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Made in us
Preacher of the Emperor






Mama kissed Susan on top of her head -- "Your fuzzy little soft spot! I can't resist!" -- and held her up to the window. "Pretty day, mmmm?" The green grass outside the little house was bright with sunshine and the fields of grain beyond were gold.

"Now," Mama said, putting her down gently on the bed, "let's see about that..."

There was a shrieking roar, bone-rumbling low and ear-splitting high at once. Mama snatched Susan up and ran back to the window. A huge black machine had slammed onto the lawn, scorching the grass. Men clad all in black were already rushing out of it. A second black machine was circling in the beautiful blue sky.

"Oh, damn," Mama said. "How dare he?"

Mama held Susan tight -- a little too tight -- and stomped out of the playroom, through the hall, out the front door, and onto what was left of the lawn. The black-clad men were all around, holding strange, long metal things in their hands, and another man was stepping out of the machine: tall, lean, his hair more grey and his face more wrinkled even than Grandpa's. There was nothing of Grandpa's kindness about that face.

"Inquisitor!" Mama said, a little shrilly. "Could you at least not land your Valkyrie on my lawn?"



The fluff is patchy and inconsistent, but one consistent theme of the Sisters of Battle is that they're all raised by the Schola Progenium, the school for the orphans of Imperial servants. That means every Sister's story starts with a tragedy.

What follows is those five tragedies (or tragicomedies) for the five Novices from my stories Bolter B-Word Privileges, Ollanius Pius Requiem, and Able Baker. It's a prequel of sorts to all of them, but as usual the order you read them in isn't essential; I just think this adds something to the final story in the series that I plan to write.

EDIT:
The full five-part "Novice Ginevra" series, in order, is
1. Bolter B-Word Privileges: Ginevra begins her Novitiate, the hard way.
2. Ollanius Pius Requiem: Novice Ginevra encounters the Imperial Guard. There is singing.
3. Able Baker: Expect some sort of Inquisition.
4. The Beginning: Every Sister's story begins with tragedy... and paperwork. (This story)
5. Dancing with the Astartes: The finale, involving the galaxy's nicest Space Marine, a shopping trip, and permanent scarring.

Once I've got the next and final story up (of Ginevra's novitatiate -- I have some nascent ideas for her career as a full Sister), I'll revise and post the whole series as an article, so I'd be grateful for any and all comments, especially suggestions and criticism.

The full story is below, in spoilers to avoid Wall Of Text.

[Edited 3/22 to make Portia's mother slightly more horrid and Ginevra's grandmother slightly more amazing. Edited 11/1 (!) to replace the unchildlike word "elegant" with the childish "pretty" in Portia's POV ].


Spoiler:



Granger (third trimester)

Warm and dark, dark and warm, vibrating with the steady lub dub lub dub lub dub beat that went on forever and ever and ever. It was getting cramped -- not that she had any concept of change or time -- but everything else was as it always had been and always would be.

"This weather. This traffic," said the Voice. "Can't we..."

"The Colonel expects all his officers to attend," said the Other Voice, the deeper and more distant one. "And their spouses. Sorry, m'dear, I..."

"Look out!" said the Voice, high and shrill as she had never heard it. The lubdublubdublubdub came faster than it ever had.

The world shook and SCREEEEEEEECHED. It hurt her ears.

"Oh f---" the Other Voice began.

NOISE SHOCK PAIN

The Voice screamed.

The world turned upside down and stayed here. Something hurt.

The lub dub lub dub lub dub slowed and stopped.

There was another, not quite as horrid screeching sound. Something slammed.

"Captain? Captain!" The new voices were deep and distant, but they were not the Other Voice. "Captain!"

Was it getting colder?

"Is he..."

"Yes. Both of them."

Definitely colder.

"Emperor have mercy on...."

"Combat knife."

"What?"

Colder.

"Give me your combat knife, Lieutenant."

"What? Major, why..."

"Because she's -- she was pregnant and the ambulance won't be here in time."



***

Susan (seven months)

Mama kissed Susan on top of her head -- "Your fuzzy little soft spot! I can't resist!" -- and held her up to the window. "Pretty day, mmmm?" The green grass outside the little house was bright with sunshine and the fields of grain beyond were gold.

"Now," Mama said, putting her down gently on the bed, "let's see about that..."

There was a shrieking roar, bone-rumbling low and ear-splitting high at once. Mama snatched Susan up and ran back to the window. A huge black machine had slammed onto the lawn, scorching the grass. Men clad all in black were already rushing out of it. A second black machine was circling in the beautiful blue sky.

"Oh, damn," Mama said. "How dare he?"

