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Shadow Fire : 50K

For Warhammer fiction not strictly from either universe.

Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby Gaius Marius » Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:50 am

Set in LL's uber-nightmarish 50K expansion of 40K.


Shadow Fire:

Chapter 1: Embers


Always, there were the howls.

Howls as the dirty blue suns rose and howls as they set beneath the patina of smog that was the atmosphere. Howls as the Despoiler’s guns cracked against the flickering voids, howls as the army of mutants rose up through the abandoned mid hive section to devour Siclemaus from within. Howls as the Black Legion broke the gate apart, as the Cadians flooded the breach, as the high spires burned.

High ones that sounded like a woman being raped and too often were. Low, deep moaning ones resembling a rad-bear screaming as it beat at the walls of a hunter’s pit. Wild, ululating ones that came when the packs were massing together for another assault, clashing their weapons against their warped chests and fused ribs as the Twists pumped their ancient blood hate of humanity to the fore.

This was the one that was coming from the horde of mutants now, as they prepared again to throw themselves as the dissolving compound. Gwain saw the great red pack of them, as the mass of fang and horn and scale gathered around their warped leader. The pack master was a hideous fiend, nine feet tall and wielding six clawed hands, his one eye was blood red and a great mast of horns and vestigial meosis organs erupted from his skull. Hands with far too many digits, long jointed fingers, avian talons, dark, caprine hooves and scything crab claws reached out to paw at the dingy metal, an earthly relic of one of their dark saints.

‘Their massing again,’ the Lieutenant observed loudly to the militia around him, putting away his cracked magnoculars ‘do we have any mortar shells left?’

‘No,’ Chisolm muttered, the sullen blonde enforcement sergeant scratching at his week old beard, ‘not a shell today and not yesterday or the day before that. We’ve got no shells and no rockets and no cannon shells. We’re down to two clips of autorifle rounds a piece, maybe a grenade or two.’

‘Have the adepts made any progress on the multi-laser batteries?’ asked Gwain. The Imperial energy weapons lay dormant inside their armored turrets, as they had done for centuries since the fabled Arbites had died of the Grey Plague during the Hunger Winter. The few adepts taught by the High Spire tech-priest that were available to the platoon had been trying to get them up for days.

‘No,’ snorted Chisolm, tossing down his plastek and steel autogun and stomping down the stair in his rumpled uniform, ‘Neither of those two have done crap with it. Have fun with the war.’

‘Where are you going?’ demanded Gwain, drawing his antique auto-pistol from its case.

‘I’m gonna go see if I can die drunk,’ muttered Chisolm, ‘maybe with a woman if any of the civilians haven’t shot themselves yet.’

‘You know I need every man at the wall Chisolm,’ the Lieutenant ordered, aiming the gun at the enforcer’s head, ‘Your presence could mean all the difference.’

Chisolm laughed at that, a harsh, cracking giggle that was part amusement and part manic depression.

‘There is no difference you damned militia idiot,’ Chisolm snapped, ‘the damn twists have ten times more bodies than we have bullets, and it takes a clip of lead to put one of the big bastards down. You think you, thirty scarecrows and that swarm of walking corpses called civilians can even slow them down?’

‘We have to try Chisolm,’ countered Gwain, aware that his militia platoon’s already dismal morale hung on the outcome of his verbal duel with the compound’s sole surviving enforcer, ‘better to die on the wall with a gun in hand than cowering in the dark and clutching a bottle.’

Chisolm spat, ‘Why? Why fight, even if you could beat them all. You saw the army outside the gates before they took the wall, hundreds of thousands of black guard, a full regiment of the damned Cadians, even some of the Death angels. They’re already inside and they’re already hunting us, using the muties as hounds. Unless you’ve got a few free companies of Death Angels in your pocket, we’re dead already a thousand times over. So shoot me if you want too. It won’t make much difference.’

The pistol shot reverberated off the dull grey walls of the ancient arbite compound, echoing like a thunder clap. A soft thump announced Chisolm falling to the ground, a .40 caliber hole in the back of his skull. Greasy grey matter leaked from the massive exit wound where his face once was and blood jetted from shattered arteries.

‘No one leaves the wall,’ snapped Gwan, waving pistol in front of his men, ‘No one do you hear me?’

BANG.

The second gunshot sounded across the compound and the mess of filthy, collapsing habs and commerciae that surrounded it. At first Gwain thought one of his men had shot him, but he felt no pain and all of them still had their weapons in hand, yet safed. Gwain snapped his broken magnoculars to his eyes, looking out towards the mass of mutants surging in the rubble scape.

BANG.

BANG.

Out in the urban wasteland, the mutants were going wild, surging as randomly as boiling water. Their hulking leader was down, his three horns and six eyes vaporized by a shot of immense power. The lieutenant had heard something similar to it once before, when a higher ranking noble had used a hunting rifle to snipe early in the siege.

Sharp, precise single shots were sounding out across the dessicated neighborhood as the largest, most hideously mutated twists fell to the powerful bullets. The massive shells exploded as they hit, polluted blood and cancerous organs splattering across the dirt and ash strewn rock. Only a fraction of the twists were falling, yet confusion was running rapid amidst their panicked ranks. He realized with a start, that the foulest, ugliest mutants were venerated as leaders amidst the packs, and whomever was attacking them had discovered that fact very quickly.

Fire leapt from shadowy windows and dark alleyways, searing tongues of purging flame that wrapped around the panicked twists with a lovers embrace. Scores of melting mutants stumbled through the streets, their burning flesh sloughing off from their blackening bones. A great rattling roar leapt up, as a wave of the mutated tide went down before some invisible killing tool that maimed and killed the chaos followers. The mammoth gunshots continued, increasing in pace and downing scores.

Giants stomped their way from the shadows, filling Gwain’s heart with dread. Death Angels, World Burners, Astartes. Free companies of them had raided or traded with his dying hive in the past and scores of them had arrived to lead the army sent by Abbadon to absorb Siclemaust into the Despoiler’s growing chaos Imperium. Their red and black armor was serrated at the forearm and fist, jagged horns stabbed down from the sides of their heads. A roaring, flame spitting dragon had been chiseled and embossed onto their gargantuan chest pieces. Massive, child sized rifles of dull black metal rested easily in their gauntlets, firing perfectly aimed single shots from their cavernous barrels. Several eschewed the smaller weapons for long flamers that were covered in skulls and jawbones, fire erupting from beneath the blackened teeth of xenos creatures. One had a great chattering cannon with six rotating barrels spitting thousands of rounds a minute at the howling mutants, chewing them apart with lead.

The mutants tried to rally at the Astartes who had pounced upon them, but lacking leaders the response was fickle, the actions of individuals rather than a group. Few survived past the fusillade of shot and flame and those who did were impaled on serrated bayonets that hung low from beneath the bolter’s barrels. The largest of the giants wore a skull for a face and slammed an eagle topped mace into the skull of a charging, flaming beheamoth. Skull fragments spattered wide as the force of the crackling power weapon sent the mutant flying backwards, past another charging hulk. Energized talons from the skull faced Astartes flashed in the dull light and the mutant fell backwards without a face.

Further howls erupted from the other side of the disintegrating mutant horde, as what Gwain thought was a herd of cattle stampeded into their rear. Although bovine in size, the way the animals tore into the mutant army with fangs and talons, devouring living flesh suggested nothing of herbivore behavior. The fight was over in moments after that, the mutants being shot, stabbed or ripped to pieces under the onslaught. Hundreds of corpses lay splattered across the abandoned city scape, the hideous red brown slurry of their blood and bile leaking towards the weed clogged grates of the hive’s long over grown sewers.

That was when the largest Astarte looked up and locked eyes with Gwain.

……

‘They’re killing us,’ muttered Dilswitch, almost vomiting into his hand as another Harrismont ship flashed red and vanished off the screen. Waste Song was being hammered so hard she was shaking and thousands of deaths in the void were driving the Astropath mad.

‘Its war,’ replied Captain Silvia, ‘that’s what happens.’

Her voice was cool, but she was not, for the Captain’s cruiser was one of the few belonging to the Harrismont Empire still in the fight. A score of cruisers had surged from the warp to bring fire to those who had dared to invade the domains of the Von Harris family. Each of them was purpose built by pact-bound Machine cultists, long and lean, barren of ornamentation and bristling with railcannon and light lances.

Now barely a quarter of them remained. The Despoiler’s Navy hung above the hive world in force, a dozen massive warships and scores of transports that had survived twenty thousand years of warfare against xenos terrible and the vanished Imperium of Man itself. They were warped and twisted things, parody cathedrals of gothic spires and baroque temples. Even the smallest of the strike cruisers outmassed the Harrismont cruisers by a third and they were escorts compared to the mammoth Grand Cruisers and Battle Barges.

‘Our shields?’ demanded the Captain of a deck officer.

‘At 70% and falling’ said Engineering.

‘Let them fall to forty and bring full power to the lances,’ Sylvia demanded, her cold voice as hard as her face. She had survived in this blasted hell of a galaxy for forty years and wasn’t going to a worse hell without an escort of Abaddon’s best.

‘Target the prow of that battle barge as it makes another pass,’ she ordered, ‘clip his guns.’

‘Aye aye Madam, ‘one of the gun officers replied, barking orders into the barely working cogitator.

There was a scream of metal and a ventilation grill fell from the bridge’s ceiling. What clambered out of it was not necessarily human, although the metal that made it up may have once been forged by humans. Instead of skin it had crimson metal, with several sets of glaring machine eyes and auspexes peering out over 360 degrees. A great eight spoken cog, split to bear a mechanized skull and a roaring dragon was emblazoned between two of the most human limbs and a squat, armored globe that could be its head. The creature had no identifiable legs and less of a torso than an engine housing that rumbled and spat fumes.

