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 Alone - Short Story

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Kellathir
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PostSubject: Alone - Short Story   Fri Mar 02 2012, 10:49

Alone

Crawling out from beneath the wreckage of his Raider transport Sybarite Caradrith, tried to stretch his legs. Still overcome by the concussion he had suffered in the crash he looked around, the sensors on his helmet coming to life, glyphs indicating his health status appearing on the left side of his field of view. For once he was overcome by fear as he found himself alone in a hellish landscape. Around him the fallen corpses of his warrior group, wrecked Mon-Keigh and Dark Eldar vehicles, humans dead or dying. Filtering through the various view-modes of his helmet he stopped on the light amplification mode.

Searching for weapons he located a Splinter rifle that lay on the ground besides one of his warriors. Picking the weapon in his hands, he inspected it for damage, verifying the electro-magnetic accelerators and ammunition reserve. His head spun as pulled himself onto his feet. Ignoring the vertigo and the pounding at his temples, he bent to collect several splinter ammunition cores that lay scattered at his feet. Close by smoke emerged from the muzzle of his Raider's Dark Lance, the weapon's effects visible on a nearby human Armoured Personnel Carrier that burned like a torch.

Keeping communication silence Caradrith was satisfied to see he still had his pistol, plasma grenades and power weapon at hand. Using the faint locator beacon coming from a nearby source he began strolling across the field and into the cover of some spiny trees that marked the start of the nearby forest. Moving through the undergrowth and bushes the Eldar male, shook away any feelings of fear and sorrow for his dead companions. What mattered was survival, what mattered was returning to his Kabal and kin. Continuing his trek on foot, soon he realized the trees were becoming more distant from each other, taking away the cover he had to rely on to advance undetected.
Stopping besides a rock, dipping down to one knee he zoomed in using his helmet's visual sensors, locking on a couple of faint heat signatures. Powering up his noise amplifiers he heard the crude language of the Imperium, the voices of several individuals and the pattern of emotions in their voices. Hunger awoke in him but he restrained himself from an all out attack. The voices were full of fear and concern, some were sad. Despite the louder talk of one of the other humans, who tried his best to encourage his small group there was no hope. Licking his own lips the Sybarite could nearly smell the frightened souls, ripe for the taking.
He crawled slowly across the forest floor he approached their position, keeping away from the light radius emitted by the small campfire the humans had built. Like a predator in ambush he waited, his senses alert. Settling the splinter rifle on his back, Caradrith secured it's strap, his hand moving to press a small activation gemstone. Twin serrated blades emerged from their wrist mount, their double edges dripping a transparent liquid.


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

One of the guardsmen slowly strolled away from his group, unarmed, unaware of the presence awaiting in the dark. Leaving his fellows to continue their tale he stopped by a tree, instinctively looking around as if not to be seen and prepared to beckon nature's call. Puffing his cigarette he stared in the dark of the forest, perhaps content they were alone out there or so he thought. A sharp pain suddenly filled him as something scratched the back of his neck, his helmet flying onto the ground. He felt unable to scream but as he moved his hand to inspect the wound he saw his own blood covering his hands. Numbness filled his body and soon his legs gave up, unable to support his weight. Dropped onto his side the man looked up only to see a dark armored humanoid standing besides him.
Raising a finger toward his lips this figure smiled cruelly at him "Shhhhhh it will all be over soon, don't cry, there is no need, your eyes speak enough....". The Eldar gripped the man's collar drawing him away in total silence into a small bush covered area. Tossing his silent prey onto the forest floor Caradrith took in a deep breath, overcome by the emotions of the frightened human. Using the tip of a single blade he tore off the man's flak vest, raising an eyebrow. The human stared him in the eyes full of so much hatred and fear they had become sweet sweet morsels to him. Scratching along the exposed skin of the human he drew a rune of Khaine.
Overcome by pain Guardsman Quinn looked at the Xeno, trying to move his arms and legs but he was paralyzed. Despite his condition every single second was filled with excruciating pain that made him think of the Emperor, asking for protection in his mind as he was unable to speak. He could see he alien using his bladed wrist weapon literally carving his skin, tearing it off and relishing in the pain he inflicted. Soon the alien's hand drew away, the tips of the twin blades stopped just half an inch away from his eyes, then it ALL went black.


With one last smile the alien pushed his blades into the human's eyeballs and rushed to inhale his victim's last breath. A sensation of pleasure overcame the Sybarite as he sat down besides the mangled human. The hunger was gone but now he had more pressing matters at hand. He could hear the voices of the Imperial Guardsmen calling out for their missing comrade. Their footsteps drew closer and soon one yelled "Sarge! Sarge!".
Sergeant Aislinn drawn by the cries of the private closed in on the bushes and his face went pale in shock. Guardsman Quinn lay dead, mangled and tortured, his eyes gone, his mouth wide open, the fear and anguish obvious on his face. Cursing under his breath he turned toward the Squad's medic, "There's nothing we can do for him now, his soul is hopefully with the Emperor but we're not alone anymore. Set up double watch at the campsite and keep your eyes open, there's someone or something here with us."


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


Having withdrawn to a nearby hidden cave Caradrith, smiled as he set his helmet and weapons aside. Pulling out a small data device he tapped the gemstone, loading a holographic map of the planet, flanked by Eldar ideograms. Tapping one of the symbols he finally saw that he was within several miles of at least three human rural settlements and ten of a larger town. These Guardsmen must have been a local planetary defense unit. The device he carried had information on the entire sector thus it would be useful to him for orientation until he could find a way to return to the Webway. Shutting it down he inspected his rations and discovered he had enough rations for a couple of days, thus soon he would be forced to hunt. The planet had apparently a rich ecosystem thus food should not be a problem. Finally he could rest, yet he was alone.
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Lady Malys
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PostSubject: Re: Alone - Short Story   Fri Mar 02 2012, 21:13

Should you continue it? Yes. I want to see what happens next Smile

I'm also not sure yet which side you plan to have win through, which is interesting.

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Thor665
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PostSubject: Re: Alone - Short Story   Sat Mar 03 2012, 03:11

I will say just from a formatting angle I'd like to see full line breaks between paragraphs due to the lack of indents.

I really liked the use of descriptions - but will note that though you described most things quite well, you didn't give us any real clue as to the type of place Caradrith is in. I'm guessing deciduous forest - but you may wish to clarify that.

Overall a very nice read, I enjoyed it.

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Zehra
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PostSubject: Re: Alone - Short Story   Sat Mar 03 2012, 11:53

Very well written!!!
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Kellathir
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PostSubject: The Iron Rain - continuation.   Sat Mar 03 2012, 11:56

Wind blew slowly, the fern-shaped tree leaves moving, their sound filling the air. Crouched besides a small bush, Caradrith's hand sifted over the holograms projected by his communication device, his features describing annoyance. Primitive human communication signals filled the region, yet he had no interest in them. Closing his eyes he sighed after glancing at the surrounding temperate forest stretching for dozens of miles around him. There were no signs of his raiding party, no Commorite signals. Angry he almost slammed the activation stone on his communicator, turning it off. Resting his back against a tree his eyes were perfectly adapted to the twilight that followed the setting of the white-yellow sun this world orbited. Both hands moved to tie his hair knot tighter, before the Eldar's lithe form shifted to a kneeling position.

