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Rapid Fire Challenge: Haunt - October 2019


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#1
Race Bannon

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Prompt: Haunt (ing/ed)

Maximum length: 500 words

Deadline: 31 October 2019

Where to post submissions: In this thread

Note - please make sure all submissions adhere to the forum rules. Any entry that breaks one or more rules shall be removed.

 

Boo y'all


"Fully dressed in the ancestral Terminator Armour of their Chapter they rise to a new level of battlefield supremacy, a level where monstrous tanks are but playthings of a child, and where Terminators, Daemons and gods stalk as equals." -Thunder and Lightning, White Dwarf 116 (UK)
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Index Astartes: Red Shoulders + Proudly lead farming since 8th edition +
Ferum Caelum - A Raven Guard One-shot

#2
longjohnsilver

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The Haunted Forest



On the Feral world of Jerrian Secundus cowled, shadowed figures gathered in the pleasure dens of the space port. Xedis Intergalactic was a minor space port; in fact the only one on the planet and the centre of Imperial civilization in a world where the local tribes in the dust bowls, swamps and forests had no access to technology whatsoever.

The large groups of off-worlders had the look of labour gangs from the Munitorum deforestation teams. They were unloading crates from ships in the port and taking them to the water harbour. From there they formed into teams and hired antique looking cutter boats from the natives. To the Security Commander of the space port everything looked routine; they were the tenth labour gang to arrive from off-world this month. The Munitorum had been allowed to clear the forests to the south of the space port and further afield in an attempt to expand the facility.

Once they were safely out of view the labour gangs in the cutter boats opened their crates and removed the autoguns, ammunition, flamers, heavy stubbers, melta bombs and frag grenades, equipping themselves for their secret mission. The recruitment world of Jerrian Secundus had a hidden Space Marine base with a very small garrison on the island of Malpeso, in the middle of the Malpesian forest. The gangs had been given orders and their overall mission commander, Julex Rams revealed his hidden snake tattoo to the others, declaring : ‘Hydra Dominatus’, and death to the Space Marines.

Brother Rolus was watching the screens of the scanner suite in the Space Marine base while his gunner, Brother Tarrant was amusing himself on the video gunnery simulator. It seemed they had company. For the past hour a large group of sixty armed men had arrived on cutter boats and split up into groups of ten and started patrolling the small island.

“Tarrant. Load up and prepare. We need to be airborne in twenty minutes.’ exclaimed Rolus.

‘Whaat?!’ asked Tarrant, taking the headphones off his ears.

‘We have company. Sixty armed cultists are heading our way. I’ve been delaying them with the servo skulls.’, replied Rolus.

Rolus fingered a button and exclaimed ‘Boo! Y’all!’ into a microphone, while watching a group of cultists on Vid-feed screen 20. The cultists started shooting at the servo skull, alarmed, while it flew out of their bullet range.

‘Stop! Stop shooting!’ shouted Julex Rams. He was crouched behind a tree trying to make sense of the strange noises when all the groups started shooting. It seemed teams two and five had shot at each other in the confusion.

Then he heard a howling noise in the trees up ahead and pulled up his autogun, unloading a full clip of ammo into the bushes, tearing the vegetation to shreds. While he was waiting for the smoke to clear he heard a whooshing noise and saw a flying shape ghost past the tree tops.

Just as he slotted a new ammo clip into his autogun the land speeder opened fire with its heavy bolter and assault cannon, tearing up all the trees and vegetation around him. His operatives were blown apart by the explosive rounds. As he lay dying in the shredded trees, looking at the sheer damage inflicted by the craft he saw a tiny skull flying close by, its mouth turned into a speaker, it exclaimed ‘Boo! Y’all!’. Rams knew that this haunted forest would be his final mission.
  • Race Bannon, Mazer Rackham, Bjorn Firewalker and 1 other like this
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#3
Bjorn Firewalker

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I like the humor present in your story, longjohnsilver. Are the Alpha Legionnaires who trained the cultists palming their faces at the latter's ignorance and sheer excitability, which cost the Legion time and resources better spent elsewhere?

Wolf Scout- Catachan barking toad eggs+ Thousand Sons Marine= Fun! (Wolves of Catachan)
Sisters of Battle+ Fenrisian Beer- Inhibitions- Sanity= Trouble! (Order of the Blazing Heart Rocket Punch Pimp Magnet She-Wolf)

 

Reasons to use the Steel Crusaders ('Codex: Space Marines' supplement): Because you think giving Sternguard Veterans a heavy bolter wtih special issue HEAVY BOLTER ammunition is ALMOST as much fun as shoehorning an Earthshaker cannon into a Land Raider.

 

Reasons to use the Iron-hearted Angels ('Codex: Blood Angels' supplement): Because you think the Librarian Dreadnought needs Furious Charge AND It Will Not Die to beat down a Chaos-worshiping punk and his Defiler, while a Stormraven needs a Vanquisher cannon to beat down this punk's Heldrake.


#4
Jonas Stromclaw

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Sacred Ground

 

            Shas’la Nase’mor, trained Fire Warrior Breacher and hardened veteran of the Third Sphere Expansion Wars, shrieked like a youngling as he blasted the cadaverous figure looming out of the manufactorum’s gloom. The shape had appeared suddenly as his illuminator swept the dark room, the suddenly humanoid silhouette standing out amidst the geometric scrap. His finger locked on the trigger, his shrieking didn’t stop, even as his pulse blaster clicked empty. The Breacher frantically reloaded as his squad leader, Shas’vre Har’pin, and a second Breacher swept forward, investigating.

 

            “Congratulations Nase,” Har’pin drawled, “you’ve killed a servitor. A deactivated servitor.”

 

            “Ethereal’s blood!” cursed the Breacher, trying to catch his breath. “Stop laughing!” he snapped at the rest of the squad, newbies who were taking the opportunity to mock the veteran. “Better embarrassed than dead!”

 

            “You’ve plenty experience in the former, don’t you Nase?” jabbed one.

 

            “Status report Shas’ui,” the comm sparked, the Shas’vre coordinating the sweep of this disused Imperial ruin asked. Har’pin ignored his bickering subordinates to reply.

 

 

            “AD sir, no hostile contact.”

 

 

            “Understood, continue the sweep and tell you Tau to keep their trigger fingers to themselves. Shas’vre out.”

 

            Har’pin sighed, then called his squad to heel. “Nase to the center, Shase’len take point. Lock it up, and try to remember you’re here for the Greater Good!”

 

            “Here to keep a bunch of cowardly Gue’la from panicking, you mean,” one of the Tau muttered. Har’pin couldn’t tell which.

 

            “That’s no way to talk about our new allies, Shas’la. They’ve bled to clear the Imperium from their world and embraced the Greater Good whole-heartedly. The least we can do is clear this complex for them.”

 

            “Why the need, Shas’ui?” one of the others asked, curiosity in his voice. “I saw the allied troops in the cordon outside. They looked at this structure fearfully.”

 

            “You sure it wasn’t just because its so ugly?” Shase jested. He wasn’t wrong. The manufactorum complex had never been pretty, but now squatted like a great red cancer amidst the city’s new, sleek Tau architecture.

 

            “According to the briefings, which you all should have listened to, this place is not simply a manufactorum, but a temple to one of the Imperial Cults. The locals may have turned to the Greater Good, but they have some superstitions left. They believe this place to be… haunted.”

 

            Har’pin could hear Shase’s intake of breath, undoubtedly another joke at the locals’ expense. That’s when the screaming started.

 

            Har’pin snapped his weapon up, looking for the source of that horrid noise. It came from all around, grating and piercing. Then he realized it came from his comms network. He let the blaster settle on its sling as both hands wrestled with his helm. Anything to get away from the shrieking. By the time his vision cleared, they were in amongst his squad. Spindle limbed figures of metal and plasteel, weapons of snapping lightning and booming thunder in their hands. Shase died first, a burst of flechettes stitching up his armor to shred his throat. The others followed soon after, Nase being hit by two taser goads at once. He smelled of fried fish. It made Har'pin's stomach churn. He tried to raise his weapon, but the shrieking was back. Transmitted from the domed helms of their attackers, it destroyed his concentration. The sensation was joined by more, a burning in his eyes, blood pouring from burst capillaries, a roiling in his stomach that soon brought up his breakfast. One of the figures knocked away Har’pin’s faltering blaster, then picked him up and held him face to non-face. This close the disrupting effect of the creatures’ helms was worsened tenfold. The creature emitted a burst of static, then spoke in broken Tau.

            “Xenos. Die. This. Sacred ground. You pollute. No more.” The last thing Shas’vre Har’pin saw through bloody tears was the mechanical claw reaching for his eyes.

 


  • Race Bannon, Mazer Rackham, Bjorn Firewalker and 1 other like this



“I do not love the bright sword for it's sharpness, nor the arrow for it's swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend” J R Tolkien

#5
Bjorn Firewalker

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Excellent work, Jonas Stromclaw.

Wolf Scout- Catachan barking toad eggs+ Thousand Sons Marine= Fun! (Wolves of Catachan)
Sisters of Battle+ Fenrisian Beer- Inhibitions- Sanity= Trouble! (Order of the Blazing Heart Rocket Punch Pimp Magnet She-Wolf)

 

Reasons to use the Steel Crusaders ('Codex: Space Marines' supplement): Because you think giving Sternguard Veterans a heavy bolter wtih special issue HEAVY BOLTER ammunition is ALMOST as much fun as shoehorning an Earthshaker cannon into a Land Raider.

 

Reasons to use the Iron-hearted Angels ('Codex: Blood Angels' supplement): Because you think the Librarian Dreadnought needs Furious Charge AND It Will Not Die to beat down a Chaos-worshiping punk and his Defiler, while a Stormraven needs a Vanquisher cannon to beat down this punk's Heldrake.


#6
Tarvek Val

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Retribution

 

            Crassius Morre stood indifferently over the dying Guardsman, lasgun held loosely in his gloved fingers. The cracked leather felt good on his bony fingertips. A bubble of blood popped at the corner of the prone Guardsman’s mouth as Morre watched. Kneeling, he wiped away the crimson trace with a gentle flick of his hand.

            ‘Don’t fight it,’ Morre rasped, his voice reminiscent of shattered glass, ‘they will come for you soon and then the true fight begins. The Neverborn will battle for your soul; your last sight will be of hell’s angels coming for you in the twilight of the warp.’

            The Dying Guardsman shuddered, pawing weakly for the lapistol that lay just beyond his reach. He was splayed out on the shattered remains of a ferrocrete traffic barrier. It was just one of many pieces of debris left behind in the aftermath of the invasion. Morre smiled as the delicious memories invaded his thoughts. He recalled the spaceport burning, lances of burning fury striking from the heavens again and again. The civilians had fled to the spaceport for safety and found only the judgement of the Darkheart,hanging in the void above.

            Then the Word Bearers had come, the holy warriors of the Urizen flooding the planet in a chanting wave of gore-clad hate and furious will. In their wake had come the Unchosen, the mortal servants of the Four. Morre had come with them, a screaming cultist amongst an army of madmen and psychopaths, zealots and murderers. He had cornered this Guardsman in the ruins of the highway and struck him down – his first blood offering to the gods.

            The Guardsman coughed, the abrupt sound drawing Morre back to the present moment. He glared at his foe, eyes bloodshot behind the clumsy mask that served to shield his face from the planet’s harsh sun. No, the Guardsman wasn’t coughing, he appeared to be laughing. For a moment, Morre was stunned into silence. The Imperial wretch dared to laugh at the moment of his demise? Furious, the cultist squeezed the trigger on his lasgun, emptying an entire power-cell into the man’s chest. The Guardsman died in silence.

            Morre turned, eager to hunt new prey in the ruins of Morrion. But then he saw them. A line of spectral figures, clad in the same armor as his masters but different somehow. They seemed to pulse in and out of time itself, armor wrapped in spectral flames and spirits of the damned wailing upon their shoulders. Morre saw cultists stumbling ahead of them, running and falling in their desperation to escape. Deafening booms echoed in the ruins, as bolters spat fire and ruin upon the fleeing men and women of the Unchosen. Morre’s gun fell from his hands, the cultist falling to his knees as the Legion swept towards him, judgement echoing with every shot fired and step taken.


Edited by Tarvek Val, 25 October 2019 - 08:36 PM.

  • Race Bannon, Mazer Rackham and Bjorn Firewalker like this

"Our holy hatred will make us free!" ~Nameless Dark Apostle

 

"Though my guards may sleep and ships may rest at anchor, our foes know full well that big guns never tire." ~Huron Blackheart

 

"You shall stand in midnight clad, your claws forever red with the lifeblood of my father's failed empire, warring through the centuries as the talons of a murdered god. Rise, my sons, and take your wrath across the stars, in my name. In my memory. Rise, my Night Lords." ~Konrad Curze, the Night Haunter

 

"So... How are you?" ~Cyrion, First Claw

 

 


#7
Bjorn Firewalker

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A rare appearance by the Legion of the Damned! Good job, Tarvek Val.

Wolf Scout- Catachan barking toad eggs+ Thousand Sons Marine= Fun! (Wolves of Catachan)
Sisters of Battle+ Fenrisian Beer- Inhibitions- Sanity= Trouble! (Order of the Blazing Heart Rocket Punch Pimp Magnet She-Wolf)

 

Reasons to use the Steel Crusaders ('Codex: Space Marines' supplement): Because you think giving Sternguard Veterans a heavy bolter wtih special issue HEAVY BOLTER ammunition is ALMOST as much fun as shoehorning an Earthshaker cannon into a Land Raider.

 

Reasons to use the Iron-hearted Angels ('Codex: Blood Angels' supplement): Because you think the Librarian Dreadnought needs Furious Charge AND It Will Not Die to beat down a Chaos-worshiping punk and his Defiler, while a Stormraven needs a Vanquisher cannon to beat down this punk's Heldrake.





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