Three armsmen raised shot cannons at it and died for their paints, bolts of plasma slamming into their chests and disintegrating them into green ash. Two other limbs bearing plasma weapons swiveled around the shocked bridge as the great steel spider skipped down from the ceiling. An officer made to grab for his side arm, only for a bolt of green heat to burn away his arm at the elbow.

‘Further violence would be inadvisable,’ hissed the spider thing from a vox grille somewhere on its body, ‘for I am far better at dealing it out than anyone else here.’

‘What the hell are you doing on my ship!?’ demanded Sylvia at the strange boarder, as long range lances slammed into her shields, hammering the cruiser.

‘Wrong,’ wheezed the monster, ‘this is the chapter’s ship now and I am here to claim it. Your vox is not up to our standards, so I am here to deliver your orders in person. Belay your last and cross the T of that battle barge at 2,000 Km, full horizontal torpedo spread as you pass.’

‘That’s suicide range,’ said Sylvia, her voice shocked at the abruptness of the command and the surrealness of the situation, ‘we’ll be rammed for sure.’

‘Stay here and a raiding party of Black Legion Chaos Marines will soon arrive by boarding torpedo, overwhelm your ship’s infantry parties in two minutes and retreat having left charges,’ the spider said calmly, ‘follow my orders and you will be out of its angle of torpedo fire and having left it severely crippled for when reinforcements arrive.’

‘Engineering, belay that last order,’ said Sylvia, deciding to trust the metal creature, ‘Helm, take us on a horizontal course 2K Km from that barge’s prow.’

‘These reinforcements better be damned good, spider,’ she hissed at the spider thing, her eye on the piles of ash her armsmen had once been.

‘They are the best at what they do. And my name is Hexile.’
…..

Loyal Fiend had fallen out of the warp like a wolf springing from a stream, shaking warp miasma from its steel and Ceramite coat. She was huge, a relic of a bygone age, and even in the time of the vanished Imperium she had been mighty. The Aquila had been struck from her, replaced with a fire spitting beast head and runes of fire and shadow marked her armored flanks. Her machine spirit was permanently mad with rage and pain, hungering to deal out explosive death to anything that neared. A pack of frigates were with her, terriers galloping alongside a rabid dire wolf.

The battle ship cut across their rear like a flint knife, its great lances and enormous macrocannons pulsating with energy. A Battle Barge, crippled by a flurry of torpedoes to its frontal sections was its target. Bright shields blinked out under the Oberon class battleship’s guns and the armor beneath them was pulverized to blistered scrap by their impact. Glittering fast escort frigates fired their overbuilt lances, scoring hits and collapsing shields to let the Terminators teleport in. Three squads had already teleported into the stricken ships, meaning three ships near guaranteed to be taken out of the fight by the hulking elite teams with their assault cannons and roaring flamers.

Loyal Fiend’s massive lances and endless torpedo tubes fired a second volley as the reeling Black Legion ships turned. More shields flickered out and collapsed under energy sufficient to burn away oceans, beams of energy and flurries of missiles now exploding against and into armor forged before the great crusade itself.

The motion of the void war swung away from Abaddon’s task force, as more and more motley ships arrived from nowhere. A pillaged Demiurg Bastionship revealed itself from behind an asteroid field, the twin-hulled automaton vessel turning its electro-magnetic mining fields upon the Despoilers stricken vessels, breaking them into chunks and swallowing them whole. Decked in proud blue and red, a mighty Overlord Battle Cruiser fell in beside a chaos craft and pounded it to fiery dust with its close range lance batteries. Four Old Breed Destroyer-Transports flashed from the Battle Cruiser’s shadow, cutting their way through the Chaos transports to take up drop positions above Siclemaus, a flood of landing ships and drop pods carrying assault infantry falling away from it. One pulsating mass of flesh and iron, a leathery hive ship of the vanished Tyranids coupled to the frame of an Adeptus Mechanicus Titan carrier lurched insanely from the void, spilling bio plasma alongside macro cannon rounds.

But the greatest carnage was wreaked by Loyal Fiend, inestimable in its bloodshed. The Battleship gorged itself on the death of the Chaos vessels; their death screams pleasure to the ancient ship soul’s vox-ears. Even as the lances and magma cannons pounded at her shields, the ship strived to match the actions of her master’s on the planet below.

…..
Abaddon’s sons relied too much upon their auspexes.

The squad of Traitor Astartes in their black armor had entered the chamber of some hive spire noble, most of them sweeping the rooms corners while their leader had consulted a bulky contraption of vacuum tubes and copper wire affixed to his right arm. The Black Legionare’s were well trained and veterans beside, soon they stripped the room bare and found nothing. The Sergeant shrugged, assumed a bad signal and was about to give an order when the partisan took him in the balls.

Tyme’s great spear had come alive as it whipped up through the drain hidden by the ornate rug, a midnight black powerfield coating the pole arm’s razor sharp tip. The steel grill had parted like melted butter before its fire and shadow, the cod piece of the Black Legion Sergeant put up more resistance. Closer to cheese perhaps.

To his credit, the Sergeant did not scream as the pole arm tore through his atrophied groin and ripped apart his bowels in a tidal wave of blood and feces before severing his spine. But the crackle of the partisan’s power field was enough to snap the head of every Chaos Marine in the room to their sergeant and away from the walls. Fire Beasts poured from them, the best squad of second company broke through plaster, rockrete, priceless paintings and tapestries. Pale dust staining their dark armor, they tackled their dark kin to the ground and drove sharp knives between the joints of their armor.

Weyne did not use a knife, he used his fists, great black gauntlets of power armor, tipped with the triangular, serrated teeth that the pack beasts shed constantly. He punched once and tore off a gorget, the Ceramite impaled on his knuckle spikes and leaking hydraulic fluid. His enemy got off a shot, one single bolter round that caught him in his shoulder and blew him backwards as it detonated against his armor. Distracted, he couldn’t stop the dread Marine from knocking the Fire Beast off his body and onto the floor. The young Astarte rolled to his feet and whipped a combat knife from its sheath. The Chaos Marine had a bolt pistol aimed at him though, a hand cannon engraved with dark symbols and loaded with explosive shells.

Tyme’s Partisan erupted from his brutish faceplate, the black spear puncturing between the fell Astartes eyes and making his gene-enhanced body twitch as it fried his mind. Behind the three pronged blade and its long adamantine shaft stood the First Bull, his black armor drenched in shit. Brown streaks covered the plate, but the Heart of Vulkan still hung pristine on his neck. The old Astartes ripped his weapon free and let the Chaos warrior fall dead. He slashed once as the corpse hit the floor, severing the head for good measure. Death came hard for Space Marines of any stripe.

‘Use your knife next time,’ the ancient Fire Beast hissed, his voice a near whisper even over the vox, ‘especially when I order you to Weyne.’

No Beasts went to light Vulkan’s flame from that battle, although there were wounds. Grey Seljulk had lost an eye, Angus of the Flamer his nose and one of his fingers. Weyne needed no treatment, for his plate had stopped the shot.

Tyme still berated him one more time.

‘No damn heroics child,’ he commanded as the Apothecary Kirk cut geneseed from the fallen foe, ‘kill them fast and ignore the blood lust. If I want something mauled, I’ll send a Beast Lord and a pack to do it, not one of my guard.’

‘I understand First Bull,’ said Weyne, his voice hurt by Tyme’s shaming.

He is hurt, thought Tyme, he wants only my approval. The Chaplains and the Sergeants have raised him and the crop from Forge with stories of me and all he wants is my approval. Damn them. Damn them for making them that much more willing to die for me.

Sounds of battle were breaking out across the upper spires as the Fire Beasts sprung their trap. Tyme had hid them in the sewers and the walls, let them rest and gather their strength amidst the half ruined hive as the Arch-Enemy broke in. It was only when the back of the city’s resistance was broken and the detachment of Chaos Marines at the tip of the enemy’s spear had splintered did Tyme let his hounds loose. They fell upon the detachments, flanking and hitting them from all sides.

‘Wallace has found their lord,’ Val’Jean announced, the Beast Lord’s eyes glowing black with power, ‘holed up in some merchant’s palace. There are fifty of Abaddon’s Astartes with him and the Cadians are close by. The Lord is chaos warped, I can feel it.’

‘Signal three other squads,’ ordered Tyme, his old brain moving quick, ‘de Luc’s and Jayfer’s tacticals, MacInrod’s devastators. We’ll meet them half way there and join up with Wallace.’

The vision cast by the Astarte’s visors flickered static for a moment before swiftly returning. Outside there was a swift light that soon faded and a sound like thunder.

‘EMP bombing,’ said Weyne, youngest of Tyme’s body guards, ‘the Old Breed are descending.’

‘That will take care of the foe’s armor,’ observed Kirk, ‘the Devastator’s will be angry at losing their prizes.’

‘Forget their prizes,’ hissed Tyme, ‘there voxes are down. Strike while they blunder in the dark and eat them alive.’
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Re: Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby LordLucan » Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:01 am

Love your work man, but for gawd's sake, the 50K setting is about the utter failing of the good guys, yet the fire beasts barely seem unconcerned, and kick arse regardless. :P

But on a serious note, your prose works well (though some of your sentences are a little belaboured. The sentence about the sound sof rape at the started felt a little forced). Additionally, when you have a battle scene (especially with the Beasts) you tend to discribe their weapons in too much specific detail. We don't need to know why his knuckle-dusters kick ass during the fight scene. It tends to stall the flow of the physical battle depiction somewhat.

