READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

The Bolthole's monthly 1,000 word story competition.

READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby J D Dunsany » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:20 pm

The June Read in a Rush competition is now open. Guidelines are as follows:

To enter the competition, you must write a short story of between 850 and 1150 words in length addressing in some way the prompt word or phrase announced at the start of the competition. In this case, it's Corruption. Entries set in any of BL's universes are perfectly acceptable (40K, Horus Heresy, WHF, Blood Bowl etc).

You should post your entries on or before the deadline of 2100GMT on Saturday 18th June. There is no limit to the amount of entries you can post, but, in a break from the previous board's practice (and in acknowledgement of longsuffering readers who have been faced with a veritable mountain of stories to get through), only one may be submitted for voting. If you've only posted one entry in the two-week posting period, then you don't need to do anything. Your entry will be automatically submitted for voting. If you've written more than one entry, you will need to PM me with the title of your chosen entry. The full list of entries (and probably the entries themselves) will be posted at the start of the voting thread when it appears. You will be given a full week to make your decision about which story to put forward. If you do not manage to PM me before that time, then I will put your first story into the voting thread.

And...

... the competition's open.

Stu, you're up! :D

JDD
JDD story of the moment: Glory
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Re: READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby Stuart000X » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:33 pm

J D Dunsany wrote:Stu, you're up! :D

JDD


And you didn't even need to make an offering to Tzeentch to know this :)

The word count for this story is, title included, one thousand, one hundred and forty-eight (1048)

The Beast Within


Filth was the overused word in this place, and it couldn’t have been said enough with each passing step up the winding staircases.

There was litter everywhere on the floor, gathered in piles at the bottom of the walls. Some of the refuse lay still, polluting the air with its repugnant odour, but some were animated; moved by colonies of insects, and the occasional rodent as it reared its head from its feasting.

Though wearing rags she was the purest being he had seen. Behind the facemask of dirt, her skin was clear of blemishes and disease, placing her ahead of her rivals as they continue to prowl the streets for would-be clients with their ogryn-like visages.

Pure as she was, a discerning feeling wrapped itself around the heart of her client, its cancerous hold spreading as her adolescent hand took his and led him into her apartment.

It was a dismal sight, this place she called home holding none of the key essentials a home should; lacking any furniture, electricity, carpets, warmth, or company. Squeaking as they ran past his foot, a pair of rats scurried out to join their rodent comrades in the corridors.

‘Where are your parents?’ he ventured.

Turning to look at him with her pearl blue eyes, she looked down at the floor with a sad expression and said ‘they’re dead.’

‘Does no one look after you?’ he continued.

‘Rahlor does. He took me in and looks after me. In return I… work for him. He protects me if I do.’

‘So he’s your pimp?’

‘What’s a pimp?’ she asked with sincere innocence in her eyes. It didn’t help ease the situation.

‘How old are you?’ he asked, getting back to the business at hand.

She looked at the wall, the moonlight beaming through the broken windowpane casting sheen on her bald head ‘I’m sixteen…’

‘How old are you really?’

‘Six… thirteen,’

‘The first answer was the right one. You’re sixteen. You’re actually thirteen, but you told me you were sixteen. A lot of the guys back at base are family men, and the last thing I want is to be giving an earache about morals, amongst other unpleasant things. Do you understand?’

She nodded.

‘How much was it?’ he said, his hand rummaging through his trouser pockets.

‘Five,’ she replied.

Producing five silver coins, he gave her her payment.

‘Let’s get down to business.’

She took him to her bedroom. Save for a spring sprouted mattress, her room was like all the others in the apartment, bare and empty.

Beside the mattress a candle sat, the girl striking a match off the floor to light it. Littered around on the floor, the remains of her meals were left exposed. A few maggots squirmed in and around the leftovers.

He got himself comfortable, taking his shirt off after he removed his long coat, chest bare and expose. Navigating the springs he lay on the mattress, his arms folding behind his head as he waited for her to make the next move.

‘What is your name?’ he asked.

‘Persephone,’ she said.

With an outstretched hand he said ‘come,’ beckoning her to him.

With tentative steps she walked towards him, uncertainty in her eyes.

‘You’re taking all day,’ he said after a while, getting annoyed ‘either get to it, or I’m leaving, with my money,’

‘I…’ she said after a few more steps, her brow furrowing with indecision.

With a snarl on his face, the man rose. He walked and stopped before the quivering girl, his hands taking hold of her tiny shoulders ‘forget it, I’m going. Give me my money,’

She stared at him, unmoving.

‘Give me my money!’ he roared with anger, his hands clamping round hers as he pried them open.

Screaming she bit into his forearm. Roaring with pain, the man threw Persephone away from him, driblets of blood spurting where she sunk her teeth in. Running, Persephone fled from the room, her malnourished legs carrying her down the corridor as quickly as possible.

She reached the door and was in the process of opening it when a giant paw of a muscular hand slammed into it, closing it. Lifting her off the floor with one hand, the man’s fingers easily wrapped round Persephone’s throat as she dangled in front of him.

‘You little bitch! Try to rob me!’ He yelled with fury.

With the back of his free hand he slapped her in the face in disgust. ‘All or nothing, and I intend to take it all!’

Carrying her he took the girl back to her bedroom, and threw her on the mattress. She landed with a grunt.

‘Frakking whore-girl, I am Thriou, a soldier of the Imperial Guard, the defender of your pathetic little world and its people,’ the man spat ‘this job is fraught with risk and danger, and I get very little in the way of compensation,’

His hands reaching down, Thriou began to unzip his trousers.

‘I don’t ask for much. All I want is a bit of company and a little on the side, if you so please.’

Thriou dropped his trousers. As he reached his undergarments, he looked at Persephone. She sat on the mattress looking at him, not with fear or upset, but of emotionless defiance, a smirk on her face.

‘What are you looking a...?’ he trailed off.

Looking closer he noticed she wasn’t looking at him, but past him.

Slowly turning, fear gripped the Guardsman as he saw something lurk in the shadows in the corner. It was hunched, but as it became more animated, it rose from its hunched position to its full standing height.

It was reptilian in appearance, displaying rows of hundreds of needle like teeth in its widening jaws. Unfurling from its chest, the thing displayed four arms, each flashing a trio of talons in the moonlight on each claw.

Thriou let out a gasp as it lunged at him. Falling to the ground, the beast clambered over the Guardsman, its claws pinning his limbs to the floor as he screamed.

Its head hovered over his chest, an insidious barbed tongue slithering out of its mouth. With quick flicks, its tongue pierced into the Guardsman’s chest, passing through flesh and skin with ease, its victim’s thrashes doing little to stop it.

