Suffer Not the Mutant. Final part Posted

Got some current fan fiction? 40k, WFB, Age of Sigmar and all other fiction is to be found here.

Suffer Not the Mutant. Final part Posted

Postby Squiggle » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:51 pm

FOR THE SPACE Marines of the Black Dragons 5th Company the war began like so many others. It began amongst the foetid marshlands of their homeworld. It began on Styx.

‘Brooding again, ancient wizard? War is brewing, I can sense it.’

Epistolary Graven Irkusk glared at the figure standing in the entrance to his tent. Captain Vizar Kyta’s black armour was dulled by grime and smoke, but Irkusk could still make out the swirling shapes of the reflected flames from his fire. He swept his mane of grey hair away from his face and scowled, leathery features creasing along well-defined age-lines.

‘Kyta!’ he replied, ‘What makes you think I have not already foreseen the outcome?’

Kyta stepped into the tent and automatically extended his hands towards the fire. Stygian nights were bitterly cold, and the action was a reflex, long since made redundant by both his power armour and his enhanced metabolism. The fire wasn’t there for heat however; Styx’s dour, miserable marshlands were occupied by vast serpentine drachnya possessed of gaping maws and poisonous fangs and fire was about the only thing that would discourage them. But even the blazing flames were no guarantee of safety and Kyta knew good men – Astartes even – who had perished guarding the camps.

‘If your foresight was that keen, you would have known I was coming and not been caught slouched over your fire like a drunken novitiate.’

Irkusk snorted and allowed a smile to soften the lines of his face. Strong, sharp yellow teeth flashed in the gloom.

‘I have already seen your fate, oafish warmaster. You will die alone and soon.’

‘As ever, brother, your kind words bring me comfort on a cold night.’

But Kyta’s feral, toothy grin faded swiftly. The words were said in jest, he thought, and yet they rang true. Deep down, the divides within the Black Dragons Chapter troubled him more than he would admit. They were sundered, tribal and on the decline. Perhaps it was time to act.

‘You are troubled.’ Irkusk said. It was not a question. The two Astartes had fought side by side for over a century, and Irkusk needed no psyker’s tricks to read Kyta’s thoughts.

‘Our triumphs have been lean of late. Our numbers fall, and more initiates than ever before are touched. I fear for our future.’

‘We are being sorely tried, yes. Our resolve, our mettle, tested.’ Irkusk replied. ‘We do the Emperor’s work, Vizar, and in his way, he offers up his own challenges.’

Irkusk got easily to his feet and plucked a crystalline vial from a rack at the foot of his cot.

‘Come. The Emperor’s word is more clearly read against a starlit sky.’

Outside, Irkusk’s breath created a cloud of steam as he surveyed the circle of tents huddled around the smouldering cooking fire. A group of scouts tended the flames, their faces blackened from the smoke. A drachnya carcass lay nearby, gutted for eating. More experienced marines, seniority quickly established by the battle honours engraved on their deep black armour, sat on khaki ammo crates and traded stories whilst performing maintenance rites on their weapons and armour.

Irkusk crouched and removed his gauntlets. The pale skin of his hands was heavily tattooed with close swirls of black and red that shifted as he flexed fingers ending in long, talon-like nails. He scraped away a thin layer of snow to create a simple hollow in the earth and emptied the contents of the vial into it. Pale blue liquid flowed from the container and created a shallow pool. Irkusk passed one hand over it and the surface surged with unnatural ripples and crackled with incandescent discharges.

Kyta squatted nearby and surveyed Irkusk over clasped hands. He briefly closed his eyes, muttering a simple litany of faith to banish the unwelcome thoughts that threatened to cloud his judgement. His scalp itched as it always did in the presence of psychic energy, and Irkusk was a fair conduit of that. Irkusk lent forwards and spat into the pool. The globule of saliva dissipated rapidly, stringy tendrils mingling with the rapidly freezing liquid.

Kyta leaned forwards, despite himself. He could never quite grasp the processes at work in this ritual; Irkusk wasn’t even looking at the pool. He was leaning backwards and staring at the stars. It was a clear night and his lips were moving as he catalogued and considered the major constellations. Purple eldritch energy coursed and sparked across his armour and the tattoos on his hands glowed white-hot. Kyta knew they would be scorching to the touch - he had made that mistake decades before - Librarian Omersik had become agitated in the midst of a divination and the young, utterly ignorant Kyta had grabbed the thrashing man’s hands to try and calm him. He still bore the scars and could still recall the acrid stink of his own scorched flesh.

Irkusk fell forwards and planted his hands in the snow either side of the hollow. There was a faint hissing sound and steam crept out between his fingers where the snow was instantly vaporised.

His head snapped up.

‘There will be a reckoning,’ he intoned, in a voice far deeper than his usual drawl.

‘There will be war.’ His right hand snapped up, first finger extended towards the sky. ‘Death will visit distant Garochete. The Reborn await us there, born on wings of hellfire, led by the Ragged Phoenix.’

Tears froze on his cheeks at the bloody massacre he foresaw.

Kyta had seen enough; the Black Dragons would wage war once again.
If my mind's the weapon, my heart's the extra clip

Forum Moderator

@sqyiggle
User avatar
Squiggle
 
Posts: 1059
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:18 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK


Re: Suffer Not the Mutant. Part 1.

Postby Obscura Boy » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:39 pm

Hi Squig! Couldn't help but notice a lack of comment-age on this snippet, so I thought I'd take the first crack at it.

‘Brooding again, ancient wizard? War is brewing, I can sense it.’

Epistolary Graven Irkusk glared at the figure standing in the entrance to his tent. Captain Vizar Kyta’s black armour was dulled by grime and smoke, but Irkusk could still make out the swirling shapes of the reflected flames from his fire. He swept his mane of grey hair away from his face and scowled, leathery features creasing along well-defined age-lines.

‘Kyta!’ he replied, ‘What makes you think I have not already foreseen the outcome?’


I feel like this opening exchange could be sharpened up a little bit. Since Kyta's first line of dialogue contains two separate and distinct thoughts - his greeting to Irkusk, followed by his sense of foreboding - I think it would make more sense to split it up, perhaps by placing the second sentence after the descriptive paragraph. I feel like it would make his first remark a bit more snappy.

In addition, this may just be a personal preference, but I think that having Irkusk address Kyta by name feels a bit stiff and, again, slows things down a touch.

‘If your foresight was that keen, you would have known I was coming and not been caught slouched over your fire like a drunken novitiate.’

Irkusk snorted and allowed a smile to soften the lines of his face. Strong, sharp yellow teeth flashed in the gloom.

‘I have already seen your fate, oafish warmaster. You will die alone and soon.’

‘As ever, brother, your kind words bring me comfort on a cold night.’


I really like this exchange. It gives both characters a touch of humour and humanity that is often so lacking in Astartes, and establishes their relationship really nicely.

But Kyta’s feral, toothy grin faded swiftly. The words were said in jest, he thought, and yet they rang true. Deep down, the divides within the Black Dragons Chapter troubled him more than he would admit. They were sundered, tribal and on the decline. Perhaps it was time to act.


There's something about that last sentence that makes me think it should go. I think it's a little on-the-nose, whilst also being a bit of a cliché.

‘You are troubled.’ Irkusk said. It was not a question. The two Astartes had fought side by side for over a century, and Irkusk needed no psyker’s tricks to read Kyta’s thoughts.


I don't think you need the 'It was not a question', since it's obvious enough from the lack of a question mark, and all this sentence really does is point out that Irkusk knows Kyta really well, which you do a better job of explaining in the following sentence.

Outside, Irkusk’s breath created a cloud of steam as he surveyed the circle of tents huddled around the smouldering cooking fire. A group of scouts tended the flames, their faces blackened from the smoke. A drachnya carcass lay nearby, gutted for eating. More experienced marines, seniority quickly established by the battle honours engraved on their deep black armour, sat on khaki ammo crates and traded stories whilst performing maintenance rites on their weapons and armour.


This passage sets the scene really nicely, but it also raises some questions for me. What is a force of Marines doing camped out in the marshes of their own homeworld? Are they hunting drachnya? Undertaking training exercises? Just chillin'? ;) I understand these details aren't necessarily important to the story as a whole, but since you're giving us this little intro-y section it'd be nice to have more of an idea what these Marines are up to when Irkusk receives his vision. Otherwise it feels like they're just hanging around waiting for the plot to begin.

Irkusk crouched and removed his gauntlets. The pale skin of his hands was heavily tattooed with close swirls of black and red that shifted as he flexed fingers ending in long, talon-like nails. He scraped away a thin layer of snow to create a simple hollow in the earth and emptied the contents of the vial into it. Pale blue liquid flowed from the container and created a shallow pool. Irkusk passed one hand over it and the surface surged with unnatural ripples and crackled with incandescent discharges.

Kyta squatted nearby and surveyed Irkusk over clasped hands. He briefly closed his eyes, muttering a simple litany of faith to banish the unwelcome thoughts that threatened to cloud his judgement. His scalp itched as it always did in the presence of psychic energy, and Irkusk was a fair conduit of that. Irkusk lent forwards and spat into the pool. The globule of saliva dissipated rapidly, stringy tendrils mingling with the rapidly freezing liquid.

