Tag Archives: Featured Fiction

Featured Fiction – Triple Feature! [Commissar Ploss]

For the third and last piece in our Featured Fiction “Triple Feature!”, i’ve selected a piece of 40k fiction that i wrote two years ago for Heresy-Online’s first ever fanfic competition.  This piece subsequently won me the title of the Heresy-Online Fan Fiction King. I was humbled to say the least. enjoy!

CP

At the End of All Things
Commissar Ploss

Waking from the daemon-grip of death’s hands is never a welcome instance. Being the only one to do so, is even less.

Gazing through the cracked lenses of his helmet, brother Vicarus viewed the world as a grey haze. A faint rasp emitted from his augmetic voice box as he realized he had just tried to chuckle. Viewing the sky above him from the bottom of an impact crater all too ironically displayed the gravity of the situation. The air was acrid with the smell of burning promethium and the stench of boiled flesh, and his auditory sensors picked up the faint crackle of a fire not fifty meters off. Upon waking just moments before, his brain had been flooded with strong signals from pain receptors all throughout his body. He laid still, eyes closed, as his bodies advanced chemistry coped with the initial rush. He felt not the usual instinct to move, just the overwhelming feeling that this probably was not the best place to be. Not only was it quite uncomfortable, but he needed to rejoin the fight.

Sitting up would have to be the first step. Using his arms, he attempted to hoist himself up into a sitting position, but noticed quite frustratingly that he could not gain any purchase. With blurred vision he looked down, noting the stump that used to be his right hand. Even though it had already healed to the point of what looked like an Ork’s anus, he realized that any similar injury could turn this little crater into his final resting place. Wearily he glanced at all his other major limbs and allowed himself a chuckle at the fact that only his right hand, the ‘Right hand of Angarius,’ the most feared hand in all his home world—second only to that of their primarch— ‘the hand that smote one thousand Orks,’ was gone. Gone and never to be seen again. Sure, an augmetic replacement would be fitted the moment he returned, but only to serve as an artificial reminder of its former glory, and the shame he carried with it’s loss. Just considering what his battle brothers would say was enough to start him laughing maniacally. That was if any of them were still alive.

There was no use reminiscing. Right now he needed to get to the surface and reestablish contact with the rest of his unit and if need be, rejoin his battle brothers without his right hand. Or his sidearm for that matter. A quick glance to either side showed that his holy plasma weapon was nowhere to be seen. He took great pride in his weapon, as so many of his brethren did. And to see that it was gone, just as simply as his hand, infuriated him. He would die for the Emperor at the wave of a hand, but without his weapons his life felt meaningless. Brother Vicarus reminded himself that if he was not removed from his tranquil little hole, his now meaningless life would be all that much shorter. That did not sit well at all. He swore that he would see out his remaining days in service to the Emperor.

With his remaining helmet lens, brother Vicarus queued his com-link. The signal strength read zero. He hoped it was due in part to his subterranean nature, that the com-link in his helmet was not receiving a signal from the main vox towers. However, as close to the surface as he was… The growing sense of dread welling inside, told him he knew otherwise. He sat back to catch his breath before continuing and only now smelled the metallic tang of iron wafting from the fluid surrounding his body. He knew right away that the liquid was not just fluid from his powered armor systems but something much more important.

With the threat of an unfulfilling death clear in his mind, he mustered up all the strength in his remaining three limbs and began his climb to the surface. Climbing in the soil, and Emperor knows what else, is difficult with only one arm to steady yourself. And having vital signs flirting on and around the verge of death made it even more difficult. It took all of twelve minutes for him to make it to the rim of his crater. To brother Vicarus it seemed as if hours had passed. He paused before breaking the surface to take a moment and steady himself against the onrush of sensory perception that he would receive upon gazing at the surrounding battlefield. Down in the hole, Emperor be praised, there was nothing more than dirt, green Ork flesh and small metal fragments. But across the vastness of the surface battlefield there were many more things to see. He braced himself for what the silence told him would not be a welcome sight.

With a sigh, brother Vicarus stepped out of his crater – and into hell.

The scene that greeted his already weary eyes destroyed him. He fell to his knees and wept. All around lay the remnants of a world destroyed by war. Mangled corpses, charred metal, and the smoldering wrecks of war machines lay broken forever in all directions. Friend and foe alike lay as if battles were still raging wherever their spirits had ascended. With cracked lips and through streaming tears, brother Vicarus let out a roar so seething with rage and desperation, it would have made Emperor himself cower in fear. Removing his helmet, he stood. As if in defiance to his survival, the wind howled and the rain began to fall as if to wash away the death that consumed its planet. At this he laughed, and then said with a sigh, almost inaudible against the rain and wind, “It seems i have been left behind, and my brothers march without me.” With rain mixing with the tears down his cheeks, brother Vicarus somehow knew he was the last of his chapter. The Iron Diamond Space Marines would be no more. Their name would be forgotten, and their history untold.

Whistling an old Imperial hymn, and accompanied by only the wind and pelting rain, he felt minuscule and insignificant. The work had been done. Lives had been payed in full. Oaths had been fulfilled and creeds had been upheld. But for what? “For the Emperor,” he said to himself, hoping beyond hope that that was justification enough.

Turning around, he spotted his crater. As if in thanks, he bowed to it, and said, “You have saved me. By the Emperor, you have saved me. Please refrain from doing it again.”

And with that, brother Vicarus turned away. And with a deep breath, he began to walk. There at the end of all things. He walked for a lost cause, across a forgotten field, on a nameless world. For none would know, save the Emperor himself, how he longed for peace.

 ———————-

I hope you enjoyed the piece. This story was a bit of Iron Diamond Space Marine short fiction.  Just a little something to introduce an important character in my work with the Iron Diamonds.  Lucian Vicarus features in other works dedicated to the Iron Diamond SM’s. Here’s a link to the original posting of the story at Heresy: http://www.heresy-online.net/forums/showthread.php?t=9995

CP

Featured Fiction – Triple Feature! [Void_Dragon]

As promised, here is the second entry to our Featured Fiction Triple Feature.  A stellar story by Heresy-Online member Void_Dragon.  I call it stellar because it was a finalist in the 2009 Heresy-Online Fiction Competition.  Enjoy!

CP

 
Untitled
Void_Dragon

The small man, dressed in a well-tailored black suit, walked under the metal detector. As expected, it bleeped, but a quick flash of his pass told the guards that he carried a pacemaker. It was nearing the end of the night shift, and both guards were tired, so they let him through without a search. They both trusted that the psy-scanner operating across the entire building would tell them if the man actually had a weapon.

The man walked across the lobby, and slid his ident-card against the panel next to the elevator. The runes running across the panel’s surface turned green, and the elegantly panelled wooden doors of the elevator slid open quietly. The man stepped inside, and pressed the button for floor 12. As the doors slid shut, he smiled to the guards. As soon as the two panels had connected, the lift began it’s journey upwards. Before it had passed the first floor, the man had moved into action. By floor 3 the lift was rigged with a remote-control override, which would prevent the lift being locked out if the operation went to hell. By floor 6, the man had cut away one of the wall panels, throwing the thin wooden sheet down the outside of the lift. The lift shaft went all the way to a third basement, so the noise would never alert the guards. By floor 10, a small projector was fitted in it’s place, sending a hologramatic replica of the panel across the hole. The man straightened his jacket, and tucked his data-slate under his arm. He quickly ran his hand through his slicked back hair, making sure it wasn’t out of place. The door slid open.

The man walked out of the lift, heading purposefully down the corridor. The few people who walked past looked tired and harried, working overnight because of the mysterious order that the trade-cartel was attempting to fulfil, the very reason that Aldo was here. None spared him a second glance – it was a big company, and he could very well be an employee from a different floor, or a different office entirely. They were too tired and too over-worked to care.

He reached the end of the corridor, and turned into the final office. In the corner was a cogitator, which he powered up. He knew he would have trouble hacking it without his master’s Seal, but they couldn’t risk being flagged on the Inquisition’s systems, when it was almost certain that the cartel had eyes inside the Ordos. However, Aldo was little short of a genius, having spent his childhood alienated from the rest of the population because he was so different, reading and learning anything he could to take his mind off his depression. It was understandable that he would be depressed: if he stayed in a room with anyone for too long his psychic nullification excited an irrational rage in them. He had lived his life a loner, the outsider, the freak. Until Alexandros had found him, and given him a job, a life, and a purpose.

Within a few minutes he was inside the system, downloading everything to his personal data-slate via the mechadendrite concealed within his arm. This was where the risks came in. The electric current through his body activated the blunt limiter implanted in his head, and his psychic nullification power ceased to function. It would only be a matter of time until the psy-scans of the building picked up his hacking, and detected the gun concealed within his jacket pocket.

The download read 43% when the scanner caught him. Alarms went off across the whole building, and every entrance and access way locked down. That didn’t bother Aldo; he had his way out planned. What bothered him was that similar alarms would currently be going off at the local law-enforcement agency headquarters, and a strike team of crooked cops would be here within minutes, armed and ready to protect their less-than-legal investment.

71%, and his vox chimed. “Multiple weapon-sigs on the stairs, moving up to your level, Aldo. Get ready.” Came the voice of Chai, the promising young accolyte who was his backup on this mission.

Aldo deplored violence. He had bonded with Chai despite the age gap, because they held a very different view of the Imperium, and of their work, than the rest of Alxeandros’ team. They both hated the killing of innocents, and as often as possible attempted to complete missions without drawing blood. But both of them were still Inquisition operatives, and they were trained to kill if the need arose. Aldo slipped his hand inside his jacket, pulling out the Hecuter 8 Autopistol that Alexandros insisted he carry on all missions. The weapon had an extended mag’, protruding an extra 6 centimetres from the base of the grip, carrying an extra few rounds. 14 rounds; more than enough to kill anything that moved.

The download completed as the strike team reached the 11th floor. Aldo was out of the office, his blunt limiter deactivated again, as they ran up the final flight of stairs, and half way down the corridor before they reached level 12. They paused behind the door, believing the stairs to be the only way out. Aldo fired blindly through the wooden panel walls, and heard a few grunts as the rounds connected with the men’s body armour. The lift door opened, controlled by Chai remotely. Aldo dashed down the last ten metres of hallway, and into the elevator. He hit the ground floor button, just as the soldiers burst through the stairwell door. He shot the first one through the visor of his helmet, and loosed off another shot as the doors closed. He didn’t see whether the next shot hit anything, and it didn’t matter. He was home free now.

“Aldo, I’ve got vox chatter, badly encrypted. There seem to be more of them in the lobby, they know the lift is coming. Go to plan B. I’ll be in position in approximately 40 seconds.” Aldo swore to himself as he heard the message, and moved to the side of the elevator where he had broken away the panel earlier. He climbed into the gap, the hologram flickering as his body disturbed it. He leapt from the ledge, grabbing the thick girders supporting the shaft. He climbed down to the nearest exit, and pried it open. He slipped through, and checked the chart on the wall. “Level4, Human Resources” it read.

“I am on level 4, I shall meet you at the west corner of the building. Pray, be quick, it won’t be long until they find me, even with my limiter off again.”

As Aldo walked into the western corner office of the floor, the window in front of him was hit by a projectile about the size of a human fist. The micro-bot stuck to the window, and immediately extended a thin mechanical arm. The arm rotated around the bot, cutting through the glass of the window. As it completed it’s rotation, the bot’s thrusters activated, making it float there, holding the circle of glass. Chai pulled it backwards slightly, allowing Aldo enough room to climb out onto the ledge. The building’s psy-scanner wouldn’t detect the damage until Aldo moved a few metres away, and when that happened it would be too late. The micro-bot placed the piece of glass on the window ledge, and hovered round in front of Aldo. He pulled a wire from it’s body, and hooked it to his belt.

“Okay Chai, bring me in.” He said over the Vox, trying not to look down. He wasn’t built for these sort of stunts – he was the brains of the pair, organising the operations that Alexandros set them, and doing the undercover work. Throwing himself from the 4th story window was not his idea of a safe way to exit a building. But it was safer than walking through a lobby filled with armed soldiers.

“The Emperor protects Aldo, the Emperor protects.” Chai muttered into his vox, knowing that Aldo would be nervous about jumping.

Aldo closed his eyes and stepped off the ledge. The bot’s thrusters pulled upwards as hard as they could, but they were not made to support a grown man, even a small one like Aldo. It slowed his decent however, and as he hit the floor a few seconds later, he wasn’t travelling fast enough to hurt himself. He rolled to the side, and detached the clamp on his belt. The bot returned to Chai, who was crouched down on the roof of a different building.

