Skull Reaper

Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim, dark future there is only war.

Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Boc » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:49 pm

III


Alpharius, glory to His Name, stands before the warriors of the Eighth Company. We are assembled in ranks in company-mass formation. Our blue armor, trimmed with shining silver, glints in the sunlight. The screaming is gone. My mind is serene, silent. Alone?

What is this world? I remember this day, this event. Where is it? When is it? The final days of the Crusade, before the treachery of the Warmaster is fully known to the galaxy. The realization hits me as the glimpse of the future comes and fades in an instant, a millisecond of perfect clarity into impenetrable darkness. The Emperor, praise him, has no idea that his most faithful and steadfast son has turned his back on him. The Crusade is the future, the very fruition of our efforts for over two hundred years, the pinnacle of the Emperor’s vision. Humanity, united again after thousands of years of dispersion, finally reunited. The Age of Strife was at an end, and the Age of Enlightenment, the Golden Age of humanity was on the horizon. We do not even know that yet. Do not know of what? The memory fades, some glance forgotten in the moment, overwhelmed by the presence of Alpharius. Father. Something important nags at the back of my mind, a knowledge, a terrible knowledge of what is to come.

I stand in the middle of the third rank, thirty three Astartes from the left-most column. My normal place in the assembly of the company, a battle-brother, the great Alpha Legion. Thousands of us stand ready and willing to do the bidding of our father.

The sun hangs high in the sky, beating down its incredible and oppressive heat upon the gathered soldiers. The Eighth Company has been separated from the rest of the Legion, leading the efforts of the Ninety-Seventh Expedition in bringing the far-flung remnants of humanity to compliance. None of the accompanying Imperial Army regiments, the three hundred thousand soldiers and agents fighting alongside the Company in the name of the Emperor, were permitted to attend. They are all in orbit, having completed the cleansing of Ninety-Seven-Fourteen three days ago, eradicating the alien infestation plaguing the human inhabitants. Waiting for us, the Astartes, and for their next destination, the next world to be burnt or liberated, all in the name of the Emperor and Alpharius.

The three-thousand members of Eighth Company are identical and immobile statues, one Space Marine indistinguishable from the next to all but the untrained eye. However, there are no human eyes gazing on us, no outsiders privy to what is about to be shared.

A shudder runs up my spine, a tingle of anticipation. It is not often we are graced by the presence of our Primarch, as his duties carry him far away, with the main body of the Legion. I have to fight to remain still; I am so filled with excitement.

Alpharius clears his throat, as though he needs to have his loyal sons focus their attention on him. An unnecessary gesture, as every eye present knows no sight but their Primarch. Nothing else on the planet matters in the presence of their father, their Liege Lord, their master.

He holds his hands high, ‘Sons,’ he begins, ‘I have no doubt that the whispers have reached you. The hushed voices that speak of Traitorous Legions, of sons turning their backs on their father.’ He paused as a shadow passed over his face, the pain of knowledge. Still, the Legionnaires remain silent, as we know precisely what our Primarch refers. Even as far removed as the Ninety-Seventh is from the main body of the Legion, we have heard the talk, the rumours of civil war

‘Word has spread that my dearest brother, Horus Lupercal, has forsaken his vows as the Emperor’s Warmaster and declared war on Terra. These rumours,’ our primarch pauses, and my heart breaks for him as I see despair briefly flicker across his beautiful face, ‘are true. Horus, with the support of eight Legions, have moved against the Emperor, declaring for Horus.

I am confused, word has only reached us of four Legions flocking to Horus, those engaged at Istvaan III. Who could the others be? Russ’s Wolves? No, despite their barbarity their loyalties were unwavering. The Cyclops and his Sorcerors? Possibly, but Magnus loved his father, and his desires to vindicate himself for the findings of the Council of Nikea are well known. I cannot fathom that even more would turn away from the Imperial Truth, from what we have all been bred to be. It is alien, and the knowledge that it is true is overwhelming. I fight to stay standing, relying on my armour to keep me upright.

‘My sons,’ Alpharius continues on, his voice soft, so much so that we all must strain our heightened senses to hear him over the screaming of our own thoughts and the thunder of our hearts, ‘we leave tonight for Istvaan V. We are the Eighth.’

