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Rapid Fire Challenge: Crashing - May 2020


Race Bannon
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Prompt: Crashing (Sorry for April, that's just a wash)

Maximum length: 500 words

Deadline: 31 May 2020

Where to post submissions: In this thread

Note - please make sure all submissions adhere to the forum rules. Any entry that breaks one or more rules shall be removed.

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Descent

 

Time seemed to slow down as enemy fire began to tear through the Thunderhawk's hull. It had been called "Judgement" since it had first came online shortly after what some of it's previous occupants called The Horus Heresy. For ten thousand years it had done it's job with a burning hatred for those that sought to harm it's children. It was a fitting end to a long line of service. Life signs were fading within it. It had to protect them. It had to protect it's children. 

 

+++ Routing all remaining power to engines. Shutting Blast Shields. +++ 

 

It sent the message to the huds of it's children as it took control from the deceased pilot servitors. Closing it's arms around itself, it shut out all sources of vulnerability that it could. It would complete this final mission. It spat venom and curses at the enemies flying around it as it descended through the explosion riddled skies of Octus XII. The impacts from it's raking voice tore holes in the blanket blocking their path which were filled nearly instantly with more of the enemy vessels. 

 

+++ Time left until touchdown... two minutes. Prepare emergency deployment. +++

 

The volatile enemy fire raked through it's left side disabling the defenses and rupturing the engine. Following a massive explosion from the flow of it's lifeblood it tilted off course. It called to it's children with it's warning lights. They were stoic and faithful as always. Strapped into their positions reciting the various chants of combat. They had changed over the ages. Little bits here, little bits there. But ever devout. Ever divine. It rerouted everything to the right engine and tilted it's fingers to correct it's descent.

 

+++ Touchdown in thirty seconds. Prepare emergency deployment. +++

 

It prepared it's legs to brace for the impact that it knew would be it's end. Firing landing jets to align itself correctly at the same time it reversed it's remaining source of propulsion. It felt the pressure of this action and knew by the life sign readings that it's children were in pain. Some spiked and became level while others struggled through it. It wept with sorrow and screamed at the enemies surrounding it. More breaches on the neck caused a major failure of it's structure and then it screamed in pain as the front of it burst into a brilliant display of fire and scattering metal. The enemy withdrew.

 

+++ Touchdown in ten seconds. Prepare emergency deployment. +++

 

It yelled into nothing. Darkness engulfed it.

 

 

Note: Not going to lie. I cried writing this. Perhaps it was the music I listened to while writing it. Perhaps it was the concept of an angel falling from the heavens. I don't think it is often that people write from the perspective of the machines that drive our beloved super soldiers into the stories we so love. This is how I imagine one of them could have thought. I have shared the link to the song below. I think this will read best while listening to this song. I hope you all enjoy it. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDcXA3MWX3k

Edited by Aothaine
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Rain of Fire

 

          The Pyre of Ages is the hammer, and the thrice-accursed ork hordes defiling the once-fertile fields of Illenia are the anvil upon which it will now fall. Illenia — years ago, it was the pride and joy of the Broken Worlds, now it exists as nothing more than a war-ravaged shell of a plant.

          Admiral Thomaise of the Imperial Navy had been quite hesitant to go through with the plan drawn up by Marshal Tabor, but my brothers and I gave him little choice but to acquiesce with our demands. I recall storming onto the bridge of the Oberon-class battleship, my bolter panning across the deck in tight arcs to gauge the threat presented by the ship’s armsmen and bridge crew. They cowered before the wrath of my brothers and I. We would not have actually harmed them unless absolutely necessary, but they couldn’t have known that. The admiral voiced no further complaints against our orders.

          We deployed to the surface of Illenia shortly thereafter, to bring the God-Emperor’s divine justice to the foul xenos besmirching His world. As planned, our first actions were brief hit-and-run strikes, designed to enrage the xenos and provoke them out of their lairs and fortresses. We succeeded in our goal. The orks chased our small force of Astartes across the planet’s main continent, rival warbands and ork factions uniting in their hatred of us. 

          We stand together now, my forty-seven surviving brothers and I. There were a full eighty of us assigned to this war once, and we are all that is left of our crusade. The ork host is still beyond sight — we await the uncountable millions of enemies at one end of a twenty-mile long ravine. We have taken what cover we can at the canyon’s rim, sheltering behind boulders and withered trees. Despite the distance, we all hear the bestial growls and roars of our foes getting ever closer. They have entered the canyon, and I look to the skies to behold a sign of His magnificence.

          A comet is visible at the edge of my sight, trailing plasma and wreathed in ethereal fire. I have never seen an Imperial battleship fall out of the sky before, and the sight is enough to leave me speechless. The last actions of the crew of the Pyre of Ages, prior to running for lifepods and transport ships, was to program the ship’s navigation computer to run one last course. With engines fully engaged, the warship makes a graceless dive, breaking into the atmosphere with a burst of thunder audible even through the sound-dampeners in my helm. With satisfaction, I hear the warcries of the orks change to shrieks of fear as their death rumbles implacably towards them. The ship’s course is programmed to take it directly into the middle of the ravine. With our shelter, we will survive the oncoming storm in the His name, and take the war to what survivors escape His judgement.

 

* Aside: it's good to see you again, Race Bannon. I missed not having a Rapid Fire Challenge last month.

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Descent

 

Time seemed to slow down as enemy fire began to tear through the Thunderhawk's hull. It had been called "Judgement" since it had first came online shortly after what some of it's previously occupants called The Horus Heresy. For ten thousand years it had done it's job with a burning hatred for those that sought to harm it's children. It was a fitting end to a long line of service. Life signs were fading within it. It had to protect them. It had to protect it's children. 

 

+++ Routing all remaining power to engines. Shutting Blast Shields. +++ 

 

It sent the message to the main screen as it took control of the flight control. Closing it's arms around itself, it shut out all sources vulnerability that it could. It would complete this final mission. It spat venom and curses at the enemies flying around it. The explosions from it's raking voice filled the air with empty spots that were filled nearly instantly with more of the enemy vessels. 

 

+++ Time left until touchdown... two minutes. Prepare emergency deployment. +++

 

The volatile enemy fire raked through it's left side disabling the defenses and rupturing the engine. Following a massive explosion from the flow of it's lifeblood it tilted off course. It called to it's children with it's warning lights. They were stoic and faithful as always. Strapped into their positions reciting the various chants of combat. They had changed over the ages. Little bits here, little bits there. But ever devout. Ever divine. It rerouted everything to the right engine and tilted it's fingers to correct it's descent.

 

+++ Touchdown in thirty seconds. Prepare emergency deployment. +++

 

It prepared it's legs to brace for the impact that it knew would be it's end. Firing landing jets to align itself correctly at the same time it reversed it's remaining source of propulsion. It felt the pressure of this action and knew by the life sign readings that it's children were in pain. Some spiked and became level while others struggled through it. It wept with sorrow and screamed at the enemies surrounding it. More breaches on the neck caused a major failure of it's structure and the it screamed in pain as the front of it burst into a brilliant display of fire and scattering metal. The enemy withdrew.

 

+++ Touchdown in ten seconds. Prepare emergency deployment. +++

 

It yelled into nothing. Darkness engulfed it.

