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The Testing of Warriors
The Strike Cruiser Interneccio drifted into orbit of the planet, its gleaming blue armour reflecting the nearby sunâ€™s rays. The crisp, white emblems of the Ultramarines shone, like a beacon through space.
From its bridge, Captain Ardias, of the Ultramarineâ€™s 3rd company, focused his gaze on the small spinning sphere below him. Infested with heretics and xenos, it would soon burn with the fire of righteous zeal.
The pace of his two hearts quickened as he thought of the destruction that his brothers were about to unleash. He felt drugs being pumped into his system from dispensers throughout his armour, to restore his metabolism and heart rates to normal. He breathed deeply before he gave his orders to the bridge crew, calming his own desires to join his men in this battle.
The candle lighting of the bridge reflected from his shaven scalp and the two long service studs on his forehead. His eyes drifted across assorted deck hands, neophytes and servitors at their aged consoles. The incense from the huge brazier carried by the tech priest at the gun controls filled the entire bridge with its cloying stench. His eyes couldnâ€™t help but water at the powerful scent but Ardias kept his composure.
The ceremonial clasp of his long, red cloak was too tight around his neck and as he adjusted it, a deck hand spoke up to him from below his high, wooden lectern.
â€śWe are in drop position now sir.â€?
â€śPrepare to release pods.â€? replied Ardias.
The strike cruiserâ€™s drop pod bays opened in perfect synchronisation, preparing to unleash the Emperorâ€™s power on the unsuspecting world below. The entirety of the Ultramarines 3rd company prepared to attack, like avenging angels from above and bring His justice to this world.
Ardias closed his eyes when the pods were released, whispering a short prayer for those battle brothers that would not return.
The drop pods screamed in fury as they fell from the heavens in balls of flame. The blue paint was stripped away to reveal to ceramite beneath, as the temperature rose to unbelievable levels. Black scores crisscrossed its blue surface and covered the proud, symbols of the Ultramarines.
In the darkness of the pod, Brother Sergeant Auricles clenched his fists against the metal wall behind him. The harness that attached him to the wall was the only thing that prevented the violent shaking of the pod smashing him apart and he was glad of it.
He was still whispering the 24th prayer of the â€ś36 Canticles of Detestation of the Xenosâ€? to focus himself on the mission.
Beads of sweat ran down from his jet black hair and down the side of his face. For the first time he felt the heat in the pod, only a fraction of the incredible temperatures outside.
The violent whine of the rockets that slowed the pods suicidal plummet from the sky reminded Auricles to brace himself for impact. Now he would prove himself once more before the Emperor, in battle.
Nosgit wiped his filthy sleeve against his green forehead. The heat of this stinkin desert planet was making his sweat like he never had before. The night air here was cooler but still fiercely hot. He placed his shoota on the wall in front of him and pulled out a canteen of water. As he slurped the cooling liquid he looked around.
The Imperial outpost had easily fallen before their furious attack the week before. The humies had had no warning of Boss Gruntspikeâ€™s attack The Bosses main objective was probably the food stocks and tank makinâ€™ building in the compound thought Nosgit. Mek Fikzall was down there now, messinâ€™ around with his many grot lackeys. It had taken a week, but Gruntspikeâ€™s army was now reinforced by some lobbas, wartrakks and killakans.
Screwing the top back on the canteen, Nosgit noticed that it had a humieâ€™s eagle on it. Pausing to scratch the symbol off and wipe his forehead again, he picked up his shoota from the wall. The boyz that manned the walls were getting restless to move out again. Nosgit knew they had stayed too long but their boss was a greedy sod and no one would dare challenge him. Gruntspikeâ€™s bionic body made him too tough and deadly for any nob, ork or grot to survive an encounter with.
Looking into the starry sky, Nosgitâ€™s eyes were drawn to a clutch of shooting stars. They were the largest he had ever seen and he squinted as they began to grow brighter and larger. Oblivious to any danger Nosgit pulled out a battered pair of Imperial macronoculars. Putting them to his beady eyes, the ork saw them get larger and larger. After a few seconds of confusion Nosgit realized that the stars were fallinâ€™ on them! Before he could even cry out, the first drop pod smashed into him, reducing Nosgit to a bloody mist in an instant.