Aldo stood up, dusting off his suit. He changed his hair style to cover part of his face, using a nearby transporter’s mirrors. He quickly removed his coloured contact lenses, returning his eyes to their natural grey-blue. The data-slate went inside his trousers, and his jacket ended up in a nearby bin. He untucked his shirt, which was just dressy enough to pass for a casual shirt, whist looking smart when he wore the jacket. His tie went in the bin last, and then he set off down the street, away from the enforcers’ vans. If anyone stopped him, he would never be recognisable from the quick glimpse that the strike team got of him as he entered the elevator.

“Mission accomplished,” he muttered into his vox with a sigh of relief.

Well! I hope you have enjoyed this story, i know i sure did. :-)  Swing on back soon to check out the third feature.  A story by yours truly! A little shameless self promotion once and a while can be fun.  lol

Featured Fiction – Triple Feature! [Dirge Eterna]

So i’ve been a little behind lately with the Featured Fiction posts.  Missed the last three entries i believe… ah well, my bad.  I’ll make up for it with a triple feature. A set of fanfic authors you should really get to know. have a read. :-)  Here’s the first one.

CP

We’re starting things off with Heresy-Online member, Dirge Eterna.  He was always a quality fanfiction writer while he was active on Heresy all those years back.  And it was sad when he slowly went away. But i always looked forward to reading his stories when he would post them.  And i think he should be proud to count himself among Heresy’s great writers.

Lets give you a taste of one of his best stories. Only in Death.

Only in Death.
Dirge Eterna

Private Journal of Brother-Apothecary Altair, Aegis VII, 998.M41

The first thought.

I can’t see.

Blackness surrounds my sight. I can hear. Gunfire..mostly. Explosions. A low rumbling noise. A tank, I think.

My left arm refuses to move. I can feel dirt beneath my fingers. An arm hauls me upright. My vision clears. A blackened form swins into view. Arbalan’s plasma gun is smoking gently as he lends his strength to me. My armor squeals in protest as I move.

“Brother Apothecary, we are needed elsewhere.” says Arbalan.

“But…Melenius.” I say weakly, still trying to regain my senses.

“Dead. You were almost lost as well. That blast was of some magnitude.”

I turn, taking in the sight of the war-torn fields of Aegis VII, the newest war in a long tide of wars. Fought in the Emepror’s name, of course.

Melenius’ body makes itself known as a black form against the dull brown of the soil. his armor is cracked open where I had breached it, trying to save him. A shard of metal is lodged in his neck seal, blood drying into a reddish stain on his armor and the ground.

I check my own suit of armor. There are some spots where the black paint has been chipped off, and my left arm hangs limply from my side. Dislocation. I grasp it and pull, popping the joint into place. My narthicium hums as it connects back to my neural interfaces. My left shoulderpad, the one with an Apothercarium symbol on it, has Melenius’ blood staining it. I sadly wipe it away, only succeeding in smearing it.

Arbalan nudges me.

“We have to go, now, Apothecary. Brother-Captain Dacius is making a stand on the far side of the ridge.”

I nod. “Then we go.”

Arbalan shoulders his plasma gun. “You might need this, brother.”

He offers my Bolter. I take it one-handed, and check the ammo levels. Fourteen shells left, plus eight clips on my bandoliers. My Reductor is secured against my belt, and three frag grenades are clipped to my belt loops. A melta bomb is hung from my backpack.

“Of course, Brother Arbalan. Thank you. Now, we go to Captain Dacius?”

Arbalan nods. “Follow me, Brother-Apothecary.”

I hope you enjoyed this sneek peek.  If you want to read the rest of this story, head on over to Heresy-Online and check it out.  Here’s the link: http://www.heresy-online.net/forums/showthread.php?t=3699

Next up, a story by Heresy-Online member, Void_Dragon.

Oathbreaker – Featured Fiction

For the latest segment in the Featured Fiction line, i bring you a rousing story by one Dirge Eterna. He is himself a fanfiction writer, and Heresy-Online veteran.  I’ve enjoyed his works greatly, as i’m sure you will as well.  Here it is, his story, Oathbreaker.

 Oathbreaker – Dirge Eterna

Althalos moved nearly silently. His sword was padded with worn cloth to keep it from moving.

He stooped down, his gloved fingers brushing the ground.

These tracks. They split off from the main group..

To where?

He paused, glancing down the thickly forested trail.

Can’t tell exactly…somewhere near the village to the north.

A low rumbling echoed through the trees as they were pushed aside by the huge black dragon edging it’s way through the trees.

Sydney moved from the treeline, scanning the woods with her striking violet eyes.

Althalos never actually found out why he could speak to Sydney in such a way, without making any noise. Like they could hear each other, but no one could hear them. He eventually dismissed the thought. It was just the way things were.

Do you think they went to the village itself? Or just passing by?

Althalos frowned, concentrating.

I’m not sure…the main group passed the town. Maybe raiders.

Sydney snorted.

Don’t assume.

Althalos nodded.

It’s all well and good. Fine. Don’t fly, keep low. I’m going to scout ahead.

Sydney nodded her huge head, turning one eye to stare at Althalos.

Very well. Don’t stray too far ahead.

He set off down the trail.

————————–

After ten minutes, the village of Reikstahg came into view. Two hundred miles east of Kislev, the town was the last stop for many passing over the Middle Mountains to Middenheim or Altdorf.

Althalos stared blankly down the small incline into the village.

Dozens of Empire soldiers were marching down the main avenue, divesting weeping civilians of husbands and sons.

“By order of the Count Elector, a state of emergency is declared for the town of Reikstahg. All able-bodied men must report to camps for armarment and training. All women must assist in the fortification of the city. Once again, a state of emergency is declared. Reikstahg is now under martial law of the Count’s army.”

Men kissed crying wives. Sons were pulled from weeping mothers. The soldiers did their grim work with a look of sadness and fear in their eyes.

What’s going on?

Sydney’s voice rang through his head.

Althalos chewed his lip. The Empire’s conscripting the civilians. Looks like trouble may have found us.

As it always does.

——————————————————————————

Will you help them?

Althalos considered her words. No. I don’t owe the Empire anything. They left me…us, for dead.

Does one life you left behind justify these people dying?

He sighed. Sydney always disagreed with him, usually to make him prove a point.

Althalos nodded and turned back into the forest surrounding the town. Empire troops were busily hacking down trees to clear lines of fire. A single blazing Wizard stood among them, flashing trees to ash.

He walked for a half-hour, thinking.

Sydney followed him, occasionally letting out a plume of smoke in her distaste.

This is taking too long..that village is running out of time!

“Brother of Khaine! Have you some to join us against the foul Men?”

A tall warrior clad in black armor stepped lightly from the treeline.

Althalos quickly disguised his confusion.

“No, but I will if you have need.”

The warrior hefted his spear.

“Yes, we do, my friend. Many raiders were lost crossing from Naggaroth, we are searching for renegades or survivors.”

Althalos thought about the elf’s words. He obviously thinks I’m one of his kin..but how?

Sydney replied Your armor, your helmet, myself. You must seem like a noble of his house.

Althalos turned to the elf. “Yes, I will join you to fight with the Druchii.”

The warrior bowed slightly before beckoning him to the shoreline, only five minutes away.

Althalos!

We can do much more damage if we strike from the rear.

Sydney let off a plume of smoke. The elf edged away from her.

————————————————————

The Dark Elven encampment wasn’t much more then a quick and simple fort Empire troops sometimes built. Bolt Throwers lined the wooden stake walls and several Tents bore horrific stains. Screams echoed from these tents.

Althalos cringed.

The elf noticed. “You feel the power of Khaine himself? He has blessed us with a Wych cult to take the fight to the humans!”

They walked through the small camp, passing elves sharpening weapons or fletching arrows. Some bowed as he passed.

“What house are you of, noble?” asked the elf conversationaly.

Althalos quickly (and fearfully) searched his memories for a name.

“House Aeidael,” he said, “I left to pursue a broader aspect.”

The elf nodded. “Your house continues to do service in the name of Khaine, my noble. They returned from Ulthuan with the bones of their fallen and many slaves.”

Althalos breathed a sigh of relief under his helmet.
—————————————————————–

An agonizing half-hour later, the Druchii formed up a short distance from the village. One of the Lords of the elves noticed his plain sword.

“Here, nobleman. This is much more proficient for fighting from dragonback.”

He handed Althalos a huge halberd, it’s surface an odd purplish shade, while horrific jagged teeth lined it’s blade. The Dark Elves obviously only cared about the maximum pain inflicted on an enemy.

He hefted the halberd in one hand, sitting calmly on Sydney’s back. “Thank you, lord. This will help me to deliever judgement to the prey.”

“As you will, Noble.”

A massively armored Elf stomped to the front of his host, attended to by a thinner elf with a large burlap sack in his hands.

“Surrender and we shall take you as slaves! Fight, and all of you will die! Choose, or suffer the doom of your herald!”

The elf opened the sack and brandished a severed head. He stretched his arm back and flung the head into the ranks of Empire troops and conscripts.

Nothing moved for a long moment.

The Bright Wizard Althalos had seen earlier called back.

“Go back to the abyss, creature! We will not bow before your foul master!”

The elf shook his head.

He turned to his attendant.

“Sound the charge. Take as many alive as you can!”

The elves roared their approval.

A low horn blew from somewhere in the army, and suddenly they were moving. The elves stamped alongside Sydney, brandishing weapons and shouting in eldritch tongues.

Get airborne. We’ll circle around the front of their army.

Excellent.

She opened her wings, and launched into the sky. Althalos saw just how deep the Empire was in. They were outnumbered. Not by many, but given the quality of conscripted troops…

The Wizard saw her and spoke one word to an archer nearby. The man raised a bow and fired.

The arrow burst into white flames, obviously sustained by magic. Althalos raised his shield. The arrow burst through the thick wood and struck him on the arm, drawing a grunt of pain from him. A flash of worry crossed his mind.

It’s fine…keep going. Can’t let them win.

Syndey flew to the front line of the elven force, nearing Reikstahg. She opened her jaws, and a ravening blast of black fire roared into the elves, cooking dozens instantly.

The wizard’s mouth dropped open in surprise.

Sydney kept the fire going as long as she was able, eventually closing her jaws. The Empire had whittled down the remaining raiders. Free Companies chased Corsairs away from the barricades, while Handgunners fired merciless volleys into the Druchii ranks. The elves were on the verge of breaking, their fight with the Empire and the sudden immolation of their brethren putting their morale on the edge.

The Dark Elven Lord Althalos had seen at the head of the army pointed at him. “See! See the traitor in our midst! Flay their hides and bring me his skull!”

Althalos flipped the halberd in his grip.

He removed his helmet.

He dropped his shield.

And hurled the halberd with all his strength, directly at the Lord.

It burst into radiant flames halfway down it’s path. Althalos looked at the Wizard, who smiled.

The Lord was almost fast enough. The spear caught his left breast, and drove almost completely through him, the barbed teeth shredding his organs and leaving him gasping on the scorched, bloody field.

The elves took one look at their leader’s corpse, and broke.

——————————————————————————–

Sydney strode through the piles of dead elves and Empire. Although it was only a small, very quick battle, small heaps of corpses still littered the battlefield.

Althalos pulled an arrow from a standard bearer’s stomach. The man grimaced as the recurve head slid from his flesh. He instantly began to bleed. Althalos cursed.

He leaned close to the man so no one else could see, and removed his glove. He pressed the bare hand against the wound, and spoke two words. The wound glistened, then wove back together. The man clutched at the unbroken skin, then looked up at Althalos.

“You’re…a wizard?”

Althalos cringed. “No. I’m not. OK?”

The man looked confused. “OK..Thank you.”

Althalos gave the man his waterskin, and the standard bearer ran to join his surviving companions.

The Bright wizard walked among the men, directing them to pile the Empire dead into graves. The Dark Elves were burned.

“You’re sneaky,” said the Wizard, “But not sneaky enough.”

The wizard reached into his robes, producing a tome.

“Aqshy.” he said.

Althalos smiled without humour. “Ghyran, Shyish, and one without name.”

“Life and Death?” asked the Wizard, aghast.

“Life from the Jade Academy, Death on my own.” said Althalos.

“And the third?”

“I’ll keep that to myself, if you don’t mind.”

The wizard gestured with his arms to the battlefield around him. He pointed in particular to a scorched and bloody patch where the Elves had been incinerated by Althalos’ deceit.

“Not after that, I won’t mind. Keep your secrets, lad. Would you like to stay here, at least for the night? We’ve not seen your like in many years.”

Althalos removed his bladed helmet. He reached to his side and removed the halberd from the Dark Elven Lord’s body. The blade had sucked the blood from the creature, making his corpse pure white and withered.

“I’d like that. Does Reikstahg’s tavern still stand?”