 

 

Note: Not going to lie. I cried writing this. Perhaps it was the music I listened to while writing it. Perhaps it was the concept of an angel falling from the heavens. I don't think it is often that people write from the perspective of the machines that drive our beloved super soldiers into the stories we so love. This is how I imagine one of them could have thought. I have shared the link to the song below. I think this will read best while listening to this song. I hope you all enjoy it. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDcXA3MWX3k

Great idea of making the POV of the story be the Thunderhawk. Listening music while writing can be inspiring; but it can take you places you may not have wanted to go. A continual loop of music from Pirates of the Caribbean got me this story. A Rogue Trader Story

 

A Suspicious Blue Mind

Edited by Suspicious Blue Mind
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Warnings and damage reports blazed red across the holofeeds in front of her, flashing in and out of time with the incessant chiming of alarm bells. Below to her left, a cluster of Ratings yelled as they struggled to put out one of many fires engulfing the Aether. Captain Ejoise Valaraine stared at her hands, watching the knuckles go white as she gripped the guard rail of her command pulpit tight, holding herself up as the cruiser shook under another barrage.

“All engines, hard to port! Bring our prow to bear on these scum.”

Her old friend shuddered as it acquiesced to her orders. The hunt was over, and they had lost. The Aether had been on the run for a Terran year now, jumping blindly from system to system. They had never had more than a day’s respite; the traitor’s ship had followed them every step of the way, somehow. The astronomican had failed to be replaced with the ugly red scar across the stars, and they were alone, wounded and cornered.

“Full speed ahead! Ready port batteries.”

The crew moved to follow her orders with commendable surety, given the circumstances. The Aether was already half crippled, her starboard flank and prow left in ruins from the first salvo. Her shields had weathered enough, and capitulated early. Her warp drive was inoperable for the next few hours while emergency repairs had been hastily scheduled. They had not seen a friendly vessel since their Battlegroup had been split by the forces of the Black Crusade. As far as Valaraine knew, they might be the last vestige of the holy Imperium.

“Ensign, pick yourself up from the floor, His Holiness needs you yet. Steer astern, steer astern...“

The traitors were moving to meet her. They had appraised the damage caused, engines flaring as they gunned hard for her starboard flank to avoid the port lances and fusillade of warheads streaking across the black between them. They were moving exactly where she wanted them. Valaraine had been outrun and outgunned, but she was a veteran of the Battlefleet, and knew the Aether’s moods like her own. Now, the ancient Cruiser was filled with the same righteous hatred she was.

“Steady, steady… Engines, hard to starboard, keep us ahead of their prow… “

The traitors thought their victory complete, their enemy toothless. They lined up their own starboard macro-cannons, focusing on a quick kill as the Aether brought her prow around.

“There! Ease to port, move to ramming speed! RAMMING SPEED! The Emperor protects, now and always.”

A hundred, thousand souls toiled as the Aether heaved to change course, letting the prow of it’s enemy run on ahead. Bursts of flame lit up the Cruiser, tearing more rents in the prow of the doomed ship. It was almost enough, but not quite, Valaraine thought seconds before her command tower was annihilated in a wave of macro-shells. It would be a glancing blow, no more. It would be enough.
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Litanies of Hate

 

 

Blood drenched the walls of the adobe houses, and blood soaked the sandy ground. Blood and entrails dripped from the doorways. Smoke from the fires made pillars that hung in the morning air. And all about, lay the charred and shattered corpses of villagers. Viscera from their dismembered bodies mingled with that of their slaughtered animals.

The Astartes stood staring at the corpse of a woman lying at his feet. The lower two-thirds of her body was gone; while in her arms she still held a baby. Only the infant’s head and shoulders remained. He noticed for the the first time the smell of burning flesh, wood, and promethium; and wondered how long he had been standing there. The Astartes still held his bolter, but the magazine was empty.

Why?…’ he thought, ‘…Are there purity seals lying on the ground?

 

A hand touched his pauldron and he heard, ‘“The Emperor extends His will to us when we destroy the wicked and impure…for His judgement on the wicked is without mercy.”

 

The Astares turned to see there were other astartes now standing next to him. Their armour was of a dark bone colour, embossed with black skeletal designs. One who wore no helmet said, ‘Did you purge the wicked brother?’

Yes,’ he replied.

The astartes who spoke, now knelt down and took the infant’s remains in one hand. He said, ‘Her name was Iphigenia. And her mother’s name was Tiesa. You killed them both with a single burst?’

Yes.’

These people were only guilty of being under our protection. They’ve never even heard of the Emperor, or the Imperium. ’ Laying down the infant’s remains he said, ‘I am Captain Alítheios of the Punishers.’

Brother Klausi of the Dark Hunters,’ he said removing his helmet.

What happened Klausi? We saw you just standing there. We attacked, but you remained immobile. We listened as your brothers hailed you; but you did not respond. And so they died without your aid. Then we watched, as you slowly pulled off your purity seals one-by-one.’

I…I…I…,’ Klausi stammered.

I’ll tell you what happened Klausi…you broke!’ said Alítheios scratching his black beard. ‘It happens sometimes. Even centuries after becoming an astartes, our mental conditioning can sometimes shatter. A single incident can break the psyche of an astartes.’ Drawing his combat knife he said, ‘Ah, you've missed one!’

And as the last purity seal drifted to the ground he said, ‘In other words Klausi, you’re now human.’

Klausi watched as they took his bolter and other weapons. Then Alítheios handed back his bolt pistol. ‘I’ve left you one round in the chamber. The locals will be here soon to bury their dead. Kill yourself, or they’ll do it for you.’

But don’t you want…my armour…my…’

Klausi, you’re no good to us, or the Dark Hunters! Oh, don’t worry we’ll be back to collect your gene-seed and your armour,’ said Alítheios replacing his horned helmet.

 

Klausi stared down at the bolt pistol in his hand.

 

 

FINI

 

 

Well, I missed that the theme was "crashed"; but if you think about it, this is a crash of another sort. Obviously, there's more to this story, however at only 500 words, this is all you're going to get.

Suspicious Blue Mind

 

Edited by Suspicious Blue Mind
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Forgive me Faters but it currently sits at 504 words and I just cannot see how I can cut it down further. In addition I will always see Isstvan III as an opportunity for these Challenges.

 

 

 

THE STORM EAGLE was ruined, its left wing torn off and the left engine looking little better. That wasn’t taking into account its rough landing which rendered it more of a grey than sea-green, harkening back to the days before Primarchs. Before Legions, even.

  The Luna Wolf climbed over the rubble covering the craft, Loken had ordered them to secure all weapons and ammo. Dagur followed his younger brother’s orders.

  He had helped unify Terra. He’d been there when the Luna Gene-Cults surrendered to the Emperor. He would teach his treacherous bastard brothers to make sure you kill a Luna Wolf dead, their error would result into their undoing.

  Cthonia had killed the Legion. None of them realised it at first but the Cthonian gangers inducted into the Legion combined with those Samsatian sub-plate slums had brought in a culture that spelt doom to them. How could they have seen it? The Ideals of Unity still rang true in their ears, theirs was the First Found.

  Should the veterans protested against the brutal culture infesting their Legion? Yes. Did they? No. Too proud. Too joyous. Horus was the First Found, thus they overlooked what should have been checked. They ignored what should have been stopped.

  Cthonia ruined them. But Dagur was nothing if not a patience killer, he was no fool and knew what a formidable foe the Legiones Astartes were. Horus had underestimated his Sons. He forgot they had won wars without him. He forgot they knew existence without him.

  Dagur reached the cockpit of the flyer and saw that it would be of no use to, the pilot was dead and the instruments damaged beyond their capability to repair.

  Was this to happen every time he and his ad-hoc Century came across a crashed flyer?

  He knew the answer was irrelevant, there was but one goal of Isstvan III: Make them work for it. They almost had the numbers of a full Legion, but not the firepower. Too many in drop pods and not enough heavy firepower. When, not if, Horus brought about the firepower of the four Legions in orbit, they would die. The storms had delayed them, but the weather would not last forever.