That said, when you really go all out on a description, is is hella visceral and damn cool. The pack master at the start with his hideous oozing external organs was a visual I could really sink my teeth into (figuratively... I'm not that hungry... ;) ).

All round though, it is a good opening chapter. I do feel you overemphasise the awesomeness of the beasts. I'd love to see an almost ADB night lords' element to them; a dying chapter scraping by with crap, but too pissed off to die off properly. It'd be rather cool to see it from a 'loyalit' angle.

But yeah, nicely done.
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Re: Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby Gaius Marius » Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:17 am

LordLucan wrote:Love your work man, but for gawd's sake, the 50K setting is about the utter failing of the good guys, yet the fire beasts barely seem unconcerned, and kick arse regardless. :P

But on a serious note, your prose works well (though some of your sentences are a little belaboured. The sentence about the sound sof rape at the started felt a little forced). Additionally, when you have a battle scene (especially with the Beasts) you tend to discribe their weapons in too much specific detail. We don't need to know why his knuckle-dusters kick ass during the fight scene. It tends to stall the flow of the physical battle depiction somewhat.

That said, when you really go all out on a description, is is hella visceral and damn cool. The pack master at the start with his hideous oozing external organs was a visual I could really sink my teeth into (figuratively... I'm not that hungry... ;) ).

All round though, it is a good opening chapter. I do feel you overemphasise the awesomeness of the beasts. I'd love to see an almost ADB night lords' element to them; a dying chapter scraping by with crap, but too pissed off to die off properly. It'd be rather cool to see it from a 'loyalit' angle.

But yeah, nicely done.


:)

Thanks LL, my idea here is to turn the Fire Beast into, well 'Order Marines' fighting the victorious Chaos empires, they're not necessarily winning, but they're staying mobile enough that they're hard to pin down and try and strike at vulnerable targets. Later chapters will show more of their status, with most of their ships, geneseed and weapons being things that they stole from somebody else. Anyway, I'll take your points about cutting down on descriptions in the middle of a battle as valid, it does tend to screw with the action.
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Re: Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby Gaius Marius » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:25 pm

Chapter 2:

Atop its broken spire, the Lord clutched the rubble and screamed.

It had several mouths, most of them filled with broken, yellowing teeth. Others were filled with grinding bronze gears, pulsating keratine suckers and blistering flame geysers. The cavities covered its humanoid torso and continued across its quad set of wings and its snake like body. Scores of corpses clad in moth eaten silk and faded lace were scattered at its feet or stuffed into its numberless maws, the fallen bodies of Siclemaus’ noble class, devoured in their last holdfast.

Hunting packs of Fury’s swarmed around the daemon lord, part honor guard and part ablative armor. Scores of Chaos Marines filled the top floors of the hive spire, their armor showing the black of Abaddon’s legions and the heraldries of a dozen minor warbands. Blood drenched their battered armor and their bolter’s muzzles were still blackened from the kill-shots fired at Siclemaus’ last defenders. At the foot of the thousand foot building, a full regiment of Dark Cadians filled the Government Square, their apcs and hobnailed boots scarring the eight hundred square yards of cobblestone. Elite of the Chaos Imperium’s mortal fodder, the Purple-Eyes had crashed through the hive’s militia before allowing their gene altered masters to deliver the killing blow to the planet’s suzerain and his pauper’s court.

Across the city, each chaos warrior, be they Cadian, Beastman, Astartes or Daemon thing cried their master’s name: ‘BUCHLEIN!’

‘Are they still yelling that?’ Weyne asked the one eyed Angus with his bubbling flammer. Even two miles from the spire the chanting was audible over the sounds of hive war.

‘Helps them remember who they’re working for I figure,’ grunted the heavy set Astartes.

‘Quiet,’ hissed Tyme, ‘The warp pigs will hear you.’

The younger Marines’ banter annoyed him; it reminded him of himself at that age too much, talking with dead friends.

Old Breed units were disembarking from the skies cleared by their EMP blasts, landing valkyries on rooftops and crashing heavy lander units onto the hive roads to disgorge armored columns. Myrmidon heavy tanks rumbled out to pulverize chaos units with their heavy las weaponry, while Gorgon assault carriers ground platoons of beastman infantry to chunks under their steel tracks. Disciplined fire teams were gunning down their mutant foes, while behind them mobile artillery pieces were set up and soon added their own fire to the fight.

A Beastman pack leader, oozing pus from a dozen open sores leapt at Tyme, who absentmindedly decapitated it with a short swing of his spear. His mind was on things to come and he allowed his guardian squad to gun down the rest of the blood mad pack. Weyne finally unsheathed his power falchion and with it piled a grand heap of skulls. Angus burned many to screaming cinders with his flamer, fire erupting from the skull mounted at its tip. The beastmen were poor foes, armed with rebar clubs and jagged steel. But worse was soon to come.

The squad cut through trash filled alleyways and deserted tenements, their owners dead from the famines that had gripped the world after the fall of the Old Imperium. In an abandoned factory, great hammers still fell onto an empty assembly line, the rubber treadmills long since pounded to dust. A massive fire fight between an Old Breed infantry battalion and a squad of Black Legionaries supported by a legion of fanatical serf-spawns took place in a burning warehouse holding an entire lance of inactivated Knights. The ancient war machines’ flaking paint was scorched by lasburns and bolter wounds and their guns hung useless, the wires powering them long since gnawed away by rat-snakes.

Tyme marked the relics on his map for salvage when the war was over and moved on. The Sorax infantry would live or die by their own merits. He had bigger targets than a mere squad.

Wallace was at the approaches for the Government plaza, a great twelve lane highway ramp that lead up for twenty stories before opening up into the enormous square. The Captain of the 1st company had his terminator squad with him. Beast Lord Hisack prowled with a pack of monsters, great hybrids of a dozen species, larger than an adult Astartes and twice as crazed. Tech-Marine Colbert tended to Crocodile, Tyme's ancient Land Raider Helios. Three other squads of Fire Beasts were there: Augmetic eyed De’Luc’s and the pale skinned Jayfer’s tactical squads, along with MacInrod’s devastators, bristling with hypercannon and volt-throwers. A dreadnaught stood amongst them, power claws flexing rhythmically and engine pulsing.

Behind them, companies of Old Breed maintained a dead locked fire fight with the Cadians. Purple eyed shock troopers trading lasbolts with the Sorax Naval Infantry as both maneuvered around burning ground cars.

‘Is all in readiness?’ asked Tyme of his assembled officers, the squads spacing out to avoid unaimed artillery fire from the Cadians at the base of the tower.

‘General Vandegrift has landed his artillery,’ replied Wallace, his relic claymore resting on his Terminator armored shoulder, ‘and my creatures are ready to dig.’

For a moment the sword and the black armor reminded him of Douglas, which was foolish. Wallace was twice Douglas’ bulk even without terminator armor, even carrying his sword he looked little like the wiry former Fist Bull. Besides, Douglas stood nearby, silent as he had been for millennia, his only speech the shrieks of his power claws.

‘Good,’ wheezed the First Bull from his damaged voice box, ‘bring that spire down.’
…..

‘Open the gate,’ said the skull faced Astarte in a voice like thunder.

‘Don’t’ began Gwain to his militiamen.

‘Do it, or I will tear them off their hinges and hang everyone inside for a chaos worshipper,’ roared the hulking space marine. The great mace in his hand crackled with lightning and Gwain had no doubt he would make good on the threat. His armor was thick enough and heavy enough that the lieutenant doubted his auto rifle would even dent it.

No harm in trying.

The gun chattered, sending its clip of bullets screaming into the flame symbol emblazoned upon the Astartes breast plate. Heavy lead slugs bounced harmlessly off the Ceramite, leaving only scratches behind.

‘Brave,’ laughed the Space Marine, ‘take his hand. The left one.’

One of the other Fire Beasts fired once, the boltshell blowing off Gwain’s arm at the elbow. He collapsed, the pain delayed for a moment as his body tried to comprehend what had happened. Someone tried to put a tourniquet on his arm, before the Astartes swarmed over the top of the wall. They moved like apes, hauling themselves up the bastion wall with loose, easy movements that soon saw the squad at the top of the rampart.

A few militiaman fired rifles and these the Fire Beast knocked the weapon from, shattering bones to splinters in the process. Another part time soldier turned to run and got a bolt shell in his back for the effort.

‘Cowards, how I hate them,’ said the commanding post-human, the talons on his left hand pressing against Gwain’s stump. They activated and the Lieutenant screamed as his flesh sizzled and cauterized.

‘Tell your soldiers to drop their weapons boy,’ the Chaplain commanded, ‘and rouse your civilians from down below. They’re the Chapter’s now.’
Last edited by Gaius Marius on Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby Gaius Marius » Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:15 pm

Sorry, double post I couldn't delete somehow. Thanks for the comments LL, i'll get on that editing.
Last edited by Gaius Marius on Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby Gaius Marius » Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:16 pm

Chapter 3:

The steel rain fell harshly and it cut the scarred earth.

Old Breed artillery let loose with a colossal roar as hundreds of weapons let loose. From Earthshaker cannons and cruise missiles launched from Praetor assault launchers to twin barrled Minotaurs spitting out volley after volley of shells to lowly truck mounted Katyushas, hell itself seemed to fall upon the square. The scarred earth shook as the steel rain hit it, churning the wide parade ground into a cyclone of rock shards and broken bodies. Whole platoons of Cadians were annihilated in the cataclysm, the chain of explosions devastating their tanks and rendering their infantry to meat.

While most of the Old Breed’s wide spread destructive force focused on the mortal servants of Chaos, the Fire Beast’s long stockpiled Imperial arsenal unloaded on the tower at the center of the Government plaza. Thunderhawk gunships unleashed Hellstrike missiles at the base of the tower, sending crazed cracks galloping across its foundation. The Chapter’s few tanks added their fire, sending lascannon beams and bombardment cannon shells crashing against its flanks.