Kyta leaned forwards, despite himself. He could never quite grasp the processes at work in this ritual; Irkusk wasn’t even looking at the pool. He was leaning backwards and staring at the stars. It was a clear night and his lips were moving as he catalogued and considered the major constellations. Purple eldritch energy coursed and sparked across his armour and the tattoos on his hands glowed white-hot. Kyta knew they would be scorching to the touch - he had made that mistake decades before - Librarian Omersik had become agitated in the midst of a divination and the young, utterly ignorant Kyta had grabbed the thrashing man’s hands to try and calm him. He still bore the scars and could still recall the acrid stink of his own scorched flesh.


I really like the earthiness of Irkusk's divinatory process, and the more 'primitive' (for want of a better word) touches like having to read the stars themselves. It adds a touch of drama to the scene and further characterises both Irkusk and the Black Dragons as a Chapter.

Kyta had seen enough; the Black Dragons would wage war once again.


Again, I'm a little confused. Is there any particular reason they've stopped waging war? I understand there may be something in their established lore that I'm missing that would give this line some context, but as it is I can't really appreciate its significance.

I hope my criticisms make sense. Overall it's a strong opening and I'd be really keen to see these guys get to Garochete and get stuck into some action! :D
My other car is a Land Raider.
User avatar
Obscura Boy
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:51 pm


Re: Suffer Not the Mutant. Part 1.

Postby Squiggle » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:41 pm

Thanks Obscura.

I think your points are all valid.

- They are camped out in the marshes because the chapter is in schism and it has all gone a little awry - so I should probably explain this(!)

More up momentarily
If my mind's the weapon, my heart's the extra clip

Forum Moderator

@sqyiggle
User avatar
Squiggle
 
Posts: 1059
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:18 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK


Re: Suffer Not the Mutant. Part 1.

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:30 pm

Have I read this before? It seems familiar.

Anyways, Obscura Boy's comments cover things admirably, and I have little to add to them. There do seem to be background matters that need explaining, but of course there's time yet. A solid enough intro that, while not grabbing me by the danglies, will have me continuing when you post something for me to continue with.
User avatar
Chun the Unavoidable
 
Posts: 1859
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:00 pm
Location: Wigan (with Leigh halfway up it), England.


Re: Suffer Not the Mutant. Part 1.

Postby Squiggle » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:52 pm

You may have yes. It was a failed Black Library submission that I actually wrote up into a full length short.
If my mind's the weapon, my heart's the extra clip

Forum Moderator

@sqyiggle
User avatar
Squiggle
 
Posts: 1059
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:18 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK


Re: Suffer Not the Mutant. Part 2 Up. 21/06/17

Postby Squiggle » Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:05 pm

Novitiate Urulokë crept silently into the ruined stronghold. His dilated pupils flicked rapidly from side to side as he scanned the shadowy corners of the shattered atrium. Nothing moved. The air was still, the silence broken only by the discordant hum of damaged machinery. He dropped to a crouch, combat shotgun raised to his shoulder. Cautious and quiet, he took his left hand off the weapon and formed a fist. Hold. His enhanced hearing picked up the rest of the five man squad settling into covering positions behind him.

He took a shallow breath and stilled his nerves. The only light was a pale, greenish glow emanating from the screen of a cracked cogitation device. It was probably salvageable, Urulokë thought. But that was not their purpose here. The atrium narrowed into a passageway which ended in a set of ruined doors, casually ripped open and hanging from their hinges.

Urulokë paused again and glanced back to see the squad taking up positions against the walls, making use of what cover there was. Apala was closest, his gloved hands wrapped around a bolt pistol. Chua and Heren squatted behind him; their sniper rifles were slung across their backs and combat knives glinted in their hands. Sergeant Ormr brought up the rear, hefting his heavy bolter. They were each clad in deep black scout armour and fatigues, their skin darkened with smears of paint. Behind them, lurking in his full Mk VI plate, Apothecary Veles was a bulkier, menacing figure.

An irregular, metallic clatter whipped Urulokë’s head around and he brought his gun up.

‘Contact right,’ he murmured into his vox bead. He slipped stealthily through the doorway and focused on a body that lay mere metres from his position down a side passage.

‘Secure the perimeter,’ Ormr instructed, ‘Urulokë, update?’

Urulokë edged up to the body, covering it with his shotgun. It was an Astartes, clad in bright yellow plate now despoiled with dust and the ragged, characteristic tears of chain blade damage. His right leg was severed at the knee and trailed stringy flesh across the floor. His left arm was broken, the vambrace shattered. The clenched, black gauntlet emblazoned on his left pauldron told of his heritage; an Imperial Fist. As Urulokë watched, the Marine jerked and his right gauntlet rattled against the hard ferrocrete floor.

‘Veles,’ he barked, ‘a brother still lives.’

The Apothecary was quick, barely giving Urulokë time to secure the area beyond the fallen Astartes before he was crouched over the body, scanning with a medical auspex.

‘He’s dead,’ Veles said. 'These movements are the misfiring synapses of a stubborn brainstem.’

The next noise Urulokë heard was the whine of Veles’s reductor assembly as he prepared to remove the Astartes’s sacred gene seed, contained within the progenoid glands in neck and chest. The whirring blade juddered and screeched as it struggled to cut through the toughened ceramite plastron. Urulokë started as he saw the Imperial Fist’s right hand open and lift up off the floor, grasping weakly at nothing before falling back to the ground. Apparently oblivious, Veles reached into the exposed chest cavity and removed a blood-slick organ before placing it reverentially into a cryo flask.

‘We will return it to the ‘Fists?’ Urulokë asked.

Veles looked up, the green tinted eye lenses of his helmet an emotionless mask.

‘I will do what is in the best interests of the Chapter, Scout.’ he replied, clamping the flask to his kit belt.

Urulokë looked beyond the impassive figure of the apothecary and met Ormr’s measured gaze.

‘We go on,’ the sergeant said. ‘Our primary task here is not yet accomplished.’ He slung his heavy bolter across his broad shoulders and unclipped an auspex from his belt. He studied the device for a couple of seconds, his flat features backlit green by the screen. He caught Urulokë’s eye and gestured for him to lead the squad deeper into the complex.

Urulokë settled back into the point position and moved purposefully down the corridor, past the final resting place of the Imperial Fist and towards the target coordinates. As he edged forward, his mind whirled with what he had just seen. Every ounce of his being, every fragment of his soul told him that it was wrong, told him that Apothecary Veles had murdered a loyal Astartes in cold blood in order to strip his progenoid glands.

But that couldn’t be. Urulokë knew Veles was an experienced apothecary, and how could he, a mere scout, cast such a judgement? Yet his mind kept returning to those clutching, desperate fingers, movements Urulokë would later swear had happened, movements that were utterly incongruous with the behaviour of a corpse. The young scout shook his head, as if this mere physical action could cleanse his tangled thoughts, and dragged his attention back to his immediate environs. Muttering a simple catechism for purity of thought and spirit, he led the scout squad deeper into the abandoned stronghold.

Urulokë was not prepared for what he found. The fortress had been held by the retreating chaos forces, a warband of renegade Astartes known as The Reborn. Though the bombardment and subsequent violent assault by the combined Imperial Fists and Black Dragons had driven them into a full blown rout, the fallen Astartes and their contemptible followers had still left their mark. Heinous graffiti and blasphemous shrines would require the attentions of flamer-equipped Adepta Sororitas purification squads. Despite the defeat of the forces that had occupied the stronghold, Urulokë’s keen senses could still pick up the foul stench of chaos. This
was a dark place.
The narrow outer passages opened into a large domed central chamber. Urulokë quickly identified it as a strategium, now carpeted with a thick layer of dust and scattered with debris. He crouched in the doorway; there were broken bodies strewn across the floor; a mess of tangled limbs, congealed blood and rotten, stinking organs.

Ormr pointed across the chamber with one black gloved hand. ‘Our first objective,’ he murmured. Urulokë followed the line of the sergeant’s outstretched finger. In the centre of the room, a raised plinth of black stone supported the bulk of a holothic chart table. It was the focal point of the strategium. It was broken in two around a black armoured body. The Reborn wore ancient, corroded power armour of a style no longer manufactured by those loyal to the Imperium. This was not one of their dead, nor was it an Imperial Fist. This was a Black Dragon. The progenoid glands and armour needed to be recovered; the company had few suits of fully functioning power armour as it was, without the dead taking theirs to the afterlife.

The force it must have taken to smash a fully armoured battle brother through the chart table was a sobering thought for Uruloke as he approached. His idle musing was quickly forgotten as he gazed down on the dead Astartes. The body was shattered; a devastating wound had ripped open the marine’s chest, split his fused ribcage and torn deep into his lungs and heart. His armour had been gashed and ripped away. In numerous places the black lacquer had been stripped back to the gunmetal grey of the ceramite beneath. The man’s face was twisted into a rictus grin of absolute agony. Peeled-back lips revealed vastly lengthened incisors that extended like fangs from his upper jaw. The expression of pure pain was so severe that it cast an involuntary shudder down Uruloke’s back. It was made worse by the fact that some carrion creature had eaten away the battle brother’s eyeballs.

Uruloke didn’t take any of this in; he stared, shocked at the multiple blades that partially extended from the man’s forearms, each one sheathed in shimmering adamantium and glistening with blood and gore. One such protrusion jutting from the right arm was snapped in two exposing cream coloured bone. Beyond that, past the horrified expression, he focused on the jagged, bony crest that stood out from the marine’s forehead in the manner of some ancient beast.

Urulokë reached for the edge of the ruined table. It creaked as he leaned his weight against it.

