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Battle Rages
 
Old 15 Aug 2007, 09:43   #1 (permalink)
42
Shas'El
 
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Default Battle Rages

General Militant Antauis Daine smiled grimly as another traitor was consumed in an encompassing orb of green plasma. The monstrous creature gave a gurgling shriek that was cut short as its vocal cords shriveled and burned away before the smoldering remains of its waist and legs toppled over. Even its mutated ceramite armor pulsing with daemonic power was unable to stop the molten fury of the Emperors wrath. These ancient reminders of mankind’s worst hour ten millennia ago still lived through unholy and dark vows to the chaos gods. Cruel parades of the Adeptus Astartes these armored behemoths could shrug off fire that would kill a mortal man thrice over. Antauis relished the chance to deliver the emperors divine judgment to these unholy beasts. As he closed to melee he activated the disruption field on his power fist, its blazing cornea of light belaying its devastating efficiency. It passed through steel, ceramite, and warp corrupted flesh with equal ease.
As he slammed his powerfist into the first traitor the rest turned to face him. They never had a chance. Traitors fell left and right to his holy fury he noticed one warrior approaching him with savage glee. He stood eight feet tall, dwarfing even the mighty Antauis. His armor’s original color was impossible to distinguish beneath the layers of congealing blood. Skulls and other grisly trophies of its past victories adorned its cruel spiked armor. Its helmet was a mass of warped iron in the vague shape of a human skull with horns jutting from its forehead. Vaguely noticeable underneath the blood was the symbol of a planet between two massive fanged jaws. `World Eater!` Antauis spat towards the behemoth. From underneath its helmet came the deafening roar of `BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!` The two figures met on the field of battle and fist struck mighty chainaxe and sparks spat. By the emperor THIS was a fight! he had never before found an enemy with this much skill. For every step Antauis made foreward the Khornite made him take two back. He lowed his power fist for a split second and the Khornite pounced. Just as he planed. He lunged to the side and as he hammered away the axe Antauis smote his enemy a deathblow, Vaporizing most of his chest. As he turned to find another foe he realized that the berzerker had not fallen. He heard the cry of `SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!` as a shattering blow hammered into his spine. The whirring blades ripped through his carapace armor and shredded the flesh and muscle beneath. Screaming a denial Antauis spun while falling and aimed sunfury, the ancient plasma pistol, and fired. The traitors head vaporized, along with the guardsmen unfortunate enough to be standing behind him. "Sorry" he thought to that unfortunate guardsmen. The body twitched as though it would continue killing but it collapsed. When Antauis hit the ground a line of fire stitched its way up his back and he screamed again then blacked out.

`Why aren’t I dead?` the thought slowly formed in Antauis’s mind. `What happened?, where am I, did we win, have I been captured!` As the last thought formed he snapped awake and sat bolt upright. Instead of the iron cell and chains he expected he was in a starched white bed, with his back dressed and bandaged and his power fist and plasma pistol on a table next to him. On his right hand a fresh layer of synthskin had been sprayed. His mighty powerfist, crafted from the severed gauntlet of the ultramarines veteran sergeant Pasanius who nearly died fighting the unyielding force of the timeless stargod known as the Nightbringer, fused with his skin when worn and needed a new layer of synthskin sprayed on after every use. He noticed a small mirror on the table to his right. He needed to cheek for any new "gifts" the enemy might have left him. as he stared into the polished surface of the mirror the same old face stared back at him. Short cropped brown hair, Two ice blue eyes, a nose with a small nip in it where a necron warscythe had come to damn close for comfort. And a mouth that had long ago forgotten how to form a smile." I could almost pass for handsome!" he scoffed. that is if it weren’t for the giant mass of scar tissue covering almost all of the left half of his face. Even his bionics had been tended to. `Whoever did this could have given me some painkillers!` thought Antauis, His back felt like it was aflame! Soon after he faded back into the veil of unconsciousness.

As he dreamt he remembered. He remembered being drafted, he remembered clawing his way up the ranks but most of all he remembered them. Those soulless monstrosities. Against his will his mind drifted to the fist time he encountered them.

Thirty years ago Antauis had been just another faceless miner in the shoni cartel. Then casmere devaltos had betrayed all of pavonis. That bastard had started a civil war on pavonis and brought it to the brink of destruction. Worst of all, he had awakened a force that should never have been found. The spirit of death, the incarnation of fear, the avatar of mortality, THE NIGHTBRINGER. When that ancient creature rose from its tomb thousands of them had arisen with it. His mining company was leading a battalion of guardsmen through the mountains to fight them when they were ambushed by them. He remembered it all to well.
His best friend, Hawkins was the first to fall, his skin and muscle being flayed away and his unearthly screams echoing until only a smoking skeleton hit the ground. The guardsmen panicked and fired wildly in all directions. Then they came closer he got his first good look at them that day. The necrons as they would later be classified marched towards them with an unmistakable message. Death comes for you. There cold metal bodies in the vague shape of a skeletal human. That subtle sense of wrongness in every angle. The emotionless skulls with green eyes that burned with ancient hate. Those strange guns with a green pulsing tube that held lightning inside, the curved bayonet attached underneath the perfectly circular barrel. He would never forget them as long as he lived, no matter how he tried. Many fell to the guardsmen’s fire but most that did merely flowed like mercury to take there original shapes. He had the strangest feeling that if they could speak they would have said `surprise!` then the order came to close to melee. The necrons were slow and ponderous but they were difficult to put, and then to keep down. Armed only with a pickaxe Antauis charged. Three of the monsters fell but picked them selves back up. He noticed that if hit in certain areas such as the middle of the chest or the head they could not self repair. Three more fell to Antauis’s pickaxe and this time none reassembled. But there were too many of them. For a brief moment Antauis thought that he was going to die there, but the Emperor had other plans as commissar Fredrickson charged in to support them, a vision of divine might, his carapace armor had many ugly holes and his bolt pistol had run out of ammo, his power sword slashing and destroying, hacking, rending, burning, biting, and maiming. with the shredded, scorched remains of dozens of necrons at his feet he turned to Antauis and with a voice like the wiper of death itself he said' you seem to have lived, you will do well.' He walked away totally ignoring the many bleeding gashes all over his arms and chest. Those who lived through the ambush were drafted to make up for the losses the guardsmen had suffered.

He remembered pavonis. Pavonis was one step under forge world as it had its own government and a recognizable eco system. He had called the chem. wastes and ash dunes home. Until he became of age, then he was forced into the mines of the cartels, The houses that ran pavonis and supplied the most of the sector with tanks hulls and shells.
But surprisingly pavonis had almost no guard regiment until Xeno Incident Alpha, Class Omega. The necron reawakening that had shaken pavonis to its core. Pavonis had transformed from a sheltered soft bellied world to a battle scarred ash strewn war zone. Even now the necrons waged there genocidal campaign across the surface. Almost all of the populace had been evacuated into massive orbital cities along with the forges.
The Pavonian regiments all are detached from battle and almost uncaring of comrades as they fall all around them. They usually come off as uncaring and aloof but staring death in the face (quite literally) on a daily basis tends to do that to people. Though they do have a way of mourning there dead. On every battlefield everywhere the pavonians will let loose with one earthshaker shot towards the enemy area for every man that gave his life for the emperor. Every shell is blessed by the regimental priests and inscribed with the troopers, name, rank, battle honors and life story. When a senior officer dies on the field they will launch an entire orbital barrage while the funeral goes on and will only end when his corpse has been fired into the war zone with the last salvo, So that even after he has died he may regain vengeance and bring death to the emperors foes one last time.

He remembered boot camp, the never ending basic training and most of all the fiery oratories. Antauis was standing in rank and file line with thousands of new recruits and listened, awe struck to the great tale of the Emperor. An old grizzled priest slowly walked onstage and began his tale ` ten millennia ago the Emperor walked among his people and all was bounties, mankind swept through the galaxy nothing able to stop the vast fleets and armies of Him on earth. But then the emperors most beloved son, Horus slowly began to grow unsatisfied with being the second most powerful man in the galaxy. What he did not understand was that, none but the emperor himself knew how to wield such power! So Horus rebelled and with him he corrupted fully half of the primarchs. Many battles were waged and eventually Horus fought his way to sacred terra itself! After a long and grueling campaign Horus stood to defeat the vastly outnumbered forces of the Emperor. Then, to the betrayers dismay, reinforcements were on route and would be there in hours. A full three legions of the emperors finest. The space marines would tip the balance of the fight and Horus had a difficult decision and he made the only tactical mistake in the siege. His ships shield dropped and the Emperor, Sangunios and Rogal Dorn quickly teleported aboard. but the ships corrupted spirit scattered there party. Sanguinios found horus fist and he sacrificed himself to buy the emperor precious time. Once inside he fought his way to the bridge. He and the betrayer fought a mighty duel but Horus bested the emperor who was still holding back in love of his son. Once the Emperor realized that Horus could not be saved he gathered all of his might, physical and mental and obliterated Horus’s soul!. Dorn later found the emperors shattered body and entered him in the golden throne. He rules to this day and you!’ the old priest seamed to point directly at Antauis. ‘have entered the imperial guard to fight in his name , for his honor, and for the lives of his servants you will fight and die IN HIS NAME!’ as the old priest shouted the last words a full volley of earthshaker rounds blasted towards the heavens and detonated in a spectacular fashion. And as mighty as the roar from the cannons was even it was drowned out by the thunderous applause.

The next thing that he recalled was his first live fire exercise.

Pavonis had come under the attention of an ork warlord by the name of Gitsnika. The fact that Pavonis had just regrouped and was beginning to fight back the necrons when the orks, sensing what they thought was an easy conquest “landed” there roks. These giant meteors that had been hallowed out and where infested with orks easily survived the drop and incoming fire. His squad was just one of many that had been sent to fight the orks. They had targeted they small frontier outposts first. these orks hadn’t been in a fight for a long while apparently. As the hordes of green skinned monstrosities drew closer they let loose a thunderous, throaty, WAAAGH and he noticed something odd. These orks seemed large, even for an ork. And in there midst was an enormous ork, nearly three meters tall in massive bulky armor, with a giant claw like weapon and a huge gun attached to his arms. A thick fraying wire wound up from the gun barrel to a cracked red lens over its eye in an attempt to increase its horrible accuracy. His squad quickly opened fire, red las blasts severed limbs and ended life, at least twenty of the orks fell but the rest didn’t seem to notice as those only wounded where trampled to death by there over eager teammates. Antauis had a desperate idea “ I hope I don’t miss!” he thought as he steadied his aim and fired one hot shot las blast at Gitsnika, emptying all the energy in his clip into that one desperate round. Time slowed almost to a stop. The fiery red bolt slammed directly into the crude lens of its eye. The lens seemed to magnify the shot as his head detonated. As his massive corpse feel to the ground the other orks feel into chaos, broke and ran, only to be cut down by volley after volley of coordinated las fire.

As his subconscious drifted closer to the present he recalled the time he had earned his bionics and his promotion.

When Antauis was a mere junior officer he was leading a campaign to drive the necrons from the Pavonian heartland. He and his squad had discovered the necron lord and its pariah bodyguard far behind the frontlines. As they moved closer under cover of darkness he began to wonder if they could pull this off. When he finally closed on the lord he saw it clearly. Its torso and higher was standard of a lord but under its waist was a platform that hovered two feet above the ground, and in its hand was a massive axe like weapon classified as a warscythe that pulsed with sickly green energies. He looked upon his men and wondered if the four of them could really do this. ‘men in all probability we will all die here. But I am honored to have fought by your side, and will be honored to die by it as well! Charge men! For the glory of the Emperor CHARGE!’ he roared as he rose he aimed sunfury and fired. One of the pariahs, hideous half man half necron hybrids, fell bubbling to the ground. However plasma weapons can be temperamental and sunfury vented a small portion of its awesome might into Antauis’s face. He screamed as the left half of his face burned and his left eye melted away, shrugging off the pain he and his men charged. His power fist crackled with barely contained energy as it slammed into one of the foul necrons. He ducked a blow from a warscythe and its wielder paid the price of inaccuracy on the field of battle. yet another pariah closed with him. he lunged to the left as the sickly glowing blade passed mere centimeters from his face. As he turned to smite this evil he heard something in the back of his mind, ' why do you fight usss mortal? why not jussst sssubmit to the tranquility of death, sssurly you have earned your eternal ressst?'
" Because ABOMINATION my duty is to the emperor alone and I will not rest until I have personally driven every one of you metal bastards of this, and every other imperial world!" He beat that pariah to death with its own warscythe for even attempting to turn his faith from the emperor He smashed, he ripped, he tore until only the lord hovered before him. ‘I cant get close or this damn thing will carve me to pieces!’ thought Antauis. A desperate plan came to him ‘I only get one shot at this’ he leapt towards the foul lord and as he neared the warscythe flashed and his lower half fell to the ground. But Antauis would not be denied his victory. His momentum carried what was left of him foreword and as his power fist closed around the aliens head he thought he heard a faint, high pitched scream. The fist flexed and crushed the lords metal head like a ripe fruit. 'that was for Hawkins' he thought as he careened through the air. He hit the ground hard and Antauis knew he would die soon unless he did something. Then he remembered sunfury. After firing a shot into the lords corpse he quickly took sunfury and jammed its white hot barrel against his ravaged flesh, hearing the hiss of cauterization over his screams of pain.
Against his will he blacked out. That incident had given him a new pair of bionic legs, a promotion, the inability to have any children, not like that would happen any time soon, and a vivid mass of scar tissue across the entire left side of his face.

Then Antauis awoke. ‘enough of the past’ he said. ‘I still have a duty to do!’ and with that he leapt from the bed ,grabbed sunfury, and jammed on his power fist momentarily wincing as it fused to his skin. Then without another word he turned and left to do the Emperors sacred duty.
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Old 16 Aug 2007, 02:08   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Battle Rages

A good read of suitable short-story length.

Pros
+A snaring introduction into the life of one of the Imperium's countless heroes
+Very sympathetic writing style of the universal conflict (from the Imperium's view) with the Necron genocide
+Strong combat descriptions

Cons
-Writing quickly spiraled into an officer biography of how the protagonist earned this and accomplished that, ect.
-Unlikely accomplishments by the protagonists' hand (slaying an Ork Warboss, Destroyer Lord) without much support to how the situation to sever enemy command was achieved
-Abrupt ending, a potential waster

I feel an extension of the story could have done the piece some good but its accomplishments are many.
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Old 19 Aug 2007, 08:59   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Battle Rages

Great story with a brilliant use of memories to cram in the fight scene and it showed the guardsmen at their greatest height of heroism. This was added through knowing truly how much the guardsmen "love" (might be the word) the Emperor.
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