No.
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Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Boc » Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:49 pm

[center][SIZE="4"]IV[/SIZE][/center]

The memory faded, a fleeting glimpse of a past long forgotten. He blinked as the haze of remembrance dissolved before the intrusion of blinding lights. No longer was he standing with the members of the Eighth, but sitting at an ovular table surrounded by warriors of the Venom Guard. His eyes adjusted to the sudden light, dimming the glare to the natural gloom of the Strategem.

Bravvick felt his awareness struggling to emerge, not as with his constant struggle against the daemon, but as though he was surfacing from an unimaginable depth. A blanket had been laid over his mind and, try as he may, he could not discern its source. He shook his head in an attempt to clear his thoughts and focus on the present.

Beside him, Anderan leaned over and whispered, ‘Decided to wake up, I see.’ Bravvick turned his head slightly, catching the wicked sneer crossing Anderan’s scarred face. Never the most attractive of Astartes, the Raptor leader’s visage had been warped from wounds suffered over the centuries. Both eyes were bionic, emerald ovals glowing eerily from the destroyed face. ‘You have not moved in an hour.’

‘Failure has never been an option,’ the leader of the Venom Guard fumed. ‘Too much time, too many resources have been spent in pursuit of the embryos.’ The warrior dug his gauntleted fingers into the ancient marble surface until they screeched. ‘Seer!’

At the front of the table, Ezekial stood, head bowed in obeisance to his lord. ‘Wrathful, the portents and omens all indicated that the embryos would be there. Our plans have not changed, merely the target.’ Emboldened, he began pacing around the assembled sergeants of the Venom Guard. ‘Even now, my sorcerers are consulting with the warp, divining our new target.’

Bravvick followed the sorcerer, scowling. A nagging memory plagued him, something he could not place his finger on, but irked him none the less. He felt his ire unexplainably rise towards the Seer. Secrets and lies. The words, the mantra of the Legion, surfaced in his mind. Secrets and lies, the method of the Alpha Legion, the stratagem by which they lived, fought, and died. Wheels within wheels, motivations hidden by misdirection. Even within the relative familiarity of the Venom Guard, deception and deceit were the norm. Few were the Legionnaires whom one could trust, could place confidence in for their discretion and loyalty.

Loyalty. Bravvick frowned deeply at the concept. Loyalty to the Company was paramount; each warrior had dedicated their lives and sacrificed their souls for the good of the Legion, each act they committed was, at least on some level, for the advancement of the Wrathful’s goals. On an individual level? Laughable. Eudeves and his whoresons, given to the madness of Slaanesh, were more intent on gaining some level of perverse climactic experience than the continued progression in the art of war. Flegmus, that plague-infested bastard had abandoned the warband two years before, in pursuit of his sickly master, Phagram. The four marines that had departed with him had made no contact since. Jealousies and rivalries abounded, and if Bravvick was less dedicated to his Master, he would relish severing their heads.


‘The warp currents are powerful, Lord,’ Ezekial’s echoing words broke through Bravvick’s confusion, seeming to call from all directions at once. Bravvick sneered as he realized the Seer was attempting to use his powers to assuage the assembly.

Silence!’ Rising from his throne, the Wrathful straightened to his full height. The horns twisting from his helmet caught a banner fluttering over him, a full four meters above the floor. The warrior was massive and imposing, even to those who had served with him since the Crusade. A shudder ran down Bravvick’s spine and he felt the compulsion to lower his head in recognition of his master’s superiority.

‘Enough of this useless posturing, Ezekial,’ the golden helmet did nothing to hide the disdain in the Wrathful’s voice. It radiated contempt and anger, bled the fury that earned the Lord of the Venom Guard his title. ‘You are the reason of this failure,’ he snarled, pointing a taloned finger in the sorcerer’s breastplate. Abruptly, he swept his gauntlet across Ezekial’s armour, ruining the intricate engravings and runes that decorated it. Three hydra heads were disjoined from their body, sacred sigils were wiped from existence, tales of bravery and victory destroyed.

Immediately, the already tense atmosphere thickened. Animosity filled the air, and each squad champion quickly moved their hands to their pistols, ready to draw. Only once before had a member of the Venom Guard struck Ezekial, and his retribution had been swift and exacting. Not enough had remained of the Marine to fill a bolter shell. The Seer’s temper was legendary, and often spoke of in hushed whispers in the Reflectium. On the battlefield, the sorcerer’s powers were unstoppable.