The assault lasted a full minute, but by the end the Guardsman’s screams were silent. Retracting back to the corner, the genestealer went, leaving its victim where he was.

Persephone hovered over Thriou, staring down with stoic eyes as he stirred.

Rising to his feet, the Guardsman stood with a stupefied manner, his tongue lolling in his mouth as he looked at the girl.

Grabbing his clothing, Persephone dressed Thriou again, buttoning his shirt to hide the chest wound.

With a wordless command the pair left the apartment, the spread of corruption deepening.
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Re: READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby LordLucan » Thu Jun 02, 2011 10:43 pm

The Paltry Facsimile of true Degradation.

Words: 1,014

This was a beautiful land. The Daemon King Xevistirex knew this to be true with as much certainty that the thrones of the Changer and the Butcher were ever aligned in antagonism, and the mournful star would one day shine no more upon this den of chaos. The guarantee of eternal flux as paradoxically fixed and such contradictions delighted the Lord of this realm. His forked tongue flicked out across his metallic lips that parted with a flood of hissing acidic oil. He could taste the electric thrill of warpish corruption on the very air itself. His talons clenched the arms of his crawling throne as leaned forth to marvel at his dominion.

All things were fluid and catastrophically beautiful; the mountains continually thrust up out of the glittering green crust like vile black fangs savaging the throat of a doe, leaking viscera in the form of rivers of brackish oil, in which serpentine things with atrophied eyes writhed. Every time the hills rose, the capering daemon things dragged the mountains back down. Huge caterpillar monsters with backs as large as oceanic vessels toiled in their labours of destruction, while scuttling warp-spawn cackled gleefully from palanquins riveted gorily into the spines of the beasts.

There were plains of bones, where the ossified remains of a billion souls moaned and moved together as one mass, shifting tectonically as they railed against their hideous fate. Spires of broken femurs dotted the fields, and from them hung gibbets filled with mewling mutant creatures; neither daemon or man, they were less than either.

The High One passed down into the valley, flanked by his dark-armoured warriors who marched upon many-jointed limbs and kept the slithering masses away from their master with their snarling green flame projectors. He unleashed a great undulating cry, which carried to every corner of the basin of suffering. Every miserable and manic eye turned towards him as one.

He was gratified to see his armies assembling as a great disordered mass; fighting over one another in their eagerness to catch the gaze of their hellish overlord. Though no one within the chaotic swarm of monsters and beastmen could see it, there was a form of pattern to their chaotic jostling and casual killings. Xevistirex saw the horde as one, and it rippled like an ocean unto itself. There were swirls and patterns in the riots, wonderful starbursts of colour amidst clashing battlelines.

But he could not enjoy this spectacle. Not fully at least. Every time he tried to let the sweet rolling backs of screaming and incense wash over his chitinous armour plates and moist daemonflesh, he would catch a glimpse of the blinding orb.

The orb was vast; from horizon to horizon it almost filled the sky with its hateful glow. Oh how he loathed that vast world that straddled his own as if in mockery. While his realm was fluid and vibrant beyond words, the orb was fixed. Though it turned through the void, its continents and vivid blue oceans barely fluctuated, even after an eon glowering over them. The ocular daemons who stared into the degenerate world of predictability spoke of the lice that infested the vast orb; their compound eyes had spied huge communities of things living upon the dry continents of the orb. And, much to Xevistirex’s horror, these communities were never washed away, they simply grew and spread and organised like some cancer across the world above. They built civilisations on the unchanging skin of the planet, and it sickened him to so much as perceive of such things.

It had warmed his shrivelled heart when his sorcerers heard the first insidious whispers of dissent calling out from the orb above. There were valiant outposts of entropy and madness holding out across the world, and they had been spreading. They drove back the tyranny of sanity in tides of filth and bile. But they were naught but imitations of Xevistirex’s realm, and they had ultimately been stalled in their advance.

The land itself seemed to convulse with disgust at this defeat, and from its venereal belly it vomited forth chaos made manifest; the very stone that served as the unsafe foundations of this perfect, formless world.

Why should the magnificence of this world of daemons be exiled into the cold embrace of the firmament? Why had the Greatest of the Daemon Kings been forced to watch lesser daemons swarm across the orb that was his birthright? His own frustrated ambition burned him almost as fiercely as the disgusting stability of the world that he was forced to orbit like some doting servant. His malevolence and hate was a physical thing here, coiling around him like a cloak; lashing out at passing daemons like a nest of vipers driven to suicidal madness.

“It could have been mine. It should have been mine. When it fell; when they fled, I was granted... nay, promised...” he hissed and growled to himself. His mood had soured now, his past joy forgotten.

“High One of the Everchange...” a voice gurgled at his shoulder hesitantly. The High one spawned an orchard of eyes in order to glare upon his snivelling aide, who cowered behind a hood.

“Speak!”

“The Brass Keep... it calls to us. Soon, its lord will have completed the ritual, and the doorway shall have two facets. Soon, we shall be able to pass through; step from world to world. Perhaps his moniker shall be a blessed portent...?” the aide asked in sibilant tones.

The High One dismissed him with a flick of his tendrils. “’The Lord of the End Times’? He is truly deluded if he believes his actions are an artifice of apocalypse! His storm of Chaos is a shadow of my realm! The Pollution I shall spread across his world shall consume it whole, as the Pantheon demands!”

He rose up from his throne, and spread his vast pinions across the plain of bones; his howling calls taken up by the endless torrent of monsters that bowed before him.

“Prepare my children! Morrslieb goes to war! Prepare my engines of psychosis! The Portal beckons!”
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Re: READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby Pipitán » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:53 pm

Ouroboros

I have not been corrupted.

I… I have not.

It’s… It’s absurd… I… I don’t understand how…

Just answer the question.

I have… I have… I said, I have not been corrupted.

No, answer the question, Mr Kylus. Do you need us to repeat the question?

No, I… I answered it… I…

We will repeat the question. Mr Kylus, have you, or have you not, been corrupted?

* * *


I sit in the cell, and think of you, honestly, I do. I remember your face. Of course I do. For His sake, you’re my… my…

* * *


Your wife. Where is she now, Mr Kylus?

I… my… my… my wife. She’s, well, she’s at home, of course. At… er… 123, er, Level Four. It’s where we’ve lived… where we lived… for over thirty years. It’s where our children grew up, where we ate supper every night… where… where… why… why wouldn’t she be there? You’ve… you’ve…

Mr Kylus, 123, Level Four is you cell designation. Your wife is clearly not in your cell, Mr Kylus. Cells are suitable living space for only one standard sized human. Surely you, of all people, would be aware of this?