Mama held Susan tight -- a little too tight -- and stomped out of the playroom, through the hall, out the front door, and onto what was left of the lawn. The black-clad men were all around, holding strange, long metal things in their hands, and another man was stepping out of the machine: tall, lean, his hair more grey and his face more wrinkled even than Grandpa's. There was nothing of Grandpa's kindness about that face.

"Inquisitor!" Mama said, a little shrilly. "Could you at least not land your Valkyrie on my lawn?"

"The business of the Inquisition brooks no delay, Mrs. Bones." He produced a fancy sheet of paper with a blank space at the bottom. "Sign this. Here."

"No!" Mama looked around, spun around, staring at all the faces of the black-clad men. "Where's my husband?"

"Sign. Here."

"I'm not signing a thing you give me. What have you done with him?"

"Sign!"

"Where is he?"

"Dead." The Inquisitor winced slightly. "Sign this."

"So -- so -- so!" Mama was shaking. "Finally!" She laughed, high and hollow. "So, Inquisitor, are you happy now?"

"He died a hero. Sign."

"You filthy butchering..."

"I am a member of the Holy Orders of His Majesty's Inquisition, Mrs. Bones, you would do well to watch your t..."

"Watch yours!" Mama spat. "You take him away from me, you take him away for years at a time, you let him come back just long enough to feth me, and now you've taken him forever?"

"He was a brave and faithful servant of the God-Emperor..."

"Emperor damn you."

The Inquisitor and Mama stood there staring at each other, her breathing heavily, his face twitching slightly.

"Your husband is a martyr of the Imperium and his child should have the best education available, the best prospects possible." His voice was rising now. "Not what you can give her in this -- place!" An angry gesture took in the grain fields, the sizzling lawn, the little house.

Mama spat at him.

"Sir," said one of the black-clad men, "perhaps -- she's clearly overwrought, Inquisitor, perhaps we should come back when she's had time to deal with her loss and grief...."

"Her loss? Her grief?" The Inquisitor was shouting now. "What about the Imperium's loss? What about my grief?"

He pulled out a huge black ugly thing and pointed it at Mama's face.

"Sir!" said the black-clad man who'd spoken before, but the Inquisitor kept on shouting.

"Bartholomew's child deserves the best!" he roared. "She should attend the Schola, not some village school light-years from nowhere! Sign!"

"The Schola Progenium is for orphans," Mama said, staring down the barrel of the huge black ugly thing. "She still has her mother. Go away."

"The surviving parent" -- the Inquisitor took a deep breath and started over in a calmer tone -- "the surviving parent may renounce his or her rights so that the child may have the benefit of the Schola. Sign."

"Never," Mama said, soft and fierce. She held Susan tight and kissed her, hard, on the top of her head.

"Very well," said the Inquisitor.

There was a loud noise and Mama dropped Susan and fell down.


***


Luna (age three)

Don't look at Mama, don't look at Mama, don't look at Mama. Luna made it a little song in her head. She squeezed Mama's hand but kept her eyes fixed straight in front. Don't look, don't look.

Staring straight ahead -- don't look at Mama -- meant she could see Tommy, but she couldn't close her eyes, so she just tried to look past him at the door. Marsha was off somewhere to her left but out of her field of vision. That was good.

There were loud voices in the next room now, boots stomping. Good. They had come back. They could finish things up, then.

The door slammed open, splintering. It was not Them coming back, not at all. It was someone else: two black-and-red metal men. No, not men, Luna realized when she looked more closely at their armor: Ladies.

"Oh God-Emperor preserve us," said one of the metal ladies in a surprisingly high voice. Her metal face came off and there was a person's face behind it, a young and pretty one -- younger than Mama, but not so pretty, but don't look at Mama -- and then the young and pretty lady threw up.

"Feth," said the other metal lady. She slid up the mask part of her metal face, and she was a person underneath the armor too. She looked older and sadder and had a scar. The younger lady threw up again, and the older lady patted her gently on the back, almost like when Mama -- don't look at Mama -- almost like -- well, the older lady was wearing metal gloves and the younger lady had her back covered in metal so the pat sort of went "clink." That was sort of funny.

"You're funny," she decided to say. She tried to say it, at least. It sounded more like a squeaky gurgle or a gurgling squeak. That was kind of funny, too.

Both ladies jumped. "Oh feth," said the older one, and she stepped right over Tommy -- That was rude! -- to where Luna was sitting, next to Mama (Don't look at Mama), both of them sitting on the floor with their backs against the wall because they were so very tired.

The older lady was kneeling over Luna and poking her with her metal-covered fingers, but it didn't hurt. Nothing really hurt now, which was good, because lots of things had been hurting before.

The younger lady was throwing up again.

"Hospitaller!" yelled the older lady. "Hospitaller! There's one alive in here!"

The younger lady wiped her mouth and stumbled towards Luna, reached down as if to pick her up -- the older lady slapped her hands away. "Idiot," the older lady said, "don't move her." She turned back to Luna. "You're going to be okay now, kid, okay? Can you hear me? You're going to be okay now."

"Okay," Luna said. It sounded like words this time.

"Oh God-Emperor, she really is alive!" said the younger lady. She looked at Luna's body. "How is she even still alive?"

"Shut up," the older lady said. "You'll...."

"You're pretty," Luna told the younger lady, looking her straight in the eyes the way Mama (don't look at Mama) had told her to when talking to grown-ups. "Can I be like you when I get big?"


***


Portia (age four)

"I shan't! Shan't, shan't, shan't, shan't, shan't!"

"You shall," Mother said drily, dragging Portia down the long, cold corridor with skulls and eagles on all the walls.

"I hate you!" Portia yelled. "I want Father!"

"He's dead," Mother said, not stopping, her heels clicking sharply on the tiles. "Your governess tells me you're a clever child, do try to remember."

There was a desk towards the end of the hallway with a startled-looking young man in brown robes behind it. He cleared his throat. "Ah, do you have, ah, an appointm..."

"I shan't go to Schola!" Portia said, yanking as hard as she could, but Mother was really rather strong. "I shan't, shan't, shan't, shan't!"

"Ma'am..." the brown-robed man began, but Mother fixed him with one of her terrible stares. "My -- my Lady!"

"I should've dismissed the governess after doing this," Mother said, mostly to herself. Then, to the young man: "I rather do think the Cardinal would see me without an appointment," she said. "But there's no need to bother His Grace, I simply need to deposit this one for the Schola Progenium."

"Shan't! Shan't! Shan't! I! Want! Father!"

"He. Is. Dead." Mother sighed. "Deep in the ground and deep in debt and I shall have to marry again, child, it's a matter of economics, and I am young enough to marry again, but I do not fancy my chances to marry again as long as I have you."

"Ma -- my lady?" squeaked the brown-robed boy. (He really was just a boy, just a teenager like the houseboys Mother had fired this morning along with everyone else). "The Schola Progenium is, um, for orphans..."

"Yes, I have the paperwork right here," Mother said, tapping her purse, "but I need both hands to get it out. Would you be so kind?" She nodded at Portia.

The boy goggled for a moment before he realized what she meant, then grabbed Portia with both hands. She bit him.

"Ow! She bit me!"

"Oh, do be a man," Mother said, going through her purse. "Ah! Here." She pulled out a fancy sheet of paper with a blank space at the bottom. "You're my witness," she told the boy as she wrote her name in the blank space. "You sign there."

"Um," he said, both hands full of writhing, kicking, hitting Portia.

"Oh for Terra's sake. Really! Well, you can sign it whenever you have a moment." She closed up her purse and started walking away, her heels clicking coldly on the tile.

"Mother!" Portia shrieked.

Mother stopped. She turned slowly on one heel -- oh, how pretty Mother was -- and smiled. "My dear," she said, "it really is the best education."

She walked away.


***


Ginevra (age five)

The man at the door had a uniform just like Daddy's. Mama saw him and sank slowly to her knees.

"What's wrong, dear?" Grandma called from the bedroom they all shared. She came briskly into the kitchen, where the door was, polishing something as she walked. Then she saw the man and stopped.

"Oh," Grandma said softly.

"Um," the man said. "Um." He wasn't nearly as handsome as Daddy was in his picture, Ginevra decided, and he was fat. Not very fat, just a little fat, but it made his uniform shirt pooch out all around his uniform belt in little uniform rolls. Daddy wasn't fat. Well, it was hard to remember really, because Daddy had been gone a long time, and perhaps he had gotten fat because the Guard gave you lots more food than you got at home, but Ginevra didn't think he had.

"Um," the man repeated, and held up a piece of paper. "The Mortuary Affairs Office, Personnel Division, of the Departmento Munitorum regrets to inform you..."

"Oh, give me that," Grandma said. She dropped whatever she had been polishing ("Grandma!" Ginevra said, shocked) and snatched the letter ("Grandma!" Ginevra said again, shocked still more).

Grandma put on her glasses and read the letter to herself. "Yes," she said. "Yes. Of course. I knew it." With one hand, she clasped the gold aquila that she wore on her necklace. With the other she patted Mama on the shoulder. Mama was still kneeling on the floor, Ginevra realized, and her eyes were full of tears.

"Mama, don't cry!" Ginevra said, and she ran over to hug her. "Don't cry, Mama!"

"Don't cry, dear," Grandma said, crying a little as she stuffed the letter in her pocket. "He's with the Emperor now."

"Um..."

"What?" Grandma snapped.

The fat man pointed a little helplessly at the crumpled bit of letter sticking out of Grandma's pocket. "I, um, I need the pink and yellow copies back."

"What?" Grandma's eyes had narrowed. They were not crying now.

"Once you sign them, of course!" the man said, holding up his hands. "Um, and you'll have to sign for these." He picked up a battered satchel he'd left just outside the door and fumbled through it. "One of these, one of these, one of these -- damn Marcus, why doesn't he ever just put one of each together in a packet? -- one of these...."

Grandma snatched those out of his hands too. Ginevra was shocked, but she was more shocked that Mama was still crying silently on the floor, so she said nothing and just hugged Mama tighter.

"Regimental memorial services," Grandma read aloud. "These are last year's dates."

"Oh!" the man said. He took that pamphlet from her and stuffed it back in his satchel -- He's just going to give it to somebody by mistake again, Ginevra thought, still hugging Mama, he should throw it away -- and took out another with a different-colored cover.

"Thank you," Grandma said sharply, going through the pamphlet. "Services and locations. Application for discounted travel passes to services. Application for days off work for travel to services. Donate to Planetary Martyrs' Memorial -- you can have that back, we haven't any money. Death benefits, three months -- no, nine months -- no, nine months if you bought the insurance, ha ha ha."

"Um."

"What?

"Um, if you could sign for those, ma'am," the man said, warily holding out a hand, "I'd appreciate it, I have thirty more families to visit today and I'm already an hour behind...."

"Then five minutes more won't matter," Grandma snapped. Mama stopped her silent crying for one loud sob. "There, there, dear," Grandma said, patting her shoulder again. "He's with the God-Emperor now. A better place than this world, that's for certain." Her tone turned sharp again. "Regimental widows' auxiliary meetings. Application for regimental widow's auxiliary. Application for temporary ration increase. Application for..."

She stopped.

"She has her mother," Grandma told the man fiercely. "She has me."

"Of course, of course," he said, "but we have to give that out to everyone, it's regulation, the surviving parent may renounce his or her rights so that the child..."

Mama spoke, unexpectedly, sounding as if she had a cold and a stuffed-up nose: "What's he talking about, Edith?"

"Schola," Grandma said. "He's talking about the Schola Progenium."

"She's not an orphan," Mama said, clutching Ginevra.

"Um, of course not," the man said, "but there's a form...." He pointed to the pamphlets Grandma was clutching in white-knuckled hands. "There's a form," he repeated, "but you don't have it, you have to apply for it. The application form to get the form is the green one."

"The green one," Grandma said, coldly, holding it up.

"I mean, the application form is green, yes," he said. "The green application is the form you have, I mean. I think the actual form of renunciation is -- white or something. Parchment, maybe? Rather elegant."

"Elegant," Grandma repeated.

"Um."

Grandma put the pamphlets and papers down on the table, slowly, one by one, except for the green one. Then, slowly, wincing as her knees creaked, she got on the floor next to Mama.

"No," Mama said. "No, Edith, I can't."

"It's the best education in the Imperium," Grandma said. "It's the best connections -- sons and daughters of colonels, nobles, deacons, deputy directors in the Administratum."

"No."

"It's clothes that aren't patched, Marjorie. It's heat that works in winter, all the time. It's three meals a day."

"You can't ask me to," Mama said weakly, crushing Ginevra to her -- it hurt, actually, but Ginevra realized she shouldn't say that now. "You can't."

"It's everything that we can't give her," Grandma said, taking Mama in her arms, one hand still holding the precious green form.

"No."

"It's what my boy would have wanted," Grandma said, pleading now, tears suddenly on her cheeks. "It's what makes his -- his death mean something."

"No," Mama said. "No, no."

"Um. If you could sign the..."

"Wait!" Grandma snarled. Then she turned back to Mama, kissed her on the cheek, ruffled her hair. "You know I always wished I had a daughter."

"I know, I know, but no..."

"You know how I love you as a daughter."

"Yes, but no, no...."

"You know how glad I was you gave my son a daughter."

"No, I know, no...."

"But I can give her up, Marjorie. I can lose her if that's what it takes for her to gain everything, Marjorie. Can you?"

"No," Mama sobbed, "no." Her tears stained the green application form as she began to fill it out.

This message was edited 7 times. Last update was at 2014/11/02 01:55:30


BURN IT DOWN BURN IT DOWN BABY BURN IT DOWN

Novice Ginevra stories: Bolter B-Word Privileges (Sisters of Battle), Ollanius Pius Requiem (Sisters & Guard), Able Baker (Inquisition), The Beginning & Dancing with the Astartes (Marines)
A sequel: Army of Minerva - A Sister Ginevra Story
And you should read Lynta on why there is no canon in 40K

 Psienesis wrote:
Well, if you check out Sister Sydney's homebrew/expansion rules, you'll find all kinds of units the Sisters could have, that fit with the theme of the Sisters (as a tabletop army) perfectly well, and are damn-near-perfectly balanced.

 
   
Made in sa
Bane Lord Tartar Sauce





Saudi Arabia

OW! Why the hell did you have to go and kick me so hard in the feels?! Ohhhh, that's lingering. Walk it off...walk it off. Damn, there's like a five second delay before it kicks in and then you just want to excuse yourself and go hug a teddy bear for an hour. Pretty sure you just broke my masculinity here.

Now, did my mind invent this or did you mean to imply a romantic relationship between the Inquisitor and Susan's father?



...

...

...dammit, now I want to give Luna a hug. Can you pop into your subconscious and hug the hell out of Luna for me?

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2014/01/20 17:46:34


IMPOSSIBLE IS RELATIVE
Boss, everything you make is gold.

Dubstep Tau, let there be LIGHT.
Blind them with SCIENCE, a tutorial series for adding LEDs and effects to your models.
Powerlifting and Plasma, a Romantic Comedy 
   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Legendary Master of the Chapter





UK

Once again, you've perfectly trod the line between Grimdark and slight humour, and have produced a piece that is both poignant and unique. I think you've captured the various children's perspective very well (a lot of writers fail at this, making children seem to be older or younger mentally than they are) and it very effectively leaves a lot to the imagination of the reader, so it's only after you think about it that you get the real sense of tragedy.

I eagerly await the next instalment.

Paradigm's New Blog- 02/12: Reign of the Supermenl

Available for Commission Work. PM me for details. 
   
Made in us
Preacher of the Emperor






Thanks.

1) I didn't think the Inquisitor and Susan's father were romantically/sexually involved, though I see there's some subtext there. My thought was simply that the Inquisitor loved Susan's father like a brother/son, but just because I'm the author doesn't mean I'm right....

2) I've had one person PM me that the part from the prenatal infant's perspective is Just Too Weird -- it was an experiment, so I'm especially interested in knowing, what do others think?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2014/01/20 18:09:23


BURN IT DOWN BURN IT DOWN BABY BURN IT DOWN

Novice Ginevra stories: Bolter B-Word Privileges (Sisters of Battle), Ollanius Pius Requiem (Sisters & Guard), Able Baker (Inquisition), The Beginning & Dancing with the Astartes (Marines)
A sequel: Army of Minerva - A Sister Ginevra Story
And you should read Lynta on why there is no canon in 40K

 Psienesis wrote:
Well, if you check out Sister Sydney's homebrew/expansion rules, you'll find all kinds of units the Sisters could have, that fit with the theme of the Sisters (as a tabletop army) perfectly well, and are damn-near-perfectly balanced.

 
   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Legendary Master of the Chapter





UK

The pre-natal bit is a certainly unusual, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. It's not something I've ever seen before in any kind of writing (but that's not to say is hasn't been done).

I don't think it would work if you actually had the unborn narrator actually process any of the information (like adding any description of tone or reaction to the speaking) as that's not possible really, but using it purely as a point of view works well enough.

One of the things that makes this one so tragic is that all the narrators have no real understanding of what's going on, other than the sheer unnaturalness that is a child being taken from her mother, and having a narrator that is completely unable to react or understand takes that effect to the extreme.

So yeah, it's different, and maybe a little weird, but in the context it works.

Paradigm's New Blog- 02/12: Reign of the Supermenl

Available for Commission Work. PM me for details. 
   
Made in us
Preacher of the Emperor






Thanks. The conceit here is that the children are technically the point of view characters but, as you said, they don't get what's going on -- yet someone they manage to perceive everything that's said accurately enough so we, the readers, can understand it. A bit iffy but imagine it like a movie, where the camera is looking over the kid's shoulder and we hear & understand dialogue the child can't.

BURN IT DOWN BURN IT DOWN BABY BURN IT DOWN

Novice Ginevra stories: Bolter B-Word Privileges (Sisters of Battle), Ollanius Pius Requiem (Sisters & Guard), Able Baker (Inquisition), The Beginning & Dancing with the Astartes (Marines)
A sequel: Army of Minerva - A Sister Ginevra Story
And you should read Lynta on why there is no canon in 40K

 Psienesis wrote:
Well, if you check out Sister Sydney's homebrew/expansion rules, you'll find all kinds of units the Sisters could have, that fit with the theme of the Sisters (as a tabletop army) perfectly well, and are damn-near-perfectly balanced.

 
   
Made in gb
Preacher of the Emperor






Quite enjoyed it! I think you captured the grimdark well, and the rather brutal and uncomprising nature of the Imperium and the Sisters themselves. Though I don't know that the fluff has ever gone into such detail on how the whole "recruitment" process goes, a baby being forced into it despite not technically qualifying sounds suitably harsh for the setting.

Also, I did chuckle when Luna said "Can I be like you when I get big?". I found it amusing how a child's delirious, uninformed utterance turned out to come true.

Order of the Righteous Armour - 542 points so far. 
   
Made in us
Preacher of the Emperor






Thanks. I meant for Luna's story to point straight at what she became, namely a Battle Sister (well, Novice) with a severe dissociative disorder, and of course Portia's story explains why she's such a horrible bitch, but I didn't realize until I'd written this quite how straight the others point:

Spoiler:

Granger: ripped untimely from her mother's womb -- becomes medic (Hospitaller)

Susan: mother dies defying Inquisition -- Susan defies Inquisition and probably dies

Ginevra: grandmother does terrible thing out of compassion -- Ginevra does terrible thing out of compassion.


So, uh, go my subsconscious, go?

BURN IT DOWN BURN IT DOWN BABY BURN IT DOWN

Novice Ginevra stories: Bolter B-Word Privileges (Sisters of Battle), Ollanius Pius Requiem (Sisters & Guard), Able Baker (Inquisition), The Beginning & Dancing with the Astartes (Marines)
A sequel: Army of Minerva - A Sister Ginevra Story
And you should read Lynta on why there is no canon in 40K

 Psienesis wrote:
Well, if you check out Sister Sydney's homebrew/expansion rules, you'll find all kinds of units the Sisters could have, that fit with the theme of the Sisters (as a tabletop army) perfectly well, and are damn-near-perfectly balanced.

 
   
Made in gb
Wight Lord with the Sword of Kings






UK

Really brilliant writing - thanks for sharing

The first bit reminded me of Fallout 3 start - but better

I AM A MARINE PLAYER

"Unimaginably ancient xenos artefact somewhere on the planet, hive fleet poised above our heads, hidden 'stealer broods making an early start....and now a bloody Chaos cult crawling out of the woodwork just in case we were bored. Welcome to my world, Ciaphas."
Inquisitor Amberley Vail, Ordo Xenos

"I will admit that some Primachs like Russ or Horus could have a chance against an unarmed 12 year old novice but, a full Battle Sister??!! One to one? In close combat? Perhaps three Primarchs fighting together... but just one Primarch?" da001

www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/528517.page

A Bloody Road - my Warhammer Fantasy Fiction 
   
Made in gb
Hallowed Canoness





Between

You've got to love a setting where the most upbeat scene has the dead man's best friend shooting his wife.

Actually, yhat said, I think Ginevra's scene is the most touching, while even knowing Susan's future, the schola really does seem like the best option for her. Her mother at least had the self knowledge to put her there instead of trying to force things and ending up leaving her on the street.



"That time I only loaded the cannon with powder. Next time, I will fill it with jewels and diamonds and they will cut you to shrebbons!" - Nogbad the Bad. 
   
Made in us
Gore-Soaked Lunatic Witchhunter




Seattle

I liked the Luna story the most, I think, but, then, I'm a big fan of post-apocalypse settings, and it doesn't get much more "post-apocalyptic" than living amidst a pile of corpses. My only complaint is the other Sister who apparently is not yet inured to such sights.


It is best to be a pessimist. You are usually right and, when you're wrong, you're pleasantly surprised. 
   
Made in us
Preacher of the Emperor






Actually, the Luna bit was inspired not by anything post-Apocalyptic but the scene from Leon the Professional where

Spoiler:
Gary Oldman has just killed FETHING EVERYONE in 12-year-old Natalie Portman's family except her (because she was at the grocery story). Basically, in my version, Chaos Gary Oldman missed someone before he left the scene.

BURN IT DOWN BURN IT DOWN BABY BURN IT DOWN

Novice Ginevra stories: Bolter B-Word Privileges (Sisters of Battle), Ollanius Pius Requiem (Sisters & Guard), Able Baker (Inquisition), The Beginning & Dancing with the Astartes (Marines)
A sequel: Army of Minerva - A Sister Ginevra Story
And you should read Lynta on why there is no canon in 40K

 Psienesis wrote:
Well, if you check out Sister Sydney's homebrew/expansion rules, you'll find all kinds of units the Sisters could have, that fit with the theme of the Sisters (as a tabletop army) perfectly well, and are damn-near-perfectly balanced.

 
   
Made in us
Preacher of the Emperor






 Furyou Miko wrote:
You've got to love a setting where the most upbeat scene has the dead man's best friend shooting his wife.


Wait, that was the uplifting one?

...even knowing Susan's future, the schola really does seem like the best option for her. Her mother at least had the self knowledge to put her there instead of trying to force things and ending up leaving her on the street.