Bravvick braced himself for a psychic onslaught, surely Ezekial will not be so foolish...

Ezekial’s eyes blazed with ethereal energies wafting in vaporous fumes. He stared, hate filling his eyes, into the obsidian orbs of the Wrathful’s battlehelm. He stared into the blackness, powers boiling, begging to be released.

The darkness stared back.

The silence, in a way, was louder than any battlefield. The absence of noise as the two mighty warriors perched on the precipice of butchery. Any flinch could explode into slaughter, as the disunity of command bred the desire to kill. The Wrathful’s anger was a tangible force in the room, fuelling Bravvick’s body with malevolent power, as the Lord of the Venom Guard clenched his gauntlet on Bloodthirst’s haft.

‘Ezekial,’ hardly a whisper, the Wrathful’s voice still shattered the quiet. ‘You have failed us. You have led us astray of our goal, and wasted years of preparation.’ Slowly, the Wrathful released his grip on his great daemon axe, allowing it to lean against the table once again. ‘Leave us. Your punishment will be decided and met out within the warp.’ He gently sat his massive Terminator-armour clad frame back in his throne. ‘You must not forget, I am the Lord of the Venom Guard. You are its eyes, but I am its soul. My word is law.’

Finally, the seer blinked. The sorcerous glow emitting from his eyes dimmed. He narrowed his eyes, ‘I will be in my chambers.’ With a whirl of his cloak, Ezekial stormed from the Strategum as dozens of eyes followed him out.

As abruptly as it had materialized, the tension in the room dissipated. The Wrathful removed his helmet, placing it in front of him on the table. Bravvick followed suit, as did his peers, and once again the War Council convened.

‘Now, my brothers,’ their lord said wearily, ‘where do we go from here?’
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Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Lord_Crull » Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:47 pm

I've been following this on Heresy Online. This really is an exquiste piece of storytelling. You capture exactly what I would have as the gritty nature of the Chaos Space Marines and the Alpha Legion.
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Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Boc » Mon May 30, 2011 4:04 am

Glad you have liked it so far, Lord Crull, and my apologies for having taken so long to get anything knew written.

Glad you liked it, TOG, and finally there is more!

CHAPTER VI

The serpent must always be cautious so as to stay free from its own tightening coils.
- Ingo Pech


I


To the being unnaccustomed to interstellar travel, the immense and unending vastness of space was truly a mindboggling concept. Distance was not measured in metres or fathoms, but in the time it takes a particle of light to travel in a second, a minute, a year. From the surface of a planet, the night sky lied to the uneducated mind, speaking of an expanse of constant light, of population and promise.

Instead of a galaxy of closely located stars and unisolated systems, emptiness abounded. Man discovered this early in its rise to primacy, as the first curious humans ventured out and found themselves alone and solitary. Instead of worlds close enough to reach out and touch, unimaginable distances separated Terra even from those planets in its own solar family. Man reached out blindly in the dark, desparate to expand past its borders, past the impassible limitations of sub-light travel. Finally, in his quest to explore the unknown, an answer was found.

The Empyrean.

The galaxy was colonized as man ventured out en masse, founding civilizations spanning its entire breadth. Explosions of aetheric energies into realspace heralded the human race’s encroachment. Reality twisted as unnatural forces burst forth, as primordial beasts of hatred and lust struggled to emerge.

The Viaticus star system was nothing extraordinary. Three average sized spheres of rock separated by a thin, sparsely populated asteroid field from the outlying twin gas giants. Six billion miles from the star, two gas giants revolved in synchronous, lazy orbit. Far from the still-smoldering surface of the second planet, the last pair were just reaching their most distant leg of their ovoid orbit.

Beyond them, as the blue-black spheres continued on their lonely trek, an ugly, swirling violet stain opened in the heavens. Clouds of despair intermingled with tidal waves of ecstasy cascaded from the portal as immaterial clashed with the void. Massive, kilometre-long taloned hands reached out, grasping for unwary spacecraft to annihilate in their primordial rage.

From amidst the chaos, a single solid mass emerged. A solitary focus of steel and lethality decelerated as the damned stretc hed to claim their lost prize. Streaks of crimson and magenta lightning danced along the starship’s hull, surging in immense waves trying in futility to find a weakness in the vessel’s Gellar field. Finally, the rip in the fabric of the universe began to dissipate, collapsing under its own power and hunger. As the violet maelstrom faded from existence, the only clue to its brief presence was the ship left in its wake.