Setting off to a rushed stride, his nimble physique allowed him to navigate obstacles easily, jumping over decrepit logs, rocks or streams with contemptuous ease. Droplets of water fell from the heavens, rain slowly pouring over his form, yet the Sybarite seemed to pay no heed. Inside his soul hunger was stirring and removed from his Kabalite brothers and sisters, alone on a Mon-Keigh world he required to feed. Knowing his survival depended on the recovery of ammunition and equipment from the battle-field where his Raider crashed.

Trees became scarcer and following the runes on the helmet's visor, Caradrith knew he was approaching the required location. A single yellow rune flickered on the left side, making him stopped. Underneath his helmet both his eyebrows shot upwards, a surprised expression taking over his features. His communicator was sifting through human vox signals, yet a new one seemed to be present. With ease he localized the new frequencies, amused by the primitive level of the human encoding. Soon surprise turned to anxiousness and fear, yet he pressed on to the crash site.

The trot of heavy hooves filled the air and soon a line of frightened brown-skinned beasts burst through the last line of trees from a nearby clearing. Two legged, only with two small arms that helped reach them for leaves the tlaxi as he had learned the humans call them rushed, driven off by an unseen fear. Jumping and rolling on the ground, Caradrith waited for the animals to pass, his hands reaching for the splinter rifle, a single push of a gemstone activating its accelerator, a light hum fading away as the weapon powered up. The sky seemed to come ablaze as red light pierced the clouds, the infernal noise of firing planetary defense weapons filling the air, a distraction, a much needed distraction. Adrenaline pumped through him as he broke from the tree line toward the shattered wreck of his Raider and the smaller form of a downed Venom.

Torn to shreds the elegant ether-sail lay to the raider's left, the signs of human tools on it, yet their work seemed to have been interrupted. Six guardsmen lay lifeless in the clearing, along with what remained of his Kabalite kin. Securing a long whip like weapon from the broken body of a fallen one and several ammunition cores he stepped carefully toward a hunched down figure that had not spotted him. The whimpering of a human could be clearly heard from the opposite side of the Venom.

Ella Sorrius tried to collect herself as rain fell from the lit sky, trying to remove herself from view beneath the odd shape of a crashed alien craft. Wearing a dark blue Guard overall, a flak vest and helmet she dared not look up. Tasked with the defense of local communities while her regiment awaited re-deployment her column had been caught by the descent of dread enemies, giants that showed no mercy nor respite. On wings of fire others harried the survivors and now what was left of her squad-mates lay dead around the alien craft they had tried to loot. Closing her eyes briefly she reopened them only to gaze at a pair of midnight and black boots and as her gaze moved upward following the lithe humanoid figure before her she froze in place. A pair of cold unfeeling eyes looked down at her amused, A feeble attempt to unholster her combat knife was met with the deadly sting of rifle mounted blades impaling her hand, her screams of pain falling on deaf ears.

"The Helliarch was right", the alien addressed her in Gothic, "you are no more than prey. Speak she-human, what is happening, why are you firing your pathetic defense weapons?".

Descending from the clouds a large object seemed to slow down fifty meters away, only to land in a flare of retro-thrusters. Like petals the sides opened and giants wearing metallic coloured armor descended. A single search-light mounted on the power-core of one's armour illuminated the clearing, perhaps scanning for targets. One by one others descended from the clouds, joined by a large landing craft that hovered above only to drop two armoured vehicles. Human and Eldar watched from beyond the wreckage of the Venom as the Great Enemy's servants fanned out to clear the landing zone.

"P... please, don't leave me with them", cried the female guardsman and in what seemed an eternity the alien barely registered her. Her fear was the only emotion washing over the Alien's keen senses. A cruel smile appeared on Caradrith's face, "Perhaps I will make you my plaything and you will survive. Perhaps it's time for the Twilight Blade to reap the servants of the Great Enemy as well".

Unseen the two crouched down through the grass back to the trees, now and then a whimper coming from the human but life was far more precious than anything. One by one the drop pods fell from the heavens and the enemy filled the large clearing. From the shadows two pairs of eyes watched, one filled with malice and cruelty, the other fearful. Muffled by the Iron Rain the sounds of the forest faded and metal coloured Armoured Personnel Carriers drove away, black and yellow hazard stripes visible on their sides.

Turning his gaze toward the human Caradrith smiled to himself. "How easily they turned from their Emperor when given a life-line", he thought. She clumsily held one of the Splinter rifles recovered from the fallen. "The Twilight Blade", he whispered to himself, "Perhaps this is the opportunity", he finally thought.He would reap his way out of the Iron Rain.


Last edited by Kellathir on Sat Mar 03 2012, 12:38; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Alone - Short Story   Sat Mar 03 2012, 12:26

Hmm, an interesting turn of events Very Happy Is she an impromptu ally or merely usefully self-carrying food supply? I'll be tuning in to find out ...

Thor is right, you have a vivid style of description. Also, I especially liked the detail of him re-tying his hair. precisely because it's a small, authentic detail (I have long hair and it needs maintenance in that style) and because it shows his character. It's just better to read about him fussing over his hairstyle than, say, "he was vain" or "appearance was important to him". Nicely done Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Alone - Short Story   Sat Mar 03 2012, 14:05

Wow, I can't wait to see what happens next!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Alone - Short Story   Sat Mar 03 2012, 16:16

Good read. I always like reading what's going into the mind of the Dark Kin, as they are quite open to interpretation in that sense. I like the prideful predator vibe your character gives off, especially liking the little tidbit of also dedicating the guardsman as a small sacrifice to Khaine. It's yet another detail that isn't widely common, yet really helps to tell more about the character.

There are some small mistakes here and there, which could be easily snuffed out with an extra proof read. Other than that, I'm looking forward to knowing what happens next.

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PostSubject: The touch of the Serpent - part III of the story line   Sun Mar 04 2012, 22:36

“What do you mean harvest the fear?”, a fearful toned reply came from Ella as she stared at the Kabalite that presented his back to her, long white hair sprawled over his shoulders and back. “Surely you do not mean attacking them, we both know they are Astartes…”, she rambled on throwing her arms in the air in annoyance. “There must be some other way….!”

