This is my first piece of fiction set in the 41st Millennium I've posted anywhere. I usually write a piece of background for each of my armies sometimes developing them into short stories.
This piece however is something I've worked on over the last few day. It's going to be a series of short stories set in one location with a variety of characters who's fates are all intertwined. This is just an introduction to give you a taste of whats to come.
Please check it out and tell me what you think.
For every dozen sectors in the Imperium there are probably four penal colonies. Planets, from the most backwater frontier colonies, to the teeming hive worlds, are breading grounds for the criminally minded. But where better place to house all the murderers, thieves, smugglers and general outlaws. As the Ancient Terran saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind.”
Bale Secundus. Even the very name doesn’t sound inviting. But then no one would really choose to visit such a world. For the condemned it’s a one-way trip. You may even be lucky enough to be rounded up as part of penal legion and leave The Secundus only to face certain death wherever you end up. But until that time, all you’ve got is time. Time to reflect on the choices you’ve made. Time to be driven mad with insanity. There is only one truth in The Secundus, and that is you will die here. Only question is, how?
The chain gang shuffled its way along the causeway leading into the gatehouse of West Sector Sixteen. In complete silence, apart for the constant jangling of chains, the four hundred strong gang made quick time. Tybalt Thorn couldn’t help but be awed and horrified at the sight of the gatehouse that stood before him. It towered at least a hundred meters into the sky and looked more like a defensive bastion than anything else. Teams of hardwired servitors manned heavy bolter turrets built into the structure, while pennants decorated with the Imperial eagle fluttered in the wind. Barbed spikes protruded from the walls, and rows of gibbets lined the causeway, many still occupied.
The thick adamantium doors creaked and moaned as the ancient hydraulic mechanisms opened the mighty gate, welcoming the new inmates. Penal custodians barked orders and hit those who needed encouragement with power mauls and kicks up the ****.
In the courtyard the chain gang was ordered to halt. The main complex stood before them. It was a fortress, a thick multiple tiered stone structure, topped with gothic buttresses and towers. Carried on the wind, the cries from within could be heard. But Tybalt shook it off as a trick of the mind.
The reality of his situation had suddenly hit him. He didn’t deserve to be here, a victim of circumstance, a miscarriage of justice. There was no appeal, no mercy. He had travelled on the prison carrier for four months. The hardships he had endured aboard that vessel were just a taste of what was to come. He could sense it. Looking around at the other convicts he saw many faces, hard, tough faces that spoke volumes about their character. But then he noticed one face that was different. He could just about make out who it was. It was a woman. He hadn’t been aware women were housed with the men. The woman tuned and looked at him. He quickly jerked his head away in another direction. Feeling her eyes burning into the side of his head, he fought the temptation to look back.
A wailing siren broke his concentration. Cheering and whistling could be heard on the wind. Tybalt hadn’t imagined it earlier. The chain gang was standing in front of a raised platform with a lecture in its centre. Tybalt was about six rows back from the front and constantly had to move his head to see what was going on. He could make out a party of custodians coming out of the prison fortress. As the siren began to die out the party ascended the platform and stood to attention looking out at the new arrivals. Another man dressed in ornate Arbite carapace armour took up a place at the lectern. His shaved skull, the left side replaced with metal bionics, including the left eye, scanned the new arrivals. His voice, projected by vox amplifiers, was strong and confident. “Welcome to Bale Secundus. I am Magistrate Maximilian Locke.” He paused and studied his audience some more. “By failing to respect the Emperor's laws, you have been sent here to me. Here you will be punished. Here you will die. May the Emperor have mercy on your souls.”
Inmate number BS41-7216099, Tybalt Thorn. Convicted 899.M41. Former captain of the Corsican 12th, convicted for dereliction of duty, disobeying orders and assault on a superior officer. Sentence: Life imprisonment to Bale Secundus.