‘This must be one of the fallen,’ he managed, weakly. ‘That is no Astartes.’ And yet, the intact left shoulder pauldron still proudly displayed the white, serpentine dragon’s neck and head that was repeated on Urulokë’s armour and that of the rest of his squad.

‘It takes us all, the first time we see it.’ Ormr was abruptly at his shoulder. Urulokë turned to see the sergeant looking down on the body, his face an uncertain mix of revulsion and pity as he started down at the fallen warrior. ‘Nevertheless, it is our curse and one we bear gladly, for those touched by the dragon’s seed are without match when the battle is fiercest.’

‘He is a mutant,’ Urulokë managed. Bile rose in his throat. It was all he could do not to vomit. Ormr grabbed his arm fiercely. His fingers dug into the young scout’s muscular flesh.

‘He was your brother and you would do well to remember that. We are not the only chapter to have… secrets. Apala will assist you in removing his armour. The body must be burned after Brother Veles has removed his gene seed.’

‘Move with haste,’ Veles interjected. ‘The discovery of the Imperial Fist’s seed has provided us with an unexpected opportunity and I must return to our encampment without unnecessary delay.’

Urulokë thought back to the grasping fist of the yellow armoured Astartes, and the calculating way Veles had excised his gene seed. Again his soul cried out at the wrongness of it. He cast away the thought, met Apala’s eye and prepared to perform this dark duty. It was clear that retrieving the armour would benefit his chapter.

But he was not satisfied. He vowed that once this mission was over, he would demand answers. He vowed he would learn the truth about his so-called brothers.
If my mind's the weapon, my heart's the extra clip

Forum Moderator

@sqyiggle
User avatar
Squiggle
 
Posts: 1059
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:18 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK


Re: Suffer Not the Mutant. Part 2 Up. 21/06/17

Postby Kentigern » Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:03 pm

To start with, I like the concept - body snatching Astartes is nice and grim, especially with a bit of mutation thrown in. Opens up all sorts of challenging ideas - are they bad or they trying to save the Chapter? etc etc. Looking forward to seeing where it goes!

Some thoughts on various points below - feel free to ignore my random ramblings!

Squiggle wrote:Novitiate Urulokë crept silently into the ruined stronghold. His dilated pupils flicked rapidly from side to side as he scanned the shadowy corners of the shattered atrium. Nothing moved. The air was still, the silence broken only by the discordant hum of damaged machinery. He dropped to a crouch, combat shotgun raised to his shoulder. Cautious and quiet, he took his left hand off the weapon and formed a fist. Hold. His enhanced hearing picked up the rest of the five man squad settling into covering positions behind him.

I like this intro, starts to give a feeling of caution and tension. I wonder though about him being cautious and quiet - would have thought in a virtually silent room he would need to be more than quiet? Perhaps it's a reflection on the bulk of his armour etc?

Squiggle wrote:The atrium narrowed into a passageway which ended in a set of ruined doors, casually ripped open and hanging from their hinges.


May just be me, but I'm not sure about the use of casually - I would feel you needed to witness the act to know they were casually ripped open. They could be casually hanging, but I think without seeing the actual act of destruction you want something else to describe the damage.

Squiggle wrote: Urulokë paused again and glanced back to see the squad taking up positions against the walls, making use of what cover there was. Apala was closest, his gloved hands wrapped around a bolt pistol. Chua and Heren squatted behind him; their sniper rifles were slung across their backs and combat knives glinted in their hands. Sergeant Ormr brought up the rear, hefting his heavy bolter. They were each clad in deep black scout armour and fatigues, their skin darkened with smears of paint. Behind them, lurking in his full Mk VI plate, Apothecary Veles was a bulkier, menacing figure.


Couple of operational questions here. Why do they have their knives out instead of sniper rifles? If the rest of the squad is scanning the room for threats, it would seem to me that the snipers would be taking up covering positions? Also, if the Apothecary is in full plate would they be advancing as stealthily as implied? On a side note, can you ever be menacing in white Apothecary armour? ;)

Squiggle wrote: ‘We will return it to the ‘Fists?’ Urulokë asked.


Bearing in mind that I really like the plot idea of body snatching Marines, I'm not sure why the Scout would be so quick to ask this question? I realise that there may be further info on the Chapter's struggles to come, but seems quite a bold and surprising question to ask? Maybe some more explanation of his own disquiet about whether the Imperial Fist is actually dead, or a guilty/shifty reaction from the Apothecary (maybe he mutters something about claiming what the Chapter needs?) would set the scene for the suspicion.


Squiggle wrote:Heinous graffiti and blasphemous shrines would require the attentions of flamer-equipped Adepta Sororitas purification squads.


Small thing, but would it make sense to mention the Sororitas in terms of the initial attack? Otherwise looks like they have been added in from nowhere.

Squiggle wrote: The force it must have taken to smash a fully armoured battle brother through the chart table was a sobering thought for Uruloke as he approached.


Just a note that there are a couple of places that you don't have the 'ë' on Urulokë's name, danger of using unsual characters! =)

Squiggle wrote: His idle musing was quickly forgotten as he gazed down on the dead Astartes.

I don't think it's that idle - if something could do that to a full battle brother then it's worth a thought or two for a scout ;)

Squiggle wrote: Urulokë thought back to the grasping fist of the yellow armoured Astartes, and the calculating way Veles had excised his gene seed. Again his soul cried out at the wrongness of it. He cast away the thought, met Apala’s eye and prepared to perform this dark duty. It was clear that retrieving the armour would benefit his chapter.

But he was not satisfied. He vowed that once this mission was over, he would demand answers. He vowed he would learn the truth about his so-called brothers.


Brooding end - why do I get the feeling this might not end well for him? ;) My only question would again be the speed to which he has jumped to questioning his brothers - as a Scout he will have been thoroughly indoctrinated into the Chapter, I would expect doubt to take longer. Perhaps there is space for a bit info on his prior experiences, perhaps he has seen things already to make him question?
Good guys go to heaven.

Bad guys send them there.
User avatar
Kentigern
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:58 am
Location: Bishopbriggs, Scotland


Re: Suffer Not the Mutant. Part 1.

Postby Squiggle » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:49 am

Kentigern - thanks for your comments... I have posted the next part below!

#


Urulokë sat on the unyielding, cold plasteel deck of the thunderhawk gunship and frowned down at the blood and dirt now ingrained under his fingernails. The blood itself did not concern him; it was what it represented that was causing his dark mood. They had found three more Black Dragon dead after the first. After Veles had skilfully excised their gene seed, Urulokë and his fellow scouts had stripped them of their armour and weapons. Two had been what he was increasingly coming to think of as pure battle brothers, noble figures untouched by the tainted bone structure of the others.

The third had been even more twisted than the first. When Chua and Heren had removed his armour, the body underneath had been riddled with mutation; stubs of what Urulokë could only describe as vestigial wings jutted from the brother’s shoulder blades and patches of his skin had an iridescent, reptilian sheen. His spine ended in a partially formed tail and his mouth was filled with barbed fangs. For the second time, Urulokë had had to fight down the urge to vomit.

Ormr had been silent throughout. He hadn’t spoken since they had boarded the thunderhawk at the pre-designated extraction point. In fact, none of the scouts had spoken, and now, as the massive turbine engines rumbled into life and sent harsh vibrations through his deck-plate seat, Urulokë realised that the sergeant’s glowering silence was more telling than any shouted denial. That other members of his chapter allowed and accepted these mutants was nearly too much to bear. Murmuring quietly to himself, he again vowed to seek an explanation for this blatant deviancy.

#


Urulokë paced outside the prefabricated, adamantium shelter that housed Captain Vizar Kyta. He was in the midst of the temporary staging area used by the Dragons and the Imperial Fists as they massed their forces in preparation for a final assault which they hoped to finish the Reborn’s resistance on Garochete. The remainder of the company were deployed to the north, defending the spaceport against increasingly weaker traitor assaults. The staging area was surrounded by plasteel ramparts and gun emplacements, manned by members of the 15th Cadian Artillery. Thunderhawk gunships held sentry overhead, leaving curving, white contrails through the blue sky.

Around him engines of war grumbled and coughed. The air was rich with the stink of burning promethium, the scent of weapon oil and the sweet fumes emanating from servitor-tended incense burners.

It rankled with him that he was not with his squad, his brothers. For an Astartes, preparation for battle was not just the ritual checking of weapons and armour, it was a spiritual occasion which was accorded all due reverence. Sergeant Ormr would be leading the rest of Scout Squad Bravo in prayer in the makeshift chapel and Chaplain Bacriel would be preparing blessings for each and every battle brother prior to the engagement. Being an Astartes, Urulokë had learned, was more than just being a consummate warrior. It was the complete focus of mind, body and spirit, concentrating on the only task that mattered; that of defeating the enemies of the Emperor and the Imperium. But nothing could clear his mind for the coming battle short of an explanation of the aberrations he had so recently witnessed and Sergeant Ormr had been unable to dissuade him from demanding this audience.

Raised voices cut through the clamour of men, machinery and Astartes, and Urulokë jerked from his reverie to see Captain Falkane of the Imperial Fists striding towards him. Before either could speak, Kyta stepped out of his shelter, face set in a neutral mask.

‘Brother-Captain Falkane, what troubles you?’

