HomeDark Eldar WikiDark Eldar ResourcesNull CityFAQUsergroupsRegisterLog in
Share | 
 

 Night Hydra.

Go down 
Go to page : Previous  1, 2
AuthorMessage
Cavash
Lord of the Chat
avatar

Posts : 3196
Join date : 2012-04-14
Location : Stuck in an air vent spying on plotters

PostSubject: Re: Night Hydra.   Wed Apr 24 2013, 22:58

Chapter IV.
The Hellions.

They had landed much closer to danger than they would have liked to have thought. Thousands were cast out into the under city yet only a few hundred survived the fall. Slaves of all races gathered into a single band where they were rounded up by their Dark Eldar masters. Only in large numbers could they hope to survive out in these sprawls next to the putrid fluids of the Khaides.

Not a single day passed without a power struggle. The ensemble of races moved together, fending off the Parched and the gangers of this dark corner of the city; but a single Eldarith Ynneas always sat at the pinnacle of power amongst them. There was one problem with this: Kabalites from both the Harrowed Soulscream and the Poisoned Tongue were present making loyalties fickle even when nobody could trust one another at the best of times.

The Dark Eldar split off into small contesting groups. The Dracon had his squad, the Slavemaster and a couple of Kabalites he had been able to reel in through false promises and murderous lies. His only real competition were the figures Dracon Yuilla Gui’lashana of the Poisoned Tongue and Tubeborn aspirant Feltaan Varuscht of the Harrowed Soulscream.

Varuscht, even though only a lowly Warrior at the time of expulsion from the vessel, had acquired a formidable backing within the group. Somewhere in the region of eighty Warriors, from both Kabals, had started to follow him. He was a charismatic man yet twice as ruthless. He had been quick to murder his Sybarite and scavenge his remains making him more powerful than those he served with. Those who posed a threat he had swiftly put down as he constantly watched his back; something the Dracon found very wise.

The other, the Dracon of the Poisoned Tongue, had irked Krass’ull. He was a man far more knowledgeable than he was, something that was the result of the Poisoned Tongue’s vast educational facilities. Being from a rival Kabal made the two Dracons hate each other; it was only natural. The only thing that kept their weapons sheathed was their situation. They had a disliking for each other’s personalities but each was a wise tactician that, even though it would be foolish for them to admit, would struggle to assume control over the other. That did not stop them from scheming, however.

Krass’ull had paid for some young whelps to set up traps and slay his guard on a couple of occasions, before sending a handful of his own Trueborn to ‘investigate’ the commotion, fully armed and fully armoured. As payback Gui’lashana would arrange for a number of Krass’ull’s slaves and wealth accumulation to mysteriously vanish, their bodies to be absorbed into the green river to be picked out and packaged into crates as food by the lowlifes of the area.

Their rivalry would die out on rare occasions when they would team up to make sure that Varuscht’s charisma would not make him own the largest percentage of the ramshackle gang.

The collective of slaves and Kabalites had one objective that they all sought to achieve before any later progress could be made: find an area to secure and run. Set up trade with neighbouring gangs and try to make a name for themselves. This had been agreed upon by the three strongest figures, but Krass’ull had no intention on working with the Poisoned Tongue for long. At the moment they had one similar target and shared a will to survive, but they were enemies, after all.

An area had been picked out, a place known as the Teggurats Slums in the Sprawls along the river. This area, a hive of distrust and anarchy, reached from the shore of the Khaides up onto the side of a jutting tower, where a man known through rumour as the ‘Overseer’ resided.

With him marked out the gang sought refuge for four cycles while they conspire against him.
_____________

The three sat around a mould covered table in a dank corner of the hovel that was passing off as a tavern. They had their cloaks hugged tightly around them to keep off the ever biting chill and their hoods raised to mask their faces from any bounty hunters that may have been roaming nearby.

Behind each stood two of their chosen guard. Tsallion and Goreveh stood behind Lord Krass’ull, each having daubed their armour in a dark mauve paint, something which pained Goreveh greatly. To cover her red war paint made her feel as if she was sullying her own honour. Tsallion cared not for the colours he wore, only for who he served.

Goreveh held her arms crossed against her breastplate, her Shardcarbine held like a pistol in her large hands in case a dispute kicked off. Tsallion merely stood with a straight back, hand on the pommel of his fine sword. If anybody made any quick movements a one-sided mêlée of bloodshed and swift murder-hits would open up. Tsallion was not scared in the slightest. The others gathered did not seem to pose much of a threat, with only the Poisoned Tongue worthy of being watched. Varuscht was only able to recruit from Kabalite Warriors that had become malnourished through the efforts of the Poisoned Tongue. The other Dracon’s men were something to watch out for, though. One was a female with acid-yellow eyes and a half-smile curled with contempt. He couldn’t see what armour she wore, but he guessed that she was part of a Wych Cult. A single strand of her dyed turquoise hair hung across her face from beneath her hood, a colour which aggravated the veteran Trueborn. It was a colour he did not like to see people wear. It was a colour that made him want to flee, to escape it all. Here was safest for him, though.

The other guard of the Poisoned Tongue Dracon had a shaved head and wore a brazen-skull face mask that gleamed from beneath his hood. He had no idea what this meant, or who it marked him out as, but he was certainly a curiosity. Red eyes shone from the eye slits, inspecting the form of Tsallion as if they were soldiers who once faced each other personally in the field.

Something about him was creepy. His eyes burnt with the lust of a drug addict and with the thirst of somebody who craved pain. He looked like he had not fed recently, something which could prove dangerous. Yes, he might be weak, but he would fight a lot harder just to taste a soul.

The display of natural colour in their hair and irises was another thing that made the Harrowed Soulscream feel unwelcoming towards them. According to Lord Cavash, anybody that did not bear the deepest black eyes, the palest ghost-white skin, and jet black hair was inferior and not worthy of being around the children of T’llionoch. This indoctrinated prejudice would surely not help with negotiations out in these parts.

“Why have you summoned us here?” Varuscht opened, his hand wrapped around a frost-laced stone goblet
“Yes, my question exactly.” Yuilla nodded, his high-Commorrite accent out of place in the slums.

“Neither of you have seen it?” Krass’ull asked, gauging their reactions. “You have not seen the omens of this area? You have not seen the signs and the warnings?”

“What signs? What warnings? Have you been speaking with those fortune tellers?” Varuscht laughed condescendingly, taking a long drink from whatever filth was being served. It was best not to ask what it had been fermented from.

“The Razorwings have stopped flocking, the Hellions have started to raid closer to the slums, and there is word of rebellion against the overseer on the streets.”

“And where, Krass’ull, have you heard such rumours?” Yuilla raised an eyebrow, holding his body language as not to let anything slip.

Interesting, Krass’ull thought. He has not questioned the Razorwings or the Hellions. Either Yuilla had accepted such superstition or he had shunned aside these lies completely. “I have ears everywhere, Yuilla. I have innumerable agents in every crack and crevice of this den of wretches. I hear everything.” He stressed that final word and looked between them. Varuscht had started to tap his finger on the table in front of him but the Poisoned Tongue Dracon remained perfectly still.

The two Dracons locked stares for a short moment causing a silence that not even the creaking of Varuscht’s chair as he leant back could disturb.

Tsallion could feel his hand tighten around his sword. All others were doing the same, waiting for some invisible or perceived order to start a fight.

“As do I, Krass’ull. I would be foolish to presume that you had not.”

“Hmm…” Krass’ull pondered, emphasising his depth of thought. “Then it seems that we’re at an impasse here. You know my plans and I know yours.”

“Indeed.”

Krass’ull placed his Blast Pistol on the table after emptying the crystal phial from within. It could not be fired now and Krass’ull was left seemingly without defence. He could have shot the rival Dracon there and then, but it would have been pointless if he had been expecting it.

“So, you know now that I shan’t have you assassinated by my hand or any hand that I have to command in this slum. Care to disarm your own assassination method?” He grinned and waited for Yuilla to act.

With an audible sigh the Poisoned Tongue Dracon raised his Splinter Pistol and shot out the throat of the shorter of Varuscht’s two guards. She couldn’t scream as she fell, body convulsing and writhing at the feet of her patron.

“What is this!?” Varuscht shot to his feet sending his chair hurtling across the room to crumble apart with contact from the wall. He drew his Power Sword and pointed the tip at Yuilla. The tavern had suddenly become silent and they could feel the eyes of hundreds of rogues turn their way.

Behind the counter the barman prepared his Shredder in case a brawl broke out.

“He had a bomb implanted in her throat, Kabalite.” Krass’ull declared, smugly. “In her sleep it had been implanted with the hopes of killing us both.”

