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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Vallejo, CA



This book is now on sale! You can read the first few chapters in this thread, and then feel free to go over to Amazon to get yourself a copy.

Thanks so much to those Dakka readers who helped make this possible!



---



Introduction:

A few years ago, I wrote a novel. Since then, much of my time spent writing has been taken up with battle reports, both 5th and 6th edition, but since I'm not writing battle reports at the moment (and I just finished my other writing project), this has left me with the urge to write, but not the subject matter.

I've been wanting to write another proper, full-length piece of literature for awhile now, and I've decided to make my second novel to be a sequel, of sorts, to my Hand of the King narrative battle report series. It is going to be necessarily rather light on overt 40k references for legal reasons, of course (I might publish this on Amazon when I'm done), and I'm also intending to write it to be a stand-alone piece. You will probably get a deeper understanding of what's going on if you read the battle reports, but I want to make it so that, as much as possible, you don't have to have read any of my previous work to know what's going on. Completely stand-alone.

I spent the last few days doing my pre-writing (including playing a round of The Quiet Year with myself, which, by the way, is great for this, it turns out), so I'm now set to go into full writing mode. The goal is to make it about 50 chapters and to reach towards 125,000 words (coincidentally, about the length of the narration in the battle reports). Last time I wrote a novel, I got to ~97,000 words in five weeks, so I expect this will take me a bit closer to two months all said and done. I'm going to be moving in mid-June, so hopefully I can get things done before that becomes too much of a time drain.

In any case, I'm going to try for at least a chapter a day, so come back for updates often.


---

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Prologue (see further down in this post)

Chapter 1 - Melchoir             Chapter 27 - Claire               Chapter 53 - Claire
Chapter 2 - Jaines                Chapter 28 - Gilbert              Chapter 54 - Jaines
Chapter 3 - Claire                 Chapter 29 - Lucas               Chapter 55 - Damien
Chapter 4 - Damien              Chapter 30 - Lucas               Chapter 56 - Gilbert
Chapter 5 - Gilbert                Chapter 31 - Melchoir           Chapter 57 - Damien
Chapter 6 - Melchoir             Chapter 32 - Jaines              Chapter 58 - Lucas
Chapter 7 - Gilbert                Chapter 33 - Gilbert               Chapter 59 - Jaines
Chapter 8 - Damien              Chapter 34 - Claire               Chapter 60 - Melchoir
Chapter 9 - Jaines                Chapter 35 - Lucas               Chapter 61 - Melchoir
Chapter 10 - Claire               Chapter 36 - Jaines              Chapter 62 - Jaines
Chapter 11 - Lucas               Chapter 37 - Claire               Chapter 63 - Gilbert
Chapter 12 - Gilbert              Chapter 38 - Melchoir           Chapter 64 - Claire
Chapter 13 - Jaines              Chapter 39 - Damien           Chapter 65 - Melchoir
Chapter 14 - Claire               Chapter 40 - Jaines              Chapter 66 - Lucas
Chapter 15 - Melchoir           Chapter 41 - Gilbert              Chapter 67 - Damien
Chapter 16 - Damien           Chapter 42 - Damien            Chapter 68 - Lucas
Chapter 17 - Gilbert              Chapter 43 - Gilbert              Chapter 69 - Jaines
Chapter 18 - Melchoir           Chapter 44 - Melchoir           Chapter 70 - Melchoir
Chapter 19 - Jaines              Chapter 45 - Lucas               Chapter 71 - Claire
Chapter 20 - Damien            Chapter 46 - Jaines             Chapter 72 - Lucas
Chapter 21 - Gilbert              Chapter 47 - Damien            Chapter 73 - Jaines
Chapter 22 - Lucas               Chapter 48 - Claire               Chapter 74 - Melchoir
Chapter 23 - Jaines              Chapter 49 - Jaines              Chapter 75 - Gilbert
Chapter 24 - Melchoir           Chapter 50 - Lucas               Chapter 76 - Claire
Chapter 25 - Jaines              Chapter 51 - Melchoir           Chapter 77 - Jaines
Chapter 26 - Damien            Chapter 52 - Melchoir
                                                                                                     Epilogue

---



---

PROLOGUE

---


His breath came fast and ragged. Eyes searching, desperate to find a way out. He charged through the underbrush, an endless maze of trees and broken wilderness closing in around him.

“I can’t keep going! I can’t!” a frantic voice yelled behind him.

“You can make it!” he shouted back, but he didn’t care anymore. It was every man for himself now.

He rushed up the side of the ravine, dirt and pebbles sliding out from underneath his feet. Soil tumbled down the slope as he grasped at rocks and tree roots, pulling himself to the top. He scrambled to his feet and looked back, catching glimpses of white uniforms below. The soldiers were still chasing him, still charging through the forest. He had to keep running, or they meant to murder him.

Well, murder was probably the wrong word. They only meant to make him pay for what he’d done.

A gunshot cracked through the air, the red oak next to him bursting out a puff of bark and splinters. Another shot missed with a strange wet braa-AAAAP-ppp as the laser weapon ripped through the canopy above. Shouting followed the gunshots. The soldiers were almost on him.

He turned and ran, forcing his way through the tangled underbrush. Twigs and leaves snapped and scattered, gouging at his face.

Suddenly, the angle of the ground gave way. He gasped, falling forward, sliding straight towards a thicket. He hit the wall of branches, the hedge of sticks and leaves engulfing him. He reached his arm out desperately – clawing, pushing, shoving. Kicking at the twisting bark.

With a shout he burst from the hedge, careening down the rocky hillside. Dirt and pine needles spraying up as he fell, chasing after him in a cloud of dust. He crashed leg first into an upturned root, his hand catching against a sapling, slipping from his grasp as he fell. With all his strength he clawed at the soil, reaching for something to grab onto.

He caught the base of a tree, jerking to a sudden stop. The trickling flood of forest debris joined him, rushing all the way down to the creek below, splashing into the water. The faint noise lost to the shouting behind him.

“Lucas! Don’t you dare leave me!” the voice echoed through the treetops.

“Halt! Stop right there!” one of the soldiers barked in his harsh foreign accent.

“Lucas! Lucas, help! I can’t keep—” Sounds of fighting broke over the panicked shouting. Then a gunshot. Then another. Silence.

He swallowed hard.

He couldn’t outrun them, not like this. There had to be some other way. He tried to focus, his mind and body burning with fear and agony. He tried to remember where he was, to think of landmarks he had passed before. There had to be somewhere he could hide.

Lucas released his grip and carefully slid to the bottom of the hill. With a splash, he landed in the stream, grasping against the shallow, muddy banks. He took off, hobbling down the creek bed.

With a painful grunt, he threw himself down onto his belly as the stream took a sharp bend beneath a pile of underbrush. Fingers raw and bloody, he grasped at the wet earth and stones, lurching forward. Ground cover arched over him, leaves filtering the fading light from the overcast sky, glinting faintly on the clear water below.

He crawled forward, splashing through the tunnel of foliage, his breath seething. The streambed turned, then turned again. A large rock ahead jutted through the underbrush, opening it up to the forest above. He struggled to the gap, forcing himself up to his knees.

Lucas pulled himself up, out of the shrubs and into a wide, gaping hole left in the ground by a massive uprooted tree. The huge disk of earth and roots slanted at an angle over the water. It was the best shelter he could hope for. Sopping and filthy, he dragged himself up into the hole in the earth. The scent of rotting leaves and wet soil filled him. Insects scattered away. He crawled in as far as he could and then collapsed.

His breath came staccato as he tried to hold it, nostrils flaring every time he was forced to breathe. He began to tremble slightly, shaking in the darkness under the roots. He closed his eyes in a wincing grimace. He could hear the soldiers, still shouting. Voices echoing through the trees. They were fanning out, looking for him.

Breath. Breath. Pause. Wait and listen. Were they coming nearer? They were calling out to each other. Some closer, others farther away. The roots and the damp air muffled the sound above him.

And then he heard it: the crunch and awkward grunting of someone working his way across the densely packed forest floor, struggling through the bushes.

“I don’t think he came this way,” the man yelled hoarsely in an indecipherable accent. Whoever he was talking to wasn’t close by. They were already spreading out too thinly.

He waited in silence, eyes closed. Listening to the sounds, hearing them approach. Every snapping twig and bending branch shooting through his mind.

“Well, which way is it do you think that he came?” The reply was distant.

“feth if I know!”

More irritated grunting, more rustling of leaves. The movement suddenly began to slow, and then it stopped altogether.

“Is there anything for you?” the voice nearby came again. It was getting close now. Maybe fifty yards away, at most.

A long moment crept by. Silence.

“No,” came the reply at last, even further off than before. “I think he got away, for now.”

The soldier near him spat loudly.

Silence covered the forest again.

“Well so it seems!” the voice shouted. Even with the heavy accent, the tone of voice registered defeat. “Next time we find you, rebel! Next time we feth you in the face!”

Lucas lay as still as a corpse. His pain-wracked eyes opening up to the sky above him. It was going to mist over tonight. He could feel it. He was going to get away this time. Again.

“Next time!” the soldier finished, followed by a second loud spit. Muttered curses filtered through the air, mixed with more grunting and rustling. The sounds began to fade away, the forest returning to stillness.

To silence.

His chest rose and fell slowly, trembling.

He lay there, frozen. Little grains of dirt and sand working their way into his black hair, which was so desperately in need of a cut. Bloody scratches slowly coagulating on his face amid dark stubble. Mud caking slowly on the faded ruins of his uniform, which was hardly recognizable anymore.

He waited, perfectly still in the quiet tranquility of the forest, not daring to move. The sky began to darken, slowly but surely. Low-hanging clouds began to spill a light mist into the canopy high above. After what felt like hours, a whole lifetime, he finally began to emerge from his hole, crawling over the wet earth.

He had survived, somehow.

His whole body burned in agony as he slowly lifted himself to his feet, leaning on the fallen tree as he crawled out, limping towards the creek. He took a moment to find a stick to lean on, and then walked out into the gloom.


***


The hazy night air was nearly pitch black. Only the last fading glimmer of twilight remained, a dull glow above the treetops. Lucas groped his way forwards, nearly blind.

He had one thing going for him, he thought as he painfully hobbled towards the valley below: he knew where he was.

That was his one advantage. Of all the friends and comrades he had known and lost, he was the only one who had actually lived and worked here before the war. The only one who knew the wooded slopes north of Cupercourt.

Before joining the Defense Service, he had been stationed here as a forester. The ladies in town used to fawn over him, ogling the dashing young man in uniform. He once had food and laughter, his regiment and his friends, a job and a purpose, and a home.

Now he had a stick and a muddy, faded uniform and a broken ankle, most likely. He might not even have friends anymore. Given how badly the mission had gotten screwed up, they were all probably dead now. Certainly Nathan was. White-coats weren’t exactly known for their kindly treatment of rebels.

He still resented the label: rebel. The war had been so bloody, and defeat so certain, that anyone who had any sense had gone over to the other side. No one knew that the Fauleighra would arrive and “save the day.” They certainly didn’t save it for Lucas.

No, now, for no other reason than trying to survive, he was branded a traitor, hunted down by a foreign army. He had no choice but to resist, or die.

And his bloody end would come soon, no doubt. At the beginning, the rebels outnumbered the so-called saviors twelve to one, but all of their support had been whisked away. Their allies abandoned them, retreating into the void of deep space. Marshal Tellis, on the other hand, was as clever as he was brutal, and piece by piece he had broken the rebel army. There weren’t many of his kind left anymore. The wilderness around him was their final dwindling hope.

It had finally become just too dark to see when Lucas limped haggardly into the narrow ravine. What was hidden from the outside gave away its secret as he climbed. A small chem-lamp shined weakly through the mist. He had made it home, of sorts.