————————————————————————————-

Althalos clashed a stein of ale with a man in the colors of a Kislev knight. The man’s comrades laughed. Sydney was outside, chewing noisily on a deer carcass. Several State Troops were drinking, or playing dice on the tables. The brewer looked tired from hauling barrels upon barrels up from the cellars.

After soundly beating the knight in a drinking game, the Bright Wizard sat down across from Althalos at the table.

“What I really want to know is why you’re here.” said the Wizard, stroking his smoldering beard.

Althalos had his boots on the table, and was sharpening a dagger with his whetstone.

“That…is a very long story.” he said.

The dagger made an uncomfortable rasp on the stone. The wizard grabbed the blade, and melted the edge to a near-translucent sharpness.

“Thank you.” said Althalos, retrieving the knife.

“We have all night, and I’m certainly not going anywhere. Kislev’s forces are still scattered, trying to regroup from the Storm.”

Althalos set his helmet on the table. It was cylindrical, with a cruel visor and small breathing holes punched into it’s front. A crown of blades rose to a nest of points aboive his head.

“Well..,” he said. “It all started with this.”

———————————————————————-

Althalos had been six years old when his father left to fight the Beastmen in the northern wastes. He left four times, each time coming back with armfuls of fresh bread and sausages. He also seemed to become more and more decorated, his armor grew more elaborate, his weapons more ornate. Then, he never returned. His helmet and sword, along with a note of condolence, was given to Althalos’ mother. She had died ten years later, after being sick for many weeks. Althalos was then shuttled to the Jade Academy, after his uncle had noticed him healing a dead tree in front of his brewery.

Four years after his mother died, he left the Jade Academy for good. The wizards were old and for the most part, boring. Only his mentor, Ulrik, ever interested Althalos. He learned from the Lore of Death in his solitude, and there, he met Sydney.

He had originally thought the black egg to be a large rock. Althalos had picked it up out of curiousity, and brought it to the next town he stopped at. There, it was recognized as a dragon egg. The Empire conscripted him, and attempted to take the egg for one of it’s counts (or dignitaries. Althalos had little patience for earls of something).

He escaped with Sydney, and fled to Kislev. There, Sydney hatched and grew, while he hunted phesant and rabbits to eat. Two months after Sydney had hatched, she was old enough to ride, and Althalos had begun to travel, selling himself as a mercenary.

He had grown tired of fighting inbred duke’s wars for them, and simply left, occupying himself with staying alive. He had been tracking a group of Empire soldiers when the Reikstahg party split off and engaged the Dark Elves.

————————————————

The wizard nodded.

“Well then, would you continue to fight for money?”

Althalos’ violet eyes gleamed.

“Of course. Who’s the target?”

————————————————-

Althalos shivered.

“Why, why did it have to be cold?” he said.

“Why der yer think it’s called der Chaos wastes, laddie? Der ain’t not’in out ‘ere.”

Althalos hugged himself, trying to stay warm. Sydney huddled closer to him, and suddenly he was much warmer. The small fire wasn’t doing much besides melting a puddle of snow around it. A knot of swordsmen had gathered around him, as Sydney was the only real source of heat there was.

The oldest of the swordsmen, a gnarled old man with an eyepatch and several missing fingers, had befriended Althalos almost immediately. His name was Hadrian.

Hadrian was sitting next to Althalos, chewing noisily on a small bone of some kind.

The opposing army was visible as a mottled line about a half-mile from where Althalos was lying against Sydney’s belly.

Black standards were raised among them. Hulking figures in red-black armor. A wide-mouthed cannon of some kind was tended to by hateful-looking Dwarves.

The Bright Wizard moved through his men, encouraging them, handing out bread, and occasionally asking them about families or children.

After an hour, a cry was heard.

“Alarm! Alarm!”

Hadrian pulled his sword from it’s worn scabbard.

“Best be off, lad. The Enemy isn’t known for his patience.”

———————————————————————–

Althalos sat atop a pile of dead enemies, the sickly purple glow of the Druchii halberd making their red armor appear darker then it was. His armor was rent in a dozen places, small, weak strikes that the Chaos worshippers had managed to land on him. His greatest worry was a suppering wound in his side. A grime-encrusted Champion had somehow danced a rusted sword past Althalos’ guard, and struck him just below his ribs.

Sydney had immolated the man, and the majority of his equally grime-encrusted followers, in a single blast of dragonfire.

Hadrian and his remaining Swordsmen were laying around the pile, catching their breath or taking a drink. The main engagement was to the east now, most of the Marauders had fled after Sydney’s blazing charge into their lines. The few Chaos Warriors remaining had fought to the death, taking many Imperial lives. The mortuary wagons were still rolling through the battlefield, picking up the obviously dead, and marking the wounded for the stretchers. The Chaos warriors they burned in a heap at the edge of the field.

————————————————————–

“Erh…Sigmar! It hurts!”

“Hold still, lad. You’ve still got a piece stuck in you…”

Gregor maneuvered the forceps into the ragged wound in Althalos’ side. He pinched something. Althalos bit down hard on the stick Hadrian had given him. A smaller man, looking a bit green for a battlefield surgeon, was watching Gregor pull pieces of the Plague Knife out.

Althalos quickly figured out why. The wound was an awful green splotch, with pus seeping from the dead areas of his flesh. A shard of the knife, roughly four inches long, was leaking rust into the cut. Small boils were springing up around the injury.

Gregor moved into the way of his vision.

“It’ll be OK, lad. These eyes have seen worse.”

Sydney’s thoughts touched his.

I doubt it.

Althalos whimpered as Gregor tightened his grip on the shard.

If you die under his knife I will personally hunt him down and turn him to ash.

Er….It’s not his…ah…fault.

None the less. My anger will be sated on a scapegoat if need be. That heretic didn’t suffer enough before he died.

You’re starting to…eh…sound like a Druchii…

Outside the surgery tent, Sydney snorted fire and glared at the nearest guard. The man edged away from her.

Gregor tensed. Althalos winced as the forceps tightened to their maximum.

The old surgeon placed both hands on the tool, and yanked the rusted shard out of Althalos’ side. He screamed as the full pain of the wound struck him. The younger orderly’s eyes rolled back into his head and he passed out.

Gregor pulled a length of twine and a red-hot needle from a brazier, and stitched the wound closed with powdered Mandrake root in it, to prevent the Chaos spawned infection from spreading. Althalos winced each time his skin burned from the needle, but compared to the plague, the pain was nothing. He allowed himself to fall into the abyss of unconciousness. He smiled at Sydney’s restrained wrath a second before everything went black, and there was peace.

——————————————————————–

Althalos groaned. He heard voices.

I think he’s coming to.

You know what happened last time we had a Everta here.

I know. This one’s different.

No, he’s not. You’re just getting attached to him. He lied about the Jade Academy. He’s not a Wizard.

I saw him heal a trooper.

He’s a sorcerer, idiot! Haven’t you seen that creature?

The dragon? That doesn’t prove anything.

Not the dragon! I think it’s a familiar…a demon!

Althalos squeezed his eyes shut, and gripped Haze tightly to his chest under the sheet.

—————————————————————

The Wizard brushed the tent flap aside as he walked briskly inside. Althalos smiled weakly.

“Feeling better?” asked the Wizard. Small embers detatched from his beard and smoldered on the ground.

“An overstatement to say better, but yes. I’m getting there.” said Althalos.

The Wizard smiled, then pulled the rough blanket off in one motion. Althalos rolled over.

“Turn over.”

Althalos didn’t move.

The Wizard grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and wrenched him over. Haze flopped out and fell onto the bed. The small familiar cringed in terror as the Wizard loomed over it.

“You lied about the Academy.”

Althalos lowered his gaze. “Yes.”

“You lied about your parents as well?”

“Not entirely. My father did die fighting the beastmen, and my armor and weapons are his, but my mother is not dead. In fact, she is what I ran from.”

The Wizard stooped low over the bed. “I am a great many things, young Althalos. I have seen a great many wonders and terrors. But I will not be lied to. You know freelance Sorcery is punishable by death.”

Althalos didn’t waver. “I cannot help what I am. Seperation from Haze would be akin to losing my soul.”

“And your dragon?”

“She already knows. We are very alike, Sydney and I. But I will not face the gallows because of the Empire’s intolerance. Your Emperor attempted to kill me once. It shall not happen again.”

The Wizard stroked his beard. Althalos got off of the simple straw bed and began to strap on his armor. Boots, greaves, gauntlets, cuirass, pauldrons, and finally his bladed helm. He strapped his sword to his side and slung the halberd across his back.

“Young Althalos, I do not know what it is like to be hunted. Truthfully, I came from a wealthy family. I never knew hardship. But, unfortunately, the law is the law.”

Outside, Sydney growled. Betrayal! Oathbreakers!

The Wizard pulled a burning sword from it’s scabbard. “Althalos, son of none, I hereby name you traitor in service to the Emperor of Altdorf. You are stripped of all rank and will submit to a full tribunal, at which time the extent fo your crimes will be made known.”

Sydney opened her mouth, and a ravening blast of black fire consumed the man, along with the front half of the tent. Haze ran up Althalos’ arm and into a chink in his armor. Althalos placed his boot into the iron step and vaulted onto Sydney’s back, pulled the halberd from it’s sling. A young Swordsman ran at them, screaming. Sydney roared, and the man dropped his sword, and then fell to his knees. The great dragon crouched, and then shot into the sky, a plume of smoke trailing behind her.

The Bright Wizard picked himself up from the ashes, and brushed a bit of singed fabric from his robes.

An Engineer with a long rifle began to draw a bead on the retreating dragon. The wizard placed his staff on the barrel of the gun.

“He may be a sorcerer, but by the Gods, he knows how to make an exit. I think he’s perfect for what the Tribunal has in mind. Fetch me Golrik. He’ll know how to track one such as he.”

——————————————————-

Sydney flew long and hard, passing well over the Middle Mountains. She saw the city there, it’s magnificent Palace seeming small and incomprehensible to one such as she.

Her vision, as always, was tinted a slight violet color by her eyes. Humans scurried to and fro as she entered their field of vision. Archers fired small darts, which pinged harmlessly off her armored hide. Eventually the archers were berated by a tired-looking knight, who shook a sword at her until she left his field of vision.

When they finally reached the western side of the Middle Mountains, Althalos fell asleep on her back, his arms and legs tied to the saddle, so he would not fall. Sydney wriggled in the air as a cloud covered her with small droplets. She turned her head, making sure that the slight weight of Althalos’ body was still there. She nudged his dreams.

Little one.
Yes?
We have passed the spine-in-the-earth. Many leagues seperate us from the shoreline, but we will be there before tomorrow, if the winds remain true.

Thank you.

Althalos’ mind fell back into the dream, and Sydney chuckled a low rumble.

It was six hours later that it happened.

A dozen or so Dwarven Gyrocopters swung out of a cloud, armed with large netguns and spear throwers. Bearded pilots and gunner swore curses and drank from aleskins.

Sydney dove through them, shredding one of the machines with the downdraft of her passage.

The clouds parted. Land lay just a hundred feet below.

Sydney’s wings snapped open.

The dwarves began to sing a slurred song. Nets ensnared her legs and tail. More pinned her wings. Althalos managed to cut one of them in twane before a second pinned him to Sydney’s back. The black dragon hit the rocky soil, driving the breath from her lungs. She attempted to stand. The Dwarves fired the weighted spears. They struck the ground, holding Sydney’s frame against the earth.

An odd gyrocopter flew above them, a large tank slung underneath it. A strange mist drifted toward the ground.

Sydney gasped as her lungs finally found air.

Her vision dulled. Her belly lost it’s fire, her feeble attempts to down the copter met with only wisps of smoke. Sydney sank back down to the ground as her vision blurred, and the world went black.

She heard onle one thing before she slipped away.

“We’ve got em’, we’re slingin’ em’ between three of the copters’. That oughta’ do.”

“Excellent work, Golrik. Bring them to Aeyri Peak immediately. We have some things to talk about.”

———————————————————————

Sydney jerked awake, her long neck twisting this way and that, searching for enemies. Althalos was next to her, his eyes fluttering open.

She bent and licked him, her rough tongue brushing against his helmet and face.

Little one.

Uh…where are we?

I know not. The Dwarf drugged us. I was only just concious. Did your familiar survive?

Haze is fine. As far as I know, he is immune to the pains of the flesh.

A stout dwarf entered the chamber. Sydney reared up and roared, showing her vast maw. The dwarf didn’t even look up. Instead, he tugged at a fat brass lever, and the wall he was at clanked into the ceiling and out of sight.

A vast golden statue remained. It’s body was polished until even Sydney’s black scales were reflected as gold. It’s eyes shone with gold-shot rubies. Althalos and Sydney both felt the intelligence that spoke.

Young ones. It has been many years since your kind set foot amongst my halls.

Sydney’s eyes widened. Althalos sat up.

“Our kind? Who are you?”

