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Well, this is my latest piece of work, the first chapter at any rate. If I get enough support, I will continue this to a reasonable conclusion, and, for once, finish, a story. I can't promise when that will be, but I will try to make it happen. Anyway, as usual, I accept all C+C. It's all greatly appreciated. Our setting is an unfamiliar one, but one that is growing on me. The world of necromunda. Enjoy
My head was swimming in a sea of pain. I tried to open my eyes, but a pyrotechnic display lit up before them. I couldn’t remember a thing of what had happened. I was lying on my side, on a stone-cold slab of what felt like rockcrete. I rolled over onto my back, letting loose a groan. My whole body was aching, and there was a dull pain in my left leg. Frantically I tried to remember. Had it been the wildsnake? I’d always known I drank too much of the stuff. Had I been thrown out of a drinking hole? That would explain for my bruises. I remembered Downtown, and I remembered the drink. Then I remembered; the shouts, the masked ganger, the gunshots, my pain, and diving through a hole in the wall… then it was all blank.
Finally I forced my eyes open, and surveyed my surrounding. Eight foot by twelve, built of solid rockcrete, with a reinforced steel door, and a small, barred window; through which a dim, murky light was shining. What was more, it looked strangely familiar. It was a cell, and I knew it. Cell 17B, first block, of the Enforcer’s courthouse, Helmawr Street, Hive city. I didn’t even have to look to know that there were three dents in the door, and a number of profanities against the Law-bringers of Hive Primus carved into the wall behind my head. I’d carved a few myself. I slowly hauled myself to my feet, and inspected myself. My Trench coat was more or less intact, but was missing three buttons. My trousers had a large hole in the left thigh, from which the pain was pulsating. Yes, I’d been shot! Surprisingly my wound had been dressed and cleaned. Obviously my captors weren’t the usual types. Anyway, I wasn’t going to hang around to meet them.
I walked over to the barred window, and tested the fittings. Solid. It looked like they had been reset in the last few hours. These guys were good. Still, I could get out of here without too much trouble. This cell had yet to hold me till questioning time. My weapons were, as I had expected, gone. But I still had the blade concealed within my right boot. I pulled the boot off, and checked the heel. The blade was gone. Now that was a surprise. These guys were very good. And what was more disturbing; it seemed they were familiar with me. Resignedly, I slumped down against the wall, and waited to see what would happen next.
Soon enough, the door swung open, on it’s well-oiled hinges, and from it emerged a trooper clad in the heavy, dark blue carapace armor of the Arbites Enforcers. He was wearing his helmet, which covered all his head except his eyes and mouth. He was carrying his power maul, and it was humming, clearly on a high charge. They were taking no chances with me. He stood aside, and grunted, jerking the maul away from the door. I walked forward with as much swagger as I could muster in my ache-filled state. It never hurts to make an impression. He wasn’t impressed, and jabbed the seat of my trousers with the maul. I let out a short yelp as it singed my breeches, and hurried down the hall of the prison block. About a hundred yards down the corridor another guard stood waiting by a door. He was clad in exactly the same way as the first, and was carrying an enforcer pattern shotgun. Cautiously, I made a quick judgment of the distance from myself to the corridor to my right. It was no use. If he was any good with that thing, which the Arbites invariably were (it went with the job), I’d be shredded by an executioner shell before I got ten yards. As if reading my thoughts, he leveled the enormous weapon at me. My career was currently too illustrious to be brought to an abrupt end by a trigger-happy trooper, so I fairly threw myself through the door!
Having entered, I quickly studied the room. There were no windows, and only the door that I had come through. There was a vent, but it was too high to reach. Only when I had ascertained that there were no means of escape did I take notice of the room’s sole occupant. He was an enforcer, he wore the uniform. He was tall, and slim of build. His hands flexed gently, as in anticipation, and one was stroking his holster. His eyes seemed to bore into me, and his gaunt face twisted into the grimace of a smile. It was as if my very soul was being opened and stripped bare. I knew at once, that this man, was not to be trifled with. The room was Spartan, except for a steel table that he sat behind. He gestured his hand in a friendly manner, indicating that I should sit. How ironic it was, that for all his friendly manners, I could be about to sit and talk with my executioner. As I sat, I tested the chair and the table with my boot. They were both fixed to the floor. So, it seemed I had little choice but to talk with this man. He was still smiling when he spoke.
