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 Flight of Icarus

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Siticus the Ancient
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Join date : 2011-09-10
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PostSubject: Flight of Icarus   Thu Nov 03 2011, 01:23

This is one of my stories that I've posted on Boot Camp forums. I like this one more than the others, so I thought I'll repost it here. It ain't much, I'm still working on my writing, but I think it turned out as a decent enough practice. It's sort of long-ish, though.


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The rising morning sun shined through the misty forest, reflecting in the dew on the tree leaves and the tree barks and grass. The leaves were slightly waving in the odd breeze flowing through the air. Apart from it, the air in was still, peaceful.

An eagle sat atop one of the highest trees, its eyes vigil, its head slowly turning from left to right, looking for prey. With a single strain of its muscle, the eagle pulled its feet from the branch, diving headfirst towards the ground, then extended its clawed feet in front of it. Within a blink of an eye, a small rodent was snatched off its familiar ground and taken to the sky, on top of the tree branch where the eagle struck its beak in the prey, killing it instantly, then began its triumphant feast. The eagle then took off the branch, floating in the air on the lookout for more.

The eldar woke up, his face flinching in pain that coursed through every single bone in his body. He struggled to sit up, his hands shaking under the strain of balancing his wounded, barely healed body. He looked around him. It was the same dream as usual. Dream of freedom, dream of flight... dream of the hunt and swift slaughter. He slowly turned his head, biting his teeth in the sharp pain that surged through his muscles with even the slightest move. He extended his hand, slowly moved his fingers and admiring the sharp talons growing out of each of them. He turned his head to the left, finally seeing and feeling that which he had been dreaming of for so long. Sprouting out of his back, still raw with young ruffled, bloody feathers covering them, he now had a pair of wings.

The eldar let out a loud, maniacal guffaw. He had become something more now, he was no longer bound to the rules of the Dark City, no longer a pawn to the Kabals and a creature of the land. He could fly, he had ascended above all he had ever known. The eldar stood up and staggered a few steps forward, pressing against the door arch. He slowly walked through the dark, humid halls, smelling of dried blood, chemicals, ashes and death. He passed by the haemonculus that had helped his ascension. He looked at the haemonculus, and the haemonculus looked black, flashing a wide grin on his disfigured, misshapen face, turning his back on the winged eldar once again and continued to walk from cage to cage, thrusting a needle into one of the many unfortunate slaves that had the worst of all fates become true - captured alive by the Dark Eldar.

The winged eldar paid no attention to the screams of agony behind him. The haemonculus had done his part, now it was all up to him. To truly ascend. To spread his wings and fly. To free himself from the bondage of gravity and unbound himself from the laws of the ground dwellers. But more importantly, to prove his worth to others like him, the swift rulers of the twisted sky of Commoragh, the Scourges. He spread his wings, then jumped upwards, and with a powerful flap of his newly grown wings, he took up in the sky.

The pain of the newly grafted muscle was infernal, but it was just what he needed to stay focused on the goal, to keep his eyes on the dark green sky, dimly lighted by the stolen suns of another time. Story upon a story flew by him, as he flew higher and higher, leaving the dark underground Haemonculi covens, ascending past the lowly streets of the stragglers, scavengers and other weak, pitiful creatures littering them. He smirked. So much had gone by, so much had transpired ever since he had looked up the birds in the sky out on the Realspace worlds, envied them for their arrogance, for they shunned the ground, they deemed it unfit to dwell on it.

His train of thought was interrupted, as a shower of sharp slivers darted past him. He gritted his teeth. This was the difficult part, but essential were he to ascend above all others. He was chased by a pack of hellions, yelling and screeching, emptying their sliver canisters in attempts to shoot the flying eldar down. He had to dodge once, then again, again and again, flipping around, changing the direction of flight all the time, all to evade the deadly sliver storm. There was no turning back, he had to outrun them. He had to be faster than the jet engines propelling the hellions.

Within a blink of an eye, he cut his trajectory and instead of continuing his ascension, he darted towards the smallest alleyway he could find, trying to lead his pursuers into a thick maze of pipes, spikes, chains and blades adorning the walls of every building around him. One after another, the hellions, were caught back by a chain they had not spotted, impaling themselves on a sharp spike or slicing themselves open on the sharp edged walls, column edges and ledges. The winged eldar let out a maddened laughter once again. The sight of his pursuers meeting a gory demise on the account of their slower reflexes not only reinforced his arrogance, but also mended his wounds, slowly toning down the pain in his bones and muscle to but a minor sting. Revitalized and rejuvenating, he flew higher and higher, increasing his speed even more. He let out a loud, manic cackle, sure of his superiority.

He no longer was engulfed with walls and wide, mazed bridges spiraling upwards. The space between spires and towers grew wider and wider. He was close, he was getting ever so nearer and nearer to his objective, and he could not contain his excitement. So sure of himself, so busy laughing in glee that he did not hear the roar of jet engines closing in. When he finally turned his head, it was already too late. A member of Reaver gangs was already directly behind him.

There was no time to maneuver, nothing that he could do as the bladed tail of the jetbike sliced through his wings, splitting the bone like it was paper and sent the eldar spiraling downwards, accompanied by the lunatic, self-satisfied cackle of the jetbike rider. The now regular eldar did not yell, he did not let out a cry of fear for his inevitable death. His eyes were tied to the sky, his hand reached out towards it in futility, he plummeted back-first downwards like a rock towards his death, the bleeding stubs of what was left of his wings helplessly flapping on his back.


There was no escape from the bondage to the savage rules of the Dark City. Not even in its deadly sky.
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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: Flight of Icarus   Thu Nov 03 2011, 13:08

I really liked the story, it was nice to see a piece on Scourges as I think they're an interesting clique with an excitingly alien outlook. I do think, as a bit of advice, that you could do with sharpening up your grammar a bit. There were a handful of run-on sentences and also some odd usage of conjugation (mostly in the early part of the story) that kind of kept pulling me out of the tale and making it hard to focus on the story and setting.

Also, as a *really* minor niggle, I was a bit confused by the title. The story of Icarus is a tale focusing on pride and reaching beyond yourself. Though there were perhaps minor thematic elements to that within the story, I felt the title was a touch misleading as far as the story content went; as this tale was basically about, at most, trying to elevate your station, but lacked any pride elements which are truly central to the Icarus tale.

That minor quibble aside I liked the story quite a lot. The action was described nicely and most of your descriptions relating to the wings, from the new muscle strain, to the flapping nubs at the end, was quite excellent and really had a nice feel for the way a new Scourge's experience is like. Excellent stuff.

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Blue Cabal
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PostSubject: Re: Flight of Icarus   Thu Nov 03 2011, 13:56

I liked the story.... shows how hard the life in the dark city is!!

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Siticus the Ancient
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PostSubject: Re: Flight of Icarus   Thu Nov 03 2011, 14:00

Thank you for both praise and critique.

The grammar part is certainly something that is a weak point of mine - english isn't my native language, so my sentences are long and chock-full of commas. Splitting long sentences into shorter ones is something I should really keep in my mind when I write. Keep it neat, keep it simple.

As for the title, it was really just the main thematic that I took - the impatience, the feeling of superiority and recklessness that leads to the character's demise. I do think that pride is something core to all Scourges believing them to be superior than anyone else. In that light, I didn't really bother to further accent it, perhaps something I should've done.

Glad you liked it.


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Gobsmakked
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PostSubject: Re: Flight of Icarus   Wed Nov 09 2011, 05:51

A great short story, very befitting of Eldar arrogance and impetuousness.

I hope that you write many more.
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