Last to fire was Animal Sun, Tyme’s personal Land Raider Helios. Sole Land Raider in the Beast’s arsenal, the scarred tanks missile launcher spat fired a volley of three shrieking guided missiles that impacted into the tower’s middle. It rumbled for a moment as if in indecision before falling in on itself. Dust, debris and pieces of traitor marines were sent flying as the massive spire collapsed, spilling rubble across the Cadian platoons at its center.

Old Breed armored columns of Hellhounds and Gorgons slashed into the spreading dust cloud, taking advantage of the dust and confusion to douse the Cadians with searing napalm. Scores of Old Breed infantry in NBC gear swarmed out of the heavy Gorgons, bayoneting Cadians caught trying to desperately done gas masks to block out the spreading cloud of ash. Although he would have preferred to reserve them for his own uses, the demands of his allies forced Tyme to grudgingly release a few squads of Fire Beasts to back them up. The black armored behemoths bull rushed by stages through the smoke, slaughtering the Chaos cultists who were suddenly without the long range cover fire of their quad cannons and heavy bolters.

Most of the Astartes proceeded straight up the center, a full strength detachment of three different companies of Beasts. An assault squad leapfrogged ahead, their thruster packs periodically clogging up with grit. Whenever the packs failed they would slam into the ground and immediately fall upon the closest Cadians, falchions generating fountains of gore as close range lasbolts pattered off their carapaces. The other squads, a mixture of Tactical, Devastator, Terminator and Scout Marines rode either in Rhinos, Razorbacks or the solitary Land Raider. In the center of the column were colossal tracked earth movers stolen from a dozen mechanicus out posts over the years. Finally, three Gorgon super heavy transports trundled at the rear of the column, their modified cage-hulls carrying three dozen snarling attack animals.

‘The Old Breed is breaking them out there,’ observed Weyne. His tone was neutral, but Tyme caught the blood lust in the back of his throat.

‘Let them,’ said the First Bull, his eyes affixing the pale youth, ‘Abaddon has a billion other purple eyes on Cadia. You could slay them until your arms fell from their sockets and have achieved nothing. Only the Forge-Father matters. Only Vulkan can save us.’

At that name the squad of Beasts immediately bowed their heads, gauntlets tapping the flame icons embossed on their chest pieces. Tyme recalled that not so long ago there had been aquilas on his men’s breast plates.

Fire seemed more appropriate.

‘We have larger prey today,’ said Tyme, ‘Buchlein, an ancient from the days of the First Heresy mutated to daemon hood by his own corruption. He is fitting prey for the Beasts.’

The tank slid to a halt as the rubble grew to bulky and thick for the tank to pass. Ramps went down across the battle group and the Astartes squads quickly formed a perimeter around the tanks as the precious engineering vehicles trundled to the fore. As their masters traded shots with scattered Cadian resistance, the rescued tech-priests and well trained chapter serfs drove the hulking vehicles and they lowered their support struts and began to carefully churn through the rubble. The Gorgons lowered their ramps and Wallace and his associate Librarians seized control of the primitive brains of the tank’s passengers.

The beast’s that emerged were changed from those that had once warred aside their Astartes masters during the days of the Imperium. They were fewer in number, for the Fire Beasts’ resources had shrunk greatly. But they were larger in size and bulkier of limb than their bovine and canine ancestors, their hides covered in thick bony plates. More bears than wolves or bulls. Regardless, they set about digging eagerly through the rubble, searching for fresh meat in the ruins.

Three squads gathered around Tyme, two from Wallace’s Terminator Company and his own unit of bodyguards. The First Bull took an arthritic knee, one hand still on his spear as the other Astartes kneeled around him.

‘Buchlein is still alive in there,’ said Tyme, ‘I’m sure of it. Soon one of those machines is going to dig him out and after that I want him ensnared.’

‘Such a course could be problematic Lord Tyme,’ said Wallace, the Librarian hulking in his terminator plate, ‘even with a building on top of him, Buchlein is not likely to come quietly.’

‘Be that as it may, I want him alive,’ Tyme ordered, ‘he was on Arsaria, so our prisoners said, part of a Chaos army invading a defenseless world. Most of the army was butchered by a black monster, terrifyingly huge with eyes of fire. Does that sound familiar?’

‘Vulkan,’ gasped Wallace, ‘such a close contact would leave a spore, a psychic scent marker.’

‘Could you track it?’ asked Tyme

‘Yes,’ answered Wallace, ‘On my life I could.’

An earthmover unceremoniously dumped a load of rubble and rebar near the command group, a half conscious Black Legionary on top of it. Weyne put his falchion through the Chaos Worshipper’s skull and twisted, smoke arising from the wound.

‘They’re getting closer,’ said the young Astartes, unceremoniously beginning to rip off the dead Astartes armor. The plate was precious, but not more so than the progenoids beneath it. Tyme’s Astartes were few in number and necessity required scavenging. With that in mind, Tyme had ordered that all of his warriors be given rudimentary training as apothecaries.

‘When they bring him up, aim for his extremities,’ commanded Tyme, ‘Martel will need the head for interrogation.’

‘All I need is a fragment of its soul,’ said Wallace, ‘meeting a Primarch changes even the damned noticeably.’

As if in response, a backhoe suddenly began to tip into the ragged hole it had made in the ground. Its driver ran panicked over the tilting tracks as something fiendishly strong pulled its way to the surface. Fire Beasts checked bolters and primed power weapons as whatever it was crawled its way to the surface.

A battered claw bearing three bleeding mouths emerged from the ground. Thirty targeting lasers fixed upon it, only held in check by Tyme’s hand. The hand pulled, hauling Buchlein’s mammoth body up the digging claw. Its snake tail was broken crazily and most of its mouths were missing several teeth. Buchlein’s tattered, useless quad wings perched menacingly above its head as it sighted the rival Space Marines. Targeting lasers went to its tail and arms.

‘Fire,’ said Tyme.
Last edited by Gaius Marius on Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby LordLucan » Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:11 pm

Chapter 2:

Atop its broken spire, the Lord clutched the rubble and screamed.

It had several mouths, most of them filled with broken, yellowing teeth. Others were filled with grinding bronze gears, pulsating keratine suckers and blistering flame geysers. The cavities covered its humanoid torso and continued across its quad set of wings and its snake like body. Scores of corpses clad in moth eaten silk and faded lace were scattered at its feet or stuffed into its numberless maws, the fallen bodies of Siclemaus’ noble class, devoured in their last holdfast.

Love this opening description at the chapter’s start. It’s nasty, evocative and creative.

Hunting packs of Fury’s swarmed around the daemon lord, part honor guard and part ablative armor. Scores of Chaos Marines filled the top floors of the hive spire, their armor showing the black of Abaddon’s legions and the heraldries of a dozen minor warbands. Blood drenched their battered armor and their bolter’s muzzles were still blackened from the killshots fired at Siclemaus’ last defenders.

‘Killshots’ should be hyphenated. Also, writing the kill shots were fired seems a bit clumsy, as we know they were fired. Perhaps ‘from the kill-shots cruelly gifted to the last of Siclemaus’ defenders’? Incidentally, cool world name.


‘Are they still yelling that?’ Weyne asked the one eyed Angus with his bubbling flammer. Even two miles from the spire the chanting was audible over the sounds of hive war.

‘Helps them remember who they’re working for I figure,’ grunted the heavy set Astartes.

‘Quiet,’ hissed Tyme, ‘The warp pigs will hear you.’


Oh how I wish I could write dialogue as uncluttered and effective as you do. I always have trouble with especially opening dialogue. But you do it flawlessly here; a hint of humour, and it rapidly establishes who the focus has shifted to. Excellent.

The younger Marines’ banter annoyed him; it reminded him of himself at that age too much, talking with dead friends.

Old Breed units were disembarking from the skies cleared by their EMP blasts, landing valkyries on rooftops and crashing heavy lander units onto the hive roads to disgorge armored columns. Myrmidon heavy tanks rumbled out to pulverize chaos units with their heavy las weaponry, while Gorgon assault carriers ground platoons of beastman infantry to chunks under their steel tracks. Disciplined fire teams were gunning down their mutant foes, while behind them mobile artillery pieces were set up and soon added their own fire to the fight.

A Beastman pack leader, oozing pus from a dozen open sores leapt at Tyme, who absentmindedly decapitated it with a short swing of his spear. His mind was on grander subjects and he allowed his guardian squad to gun down the rest of the blood mad pack. Weyne finally unsheathed his power falchion and with it piled a grand heap of skulls. Angus burned many to screaming cinders with his flamer, fire erupting from the skull mounted at its tip. The beastmen were poor foes, armed with rebar clubs and jagged steel. But worse was soon to come.[/quote]
Competant action, emphasising how outclassed the beastmen are. The phrase’ grander subjects’ seems weird to me. Might I suggest ‘subjects of greater import’?

The squad cut through trash filled alleyways and deserted tenements, their owners dead from the famines that had gripped the world after the fall of the Old Imperium. In an abandoned factory, great hammers still fell onto an empty assembly line, the rubber treadmills long since pounded to dust. A massive fire fight between an Old Breed infantry battalion and a squad of Black Legionaries supported by a legion of fanatical serf-spawns took place in a burning warehouse holding an entire lance of inactivated Knights. The ancient war machines’ flaking paint was scorched by lasburns and bolter wounds and their guns hung useless, the wires powering them long since gnawed away by rat-snakes.


Love these descriptions!

…..