Like a flowing river meandering through the hardest stone with one fluid motion he was upon her, the cold knife that appeared out of nowhere in his gloved hand pressing against her skin. The fluid from the weapon turned her skin into a sizzling porous substance, unbearable pain described only by the look in her eyes as she tried to see beyond the dark orbs that were the Eldar’s eyes. The corners of his mouth twisted with scorn, for a moment betraying disappointment before becoming a smile. Lithe fingers squeezed the human’s throat, betraying a far greater strength than anticipated and a few seconds of silence and pain became unbearable for the Guard soldier. A hushed voice, only reflecting mock compassion filled her ears, “Astartes, a word that means nothing, their allegiance means nothing, but it betrays many things. Deep inside they are so human…”, a cruel chuckle followed, “But to topple the Pyramid you must first erode its base, just like the sweet poison eroding your skin”. Removing the knife from her throat he slowly sheathed it, releasing her.

“Never question my judgement again, little morsel”, he continued as she slumped down, sliding against the wall of the cave that served as their shelter.”In a week of shadowing them have you learned nothing?”, Caradrith inquired casually moving a rather wide strand of hair out of his own face. Waiting for a reply his hands ran backwards through his mane, careful motions forming the knot that kept his rich hair safe while in combat. What seemed to be a bone implement was driven through the knot, only securing it further, an eyebrow shooting up, expectantly toward the human.

Trying not to give the alien satisfaction Ella muttered a hastened reply, “They have been landing slaves and traitor non-Astartes to serve, it is them we must target, pouring poison on the wounds of the beast, as you put it”. Undoing the collar of her uniform she took in a deep breath as the sharp pain from his poisoned blade subsided, her eyes closing.

Clapping his hands with a smirk the Sybarite turned, both hands grasping the barrel of a splinter rifle. Setting one lightly across her lap and kicking the flak helmet that lay on the ground besides her in Ella’s general direction he spoke quietly, “We have a deal you and I. Your Emperor is gone, in exchange of your life, you serve, must you really force my hand?”, he sighed, his own wave of emotions unclear, “Come, learn to be a predator, not prey, even the mightiest beast can be felled by the smallest insect.”. Using the rifle’s stock as support Ella stood up, only to follow, he who saved her from shadow and plunged her into twilight.

Following what seemed to be a shadow moving, the human girl tried to keep up, walking in the general direction of what seemed to be a construction site, miles away, accompanied by the wailing of thousands of slaves and roar of infernal cannons. Clad in his dark blue armour Caradrith led the way and mimicking his motions the she tried to remember what she had been taught, yet long distance runs took their toll despite her training. Stopping meant being lost, interruptions and deviance from his well oiled movement were not tolerated. As sounds became louder Ella jumped forward onto the ground, crouching, then crawling toward the edge of the trees, a gentle touch making her stop in complete silence.

Eldar and human crawled as one through yellow dead grass, the smell of rot feeling their nostrils. Large tracked bulldozers plowed down large patches of bushes and forest mercilessly, toxic smoke from their engines filling the air. To the right large pens had been built, filled with the wails of prisoners and cruel laughter of taskmasters. Searchlights seemed to illuminate the construction site, assisting the machinery accomplish their tasks and at casual pace armed humans, wearing dark carapace with a hazard stripe patch on the left shoulder pad patrolled. The towering form of what she now recognized as Iron Warriors appeared now and then, only to supervise. West the sky flickered in blue and white light as the fire from enormous siege cannons touched the Void Shield around the city of Karaa.

“This construction site seems sort of a landing pad, but we have an asset this lumbering beast does not even suspect, the tiny ants doing all the work”, Caradrith began, indicating the slave workers dressed in rags, with no protective gear. Hundreds toiled to dig what seemed to be a ditch, under the lash held by a towering Traitor Astartes. A little removed from the camp, this represented a perfect target, or so the Eldar believed. “Look at their watch towers”, he continued, “while well constructed they have blind spots, our goal is to get some of those slaves out, after all they’ll have a longer life expectancy and some potential future”.

Confused the Guard soldier followed the xeno, reluctant, her well honed sense of self-preservation kicking in. From tree to tree she moved, from shadow to shadow, yet his own motions fluid, perfect, well-timed made her look like a sloth, often only meters separating them from human or Astartes perimeter patrols. Training her eyes on her alien companion Ella saw him move his hand, in her direction, a simple sign that seemed to speak more than a sentence, a sign language she had been forced to learn. Counting five seconds in her head seemed to take forever and with a single jump she darted toward the burned shrubbery close to the ditch the slaves worked on carefully. A pair of red eyes stared in her direction briefly, the supervising Astartes halting his tirade for a few seconds, before returning to bring down the neural whip across the back sides of several slaves, only to make them writhe in pain before returning to work. Catching Caradrith’s indications with the corner of her eye, Ella advanced out of the searchlight field of view.

Brother Orrian grunted, as his eyes focused on his two hundred workers, one hand firmly gripping the handle of his neural whip, the auto-senses of his helmet only amplifying his already extraordinary sight. Disgruntled to be put to such menial work by his superiors satisfaction overwhelmed him as the weapon he carried brought even more pain onto his charges. A ditch that was to become a refuse storage area seemed lowly work for one of his level but the Warsmith had demanded the best conditions for his Iron Warriors and their accompanying renegade humans. As a male slave, a large burly man wearing what seemed to be former Imperial Guard camouflage trousers and a tunic stopped shoveling his arm raised to punish, yet an incredibly painful sting filled his right side. A large shard of some sort of crystal seemed to have pierced the weaker armour between chest plate and arm.

Cold sweat ran on Ella’s skin as completely silent the splinter rifle fired, her aim true. Hateful eyes turned only to gaze at her from behind the visor of the Astartes helmet, followed by a grunt as one by one the workers ceased their activity to watch in amazement. Pressing the fire-selector control she switched the rifle to burst fire, only to unleash a hail of splinters into the large form of the Iron Warrior, just as Caradrith told her to. Once more prey she started to a full sprint, the heavy footsteps of the Iron Warrior’s pursuit indicated the plan worked as laid out. Adrenaline washed over her, yet heavier breathing from her follower made the woman realize the virulent poison used by the alien weaponry was already at work. Trees became denser, timed seemed to stop….

A bolt round flew through the air, a white contrail following the rocket-propelled pistol round into a nearby tree, then another. As a frightened gazelle of the days of old Terra, Ella ran in a random pattern, trying to not allow the pursuer a clean shot,hoping his self-confidence would be his downfall. Only the charge of an electromagnetic accelerator made her jump onto the ground face first into a mound of dirt. A beam of dark purple light erupted from the foliage ahead slicing through tree, power armour and warped flesh and the sound of falling heavy creature ended the split of a second in which time stopped. The smoking corpse of the Astartes lay on the ground, lifeless, a gaping wound right through the middle of his skull indicating the effect of the salvaged Dark Lance. Raising her gaze to follow the Eldar standing with a foot on the fallen Marine’s body, the girl stood up, only to walk by his side.