Varuscht started to tremble. He was playing a game that was seemingly out of his league. “Then I must have his head!” He lunged the sword and sparks flew.

“No.” Tsallion’s own sword blocked the Power Weapon’s path confusing the young Kabalite further.

“In ruining our own schemes openly against each other we are allies with a single cause.” The Harrowed Soulscream Dracon announced. “Now, too much has been disturbed here. We must find a… quieter location.”
Their eyes remained upon one another as weapons were sheathed and they moved to the exit, one group after another.

The corpse was removed but the blissful essence of pain lingered in the air.
____________________

“Sir,” Gorveh whispered after they had gone their separate ways, “why did you disarm your pistol? You could have shed his blood!”

“Do you really think that I am so unimaginative that I’d kill him with simple Darklight? You insult me, Goreveh.” He snarled, offended. “I knew that he would be simple enough to believe that a shot from my Blast Pistol would be my attempted strike against him, so I held my cards close, only showing a select few tells.”
Goreveh seemed dumbstruck.

“I would never leave something to chance like this. He will die when the time is right.”
________________

They were both glistening with sour sweat, but only Gorvex felt the sting of it. He was struggling in this sparing session, but he would be damned if he would let her off easily.

Ducking low under a predictable chest slash he lunged for her calf, but she danced around his blade with a honed grace that made Fllythyx Gorvex look like a child finding its feet.

A long slash drew up his exposed back, causing him to grunt in pain as his opponent danced away. He stood slowly, concentrating on her position. Her feet were light but now she was getting predictable. It would only take some minor changes to his fighting to best her.

The sweat stung the dozens of shallow cuts along his arms, but the pain was temporary. Others from previous sessions had scarred or scabbed over. The pain invigorated him and he could feel that all this extra training was doing his health well. The problem was the damage being caused to his pride. He hadn’t won a single match yet.

He looked to Baranda’ch who was stood upon a mezzanine at the end of the hollow cavern built into the earth beneath the slum. This vast network of chambers and halls had been discovered by the Kabalites, cleansed of the hiding nightmares and turned into a reasonable habitat for them. Fighting was the one sport that could keep them all occupied; all other than Baranda’ch. He was supposed to be overseeing the match but he had other things on his mind.

Gorvex turned his sight back to his opponent, spread his stance for stability, raised his knife and waited.

He was going to make her come to him this time. He had noticed that she was off balance when flipping through the air, something that could easily be used to his advantage.

Smiling, his foe broke into a sprint. Her legs sprung her into the air with a powerful kick. Over his head she flipped, so Gorvex took the opportunity.

A deep wound was landed straight across his right shoulder, separating the meat from bone.

He growled and fell as his sparing partner landed elegantly, swishing her dyed red hair from her eye.

“What a fool.” Kat’tar laughed in derision, startling Baranda’ch.

“What? When did you get here?” He asked, more demanding than polite.

“Long enough ago to watch him get humiliated.” She laughed again, more weary of the older Trueborn this time.

“Do you think that you could do better?” He raised an eyebrow, indicating a challenge that she could not refuse.

“Let me fight her. Let me show you what I can do.” She grinned a malicious half-smile, oozing confidence that Baranda’ch believed was misplaced.

“Fine. It’s your death wish.” He stepped to the makeshift handrail, raised a hand in the air and started to shout in a voice that echoed throughout the stone cavern: “New challenger! Trell Kat’tar and Semyla Farrin. Fatigue!”
The game was simple. The first to be tired out or broken beyond being able to defend themselve’s was a failure while the other would be crowned victorious.

The woman down in the arena smiled and started to juggle her knife with one hand to sharpen her reflexes. Trell removed her armour plating and put it aside, her skin-tight Wychsuit covering up the flesh of her body.
She moved down the staircase with carefully placed steps as she sized up her opponent. This fight wouldn’t be too difficult, she thought. Her opponent was tired, so a fatigue match could work poorly for her foe. Her enemy, this Semyla Farrin, would be inclined to injure her outright to earn victory, so Trell would be on her guard.

“What are you doing?” Gorvex whispered to her as he climbed to his feet to leave, blood coursing over his bare chest. “She’s way out of your league.”

“Yours, perhaps.” She walked past her fellow Trueborn without a second glance.

“She’ll kill you, Kat’tar!”

Kat’tar prowled her way forward to the marked out starting point in the arena. Her foe was roughly fifteen metres away from her.

This would be fun, to say the least.

With a signal from Baranda’ch they were free to shed blood. Trell’s feet scrambled across the ground, propelling her lithe form towards her opposition. Within seconds their knives met, sparks flying in the air as a dozen blows were made, blocked and parried between the duelling pair.

They moved around each other, ducking and moving, weaving in and out of one another’s limbs as to avoid being the first to be cut.

Trell made four consecutive strikes, each stronger than the last, to throw her enemy off balance, and while her foe stepped back she spun around; her back on Farrin’s side as she turned to face her opponent’s rear to land what could be a game-winning strike.

She felt the blade meet her flesh.

Trell’s bicep bled, her inky blood trickling down her pale flesh. It was but a scratch, a scratch that had annoyed her.

She now realised that her foe was unusually fast and was not going to be easy to defeat.

Making a small distance between them, Trell prepared herself for an onslaught of blades. The first contact had been to gauge any weaknesses but she had been able to find none.

The next stage of combat came with startling speed. The blade of Farrin swirled and slashed in front of her, forcing Trell back to avoid being turned into a thick paste. With her armoured foot Kat’tar lashed out, stamping on her opponent’s delicate ankle causing her to cry out and spiral away, her knife a mere centimetre from Trell’s throat.

Leaving no time for recovery, Trell counter-charged with a number of lunges followed by her punching out for her opponent’s chest with her empty hand. Each stab missed, but the punch landed square in the chest, winding her foe.

Feeling distressed and vulnerable, Farrin spin-flipped back, wheezing, and kicked dust into Trell’s eyes, blinding her momentarily.

As the Trueborn wiped at her face she slowly regained her vision. Quickly she could see enough to notice her opponent charging right at her.

She had no time to react. Farrin flipped over her head and stabbed her in the back. Trell wavered and stumbled forward as the other combatant landed perfectly.

That move… that was a something taught within Wych Cults.

Turning, Trell faced her opponent. She could see the confidence in Semyla’s eyes, but Kat’tar had her own tricks up her sleeves.

She could see that her foe was coming for another pass, most likely to land a disabling and potentially fatal blow.

Her feet beat quickly like the rhythm of a war drum on the earth. A mist of dust was raised behind her and when she got close enough she got ready to make the final leap.

Trell had other ideas.

Her blade spiralled from her grasp, piercing into her enemy’s abdomen; this slowed her enough for Trell to swing her right hand out and break her foe’s nose.

Her enemy lay in the dirt, failing to move for many moments.

Only with the aid of a cocktail of drugs was she able to stir from unconsciousness, her face a ruined piece of former art. Trell Kat’tar stood over her victoriously, Gorvex stunned at her side and Baranda’ch quietly grumbling as he tended to the wounded duellist.

“How did you do that?” Gorvex needed to know.

“She was a Wych. She needed to be dealt with in that manner. I would not best her with knife skill alone. I recognised her skill… it was unmistakable.” Panting heavily, she attempted to regain her breath.

“How’d you recognise her trade so easily?”

“I was a Wych, once.”

Gorvex gasped, venom burning in his throat.

This could not be.
________________

The rain outside pounded down on the roof of the makeshift hut, every single patter aggravated him more and more. He had worried. He had worried for the first time in many years and it wasn’t even about himself. He found himself worrying for another being.

Leaning on the counter he finished whatever the drink he had stolen from a street vendor was and looked to the door. Most of the slums had fallen silent now, other than the occasional scream due to blood feuds and vengeance killings. The silence had made him hear the footsteps approach.

The door opened, he lowered his Shardcarbine and stormed forwards, embracing her in his arms.
“I was waiting for you.”

“You shouldn’t have.” She answered. “I can look after myself.”

Ignoring her former protest they kissed, their armoured forms pressed tight against one another. This warrior’s embrace was what they shared, a glimmer of joy in a life of sorrow.

Together Baranda’ch and Goreveh were happy. They were determined not to let anybody get in their way.
_______________

“So, who is it?” Tsallion asked with his usual tone, his knuckle tearing open on the jagged tooth of their captive.

“Why should I tell you?” Baranda’ch also hit the captive, enjoying his job a little more than he had done in recent weeks.

“Because I’m your comrade. I can help you.” Tsallion punched him again.

“Teryth’plak varesh!” He exclaimed. “Torment me, more like!” Baranda’ch made another punch to the gut of the captive this time, stepping back to stretch. Nothing woke him up like a relentless beating.