* * *


It’s… it’s cramped in here. When they squeeze me in, I can’t move. They say there’s enough oxygen circulated to live on, but it doesn’t feel like that. I… I can touch my toes with my tongue. I never could before.

Your face… it was… nice… wasn’t it? You had a nice face, I’m sure of that. I… I can’t… I can’t…

* * *


Remember, My Kylus. Cast your mind back. When did you first realise you were corrupted?

No… I… I have not been corrupted. I am an honest man. I am a loyal servant of the Imperium… I work my shift, and I go home to my family, to my… to my wife. I worship the God-Emperor! I pray to him every hour, sometimes more. I’ve told you all this before, we’re just going in circles…

Mr Kylus, you told us yourself, just five days ago, the exact time when you first realised you were corrupted, or in your own words, “tainted… tainted with the filth of Chaos,” and the circumstances of that time. We will play you the recording.

I… I was sitting in the living room of my house, 123, Level Four, eating the dinner my wife had prepared for me… she was in the kitchen giving caffeine to a doctor who’d come round to talk about our son’s illness… anyway, I was sitting there, and I realised… I realised that it was all crap. All of it. All stupid, stupid, crap. The God-Emperor. The Imperium. It’s all crap, a mountain of pure crap. And I realised that what the man had said, that day on the steps of the Basilicum, before he was removed, that that had stayed with me, and that only now did I realise that I agreed with every word he’d said. Everything. What he’d said about… about how the Emperor has been a rotting corpse for ten thousand years. And how the Imperium is just a… a mess of bureaucratic madness, built on the death and violence and repression… and how Chaos… how Chaos is the only chance man has to survive, the only chance a single man has to live his life happy, and content, and free, free for Gods’ sakes, free to live how he wants to live, to not have to spend every day of his life doing his shift for the good of an Imperium that doesn’t care about him, doesn’t benefit him in any way. So yeah. Yeah, you could say that it was at that moment, 12:34, on the 5th of June, that I realised that I was tainted… tainted with the ‘filth’ of Chaos, as the priests like to put it.

* * *


They say I confessed. They keep telling me I confessed, that I confessed to being corrupted. They keep playing me the tape, and… it’s… it’s my voice. But I never said those words. I never said them. I know I’m not corrupted. They can keep me in this tiny cell forever, they can interrogate me forever, I’ll never let go of that. I am not corrupted, and I never will be. Not while I remember your beautiful face, my darling wife. Your beautiful, unforgettable face.

* * *


“You’re sure, Mrs Kylus?”

The doctor held the pen out to her. Through the veranda doors, the sound of children playing could be heard, and the tinkling of aqua-dispersal systems. Mrs Kylus nodded sadly, as she put the mug of caffeine down on the kitchen table in front of the doctor.

“I… I just can’t take it anymore… his delusions… I mean, he thinks he’s being confined in a holding cell, he thinks he’s being interrogated, day and night! He doesn’t even recognise my face.”

“I understand, Mrs Kylus. He’ll be safe with us.”

Two men, in dull white overalls, entered from the passage, and Mrs Kylus pointed them through into the living room.

Mr Kylus was crouched, curled up in a foetal ball on an armchair, muttering to himself, his dinner beside him untouched. He was curled up so tightly it didn’t look natural. He was licking his toes with his tongue.

Flanked by the two men in dull white overalls, the doctor walked towards Mr Kylus.

“My Kylus, are you willing to come with us? It will be better for you. For the good of your wife, are you willing to come with us?”

He didn’t answer immediately. Then, slowly at first, he began to uncurl from his cramped position.

“Yes, I’ll come.”

His wife looked concerned.

“Just answer the question,” said the doctor.

“I have… I have… I said, I will come with you.”

“No, answer the question, Mr Kylus. Do you need us to repeat the question?”

“No, I… I answered it… I…”

“We will repeat the question. Mr Kylus, have you, or have you not, been corrupted?”
It’s genius. This story absolutely BLEEDS 40K, start to finish... I freaking loved it.
- Aaron Dembski-Bowden on my story 'Sating Desire'
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Re: READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby Pipitán » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:11 am

Oh heck, two excellent entries already.

Stuart - I really, really liked this; one of your best works yet, and you seem to have fixed the majority of the errors that used to plague your work, whilst still retaining your excellent (and really quite disturbing... I'm not sure I want to think about the details of that ending too much...) imagination. Really good story, and assured writing.

LL - Blimey, LL, you aren't half good at describing epic vistas of nastiness. This was a delight to read, from start to finish. I particularly liked the moving and really quite unique landscape, and the way you utilised specific descriptive words to create almost a colour palette in my mind - greens, chalk bone and brackish oily blacks, etc. (I normally find epic descriptions have too many colours, and just feel like a rainbowriffic mess). Very, very well written.
It’s genius. This story absolutely BLEEDS 40K, start to finish... I freaking loved it.
- Aaron Dembski-Bowden on my story 'Sating Desire'
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Re: READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby Raziel4707 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:25 am

Pure of body - 1100 words.

Cold eyes glared through slits in ceramite, never looking away as the mass-reactive ammunition from his bolter tore his enemies to scarps of cauterised meat. Long had proud Corthas fought for the Novamarines in battles ranging all over the galaxy, bringing the Emperor’s justice to xenos, heretics and fools wherever he found them, never questioning nor doubting the righteousness of his actions.

This world was beset by beings that danced and dodged between his compatriots, wielding blades which cleaved through armour, barely slowing as they spilled the entrails of men who had lived for centuries and longer. Their slender weapons spat shards of deadly crystals and their mouths called out mockingly in a tongue that had no right to exist, spoken as it was by the lowest of the low. Xenos scum.

One such creature detached itself from the rabble and made for Corthas, clutching a pair of curved blades in its overlong fingers and hissing a threat through the gaps in its helm. Pirouetting and sweeping low, it made to slice through his knees before twisting and rising, driving the second blade up for the join between his helmet and his neck, a weakness in his armour that his kind were attempting to correct with the “Errant” pattern. But weakness or not, Corthas had been a Novamarine at heart, and would never fall for such cheap, eldar trickery.