“Sometimes, dear girl”, the sybarite began, removing his helmet, ignoring the heavy automatic weapons fire in the distance, “cunning predators must work in packs. Greedy large beasts like our…..friend here will follow a lesser predator only to be trapped by his prey’s packmates and eaten”. With dark eyes resting on the girl the eldar chuckled, only to pat her on the shoulder, “Some of those slaves smart enough will take the opportunity we gave them and escape, perhaps it is time to extend our pack, yes?”, a soft toned question followed. Ella reached down toward the Neural whip attempting to pry it from the Marine’s hand, yet it proved quite the effort. A single eyebrow shot upwards indicated the xeno’s surprise as he spoke quietly, “Interesting choice in spoils, perhaps you will serve well as my link to the slaves”.

Six pairs of eyes watched the darkness, only to crouch down into the shrubbery deeper into the forest surrounding the Iron Warriors construction site. Bolt shells had taken the lives of at least two dozen that attempted to escape, yet their captors deemed a few humans unworthy of following, for in terror filled holds in orbit thousands more would take their place. Attempting to keep his wits together, Sergeant Blythe, formerly of the Catachan 21st Infantry looked upon his fellows, all five humans. One he knew well, a man called Stannis, a former medic in the Mordian Iron Guard that was taken in the same campaign. The other three he knew by name or nickname, a young woman, formerly a pilot taken during a raid on a Ministrorum outpost they called “Patch” and two more, a former clerk and a colonist that had showed up two years later after his capture. Jonas, the middle-aged clerk seemed to be a genius in procuring whatever the slaves required, the other, the colonist apparently a radio operator called Honorius. With empty eyes the last one kept to herself, a recent addition to the Legion’s slave pens, rarely talked, but old Jonas seemed to be able to get a word or two out of her now and then.

Mist rolled between the trees and two shapes strolled casually toward the escapees, one human, carrying a large weapon strapped onto her back and a rifle in both hands while another almost otherworldly form walked besides her, adorned in dark blue armour, carrying a domed helm underneath his arm. The alien was the first to speak, his inhuman features only becoming clear as light shone briefly onto his face, “You are lucky we found you, they’ll be combing the woods for you, but I am not to thank, Ella was the genius behind it….”, he added, modesty in his words. Gesturing toward his companion, he remained silent, a smile taking over his face. One by one, even the silent one raising her gaze they all turned to look at the young Guard soldier armed with exotic weapons, yet bearing a uniform all so familiar.

“Blythe twenty first Catachan”, the larger of the men spoke, then kept his tongue as the others introduced themselves before continuing, “Corporal, I have no idea what you are doing with an Eldar, but thank you. Regardless, I don’t want these heretics to catch all of us, do you have a haven where we may continue this?”. A single nod came from the young woman and where there were once two now eight souls traveled through the trees. Flat ground gave way to small hills and an opening into a steeper cliff face. Flashlights illuminated the deep passage for several dozen meters.

As a fire was lit the alien sat down, casually gesturing with his bared hand, before speaking, “I am Caradrith of the Night Shroud Kabal, and as you may have gathered i am trapped here, unable to return home. Being well aware of your xenophobic practices I am being reasonable, suggesting cooperation of course, for mutual benefit”. His voice changed, dramatic for a moment, “Being removed from my beloved kin it is difficult for me, but perhaps we can help each other escape”. With a knowing look he smiled at Ella, his speech continuing, the humans apparently receptive, “This juggernaut that held you in its iron grip is a large beast but back where I am from we have a saying that the -Twilight Arrowhead- can down any threat with a bite from the shadows”. Pause followed and his perfect Gothic words settling in the minds of the former slaves, “My kind like the gloom, the darkness and with a common enemy, I believe we too become the Twilight Arrowheads, hindering the foe until an escape can be done. What say you, dear humans? Mmm? Shall we make this iron beast feel the touch of the serpent?”.

Unbelieving eyes focused on the long-haired Eldar warrior, one by one heads nodded, a grim-faced Blythe giving his consent last. As the campfire grew, shadows danced and from the gloom of the cave Caradrith smiled. These people, like children believed in tales of cooperation, yet their fear allied or not was as flavorful as any other’s. Yet he would have to watch the tattooed man, he whom called himself Blythe, “Shadowy Arrowhead against Jungle serpent, an interesting challenge”, he thought only to watch as each fearful morsel slept, their dreams plagued by fear.
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PostSubject: Re: Alone - Short Story   Mon Mar 05 2012, 00:57

Hmmm, very interesting!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Alone - Short Story   Mon Mar 05 2012, 02:34

Hmm, and so the arrogant Sybarite recruits an impromptu army of followers ... I'll be watching Very Happy

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PostSubject: Fallen Suns and Sisters of Anguish   Tue Mar 13 2012, 12:36

After a week of absence I return with yet another installment with your beloved Sybarite!

Belching smoke, the modified Rhino recovery vehicle strolled on the muddied road, strained dragging an enormous multiple wheeled trailer that carried a covered cargo, two alien craft found close to one of the landing zones by the arriving Iron Warriors. Around the armoured vehicle guardsmen walked slowly attempting not to lose their boots in the paste-like mud and two Astartes that lingered behind close to a man wearing brownish-red robes that covered most of his features. His nature was indicated by his part biological part mechanical mechadendrites that sprouted from his back. Over the racket of the strained Rhino engine one of the traitor super-human warriors spoke quietly, “What do you think this is, Magos?”.

A disinterested, calm gaze turned toward the warrior, a cybernetic hand reaching to grab a device from its holding place at the cyber-enhanced man’s belt. His fingers pressed the runes on the screen and in a monotone voice, the reply arrived, “Xenos vehicles, I assume mostly a light transport. Studying it perhaps might help us copy the technology, thus providing your Legion to benefit from it. The Warsmith wishes it studied, does that clarify your unknowns, Astartes?”.

Gripping the bolter tighter the Marine grunted, the helm not betraying his resentment for the reply given by the Magos. He spoke no further,reading the data-stream on his visor, barely sketching a nod. Bored he turned toward the guardsmen that marched on each side of the small convoy. Briefed to be extremely cautious due to surprise attacks on slave camps and convoys, Brother Irial did not see the need. “Who would dare attack them?”, he thought. The other Astartes was an older Battle-Brother, a grumpy Iron Warrior called Adrastus, a sergeant turned champion known for his violent streak. Sensing the unease in his companion Irial clasped the old Champion’s shoulder.

“I don’t like this”, Adrastus began, “the siege continues and we’re stuck to convoy duty….”.

“Surely this is important”, Irial replied only to find himself flying backward toward the ground as Adrastus’ heavy punch hit him square in the face. One by one the guardsmen turned, surprised. Lowly men they seemed to be amused by the new turn of events, clustering around the Magos who impassively watched the throwing of punches and curses. Unaware however, Corporal Browan continued driving the Rhino, his hands trying to relax on the steering-wheel. Resting his eyes upon the odometer indicator, he sighed only to watch the display go out, a sharp sound resonating within the Rhino, making the three guardsmen to cover their ears. A shrieking explosion filled the small valley as arcs of electricity arced across the Rhino, the vehicle coming to a dead spot.