“You two are insane.” The Slavemaster commented from the opening of the alleyway. He had been watching out for any patrols but was too amused by the exchange. To anybody listening in it might sound like they were beating this tied down man for answers, but really they were talking to each other and pounding him to a pulp until he was willing to share information.

“Silence.” Baranda’ch ordered, waving a knife in Telvoor’s direction.

“Just tell me, Hels.” A disconcerting amount of slight affection crossed Tsallion’s voice, but this forced emotion failed to open his old Trueborn kin up to sharing answers. “I know what you’re feeling; I shan’t poke fun at you.”

“You know what I’m feeling? Then get out of my face, my blood scorches my veins as this topic arises.”

“M-maybe you… maybe y-y-you should open… up.” The captive spat blood, earning the attention of both the Trueborns.

“For that you lose a finger.” Baranda’ch cut the index finger from the man and flung it over the hovel behind him. “Now, if you want to talk how about giving us the entrance codes?”

“N-no!”

“Very well.” They returned to knocking the man about for a few minutes, working up an enjoyable sweat as his soul started to leech from his body.

“Inyon lama-quanon, comrade. I have felt it, too. So tell me, who is she?”

“She?” He feigned ignorance.

“He?”

“… What are you on about?”

“Don’t hide this emotion from me. You should purge it from yourself lest it bring a knife to your throat.”

Baranda’ch stopped hitting the man for a moment to allow him to recover. He looked close to death but the Trueborn knew that the captive would last a little while longer.

“I’m loosing my patience. What are the access codes for the Overseer’s citadel?”

“I… I’ll never-”

“Wrong answer.” Another swift kick to his chest put him in more agony than before. Maybe a few of his ribs had broken. If they would make him die quicker then he could only hope.

“If he’s not going to share anything with us then we have no need of him anymore.” Tsallion’s grim voice disturbed the man as he noted the Trueborn pluck a Darklight Containment Phial from a pouch at his waist and force it into his mouth.

The fear overwhelmed the captive causing him to blurt out the codes.

Baranda’ch noted them and Tsallion curled a lip up in success.

“Good man.” Tsallion hit him in the jaw. His body spiralled away, torso and head consumed by the implosion.
Together the trio left the alleyway leaving only a pair of legs to be plucked apart by the Parched.

“Trust me, Baranda’ch. This emotion shall be your downfall if left to twist you. Get rid of it now before irreversible wounds are caused.”
_____________

Cycles had passed, but now they could do what they had longed to achieve since they found the damned slums. Their uprising would begin, the slums would burn and all would be united under a new reign.

The Overseer would die, that was for certain, and Krass’ull was determined to inherit his tyrannical throne.
The others involved in this plot would lead the head of the assault. Varuscht had recruited thousands of slum dwellers for the temporary militia and the Poisoned Tongue Dracon would orchestrate the assault. Any militaristic upper hand that this may have given the Dracon had been thought over with great consideration allowing Krass’ull to make himself the most important member of this uprising. Only he had the power to command his Trueborn and each of them played a vital role in this uprising. Tsallion had held back to stay with his Lord, for protection and to oversee the carnage. Baranda’ch, the Slavemaster and Gorrvex had been in charge of leading the militia they had recruited into key strategic positions to slay any resistance that the owner of these lands may have been able to bring against them Tseng Goreveh, Trell Kat’tar and the duellist, Semyla Farrin, assassinated the key figures that would stand against them.

Within minutes most of the factories and weapons stores that had not been captured by the militia were set aflame with flickering, roaring colours that illuminated the perpetual night.

The Poisoned Tongue Dracon and the lowly Warrior that had risen above his lowly kin were responsible for the main siege of the spire of oppression. Krass’ull wanted no part of this. When they should be united he knew that there would only be treachery. The weaker of the two would be cast down into the dirt while the victor could be dealt with later.

Tsallion stood stoically next to a pile of corpse-strewn rubble. Many flagpoles and blades had been added to the mess to create an effigy that had inspired anger and hatred in the militia. It did not move the Trueborn. After centuries of decadence and depravity such minor displays of pain failed to move him. He watched as skirmishes became mass bloodlettings. Hovels caught fire, militiamen and women catapulted their incendiary projectiles into the path of the resisting mercenaries to deter and to maim. Those that had scavenged the best armour forced their lesser forwards with bellowed threats and with the jab of scavenged swords.

Most of the militia had been sickly men and women forced to work here, but now they had renewed vigour. Many were cut down as they progressed into the paths of Shredders but they did not hesitate. Many charged through flames to fight with the oppressors, their knives and saws-blades hacking at limbs and armour. Dozens were slain in the first instant that Tsallion had watched but hundreds more stepped over bodies to take their place.

“Tsallion. Tsallion!” The Dracon’s hand shook him by the shoulder, grabbing the Trueborn’s attention.

“Apologies, master.”

“Did you not hear anything that I said?”

Tsallion’s cold helm did not act to make it seem like he cared. In truth, he didn’t. All that mattered for now was survival.

“It doesn’t matter.” Krass’ull laughed, placing a small capsule in his mouth.

“Combat drugs?” Tsallion asked derisively as his lord proffered a yellow and blue pill to him.

“I found them on a corpse last evening. I thought that they could be useful.”

The silence Tsallion now displayed was different from his usual uncaring aloofness. This was almost judgemental.

“Don’t look at me like that, Trueborn. These are tough times and we must prosper through any means necessary.”

“Indeed.” He sighed, looking at a group of Warriors running past. Amongst them was the man with the skull mask.

Almost as if Krass’ull knew that something was bothering his bodyguard he asked “Is there something that bothers you about that man?”

“No.”

“I’ve seen the venom with which you hold yourself, Hyllna. What is it that you hate about him?”

Tsallion turned his head to look his master in the eyes. “With all due respect, Sir; it is none of your damned business.” He looked back ahead of them, not fearful in the slightest of vengeful retaliation.

A moment of silence passed between them in which the distant screams grew louder.

“Tsallion.” The Dracon’s voice conveyed actual concern for once, something that proved disconcerting. “You would inform me if you knew of schemes against my life, would you not?”

“Sir, my only purpose is to serve you.” Hyllna bowed the truth of his words like a blade in his master’s chest.

“Why? What makes you so loyal? For the last two centuries you have been in my service and on many occasions you could have taken my place. Why have you not?”

Tsallion removed his helmet, the release of stress upon the old suit’s mechanisms creating a slight hiss. “I do not aspire to obtain ranks, master.”

“Then what do you aspire for? Wealth? Power? The right to own others? Surely there must be something?”

“No.” Tsallion hadn’t considered it before. “If I had wanted any of that you’d be dead. I have no doubt about that.”

“Neither do I…” Krass’ull grew weary. The constant threat posed by his most valuable ally always proved to shake his confidence.

“Serving to protect you is enough. I have nothing left in this agonising galaxy other than my hatred and my Splinter Cannon. I have no debts to remove and no more threats to face. No men come knocking for payment and I do not owe anything to anybody. I am my own man and I seek nothing more than to exist.”

Krass’ull was shocked at this statement. Tsallion had always seemed to lack drive and often came across as monastic, but now he just seemed to be a ghost of what the Dracon suspected to be a once great schemer. “What caused you to become like this?”

Tsallion turned away. “I do not wish to speak of this any longer.”

“Why not? You have hid your past from me for this long, and I have respected that. We all have daemons that stalk us. Share with me so that your burden can be lifted.”

“I am not that weak.” He stressed, disgust audible.

The Dracon was going to pursue the subject but they could hear something on the wind. It was something that cut through the familiar sounds of war.

The cackling swarms descended, great blade hacking at limbs while screaming flames announced terror.
“Are you forgettin’ something, Dracon?” That damn low-tongue asked from the end of the street. The charismatic flow of his voice was almost lyrical.

“Kegahn Trallavan.” The Dracon forced a smile, “What can I do you for?”

“Where’s my payment?” The Helliarch demanded, his gait more intimidating than friendly.

“You’ll have to ask the Prince. Can’t you see I’m havin’ a bit of trouble?”

“No, you set up the deal. You give me ma payment!” Hellions swooped in and landed on each side of the street while others gathered to close in around the pair of warriors.

“Look, Helliarch-”

“No, you look!” He stormed forward, Hellglaive ready to decapitate somebody. Tsallion had brought his Splinter Cannon up just in time, the muzzle aimed at the undefended gut of the Hellion. All the other Hellions of the Lightning Scorpion gang braced themselves. Some hissed while others got a tighter grasp on their weapons.

“You lettin’ the man with the big gun do all your talkin’, Dracon?”