‘Open the gate,’ said the skull faced Astarte in a voice like thunder.

‘Don’t’ began Gwain to his militiamen.

‘Do it, or I will tear them off their hinges and hang everyone inside for a chaos worshipper,’ roared the hulking space marine. The great mace in his hand crackled with lightning and Gwain had no doubt he would make good on the threat. His armor was thick enough and heavy enough that the lieutenant doubted his auto rifle would even dent it.

No harm in trying.

The gun chattered, sending its clip of bullets screaming into the flame symbol emblazoned upon the Astartes breast plate. Heavy lead slugs bounced harmlessly off the Ceramite, leaving only scratches behind.

‘Brave,’ laughed the Space Marine, ‘take his hand. The left one.’

One of the other Fire Beasts fired once, the boltshell blowing off Gwain’s arm at the elbow. He collapsed, the pain delayed for a moment as his body tried to comprehend what had happened. Someone tried to put a tourniquet on his arm, before the Astartes swarmed over the top of the wall. They moved like apes, hauling themselves up the bastion wall with loose, easy movements that soon saw the squad at the top of the rampart.


A good expression of the matter-of fact brutality of the Fire beasts. I like it.

A few militiaman fired rifles and these the Fire Beast knocked the weapon from, shattering bones to splinters in the process.

A clumsy sentence. Re-phrase I’d suggest.

‘Cowards, how I hate them,’ said the commanding post-human, the talons on his left hand pressing against Gwain’s stump. They activated and the Lieutenant screamed as his flesh sizzled and cauterized.

‘Tell your soldiers to drop their weapons boy,’ the Chaplain commanded, ‘and rouse your civilians from down below. They’re the Chapter’s now.’


A good point to have the chapter break.

Very few criticisms. All seems good.
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Re: Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby Gaius Marius » Sat Sep 17, 2011 5:18 am

Chapter 4:

Raging streams of bolt fire struck the ascended Astartes, the explosive bolts pinging off its rock hard pseudo-real flesh. Terminators brought assault cannon to bear, releasing thousands of small caliber shells into the Chaos Lord. Flamers shot blazing promethium onto its carapace, leaving the giant flaming as it slammed into the Astartes ranks.

Wallace stepped forwards, his Terminators forming a living wall at his flanks. Wards built into the Librarian Captain’s armor lit up as mental pyrotechnics flickered across his shell and claymore. Bolts of psychic fire shaped like dragon skulls slammed into Buchlein’s face, sending streams of molten proto-flesh running down its barrel chest. The Chaos Warlord continued on regardless, its serpentine body zigzagging as it dodged most of the Astartes fire.

Buchlein’s mouth’s opened, hundreds of them emitting hideous black smoke that rapidly gained consistency and shot at the Fire Beasts in the shape of a great bat. Wallace locked trapped the projection in a cage of fire, visibly struggling to keep it controlled. The daemon took the opportunity to pounce, but was met with the inexorable advance of twenty Terminators.

The 1st Company Veterans formed a circle of steel and armorplas around the monster, their relic weapons hammering it from every angle. Boarding pikes, thunder hammers, power tridents and two handed claymores raised and fell in sickening rhythm, scattering black ichors across the scarred square. One lumbering giant ducked underneath the swing of the Chaos Lord’s talons to plant its chain fist into Buchlein’s torso, only for something on the inside of the Daemon to seize his muscle-bound arm and pull the Terminator into the daemon’s abdomen.

Astartes blood, bright crimson and stinking of chemicals, vomiting from Buchlein’s hundred mouths, coating the attack Terminators and painting the ground red. Shapes arose from the gore: tentacles, briars and claws. They set about the Fire Beasts, distracting them and freeing the corrupted Astartes from his tormentors. Buchlein made for Tyme, sensing the presence of the Fire Beast’s commander.

As the Serpent made for the First Bull, Tyme spoke four words.

‘Assault Squad Arc,’ rasped the Chapter Master, ‘now.’

Eight Fire Beasts fell from the sky at speeds far in excess of terminal velocity. Over six tons of Ceramite, plassteel and gene-bulked muscle hit Buchlein at a velocity high enough to gut a battle tank. The Daemon was stunned for a moment at the trauma dealt to its flesh, enough for the Space Marines to set about it with chain blade and bolt pistol. Expert killers, the Assault Squad carved through Buchlein’s flesh like butcher’s against dead meat.

Dazed and battered, the daemon recoiled, its limbs slashing out to kill two of the attacking Space Marines, warp-bound claws cutting through their MKVII armor like tissue paper. Another was seized by Buchlein’s tail in bone crushing embrace and lived just long enough to activate his melta bombs, the resulting explosion evaporating a third of the Chaos general’s tail. The daemon screamed in pain and charged forwards, flashing talons killing three more of the Assault Marines as it broke free.

With a horrible cry that was part scream and part howl, the Chapter's attack animals pounced.The beasts lacked the control and skill of their masters, but the genetic aberrations possessed a berserk fury that few post-humans could match. Like terrier’s swarming a bull, the smaller monsters attacked the larger one, their jaws latching onto Buchlein’s limbs as the daemon counter attacked. Wallace’s creatures lasted only a few minutes before the daemon destroyed them with soul fire and rending talon, but they delayed the creature long enough for the Terminators to catch up to it.

Wallace matched Buchlein psychic might to psychic might, the air flickering with warp lightning and psychic fire. The Terminators replicated their earlier assault, power weaponry making a mess of the daemons’ already battered hide. For several minutes they hammered on the Chaos Lord, finally knocking it to the ground. Wallace approached, carrying a silvered stake emblazoned with a score of holy symbols. He jammed it into the monster’s flesh and raised a ceremonial hammer to affix it to the ground when it sprang upwards and sent the Terminator Librarian flying.

Berserk with pain and fury, the daemon shattered the Terminator line, decapitating one of the elite marines and melting two others with warp-spawned heat. Once again it rushed Tyme, with only the Chapter Master’s bodyguards left to stop it.

Angus hit the daemon with fire, coating it in blazing promethium as the juggernaut spun him aside. Seljuk, one eyed and furious slammed a mace into the creature’s claw, shattering the arachnid appendage and receiving a bone shattering tail swipe for his effort. Korrigan slashed at the daemon’s tail with rending claws as it writhed around him, spewing gastric acids that ate away at his armor. Weyne hit the creature hard, his falchion moving in a blur as he hit Buchlein a dozen blows, each hard enough to kill an Astarte outright. The daemon’s talons swung at him and twice the Guardian Marine blocked the swipes, only for the third to tear open his chest armor in a welter of blood.

One by one, Tyme’s Guardian squad had engaged the ascended Chaos Marine and one by one they had failed.

Buchlein turned to the remaining Fire Beast, its hundred mouths grinning and spoke.

‘You’re soul is mine little Astartes,’ boasted the Daemon, ‘just as my kind devoured Terra and wore your Emperor’s corpse as a mask, so I shall lead my armies using your slaughtered frame, while your soul watches its carcass twitch at my command.’

‘You are a pathetic mewling thing,’ replied Tyme, leaning calmly on his partisan and showing no sign of concern at the towering Chaos Lord, ‘You followed a Primarch into heresy because you could not think for yourself and warped your own body into a horror through your own excess. You are an idiotic, power worshipping fool and prey fit only for my youngest children to test their toy weapons against or for old men to use in their daily exercises.’

Buchlein roared with all of his mouths, spewing hate and acidic vomit. He blazed forwards, only for Tyme’s pole arm to take him in the shoulder. Although not a throwing weapon, the partisan was expertly placed and severed the partially existent nerves controlling the Chaos Lord’s right limb. The pain Buchlein felt slowed his rampage down enough for Weyne to tackle his Chapter Master out of the Daemon’s charge.

Although still bleeding from his earlier wound, the younger Space Marine was up while Tyme was still climbing to his arthritic knees, massive falchion slashing against Buchlein’s slimy hide. Weyne showed rare skill and fierce determination to protect his charge, pressing every advantage against the daemon. He was constantly inside Buchlein’s guard physically and inside his decision making process mentally: dodging every counter, blocking every riposte and punctuating every move with a hideous slash of the power weapon.

Roaring in frustration, Buchlein gathered his entire bulk and sprang forwards at his tormentor. Weyne managed to dodge enough that he was only knocked to the ground instead of crushed, but he was still too far from Tyme to save his lord. The ascended Black Legionnaire raised one massive talon high and swung with steel cracking force.

A massive claw caught Buchlein’s blow. It was equal to the daemon’s in size, yet made of Ceramite and adamantine and covered in purity seals and scenes of war and trickery. Another lightning claw slammed into Buchlein’s chest, cracking pseudo-ribs and seizing a hold of his polluted flesh. The Dreadnought, jet black and hulking, pulled. For a moment Buchlein’s shoulder held, but then it popped from its socket with a sickening crack. The entombed Fire Beast was not satisfied however and continued pulling until the entire limb had been ripped clean from the torso in a rush of gore.

‘Stop Ancient,’ said Tyme as the Dreadnought raised one limb for another blow.

It ignored him and crashed a right hook into the daemon’s skull, splattering teeth from three of its mouths across the soil. Talons rose high for a killing blow.

‘Stop,’ commanded Tyme once again.

‘Stop Douglas.’
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Re: Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby Gaius Marius » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:23 am

Chapter 5: Bloody Trail

Captain-Librarian Wallace affixed nine stakes into the prone Buchlein’s flesh. They were made from purest silver and inscribed with nine litanies against corruption each, an unbreakable bond to the material realm. With the three other Librarians that still survived in the Fire Beast’s service, Wallace drew out a circle of banishment designed to suck the ascended Space Marine back into the warp. With the chastised and silent Ancient Douglas guarding the staked daemon, Buchlein was left to be ripped between material and immaterial for as long as the Beasts did desire.