  Dagur brought his Phobos Pattern Boltgun up, the co-pilot was still alive. His armour was ruined, a testament to the superior Mk IV plate that he wore. Whereas Dagur still wore his Mk III which had, ironically, proven resistant to Boltgun rounds due to its enhanced armour.

  His vox stuttered and a link was opened between the Luna Wolf and the Son of Horus.

  ‘Brother, my leg…’ The co-pilot struggled, and Dagur realised that the rubble around the Storm Eagle had compacted the hull, trapping those who had survived the crash inside.

  ‘No’ Dagur replied, levelling his Boltgun.

  The sensors of the co-pilot’s helm must have registered his identification.

  ‘Dagur, wait’ the co-pilot raised his hand in defence the moment Dagur fired.

  ‘For Unity’ Dagur uttered has he began searching the dead.

Edited by No Foes Remain
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Forgive me Faters but it currently sits at 504 words and I just cannot see how I can cut it down further. In addition I will always see Isstvan III as an opportunity for these Challenges.

 

 

 

THE STORM EAGLE was ruined, its left wing torn off and the left engine looking little better. That wasn’t taking into account its rough landing which had  rendered it more of a grey than sea-green, harkening back to the days before Primarchs. Before Legions, even.

  The Luna Wolf climbed over the rubble covering the craft, Loken had ordered them to secure all weapons and ammo(.) and Dagur followed his younger brother’s orders.

  He had helped unify Terra. He had (He'd) been there when the Luna Gene-Cults had surrendered to the Emperor. He would teach his treacherous bastard brothers to make sure you kill a Luna Wolf dead, their error would result into their undoing.

  Cthonia had killed the Legion. None of them realised it at first but the Cthonian gangers inducted into the Legion combined with those Samsatian sub-plate slums had brought in a culture that spelt doom to them. How could they have seen it? The Ideals of Unity still rang true in their ears, theirs was the First Found.

  Should the veterans protested against the brutal culture infesting their Legion? Yes. Did they? No. Too proud. Too joyous. Horus was the First Found, thus they overlooked what should have been checked. They ignored what should have been stopped.

  Cthonia ruined them. But Dagur was nothing if not a patience killer, he was no fool and knew what a formidable foe the Legiones Astartes were. Horus had underestimated his Sons. He forgot they had won wars without him. He forgot they knew existence without him.

  Dagur reached the cockpit of the flyer and saw that it would be of no use to, the pilot was dead and the instruments damaged beyond their capability to repair.

  Was this to happen every time he and his ad-hoc Century came across a crashed flyer?

  He knew the answer was irrelevant, there was but one goal of Isstvan III: Make them work for it. They almost had the numbers of a full Legion, but not the firepower. Too many in drop pods and not enough heavy firepower. When, not if, Horus brought about the firepower of the four Legions in orbit, they would die. The storms had delayed them, but the weather would not last forever.

  Dagur brought his Phobos Pattern Boltgun up, the co-pilot was still alive. His armour was ruined, a testament to the superior Mk IV plate that he wore. Whereas Dagur still wore his Mk III which had, ironically, proven resistant to Boltgun rounds due to its enhanced armour.

  His vox stuttered and a link was opened between the Luna Wolf and the Son of Horus.

  ‘Brother, my leg…’ The co-pilot struggled, and Dagur realised that the rubble around the Storm Eagle had compacted the hull, trapping those who had survived the crash inside.

  ‘No’ Dagur replied, levelling his Boltgun.

  The sensors of the co-pilot’s helm must have registered his identification.

  ‘Dagur, wait’ the co-pilot raised his hand in defence the moment Dagur fired.

  ‘For Unity’ Dagur uttered has he began searching the dead.

 

Chop and amend as highlighted.  500.

 

Great story.

 

MR.

Edited by Mazer Rackham
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Any time, brother. :wink:

 

---------------------------

 

Dem Pointy-eads get everywhere and dey's clever, so Big 'At told me afore he died.

 

Anyway, meself an' the lads goes into the tempul.  Must be something to do with brains like, cos' I got 'em on me 'ead and I's in charge.  Dere's this one skinny bloke with a  big frilly 'At and a sword.  I reckon' right, this'un's in charge.

 

He's starts 'ooting an' blowin' about big monkeys.  I laughs cos' I don' like nanas, they're too small and if you scoff loads, they's make your tummy funny.

 

Sometimes Big 'At ad 'em for breakfast, and dat made me sad, because I liked Big At and I like breakfast an I 'member what 'e said, like.  I got proper angry den, started shootin'.  That's when it all went from breakfast to a butcher's bucket.

 

They shoots Berenk dead right dere, cut 'im full 'o holes, like. 'is arms is ripped open and we's getting surrounded, which is bad, cos the Kernel said so.  Anyways, me and Varthogg stood in the door so dem pointy-eads couldn't get away.  Dey got dead angry and threw everthing they had at us.  I 'ad to duck once.

 

Duck sounds nice, speshul wiv oranges.  Big 'At was always reading letters from Mrs 'At about food.  He knowed us right.

 

So we's shooting and we's missing em, cos they won't stand still.  Dancing around and backflips and shurry-kens everywhere, only me left after a bit, I just kept firing 

me big gun and dey's laffin.

 

Well, turns out that the tempul weren't as Ogryn-proof as dem pointy-eads thunk.  While me and the lads was missing dem, we's hitting the walls.  The roof caves in with a huge crash, and kills the bloody lot of 'em.  Flat, cos' dey's squishy.

 

Dey weren't so clever after that.  I was fine.

 

I went back to the Kernel and told 'im all about it and he done said I could keep the badge Big 'At gave me cos I kept me promise, like.  I done buried dem in dere own bones.  Then he handed me the keys to the rat-shuns store.   Me vest stopped a lot of them shurry-kens.  I kept some, 'cos they's good for opening rat-shuns packs.

 

I buried Big 'At meself, cos 'e was me Kaptin.

 

Turns out, some things ain't as Easy as Breakfast.

 

MR.

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Great entries, everyone. I like the element of void combat you brought into the thread, Harlan Skorus — great minds think alike, eh?

I'm a wait what now?

 

(But yeah, I wanted to do some kind of planned crash - was torn between something in the void and some Speed Freaks. Think reading your entry tipped me off.)

 

Forgive me Faters but it currently sits at 504 words and I just cannot see how I can cut it down further. In addition I will always see Isstvan III as an opportunity for these Challenges.

Punctuation is your friend. Joining words like "and" or "but" often have a non-word equivalent that you can shovel in. Learnt that one at uni and live by it.

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"Come on!"

Lieutenant Valea Konstanz ran up the slope of the hill, breathing hard.  She crouched, waiting.  All afternoon 17th Platoon of the Manticore VII, 21st Regiment of Foot, pushed into the foothills of Rojak Bay, the Elysian drop troops some miles to the west paying the blood-price for assaulting a hill dead on.  Her orders were to take the heat off.  She checked her compass again but it was broken by a bayonet lunge from a treasonous bastard half a mile back.  She shot him in the face and spat on his corpse.

 

It was a stupid and desperate march - that was a laugh, it was a pell-mell steeplechase over rough country, rapidly issued orders over the vox, not great at the best of times, gave the co-ordinates for that attack.  The three moons above them put out less light than a lamp-pack on half battery.  She could hear the unit wheezing and panting, much like she was and they began to gather below her huddled shape in the lee of the crest.  She could hear the enemy, perhaps two-hundred metres away.  Her vox operator, Falkus, crawled up the slope on his belly and she waved to him for the horn.

 

She needed light.