“In slums the man with the biggest gun always wins.” He remarked, snidely. “Now, about your payment. There was a slight problem with the raid, ‘n now we’re down in this filth. I do ‘ave a way that I can pay you, though?”

“Oh?” He revealed his fanged maw in a wide grin.

“Come on, I’m sure there’s plenty o’ loot in the Overseer’s spire.” His blast pistol dropped two of the Hellions in quick succession, allowing himself and Tsallion to take to the skies in a whooping, airborne horde heading straight for carnage.

_________________

Back to top Go down
Cavash
Lord of the Chat
avatar

Posts : 3196
Join date : 2012-04-14
Location : Stuck in an air vent spying on plotters

PostSubject: Re: Night Hydra.   Fri Apr 26 2013, 19:36

Seeing as the relationships between characters change throughout the story I am posting an updated Dramatis Personae here to reflect where loyalties lie and to show who's still alive. I'll do this every five chapters, or so, to make sure that you're well informed.

It's in a spoiler box so that no information is revealed to ruin the tale for you. I will still update the first Dramatis Personae with the list of characters. Smile

Spoiler:
 

_________________

Back to top Go down
Lady Malys
She Who Must Be Obeyed
avatar

Posts : 1095
Join date : 2011-05-18

PostSubject: Re: Night Hydra.   Sat Apr 27 2013, 00:14

I'm really enjoying the developing dynamic between the three faction leaders - I believe Yuilla is my current favourite*, along with Tsallion. So far Very Happy

Quote :
“Look, Helliarch-”

“No, you look!” He stormed forward, Hellglaive ready to decapitate somebody. Tsallion had brought his Splinter Cannon up just in time, the muzzle aimed at the undefended gut of the Hellion. All the other Hellions of the Lightning Scorpion gang braced themselves. Some hissed while others got a tighter grasp on their weapons.

“You lettin’ the man with the big gun do all your talkin’, Dracon?”

“In slums the man with the biggest gun always wins.”

I enjoyed this exchange particularly - what's striking isn't just the contrast between the two groups - the swaggering Helliarch and the precise Dracon - but how easily the Dracon switches to fit in. I'd worry about him if he were on my team.

I also spotted teasing your buddy for having a girlfriend, Dark Eldar style ... perhaps Baranda’ch should invest in a good concealer for those suspicious bruises? "I don't know what you're talking about ..."

Thanks for the Dramatis Personae, they are useful! It helps me to keep track of who is who and in relation to what. I look forward to more! Very Happy



*and not for Poisoned Tongue cheerleading reasons Razz

_________________


~ Aim to please, shoot to kill. ~
Back to top Go down
Cavash
Lord of the Chat
avatar

Posts : 3196
Join date : 2012-04-14
Location : Stuck in an air vent spying on plotters

PostSubject: Re: Night Hydra.   Sun Apr 28 2013, 14:01

Thank you, Malys. I did enjoy writing the meeting of the faction leaders. Tsallion is my favourite at the moment, along with Baranda'ch. His anger is inspiring.

Well, this Dracon is a lovely fellow. Surely he wouldn't do anything untrustworty or underhand to gain an advantage... would he?

The teasing was interesting to write, to say the least. There may be a bit more of that in the future, but with a few more DE elements thrown in.

I'm glad that the Dramatis Personae was helpful. After how complicated things started to get in Piercing Dark I decided it would be easier to post new versions of the Personae at regular intervals to help keep track.

Cheers. Smile

_________________

Back to top Go down
Cavash
Lord of the Chat
avatar

Posts : 3196
Join date : 2012-04-14
Location : Stuck in an air vent spying on plotters

PostSubject: Re: Night Hydra.   Thu May 02 2013, 17:32

I've hit a spring of writing determination and am looking to have the next chapter out by next weekend, hopefully.

You can look forward to races, Reavers, Hellions, and actual story progression! Very Happy

_________________

Back to top Go down
Lady Malys
She Who Must Be Obeyed
avatar

Posts : 1095
Join date : 2011-05-18

PostSubject: Re: Night Hydra.   Thu May 02 2013, 18:46

Aha! Something to look forward to this weekend while I stay in and hide from the Chester Races! Fantastic Very Happy

_________________


~ Aim to please, shoot to kill. ~
Back to top Go down
Cavash
Lord of the Chat
avatar

Posts : 3196
Join date : 2012-04-14
Location : Stuck in an air vent spying on plotters

PostSubject: Re: Night Hydra.   Sun Dec 15 2013, 23:28

It might be seven months late, but the next chapter will be up soon. A lot has happened this last year to drag me from writing, but I've just got back into it quite heavily now. So, to apologise to those that read this and to show that I do indeed have a really long chapter (Filled with action and politics) coming soon to make up for it I have a slight preview to share.

I hope you enjoy it.
_____________________________________________________

“Problem?” Baranda’ch smiled at one of the rival Kabalites. Even when stood with a straight back the Kabalite was shorter than the natives of the garden-realm, but he was not intimidated.

“You are the Butcher, aren’t you?” He spoke with no dread, only repressed anger.

“ ‘The Butcher’?” his heartless eyes flashed with pleasure. “I had no idea I’d been given such a generous name by your kind.”

“You are, are you not? You are Baranda’ch the Butcher.”

There was a short silence that froze the air further.

“I never thought I’d see you with my own eyes.” He continued, contemplative as to his words.

“I’m sorry, have I done something to offend you?” The Trueborn’s head tilted slightly to the left whilst he took half a step forward.

“You murdered my wife. You killed her and my unborn child.”

“Oh,” he feigned recollection, “her screams were purely delicious.”
Back to top Go down
Cakeaunoob
Cake Who Thirsts
avatar

Posts : 184
Join date : 2013-01-12
Location : Behind you

PostSubject: Re: Night Hydra.   Sun Dec 15 2013, 23:40

*grabs popcorn*
Back to top Go down
http://cakeaunoob.deviantart.com
Lady Malys
She Who Must Be Obeyed
avatar

Posts : 1095
Join date : 2011-05-18

PostSubject: Re: Night Hydra.   Mon Dec 16 2013, 13:32

*gets marshmallows in in readiness*

_________________


~ Aim to please, shoot to kill. ~
Back to top Go down
Tengu
Wych
avatar

Posts : 532
Join date : 2013-05-02
Location : The Quantum Realm

PostSubject: Re: Night Hydra.   Mon Dec 16 2013, 14:45

Yay! What a feast of pain!
Back to top Go down
Cavash
Lord of the Chat
avatar

Posts : 3196
Join date : 2012-04-14
Location : Stuck in an air vent spying on plotters

PostSubject: Re: Night Hydra.   Fri Dec 27 2013, 16:19

Chapter V.
The Purging.


It would not be long, he thought, until all was his. First he would start with the slums, then the rest of the lower city, and then he would move up. With his level of ambition nothing could stop him… other than a nasty accident orchestrated at the hands of his subordinates. It was that reason why he drew his sword. “Stay outside of one sword’s length, Wych. You may be serving under me, but you are no Trueborn.”

She stopped mid-stride, twinkling blade almost scraping the bridge of her pale nose. The Dracon did not like this Wych, nor did he trust her. She was from some Cult affiliated with the Poisoned Tongue; and he thought that meant that she would likely try to undo all of his work.

“I have brought no hostility to provide you with, Lord Krass’ull.” She bowed after taking a few cautious steps back, remembering what little manners had kept her alive so many times in the past.

“One can never be sure…” He drifted off, looking out over his domain once more. The top of the spire was a mass of jutting blades and spines that intertwined and wrapped around one another to create a mass of perches and vantage points perfect for the view they provided. “How did you make it up here, anyhow?” He asked without looking back at her. He had noticed that she had no Skyboard, nor was he aware that she knew how to use one.

“Flying may be accepted as the easiest mode of transport but there are more than a hundred ways to get up here if you use your imagination.”

There was a short pause. A few screams pierced the night’s silence, making them both feel more at home.

“If I were the sentimental type I would call it breathtaking.” A half-smile was etched onto his face like a statue, his expression completely still for a few moments of consideration. “Have you ever had the privilege to live the life of a noble, Semyla Farrin?”

“No, sir.” She sprung with confidence from one barb to the next as if the miles of nothingness below had not crossed her mind.

“It is a life of luxury, where all bow to you yet all poison your wine. It is enjoyable yet not rewarding. I have never felt as free as I do now.”

“You’ve been spending too much time around those Hellions.” She jested.

“Perhaps.” He ignored her humour, interest lost out in the view. For miles around, silhouettes of spires rose high, skiffs warred, and Scourges flocked back to their own lands after inevitably slaughtering those that had wronged them. The parasitic purple light was cut through by a river of neon green, a river of foetidness that kept the Parched at bay.