Confused eyes stared to the surrounding trees, lasrifles being raised, ready to fire. In the orange light of the sunset and upcoming twilight the silence was finally broken by a silent shot, followed by the fall of a dead guardsman, his flak helmet pierced by a high-powered silenced precision rifle. A concert of las shots filled the direction of the shot’s origin.

Caradrith moved from tree to tree, his face describing an amused expression, he was helmet-less, his long hair falling all over his shoulder and back. A hateful grimace followed as two of his slender fingers raised toward the camouflaged humans to his left, indicating the defending guardsmen that were fanning out to shoot in the opposite direction. The Astartes thanks to their superhuman senses would find them soon, he had to act while they had the element of surprise. Twin contrails of smoke flew from roaring rockets with fragmentation warheads flew toward the mob of Traitor Guard. Ella and Blythe darted from the tree-line through the underbrush, with pistols and knives, the two having bonded since their addition to Caradrith’s motley gang of human followers, fighting as one. The Astartes had separated from the group, rushing in the direction of the rocket launchers, leaving the Dark Mechanicus Magos exposed.

In the middle of a firefight, the Magos felt a stinging pain between his ribs just as a hand gripped his lower jaw and strong, muscular arms immobilized him. Mechadendrites attempted to respond, but the paralytic poison coating the knife that stabbed him was already at work. He could see the bare arm of a large human keeping him still, stab followed by a series of other precise ones in his dorsal area between shoulder blades into his still biological lungs. In a swift motion he flowed down, falling to the ground only to gaze upon the face of his assailant. Wearing remains of a Guard uniform the man had the constitution of a typical Catachan Jungle fighter, sporting a knife almost the size of a small sword and a pistol of strange origin, leveled at the Magos’ face. Shards of crystal ran through the tech-priest’s face, ending him instantly.

Following his men the Eldar saw the woman, Ella locked in deadly melee with the traitor Guard officer, knife versus cavalry sabre and an assortment of curses that would have made a Slaanesh cultist blush. The grueling training regime she was subjected to by the Sybarite had paid off, brute strength that was often employed by humans replaced by speed, her attacks being grazes, scratches, followed by taunts and mock strikes with the pistol’s grip. Similar to Blythe’s knife her own was coated in virulent poison that slowed her adversary to the speed of a slug.

Pointing the barrel of his rifle in the direction of the screams of the rocket launcher teams he fired at a large shape clad in metal-colored armor. Splinter ammunition was released, piercing various locations in the Marine’s form, but failing to distract him, which suited the Eldar. The loss of the two heavy weapons teams was regrettable but necessary, the Sybarite thought. To his right he looked at the two humans operating the salvaged Dark Lance. No words were needed, yet the noise of the electromagnetic accelerators drew the attention of the enemy. A coherent beam of Darklight, the energy of a fallen sun connected to Adrastus, his armor unable to deflect the shot and through Irial’s right leg.

As one the humans and Eldar abandoned their position, rushing toward the trailer, past the dead bodies of guardsmen and comrades. Jumping on the deck of the trailer, Blythe rushed to the controls of the restraining clamps while Ella removed the heavy camouflage colored tarps from the two vehicles. From their team barely seven survived, but none of the humans seemed to show concern for their mates. The cockpits opened as Caradrith passed by each vehicle that served in the raid the Sybarite had been part of. A laughter escaped his lips, as the power-unit controls responded from the first vehicle, the displays powering up in the cockpit.

As the turbines from each vehicle revved up the surviving guardsmen dragged the immobilized form of Irial, his armor pierced in several points by splinters. Stannis, they man they simply called “Doc” nowadays crawled underneath the vehicle to unravel the chain snares, each barbed hooked embedded through the Iron Warrior’s Armour carefully. As birds of prey the two vehicles floated upwards, their finely tuned engines still in perfect state. Following the landscape, Caradrith steered his vehicle to a hard left, a weak signal appearing on one of the displays.

Wide eyes opened before Guardsman Keenan as reality warped before his guard-post, fifty meters out into the fields. He could see purple and black ripples, wisps of light as space unfolded revealing the twilight gloom of an unreal place and an elegant structure holding the opening gateway into its hold. Only the whine of engines disturbed the unreal scenery, two flying vehicles entering the field of dancing lights and ripples of energy, with humanoid figures holding onto the balustrades or manning the weapons. Alarms rang yet Keenan did not move as his eyes saw the shapes of spires forming briefly, but slowly the wisps disappeared, replaced by black light. Of what was once a field on a war-torn world a crater remained, where otherworldly energies ripped reality, only to collapse the gate behind the escaping alien vehicles.

Contrails of white exhaust filled the twilight sky, under the light of dying stars, as two Venoms pierced the sky-ways crowded with a various assortment of skimmers and barges toward the majestic dark spires in the distance. Refreshed at the helm of the leading vehicle Caradrith looked back toward his passengers as his venom descended into a layer of thin clouds. Rows of lights from the surrounding buildings lined on the Avenue of a Thousand Wails became the dominant feature of the landscape as eyes from the streets raised to follow the two vehicles. The surreal landscape left the human passengers wide-eyed as the Avenue opened into the majestic Plaza of Anguish, a circular gap where several streets converged, littered with picturesque statues of armed Eldar women, leading to what seemed to be an Arena.

Slowing down the nimble transports came to a halt. Nimbly climbing out of the cockpit Caradrith casually walked toward two women, wearing similarly coloured dark blue suits. Pleasantries were exchanged, but like hungry predators, the females gazed at the humans with a hungry look. One retreated into the gloom of the Arena’s inner walkways. Ella and Patch had jumped out of their own Venom where the Astartes lay secured, only to watch in awe the perfectly beautiful Eldar female. A soft hand caressed each of their cheeks, but not a word was said, finally her attention turning to Stannis and Blythe. As her eyes stopped upon the Venom’s cargo she giggled with delight.

“My my, you return after so many cycles, Caradrith and you bring us a fine gift”, she started, her voice melodious, yet filled with malice. “So unfortunate he is somewhat injured, but we’ll have him healed in no time”, she continued, keeling down to the struggling Iron Warrior. Her nostrils flared as he closed in to his form, a hand resting on the dirty metal colored armour. Her gloved hand touched one of the Splinter shards still embedded in the marine’s wound, twisting it, laughing as he cringed in pain. “Poor poor little warrior, so alone, so far from your brothers, we shall … take care of you…”.

“Liriel! He is mine!”, another woman’s voice thundered and the dark blue attired warrior female retired, bowing down respectfully. Elegant in her revealing clothing one who seemed to be in charge approached the Sybarite with a small smile, “Your Archon gave you for dead cycles ago, yet instead of going to him, you come to me, what brings you to old Nysha, Sybarite, have the sweet flowers of betrayal blossomed in your heart?”, she inquired in what seemed to be a playful tone. Turning her attention to the humans for a second she set a single hand on her cheek, letting out a bored sigh, yet the Astartes trapped in the Chain Snares of the second venom made her face brighten up. “And you bring me a lavish gift too, Caradrith, I was tired of regular humans but he….he is so .. delicious. It will be a waste to see him die”.