“What is your name?”
Of course, like all men in my profession, I had several. I gave one at random, he wouldn’t trace it, they never did. But all warmth dropped from his face. He leaned forward, hostility radiant from him.
“Do you take me for a fool?” he hissed. “We both know that is not your real name!”
I stared, almost open mouthed, but I kept my cool. Yet my head was spinning like I’d been hooked up to an amasec drip! This man knew me!? How much did he know!? Was my career about to end? Most likely yes. In front of a firing squad. In fact no, I’d probably get the rope!
The man was smiling once more. “Your name is Kreigar. Yvan Kreigar.” His smile was triumphant, and he had every right to be. I’d lied, bribed, and even killed to keep that name a secret. I’d covered my tracks better than a hunted Ratskin, and yet I was beaten. If he knew my name, he knew my past, and if he knew my past, then he must know what I was, and if he knew that… then he must know what I’d done. My head bowed in defeat. I was beaten. And I knew it. I was dead for sure. I was overcome by self pity. And I was ashamed of myself.
Forcing myself to look him in the eyes, I mustered the last of my dignity.
“Well? Then what are we waiting for?” I spat, “Kill me you bastard, and have done with it!”
“Oh no, Mr. Kreigar. Not yet. By all means, not yet. Three of my men are dead. Three more are critical. And someone very important is being shipped off-world in a new, shiny, black bag!”
Damn. I knew that guy had been someone important. Idiot! He’d gone and got himself killed, and landed me in whatever this lunatic had planned.
He stared at me. And for the second time, he was deadly and earnestly serious.
“I want answers Kreigar. I think you’d better tell me everything.”
Last edited by ChadMS; January 9th, 2010 at 18:37.
Thanks for the new story, Chad! As always, I like it very much so far, but you will have to give away a little more for a more thorough judgement.
I'm really interested in how the story will go on. I had a Necromunda-story project once too, about my first gang. I liked it really much, but never got further than the first few chapters. I hope you can stay focused on your story for a little longer and be able to bring it to an end! I wish you the best of luck for that.
I like it that you're testing out a new style of storytelling here, by the way, recounting the story from the "I"-perspective. It took me a long time and a lot of attempts until I found out which perspective to write from, which one works best for me. Keep on experimenting!
Looking forward to a sequel, mate, don't be shy!
It's a good start, and I'm interested to see how it goes. I also enjoy your use of first person perspective. Not many people seem to use it.
Space Marines- The ultimate representation of 'Bros before Hoes'
Nice start Looking forward to hearing more
Ok, readers. Heres the next installment.
My name’s Yvan Kreigar, but to my friends, enemies, and the rest of the universe, I’m simply known as Regno. I’m thirty-one years old, five-foot-ten, and I’m one of the best damn bounty hunters in the whole of hive Primus. It’s a dirty job, and few make it past their first year, but those that do survive. I’m a survivor, and proud of it. That means I do what I have to do, and I think with my head, not my heart. Those that do that end up feeding the rats and ghouls down in the Undercity. Or get shot down by those they were out to bring in. I’ve kept to this creed throughout my career, and am still very much alive. I intend to keep it that way.