‘Captain Kyta.’ Falkane said, inclining his head. The contrast between the two was pronounced. Where Falkane possessed a noble, near-flawless countenance, Kyta’s face was cruelly marked by warfare. Where Falkane’s armour was polished to a shimmering finish, Kyta’s was dirty and pockmarked.

‘How may I serve you, Brother?’ Kyta said.

‘Do not fence with me; where are Brother Ecnor’s progenoid glands?’ Falkane said.

When Kyta spoke, his voice barely raised above a whisper. ‘I do not have an answer for you. Surely the location of the glands is of concern to yourself and your apothecaries.’

‘Ecnor was lost in the recent assault.’ Falkane said, glaring at Kyta, ‘My apothecary informed me that his glands were harvested before he could attend. Your scout party entered first, along with your apothecary. I have heard the rumours about your cursed chapter’s dark practices from my own brothers. I know you are responsible. I will ask a final time. Where are Brother Ecnor’s progenoid glands?’

Kyta met Falkane’s gaze. His stare glimmered with dangerous fury.

‘Brother-Captain Falkane, are you suggesting that we have stolen Brother Ecnor’s progenoid glands?’

Falkane’s noble visage twisted with indignant rage.

‘Our dealings with your tainted brothers have done nothing to convince me otherwise. I know you have-‘

The angry blare of klaxons drowned out his words. The rattle of gunfire spoke before the vox systems could. They were under attack.

Urulokë grabbed his shotgun and sprinted towards the nearest section of the ramparts. He could already hear the dull thud of the autocannon emplacements and the raucous scream of heavy bolter fire. A guardsman ran towards him, fleeing the front line. He was dressed in blood splattered green fatigues. He had lost his helmet and was crying out with unbridled terror. Dark lightning flickered across his body and the man exploded wetly, splattering the ground with wet gobbets of flesh. A daemon coalesced in his place, swaying on smooth, pale limbs. Jewelled eyes sparkled in a glistening insect-like head. Heavy pincers hung from slender arms and a sting coiled sensuously between its legs. Strips of flimsy material barely covered its ghastly modesty.

It gestured seductively at Urulokë with its pincers. Foul tendrils slipped inside his thoughts, a myriad of overlapping sibilant whispers that fogged and slowed his mind. He looked into its multifaceted eyes and in each tiny reflection saw himself writhing in unbridled pleasure.

Leave your weapons, come to me; there is nothing for you here.

Urulokë staggered as he fought against its insidious influence. Bellowing a catechism of purity, he dispelled its pervasive hold with righteous anger and faith. He raised his shotgun and fired. The shells ripped holes through its supple flesh and shattered an eyeball. It shrieked, clawed desperately at the air and burst from existence with a thunderous bang.

Urulokë racked the slide on his shotgun, dislodging spent cartridges, and sprinted for the ramparts. As he scaled the parapet, two men climbed over it. They were traitors; their uniforms torn and their flesh sporting writhing tattoos. Urulokë fired, the close range shotgun blast turning the first man’s chest to red ruin. The other levelled his lasgun. Still moving at a run, Urulokë dropped his shoulder and smashed the man bodily into a plasteel stanchion, crushing his ribs. The traitor fell on his face and didn’t get up. Blood leaked from his ruptured abdomen.

Urulokë looked beyond the ramparts and gained his first glimpse of the enemy. The killing zone razed around the encampment at the edge of the jungle was awash with the forces of darkness. Traitorous guardsmen marched alongside twisted daemon-things. Las blasts scorched the defences and daemonic flames rippled towards him. Concentrated heavy weapons fire was cutting gashes in the horde. Urulokë slung his shotgun over his shoulder to better grab the firing handles of an idle heavy stubber. He squeezed the triggers, spraying high calibre solid-slugs into the front lines. He was joined at the parapet by an Imperial Fist who began firing his bolter at a group of charging daemons. The whoosh-crump of each round was accompanied by the ear-splitting wails of the warp-filth as they were forcibly blasted out of existence.

The Black Dragons were now flocking to the ramparts and the staccato reports of their bolter fire contrasted with the flash-bang of missile launchers. The increased fire quickly took its toll on the foul multitude and groups of the traitorous guardsmen fell back or took cover in craters and shell holes. The warp-denizens advanced regardless, but they were now few in number.

‘Enemies of the Emperor, die!’ Urulokë glanced up to see Captain Kyta gain the ramparts. The captain thrust his right fist into the air, his gauntlet augmented by five wickedly sharp spines of bone, an heirloom weapon fashioned for a previous Black Dragons hero. It looked fragile; skeletal even, but Urulokë knew its slender construction belied the damage it could wreak in Kyta’s skilled hands.

Kyta bellowed another war cry and leapt over the parapet. At his heels came a combat squad of five unarmed Space Marines, screaming cries of righteous anger. Urulokë had to look again; as they followed their captain, a multitude of shimmering blades burst from forearm-guards of each Astartes. Led by Kyta, they carved into the traitor lines, leaving piles of mutilated dead in their wake.

A trio of nightmarish, banshee wails grabbed Urulokë’s attention. Three fallen Astartes, the Reborn, hurtled towards him suspended in the air on wings of fire. Their ancient armour was the dusky crimson of fresh rust and was disfigured with rattling chains, jutting spines and rotting trophies. Urulokë wrenched back on the firing handles, tilting the barrel of the heavy stubber into the air and sending a steam of fire towards them. The leader skilfully jinked sideways and turned a neat somersault, avoiding every shot. The second was not so adept. The torrent of lead washed over him, searching for an opening in his armour plate. Several rounds hammered into the air intakes of his jump pack and the ancient device coughed and died, sending the traitor plummeting to the ground.

The remaining two dived towards Urulokë, trailing fire and smoke. He threw himself to the ground as they swept past, lashing at him with chainswords and vicious, curved blades. He rolled sideways, coming up with his shotgun in his hands. The leader of the trio pirouetted in the air and landed with force enough to shake the ramparts. His ceramite shod feet left ragged dents in the plasteel and red dust cascaded from his corroded armour plate. He thrust his growling chainsword at Urulokë who parried desperately with his shotgun. The whirring teeth tore gashes out of the plasteel stock. The force of the impact smashed Urulokë back into the parapet and drove the air from his lungs. The Reborn lunged again and this time his screeching chainsword ripped the shotgun out of the scout’s hands. Urulokë fumbled for a weapon, knowing he stood little chance of surviving this encounter, but vowing to fight to the last.
If my mind's the weapon, my heart's the extra clip

Forum Moderator

@sqyiggle
User avatar
Squiggle
 
Posts: 1059
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:18 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK


Re: Suffer Not the Mutant. Part 3 Posted

Postby Kentigern » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:57 pm

Hey Squiggle, sorry for delay in replying, have been away.

Again, great instalment and I am really enjoying how this is developing. The juxtaposition of the Scout's horror of what he is part of alongside the horror of the Imperial Fists at what they are fighting alongside is powerful, and I am really looking forward to seeing where you take this. Some fantastic character development ahead :)


Squiggle wrote:
Urulokë sat on the unyielding, cold plasteel deck of the thunderhawk gunship and frowned down at the blood and dirt now ingrained under his fingernails. The blood itself did not concern him; it was what it represented that was causing his dark mood.


Small point, and may be my forgetting of previous instalments, but the blood under his nails, while a powerful image, seems incongruous with Scouts and the armour they wear?



Squiggle wrote: The third had been even more twisted than the first. When Chua and Heren had removed his armour, the body underneath had been riddled with mutation; stubs of what Urulokë could only describe as vestigial wings jutted from the brother’s shoulder blades and patches of his skin had an iridescent, reptilian sheen. His spine ended in a partially formed tail and his mouth was filled with barbed fangs. For the second time, Urulokë had had to fight down the urge to vomit.


Again, really powerful, but seems to then miss what happens next. We almost have a jump from horror of deviancy to a Scout talking to a Captain - I'm guessing most Space Marine Chapters wouldn't allow such freedom to mere Scouts. I personally love it if the Dragons do, but maybe needs a wee reflection paragraph on this aspect of their nature? Plus any indication of disquiet from other Scouts, or are they all happy with it - if so, why isn't he?

Squiggle wrote: Murmuring quietly to himself, he again vowed to seek an explanation for this blatant deviancy.


Just to emphasise, I love his attitude, but who is he as a Scout, not yet a full battle brother, to demand this?



Squiggle wrote: It was the complete focus of mind, body and spirit, concentrating on the only task that mattered; that of defeating the enemies of the Emperor and the Imperium. But nothing could clear his mind for the coming battle short of an explanation of the aberrations he had so recently witnessed and Sergeant Ormr had been unable to dissuade him from demanding this audience. [/quote/]

Love the description of their preparations. Think he needs a bit more doubt here though - if all that matter is defeating the enemies of the Emperor, then could the mutations be part of that mission? I like his focus, and sure you have twists planned for him ahead, but a wee bit of questioning of both sides might set the scene nicely.

Squiggle wrote: Raised voices cut through the clamour of men, machinery and Astartes, and Urulokë jerked from his reverie to see Captain Falkane of the Imperial Fists striding towards him. Before either could speak, Kyta stepped out of his shelter, face set in a neutral mask.

‘Brother-Captain Falkane, what troubles you?’

‘Captain Kyta.’ Falkane said, inclining his head. The contrast between the two was pronounced. Where Falkane possessed a noble, near-flawless countenance, Kyta’s face was cruelly marked by warfare. Where Falkane’s armour was polished to a shimmering finish, Kyta’s was dirty and pockmarked.

