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This is the first half or so of a story I have been working on. Tell me what you all think, but please if you don't like it don just say "teh sux" give some feedback on how to make it better.
The Lost Patrol of Commissar Ieslen: The Necron Attack. pt. 1
Commissar Ieslen repositioned his binoculars and looked out the narrow slit in the side of the crude command bunker into the growing dawn. Shapes were moving in the mist, shapes he knew. They were just what he had feared. Out beyond the edge of the hill, hulking forms were approaching through the mist. The dawn sun was rolling back the fog even as they advanced. It thus was mere moments until the first ranks could be seen clearly. Leaden-hued metallic shapes that vaguely resembled skeletons advanced methodically, a regimented half-run bringing them closer every second. Behind them floated the imposing bulk of a Monolith, the smallest of the strange warbarqs of the ancient Necron armies. Its dark towering form parted the mist like a ship parts the water, sending a bow wave of fog rolling out ahead of it. A force like this would definitely have one of the thrice damned Warlocks somewhere in its ranks, a brutal fighter with dark techno sorcery at its command. The fight ahead would not be pleasant.
The Commissar did not like this situation at all. He knew these monsters from his days as a White Shield. Necrons were not something to trifle with. He dragged a hand over his deeply lined face and his ragged brown beard. It had been almost twenty hours standard, a full Teraken day, since he had slept. His voice was harsh and strained. "First we are sent to attack the Orks' forward base, then a Traitor Marine attack strands us here. After THATâ€™S over the Sororitatus arrive as backup. Half a day later itâ€™s the fragging Orks again, then the armor convoy resupply, and that night we lose those tanks to the Genestealers assault. Now its half a week, two air drops of fresh kit and some odd stragglers from overrun positions later, and the Necrons decide to join the party... Great, just great."
Lieutenant Chadelsky was his usual annoyingly cheerful self. "Could be worse sir... We could all be slaves to those traitor marines now." "That, is, not, funny, Lieutenant!" Ieslen growled. Much as he found the lieutenant irritating he had to admit that at least he kept you from brooding. No matter how bad things were, he always seemed able to think of something WORSE.
Ieslen picked up the vox communicator hand set and pushed the button for general announcement. His tone tried to sound light yet forceful but came out more grating and strident. "GOOD MORNING, cork knoll base! This is commissar Ieslen speaking! Were going to have a very busy day so I want all of you up and at your posts in 1 minute!" He stood back up and stretched; grabbing a cynabun off the hot plate on the near wall. He bit into it and chewed, he then took another long pull from his flask of stim brew. The young lieutenant looked at him quizzically. "Food before battle sir?" "Yes, lieutenant. You can't afford to have hunger distracting you when you're in the thick of the fighting." Chadelsky's narrow, roundish face looked suddenly enlightened. "Oh, I see."
Ieslen fumbled with the vox pickup and thumbed the switch for gunnery. "Officer Stradanov, we have a small force of Necrons approaching from the south east, do you copy?" Stradanov sounded tense and tired. It was almost the end of his shift. "Yes command, I copy. One thirty eight lateral by zero, zero vertical, over." "Confirmed, target with all long range laz armament that may be brought to bear. Priority is to be given to any vehicles or targets that deviate from the standard form, over." "Confirmed, HQ. Targeting with laz canon now."
Less than a second later they heard the sharp hissing crack of a laz blast winging toward the foe. "Range, Stradanov?" Ieslen queried. "Just over a one thousand yards and closing" he grumbled. Ieslen considered this a moment. "You are herby authorized to fire one full salvo of long range, Solid State bombardment." "Thank you, commander." Ieslen sighed. "No thanks are needed. It is the best tactical option for breaking the advance of the enemy." Stradanov sounded almost jovial. "Yes, sir but after all this time with only laz guns the troops could use the practice." "I see. Command out, gunnery." "Over and out, command."
Now the whine of laz fire was joined by the booms of large bore guns as massive chemical explosive warheads were lobbed at the on coming Necron units. The auspex displays tracked the shots and calculated the impacts and damage. "It looks like we may turn them at range..." Chadelsky murmured. Ieslen sounded ironic. "No. See there? We didn't even hit the monolith. And I think the Warlock is still up, look." several of the blue dots that represented fallen enemy troops turned red again and resumed moving forward. "We fired a little too soon, and we can not afford the ammunition for another try." The Commissar's gaunt face was grim; he looked even more tense and drawn than usual. "Let us hope concerted laz fire can produce better results." He sighed.
The commissar stretched and paced. His lean form moved back and forth across the bunker. Each long stride carried him forward a good four feat. One, two, three, four, turn, repeat. "I hate waiting; it is the worst part of war." He grumbled. "Nothing for you to do but consider what may go wrong." He didn't stop moving as he spoke. "Or right, sir. There is always that to think on too." Chadelsky sighed. "False optimism has been the ruin of more than one army." Ieslen snapped back.