 

"Regent six, this is Regent four.  Request illumination on co-ordinates..." she reeled them off and waited for confirmation.  She wasn't going to wait until they were in the air, she was going to hit the enemy just as the shells burst over their heads.  "Right!"

 

She was off, drawing her chainsword, she waited until she could see the shadowed figures of the troops.  They were not going to stand in her way.  Hill 134 had to fall.  She was metres away now and the heretics were still sitting there!  It was providence!  To hell with that, it was promotion!

 

"Attack!" she revved the blades of her close combat weapon and slammed it into the middle of a man who stood yup, dumbfounded at the assault from an unexpected quarter.  Blood and bone stink stained the night as she shredded her way through the enemy.  The illumination was late, but it didn't matter - they were in it now.

 

Ten minutes later and it was all over.  Six of her own dead and the entire enemy unit wiped out.  She caught her breath and then the flares burst over her head.  Her eyes went wide as the men she'd butchered gleamed, pink-blue innards and cold, dead eyes winking eerily in the sodium flare light.

 

Elysians.

 

What were they doing here?  How could she...have been...so..wrong?

Falkus coughed and tapped her arm with the handset. "Ma'am, it's the Colonel."

She watched the flares burn and fall to the ground, half a mile away from where she should have been.  Tumbling down, like her hopes, her victory, the lives of the men she'd killed.  "What do I tell him?"

 

Falkus shrugged.

 

MR.

Edited by Mazer Rackham
Typo! Blam!
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Hear my prayer

—Pray harder, you bastards! Or I swear on the Throne, if the crash doesn't kill you all, then I will! —Was all the encouragement that captain Lorr'Garal could muster.

His voice boomed through the last few working vox casters inside the crumbling ship. A thunderous threat, which sent a dozen deck hands into a scrambled frenzy of furious activity, as they tried to patch up the bleeding vessel from within.

'V7', for his part, could hardly hear the captain at all. Though his message did show up in low scripture down in the corner of his vision. The words being drawn out in neon-green against the dark graphite background of his cogitator's workroom. All capitalized. As if screaming at him, and with a great sense of urgency.

With a secondary command from inside the meditation uplink, he made his hand move up to the servoplugs on the back of his outer shell. With two strong pulls it severed the connection to the vox relay, and the bold letters that had been screaming at him with so much power, quickly melted away into nothing. The tendrils fell down to join many others on the heap that lay at the tech-priest's feet.

Silence returned.

He could try again.

He went back into the depths of the ship's central cogitator. His real self diving deeper and deeper, across the various gateways that made up the laberynthian system of protocols that served to keep the 'Blind Faith' in the air. With each portal, when traversed, then granting him a new residual form, as data nodes flowed all around him. Each one coating his real self in raw, undecrypted information.

Beautiful as the experience was, through the forms taken 'V7' could see the scars in the ship's cogitator. The 'Blind Faith' was as ravaged here in the deep as it was out there on the surface. The tech priest could hardly make his way across the digital ruins of the maze of data, if not for the thrumming that came in reply to his prayers. A rythmic wail, each beat of which somehow acting as a form of reply to every newly uttered stanza. It was as if the spirit that dwelt inside the machine that was the ship's engine, was calling him. Summoning him, through repeating cries of fear and pain.

He found it, finally, and after many leaps through the darkness. In the farthest depths of the entire system. Running on a scrambled loop of queries and replies. It felt 'V7' approaching, and quickly turned to him with dismay.

It was so small.

A weak and frightened spirit. Wounded and overwhelmed. Bearing scars that not even a thousand battles could inflict.

«What could it have lived through, before serving here?» The young tech priest thought, as he knelt before it with the arms of his form outstretched.

—Do not be afraid —he said—, for I am here with you. Follow my voice. Hear my prayer. We will not die this day. Not today.

Edited by Berzul
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There are a lot of stories to go over. I'll keep them in "hidden" so this post won't be that long.

 

DESCENT

Hidden Content

Descent

 

Time seemed to slow down as enemy fire began to tear through the Thunderhawk's hull. It had been called "Judgement" since it had first came online shortly after what some of it's previously occupants called The Horus Heresy. For ten thousand years it had done it's job with a burning hatred for those that sought to harm it's children. It was a fitting end to a long line of service. Life signs were fading within it. It had to protect them. It had to protect it's children. 

 

+++ Routing all remaining power to engines. Shutting Blast Shields. +++ 

 

It sent the message to the main screen as it took control of the flight control. Closing it's arms around itself, it shut out all sources vulnerability that it could. It would complete this final mission. It spat venom and curses at the enemies flying around it. The explosions from it's raking voice filled the air with empty spots that were filled nearly instantly with more of the enemy vessels. 

 

+++ Time left until touchdown... two minutes. Prepare emergency deployment. +++

 

The volatile enemy fire raked through it's left side disabling the defenses and rupturing the engine. Following a massive explosion from the flow of it's lifeblood it tilted off course. It called to it's children with it's warning lights. They were stoic and faithful as always. Strapped into their positions reciting the various chants of combat. They had changed over the ages. Little bits here, little bits there. But ever devout. Ever divine. It rerouted everything to the right engine and tilted it's fingers to correct it's descent.

 

+++ Touchdown in thirty seconds. Prepare emergency deployment. +++

 

It prepared it's legs to brace for the impact that it knew would be it's end. Firing landing jets to align itself correctly at the same time it reversed it's remaining source of propulsion. It felt the pressure of this action and knew by the life sign readings that it's children were in pain. Some spiked and became level while others struggled through it. It wept with sorrow and screamed at the enemies surrounding it. More breaches on the neck caused a major failure of it's structure and the it screamed in pain as the front of it burst into a brilliant display of fire and scattering metal. The enemy withdrew.

 

+++ Touchdown in ten seconds. Prepare emergency deployment. +++

 

It yelled into nothing. Darkness engulfed it.

 

 

Note: Not going to lie. I cried writing this. Perhaps it was the music I listened to while writing it. Perhaps it was the concept of an angel falling from the heavens. I don't think it is often that people write from the perspective of the machines that drive our beloved super soldiers into the stories we so love. This is how I imagine one of them could have thought. I have shared the link to the song below. I think this will read best while listening to this song. I hope you all enjoy it. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDcXA3MWX3k

 

This was a seriously powerful story. It really conveys the emotion you felt when writing it. I particularly loved the tempo it has as the story carries on, with the process of landing being called out in stages. The timer is a great technique to make the reader feel the urgency in the story.

 

 

RAIN OF FIRE

Hidden Content

Rain of Fire

 

          The Pyre of Ages is the hammer, and the thrice-accursed ork hordes defiling the once-fertile fields of Illenia are the anvil upon which it will now fall. Illenia — years ago, it was the pride and joy of the Broken Worlds, now it exists as nothing more than a war-ravaged shell of a plant.

          Admiral Thomaise of the Imperial Navy had been quite hesitant to go through with the plan drawn up by Marshal Tabor, but my brothers and I gave him little choice but to acquiesce with our demands. I recall storming onto the bridge of the Oberon-class battleship, my bolter panning across the deck in tight arcs to gauge the threat presented by the ship’s armsmen and bridge crew. They cowered before the wrath of my brothers and I. We would not have actually harmed them unless absolutely necessary, but they couldn’t have known that. The admiral voiced no further complaints against our orders.

          We deployed to the surface of Illenia shortly thereafter, to bring the God-Emperor’s divine justice to the foul xenos besmirching His world. As planned, our first actions were brief hit-and-run strikes, designed to enrage the xenos and provoke them out of their lairs and fortresses. We succeeded in our goal. The orks chased our small force of Astartes across the planet’s main continent, rival warbands and ork factions uniting in their hatred of us. 

