04:15.
    On Hiatus - RL to take care of.
    Grey Knights don't go to heaven: they go to hell and regroup.
    Just Below the Surface: An Adeptus Arbites Story- on semi-regular updates. Now another place you can find this story.
    The Silver Wolf of War - New story, comments welcome
    Brothers of the Lance - advice/comments welcome - may be necro'd in the near future

  19. #59
    Librarian BladeWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Battle Barge Fang Imperialus
    Posts
    443

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    - - - - - - - Chapter Nineteen - Opening Moves part III - - - - - - -

    “First Squad, forward, Second take the left and Third take the right.” Jacob spoke into the vox-horn inside his command Chimera. The engine thrum pounded in the young man’s ears and the lasgun slung over his shoulder rattled against his dull flak armour. The red lighting of the command vehicle highlighted the scuffed edges around his shoulders where he had bundled in and out of the box-like vehicle that day. The hot atmosphere of the rolling vehicle brought warm beads of sweat to his forehead alongside the cold beads brought on by the pressure of command.

    The Auspex flickered its display in front of the weary eyes of the lieutenant. The little blue icons of his five squads blinked as they dispersed at his orders; fourth and fifth hung close to the command chimera.

    “Tunnel entrance, two hundred sir!” the driver called back through the hold. Jessie Cameron, the 'veteran' sergeant of the command squad, nodded to the driver in absence of any visible reaction from the officer, who was leaning over his auspex and maps. She leaned back in her seat and started checking her lasgun.

    The 'veteran' part of her title was completely unearned. She had just been selected for the position because she had outshot Germaine earlier that month. Her job as advisor and aide to the lieutenant was rendered useless when she knew even less them him about combat. All the others - the medic, the special weapon guardsman, the vox operator - all had more to do then her. She counted the number of spare cells in her pouch for what felt like the hundredth time that day.

    The powerful armoured personnel carriers roared down the dust, blood and grime covered streets. The few people around flung themselves into doorways and alcoves in hopes of avoiding the gaze of the powerful weaponry that had been barking so often that day. The chimeras split as instructed. The foremost of the convoy, first squad’s chimera, mounted the pavement as it filtered through a once-bustling market place. The simple rockrete slabs broke and crumbled under the heavy treads but still the war machine powered on unperturbed.

    Sergeant Germaine sat with her squad, her lasgun rocking comfortably in her grip in time to the throes of the engine. Her troopers sat in a tense silence, all of them were young boys or girls, barely out of their teens and thrust deep into a fire of civil conflict. The sergeant was no different but she remembered her instructor’s words: she must be an example to her soldiers. And so she was, granite-like in expression and voice. Her own raging emotions made no mark on her face. To shoot a man dead who may have been your neighbour not a year earlier, she shook her head quickly to clear the thought before it could affect her. She was now a Sergeant of the Imperial Guard; her enemies were whoever the Departmento Munitorum said they were, even if they were her kinsmen. She breathed the hot air quickly through her nose. The rumbling of the distant firefight was fading gradually as the six vehicles moved far away from the massacre that was the battle for Mostatia Plaza. The 507th had taken their staging area two hours earlier and now were waiting at their end of the tunnels; the 509th was late.

    “First Squad, form a perimeter around the entrance, Fifth and fourth will begin entry.” The terse voice of the officer entered her vox bead. She confirmed as she motioned to her soldiers. They responded by checking their weapons again.

    The two outrider chimeras swung wide and into the perilous little junction that was the entrance to the multitude of tunnels. It was a simple box junction with three exits leading to the under-city and one that finished in a massive automatic metal door. Just in front of the slightly rusted portal were a pair of checking stations, formerly used for the mining operations that filtered through here millennia ago. But now they had been turned into sleeping huts-come pillboxes for the local gangs.

    One such gang was currently residing inside the leftmost stations, firing shots at the poor unfortunates who were attempting to seek shelter in the hab-blocks that were their homes. The twenty or so guffawing psychopaths were so caught up in raking the blocks with fire that they didn’t notice as the four metre tall, five and a half metre wide armoured vehicle careened through the wall. The myriad thugs stood in absolute shock as they watched the dull painted vehicle traverse its hull mounted heavy bolter to face them. A short, sharp burst of fire later saw most them disappear into fine red mist. The few still mobile dived for what little cover was available in the stripped-out checking stations. The second burst tore through the toppled tables and stacks of what the crew of the chimera hoped were grox hides.

    A third long drawn-out burst of fire raked over the gore-sodden ground one last time, finishing off the last of the gangers. The chimera disengaged from the rockrete structure and moved to deploy its compliment, first squad, around the tunnel entrance.

    The vehicle halted with a lurch. The turret swivelled and scanned every possible attack vector. The next two belonged to the outriders which slewed to a halt at the street's edge, cracking the already tortured pavement. Second squad dismounted in good order, their lasguns primed and their sergeant directing several of the squad-members to take the second, undamaged checking station.