I have no name that can be spoken in this tongue.

A series of images and ideas flashed through Sydney and Althalos’ shared conciousness. Long tooth, broken claw, damp cave, burned bone, one-hundred-five eggs sired, and thirty offspring grown to full dragons.

Rather, I am known as Aurum, as a result of my present form. I have a task set aside for you, hatchlings. But for that, it will have to wait. You ask what your kind is. You tell me, young one. What do you have that makes you so different?

Althalos’ eyes flashed to Sydney.

“We are one…in all but body.”

Althalos thought he saw Aurum’s ruby eyes flash.

Exactly. You are among the last of the Ihn Draconir, the “One with Dragons”. It was a talent many possessed before the last Chaos War. Many were lost, most before their time. But now is not the time to mourn, for we have found our target for revenge.

The dwarf, who had remained silent through the exchange, cursed and spat on the stone floor as Aurum said “target”.

Sydney looked at him.

“That traitorous cretin, Jakob Vernier. He is regent of most of the lands to the northwest of the Middle Mountains. It was his troops that failed to hold back the Storm.”

Vernier and five of his closest companions hold my sons and daughters hostage, each for their own reason. None of them are pleasurable, all of them are dark and terrible, benefitting only the oathbreaker responsible for such acts.

“Your sons and daughters?”

I am old, youngling. Very old. I was ancient before Sigmar first swung a hammer, and will quite possibly endure until the end of all things. But I consider myself to be the father and protector of all those dragons not twisted by undeath or Chaos.

The Bright Wizard entered at the head of a small band of dwarves and humans.

“The dwarves found Aurum decades ago, and we agreed to help them in his quest. In return, he gives us the use of Aeyri Peak and the Whispering Caves to use as a base, fortress, and safehaven. Nothing that can’t fly is getting up the mountains, and nothing that can fly flies without Aurum’s permission in the peaks.”

Althalos stabbed an accusing finger at the wizard.

“In Reikstahg, you tried to kill me. You tried to kill Sydney.”

The wizard nodded slowly. “I had to make sure you were not too expressly loyal to Karl Franz’s regime. For all his pomp and ceremony, many of his dukes and regents are not so savory after all.”

“Like this Jakob Vernier.”

Precisely. Will you help me, Althalos Half-Elven and Sydney Darkscales? I require your skills to free my children. Only they can help you defeat Vernier.

Althalos looked at Sydney.

Aurum, we accept your offer, but many years have made us quite…paranoid. We require proof of your claims.

I expected no less. Go to the forests north of the spine-in-the-earth. There you will find your first target. The elf Kilf. She has enslaved my daughter, Adurna, to use as a hunting beast. Go now, and may the wind lift under your wings.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

And that is where i will end the story, at least that which is posted here on TFF.  If you would like to continue reading this story, you can do so here. http://www.heresy-online.net/forums/showthread.php?t=7563&highlight=Oathbreaker&page=3  It begins at the top of page three, and continues with each posting by Dirge Eterna.  Please enjoy and comment if you would.
cheers everyone…
CP 

"In the Name of my God" – Featured Fiction

This time we’ve got a great piece for you in Featured Fiction.  Another poetry piece by none other than Heresy-Online member Shogun_Nate.  I’m proud to say that i had the opportunity to witness most of Nate’s time on Heresy, and i must say we played host to one of fan-fiction’s great authors.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy this piece as much as i do.

CP

In the Name of my God


With chain-ed axe,
I hacked and rent.
For Blood’s true call,
To hell I sent!
The Imperial Lap-dogs, whose faith disdained,
Quenched my thirst with their bloody rain.

For blood and death is all I know,
And darkest God in who’s name I sow,
The bloody Harvest of Gore and Pain
The crimson blood for Khorne’s name!
Skulls I heap at the foot of his throne,
The fate of those sealed in alabaster bone!

For Khorne’s mighty rage, I kill and bleed!
In death and blood, do I succeed!
Blighted is the name of God unknown,
From lips of fools who worship at the Golden Throne!
Would that they know my Master’s grace!
Would that they look upon his bloodied face!
His countenance would surely shame,
Those poor fools who worship in vain!

Let blood be my beckon’d call!
For that crimson ichor, I have sent them all,
To my Master, black and dark!
For forgotten Gods that bray and hark!
In blood my piety measures all!
For time will not pass without the call,
Of the Blood God’s wrathful thrall!

That we of Khorne have thusly slain,
The last of those who should remain,
On worlds touched with ignorant bliss,
For darkened words surely missed!
When comes the fire from the sky,
We blood-soaked warriors of the curse-ed Eye!

Pray in vain, you mortals all,
For in the coming darkness, the Blood God calls!
We who have come to tally the count,
We shall not leave without blood amount!

by: Shogun_Nate

"Just Another Day" – Featured Fiction

For this edition of Featured Fiction, i bring you a piece of writing by Heresy-Online member The_Inquisitor.   His entry, “Just Another Day”, into the Heresy-Online Fiction Competition 2009, clinched the victory for him last year.  It’s a great piece with some exceptional character.  Please Enjoy.

-CP

Just Another Day

by:  The_Inquisitor

Even His footsteps sounded ominous, echoing throughout the corridors of the vessel, alerting the crew to his presence. Playing cards, gaming dice and other indicators to their lack of work, were stuffed hastily into pockets and robes as the clanging of the footsteps grew ever louder. Each member of the crew knew how He would react were they found slacking in their duties. Although they were all felons and criminals of various degrees, each of them knew it would be suicide to disobey or anger Him. It didn’t matter who you’d killed or what you’d done in the past, on the Quaestus Questus you did what you were told or you died. There was no alternative. And the man purposefully making his way down the narrow walkway was the man giving the orders.+++Captain Xotuxo paced the corridors at this time every night cycle. It had become second nature, a habit which now sat firmly within his Spartan routine. A utilitarian to the extreme, the Captain only saw the practical use of something, its beauty eluding him. In his line of work there was no place for sentiment, no place for emotion. A man with these things in his life would have caved into the nightmares long ago; would have lost his mind. The grilled decking below his boots carried the metallic clang of his footsteps down the passage, fracturing the deadly silence of the early morning hours. The intimidating confidence of the man created a mixed aura of respect and fear around him.Xotuxo knew perfectly well that his hefty footsteps would alert the Corsair crew to his arrival, a tactic which he had picked up from his predecessor. If the crew fear you enough then you need not say a word to them. The Captain expected the men to be unfocussed in their work; after all he wasn’t commanding a Navy Frigate. Xotuxo could still hear the words of his former commander in his ear. Deep and gravely, the voice was unforgettable.

“You see lad, if you go about sneakin’ up on ya men, only to find ‘em gamblin’ and smokin’, then there’s only two things you can do. You either eject the lot of ‘em into the void, or you let ‘em get away with it.

You go with option number one, and by the end of the week you won’t have a bloody crew left. And of course if you go with option two, then they lose the respect for ya, and before you can blink you got a mutiny on your hands.

So, why find them at all? Make it clear you’re on ya way, they’ll stop what they’re doing and the fear is still there. See?”

The Captain grinned to himself, recalling his old mentor’s words of advice. Maybe if the fool had stuck to them a bit better himself, he wouldn’t have woken up with a dagger between his shoulder blades. First Mate Xotuxo had led the mutiny himself, usurping the leader of the Corsairs with the murderous efficiency he had become infamous for.

That had been seven years ago, and Xotuxo had ruled the bridge of the Quaestus Questus with an iron fist ever since.

+++
With all incriminating evidence stowed away, the deckhands scrabbled back to their labouring. By the time He had reached their position, every crew-man in the vicinity was hard at work, cleaning and maintaining the ship they served.

As He walked amongst them, none dared to meet his gaze. Only a fool would stare into the eyes of the Captain and hope to remain unnoticed; and last thing any of them wanted was to get noticed.

The clunking footsteps grew fainter and a sigh of relief escaped from mouths of several less experienced corsairs. As usual, smirks from more aged pirates soon followed. Those who had been crew members for a reasonable duration knew too well that they were unlikely to get caught for shirking their duties. The Captain was too easy to detect.

Every night the crew believed themselves to be steps ahead of Xotuxo. Some were even starting to doubt his capabilities as a commander. On the lower decks, there were whispers of mutiny.

+++

Onesimus Kir de-activated the laser-cutter with the press of a well-oiled stud on the grip. The finesse of the tool, combined with his steady hand had allowed him to finish his work in half the time it would have taken one of his lackeys. The highly focussed energy beam emitted by the device could serve not only as a cutting tool but also as a welding instrument. Down on the lower decks, energy-couplets and cryo-cells were often in need of repair.

Although the Quaestus Questus was an efficient and feared vessel, its venerable age meant that repair crews were constantly put to use across the entire ship. The gloom of the lower decks was where Kir’s repair detail found themselves assigned most of the time. A duty Kir resented.

When he joined the Corsairs six years ago, Kir had great aspirations for himself. He believed this would be a fresh start to his stagnant life; a way to acquire prosperity. He assumed that it wouldn’t take him long to work his way up the ranks to a position of power.

As a Commercia Trader on Cerebra, he had made a decent living, dealing in agricultural technologies. Educated at the Scholum Prodegia Primaris, he had been well schooled in economic trade and application. He had intended to use this knowledge to make a name for himself on Cerebra.

However, not long after founding his business, Kir came to realise that his theoretical studies and the practical application were worlds apart, and that it was exhausting work merely to make even a marginal profit. Soon, the young trader came to hate his work, his surroundings and ultimately his life. He had needed an escape. The Quaestus Questus had offered it.

As part of the infamous crew of criminals and desperados, six years flew by. Six years in which Kir achieved little headway in his aspirations. His dreams of power and riches remained unfulfilled.

Kir re-activated the void-shield surrounding the cryo-cells he had been repairing, the monotonous humming replacing the silence. With a grunt he hoisted himself up from the meshed decking, using the gantry running above as a handhold. Kir had an athlete’s body, developed over the years of dutiful labouring aboard the Corsair vessel. His dagger like features revealed little emotion, and hard eyes, accustomed to the darkness of the lower decks, sat sunken into his skull.

Straightening himself up, Kir checked over both shoulders, ensuring that he was alone in the corridor. He had endured enough on this god-forsaken ship. It was time for him to formulate his own destiny. With a final sigh, Onesimus Kir slipped the laser-cutter into his robes and disappeared into the shadowy depths of the lower decks.

+++

Of all the Quaestus Questus’ sections, from the illustrious Command Bridge to the ancient workings of Engineering, Xotuxo loathed the lower decks the most. The dank and murky air was saturated with the stench of promethium and sweating bodies. This part of the vessel housed several major power couplets and power cells but little else resulting in filth and grime caking most surfaces. But regardless of its aesthetic appeal, it was part of His ship and therefore in need of perambulation.

Heavy steps brought Xotuxo through the stiflingly narrow corridors, his eyes still adjusting to the darkness that enveloped him. As usual, He made no effort to muffle his deliberated boot steps.

+++

Steadying his nerves, Onesimus Kir heard the menacing footsteps echo down the corridor. Concealed in the recesses of a maintenance alcove, Kir was cloaked in darkness, nearly invisible in the unlit passage. Looking down at the laser-cutter he now clutched, Kir grimaced. With little warning his hand began to shake uncontrollably, the device rattling in the dark.

+++

Checking his wrist chronometer as he went, Xotuxo turned the corridor corner. Ahead lay Maintenance Alcove 7R.

+++

Seeing the intimidating figure pass by his sanctuary, Kir activated the cutting tool, sending a shrill hum out across the corridor. With a clumsy leap he jumped at the Corsair Commander with a yell.

+++

Decades of bar fights and conflicts with the authorities had given Xotuxo a sixth sense. On hearing the humming shriek coupled with the primal shout, Xotuxo’s immediate reaction saved his life.

Doubling himself over, the Captain felt the heat of the laser singe the hairs on the back of his neck. The assailant, carried by his own momentum, was thrown over Xotuxo’s crouched body, landing sprawled on the deck. Without hesitation, the Captain straightened up, towering over the prone crew member.

His boot crushed every bone in the assassin’s hand, extracting a blood curdling scream from the man. The same boot then moved itself to the assailant’s face, breaking bone, cartilage and everything in-between. The man’s screaming ceased abruptly, his jaw smashed beyond repair. After a placed kick to the ribs for good measure, the Captain, barely out of breath, knelt next to the broken man before him, grinning. He spoke with a hacksaw voice.

“Nice try lad. Shame you don’t get a second chance.”

Onesimus Kir’s face melted like candle wax, his skull mutilated. De-activating the laser-cutter, Xotuxo stood up, straightening his jacket. Touching a button on his collar, he spoke to unseen servants.

“Hotham. Get a clean-up crew down here. Someone’s made a right mess.”