As the first blade came, Corthas jumped and lashed out with his knee, catching the alien warrior hard under the chin as it began to rise, driving it several feet into the air with the combined momentum. As it cried out and twisted around, desperation making its movements hasty, Corthas brought up his bolter and stuck the alien with the muzzle. The vicious uppercut slammed the weapon into the creature’s spine and shattered its vertebrae, dropping it to the ground in a twitching heap. The last thing it saw was muzzle-flare as Corthas pulled the trigger, reducing the creature’s head to a small and sickly crater lined with fragments of alloy.

His kind had fallen upon this world to find the heathen eldar besieging a human settlement, launching hit and run raids upon their homes, leaving grisly trophies nailed to doors and throwing severed heads through windows, just to delight in the screams of the terrified people within. In his extended lifetime, Corthas had witnessed many such acts by many different races, including his own. One of the first things he had been taught was to guard himself against was the corruption of both mind and soul, to create an impenetrable wall of hatred through which chaos could not slip and reduce him beneath the level of a filth-covered beast. But corruption walked in all corners of the galaxy in the form of the xenos, even in the guise of acceptability within the servants of the Grey Knights chapter, the Jokaero. To a Novamarine there was no moral difference between an alien and the most chaos-riddle daemon, and he would kill them all just the same.

Slamming a fresh clip into his bolter he rejoined his brethren and added his wrath to the fusillade, creating a wall of fired that pulped flesh and tore burning rents in the skins of their jet-bikes. A trio of such vehicles screamed towards the astartes line from the left, their riders whooping as they came. At a gurgled order from the warband’s leader, two heavy bolters turned and roared their challenge in words of flame, ripping through their armour to detonate within the jet-bikes. Two of them exploded and crashed into the ground, while the third pitched backwards and shot off on a lunatic trajectory, taking its screaming rider with it. A moment later it turned for the ground in a ball of fire and shrapnel that killed half a dozen eldar warriors.

Thank the Emperor, Corthas thought.

The eldar were thinning rapidly under the weight of gunfire, and it would not be long until every one of them was reduced to splashes of gore to be trampled underfoot. Such was a fitting end for such blasphemous fiends, and an end Corthas would have been happy to provide. As the mighty Septus of the Dark Angels snatched up the last of them and tore out its spine, the battle was over. Only two brothers had fallen this day, and their leaking armour would be returned to the gene-pools immediately upon their return to the strike cruiser. Everything that made them strong would be retained, while every weakness was burned away.

Seeing the destruction of their enemies, the citizens of the human township began to emerge from their simple homes and cast shocked eyes around the littered battlefield. Until so recently this had been a simple place where few had settled, probably the remnants of a mining colony or similar, who lead a simple life of fealty to the Imperium far from the nearest trade routes and the sprawl of Imperial life proper. The astartes were as myths to them, creatures of legend who existed only in campfire stories and muttered allegory, but who know stood before them now in all their ivory glory.

A diminutive woman in robes supposed to mark her as a priest of the Imperial creed, though inaccurate in their detail as if they were a copy of an already poor copy, approached the nearest marine, Corthas, and knelt before him. Her head barely reached the oily joint of his right knee.

With a gurgle of mingled hatred and self loathing, Corthas drew back his calcified right gauntlet and crushed her skull with a single blow, the infection that had riddled his armour and body reducing her to an oozing mass before she hit the ground.

The humans began to scream as the astartes opened fire, adding the humans to the tally of the dead in a matter of seconds as they continued their purge of the galaxy that so despised them.

Through the oil-weeping slits in his helmet, Corthas watched as his corrupted body acted of its own accord and massacred those who had believed him their saviour, his fists and bolter breaking them with ease. Powerless to stop himself as the oil landed on their skin, turning flesh into liquid and de-calcifying their bones, Corthas screamed in the part of his mind that was still his own, condemned to witness the purge for all eternity.

Though it existed only for a moment before it mingled with the oil and became a foul bead of purest corruption, a single tear of anguish rolled down Corthas’s cheek.

Triumphant, The Cleaved marched on.
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Re: READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby Pipitán » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:03 pm

Raz - excellent action, and nice twist with having them be all evil and suchlike. I like the way you are able to maintain the pretense that he's Imperial by having a small section of his mind still be loyal (thanking the Emperor, etc.) Very well done.
It’s genius. This story absolutely BLEEDS 40K, start to finish... I freaking loved it.
- Aaron Dembski-Bowden on my story 'Sating Desire'
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Re: READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby Tyrant » Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:02 pm

Stuart000X (The Beast Within): Yay, genestealers!!!!! The girl having a bald head was a very nice little detail given what she turned out to be. Very nice indeed.

LordLucan (The Paltry Facsimile Of True Degradation): Firstly, awesome choice of title! I really didn't expect it to be Morrslieb, only when you mentioned Arcahon's title did I understand it was the Warhammer universe. Incredibly well-written and with great imagery.

Pipitan (Ouroboros): Very interesting piece, I like the fact that it's unclear whether he has been corrupted or is simply insane.....although you could argue that to be a form of corruption in itself......

Raziel (Pure Of Body): I suspected something was amiss when you referred to the "gurgled order from the warband's leader" and the sense of wrongness continued to build with every extra detail and reference that didn't quite add up, you built that up very well. Interesting portrayal of the Cleaved.
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The sense of threat that permeates the entire piece is fantastic. xrayex

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Re: READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby Raziel4707 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:08 pm

Pip, cheers! Really glad you enjoyed it.

Ty, thanks man, I left little clues throughout the story that hinted that it wasn't all as it should be, glad that worked!

I've intentionally veered away from my normal take on them, but I love the idea of being mentally intact but utterly physically corrupted.
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Re: READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby Gundi da Grot » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:24 am

Just a bit of silliness...

Corruption Comes Home
1,150 words

Ki’Prel’Scyrit, Harbinger of Misery and Prince of Pandemonium, decapitated another Space Marine with a swing of his mighty blade, simultaneously swatting another of the corpse-god’s mightiest warriors away with an almost casual sweep of his other arm. If this was the best that Mankind had to offer, it was a marvel they had managed to survive as long as they had.

One of the Astartes’ ponderous war walkers, its armoured hull bedecked with glittering gold battle honours and fluttering purity seals, barreled towards Ki’Prel, knocking aside lesser daemons with contemptuous ease. Ki’Prel turned to face this new, worthy opponent and launched himself into the attack.

With surprising speed, the dreadnought checked Ki’Prel’s first swing, grasping his arm in its adamantine claw, while a flamer slung under the appendage unleashed a torrent of fire. The flames licked at the daemon but failed to harm his warp-spawned flesh. Wrenching his arm free, Ki’Prel spread his leathery wings and leapt high into the air before diving back down on his prey. With a thunderous crack, Ki’Prel’s blade cleaved through the dreadnought’s armour, straight into the sarcophagus housing the ancient warrior.