A knife in the darkness split through the outer reaches of the Viaticus system, brimming with lethality and violent purpose. Each angle of the vessel bespoke of power, from the massive lance cannons underneath its beak-like prow that could wreak absolute devastation to the vaulted cathedral spires adorning its spine. Articifial flames adorned the hull, giving the massive ship the appearance of being eternally engulfed in fire.

As the Burning Fury plunged deeper into the Viaticus system, its occupants prepared the strike cruiser for war. While no threat had been identified, every good commander knew to pray for the best but prepare for the worst, and entering a system blind was no difference.

Aboard the bridge, amidst the seeming bedlam of activity, a solitary figure stood stoically, blood red vambraces crossing his chest as he stared into the oblivion. When he spoke, the sound of his voice echoed the appearance of his ship, dark and powerful. ‘Status?’ he requested.

‘Astropaths report no readings or hails from the garrison, sir,’ a crewman’s voice called.

‘Auspex reports activity around the garrison world, a capital class vessel, type cannot be determined,’ another followed.

‘Standing by for active sensorium reports, Lord,’ a third said, ‘first contacts should be inbound in moments from the planet.’ The vast distance between the second world and the outer planets meant any vox traffic would be delayed in reach the Fury.

The captain nodded, ‘Continue at speed, report when all squads are ready.’

Brother Sergeant Charron approached from behind the stationary captain, accompanied by his company’s Librarian. He could imagine his captain’s eyes narrowing as the older Marine registered the movement and catalogued it as threat or ally. It was a natural reaction, the sons of fire were nothing if not calculating in each and every aspect of their behaviour.

Halting and assuming the appropriately formal rest position, he awaited for his commander’s directions. As the senior sergeant of the company’s assault squads, he also served as one of the initial advisors as a tactical scenario developed.

The captain turned slightly, regarding Charron and the psyker. ‘You are sure this is the place?’ Captain Ilyad asked.

Librarian Corsico nodded slowly, his eyes distant and unfocused. ‘Aye,’ he responded softly. ‘this is it.’ The psyker took a step towards the viewport, his wychsight seeking outwards towards the inner system. ‘I heard the screaming, then silence.’ The Space Marine’s eyes blazed, ‘There is no psychic signal from the planet, only darkness.’

Alarms started chiming from one of the consoles nearby, and a voice shouted above the bustle of activity. ‘Lord, class identification made on the vessel.’ Charron, still statuesque in his bearing, noticed a slight unease in the human’s voice as he continued his report, ‘It’s a battle barge, not broadcasting any transponder codes.’

Captain Ilyad grunted, ‘There is no shock there, if your divinations are correct.’ A bit of levity entered the captain’s rumbling voice, ‘And they always are.’

Corsico did not seem to register the compliment, and instead continued staring out of the viewports. ‘There is something here, a phantom dancing at the edge of my vision.’ His narrowed eyes became slits as he cast his consciousness onto the ethereal waves of the warp, ‘It does not see me, but if I gaze much longer it will notice my presence. I must be cautious.’ With a start, the Marine’s consciousness jerked back to the Fury.

The trio stood in silence for a moment. A battle barge in a system under their control would have no reason to cease transmitting its identification. The Chapter’s only vessels of such a size were distant, and Charron knew of no deployments to this secter, save for their own. Even then, an excursion into an allied Chapter’s territory was no reason to shut down all broadcasts, and certainly no explanation for the complete astropathic silence that Corsico reported. No loyalist vessel… Charron felt a stirring of wrath within him, an ignition of the flames of his inner anger.

Captain Ilyad gave voice to his advisor’s thoughts, ‘Traitors,’ he hissed.

Charron felt an eager chill accompany his smoldering ire, Traitor Legionaires had visited the planet. They could be after but one thing…

Casting a sidelong glance to Charron, the captain issued his first orders. ‘Brother Sergeant, prepare the boarding torpedos.’ His voice boomed across the command bay, overwhelming even the constant bustle around him. All movement ceased as Space Marine and serf alike gazed at their commander. He drew his sword, taking it into a reverse-two handed grip. With a cry of rage, he slammed the tip into the crimson floor, burying the antique blade in the steel with a shriek of metal.