    The guardsmen spread out; their dull grey armour and black undershirt and leggings contrasted with the powerful overheads that lit the under-level. The sergeant and the vox-operator stayed as an inseparable pair, as the instructors had ordered them to. The Guardsman approached the door with his comrade. They stood on either side of the simple plasteel frame. One motioned to the other; the guardsman nodded and began to count, one, two, and three. He kicked the door in with a firm boot. The two piled in with their rifles levelled at the grim darkness.

    Their gun barrels met only a few living individuals. A teenaged woman held three sobbing children close as she watched the Imperial guardsmen with stiff horror, her lips fumbling a quick and rushed prayer. The woman and the childrens' jaws were bloody and red and the teenager had multiple visible wounds scarring her flesh. An old blanket was wrapped around them. Razler, the first Guardsmen, lowered his rifle slightly and tried to smile sweetly as he walked towards the small family.

    “It’s ok, we’re not here to harm you,” The private said, trying to sound innocent; he knew the governor's orders, though he did not follow them. The family understandably tried to squeeze further and further into the corner they were in.

    The second guardsman, Soran, swept the remainder of the office with a quick eye. The place had seen definite battle. Stuffed behind tables were the distended corpses of fallen gangers and blood splatter blotched the simple flooring. Stubber casings littered the ground around the windows. Soran could see a autogun propped up against a wall and quickly retrieved it. The weapon was a mess; the bolt had been cracked from overzealous pulling, the barrel was jammed with offal and grime, the sights were gnawed at and the stock had been cut away. Soran threw the weapon away, it was useless.

    Soran watched as his fellow guardsmen secured the entire area with parade-ground efficiency, the lessons of the tutors still fresh in their minds after several months of sitting in their barracks. He could hear Fourth Squad’s chimera rumble up and disgorge its soldiers. The command chimera and Fifth would be here soon and the tunnel assault would begin.

    Soran turned back to the now crouching Razler. He was attempting to talk to the young woman.

    “Hi.” he was trying to turn on the charm, and failing as he had so many times before, “This place is dangerous, you need to leave.”

    The woman violently shook her head at that. Razler sighed.

    “Come on, this place is going to be swarming with Imperial soldiers soon. You have to go.”

    Again the woman shook her head as if afraid to speak.

    “I know this is your... home, but you must leave, I promise you will be looked after,”

    The Guardsman watched the young woman's dirtied face as she looked to her children and hugged them closer. She really wasn’t going to leave. Razler had to be more direct. He decided a show of intent might help, and reached for a ration bar in his back pocket.

    “Here” he vocalised as he passed the simple foodstuff forward. One of the children started to reach out to the bar but his hand was quickly slapped and the child was yanked back by the woman Razler assumed was their mother. He could almost sympathize with their distrust of Imperials; Lord Macekre had not been a fair ruler.

    Razler shot a desperate glance to Soran, one way or another they had to remove the small family from this area. Soran moved to flank the cowering family. The woman brought the children in closer. Soran hoisted his lasgun into a passively aggressive stance.

    “This area is now under direct control of the Emperor’s Imperial Guard, you will be able to return after we have left.” Soran growled.

    Soran watched the blanket as the family trembled, looking for any hint of a weapon hidden underneath. He started to reach forward to grip the collar of the woman to move her. As he did, Soran noticed something ripple unnaturally underneath the cloth. With a simple gesture to Razler he forewarned the fellow guardsmen.

    Soran gripped the blanket and with a hard tug, ripped it from the cowering family. Soran had to push down his gag reflex at what he saw.

    The entire back of the woman was a horrid mess of exposed veins and cartilage, and from her shoulder blades coiled two spindly arms that ended in tri-fingered claws. The children, now seen fully, where little better; aside from a single normal arm that one had used to reach for the ration bar, the three each had thin, horrible bodies; a grotesque parody of the human form, like they had been sculpted by a blind man who had only been told metaphors of human proportions. They had bloated legs that ended in talons and two of the three each had extra limbs. One ended in a crab-like claw that looked strong enough to crush metal.

    “Mutants!” Razler cried out as he fell backwards in shock, the cry brought two more guardsmen into the room who also recoiled at the sight.

    The young woman began to scream loudly in anguish as one of the arms swung out from her back towards Soran. The Guardsman flung himself away as the talon scraped along his thigh guard. His lasgun barked harshly in return, punching into the mutilated flesh of the woman.

    Razler loosed a brace of shots also, half-vaporising one of the hybrids and winging another. The other two guardsmen, still stunned by the horrifying sight, stood dumbstruck as the first shots were fired.

    Eventually one came to his senses and started to fire, but not before one of the child-hybrids had managed to climb on top of Razler and was now bearing down on him with razor-like teeth. The first shot punched through the chest of the hybrid but to no avail. The teeth found purchase on the collar of the fallen guardsman, who screamed out. The second and third shots punched cleanly through the lower abdomen on the thing, removing it of the use of its legs.