Good....canÂ´t wait for more.
A good opening scene for a book. A hard blast of action to grab the readers attention, then unfold the plot. There is a plot, right?
Heh. You realise, of course, if you post it online then you dont have a hope in hell of getting the Black Library or Inferno to publish it.
"It fits like clothes made out of wasps!"
Well, that's not strictly true.
There's no law which states that a work can't be published after being made publically available. So there is always a *chance* they'll take it (assuming it becomes the best bit of GW fiction ever written) even now you've posted online. It would simply require them to accept that some of chapter one had been in the public domain (in the same way that samples are available from the websites of many publishing houses).
I suspect you'd need to be that good anyway, to get an unsolicited novel proposal past them.
Nah, you dont understand.
They simply dont take on work thats been made availible elsewhere.
They cant make money out of it if its availible for free.
"It fits like clothes made out of wasps!"
The pod continued on, crashing into the compound in an explosion of earth and fire. Its brother pods followed, easily crashing through the flimsy walls of the fortress and smashing into the ork dwellings.
Auricles and his squad emerged from their pod in a storm of bolter and plasma fire. They had landed in the court yard of the fortress, almost exactly on target. Ahead was the main keep, which was blockaded by the majority of the ork horde.
A unanimous cry of â€śCourage and Honour!â€? filled the air as the first squads charged towards the Ork lines. Unable to contain their base nature, several groups of Orks left the barricades in front of the keepâ€™s main entrance, howling in bestial fury as they charged the advancing Ultramarines.
Auricles pumped shell after shell into the oncoming horde, but even direct hits seemed to have little effect on the green behemoths. With seconds between the two forces contacting, he unsheathed his glowing power knife.
Auricles lunged at his first opponent, a particularly ugly beast with a vile scar down its face. Choppa clashed on knife for an instant and the combatants broke apart. The beast swung its vicious weapon in a disembowelling stroke that missed by inches. Before it could recover, Auriclesâ€™s knife plunged into his chest in an explosion of blood and gore. An animalistic howl escaped its lips, as it struggled to stay alive but Auricles ended the struggle by crushing its inhuman face with his boot.
Looking up from the tattered corpse, Auricles saw that the Ork wave had been repelled and he watched as they fell back in disarray, mercilessly hounded by the Ultramarines.
Ork bodies littered the ground, almost in a strange embrace with the dead marines that lay beside them. Ork and human blood flowed freely, forming puddles of disgusting gore and viscera. The stink of blood, fire and metal filled the air.
Disciplined volleys of bolter, plasma and lascannon fire decimated the Ork retreat and few found protection behind the barricades. A roar of victory came from the marines as they continued their charge towards the keep.
Auricles cried out to his warriors â€śTo the keep my Brethren, we will make these xenos pay for despoiling His Realm!â€? as he lead his squad in the charge. Explosions from Ork fire threw up dirt, barbed wire and bodies around the squad as they sprinted towards the barricades.
Auricles watched in sheer joy as the ancient Dreadnought Adeimantus reached the barricades and sprayed liquid fire into the xeno scum. Flaming Orks tumbled from their defences, screaming in pain and rage as their green flesh blistered and melted. Having served the Emperor for 864 years, Adeimantus had certainly not tired of his duty. Another three Orks were burned with blue and white fire from his plasma cannon, leaving only small piles of ash.
In a sudden flash of light, the ancient warriorâ€™s service to the Emperor ended. Auriclesâ€™s squad was hurled to the ground by the powerful shockwave, as a potent beam of energy tore apart the sarcophagus in a violent explosion, shaking the very foundations of the stronghold. Thick black smoke and tears of molten metal poured from the ruined metal monster. It shuddered and emitted a sound almost like a whimper and then lay silent.