‘How may I serve you, Brother?’ Kyta said.

‘Do not fence with me; where are Brother Ecnor’s progenoid glands?’ Falkane said.


I get the anger, but wonder whether this dialogue would happen in such a public place, particularly given the taciturn nature of the Imperial Fists? The admiration of the Scout for the Imperial Fist is also perhaps a wee bit jarring - as a Scout he will have been subjected to rigorous psychoconditioning, preferring other Chapters seems like something they would have dealt with early on ;)


Squiggle wrote: Leave your weapons, come to me; there is nothing for you here.

Urulokë staggered as he fought against its insidious influence. Bellowing a catechism of purity, he dispelled its pervasive hold with righteous anger and faith. He raised his shotgun and fired. The shells ripped holes through its supple flesh and shattered an eyeball. It shrieked, clawed desperately at the air and burst from existence with a thunderous bang.


Go Urulokë! He better not die!

Some brilliant stuff here, looking forward to what happens next :)
Good guys go to heaven.

Bad guys send them there.
User avatar
Kentigern
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:58 am
Location: Bishopbriggs, Scotland


Re: Suffer Not the Mutant. Part 3 Posted

Postby Squiggle » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:06 pm

Hi Kentigern,

No worries. I have been pretty busy myself...

Glad you have enjoyed it so far. I will post up the next part momentarily.
If my mind's the weapon, my heart's the extra clip

Forum Moderator

@sqyiggle
User avatar
Squiggle
 
Posts: 1059
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:18 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK


Re: Suffer Not the Mutant. Part 3 Posted

Postby Squiggle » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:21 pm

part four

‘Take your knife, fool,’ the Reborn growled. His voice was beyond husky – it was so cracked and broken that Urulokë had trouble understanding his words. Urulokë realised the traitor was toying with him. Hot anger burned in his veins and he leapt forwards, knife extended. The Reborn evaded easily and lashed out with a savage kick to the scout’s chest. The carapace plate cracked under the impact. He staggered and the traitor dealt him a savage blow to the temple. Urulokë went down hard, stars flashing across his smeared vision.

‘Die.’ The chainsword plunged down towards him.

‘I will end you, scum.’ A yellow blur flashed across Urulokë’s vision and the Reborn let out a frustrated cry as he was knocked sideways. The two bodies fell in a tangle of limbs and shouted curses. The Imperial Fist was first to regain his feet, grasping a blood streaked blade. His once pristine armour was stained where the corrosions of the Reborn’s tainted plate had left their mark. The traitor marine didn’t get up; thick crimson lifeblood streamed from his ruptured neck. His compatriot was also dead, broken body thrown from the parapet.

The Imperial Fist reached out and pulled Urulokë to his feet.

‘You survived,’ he said.

‘Thanks to you,’ Urulokë replied. He inclined his head, respectfully. ‘I am Brother-Scout Urulokë of the Black Dragons.’

‘Well met. I am Brother Tantor of the Imperial Fists. If only the rest of your chapter had your purity of spirit.’ He released his grip on Urulokë’s wrist and stalked away.

Urulokë turned and looked over the parapet. It was over. The traitor horde had melted away into the jungle or lay dead in the field. Urulokë picked out Captain Kyta heading back to the Imperial lines. Even from a distance he could see that the black armour of his aberrant followers was awash with blood, gobbets of gore and strings of viscera.

He glanced back to see Tantor, his yellow plate glowing in the morning sunlight, marching away in the company of Captain Falkane. The contrast between the two chapters brought an unwelcome lump to his throat.

#


‘I understand you wanted to speak to me.’ Kyta said. The brief discussion he had had with Rattan Ormr had brought back unwelcome memories of his own, first exposure to the Black Dragon’s dirty secret, the Dragon’s Claw. He was keen to assuage Urulokë’s doubts with the truth of his own experiences.

Stripped down to his body glove, Urulokë was on his knees in the pre-fabricated building that served as accommodation for the scouts. He had been entirely focused on cleansing his armour after appeasing the machine spirit of his damaged shotgun. So intent that he had completely failed to notice the new arrival. His heart started to thud rapidly against his ribs. He got hastily to his feet, still holding a segment of his armour and his polishing rag.

‘Sorry, Captain, Sire,’ he stammered, ‘Forgive me, I was-‘

‘I know. Quell your panic, it does not become you. I am not here to chasten you.’ Kyta carefully sat his bulk down on the sleeping cot in the corner of the cubicle. It creaked under his weight. The purity seals that adorned his armour rustled in the quiet of the cubicle. Against the silence his Mark V plate hummed.

Kyta smiled, playfully aware of the other’s discomfort. Urulokë had pale green eyes with narrow pupils – a characteristic of both Stygian natives and the Black Dragons – and a narrow, hawkish face. His scalp was shaved, and gleamed in the low light.

‘Well, I am here.’ Kyta said. ‘Speak.’

‘I,’ Urulokë struggled for words. He had seen Kyta fight alongside the Dragon’s Claw. He cleared his throat.

‘Brother Captain, I am troubled in mind and spirit. I have recently become aware that some of our chapter are different…. I find myself struggling to connect this reality to the sermons our Chaplains have preached on purity of body and the correct approach to dealing with mutants. How…’ He finally met Kyta’s measured gaze.

‘How can we tolerate them?’ he said.

‘I understand.’ Kyta replied. ‘There is a reason we send our scouts on such recovery missions. I have spoken to Brother-Sergeant Ormr. He tells me that you are the most accomplished of our initiates and the closest to earning the black carapace and achieving full battle-brother status. You’re intelligent, committed and righteous. All of these are traits to be admired, traits that are absolutely necessary in our ceaseless war against those that would destroy us.’

Kyta raised his right gauntlet and inspected the razor sharp spines that extended from it. He favoured Urulokë with a fatherly smile.

‘And yet, Ormr tells me of your difficulty in accepting your own brothers. The Dragon’s Claw is a blessing, Urulokë. They are the elite fighters of our chapter. And we are not the only Astartes to have such fortune. Our brothers in the Blood Angels, the Sons of Antaeus and even the Space Wolves… all suffer from their own quirks but none question their loyalty or purpose. I have fought beside the Dragon’s Claw a hundred years. I have never known a brother so favoured to show the slightest weakness or give the merest hint of corruption of spirit.’

Kyta sighed. ‘I was like you, once, Urulokë. When I first laid eyes on our brothers in the Dragon’s Claw I was horrified. I raged at my Sergeant. Eventually I was hauled before the Captain himself. Ydras was a pitiless man. He took one look at me and asked me what I intended to do about it. He asked me to stand alongside the ‘Claw on just one battlefield and determine if my preconceptions survived contact with the enemy.

‘I did what he asked and I learned that despite their mutations, the Dragon’s Claw is fervently loyal to the Emperor. And whilst there are those who believe that they should be slain regardless, I am not one of those people. Given time, I do not believe you will be either. We have been this way for four thousand years. The Emperor made us for a reason, Urulokë, and I will not doubt his divine will. I ask you the same question Captain Ydras asked me. Do you intend to destroy the Dragon’s Claw? To rid us of our deviant streak? Because you will destroy the Black Dragons with it.’

He stood up, not waiting for an answer. ‘We are preparing for a final assault that will drive the forces of chaos from this world. I require a scout to lead the Dragon’s Claw into a position from which they can strike with maximum effectiveness. Such a mission - several days moving under cover of darkness - will provide you with ample opportunities to assuage your doubts about your brothers. We will speak again when this is over.’

Kyta walked swiftly from the chamber. The reaction of a young warrior like Urulokë to a curse Kyta had long been resigned to stoked the fire that burned in his breast and churned the dark thoughts that lurked at the back of his mind. He resolved to snap out of the lethargy that had gripped him, and take a firmer hold on the actions of his company, beginning with Apothecary Veles.

Urulokë stared after his Captain. After several moments he realised that Kyta had failed to address the issue of the Imperial Fist’s missing geneseed. He frowned, reselected the armour piece and continued to polish. His thoughts were elsewhere.
If my mind's the weapon, my heart's the extra clip

Forum Moderator

@sqyiggle
User avatar
Squiggle
 
Posts: 1059
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:18 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK


Re: Suffer Not the Mutant. Part 4 Posted

Postby Kentigern » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:46 pm

Hey, great update - really looking forward to the next instalment and to see what happens when he meets the Dragons Claw!

I enjoyed the combat at the beginning of the segment, and nice contrast between the Imperial Fists and Black Dragons. I still wonder if he is a bit too taken with the other Chapter, he'd have been through severe indoctrination by now, but it is an ideal choice of comparison.

Really enjoying the story, brilliant choice of subject :)
Good guys go to heaven.

Bad guys send them there.
User avatar
Kentigern
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:58 am
Location: Bishopbriggs, Scotland


Re: Suffer Not the Mutant. Part 5 Posted

Postby Squiggle » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:22 pm

Hi Kentigern, yes a valid point about whether Uruloke would have been so swayed but I think it makes for a better
story!! Really glad you are enjoying it.

Here is the next part!

The water lapped gently against Uruloke’s booted shins. It gleamed in the starlight, an impenetrable pool of glossy black. He ignored it, eyes flicking left and right in a constant scan of the low scrub that crossed the divide between the edge of this water-filled gulley and the surrounding jungle. Massive trees, trunks easily the width of a fully-fledged Astartes, curved overhead. They cast deep shadows where the gleaming light of the night’s sky was interrupted. Behind Urulokë - making their way up the valley with what he had to admit was admirable stealth - the hulking, savage figures of the Dragon’s Claw loomed in the darkness.