A thought struck him. There was something tugging at the back of his memory, something about the operation of Necron monoliths... "Wait. That thing is a teleport gateway! If we let that monolith close there's no way we'll be able to turn them." He Snatched up the com-link "Stradanov do you copy? I want a shell a second HITTING that monolith do you hear me!?!" "Yes, commissar, I hear you! The whole battery heard you! In fact, we're readying the charges now..." "Good, time the shots, one a second no more no less. Keep going till it's nothing more than a burning wreck, you understand?" "Very well, Commissar. Gunnery out." Stradanov half-growled. "Command out." sighed Ieslen and hung up the com.
The display showed the shots flying out to the advancing Necrons. One a second every second. A few went wide or fell short, he knew some would. Most hit the monolith. It turned as it moved exposing only undamaged sections of its armor to the guns. A few times it was lucky, and its gauss weapons destroyed the shot before it could hit. In the end, though, they brought it down. Itâ€™s formerly floating massive bulk landed with its "front" facing them. A great slab-like portion of the hull started to move up and a ghostly glow began to flicker beneath the lip of the rising door. The shells kept hitting it, but seemed unable to damage the massive edifice now that it had stopped moving.
The slab moved up to its final position, there was a blinding flash outside and ten fresh red dots appeared on screen. "Frag, we were too late! A bunker is no match for concerted Gauss fire. That monolith will keep bringing units in until they obliterate this outpost." He crashed back into the black and yellow upholstered command chair. "Well at least we can try to take as many of them with us as possible." He hit the switch to gunnery off and punched the toggle for 'The Chapel'.
Ieslen's voice was weary as he addressed the chapel's watch officer. "Sergeant Tanner, put me through to the Celestine." Sergeant Tanner sounded very anxious on the other end of the vox channel. "I'm sorry, sir, but the Sororitatus are in morning prayers." "Well then go tell them that a force of Necrons is about to attack this base and THAT THEY SHOULD BE PRAYING THAT THE XENO SCUM DON'T CUT THEM DOWN WHERE THEY SIT!!!" Ieslen bellowed into the handset. He slammed the vox pickup back into its cradle so hard he chipped the paint, then sat there, his breathing hot and heavy.
A glaring red light from outside the bunker was the first sign that something had changed. The blazing booming noise of the explosion that followed it served only to punctuate the point. Ieslen snatched up his binoculars and looked out of the bunker again. The Necrons were just under three hundred yards distant now. You could see them with the naked eye. The monolith was nowhere in sight. And the guns had stopped.
A good two hundred yards behind the Necrons' lines was a huge smoldering crater. Pieces of metal rained down from the sky and broken bits of Necron troops were scattered around the area like parts of children's toys. Ieslen started to suit up and strap on his weapons. "Lieutenant, hit the button for gunnery, will you?" "Yes sir!" Ieslen leaned towards the headset as he pulled on his greatcoat. "Stradanov, Tell your boys that was good shooting, sorry about the informality but they're almost upon us." Stradanov sounded much calmer. "Understood, Commissar. You know all we had to do was put a shot through that door. Exploded straight away. Any way, Gunnery out." "Command out." Ieslen sighed and put the hand set back in its cradle. They climbed the staircase to the bunkers top hatch.
Chadelsky followed the commissar as they stepped out of the bunker and onto the upper parapet. The soldiers were settling into their positions in the trenches and sandbag lines. Heavy weapons teams were making final adjustments to their guns and everyone was chanting the Litanies of War. Chadelsky passed the commissar a megaphone. "Here you go sir." "Thank you, Lieutenant." Ieslen muttered. He flicked the switch and started speaking "All right every one! Remember these things and they may save your life! Necrons make use of advanced teleportation technology so keep an eye out for units of the enemy suddenly appearing in unexpected locations! Those of you who are on tank crews STAY HULL DOWN, Gauss weapons are very unforgiving to armored vehicles so DO NOT MOVE from your assigned place! Those of you with heavy weapons look for one of them that is different from the rest. If you see it do your best to destroy it! Remember all of you, they feel no pain! Shoot for the head or their guns, and above all stay vigilant! They WILL try to out flank us! For Humanity, For the EMPEROR, FIRE!"
All across the battle line the soldiers of The Imperial Guard opened fire on the rushing phalanx of Necrons. Twenty or more fell but almost all clambered back to there feet a split second later and resumed the charge. The crack of laz guns and the dull boom of mortars filled the air. Plasma rifles and barking bolters mixed with the scream of rockets as the imperial guard unleashed their fury into the Necron units running towards them. If it had been anything but Necrons the enemy would have been cut down as they ran, but the Necrons' self repair systems meant they kept getting back up and coming back for more.
"Damnation! Where are the Sororitatus? Even those elitist b****es should be ready by now!" Ieslen cursed under his breath. The Necron units were only now starting to splinter under the constant hail of fire they were reciveing from the guard units facing them. However they were at under fifty yards now and there gauss weapons were beginning to tell on the guard as well.
Last edited by Alexei Vor Yaruk; May 19th, 2005 at 15:00. Reason: readability.
Please, I would really like to know what you all think. I still have more of these stories to write so I need to know if I am doing something vastly wrong, NOW!
Well done for writing it.. It takes time and effort to write long pieces, and it sucks that so few people have the attention span to read them. It's not bad, but I have a few suggestions.
1. I don't see necrons simply advancing forwards over open terrain.. They're the most advanced race in the universe, guided by the will of beings infinately more intelligent than man. Have them crawl out of the ground like zombies in bad movies, have the fast ones snake around the flanks and wipe out lone groups of guardsmen.. Have them simply appear out of thin air. Make them terrifying and monstrous, not predictable.
2. The soldiers seem to know a lot about the Necrons. Considering that the Ordo Xenos is still looking into what Necrons and C'tan are, I doubt this level of knowledge is prevalent among the grunts. For example, I doubt a guardsman knows what a gauss weapon is.. to him, it's just a strange gun which strips people's flesh away.
3. The guardsmen are very very calm. This ties in with number 1. They should be screaming, panicking wrecks in the face of something they can't understand. While a whole story full of 'THE HORROR! THE HORROR!' isn't going to work.. a little less stoicism would go a long way.
4. You mention both orks and traitors in an early paragraph.. what are all these races doing on one world? I know Dawn of War, but that was the exception.. I don't think it's supposed to be normal for an Imperial Guard group to attack a world which features such a diversity of enemies. If nothing else, an ork infestation or attack by even a small unit of chaos marines (marines, as opposed to the innevitable screaming hordes of cultists) is enough to place a very serious question mark on the successful defence of a world. Trying to fight off all of these these threats at once is just too much for my sense of believability. Even the Imperium knows when to call it a day, pull back and let their enemies kill each other instead.
First, Thank you. The things you have said will help me greatly in writeing the rest of the story.
Second, I am sorry. I cut it off at a bad place. what you have read is almost just the intro to a story two or three times that length. Most of your concerns will be addressed in the next section. but to draw back the curtain a little here are my reasons for most of this.
1: Due to your input I have decided the ones out there are a feint. The rest will teleport in and attack from a lightly defended direction while most of the troops are off defending that edge of the camp. They also will have a bunch of flayed ones gate into the middle of the base to wreak havoc.
2: Not the soldiers just Ieslen. He has faced necrons before as he said. The rest of them have no clue what they are in for. May the Emperor have mercy upon their souls.
3: Well its easy to be stoic before you see your friends and comrades die. They are about to break and run in this next bit, but in typical Commissar fashion Ieslen puts a stop to that.
4: If this were a normal world they would have left it to let the enemies of man kill each other years ago. But this planet is one that historical records say the Emperor himself joined the fight to cleanse PERSONALLY. Its a matter of honor and faith to hold it at all cost.
I also think I did you all a disservice by dropping you into the middle of a story like this. In truth this was the first section that I wrote, but It would likely have been better to finish 'the raid on cork knoll' and show that to you first as it is the start of the lost patrols tale.
Last edited by Alexei Vor Yaruk; May 22nd, 2005 at 05:02.
Indeed, a little bit of background, and most of my initial concerns drop away.
Keep it up.. I'd suggest checking your sentence structure at times (some bits just sound a little disjointed to me, but that's personal opinion again.) But otherwise it's quite a strong piece of fluff.
That was a really good read! I hope to read more of your stuff soon!
Very very nice. Well put together and flowing, nice. Mantis is on point, most of the imperium doesnt even know about Necrons mainly because of the fact that they annihilate them when they come in contact and it is usually on exploration missions so information about them is vague at best. You do have the right idea though, Necrons do march somberly forward, the warriors at the front and the elites at the back. However to make the story more exciting, you could make them attack from various vantage points suprising the guard. Necrons drive fear into their enemies, even marines, so your guard cant be so fearless haha. Some of your sentences ran on too long. That's about it, very good story, looking forward to more.
Pretty good, only one prob. Calling the Sisters *****es. I doubt that they would know the word, and that they would describe the most holy servacnts of the Inquisition that way. The Commissar would get arrested.
I know I'm being picky (sorry ) but as I collect the lovely ladies it is a topic close to my heart.
Other wise, tops!
Arrested? More like killed.
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