Standing atop the broken remains of the dreadnought, Ki’Prel screamed victoriously over the din of the battlefield. But even as he did so, a new threat made itself known as half a dozen silver armoured warriors materialised before him in a flash of white light and stink of ozone. An instant later, a hail of psychically impregnated shells tore into Ki’Prel, stitching his body with long-unaccustomed pain. Stifling the sensation of bolt rounds ripping through his flesh, Ki’Prel leapt at the nearest of his attackers, his claws biting into the armour of his prey.

Yet even as the warrior fell before his onslaught, another of the Grey Knights leveled a tri-barreled weapon at Ki’Prel and unleashed a torrent of azure fire. The daemon could feel his hold on the material universe weakening as his flesh and bones were stripped away by the terrifying weapon. Struggling to maintain his hold on this reality, Ki’Prel was struck by a hammer blow more potent than any physical weapon as the syllables of his true name formed on the lips of his assailant.

The daemon screamed in rage and agony as he was hurled back into the warp with the speed and ferocity of a comet. The battlefield receded as the dizzying, formless wastes of chaos churned and roiled around him. Through the aether he fell, straight into the heart of the swirling vortex, the very centre of time, space and the warp itself — the Well of Eternity.

Image

It was late and no one was about as Rick turned down the tidy row of brick townhouses clutching the orange sheathed record in his arms like a prized treasure. A somewhat weedy figure with thick-rimmed glasses and long, unkempt black hair, Rick couldn’t wait to get back and pop the Sex Pistols’ latest single, Anarchy In The U.K., onto the turntable. Just as he passed the shop at the corner of Mettham Street, an indistinct flash of light caught his eye down Frederick Grove. Curious, he rounded the corner and immediately froze in abject terror.

Standing astride the low, dilapidated walls outside the old terraced houses was a nightmare made manifest, its horrific horn-crowned head level with the first floor windows. To Rick, it looked as though some madman had stitched aspects of several weird animals onto the tall, lithe form of an emaciated giant; from its equine head and fanged maw wreathed with tentacles to its batlike wings to claws that seemed torn from some monstrous crab, the abomination defied all rationality. Its glittering, multi-hued eyes focused on Rick, and its dark gaze sent a shudder through his very soul.

‘What is this place,’ the daemon said from several mouths, only one of which was on its head. Though Rick was certain it wasn’t speaking English, he found he could inexplicably understand it; moreover, he felt compelled to answer.

‘L-Lenton, in Nottingham, sir,’ Rick stammered.

The daemon looked around briefly and sniffed the air, snorting with disgust. ‘What a miserable world this Lentoninnottinghamsir is,’ he said. ‘It stinks of humanity. I am unable to even sense the presence of my Dark Lord, the Prince of Pleasure. But there is something else here, nearby…something of great power.’

‘Nearer than you think,’ said a voice, its rich, golden baritone piercing the veil of terror that had fallen over Rick. Spinning around, Rick beheld a tall man in a leisure suit — impossibly tall — with fine chiseled features and flowing black hair. An eerie golden light seemed to emanate from the newcomer, and Rick had the impression of predator poised to strike. The daemon hissed as its terrible eyes fixed on the tall man.

Image

‘Impossible,’ Ki’Prel screeched from his many mouths. ‘You are dead, nothing more than a corpse bound to your golden throne. You cannot be here!’

‘Your kind has no place here, daemon,’ the living Emperor said. ‘I will send you screaming back into the warp. I have shielded Mankind from your predations for millennia, and I shall continue to do so until my last breath.’

‘Then I shall hasten your last gasp,’ Ki’Prel said, flying at his impossible foe in a flurry of blades and claws. Somehow, the man managed to avoid the daemon’s cruel barbs, dodging each attack with catlike grace and agility. Again and again Ki’Prel struck at him, and again and again he effortlessly avoided the daemon’s lethal attacks. Then, with the force and suddenness of an exploding star, the Emperor struck back with a psychic blow that sent Ki’Prel reeling in agony.

The pain was more intense than the whips and scourges of the Handmaidens of Slaanesh, and as it tore into him, Ki’Prel could feel his very essence peeling away like ragged strips of meat. As fragments of his spirit self tumbled into the warp, Ki’Prel immediately knew that he was fading into nothingness, that Slaanesh, the source of his being and buttress of his existence, was no longer sustaining him; already much of what he was had melted into the warp, returning to the formless stuff of chaos.

Desperately, Ki’Prel sought a lifeline, an anchor to reality. He reached out with the last of his strength and found his salvation.

Image

Rick fled from the dreadful battle, running until his legs hurt and his lungs seemed ready to burst. He could hardly believe what he’d just witnessed; it was beyond all human comprehension. He looked back towards the alley, relieved to see no sign of the giant man or the horrific daemon. Catching his breath, he cursed silently as he realized that he’d dropped the record in his haste to escape.

Don’t worry about that, a strange voice whispered in his head. I’m with you now, and I have ever so much to show you. Together, Mr Priestley, we will achieve great things.’
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Re: READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby Gundi da Grot » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:30 pm

Great stuff so far (except for that last one, which is just weird). I expect this prompt will bring out a lot of great entries.

The Beast Within
One of your best to date, in my opinion. Gritty, disturbing and almost noiresque with a nice payoff at the end.

The Paltry Facsimile of true Degradation
Wonderfully written and vividly descriptive. There is an almost Lovecraftian quality to the deranged imagery that fits the subject well.

Ouroboros
Great title, given that the narrator's sanity seems to sort of be consuming itself. Very clever and quite psychologically disturbing.

Pure of Body
Corthas' body didn't sound too pure to me, but at least he probably doesn't smell as ripe as your typical plague marine. ;) Very nicely done. You always do Nurgle proud. I liked how Corthas was a prisoner in his own body.
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Re: READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby shadowhawk2008 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:56 pm

My first entry :) Bang on, 1150 words, excluding the title.

Initiation

Fevered chanting filled the air as the worshippers called upon their terrible patron to bless the ceremony. Row upon row of warriors knelt before the altar as High Priestess Marin offered her eternal gratitude to her dark master. They were all dressed in blood-red robes for the ritual of initiation, except for the High Priestess and her entourage who wore white robes embroidered with gold and emblazoned with the mark of their order, a blood-red heart set within a black cross.

At a subtle gesture from the High Priestess, the curtains behind the altar were withdrawn to reveal the prize there, a group of ragged and frail girls cowering in fear of their captors. Ignoring their plight, Marin addressed the warriors gathered before her.