Turning on his heel, Captain Xotuxo stalked away into the darkness, his attention needed elsewhere.

http://www.heresy-online.net/forums/showthread.php?t=42342

"The End" – Featured Fiction

For this edition of Featured Fiction, i’m pulling a classic out of the archives of Heresy-Online.  A super awesome community story started by Heresy-Online member “normtheunsavoury. ”  started back in August of 2008, it brought together some of the best writers on Heresy at the time. 
Norm started the story, and then asked the next person to do it, I was lucky enough to be asked to do chapter 3 of the story, as well as taking on another chapter later on in the still-developing story.  This is perhaps one of my favorite bits of fiction that i’ve ever worked on.  For your reading enjoyment, i’ll post the first three chapters here for you to read.

This story is as of yet, uncompleted.  If you enjoyed the story and would like to read the rest, and perhaps write a chapter yourself, just click on the link at the bottom of this post.  It will take you to the thread on Heresy where the story is located.  If you are already a member, feel free to post a chapter, just so long as it fits the story line, and meshes with the characters.  If you aren’t a member and would like to write something for it, contact me and i’ll send you a link to where you can sign up for Heresy.  or just add me as your referrer when you sign up.

cheers! and enjoy the story. :)

*******

“The End”

*******

Chapter 1:  by: Normtheunsavoury

*******

A single cry pierces the vacuum of the void, a terrible cry that only the most potent of psykers can hear, a scream so terrible that it has echoed for 10,000 years throughout the galaxy and the empyrean. It is the scream of an immortal dying, the scream of the God Emperor of Mankind, for 10,000 years it has driven those touched with psychic powers to insanity and now at the Age of Ending that scream has fallen silent.

“Why have we dropped out of Warp space Captain Astor?” boomed Admiral Clarris, His voice barely audible over the screaming sirens and the roar of the burning cogitators.

“I don’t know Admiral, everything was fine and then….”

Admiral Clarris was an imposing man and did not tolerate the failure of any members of his crew, he shot his captain a look that would have stopped a Daemon in it’s tracks and suddenly the captains mind went blank.

“Well, Captain, would you possibly consider finding out rather than standing there flapping in the bloody wind? What the hell is going on with my ship?”

At this the entire bridge crew burst into action, the shock had been shaken from them and they knew they had work to do or consequences to answer to.

Almost every system on the ship was either on fire or about to burst into flames and servitors moved from cogitator to cogitator trying to extinguish the fires, through one of the soot covered armourcrys viewing portals an ensign spotted something.

“Admiral, I think you should look at this, sir, it’s, um,, well ….” Panic was taking control of the young ensign, tears appearing in his eyes.

“Get out of the way boy, in the name of the Emperor, what is wrong with everyone today….” the Admiral stopped and stared, in nearly 300 years of service he had never seen anything like the scene that presented itself to him outside the ship.

Captain Astor made his way through the belly of the Righteous Hatred, if anyone would know what had happened it would be Mi So the ships Astropath, he hated having to speak with the psyker, the things dead eyes always made him feel uneasy.

The door to her chamber was open and as soon as Astor walked into the dark a strange feeling washed over him, something was horribly wrong.

The chamber was silent except for a feint clicking sound, an irregular tapping, that, as he drew closer he realised, was dripping.

The Astropaths chamber was awash with blood and the young Psyker was laying in the middle of the gory scene, her entrails torn out by her own hands and wrapped around her like a shroud.

On the wall, scrawled in her own blood and faeces were two words “The End”

Astor keyed his communicator “Admiral Clarris, this is Captain Astor, it’s Mi

So, she is dead sir.”

“You had better get your scrawny arse back up to the bridge captain” Clarris sounded shaken, that was bad, Clarris was never shaken.

“What is it Admiral?”

“ We have dropped out of the Warp right above Terra Captain, Right above Holy Terra…”

The Admirals voice broke up, it sounded almost like the tough old sailor was crying.

“Holy Terra is burning, Captain, Burning”

********

chapter 2: by: immOrtal reaper

********

“Burning?!” Astor repeated, dumbstruck.

“Aye Captain” Clarris replied solemnly “Even from here you can see it. there are other ships here Captain, thousands.”

Astor held the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger for a long minute, taking in the scope of Holy Terra burning. Finally the Captain snapped into action, sprinting back to the command deck.
When he arrived, the crew stood huddled around one of the navigation screens.

“What is it?” Astor asked approaching the screen.

“A Distress signal with an attached video.” Replied Jonas, a young navigator.

They stared at the image on the screen, binary composed in the form of a ditress signal. The image froze and then the screen burst into light as a video began to play.

The screen shook as the ground infront of the camera errupted. A huge figure, encased in blue and gold charged towards the camera. The figure looked old and wise but was haggerd and battered. Blood wept from multiple wounds upon his face, his left arm hung impotently at his side, half severed, and he bore a hole in his shoulder.

“This is Marneus Calgar of the blessed Ultramarines” the man spoke, his breath ragged “We have held them for days and nights. My Chapter is broken! We must fall back. There is no escape. Do not send aid! I repeat. Stay away from Ter-“

The video was cut short as a blinding light engulfed the screen. Static followed.

“And it just repeats.” Jonas stated.

“How old is this?” Admiral Clarris asked. Jonas typed for several seconds before stopping, open mouthed.

“What? What is it boy? How old is this transmission?” Astor asked, his eyes alight with fearful interest.

“The date. It’s M41 001. This is 2 years Terran time into the future sir”

“What? how is that possible?” Clarris asked, furious.

Jonas entered more information into the computer before stopping abruptly once again.

“Sir, the nav-computer reads the present data as M51 0001. According to this Sir, we are over 10,000 years in the future”

Silence filled the bridge, only broken as the disrtess video started once again.

And outside the viewscreen in front of them, beyond the thousands of wrecked starships, Terra continued to burn.

********

Chapter 3: by: Commissar Ploss

********

It had to be a mistake.  Surely there was something wrong with their systems.  Even now, servitors were still attempting to extinguish fires burning from many of the cogitators.  There was something wrong with the data, there had to be.

“What do we do sir!” Jonas pleaded.

“Admiral?” Captain Astor asked.

Admiral Clarris was leaning on the railing of the bridge.  Tears streamed from his eyes and down his face.  He seemed to be shaking.

“Why…now!” the Admiral spoke amidst his sobs.

“What is it sir?”

“Don’t you hear it!”

“Sir, I hear nothing but these blasted sirens!”

“The screams my boy…the screams…”  The Admirals words grew softer as he sunk to his knees on the decking.

“Medic! Quickly! See to the Admiral!”  Captain Astor bellowed.  “Get him to the medical ward immediately!”

As the medicae staff carried him off the bridge, Admiral Clarris sat up on the stretcher, grabbed the lapel of one of the orderlies and whispered, “Holy Terra herself is in pain.”  Turning back towards the Captain on the bridge, he reached and yelled out, “Don’t go near that place!  It will only lead you to your doom!”

It seemed to the Captain that the Admiral had gone insane.  The very sight of Terra burning had tortured the man so severely that it had incapacitated him.

Captain Astor turned back solemnly towards the rest of the staff there on the bridge.  He raised his hands wide and spoke to all of them.  “In the absence of a commanding officer, I will assume command of this vessel and its operations!”

Jonas stood up at his station and addressed the Captain.  “With all due respect sir, none of us know what to do!”

It dawned on the captain that there was little they could do here.  With thousands of ships from Emperor knows where, and the same garbled message playing in the background, things were getting out of hand.  He had to act now.

“Jonas! Shut this message off, but don’t stop monitoring it!  I want to hear right away if anything else is found!  He turned to another navigator bent over his station.  “You there!  How many Lightning wings do we have operational?”

“Two sir, Beta and Lambda wings are fueled and primed for your orders.” said the young man.

“Good.  I want Beta and Lambda squadrons to sweep the poles and tell me what the flek is going on down there!  If there are any pockets of resistance left that are holding their own, thats where they’ll be!”

“Sir, I don’t think thats such a good-” Jonas cut in.

“Damn it son! We’re the blasted Imperial Navy!  And based on what I see here, I think it fleking well is a good idea!  Now, what do we have on the order of available troops?”

“None of the regiments are battle ready sir!  We were in Warp Space just a few minutes ago, most of the troops have just been woken!”

“Then you better well get them ready!  I want them briefed and ready to drop as soon as I get some feedback from those Lightning’s!  If there are soldiers still alive down there they’re gonna need all the help they can get!”

“What about Marneus Calgar and the Ultramarines, sir!”

“Looks like they’re fleking well going to need some help as well son, don’t you think!”

“Sir! Yes sir!”  Jonas saluted and hurried back to his station.

“Now the rest of you!  I want open lines of communication with every ship in this sector!  I want to know who’s here and why!  I need to coordinate an effort with anyone who’ll listen!  I need guns! I need fighters! I need some fleking solid minds!  If they’re not here to help, get them the flek out of here! NOW MOVE!”

Captain Astor leaned on the railing of the bridge where the Admiral had stood just moments before, the vision of Holy Terra squarely in his gaze.  He sighed as he thought of what the Admiral had said.  Screams.  Probably just the ravings of a emotionally destroyed man.  But still, the Admiral was not one to break so easily.  What ever he had ‘heard’ really messed him up.  He was glad he hadn’t heard it too.

He released the rail, took a deep breath and strode over to the Admiral’s throne.  Buttons and knobs of all shapes and sizes protruded out from its golden arms like a pissed off porcupine.  Laying on the seat was a golden helmet.  Streaming with thick golden wires it looked like it trailed a mane of hair from its crown to the back of the chair.  Astor knew what this device was.  It was the neuro-link that the Admiral wore to help direct the actions and movements of the ship.  It connected whomever wore it directly to the ships machine spirit.  What pains the ship felt, he would feel.  What exhaustion the ship felt, he would feel.  What destruction the ship felt, he would feel.  It was a harrowing feeling.  One that he didn’t want to have to deal with at this very moment.  There was no choice.  The foundation of Mankind was burning under their feet and hesitation was not to be rewarded.  Captain Astor picked up the neuro-link, turned, and sat down on the chair.  It was warm, he thought to himself.  Wait, why was he thinking of that at a time like this.  Maybe in the toughest of moments, Astor thought, you still had to be able to notice the details.  Details would be important in the next few moments and he was glad that he was still noticing them.

With a deep breath, Captain Astor raised the golden helmet into the air and placed it over his head.

The pain that greeted him was immense.  Captain Astor yelled out uncontrollably as the ship reminded him how much damage had been done already.  Multiple fires were burning through the ships decks and he could feel the damage being done.  He struggled to suppress the pain coursing through his body.  It was several minutes before Captain Astor was able to gain some control of the situation.  Regaining his composure, Astor took in the helmet display.  There were three prominent items that took up the majority of the screen.  In one corner was a structural map of the ship showing the multiple decks and rooms of the ship.  All of these were color coded to some effect showing their status and structual integrity.  Anything labeled the color red, Astor assumed, could be called structurally unstable.  And by the looks of it there were about three decks worth towards the aft end of the ship that were a deep crimson shade.  Astor called up a magnified display of the afflicted area to better asses the damage.  Decks A through F were situated near the Warp drives and as such had been damaged when they had been unexpectedly dumped from warp space.  The majority of the fires were situated in those areas closest to the rooms above the drive compartments.  Captain Astor managed to cut the oxygen flow to these areas in the hopes of staunching the brunt of the flames.

A beeping red indicator sounded suddenly in his ear.  A second later, another image took over his viewplate.  The pict was that of Terra.  Only now, this was a more schematic view of the planet.  The majority of the planet was covered in a grid format that displayed the various planetary sectors, quadrants and hemispheres.  Once again there was a color display of the varying heat registers emanating from the planet’s surface.  Auspex flashes indicated where Beta and Lambda Lightning squadrons buzzed back and forth across the surface.  He could hear the bustle of vox traffic between the squadron commanders.  From what he could gather there didn’t seem to be much of anything going on down on the surface.  Most of the planet seemed to have been demolished or burned out.  The odds of there being anyone alive down there seemed slim, but it still felt like he was doing the right thing.

Captain Astor silenced the vox traffic so he could think.  What could have happened to the Ultramarines?  How could a chapter of such magnitude and strength be failing, or have failed in such a way.  It was beyond his comprehension.  If the glorious Ultramarines had failed, how could he hope to succeed.  And what of the Wolves of Fenris? Didn’t the legends say that if Terra was ever in danger, the men of Fenris would come to her aid like a mother wolf protecting its young?  Where were the fabled Space Wolves?  And lets not forget the Custodian Guard, the Adeptus Custodes.  So many questions and possibly no answers.  He wondered whether or not Marneus Calgar issued that signal out of pride.  Was he afraid to admit defeat in the face of insurmountable odds?  Did he not want aid for fear that it would squander his victory?  No one could be that brash.