‘Angels of Fire, prepare for war.’
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Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Boc » Mon May 30, 2011 7:40 am

Holy carp, a writing spree!

II


Darkness seemed to cling to each corner of the chamber, seeking to overwhelm any semblance of light that tried to pervade its near-sacred purpose. The Reflectium was sparcely populated, apparently the Venom Guard felt little need to find its inner balance after the engagement. Dimly lit lumi globes provided the only ambience, circles of light swallowed by an expanse of blackness. The great hall sat in the central spine of the enormous craft, from which radiated the four mace-like expanses held by those mistakenly devoted to the Dark Gods. While the Venom Guard enforced neutrality, even hostility, towards the powers of Chaos, the once-great Astartes were a pathetic, hypocritical reflection of what they had once been.

Shadowy booths lined the walls, each separated by twenty paces from the next. Privacy was paramount here, a gathering place for warriors to speak their minds without worrying about curious and listening ears. It is truly a sad state of affairs that we are reduced to secrecy within.

Zors scowled as his mind wandered to its dark recesses. An introspective mind was a valuable tool within the Guard, and his had been increasingly so as of late. A valuable tool, however a dangerous one, as it gave resolute minds the opportunity to search its weaknesses to find… what?

His frown deepened as he leaned back in a secluded booth, his massive form rubbing against the leather of the bench. He was unarmoured, dressed not in the emerald livery of his battle regalia, but in an olive tunic bearing the dripping fangs of a vyper. His eyes gazed out into the gloom, a murk deep enough that without his enhanced vision, he would have been unable to penetrate its depths. He could scarcely see other patrons conversing in hushed tones across the Reflectium, faces hidden in the twilight.

‘Sever the head,’ a voice whispered behind him.

Zors smiled grimly, ‘and see another emerge.’ He turned to see the dark, noble features of Bravvick kneeling beside him, with Anderan behind. ‘Come, sit, drink,’ he gestured his hand towards the tabletop in front of him, indicating the carefully arranged bottle with four glasses placed at the corner.

The Skull Champion slapped the Raptor on his shoulder as he slid into the booth across from him, followed closely by Anderan. Although both Astartes outranked Zors, the Reflectium was a place where rank had no sway and fraternization was encouraged, with the original intent of tying the battle brothers together in spirit as well as by blood.

The cloak and dagger greeting had been a ritual for as long as Zors could remember. It was a greeting amongst brothers as well as a tribute to the tenets upon which the Alpha Legion had been founded. It symbolized not only the continuity of leadership within the Legion, but of a bond of trust between brothers.

As ritual dictated, Zors grabbed the bottle from the centre of the table and poured its contents evenly into the four goblets. He handed one to each of the sergeants before him, taking the third for himself and then the last to Bravvick.

He raised the glass, ‘To those who walked before.’

Anderan mirrored the gesture, ‘To those who walked beside.’

Bravvick held both of his glasses, ‘To those who walk no more.’

At this, the three Marines drank. Bravvick took the fourth glass and poured its contents onto the floor, allowing the cool liquid to splash on his sandaled feet.

Zors grimaced as the bitter fluid burned its way down his throat. The toast to comrades lost was a more private ritual, a tribute to the thousands of brothers who had fought and died throughout the millennia. Lost in body or lost in soul. Zors regarded Bravvick briefly in the gloom for a moment, Not all those lost forever have been casualties.
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Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Boc » Mon May 30, 2011 9:33 am

III


Like the tiger stalking towards the grazing gazelle, the Burning Fury cut through space preparing itself for the pounce. All along the cruiser, Marines prepared themselves for imminent conflict. Bolters and armour was consecrated by the Infernus Priests, boarding torpedoes were double and triple checked by techmarines. No detail in the coming assault was overlooked as the Angels of Fire made their final preparations.

Along the port hull, Brother Sergeant Charron assembled his squad. ‘Brothers,’ he said, ‘our breach point will be here,’ he pointed to the hologlyph display monitor behind him, ‘in the hangar. We’ll secure the site and destroy any transport capability that we find.’

Brother Hadrith hefted his meltagun to his shoulder. ‘I think I can handle that, sir.’ Even through his mask, Charron could hear the veteran’s unmistakable confidence.