Apothecaries set up a rudimentary morgue and aid station in the war scarred square. Twenty nine Fire Beasts had perished on Siclemaus, their souls cast into the warp to hunt daemons and angyls for eternity. Gene-seed was removed and stored in bullet proof stasis chambers, while the more severe wounds of the Chapter were seen too. One of the white armored Beasts made a medical examination of the mob of civilians Martel had found and set about stabilizing the human’s horribly wounded leader.

Above, the void war had long been won by the time Buchlein had been brought to heel. The fleet disgorged its bulkier mass landers, filled with shipping containers, lifting-servitors and most importantly, Forge-Master Hexile and half of his contingent of Tech-Priests.

‘What are our losses in orbit?’ Tyme asked immediately to his ancient friend.

‘Three frigates of the Chapters,’ said Hexile, ‘but those were wiped out by our acquisition of four light cruisers. They’re not that good ships by any means, but they’ll serve as replacements and the crews will be loyal. I didn’t bother to count Old Breed losses, but they were no more than moderate. We caught them by surprise and hurt them badly up there. Not a single enemy ship escaped to the void’s harsh safety.

‘I am gladdened of our success,’ said Tyme, ‘capital ships are nigh but impossible to replace anymore.’

‘Too true anymore. There’s not a forge world in the sector that could repair or replace the Fiend. Not even this and this is a fine haul,’ said the arachnid Hexile, his multitude of technological eyes observing the loot his underlings were hauling in from the ruptured Hive.

‘I would have thought most of this useless,’ replied Tyme, the old man walking with the aid of his partisan. Weyne was next to him, concern on his face for his master’s pain.

‘Little of what we take here is worth repairing,’ admitted Hexile, casting an eye over truckloads of disassembled assembly lines and fossilized knights, ‘but all of it can be stripped for spare parts and replacements. We can forge a hundred suits of power armor from those knights and use the remainder to repair the new plate for a century.’

‘A century is nothing,’ said Tyme. The First Bull gazed about the ruined city, eyes flitting from entrenching Old Breed infantry to his own Astartes piling up Abaddon’s dead. His black eyes, eyes that marked him out as eternally different from his red irised brothers, seized upon the starveling refugees, terrified at the spiked Astartes handing them food.

‘Look around you Hexile,’ ordered the Chapter Master, ‘we are not guaranteed supply for the next fifty centuries the rate the galaxy is going. This is a hive world with a population fitting for an agri-planet. They’re growing crops atop their battlements for Vulkan’s sake. There’s not a damn shred of the Imperium left anymore, just mangy jackals picking over bones. Few of these people even know an Astartes as anything other than one of Abaddon’s slaves and if we do nothing more than seek resupply then that scum will be all that remains.’

‘Nihilism does not become you First Bull,’ said Hexile.

‘It is not Nihilism if there’s a plan Hexile,’ replied Tyme, ‘we must have a cause if we are to remain pure. If we wage war merely for the sake of bloodshed and materiel, then we shall degenerate into renegades and chaos worshippers within a decade.’

Martel approached the pair of officers, a walking contrast to Tyme. Where the First Bull was short, he was towering. Where Tyme was wiry, the Chaplain was as broad as a cliff face. Where Tyme’s crooked, devious mind could not conceive of anything bar a flanking maneuver, Martel was nothing but a direct, brutal battering ram in his attacks.

‘Especially when that plan is glory itself in its outcome,’ said the Chaplain, his power claw deactivated and his Crozius mace hooked at his belt.

‘The southern front was well Chaplain?’ asked Tyme

‘Nothing but Beastmen and cultists Lord,’ said Martel, ‘the real glory was here. I failed you by not being here. Recompense must be made.’

‘You went where your orders took you Chaplain,’ replied Tyme, ‘that is true glory. If you still feel a need to absolve yourself, see to the prisoners while the Librarians prepare the ritual for the captive.’

‘That is not glory First Bull,’ grinned Martel evilly behind his skull mask, ‘that is pleasure.’
…..

‘You were men once,’ harangued the Chaplain, ‘chosen by demigods to be something greater than human, to carry the torch into the darkness that threatened humanity. You failed. All of you.’

Thirty one former Sons of Horus had been captured during the battle, a tenth of their total commited force. Most of them had been pulled from the rubble of the collapsed government tower, their cracked, dingy armor testament to their fall. Others had been horribly wounded in battle or tackled to the ground by rampaging Fire Beasts. Regardless, all of them were now stripped and shackled to adamantine crucifixes and forced to listen to their captors’ speeches.

‘In his flawed judgment, the Emperor raised you up from the common clay of man, lifting you from weakness, age and mortality. And look how you have repaid him,’ sneered Martel.

The Black Legionaries stared defiance back at the Fire Beast. They had made their choices too long ago to feel regret or guilt.

‘Murderers, rapists, looters. You were made to kill man’s foes and keep humanity safe and given great power to do so,’ snarled the Fire Beast, ‘and you have abused that power. I could kill you where you hang now and you would deserve it, but releasing you to your shit gods is too clean a death for ones as you.’

Dozens of medical servitors trundled forwards on their steel tracks, whirring scalpel blades and drills in place of hands.

‘The great philosopher-soldier Xenophon once said that leaders are given great power in exchange for taking great danger upon themselves,’ said Martel, ‘but that if they fail to meet that danger then they must have their power removed.’

The chaos space marines began to struggle, although none of them yet realized the full horror of their situation.

‘We will remove that power and throw you back to mud wherein you once arose,’ smiled the Chaplain behind his horned skull helm, ‘and once your geneseed has been removed root and branch, I will make sure you live to see yourself mortal.’

…..

‘My body guard’s casualties were heavy Weyne,’ Tyme said to the sole survivor of the squad, both in the shadow of his temporary command post, ‘the next squad must be better.’

He handed the younger Astartes a dataslate, looking into Weyne’s black eyes that were so very much like his.

‘Pick ten others from the first file on there,’ ordered the First Bull, leaning back against the armored hull of his Land Raider.

‘We will not fail you again Lord,’ replied Weyne, his pale face full of determination.

‘You showed a willingness to die for me Astarte,’ said Tyme, ‘and when you find a man willing to laydown his life for you, you deny him that opportunity until it becomes necessary.’

‘I do not understand sir,’ said Weyne in a voice that reminded Tyme very much of his own. The First Bull thought for a moment, noting how few ‘whites’ there were in the ranks of the Beasts anymore and allowed himself to wonder what had happened to his own long harvested geneseed.

‘That slate has the entire combat roster for the Beasts. Currently we have a hundred and eighty scouts in comparison to two hundred and forty mature Battle Brothers. Such an imbalance cannot be tolerated any longer,’ explained Tyme, ‘take twenty Beasts from 2nd and choose a hundred of the best scouts. They’ll receive their carapace within the week. Later we can assign a squad from the 1st and a Librarian.’

‘I… thank you sir,’ said Captain Weyne, ‘I won’t let you down.’

‘I know you won’t,’ replied the First Bull, ‘it is not within your blood.’
…..
For a week, Buchlein was subjected to pyshic torture as Captain Wallace sorted through the plethora of psychic trails emanating off of him. A primarch’s scent may be strong, but millennium of evil can coat it thickly.

A hundred scouts underwent the surgeries that would mark their final transformation into Astartes. Weyne and his sergeants from 2nd Company ran them into the ground as they recovered, making sure they realized their new status would allow for no slackness of work. For the first time in a century over three hundred Beasts were ready to fight, with over eighty scouts in support and a vast number of harvested ovaries and sperm ready to replace and reinforce them.

Hexile labored in the forges aboard the Chapter’s captured Demiurge Citadel vessel,Dreadsmith. Deep in the factory-vessels bowels, a lance of knights and captured stocks of Ceramite, adamantine and plassteel were converted into a company’s worth of gleaming power armor, chattering bolt weapons and razor sharp falchions. In orbit about him, the handful of Harrismont ships that had survived the orbital battle were integrated into the fleet, with Astartes observers/captors left aboard them.

Far below on Siclemaus, the survivors Martel had ‘saved’ were brought into the ranks of the chapter serfs. The few soldiers became low ranking guardsmen, save for their commander who was fitted with a cloned limb and allowed to retain his rank. Civilians became cooks, janitors, technicians, anything the Chapter had use for. Some of the youngest male children were inducted into the early stages of Astartes training. Some of them might survive. Most importantly, each of the civilians was capable of giving forth fresh gametes that could be grown into fresh, pure Astartes free of any taint.

The medical servitors finished with their gruesome surgeries, leaving the Black Legion warriors semi-human, pain ridden wrecks in half-mortal bodies. They were strung up for a week as Martel allowed the Hive’s jubilant citizens to pelt them with rocks and garbage. Their own wildly out of sync metabolisms consumed them within an hour of being cut down from the crosses.

Tyme had just finished negotiations with the Old Breed marshal commanding the Sorax Imperium’s forces. For their services, the Beasts had been rewarded with hundreds of bolters, heavy weapons and Imperial Guard standard tanks, not counting huge quantities of fuel and ore.

‘I have it,’ said Wallace, the huge Terminator appearing out of no where with his red eyes alight.

‘Where does it lead?’ asked Tyme, his attention immediately peaked.

‘Vulkan’s trail leads to a bloody place, a site of a million battles between the Imperium and its ancient foes. A place of red sand and twisted manufactories where war never dies and hope has no place,’ said Wallace.

‘Cadia,’ he finished, ‘Vulkan has gone to Cadia.’
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Re: Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby LordLucan » Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:59 pm

Oooooh! Loving these last two parts. I like your style. Removing all the Black Legionnaire's astartes organs? Awesomely cruel!