          We stand together now, my forty-seven surviving brothers and I. There were a full eighty of us assigned to this war once, and we are all that is left of our crusade. The ork host is still beyond sight — we await the uncountable millions of enemies at one end of a twenty-mile long ravine. We have taken what cover we can at the canyon’s rim, sheltering behind boulders and withered trees. Despite the distance, we all hear the bestial growls and roars of our foes getting ever closer. They have entered the canyon, and I look to the skies to behold a sign of His magnificence.

          A comet is visible at the edge of my sight, trailing plasma and wreathed in ethereal fire. I have never seen an Imperial battleship fall out of the sky before, and the sight is enough to leave me speechless. The last actions of the crew of the Pyre of Ages, prior to running for lifepods and transport ships, was to program the ship’s navigation computer to run one last course. With engines fully engaged, the warship makes a graceless dive, breaking into the atmosphere with a burst of thunder audible even through the sound-dampeners in my helm. With satisfaction, I hear the warcries of the orks change to shrieks of fear as their death rumbles implacably towards them. The ship’s course is programmed to take it directly into the middle of the ravine. With our shelter, we will survive the oncoming storm in the His name, and take the war to what survivors escape His judgement.

 

* Aside: it's good to see you again, Race Bannon. I missed not having a Rapid Fire Challenge last month.

 

Now that is a suicide dive if I ever did read one! I got the feeling that the ending aimed at being an open one, without confirmation of whether or not the astartes survived the crash of the ship against the surface of the planet. But I am not sure if that was the idea or not. I like the feeling it gave me, of uncertainty.

 

 

"Harlan Skorus's story" (couldn't find a title)

Hidden Content

Warnings and damage reports blazed red across the holofeeds in front of her, flashing in and out of time with the incessant chiming of alarm bells. Below to her left, a cluster of Ratings yelled as they struggled to put out one of many fires engulfing the Aether. Captain Ejoise Valaraine stared at her hands, watching the knuckles go white as she gripped the guard rail of her command pulpit tight, holding herself up as the cruiser shook under another barrage.

“All engines, hard to port! Bring our prow to bear on these scum.”

Her old friend shuddered as it acquiesced to her orders. The hunt was over, and they had lost. The Aether had been on the run for a Terran year now, jumping blindly from system to system. They had never had more than a day’s respite; the traitor’s ship had followed them every step of the way, somehow. The astronomican had failed to be replaced with the ugly red scar across the stars, and they were alone, wounded and cornered.

“Full speed ahead! Ready port batteries.”

The crew moved to follow her orders with commendable surety, given the circumstances. The Aether was already half crippled, her starboard flank and prow left in ruins from the first salvo. Her shields had weathered enough, and capitulated early. Her warp drive was inoperable for the next few hours while emergency repairs had been hastily scheduled. They had not seen a friendly vessel since their Battlegroup had been split by the forces of the Black Crusade. As far as Valaraine knew, they might be the last vestige of the holy Imperium.

“Ensign, pick yourself up from the floor, His Holiness needs you yet. Steer astern, steer astern...“

The traitors were moving to meet her. They had appraised the damage caused, engines flaring as they gunned hard for her starboard flank to avoid the port lances and fusillade of warheads streaking across the black between them. They were moving exactly where she wanted them. Valaraine had been outrun and outgunned, but she was a veteran of the Battlefleet, and knew the Aether’s moods like her own. Now, the ancient Cruiser was filled with the same righteous hatred she was.

“Steady, steady… Engines, hard to starboard, keep us ahead of their prow… “

The traitors thought their victory complete, their enemy toothless. They lined up their own starboard macro-cannons, focusing on a quick kill as the Aether brought her prow around.

“There! Ease to port, move to ramming speed! RAMMING SPEED! The Emperor protects, now and always.”

A hundred, thousand souls toiled as the Aether heaved to change course, letting the prow of it’s enemy run on ahead. Bursts of flame lit up the Cruiser, tearing more rents in the prow of the doomed ship. It was almost enough, but not quite, Valaraine thought seconds before her command tower was annihilated in a wave of macro-shells. It would be a glancing blow, no more. It would be enough.

 

I absolutely loved the story. One of my favorites. You definitely get the sense that Valaraine is a seasoned captain, with enormous amounts of experience, now having found her end. The only thing that took me out of the story was the last bit, when the story says that the hit was almost enough but not quite, and then that Valaraine thinks that it would be enough. This was a contradiction that made me step outside the story. Other than that, wow.... Loved it.

 

 

LITANIES OF HATE

Hidden Content

Litanies of Hate

 

 

Blood drenched the walls of the adobe houses, and blood soaked the sandy ground. Blood and entrails dripped from the doorways. Smoke from the fires made pillars that hung in the morning air. And all about, lay the charred and shattered corpses of villagers. Viscera from their dismembered bodies mingled with that of their slaughtered animals.

The Astartes stood staring at the corpse of a woman lying at his feet. The lower two-thirds of her body was gone; while in her arms she still held a baby. Only the infant’s head and shoulders remained. He noticed for the the first time the smell of burning flesh, wood, and promethium; and wondered how long he had been standing there. The Astartes still held his bolter, but the magazine was empty.

Why?…’ he thought, ‘…Are there purity seals lying on the ground?

 

A hand touched his pauldron and he heard, ‘“The Emperor extends His will to us when we destroy the wicked and impure…for His judgement on the wicked is without mercy.”

 

The Astares turned to see there were other astartes now standing next to him. Their armour was of a dark bone colour, embossed with black skeletal designs. One who wore no helmet said, ‘Did you purge the wicked brother?’

Yes,’ he replied.

The astartes who spoke, now knelt down and took the infant’s remains in one hand. He said, ‘Her name was Iphigenia. And her mother’s name was Tiesa. You killed them both with a single burst?’

Yes.’

These people were only guilty of being under our protection. They’ve never even heard of the Emperor, or the Imperium. ’ Laying down the infant’s remains he said, ‘I am Captain Alítheios of the Punishers.’

Brother Klausi of the Dark Hunters,’ he said removing his helmet.

What happened Klausi? We saw you just standing there. We attacked, but you remained immobile. We listened as your brothers hailed you; but you did not respond. And so they died without your aid. Then we watched, as you slowly pulled off your purity seals one-by-one.’

I…I…I…,’ Klausi stammered.

I’ll tell you what happened Klausi…you broke!’ said Alítheios scratching his black beard. ‘It happens sometimes. Even centuries after becoming an astartes, our mental conditioning can sometimes shatter. A single incident can break the psyche of an astartes.’ Drawing his combat knife he said, ‘Ah, you've missed one!’

And as the last purity seal drifted to the ground he said, ‘In other words Klausi, you’re now human.’

Klausi watched as they took his bolter and other weapons. Then Alítheios handed back his bolt pistol. ‘I’ve left you one round in the chamber. The locals will be here soon to bury their dead. Kill yourself, or they’ll do it for you.’

But don’t you want…my armour…my…’

Klausi, you’re no good to us, or the Dark Hunters! Oh, don’t worry we’ll be back to collect your gene-seed and your armour,’ said Alítheios replacing his horned helmet.

 

Klausi stared down at the bolt pistol in his hand.

 

 

FINI

 

 

Well, I missed that the theme was "crashed"; but if you think about it, this is a crash of another sort. Obviously, there's more to this story, however at only 500 words, this is all you're going to get.

Suspicious Blue Mind

 

 

Yeah, you missed the prompted theme, but maybe it is an allegory to a crash? Such as the crash into reality of a failed astartes? In that sense, kudos! Good job! I think the story might have been too dialogue heavy, lacking some more description, as it is a bit hard at times to situate one's self in the scene in which the astartes are. But, at the same time, the dialogue is so full of character and personality, anything taken out would probably be an insult to the story itself.... quite the conundrum. Maybe the problem is limiting it to so many few words. This story might have been better served with a lengthier word count.