Charron gave him a stern look, ‘These aren’t pirates, Hadrith, these are traitors. That vessel is a battle barge, more heavily armed and armoured than the Fury.’ He regarded each member of his squad in turn. ‘Do not take the task at hand lightly, my brothers,’ he emphasized. Confidence was a natural state of mind for an Astartes, however arrogance must be tempered before it bred audaciousness. Take care of pride, for its path is the road to destruction.

‘The tactical situation has not yet developed. As of yet the traitors are unaware of our presence, but I can assure you it will not remain that way for long.’ Charron turned back to the three-dimensional display of the enemy vessel. ‘Once the torpedoes are launched, they will be alerted. Rest assured that the servants of the Ruinous Powers will react with great prejudice,’ he said. ‘If the defense turrets located here, here, and here do not destroy us, we will be facing an unknown number of traitors on their ground. To say we are at a disadvantage will be drastically understating the situation.’

He had the squad’s attention now, and turned to face them once again. Nine proud warriors, each of them with decades of service dedicated to fighting against the enemies of the Imperium of Man, stared back at him. There were none among them whom he doubted, none towards whom he held reservation. He allowed a smile to tug at the corners of his mouth as he saw the black armoured form of Chaplain Crixus approach in the corridor to join the squad in the coming assault.

‘Nevertheless, we will adapt and overcome. The Emperor will show us the way, and in Him we will prevail,’ Crixus interrupted. ‘We will purge the galaxy of these heathen, of those cast out from His grace.’ The Chaplain’s voice reverberated throughout the preparation deck as the boarding torpedo’s hatch hissed open. The adepts had completed their pre-operation checks, and the craft stood ready to deploy. ‘We will purge them with righteous fire, slay them with blade and bolter. With our Fury shall they be cleansed, and by His Grace we will succeed!’

Charron donned his golden yellow helm, securing it in place. ‘The foe may be many, and we may be few, but we are sons of the flame, Angels of Fire!’ He drew his ancient power sword from its scabbard and hoisted it to the air. The lumiglobes flickered from its blade, bringing the flames wreathing it to life for an instant. ‘We will bring them justice on wings of flame!’

With a metallic clang that echoed through the corridors, nine chainswords met his extended blade.

Deliberately last, Crixus’s Crozius slammed against the ten weapons. With a voice full of hate and amplified through his skull helm’s vox, he shouted, ‘Through the flame of battle!’

Charron joined his voice to the chaplain’s, ‘Angels of Death!’

Now all eleven voices replied, ‘Angels of Fire!’

Through the company command vox channel, the order came. ‘Prepare yourselves.’ Captain Ilyad’s voice was clear and confident, ‘Torpedoes will launch in 10 minutes.

Lowering his sword, Charron relayed the message, ‘Time to load up, Brothers, and see what trials the Emperor has in store.’
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Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Boc » Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:48 am

(as a disclaimer, this portion isn't closed to finished yet, I just feel like it's been too dang long since I've posted!)

IV


‘We have changed,’ Zors said, ‘and not for the better.’ Across the table, the Raptor stared intently at the glass in front of him.

‘Adaptation is necessary for survival,’ Bravvick countered, ‘and mere survival is never the goal. Surviving is what humans strive to achieve, and that is what holds the mere mortal back from potentially having an impact. The tides of fate ignore those too feeble to tread in them, and overwhelm those that oppose their flow.’ The conversation had grown slightly heated as his friend became more morose. It concerned Bravvick to see this level of, what, self doubt? The notion itself was foreign at a minimum, blasphemous at most. ‘Sometimes what is necessary is not always what we desire it to be, simply what we must.’

‘And what of the Primarch? Would he view what we have become as necessary? As prudent?’ Zors snorted. ‘I think not. We have become tainted, Bravvick, and you should know this more than most.’ His hushed voiced became thick with passion, ‘The lure of the Dark Powers are strong, Bravvick. We have brothers who have dedicated themselves to the mastery of the warp, to the fulfillment of their unyielding ecstasy, to the physical and spiritual rot of the Grandfather. You have surrendered to your bloodlust. Paelleoth, Sloveck, all of their men, all of your men, are the playthings of Khorne, pawns to powers whose scope you cannot begin to defy.