A vox transmission indicator interrupted his thoughts.  He quickly queued it up and saw that it was from Lighning Wing Leader Beta.

“This is Captain Astor, what news of the surface?”  He was certain that there was no one alive but he needed the confirmation from the wing leader.

“This is Beta leader with good news sir!  Three of our Lightning fighters have reported signs of Imperial resistance over the Imperial Primus Palace sir!  And Lambda wing has reported activity over the Ecclesiarchal Palace and the Scholastica Psykana!  Sir there are still people alive down here!”

“Emperor be praised! Wonderful! Beta Leader, coordinate your efforts with Lambda Leader and give those people any sort of help you can! Captain Astor out.”

“Aye sir, Beta leader out.”

‘Our doom be damned!’ thought Captain Astor to himself.  What had the Admiral been so frightened about?  It seemed to him that Admiral Clarris was a man in distress.  There was nothing that man could say that would change his mind now.  He was going to help the Adeptus Terra and all those down there as best he could.  After all he was presently in command of an Emperor class Imperial Battleship.  He still had port and starboard batteries at full operating potential, and his normal space drive engines were in good shape. So he didn’t have his Warp drive engines, but that wasn’t going to be a problem.

“Navigator Jonas!”

“Yes Captain!”  He had just been communicating with another Emperor class battleship on the other side of the planet.

“By the Emperor’s guiding light there are still people alive down there!”

“Thats excellent news sir!”

“Fleking right it is!  How many regiments are ready to drop?”

“Sir, you have 5 million men at your disposal.”

Captain Astor smiled a very broad smile.  It looked very odd behind the eyeless helmet he wore, but it was a smile nonetheless.

“Your orders sir?”  Jonas asked impatiently.

Captain Astor turned his blind gaze towards Jonas, still smiling that broad smile.

“drop ’em.”
***

So, thus concludes the first three chapters of “The End”. Its a great community story that can still go so many directions.  Once again, if you want to read the rest click the link below.  Also, if you want to write a chapter for it, just post in thread detailing your intent, and the follow up with a chapter post.  I’d love to read it and see where you take the story next. :)

http://www.heresy-online.net/forums/showthread.php?t=16173

A single cry pierces the vacuum of the void, a terrible cry that only the most potent of psykers can hear, a scream so terrible that it has echoed for 10,000 years throughout the galaxy and the empyrean. It is the scream of an immortal dying, the scream of the God Emperor of Mankind, for 10,000 years it has driven those touched with psychic powers to insanity and now at the Age of Ending that scream has fallen silent.

“Why have we dropped out of Warp space Captain Astor?” boomed Admiral Clarris, His voice barely audible over the screaming sirens and the roar of the burning cogitators.
“I don’t know Admiral, everything was fine and then….”
Admiral Clarris was an imposing man and did not tolerate the failure of any members of his crew, he shot his captain a look that would have stopped a Daemon in it’s tracks and suddenly the captains mind went blank.
“Well, Captain, would you possibly consider finding out rather than standing there flapping in the bloody wind? What the hell is going on with my ship?”
At this the entire bridge crew burst into action, the shock had been shaken from them and they knew they had work to do or consequences to answer to.
Almost every system on the ship was either on fire or about to burst into flames and servitors moved from cogitator to cogitator trying to extinguish the fires, through one of the soot covered armourcrys viewing portals an ensign spotted something.
“Admiral, I think you should look at this, sir, it’s, um,, well ….” Panic was taking control of the young ensign, tears appearing in his eyes.
“Get out of the way boy, in the name of the Emperor, what is wrong with everyone today….” the Admiral stopped and stared, in nearly 300 years of service he had never seen anything like the scene that presented itself to him outside the ship.

Captain Astor made his way through the belly of the Righteous Hatred, if anyone would know what had happened it would be Mi So the ships Astropath, he hated having to speak with the psyker, the things dead eyes always made him feel uneasy.
The door to her chamber was open and as soon as Astor walked into the dark a strange feeling washed over him, something was horribly wrong.
The chamber was silent except for a feint clicking sound, an irregular tapping, that, as he drew closer he realised, was dripping.
The Astropaths chamber was awash with blood and the young Psyker was laying in the middle of the gory scene, her entrails torn out by her own hands and wrapped around her like a shroud.
On the wall, scrawled in her own blood and faeces were two words “The End”
Astor keyed his communicator “Admiral Clarris, this is Captain Astor, it’s Mi So, she is dead sir.”
“You had better get your scrawny arse back up to the bridge captain” Clarris sounded shaken, that was bad, Clarris was never shaken.
“What is it Admiral?”
“ We have dropped out of the Warp right above Terra Captain, Right above Holy Terra…”
The Admirals voice broke up, it sounded almost like the tough old sailor was crying.
“Holy Terra is burning, Captain, Burning”

Spyderweb – Featured Fiction

Welcome back folks!  This time for Featured Fiction we have one of my favorite writers of 40k fan fiction/short stories, from the Heresy-Online forums, Mossy Toes.  He’s been a fixture on the site for quite some time now, always in my eye for one reason or another.  He’s also just recently been awarded the Seal of the Librarian for his outstanding fiction work on the forum.  Once you’ve read this story, head on over to Heresy to read other things that Mossy has written.  You won’t be disappointed.   

CP

Spyderweb

Imperial Gothic: Hive Ganger

+

Kay ran, a constant string of profanity cycling through her mind. Every other step, every time she pushed forward with her left leg, her pistol pressed an ‘L’ into her side. Her breath came in torn, ragged gasps, slicing through her teeth and dry mouth. Her eyes were wild and her shoulder-length black hair whipped across them. A glance over her shoulder told her all she needed to know—that they were still right behind her.

She was afraid. Afraid for her twin, for both her brothers—but mostly just afraid of what Chesken’s men would do if they caught her. She dove between two ancient dumpsters into an alley and bit her lip in pain as one of her feet landed awkwardly and twisted. She gasped, and stumbled on.

The alleyway twisted and turned several times before branching off in two directions. She could see the end of one—a scalable wall. The other vanished deeper into the hab-block’s darkness. She made her mind up and sprinted down the shorter route. As she hauled herself up the fence, the metal slats groaned and dug into her palms.

Kay hopped the top, and saw too late the waiting figures behind. She cursed and kicked out, sending one man away clutching at his face. Hands grabbed at her and she punched, bit and kicked frantically. She grabbed the autopistol from her belt and fired upwards once, wincing from the explosive echo.

It had the desired effect, though. The three men, one clutching his nose, staggered backwards. Her heavy breathing was the only noise for two seconds.

“Put your hands above your head,” she said. “I don’t want any quick movements.” Grimacing, the thugs did as they were told.

Something clinked faintly above her.

Kay spun too slowly and was knocked flat by the weight of a pursuer who’d climbed the fence. Her vision spun, gradually clearing with her pinned to the ground and her face pressed against the ground. Her pistol rested a dozen feet away and her arms had been wrenched up behind her back. It hurt.

“What have we here?” breathed a heavy, alcoholic voice behind her, “a little rat who took summat? Well, we normally squish little rats right away, but I think that this time, we’re gonna have a little fun first. Besides, we got somewhere to take you afterwards.”

“Get off me, Chesken,” Kay hissed. A blow to the head made everything jerk painfully.

“You boys are pathetic,” growled her captor—Chesken. “You can’t even catch this little tekko.”

“Boss,” came a muffled voice—the man with the broken nose, Kay assumed—“she had a gun!”

The fence rattled again as the second of her pursuers jumped over.

“Then why din’t you keep her from using it?” growled Chesken angrily. “Now we’re gonna have the Arbites descending on us in minutes.

A new sound—shifting trash at the mouth of the alley. Another pair of boots scuffed into view.

“Excuse me, but what’s going on here?” asked a new voice.

“Nothing of yer interest,” spat one of the goons surrounding her.

“Ah, I see—just some back-alley fun with a helpless girl?”

Chesken released her and stood. Kay began to pick herself up slowly and cautiously.

“Ain’t I seen you before?” Chesken asked. “I have. I have, I know it. Now, I’m gonna give you one chance to take those words back, ‘cause I know you aren’t from around here-”

Cracking lasfire seared the air. Kay dove to the side and curled into a ball as bodies thudded to the ground. Then, as suddenly as they started, the las-shots stopped. She hesitantly uncurled and looked at the five bodies. One was still alive and whimpering. A last, hissing crack sounded out and silenced him. Curses and came from behind the metal slats of the fence, and Kay heard several gangers fleeing.

The newcomer stood in the mouth of the alleyway, alone and unharmed. He wore regular enough clothes—nothing that would attract undue attention, at least—but stunk of soap and hygiene. He had a sandy mop of well-trimmed hair and he carried his ornate laspistol loosely.

“Are you all right, my good lady?” he inquired, stepping over Chesken’s corpse and offering her a hand up.

She stood without his aid and backed away cautiously.

“Why’d you do that?” she asked. “You had no reason to-”

“Would you rather I hadn’t?” An amused smile touched his lips.

“But where are my manners?” he asked. “Allow me to introduce myself. I am Corlain D’Jeres – an offworlder, as you may have guessed. You have me at a disadvantage.”

She bristled, but the corpses beneath their feet spoke too much to be ignored. Besides, it was the least she could do to repay him. Of course, he’d probably demand payment in some other manner.

“Kay,” she said, brushing her hair back. “I’m Kay.”

Corlain nodded slightly, holstered his pistol, bent down to retrieve her autopistol—and went down as she kicked him in the neck. In half a second, Kay had his arm twisted up behind his back. In another, she had her own ancient autopistol pressed to his temple.

“Ah,” he said, wincing, “I suppose I should have expected this.”

“Damn straight,” Kay breathed as she took his laspistol out of his holster with her free hand. She fished his knife out of his belt. “You’re quite an idiot, aren’t you”

Corlain nodded slightly in agreement.

Kay went through his pockets efficiently, but found nothing but a few spare credits and link. She shook her head in disgust—some people just weren’t worth the time.

“Wait,” began Corlain, earning a twist on his wrist and getting his face shoved into the ferrocrete.

“Look,” hissed Kay into his ear. “I don’t want your input. I don’t want your blather either. In fact, you helping me out back there is the reason you’re not in the same predicament as them while I do this. I see no reason to let you talk.”

Corlain sat still for another few seconds. Eventually he drew a breath and spoke.

“My contacts?”

Kay paused.

“You really are an idiot, aren’t you?”

+++

Kay retraced her steps with trepidation. Corlain was walking in front of her, both of his hands clearly visible by his sides. The site of the botched deal had been cordoned off by the Arbites, so she went to the nearest safe house in the hope of finding her brothers. She shouldn’t have—after all, she was dragging this dead weight along with her—but she had to know how they’d done.

She knew that something was wrong the moment that she stepped onto the hab-level. All three of Hecho’s children were out in the corridor. Hecho only made them play outside when he wanted to protect their innocence, and these were children growing up in the slums.

Well, it was that and the bloodstains.

She told Corlain to stand off to one side where she could see him and approached the children. Three year-old Telick saw Kay first. He began to tug on his older sister’s hand silently until Jaina turned.

“Kay!” cried Jaina, limping quickly forward. Her leg had been twisted by some defect, so she wore it in a brace. “Kay! Tem and Shem are here, with Papi! They want you soon as you arrive! Shem was hurt!”

“Take me there,” Kay said, her fear spiking. She glanced meaningfully at Corlain and he fell in step beside her.

Jaina stood on tiptoe and knocked several times on a small faux wood panel set into the door. There was a shuffling behind it and the panel was pulled away. A pair of eyes surfaced from the darkness within.

“Papi,” Jaina said, “It’s Kay! She’s here.”

The door swung open and Hecho beckoned her in.

“Who’s this?” he asked, blinking, as Corlain followed her in.

“Just-” Kay sighed. “Just nobody, okay. Don’t bother yourself, Hecho.”

“No, no, Kay,” the informant said, stepping back through the unlit gloom of his front room, “you don’t get it. I need to know who comes here, and that they’re safe and accounted for. Whose house – whose house is this?”

“Hecho, don’t freak on me. Stop spazzing out. You don’t have to worry. Think of him as a new client, okay? He’s just an offworlder.”

“Kay!” cried Hecho, pacing back and forth and rubbing at his receding scalp. “Get a grip! You’re putting me in danger here. Who lives here? Whose children live here? Not yours!”

He exhaled forcefully and rubbed his temples.

“Throne above,” he continued, “This isn’t worth your lining my pocket. Today’s been the most hectic day this year. First your hulking twin drags in Shem bleeding his life out and now I have to put up with-”

“Shut up.” Kay’s voice had an edge. “What’s happened to Shem?”