And you head for Dark Cadia... oh this is going to be sweet. I trust you will depict the triumphant Despoiler and his Despoiled with the same flair and skill you've shown elsewhere.

Brilliant stuff.
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Re: Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby Colonel Mustard » Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:14 pm

This, Gaius, is why 40K is awesome.

You have a band of psychotic superhumans. They maim people on their side, torture and mutilate captured prisoners, are close-minded religious fanatics, are near-berserkers and currently living off scavenged technology stolen from fairly innocuous worlds. They kill their enemies in the most brutal fashions possible, and are effectively barbarians. If you met one of them, you'd probably walk away maimed, terrified or dead. And compared to what they're up against, you've got no choice but to accept that they're the good guys.

And this is why this story and the Fire Beasts are great, because they bring what is absolutely fantastic about 40K to the fore. And now I must ask for more, because this is brilliant.
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Re: Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby Gaius Marius » Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:36 pm

Colonel Mustard wrote:This, Gaius, is why 40K is awesome.

You have a band of psychotic superhumans. They maim people on their side, torture and mutilate captured prisoners, are close-minded religious fanatics, are near-berserkers and currently living off scavenged technology stolen from fairly innocuous worlds. They kill their enemies in the most brutal fashions possible, and are effectively barbarians. If you met one of them, you'd probably walk away maimed, terrified or dead. And compared to what they're up against, you've got no choice but to accept that they're the good guys.

And this is why this story and the Fire Beasts are great, because they bring what is absolutely fantastic about 40K to the fore. And now I must ask for more, because this is brilliant.


:D

Oh there will be more. :twisted:
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Re: Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby Tyrant » Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:37 pm

*delurks*

I have been reading this since the beginning but with typical rubbishness have not commented until now. What can I say, but awesome. Really like how far the Fire Beasts have fallen in order to survive, yet even in the darkness of 50K they are still surviving and still working for something greater than themselves. Excellent stuff.
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Re: Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby LordLucan » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:02 pm

Incidentally, I am loving how all these ficitons are budding off from 50K/60K. You guys are really turning this into soemthing special imo. I love how you are filling in the yawning chasms I have left in the setting. You guys are really adding a literary flare and life to the setting; you're showing how it'd be to live in such times. I can't tell you how humbled I am by your contributions. It almost feels like a vast group story.
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Re: Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby Gaius Marius » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:58 pm

LordLucan wrote:Incidentally, I am loving how all these ficitons are budding off from 50K/60K. You guys are really turning this into soemthing special imo. I love how you are filling in the yawning chasms I have left in the setting. You guys are really adding a literary flare and life to the setting; you're showing how it'd be to live in such times. I can't tell you how humbled I am by your contributions. It almost feels like a vast group story.


The expansion of Post-Imperial literature is something awesome. I'd say that in some ways its the best possible type of a group story. Its cooperative in many respects, but there's no chance that someone being off a post could throw off the whole momentum of the story and there's no need to wait for turns. At some point I'd like to do a slightly more cooperative group story within your awesome 60K setting but that will have to wait a little while.
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Re: Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby Colonel Mustard » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:57 pm

Gaius Marius wrote:
LordLucan wrote:Incidentally, I am loving how all these ficitons are budding off from 50K/60K. You guys are really turning this into soemthing special imo. I love how you are filling in the yawning chasms I have left in the setting. You guys are really adding a literary flare and life to the setting; you're showing how it'd be to live in such times. I can't tell you how humbled I am by your contributions. It almost feels like a vast group story.


The expansion of Post-Imperial literature is something awesome. I'd say that in some ways its the best possible type of a group story. Its cooperative in many respects, but there's no chance that someone being off a post could throw off the whole momentum of the story and there's no need to wait for turns. At some point I'd like to do a slightly more cooperative group story within your awesome 60K setting but that will have to wait a little while.

Seconded.

I've got to say, the expansive mythos you've created here is quite excellent and is, I think, essentially the 40K fanfiction in miniature; lots of people writing stories that don't necessarily overlap, but are all set in one similar setting with an overarching story and canon. If anything, I'd say this was a free-roaming RPG with all the characters going different ways and doing different things, and LL as the GM.

Come to think of it, a game of Deathwatch or Dark Heresy in this setting would be insane...
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Re: Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:48 pm

Agreed. I am really liking writing Sons of Corax, and I've begun to read Shadow Fire too.

This stuff is addicting :D
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Re: Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby Gaius Marius » Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:51 am

Here we go some more. A little bit of reminiscing here.

Chapter 6: Memories, For the Emperor

Loyal Fiend, never before had that name rang more true.

An Oberon class Battleship, a millennium old killer of near unparalleled lethality and the home of the Beasts for more than eight thousand years. Constant, endless war and haphazard repairs had rendered the flying fortress monastery into a unique maze of serrated gun turrets and ruined architecture, a void-born slab of gristle bristling with fire power. Thousands of crew deaths aboard her had warped her machine spirit, turning the Mechanicum forged machine-mind into something dark and twisted. It was not safe for mortals to walk aboard her anymore and with the departure of the Tech-Marines to the alien marvel that was Dreadsmith only a few hundred Astartes and thousands of corpselike servitors inhabited the kilometers of malevolent ghost ship.

Tyme walked through the warship’s long, twisting hallways as the Fiendhurtled through the warp, dragging the rest of the fleet behind it. The lights flickered on the old Astartes as he entered the catacombs deep in the ship’s bowels. His warscarred gauntlet brushed against an immense adamantine door, painted dark green and emblazoned with a scarlet capital A. At his touch the portal shuttered, grinding open on ancient, barely maintained gears with a complaining whine.

‘Do not complain to me of your age old girl,’ said the First Bull to the ship as he entered the tombs, ‘it is not my fault you insist on trying to kill any mortal on board. If you can run your guns and shields on your own, you should be able to send a servitor to oil some damn gears.’

Petulantly, the doors snapped shut behind him, kicking up a short gust of wind that set the First Bull’s cape of shedding Traitor Astartes scalps rustling against his red and green armor. The lights in this section of the ship had burned out years ago, leaving it in total blackness that not even an Astartes’ vision could penetrate.

‘Prey-sight’ murmured Tyme to his helmet, the warplate’s own, vastly simpler and non-corrupted spirit responding by throwing up a thermal display of the outside across his cloudy retinas.

The Ancients' chamber was even more deserted than the rest of the Fiend. Dozens of Servitors hung slackly against a wall, their leathery flesh drawn taunt against their steel implants as they waited for commands from the vault’s sole inhabitant. A dozen cells were embedded in the dodecahedron walls, each one of them six meters high and six meters wide. Each chamber was empty, the doors hanging wide and only ancient oil stains as evidence to their former inhabitants. Seperating each stasis alcove were murals of the Beasts in action and their progenitor Vulkan in holy battle. In the center of the catacombs stood a single pillar, its thirty foot height stretching into the ceilings and the only door open.

Once this pillar had housed Ak’Dain Greer, the savior of the Fire Beasts after the Arcas Waagh had driven them from their original home world in the distant days of the 37th Millennium. The ancient had fallen for good on Hestamand, he and all the other Dreadnaughts dying as part of the Black Douglas’ greatest plot.

Save for Douglas himself.

‘I missed you after the battle old friend,’ Tyme said to the silent, brooding fusion of Astartes and war machine.

The Ancient said nothing, merely whirring on well oiled bearings to face its former soldier.

‘Your catching Buchlein’s arm was quite fortuitous,’ said Tyme, ‘he would have smashed me if you had not intervened.’

Douglas’ silence was deafening.

‘I am not as fast as I once was,’ admitted the First Bull, with a bit of pain in his raspy voice, ‘Once I was fast, the fastest blade in the entire Chapter. But, I am old Douglas. So very, very old it pains me. My eyes grow dim and my bones brittle, my muscles weaken and my joints scream in agony. I am a Space Marine, a Beast of the Fire, Vulkan’s dark fury made manifest. I should not have had to become an old man. Death should have claimed me thousands of years ago.’

Douglas, centuries older than Tyme, but ageless within his adamantine shell said nothing. His talons, for now bare of their lethal energy fields, flexed.

‘Today I made a count,’ continued Tyme, ‘a count of every active Fire Beast, his age and birth place. Only five of us are left that remember the Old Imperium as anything but a story. Hexile I barely recognize anymore in face or bearing, I do not know if there is anything of Hexile left inside his metal implants. Is my friend dead? Did his body and soul join Gilead and Phineas and Mehmet in the beyond? You haven’t spoken a word for centuries. MacCallister, well we both know about him. And Martel, I fear for him. He is as old as I, yet vital through his faith. But what is he worshipping now? He has forgotten the dead Emperor and speaks only of Vulkan now. Does he worship his Primarch as a god? Should he? Should I?’

Tyme looked at his metal gauntlets, picturing the pale skin beneath them and the jet black eyes he viewed them with.

‘Can I?’

‘You know of the secret curse in our blood,’ Tyme told the half-dead Douglas, ‘how Greer in his desperation looted the corpses of fallen Night Lords and introduced the taint of Kruze into our ranks. How that hurt us with Jacquefre’s treachery, the blood we spilled to hunt him down. I remember how we found him at last and Night Lord gore coated our armor. And I remember how some small voice in my head whispered that I was butchering my true brothers even as I swung my spear.’

Douglas stepped forth from the alcove, towering over the comparatively diminutive Tyme.