 

I could definitely read another 500 words of this.

 

 

"The 504 word story..."

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Forgive me Faters but it currently sits at 504 words and I just cannot see how I can cut it down further. In addition I will always see Isstvan III as an opportunity for these Challenges.

 

 

 

THE STORM EAGLE was ruined, its left wing torn off and the left engine looking little better. That wasn’t taking into account its rough landing which rendered it more of a grey than sea-green, harkening back to the days before Primarchs. Before Legions, even.

  The Luna Wolf climbed over the rubble covering the craft, Loken had ordered them to secure all weapons and ammo. Dagur followed his younger brother’s orders.

  He had helped unify Terra. He’d been there when the Luna Gene-Cults surrendered to the Emperor. He would teach his treacherous bastard brothers to make sure you kill a Luna Wolf dead, their error would result into their undoing.

  Cthonia had killed the Legion. None of them realised it at first but the Cthonian gangers inducted into the Legion combined with those Samsatian sub-plate slums had brought in a culture that spelt doom to them. How could they have seen it? The Ideals of Unity still rang true in their ears, theirs was the First Found.

  Should the veterans protested against the brutal culture infesting their Legion? Yes. Did they? No. Too proud. Too joyous. Horus was the First Found, thus they overlooked what should have been checked. They ignored what should have been stopped.

  Cthonia ruined them. But Dagur was nothing if not a patience killer, he was no fool and knew what a formidable foe the Legiones Astartes were. Horus had underestimated his Sons. He forgot they had won wars without him. He forgot they knew existence without him.

  Dagur reached the cockpit of the flyer and saw that it would be of no use to, the pilot was dead and the instruments damaged beyond their capability to repair.

  Was this to happen every time he and his ad-hoc Century came across a crashed flyer?

  He knew the answer was irrelevant, there was but one goal of Isstvan III: Make them work for it. They almost had the numbers of a full Legion, but not the firepower. Too many in drop pods and not enough heavy firepower. When, not if, Horus brought about the firepower of the four Legions in orbit, they would die. The storms had delayed them, but the weather would not last forever.

  Dagur brought his Phobos Pattern Boltgun up, the co-pilot was still alive. His armour was ruined, a testament to the superior Mk IV plate that he wore. Whereas Dagur still wore his Mk III which had, ironically, proven resistant to Boltgun rounds due to its enhanced armour.

  His vox stuttered and a link was opened between the Luna Wolf and the Son of Horus.

  ‘Brother, my leg…’ The co-pilot struggled, and Dagur realised that the rubble around the Storm Eagle had compacted the hull, trapping those who had survived the crash inside.

  ‘No’ Dagur replied, levelling his Boltgun.

  The sensors of the co-pilot’s helm must have registered his identification.

  ‘Dagur, wait’ the co-pilot raised his hand in defence the moment Dagur fired.

  ‘For Unity’ Dagur uttered has he began searching the dead.

 

I gotta be honest. I found it hard to go through this story. I think the structure and the wordplay was a bit hard for me. But, I still went through the whole story (thrice, in fact), for the plot itself is so incredibly compelling. Also... man, that ending :O

 

 

"Da' orks story"

Hidden Content

Any time, brother. :wink:

 

---------------------------

 

Dem Pointy-eads get everywhere and dey's clever, so Big 'At told me afore he died.

 

Anyway, meself an' the lads goes into the tempul.  Must be something to do with brains like, cos' I got 'em on me 'ead and I's in charge.  Dere's this one skinny bloke with a  big frilly 'At and a sword.  I reckon' right, this'un's in charge.

 

He's starts 'ooting an' blowin' about big monkeys.  I laughs cos' I don' like nanas, they're too small and if you scoff loads, they's make your tummy funny.

 

Sometimes Big 'At ad 'em for breakfast, and dat made me sad, because I liked Big At and I like breakfast an I 'member what 'e said, like.  I got proper angry den, started shootin'.  That's when it all went from breakfast to a butcher's bucket.

 

They shoots Berenk dead right dere, cut 'im full 'o holes, like. 'is arms is ripped open and we's getting surrounded, which is bad, cos the Kernel said so.  Anyways, me and Varthogg stood in the door so dem pointy-eads couldn't get away.  Dey got dead angry and threw everthing they had at us.  I 'ad to duck once.

 

Duck sounds nice, speshul wiv oranges.  Big 'At was always reading letters from Mrs 'At about food.  He knowed us right.

 

So we's shooting and we's missing em, cos they won't stand still.  Dancing around and backflips and shurry-kens everywhere, only me left after a bit, I just kept firing 

me big gun and dey's laffin.

 

Well, turns out that the tempul weren't as Ogryn-proof as dem pointy-eads thunk.  While me and the lads was missing dem, we's hitting the walls.  The roof caves in with a huge crash, and kills the bloody lot of 'em.  Flat, cos' dey's squishy.

 

Dey weren't so clever after that.  I was fine.

 

I went back to the Kernel and told 'im all about it and he done said I could keep the badge Big 'At gave me cos I kept me promise, like.  I done buried dem in dere own bones.  Then he handed me the keys to the rat-shuns store.   Me vest stopped a lot of them shurry-kens.  I kept some, 'cos they's good for opening rat-shuns packs.

 

I buried Big 'At meself, cos 'e was me Kaptin.

 

Turns out, some things ain't as Easy as Breakfast.

 

MR.

 

Oh, seriously, what is there NOT to love about some orks murdering some aeldari through a collapsing ceiling, while thinking about breakfast and the camaraderie of the orkish lifestyle? Well, how about the fact that the crash of the story goes against theme and expectations, and actually involves no ship at all, while still providing a satisfying crunch in the story? Awesome! Loved it!

 

 

"Valea's Story"

Hidden Content

"Come on!"

Lieutenant Valea Konstanz ran up the slope of the hill, breathing hard.  She crouched, waiting.  All afternoon 17th Platoon of the Manticore VII, 21st Regiment of Foot, pushed into the foothills of Rojak Bay, the Elysian drop troops some miles to the west paying the blood-price for assaulting a hill dead on.  Her orders were to take the heat off.  She checked her compass again but it was broken by a bayonet lunge from a treasonous bastard half a mile back.  She shot him in the face and spat on his corpse.

 

It was a stupid and desperate march - that was a laugh, it was a pell-mell steeplechase over rough country, rapidly issued orders over the vox, not great at the best of times, gave the co-ordinates for that attack.  The three moons above them put out less light than a lamp-pack on half battery.  She could hear the unit wheezing and panting, much like she was and they began to gather below her huddled shape in the lee of the crest.  She could hear the enemy, perhaps two-hundred metres away.  Her vox operator, Falkus, crawled up the slope on his belly and she waved to him for the horn.

 

She needed light.

 

"Regent six, this is Regent four.  Request illumination on co-ordinates..." she reeled them off and waited for confirmation.  She wasn't going to wait until they were in the air, she was going to hit the enemy just as the shells burst over their heads.  "Right!"

 

She was off, drawing her chainsword, she waited until she could see the shadowed figures of the troops.  They were not going to stand in her way.  Hill 134 had to fall.  She was metres away now and the heretics were still sitting there!  It was providence!  To hell with that, it was promotion!

 

"Attack!" she revved the blades of her close combat weapon and slammed it into the middle of a man who stood yup, dumbfounded at the assault from an unexpected quarter.  Blood and bone stink stained the night as she shredded her way through the enemy.  The illumination was late, but it didn't matter - they were in it now.