Urulokë slowed to a halt, careful not to make any sudden movements that would splash and echo off the water’s smooth surface. Clad in his usual black scout armour, he had added a grey cameleoline cloak which absorbed incoming light and smeared the harsh outline of his armour to a softer blur. His pale skin was daubed with green and brown warpaint. Stock still, water reaching nearly to his knees, the scout was virtually indistinguishable from the inky blackness that surrounded him. He slowed his breathing to a crawl and let his senses absorb information from the environment.

The supersensitive Lyman’s ear implants enabled him to detect the chattering of small insects and the casual shuffle of larger mammals with perfect clarity. Against that, the low hooting of birds and hissing of lizards were an easy contrast. Closer, he could easily pick up the distinctive hum of the power armour worn by his comrades, and the higher pitched scanning-whine of the auspex carried by Brother-Sergeant Caren.

Urulokë’s augmented olfactory senses detected the mulchy stink of rotting vegetation, the dull odour of the earth and the sharp tang of ammonia. His own scent stood out: armour polish, sweat and the sacred unguents that anointed his flesh.

Visually, there was little of note. The vibrant greens of the day-time jungle were reduced to muted greys by the darkness, and even scanning with an infra red scope, revealed nothing beyond the occasional swooping night-predator, lunging down to seize an unwary insect hovering over the water.

But he had sensed something. Face twisted into a frustrated scowl, he held his right hand behind his back, a single digit extended. Moments later, easing his way through the water, the youngest of the Dragon’s Claw joined him.

Hdraa appeared untainted. With his blades retracted and his crested skull concealed behind the helm of his power armour he was identical to any pure battle brother. Only the tell-tale slots in his vambraces that allowed his blades to egress gave away his true identity.

‘What is it?’ he murmured.

‘I can sense a presence,' Urulokë replied.

‘Caren’s auspex indicates a plasteel bridge five hundred metres up-stream, just beyond that gentle curve,’ Hdraa said. ‘Sentries there are likely the source of your disquiet.’

‘There is no alternate route,’ Urulokë admitted. ‘We are locked into this path. To cut through the thick jungles would lead to unacceptable delays.’

‘Then they will have to be eliminated,’ Hdraa said, the mechanical quality of his external vox-amp concealing the anticipation in his voice. ‘Cover my advance. When the time is right, take the shot. I’ll clean up.’

Urulokë nodded agreement. Time for the Dragon’s Claw to prove their worth, he thought grimly.

The bridge was a flimsy strip of sagging plasteel, supported by thick cables secured to stanchions that had been driven into the valley’s sides. Urulokë knelt on the soft silt of the river bed and surveyed the structure through his rifle scope. The water around him was oil-slick smooth, undisturbed by his patient stillness.

Two men slouched against the railing. They hefted battered looking lasrifles, and were protected by chipped and scarred carapace armour. In themselves, they posed no risk to the Astartes, apparently oblivious to their surroundings. Urulokë quickly picked out the bulky black boxes – crude portable vox units – clipped to their breastplates. There lay the danger.

Urulokë gently turned the screw on his scope and adjusted his aim for the slight wind that was blowing across the head of the valley. The sentry on the right was a pale man, with an ugly scar across his face. A lho stick hung from the corner of his cracked lips. He reached up to scratch his face and then laughed gently at a comment his companion had made. His teeth were stained and crooked.

Phut. A splash of red jumped into the air. The sentry clutched the ruin of his neck. Blood bubbled up through his fingers. He managed a wet gurgle, slumped against the railings and slid to the floor. His companion jerked fully upright, face contorted in shock. He fumbled his lasgun. It hit the bridge with a clatter. He pawed for his vox unit. Hdraa steamed out of cover. Two silver blades slid easily from his right vambrace and gleamed lethally in the darkness. He stabbed them into the man’s abdomen. Blood streamed from the sentry’s gaping mouth. Hdraa idly dragged his fist up, separating carapace-plate, flesh and bone with equal disdain. Eviscerated - heart and lungs torn to a bloody pulp - the sentry fell heavily onto his face.

Blood trickled down onto the surface of the water.

Subtle, Urulokë thought. Maintaining vox silence, he signed to the rest of the squad that the way was clear. They moved on up the valley.
If my mind's the weapon, my heart's the extra clip

Forum Moderator

@sqyiggle
User avatar
Squiggle
 
Posts: 1059
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:18 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK


Re: Suffer Not the Mutant. Part 5 Posted

Postby Kentigern » Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:55 pm

Nice intro to the brutal efficiency of the Dragon's Claw, can't wait to see them in full flow :)

Love the descriptions of him picking up the various scents and noises - does make you question though how Space Marines could ever sneak up on other Space Marines...

Looking forward to seeing what happens next.
Good guys go to heaven.

Bad guys send them there.
User avatar
Kentigern
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:58 am
Location: Bishopbriggs, Scotland


Re: Suffer Not the Mutant. Part 5 Posted

Postby Squiggle » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:33 am

Hi Kentigern, glad you are still enjoying it. Only a couple of parts left!

Part 6

Dawn. Wrapped in his cameleoline cloak, Urulokë watched it slide across the treetops. The first rays of sunlight mingled with the thick, dust-laden atmosphere and cast a dirty red hue across the land. He watched it for two minutes, unmoving, until he knew it was time. He hadn’t slept – none of them had – sleep was a luxury their enhanced bodies didn’t require. Urulokë raised a canteen of water to his lips and took a swift draught. Lacking power armour, he wasn’t entirely self sufficient. He offered up a swift prayer and climbed down from his lonely vigil. Mentally and physically prepared for the coming trial, he faced Sergeant Caren.

‘I’m ready,’ he said.

Caren nodded. His helmet was off, bald scalp misshapen around a jutting horn of bone that stood up from his forehead. His green eyes were hooded and reptilian. His lined, leathery face sported a thick, black beard and when he opened his mouth to speak, a narrow, pointed tongue flicked across razor-sharp fangs.

‘We will waste little time closing with the enemy, Urulokë,’ he said. ‘Once we are engaged, find a concealed position and provide covering fire. I do not expect you to join us at the forefront of the assault.’

‘I won’t let you down,’ Urulokë replied. And he vowed that he would not; despite his utter disgust for the Dragon’s Claw, he was an Astartes. Fierce pride pulsed in his breast at the thought of excelling in the one thing he was trained and designed for; warfare.

He led the Dragon’s Claw one final time - a zigzag path along a ragged cliff-top, forever on the brink of being silhouetted to the enemy below – until they were, at last, in position.

Urulokë slithered forwards on his belly, a pair of magnoculars in his hand, until he could overlook the battlefield from the very edge of the crag. The Reborn had chosen an intimidating spot to make their final stand. The defence laser platform towered over the jungle, supported on four mighty-stilts. The vast cannon itself had been reduced to a tangle of wreckage by the first bombardments from the Imperial fleet, but the platform still stood, and around it, in a half circle facing down the mountain-side, the enemy had constructed a series of trenches and redoubts.

Heavy weapons were dug in against further bombardment and manned by the traitor guardsmen that the fallen Astartes seemed intent on surrounding themselves with. Urulokë picked out snub-nosed heavy bolters, long-barrelled autocannons and the gleaming focusing prism of lascannons. The dirty red of the fallen Astartes made sporadic appearances. They appeared few in number, their threatening presence moving amongst the defensive positions, pausing to inspect the site of a heavy weapon or admonish a terrified guardsman.

Somewhere in that maze of fortifications and trenches, Urulokë knew, the Ragged Phoenix would be waiting.

Caren slid up alongside him.

‘And now we wait.’ he said, grinning fiercely. ‘They are weak; their treacherous masters have abandoned them. Their power has waned with the tolling of the long years. We will win this war today.’

Caren’s squad were equipped with jump-packs. The large turbine-thrusters augmented their bulk even more. They took position on the ridge. Urulokë fancied he could feel their growing excitement at the prospect of exacting vengeance on the enemy once again. He bared his own teeth in a snarl, the anticipation of battle setting his pulse racing. Hdraa clapped him on the shoulder.

‘Soon, little brother,’ he said, ‘you will be joining us in the scorching, bloody forge of battle, not skulking here with your long rifle.’

Urulokë shuddered despite himself; he could think of nothing worse than becoming like Hdraa and his twisted kin.

The distant boom of artillery signalled the battle’s beginning. The 15th Cadians had provided a complement of Earth Shaker cannons and shells began to fall amongst the enemy positions, flinging vast plumes of earth tens of metres into the air. Most fell short or wide, but the occasional direct hit on a trench or redoubt would detonate in a mess of mud and blood, instantly levelling the fortifications.

Captains Kyta and Falkane had concocted a plan which relied on a brutal lightning strike to overwhelm the enemy and destroy them with a single thrust. A thunderous boom echoed up the valley. Urulokë wasted a quick glance up from his scope; he knew what he would see. Vengeance was coming.

Spitting fire and smoke in the manner of angry, primeval beasts, three thunderhawk gunships plunged into the valley, shredding the tremulous morning mist into ragged pockets of flimsy cloud. They were two yellow and one black, and the jagged shriek of their turbine engines echoed across the battlefield. As they flattened out of their violent dive, jinking and swaying to avoid the barrage of flak laid down by the traitor weapons, dorsal mounted battlecannons coughed into life. Massive shells hammered the mountainside, dislodging earth and men in equal measure. Fortifications crumbled to dust and men were pulped to bloody ruin.