Hecho fluttered his hands and drew backwards.

“I’d better show you—come on, they’re in the back room.”

The informant fluttered away through the house, muttering to himself. Kay followed. Corlain looked around for a second before shutting the door and trailing after them.

Shem was on a table, crude wrappings around his chest. Three red marks were seeping through. Temils sat beside him holding his hand and using a cloth to dab blood away from his mouth, laughably large to be playing the nursemaid. Kay bit her lip and inhaled.

“How is he?” she asked.

Her twin looked up quietly—more than enough words for her to understand. She blinked furiously, trying to avoid tearing up. Hecho looked around uneasily.

“We need to get him to a Medicae,” Hecho said softly, “or he hasn’t got the chance of a ship in the Warp without a Geller shield.”

“Who’d take him?” snorted Temils hoarsely.

Hecho drummed his fingertips on his lips nervously. He drew a breath, hesitated, then spoke.

“The only slum-doc near enough that doesn’t ask questions is Spyder, and he charges—Warp, he charges about three limbs. And he’s several miles away.”

“Spyder?” Temils asked. “Isn’t he-”

“Yeah, a coghead,” replied Hecho. “He got kicked out of the AdMech, but he used to be a Biologis. He specializes in—well, you’ll see. Anyways, he takes in those who can pay. Though you’re still three miles from his shop.”

“We can pay for a ride with what I got off Chesken and his men,” Kay said.

“You killed Chesken?” asked Temils. Kay pointed to Corlain, who nodded slightly. Her twin sighed.

“Who is this, anyway? Never mind, introductions can wait. That double-crossing bastard had it coming.” Temils paused. “I don’t know if we have enough saved up for this, though. How are we going to pay?”

“With this,” she said, taking a small package from inside her jacket and throwing it beside Shem. The reason Chesken and his men had chased her so far. A full kilo of Spark, one of the most powerful hallucinogens in the underhive.

+++

They hopped from the speeder-cab and carefully eased Shem out. Hecho had stayed at his hab—as was to be expected—but Kay hadn’t let Corlain out of her sight. She had given Corlain’s story to Temils in the cab.

Spyder’s decrepit single-story workshop was surrounded by flickering street-lumens, giving the workshop’s open garage door the impression of a looming mouth and casting long shadows from the piles of rubble surrounding the building. Corlain paused at the opening to the garage as Temils and Kay, carrying their brother, caught up. A lumen strobed behind them, distorting the heaped boxes and stacked detritus.

“Are you still sure you should do this?” Corlain asked, looking around at the apparent squalor.

“Unless you have a better idea,” Temils growled. Corlain shook his head.

Kay hoisted Shem’s chest up a bit in her arms. Temils gently shifted his grip, taking the entirety of Shem’s weight. Kay looked appreciatively up at him and turned away. She fingered through a pile of wiring and twisted metal scraps. She pitied the Machine Spirit from whatever that had been.

“Hello?” she called, “Spyder?”

A clattering crash behind her made her spin. Corlain looked up sheepishly, a mess of heavy metal rods at his feet. A few remained neatly stacked on a table beside him, but most had fallen. Kay shook her head.

A rectangle of light opened at the far end of the garage, silhouetting an indistinct figure.

“What is this?” came a curious voice. “Intruders?”

“Are you Spyder?” Kay asked cautiously.

“No, not Spyder, not here. Master Spyder is inside. I am Theris, his assistant. Do you have an… appointment?”

“No, no we don’t, but-”

“Without an appointment the cost is double.”

“We understand, Theris. Our brother’s been shot, and we need Spyder’s help to save him.”

“Ah, ah… I understand. I shall lead you to Master Spyder. Come. Follow.” The silhouette pulled away from the doorway.

They picked their way across the floor, aided by the new light cast from inside, until they mounted the set of steps and got inside. The small, diminutive Theris bowed out of the way and eased the door shut behind them. He walked to their front and led off into the barren hallways, pacing ahead of them and occasionally stopping to let them catch up. While waiting, he stared back to look at Shem with his odd, pale eyes.

He led them through a maze of bleached corridors, eventually bringing them to a room that actually resembled a doctor’s ward—though its contents were another matter. Corpses hung from the walls, strange bionics grafted into puckering seams. One wore a smooth metal plate in the place of its face, and limp, swaying mechanical tendrils sprouted from another. One had a bionic hand and eye, and a fourth had some sort of metal ribbing poking through the skin of its chest. More bodies lay out on racks, carefully draped in plastek sheets. In one corner, what had to be a child’s body lay on a gurney, its cold, necrotic flesh stiff and still. A red-robed man who Kay assumed to be Spyder was turned away from them, bent over another bed. A pair of blue feet stuck out into their line of sight.

Theris turned to them, his eyes flickering back and forth. He licked his lips several times before speaking.

“Do not interrupt Master Spyder,” he said cautiously. “The master is working on new servitor chassis.”

“I don’t care what he’s doing,” growled Temils, though he was slightly pale from the sights of the room. “My brother is dying, and he’s a damn sight more important than some corpse!”

He lay Shem down on an empty gurney with a gentleness that contrasted his heated words.

“Don’t worry,” said the man working at the body, “I’ll be right there with you. Theris, I need a container for—ah, good. Freeze this while I see to our guests.” The man turned and deposited something into Theris’ waiting hands. The corpse stared emptily at the roof, its forehead open to the air.

“What,” said Spyder, sounding slightly annoyed upon seeing their expressions, “it’s only a frontal lobe.” His face was covered in puckered scar tissue, one eye socket a gaping hollow where the Mechanicus had torn out his implants.

“My brother was – shot,” Temils began.

“Yes, yes,” said Spyder irritably, “I heard you the first time. News travels fast; I heard what happened to Chesken, too. Now, can you pay?”

+++

All right, you can take it off,” Kay said wearily. Bartering a fair price in that madhouse had been an exhausting ordeal. Corlain reached up and pulled the blindfold down past his chin. He looked around with mild interest.

“So this is your home? Your apartment? Not too much here.”

He was, indisputably, correct. Half-eaten pre-packaged rations and wrappings were scattered about. Inhalers, a testament to Shem’s habit, littered most flat surfaces. One corner had a small stove and a basin to act as a kitchen and another held the plas-sealed pisspot. A single door led to the two bedrooms.

Upon arriving, Temils had slumped through the flat and lain on his bed. Kay peered in—he was still there, fully clothed, staring at the ceiling. She shook her head.

“Corlain,” she said. “Come here—your bed will be through here and in the next room; Shem’s bed. Only tonight, though. He’ll hopefully be… he will be back soon.”

Corlain followed her through the room where Temils lay and into the next one. The small, grimy window in Shem’s room was crusted over and hadn’t been used in years. Through it, the faint light of the evening setting on the Mass Lumens shone through. Needles and inhalers were scattered across the bedside table in the small room. Corlain looked around with raised eyebrows.

“You’ll sleep here. I still don’t trust you, so I’m locking the door. Don’t try to come out in the night. It’s a ten-story drop out the window, and besides, the window’s jammed shut. You won’t be able to open it without breaking it, and we’d hear that. Don’t try to go anywhere in the night. I’m turning in soon—do you need anything else? Hydration tablets or something?”

He waved her away, shaking his head slightly as he sat down and tested the springs on the bed.

She went to the washbasin in the next room and used the recycled water to wipe the grease from her hands and face.

+++

Hecho fiddled with the light. He couldn’t afford to buy a new one, no, nor even a new lumen-strip for it. He was too deep in debt already. He kept twisting this one this way and that, hoping to get a few more hours of light out of it.

He still was shivery from the day’s excitement. The Vutch family was close; they hung together and floated, barely. Like him, in a way. He hoped that the twins could survive the loss of their younger sibling—the boy might not be dead yet, but Hecho had been the one who’d bound his wounds. He had seen his fair share of injuries in his life here, including the one that had taken his missus. The boy… well, the Emperor himself would have to give a merciful miracle for him to survive, and Hecho had only seen one kind of Emperor’s Mercy this deep in the hive.

It was a testament to the hive, to what it did to people that he had to keep begging Spyder for little Jaina’s medicine. He’d pay some, borrow some to pay some, almost pay his debt off—and her medicine would run out. That damn sicko kept him in this poverty and misery more out of malice than profit, Hecho was sure. He couldn’t exploit this slummer any more, though. He’d have his debt cleared for once and for all for this.

He shook his head—partly at the lamp, but mostly at the thoughts running through his head. What would happen would happen. The lamp was a lost cause, anyway. What was it that made him hope that he could fix it? He was no coghead.

Perhaps that was just the way humans were—flawed into hoping that their brother could survive a clip to the chest, or hoping that they could find a woman that wasn’t a strung-out junkie to help raise the kids. Hope that his babygirl could get better again. Hell, it even seeped down to the lamp. Sometimes, he thought, humanity might be better off without that painful hope.

+++

Spyder hunched over the table. Beneath him, under his scalpel’s precise slices, the boy’s flesh blossomed; a beautiful flower. Delicate petals spread to reveal a brilliant, vermilion center. Nectar welled around his fingertips and trickled down the patient’s side.

Theris was whistling to himself and carting the fresh corpses of Chesken and his men around the laboratory. The off-key notes jarred Spyder’s concentration. Spyder snapped at the assistant, who quailed, and then he went back to his work.

Spyder was not a normal man, that he knew. He was one of the few who truly exalted in perfection—using newer methods to accomplish tasks with the devotion of the ancients. Everything these days was mass produced, shoddy, and overrated. His clients valued him for his standards—or rather, the fruit of his standard of work—but his art did not come cheap. He was a smith of the flesh, and he delighted in his calling.

He had a long night ahead of him. He made a fractionally deeper incision, and a smile twitched at the edges of his face.

+++

The Mass Lumens powered up, as usual, far too early. Kay yawned and reached over to shutter her small window. She rubbed her eyes and sat up. Shouldn’t Shem already be—Shem. The fog of sleep around her cracked and fell away.

“Tem,” she said softly, “we have to get up.” Her twin mumbled something and turned over on his own bed.

“Temils,” she said, louder. “We have to go see Shem.”

He woke up at that thought, too. He sat bolt upright and looked around with wild eyes. Then a semblance of control descended again and he shook his head.

“Spyder wanted us to come back at Half-Shift,” he said, collapsing back onto the bed. “That’s a third of the day from now. We don’t have to get up yet.”

“Still, I’m awake now, thanks to you. Let’s get dressed.”

Neither of them could fall back asleep and they knew it. Life in the hive had seen to that. They got dressed quickly, putting on their dusty over clothes and strapping on weapons. A timid knock on the door broke them from their normal activities.

“Hello?” came Corlain’s voice, muffled by the door. Temils cast his gaze briefly to the door and snorted. Kay wearily straightened and pulled the buckle on her belt tight before moving forward to unlock Shem’s door. Corlain came out timidly.

“Grease up your tag-along and see if he needs anything,” Temils said. “I’ll make us some hate-gear.”

He smirked at Corlain’s confusion and left the room.

“H-T, G-I-R” said Kay wearily. “Hydro Tablets and General Issue Rations crushed together and washed down with some shoca juice. Tastes like something from a grox’s rear, but we won’t need to eat or barely drink for the next shift and a half.”

“Hydration tablets?” asked Corlain. “Those things kill you—kidney failure.”

“So?” grunted Temils from the next room. He was accompanied by the stove’s clicking. “If you don’t use them you get killed by thirst or tainted water.” Corlain licked his lips for a second, searching for an answer—and changed the subject.

“I didn’t even know you two knew your letters,” he said as he accepted a tube of scraper-grease from Kay. “I thought that wasn’t common down here. I haven’t seen many written signs, I know that.”

“It doesn’t matter,” said Kay. “It’s one of the few things our parents did for us before they died.”

She began rubbing her own grease onto her exposed skin, darkening it for the day so that she wouldn’t stand out in the murk of the underhive and so her pores would be clogged with the stuff, preserving precious sweat. She wasn’t too liberal, though—copious acne and fainting from overheating were the grease’s undesirable side effects.

“So…” said Corlain hesitantly as he smeared his forehead, “I heard your brother through the door. We have some time to kill before Spyder wants us back?”

“Until Half-Shift, yeah,” Kay said.

“Right, then. I think that—remember the contacts I promised I’d get you connections with?”

Kay nodded, snorting again at the memory of his idiocy.

“Anyways, I think that one of them had a protection deal with Chesken. I saw him coming by for his cut last time I visited—he recognized me before I shot him, remember? But two of Chesken’s men got away, plus the any of the ones that…kept your brothers busy. Can’t we see if my contact knows where they are? I’m personally curious as to why they broke your deal.”

Kay nodded grudgingly. She had expected to spend the next third of the day pacing around in the apartment, but this sounded better.