 

Ten minutes later and it was all over.  Six of her own dead and the entire enemy unit wiped out.  She caught her breath and then the flares burst over her head.  Her eyes went wide as the men she'd butchered gleamed, pink-blue innards and cold, dead eyes winking eerily in the sodium flare light.

 

Elysians.

 

What were they doing here?  How could she...have been...so..wrong?

Falkus coughed and tapped her arm with the handset. "Ma'am, it's the Colonel."

She watched the flares burn and fall to the ground, half a mile away from where she should have been.  Tumbling down, like her hopes, her victory, the lives of the men she'd killed.  "What do I tell him?"

 

Falkus shrugged.

 

MR.

 

This was, in fact, the first story I read in the thread. Gave me chills. It certainly describes a tragic consequence of war. Specially in the extreme circumstances of the wars of this universe. I did NOT see the story going the way it did, and Falkus' shrug at the end absolutely sells the overall tragedy of the story, as you really cannot know what will happen to the lieutenant and her men.

 

 

Also...

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Berzul - Well yours has to be my favorite so far. A complete story in 500 words.

 

S.B. Mind

 

Thank you!! :D

 

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It was Ogryns! :biggrin.: and what follows is Berzul's fault!

---------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Ruzdug Bonejacker stood with an oily rag in hand, both meaty fists on his hips in his "racin' suit", admiring his ride.

 

Kustom brakes, shocks and speshul gizmos, this was the meanest, fastest, quickest fast thing he'd built with his own hands and a wrench.  It was red - all of it.  He counted the wheels.

"Wun, Too, Free, Many!"  They added "trakshun", which made it faster still.  He looked it over, marvelling.  Chrome exhausts and panels all bashed with a mallet, airo-namical or sommat.  He'd gonked Stitch-Nikk over the head for all the teef to pay for it, but the rokkit was worth every molar in the runt's head.  Big engine, lots of smoke, like on a Stompa.

 

Da Krimzon Kadillak.

 

He was going to win the Mad Mork 500, he knew it.  He peered to his left and right, looking at the braying crowds jeering and spitting and Slashtoof Deadgob drew a line across his throat.  Bah!  He didn't stand a chance, he was grox dung.  No Other gitz were even in the running, they were all going to eat dust today.

 

He crammed on his silver, polished 'racin' bin lid' and goggles and mounted up, everyone else doing the same, smashing the grotz out of the way as they ran to their motorz.  He strapped in, the seat on springs leanin' back.  Yeah, proppa ride dis!  The Boss wuz up watchin' and he waved the Goff flag and all de Boyz racin' fired them engines.

 

Grot riggers hung onto the other vehicles for dear life, but not this machine.  One driver.

 

The engines thundered like it was armageddon - he remembered that planet, nearly got kronked, except for the last minute when the boyz legged it.  But he was here now.  Waiting for the flag to drop.  He rammed his feet down - two accelerators - and his tyres spun and the great whoosh of displaced air roared above his head.

"Bwahahaha!" He bellowed from his extra safe, comfy seat.

 

The flag went down and Ruzdug dropped the clamp holding the brakes and lunged forward , the rest of the ramshackle pack way behind him.  He could feel the wind in his face as he screamed forward, onwards, faster than ever, his chops and jowls opening with the force, pushing his cheeks into the confines of his airo-namical helmet.

"I got's tha need for speed!"  He cackled and hit the afterburner.

 

Light and sound changed to nothing but a blur as he had an almost religious experience.  It was perfect, like he was in harmony with the universe, as if he was speed, as if he was the colour red!

 

As the first turn approached, he was out in front, racing towards the bend in the wall, all iron and jagged metal.

 

It was at that moment he realised he hadn't installed a steering wheel.

 

"Zog it!"

 

MR.

Edited by Mazer Rackham
Typo! BLAM!
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Cant belive I read it wrong... Im sorry :(

 

Ill read the new one FOUR times, to make sure I read this one right.

 

In the meantime...

 

+++

 

Legacy

 

—They just don't make 'em like they used to. —Jor'gal the guardsman mused, as he looked upon a new vessel being brought out for the final rites of inspection.

 

It was a silly little thought. One that he liked to repeat to himself often. Something from the days of his grandfather. From a time when ships were made of wood instead of metal. When they sailed the seas instead of the stars, and were constructed with ingenuity and vision, instead of a Standard Template and brain dead slaves.

 

Yes, life had changed. In the shipyards, as much as in any other place in the world. Nothing could really be said to be made as it used to be made. Not for many years, now. Not since the time of tumult, and the arrival of warriors from 'Holy Terra'.

 

'Yue-lai' had been just another wartorn world amongst many, back then. Blissfully ignorant to the existance of the Imperium, and to the fact that it belonged to it, despite not knowing of it.

 

His grandfather had been aboard one of the first longboats that tried a charge against the god-men that came to liberate this world. The wood had burnt to a cinder under the firestorm that these warriors had conjured down from the nozzles of their impossible weapons. His grandfather's ashes had been lost at sea just as soon as his body had been consumed by the flames. Not a speck of him had remained, to remember him by. A merciful end, when compared to that of those who had worn heavier armor to the fight. Cooked alive inside their suits they all had been.

 

The longboat itself had seen many battles, before going down against the mighty Imperium. So went the stories, at least. And, by those stories was Jor'gal raised to admire the power of the warmachine that was humanity.

 

A civilization unified as one army, with numbers beyond count. Sailing the galaxy on indestructible ships, and carrying weapons capable of reducing entire worlds to ash.

 

Had he known how those numbers paled in comparisson to those of the hordes of enemies that lay in wait across the universe; or how those mighty ships sunk just as fast as they were made, simply by daring the winds of the warp; or how all the weapons they carried still failed to stop the monsters that lurked in great black of the cosmos.

 

Maybe he would have chosen a safer life in the shipyards, instead of the risks of service in the guard. That might even had made his present task easier.

 

Then again, «a life of comfort», his grandfather would have said «, is just prolonged death.»

 

No. His grandfather's life had led to his death. His death had changed their people's fate. Jor'gal's life had led him here. His death would change his people's fate again.

 

«I hope my ashes will find yours.» He thought as he pressed the detonator.

 

The fire from the exploding ship consumed him instantly.

Edited by Berzul
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It was Ogryns! :biggrin.: and what follows is Berzul's fault!

---------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Ruzdug Bonejacker stood with an oily rag in hand, both meaty fists on his hips in his "racin' suit", admiring his ride.

 

Kustom brakes, shocks and speshul gizmos, this was the meanest, fastest, quickest fast thing he'd built with his own hands and a wrench. It was red - all of it. He counted the wheels.

"Wun, Too, Free, Many!" They added "trakshun", which made it faster still. He looked it over, marvelling. Chrome exhausts and panels all bashed with a mallet, airo-namical or sommat. He'd gonked Stitch-Nikk over the head for all the teef to pay for it, but the rokkit was worth every molar in the runt's head. Big engine, lots of smoke, like on a Stompa.

 

Da Krimzon Kadillak.

 

He was going to win the Mad Mork 500, he knew it. He peered to his left and right, looking at the braying crowds jeering and spitting and Slashtoof Deadgob drew a line across his throat. Bah! He didn't stand a chance, he was grox dung. No Other gitz were even in the running, they were all going to eat dust today.

 

He crammed on his silver, polished 'racin' bin lid' and goggles and mounted up, everyone else doing the same, smashing the grotz out of the way as they ran to their motorz. He strapped in, the seat on springs leanin' back. Yeah, proppa ride dis! The Boss wuz up watchin' and he waved the Goff flag and all de Boyz racin' fired them engines.

