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Rapid Fire Challenge: Hunter - December 2019

Race Bannon

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Prompt: Hunter

Maximum length: 500 words

Deadline: 31 December 2019

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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I just might try my hand at this one...… 500 words looks very doable:yes:


Let's see.....


See the red aeldari run. Run, run, run red aeldari.

See the big blue space marine chase the red aeldari. Run, run, run big blue space marine.


It may need a little polish, but not bad for a first go. Twenty-seven words down, only four hundred seventy-three to go:woot:

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Tall, sharp blades of walai grass cut his hands, slicing fingers like the diced red meat of his comrades.  The pain spurred him on, got to get to the barrier - cross the stone circle.  He made the mistake of looking behind him and his foot found a burra root.  He flew forwards, tumbling over and over until his back slammed painfully into the bole of a tree.


Birds took to the air, squawking, but Elias could hear something else.  A sibilant hiss and the crackle of subtle electricity.  He hurled himself sideways as slivers of crystal shredded the grass and then a bolt of golden light blasted into the ground where he'd been lying.


He reached for his bolt pistol, but it was gone.  The death-world had taken everything he had.  A revving saw and displaced, friction-heated air narrowly missed his head as it lopped into the tree, scattering bark and small grubs onto Elias' chest and he scrabbled on hands and knees, away from the shadow that roamed the forest.  The sound buzzed behind him, but gathering himself he sprang up and was on his way again.


For days Elias and his squad had crunched, chopped and waded around in grass taller than a man, a forest of blades in mangrove swamps, Gator-ticks the size of a small domestic hound.  It had eaten them all, consumed them, the way rot chewed a log.  Still the jungle wanted more.  A demon stalked through it, swift blades and spitting death.  The edge of the stone circle was ahead.  Five-hundred metres.


In a clearing.  A damned clearing.


He stopped.  Listened.  All he could hear was his own heart beating.  He tried to calm his breath.  The jungle was silent.  The bastard was playing with him, the same way it had toyed with Garrad, Rhetian and Hort.


Poor Hort.  Stripped, filleted and strung up from a tree by his own innards.  Garrad had been skinned.  The thing chasing them was the devil.  All Elias had was a grenade.  He palmed it, so he could make sure it was in good order.

<<Mon'Kiegh? Fast?>>

Throne!  It was behind him!


He ducked, twisting away and the blade scythed the air, whipped the ground and spattered him with clods of stinking earth.  Elias rolled and could see it properly in the paltry light peeking through the canopy above.


Hulking and brutal, shimmering and shifting colours rippled along jagged, plated armour.  In one hand, an elegant sabre with blades that rattled with a whisper as opposed to the bulky grating chainsword teeth of the Imperium.  In its other hand, sat a strangely designed pistol that looked more as if it had been carved than built.


But its face.  A flat, bank plate dominated by burning amber coals and two bulbous pods, one either side of its jaw.  It stretched its arms out and stepped sideways, almost crablike, circling.  It menaced him with the sabre and the stones moved from view.




Elias primed the grenade.



Edited by Mazer Rackham
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Well, here's mine. 


Blood, guts and darkness. These three elements controlled the sprawling graveyard, the dark elements consumed my eyes, ears and tongue. I could barely make out what was in front of me, the wax candles which littered the graves and tombs did little to illuminate this malignant place. 

     My frigid breath passed my lips, which caused hands to wrap around my form. Such an action was a pure reflex, one in reaction to the cold. But at the current moment, I felt it was towards this terrible situation. Last thing I recall was closing the schola for the day until a disreputable individual charged me and whacked me across the face with a blackjack, then I woke up here. 

     I wondered, maybe I was kidnapped for a nefarious purpose? I always warned of the hidden plots and guiles of the heretic, my senses being warped and the foreboding cold proved it.

     My steps carried me onward, I sought a way to escape but all that continued to greet me were more tombs and gravestones, it was as I took the next step that I sensed eyes crawling across my back, it was as if something-someone was waiting to pounce. 

     I quickly turned around, scanning for any possible sign of my would-be ambusher. Eyes darted quickly among the only graves but I saw nothing, not even a hint of someone who wished foul ruin upon me. 

     Turning back around, my heart jumped as an individual wearing a cream coloured robe stood before me, their long-drawn hood obscured their features. The cold fright quickly shifted to anger. 

     ‘Who are you?! I could have you killed for this!' 

     The robed stranger bought a finger up to their hood, that was when I noticed their nails were actually black talons. ‘Sssh, it’s alright now.’ 

     A second set of arms sprung for their robe, tearing it. The sight of such corruption caused me to stagger back, enough to lose my footing. The mutant then removed their hood, revealing a bald and oddly attractive female. Her strange beauty was reaching an uncanny territory, I even completely forgot about my kidnapping.

     I relaxed, just for a moment, that was until she lunged and pinned me to the ground with her arms. I struggled, using all my might to attempt to free myself to no avail. The mutant’s eyes shifted to stark yellow, she grinned revealing pointed teeth. +We’ve been watching you, you’ve been chosen.+

     Normally a question would come, asking what I’ve been chosen for and how her voice passed through my mind. But from the darkness, more four-armed cultists pierced the blackest night, in response I screamed, while my hunter laughed, a laugh that echoed into the night.    