The shock of the ancientâ€™s death thundered into Auricles. Anger coursed through him like poison as he slowly rose to his feet. A trusted mentor and friend, Adeimantus had always been with Auricles throughout his life as an Ultramarine, even back at the training barracks of Agiselus. Now he was nothing more than a twisted pile of burning scrap and flesh.
His pain and rage filled him with righteous fury, as he charged heedless of the cries of his men through the storm of fire from the Ork defences. Vaulting the barricades, Auricles dove into a surprised group of the filthy scum, crushing one with his weight and gutting another with his knife. Vile Ork intestines spilled out, covering his shining blue armour with its filth and their owner collapsed into the embrace of death. A volley of bolter fire blew apart one Orkâ€™s head and took off anotherâ€™s arm before either knew of the Space Marineâ€™s attack. A choppa swung towards him, cleaving into his armour and into his side. Larraman cells rushed to the wound forming an instant scar, as if the blade had never pierced his flesh. Washing away his pain and anger in Ork blood, Auricleâ€™s thrust his blade into the last Orkâ€™s beady left eye. Blood spilled from its lips as it tried to speak while Auricles slid the knife from its head. Its last curse went unsaid however; as deathâ€™s cold hands took it before the Ork hit the ground.
Standing over the pile of bodies, Auricles fell to his knees. Covered in Ork blood, he lay shocked at the barbarity of his actions. He had never descended into such battle lust and felt sick to his stomach.
He breathed deeply to still his thundering hearts. He caught the scent of blood on the air but there was something else. Somethingâ€™s scent grew stronger as it came closer. Ork!
Spinning on his knees, Auricles turned round to face the beast just as it leaped onto him. Its massive weight threw him to the blood stained ground and its filthy hand closed in a crushing grip around his neck. Gasping for breath, Auricles pried his armoured fingers between his neck and the orkâ€™s hands. Its strength was incredible and the servomotors in Auriclesâ€™s armour fought to increase his already formidable strength.
In his visor he watched his heart rates begin to fall as he struggled for air. He realised that he had only one option. â€śOpen helmet rebreather maskâ€? gasped Auricles. His vacuum sealed helmetâ€™s rebreather slid back revealing his mouth. With his remaining strength he spat a thick, black liquid into the eyes of his attacker.
The alien screamed in pain, jumping up and away from the downed marine. It gripped its face, clawing and pulling in blind desperation at its head to try to stop the burning pain, but it was too late. The corrosive poison was eating away its face but it refused to die. Growling, it pulled out a rusted knife and limped towards Auricles, who was now pulling himself to his feet. As it swung the blade downwards in a deadly arc Auricles braced himself to meet Adeimatusâ€™s fate as there was no escape.
The ork suddenly stopped with an expression of pain and confusion on its face. Looking down it saw that there was a perfect hole through its torso, leaking fresh blood onto the red ground. Falling to its knees, it burbled something unintelligible through a mouthful of its own blood before slamming the ground.
Standing up, Auricles looked for the location of the shot that had saved his life. Brother Kazeus was stood atop the ork defences, his bolter smoking from the killing shot. The rest of Auricleâ€™s squad appeared at the barricades, forcing their way through the ork corpses that lay strewn about.
â€śWell it looks like you took care of everything here Brother Sergeant Auricles.â€? said Brother Kazeus as he kicked away a twitching ork body that lay at his feet.
â€śIâ€¦when Adeimantusâ€¦Iâ€¦â€? murmured Auricles but he found that he had no excuses for his savage blood lust, more akin to the sons of Russ rather than a proud Ultramarine. Kazeus shook his head â€śNow is not the time my friend, the main ork forces have retreated into the fortress. Our forces are in pursuit and we must join themâ€?
Suddenly the battle rushed back to Auricles and he could hear the chatter of weapons fire from within the stronghold ahead. Picking up his bolter he called to his squad â€śNow comes the real test my brothers! Brother Ishmael, check and bless weapons. Brother Nicias, release a krak missile into anything larger than a Dreadnought, may the Emperor guide your aim. For the Primarch! For the God Emperor of Mankind!â€? The squad ran towards the dark entrance of the main keep preparing to meet their fates.