‘Or have you already forgotten what happened on the surface? Have you forgotten nearly drawing the blood of your brothers…again? Is it ignorance or denial that fuels your words, or is it simply the daemon within you that has given you to abandon your senses?’

Rage filled him at the affront, washing over his body with a burning heat, with the desire for destruction. He would not sit by as this doubting weakling questioned his cause, his god. The wrath overwhelmed his restraint and, with a snarl, Bravvick slammed his fist on the table and splintered the smoothed surface, ‘Watch yourself, whelp, or I will show you sense.’

Anderan broke his silence, ‘Caution, brothers,’ he said softly, placing a hand on Bravvick’s forearm. ‘We draw attention.’

As quickly as his fury had built, Bravvick felt it fade. He knew, albeit begrudgingly, that Zors was in the right. ‘I do not deny that the changes are problematic,’ he responded, even as taunting laughter echoed in the recesses of his mind. His inner daemon mocked him, laughed at his weakness of will.
Violence isn't the answer, it's the question. The answer is yes.

Check out The Heretic, Heresy-Online's Quarterly FanFiction and Art Publication. Issue 2 is out now!

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Birth of Decay - A Plague Marine Short
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Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Gaius Marius » Thu Jun 30, 2011 6:07 am

Prepare to be boarded!

Nice set up Boc, very detailed in the Chapter/warband composition of each side.
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Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Tyrant » Thu Jun 30, 2011 9:21 pm

This is really building up nicely and I can't wait for the battle to come!
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I think Valerion could stand toe-to-toe with the best of Gaunt's Ghosts. I loved it. Gundi Da Grot

The sense of threat that permeates the entire piece is fantastic. xrayex

Tash'shi is made of win and awesome. Raziel4707
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Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Boc » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:18 pm

Tyrant wrote:This is really building up nicely and I can't wait for the battle to come!


Psh how do you know there's an upcoming battle?

...nah, you're right, it's about to go crezy up in this piece.

That was my one and only attempt to talk like a thug, ever, and I apologize to everyone that had to read it.
Violence isn't the answer, it's the question. The answer is yes.

Check out The Heretic, Heresy-Online's Quarterly FanFiction and Art Publication. Issue 2 is out now!

Skull Reaper - An Alpha Legion Novel
Submersion - An Alpha Legion Short
Birth of Decay - A Plague Marine Short
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Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Boc » Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:44 am

(the conclusion of CH VI.IV)


‘Changes?’ Zors pressed the point, ‘I hardly think such a word can truly do justice to the depravity that consumes us.’ Bravvick raised his eyebrows at his brother’s insistence on the matter.

Clearing his throat, Anderan interrupted the two. ‘Have you heard any news on the candidates?’ he asked. ‘The apothecaries and flesh-smiths have had more than adequate time to ascertain any real progress.’

Bravvick shook his head, the hollow pit in his stomach growing, ‘I spoke briefly with Lord Ravven on the matter; he said that the bonding failed.’ All attempts had failed for the past three hundred years. ‘All fifty have been lost.’

Zors’s scowl deepened in the shadows. ‘I had not been informed another trial was in progress. Were pure or diluted stock utilized?’

‘Diluted,’ Bravvick said. The apothecaries had determined after last batch’s failure that diluted strains would be used first; once they were successful in their implantation, then further candidates would receive the purest available. ‘One did manage to survive until the final stages, but undetected complications caused his to expire.’

‘A shame,’ Anderan responded, his voice soft.

‘An understatement,’ Zors chuckled dryly. ‘Perhaps it is your Chaos Gods granting us their favour by denying us,’ he sneered at Bravvick. Apparently the Marine’s sardonic humour had returned. ‘Maybe if the flesh-smiths sacrifice a horde of virgins it would make the implants take.’

‘Or possibly have Flegmus drool on them,’ Anderan snickered. ‘At least that would kill the poor bastards before any mutations would. A good hygiene session would do wonders for his entire squad.’

Again taking comfort in the presence of his brothers, Bravvick allowed himself a moment to forget about yet another failure in the incessant string of them. Without candidates, aspirants, who accepted the impants, the Venom Guard were destined for destruction by attrition. He laughed again as Zors mocked the plague-infested cohorts of Flegmus, and smiled.