Camouflaged lean-tos jutted out into the ravine, mismatched scraps of canvas providing cover from above, sheltering the crude space hollowed out in the dirt. More chem-lamps cast their weak illumination across the support struts and bedrolls beneath the shelter. Battered storage crates roughly covered in tarps lurked in the corners.

A light groan reached him from across the camp, accompanied by a smooth murmur. Well, Paul was still alive, at least. Whatever luck had given Lucas a foggy night now gave him a surviving medic. He moved toward the sounds but then stopped, despite his wound.

He turned instead, moving away from the lights. Returning to his rough patch of dirt under the makeshift ring of shelter, ducking down to enter. He looked down at the row of empty bedrolls. Only two of them were full, their occupants swathed in bandages. Lucas sighed as he limped over to his own place beneath the awning.

He carefully lay down on the ground, closing his eyes, the fatigue and fear and horrible throbbing in his leg crushing down on him all at once. He sat alone in the darkness, trying to think of something, anything to take his mind off the pain. Off of what remained of his life.

Why should he be any different from the rest of them? He had survived yet again, but for what? Why was he the one who had made it? He had asked himself the same questions every night. After every dead friend, and every close call. The question pressed on him as he lay there, staring up at the canvas. Today had been a very close call, and he now had a lot of dead friends.

It was all just brute force. Just making it through, day after day, here at the end. Fate had decided to keep him alive just long enough to bury all the corpses before it shoved him out the door.

“Lucas?”

He snapped out of his thoughts for a moment. The medic was crouching into his lean-to.

“I thought I saw you come in here,” Paul spoke in his smooth voice.

“Yeah,” Lucas replied dully, too exhausted to force a smile. “How is it?”

“Not many who made it back were wounded, so it’s not too bad for me,” the medic replied. “Unless you mean in general, then... Well... I guess you could say I won’t be very busy tonight.”

Lucas nodded absently, staring past Paul and his bloody apron.

“Are you hurt?” Paul asked.

Lucas sighed. Once he had everything, and now he had nothing. Just a swatch of canvas, sagging in the darkness, the sweet night air pouring in through the mist. The scent of a million trees and mossy boulders. The scent of earth and creeping flowers.

Now he had nothing. These last few moments were coming to an end. Maybe tonight, maybe two months from now. He could feel his inevitable demise as sure as he felt the cool moisture on his face. He should enjoy it for whatever short time it lasted.

He closed his eyes and let out a deep breath. No need to bother the doctor. Just say it’s fine and let him move on to those who need it worse. Soon enough, he wouldn’t need anything at all.

He opened his eyes.

“Lucas, are you hurt or not?”

He breathed deeply again.

Finally he exhaled, letting out a long sigh.

“Yeah.”

“Let me get my bag,” Paul replied, straightening up and leaving the shelter.

No, Lucas still had something left, however tenuous. He still had his reputation as a survivor. And he had his boundless hatred for Tellis and the government army.

He leaned back onto his bedroll and closed his eyes.

He tried to shut out the pain. Shut out the lean-to and the medic and the damp, fragrant night air. The world fell away slowly, fitfully, little fragments of memory creeping up from deep inside his mind. Lucas had something else too.

His thoughts drifted to the sounds of laughter and of her special kindness. Her honest kind of strength. The tantalizing hope that he just might make it, and if he did, there might be a life waiting for him on the other side. A way to feel like a real person again.

There was hope, and it came with long waves of curly blonde hair. Of blushing red lips. Of limitless, deep blue eyes.

The most gentle, fragile vision. Lucas was afraid to breathe, lest the gossamer strands of memory blow away.

He had his unyielding desperation and fear, but he also had love, of sorts. He had Claire.



This message was edited 94 times. Last update was at 2015/03/06 01:09:56


Your one-stop website for batreps, articles, and assorted goodies about the men of Folera: Foleran First Imperial Archives. Read Dakka's favorite narrative battle report series The Hand of the King. Also, check out my commission work, and my terrain.

Abstract Principles of 40k: Why game imbalance and list tailoring is good, and why tournaments are an absurd farce.

Read "The Geomides Affair", now on sale! No bolter porn. Not another inquisitor story. A book written by a dakkanought for dakkanoughts!
 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Vallejo, CA

---

MELCHOIR

---


The uniform: bleached to flawless white, perfectly starched. The left arm: steel and gold scrollwork waxed and polished to high-gloss brilliance. Medals, both of them, inset on brightly colored ribbons. Olive-toned skin scrubbed clean and, against its owner’s wishes, lightly perfumed for the occasion. Thinning black hair close cropped. Shaggy eyebrows neatly trimmed.

Melchoir frowned. He glanced at himself in the full-size mirror one last time. His stature only managed to fill three quarters of the glass, and that was being rather generous. He’d had it tilted slightly forward to lessen the effect.

He sighed as he stared at his reflection.

He turned towards his orderlies. Both of them tonight were locals, tall with flowing blond hair. One of them brought forward a small tray with various accoutrements: a small glass of claret, a spare comb, a small pill tray filled with uppers and another with downers. Snuff. Coca powder. That disgusting purple-veined leaf the locals liked to chew while they pretended to be civilized.

He reached out with his gloved right hand and lifted out a pair of stimulants. The small pills rolled around as he eyed them uncertainly. He had been trying hard to stay off drugs, despite the crushing stress he was under. He had recently been nothing more than a junior officer, and the learning curve from company commander to planetary governor was more than steep.

But tonight was special. He was meeting with a servant of the Emperor, and he needed to be sharp. This was too important to screw up just because he was a little tired. He reached for the glass of wine, quickly swallowing the pills before he could change his mind. The fatigue began to wash away almost instantly.

“Are you ready, Governor Tellis?” the trayless orderly asked in the local drowning-in-pea-soup accent.

“Governor Theleos,” Melchoir instinctively corrected, to no avail. “And yes, I think I am.” He nodded to his aides and turned towards the exit.

The door groaned open as Melchoir stepped out into the night air, its soggy, acrid, wet heat pouring down the collar of his perfectly pressed uniform. He instantly broke out in a sweat, the suffocating humidity pissing on his face. It was unbearable out, even at night, yet again. He began to work his way down the stairway, his polished boots lightly clanging on the metal.

He looked out onto the landing pad, the orbital shuttle bathed in the illumination of the spaceport’s searchlights – though calling it a shuttle would scorn lesser battleships, he thought. The Emperor’s envoy had arrived in more of a giant space barge, three hundred yards long at least, barely able to fit in its cramped confines.

It was built like a cathedral, complete with spires and towers. Buttresses flanked its long hull, the floodlights sending deep shadows into the recesses, giving the immense spacecraft the look of a skeletal ribcage. The shining spires along the top of the vessel were crowned with massive anti-ship defenses. The buttresses and wells below were studded with heavy weapons designed to swat away the lesser nuisances. Light beamed starkly on its colossal ramming prow.

Melchoir looked in awe at the interstellar projection of faith and power. At the symbol of something so much greater than he could ever hope to be.

The gigantic spacecraft loomed over him as he walked across the landing pad, passing from light into shadow. The hull showed signs of extensive battle damage and ceaseless repair, a testament to the dangers that even the rich and powerful faced on long voyages through deep space.

He made it to the tall arched entryway, greeted by a pair of servants just as vapid as his own. A fresh breeze flooded over him as he passed through the baroque airlock, mercifully out of the weather, and into the climate-controlled opulence of the spacefaring palace. They entered into a huge front chamber: part grand ballroom, part nave. Fluted columns rising to the high, vaulted ceiling, bedecked with crystal lighting.

The hallway beyond was lined with statues, images of the imperial legate’s ancestors chiseled in marble. No expense could be spared to demonstrate the unbroken succession of authority, the contiguity of power. Even Melchoir’s active imagination had failed to cope with the scale of this place. Once again, he had to force down the unconscious desire to look impressed.

The lightly enchevroned red carped crunched softly underfoot as they made their way to the solarium. The final room was likewise lavishly done, but it reflected the man he was to meet, not merely the position he held. The man, it seemed, had a taste for abstract sculpture, each somewhat less tasteful than the last. The final piece was a plain cube of polished metal labeled “Release, #9,” with a signed artist’s statement.

They finally made it to a pair of polished ebony doors. One of the servants at the entrance gave Melchoir a look, signaling the governor to dismiss his orderlies, before he was politely waved in.

For all the plushness and baroque style without, the sight within was a vulgar shock. The holy of holies was nothing more than a small office with a few file cabinets, a bookshelf, and a modest metal-topped table with a reasonably ergonomic office chair.

He was alone, except for a man standing at the table, stooping over something under his desk lamp. He looked up as Melchoir entered.

With brisk courtesy, the imperial envoy crossed the small room. His bad comb-over was plastered down to his forehead. He was filled to bursting with a nervous energy, as if he were about to fling himself out a window.

“Ah, so you must be the governor – this Malcolm Tellis I’ve heard so much of?” he inquired, the words falling as languidly from his mouth as the hair covering his bald spot.

“Melchoir,” he corrected politely. “Melchoir Theleos.” Even if the locals couldn’t manage it, at least someone would pronounce his damn name right.

“Ah,” the legate replied. “I see. Your homeworld is Folera, yes?”

“It is,” Melchoir replied.

“I see,” the legate muttered again, looking at him strangely.

The room lapsed into an awkward silence. Melchoir looked for a place to sit to get out of the doorway, but there was only one chair in the room – the one by the desk. He wondered if that was an oversight or something calculated for effect.

“You must be Administrator Egiustacious?” Melchoir asked.

“Yes, indeed,” the legate replied, coming back to reality with that anxious twitchiness. “But you were not summoned here merely to exchange pleasantries. This is a matter of business, of course. Much work to be done. You are the governor of this planet, and I am your liaison to the Emperor’s administration, and the two of us, it seems, have a problem.”

“Do we?” Melchoir asked.

“Yes, and a problem with your contract, no less.”

“My contract?” he replied, suddenly nervous.

“Yes. I’ve been studying this world’s case file,” the envoy continued, devoid of emotion. “As you can imagine, it troubles a person such as myself to notice quite so many... inconsistencies.”

“Inconsistencies?” Melchoir choked.

“Indeed,” Egiustacious continued, finally backing up to give Melchoir a bit of personal space. “The Emperor in his wisdom and mercy sent you and your army to this planet to end the rebellion here, was this not so? And yet I see reports of continued fighting here on Geomides, even after all this time. We find this... unfortunate.

“But there is an even graver issue which stands between us.” The legate continued, bringing his gaze to Melchoir again. “We both understand the temporary nature of your appointment as governor, I presume?”

The curious way his voice trailed off sent a chill through Melchoir’s body.

“Certainly,” the governor replied, as politely as he could. “When Inquisitor Quistl Amns promoted me, there were no pretensions of permanence. I am only holding things together while we wait for those more suited to the task.”

“Yes, yes,” the legate replied blankly. “I am intimately acquainted with Lord Amns myself, and I am certain of his wise judgment. And indeed, you are correct. I am here with a great many planet-builders, here to transform this war-wracked world into a peaceful and productive planet once more.”

“Good,” Melchoir replied warily. “Then this to be the end of it?”

“Unfortunately for you, governor, the answer is no.”

“What?”

“This situation is somewhat... delicate,” the envoy continued. “We had certain expectations, you see – a certain vision for how this transition would proceed. Certain things would happen before certain other things. Certain procedures and deadlines and project goals, you see. These expectations have not been met, however, and we have become, shall we say, concerned. I regret to inform you that this entire process has come to a halt. Your planet is currently under interdict.”

“A what?”

“Interdict. You are cut off, so to speak.”

This time the what failed to materialize.

“It is unfortunate, as I said,” the envoy continued. “But it is the natural consequence of events.”

“Events?” Melchoir stuttered.

“Yes, governor. As you know, Geomides is an integral link in the chain of the Emperor’s great war machine – a machine that only runs smoothly when each of the gears is in place,” he said, weaving his fingers together.

“But you see,” he continued, “the Administratum and Munitorum both have a keen interest in making certain that quotas are filled. You must understand this, being a soldier of the Imperial Guard yourself. If every citizen didn’t do his part, then our brave defenders would go fighting the enemies of mankind without food or weapons.”

“We have no intention of withholding from the Emperor,” Melchoir insisted, choosing his words carefully. “I promise we’ve been doing everything we can. If I’ve failed you somehow, I apologize completely. I swear if things haven’t been going to plan, it’s only because of the difficulties we’ve faced rebuilding. Nothing untoward is happening here.”

“That is for me to determine, governor. Given the many recent shortcomings of Geomides, I regret to inform you that we are uncertain whether this is a planet that has merely lapsed in its duties or, given its miserable failures of quota and continued rebellion, one that is in open revolt against the Emperor.”

“Revolt?” Melchoir gasped. “No, it’s nothing like that.”

“Perhaps,” the legate replied, terrifyingly devoid of emotion. “We shall see. So long as you are under an official interdict, I will be here to investigate the matter. To make sure things are running smoothly.”

“Smoothly?” Melchoir said, his mouth agape. “Sir, this planet once housed twelve billion souls. The warfare here has claimed all, save a few million of them. This planet is a desolate wasteland.”

“Yes, we understand that, which is why we have considered being lenient on the lapse of tithes,” came the cool reply.



“You are temporarily relieved of your requirement to supply Imperial Guard regiments, as well as other tax obligations. You are even relieved of your burden for producing flak armor for the Emperor’s armies, which was this world’s primary export. You must, however, give us some token of good faith that you are still willing to support us before we will support you.”

“Anything,” Melchoir almost shouted.

“If you can bring the production of left shoulder pads back up to one tenth of its prewar quota, I believe we can relieve the interdiction.”

“Left shoulder pads?”

“Yes, marshal. Just think of all our poor defenders of the righteous cause. Think how they die in the thousands and in the millions, slain on battlefields far away from wounds taken to the left shoulder and upper arm. I shudder to think.” He didn’t actually shudder.

“Yes, of course,” the governor replied. “It will be difficult. The whole planet is a wasteland, as I mentioned. The repair even of habitation is needed before we can do anything else. And the food situation. The whole countryside is suffering from a serious lack of rainfall, and the locals are near starvation. Please, at least send us food, and we can do whatever you want.”

“You are under interdict,” the envoy insisted.

Melchoir flinched at the madness. He could build them a million left shoulder pads in a week if only they would drop their manufacturies down from orbit.

“I was told something about you, marshal,” the legate continued in an almost conciliatory tone. “I was told you were a man who can take control of things. Certainly the Lord Inquisitor Amns must have thought so to give you such a responsibility in the first place.”

Melchoir didn’t know if that was praise or a threat.

“I will handcraft pauldrons myself, if need be,” Melchoir replied. “Just as I will look forward your transition team doing its job. As soon as possible.”

“Then we have reached an understanding,” the administrator replied, forcing a wan smile.

“Yes,” Melchoir replied in his least-reluctant tone of voice. “We do what we can, when we can.”

“I am pleased,” the legate stated. “I had fears that you would have lingering desires for power or that you would resist the grave reality imposed upon us. You seem to be a very reasonable man, and creditworthy, I hope. I wish you good fortune, Governor Theleos.”

“Keep me informed of your progress,” the legate concluded as means of dismissal. Melchoir took the hint gracefully, clearing his throat and turning to leave the room. The black door opened as he approached, ejecting him back into the plush fantasy outside.

His orderlies sauntered over towards the governor as he approached. Melchoir let out a long breath through pursed lips, as if he had forgotten to exhale for the last ten minutes. The Emperor’s representative had looked limp and weak, but Melchoir suddenly suspected that he had just escaped losing his head.

Perhaps not all notices of imperial censure were handled with such tact. He was suddenly grateful that his host seemed to appreciate soft carpets and abstract art.

“Come on,” he told his orderlies brusquely. “We have a lot of work to do.”


This message was edited 5 times. Last update was at 2015/03/06 00:59:20


Your one-stop website for batreps, articles, and assorted goodies about the men of Folera: Foleran First Imperial Archives. Read Dakka's favorite narrative battle report series The Hand of the King. Also, check out my commission work, and my terrain.

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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Vallejo, CA

---

JAINES

---


It was like a painting.

The summer night stretched out before her, the sultry darkness a perfect, silent tranquility. In the center was a globe of light, the spherical streetlamp brilliant against its backdrop. The trees around her stretched up, reaching higher and higher into the shadows, branches fanning out, splitting then splitting again.

The night air above her exploding with detail.

A million leaves splashed across her view, lit from below – a cascade of off-white pouring out over the street, frozen in place, shimmering in the night air. The tiny clusters of light hung on the long, arching branches, a mosaic dome suspended above the streetlight’s glowing orb, leaves fluttering lazily in the faintest humid breeze.

The brick pavement was still slightly warm beneath her bare feet, the smooth clay joining the concentric tapestry overhead. The silence and the darkness and the weight of the perfumed air blotting out everything else, leaving her with only this small piece, free from all the clutter that would drown it out in daylight. She could focus intimately on things that would normally pass by as ordinary, taken for granted.

She took a step forward and then another, watching the monochrome kaleidoscope shift overhead, branches shifting behind the leaves, patches of reflected light slowly obscured and then revealed as she walked underneath, staring up.

She sighed, giving the view a final passing glance as she left the streetlight’s aura, returning to the darkness. Feeling the worn-down pavement as she walked in the middle of the street. There was no traffic tonight, just like there wasn’t any traffic any night. Not anymore.

Her city was in ruins.

The desolation still shocked her sometimes. The crumbling homes and buildings everywhere reminded her of a human skeleton. You knew it was the remains of something real, something living, but at the same time it so faintly resembled the original subject. A strange, cruel parody of what had come before.

Not unlike her life. Or that of any of her little group of survivors, who had somehow made it through the jaws of unimaginable violence. She thought it strange that any of them had survived the war. That any human beings had been left alive, clinging to the ragged byproduct of apocalypse.

She wore a pair of torn shorts, the pockets stuffed with tiny green apples. This was how she got by: foraging from fruit trees in what were once front yards. No doubt they had been planted for how pretty their flowers looked in the spring, nothing more. It was still much too early for ripe fruit, but there was no danger of creating a shortage; she had mapped out every apple, pear, and peach tree within miles. And anyways, it wouldn’t do if she starved to death waiting for autumn.

And so she walked, barefoot over the smooth bricks that paved the streets, hopping from island of light to island of light, the overcast sky blotting out the stars and leaving the world a simple place of punctuated darkness. She scratched her belly, her thin fingers rubbing up against the threadbare, white sleeveless shirt that draped over her petite frame.

Ahead, she could barely make out her flimsy shack, crowded together with the others near the intersection. She sighed as she approached her little community, every step a little heavier than the last. She was returning, back into her own private prison. The doors were unlocked, but she was trapped nonetheless. Stuck with the same stupid people, the same grinding poverty, the same pointless existence.

She had been university educated with rich parents, and now that world was dead, along with the rest of them. What a cruel thing to raise a child to make a difference and then suddenly leave her with nothing but wasted potential.

The worst part, she regretted to admit, was that she was mostly just bored.

“Jaines,” came a voice from the shadows as she approached. She flinched instinctively at the sound.

“Jules,” she replied as the young man emerged from behind a makeshift shelter. He was simple and altogether unfortunate, but a companion, of sorts. The fact that she considered him at all was a constant reminder of her endless desperation. Sometimes she even let him feth her, when the crushing ennui brought her too close to the edge of madness.

“Did you have any luck?” he asked.

“The same as usual,” she replied.

“Apple soup tonight, then?”

“Maybe.”

“We could boil them down again. It’s been a while since we did that.”

“Sure.”

“Or we could come up with something else.”

“Right.”

“At least it’s a nice night to be out. Good foraging weather.”

“Yeah.”

Jaines took a step to the side, trying to rip herself free from the conversation, but Jules moved to block her.

“Hey, are you coming to the meeting tonight?” he asked eagerly.

She rolled her eyes. Why bother? A bunch of sad sacks bitching and moaning. Like she didn’t have it tough too, but she didn’t feel the need to try and group-hug away the destruction of civilization. The only thing worse than a bunch of timid idiots was a bunch of timid idiots with a martyr complex. A bunch of drama queens enabling each other to be pathetic, and not actually doing anything about how awful everything had become. Competing over who could be the biggest victim.

She sighed again. But what else was she going to do? Spend all night with Jules? It had been months since she had last attended the pity party. Maybe there would be some new dirt this time. She could always screw later, if she still felt up to it after the inevitable nausea of one of these meetings.

It would give her something else to do, at least. Mindless entertainment.

“Yeah,” Jaines finally replied. “Sure, I guess.”

“Great!” Jules exclaimed, lighting up. “There’s been so much going on, I’m going to have to catch you up on everything. You’ll never believe what Anna’s been saying. Such gossip!”

“I’m sure,” she replied, forcing a wan smile. “Just give me a second, okay?”

“Yeah, no problem. Just hurry up, we don’t want to miss it.”

Jaines turned, letting her attempted smile dissolve away. She made her way back to her shack, stopping at the hacked-out doorway for a moment, staring into the gaping hole.

She reached into her pockets and withdrew her small collection of apples, tossing them angrily into the small space.

Jaines turned and walked back out to Jules. He held out his hand, which she reluctantly grabbed, following her companion down the street.


***


The diner was a miraculous oddity, somehow completely undamaged by the war. Not a single pane of glass was broken. All the lights worked. The chalkboards behind the counter still showed menu items in prewar prices. It was a strange beacon of normalcy.

At least a hundred people were crammed into the small space. The old and infirm in booths and stools at the counter, while the rest sat on the floor, or in the windowsills. A few more sat on the disused griddles, while even more were forced to stand.

Jaines sat on the air conditioner near the back, under the only fluorescent light that was starting to go out.

“And I can’t even imagine how many children I could have saved if they had allowed me to continue my practice,” continued the old man with a missing eye and a splotchy burn over the left side of his face. Everyone was listening quietly. “But no. They said they had too many doctors and not enough ag workers. A farmer! Can you believe it? They shipped me off here to Boroughcourt without so much as a second thought. Now I’m working my fingers to the bone doing menial tasks when I could be saving lives.”

The room broke out in quiet indignancy, murmuring softly. The doctor passed the talking stick – an old metal spatula – to the person next to him.

“I’m sorry,” the woman replied as she took the baton. “You and me both. I was self-actualized, you know. I was happy enough with my food subsidy and housing, and I was writing. I was creating art. What is the point of surviving if we’ve lost our souls? And now I have to work in a manufactorum, and for what?” she continued bitterly. “Before, they at least gave us dignity. I was free from the fear that I wouldn’t have food or medicine, and I had the right to do whatever I was good at without penalty. Now we have half-rations, and I’m told if I don’t do this or that, and don’t fill some sort of arbitrary production goals, they’ll make me buy my food. They’ll deny my right to bread! I’ll starve!”

The light flickered above Jaines.

“And it’s not like we won’t work,” broke in another, out of turn. “I worked munitions, but now look. Nobody cares about quality anymore. I can’t ply my trade. I’m just a cog in a machine. Now I have to work five days a week, and I get barely an hour for lunch, and I sometimes have to work overtime. This never would have stood before!”

Flicker. Flicker-flicker.

Even Jaines was forced to agree that things were pretty bad. They now labored in barbaric work conditions, under the harsh gaze of those who saw them as nothing more than what quotas they filled by the end of a long day of work. Agriculture was particularly brutal, requiring hours of manual labor – fixing machines, copying ledgers, and transporting produce.

The crowd in the diner was starting to get riled up, others trying to break into the conversation. A few shouts bubbled up over the noise. This was new to Jaines. Before, these meetings had always been so sad. Now they seemed... angry.

For the first time in a long time, her curiosity was piqued. The light flickered above her.

“I know, I know,” someone called out from the middle of the pack, trying to barge his way over the growing unrest. A balding man came forward to the middle of the room, his face badly pockmarked, concealed by a thin salt-and-pepper beard. It took Jaines a moment to recognize him, he had lost so much weight.

Warren had piercing eyes, which he used to stare down the crowd. The flash of rage returned to smoldering coals. Those who had stood up began to sit back down at his commanding glare.

“I have spoken with the scribes of Boroughcourt,” he began, to mutters of discontent. “I have spoken with Superior Gilbert. He understands our grievances.” Warren seemed almost as ill convinced of this as the rest of them. “He understands what we’re going through, but he says that someone has to work the ag-fabs.”

“But why us?” came an angry voice from the crowd.

“It has to be someone,” Warren replied with a pained voice. “Let’s be reasonable.”

“Reasonable?” Jaines shouted, despite herself. “What reason is this?”

She suddenly became extremely self-conscious as a hundred faces turned to stare at her: the scrawny, young, barefoot woman with the slightly see-through top.

She swallowed hard. What was she doing?

“Yes,” she heard herself continue. “The only reason here is reason at the point of a bayonet.”

The room grew silent as the air began to charge up.

“I mean,” she continued, “the only reason any of us are doing what we’re doing is because of force. But what’s the worst they’re going to do? Starve us? We’re already starving. Enslave us? We are already slaves.

“Nothing will ever change unless we change it. I say we live our own lives again. You don’t want to be a farmer? Then walk off the farm. You don’t want to be a mech clerk? Put down your tools. It’s your life, people. Do something about it.”

Silence took over the diner.

“That’s all well and good,” Warren spoke carefully, “but actions have consequences.”

“That was my point, Warren,” Jaines replied, slowly growing bolder, swept up in her own momentum. A haze of possibilities engulfed her mind. “What’s going to happen?” she continued. “Gilbert? Is our own superior going to murder each and every one of us for pursuing our rights? Of course not.”

“The Fauleighra,” Warren started.

“Are hundreds of miles away in Cupercourt fighting so-called rebels,” Jaines replied. “But what do they know anyways? It’s their foreign ways of doing things that’s causing us this misery in the first place. If Marshal Tellis stands against us, I say we stand against Marshal Tellis.”

“What are you saying?” someone spoke from the crowd.

Jaines got up from her seat and stood up on the air conditioning unit. The light above flickered over her head.

“I say nothing changes unless we change it. We fight, get what we need, and depose anyone who stands in our way.”

The room burst into a hornet’s nest of shouting. The cacophony knocked Jaines back down to her seat. Yelling, jostling, and pushing crushed in around her in the raucous chaos. She leapt down from her spot into someone lurching backwards from a hard shove, the man smashing her into the wall.

The collective pent-up anger blasted through the tiny diner. All the loss, all the pain, all the degradation. All the yearning and anger at the feeling of helplessness. A year and a half of apocalyptic warfare and brutal occupation. The stirred flutterings of genuine, self-righteous rage.

A tall man tripped over her as she crawled to the back exit, kicking her hard in the ribs. She stifled a cry of pain as she made it the last few feet to the door, shoving her way through a few others who were quickly trying to leave, struggling through the pandemonium.

She popped back out into the sultry night air, staggering away from the scene. The darkness felt warm and soothing, comforting somehow. Alive.

Her dirty bare feet moved quickly over the smooth bricks beneath her, striding out into the night. Things were much more interesting than she thought. Something was about to happen, and she needed to be there when it did. She needed to help take control, or it would whisk away from her all at once. She needed to move up, or else she’d be stuck forever in that shack with half-rations, hard apples, and Jules.

Her excitement built as she walked toward a small island of light, the leaves shimmering ever so slightly. The world was dancing for her. She began to smile, despite herself.

She finally had something to do.

She paused for a moment, listening to the diner behind her. She needed to turn around and go back. She needed to get the people with power on her side. She needed a way in.

What she needed was Warren.

She turned and grabbed her side where she had been kicked, her feet slowly gliding back towards the diner. Walking back through the humid summer darkness.



This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2015/03/06 00:59:45


Your one-stop website for batreps, articles, and assorted goodies about the men of Folera: Foleran First Imperial Archives. Read Dakka's favorite narrative battle report series The Hand of the King. Also, check out my commission work, and my terrain.

Abstract Principles of 40k: Why game imbalance and list tailoring is good, and why tournaments are an absurd farce.

Read "The Geomides Affair", now on sale! No bolter porn. Not another inquisitor story. A book written by a dakkanought for dakkanoughts!
 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Vallejo, CA

---

CLAIRE

---


Claire was up late again. The pile of requisition forms lay unsigned on her desk, leering up at her. She’d been working all day, but the stack didn’t seem to be getting any smaller. It was a losing battle.

She sighed, letting herself gaze out the window again. It was open, allowing the warm night breeze into her office. The sultry perfume of summer gently kissed her face and ran lightly through her wavy blonde hair, tickling the back of her neck and spilling into the collar of her work blouse. The trees in front of her window swayed gently in the evening air.

She stared idly at the chain-link fence up the street. On her side lay what remained of the city of Cupercourt, the part being rebuilt on the hill. Beyond lay the abandoned ruins, stretching down to the river. She looked up at the ribbon of black hills cutting a defiant line against the hazy night sky. A few stars peeked out between the soft, pillowy clouds above.

She stared at the vast wilderness out her window, trying to imagine the forest at night. How anyone could live out there, camped beneath the leaves and the stars. But he was there, right now.

Lucas.

She thought about the way his dark hair fell around his ears. The way his strong hands gently slid around her waist.

She could see his face. The smile in his sparkling eyes. His dark warmth. The way he laughed, even when her attempts at humor fell flat, which they almost always did. The way he kissed her when they finally met, and the way he kissed her when they had to part.

Her breath caught in her throat. She could feel him, as if he were standing right next to her. As if he were there to pull her into his embrace. It had been weeks since last she had heard from him – no, at least two months. She had been waiting so long, without so much as a letter from him. Without knowing... knowing if he was...

“Dead in here tonight, isn’t it, Ms. Rochefield?” came a voice from behind her.

“What? Claire asked, turning suddenly in her chair.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you.” It was Anna, bringing in another stack of forms.

“No, it’s alright,” Claire replied, trying to clear her head. “Any news from Aurel?”

“The superior of Cupercourt is not to be disturbed,” Anna replied in a poor impersonation. “Rebuilding the city is a task that requires endless oversight. Surely a scribe such as yourself can appreciate this fact.”

Claire sighed.

“And before you ask,” Anna continued, “the vice superior is in another meeting with Marshal Vogel.”

“What is it now?”

“Who knows?” Anna replied. “If you can figure out how to keep the white-coats happy, make sure to let me know. It would look great on a resume. Better yet, figure out how to crush the rebel army. I can’t wait to send Vogel and his soldiers home for good.”

“It would be nice for things to be simpler around here,” Claire admitted, her thoughts turning towards the window.

“Well in the meantime, here you go. Congratulations once again on your promotion to arch-scribe.” She plopped the stack of paperwork down on the desk.

“Yeah, thanks,” Claire replied wryly.

“Hey, when the other two aren’t around, you get to be the one in charge here.”

“And I get all the responsibility that comes with it.”

“And the pay, and the title,” Anna replied. “Not everyone gets to be arch-scribe.”

“I know. I’m sorry,” Claire apologized. “It’s just been a long day. Thanks for staying late and helping finish up.”

“No problem. Speaking of,” Anna replied. “It’s already getting pretty late. Do you think you’ll be able to go out tonight? Some of us were going to a soiree. We might be able to catch the end of one if we hurry.”

“Umm, probably not tonight, sorry.”

“Well, don’t stay here too late, anyways,” Anna replied, turning to leave.

“I wouldn’t have to if I’d gotten my work done faster in the first place,” Claire muttered, turning back to her desk as Anna left. Her office dimmed as the lights in the main room flicked off.

She sighed again, looking at the requisition forms in front of her. They were due by the end of the week. They were her responsibility. She was the arch-scribe now.

Her eyes wandered out the window again. Her thoughts immediately returned to Lucas.

She needed to stop this daydreaming. She was building the future. She was repairing her broken city and making everyone’s life better. She was part of the very system that rebels like Lucas were trying to destroy.

And it was only a matter of time before he was gone anyways. She read the news. She knew what everybody said. Grand Marshal Vogel posted weekly casualty reports, promising he would wipe the rebels out. Sooner or later, Lucas would be killed, if he hadn’t been already.

And she should be glad. She was a magistrate’s daughter, and they were filthy rebels. Her relationship with Lucas was beyond dangerous – bordering on treason. The sooner it was all done with, the sooner she could finally be free of him, and get on with the rest of her life.

But still, she felt a mixture of anxiety and desperate hope. Remembering the flash she felt through her body when he held her firmly against him. The strong fingers bringing her in. Commanding her. Sliding across her until she pleaded for him, her voice choking on the words, her eyes betraying her need.

Her breath began to quicken as the evening breeze filled her. Her mind unconsciously drifting away, bringing to view that night a week ago.

She had stood at the chain-link fence, looking for him. Waiting. Dreading the worst. She had grasped the fence, her slender fingers pushing through the gaps. Letting her face gently caress the wire. She closed her eyes.

Then she heard it. The rattle of the fence, the rustle in the grass. Footsteps. Her whole body tightened up, face going flush.

Lucas approached, coming out of the darkness. Walking up to her under the light on the fence.

“Claire,” he spoke. His rough, commanding voice was soft and gentle. Almost otherworldly.

“L… Lucas,” she replied. A rush of pure, exhilaration rushing up her spine, smashing away everything.

Lucas smiled, a few scratches running down his cheek into the dark stubble on his jaw. “It’s nice to see you again,” he spoke.

“Umm. You... You’re hurt,” she finally managed, noticing how he held onto the fence for support.

“This?” Lucas replied. “I thought I broke my ankle. It turned out that I just sprained it. Don’t you worry, it’s healing well. A few more days and I won’t even notice it. They said so.”

“How did you get in?” she asked, her eyes transfixed on him, drinking in his lean, hard strength. Her whole body was beginning to tingle.

“The same way as usual,” he replied nonchalantly. “Your boss’s security is still terrible. They couldn’t catch me, even if I tried to get caught.”

The two still stood apart, framed by the glow pouring down from the floodlight atop the fence.

“I’m sorry...” Lucas began clumsily. “I’m sorry that it’s been so long. I should have been back weeks ago. I’m sure you were worried sick.”

“Worried?” she squeaked. She wanted to scream. Worried? She had wrung herself to ruin over him, ripping herself to pieces with every missed night. With every counting day of his absence. She wanted to run up to him and hit him. To pound on his chest and his arms and yell and scream at him. She didn’t know what she was thinking. It was all coming to her so fast.

He could see her breathing heavily again, close to tears. “I’m sorry,” he said again. “I’ll never be this long again, I promise.”

It was absurd. It wasn’t right. It was so, so wrong. But there he stood, his arms opened up to her. Beckoning to her. She took a step towards him. And then another, and there she was.

The two of them stared into each other’s eyes.

“Lucas,” she finally let out, reaching out to him. His strong arms wreathed around her, pulling her in tight. Her senses washed over with the smoky scent of campfire and the earthy musk of moss and forest.

She let out a sigh into his faded, mud-speckled uniform, rushing with pure bliss, everything else falling away before his embrace. His warmth entered her. Pouring through her skin and her face and deep into her breasts. Her lips were flushed and tingling fiercely as they pressed into his firm shoulders, and the rock-hard cords of his arms. Her breathing became more rapid, and more rapid still.

He was here now, holding her tight. Her body began to fill with tension, with the unbearable thrill of anticipation.

He stared down into her wide, glossy eyes. Endless pools of blue. His face was merely inches away from her. Her fast, shallow, fleeting breath gracing his neck, trembling. The irresistible force pulling them together. Closer.

He bent down and placed his lips gently on hers.

She let out a long, moaning sigh as she melted into his arms. The heat was unbearable as ten iron-hard fingers grasped around her waist to prevent her from falling, each firing a sparking shock into her body.

The lump was in her throat again. The ache was returning, not in her heart, but lower, and lower still. The feeling deep inside betrayed her wetness building, swelling, struggling to free itself. She couldn’t take it anymore. All this waiting, all this tortured agony.

Her eyes pleaded as she reached for the buttons on her blouse, fingers fumbling frantically, helplessly.

Lucas carefully released his grasp, letting her feet find the ground again before bending down to help her. Slowly, he unbuttoned her top button, and then, after an eternity, the second one came undone.

She was standing there, her pressed business shirt clinging to her arms and shoulders. The light fell on her heavy breasts, the brassiere straining with every breath she took. A thin bead of sweat trickled slowly down her cleavage as the humid night air closed in around them.

Her body hungered, every fiber of her being thrumming with sensual purpose. With desperate passion. Her eyes bored into his pants. She was not alone.

“We,” she gasped, whatever sense she had left fleeing her. “We… I…”

“Shhh,” Lucas let out, placing his finger along the bead of sweat, and applying the gentlest pressure into the space between her breasts, tracing down until he caught up with the moisture, and kept on going until he was at her belly. The finger stopped just at her navel.

She wanted to scream. No. No, she couldn’t resist this. She had to have him. She looked frantically around her. Underneath was the hard, weedy gravel. Beyond that, the harsh concrete of the sidewalk and street.

Where? Where?

“Lucas, please,” she choked, staring desperately into his eyes. His steely arm came down across her shoulders from behind, the other wound around her waist. His muscular chest forced itself against her back, pulling her up in an eager, urgent embrace.

She was trembling now, the passion too much to bear as his hand slid down and touched the button on her slacks. With a deft flick of his fingers, it was undone. Her pants slid, inch by inch down her hips and thighs. Without losing a moment, his thumb was in the band of her panties. They stretched open as they reached around the cheeks beneath the tail of her dress shirt, before lazily wafting down her legs.

She let go of the last of her wits as he kissed her on the side of her neck beneath her ear. She felt his strong hands slowly bend her over. She reached for the chain-link fence and grabbed on desperately. She bent all the way over, her hips unconsciously spreading apart. Her face gently touched the wire grid, the crosshatched sensation on her lips and forehead.

She was almost sobbing now. Waiting. Exposed completely under the light, in the open night air. And then she felt it.

His fingers were there again, on her, but this was no longer a tease. They served a greater master and moved only to part her lips away. To make room. She reached her own hand down, sliding over his until her fingers found him, pulling him up towards her.

Slowly, bit by bit, she lowered herself onto him. The whole world spun around as she clung to the fence. She sighed as it all washed out of her – every care, every shame, every feeling but him inside of her – it all cascaded down her body, crashing around his rigid hardness as it flew away.

His hands came down and gripped her by the waist again. Gently, he began to slide back out of her before returning again with a violent thrust. Then another.

She gasped for breath as her face smashed into the wire with every stroke. Every filling moment. The pressure of him increased as his hands gripped harder, squeezing her together, inside and out. Taking her utterly, relentless and demanding.

The feeling rose inside her. Her knees began to give way as the fire spread up her belly and into her lungs. Up her throat and into her lips.

She cried out as she came hard against the fence, a wild rush of ecstasy overtaking her. She gasped for air.

Then she realized: he was still going. How was he still…

She came again, harder and faster than before. His manhood filled her body until it burst into her, the flood of his passion surging through hers. Every muscle quivered in raging passion.

And then he stopped, breathless.

He left himself inside her for a long moment, the two panting heavily, fighting to breathe in the humid night air. Then he gave her one short thrust, followed by another. His size reminding her of what he had just done.

With a breathless moan, she felt her legs give out. Lucas’s slick body escaped from her as she fell to her knees on the gravel below, arms raised as her hands still clung to the fence. Her heart beat wildly as the metal caressed her face.

She had a moment of pure bliss as he stood behind her, gazing down on her half-dressed body in the light.

A moment. Just one long moment until she began to return to herself. Until she began to remember. Until she began to think. The breeze wafted in through the window, papers moving on her desk.

What had she done?

Stupid! Stupid! Why did she keep torturing herself? Why did she keep doing this? It was just a phase, she just needed to be calm. To take control of her mind again. Of her feelings. Of her life.

She sighed, blinking away the memory. She took one last look at her requisition forms, the weight of responsibility returning to her. She just needed to get out of this office. She choked back her emotions as she stacked the documents neatly on the desk.

She stood up and walked towards the door, turning the lights off as she left.




This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2015/03/06 01:00:08


Your one-stop website for batreps, articles, and assorted goodies about the men of Folera: Foleran First Imperial Archives. Read Dakka's favorite narrative battle report series The Hand of the King. Also, check out my commission work, and my terrain.

Abstract Principles of 40k: Why game imbalance and list tailoring is good, and why tournaments are an absurd farce.

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Grizzled Space Wolves Great Wolf





Muslpelheim

I like this, I like it very much. Label me a follower
   
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[DCM]
Legendary Master of the Chapter





UK

Good stuff, particularly the first and second chapters. As usual, you've managed to add a very human feel to the 40k universe, and the characters are very good so far. It's great to see Melchoir back in action again too.

I liked the satire of the first chapter, the whole 'Left Shoulder Pad' thing, and the general mocking of the Imperial bureaucracy which just about lets enough of the severity through to be threatening. Very well handled.

125,000 words in two months sounds like a lot, but I'm sure it's doable, and you're off to a good start. Best of luck going forward, and I'll be following this. Will you be supplementing/continuing it with batreps at all?

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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Vallejo, CA

Thanks!

So far, I'm off to a good start, as I comfortably cleared 10,000 words in the first two days. At this pace, 100,000 words will be cleared in fewer than 20 days. I'm also clearing around 20 words per minute while actively writing, so my stats are giving me confidence.

I'm not planning on putting battle reports with this. It's going to be a stand-alone thing. One of the reasons I'm doing it, though, is that it might be a little while until I can get into the next series.

I'm going to be moving in less than two months, and then might well be moving again a couple months after that, but in any case, things are going to be crazy and I'm going to wind up in a new place far away. It will likely not be until autumn, at the earliest before I can start a new batrep series.

So you'll just have to live with literature. Books are good for ya


Your one-stop website for batreps, articles, and assorted goodies about the men of Folera: Foleran First Imperial Archives. Read Dakka's favorite narrative battle report series The Hand of the King. Also, check out my commission work, and my terrain.

Abstract Principles of 40k: Why game imbalance and list tailoring is good, and why tournaments are an absurd farce.

Read "The Geomides Affair", now on sale! No bolter porn. Not another inquisitor story. A book written by a dakkanought for dakkanoughts!
 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Vallejo, CA

---

DAMIEN

---


He was clad in the white uniform he kept for social calls like this. The other two were far too bloodstained for a soiree.

The large, open room was dimly lit, to disguise that it had been a warehouse or a loading dock before the war. Certainly the illusion was improved by the decor. Plush couches richly upholstered sat on expensive carpets. Fluted lamps and a few dwarf palms adding a touch of civilization to the whole affair. Never mind the occasional burned spot or frayed edge.

Damien Vogel stood in the corner of the room, where the people worth associating with were gathered. The vice superior of Cupercourt stood off to his left, followed by his son, the young man ostensibly responsible for the city’s security. To his right was an official from Bellemonde, probably a magistrate’s page sent from the capital to spy on him. The official’s woman sat in the love seat next to him, idly running her fingers through a palm frond with one hand while holding a rapidly emptying glass of red wine in the other.

A few more people stood in the circle, but none of them really mattered at the moment. He only had eyes for one person tonight. The same person whose sheer magnetism and social standing had been drawing more and more of his attention over the past few months.

She sat there, alone, on a maroon and olive-striped sofa, bathed in the light of a stained-glass glow-lamp. She looked almost sad, like the last perfect snowflake to fall before spring. Her blonde hair cascaded down from her silver hairpin in fearsome curls along the side of her neck. The white dress she wore was covered with tiny silver sparkles that pooled around her shoulders and cascaded down her body. The tight-fitting bodice would have spilled her ample figure out but for the clever working of a tailor’s needle.

The moment faded quickly. She was pleasing to look upon, but that hardly made her stand out. He was Grand Marshal Damien Vogel. He was the commander of the entire Foleran Army stationed here on Geomides. The most powerful man on the entire planet, excepting only the governor. He could have any woman he wanted. And he did. Often.

When he commanded, his soldiers obeyed, which was how he had his way with women, too. He ordered them and they presented themselves, whether they wanted to or not. In a way, he almost liked it better when they were a little unwilling. When they were a little spirited.

But the graceful little snowflake sitting on the couch didn’t catch his interest with her spirit. No, it was her pedigree. It was her breeding, not her bosom, that he desired. For she was none other than Claire Rochefield, daughter of Hugo Rochefield, magistrate of finance, and he was as powerful as the locals got. His ancient bloodline, much like the man himself, commanded deference and respect.

Claire would secure Damien’s future here. What that future looked like, he had no idea, but it was certainly going to be better than his past. He had been the son of a shoe repairman on Folera, where he had been sold off to the army to repay debts. Here, by force of arms, he had made something for himself.

A fact which Magistrate Rochefield noticed as well. Damien had begun a conversation with him once the idea of Claire mounted on silk first entered his mind. Their encounters had been brief, however, as the only point of contact was at Council meetings in Bellemonde, and he had precious few other excuses to return to the Geomidian capital city from his gory fieldwork. Speaking of...

Damien straightened out his uniform with a quick tug at the pockets and then put on his best swagger as he sauntered over to Claire and the others sitting across the small table filled with half-eaten hors d’oeuvres.

“Are you enjoying yourself this evening, Ms. Rochefield?” he asked almost smugly. He tried his best to not horribly butcher the strange pronunciation of her name. It was the one respect he gave.

“Yes, Marshal Vogel,” she replied. Her thick, amphibian accent sounded almost cute on her.

“I trust you have heard the news?” he continued. “My men and I have killed over five hundred rebel scum in the past three weeks.”

“Your men, or you yourself?” came the reply, backed by narrowing eyes.

“Both,” he replied. Was she being dense? Maybe she just didn’t understand him. The language barrier sometimes seemed more trouble than it was worth.

“Both you and your men killed five hundred rebels? Tell me then, sir, why do we need all the Fauleighra when you seem do be doing as much as the rest of your army combined?”

Her icy stare met his own. Oh, she was being feisty.

He returned a stern smile, folding his stiff, bristly, authoritarian mustache into its most intimidating position.

“Perhaps, I could let all my men off on furlough,” he replied. “These rebels are so nearly done, I could handle what little is left of them personally. But then, what would my men have to do?”

“Do tell, marshal,” Claire replied coldly. “It does not seem to me that they are doing much of anything now, already. Surely they have even less that could occupy their time?”

“When we’re not fighting your rebels for you, we’re rebuilding your cities and countryside for you as well.”

“I see. That must be why Geomides is such a paradise then. I had noticed a distinct lack of apocalyptic ruin of late.”

“When the rebels are done for, we’ll have all the time needed for your little flower garden.”

“The rebels you’re going to handle all by yourself?”

“The whole weight of the Foleran Army will descend on them soon.”

“Tell me, marshal, when was the last time you handled a rebel? Or do you command the whole weight to do your fighting for you?”

His nostrils flared.

“Just two weeks ago, you will be pleased to know,” Damien replied tersely. “My command squad was in the Arpines Ridges. My crushing weight of solders were doing their crushing, but a few more clever of the rebels decided to raid my very command post. They came out of the bushes, quietly, and overcame my sentries. We only heard them when they were already upon us. They attacked into the command pavilion, knives drawn. One of my orderlies fended one off with the vox-comm, while another was stabbed to death before he could finish his memo.”

She leaned forwards slightly, the sparkles spilling down her shoulders glinting in the light.

“But a talented field commander such as myself does not get caught unawares so easily. My bodyguards were already on top of the situation, lasguns drawn. Shot by shot they hammered down, firing into the rebels. A half-dozen of them were left, charging over the equipment. I could see it in their eyes. They weren’t just raiders; they were there for me, and me alone. It was personal.

“I withdrew my chainsaw sword and revved it up as my guards reloaded. One of them fired and caught a rebel in the throat before two others knocked him down. I braced myself against one that came at me, easily turning aside his clumsy thrust. I brought down my blade in a mighty chop, the spinning metal teeth catching the traitor in the arm, gouging and ripping through muscle and bone until it was shorn from his body. As the blood sprayed on me, a second traitor came in.

“He tripped over the leg of my dying guard and stumbled forward, landing face first into my blade. His screams were pathetic as he eviscerated himself head first, crashing down into me and then down to the ground. The whirring blade splashed streamers of blood and brain onto the walls and ceiling of the tent.

“As I pushed him off of me, the remaining two rebels ran like the cowards they were. We left at least a dozen dead, and those that escaped were hunted down in the forest and executed.”

“Both of them?” Claire asked, a curious expression on her face.

“Yes,” he replied, annoyed. “Of course, both of them. We Folerans know how to do our jobs, and do them right.”

“Both of them,” she repeated, almost as a challenge.

“Of course,” he replied with growing irritation.

“I see,” she replied, suddenly standing up. “You are certainly a man who knows how to bloody himself. Excuse me.”

Claire turned and left, sparkling into the dim light, and was quickly lost in the press of bodies and the general drone of quiet conversation.

“Wow,” came a voice from the marshal’s left as he continued to stare at the spot in the crowd where the last silver flashes had disappeared. “What?” he asked, distracted. He turned.

Before him was a woman whom it would be difficult to call elegant. Her low-cut dress exposed nearly bare breasts, leaving little more than nipples to the imagination.

“Wow, I said,” she repeated, arching her back ever so slightly to present herself further. Wantonness draped in silk vair. “That must have been quite a fight,” she continued, her words calculated as not to interfere with the show of flesh.

“Yes it was,” Damien replied.

“You should tell me more about it.”

It was too easy. Damien quickly began to cool. The soft, bare skin of a woman hungrily exposing herself to him was tempting, of course, and he might just like to wipe that smirk off her face once she understood what leaving herself vulnerable to him would really mean.

He looked back across the room. Claire was nowhere to be seen.

“Some other time,” he replied, scarcely giving the desperate woman a second glance. “Excuse me.”

Marshal Vogel turned and began to make his way through the various dignitaries, nobles, and well-to-dos of this sad little company. His battle-worn boots strode over the plush carpets. Gentlemen and ladies, in what little finery they possessed, parted as he marched through, scarce disrupted from their polite banter.

Within moments, he was out of the circle of glow-lamps, his footsteps falling on concrete once more. He craned his neck briefly to see if she was hiding in the shadows before he opened the front door.

Tonight the soggy, oppressive wetness of the early-evening air was descending as a visible fog, rather than its often-misleading clarity.

There she was, across the street. As he approached her, he could see that she was reading something by the light of one of the few working streetlights, which had blinked on to greet the night. She looked up suddenly as he came upon her, quickly shoving the letter into her bodice, as if it could take any more.

“Yes?” she asked flustered, almost impatiently.

“I see you finally took interest in my line of work, Ms. Rochefield,” Damien spoke, trying to be more polite than overbearing.

“I take interest in many things,” she replied uncertainly.

“Then you may want to know that I have been speaking with your father over the past weeks. I have long had my eye on you, Ms. Rochefield, and your father and I agree that the two of us would make an excellent match.”

“Me?” she replied, as if devoid of understanding.

“Yes. You and I would make a powerful couple. An alliance of old power and new.”

She gasped, a look of shock spreading across her entire figure. “Couple? With you?”

Damien frowned. What wasn’t there to like about this?

“Yes,” he replied impatiently. “You look surprised. Why else do you think I’ve been courting you? It would be most advantageous if—”

“You!” she interrupted, aghast, taking a step back, as if he’d just offered to murder her kitten.

“Yes,” he repeated. “Me. You may try and make this difficult if you wish, Claire, but your father will hear of it,” he warned, unsure if he should bristle at her insolence or arouse at the chase.

“I... Ah... Excuse me, marshal,” she replied hastily. As fast as her dress would permit her, she wiggled away, as if in freight, never turning around to look at him as she made her way with purpose down the hill.

He smirked. Yes, he decided, he would enjoy the hunt. But only for a little while – a few weeks, at most. The rebels were on the brink of complete collapse, his intelligence had assured him. While he was the commander of the army fighting a war, he was a prime husband for a magistrate’s daughter. Once the bloodshed finally ended, what would his future hold? Would he look so attractive if he were reduced to a mere paper-pusher in Bellemonde?

No, he needed to strike, and strike while the opportunity presented itself. He’d have all the time to train his wily bride how to behave once she was safely in his bed and he was safely in Lord Rochefield’s sphere of influence. Between the governor and the magistrate, there would be something sufficiently worthwhile for him to do.

Unless she decided to be more stubborn than he had time for. He was a man with resources, though. He would send a few of his men after her. Try and find some advantage that he could use as leverage. Just in case.

He knew that she was hiding something.



This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2015/03/06 01:00:44


Your one-stop website for batreps, articles, and assorted goodies about the men of Folera: Foleran First Imperial Archives. Read Dakka's favorite narrative battle report series The Hand of the King. Also, check out my commission work, and my terrain.

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UK

Another good piece, and yet again the characters are incredibly vivid. I imagine I was supposed to hate Damien after just a few lines, and it certainly worked. As far as creating a character that's repulsive but intriguing, you've done a great job.

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Muslpelheim

I hope that vermin Damien gets trampeld by a Canifex, then devoured by a Ork.
Now thats out of the way, this was a very fine read, you have a distinc way to make your characthers come alive and seem belivebal. Well done
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut





Vallejo, CA

---

GILBERT

---


The superior of Boroughcourt stood taut, perspiration beading on his forehead. He took a deep breath, trying to force down the riot inside of him. He was doing the right thing, he knew it.

A seething anger boiled beyond the dark velvet curtain. The auditorium usually held only a few hundred, but there were at least a thousand packed in there tonight. He swallowed hard as he listened to the rumbling discontent, dabbing his forehead above his large glasses with a handkerchief.

He turned to the side, looking out onto the stage. A folding table and three mismatched chairs sat under the harsh, directional lighting. The microphone sat crooked in its stand between two glasses filled with water, glinting brightly. Waiting, silently.

He felt like he was going to throw up. Thin shreds of duty held him together where his sense of purpose had fled. In the darkness offstage, the two other men looked even worse than he did.

“Well,” he finally muttered, almost at a whisper. He was met with a pair of wide-eyed stares, begging him not to do it. He closed his eyes and rolled off toward the stage, one step and then another, and he was out.

The lights slammed into his eyes as the auditorium exploded.

“BOOOOOOOOO!!!!!” came the angry roar, cut through with vile hissing. He tried to lift his hand to shield his eyes, the boiling savagery accosting him.

“BOOOOOOOOO!!!!!” the sound of rage hit him like a thunderclap. One of the men walking out behind him flinched, the desperation to escape flashing in his eyes.

He tried to keep his eyes fixed firmly on his target now, walking with forced normalcy toward the chair. He pulled it back and began to sit down when the first scattered pieces of rotten food and bits of trash landed on the platform.

The stage lighting beat down on him with the wave of sound. Another bead of perspiration trickled down, landing on the nose pad of his glasses and running down the crease into his mouth.

He reached out with a trembling hand and grabbed the microphone, pulling it and the stand closer to him. The other two finally found their seats, squirming uncomfortably.

“Thank you,” he spoke quietly into the microphone, the sound of his voice booming into the vast space beyond the wall of light, quickly lost in the general cry of anger.

He lifted up a hand. “Thank you,” he said again. The shouts and jeers were still at full volume, piercing through him.

“Thank you. Yes, I know,” he said, waving his hand down. He knew just how powerless three small men would be against one huge crowd, but his only defense was the thin pretension of power. If he didn’t act like he was in charge, then very, very soon he actually wouldn’t be.

The booing and hissing began to simmer down into a rolling boil, interspersed by the gunshot staccato of individuals forcing their insults above the low roar.

“Yes, yes,” he continued, waving his hand down. They were here to hate him, but he was here to have a meeting. His stomach churned violently. He focused on keeping it all down. On staying in control.

“Boo!” came the continued shouts from scattered pockets of the crowd. Someone shouted something he couldn’t make out, but it was followed by a splash of derisive laughter.

Just make it stop. Come on, just sit down. Please.

I’m here for you guys.

“Thank you,” he said again, waving his hand again to settle the crowd. Slowly they finally began to reduce towards the angry murmuring he had heard before taking to the stage.

He shook so badly inside that he grabbed for one of the two water glasses, hoping a sip of water would settle him, or at least delay the inevitable for one more moment, unbearable as this one already was.

He had called this meeting of his own free will. For the past many months – since the end of the war in Boroughcourt, at least – he had heard petitions, and he had spoken with leaders of the various little communities spread around the ruined city. He had gone out and about, and listened to them in their assemblies, and talked to them in their shacks and in their tents. He was the superior of Boroughcourt. Its citizens were his responsibility.

But something had happened over the last couple of weeks. Starting with Warren from the south side, he had been having meetings with increasingly angry leaders. All of the sudden, this was no longer about desperation, poverty, and grief. This was about something much more sharp and violent taking root. He needed to nip this in the bud, and completely, before the cancer of malcontentment spread to his entire city.

He needed to air out all their grievances at once. He needed to let some of the pressure out. To let them feel heard, lest their shouting begin to sprout bullets and fire bombs.

“Thank you,” he said, one last time into the seething storm ahead of him.

“As… As some of you know, I am Superior Gilbert Allard.”

At the sound of him speaking full sentences, the crowd simmered down to being just quiet enough for his microphone-amplified voice to be heard clearly.

“And this is Vice Superior Daniels, and Sanitation and Waste Management Scribe Tabart.” Tabart was literally the only other municipal official Gilbert could get to be here with him. Just two of them wouldn’t have done.

Finally, thankfully, the crowd seemed to be returning to their seats again.

“We have invited you here tonight to this community forum to speak your piece,” Gilbert continued. “There have been a lot of angry words being said, I know, and I want to do everything that’s within my power to help you all. Please trust me when I say that I care what is going on in our community. That we can work together on this.”

His opening comment was met with a few jeers, but thankfully nothing more violent.

“We want to bring everything out in the open here. We are going to use this time to listen. We can answer any questions that you have, but I mostly want to hear from you. We’re not here to debate. You can say whatever you want. I promise that no Defense Service personnel will come in here and round you up. I just want to hear what you have to say. This might take a while, but we will be here all night for you if we have to. I want nothing to come between us and an understanding.

“Here’s how it’s going to work,” he continued, gesturing towards the center aisle, where a microphone had been set up on a stand in front of the stage. “If we could form an orderly line in the center, you will all be heard. I only ask that you try and keep your comments short enough that people at the back of the line can still get to the microphone tonight. Thank you.”

Gilbert leaned away back into his chair, his head a shredding fog. He shook uncontrollably behind the bunting tacked to the front of the table. He couldn’t believe he’d been able to make it all the way through the speech. His mind had gone blank the moment he’d opened his mouth.

He could hear the shuffling of people moving through the seats and towards the front. He could only hope that a fistfight wouldn’t break out over who got to talk first, sending the whole room into anarchy. For the most part, they seemed to be lining up peaceably. This would all be fine. He’d just need to listen to a little abuse. Just let out some of the pressure. If there were new, real grievances, he could start working with the community leaders to make things right.

He closed his eyes and swallowed some water. Just calm down. The hard part is over. Just have to get through tonight.

The stage lights were murder.

A sound came at him from the crowd – a shout, more of surprise than anger, followed in quick succession by another. He opened his eyes, shielding them to see what was going on. Two men and a girl were striding forcefully towards him. With a shove they made it to the front of the line, but then continued past, marching straight at the stage itself.

“Excuse...” he started until the two men climbed up onto the stage. The larger of the two stared down at him with a steel pipe in his hands, partly clad in flak armor, while the other lifted the girl up onto the stage. It was only then that he saw that the other had a lasgun, and the girl was actually a skinny young woman.

“Excuse me!” Gilbert protested before the woman snatched the microphone away, stand and all. The look in her eyes froze him to the bone.

The two burly men took up positions next to each other, making their armed nature plain while the woman strode in front of them.

“Citizens of Boroughcourt!” she shouted, her voice booming through the auditorium. “I am Jaines Harcourt, last living relative of old Iron-Teeth Harcourt,” she said, her claim supported by the firm, commanding tone of voice that came with noble blood. “Like you,” she continued, “I am a survivor. Like you, I enjoyed the rights that all human beings on Geomides hold sacred. Rights that, like you, I am here to fight for tonight!”

A sudden cheer broke out in the crowd, the situation spiraling out of control with frightening speed.

“Was it our fault that people of means were better able to defend themselves during the war?” she continued passionately. “Was it our fault we survived? Did we do something wrong?”

The crowd began to raise their voices. The match hovered over the fuel.

“If we did nothing wrong, why are we being punished? Why are we being starved? Why are we being enslaved, chained to our ag-fabs and our tools, working ourselves to exhaustion!? Just because someone said so? Allard can’t give you what you want,” she claimed forcefully, pointing at Gilbert. “He’s part of the system keeping us in our place, but I for one am done with it! I say here and now, starting tonight, we break our chains! They can’t force us into the fabs if we destroy the fabs, and they can’t make us work with broken tools. I say join me, and together we will obliterate everything that stands in the way of our freedom!”

Gilbert sat there frozen, in a dizzying haze. As if in slow motion, the microphone fell to the ground and the crowd rose to its feet. The speakers popped as it hit the floor, bounced, and hit again, rolling along the wooden floor of the stage.

The roar was hollow in his ears as his eyes transfixed on Jaines, her petite face radiating explosive energy, channeled by a laser focus. The wall of sound washed into her; she was drawing it all in. Feeding. This was the look of righteousness. The look of a soul filling with power.

The world suddenly snapped back to reality all at once. The crowd began to rush the stage.

“No, please!” he croaked, but his voice was easily lost as hands and arms grasped up onto the floor in front of him. “Please, stop!”

Gilbert sprung his legs out, lifting himself up and away from the table. He fell backward on his folding chair as it closed on his knee, sending it all crashing down. A gurgling cry escaped his lips as he desperately kicked and kicked again, the chair coming free and skittering across the stage. He scrambled backward on his hands and knees, away from the ravening mob, lunging for the velvet curtain.

Darkness swallowed him, as he escaped backstage. He smashed his heavy glasses back up into his face, scrambling for footing. Running, running for his life as the sound of cheers was met with a spray of celebratory lasfire.

He ran hard into a piling in the darkness, partially blind from the glare of the lights. He twisted around and ran until suddenly he was at a wall. At a door.

“Gilbert!” came the shout from behind him. The scribe rushed up towards him from the darkness. “Gilbert!” he shouted again, in mindless terror.

“Where’s Daniels?” Gilbert shouted back, fumbling for the doorknob.

“I don’t know! I don’t know!” the scribe replied, nearly crashing into him. “We’ve got to get out of here. They’re shooting! We need to get help!”

Gilbert turned and with an adrenaline-fueled shove, managed to get the door open and disappear outside. The scribe nearly knocked him over as he ran for his life.

Gilbert lost no time doing the same.




This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2015/03/06 01:02:20


Your one-stop website for batreps, articles, and assorted goodies about the men of Folera: Foleran First Imperial Archives. Read Dakka's favorite narrative battle report series The Hand of the King. Also, check out my commission work, and my terrain.

Abstract Principles of 40k: Why game imbalance and list tailoring is good, and why tournaments are an absurd farce.

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Grizzled Space Wolves Great Wolf





Muslpelheim

Now this was a fine read on a sundag moring, have an exalt
   
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Legendary Master of the Chapter





UK

^ basically what Trondheim said.

Again, the character is what really makes this work, and I love the contrast between Damien, loathsome but confident, and Gilbert, at heart a good guy but hugely insecure.

Will you be revisiting some characters/narrators for future chapters, or will each one be a new character?

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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Vallejo, CA

Thanks!

It's interesting, because Gilbert is meant to be the contrast from Melchoir. The next chapter is going to set that up a little more, once I decide whose perspective to write it from.

And there are 7 characters from whose point of view the story will be told. The only missing one so far is Hugo Rochefield. I might... might end up cutting this, though, down to the 6 that I already have. It depends if all the other characters combined can do a good enough job describing the council in Bellemonde.

In any case, yes, it's going to repeat point of view. It hasn't happened yet because I'm still in the introduction. The next chapter is either going to be Rochefield, or the first repetition of Melchoir (and if it's the former, then the next chapter after that is going to be the first repetition of Melchoir). This next chapter (or two) may wind up being a touch exposition heavy, but it's the end of the introduction. After that point, the plots are going to run on their own momentum.


Your one-stop website for batreps, articles, and assorted goodies about the men of Folera: Foleran First Imperial Archives. Read Dakka's favorite narrative battle report series The Hand of the King. Also, check out my commission work, and my terrain.

Abstract Principles of 40k: Why game imbalance and list tailoring is good, and why tournaments are an absurd farce.

Read "The Geomides Affair", now on sale! No bolter porn. Not another inquisitor story. A book written by a dakkanought for dakkanoughts!
 
   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Legendary Master of the Chapter





UK

I see what you mean about contrasting to Melchoir as well, I suppose it was more obvious to me as a contrast with Damien as the chapters are back-to-back. I also figured it was a kind of statement on the grim immorality and corruption in 40k: The guy that's genuinely trying to do the right thing is outcast, turned on and insecure in himself, while the guy that's only out for himself exudes confidence, has (almost) everyone on his side and generally had a 'better' (for him) resolution to his introduction.

Looking forward to the next chapter.

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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Vallejo, CA

---

MELCHOIR

---


“All rise for Marshal Tellis, governor by the will of the Emperor, ruler of Geomides.”

Chairs scraped on the linoleum floor as the dignitaries rose around the U-shaped set of tables. Those in the gallery also got to their feet.

Melchoir emerged into the Council room, followed by three Foleran soldiers carrying folders full of documents. They strode towards the short edge of the U, finding makeshift name placards in their proper places. As he approached his seat, Melchoir looked down, and died a little inside.

MALCOLM TELLIS - GOVERNOR

He sighed, dropping his clipboard onto the table with his left arm, the servomotors in his bionic hand clicking softly. He took his seat, followed by his attendants.

“Thank you,” the governor spoke, gesturing with his power first for the Council members to be seated. More chairs scraping on the tile floor. The mutters and grunts of people getting settled in.

This was the first meeting of the Council in its new room. A month ago, they were still crammed into the basement of the administration building. Now, thanks to what was best described as a serious attempt at remodeling, they finally had a room on the ground floor. Light bulbs had been pilfered to create a reasonably lit room, but they still didn’t have real furniture – everyone but him sat on a folding chair. As best he could tell, this place used to be the cafeteria.




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To continue reading this chapter, click here.

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This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2015/03/06 00:57:01


Your one-stop website for batreps, articles, and assorted goodies about the men of Folera: Foleran First Imperial Archives. Read Dakka's favorite narrative battle report series The Hand of the King. Also, check out my commission work, and my terrain.

Abstract Principles of 40k: Why game imbalance and list tailoring is good, and why tournaments are an absurd farce.

Read "The Geomides Affair", now on sale! No bolter porn. Not another inquisitor story. A book written by a dakkanought for dakkanoughts!
 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Vallejo, CA

---

GILBERT

---


Gilbert sat at the other side of the room from Governor Tellis, in the gallery. The small table held two, and his neighbor was a chief recreational facilities manager, or something. He had invited his vice superior to attend, but it seemed that Daniels had taken a certain distaste to public meetings of late. Of course, having his leg broken in three places also gave him a convenient excuse.

He rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands before retrieving his heavy glasses from the table. Tension ran through him at a low but inescapable drone. He dreaded what he was going to have to do.

He closed his eyes and remembered the angry jeering of the crowd, and the terror of his flight. He had failed in his first attempt to set things right, but he would make it work this time. Marshal Tellis would know how to fix the problem. Hopefully he’d understand that his citizens were only behaving the way they were out of fear and desperation. He’d be able to come up with a plan to help soothe his hurting people.

The last councilor was giving his report. It dovetailed with the bleak news about the food situation. Hopefully something would happen soon to resolve the building crisis. Tellis took a moment to discuss things with his staff before looking out towards the gallery.

“Do we have anything new to bring to the attention of the Council for consideration?” the governor asked in his alien, chattering tone.

The magistrate of labor raised his hand along with a half-dozen others in the room.



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To continue reading this chapter, click here.

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This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2015/03/06 00:56:07


Your one-stop website for batreps, articles, and assorted goodies about the men of Folera: Foleran First Imperial Archives. Read Dakka's favorite narrative battle report series The Hand of the King. Also, check out my commission work, and my terrain.

Abstract Principles of 40k: Why game imbalance and list tailoring is good, and why tournaments are an absurd farce.

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Made in gb
[DCM]
Legendary Master of the Chapter





UK

Good stuff once again, and I see what you mean about the Melchoir/Gilbert contrast, what with the two directly juxtaposed. I also liked the use of multiple viewpoints to narrate what is essentially the same scene, it's something I do a fair bit in my own writing.

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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Vallejo, CA

Yeah, one of the things that I'm trying to do is to set up the contrast of Melchoir and the Folerans vs. everybody else. I felt like what was needed most was to have a scene that plastered the two back to back, so you could see the same things from both points of view.

I'm trying to walk a subtle line between making it real and effective, without making it way up-played and wacky obvious. I'm also trying to make it look like both sides in this are equally respectable. Things are going to be changing over the course of the book, and I don't want to make it look like one group is just there to be a punching bag for the other.

In any case, I have a major misunderstanding sketched out for about 8 or 9 chapters from now that will be drawing on things from these last two

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2014/04/28 19:35:38


Your one-stop website for batreps, articles, and assorted goodies about the men of Folera: Foleran First Imperial Archives. Read Dakka's favorite narrative battle report series The Hand of the King. Also, check out my commission work, and my terrain.

Abstract Principles of 40k: Why game imbalance and list tailoring is good, and why tournaments are an absurd farce.

Read "The Geomides Affair", now on sale! No bolter porn. Not another inquisitor story. A book written by a dakkanought for dakkanoughts!
 
   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Legendary Master of the Chapter





UK

I can certainly see the contrast working nicely, and from what we've seen so far, the inevitable conflict between the two factions is shaping up to be far more than good vs bad. There's decent and not-so-decent people on both sides, it seems, which should keep things interesting.

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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Vallejo, CA

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DAMIEN

---


Marshal Vogel’s stomach roiled as he approached the small mansion at the top of the hill. He had chosen to pass it off as what often happened when he went from eating combat rations to the slimy local fare. Nothing to do with his growing lack of control over his entire situation.

Ostensibly, Damien was paying the magistrate Hugo Rochefield a social call, but in fact, he had been summoned. Summoned! He would dare such a thing! The coin-counter had a great deal of nerve to demand anything from the ruler of the army.

And it was only made worse by his daughter. His recent attempts to pin down Claire had seen failure after failure. She kept stringing him along with her mocking politeness and growing list of excuses. It was turning into less of a sporting hunt and more of a grinding battle of attrition, something his time as a soldier had trained him for, at least. With force of will and skilled determination, every one of his enemies eventually yielded. He would get what he wanted.

If he had enough time. He needed to do something, and soon. He needed to show Rochefield he couldn’t be pushed around, not by a magistrate, and not by his future father-in-law either.

But carefully, carefully, the other side of him warned. He had been at yesterday’s Council meeting, and he well understood just how much Melchoir depended on Hugo and his cronies for the vote. How much Damien himself would have to rely on Claire’s father to insist on the match.

The thought of getting Rochefield to insist on anything seemed tenuous, though, given the magistrate’s reputation and the fragile position he had found himself in.




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This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2015/03/06 00:55:20


Your one-stop website for batreps, articles, and assorted goodies about the men of Folera: Foleran First Imperial Archives. Read Dakka's favorite narrative battle report series The Hand of the King. Also, check out my commission work, and my terrain.

Abstract Principles of 40k: Why game imbalance and list tailoring is good, and why tournaments are an absurd farce.

Read "The Geomides Affair", now on sale! No bolter porn. Not another inquisitor story. A book written by a dakkanought for dakkanoughts!
 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Vallejo, CA

---

JAINES

---


That wicked grin returned to her eyes again; she was practically flush. It was almost an erotic passion, except that the object of her lust tonight wasn’t a man. It was explosives. Two hundred sticks of cyclonite, to be exact.

She was almost giddy.

She was also smartly dressed for the first time she could remember. Instead of tattered rags, she was now decked out in a Defense Service uniform, stolen from one of their supply depots. The khaki color was a tad too close to white for her comfort, but it made her look rather fetching nonetheless. And she finally had real footwear for once, which accessorized nicely with the brace of laspistols slung at her hips and the bandolier of fragmentation grenades thrown at a jaunty angle over her shoulder. All she needed was a beret. And maybe some really dark sunglasses.

Oh, and it had all been so easy, that was the best part. Word had spread like wildfire among the shantytowns that someone was willing to stand up against their collective wretchedness for a change. The first among her swelling ranks of devotees had been Warren. With his help, she had started to get the message out, and with his administration skills, such as they were, she now had a paramilitary organization, the Rights Watch. She had wanted something with a bit edgier, like the Geomidian Liberation Army, but Warren had insisted the name would be too inflammatory.

But Warren would be gone soon – he was almost used up. He would still be organize things, distribute propaganda, and rally support (as the sour old man liked to call crushing dissent), but she was moving up to bigger and better things. Things with explosives.




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This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2015/03/06 00:52:06


Your one-stop website for batreps, articles, and assorted goodies about the men of Folera: Foleran First Imperial Archives. Read Dakka's favorite narrative battle report series The Hand of the King. Also, check out my commission work, and my terrain.

Abstract Principles of 40k: Why game imbalance and list tailoring is good, and why tournaments are an absurd farce.

Read "The Geomides Affair", now on sale! No bolter porn. Not another inquisitor story. A book written by a dakkanought for dakkanoughts!
 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Vallejo, CA

So, just a quick update. There will be another chapter or two later, so don't worry.

It's been a week since I started this project, and over those seven days, I now have a document with 25,919 words, which is nearly a thousand words over a time-table to reach my goal after five weeks, which is not too shabby. And that was with taking a day completely off from writing in there - if I'd written at all two days ago, I'd be nearly on track for a less than four week schedule.

I'm also pretty happy with where things are going. The chapters are still a little short, and in editing I'm sure I'll go back in and try and fluff it up a bit, but in the short time, that's sort of just my style. I come from a history of being a very bad reader, so I like to write chapters that sort of get to the point and don't drag on.

Anyways, now that all of the introductions are over, I'm liking how things are going, and look forward to continue to weave the plots together. Plus some more smut. Writing that is surprisingly entertaining.

Which is good, because it's either a Claire or Lucas chapter next!



Your one-stop website for batreps, articles, and assorted goodies about the men of Folera: Foleran First Imperial Archives. Read Dakka's favorite narrative battle report series The Hand of the King. Also, check out my commission work, and my terrain.

Abstract Principles of 40k: Why game imbalance and list tailoring is good, and why tournaments are an absurd farce.

Read "The Geomides Affair", now on sale! No bolter porn. Not another inquisitor story. A book written by a dakkanought for dakkanoughts!
 
   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Legendary Master of the Chapter





UK

Things are certainly picking up, that last chapter was the best yet, I think, really good stuff. It was also nice to see Damien on the spot in the previous one as well.

The short chapters work well with something like this that is, in essence, a serialised story, as it keeps it fresh and easy to read. There are certainly benefits to longer chapters, but at the same time, I wouldn't worry too much about length. There's no point adding in filler for the sake of it if it doesn't help the story.

Good (and bloody fast) stuff.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2014/04/30 16:59:23


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

Available for Commission Work. PM me for details. 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Vallejo, CA

---

CLAIRE

---


Claire sobbed wretchedly.

Sickly yellow light from the streetlamp below passed through the partially closed drapes, casting a pale swatch of light across the rumpled blankets. Shifting as she rolled over, facing the darkness of her room. She laid curled up on her bed, her work clothes replaced with a tank top and denims, her poise and grace lost in the tears shed into her pillow.

Her father’s voice rang harshly in her mind. She could lose everything, he said. She was disobeying her father, he said. She would make the match with Vogel, whether she liked it or not, he said. But it was the way he said it. Her father was never content with stabbing the dagger in. He needed to twist and twist until you were writhing in pain, begging for his approval.

She didn’t know how much longer she could withstand his torture. Her father had called her two weeks ago, and last week, and half an hour ago, and every time they had the same conversation. Slowly but surely, he would grind her down. But down to what? What would she become if she gave in?

She sighed, rubbing her eyes, wicking away the last of her outburst.




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This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2015/03/06 00:51:00


Your one-stop website for batreps, articles, and assorted goodies about the men of Folera: Foleran First Imperial Archives. Read Dakka's favorite narrative battle report series The Hand of the King. Also, check out my commission work, and my terrain.

Abstract Principles of 40k: Why game imbalance and list tailoring is good, and why tournaments are an absurd farce.

Read "The Geomides Affair", now on sale! No bolter porn. Not another inquisitor story. A book written by a dakkanought for dakkanoughts!
 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Vallejo, CA

---

LUCAS

---


Rain poured into his face, gushing through his mouth and nose and down his chest. With a grunt, he vaulted over the balcony rail, landing hard on his feet, a whip of gnarled pain snapping at him from his tender ankle.

He lurched backward under the balcony, sloshing through water. Boots stamped loudly on the wood above. Lucas huddled against the sliding glass door behind him. The soldier above leaned over the edge of the balcony.

“gak!” he shouted to the storm before rushing back inside. More muffled yelling followed him.

Lucas turned and ran, rushing along the back of the apartment building and ducking around the corner. He took a moment to hike his pants back up and fix his belt, trying to think. If he left by the back, anyone on the balcony could see him, even in the raging downpour. If he left by the front, who knew what was waiting for him? Whatever he was going to do, he’d have to do it fast.



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This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2015/03/06 00:49:57


Your one-stop website for batreps, articles, and assorted goodies about the men of Folera: Foleran First Imperial Archives. Read Dakka's favorite narrative battle report series The Hand of the King. Also, check out my commission work, and my terrain.

Abstract Principles of 40k: Why game imbalance and list tailoring is good, and why tournaments are an absurd farce.

Read "The Geomides Affair", now on sale! No bolter porn. Not another inquisitor story. A book written by a dakkanought for dakkanoughts!
 
   
Made in gb
Stealthy Dark Angels Scout with Shotgun





Gloucester, UK

Excellent pair of Chapters. Looking forward to the next instalments.

For the Lion, for the , for humanity, for goodness sake
StewRat 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Vallejo, CA

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GILBERT

---


The superior carefully removed the autopistol from its holster, the strange piece of metal lying heavy in his hands. He had held a gun maybe once before in his entire life.

His fingers wrapped around the device uncomfortably, his mind both repulsed and fascinated by the weapon. He clumsily undid the safety as he was shown. There was now lethal power in his hands.

At his side were two Defense Service personnel, with three more in front of them, all standing in the flickering light of the hallway. He closed his eyes thoughtfully for a moment. Malcolm Tellis was right: he needed to handle this himself. This wasn’t something he could just delegate away. For once in his life, he needed to stand up and just make something work. His stomach roiled. Usually bureaucrats didn’t have to shoot at anybody.

Gilbert took a deep breath, then nodded.




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This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2015/03/06 01:04:23


Your one-stop website for batreps, articles, and assorted goodies about the men of Folera: Foleran First Imperial Archives. Read Dakka's favorite narrative battle report series The Hand of the King. Also, check out my commission work, and my terrain.

Abstract Principles of 40k: Why game imbalance and list tailoring is good, and why tournaments are an absurd farce.

Read "The Geomides Affair", now on sale! No bolter porn. Not another inquisitor story. A book written by a dakkanought for dakkanoughts!
 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut





Vallejo, CA

---

JAINES

---


She sat, alone, in pitch darkness.

Her wrists stung like fire, a constant throbbing pain with every heartbeat. Plastic zip-cord bound her hands together, unbreakable, no matter how much she struggled against them. Her flesh raw and bloody for the effort, weeping sores cut open against the plastic.

She had struggled a lot at the beginning, sure that she could get away somehow. Furious with herself that she had let herself be captured in the first place. She even tried yelling and screaming for a time, her voice booming loudly in her tiny cell. She had banged and pounded on the metal door. She had wrenched and clawed at everything in the room, hoping to rip something free. She had done everything.

No amount of protest, no action – however frantic – had managed to make any difference.

No one came. Nothing happened. She was alone, imprisoned in the darkness.




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This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2015/03/06 01:05:09


Your one-stop website for batreps, articles, and assorted goodies about the men of Folera: Foleran First Imperial Archives. Read Dakka's favorite narrative battle report series The Hand of the King. Also, check out my commission work, and my terrain.

Abstract Principles of 40k: Why game imbalance and list tailoring is good, and why tournaments are an absurd farce.

Read "The Geomides Affair", now on sale! No bolter porn. Not another inquisitor story. A book written by a dakkanought for dakkanoughts!
 
   
Made in gb
[DCM]
Legendary Master of the Chapter





UK

Good stuff. Very interesting to see the plots moving on.

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

Available for Commission Work. PM me for details. 
   
 
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