Hmmm. Not sure I'm following -- but then you may have a better idea for Susan's mother than I did. Are you seeing her as a willing sacrifice?

BURN IT DOWN BURN IT DOWN BABY BURN IT DOWN

Novice Ginevra stories: Bolter B-Word Privileges (Sisters of Battle), Ollanius Pius Requiem (Sisters & Guard), Able Baker (Inquisition), The Beginning & Dancing with the Astartes (Marines)
A sequel: Army of Minerva - A Sister Ginevra Story
And you should read Lynta on why there is no canon in 40K

 Psienesis wrote:
Well, if you check out Sister Sydney's homebrew/expansion rules, you'll find all kinds of units the Sisters could have, that fit with the theme of the Sisters (as a tabletop army) perfectly well, and are damn-near-perfectly balanced.

 
   
Made in gb
Hallowed Canoness





Between

Yes, but I'm also getting confused with Portia's story.

Susan's mother obviously knew what the consequences of her actions would be. If Susan were a little older, it would have given her a head start over the other students, since she would probably break, but with the resilience of a child she would learn that personal sacrifice leads to better things for others, a lesson that properly internalised will pretty much guarantee a future in the Sororitas or Clergy rather than the Administratum (which, as far as I can tell, is one of the worst places to work in the entire Imperium).



"That time I only loaded the cannon with powder. Next time, I will fill it with jewels and diamonds and they will cut you to shrebbons!" - Nogbad the Bad. 
   
Made in us
Preacher of the Emperor






In the Administratum you tend to live longer, though...plus, with every moment filled with interminable paperwork, every day feels like it lasts forever, so in subjective terms you're immortal!

But yes, Susan's mother absolutely knew what her refusal meant. She still refused. "Here I stand, I can do no other."

BURN IT DOWN BURN IT DOWN BABY BURN IT DOWN

Novice Ginevra stories: Bolter B-Word Privileges (Sisters of Battle), Ollanius Pius Requiem (Sisters & Guard), Able Baker (Inquisition), The Beginning & Dancing with the Astartes (Marines)
A sequel: Army of Minerva - A Sister Ginevra Story
And you should read Lynta on why there is no canon in 40K

 Psienesis wrote:
Well, if you check out Sister Sydney's homebrew/expansion rules, you'll find all kinds of units the Sisters could have, that fit with the theme of the Sisters (as a tabletop army) perfectly well, and are damn-near-perfectly balanced.

 
   
Made in sa
Bane Lord Tartar Sauce





Saudi Arabia

This story needed more powerfist-related smiting. 0/10, would not purge

But for reals lol. There's so much fertile ground in the parts of 40k that don't involve standing on piles of enemy corpses with your hands in the air yelling about something. Stories like this one are always an interesting read.

IMPOSSIBLE IS RELATIVE
Boss, everything you make is gold.

Dubstep Tau, let there be LIGHT.
Blind them with SCIENCE, a tutorial series for adding LEDs and effects to your models.
Powerlifting and Plasma, a Romantic Comedy 
   
Made in vn
Implacable Skitarii




Somewhere...

Now we all know where those Sister came from
GW never bothers to write about what are behind the pile of bodies, so this is a great fluff addition
I always like black humour. Now all in my head now are "Sign, sign, sign,.." and "Schola, the best education in the Imperium..."
Thanks for sharing

   
Made in us
Preacher of the Emperor






"Mary, darling, the Schola is simply the best education in the Imperium for our little ones."
"Yes, George, darling, but neither of us is dead, so.... Wait! No! Put that down!"
[BLAM]
"Now, where did I put those forms...."

BURN IT DOWN BURN IT DOWN BABY BURN IT DOWN

Novice Ginevra stories: Bolter B-Word Privileges (Sisters of Battle), Ollanius Pius Requiem (Sisters & Guard), Able Baker (Inquisition), The Beginning & Dancing with the Astartes (Marines)
A sequel: Army of Minerva - A Sister Ginevra Story
And you should read Lynta on why there is no canon in 40K

 Psienesis wrote:
Well, if you check out Sister Sydney's homebrew/expansion rules, you'll find all kinds of units the Sisters could have, that fit with the theme of the Sisters (as a tabletop army) perfectly well, and are damn-near-perfectly balanced.

 
   
Made in de
Shunting Grey Knight Interceptor






 SisterSydney wrote:
"Mary, darling, the Schola is simply the best education in the Imperium for our little ones."
"Yes, George, darling, but neither of us is dead, so.... Wait! No! Put that down!"
[BLAM]
"Now, where did I put those forms...."


Exalted

"When in deadly danger,
When beset by doubt,
run in little circles,
wave your arms and shout." - Litany of Command (parody)

DR:80+SG-MB--I+Pw40k13#----D++A+/eWD-R++T(F)DM+ 
   
Made in gb
Hallowed Canoness





Between

 SisterSydney wrote:
"Mary, darling, the Schola is simply the best education in the Imperium for our little ones."
"Yes, George, darling, but neither of us is dead, so.... Wait! No! Put that down!"
[BLAM]
"Now, where did I put those forms...."


True story.



"That time I only loaded the cannon with powder. Next time, I will fill it with jewels and diamonds and they will cut you to shrebbons!" - Nogbad the Bad. 
   
Made in us
Preacher of the Emperor






At this point I felt compelled to change the thread title....

BURN IT DOWN BURN IT DOWN BABY BURN IT DOWN

Novice Ginevra stories: Bolter B-Word Privileges (Sisters of Battle), Ollanius Pius Requiem (Sisters & Guard), Able Baker (Inquisition), The Beginning & Dancing with the Astartes (Marines)
A sequel: Army of Minerva - A Sister Ginevra Story
And you should read Lynta on why there is no canon in 40K

 Psienesis wrote:
Well, if you check out Sister Sydney's homebrew/expansion rules, you'll find all kinds of units the Sisters could have, that fit with the theme of the Sisters (as a tabletop army) perfectly well, and are damn-near-perfectly balanced.

 
   
Made in us
Calm Celestian




Florida, USA

Exalted. Some of those hit right in the feels. I would've liked to see a story that had a single father with his daughter as well, but still great work all the same.

Yeah, I'd have to say that Susan's story is the most uplifting one, or at least, least depressing one. It really shows how much the Nameless Inquisitor really cared for Susan's father and really has Susan's best interests at heart in a Grim-dark kind of way. I picture the Inquisitor and Bartholomew as having been childhood friends, growing up together, going through the trials and tribulations of life together, both serving the Emperor on life or death missions together. Then Bartholomew ends up meeting the women that would be Susan's mother. Although they clearly hit it off and are in love, both Susan's mother and the Inquisitor don't like each other as people, but still acknowledge each other as being important in the life of Bartholomew.
"Sir," said one of the black-clad men, "perhaps -- she's clearly overwrought, Inquisitor, perhaps we should come back when she's had time to deal with her loss and grief...."
I see the Inquisitor's Acolyte who said this more referring to his boss's emotions rather than Susan's mother's. It was the Inquisitor who perhaps would need more time to deal with his loss and grief.

TL;DR: Feels. Great work.

There is a fine line between genius and insanity and I colored it in with crayon. 
   
Made in us
Preacher of the Emperor






 Evil Lamp 6 wrote:
"Sir," said one of the black-clad men, "perhaps -- she's clearly overwrought, Inquisitor, perhaps we should come back when she's had time to deal with her loss and grief...."
I see the Inquisitor's Acolyte who said this more referring to his boss's emotions rather than Susan's mother's. It was the Inquisitor who perhaps would need more time to deal with his loss and grief.


Thanks, and a good point. Perhaps the henchman made the conscious calculation that saying "boss, she's overwrought with emotion like a typical hysterical woman, let's come back when she's rational" would go over better than saying, "boss, you're overwrought with emotion, let's come back when you're rational, oh btw no offense meant so don't kill me or blow up my planet please kthxbai."

BURN IT DOWN BURN IT DOWN BABY BURN IT DOWN

Novice Ginevra stories: Bolter B-Word Privileges (Sisters of Battle), Ollanius Pius Requiem (Sisters & Guard), Able Baker (Inquisition), The Beginning & Dancing with the Astartes (Marines)
A sequel: Army of Minerva - A Sister Ginevra Story
And you should read Lynta on why there is no canon in 40K

 Psienesis wrote:
Well, if you check out Sister Sydney's homebrew/expansion rules, you'll find all kinds of units the Sisters could have, that fit with the theme of the Sisters (as a tabletop army) perfectly well, and are damn-near-perfectly balanced.

 
   
Made in us
Preacher of the Emperor






And the sequel to this story -- where all this family background pays off -- is now online: Dancing with the Astartes, the last Novice Ginevra story.

BURN IT DOWN BURN IT DOWN BABY BURN IT DOWN

Novice Ginevra stories: Bolter B-Word Privileges (Sisters of Battle), Ollanius Pius Requiem (Sisters & Guard), Able Baker (Inquisition), The Beginning & Dancing with the Astartes (Marines)
A sequel: Army of Minerva - A Sister Ginevra Story
And you should read Lynta on why there is no canon in 40K

 Psienesis wrote:
Well, if you check out Sister Sydney's homebrew/expansion rules, you'll find all kinds of units the Sisters could have, that fit with the theme of the Sisters (as a tabletop army) perfectly well, and are damn-near-perfectly balanced.

 
   
 
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