Even now, on the brink of either redemption or annihilation, there was a chance to simply be a warrior amongst his fellows. If he ever forgot that, forgot what it was like, he did not doubt that his entire person, his mind, would be lost forever. Bravvick remembered that now and embraced it.

His momentary contentment was cut short as the Theta’s proximity sirens began to wail.
Violence isn't the answer, it's the question. The answer is yes.

Check out The Heretic, Heresy-Online's Quarterly FanFiction and Art Publication. Issue 2 is out now!

Skull Reaper - An Alpha Legion Novel
Submersion - An Alpha Legion Short
Birth of Decay - A Plague Marine Short
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Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Razhbad » Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:42 pm

Sorry that is been awhile but i will get back to reviewing this asap
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Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Razhbad » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:12 pm

Chapter VI so far is the best Chapter I have read of yours Boc, though there are a few errors, but nothing a simple read through cannot sort out. I enjoyed being introduced to the loyalists and it was nice to see them. Though you have yet to fully flesh out their characters it is a nice turn to see the elements the Venom Guard will be facing.

When it comes to the little Frat Meeting I found this the most enjoyable part, with the dsiagreements of our the Legion has changed and what of their future. This section has given your Chaos Characters more depth then any previous part and I delved brilliantly into their way of thinking and ideals. I look forward to reading more of this as you produce it.
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Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Boc » Mon Sep 12, 2011 5:34 pm

Thanks a lot Razhbad, your comments are much appreciated! Definitely glad to hear you liked Chapter VI, as it was probably the most difficult to write simply because of the reliance on interactions rather than discussions mixed in with the normal bolter porn. Hopefully the upcoming chapters will continue the trend.

As far as updates... I'm currently kind of engrossed in an RP that is setting up the events that lead to Skull Reaper (found here for those interested :P ) and have definitely been neglecting this. At some point soon, I should be able to get the time to get cracking again at the novel.
Violence isn't the answer, it's the question. The answer is yes.

Check out The Heretic, Heresy-Online's Quarterly FanFiction and Art Publication. Issue 2 is out now!

Skull Reaper - An Alpha Legion Novel
Submersion - An Alpha Legion Short
Birth of Decay - A Plague Marine Short
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Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:59 am

Ch1,I: a very assured introduction. Immediately involving, intimate and well paced.
Last edited by Chun the Unavoidable on Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:11 am

II:
The planet was irregular in that it had no tilt of the axis,
'axial tilt'?

... were the only things that kept Gadriel’s tenuous grip on sanity in check.
That almost reads like he's trying to keep insane.

Again, another involving chapter - though one in stark -obviously deliberately so- contrast to part I. Very Jarheads.
Last edited by Chun the Unavoidable on Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:19 am

III:
This was the way of the Venom Guard: to masterfully move each element into place before acting.
The use of 'masterfully' makes him seem more up his own arse than is perhaps required.

‘Zors, distance to target.’ This was not a question. It was neither, in truth, a statement, having been bellowed through external speakers to enable the auspex operator to hear his brother-sergeant over the combined roar of the wind and the Thunderhawk’s engines.
Not too sure what you're getting at, there.

I am looking forward to see how this well set-up encounter is going to pan out.
Last edited by Chun the Unavoidable on Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:00 am

IV
:, hands extended in front of him to remove any possibility of the wall becoming overly acquainted with his nose.
That's a bit laboured-for-effect.

... or the prostitute with whom he spent many of his lonely nights.
Are they still classed as 'lonely' if he's with somebody?

I quite liked that chapter - a subtly unsettling thing.
Last edited by Chun the Unavoidable on Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:07 am

V - VI:
His vehicle was at the apex of the five rhinos making all due haste ...
Now 'apex,' to me, denotes the top of something, whereas this rhino is at the front of something...

When these lot meet, it's going to be murder (probably not target audience).
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Re: Skull Reaper

Postby Chun the Unavoidable » Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:20 am

Ch2,I:
You will know when the time comes and there is nothing left to do but to kill, to destroy. That is when covert action has exhausted its usefulness and ferocity is the only answer.
- Bale, Lord of the Alpha Legion, prior to his invasion of Tartarus (dec.)
The man speaks in truisms.

[quote], he traversed the stubber-mounted optic as far right as it would go to his right limit.[/quoRepetitionion.

And now the tension get's turned up to eleven. This is exciting stuff - I hope it lives up to the promise (and suspect it will).
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