‘This auspicious day marks the start of a new chapter in the history of our Order. Look upon the uninitiated and observe,’ she said, pointing towards the captive girls. ‘Our war on Taipas Prime has reaped a great many spoils, not the least of which are these younglings, younglings who will swell the ranks of our Order in the coming days. Look upon them and observe!’

One of the warriors of Marin’s entourage hauled a young girl to where the High Priestess stood with a wickedly curved blade in her hand. The girl cried for her freedom but was silenced when the warrior smacked her hard across the face, drawing blood.

‘Silence, wretch,’ she warned. ‘Another sound comes out of your mouth and I will cut out your tongue and feed it to the dogs.’ The girl only whimpered, her body wracked by silent sobs.

‘My sisters, this youngling will be our first sacrifice to the great Lord of the Brass Throne,’ she cried, raising her hands towards the ceiling, still holding the blade. ‘May He accept this sacrifice and reward us for our service.’

The girl’s horror grew as she realized what was about to happen to her, and she became hysterical, fighting against the warrior who held her down.

The impassive High Priestess simply said, ‘Hold her down Sister Vatore, and bare her throat.’

The warrior did as she was ordered, tying the girl’s hands to the chains affixed to the altar and muffling her screams.

The chanting grew louder as the warriors all shouted their praises to the Lord of Blood, each one outdoing the other in their entreaties to the mighty Chaos God. Marin lowered her blade to the girl’s throat slowly, enjoying the scent of her horror and desperation.

As the fevered chanting reached its pitch, she cut open the girl’s throat with a swift stroke and a spray of blood splashed on her face. Licking the drops of blood, she once again raised her hands towards the ceiling.

‘O mighty Khorne, accept this sacrifice, our tribute to your eternal glory, and bless us with the presence of your herald,’ she yelled and the entire chamber joined her. ‘Send us your Horned Ones, so that they may feast on our offerings! I beseech you!’

‘Sister Vicus, bring out the rest of the girls,’ she ordered, addressing another of her entourage.

The warrior acknowledged with a nod and motioned to her sisters. The horrified girls wailed and screamed as they were all dragged before the altar where the first girl’s corpse still spewed blood, but their efforts were in vain. Their screams for mercy rewarded them with stern slaps to the face or vicious kicks to their abdomen and many of them simply collapsed. But they were all hauled before the High Priestess regardless of their condition.

Marin personally slit all their throats as Vicus and the others held them down, their blood mingling together into the depressions that dotted the altar, forming intricate designs. The chanting of the warriors continued unabated as they watched the slaughter.

Once the girls had all been sacrificed, Marin joined her sisters in the chanting, their words forming an unholy rhythm. The warriors swayed their bodies in concert to the rhythm, the blood of their sacrifices still pooling together.

‘Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne!’ yelled Marin, her cries echoed by her sisters. Over and over again, they yelled the battle-cry, even though their voices became hoarse and some of them could only mumble along.

‘Khorne!’ called Marin once again. ‘Honour us with the presence of your heralds! Give us our reward! We offer these lambs to you in sacrifice, give us our wolves!’

As the High Priestess cried those words, the pooling blood on the altar began to congeal together, rising and forming a mass of blood and gore. Taller and taller the mass grew, resolving into the form of a hunched daemon grasping a sword.

The chanting suddenly stopped as the daemon was birthed into the material world and all the warriors bent their knee before him. Marin herself knelt and lowered her head, smiling at the success of the summoning.

The horned daemon screamed in the foul language of Chaos, yelling a challenge to Marin and her sisters. His skin was the colour of blood itself, in sharp contrast to its forked black tongue and horns.

‘Areth Marin,’ said the daemon, a Bloodletter of Khorne. The High Priestess looked up into his eyes that smouldered with controlled fury. ‘The Lord of Rage is pleased with your sacrifice. You have done well to purge this world of the followers of the corpse-god. Your tally of skulls before the Skull Throne has grown immensely and the Blood God has seen fit to reward you.’

The Bloodletter walked up to the High Priestess and gestured for her to stand up. As she complied with his unspoken command, the daemon turned to the corpses of the young girls upon the altar.

‘Children of the defenders of Taipas, how fitting,’ the daemon’s cackling laughter echoed all over the chamber. ‘A worthy offering indeed High Priestess, most pleasing.’

‘I live only to serve the Lord of Skulls,’ whispered Marin, awed in the presence of the exalted servant of Khorne.

As she watched, the daemon drew a symbol in the air with his sword, chanting in the language of the warp. And as they all looked on, the wounds on the corpses healed and colour began to return to them. One by one, the recently dead girls arose in answer to the daemon’s words, no mark of the violent death they had been subjected to visible on their flesh.

‘Here you are High Priestess Areth Marin,’ the Bloodletter said. ‘This is your reward for exceptional service and a token of Khorne’s favour. Train these pathetic mortals and continue your crusade against the Imperium.’ With that, the daemon’s form dissolved and it vanished from the chamber.

Areth Marin looked at the resurrected girls, reborn as warriors of the Order of the Black Cross and yelled another war-cry.

‘Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne!’
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Re: READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby Atlantic » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:45 pm

This was a bit of an experiment. The original version is around 5k words. I cut it down to 1144 for the contest. I'm curious as to what you guys think. Unsheathe your knives please.


The Bloody Kiss (1144 words)


Her breath tickled Alberecht’s skin as he pulled the Contessa against him. It was warm and inviting, like the scent of jasmine on a summer day. Alberecht sucked it in embarrassed by the rush of desire that filled him. He knew the eyes of the Elector Countess Emmanuelle’s court were upon him, but threw caution to the wind. He grasped the Contessa and twirled her in a tight loop that placed her back against his chest. As the dance ended, he lowered her into a dip, marveling at the softness of her skin against his calloused
hands.

‘Sir Alberecht’ the Contessa Donatella Lisanguile purred as she slowly uncoiled herself from him. ‘I am eager to dance again…after your triumph.’

Alberecht bowed and kissed the Contessa’s hand. Looking into her dark, almost black eyes he said ‘I count the hours till then, milady’.

The Contessa smiled coyly. Her pale perfect alabaster face brightened with just a hint of blush staining her cheeks. Alberecht watched the curves of her body sway as she walked through the ballroom, midnight hair trailing behind her. Jealousy gripped him as he noticed the stares she attracted. His features softened as he considered how she affected him. It was a natural reaction to the raw sensuality she projected.

‘Lord’ Hibbert spoke up. ‘Lady Brijster has asked for you.’