That morning I’d felt invincible. I’d made a catch and it was a good one. I’d tracked three outlaws down into the undercity, camping for three days in the gloom, while staying on their trail. On the fourth morning I’d caught up with them, and three minutes later they were all dead. Hardly a fight, but they’d robbed someone they shouldn’t have. I’d dragged their bodies back to the surface, putting up with the noxious task as I knew that their corpses were worth sixty credits. The payer was a guilder from Hive City. He was small-fry, and had wanted to make his mark, which was why he’d hired me to track three of his old employees down, and bring back proof of their deaths. Imagine his surprise, when I dumped the corpses in his front hall, and demanded my pay! I had known he’d swindle me at the first opportunity, so I’d taken steps to make sure that he didn’t. Slipping his guards a credit was one. Holding a gun to his face was the other. Needless to say, he paid up, and I’d walked off, feeling elated.
As I made my way towards to settlement of Downtown I was feeling rather pleased with myself. My boots had a spring to their step, and my trench-coat swished around my legs. The narrow streets were filthy, and for the deserted. The ceiling was uneven down here in the Badzones, and cave-ins were not uncommon, but this region was safe. It wasn’t all that far from the surface, so a dim light cast shadows dancing across the debris that littered the floors of the Underhive. Here and there I saw a shadow dart out from the shadows, my eye catching it briefly before it vanished. Probably just a rat, or a scavenger, looking for salvage. Nonetheless I kept one hand on my holster (finest leather) as I strode along. It was most likely what it appeared to be, but, it paid to be cautious. For all I knew it could be a Ratskin, although they didn’t normally venture near the settlements. Or it could be…worse. In all my travels, I had encountered nearly every denizen of the Underhive in possible in imagination. The air was bad down here, partly why I wore my filter plugs. For all the uncomfort they gave me they were an essential item, for mutation was not uncommon. Many were tolerated, but there were those who dwelt in the lower regions. More creature than man. Men with…deformities.
Well, whatever they were, they wouldn’t find a helpless, frightened Juve. My bolt-pistol was loaded, and hung loosely in its holster. My shotgun was slung over my back, but I could swing it around in a heartbeat. And beneath my greatcoat was a jacket of a ceramite and steel mesh. It had cost me a small fortune in credits from a hawk-faced guilder in the Glory Hole, but it had saved my life on more than one occasion. Like all who followed my trade, I was, quite literally, armed to the teeth. My thoughts were, however, interrupted, as I realized that I had arrived.
I slowly picked my way through the rubble and fallen cables as I approached the entrance to Downtown. It was built inside an old hab-dome, one of the few that was still structurally sound. The entrance was heavily concealed, and well guarded. A veritable wall of rock-crete formed the perimeter of Downtown; the few ways in guarded by mercs employed my local guilders. The citizens of Downtown were a hardy folk, well used to the rigors of daily survival, and they often didn’t take kindly to strangers. This wouldn’t make things any easier.
I approached the dome from the eastern side, carefully making my way through ruined out-buildings, I was about 50 feet from the dome when I was, finally challenged.
“You in the coat! Stop right there!”
The shout had come from my left. I stopped, and slowly turned around. From behind a damp, crumbing wall, stood a man. He looked shabby, but tough, with a large wart on his chin. Clearly one of the mercs hired as a guard. He didn’t look familiar though, so I stayed alert.
“What’s your business here, mister?” snarled wart-face. Even from here I smell the odor of cheap booze mixed with BO. It was not very reassuring. Here was one down on his luck. That could be a problem. I’d have to play my cards carefully.
“People around here know me as Regno.” I replied “Go find Big-Hef. He knows me. As for my business, I keep that to myself. Trust me, that’s usually for the best.”
Wart-face’s eyes narrowed. “Yeah? Is that right mister? Well, I reckon that you’re just here to cause trouble. I know your sort mister. Naught but trouble you mercs are.”
Well, look who was talking. I was sorely tempted to teach Wart-face some manners, but on the other hand, he was holding a rather large autogun, so I bit my lip as he continued.
“As a matter of fact mister,” grinned wart-face, “I reckon that I might do well to sort you out right now”.
“Go and get Hef!” I said. “He knows who I am, and if he finds out that you’ve threatened me, he’ll rip that bloody wart off with his bear hands. And that’s before I’ve started on you.”