 

Grot riggers hung onto the other vehicles for dear life, but not this machine. One driver.

 

The engines thundered like it was armageddon - he remembered that planet, nearly got kronked, except for the last minute when the boyz legged it. But he was here now. Waiting for the flag to drop. He rammed his feet down - two accelerators - and his tyres spun and the great whoosh of displaced air roared above his head.

"Bwahahaha!" He bellowed from his extra safe, comfy seat.

 

The flag went down and Ruzdug dropped the clamp holding the brakes and lunged forward , the rest of the ramshackle pack way behind him. He could feel the wind in his face as he screamed forward, onwards, faster than ever, his chops and jowls opening with the force, pushing his cheeks into the confines of his airo-namical helmet.

"I got's tha need for speed!" He cackled and hit the afterburner.

 

Light and sound changed to nothing but a blur as he had an almost religious experience. It was perfect, like he was in harmony with the universe, as if he was speed, as if he was the colour red!

 

As the first turn approached, he was out in front, racing towards the bend in the wall, all iron and jagged metal.

 

It was at that moment he realised he hadn't installed a steering wheel.

 

"Zog it!"

 

MR.

:|

 

... I-- I just... :|

 

5/5, gold star, amazing story. Seriously.

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  • 3 weeks later...

aPeaqjf.jpg

 

 

Flesh is Weak

by Suspicious Blue Mind

 

For the Adeptus Mechanicus it had been a total slaughter. And now the narrow draw was covered in the detritus of broken Skitarii bodies, shattered Dunerider transports, and several burning Dunecrawlers. When all seemed lost the Serberys Raiders had arrived to rescue their fellow devotees of the Omnissiah.

 

But the Orks had been tricksy.

 

Metal cables at various heights had been stretched across the draw, and yanked tight at the last moment. Rho-323/mk12 had been taken clean off his Sulphur hound M-120-Alpha; which then tripped on another cable and slammed into a Sydonian Dragoon. The promethium detonated in a hundred foot spire of flame.

 

Rho-323/mk12 lay on his back with one arm twisted behind him, when a looted Ork tank crushed his legs. Then a screw driver wielding Grot deftly removed his other arm. But the greenskin died when an auto round punctured his head. And while the skitarii lay beneath its corpse, the draw filled with the charging cavalry of the 7th Nuevo Wyoming Rough Riders.

 

Someone pulled the Grot off his body.

 

‘Howdy there fella. You look pert near dead,’ said an upside down moustachioed face. Well, seenin’ how you AdMech fellas think all flesh is weak. I’ll leave you to…uh, sort things out yourself!’

 

Rho-323/mk12 did not understand why he was being abandoned on the field? He could not comprehend why they would allow his biological components to die? Did they want the greenskins to finish defiling his mechanicals? How could these flesh-bags allow such a desecration of the Omnissiah’s handiwork? Were they savages who had turned their backs on the Omnissiah’s truth? Rho-323/mk12 fought to preserve his existence. And struggling with all the energy his depleted power cells allowed him, he bucked his legs and moved his twisted arm. But he only managed to lift himself a few inches off the ground.

 

Rho-323/mk12 lay there staring up at the desert rocks. A winged Pteraxii pilot hung from one of the towering rock, like a bird killed by a cat; and Rho-323/mk12 wondered how long it taken for his biologicals to die.

 

Oh, hell Lieutenant he looks like a stink bug on its back! At least let me flip him over?’

 

There was some scrambling around and Rho-323/mk12 could feel a rod being shoved underneath him. Then he went over onto his abdomen with a loud whump.

 

‘Well, that ain’t much better now is it?’ said the moustachioed soldier.

 

Rho-323/mk12 now felt himself being dragged across the ground, and then propped up against a rock. Looking around he could see a group of soldiers in blue shirts and khaki hats sitting around a campfire. The moustachioed soldier pulled down his respirator and said, ‘Hey, you do got a mouth in there. Are you hungry? All we got is beans and pork belly; but the biscuits are fresh, and the coffee’s hot.’

 

Rho-323/mk12 nodded his head, and the soldier lifted a biscuit dipped in beans saying, ‘Well, flesh maybe weak, but you still gotta eat!’

 

FINI

Well, how's that for product placement? Do I get a residual from GW?  I wasn't going to post another story, but I had this image stuck in my mind of Skitarii on his back like a stink bug. And so I just had to write the story. This time I got it in at exactly 497 words. PS Expect to see the 7th Nuevo Wyoming Rough Riders in future stories!  Garry Owen
SBM

Edited by Suspicious Blue Mind
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Chronologia

Story of The Adeptus Ministorum

http://www.fromoldbooks.org/ChristinedePizan-HarleyMS4431/pages/004r-detail-woman-writing/004r-detail-woman-writing-q90-643x907.jpg

 

Lactantia struggled to comprehend the page she was staring at. The Ink upon the old parchment had formed peculiar and unfamiliar shapes, that -despite years of training- she struggled to understand. A mental index of different scripts and languages from this forgotten sector of the galactic southeast danced around her head. Perhaps it was some forgotten dialect that emerged in this sector, or once recorded, long-forgotten xenos tongue. Bending towards the page eyes squinting in an attempt to decipher the strange markings, the sororitas releases a sigh. "Its just High Gothic with an odd slant." She tried to rub the exhaustion from her eyes. 
 
 
Getting up from her desk, inhaling deeply as her fingers massaged her slacking eyelids, she once again walked back to the window of the temple adjunct. For the fifth time in less than an hour, she begged the chill from the dark night to keep her awake. Hand reaching out of the bars to dance in the frosty wind, she pressed her head against the cold stone of the ancient building. Her eyes only caught a single glimpse of the world beyond with its multitude of unrecognized stars twinkling in patterns foreign. No sounds, save for the insects and wooden chimes in the Monastery garden below her. An Ophelian, this feudal world was unlike anything she had ever seen, and - once she finished her archiving - hopefully never would again. 
 
 
Satisfied she warded away sleep for a few moments more she crept to her desk, mindful not to awaken the ministers a few bookshelves away. "The Emperor of Golden Fields" Monastery was a single stone hall, with planetary archives tucked away behind bunks of snoring clergy. Basking in the warm orange glow of her lantern, and the soothing whirs of her servo skull. She focused her eyes back towards her task of weeks. Searching through this planet’s voluminous banal history of petty kings, festivals and famines. Prying for eclipses, rogue trader visits, Astartes tithes, invasions -anything she could corroborate with Imperial records. 
 
 
Unexciting as it was, Lord Gulliman himself commissioned her Ordo Chronologis to synchronize and compile all chronographic records. Most explained this as The Primarch’s legendary fastidiousness, but Lactantia was free to speculate.  “What if, in the hopes of restoring the Imperial calendar, we learn the calendar wasn’t off by years, but centuries and millennia? Would it matter? Not here, time was frozen here, but in the rest of The Imperium it would be shattering. Would it embarrass The Ecclesiarchy greatest scholars? Or maybe just make the Emperor’s son feel better knowing he was only asleep three thousand years instead of ten? Maybe if she joined the Ordo Grammaticus instead she could have partaken in The Indomitus Crusade and asked him herself. Who knows, it was all blurring together anyways. Now she wanted to ask him what it was like to sleep for three thousand years. 
 
 
 
“Emperor forgive me” she muttered as her head fell, caught by the soft embrace of the pages of time. 
 

 

--------

 

WC: 499

So its not exactly the most exciting story, but I thought it would be fun to use a different meaning for "Crashing." 

EDIT: I went through to fix the myriad of spelling and grammar errors. It should read much better now.

Edited by wammnebu
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