Bowing down Caradrith finally ran a hand through his own hair his eyes locked on the one who called herself Nysha, “I was thinking it is well received to bring an old friend a gift upon my safe return, perhaps she may favor my presence once more”. Walking toward the Succubus, he continued, “Of course, we could make it a business transaction as well My Lady…”.

A soft laugh came from the leader Cult, she threw her head back, keeping a hand on the armoured torso of the Astartes she had knelt besides. “Price, there is always a price of course, I will be generous and take it as both a gift and lucrative business, surely you have heard that your Archon is…. due payments to us?”, the Succubus spoke, a mock innocent tone in her voice, while her hands removed the Marine’s helmet, to reveal his barely warped features. “I think he must pay as it is intolerable to accept such delays”, she sighed, “it saddens me so much when people do not live up to agreements, but you will…”.

“I…”, Caradrith tried to speak but a single stride from the Succubus brought her before him, a perfectly manicured hand gripping his chin lightly, “You desire revenge for being abandoned, it is so dreadful”, she whispered, “I haven’t had a Traitor Astartes before….You and your human pets are welcome to stay here. The games will begin in two days and I have ways to make the Lord of the Shroud to pay for his.. dishonesty”.

Waving her hand dismissively she turned only to walk back into the Arena’s shadows, “Liriel will tend to your needs, Sybarite’”, her purple blue eyes turning only to rest upon the human slaves again, her tongue darting across her lips, “Welcome under the Fallen Suns and to to the Sisters of Anguish, little morsels, do not get in our way”.

A deep sigh came from the Eldar male as the women trailed away, only to send servants to collect the weakened Astartes. Turning to his human entourage he spoke albeit quietly, “Everything here has eyes and ears, you will stay out of their way, lest you wish to be the next arena attraction. You are my ticket home and it is why I have not given you to them. From now on you work for me and once this is over we will start making our way up the food chain. Humanity, that is overrated, to live here you must think like us”. Pausing a moment only to make sure his words settled in the minds of the surviving humans, his speech continued, on the same hushed tone, “Be mindful of what you do, of yourselves and your companions. Be mindful of the skies and of your words and you may live to see the end of the week”.

Nods came from the humans, they were indeed under the Fallen Suns and into the home of Anguish they decided not to suffer.
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Zehra
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PostSubject: Re: Alone - Short Story   Tue Mar 13 2012, 13:42

This is getting intense!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Alone - Short Story   Tue Mar 13 2012, 15:22

Oh my, I am quite curious as to how the humans will actually survive there. So many possible treacheries and betrayals from all sides... Great job!

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PostSubject: Whispers in the Dark   Tue Mar 13 2012, 17:14

And the continuation....

Low burning flame lit up the circular room in the middle of the ceremonial room of the Sisterhood of Anguish, shadows reflecting over the obsidian walls, alcoves that housed statues of former leaders of the Wych Cult, a circular table surrounded by six chairs illuminated by a larger brazier. Scattered along its surface food remains, overturned or half empty goblets gave the chamber a disorderly appearance, mirrored by the impeccable walls full of trophies and banners captured by the Wyches during their realspace raids. A shadowy figure strolled toward the narrow corridor that led to the meeting place, a Dark Eldar attired in dark armour, with spiked shoulderpads, carrying a horned helmet underneath its arm. Torches reflected on the figure’s facial features, betraying a heavenly beauty rarely seen. Lively skin, midnight blue eyes and long blonde hair fell on the Eldar’s shoulders, her female features obvious. As a sculpture of old she radiated a deadly grace, ancient wisdom and inner strength rarely matched. Ayrrianna Coldwhisper, the Klaivex of the Shrine of the Blessed Murder, stopped in the door’s frame, followed by two of her followers who kept their helmets on concealing their features.

Narrowing her eyes she looked upon the others present, a Kabalite Warrior Veteran, a Sybarite with long, dark hair, joined by Nysha, the Succubus of the Sisterhood of Anguish. A respectful bow from both triggered a mere nod of acknowledgement from the Klaivex as her eyes turned toward the only non-Eldar figure in the room. Wearing camouflage trousers, a scavenged breastplate of an Aspect Warrior, armed with a single long knife a woman kept silent, a human, deep within the sanctum of this Cult. Curiosity and anger filled the Incubi leader, yet she quickly turned toward her peers.

“Esteemed Nysha, Sybarite, I answer your call out of intrigue. I can only assume what devious plans you have, I would ask that you tell me the motivation of your missive, delivered by a Scourge two hours ago”, a pause followed, a deep silent moment before the Klaivex continued, “Why was I needed in such short notice?”.

“Klaivex, my most humble apologies for disturbing you, but I do believe we share”, Nysha paused briefly, turning to the Sybarite, “yet our friend Caradrith here shares a problem with us, I refer to the Nights Shroud Kabal”. The Succubus paused, allowing a response from the Shrine’s leader, a cold smile offered.

Ayrrianna narrowed her eyes, setting her helmet upon the table’s top, clicking her tongue in frustration, before motioning to her two retainers to leave. “The Nights Shroud has failed to pay the things we requested or was overdue.If that is what you are referring to….”.

With an approving nod, Caradrith spoke, “Indeed I am. While the Kabal owes me nothing let’s say vengeance is my motivation, I call it as valid as any. What I do plan is to see that your Shrine receives its payments. However we do have an obstacle that must be removed…”. Walking around the room, triggering a swift alert gaze from the Incubus, the Sybarite continued, “Nysha told me that Dracon Loriath is the one who advised Lord Siriath to delay payments to both Cult and your Shrine. Everyone will benefit from this. Exposing his dishonesty to engagements he had to fulfill on behalf of his lord would be a stain on Loriath’s reputation, a possibility to remove him and Lord Siriath who driven by his greed hoarded payment that is rightfully yours”.

“What Caradrith is suggesting…”, the Succubus tried to continue, only to be rudely interrupted by the Klaivex.

“This is where you want me to betray my charge because of delayed or insufficient payments that hindered my Shrine’s performance”, Coldwhisper spoke, her eyes moving between the two intently, “.. a betrayal that if found would stain my name for all the years I have left”.

Chuckling the Succubus, followed quickly with a smile, “Lord Siriath is growing unstable, it is a known fact. I am not suggesting you betray him. I ask only that you send a Scourge with a missive requiring immediate payment”. Nysha looked toward the human, then the Sybarite speaking quietly, “We plan to expose the inadequacy of the Dracon’s dealings during the upcoming games and with a ruined reputation Siriath may just have him thrown in the Arena. When the Scourge arrives with the missive….i’ll let you figure out from there”.

“You expect Siriath to harm the Scourge, using his instability against him, breaking a fundamental law. That would erase my Shrine’s obligations to him”, Ayrianna chuckled coldly, perhaps satisfied with the course of action.

“And for the lavish gift brought to his allied Wych cult by Caradrith, he will elevate our Sybarite here to Dracon as Loriath undergoes his demise at our blades”, the Eldar Succubus gestured. “Then the other Dracons will suffer…unforseen accidents or deaths in various circumstances….being the traitor scum they are and following their master’s delayed payments or inability to pay altogether”.

Stepping toward the Ella, Ayrianna grabbed the human’s hair brutally in her hand, “And what is her role in this? Or is this here as an advance payment?”, she inquired, smelling the human’s skin, feeling the fear inside her soul, pushing her against the nearby wall.

“Ella is a top marksman for a human and my servant”, Caradrith explained, “the other two Dracons will find their demise at her hands and the wronged Scourges for the loss of their brother or sister”.

Stumbling to her feet, against the wall the human listened and watched, the Eldar language unfathomable for her. The black clad Klaivex smiled deviously before returning to her position at the table, her bared hand picking up a goblet, draining its contents in one healthy swig. She seemed thoughtful for a few minutes, the others not disturbing her, one of her eyebrows shooting upwards, “I will agree to this course of action. A Scourge will be dispatched with all haste during the games, I dearly hope you have a backup plan, for if yours fails I will not be able to …assist you and I fear I shall lend my blade to the Night Shroud as I always have”. Turning to leave, pulling her long dark green cloak behind her the Klaivex exited, her form dimming out into the nearby corridor.

Nysha turned toward the Sybarite, setting both hands on his shoulders, an instinct driven reaction following as he gripped her wrists, with no opposition from the woman. Their eyes met and for a second they kept contact, words unnecessary between the two. Slithering into the shadows Ella ran, only the sounds of the two aliens engaging in perverse interaction filling her ears. Running along the corridors she breathed in and out quickly, realizing she was worth nothing to the plotting xenos. Only when she reached the trainee quarters where she and her companions were housed she stopped, sitting down near the door that led to her room.

Her eyes closed, memories of the past months in the Eldar’s entourage returning. She thought he valued her, her skill, yet the touch of the Succubus made him lose all interest, she dared hope that despite their differences he might accept her in ways that elevated her from servant status. Strength and deviousness he seemed to prize, she would have to outsmart that woman, that Cult leader.In her mind whispers flooded, whispers of betrayal and lies, whispers in of the fall of a great noble, whispers in the dark.
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Zehra
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PostSubject: Re: Alone - Short Story   Tue Mar 13 2012, 17:20

OH Ella is learning the ways of the Dark Eldar it appears.
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PostSubject: Re: Alone - Short Story   Tue Mar 13 2012, 19:17

Well, you do not disappoint. The descriptions of the Commorragh as the ships arrive and the portal opens are particularly striking.

I am looking forward to seeing how the plot plays out; I'd feel sorry for the Scourge, but ... well, that's life in the Dark City Wink

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PostSubject: The Twilight Blade   Tue Mar 13 2012, 21:26

And finally the plot unfolds, behold and be amazed......(the story will continue)

The touch of soft wind blowing through the open space of the Plaza of Anguish touched the bared faces of the crowd gathering in the markets to browse or acquire products, where Dark Eldar slavedrivers, Eldar Corsairs or aliens of various species presented merchandise. Curious eyes watched the endless rows of slaves being driven forth to be examined and as connoisseurs the dreaded owners of the oubliettes below the city, the Haemonculi, bartered with Slave drivers, only to have weeping humanoids of all sizes dragged to their Raider transports, never to see the sun again. The blood red flags of the Sisterhood of Anguish were unfurled by Arena staff and the clarion of musical instruments announced the beginning of the Cult’s much expected games.

Flooding the gates, Commorites and non-eldar flocked to get a seat in the Arena’s rafters, enticed by the carnage that was to come. Enterprising individuals gathered wagers on match results or perhaps the most spectacular ways victims might perish at the hands of Wyches and Reavers, large gatherings of amateur gamblers depositing large amounts of currency. After many months all bets were on. Just as a tidal wave of lower rabble gathered at the gates elegant craft landed on the upper landing pads of the Arenas, only to be led by graceful attendants to their seats within the arena’s rafters dedicated to aristocracy.

Pleasantries were exchanged, rivalries hidden under courteous smiles, Archons and their retinues taking the assigned seats, yet where vibrant activity filled the surface, below things were much much different. Crackling agonizers wielded by Beastmasters drove their packs of Chymerae, Clawed Fiends or cackling Razorwings to a frenzy, the smell of blood and suffering awakening the predatory instincts. Passing by the beast pens Ella rushed following a Wych Trainee toward the upper levels, her guard clothing removed. Strapped to her back lay a man-portable Darklight weapon, similar to the darklance she had operated before. Pain endured hours earlier at the hands of Belaerath, a haemonoculus that changed her appearance temporarily to that of one of the dark kin was still fresh in her mind, but her emotions raced.

Away from the eyes of the ecstasy filled public Wych Acolyte and human stopped in a hidden alcove, close to one of the statues that littered the upper area of the arena, before them the field of carnage and the stands dedicated to officials appearing.Prone, Ella’s eye moved close to the scope of the darklight weapon, her fingers touching the gentle controls. Her target was not present yet.

Chained to an elevator, his wrists and ankles firmly held by powerful shackles Brother Irial of the Iron Warriors waited to see what fate would bring him. With his features bared, short cut hair and several scars littering his face he appeared menacing, yet compared to the Wych cult that hid murder under a mask of beauty, he was nowhere near. Lifting his gaze toward the sounds of cheering crowds, the sounds of reaver jetbike engines, the wailing of the dying the Astartes closed his eyes. Droplets of crimson ichor rained from the arena above onto him, the blood of the dead filling his brain with a familiar scent.

Descending upon a gentle glide slope the adorned raider bearing the symbol of the Night’s shroud cabal approached one of the landing pads assigned to nobility, its retro-fire engines slowing the descent. Eccentric as always the Archon had ordered the pilot to let the raider go in a free fall toward the landing pad, only to trigger the retro-fire boosters close to the landing site, yet at his age, Archon Siriath barely felt enjoyment. As arena servants proceeded to attend he descended upon the Raider’s side, his boot kicking one of the young women that was assigned to serve him out of the way. Turning toward the Lhamean poison mistress letting out an almost childish sigh, he spoke “Tell me Yunariel, why must they always grovel? It is very amusing at times but you know one gets tired of it…”, he waved a hand dismissively as he walked at a casual pace.

The woman, a disciple of Shaimesh raised her shoulders, offering the old Eldar a smile that betrayed no emotion, stroking his arm, “I know not Lord, but it is as you say. Groveling can be boring…”.

“Yes yes, now stop touching me before I decide you will be part of my entertainment as well!”, the Archon cut her off abruptly as the couple advanced flanked by Wyches assigned to protect the Archon in the absence of the Incubi of the Blessed Murder Shrine. Cheering crowds welcomed the noble that was responsible for the games, a casual wave responding to the ovations of the crowd. Siriath sat on the most comfortable chair, flanked by the Lhamean and waved his hand at the Arena announcer as if to just carry on.

The cranking of cogs disturbed Irial’s thoughts as his elevator moved upwards several levels to the light of the arena, his eyes opening wide. In the alien language an announcer rambled on and on, driving the crowd to a near frenzy and a well justified hatred for the Alien took root again in the Iron Warrior’s heart. As his massive form appeared in the Arena shouts of amazement followed, yet clenching both fists as the shackles released made Irial realize he would be the main attraction. His eyes narrowed at the sight of four Wyches that looked at him amused.

A single power sword and a plasma pistol lay at his feet and without further delay the Astartes picked up the provided weapons as clarion trumpets signaled the beginning of the fight. High pitched shrieks came from the four Eldar women as they charged, murder obvious in their eyes, their exotic weaponry leaving the Marine cold. The first made contact firing her pistol at his abdominal area, her blade swift slicing only to scratch the power armour. In response an power armour backed fist advanced toward the alien female’s face connecting and the satisfying sound of cracking bone brought a moment of satisfaction to the traitor marine.

The behavior of a pack described these women well, flanking attacks, somersaults only to cause little damage to the burly warrior but minutes passed and the effort began to take its toll. Sweeping his power-sword sideways he claimed the life of the first Wych, her torso torn open by the weapon, the second falling moments later to plasma pistol shot. Cries for blood from the crowd seemed to drive the remaining warrior women to a frenzy. One armed with a trident shaped weapon and a net tumbled past him only to throw the shard-net over the Astartes’ frame and attempting to skewer his leg.

Blood pooled underneath him as the alien weapon found its way into his armour, his inhuman strength snapping it free, but the damage was done. The shardnet wielding Wych lay dead before him, her torso home to two cauterized wounds from the Marine’s ranged weapon. His hand raised to parry a new arrival on the scene, his eyes opening widely for a moment as he recognized the one named Nysha, assaulting at dazzling speed, her whip like weapon coiling around the pistol, yanking it free from his grip.

“Fear, so delicious yet I feel none from you, little morsel”, the Eldar woman spoke, only to tumble and dance around the wounded marine, weapons clashing, their power fields sparkling on each contact. Where armoured fist attempted to connect the ballerina-like performance of the Succubus kept the crowd in awe. Her touches were mere stings that felt as if a million blades pierced his body but he kept on fighting.

Nysha chuckled, her eyes locked onto her prey, the injured Astartes still a threat to be reckoned with. Her impaler lay discarded on the sand covered floor of the arena, only the agonizer still crackling in her hand, yet the shadow of a winged creature soaring above made everything come to a standstill.

Rythiel had once been a warrior of the Poisoned Tongue Kabal, yet his desire for sensation had driven him to the oubliettes of the haemonculi. There his bones were hollowed by Talos pain engines, his back torn open and genes modified to support grafted wings, but decades among the aeries made that seem an unpleasant dream. Clutching his shard-carbine his body shifted position as clawed feet touched down on the railing of the aristocracy’s arena stands. With black almost bird-like eyes he looked at each noble with impunity, untouchable.

Archon Siriath observed the new arrival with feigned interest, tilting his head right, breaking the silence, “What is it Scourge, tired of soaring on the thermals?”, he asked, the mocking obvious.

“Your lordship, i am here on an urgent delivery”, the Scourge spoke politely, extending a rolled document toward the Archon. Flanked by his Dracon retinue and Lhamean the Archon stood up to receive the message. Heads turned toward Siriath, all the other aristocrats glancing as the elder Archon unfolded the scroll, reading word by word carefully.

“What is this?”, bellowed Siriath, turning to his Dracons and Lhamean, “What is this worms? The Blessed Murder Shrine asks me for payment?”, he exclaimed, irritated.

“My Lord, I…”, began one of the Dracons, attempting to explain, “we paid but I fear they demanded..”.

“Kill this insolent … bird and you, you will go to the Blessed Murder and bring me their Klaivex in chains!”, Siriath bellowed but as his words rolled out Rythiel attempted to make his escape, only to be gunned down by a hail of splinter fire from the Dracon’s trueborn. His wings unable to bear him aloft lay numb and soon the Scourge touched the Arena floor. Arcing through the air the Iron Warrior’s power sword connected with Nysha’s flesh, her best attempt to get out of the way failed.Blood ran again onto the sands, yet as the leader of the Sisterhood of Anguish was slowly drawn to the Great Enemy, leaving her body behind a beam of darklight shot from one of the alcoves, piercing the form of a Dracon from Siriath’s retinue.

A dozen splinter weapons raised from the other nobles in the mad Archon’s direction, the fall of the Scourge, breaching the basic laws of Commoragh. In one of his usual tirades the Elder Archon fell, skwered and poisoned as gunfire and knife blades fell upon him, time slowed with each breath lasting forever. The hateful expression of a familiar face appeared before the dying Eldar, a powered sword piercing the ornate Kabalite armour.

“Caradrith…. you….”, yet death stifled the Siriath’s word.

Silence became a chaos of cheers from the crowd, one by one the other nobles watching amazed the unfolding of events, the fall of an Archon and the rise of another through murder, a commodity and currency within the Dark City. Keeping both feet upon the fallen aristocrat, resting onto his high back chair, the former Sybarite watched the bloodied scene with a content smile, flanked by Liriel. A symphony of screams filled the nobility stands as Wyches tossed the other distinguished guests onto the sand, the shrieks of Reaver Jet-bikes and war cries of Wyches filled the twilight sky. A bold plan and decisive action removed the command structure of the Night Shroud and with the Twilight the murderer’s blade came but where the old Kabal died a new one was born.

Ella watched part horrified-part content, her heart at peace. He whom she cared for ruled, the death of a simple Arena worker causing Nysha to lose the poisoned weapons meant to weaken Brother Irial engineering her demise, by replacing her poisoned impaler with a clean one. The spectacle of death no longer seemed what it once was.

The Night’s Shroud dissipated, cleared and torn by the Twilight Blade.[b]
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PostSubject: Re: Alone - Short Story   Wed Mar 14 2012, 01:16

You have some very expressive turns of phrase. Smile The arrogance of the Archons, the fickle and ever-changing political face of the city ... I look forward to seeing more!

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PostSubject: Re: Alone - Short Story   Wed Mar 14 2012, 02:06

WEll done!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Alone - Short Story   Wed Mar 14 2012, 17:41

That was a really good read, as well as quite inspiring. I really should get back to refining my own stories and actually post them...

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THE DARK CITY :: 

OTHER DRUKHARI DISCUSSION

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