The Parched resided on the other side of the river and, upon claiming the land as his own; he had burned all bridges along his territory to keep his possessions safe. His actions had freed these people and brought them to a new regime of prosperous efficiency.

“I do not have any qualms with the Hellions.” He added. “They are a misunderstood bunch. They get looked down on for embracing the most brutal joys of life, the joys for which we all yearn.” He turned in his crouched position to face her. The Skyboard clamped to his back protruded form his outline, causing her for a moment to believe he had dark wings. “You can never tell what is going on inside somebody’s mind, can you?”

“No.” She answered, missing the rhetoric nature of his speech.

“We have not been touched by the immaterium. We have no device that can rip the thoughts from feeble and scheming minds… not with us, at least. We can not be sure that we can trust each other. How do I know that I can trust you?” He raised an eyebrow and leant forward the slightest amount, body language so subtle that only an Eldar could read.

“Sir, I have not considered murdering you.”

“And those are your words, Farrin. I cannot prove this. You cannot prove this. This is my point. The one thing that keeps my mind sharp is the one thing that shall inevitably be my end. It will be your end, too.”

She leant back, bracing to escape.

“Please.” He laughed. “If I wanted you dead I’d have already mounted my Skyboard by now.”

“But how can I trust you?”

“Exactly!” He was jubilant now, glad that there was finally an understanding to his sentiment. “You never know, nor can you ever be sure, of what is going on inside somebody’s head. I kept you at a blade’s length away for your words could belie future actions. Do not think of me as paranoid; I am merely cautious. At any point anybody could strike against you. When those loyal to me are sat down together to feast upon whatever we share, one of my kin could rise to their feet and withdraw their pistol. In a matter of moments a handful of my chosen could be dead and all because they did not think to watch the others. Don’t trust anyone, Farrin. It would be unwise.”

She couldn’t relax herself no matter how hard she tried. “But I thought that they were here to protect you.”

He looked at her with spite. “Have you ever heard of the Ynneas Eldarith before, wench? Goreveh would not care to help you if you were trapped under a beam in a burning hovel after having saved her entire family. Baranda’ch would probably assist her in stealing your stimms. You have a sweet young face, so full of youth and in no need of regeneration… you think Tsallion would not like to stretch it over his helm? Hell Masks are not extinct, you know. And n'either are those who don them.”

Farrin had no idea whether to be flattered or afraid. All of these threats to distrust his kin, where could they have come from? Did she have his favour or was this a game? It was always difficult to tell with Dracons.

“Why would they do such a thing, Lord?”

“I do not know.” His answer came with a speed revealing his anticipation. “This is the point. Never believe yourself to be sure of others. It could lead you to be horribly maimed.”

The Dracon was certainly grim, she thought. The Wych was paranoid by nature and had removed many a foe from her life, as was the way to survive in Commorragh, but Wyches had no time for politics. Wyches preferred to have disputes settled with a blade rather than with elaborate schemes. She felt like she was in the wrong world now. “I shall take heed of your advice.” She replied with a masquerade of surety. “You are a wise man.”
The Dracon sighed.
_________________________________

Krass’ull had adapted quickly in these times. He had allowed the Poisoned Tongue Dracon to be the face of the sprawls, but Krass’ull was the knife that made the decisions.

Together they forged a new era of prosperity in the Teggurats Slums. The scum that dwelled there had been forced to repair the damage cased in the usurpation. Many civilians had been trained to form a brutal gang of enforcers that watched over new fortifications and made sure that the laws of the Kabalites were enforced.

They had strong numbers and adequate military training, but they were closer to a violent mob than any real militaristic force.

High walls were raised with punishment pikes and flag poles hoisted aloft to show all others who it was that they would seek to eradicate.

With his debts to the Lightning Scorpions settled, Krass’ull had also made the slums into a den for the insane criminals and unrestrained youth that rode upon their nimble crafts. Many of these Skyboards had changed hands in the weeks following the fall of the previous Overseer; the Dracon, Trell Kat’tar, Fllythyx Gorrvex, Y’rrinis Telvoor and Semyla Farrin had adopted a new love for the sky. The new Wych had been judged in Krass’ulls’s eyes and he wished that her potential be used to their advantage. He had become fond of her. Her anger entertained him.

Hyllna Tsallion, Tseng Goreveh and Helspaan Baranda’ch had not been as keen to take to the air, however. After the night of the Overseer’s death Tsallion had dropped his board while whispering a vow never to take to the air on such contraptions again.

Goreveh and Baranda’ch had not been fond of the agile boards, either. They hindered any capability for true destruction to be caused. Their love for expensive weapons did not go along well with traversing the domain of the Scourges.
_________________________________

“What?” She asked grumpily from behind her battered helm, looking in the direction of Tsallion. He had not said anything to her and did not wish to start a fight, but from where he was stood, next to the entrance to another hollowed out chamber, she thought that his stare was meant to intimidate.

The elder Trueborn shook his head as he leant against the doorframe with a cold nonchalance. For once he was the one with a face exposed to the biting chill; even in the absence of his full armour, however, his mannerisms were enough to disturb and worry Goreveh.

She had never known what to think of him, not as a person at least. He was a ruthless and cunning soldier without compare. She had never served alongside anybody as quick to put down irrelevant lives than him, and this she admired. His skills as a tactician had been honed by centuries of strife and he could even lead the slums without the Dracon if he shared his voice with those who were below him. Maybe he was just biding his time, she thought.

He was a great warrior for certain, but she didn’t know what to think of him as a person. He had been stood there for quite some time watching her train some of the militia but had given away nothing. He wasn’t there to stare at her looks; she knew that he had no room in his brain for the aesthetic pleasures of others, so why in the name of the Muses, Lord Cavash, and Supreme Overlord Vect was he still there? He had no purpose.

“Can I help you, Tsallion?” She asked as her practice-sabre clattered on the ground. Even though it was meant for practice it was still sharp enough to maim. She stepped forward, attention moving from the training recruits.

“I doubt it.” Hyllna replied, looking her in the glowing eye lenses.

“Then why stand there staring?”

“Thoughts become clearer with the shedding of pain.” He commented; face not changing despite her poorly veiled aggression.

“What’s on your mind?” She asked with a bit more care now. Obtaining knowledge could always be fun.

Tsallion seemed reluctant at first but Goreveh did not leave. She leaned beside him and kept her eyes fixated upon his unreadable visage. After a moment of silence between them he clenched his jaw, tendons running up beneath the pallid skin flickering for a moment before he finally opened his mouth: “Have you noticed anything different about Baranda’ch recently?”

“No.” Her answer was almost instantaneous. “I have seen nothing of note.” She added, regaining her composure.

She thought that Tsallion had not noticed it. He showed no sign of anything being wrong. “What have you noticed? You wouldn’t have asked me unless you’ve seen something of note.”

“I have my speculations.” He replied before leaving a long silence. Goreveh had not noticed at first that he had not intended on adding anything else.

She looked at him quizzically. She would never understand this man, but she knew one thing that he knew of well; something that might distract him from the subject.

“Master Tsallion,” she announced so that her recruits could hear, “It would be an honour if you could show these men how to truly master a blade.”

She gestured for him to enter the ring of blades and sand, her armoured hand making one of the weakest recruits flinch.

For a moment she stood, watching as his bottomless eyes looked blankly at her. He did not reply but turned to leave.

She had no idea whether this was an attempt to ruin the fear that she had instilled in her recruits or just a sign of complete disrespect. Whatever it was it had surprised her, something she thought to be foolish. She had known Tsallion for a century and a half and this was by far one of the least disrespectful things he could have done. At least there were no murders in cold blood this time.

Should she be worried?

His plated feet had only reached the first step when another man appeared to block his path.

The man’s topknot was short. Freshly cut it would appear. He had removed his bone gauntlets and arm armour to reveal his pale flesh and scars caused by his suit’s hooked barbs. His muscles did not look like something from a Haemonculus’s ‘masterpiece’, but he had enough musculature to be intimidating.

At his back was slung a blue and gold Blaster; a great weapon of catastrophic devastation. He grinned thinly to greet the others.

“Tsallion. Goreveh.” He nodded in order of their rank.

“Baranda’ch.” They responded, nodding in the same fashion.

“It’s a surprise to see you down here, Hyllna.”

Tsallion shrugged and stepped back, allowing the other Trueborn to step forward. The dim light from within the camber crawled up his armour, stopping at his pectorals.

“And what are you doing here, in my domain, Helspaan?” Tseng Goreveh asked with a wistful look behind her helm. She wanted nothing more than to be alone with Baranda’ch, the only thing that brought her true peace in this nightmare.

They were all Dark Eldar, resilient and harsh by nature; but when one stumbles from the upper echelons of society into the dark depths of the realm of the forgotten it can be difficult to cope, no matter the variation of Eldarith.

“I bring word from the Dracon.” His face turned into more of a snarl than a smile.

“Krassu’ll?” Tsallion inquired.

“Yuilla.”

“He is not my Dracon.” Tsallion went to walk past but halted on the stairs by the other Kabalite’s next statement.

“No, but he has business with our Dracon.”
________________________________________

“Hels, what happened to your arms?” Tseng wondered out loud. The air of the slums froze their breaths and caused them to veil their forms in great thermal cloaks just to fend off the biting chill, yet Baranda’ch was walking around freely with his arms exposed and without such a cloak of fur and spines.

“Betrayal, Goreveh. Isn’t it always the way?” As they walked past a number of hovels he seemed aloof in the conversation, as if looking out for something. “I was off with a number of new recruits doing the usual decimation and mutilation exercises. The bloodshed was rich.” His lips peeled back as he reminisced. “A couple of them cried out for some saviour to help them as the last vestiges of life were stomped from their bodies, but nobody listened. I had a couple of the longer serving veterans with me at the time. I was training them, too, so that one day they could teach more men my style of warfare. Things quickly turned sour.” His face became bitter and twisted, his hands gripped his Blaster more tightly now. Whether this was on purpose or a subconscious display of resentment was unbeknown to Goreveh. Tsallion simply didn’t care, however. He had other things on his mind.

“One of the older militiamen,” he started “argued with me in front of the new ‘hopefuls’. I struck him, he struck me back. From my rear the other veteran smashed at my elbow joint with a maul…”

“Who was it?” Goreveh asked. “Have him tortured.”

“Oh, he’s just a faceless nobody.” He smiled, swinging his Blaster up to rest on his shoulder. “I murdered the rest, too.”

The three Trueborn walked for a while longer, Tsallion lost in his own thoughts while Goreveh and Baranda’ch made little conversation. They walked past numerous street fights, past those who wished to sell their skills as courtesans and assassins, past the bodies of hundreds that would be claimed by the Thirster.

The green and crimson lights of the world around them refracted through long icicles, sending out rainbows of putrid light in all directions. Eventually they reached the base of the spire. It was a large baroque structure with many needles, agony-pikes and docking spurs protruding from its surface. The single balustrade leading to large reinforced doors was lined on both sides by men and women dressed in the foul bladed blue of the Poisoned Tongue.

Eyes met.

Weapons were held tight.

Neither side showed any weakness.

The Poisoned Tongue knew who they were; the three Trueborn that massacred countless of their fellow kin in a hundred separate conflicts. Those that fought under the banner of Prince Talludesh had earned a particular hatred amongst many of the Poisoned Tongue. It was the anarchy that they fought with and the disrespect they held towards their commander that made them unpredictable on the battlefield. As well as the majority of the Trueborn in the Prince’s warband, those under Dracon Krass’ull had been named by Poisoned Tongue commanders and had bounties placed upon their heads.

One night; one single operation had made the Krass’ull’s Trueborn envied and loathed.

In the midst of night they had travelled to the edge of Poisoned Tongue territory to infiltrate past many secure locations under the guise of average citizens. After three cycles of guerrilla warfare, four high-priority assassinations and the explosive destruction of an extensive regeneration/amniotic birthing facility they had become known as dangerous and psychotic criminals that needed to be silenced.

This, of course, did not happen.

They were able to escape in a quarter of a cycle and were praised as heroes upon their return to T’llionoch.

“Problem?” Baranda’ch smiled at one of the rival Kabalites. The Kabalite stood with a straight back and was shorter than the natives of the garden-realm, but he was not intimidated.

“You are the butcher, aren’t you?” He spoke with no dread, only repressed anger.

“ ‘The Butcher’?” his heartless eyes flashed with pleasure. “I had no idea I’d been given such a generous name by your kind.”

“You are, are you not? You are Baranda’ch the Butcher.”

There was a short silence that froze the air further.

“I never thought I’d see you with my own eyes.” He continued, thoughtful as to his words.

“I’m sorry, have I done something to offend you?” The Trueborn’s head tilted slightly to the left while taking half a step forward.

“You murdered my wife. You killed her and my unborn child.”

“Oh,” he feigned recollection as if one death would be so important to him, “her screams were purely delicious.”

“You… you…” The Kabalite flinched for his weapon, Baranda’ch raised a hulking fist to beat him down with.

“Stop.” Goreveh placed her hand upon his bicep, clawed finger armour hooking into muscle and preventing him from causing what could have been a one-sided skirmish. “This is not the time nor the place, Hels. It was just war.” She looked at the rival Kabalite. “It was our mission. I’m sure that you’ve supped upon the souls of those that we were once close to. War means casualties; it’s nothing personal.”

“I care not for your words!” He lowered his rifle, the tip of the bayonet switching between the two Trueborn.

“How peculiar!” Baranda’ch laughed like a thunderous orchestra. “I thought words and politics were all that the Poisoned Tongue stood for! This is the first time I’ve ever met one with a backbone!”

“You’re not helping!” Goreveh shouted at him.

Then the Kabalite dropped to his knees, gun clattering from his hands as he clawed at the fresh wound.

Tsallion wrapped one hand firmly around the Kabalite's throat while his blade lay imbedded in his victim's chest, entering diagonally through the exposed joint between collar bone and throat.

He nodded behind to his comrades, causing them to turn with weapons raised. There was no need to.

The Poisoned Tongue stood saluting. At the doors stood Dracon Yuilla Gui’lashana, his armour polished and regal.

His hands were clenched behind his back as he majestically moved forward, holding eye contact with Tsallion.

“These are not times for infighting, Trueborn. I would usually have you tortured for decreasing military stocks further when we are already stressed for numbers, but I find myself in a situation I am not accustomed to: I do not own you. I can only suggest that you do not kill any more of my soldiers. I do want to maintain my decorum, though, so I shall ask you politely. Please do not kill my men.”

Tsallion nodded and bowed. If somebody held this respect for him then it would be good to return it… especially seeing as he was in a position of power. He let go of the body and stepped away without so much of a kick to the ribs.

“Thank you.” The Dracon responded, still stern faced. “Now, you three ‘war-criminals’, I would like to speak with you all… alone. No weapons, no hostilities, no armour and no guards. Do these seem like agreeable conditions?”
___________________________________________


“Why would he ask us to do this?” Helspaan grumbled with a hoarse throat. Four metres to his right Tseng slowly advanced, grav-clamp boots attaching firmly to the side of the structure. Her hair was fastened at the back of her head in a tight knot and her face was shrouded by the shadows of the eternal night. No sweat ran down her face and she exerted no visible strain. Her cheeks were alluringly pale, not at all red and flustered like his own.

How did she maintain such decorum after climbing fifteen miles vertically up the exterior of a piece of death-trap architecture? She was his possession, as Inyon Lama-Quanon dictated, and he could-

No, concentrate. High above the slums was not the place for his amorous desires. Here a single footstep a centimetre out could result in decapitation and potential death. Due to living in slums and being loathed by the son of the Grand Archon he doubted that his regeneration contract with the Haemonculi enslaved through service to the Dynasty still stood.  

“Because,” Tseng started to reply, causing her lover’s head to snap to face her, “if we die then he has less people gunning for him.”

Baranda’ch cursed with a rather noticeable volume. Why hadn’t he thought of that? It was so obvious.
“Either that,” Tsallion spoke soft and contemplatively from above the couple, “or he actually trusts in our ability and wants us to succeed.”

“Well, I know which option doesn’t make my skin crawl.” Baranda’ch grimaced. “If only the war had ended sooner. Then we wouldn’t be in this position! I could be back home, flaying and removing the tongues of slaves at my leisure. I could be sat back enjoying the view over T’llionoch…. But no.”

“This war was never going to be over quickly, Baranda’ch.” Hyllna spoke without turning back to see his comrade. With cool precision Tsallion reached the end of the grapple leash, withdrew the second locator and fired it high towards their location. It wasn’t far away. Only maybe another mile at most.

“Why did this war start, anyway?” Tseng inquired, leaving the other two grimly silent.

If they were honest, they did not know. Not for certain, at least. For a few cycles the Harrowed Soulscream and the Poisoned Tongue had got along like a Wrack and a scalpel; out of nowhere everything turned sour.

“The Grand Archon realised that she is a witch.” Tsallion growled with a deep rage flowing from within.

“That’s merely speculation!”