‘The younger ones,’ continued the First Bull, ‘they look up to me. They worship me like some kind of god, even as I spread the taint through them. I could triple our numbers with the captured Geneseed we’ve cut from traitors and stored in the hospital. But I don’t, even as I let the apothecaries implant Night Lord Geneseed into their bodies. Would Weyne have saved my life if he knew I’d let the chapter’s flesh smiths cut the corrupt progenoids from my throat and implanted them in his?’

Douglas’ left power claw uncleanched, its razor sharp blades lowering to each side of Tyme’s helmet, framing the First Bull’s skull in a triangular arch of death.

‘Since you fell I’ve lead them through horror and death, most of it inflicted by the Chapter itself. To give them purpose I fell upon the idea of finding Vulkan, the Primarch’s cruelest sons being the ones to bring him back to the galaxy. Through thousands of years of mercenary work and brutal, punitive raids we’ve chased ghosts of clues and rumors of hermits as we rebuilt our strength. Even now the Beasts are a fraction of what we were and I lead them to Cadia itself.’

Steel claws fitted tightly around Tyme’s head, scrapping paint from his helm and gently putting pressure on his skull.

‘But my worst fear isn’t that we won’t find him,’ said Tyme, ‘it’s that we will. That we will and Vulkan will reject us. The stories tell that he was the kindest of the Primarchs, the one who cared for its people above all else. In comparison to the Salamanders or even the Sons of Thunder we’re little more than butchers, living only to deal out terror and slaughter to our enemies. Vulkan was a blacksmith and we were little more than marauders, even during the Imperium’s reign our reputation for brutality was well known. How could Vulkan trust us? How could He love us?’

The dreadnaught turned away from Tyme, stomping silently towards one of the catacomb’s walls. Mechandrites snaked out from Douglas’ metal frame, flash lamps sparking into life from their heads. Their light brought to life a mural, an artwork of masterful skill showing Vulkan’s first battle against the Dark Eldar. The Primarch stood atop a mound of Eldar dead, his blacksmith’s apron and hammers blood soaked and his red eyes shining. In the fore of the painting a flock of fae marauders fled, terror evident in their eyes.

‘Thank you Douglas,’ said Tyme, getting the message the mute warrior conveyed, ‘even at his earliest Vulkan understood the strength of fear. Inciting terror into one’s foes is a virtue, not a vice. My heart is easier.’

Silent as a ghost in life, the near-dead Douglas stomped back towards his alcove with ground shaking force.

‘Thank you First Bull,’ Tyme said again, ‘and I am sorry, that I could not save you.’

……

Many centuries earlier….

‘You have run out of room little Astartes,’ said the Tyrant, an errant blow from his claws following the statement.

Douglas blocked the swipe from the power claws, just as he had the eighteen blows before this one. His claymore shuddered in his hands, its powerfield sparking from contact with the foe’s weapon and his back knocked into the wall of the fortress monastery behind him. Before him, the Tyrant raised a cybernetic palm of daemon flesh and iron and unleashed a gout of purple hellfire at the Fire Beast commander. The First Bull ducked under most of it, but in the second it took for his autosenses to douse the flare across his vision, Huron Blackheart shoved three feet of warp energized steel through his breast.

Blood jetted from the wounds and Douglas’ mouth, rich Astartes gore dribbling through the grill of his face plate. With an effortless shrug of his Terminator plate, the Tyrant of Badab raised the wriggling Space Marine high and tossed him to the ground. Blackheart’s Ceramite boot crashed down onto Douglas’ ruined chest, crunching ribs and the Chapter Master’s primary heart. Three tons of bionic implants and withered flesh, the Lord of the Eastern Chaos Imperium stomped downwards again and again.

‘You could not run forever, not from a superior force,’ spoke Huron nonchalantly, ‘and although your cunning is greater than the other former slaves to the dead Emperor, you only have so many tricks. You led one of my fleets into a black sun, trapped an entire chapter’s worth of Astartes under a billion tones of rock and rubble and burned my infiltrators alive by tricking them into the heart of this fortress’ plasma chambers. But now you have run out of strategies.’

Huron’s bodyguard of eight Red Corsairs Terminators laughed, the hideous giggle of sycophants at their master’s latest triumph. Behind them were the sounds of destruction as ten thousand Chaos Marines overran the last defenses of the Beast’s fortress monastery. Douglas wheezed something at the Tyrant’s feet, dying words so faint as to be inaudible even to a Chaos Marine warped through surgery, sorcery and machinery. Silencing his warriors’ with a hiss, Huron focused all of his attention on Douglas’ bleeding words.

‘I said,’ gasped Douglas, ‘that I had one more left.’

Long schooled in trickery and deceit, Huron leapt backwards as far as his bulky Terminator suit allowed, expecting some suicide bombardment of melta charges. Instead of carrying him to safety, the leap allowed him to catch some of the heat wave generated by a plasma cannon firing through one of the crumbling fortress walls. A dreadnaught stepped through the shattered brickwork and two smoldering Terminators, its green and red bulk covered in purity signs and its autocannon and plasma cannon cycling fresh ammunition.

The Terminator closest to Huron exploded into a flash of gore from one of the enormous shells the Dreadnaught spat out. Fire Beasts were pouring from hidden gantries and passages, overwhelming the Terminator vanguard. One of the loyalist Astartes, smaller than the others fell from the ceiling bearing a spear that plunged straight through the skull of one of the Tyrant’s body guards.

As Tyme twisted his partisan into the traitor marine’s brainpan, he glimpsed his commander lying dead at the Blackheart’s feet. A mind normally given to ambuscade and trickery was overwhelmed by rage and he leapt from the dying Terminator’s shoulders, straight down into the Tyrant’s chest. Tyme was far smaller than his opponent and had only a hastily drawn knife in comparison to Huron’s fearsome weaponry, but he was enraged, young and oh so very fast.

He hit the Chaos Lord in the chest with an elbow, flying over his opponent’s slowly raising arms. Tyme’s knife flashed twice, slicing the carotid arteries on each side of Huron Blackheart’s neck. He changed his grip and stabbed upwards, driving the point through the top of his foe’s skull. Tyme spat acid into the eternally dying collection of flesh and cybernetic parts that was the Tyrant of Badab’s face and turned to see that Ancient Charles and the remnants of 2nd Company had finished off the squad of bodyguards.

‘Charles,’ rasped Tyme, the wound to the throat he had taken against the new devourer still fresh on his throat, ‘take him to the Thunderhawk bays. MacCallister will clear the blockade soon and we will hold them off till then.’

‘Doubtful Captain,’ replied the irascible ancient, ‘my arthritis is playing up again. I don’t think I can walk fast enough, so you’ll have to carry him out. This hallway seems a very nice place to die.’

‘Staying here means death Ancient one,’ said Tyme to his friend, ‘are you sure of this?’

‘I died a thousand years ago child,’ said Charles, the ancient flesh inside the armor smiling, ‘now I think it is time for me to leave this limbo and drag some of the Black Heart’s traitors to hell with me. Make sure they know my story in the years to come.’

Tyme and his last few squads departed, carrying the dying Chapter Master with them towards the awaiting flocks of gunships in the hangars.

‘And Tyme,’ said Charles as they fled, ‘whatever happens remember, the Beasts can be rebuilt. What is destroyed returns, more savage than before.’

The last combat squads passing him, Charles awaited the Tyrant’s pursuing soldiery. He planted one multi-ton steel leg onto Huron’s busily regenerating corpse, pinning the immortal chaos marine to the ground. The Ancient’s weapons cycled fresh ammunition into their chambers and his loud speakers spoke out his death message.

‘Slave-fodder of the Tyrant,’ yelled the Dreadnaught, ‘my name is Charles Alacant, once First Bull of the Fire Beasts and Master of the Ancients. I have slain your kind for a thousand years and more, piling your gene-fathers’ heads before the Emperor’s altars. Hear my words and know that you are trapped and doomed. This place is no hallowed hall, but merely an empty hole in the mountains. Our Fortress-Monastary is in the stars and even now Loyal Fiend comes to make a butchery of your fleet. Know that you have shed your blood for nothing and that even now my brother’s escape to make your sacrifice meaningless. Your lord and master is pinned beneath my feet, beaten by First Bull Douglas in a battle of wits so grand that the Tyrant of Badab did not even recognize he was engaged in it. Come now and face me, try and save your mongrel lord and earn his thanks. I am Charles Alacant and I WILL BEST YOU!’

And thus, in an empty, meaningless fortress did Ancient Charles die, his foes falling by the score, his weapons roaring and the raging Huron Blackheart, Tyrant of Badab and Lord of the Maelstrom pinned helpless at his feet.
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Re: Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby Colonel Mustard » Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:47 am

"I'M CHARLIE, AND I'M GOING TO RUIN YOUR DAY!"

An excellent part there, Gaius; the Loyal Fiend getting as twisted as the Fire Beasts was a very nice touch, and Tyme's little speech was both quite moving and a very strong way of showing just how hard the Beasts are finding things. And then you had the flashback, which was epic. Poor old Charles... :(


See, you're doing this thing where you kill of all the minor characters I like, Gaius. I haven't accidentally offended you some time in the past, have I? :P
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Re: Shadow Fire : 50K

Postby Gaius Marius » Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:18 am

Colonel Mustard wrote:"I'M CHARLIE, AND I'M GOING TO RUIN YOUR DAY!"

An excellent part there, Gaius; the Loyal Fiend getting as twisted as the Fire Beasts was a very nice touch, and Tyme's little speech was both quite moving and a very strong way of showing just how hard the Beasts are finding things. And then you had the flashback, which was epic. Poor old Charles... :(


See, you're doing this thing where you kill of all the minor characters I like, Gaius. I haven't accidentally offended you some time in the past, have I? :P


Well there's one guy who isn't quite dead I think you'll enjoy :lol:
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