    Soran flicked his rifle to fully automatic and clamped his finger down on the trigger. The roar of the lasgun reduced all noise to a single note in the contained space, while the shots ravaged the back of the hybrid. One of its arms were vaporised by the multitude of the lasers. The woman rounded and stood in one swift action, even as the guardsmen's shots dug deeper and deeper into her pallid flesh. She leapt at Soran as his cell ran dry. Her left arm was gone and she had lost most of her chest but she still came running at him.

    Soran dropped his lasgun in a panic as he reached for the combat knife strapped to his boot. The weight of the hybrid crashed into him, throwing him to the ground even as the woman leapt on top of him, her hideous claw swiping down and barely missing his head thanks to a knee-jerk reaction that made him duck away from the claw

    Soran dug the knife into the waist of the mutant and it squealed. In return the Guardsmen got a very human-like fist to the jaw. The taste of blood whetted his tongue and sharpened his mind. The second stab was to the right bicep of his attacker. The hybrid cried out as the serrated edge cut cleanly through the muscle and bone with ease. The ‘human’ arm went limp and lifeless as its life juices leaked out. They weren't red, like the haemoglobin-filled plasma of normal humans. Instead the mutant had a black ichor, which stained whatever it touched.

    The claw danced down once again and Soran felt the distinct stinging pain as the claw entered his shoulder. In his agony the knife fell from his grip and he howled.

    The mutant snarled, baring her needle-like teeth as she lowered her head to his, preparing to take a bite. Soran screwed his eyes shut and hissed a prayer as the hot breath kissed his skin. Only a solid crack brought him back. Willits, one of the two guardsmen stood over him now, with his lasgun in his hands. The steel stock was bloodied and he was wearing a stupid, if slightly worried, grin.

    Soran took a quick glance to see the mutant laid out on the floor with a bloody welt decorating the side of her head. Willits stopped grinning long enough to place a deft lasgun shot into the stirring hybrid.

    Of the smaller monsters, one of them was very dead; it had collapsed from its wounds and bled out. The second was currently pinned under the boot of the other guardsmen who was lining up a kill shot. The monster bore the tell-tale signs of battle. Half of its skull was ripped away and one arm ended in a cauterised stump. The guardsman’s armour was scraped and scarred by his battle with the thing. The last monster, the one on top of Razler, was flailing as the guardsman battled it using his knife and balled fists.

    Willits crossed the station in a leap to aid his comrade. He pulled the monstrous hybrid away from the wounded Razler. The Guardsman gripped his lasgun and motioned to Willits.

    “Over there?” Willits asked.

    “Yeah!” Razler spluttered. Without a further word the thing was flung far away from the two guardsmen and was quickly annihilated by a burst of las fire.

    Eventually the office died down, and a moment later more guardsmen piled in with the Sergeant.

    “Medic!” He cried as he saw the state of Razler and Soran, “Medic!” He shouted again.

    Jacob stood back as the flamer made its presence known. The long gouts of burning promethium torched the structure from front to back. He sighed; already he was down two effectives. They would live, but for the moment they were useless to him as a commander. The medic patched them up the best he could and settled them in the command chimera while the platoon prepared for entry.

    “Mutants...” he said to no-one in particular, contemplating their apparent speed and strength, “Frakking mutants.”

    He shook his head again; he had already voxed in the report to the Captain who had responded that they should proceed as planned. It was known that there was a mutant presence in the underhive, that had been spreading rapidly out of control in the last few years. It was in fact part of the reason why they had moved in the first place. But to see creatures like this to that to his troopers.

    “Emperor damn frakking mutants.” He said again.
    On Hiatus - RL to take care of.
    Grey Knights don't go to heaven: they go to hell and regroup.
    Just Below the Surface: An Adeptus Arbites Story- on semi-regular updates. Now another place you can find this story.
    The Silver Wolf of War - New story, comments welcome
    Brothers of the Lance - advice/comments welcome - may be necro'd in the near future

  20. #60
    Librarian BladeWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Battle Barge Fang Imperialus
    Posts
    443

    Re: Just Below the Surface

    Wow, time flies...

    I've been caught up in Real Life, but will be on track soon hopefully.

    Feel free to comment.
    Last edited by BladeWolf; 07-10-2009 at 16:01.
    On Hiatus - RL to take care of.
    Grey Knights don't go to heaven: they go to hell and regroup.
    Just Below the Surface: An Adeptus Arbites Story- on semi-regular updates. Now another place you can find this story.
    The Silver Wolf of War - New story, comments welcome
    Brothers of the Lance - advice/comments welcome - may be necro'd in the near future

Page 3 of 22 FirstFirst 1 2 3 4 5 13 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •