The Dooms Hidden COMPLETE
Posts : 955
Join date : 2013-01-26
Location : Stadi
|Subject: Re: The Dooms Hidden COMPLETE Sat Apr 19 2014, 13:51|| |
Here it is... chapter 20.
After this... well, I will talk about that in the end.
This chapter is long, once again. Probably longer than the last one.
Dun dun dun...
Journey for home?
Kozerog was most uncomfortable with the situation. He was not very sure what to do when you face someone you have killed before.
He was just... he was just some lackey. Is he... one of those dreamers?
The ragged man pulled himself up from the rubble.
The throne was no longer there, but the presence of the Grandmaster had never left.
Hagiahr was nowhere to be seen, and neither was the archon.
“Everyone okay?” the woman called Belindy asked. She seemed to be assuming command, but Kozerog was not going to let that happen.
“The presence in this place must be found. We can’t let this psychic haemonculus live”, he said, raising his voice. He pulled up one of the incubi who had been thrown off in the quake, who seemed to mutter some sort of thanks.
“This is not my problem, corsair. I do not know any of you”, the scourge spoke, having been quiet for a long time. It fluttered on top of one of the cages still intact. “But. Speak of this, and I can see if it can be my problem as well. I have lack of reason in the world, anyway.”
“It is all of our problem. It is a problem for Commorragh”, a new voice said. It was one of the haemonculi.
Kozerog froze. She was here. “Tunnfe. I was never sure what the trio of you had to do with us or the maniac here. The old Phantom was a fool and bad leader, but my trust for you is not any better for stealing his ship. Many of my friends went missing because of you. They were supposed to join us when you staged your play.”
“I am a hunter of daemons. It should give you all reason enough to trust me. From what I have learned in the last moments, the Grandmaster of the coven is not far from Chaos either.” She was looking around, clearly worried of someone. Then Kozerog remembered the daemon-eldar, ‘Noldor’.
The being was behind one of the pillars, only his bright eyes, now yellow, clearly visible. It was staring them.
“This is almost the last of my targets. I will finally put it to rest.” Tunnfe activated her small skyboard concealed under her robe and cautiously steered past all the other eldar, who reluctantly let her pass.
Noldor did not move.
Yba was coughing up again. It felt like there were many layers of dust in his mouth, accumulated in a time that felt like years. He wasn’t sure at all on how long it had been.
He tried to walk but he drifted and almost fell down sideways.
But someone caught his arm. He looked up to a scruffy face much like his, with a hair so unkempt he could have thought it was his if it hadn’t been red.
“You are a dreamer?” it asked.
Yba pondered long. His life had felt like a dream for a long time. And not only his dream, but of someone else’s too. And maybe dreams of yet a third person. So he had no better answer. “...Yes.”
“I don’t know if I should kill you or hide you, but from the looks of it your kind cause trouble.”
“Kill me? Hey... that’s right... I died.” Yba spoke slowly, for his memory was even slower.
“I have been killed too. Just not permanently, that is what counts.”
Yba felt like passing out again, and he suddenly came aware that there was a painful device on the back of his head. “...Who is the Grandmaster?”
“Stop!” a new voice shouted, close by. Something pulled down the woman still holding Yba’s arm, who in turn pulled down Yba himself. “You must not do it!”
“Get off me, damn it!” the first voice said.
“My future is not yours to decide, you...”
There was a punch, clearly someone was punched, and Yba tried to scramble up. His vision was getting better.
He saw a face that felt strangely familiar. For some reason, Yba thought of Thefan. But it was not Thefan. She didn’t look remotely like Thefan.
Yba passed out again.
“The past, the present, the future! Understand it, all within reach! No Warp, no danger, no tricks.”
“But... there is one... dilemma. It offers multiple views. Not all of them are true, only all of them are possible.”
“Well, that could be trained out.”
“From this boy? He is untalented and mentally... left behind. He will not live long, believe me. You were foolish to make an enemy of that man for this.”
Thefan wrapped his arms around the neck of the haemonculus to choke him. It was a long and not even a very silent death. Thefan ended the deed by twisting the neck and letting the heap of flesh fall over on to the floor.
“I need another servant. A better one...”
Yba woke, his eyes staring at a large metallic carapace. There was dust in his eyes again, and he scrambled up once more and thought the dream for a moment.
It seemed much more difficult to think of a dream right then than what it had been when he was in his prison.
He looked around, trying to focus on to the real world.
There was rubble all around him, as well as two bodies that showed battle; A large construct that had been some sort of a pain engine, as well as an eldar man, bleeding from his neck, with bandages around his torso.
Then Yba turned back and stared at the pain engine. He had seen it before.
More memories to bother me... why am I here, anyway?
Tunnfe was getting closer. Killing ‘Noldor’ would be much easier than she could have even hoped.
But something always had to get in the way.
“Not one step closer to the daemon, Tunnfe.”
She whirled around to see Ainla. The dancer was holding a knife, and a small craftworld girl pressed at it. The haemonculus looked at her, and tried to look like she had had a faint recollection of meeting her once. Of course that was just to insult her.
Tunnfe and Ainla remained silent for a long time, while the girl kept squirming once in a while to see if she could get out of Ainla’s grip. The dancer was not strong but her firm grip still stopped her prisoner from escaping.
“You are still here?” Tunnfe asked in a mocking tone. “Not interested.” She was about to hurry up to Noldor and be rid of it when she heard a shout behind her.
“Yulethan'ia!” the corsair Ko shouted, running up to them.
Ainla was sure now that she could gain control of the situation. “Stop or she dies.” Her fingers itched and she felt a great urge to slit the girl’s throat, but she managed to control herself.
Ko stopped. Tunnfe didn’t.
“Both of you! Stop!” the dancer screamed.
“Tunnfe. Please, stop. I do not wish to see any more people I know to die.” Kozerog was pleading. Tunnfe was only now fully aware that the corsair cared for the girl.
“Love is a funny thing, isn’t it?” Ainla hissed, pressing the knife a little bit more.
“No.” The voice felt like molten lava, and it rumbled and echoed around the room. “Love drives you lonely.”
Noldor reached up to grab on to the pillar, pulling itself, or himself, up. Tunnfe narrowed her eyes, preparing for any defensive move, or, in the best case, a lethal blow.
“Hate can suppress love. Anger can overcome loneliness. A family can lose its meaning or gain a new one.” Noldor moved, very carefully, very slowly, closer towards the stand-off of the four eldar. His tattoos were dimming, his eyes had turned green.
“Nol... run away. I can’t”, Ainla muttered, barely making herself heard.
“You think my life has not been ruined? You think there is something I can do to save myself? I cannot even understand speech if any of my closest family and friends are near. They... they drive me crazy.” The voice seemed to be quickening, filling with anger. It sounded like there was a fire burning up in his lungs.
Ainla bowed her head, dropping the knife for an instant.
And just then a blade, looted from one of the acothysts, gutted through. It barely missed Yule, and the craftworld girl felt warm blood on her side.
Zherio pulled the sword back, and Ainla fell lifelessly on the floor. Yule almost fell as well, but Zherio grabbed her and jumped back with a flap of his wings.
Kozerog immediately ran after them, but the scourge seemed to have friendly intentions after all. Zherio slowly let go of Yule, making sure she was standing up straight.
“My former master has often spoken of her”, Zherio muttered quietly as Kozerog came to him. “I am glad I got to be the one to have revenge on her betrayal.”
Yule staggered a bit, but kept herself steady. “Is... that the last of the haemonculi?”
“That was not a haemonculus, sweetie.” Ko smiled, but he was still most troubled. At least there was a moment of calm now. “Rule of thumb: Haemonculi are not pretty.”
Tunnfe heard it, but she didn’t pay attention. Noldor had submitted to her, apparently having no will left to live.
“He will be back”, he said, his voice cooling down a bit, staring up at the haemonculus as he crouched to the floor. His eyes had turned white. “He has spoken of a fourth one. I am not the last.”
“I know”, Tunnfe snarled, pulling out another vial of acid, “I can get this all through. Good of you to make this a bit easier, beast.”
The daemon-eldar of Khorne didn’t let out even a whisper as it melted. The acid was thorough, it spread quickly and soon there was nothing left of Noldor.
Tunnfe let out a heavy sigh.
Ekkart was surprisingly destructive in a laboratory owned by his own kin.
Woryc kept behind the desk, moving around the corners accordingly as things flew past him. He kept hoping none of those things included the shattershard.
Vinfer had managed to escape, moving back through the door just before it collapsed, partly because of the earthquake, partly because of Ekkart’s claws fumbling after him and smashing the stone foundations.
“Come here, you little brat!” the haemonculus shouted in glee as he lifted himself higher up so that his forehead was touching the ceiling, supported by two of his extended arms. It was a small room, filled with plenty of laboratory equipment, so it made for a chaotic battlefield. “There are so many things I could kill you with, right here!”
Woryc kept quiet, even though he knew the haemonculus could probably see him. Once he heard the small, screeching sound that had become all too familiar when the metal arms extended, he scrambled over to another desk. As he managed a quick glance towards Ekkart, Woryc decided that a haemonculus had never before looked more like a spider.
This laboratory is his net, I am the little fly in it... with little to do to survive.
A glint of light drew his attention as more items fell down from one of the shelves.
It was a glowing mirror, made of gems.
Woryc seemed fascinated, ignoring everything else. He reached his hand and picked up the mirror, admiring the silver-frame.
He couldn’t see his reflection when he gazed through the mirror, however.
One of the gems was partly dislodged, and Woryc pried it off to hold it in his hands.
Something flew right past him, touching his hair, but he ignored it.
And suddenly, Woryc jumped up and ran towards the haemonculus.
It feels like a good idea, doesn’t it? You can do it!
Woryc enjoyed the thought, but didn’t pay attention to where it was coming from. He was clutching the glowing, blue gem in his hand.
Ekkart most certainly had not expected that. “So, you are a fighting-type after all. Come at me, -“
Ekkart was a smart man. He didn’t consider himself an ordinary haemonculus, because he wasn’t. He knew his extraordinary family. He had always felt it wrong when he was cursed with what his father called ‘dull mark in the warp’.
The last thing he thought about was how dull it could be if a simple dead psyker could be so much nuisance in the hands of a stranger, and that he would be better off not understanding that stuff.
Woryc had even less understanding when the haemonculus’s head snapped at the twist of his own hand, and his body was thrown away, crashing into the tubes and shattering one.
The young noble looked befuddled, but with a strange feeling of gratitude, as strange liquid was spreading on the floor full of glass, metallic arms, dirt and a corpse of a haemonculus.
The eldar who had been inside the tube was now spread across the floor as well, naked and wet. It didn’t take long for Woryc to see he was dead. He was old and bald, that much Woryc dared to look, and had a rune tattooed on his scalp.
Woryc looked at the other tubes still intact, noticing how they were all bald, naked, and, slightly to his disappointment, male.
But then he froze as he saw the last tube. His father was there.
Nothing made much sense to him now. He could only connect this that Archon Armahad had got too involved in this whole psyker-exodite-haemonculus thing, and got himself killed. Woryc didn’t know if the Marquis had anything to do with his death, either. Nothing really went the way people thought it would. No simple victory, no simple defeat.
Woryc let out a sigh, and started browsing through the shelves to see if there was anything left in there. He had come to the conclusion that if the shattershard had fallen down, it would have been broken and it would have killed him. He was still careful to where he stepped, though. There were pieces of glass, from other sources than the tube, all around.
If I can’t get out of here alive, I will at least take down every last of these haemonculi.
But that wasn’t his own thought. The glowing gem felt cool in his balled fist. He reached up to pocket the mirror as well.
Kozerog was on the lead again, striding forth in the dark tunnel.
He noticed how some people were missing, but he presumed they had either died or wandered off on their own. He didn’t care, because he decided that he had enough support from the remaining commorrites if it came to another fight.
And Yule was there. She walked by his side, leaning to him when she didn’t feel steady from her injuries. It gave Ko a very curious sensation, a feeling that he was sure he had never felt in the four hundred years he had roamed the galaxy.
He looked back to see if everyone was following. It felt like a bad move to keep his back turned on so many ynneas, but he took the risk this time.
The scourge, who had introduced himself as Zherio, was with them, carrying a spear that had been dropped by the archon.
The incubus had stayed behind, apparently looking for his comrade. He had seemed a little confused and injured, and Ko was still worried for losing the two warriors. He had noticed their potential.
Both of the nobles were missing. The corsair suspected they had ran at the first sign of trouble.
The woman called Belindy had brought them some more company before they had left. They were the two dreamers, and Ko was sure of it. They felt like psykers.
One of the dreamers was a ragged woman who seemed to act in turns both very aggressive as well as depressed. She was wary of Belindy, but seemed to follow willingly enough.
The one who troubled Ko a lot was the man who was even more ragged and filthy. He had been one of a crime lord’s lackeys he had killed some time ago, when he first arrived in Commorragh. He had heard his name as Yba as the man spoke absently to both Belindy and the other dreamer. He seemed to come along willingly as well, but he couldn’t seem to take his eyes off the other dreamer.
It concerned Ko a lot that he didn’t know the relation these commorrites had. He didn’t know if they were all strangers to each other, or something else.
What he was glad was that the woman, who had pretended to be Lanlia, was gone. Ko presumed she had ran away with that submissive corsair called Hagiahr. Ko was sad of it, since he had been hoping of an ally from him.
The tunnel seemed endless as the tired group went on, but Ko knew that they were coming closer to the exit. More specifically, the landing zone.
+Phantom, can you hear me?+
Cheated? No... no... what?
Death? No... no... something else.
All around my home. They are scattered.
No, they shouldn’t come yet! I am not ready!
No... after all this time, it didn’t go exactly like it was supposed to be?
The swirling chaos didn’t bother the being at all. It simply floated, keeping its few possessions nearby. One was the body of an eldar corsair.
I must stop them... the dreamers cannot escape!
Mozarz felt like she was taking her first steps. She wasn’t sure, but she decided that it had been easier when she had been a child.
She brushed off the memory, still not sure of it. There were lots of things she wasn’t sure about from her past.
Right now, she tried to feel happy that she was about to get out of the place she was in, and that she felt only a single person who wanted to kill her nearby.
The ganger, one like those the owner of the barbershop always warned about, was walking next to her. Her left eye was bruised, but Mozarz tried to see herself as lucky that she wasn’t trying to pay back the punch.
Everything felt... calm. But she knew it wouldn’t last.
The going felt slow, but soon she saw a light on the other end of the tunnel.
The tunnel widened, and she realized she was on a port of some kind. There just were no ships.
The cave, which the port was built in, had been expanded for a large landing area as well as a few buildings carved into the walls.
The view from the massive entrance was panoramic scene of a jungle. The green seemed to go on endlessly, and the blue sky gave no hint to the horror it could house underneath.
“What are we doing here, then?” It was the ganger. Mozarz knew she must have been a very impatient person.
“A ship is about to arrive. It will take us to... a fleet.” It was the man in the wraithbone armour, next to that young woman. Mozarz had quickly noticed neither of them were from Commorragh.
“And if I don’t want to come?”
“Then you can stay here. But if you do come, we will stop by the Port of Lost Souls before heading anywhere else.”
The group went down a flight of stairs, approaching the landing area. The floor was made of simple stone, very smooth. Mozarz hadn’t realized until now that she was barefoot, but it was warm and she wasn’t too upset for the ragged clothing she was wearing. It was torn from most places, but she had hated that suit anyway.
She knew what happened much before she sensed it in any other way.
It was a rift, opening a gate to the Warp. It tore a gap to reality, expanding to cover half of one of the cave-walls.
A mass of swirling chaos screamed out, the roiling energies sending a stormy wind racing all around the cave.
A small figure hopped out, dropping in on the landing platform. The storm seemed to be carrying it.
It was one who had shared her dreams, her illusions. Mozarz had seen a lot of him as well, but all that she had seen was frightening and disturbing. And she had the feeling that he knew a lot more.
“Hagiahr?” Ko called out, but not letting his guard down. He slowly lifted his shuriken catapult as the figure walked towards them.
“You will NOT take away my achievements!” Hagiahr who was not Hagiahr boomed, approaching the group. His armour was torn and nothing but bits remained of it. His eyes flared red.
Mozarz watched the warpstorm around them, expanding in seconds.
A large shade loomed outside, visible through the large opening in the cave wall. At first, she thought it was the storm. But it was a ship.
Revenge... what is that good for?
She kept pulling, straining her shoulders. Her eyes watered.
It can happen yet it feels like nothing. I bet it wouldn’t have felt like anything different if I had been wielding that sword.
She gasped for breath as she pulled again, dragging the corpse in the corridor.
If I still had a little help from him, this would have been easier... Well, I think I am far enough now.
The girl stopped, brushing off the golden curls that had fallen on her eyes. She turned around and started removing the plates on her armour.
Soon she was in a black bodysuit with a holster for a splinter pistol by her waist.
She stuffed the armour in a backpack she had been carrying, along with a huge lump of hair. A wig.
Now, all that matters is getting out. Those fools can do whatever they feel like.
She tapped a hidden electronic device on her wrist, which let out a small beep.
“Terror, operation is done. I need a way out.”
After a short moment, a clear, deep, male voice spoke. “Terror here. Casualties?”
“Thefan’s engine, codename Vazek, is down. The corsair Hagiahr is dead.”
“Good. Were you able to recover the mirror?”
“Well... I can’t see any reason to get you out of there, then. Sorry, ‘lady Lanlia’, but...”
“I have a dead advisor of the Marquis. I think we can learn a lot from her.”
The voice went quiet. Lanlia continued.
“You want her whole, or...?”
“Just... just get one of his... her fingers or something.”
“Can you go back the way you came?”
“Don’t think so.”
“Then you have to use the portal we found in the jungle. Ird will meet you there.”
“That son of a bat? Surely there is someone else? Come on, I want someone better.”
“Heh, I would ask for Ifgen herself then, but Ird will have to do for now.”
“Well. I will try to bring him back in one piece. At least the jungle-gate is close. I wouldn’t want to trek the place for days.”
Vinfer knew that he had a habit of surprising people when they wanted to be alone. But when you were trapped inside a lair of a group of crazy haemonculi, he decided that being polite was less of importance.
“Excuse me, miss?”
She snapped, drawing her pistol and whirling around in less than a second.
“Please don’t shoot.” Vinfer stared at her, partly because he thought she was pretty, partly because she looked furious and that wasn’t good if someone was pointing a gun at you.
“Who are you?” she snarled, slowly walking to her side while still aiming the pistol at what Vinfer thought was somewhere between his eyes.
“I, umm... thought you were not one of the haemonculi, so I guess you are also trying to find a way out? Were you a prisoner too?” he asked cautiously, trying not to move an inch.
She hesitated. “Yes, I am trying to find a way out. Why should that concern you?”
“Well... I could help you, since I am also...”
She laughed. Vinfer was used to people making fun of him because of his size. He was still certain that he could get a little further by at least convincing that he could be a guide or at the very least a useful distraction for opponents.
“I can help. Who knows what is still out here. You have better chance with me.”
“I don’t think so”, she muttered, tightening her grip on the pistol as she started pulling the triggerer.
“Hey!” a voice came from the other side, and she stopped dead. She glanced back and saw another man running towards them.
“Woryc! You are alright!” Vinfer realized how dangerous the situation was, so now he just needed some way of Woryc not letting his guard down too much.
“Who...” the young noble said, stopping his sprint as he arrived closer to the woman, “...have I met you before?”
“No”, she said, turning around to point the pistol at him. “Go hug your buddy, you must have been separated for a while.” She motioned him to move.
Vinfer noticed a small glitter in Woryc’s hands. It was a small shard. “Uh, I wouldn’t threaten him, lady... he has... umm...”
Woryc seemed a little confused, but he then slowly lifted the shattershard. “Don’t move or I will break it.”
She didn’t move. That made Vinfer certain that she knew what it was. “Well. What are you planning to do then?”
“Vinfer. Get over here, I saw a way out.”
“Okay...” the large man said, and slowly walked towards him.
They both turned at the woman in the black bodysuit.
“I have been in that jungle. I can help you find a way out.”
“Oh. So now you can help me...” Vinfer couldn’t help smiling, but he was still rather nervous. He had noticed the corpse of another woman nearby.
“I don’t know if I can trust you”, Woryc pondered. “And by the way, I remember you now.”
“Really?” she said, possibly curious.
“Yup. Nal’Shur, Marquis’s palace. You were in the party with your daddy, weren’t you?”
Vinfer was sure that he could hear how she lost her mind.
She charged, ramming into Woryc. He tumbled backwards, and she caught the shard.
“I hear these things break easily,” she grinned, turning to Vinfer, drawing a dagger from her boot. She then sliced the shard apart.
For a moment, Vinfer saw himself as a child, being looked after by his mother. The next image was him joining the ranks of the Flowing Art. He remembered how he was soon assigned away from the rest of the trueborn and to the houseguard. Then he saw all those empty days of doing nothing but watching the latest holocrystals and buying the daily rations from two of his old friends who he knew were using the soul chits to drugs.
Then he saw himself still alive, here and there. The woman in front of him had her arm held out towards him. It was bleeding, and she was shaking.
There were bits of glass everywhere, and Vinfer noticed a small hint of green liquid in it. A hilt of a dagger was also lying on the floor. The blade of the dagger had shattered with the glass.
Woryc had stood up and he stared how the woman fell on her knees, still holding out her hand.
Vinfer navigated through the floor full of sharp things to step on, arriving to Woryc.
“So...” Woryc began, “what do you think I did this time?”
“Well, I heard from this one program that when you are going out with someone you shouldn’t bring the topic of parents to them.”
“My father needs to watch that program.”
“If he is alive.” Vinfer regretted saying it as soon as he had said it, but luckily Woryc didn’t seem to be angry.
“Well. He isn't, really.”
“He could be. Maybe he has already found his way back to the camp while we were gone.”
“No he won’t. But never mind that, let’s get going.”
“That shattershard... didn’t work.”
“How should I know? I didn’t get a chance to try it yet, I just found it.”
“Where did you find it? You sure it was your father’s?”
“Sure enough. Let’s go.”
The two eldar left, leaving behind a scene that could puzzle anyone who would discover it.
“That’s a way out, Vinfer. It leads somewhere outside, and I think it is a port. There could be ships there. Let’s go, quickly.”
“That looks like a... storm brewing out there. Or is it just raining?”
I will NOT let you escape!
You have no chance against me! You hear me?
Your friends come too late, too late!
Nothing can stop me, fools!
The storm was out of his control.
The haemonculus, in the body of Hagiahr, was gasping and trying to hold his feet steady against the furious wind trying to catch him. A large ship was entering the cave. The Grandmaster could make out its curved, dagger-like form in the red mist.
He wanted to stop it. But he couldn’t. He felt something else. Something... distracting.
He turned around and looked up. He saw the stairway, spiralling both up and into to the mountain as well as down to the jungle. Someone was at the doorway, looking down on the port.
The Grandmaster felt a collective pull for his soul. It threw him on the ground.
Kozerog was slowly walking, wind blowing to his face. He fired his shuriken catapult whenever the storm felt calming around him, but it always struck again, almost sending him flying.
The Grandmaster ignored the painful projectiles punching his back, and managed to stand up. He raised his hand and pointed a finger at the stairs.
“THE SOULS ARE MINE!” he screamed, and with a quick gesture, something fired up from the stairs, flying sharply towards him.
He nimbly caught the mirror, holding it up in triumph.
But the mirror fell apart!
The soulstones scattered in the air, and the Grandmaster looked at them with shock, the youthful face in his body twisting in a comical horror.
Many of them, like they were guided, piled up and fell over Kozerog at the wind’s command.
The corsair picked one up. And he felt an old friend.
The storm seemed to be getting stronger, but Ko stood calm as the gem pulsed a blue light in his hand.
“Guide me, then, Volerio. Your presence was always like one of a seer.”
And then he ran.
The Grandmaster fumbled up for the soulstones, but they seemed to be evading him. He finally turned to the corsair in anger.
“You try to steal my dreamers. You try to steal all of my collection! My son has spent so long to find these!” he spoke with shattering conviction. He was shaking.
Kozerog sprinted through the storm, catching the soulstones whirling in the wind. He jumped up when they were rising too high above, and scooped up those that were scattered on the ground.
“Give them to me! Stop!”
“I will not!” Kozerog took one last of the gems before turning and running towards the haemonculus in the other corsair’s body.
The Grandmaster backed away, tormented at the opposition.
His mind was so focused on the souls around him, pestering him with their thoughts and arguments. Ko came up to him, placing his shuriken catapult on his forehead.
“I cannot die anymore, fool.”
“We all have our own ideas of immortality”, Kozerog grunted, tearing his soulstone from the plate on his chest, pushing it against the haemonculus. “We will all live on, one way or another.”
He fired, and as Hagiahr’s head was struck a millisecond later, the storm withered and shrunk. Then it exploded.
Yulethan’ia felt like cradling up and never moving again. Which she did. The roaring storm, its disappearance, and the wave of fire after it, it all felt a little too much.
When she started hearing shouts and conversation, she opened her eyes and considered lifting her head to see what it was about. And soon she did.
A ship, one that seemed like the type that could hold at least a hundred people, now took around half of the space in the port. It was purple, with plenty of armaments as well as runes painted to it. It made Yule think of her home again. But she did realize that it was not a vessel from a craftworld, but something else.
Plenty of eldar in many coloured armour were about. She saw a squad of people that looked like guardians to her, dressed in black and armed with shuriken catapults. She saw a group of people in purple and green, with jump packs and a multitude of weapons. She saw a harlequin, who looked just like what she would have imagined harlequins looked like (a clown). She saw a large figure with a large, black cape.
That figure walked up to her, tilting its head. Its face was covered with a hood which exposed only green eyes and a forehead.
“Can you walk?” The voice was deep and calm with a heavy accent from a place Yule couldn’t tell.
“Oh. Yes, I can”, she said, almost forgetting she was still curled up on the floor. She got up, confident that there were no more explosions. She felt a little dizzy, and her stomach roiled. She would throw up soon, she was sure.
“I came here to pick up the warriors I sent to Commorragh. I knew them all personally and had been hoping to meet them, or most of them, in here.”
Yule remained silent, not wanting to interrupt him.
“I didn’t get a good chance for a report while the warriors were coming here, but I did learn that someone had joined them outside the corsairs. That would be you.”
“Umm... yes. I... I didn’t mean to be any trouble, though.”
Yule noticed the winged eldar man fluttering above, apparently trying to avoid everyone else. Two of the purple-eldar were yelling something to him. The scourge noticed the jump packs, and landed quietly.
“I didn’t arrive in time to help any of the others, then”, he continued, “And you seemed to be handling out the threat here yourself, too.”
“Oh.” Yule looked around, but didn’t see Ko or the weird psyker-haemonculi anywhere.
“The haemonculus, or ‘Grandmaster’, was slain. I saw it with my own eyes, even if it was from the window slit of my ship. My most prominent soldier, Kozerog, gave his life to kill him.”
“The Grandmaster was a daemon, yet he was an eldar.” The corsair spoke calmly, but Yule was frightened by every word he said. “The only way he managed to destroy him was to simply offer him an empty soulstone on the moment of physical death.”
“...his soulstone?” was all Yule could say.
She saw another of the commorrites having a small fight with the corsairs. It was the woman called Belindy. One of the guardians was holding her hand still while another one tried to take the soulstones she was keeping in it. She reluctantly let them have their way after a quick struggle. Then she noticed Yule, and started walking towards her. The two guardians went towards the ship, carrying the soulstones like they were afraid they might drop them.
“You saw what the Grandmaster could do. The storm he summoned was from the warp itself. When he passed on and simply disappeared from the universe as well as the warp, the storm withdrew. It tore his body apart. As well as his.”
A third voice cut the conversation. “I am not your prisoner here!”
“Calm down”, the corsair said, his eyebrows frowning. “You are free to go your own way.”
Belindy stared at the corsair for a moment, and looked like she was going to say something. But she didn’t.
“In fact”, the corsair continued, “I would be most pleased if someone like you would join my growing fleet. It would be an opportunity that not every dweller of Low Commorragh gets.”
“What makes you think I am from Low Commorragh?”
“I will not take on to that path. Are you with us? If you refuse, you are free to go wherever you want.”
“That other corsair offered a ride, too.”
“Then I will, as well. My fleet will go by the Port of Lost Souls, and you are free to come as well.”
“I will take that, then.”
A fourth person joined the small circle. “I do not want to go to Commorragh.”
The corsair glanced at the scourge, who had walked over to them. “You don’t?”
“I wish for better odds. Where could you take me?”
“Wherever the current takes us, winged one.”
“Then let me be a corsair. But I won’t have a soulstone.”
The corsair smiled. “Many of us originate as dark-kin. I will not force you for anything.”
Zherio gave a slight bow. Yule did not know much of Commorragh, but it could have been a show of respect. The scourge indeed wanted opportunity somewhere else.
“And... what about you then?” The corsair turned back to Yule. “When I last spoke to Kozerog, he spoke only a bit of you. I am sure you have met the corsair lord called Phantom Doom, but I am not like he. I have his name, but I am not he. If you wish to join us, we can visit wherever you wish.”
Yule spoke more quickly than she thought. “I don’t have anything else in my life now. I miss my craftworld, but I do not know if I want to go back.” She had never spoken of it out loud, but now that she thought of it more closely, she did realize she never had a strong connection to the farseers who spoke so much of the history and duty of eldar.
She didn’t know how much time had passed when she found herself walking up the ramp to the ship. The port was being emptied, with eldar quietly walking back to the ship.
As far as she knew, all of those she had been with when they entered the port had come with the corsairs. But she remembered that Belindy had been very aggressive. Yule hoped that no one would turn hostile and start more battles, now that it was quiet.
She was at the ship’s cargo bay, at the rear. It was large, but mostly empty. More people were pouring out from the many doors out to see who had been brought in, while others went further within the ship.
The Phantom Prince, the man in the black cape, had requested all the visitors to stay with him before they left. He had removed his hood and revealed a comfortingly ordinary face and short black hair. He wished to know who they were, and ask what they were planning to do. Yule was sitting in an improvised bench made from several small crates. The bat-winged Zherio was sitting next to her. They had both been already questioned, and they were now waiting.
“Who are you?” he asked all of sudden.
“...I don’t know”, she replied quietly.
Zherio was now wearing a grey suit that had been given by the corsairs. He had modified it a bit by cutting open the back so his wings could fit in it. Yule was wearing similar clothing.
The two were quiet again. They watched as the Phantom Prince spoke with one of the ragged eldar. Yule remembered that he was the one that haemonculus had called a ‘dreamer’.
Soon, he departed with the guidance of another corsair to a small restroom in the cargo bay, to change his torn clothing.
“Who was that other corsair? The bald one who went over to fight the Grandmaster? Was he your friend?” Zherio asked.
“No... and I’m no corsair.”
She felt calm, and the initial horror and excitement had passed. She had thrown up once before she entered the ship, which was when the Phantom Prince thought a good moment to inform that he was going to have a medical examination on all of them before the ship took off.
“So how did you get in this mess?” Zherio tried again.
“I don’t remember.” Yule sighed. She really had to think it a bit. “I think it started when Marchel’Fir – my autarch – told me I was going to accompany him on a mission.”
“So what is an autarch?”
“Warriors, I guess. Leaders. Or something other like that.”
Time passed once more. Those eldar who had been prisoners only a while ago were now scattered around the cargo bay, most of them avoiding contact with everyone else.
The corsair prince had a long task of gathering them all together.
“We will all be leaving soon. You will be given rooms to stay in, if only temporary. Some of you are still injured, and will be given treatment. Once we have landed on Commorragh, I will not force any of you to stay here. But I am hiring. And if you have no family or job to leave behind, I would be most happy if I could find additions to my fleet from people who know of my enemies.”
“Enemies? What do you think we know of them?” one of the dreamers, Mozarz, asked.
“You should know the best of all. You have been hunted by them, like your friend here”, The Prince gestured at Yba, who was half-consciously following the conversation.
“I still don’t know anything else of the ‘dreamers’, prince.”
“I can help you with that. I do not know who your parents were, but I can look into it. I had heard of a warlock-pirate who was hunted down by commorrites. Then some crime-lord tried to hunt down his son as well, but apparently he survived.” He looked at Yba, again.
“Wait... Am I related to him, then?” Mozarz asked.
“I would think so. How, I do not know.”
“So, back on topic...” Zherio started.
“You don’t understand who my enemies are?” The Prince interrupted. “Chaos, of course. The dreamers are a tool for them, and, like you saw, some dreamers use daemons for tools. But I wish to find out more of them rather than kill them. Neither of you are marked by chaos, after all.”
“So you are hiring daemon hunters?” Belindy snorted. “Your goals are more naive than I thought.”
“If you think so. Chaos is only an enemy, though. I am also hiring for a way of life. A colony to travel the stars, if you will.”
There was a moment of silence.
Yba, Mozarz, Zherio, Belindy and Yule were alone with their thoughts.
None of them had any kind of great life in Commorragh, and little to miss for if they left. Yba and Mozarz both knew they couldn’t pretend nothing had happened. They were much too curious of their roots now. And Yba was pretty sure he wasn’t a tubeborn after all. And Mozarz understood how little he knew of Jein.
A small earpiece alerted something for the Prince, who quickly reached his hand to his ear.
“There are three people outside the ship. I guess you weren’t the only prisoners there, then?”
“No, we weren’t”, Yule replied quietly, “I remember some others.” She thought of the commorrite warrior who she had taken care of, as well as his friend who had got a wrong picture and apparently had thought she was keeping him a prisoner. Luckily she hadn’t got that hurt when he knocked her unconscious.
“Well, let’s go bring them in.”
“Do I have to carry you both?”
They both shook their heads. Tunnfe had quickly stitched the other one’s wound shut, but it still clearly brought him pain to move his neck.
“What will you do when the corsairs come?”
“Not... fight?” the other one replied clumsily. He had been hit in the head quite badly, and he seemed to be suffering a bit of a memory loss. He certainly didn’t look like he could fight.
“Exactly. And leave the talking to me.”
The one with the neck injury hadn’t said a word. Tunnfe had examined the wound only a little, but she was pretty sure he couldn’t talk, at least for a while.
The ramp lowered, and two eldar in black armour descended to meet them.
Okay... swallow your pride, you need the corsairs now.
“What do you want, Haemonculus?” one of them shouted arrogantly. At least he had figured she didn’t want to fight.
“...I am no haemonculus”, Tunnfe said in a hoarse voice. I need to think up something else to be now.
The ship took off, after close to three hours of staying put in the port. It had been quiet in the cave. There hadn’t been many haemonculi, and most of their minions had disappeared, or killed. The port still showed signs of the storm that had taken place, with a small crater at where the corsair Kozerog had defeated the Grandmaster-haemonculus. All the soulstones had been collected, but the one owned by Kozerog had not been found.
The ship’s engines hummed softly as it was gracefully piloted away, blasting up in the air. Some of the jungle’s trees shook as it passed over them. Silence returned to the lair.
Two figures stood at the height of stairs in the port. They had been hiding from the ship, waiting it to go away.
“Oh, it is finally gone.”
“You sure this was the best idea? We have to walk now. And who knows where.”
“I am sure, Woryc! I heard the woman talk about a portal in the jungle. We can find it.”
“We don’t really know how big the jungle is...”
“Have a little faith. Commorragh will wait for us.”
They went down the stairs, past the port, and through a narrow descent between walls of stone towards the jungle.
It could be fun.
That is it.
Epilogue. It is coming up quite soon (possibly tomorrow)
Also, I didn't proofread this completely. Sorries if you find any grammar mistakes!
I have (quite likely) left some things unanswered that I meant to answer, while some things will remain mysterious. I have in mind two different stories to branch out of this one, both following the characters we have met here.
So, ask ahead any questions if you wish (the epilogue may answer a few already when it comes), and I will tell what exactly was it and what I may have forgotten.
Some things in advance:
- Zherio was meant to be introduced a lot earlier. I just forgot! :PHe was supposed to have a quick scene where he bullied Yba a bit along with a few other scourges, as well as a moment when the Marquis's raid was about to begin. I had to throw him in later.
- There are more than one character that still don't have a name (one of them having been around since chapter 1...). This is intentional.
- ...and if you don't remember who those are, I will tell that they are the incubus (one of them, with the neck wound) as well as the fake "Lanlia" (we have never met the real one though).
So all in all, this is not "the end" for the characters.
Expect a corsair-story which I will start someday.
Comments and questions welcome.
Last edited by Mngwa on Tue Jun 02 2015, 17:21; edited 3 times in total
Posts : 955
Join date : 2013-01-26
Location : Stadi
|Subject: Re: The Dooms Hidden COMPLETE Mon Apr 21 2014, 12:08|| |
The ship’s ‘hospital’ was bustling with activity. Three of the corsairs, dressed in blue robes, were about on nurse-duty.
The hospital's walls were curved and white, with multiple grey doors leading to corridors and elevators to other parts of the ship.
The big main room was now accommodating the two incubi, neither of which could speak much, as well as Yba. He had been quite dizzy but one of the nurses was just about letting him go so he would be getting his own room where to rest.
The medical examinations had been quick for most part, and all the extra passengers from Commorragh were now given a quick tour to the level of the ship containing the sleeping quarters.
Yule wasn’t allowed to go, however. She wasn’t feeling very well and one of the nurses was constantly with her. They were both in a side room, away from the other patients.
The nurse had a slender body and a veil covering her face. She had sturdy gloves as well as a tray she carried. She was now looking at a monitor beside the bed on which Yule was lying on.
She pressed a button on the monitor and turned it around so Yule could see it. Then she slowly removed her veil to show her a smile.
She spoke with an excited and young voice. “Congratulations. A new life grows within you.”
The nurse kept smiling for some time before she figured to stop after noticing how the horrified look on her patient didn’t seem to be going anywhere positive.
Woryc and Vinfer were getting a little anxious of their whereabouts. They had seen the ship boost away in the jungle, but it hadn’t went up as far as the space, still remaining in the atmosphere.
“There probably is a bigger gate somewhere. Where it came. They are going out far from here, as fast as possible.”
“Are you alright, master Woryc? Oh, I like that name.”
“I’m fine. Have you ever had a feeling that murdering people wasn’t your thing?”
“Eh... Well, I haven’t even... I think I have been a houseguard too long. But if you mean if I would sign up for any realspace raid, no!”
Woryc felt a gnaw at his throat. He didn’t know what to think of the death of his father. “Realspace raids one thing, assassination another. Imagine someone out there who wants you dead and will ruin your free time with attempts on your life.”
“That would be bad, yes.”
The ramp lowered, and Belindy was greeted with an old, familiar sight.
It was a private docking bay, but the activity of the port of Lost Souls was not far ahead. Ships were docking and taking off no matter where you looked, spires of dizzying heights surrounded the scene, and the smell of cheap drugs and blood was everywhere.
I am home. And away from that ridden realm, too. Didn’t think I could get out of there so easily.
She started walking, but halfway down the ramp she noticed a shadow approaching from behind a pile of crates.
“A welcoming party, are you?”
“No, not really.” The mandrake seemed amused, looking up and down the corsair-ship. “This thing bothers me a bit, though.”
“I found a ride.”
“And away from Nal’Shur, no less.”
“And away from your ‘Heart of the Webway’.”
“You found it?”
“It was a planet full of psykers, you mongrel. I was almost killed by a mad exodite.”
“Oh. I have heard rumours of the Coven of Banished Apocalypse befriending their kind...”
“But no, they were COMMANDED by an exodite.”
“I see.” The mandrake looked thoughtful, its shifty eyes darting at unseen shadows around the ship.
“Is something wrong?”
“Wraithbone makes me ill. I tried to find you from within the ship, but I couldn’t get a path through their shadows.”
“Really?” Belindy was very close to the mandrake now. “Wraithbone makes you ill?”
“We could talk again somewhere else, if...”
Belindy caught the mandrake by its arm, and then pulled it to her, bringing her other arm around its neck.
The mandrake grumbled something incomprehensible as clouds of black smoke whirled around the struggling.
Belindy started walking back, pulling the mandrake with her. She was back inside the ship, and she was reaching out towards the door leading to the restroom. The cargo bay was mostly empty, and the few corsairs there didn’t spot the fight at the other end.
The mandrake made one last attempt to melt through the ganger’s arms, to escape her grasp, but Belindy tackled it over with her leg.
She shoved the mandrake in the confined space, and sealed the door.
“I don’t like having bad information like that. Have fun in there.”
The mandrake fell silent, examining the pitch darkness around it with slow realization.
He didn’t know how to get out.
Well. Nothing too major in here.
I can imagine a few "oh my god"s if this was a tv-drama and a viewer just finished watching the final episode of the season. Did anyone even see it coming?
Also, I arranged the three parts of this short text in a manner that probably left the most exciting/funny part last but the most interesting part first. Weird but oh well.
She Who Must Be Obeyed
Posts : 1102
Join date : 2011-05-18
|Subject: Re: The Dooms Hidden COMPLETE Mon Apr 21 2014, 17:10|| |
Is this the end? I don't know, but I will be tuning in for the sequel!
I also think I'm going to go back and read it all from the beginning so that I have all the information fresh in my mind. I haven't always followed (let alone anticipated) all the twists and turns, but I've really enjoyed this and I hope you write more
I especially like how your Corsairs lie between the Dark City and the Craftworlds, not bound to either, but able to able to interact with (some of) both.
- Quote :
- "...Have you ever had a feeling that murdering people wasn’t your thing?”
Ah, sure, everyone has days like that
Don't they ...?
Lastly congratulations on getting to the end (of this part, anyhow), so many of my stories never do!
_________________~ Aim to please, shoot to kill. ~
Posts : 955
Join date : 2013-01-26
Location : Stadi
|Subject: Re: The Dooms Hidden COMPLETE Mon Apr 21 2014, 17:28|| |
- @Lady Malys wrote:
- Is this the end? I don't know, but I will be tuning in for the sequel!
I also think I'm going to go back and read it all from the beginning so that I have all the information fresh in my mind. I haven't always followed (let alone anticipated) all the twists and turns, but I've really enjoyed this and I hope you write more :DI especially like how your Corsairs lie between the Dark City and the Craftworlds, not bound to either, but able to able to interact with (some of) both.
- Quote :
- "...Have you ever had a feeling that murdering people wasn’t your thing?”
Ah, sure, everyone has days like that :DDon't they ...?
Lastly congratulations on getting to the end (of this part, anyhow), so many of my stories never do!
Oh, no worries, there will be a sequel!
If you start reading from the beginning, I am sure that at least one thing should suddenly become very obvious and very funny indeed.
...what happened on chapter 1? What thing, that seemed to be so trivial, so "side-plot", had consequences as far as chapter 20?
|Subject: Re: The Dooms Hidden COMPLETE || |
The Dooms Hidden COMPLETE