“Hels, silence yourself. Your family might not have had you burned alive in your first few breaths but I don’t know what will happen if I’m forced to disagree with their actions any longer.” The lack of agreement in his comrade made Tsallion want to bludgeon him more than usual. At this height, though, he thought it wise to be harsh with words in place of actions. At least spitting ferocious venom provided him with enough relief to not commit murder… no matter how unsatisfying it was.

“Do not think of yourself so highly, Hyllna. I’m not going to stand idly by while you try to hold onto your delusion of grandiose self-worth.”

Tsallion had two grenades.

He could time it right and have the arguing delinquent melted, but that wouldn’t get him anywhere.

“Do not forget who taught you, Baranda’ch. Do not forget who did what you could not. Do not forget who pulled the trigger and got you where you are now. I am not weak. Do you think you intimidate me?”

This was escalating outside of normal acceptable levels of aggression, Tseng thought to herself. The last comment made by Tsallion was the worst. He had convinced Baranda’ch to murder his own family to inherit everything that he could back when his student was young. When he couldn’t go through with it Hyllna gladly stepped up to shed the blood. It was the only thing that Baranda’ch had ever regretted.

“This is not the time for petty squabbling.” She was stern enough to silence Baranda’ch, but the veteran Trueborn raised an eyebrow and sighed, producing a noise akin to an exasperated chuckle.

“It is never the time for much.” He added, mundane nature returning to make Goreveh shiver. All Eldarith Ynneas had heard rumours of the torment that lay beyond death, but Tsallion never seemed to care nor dread it. Death never seemed to frighten him. It was as if he saw it as an ultimate goal in his life – one that he was waiting to reach.

Allowing the cold sensation run down her spine she looked to her side to make sure Baranda’ch was not too enraged. It wouldn’t be prosperous for a lust for exsanguinations to grip him in the midst of a firefight.
_______________________________________

“There’re two tactics you can go with.” The Helliarch lectured as the Dracon listened closely. They were perched upon their Skyboards, miles above the city. It was a nightmarish sight from this high up, but this was the Dracon’s nightmarish domain. “You can keep focussed, keep yer speed up and zoom past without them boys on their bikes bein’ able to slice limbs from yer torso, or you can keep yer distance, follow ‘em, try to make ‘em slip an' give ‘em a bit of ‘assle. I prefer the second tactic. There’s nothin’ quite like gettin’ into a mid-air duel with them Reavers.”

The Dracon listened to the Hellion's words as he stared out at the zooming Reavers. Even though the Helliarch seemed aloof to him, the Dracon knew that the words he spoke were wise. Reavers had never been easy to deal with, so to be given advice by a man that had won bumerous skirmishes and airborn races with them was a blessing.

He loathed Reavers.

The whole of the Harrowed Soulscream loathed Reavers.

Especially Tsallion.

Strife spreading sky vermin the Trueborn had dubbed them. He had hundreds of their heads decorating the interior of his home, each agonised expression contained in a stasis-field, locked in an eternal state on the brink of life and death. The Dracon had seen them once. It was quite an impressive collection, but he never understood why the Trueborn held onto a long forgotten war with so much spite.

“I know what to do.”

“Be careful, Krass'ull. Would be unfortunate to have to clean you up from the floor.”

“Don't worry 'bout me, Helliarch.” He shot a charismatic smile in the Hellion's direction. “I 'ave my plans.”

He descended smoothly upon his winged platform, swirling from side to side like a leaf caught in a calm breeze.

With a nod he summoned two of his subordinates. They flanked him in easy, relaxed motions, as if they had been born onto the boards. Telvoor did not struggle at all with the transition from the ground back to the air. It had been his favoured mode of transport in his younger days as a Beastmaster. Kat'tar had not been as fond of the air at first, and had a particular disdain reserved for the scum she was forced to learn from; but eventually she had got used to it. Life in the air was exciting... exhilerating... everything that a former student of the Wych Cult of Massacre could ever want.

Sometimes life as a Kabalite could be boring and it was nice to have some adrenaline back in her life.

The trio moved forward in a steady motion, the Dracon at the head of the 'v' shaped formation that made its way towards the distant Reavers.

“What're we doing with these, Reavers?” Y'rrinis was blatantly suspicious. With the enhanced vision provided by the lenses implanted in his skull-mask he inspected the bikers from a distance. Each had a slightly different Jetbike, customised to be completely unique. Some of them wore skin-tight suits that would reduce the drag coefficient of the air upon their flesh, but others left their arms exposed to display the numerous tattoos and scars they wore with pride.

“We are here to race them.” The Dracon's voice became its true, well educated self again.

“And orchestrate a few deaths?” Kat'tar added, hoping that she could finally spill blood in the air.

“Why of course. I do not see why you struggle to get along with our new brethren. You would fit right in.”

The Skyboard mounted Trueborn and the gangers upon Jetbikes faced each other; a gap of twenty metres between them filled only with suspicion and a light mist which barely obscured vision.

Telvoor released a puff of pheromones into the air around him, the bitter scent kicking his comrades' hearts into racing.

Amongst the gang of Reavers one Jetbike shot to the front. The nose was longer than on the other bikes and it appeared to have considerably much more weight towards the rear end, bellow where the rider sat. The rider, a stimm-eyed junky with short, acidic green hair and deep, eclipse-like bags that shadowed his eyes gave the Trueborn an amused laugh before eccentricaly turning with his arms spread wide to the rest of his gang.

“What is this?” He shouted to them, receiving whooping laughter back. “A bunch of them high-born come to take our air from us. Ha!”

Telvoor raised an eyebrow. It was not unusual to see grandiosity all over the Dark City, but this was amusing.

Kat'tar was decidedly unamused, however. Her face remained blank, all but for the murderous haze that now clouded her eyes.

The Dracon was already moving. His board launched him forwards at a terrifying rate. He was propelled by a streak of blue flame and a noise that was akin to a soul being shattered. By the time the Reaver looked back around the Dracon was upon him, his feet kicking the board out so the bladed periphery strike his neck and decapitate his head. His right hand caught the falling head by the ponytail before he was able to hold it aloft, the Reaver's body and craft spiralling into the murky depths below.

“Listen to me!” He commanded, screaming over the angered shouting of the ready-to-mobilise gangers. “I have no time for petty squabbles. I come here as the strongest, as a conqueror, as a man who holds the head of your former champion. Fight if you wish, but you shall meet a similar fate; otherwise, listen to me.” The majority of the Reavers settled down for this, their thumbs pressing delicately upon the Splinter Rifle activation runes. “I have taken this territory through force. You are in my air. You are trespassing here. Now, the way I see it there are three possible ways of resolving this.” As he spoke he waved the severed head around, using it to gesticulate some morbid gestures.

Usually, when speaking with the undercity brand of scum he would try to suit their dialect, but he knew that they understood the High Commorrite tongue; and sometimes distinctions in class had to be made.

“You can leave now, never look back and keep all of your friends from coming here to pillage my people. You all know as well as I, however, that this is not likely. You are all murderous degenerates... just like myself.” He smiled and looked into the dead eyes he held beside him. “You can kill me here and have your bodies picked apart by the Lightning Scorpions, or you can race us through the slums.”

A challenge had been issued. A race was not something Reavers liked to decline, especially not when issued by their rivals. Usually the races did not start with such formalities as a speech, but they did not seem to care. The Reavers mobilised, their thrusters now pulsing explosively in approval, or mockery, of his proposal.

“Where to?” One of them shouted above the ecstatic sounds.

“The Arches of Telioor.”
With the location set there was an explosion of movement. The eleven Reavers burst off into the red speckled mist with the three Hellions pursuing close behind. It had all happened too fast. It had all happened before Kat'tar could ask what in the name of the shattered pantheon Krass'ull was doing.
_____________________________________________

An hour passed, but they finally reached their location. Goreveh and Tsallion stood on two separate balconies leading into a single large habitation-chamber. Baranda’ch had broken in on the floor below and made his way into the spire.

The Trueborn on the balconies awaited their signal. Long minutes passed. Tsallion focussed on the sound of his own breath. He was calm, but a dozen metres away he could sense that Goreveh did not share his aloof anticipation of the events to come.

She could feel her heart pounding at her ribcage, as if trying to burst out. It was not from anxiety. She had faced worse odds than this before; it was just that serving a Dracon of the Poisoned Tongue… it was all oddly suspicious.

They waited.

The wind shook the platforms on which they stood.

There was a knock at the door leading into the habitation-chamber from the interior of the spire.
#
One of the men within stood up from a pit of used protein and nutrient cartons, eyes stained blue with the after-effects of a local street drug. He walked with a gait that suggested heavy chem abuse, and his exposed torso looked like little more than a cold blue skeleton clad in ghostly skin. His long hair was dishevelled and falling out in large ragged clumps; he had also forgotten to take a weapon with him to the door.

“Who is it?” His muffled voice carried weakly through the walls; distressed physiology straining his vocal cords.

This made neither Tsallion nor Goreveh pity him. He would die quickly.

“Courier.” The voice came from outside.
The drug abuser, his inhibitions and thoughts clouded, unlocked the door without further question. Baranda’ch used his shoulder to barge the diminished frame of a man aside and looked around. Eight other people, all sprawled across the chamber raised their heads to look at him, some starting to reach for their weapons.

“Don’t bother. I’m just a messenger.” He snarled, gaze cutting into a man clasping a Shredder.

“Then speak.” He demanded with little in the way of defiance.

“Are you Riisyth Varghtall?”

“No.”

“Then my message is not for your ears.” Baranda’ch walked past him, eyes keeping in contact as their faces moved a mere inch apart. The Trueborn moved across the room, pushing a number of doors open one by one until he came to the last of the metal barriers. “I presume he’s in this one?” His hand tightened around the handle, but recoiled back as heat made his leather glove smoulder.

With a snarl he turned, looked to the man that had allowed him inside and barked: “What is the meaning of this?”

“He doesn’t want to be disturbed.”

“Pardon?” He turned, moving with a grim presence towards the man that he had passed a few moments before.

“I said ‘he doesn’t want to be disturbed’. He’s got the door set to keep anybody else out.”

“Well then,” Baranda’ch looked over his shoulder at the door, and then back at the chem addict, “you better make him open it.”

“Since when was it so urgent for a courier to deliver a message?”

“Since when is it essential for a man to with a Blaster to descend from the heights of the Spires to deliver something personally to the kind of scum that’s normally hired to clean my boots? Why do you think that this message has not been sent via Scourge?”

“Were you followed here?”

The Trueborn looked around to the windows, a speck of false worry shimmering across his battle scarred face.

“It’s… it’s as if the shadows themselves had eyes.” He cleared his throat and stepped aside, grabbing two crystal phials of a dull green fluid from a rack, handing one to the tubeborn and holding the other up to the light to see the glittering emerald colour. “Of course, the Crawlers are just an urban myth, but I could have sworn that once or twice hands came out from the dark to claw at my armour.” He popped the top off of the container and sniffed at the contents, appalled by the quality of the drug. After placing the lid back on he slipped it into a pouch at his hip. The Kabalite was used to far purer and stronger reality-enhancing supplements.

“Well, it seems like you’re serious.” The chem-producer continued to swallow all of the fluid from the tube before making a slight shrieking noise as the rough chemicals made their way down his throat, burning the edges on the way. “But if you really think I believe that crap then you’re insane.”

Baranda’ch showed no haste in reacting. The knuckles of his left hand struck the side of the drug abuser’s head, popping the ear drum and causing him to careen to the floor.

The Trueborn moved quickly, lifting his Blaster as the room burst into life. The men and women sprawled across the floor scrambled for their weapons, but to their confusion the crystal-doors overlooking the slums burst open and two more Kabalites burst in, weapons only seeking to slay. Baranda’ch’s prowess made him appear a demigod amongst slaves. With a retina-scarring crack he wasted one of the inhabitants and turned his sight to Goreveh who approached like a lightning storm, her Shardcarbine ripping through furniture and making plumes of red sludge where her shots met torso and neck. Tsallion, with his elongated cannon breathing out death like the mythical beasts of old. Everything in their path was cut down within a few seconds, in one great symphony of war

If only it had been so easy for them all to ascend through the spire. For some reason the Dracon had demanded that they scale it. Something about guards and heavy weapons. They hadn’t believed his reasons at the time, n'or did they now. What could be so important in this deep into the city to require that much protection? It wasn’t like this day would be the defining moment where a new Kabal of anarchy and conquest would be born.

Whatever the reason, it mattered not. These men and women were now marked for death, and would be exterminated with the lack of mercy afforded to vermin and rebellious cattle.

Within a brutal matter of seconds the addicts were wounded or murdered, never to be remembered. Sobs sang sweetly to the pointed ears of the Trueborn. Tsallion stood, unmoving, at the back of the room, near the open windows, his Splinter Cannon ready to spit death at any who attempted to make a quick escape. Goreveh was near the locked door, her Shardcarbine moving between the still living wretches and occasionally filling the deceased with more venom. Baranda'ch moved casually over to one of the bodies that still moved. The woman had sustained a deep cut to her thigh by one of Goreveh's shots. Baranda'ch dragged her to her feet by her bicep, relishing in her pained cries.

“You're lucky.” He laughed through gritted teeth. “If that shot had come from him, over there, you'd be in so much pain that you'd been pleading for death.” He gestured at Tsallion. “We know how to make that death slow.

It will take days for you to die, and even if anybody finds you, do you think they'll care?”

The handle to the door moved.

“Now, you die, long and slow, or you get me Riisyth Varghtall.”

The door opened. A man with a brazen mask beaten into the shape of a stylised skull stepped forward, throwing his cloak to the ground, revealing taut muscle beneath a tightly pulled Wychsuit. His arms, like Baranda'ch's were exposed. Tattooes as red as his eyes ran up and down the exposed skin, showing runes of strife and malice combined with tribal gang patterns. He grasped his Hellglaive and struck at Goroveh's armour with brutal force.

In a brief moment Tsallion realised who this man was. He brought his cannon to bear but something stopped him.

Miles behind him the wrath of the Khaine was unleashed. A bright blue flash brought with it a cacophonous raw.

Air rushed in and every piece of glass and crystal shattered. They were thrown to the ground, blinded and temporarily deafened. Tsallion had only experienced something of that magnitude after sabotaging a plasma reactor. He stumbled to his feet, still blind, as the masked man came for him.
Back to top Go down
facelessabsalom
Wych
avatar

Posts : 661
Join date : 2012-11-17
Location : Freefall

PostSubject: Re: Night Hydra.   Fri Dec 27 2013, 23:03

How nice, more Guy Ritchie! I expect you to have some very odd plot twists and turns. You better not let me down Wink
Back to top Go down
Lady Malys
She Who Must Be Obeyed
avatar

Posts : 1095
Join date : 2011-05-18

PostSubject: Re: Night Hydra.   Fri Dec 27 2013, 23:27

Khainedamnit, the 'joys' of being forced to use IE on someone else's computer.

My post was about how much I liked the Dracon at the race, using his charisma (assisted by punctuation from a handy severed head, always a bonus) to sway the masses and underline how much higher he was up the social chain. How I liked the pace and polish, and the evocative turns if phrase. And how Tsallion most certainly does not approve of lama-quanon.

These two in particular:

Quote :
It is a life of luxury, where all bow to you yet all poison your wine.

And the whole exchange on trust:

Quote :
“I do not have any qualms with the Hellions.” He added. “They are a misunderstood bunch. They get looked down on for embracing the most brutal joys of life, the joys for which we all yearn.” He turned in his crouched position to face her. The Skyboard clamped to his back protruded form his outline, causing her for a moment to believe he had dark wings. “You can never tell what is going on inside somebody’s mind, can you?”

“No.” She answered, missing the rhetoric nature of his speech.

“We have not been touched by the immaterium. We have no device that can rip the thoughts from feeble and scheming minds… not with us, at least. We can not be sure that we can trust each other. How do I know that I can trust you?” He raised an eyebrow and leant forward the slightest amount, body language so subtle that only an Eldar could read.

“Sir, I have not considered murdering you.”

“And those are your words, Farrin. I cannot prove this. You cannot prove this. This is my point. The one thing that keeps my mind sharp is the one thing that shall inevitably be my end. It will be your end, too.”

This captured it so well.

It was a post a bit like this one! Very Happy

_________________


~ Aim to please, shoot to kill. ~
Back to top Go down
Cavash
Lord of the Chat
avatar

Posts : 3196
Join date : 2012-04-14
Location : Stuck in an air vent spying on plotters

PostSubject: Re: Night Hydra.   Sun Dec 29 2013, 23:17

I'm glad that this chapter was enjoyed!

Quote :
I expect you to have some very odd plot twists and turns. You better not let me down
I might have one or two things in store... Very Happy

Thank you, Malys. (Also, IE should be kicked spiralling into the warp).

I was hoping to capture the paranoia and mutual distrust that Dark Eldar have for each other, but I think it came off a bit more as the Dracon being a bit mad.

Yeah, you can bet that Tsallion isn't going to drop his issue with Baranda'ch's emotions.

_________________

Back to top Go down
 
Night Hydra.
Back to top 
Page 2 of 2Go to page : Previous  1, 2

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
THE DARK CITY :: 

OTHER DRUKHARI DISCUSSION

 :: Stories & Art; The Black Library
-
Jump to: