Welcome to Librarium Online!
Join our community of 80,000+ members and take part in the number one resource for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K discussion!
Registering gives you full access to take part in discussions, upload pictures, contact other members and search everything!
The Fall of Hive Constanine
Sister Brigitte looked over her shoulder again as the creatures outside the small station-room renewed their attack- clawing at the heavy steel door until their nails peeled away, then throwing themselves at the heavy plate glass until bones splintered fractured. The Sister turned her gaze back to the little girl in her charge.
“Helen- get aboard the train and get to Charon Hive. You may be the only person to escape this place alive.”
“But what about Sister?” the four year-old orphan asked. Brigitte took a calming breath, and tugged the sleeve of her habit down over her wounded wrist.
“I have to stay here, and send for help. But you’re safe- you have no signs of the sickness. Hurry, get aboard the train.” Without warning she pushed the little girl into the train and slammed the button to seal the doors and send the shuttle on its way. Then she grabbed the vox-caster and ran for the storeroom...
...Inquisitor Sebestien pulled his wide brimmed hat lower over his head. Beside him, Palatine Sophine ordered the sisters of the Rosen Crux forward into the ruined Hive.
“There are no signs of a breach” she stated flatly. Her dark eyes masked her expression, colorless white hair framing her olive-complexioned face. She must have been a beautiful woman before joining the Sororitas, Sebestien often thought. So much to sacrifice for her Emperor.
“Indeed, but all gates were barred. And there was certainly a struggle,” Sebestien noted as he motioned to the burned out city streets before him, “Stay vigilant Sister.”
Sophine made no reply. Together, they moved through the empty streets. A fortnight ago they had received a garbled distress call from the local Hospitaler garrison in Hive Charbyl. When they arrived in orbit, the entire city was dark. There was no choice to them but to investigate.
“Palantine,” a sister’s voice broke through the silence, “we have a body.”
Sophine and Sebestien moved to the coordinates of the other Sister. She was standing over a severely decomposed body. Sebestien could smell it even through the rebreather,
“Killed before the distress call?”
The sister shook her head, “it’s still warm.”
“But how is the decomposition so advanced?”
Sophine motioned for Sebestien and the Sister to follow, and moved up the street. Before they had gone twenty yards, they found another body, then two more, then thirty. Each was in a varying state of decay- some fresh, others bloated and reeking of death. Grav-cars were everywhere, choking the thoroughfares, overturned, smoldering. A burning shuttle-train clattered past overhead, raining embers on the trio.
“I have movement!” came the voice of another Sister, a tense edge to her otherwise calm voice.
Sophine brought her group to a halt, pulling Sebestien in behind her and leveling her bolter at the burned out building on their flank. Everything was quiet, and night was settling in- Sophine didn’t want to be caught on unfamiliar ground in the dark. She waved the company forward...
When they found the Municio Hospitalary, the scene was one of grim horror. The corpses on the ground thickened from a few sporadic clumps, to a veritable carpet, stretching to the doors of the ravaged building. The squad of Sisters moved forward, their weapons and electro-torches sweeping through the mass of bodies.
Inside the Hospitalary was no different- doors were ripped from their hinges, bodies still lay strapped to operating tables. The emergency lights were running, but the generator’s machine-spirit seemed ready to fail, the lights sputtered in their sockets.
Sebestien pulled a specimen jar from his belt, and began taking scraping of the various bodies on the floor and operating tables. Sophine noted more than one Sister Hospitaler among the dead.
“Sister Sophine- more movement”
“Sebestien, this way” Sophine pulled the Inquisitor along with her towards the Sister with the scanner.
“In there” the Sister motioned.
The room had once been a viewing room for operations. The wide window was smashed, a small pile of crushed bodies on the outside. The door was locked from within. The movement was coming from a small utilities closet on the far side. Sophine hopped through the window and motioned for the other Sister to cover the small iron door. She turned the knob.
The door burst from its hinges as a Hospitaler rushed into the operating room. The woman leapt atop Sebestien driving him to the ground and clawing at him with her broken fingernails, while snapping at him with her foaming maw. The other sister fired a burst of bolter fire into the woman, rolling her off of Sebestien, who unsteadily regained his feet.
“As I thought,” he began, dusting himself off.
“Nurlge’s Rot” Sophine finished, “we need to get clear of this city, and quarantine the planet. Did she wound you?”
Sebestien looked himself over, “No, Emperor protects.”
No sooner had the blessing left his mouth, then bolter-fire erupted from outside.
“Sister Sophine- multiple contacts in the courtyard”
“This is Vindicus Squad- we’re being outflanked”
Status reports began to fill the vox network as her Sisters were driven back from the perimeter. Sophine raced to the hospitalery gates just in time to see the last of the perimeter guards dragged down by the seething mass of plague-zombies.
“They weren’t dead,” she realized, “this was all a trap.”
Sophine slammed the heavy steel door closed and turned to Sebestien and the other Sister trapped in the hospitalery. Behind them, the corpses on the tables and floor began rising to their feet, as every citizen of the city closed in on the building...
Little orphan Helen felt the life forces of the Emperor’s lapdogs snuffed out as she sat aboard the emergency train to Charon. She was the last of the Chaos Cult to have ‘survived’.
“Of course I showed no signs of infection” she giggled with a voice disturbingly different from her own, “the progenitors never do”...
Too soon, this could not be, it simply wasn't allowed to happen. Not now. Hasty steps brought Silena out of immediate sight, around one of the palace' many corners, where she pressed her shaking body against the cold, ornamented stone wall. Catch a breath girl. Calm yourself. Futile attempts. An Inquisitor! The palace' kitchen, Silenas working place, had just received the word to prepare. The Governor had called upon the help of the Inquisition. And not just called upon, a battleship of the ordo approached the planet in this very moment. And they had been so close. Mere weeks, a month at best, until they could've set their plans in motion. But how could they hope to stand a chance, with the palace crawling of inquisitorial henchmen, or worse yet the thrice accursed sisters of battle?
Silena violently shook her head. The future could wait. What counted was the here and now. How could the governor have known of their plans? They had followed every single one of the masters instructions. And yet the governor managed to send word to the inquisition... what weeks ago? Longer even? And just how much did he know? The guardsmen had come to the kitchen quarters to proclaim an announcement, nothing more. The fact that Silena herself was not yet taken away, and strapped to some torture engine, deep down in the dungeons, was proof enough that the authorities didn't know everything. But could she dare to hope that all the others were so lucky? For all she knew, she could be the only one left. She had to check, had to find out. But there was not a chance to get out of the palace before shifts end.
Another agonizing, nigh eternal twelve hours. Biting her lip, the fingers of her right hand crawled up her left sleeve, until they reached the bandage. Two, three fingers slipped under, and in a sudden cramping move dug deep into the ill healed wound. Jolts of pain, raging through her body. Flickering lights before her eyes. But the pain was good. Such was the word of the Master. The pain of the body soothed the pain of the mind, gave her distance, room to think, room to breathe. Nothing she could do now. Whatever happened to the others, she had to hold out, carry on the task they had been given. Only that mattered, whatever the price. And panicking now, worrying for her own safety, would only endanger that further. She couldn't allow that. She couldn...„ Watcha think you doin 'ere girl?” Her body stiffened, her heart began to race anew.
The Guardsmen was a good foot taller then Silena, and with a face as rugged and scarred as his drawling accent. Her voice on the other hand, was merely a shrieking, half in shock, half in fear “.„I'm sorry! I was just...” He didn't even leave her the time to come up with an excuse.„ “I dun care bout nuthin of that. You're not gettin paid to slack off. And the Govnor send for you and the other servants. We got visitors. Big shots here.” The Inquisitor was already here. It took Silena the very rest of her discipline, but she managed to stop gazing at the guardsman, to lower her head and weasel past his armoured contour, into the relative safety of the corridor. She withdrew her hand from the sleeve, slowly, carefully, not to attract any more attention then already lay on her. In a swift movement, she snuck her right, clenched to a fist into the pockets of her attire, desperately trying to wipe her blood out from under her nails. To her relief, the kitchen was in turmoil.