Hellfury missiles – specifically equipped for this mission - launched from under the wings and shot forwards, trailing white streamers. The munitions punched into the defensive positions and filled them with burning promethium. Men died screaming as their flesh melted away. Urulokë saw one of the Reborn become engulfed, his ancient power armour failing to protect against the scouring burn of the incendiaries.

As the streaking gunships closed on the traitor positions their heavy bolter batteries joined in the assault. Puffs of smoke erupted across the lines where the shells hit. Over-charged engines grumbling under the strain, the gunships dropped within metres of the ground. The heavy bolters continued to roar, laying down a constant barrage of suppressing fire. At the rear of each gunship, ramps dropped open and eighty loyal Astartes, numbers slightly in favour of the Imperial Fists, disembarked into the smoke, dust and confusion of the battlefield. Bellowing battle cries that reverberated in Urulokë’s vox, and with the practiced precision of a lifetime spent at war, the Astartes advanced on the stunned and battered traitor positions.

Sergeant Caren didn’t delay for a moment. Before the first thunderhawk had settled down, he ordered his men forward with clenched fist and commands of tempered steel. As one, the Space Marines of the Dragon’s Claw recklessly hurled themselves from the cliff top. For long seconds they dropped headfirst towards the enemy positions, streaking black comets of blood, iron and faith. At the last moment, just as Urulokë was convinced they had left it too late, their jump packs ignited. Blue flame washed into the valley, scorching the earth. The ten marines rocketed towards the unprotected enemy flank. In their fiery wake low lying scrub smouldered and burned.

Urulokë was not idly watching. As the traitor gunners slowly wheeled their weapons to bear, he was already drawing a bead. A rapid burst pitched two into the dirt and sent the rest ducking for cover as needle-fire whickered overhead. By the time they had recovered, Caren and his men were in position to slice them apart in bloody hand-to hand combat.

Battle was joined.

Having disgorged their cargo, the thunderhawks lifted off, battlecannons launching one final salvo before they climbed back into the heavens.

The Black Dragons and Imperial Fists advanced in a perfect display of fire and movement. The few Guardsmen who had survived the bombardment and the scything fire of the thunderhawks were picked off by accurate salvoes of deadly bolter fire. Within moments of landing and against little more than sporadic defensive fire, the Astartes had captured the traitor’s front lines. Caren’s Dragon’s Claw had punched through the left flank towards the ruined defence laser.

As the Astartes gathered themselves to launch the final phase of the assault, Urulokë spied Kyta leading the contingent of thirty Black Dragons from the front. From his raised position, he was the first to see the fallen Astartes of the Reborn emerge from their prepared positions deep in the bowels of the earth. Over a hundred dusky crimson armoured bodies launched into the air on wings of fire and scythed down the slope at the advancing loyalists. The counterattack had begun. And in the teeth of that advance, drenched from slaughter, was Sergeant Caren’s Dragon’s Claw. They were going to die. They had to die.

And yet.

The Reborn were out of control. Small arms fire crackled back and forth as they closed with the outnumbered loyalists. Distracted by the obvious target, the over-extended chaotic space marines were unprepared as a dagger thrust of black-armoured Astartes burst from cover into their midst. Urulokë added his fire to that of his brothers, but the battle lines rapidly descended into a swirling melee of blood, fire and smoke. Any chance of a clean shot was denied. Slinging the rifle over his shoulder, Urulokë leapt lithely to his feet and began to make his way rapidly down into the valley.

#


Blood. The stench of it was thick in his nostrils as Urulokë neared the battlefield. Gunfire sounded. Metal rang against metal and Astartes of both sides cried, cheered and bellowed. Clambering around an outcrop of dusty rock, he came up on the redoubt that the Dragon’s Claw had overrun during the first exchanges. He was no stranger to death, but the sheer savagery of the wounds inflicted still gave him pause for thought. The Dragon’s Claw were not warriors, they were butchers. A fresh flurry of bolter fire reminded him of his purpose and he hurried on, climbing up towards the defensive positions around the base of the ruined defence laser.

It didn’t take him long to find his brothers. They now occupied a traitor trench. Suppressing fire flickered back and forth between the two lines. Urulokë tuned into the vox chatter; Kyta had ordered the thunderhawks back for another pass. Their ordinance would break the back of the traitor defences and then, led by the Dragon’s Claw, the final assault would begin. Urulokë was determined to be in the heart of it.

He dropped into a trench and found himself alongside Captain Kyta. His armour bore fresh battle scars and his spined gauntlet was slick with blood. He glanced at Urulokë and a smile flashed across his battle-dirtied face.

‘Urulokë,’ he said, ‘our foul enemies create an interference – our auspexes cannot penetrate it – and I require more exact coordinates for our thunderhawk gunships. Can you-‘

An immense explosion stole the words from his mouth. Planted munitions erupted beneath their feet and tossed the Black Dragons into the air like ragdolls.
If my mind's the weapon, my heart's the extra clip

Forum Moderator

@sqyiggle
User avatar
Squiggle
 
Posts: 1059
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:18 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK


Re: Suffer Not the Mutant. Part 6 Posted

Postby Kentigern » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:35 am

Morning Squiggle

Great update as always, looking forward to seeing where you finish up with this. One thing - I would have personally liked to have seen a bit more of Urulokë's reflections/reactions to the Dragon's Claw. There are bits of it laced through, but given that he has been sent on this mission deliberately to give him insights/understanding of the mutated troops, a wee bit more interaction would be a useful way to expand out on his thinking. He is disgusted, but is there anything about his brother Marines that he respects/is challenged by? And if not then how is reconciling that with his obvious disquiet with his Chapter which you have been exploring in previous chapters?

Realise you might be planning to explore this over the next few chapters, so apologies if so! :lol:
Good guys go to heaven.

Bad guys send them there.
User avatar
Kentigern
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:58 am
Location: Bishopbriggs, Scotland


Re: Suffer Not the Mutant. Part 6 Posted

Postby Squiggle » Sun Oct 15, 2017 5:12 pm

Kentigern - thanks as ever for your feedback. Yes, I think I could have fleshed that out more but I didnt want to detract from the reason they were working together...

Anyway, the final part follows. Thanks for reading!

Captain Vizar Kyta was half buried in the dirt, deafened and disorientated. Thick clods of earth pattered down onto his armour where he lay. Sticky blood trickled from a deep gash on his forehead. His helmet was shattered, his heads-up-display devolved into meaningless static. His armour was covered in dirt and marked with blood where shrapnel had punctured the ceramite. Kyta righted himself with a snarl and tossed away the ruined helmet. His head pulsed and his vision was smeared light and dark from the immense explosion. Worse, he had lost his boltgun. He drew a short, stabbing blade from his belt and gritted his teeth. Clarity of sight returned and with it the awareness that something huge was approaching. A bellowing roar on the air made him think that the gunships had returned, but he was mistaken. Suspended on ethereal wings of blue and purple flame, the dread lord of the Reborn, the Ragged Phoenix, rose up from behind a shattered bunker and gestured crudely at the Black Dragons Captain.

Kyta raised his gauntlet by way of response.

‘Come down so I can smite you, filth,’ he bellowed, his thunderous voice audible even over the clamour of battle.

The Phoenix obliged, settling to the earth mere metres from where Kyta stood. Baleful red eyes glared from an emaciated, skull-like face. Paper-thin translucent skin failed to disguise a network of writhing blood vessels. Twin horns jutted from the being’s brow, and his teeth – completely exposed by a lipless mouth – were sharpened to needle points. Emerging from his shoulders were two skeletal wings, tinged with fire. As Kyta mastered the surge of adrenaline that coursed through his system, the monstrous traitor raised a growling chainaxe that coursed with crackling energy, and let forth a bellowing cry of rage. Galvanised into motion, Kyta threw himself sideways just in time to avoid the massive glaive. Glancing left and right, he could see no other Astartes. He was alone in this fight. A savage grin creased his bloodied face; that was just how he liked it.

Wielding his glaive two handed, the Phoenix’s second swipe tore into the earth. Thick mud splattered across Kyta’s already filthy armour as he tumbled sideways.

‘Dare to face me, Imperial dog,’ the Ragged Phoenix taunted, ripping his axe from the mud-bank and spinning to face the Black Dragon with startling agility. Kyta darted forwards, thrusting out with his blade. The traitor easily dodged the blow and crashed a fist into his shoulder. Rust particulates exploded into the air from the point of contact. Where they touched the exposed skin of Kyta’s face, the corrosive dust stung and burned. He ignored the pain flickering up and down his left arm and swung a lethal hook with his gauntlet. The bone-spines, wreathed in violently discharging energy, sheared through the Phoenix’s breastplate. Armour separated with a spurt of rust and oil and the gauntlet’s spines came away streaked with blood.

The Phoenix barely slowed. A chuckle escaped his cracked lips and he swung the axe once more. Kyta rolled under the deadly blow and slammed his blade into the traitor’s side. Driven by two hundred kilos of straining Astartes muscle, the sword punched through the ceramite and up to the hilt. The traitor howled and brought his glaive down, cracking Kyta on the back of the head with the steel-shod butt of the weapon. He went down hard, skull ringing, skin split and bone fractured. He rolled groggily sideways as the glaive ravaged the earth where he lay.