Alberecht sighed at the mention of his wife. ‘Thank you Hibbert’ he told the squire. ‘I am sure she has.’

Alberecht ran a hand through his short blonde hair and walked from the dance floor. Hibbert stepped in front and led him toward the edge of the ballroom in the direction of the Tilean musicians hired for the occasion. Good he thought, no one will hear our words standing so close to this racket.

Gertrude Brijster was a handsome woman of twenty five. Blonde, tall, and well-endowed, she had been quite a prize for Alberecht. He knew he still loved her, but the coldness of her blue eyes sometimes made it hard to remember. He knew he was wrong to blame her for the aloofness that had built between them, but recognizing his own faults had done little to change the course of their marriage.

‘I will be taking my leave of this…’ she paused searching for the right word ‘affair’.

Alberecht blanched at her choice of words. ‘I wish you would not. Hallas is excited for the final bout. My son should see his father at what he does best.’

‘That my dear, is what concerns me.’ Gertrude reached up and touched his cheek not unkindly. ‘Be safe husband. We will wait for you…as always.’

Alberecht watched his wife leave. He bit his lip disgusted with himself. He took a glass of wine from a passing servant and turned back to the ball. His hand tightened on the long stem of the glass as he saw the Contessa dance with Sir Luitipold Grenhoff. ‘I’ll wipe that smug look off of your face tomorrow you bastard’ he swore to himself quietly.

******************************************************************************************************************************************************

Alberecht felt ill in the hot confines of his tent. Hibbert fanned him as his other squires tightened the buckles and straps of his plate armour. He reached up and made sure the silk scarf tied around his neck still held tight. It seemed as though Alberecht had tightened it a hundred times already this morning, but he could not stop himself.

He dreamed of the Contessa the night before. In the dream she came to him and they kissed. It was the most visceral dream he had ever recalled. He remembered the scent of jasmine in her hair and how her mouth tasted of rose petals. The firmness of her pale breasts and cries of passion she moaned into his ears felt so real. She bit him in the dream and licked his neck.

It was a dream. Alberecht told himself it was a dream, but he could not explain away the blood on his sheets and the two perfect puncture wounds on his neck.

‘Lord it is time.’

‘Thank you Hibbert’ Alberecht said and donned his helmet. He stepped out from the tent and waved to the roaring crowd in the stands. He mounted his dapple stallion and cantered around the ring. The illness that troubled him in the tent evaporated as his mood lifted. He took his place at the end of the ring and took a lance from Hibbert. A small pennant embroidered with a crane in flight hung from it matching the red tabard he wore over his armour.

The crowd roared as his opponent took position at the other end of the tilt. Sir Luitipold Grenhoff wore a black tabard emblazoned with a silver stag. Luitipold pointed toward him with his lance and the crowd quieted in response to the brazenness of the gesture. Alberecht grunted in anger and nodded back.

The master at arms stood up from his place at the center of the stands and dropped his arms signaling the joust to begin.

Alberecht kicked his stallion into a gallop. His eyes locked onto Grenhoff as the two men raced toward each other. Grenhoff’s lance was held high at throat level. Alberecht read the lethality intended by his stance and set his feet hard into his stirrups. Time contracted as the moment of impact approached. Alberecht kicked his stallion a second time as they came together. With a deft turn of the wrist he rolled his lance around Luitipold’s twisting it into his shield as his lance struck him in the chest.

Alberecht grinned fierecely behind his helmet as he felt his opponent’s lance shatter. He locked his arm in place and lifted Grenhoff from the saddle cleanly. The crowd roared and he stood up his stirrups in response. He took a victory lap around the ring and bowed to the Countess Emmanuelle when he heard it.

‘Bastard’ Grenhoff yelled at him. ‘She’s mine!’

Alberecht rode to the fallen knight and glared down at him from the saddle.

‘You are mistaken sir. I believe she is mine.’

*************************************************************************************************************************

‘Alberecht’ the Contessa purred as she kissed his neck. ‘My strong champion…’

Alberecht smiled fiercely and lowered the bodice of her dress. His ran his hands through her hair until a sharp pain pierced the fog of his lust. He fought to break free from her as fangs bit into his neck, but all of the knight’s great strength was useless in the grasp of the Contessa.

He felt the life drain from him as she feasted. After what seemed an eternity, he felt the soft flesh of her wrist enter his mouth. The scent of iron invaded his nostrils and the taste of copper hit his tongue.

‘Drink Alberecht’ she purred.

Alberecht drank from the fount of her lifeblood desperate to stave off his sudden weakness. As the corruption took him, he remembered a name. Gertrude.
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Re: READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby Pipitán » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:05 pm

Gundi - Very amusing entry, and well written too. I'm annoyed at myself for not immediately guessing Rick's identity.

Shadowhawk - I like the concept behind this, although in some places the execution seemed a little off, in my opinion - some of the description and sentence structures seemed a little bland and repetitive - but in the main it was very nicely done, and the Bloodletter's entrance was well handled.

Atlantic - Some nice ideas in this entry. I could really feel your pain in cutting the piece - it felt like there was a much longer story to be told, and some of the description felt a bit... cut short. Also, personally I would have put in some sort of twist - the first 'dream' makes the ending a bit of a letdown, as it's obvious what's going on. But that's just my personal taste.
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Re: READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby Stuart000X » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:28 pm

@ LordLucan

The Paltry Facsimile of true Degradation

An intriguing story, a good travelogue if you're a daemon looking for a new place to live. Lots of good descriptions of landscapes; of how terrible it is while passing it off as a sort of paradise to the eyes of these daemonic creatures. There is a certain prelude to this tale, like this is just the start of something bigger for later.

Well done :)
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Re: READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby Tyrant » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:07 pm

Gundi da Grot (Corruption Comes Home): Slightly silly but very well-written. It also explains a lot..... *dons tin-foil hat*

shadowhawk2008 (Initiation): Very nice indeed, I can't remember reading about fallen sisters of battle before and for a first entry this is excellent stuff. I didn't like the word "younglings": too jedi-reminiscent, but apart from that, no major problems. :D

Atlantic (The Bloody Kiss): In places it is obvious that this piece was cut down from a larger, more complete story. I liked the battle with the lance though, and enjoyed the story overall.
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Re: READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby Boc » Thu Jun 09, 2011 4:39 am

The Plains of Herdias Prime
Word Count: 1099 including title

He fekking hated the trenches.

Then again, each world seemed like a shithole just a little bit worse than the last. The grass is greener on the other side of my arse, he mused.