The giant room, filled to the brink with a maze of small corridors and uncounted stoves, plates and heating engines, was chaotic on the best of days. When an important guest with a sizeable retinue arrived on short notice, it was a mess that few people could keep track off. It took Silena little effort to blend in with the crowd, as she approached the area where the servants usually gathered to pick up dishes. To an unsuspecting observer, it might have even seemed like an accident, when she bumped into the corner of one of the ovens. A precise hit on the arm, on the bandage. Another jolt of pain. And the serenity, that the sensation brought. What ever was to come, she'd be ready. Determined. The master would protect her. In this life, and beyond.
Last edited by DeathPoke; August 1st, 2011 at 03:28.
Damn the Chaos cults seems to be getting into everywhere these days!
CaptainSarathai, I do like zombies, and it's lovely to see the Sisters of Battle getting some action in there, very nice indeed. The catastrophy at the end was very fitting, though the two 'events' (Sister Brigitte putting the child on the train and the Iquisitors investigation team) could have been tied together more effectively I feel. That's more of a nit pick though since I enjoyed it anyway, well done!
Castiell, Silena would have seemed such a nice girl hadn't she been a vile chaos agent with a lust for pain, too bad really . I like it, though it's open ended nature does hurt it a tad, Silena seems a compelling character with some very real fears and ambitions, the effects of chaos on here seem rather alien and taboo as well. I can just imagine the guardsmans hilarious accent, thick Scottish or Australian probably.
Overall, I felt CaptainSarathai's piece was the greatest catastrophy of the two, giving him the edge here:
GLORY TO THE DICE GODS!
CaptainSarathi: Im with Andy, much love for zombies and the very grisley way they were described. The thought of a 4 year old chaos child was genuinly terrifying but also forms my only critisicism. I found myself wondering how a 4 year old could fall to chaos... would they even understand what it was? That lacking of an explanation was the only thing I could fault with the story, which was a pleasure to read.
Castiel: The idea of a pain addicted chaos worshipper appealed a lot, but I felt there wasnt a main purpose to the story. It was clear plans had been ruined, but what were those plans? Why couldnt they go ahead with the inquisition there? I think it needed a bit more elaboration, but had a good idea.
Your friendly neighbourhood gargantuan creature
Grah, as if I needed another reason to hate little children! A great effort, although to be honest the part where the Sister Hospitaler attacks Sebestien seemed a little awkward (don't really know why, but it just does). And, I know I'm being quite critical here, but I thought the revelation of the trap at the end could have been handled a little better - maybe playing on the hopelessness of the situation a little more. I guess the word limit could have had a bit of influence here.
Well, this one was quite interesting. You start with a sense of mystery which still wasn't entirely resolved by the finish - I still have no idea what Silena and her buddies are up to! A few changes to the formatting could have helped the story flow a little better, I thought (mainly around the brief conversation between the guardsman and Silena). And this is another entry that seems to be on the shorter side, although I don't feel like it suffers much because of that.
Well, I'm finding it quite difficult to separate the two. CaptainSarathai definitely has the more obvious catastrophy, and a story with a bit more action. But I quite like the approach taken by Castiell's entry, it seems to stand out from all of the other entries simply by virtue of adopting a slightly different style.
As much as I like both entries, I don't want to give equal marks if I can help it. I'm going to let Castiell's story sway me in his favour. Not really fair on the Captain as I think his story is better than a 3, but I'm loath to start giving out 5s this early on.
CaptainSarathai - 3/5
Castiell - 4/5
CaptainSarathai: A possessed toddler? Awesome! Good idea, and well-written, but I'd honestly have to say that the story seemed a little bland to me, especially the climax. No action, no real suspense, and I never really got a feeling of horror or despair when the Sisters were ambushed. That being said, the story flowed very well, and never really stopped or stuttered at any place.
Castiell: Hmm, I feel here you went a little too far down the food chain with your main character. She seems like very much a nobody, which makes her knowledge of the Inquisitor's arrival seem odd. It also doesn't fit the theme too well, as she doesn't appear to be in a position to really lose much, aside from her life, but in 40k that's honestly a small price to pay. I kept looking for some kind of twist, but when none came, I was kind of disappointed. All in all, well-written, and I do get a sense of genuine worry from the girl, which can be difficult to do without seeming melodramatic or hamming it up.
CaptainSarathai - 3/5
Castiell - 2/5