I stepped from the shadows of the ruin to confront him, revealing my full height, bearing, and of course, my weapons. I was happy to see him blanch. He had been overconfident, and with luck, he would back off.
Instead, he raised to autogun to the level of my head, his teeth bared in anger, with the wart protruding at a rather comical angle. Time to try something else. I couldn’t shoot him, the guilders wouldn’t thank me for it, but how was I to disarm him without getting a bullet between my eyes?
“You made a mistake there mister!” he hissed. “You’re for it now.” He racked back the autogun’s slide clumsily, before aiming it at my stomach.
“Now, hand over yer credits, and I might let you live.”
“You can point that gun at me all you want,” I chuckled, ‘cause you haven’t armed it yet!”
“You’ve got to press the little red button, just next to the trigger to take the safety off.”
Wart-Face stared for a full 30 seconds, his face ticking slowly, as it tried to comprehend what I’d just said. His mind was trying to weigh up if what I’d said was true. Nervously, he raised his hand, now visibly shaking, and pushed the red button. His face lit up in triumph as his gun beeped, and … fell again, as the magazine clattered across the floor. He looked up, to the barrel of my bolt pistol.
“You know” I said, pushing the barrel of the pistol against the side of his head, “That was a pretty dangerous gun you had pointed at me. You could have taken my eye out.”
Wart-Face was shaking in fear. He slumped against the wall, his eyes wide in terror, his mouth stammering a negative, but unable to form the words. “N…no. N-n-n-no. P-please don’t kill me; I-I d-didn’t m-mean to…”
“Oh shut up!” I snapped. “I’m not going to kill you, even if you are a turd. Do you really think I’d waste a round on you?” I turned away in disgust. “Oh, and err…” I swung around, my fist making sharp contact with his temple. Wart-Face went down flat on his face.
“That’s for threatening to steal my credits!”
Leaving the stunned henchmen in my wake, minus his firing pin and wallet, I walked up to the entrance to Downtown.
This is really good
Awesome. That's my only word for this.
You really managed to get the personality of the character through in your writing here. I'm looking forward to hearing more about this "Regno". Keep it up!
Space Marines- The ultimate representation of 'Bros before Hoes'
Keep it up, Chad! Very good! You're doing well with the first person perspective.
I'm still waiting for some real hint what the core of the story will be, so far it's "only" good description and cool situational humor. Good writing, but I can't judge whether I like the story or not, without seeing where it's gonna go.
I liked the encounter with the guard very much, though it struck me as a little peculiar that a seasoned merc doesn't know the buttongs on his gun. Maybe change that encounter to some random guy who attempts to rob Yvan outside of Downtown?
Nevermind my objections, though, it's really good! Hope there's more soon. Go, Chad!
Thanks for all the comments guys, it's all really encouraging.
Thanks for your advice and points on the story. This is very much an experiment for me at the moment, but, the story will begin to pick up soon. It may take a while, but I'll do my best to make it worth the wait. Yeah, I know the encounter may seem a little awkward once you go below the surface, but as you will soon find out, the reason for it being the way it is will be revealed in the next installment (I'm saying that like I had it planned out that way all along!).
Here's a little teaser puzzle for all my fans (I'm sure there are many) who are reading this. The name 'Regno', will have some significance later on in the story. As a little puzzle, why don't you try to figure out what it means, and why it will be so important? You may have to trace it a bit. If any of you clever-clogs manage to work it out, or think you have the answer, then please don't give it away. Either PM me, all call me up on the chat. Good luck to you all!
Thanks again everyone!
Don't misunderstand my comment, though, Chad. I'm not saying you should be picking up on the story more quickly or anything. It's just that I find it hard to comment something other than "write more"! If it were a book I could hold in my hands I'd just not lay it aside and keep on reading. It's more difficult here, though, because I'm bound to wait. But it will be worth it, I'm sure, so keep it up and stick to your plans!
About "Regno": I've had to learn the language it's from and I know its literal meaning. It that the riddle's solution?