Despite the blade lodged in his side, the traitor continued to fight with the same unending fury as before. Kyta took a vicious blow which sheared through his left vambrace and shredded the flesh and ligaments beneath. Blood slicked the earth. The traitor lazily swung out a leg and kicked him solidly in the stomach. Kyta was thrown into the air and crashed through the remnants of a bunker wall. He could taste the coppery tang of blood in his mouth. His chest burned. He was dying.

The Ragged Phoenix knew it. He pressed the attack, slashing wildly, his face a snarling visage of death. Kyta dodged clumsily, his head throbbing with every movement. His vision greyed and red shadows crept in from the sides. The Phoenix came again. Kyta blocked a thunderous blow with his gauntlet. The sheer momentum of the swing knocked him off his feet. He crashed onto his back in the dirt and blood of the battlefield. A dead Imperial Fist lay nearby, cracked eye lenses staring at nothing. The glaive came down again with the sheer unstoppable inevitability of an executioner’s axe. A clashing power sword, wreathed in crackling energy, intervened. The Phoenix stumbled back, robbed of victory.

Falkane swung in to view. His once pristine armour was blackened by smoke and smeared with mud and stringy gore. His noble face was splattered with blood and his wreath was gone. He snarled, the very image of a furious Astartes prosecuting war, and pressed his attack home. The Phoenix fell back, barely blocking the lightning jabs of Falkane’s slender sword. Blood was leaking in increased quantities from the puncture-wound in his side. The Ragged Phoenix let out an angry growl. He tore the blade from his side and tossed it away. Thick arterial blood gushed from the wound, coating his armour, mingling with the rust-dust in a sticky, gore paste.

Falkane twisted aside from another haymaker sweep of the chainaxe and stabbed his blade into the leg of the traitor. Armour screeched and separated and the sword cut deep into the flesh beneath. Hamstrung, the traitor limped away. Roaring in righteous fury, Falkane swung the sword again. The Phoenix recovered, caught the blow on the shaft of his axe and drove a fierce headbutt into Falkane’s face. Stunned from the savage force of the blow, Falkane was momentarily defenceless. The Phoenix swung his axe, motor howling. Kyta surged into the path of the weapon, and took the blow on his shoulder. The thundering glaive near shredded his armour plate and cast him aside.

It was the distraction Falkane needed. His sword rent the traitor’s chest to bloody ruin. The blazing red eyes dimmed, the chainaxe slipped from abruptly nerveless fingers. Falkane finished the job, the final sweep of his blade decapitating the Ragged Phoenix. Blood sprayed briefly into the air and the rust-armoured corpse toppled into the mud.

Groggy with barely suppressed agony, left arm useless at his side, Kyta struggled to regain his feet. Growling under his breath, he looked up to see Falkane reaching out with one muddied yellow gauntlet. Kyta took the offered grip and Falkane hauled him upright. The two captains gazed levelly at one another.

‘Brother Ecnor’s geneseed?’ Falkane said.

‘We do not have it,’ Kyta snarled in return, but the lie was writ on his face, and Falkane knew it. The Imperial Fist let a humourless smirk twist his lips.

‘I sense you are a good man, Kyta,’ he said. ‘Do not let the weight of your burdens bring you down.’

He raised his blood-slick blade in salute, turned on his heel and strode away. Kyta hawked and spat a gob of bloody phlegm into the mud. He stared down at the decapitated corpse of the Ragged Phoenix and felt no sense of triumph.

#

In the aftermath, Urulokë felt like an outsider. The rest of his brethren had gathered in their squads, mourning the dead, collecting the fallen or burning piles of tainted man and marine alike. Urulokë wandered away, climbing the slope towards the ruined defence laser. The sun sank gently towards the horizon. The air around him was coloured a thick, bloody crimson, and Urulokë found it reminded him of the brutal demise of the sentry on the bridge. It did not appear to be a particularly promising omen.

‘Brother.’ Urulokë looked around, unable to locate the source of the sound. To his left were a series of crumpled bunkers, reduced to little more than rubble by the bombardment.

‘Brother…’ the voice sounded familiar, distorted as it was by pain. Urulokë hurried up to one of the collapsed walls and peered down into darkness. Eyes rapidly adjusting to the gloom, he identified a figure in power armour at the base of a narrow shaft. A plasteel stanchion pinned it to the floor, passing straight through its chest. It was Brother Hdraa. One arm was trapped under fallen rubble, the other under his body.

Urulokë dropped down into the hole. Hdraa twisted as he approached, struggling to free himself with renewed spirit.

‘Brother Hdraa,’ Urulokë said, ‘you are trapped.’

‘Urulokë.’ Hdraa’s skin was pale and sweat beaded on his brow. His helmet was gone, and his face was a bloody ruin where chunks of falling masonry had struck it. Several fangs had been knocked out. ‘I have been pinned in this accursed shaft for hours, since the traitors exploded their trench works.’

Urulokë settled onto a chunk of rubble and appraised Hdraa.

‘What are your injuries?’ Urulokë asked.

‘One lung has collapsed and fluid is beginning to pool in the other. Without extraction I will die here.’ There was no fear in Hdraa’s voice, just cold pragmatism. For a brief moment, Urulokë felt pity for him.

‘Sergeant Caren has not been back to look for you? I have seen him, seated by the campfire.’

Hdraa grunted, the action causing sparks of agony to flicker across his face. ‘I am not surprised. There is no honour in the Dragon’s Claw. There is no brotherhood; I am valued only for my capacity for slaughter, savagery and excess.’ He coughed and blood trickled from the corner of his mouth.

‘You are not Astartes?’

Hdraa’s let out a bark of mirthless laughter, bringing with it fresh spatters of blood. ‘We are less than Astartes, cursed, mutated. We are locked away as feral beasts. The first company is reduced to gaolers and savage monsters. War has become our only escape from that constant torment. I long only to kill, Urulokë, and now I realise the wrongness of it.’ He wet his lips with his bloody tongue. Urulokë unscrewed the lid on his canteen and dribbled water into Hdraa’s mouth. Some of it spilled down his chin mingling with the blood.

‘Can you get me out?’ Hdraa said, hoarsely. His green eyes were wide, pupils blown open by the stimulants coursing through his wounded body.

Urulokë stared at him. Captain Kyta’s words came back to him. Do you intend to destroy the Dragon’s Claw? To rid us of our deviant streak? Because you will destroy the Black Dragons with it
.
‘No.’ he said. A krak grenade glinted in his hand.

Hdraa closed his eyes. ‘The Emperor will not take me. I am damned by your hand, brother.’ He said.

Urulokë climbed up the shaft and walked quickly away. The concussive blast of the krak grenades pulped Hdraa’s trapped body and brought the rest of the bunker down to bury him. A fresh plume of dust merged with the thick air.

Pausing in the lee of a rocky outcrop, Urulokë rolled up his left sleeve. Alongside the nubs of errant bone that already started to grow out of his forearm, he carved a simple slash into the flesh.

One.

He had taken the first step. He would not rest until the chapter was pure again, even though he knew it would mean his death.

Suffer not the mutant to live.
If my mind's the weapon, my heart's the extra clip

Forum Moderator

@sqyiggle
User avatar
Squiggle
 
Posts: 1059
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:18 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK


Re: Suffer Not the Mutant. Final part Posted

Postby Kentigern » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:58 pm

Explosive finish, look forward to seeing where it goes next :)

Really enjoyed the combat scene, very well written. Personally, it was a wee bit of a jar that it didn't contain Urulokë at all, given he had been our focus pretty much throughout, but did mean it was a nice twist when Falkane jumped in rather than it being our hero as I expected.

I do wonder if Falkane would be as understanding about stolen geneseed, is pretty much the most sacred thing t Astartes, but perhaps this is coming in the next story (not that I'm pushing you to write more :lol: honest).

Excellent work from start to finish, really enjoyed it.
Good guys go to heaven.

Bad guys send them there.
User avatar
Kentigern
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:58 am
Location: Bishopbriggs, Scotland


Re: Suffer Not the Mutant. Final part Posted

Postby Squiggle » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:22 pm

Kentigern wrote:Explosive finish, look forward to seeing where it goes next :)

Really enjoyed the combat scene, very well written. Personally, it was a wee bit of a jar that it didn't contain Urulokë at all, given he had been our focus pretty much throughout, but did mean it was a nice twist when Falkane jumped in rather than it being our hero as I expected.

I do wonder if Falkane would be as understanding about stolen geneseed, is pretty much the most sacred thing t Astartes, but perhaps this is coming in the next story (not that I'm pushing you to write more :lol: honest).

Excellent work from start to finish, really enjoyed it.


Hi Kentigern - loyal reader!! Thanks for the positive comments. I did really enjoy writing it, but never wrote any more featuring Uruloke at the time. This was actually a submission to Black Library a good few years ago, and I liked the idea enough that I wrote it up. Looking back, yes it is a little odd that Uruloke didnt feature in the final encounter, but I wanted to show a little more of the battle than his role - and had he faced off against the chaos monster he would have been splattered like Kyta very nearly was!

Anyhow, I am very gratified that you took the time to read it and enjoyed it!
If my mind's the weapon, my heart's the extra clip

Forum Moderator

@sqyiggle
User avatar
Squiggle
 
Posts: 1059
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:18 pm
Location: Cornwall, UK


Return to Board index

Return to Fan Fiction

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests