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Entry A - "A Season of War"
 
Old 30 Aug 2009, 00:14   #1 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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Default Entry A - "A Season of War"

A season of war

“War is a beautiful thing. It is born, lives and dies like all of us. Some loves it, other fears it. But no one remains indifferent…not even the Dead.
Author unknown
Carved on a war monument to the dead.

Deep in the Eastern Quadrant, lies a small system. An insignificant system so far remote the Emperor doesn’t even know it exist, but on which several of his men dies only to become a mere footnote in a lost Liber deep in the Imperial Library.

In a broad plain on the second planet southern continent stands a lone unadorned stele usually the only sign of life on this forgotten planet. But not today. Today a lone figure is standing next to it. An old man, bent with age and sorrow is looking up at the monument lost in old memory.

“We should have never came here.” he says out loud. “Right guys?”

-+-+-

7762708.M41

Imperial cruiser Emperor’s Will

Object: Locating Missing Colony Ship Verdant Garden

+-+Exiting the Warp. Planet located. Landing procedure initiated. Will report back at 1500 hours+-+

Everything around Sergeant Murray Devlin was chaos. Organised chaos granted, but chaos nonetheless. Around him, his men were double checking their gear, to the far right the Sentinels were already starting their Recon run. To the left, the Command Center was being raised and the enginseer were finishing the final check up on the Salamander command vehicle. In front of him, The Russ and Hellhound companies were getting ready to move and in the far rear, Trojan and Atlas were getting prepped just in case they were to be needed.

‘All of this for a MIA colony.’ He thought. “Alright boys, let’s move out and say hello to a few colonists.” He ordered his man after his Vox operator gave him a nod. And with that, the Storm Troopers of the 240th Carpathian Heavy Infantry were on their way.

The Sergeant and his men moved forward; trying, as they may, to remain hidden in the broad plain they were in.

“Not much to provide cover, hey Sarge?” asked Corporal Willis.

“No indeed, not much. At least if anyone is here, it will hinder them as much as us.” Sgt Devlin replied. “Alright, Marcus contact HQ and tell them we should make contact with the Colony in half an hour. The Vox operator gave a sharp nod and immediately called HQ and informed them of the situation.

“Sergeant, HQ is asking if we have encountered Friendlies or foes.” Private Marcus asked him,

“Negative.” The Sarge replies. And Marcus proceeded to convey the information.

“Roger, Over and Out.” He finally says. “HQ informs us to inform them immediately as soon as we make contact with anyone or as soon as we reach the colony.” He told his Sergeant.

Sergeant Devlin nodded, so far everything was By the Book. He then gave the signal to move on.

15 minutes later, the squad arrived at the shallow serpentine river they knew was providing the colony with their water need. Another 15 minutes later they arrived at the outskirts of the Colony.

Immediately they knew something was wrong.

On the left bank, the remnants of Verdant Garden stood as the colony Council room and shelter in case of danger. A laboratory and small factory could be seen on the right bank in front of them and thirty or so homesteads could be seen on both sides. But not a soul could be seen.

After quickly Voxing this information to HQ, Sergeant Devlin ordered his men to lock and load, he sent half his squad on the left bank with Corporal Willis, and then silently, cautiously proceeded into the small community. As they approached they could see scorch marks, busted doors and windows and signs of explosions all over the place. Once they were sure the village was secured they headed up to Verdant Garden.

The sight was dire.

The remaining batteries –that were meant to provide protection to the fledgling colony- had been completely destroyed. All the hatches had been either blown out, or cut through. Signs of fighting and traced of dried blood could be seen all over the metallic carcase of the ship. But no a body was to be found.

-+-+-

7763708.M41

Imperial cruiser
Emperor’s Will

Emergency transmission

+-+Contact lost with the 240th Carpathian Heavy Infantry. Request assistance, I repeat Request assis…<static>+-+


Sergeant was about to call in his discovery when the Voxcaster started to hiss. Marcus tensed, flipped a switch and everyone could hear:

“To all units <Explosion sound> under assault, I <Explosion sound> ase is under… AAAAAHHHHH <static>”

“Move OUT. Double time.” Sgt Devlin ordered as Marcus flipped off the Voxcaster. Everyone immediately broke into a brisk jog and rapidly made their way towards camp not even attempting to seek for cover.

They kept this pace for nearly an hour, guided by the rising plume of smoke coming for the home base, when they arrived within a mile or so of it, they could see forms flying over and diving into the base –it seemed like the fight wasn’t over yet. Sergeant Devlin ordered him man to stop.

“Alright man, we’ll do it the way we love it: Efficiently.” He told them. He checked his rifle chamber, “ Go! Go! Go!” and with this he made his way to camp by the West side.

At the half mile mark he could see what he was faced with.

Up in the air, the sky was dark with winged lizard like beasts, shooting with a really vicious looking gun with blades attached to it, diving and dropping grenades at the men on the ground. For now these beast seemed to have air superiority. On the ground, he could see that most of the men were holding up in quickly made barricades, to his far left, the sentinel were returning multi-laser blasting at anything and everything. To the right, the Hellhound flamer’s were blazing roasting as many of those beasts as they could.

The beasts themselves were running around shooting and engaging the man in hand to hand combat, ripping them apart with those wicked looking blades, and sometimes even stopping to feast upon the dead. Most were wingless version of the ones flying above, but amongst them, were running some small quadrupedal beasts that were quick as Hell.

A quick explosion draw his attention to his right and he saw one of the Hellhound engulfed in a fireball and some kind of huge bipedal beast running away from it and jumping on a nearby Russ ripping it apart with strong beak. Some beasts were mounted in smaller version of the behemoth and were charging some of the mounted infantrymen who were charging back...Both cavalry engaged in a deadly dance of mounts and lances.

Looking at the situation, Devlin, looked around and indicated a small rising to his men.
“Get behind it and let’s shoot down some of those flying turkeys.” He told them.

They headed for it, and got into position. Sgt Devlin, Held up three finger…Two…One…none. At that instant, a flurry of shots flew towards the airborne foes, cutting through their ranks. For several heart beat, they Troopers were gunning down the flying beasts that had started to dodge and hop to avoid being killed.

“Incoming.” yelled Private Davidson as he brought his rifle to a horizontal position and began to shoot. Some of those quadrupedal little beasts were rushing at them like a pack of wolves on a wounded deer. Like the well oiled machine they were the Troopers lowered their rifles and they mowed them all into a stop.

Unfortunately this was enough of a distraction to allow the flying ones to mount a relatively descent counter-attack. They got into a wedge formation and shot at them while diving. Forcing the Storm Troopers to duck for cover. At about 10 feet off the ground they broke out of their dive and landed behind them and rushed them. The troopers managed to let up a quick burst, before being forced to parry the deadly blades tied on the beasts’ rifle. After the initial assault parried, they pulled out their battle knives and proceeded to gut those beast.

They fight was short and brutal. These flying turkeys knew how to use their blades efficiently and the troopers, despite their training, were hard pressed to hold their ground. By hold they did and manage to break the charge and defeat their enemy, unfortunately they had lost Davidson and Simons in the process and Willis, Malcolm and James were seriously wounded.

Looking around as they grabbed their fallen hellgun, they noticed that the beasts were retreating…at least for now.

“Sometimes tells me that was only Phase One” Cpl Willis said with a forced smile.

“I…” was about to reply the Sarge when Marcus interrupted him.

“Lieutenant Carson is asking that everyone Sergeant reports to the Command Center immediately, Sir.”

“I’ll take care of the wounded and fallen.” Cpl Willis told him from over his shoulder. ‘He’s a good dependable man.’ Devlin though as he hurried up to the Command Center. ‘A good man indeed.’

-+-+-

20 minutes later

“What in the Emperor’s Holy Name has just happened here?” Was almost screaming Lieutenant Carson as Sergeant Devlin arrived. “How is it possible that we were caught unprepared like that?” He asked another sergeant that stood there straight as a nail.

“I…” He was about to reply.

“Spare me your pitiful excuse.” The lieutenant immediately cut him, when he noticed that Devlin had arrived. “Report Sergeant. What can you tell us about the colony site?”

“The Camp site is still standing, but completely devoid of life.” the Sergeant replies. “Verdant Garden was a mess to see, its remaining guns were destroyed, the bulkheads ripped and massive fighting took place inside. We were about to report it in when we received your call, we came as quick as possible. I lose 2 man and 3 are seriously wounded.” He finished.

“That’s not good. Emperor’s Will has gone silent so we can assume the worse.” He informed all of his squad leaders “We are here for the long haul, I want fortification to be mounted, trenches dug and some multi-laser set up to deal with air assault from those things. Let’s hope, reinforcement will be coming soon. You go your order I want those defence up yesterday! Dismiss!” He ordered.

‘It keeps getting better and better’ Devlin couldn’t help himself thinking.

-+-+-

18 hours later

The men had work for the great part of the afternoon and part of the night to get the fortification up. Foxhole and trenches were dug in a roughly circular set up for the protection of the men and sandbag and earthen mount were raised to form a rough wall around the camp. Heavy weapon emplacements were set up to provide protection and crossfire points. Tanks and Hellhounds were strategically placed to provide cover in every possible direction, some multi-lasers were set up to provide air cover from those flying best and the Sentinels were sent for tight Recon.

It wasn’t the best, but overall it was a pretty descent job considering how tired and wounded the men were. Now the 240th Carpathians were settling down for a long siege, knowing full well there were no where.

Morning came, and the men were greeted with a beautiful sunrise. Thankfully the flatness of the terrain was to their advantage for they could see their opponent coming from afar. Corporal Willis and Private Malcolm and James had been declared fit to fight by the medic which pleased Sergeant Devlin. With the lost of the previous day, he needed all of his men.

Suddenly the calm of the morning was shattered by the alarm. On the sixes, they could see waves of the flying beasts coming their way and from the ground they could see several of those bipedal behemoths –seen the previous day ripping through tanks as it was cardboard- towering over a sea of the wingless one.

Turning his back to the sun and upon seeing this force: “This is not good.” mumbled the Sergeant as he grabbed his hellgun –its bayonet already fixed. “GET MOVING!!!” he ordered his men as he jumped into the trenches awaiting for the enemy to be closer. “Steady!” he called out, waiting, he could now make out individual aliens out of the see and he saw that they had those little four legged beast too, tank shells were starting to rain on them. They were mostly aimed at the big ones, but several of the smaller ones were biting the dust too. “Steady!” he called out again, they were almost within optimal range, shots were fired left and right of him, but he knew they weren’t from his men, they were more disciplined then that. “FIRE AT WILL!!!”

The order was given as the beast reached the 500 yard mark, almost upon then and the effect was devastating. The first three ranks were quite simply obliterated by the flurry of shot -enough to give them pause- these few precious seconds were all that the Hellhound needed to barbecue them.

“Smell like roast chicken.” The Sarge heard someone commenting a bit down the line. Might have been funny if they weren’t so hard pressed and the second wave wasn’t coming.

“FIRE!!” He ordered his men, evaluating that wave was going to get up-close and personal. Despite the shattering effect of the soldiers’ firepower and the flamers, this time the beast did not stop, a bit less then half of them jumped into the trench engaging the Imperial Troopers in hand to hand combat. The fight was short but brutal. The beasts were screaming for blood, and the Troopers were fighting for their dear life, the ring of blade against bayonet, the tearing of flesh, the dying scream of man and alien could be heard. The beach had been contained, but at a high cost, 4 men were dead or incapacitated, and the Sergeant himself had be seriously wound: One of those beasts had almost eviscerated him and he had a piece of their blade now stuck in his thigh.

The Sergeant risked a quick glance around and could see that, despite some occasional breaches, the Imperial troops were holding their own relatively well and the alien troops were not making much progress, but there were still a lot of them.

A huge explosion behind him followed by the high pitch whine of an engine and a second explosion shattered is survey of the situation. Three squadrons of three fighters came out of the sun and flew over their position, destroying their heavy tanks and Hellhounds…the sight of those engines froze the blood in Devlin’s vein. A Single jet engine, they had blades protruding from their fuselage. Their wings, bent almost ninety degrees backward were resting near the end of the fuselage and were sporting a vicious looking gun. The front of the wing had been sharpen to such a keen edge it could probably slice through metal…and men for sure. A third gun was resting above the cockpit at the end of a scorpion like tail.

The distraction was devastating. While the men were distracted for an instant, a wave of narrow skimmer flew over the base, dropping troops and catching careless man in their nets. The attackers wore vicious looking armours with spikes and blade protruding and most of their rifles had a built in bayonet-like blade fixed to it. Some guardsmen quickly reacted and began shooting at them, dropping a few before being locked in hand-to-hand combat.

One group was not engaging guardsmen in combat, seemingly engaged in something. Then it dawned on Devlin, they were building up something, putting pieces together and the others were providing cover for them.

“Fire at that squad!!” he ordered his man, pointing at the one engaged in mounting up their device. “Don’t let them finish.” His men training –as well as the one of guardsmen within earshot- kicked in and the builders were cut down with a hail of shots. Unfortunately, their device was nearly completed and a couple soldiers from a nearby squad quickly finish the device and activated.

Expecting an explosion, Sergeant Devlin was caught unprepared when instead screaming Jetbike and howling She-Devils started to pour out…right in the middle of their fortification…and assault them.

“IT’S A GATEWAY, DESTROY IT!!” someone yelled out from his right and this was enough to snap him out, just in time to parry a crazed looking woman which was about to skewer him in a deadly looking trident. Locked in combat he could see some more enemies pouring out of their gateway, the beast-like alien joining them into the fray, and those flyers buzzing over their head and focusing on the tanks.

Wounded and tired, he barely managed to dispatch to find that three more was moving towards him to take her place, all around him it was chaos, their emplacement was being overrun. There was no hope. Three twisted looking being jumped him. He managed to get one with his hellgun, before they were on him engaging him in combat. More refreshed and unwounded they were quicker then him and scored several minor hits, clearly playing with him, making it last longer, not going for a clean kill.

After several minutes of that circus, Sergeant Devlin was on his knees panting, bleeding his vision blurry from exhaustion and lost of blood. Both moved in to finish him, when a nearby Hellhound exploded catastrophically sending shrapnel the size of a Space marines’ breastplate in every direction. The twisted beings both were decapitated by the shrapnel, the force of the explosion pushed both of the body and the Sergeant backward into the trench, the impact of their body caused some of the earthen mound and wall to collapse on them, partially burying them. He barely registered a second nearby explosion, before everything faded to black. ‘We are lost.’ was his last thought.

-+-+-

3546701.M41

Striker Cruiser:
Executioner’s Axe
Scythe of the Emperor’s fleet

Object: Responding emergency call from the Imperial Cruiser
Emperor’s Will

+-+Emperor’s Will, the 240th Carpathian Heavy Infantry and Verdant Garden are all lost. 1 survivor found alive. Status: Critical. Chance of survival: 35%. Eldar Raid suspected. Heading towards closest Imperium world to commit his to the care of the Hospitalis+-+

-+-+-

734.M41

“Father?”

The voice of his daughter, snapped Devlin out of his reverie. “Yes, my dear?”

“Are you alright?” A young lady, maybe in her mid twenties asked him as she placed her arms around his shoulder.

“Yes.” He simply replied. “Old ghost and memories. Just that. Old ghost and memories.”

“We shouldn’t stay too long, this sector isn’t safe lately.”

He looked up at her. “No truer words has ever been spoken, my dear.” He told her with a haunted look. “Come help me, my leg has been acting up a bit.”

And deep in the Eastern Quadrant, on an insignificant system so far remote the emperor doesn’t even know it exist. In a broad plain on the second planet southern continent stands once again a lone unadorned stele -the only sign of life on this forgotten planet- as an old man aided by a vibrant young lady made their way back towards their ship. Towards civilisation.
AuinMyrrath is offline  
Old 06 Oct 2009, 19:29   #2 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Entry A - "A Season of War"

Judges' Score:

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) - 0.5/5
Plot, storyline etc. - 5.5/15
Realism/Plausability - 2.5/5
Interest - 2.3/5
Characters - 1.5/5
Ease of read - 2/5

TOTAL - 14.3/40

Comments - Riddled with large amounts of spelling + grammatical errors and poor sentence structure which made it hard to concentrate on the story and figure out what was going on. Beginning and ending sections are nice, but seem very much at odds with the main section of the story which completely lacks emotion. Plot has potential but needs to be developed more to be interesting.
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Old 06 Oct 2009, 19:34   #3 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Entry A - "A Season of War"

Ouch, some harsh scoring imo, not necessarily wrong, but clinically matter-of-fact'ish.

The story was interesting, but much of what the mods scoring says is true. I think the idea behind the story merits more work, because it has a chance to really shine through.
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