Edited by Shinros
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"There he goes again." Calrus whispered to the others.

Gorvon appeared at this, from behind a corner on the other side of the street. The barrel of his bolter upright and at the ready.

He was looking around, trying to find what Calrus was talking about, but could only make out still shadows over the ruined city block.

"BROTHER-SERGEANT MAYNARD, REPORT!" came Gorvon's voice over the comms.

Calrus, as well as the rest of the Perpetual's fourth squad, could not help but make grins of various sizes under their helmets.

"Brother-Sergeant Gorvon, sir. This is Brother Calrus," he uttered in a plain voice. "Death is calling, sir."

He appeared from behind the corner of the alleyway that him and the others stood in, so that Gorvon could make him out. The green glow of his occulars he left bright on purpose, for just that very reason.

"BROTHER CALRUS?", he exclaimed.

"Yes, sir. We have been holding Hab-Blocks C17 through to C22 since before sundown, sir.", Calrus replied. "Seems to be that relief has arrived just a minute too late. Like I said, death is calling now. I suggest sixth squad holds position until it is over."

From down the street a flash of blue light shot out, and a deep howl echoed in between the ruined buildings. The burning smell of heated plasma coils soon followed.

Gorvon looked down the street, and towards the source of the flash, the sound and the smell, to see a tall structure in the center of the road. A temple, splitting the main path. Facing towards them by an edged corner, with doors in the shape of the aquila imperialis on each side.

The place stood whole. Showing little signs of damage from the initial bombardments.

More brothers of the sixth squad appeared from behind the corner. Their weapons ready.

Calrus could see Gorvon turn towards him. The judgemental shock on his face was almost visible to him, even through the helmet.

"It is better this way, in any case," he carried on saying, "as it will make a good introduction into your new command, sir."

Then, a short but piercing sound of cracking permacrete was heard. All eyes of the sixth squad turned even more intently towards the temple, and they could see trails of pebbles and dust showering down from the roofs at various places.

"You see, brother-sergeant Maynard has a bit of a reputation amongst the Perpetuals, sir.", Calrus explained. "He tends to do this... Thing, from time to time."

More cracking noises then followed. One after another, growing in thunderous might as they went. And soon, with one final growl, the place began to collapse.

The structure came undone in moments. With blocks of permacrete crushing the ground all around it; picking up dust clouds as heavy and sharp as knives as they did.

Brother Maynard stood over the ruins as the dust settled. The Ork's head clutched inside his powerfist.

"We call it the Call of Death." Calrus laughed.

Edited by Berzul
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Originally written for Naoki the curseblood 99's Silent Hunters Chapter of Renegade Marines:

Sacker- formerly known as Sachiel, a battle-brother of the Dark Angels Legion- couldn't stop himself from screaming as a set of lightning claws cut into his right bicep, only to serve as conduits for the Warp energy its wielder- the monster he was forced to call, "Brother," during the Fallen Angel's brief alliance with the Silent Hunters- poured into his frame, forcing the entire arm to wither into skin and bones. The clatter of a bolt pistol falling from Sacker's rapidly rotting hand, and the clang of the Fallen Angel's body striking the floor, were nothing compared to the roar of agony now echoing throughout the Warp.


Hunter-Sergeant Muramasa stomped on his prey's left hand to crush every bone in it, denying Sacker the right to self-defense, before turning to face those he led here.


Inquisitor Ikari answered the Silent Hunter's unasked question by pointing at the augmetic on the side of Sacker's head. "Destroy it- make of the techno-remembrancer dust and ashes, so none may retrieve the memories within," information with which Sacker intended to blackmail the Radical Inquisitor.


Sacker turned to the one who betrayed his hiding place to the monster. "Zee- Zeruel." He feigned comradery with his former battle-brother in the Dark Angels Legion- near-unrecognizable since Zeruel swore a blood oath with the Silent Hunters to seal the Fallen Angels' alliance with the Renegade Chapter. Already, Zeruel resembled a bipedal lion instead of a man, so quickly did the Silent Hunters' Warpcraft affect him. "Why have you betrayed me? Where is the honor you placed in the oaths of brotherhood we swore to each other?!"


Zeruel's mouth opened to speak, but the Fallen Angel-turned-Silent Hunter shut it when the monster raised a hand, acting the way a dog would before his master.


"The honor of your brotherhood is nothing compared to the honor of the Hunt," Hunter-Sergeant Muramasa spoke the first and last words his prey would ever hear him speak, before he thrust both sets of lightning claws into Sacker's face, reducing the Fallen Angel's entire head to dust, along with the techno-remembrancer on its side.

I thought a Renegade Chapter would resort to forbidden Warpcraft to ensure their allies couldn't betray them without consequences- what happened to the former Fallen Angel was similar to what happened to Marietta Edgecombe when the latter violated a (secretly) magically binding document she signed. Naoki the curseblood 99 has commented:

While most of Chapter is mute because their overactive Bletcher's gland withered away the Silent Hunters' tongues, there are some who still have the ability to speak. The Hunters may view each other as brothers, but the Hunt [an integral part of the Chapter cult] comes first; at best, should a comrade lay dying, they may end his life as a gesture of respect for the dying hunter.

Edited by Bjorn Firewalker
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Incessant bolter fire hammered at his binaural relays, causing his ears to ache.  Even though hardened to the close quarters of boarding actions, Braca couldn't remember when he was last buffeted so violently.  Apart from Aklo, who was badly injured, the other brethren were burning through ammunition they couldn't spare - but they had to.  It was one of those times.  The crunch and crack of bolt rounds detonating in the enemy were suffixed by the wet slap of innards plastering the deck.


"Moving!" Called Braca, turning as he shouted.  He hurried down the smooth-walled corridor of the alien vessel.  The metal decking pale in colour and the lights at perfect interval.  So unlike the Marauder, with her brooding passageways.  Livid blue plasma bolts sizzled the white enamel of the hull, where he'd been standing a moment before.


The rest of Hellebore Squad kept shooting until Braca was safely behind cover again.  He added his own to it as Dethys, carrying the wounded brother fell back too.  One by one, they peeled away, firing and moving, keeping the Tau defenders at bay.


Hellebore found a choke point and the team occupied it, Domitian covering the corridor, snapping off shots.

"Pressure door behind us."  Braca said. "Move through and seal it."

"That will take time Brother-Sergeant!" A growl rumbled through Dethys' vox-grille, as he carefully set Aklo down.

"I will hold them." Said the wounded Marine, voice ragged and thick with clotted phlegm.  He was fighting hard to stay conscious.  A burst cannon had sheared through his Mk VII plastron and battered his chest.  "Go!" Aklo roared.

Braca passed across his bolt pistol. "When once again we stand on Vilamus' walls."

Boltguns thundered as the remaining squad passed through the portal and Domitian set about sealing it.


"Plant the charges.  I hope this was worth it."  Braca looked down at the void-survival suit with the limp alien inside.  Supposedly one of the Lordling classes, Braca had hauled the thing from the throne room of sorts and now just wanted rid of it.  They had traded a hero for a xenos prince.  He wanted to spit.


"Ready!"  Another Marine, Narvak called.  He held the detonator in one hand, a Naval boltgun in the other.

"Execute." Braca said.

The world went sideways as the hull of the Tau ship ripped open and the sensoria within his warplate registered the instant of decompression.  Braca fought the urge to blink-click his magboots on, instead he rode the expulsion of atmosphere and was catapulted out into the icy asteroid field.


A sliver of blackened iron was silhouetted in front of him.  It began to come to life, amber lights blinked along her hull and Marauder moved to intercept the scattered Marines.  She had been waiting for days, patiently sitting in low power, missing other prey in order to sink her fangs into an Emissary class ship.


Blazing comets of magma-bomb warheads concluded the Tau ship's destruction.

"It had better be worth it." Braca growled.



Edited by Mazer Rackham
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An explosion lit the sky with orange and the thunderclap of an engine, fuel and ordnance detonating.  Jan Trainor yanked the stick hard over and the Thunderbolt yawed to port, flinching away from the death of his wingman.  An alarm blared in crimson anger in front of him, telling him his radio had been destroyed.


Jan cursed.  The furball was fast and thick, the enemy Ork flyers were filling the air with tracer.  Trainor couldn't tell if they were aiming at the Imperial pilots or just firing for the sheer hell of it.


The clouds were thick and churning with acrid chemical storms, he couldn't see the ground and if it wasn't for his instruments, he could have been flying upside down in recyc-gruel soup.  He kept his horizon flat and opened up the throttle, a heady roar filled the cockpit as his augurs picked up a contact in front of him.


It was quick.  No lumbering Ork bomma, this.  For a moment he wondered if was one of the Ork 'aces' rumour had put about, although hushed when the Commissar walked past.  Jan thumbed the switches on his console, snapping the missiles on his wings to active, rousing the war spirits of his Skystrikes to anger.  The warning tone for target lock began to pip in his ear.  He swept down, dropping into a shallow stoop, like a raptor aiming to break the back of a prey-bird.


Grinding his teeth, he flicked the nose to starboard as the silhouette on his augurs shifted, banking away.  The hungering tone was erratic, the missiles had not found the scent yet and the spirits were restless for the kill.  More was required of him and as eerie yellow clouds beckoned, he rolled into them, chasing.


All he had were flashes of the enemy as amber lightning cracked through the heavens, illuminating canopy glass and painting a rough shadow against the polluted canvas.  Twists and turns followed, Jan sweating as he felt gravity push and pull him into his seat as he banked, then entered a loop, dancing with his adversary.  He fought to stay on the tail of the enemy pilot.

"Come on, come on!"  The harsh tone of lock assailed his ears and exultation flushed his body as he fired two missiles.  He was an ace!


Thin white pencil trails erupted behind two white needles as they burned away, crunching into the enemy aircraft and finally he got a good look at the blocky, rugged shape.  It was another Thunderbolt.


He had just splashed a comrade.  His heart in his throat his mourning was interrupted by a savage roar of engines and a billowing of smoke.  His fuselage buckled and jerked under pummelling cannon impacts and his control panels lit up in Sanguinala flourish as a bright red aircraft punched past him, close enough for the brutish pilot to lean from his cockpit, oil smeared face and jowls wide open.

"Dakka! Dakka! Dakka!" The creature yelled.


Jan's thunderbolt disintegrated.



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"This way!", she cried, as she pointed towards the other end of the alley.


She could see the rest taking shelter inside the scorched ruins of the manufactorum, one block down from where she stood. There was only a few of them left, and they were pinned down, saddly, by the sweeping barrage of fire that was raining down from the aircraft's tireless suppression runs; trappe by the looming advance of fresh infantry units marching down both ends of the long street.


They would not last for more than a few minutes, at this rate. That much was clear.


If they could make it to the alley, they could then find their way towards the old service tunnels on the opposite end. From there they could then regroup beyond the edge of the war zone. But, trapped as they were, the team stood little chance. She needed to do something. Anything.


The screeching howl of the aircrafts turbines then pierced the polluted air all around them once more. The deafening sound of the firestorm it caused on its passing scattered away her thoughts and her plans. That primal part of the brain that cares only for survival took over, and she found herself diving for cover inside the alley.


She landed over the soft bedding of two large piles of wasted bandages and bloodied medicae blankets that had surely been tossed aside by a passing transport, who knew how long ago. She rolled over them, and then cowered in between them. Her body shaking in panicked convulsions.


She laid there for a few long seconds. Deaf to the cries of the team nearby, calling out to her.


For a moment she thought of uttering the Emperor's prayer, and just the thought was enough to snap her back to her senses somewhat. Just enough to hear her name as it was screamed over and over by the others.


She laid there for a few seconds more, staring up at the scorched sky. Mustering her strength.


Then, above her, she suddenly saw something different. Something new. The lumbering shape of an inverted warhead, crowned in flames as it entered the atmosphere. Leaving trails of black smoke as it went. Falling at an angle above the war zone. Going beyond where her eyes could follow in an instant, and announcing itself with a thunderous crashing sound as it touched ground.


A new fear took over her. One that did not paralyze her, but rather, sprung her to action.


A minute later she was above the team. Having climbed the manufactorum walls and having crossed the distance, loading a photon grenade into the underslung launcher of her carbine as she went.


The aircraft approached again as she took aim, but when it passed this time her grenade found its mark against it, sending blasts of blinding light that forced it away from its path.


The cries of victory that followed she cut short, screaming, "Run, Shas'ui! The Angels of Death have come for us!"

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Mortis Draconae walked.  Out in the tangled mess of Hive Utopia Maximal the God-Machines strode, smashing buildings to rubble, putting the lie to the named Planet of Peace.  A pleasure world.  Where the kanker had taken root.


Leo nudged his Moderati through the manifold, preferring silence on deck.  The commune of minds was sufficient, even if the Engine growled and snapped for release.

+Fifteen degrees to starboard, Anora+

She carried the responsibility for locomotion well and Draconae shifted his weight almost gracefully, keen and eager to sniff out the enemy banners.  They had already engaged roving packs of tanks and armoured carries carrying the deviants who worshipped the pleasure cults, working with support of Skitarii infantry and Archeopter scout pilots.  Dragonflies, Anora called them.


+Scattered return, Princeps.  Bearing 120 degrees, range...four kilometres.+

Landis, responsible for augurs and weapons.  Leo felt the twitch in both the plasma blastgun on the left and the chug as the vulcan mega-bolter on the right rotated and cocked.


Draconae moved.  He lurched forwards, crushing small ground cars and the bodies of fallen defenders in outposts long abandoned in the battle for Hesperia.  Large hab-blocks loomed around the Engine as he loped and Leo watched through tall eyes, augurs probing, ready to lay the trail to feet of the heretics and their own War Machines.  Thermal images blossomed onto his consciousness as the eyes of the Warhound spied something.

+Knights!+  Leo said, satisfaction thick.


A whole banner.  Six of the small engines belonging to House Katherall, enslaved to the Dark Powers.  Leo forced his control and he felt his Moderati strain as the whole engine moved to his mind.


Draconae bellowed a challenge and launched, a hail of massive cannon shells spitting through the paltry cover of a shanty town and crashing into one of the suits, spattering the others in a broad rip of explosions.  Their Ion shields were inactive and Leo knew he had to maintain the upper hand as one of the Knight detonated and killed the Hereteks trying hastily to arms the others.


Three Knights moved out towards him, battle cannons thumping.  He dodged to starboard behind a water tower and while the structure in front of him was demolished, Draconae was unscathed.  He hungered.  Leo obliged.


Stamping over the ruined building, Leo crunched down onto a Knight hiding behind it.  Ignoring it, he swung the plasma blastgun around.

+Die!+ The crew snarled in unison, and a superheated silver orb erupted in a stream of punishing light, smashing into the Knights stumbling around trying to organise a charge with chainblades.  Leo turned his attention to the last two.

+Power to Voids!+ Leo barked.

+Yes Princeps!+

Leo felt the heart of Draconae flare with burning heat.  It was fitting somehow.  He swivelled the vulcan gun around and let fly, the trusty weapon roared, hard rounds tearing Ion shields open like popped bubbles.  He kept going until they were consumed by flames.


+Contact Majoris Garrick.  We have found the enemy.+

Draconae grinned.



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            Breathe in, breathe out. In, out, pull.

            The red-robed cultist drops with a spray of blood and bone fragments, his lasgun slipping from nerveless fingers as he topples onto the rubble-strewn street. The half-dozen scarred men around him hesitate for a split second, before rushing for the dubious cover of shadowed doorways and devastated ferrocrete barriers. 

            Darius inches backwards, using his elbows to push himself away from the window. Shattered glass adorns the burnt carpet flooring in what had once been a nice apartment, and he grimaces as a sliver cuts dep into his right forearm. A thin red line winds its way down his arm, staining the double-headed eagle tattoo burned upon his wrist.

            When he is a few feet away from the window, he pushes himself into a crouch, then extends into a sprint. Not a moment too soon — as he slams through the half-closed door leading into the hallway, a haphazard burst of lasfire explodes through the window from the street below, followed by the dull thump of a grenade. Darius knows the complex well. Before the war, the Glorious Creed Living Units had been his home. He takes the West-17 stairwell at a sprint, quickly tugging the handle of his rifle to release the spent cartridge from his gun. The cartridge tinkles as it bounces down the striped stairs. The rifle was his father’s, passed down from generation to generation. Each bullet had been blessed by one of the Ecclesiarchy’s priests, and the gun had never once let him down.

            Darius has been skulking in the ruins of his city for weeks, surviving off of emergency rations and recycled water. Other than a few scared civilians, he has seen no one other than the red-robed murderers patrolling the city’s streets. By his count, he has killed thirty-three of them. Thirty-four now. Before the vox-casts went silent, they talked of great monsters in gory armor, fallen devils wreathed in chains and unholy writings. Darius wants to punish the devils. He will kill them for defiling his city and killing his friends. 

            He props his rifle at the edge of the window inside Lounge 37, overlooking the site of his most recent kill. He sees three of the surviving cultists, still hiding behind cover as they cautiously look about themselves. 

            There! He sees the creature, and lets out an involuntary breathe. The monster is huge, its horned helm scanning up and down the street as it stalks towards the cultists.

            Look. Aim. Breathe in, breathe out. Pull. 

            The rifle kicks, its silencer choking its sharp cough. The monster’s left eye-lens explodes inwards. The giant falls, one hand covering his eye as he unleashes a storm of gunfire into the air. 

            Pull.This shot finds a weak point in the giant’s gorget. Blood sprays and the beast topples backwards. 

            Pull.The second eye-lens. Darius is running now. Someone in the street is firing an autocannon, the cultists are wailing in horror, and the hunt begins anew.

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"Ha, ha, ha! Can't catch me!"

A roar half deafened me, thumped a hole in the flakboard next to my head.  It smoked, a gap the size of my fist.  A bloody manstopper round.  Must have come from a hand-cannon.

"Give it up Valoran!" I shout into the echo of the shot.

Silence mocks me.


My coat is trapping the heat, helmet stifling.  My hands are damp with it.  This Emperor damned heat coming into the hive in summer.  I tap the shock maul at my waist.  I want Valoran alive, but he is...reluctant.  Perhaps he wants to die.


No wonder.  The mines await him.


I lick my lips, but seconds later they are dry again.  In my ear I can hear static.  No support, not here in the Slump.  I was foolish to chase him in.  He may be alone as well, but hive scum roll downhill and they don't like lonely Arbites Judges.  They tend to float into the river outside.


One foot in front of the other, rocking my boots sideways so I make less noise, the rubber absorbs my heavy tread.  We are supposed to be fearless, not foolish.  Valoran had a point, I was the joke here.  A scuff of a boot is my only warning.



The hand cannon speaks again and this time clips my shoulder, forcing me back against the wall.  I duck sideways and another monstrous round smashes apart brick and rockrete where I had been standing.

"Die, die!"  He shouts, then cackles and runs away, footsteps slapping into the dark maze.

I snap a shot off to where I think he's slipped to and Marta bucks in my fist.

More laughter.


I follow, as I must, as I always will.  This fugitive will either come with me or die down here.  The Emperor has judged.  I pass down tight halls, almost labyrinthine tangles of pipes and gratings, each narrower than the last, but I am careful, following the blood trail.  Marta nicked him.


I have to be careful, we're getting close to the waste plant.  I wonder for a moment how many people have disappeared down here, drowned in recycled waste.  I try not to retch at the stench of decay and excrement.


Then I hear the shout.  It is half laugh, half cry for help.  No mockery this time.  I take my time, but the urgency is suddenly painful.

"Fabian, help me!"

I hate that his mouth knows my name.


Adjusting my helmet visor to acute, the world of darkness opens up in night-sight.  The Law must see all.  The voice carries on and I close on him - in the background is the avalanche of rushing water falling in a mighty torrent.  I see a hand clinging to a ledge.  I keep clear and peer over.


I point Marta.  Her .577 maw stares at him.  She is an old gun and had belonged to our father.  "Time to choose." I said.


I wasn't telling him.



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Here's a revised version of a story I wrote on ProminusIV's tank commander:

Al Ramad Amira, ‘The Ash Princess’. Commander of the 501st armored devision. She is known as one of the five strategic prodigies of Prominus IV and honored veteran of the second Coraxian crusade. She is the heir of the al-Samad family, the current leaders of the southern ashen clans.


I heard word she trained under none other than Creed himself, and the rare survivors of her attacks are seemingly driven insane by their experience claiming that she appears almost from nothing...

Shas'la T'au Sha'ng, granted the cognomen of "Longstrike" for his marksmanship, carefully centered the crosshairs over what would be his greatest kill in this campaign: the Imperial tank ace Commander Princess Al Ramad Amira, known as the "Ash Princess" for her proficiency with multi-meltas. Sha'ng knew the weapons as crude analogues to the Tau fusion blaster: deadly at short range, but harmless so long as one remained beyond their reach, as Longstrike was.


"For Shas'la Ma'tu W'aru'do," Sha'ng swore, squeezing the trigger to fire the railgun and avenge his fallen comrade.


Bam! "Ah!" Longstrike cried as his TX7 Hammerhead gunship suddenly pitched down, slamming his forehead against the turret ceiling. Sha'ng's own heartbeat deafened him to the clang of the railgun muzzle bursting, and the clatter of the gunship hull shaking.


"Shas'la!" the gunship pilot cried before a sickening crunch silenced him.


Alarmed to see his own blood covering the commander's viewscreen, Longstrike hurriedly wiped it clean to reveal the words "WEAPON DESTROYED" superimposed over an image of the crushing weight forcing his Hammerhead's bow into the ground: a Leman Russ Punisher with bow and sponson-mounted multi-meltas, which he recognized as the Shadow of Grief, the Ash Princess' command vehicle.


"What?!" Longstrike forced his attention away from the Punisher gatling cannon now aimed at his face, to what the now destroyed railgun's crosshairs were centered on: a thin wisp of smoke eight kilometers away, a distance the Imperial vehicle crossed in a split-second.


"How did she infiltrate my own command vehicle's railgun for use as an ambush position?!" Sha'ng demanded.


"Surprise!" At Commander Princess Al Ramad's command, the bow and sponson gunners squeezed their triggers, sending melta beams through the gunship like a titanium trident through a jellyfish's buttery flesh.


Longstrike said the same Last Words of countless other enemies of the Imperium: "That's impossible!" Then his Hammerhead transformed into a fireball.

Edited by Bjorn Firewalker
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Your robes are torn and ungainly.  You have tried to arrange them to sit neatly upon your regal shoulders, but they refuse and fall to pieces instead.


They do not last.  You would sigh if you could.  They do not last, nor does the warmth, it never stays with you, never heats your old bones.


Bones.  You remember those.  Now only there is the cold.  It aches!  It burns does it not?  You know this as the echo of your solid feet reverberates down the dark metal passage.  Dust falls on you and the air is stale.  You can't smell it.  You don't  want to.  Maybe it would betray the fact your robes stink too.


Clank, tap, clank, tap.


That is the sound that burns in your ears, your heart.  Ah, something else missing.  A hole lives inside you where once a drumbeat smote the walls of your ribs, now only the clumsy bang of metal on metal, echo.  Hollow.  Like you.


But wait?  What is that?


You can feel it, a breeze and the tap-tap of a chisel against the metal-stone that buries you and hides the sky.  You remember the sky.  It was blue?  It matters not.  Perhaps warmth lies ahead.


Others come, like you they are drawn to the noise of intruders.  Pilgrims.  Your talons warn them - you are a prince are you not?  These lesser lordlings must know their place!  Only the finest robes, you are the first!  You shall have them.


Suddenly you are confronted by beings in suits.  Dressed and equipped as labourers.  You move to accept their surrender, their act of piety, but they shy away, call you monster!  With narrowed eyes and a growl only you can hear, you rush upon them, rend their suits open, to take the robes, take the warmth.  Red and purple-pink innards slick your hands - the heat of crimson slick rolls down your face as you bathe in it, the precious drops of heat taking away the terrible cold.


A heart passes through your metal teeth, bounces against ribs and spine, but does not stop, but isn't it glorious?  You slice and cut, ignoring screams from the trespassers.  In a few minutes you are adorned in new robes of pristine feel and the raiment of a prince!  The others are not nearly so fine as this one, a blonde haired vassal of a winged eagle.


You tour the palace grounds in your new skin, imagining - or remembering the cheers when once the skin was yours.  But the heat fades and the glory tarnishes.  Once more you come upon the interlopers, but they are mouldering bones now.  Worthless.


Bones?  You had bones once didn't you?  But your robes are so fine...wait.  They are not worth wrapping up a parcel of grox manure!  How could you be seen in such a shambles?  Where is your pride, child of the King?


Clank, tap, clank, tap.


Only the cold.


Only the cold.


And mouldy old robes.



Edited by Mazer Rackham
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Hail Bjorn Firewalker, skald of his people!


It is indeed good sir, I was experimenting with that rare and elusive beast of 2nd Person POV as well, am glad you liked it.  It's what happens when you can't sleep and your mind wanders in dark places...


I must say, I liked your tank girl and that paintjob is fab.  There is a lot of great stuff in this thread Shinros, Berzul, yourself, Aothaine, Tarvek Val and even our esteemed Brother Lunkhead ;)


It has been getting my creative noggin joggin'!



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"No mercy," Uwel said to himself. Over and over, as he ran down the length of the catwalk.

The sound of his steps was being drowned by the steady groan of the assembly line that trudged along in the factorum floor beneath him. The smell of his sweat was being masked by the pungent smells of the grease and of the machine oil that covered much of his crotch, armpits, neck and brow.

He moved effortlessly towards the spire. Sprinting and diving from one nook to the next in between in each breath. His body nimbly bending to fit itself against the twisted forms of each new hiding spot.

He was like a shadow moving over water. His position revealed only by the tiny glint of his eyes against the phosphorus light of the ocassional lamp, which managed an odd spark here and there, from time to time.

The spire stood above the central reprocessor, where all the conveyor belts met up. They were both aligned with each other by a series of central drop shutes, which went in succession across each floor of the spire. All the way down to the gaping maw of the reprocessor itself.

Uwel saw his brother as he stood next to the topmost opening, with his back turned towards him. Ever the imposing one, his figure was that of a colossus as he loomed over the dismembered corpses of the twins. The blade in his hand was still wet with their blood.

The timing was perfect. All it would take would be a single push, and it would all be over. Yet, something about the scene made Uwel hesitate.

Then his brother turned, and spoke. His eyes somehow finding him instantly in the shadows.

"Have no fear, little one," he said, with words of prophecy. His voice managing to carry over the loud, hungry screeching of the reprocessor's blades. "You will make it through this. Through all of it. I promise."

And then, with a smile, he fell back and to his death. Granting him with that the kill that would lead to his induction into the chapter. The final trial having been completed at last.

Five hundred years later; upon his death at the hands of the daemonic legions, in the final battle of the Second Reclamation, he would see his brother's face once more. The putrid flesh of the beast that slay him would shift and turn to assume the visage of his old kin. A parting gift from the chaos gods.

Staring into those eyes, which would still look as young as they once did on that day at the factory, Uwel would manage to look back. Back, through the years of training, the psycho-indoctrination, and the centuries of service to the chapter. He would see his brother through the eyes of the child he once was; and see a daemon then, the same as now.

He would realize the truth. That he had never been the hunter, but the prey.


Did a small edit, when I realized it was 492 words, not 500. Sorry, couldn't help myself.

Edited by Berzul
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Made a new post just to make sure people anyone wanting to read it did not miss it! :biggrin.:


Edit: Just wanted everyone to know I'll get through all of your stories as well. Reading about 1-2 a day right now. :D



The trap was set. ‘Da beakies wouldn't know wot hit dem’ Bloodskar Godkleava thought to himself while he chuckled quietly. Once sprung the counter-weight would release the battering log into the approaching marines, pushing them into the pit with three squig bombs. 'I'z da sneakest’ he thought to himself.  


A battle waged on in the horizon. But he knew they would come. He just had to be patient. Like the lizard bathing on the rock. His nose caught their scent first. Oil. Then they came into view. Several of the "new-type" of bigger beakies in lighter armour. As they approached he sprung the trap by firing three rounds from his shoota at them.  


The marines responded quickly and moved into a defensive position. They quickly discerned the direction of fire and unleashed several rounds into the surrounding area. Bolt shells exploded among the trees as if mini-artillery had been fired at the location that used to shelter Bloodskar.  


He wrapped around to their flank, fired a well aimed shot and killed one of the marines before priming and throwing one of his boom sticks at them and retreating back into the trees. ‘Four morz’ He thought to himself. 


Botler fire and grenades began closing in on Bloodskar’s location. Their formation spreading out more to ensure they could avoid collateral damage. The second trap went off. One of the marines on the right flank triggered a pressure plate that opened a concealed container. Ten attack squigs mauled the marine before the others could clear them off and kill them.  


‘Three morz’ He thought.  


The last of the marines then re-positioned right above the pitfall and Bloodskar knew he had won. He roared out a mighty "Waaaaagh!" as he pushed the button setting of small explosions around the pit fall. The marines fell twenty feet down into spikes with a loud ruckus which was then followed up by a massive explosion that collapsed the pitfall. 


Bloodskar Godkleva wooped into the air. ‘There was nothing like the smell of burnt Beakies in the morning’ he thought to himself. 


Edited by Aothaine
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The crack of the parietal bone made him wince.  He had been careful and Jorbal had pointed at him to be careful.

"The machine-spirit connection must be precise."  The Techmarine belaboured.

"Yes Lord."  Atarus replied.

An Apothecary's third apprentice should know better, Atarus chided himself, had not Master Scheol instructed him to use the drills?  Never mind.


The eyes of the Chapter serf were gone, replaced by sockets ready for augur relays.  The work being done by Atarus was mean to connect the systems of the Holy Vengeance to the ports and cables buried within the shrivelled, head.

+Noble Atarus?+

The medicae shifted uncomfortably, he didn't like it when the patients spoke to him.  He understood the task he was entrusted with was vital, a willing and noble sacrifice for those who wished to serve the Chapter long after they were able, or who were so loyal in their devotion to the death of the Emperor's enemies, they requested the implantation process.


He was forced to issue platitudes that were as useless as they were unseemly.  And yet, resignation calmed him.  These serfs might one day be him.  He made a slight adjustment to the cogitator beside him, regulating the vox system.

"Yes, Loyal One?"

+I can't feel my legs or arms.+

"It is as it should be."

+I feel angry.+

Another symptom.  Once the implants were lodged next to the amygdala and the Litanies were processed by the Ironmakers, the serf would be a selfless, heedless weapon of death, his duty to protect their masters as they were not able to before, maybe through failure of the Trails, or even the rejection of the Spirit Power granted by the Holy Nineteen.


"You must bring your anger to our foes."

+I will.+

Atarus proceeded, connecting the several braces around the spine.  In truth all that was left of the serf was his spinal column and skull, with some fleshy gobbets to tie the life support system of a servo-skull into.  He motioned to a servitor and the cyber-altered slave approached.


"Initiate final connections."

Drills, powered ratchet-spanners and clamps whizzed, buzzed and snapped the remaining case parts together.  All Atarus could see was the half-skull, withered skin of the old Chief Victualler.  The medicae took up a stylus and performed one of his last acts of mercy.  He stencilled the name of the entombed serf upon the casket.

"Be at peace with the Emperor."  He whispered.

+I go now in his name.+

Atarus closed the adamantine coffin himself, bolting the plate over the head once all reported working and the Techmarine nodded.


The conveyor belt clanked forward heavily and the vat above moved another incumbent into position over the gaping hole of a fresh metal box.  Atarus looked to his left, down the line.  This part of the forge uttered the pounding of the presses forming the caskets, a light above where the prepared serfs dropped from the Apothecarion.


There were dozens more.


All destined for Hunter missile magazines.



Edited by Mazer Rackham
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Ammunition was becoming a concern.  His targets were fast and armoured.  They were also wary.  Epsilon 114 felt his breathing slow. His heart crawled to a low rhythm.  The mantras recited in his head like circles, strings of linen spun on the ends of a long reed, whipping in the air.


He couldn't remember fully, but it was the sound of home.  His masters had told him to let the mind work, allow his brain to circulate, trying to rest it by hemispheres.  His prey didn't suffer fatigue as he did, despite his own implants and training.  Days of being wrapped in a bubble of nothing but aminogel and devoid of any sensory input had forged him well.


There was another thing the targets didn't need: Light.  He had been careful - his briefing advising him of the almost supernatural power possessed by the targets.  He'd nearly been caught, not once but three times.  The first time, his step had been detected over the sounds of the battering winds.  The second time, he'd been heard breathing over the sounds of distant battle so far away.  The third time was revealing - he'd been detected by the hum of his active visor, hence his distant position now.


Not even that debauched Archon managed that and it was truly beyond human.  He erased the thought, the chemicals in his brain altering so it never even existed as a synapse.  He concentrated again on the wind.

Speed: 23.42 Kilometres per hour.

Distance: 1894 metres.

Humidity: 0.012 percent. 

Heat shimmer deflection: 0.93 minutes.

Target exposure time: 2.32 seconds.


Too short.  He counted again.  Nothing changed.


His equipment and training could punch the round on target in no time at all, but the window was tiny and the shot was not certain.  A certain distaste blossomed in his mouth for the task.  It was awful.  The High Lord had passed down the orders of course, holding his nose.  Still, Epsilon 114 didn't kill his intended targets all the time, he had to keep them alive long enough to understand their peril - their mistake.


He switched targets.  He couldn't miss this one, a brute of an Ork, pushing runts around, bashing them with a cudgel made from a hydraulic ram.  It looked like a great shovel.

I'll bury you.  He thought.

His body eased to firing posture under the hessian covers, thick with desert sand.  He displaced a few grains.


Zip-snap. Just as a breeze blew up.

A heartbeat later, a green head popped like a grata melon.  Satisfying.  Another oaf picked up the ridiculous tool.


Zip-snap.  He had the discretion, why not?

No smoke or sand betrayed the suppressed muzzle.  Nothing.


His enjoyment was thwarted by the sight of a battered Rhino transport in gold and azure return to the base under the cover of the night.  He sighed, this was his best opportunity.  Bitter gall in his mouth, Epsilon took aim at the Celestial Lion Apothecary.


The last one.





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