“Why not?” she said. “We’ve got a score to settle. I’m beginning not to regret hauling your sorry arse up here.”

“Sounds all right to me, too,” came Temils’ voice. They looked over to see him leaning in the doorway. “Sounds fine. But when you’re done asking them whatever you intend, I get to have a turn. And I don’t have any questions.”

+++

“Come out, you backstabber!” Temils roared. He shoved open the door at the back of the garage and slammed it into the wall, making it shake on its hinges.

Theris, Spyder’s diminutive assistant, came running along the corridor.

“No!” he cried, wringing his hands, “You must not! You must not come now! The master is not ready yet!”

Temils picked him up and slammed him into the wall. He drew his autopistol and stuck it to Theris’ head.

“Take me to him,” Kay’s twin growled dangerously. The small man froze, eyes twitching, and nodded. Temils let him down and he scrambled back, keeping his hands in sight. He scurried off down the white corridor, Temils right behind him. Kay and Corlain followed them into the workshop.

Again, they walked through the labyrinthine corridors—but this time, with weapons leveled. Kay had even returned Corlain’s laspistol to him. He had insisted upon coming with them to do this.

Her senses, heightened by nervousness, picked up strange smells wafting from the branching corridors and faint skitters behind the doors that they passed. Her heart was pounding and she struggled to keep her breathing level. She had been in shootouts and fights before, of course—she wore her own scars, just like everybody else this low in the hive—but going up against somebody like Spyder was something altogether new.

And it had to be done.

Theris slowed and paused ahead of them by a door. He glanced back fearfully at Temils and nodded. Kay’s twin stepped forward, quickly closing the gap between the two of them and cracked Theris atop the head with a heavy blow. The assistant collapsed, unconscious. Temils kicked the door in, and all three of them burst in.

Kay nearly gagged. On a shelf front of her, floating in a jar of preservatives, sat Chesken’s head. The skin had been filleted and sliced until he was barely recognizable, but the las burn on his cheek was still visible.

New bodies filled gurneys and were draped with sheets, but the faces of two were visible, and she saw enough to know that they were all Chesken’s men. One appeared to have been dismembered, and another was hooked up to a variety of machines – despite the fact that he was obviously dead. As before, corpses were hung from meat hooks on the walls and splayed in contorted positions.

Spyder himself labored in the center of the nightmare, bent as before over a prone body. He straightened and turned as they burst in.

“Ah,” he said, the skin around his empty eye socket puckering together slightly. “You are early.”

“Why?” growled Temils, leveling his autopistol.

“You shall forgive me,” began Spyder slowly, “for my exhaustion. I received quite a shipment from my contact in the Arbites last night. I have a deal with Forensics, you see. I get what they don’t need. I’ve been up all night working on your brother and ensuring that these new bodies didn’t go… stale.”

“Why!” roared Temils stepping forward, “Why’d you pay Chesken to bring in our bodies!”

“Now now, Temils,” said Spyder placatingly, taking his scalpel and placing it at the throat of the body upon which he was working—Shem, Kay realized with a start, “It would be a shame if anything happened to your brother. Just sit and listen a while, please.

“Why, you ask? I may have been thrown from the Mechanicus for my work, but that is only because they cannot abide individuality. You see, Temils, I am an artist. I have an underground reputation for the best work in the hive. Let us say, for example, I receive an up-hive commission for a trio of specialized servitor—but not the type they mass-produce for the Administratum, you see? I could just send them the bodies of several of the homeless, plucked off the street by Theris. Wouldn’t that be doing the hive a favor, really?

“But no, that would not be proper. My commissioner would upset to receive three starved, drug-addled chassis. I must select from the strongest, those that will last in their changed state the longest. And who would miss a few, small-time peddlers who care about nothing but themselves and they’re next cut?” Spyder shook his head almost sorrowfully and rested his hand on Shem’s head—shaved bald now, and marked by stitches and seams. Her heart went cold—what had been done to her brother?

“Poor, poor Hecho,” continued Spyder. He seemed almost oblivious to them, now. “He only sold you out to save his daughter. His groveling amuses me—but I am not cruel. I shall allow him to keep her and love her for another year. Cherubim must, after all, be taken from a select age range.”

“But now, as time constrains my schedule, I must cut our wonderful discourse short. I’m afraid I must inform you that your younger brother passed beyond critical condition before you even brought him here and I was forced to begin rendering the operations of servitor-conversion to prevent his death. My client would be less than pleased if I could not deliver the whole set.”

Spyder jerked swiftly to one side, breaking the trance that held them. He vanished behind a counter laden with canned organs before they could react. Kay started as most of the bodies hanging from the wall jerked into activity, flailing like mannequins until they dislodged themselves from the meat hooks upon which they hung. Their cybernetics glinted.

Temils spat a curse and ran toward Spyder’s hiding place. Kay leveled her autopistol at the nearest servitor—one only several paces away—and fired. The pistol coughed like a living thing in her hand and the servitor jerked, a chunk of cold flesh blasted from its shoulder. She fired again, shattering a jar behind the corpse, and again. A hole appeared in its pale chest with the faintest of sprays of jellied gore.

It moved fast after recovering from its initial drop and closed the gap between them swiftly. She fired one more shot before having to try to dodge its flailing fists. She was too slow and the clammy, frozen limbs pistoned into her stomach, knocking her to the floor. A descending white fist filled her vision and she twisted away. It cracked into the ferrocrete floor beside her.

She jammed her pistol into the servitor’s face and fired a fifth shot. One of its blind, creamy eyes vanished in a spray of solvents. It crashed down, lifeless, atop her. The bullet holes that riddled it were leaking a clear preservative.

She pushed it to one side until its weight trapped only her legs. Corlain stood over her, firing into the oncoming servitors. She sat up and added her own pistol to his. In addition to one that he had already dropped, a third servitor collapsed onto a gurney and a fourth was knocked to the floor, its legs jerking as if in some insane dance. Temils swung a pole with several I.V. drips hanging from it and knocked a fifth to the ground.

A servitor with a bionic arm tackled Temils from behind. Kay shrieked in rage and yanked her legs free. She scrambled up and ran to assist her twin. Another walking corpse stood in her way. She snarled and fired her pistol at it—but was rewarded only with a click that stopped her dead.

She stumbled backwards as it came at her and thumbed the release on the autopistol’s ammo clip, her free hand scrambling at her belt for another. A cold fist hit her temple and she stumbled again, disoriented and nauseous. More heavy blows knocked her backward, despite her feeble attempts to defend herself. All that her blurry vision could register was the pale figure of the servitor in front of her.

Then it was literally torn in half. Cold viscera splattered her front as loud gunfire washed through the room. She looked blearily around. Black-clad figures in carapace armor were storming through the door, bearing boltguns and combat shotguns. Arbites, Kay’s battered brain registered. She fell to her knees.

More bolter fire and the loud, echoing coughs of the shotguns filled the room with their cacophony. Eventually, they were replaced with crashing boots, clattering carapace, and shouted orders. She saw Temils and an Arbitrator dump an infuriated Spyder in front of Corlain. Something was different about Corlain now; the way he stood, perhaps. He had always stood like an underhiver before. As she faded into unconsciousness, she heard him speak—again, in a voice different than what she’d heard before.

“Ex-Magos Biologis Theryl Spyder,” Corlain said, “By the authority of His Holy Inquisition, you are under arrest.”

+++

“Temils?”

“Don’t worry. Your brother’s fine. He got a nasty concussion—he’s in a bed down the ward. Hasn’t woken up yet, but the good Sisters assure me that he will.”

“So you can afford a place like this—oh, yes. Right.

“A weird thing to consider—I tackled one of His Holy Inquisitors to the ground.”

“Hah – me? No.

“I’m not so exalted myself—more of an assistant to an assistant. An Explicator, the title is. I do His Lordship Thresh’s dirty work here—torturing people, going planetside, that sort of thing. In fact, His Lordship isn’t even in-system. Right now I’m just working for one of his many Interrogators, Kellius.

“I’ve only seen Lord Thresh a handful of times in the decade I’ve worked for him. He’s certainly impressive, though.”

My head still can’t process all this. You’re legends, things to fear as a bedtime story—and then you descend to our level and show an interest in cleaning out the slums? I just—never mind. It’s hard to explain.”

“We get that a lot in this line of work.”

“Don’t patronize me, Corlain.”

“Sorry…

“You’re right in a way though, Kay. We couldn’t give a damn about a few scummy slum-hivers with no future. Let the Sisters Hospitaller care; it’s normally far beneath our scope.”

“Thanks. I feel so valued.”

“Ha. Sarcasm—what else should I have expected from a nineteen-year-old?”

“Thirteen.”

“You’re not thir—right. Local. Sorry, I’m used to switching systems often enough that I default to Terran Standard. Thirteen-year-old then, if you wish.

“Anyways, Kay. We don’t care. Spyder knows something though, and we try not to raise too much of a fuss, so we needed to take him in as quietly as possible. Well, in a sense. If he gets officially arrested, it’s much simpler to make him vanish. Less paperwork, and those watching him won’t know what happened.

“Still, your street cred has been ruined. You’ll be known to have worked with the law.”

“What? I didn’t ask–”

“And I didn’t need to.”

“Tekko.”

“I–”

“Shut up, Corlain.”

“I’d be happy to give you a job myself. The Inquisition always needs muscle, and you’ve proven yourself smart enough not to get your head kicked in right away.”

“Temils will like it. But—this is a request? I was under the impression that wasn’t the way you worked.”

“It normally isn’t. I feel that I owe it to you though, really.”

“How so?”

“I…ok. Honestly, I knew that Chesken was setting you up–”

“What!”

“Quiet – let me finish. We’d been keeping tabs on whomever Spyder was in touch with. When you got away, I saw an opportunity to get on your good side.

“You lost a brother and your illegal business is in shambles. Why not just get out of this decrepit, gothic hive and see the sun? Visit other worlds? Throne, it’s better than anything else you could do with your life – stopping heretics and all that. You up for it? You could get away from the hive for once and for all.”

“Screw the Throne-damned hive and screw you, Corlain. I can’t believe this. I – Throne damn it! I’m joining the Guard.”

+++

Midnight Angels (poem) – Featured Fiction

For the first Featured Fiction post, I present to you a poem written by Heresy-Online member, Lord of the Night.

Midnight Angels

Tale of fallen angels, cast out by their father
Hunting in the sable night, their deathly playground
Hate not, but pity, these fallen angels and their lost father
Their only crime, both seeking their father’s love

Hate betides revenge, revenge betides misery and death
These fallen angels, trapped in cycles never-ending
Hunting those they swore to protect, in the name of revenge age-old
Oaths sundered in blood and shadow, fear these fallen angels

Lightning flashes, illumination shines, an angel revealed
Atop a steeple, bottomless eyes of hate, hidden by metal
Son of Curze, the Night Haunter’s blood-soaked legacy
The father’s sins, cast down to his sons

Claws extend, sharp and fierce, made to kill
Shadows snap, the skies split, an angel takes flight
In midnight clad, they descend on wings of flame
Hidden in the night, they are coming for you

Pity these Sons of Curze, the Night Lords
Honour lost in twisted lies and broken promises
But fear these dark avengers, and always remember
One day in midnight clad, they will come for you too

-Lord of the Night

For more information about Featured Fiction, and how you can get your work spotlighted on The Founding Fields, check out the link below.

Featured Fiction info

Featured Fiction

I was thinking of things that I could add to The Founding Fields. Some things that would help draw a crowd and promote a community atmosphere. I decided on something I’ll be calling “Featured Fiction”.

Featured Fiction will be a segment that I do bi-weekly or so. I’ll be looking for quality Warhammer 40k and WFB fan-fiction to headline here on The Founding Fields. For the most part this will encompass short stories.

So i ask you all, send me something you’ve been working on.  I want to read it.  If its good enough, I’ll post it here for Featured Fiction!  Warhammer 40k, WFB, Sci-fi, Fantasy, I ‘m ready for it.  the world is ready for it!  The question is, are you ready to be seen!

Rest assured, I won’t take credit for any of the fiction posted, unless of course it’s my own.  And if you’ve got a blog, I’ll add a link to it.  Stick me in your blogroll, and I’ll do the same!  A little networking never hurts.  :)

I will also be combing the Original Works section at Heresy-Online.  Its been my domain/brainchild since October of 2009 when i took up the Moderator position that Jezlad offered me.  We’ve got some great writers over there and lots of really great stories.

My suggestion to all of you would be to sign up at Heresy, and if you are a writer, post something of yours up on the boards.  There are people over there who would be really glad to read it.  And who knows, it could show up here in Featured Fiction!

Like i said before, send me some short stuff, I want to read it.  If its good, I’ll post it.  And if you’ve got a blog, I’ll link to it.  You’ve got nothing to lose.

Commissar Ploss