Shaking off the rain collecting on his matte black helm, Derik Vigo grimaced. The humidity, the heat, and the mud were the great triumvirate of Herdias Prime, and he doubted he would be done with it any time soon. The cultists on the other side of No Man’s Land seemed more than happy to sit out the long coming months of the rainy season in their bunkers while the Guardsmen of the Larillan 41st wallowed in filth.

As if reading his glum mood, Cranson chuckled beside him. Glancing over, Derik noticed his squadmate watching him from the autocannon’s mount. ‘Well look at the bright side mate,’ Cranson said, ‘it could be raining the drips!’

Derik sniggered; Cranson, the never-ending optimist, had contracted a venereal disease the last time he had visited the whores on ‘furlough.’ Despite the man’s discomfort while urinating, he still found the whole episode hilarious, and brought attention to it whenever he could.

‘Just keep it in your pants, Cranson,’ he responded, ‘I have no need to have your crotch-contagion spreading, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the commissar would consider you spreading it treason.’ Derik sighted back down his sniper scope, trying to find any movement in the deluge. ‘”Corrupting the holy masses of the Emperor’s Guard,” he’d say. “hampering the ’

‘True, true,’ his friend replied, ‘he’s just jealous I’ve gotten tail.’

Derik resisted bait and kept focusing on No Man’s Land. Truth be told, as much as he liked Cranson’s amiable banter, sometimes he just wanted the man to shut the hell up. It was hotter than a whorehouse on discount days, and Cranson’d know, the mud was deep enough to suck the boots from his feet each time he tried to move, and the meteorological team with the 41st reported no end to the rainstorms in the near future.

The damned rainstorms were the reason he was stuck in the trench in the first place. The sodden terrain was too soft for high amounts of armoured traffic, and the tanks and artillery pieces from the rest of the battlegroup had been deemed more important than the 41st’s troop transports. Therefore, Derik and the other four thousand riflemen had to spend a solid week digging trenches. He scowled and stretched his still-sore fingers, feeling the raw skin rub painfully against his flak gloves.

Well, too late for that synth-skin now, he thought. The skin was at least starting to heal, and despite his complete inability to keep the torn blisters dry, at least the pain had receded to a constant ache radiating up his arms instead of the biting stabs it had been.

‘Enjoying the rain, fekkers?’ a voice said behind them. Derik turned to see the Sergeant-of-the-Guard, Lenitto, leaning bareheaded in the shoddily-constructed wooden fighting position. ‘Just making sure you weren’t grabbing a bit o’ shuteye, la-’ He abruptly cut off as a fit of vicious coughing seized his body.

‘Get in uniform before you try calling us out, eh?’ Cranson called back, ‘And announce yourself ahead of time, I can’t hear shite in this rain.’

Sergeant Lenitto could not respond, his body just kept convulsing with coughs. ‘So-cough-rry cough don’t kn-cough-ow wh-cough-at the fek...’ his words died off as he collapsed against the frame of the entryway, clenching his throat.

‘Is he fekking choking?’ Cranson’s voice had risen noticeably, ‘Keep watching, I’ll help him.’ Cranson rushed over to kneel by the hacking sergeant, tossing his kit carelessly to the ground.

Derik tried to focus on No Man’s Land, but there was something about Lenitto’s coughing that made him queasy. It was not the same dry hack or wet wheeze that normally accompanied the ague. He heard the man retching behind him, the heaves and solid splashes into the puddles distinctive over the rain. He felt a wave of nausea rush over him, raising the hairs on his neck. The incessant hacking continued, and he could hear it being echoed down the line.

Glancing back, he saw the sergeant sprawled face down in the mud, a bloody, black ichor spreading from his head. Cranson grasped futilely at his throat from his knees, reaching out to Derik for help. On the man’s pale skin, Derik could see a black stain creeping, corrupting.

He was frozen, not with fear, but with disgust. These men were plagued, and he knew he could do nothing for them. Helplessness welled in his chest as Cranson’s outstretched hand began trembling. The dark rot ate through the fingers, and each fell in a grotesque splash in the water. The taint spread in the water, rancid tendrils shooting out in all directions feeling for a new host.

Pushing himself back into the corner of the fighting position, Derik could do nothing but watch in utter horror as the seeking fingers of decay spread towards him, searching for an opening in his uniform. It found a seam, and he felt his leg ignite. Something was burning him from the inside, a fiery agony that he had never known exploded up his leg as his body consumed itself.

‘God Emperor, preserve us!’ he cried, ripping his flak jacket off and exposing his chest to the rain. The blackness was spreading, filling his veins with decay. So focused was he, staring in abject horror at the stain that he did not notice Cranson collapse limply in the trench, with his rotting stump still stretched to his friend, nor that his boots had fallen freely from feet that had rotted to mush, nor did he see the massive, bloated armoured figure approach his position and gaze inside. He could feel nothing below his waist, only a burn and the sweet odour of his own festering flesh as his chest cavity collapsed.

Voices... ‘Nothing here, Lord,’ a metallic, gurgling voice said from behind him. He tried to turn and look, but his spine had long since liquefied, and his head swung freely from his neck. As his head lolled back and forth and his brain was consumed, he thought he saw the outline of an angel of death.

*****


‘All are dead,’ Nosfer reported, ‘None resisted.’

Flegmus nodded, unsurprised. These hosts were too mature to adapt to survive the Cleansing. No new souls would be garnered in the Grandfather’s army this day. ‘To the next world, then,’ his voice bubbled, thick with mucus. ‘The Wrathful demands more.’
Last edited by Boc on Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby Tyrant » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:30 am

Boc (The Plains of Herdias Prime): Nice, I liked the reference to the Wrathful at the end of the story. Wasn't so keen on the repetition of "so focussed" towards the end, and the reference to cold rain is odd when the rest of the story complains about the heat and humidity. Apart from those minor quibbles I really enjoyed reading this. A definite contender for my votes!
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Re: READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby Pipitán » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:56 am

Boc - very nice entry, I very much liked the coldness of the ending, and the way you described the corruption spreading and literally turning the poor guardsmen to mulch. Great stuff.
Last edited by Pipitán on Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: READ IN A RUSH: Corruption

Postby Boc » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:50 pm

Tyrant - after reading back through it myself, I wholeheartedly agree the 'so focused' bit was... jarring. I tried something out, didn't work, and now it has been changed, as well as the one reference to 'cold' rain. Thanks for the comment and I'm glad you liked it!

Pip - I had been hoping that the reference to a VD at the beginning would make you guys think the story was about that type of contagion, but alas :P Pleased that you enjoyed it though!
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