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Incomplete, so I'm just fishing for constructive criticism.
Throughout the village set in a small clearing, deep in the forests of a world in the mainly uncharted backwaters of the eastern rim, there was silence. The night had closed in, dead on its usual time. There was now very little light, but what light there was spilled down from the moon high above; giving the landscape the tint of red oxide. All except for one hut in the village.
The house of the Metal Man.
This wasn't how he was usually addressed. He was known simply as "Heuss". The children, immature that they were, called him this, solely because of the red glowing monocle that he was rumoured to possess. He was the village's blacksmith. His was the forge that roared for most of the day as he fashioned horse shoes and swords, and to some extent slightly more complicated items, but not really things that the locals concerned themselves with. Occasionally he would go off with his select group of apprentice smiths, and they between them would bring back heavily laden carts, the massive shire horses panting between the shafts as they struggled to haul this cargo.
Heuss himself was a secretive person. Barely anyone had seen him stripped to the waist, despite his working in the forge all day, with massive molten rivulets of metal all about him. His favoured garb were robes of deep crimson, with a small silver skull on one breast, his cowl hiding his face except for the angry glow of ruby red in the shadow. Occasionally he had his sleeves rolled up to the elbow, as he walked amongst the others on market day in the village. Deep scarred furrows criss-crossed his arms, and the children swore to their parents that they had seen pieces of metal in deep open wounds, pistons sliding back and forth in mechanical ease. Village rumour was that he had outlived his apprentices in the past.
No, Heuss was sitting up tonight, as he had done every night since one some hundred years ago. Looking upward, toward the star-flecked sky for a signal. A signal of salvation. A signal of a ship.
The Village, one hundred and two years previously.
All day long, there had been odd sights in the sky. The entire village, simple as it was, was not so simple as to discard this as some war of the gods. Although they were not far off. Above them, for many hours, had raged a battle the like of which had to be seen to be believed. A chaos raider had stumbled across an Adeptus Mechanicus craft on a routine check up mission, to monitor the inhabitants of the world the ship's wreckage now orbited, albeit rapidly decaying. The progress on the planet was good; it had now reached a stage where vast ships carrying vast amounts of produce were taken to landing sites for the Adeptus Mechanicus ships. Often a ship could land here and from the surroundings take the materials it needed for a repair, or on the more dated ships, even a refit. Of course, the locals understood these technologies, having been indoctrinated with it. As the ship's astropath was sending detailed reports of progress, the ship was attacked with a fusillade of firepower from astern.
The battle had been long and arduous; arcane technologies from millennia past were unleashed at each other; vast charges of electric death swam through the void to destroy the hull of the opposition. The result was a severely wounded chaos raider, whose parting shaft was to destroy fully the engines of the Mechanicus ship. At this point, the captain of the ship ordered that it be abandoned, and the shattered remnants of the crew made their way to the escape pods. The sky was filled with hundreds of pin pricks of light, as in the early evening the pods' rockets activated and descended into a plummeting descent onto the planet. One pod; just the one, had its motors ripped away by a floating piece of wreckage. It had begun, much like the supremely larger craft, a slowly decaying orbit.
Tech Priest Heuss, newly promoted from Acolyte, was trapped, and horrified. He needed not tabulators to determine where the ship was heading, as it accelerated past his pod toward the planet below. His augmented eyes judged that it would break in two, the denser pieces of wreckage from the mile-long ship falling in places either right on top of, or nearby, the main population centers.
Most of the planet's population would be wiped out.
Horrified, Heuss found he could not prise his eyes away from the scene. Deep orange and yellow flashes from beneath the cloud gave away the destruction of hundreds of years of civilisation and technological development. And all because of Heuss. He had failed to maintain the void shields at the most crucial time, when a vicious salvo of fire from the chaos ship flayed through space and into the ship. He would have to atone for his sins. He would have to rebuild the planet, literally, from the ground up.
A Forged World, one of lies to cover up his error.
He screamed as white hot tears of rage and despair rolled down his cheeks; and tried not to think of the world below; where famine and poverty would soon be the order of the day, and where the living would envy the dead.
Thoughts? Note that any odd question marks are as a result of directly copying and pasting into the post form.
(Oh, and Deciever, I can't be arsed to post on those SM threads anymore. Its kind of quaint to see other's misguided views on it.)
"It fits like clothes made out of wasps!"
As usual, it's really good. I love your descriptive style, really gets one into the story. Now for something constructive:
At the end, Heuss clearly feels several emotions. Now I'm not too familiar with the Adeptus Mechanicus, but I thought they felt little in the way of emotions, even at an early stage? Surely he wouldn't care this much for the living population of the planet?
This is probably a not so useful comment, as you said it's incomplete, but we fall pretty much into the story. A bit more background of the world and the battle would be nice, right now it's like you're reading a part of a story somewhere between the core and the ending, but not the rest.
Ze titles yez...
When in doubt,
Smite.<SilverMane> I would trust BID with my life
<SilverMane> HEIL BID!
<Adrian-> BiD is Omnipotent; All Knowing, All Powerful!
<Scary_Troopers> I see you as an optimist, GT. : D
But what of the midgets!?
=]Front in favour of Moderation of the Harshest kind.[=
Allow me to offer my Admech knowledge, first of all i loved the story, alot better than mine (if you've ever read it u'll see what I mean) however Heuss wouldn't shed a tear for the ppulation, rather the lost technology and the death of the machine spirits on board the ship. To the Admech a human's worth is only the sum of his knowledge.
<img src='http://img53.photobucket.com/albums/v163/Tolanus/Tolanus.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
I really like the way you write, although at points it seems that your writing a notebook of this guy or some extended fluff rather than a story (excuse me if it was ment otherwise) and it makes the reader feel away from the action. Please donâ€™t take ofense to this Iâ€™m just trying to give some helpful critisim. But yes, you have an unsusual writing style, which is a good thing because many 40k stories Iâ€™ve read in Inferno recently sound like theyâ€™ve come from the same authour! You give great description at a few areasi.e. He screamed as white hot tears of rage and despair rolled down his cheeks. Thanks for the read!
Great story Inquisitor, but there is something that I was wondering about, what happened to the rest of the Crew that were in the other escape pods? I know the story isn't finished, but it seems weird you didn't mention them when you were describing the Ships demise.
From what I know about Admech (which is very little), I thought they lost their emotions when they underwent the unction of clear thought?
Very good begining. I know absolutely nothing about Admech, so from the purely literary standpoint, you've got a little gem here. The discription of the children was a wonderful touch, kinda Hawthornesque. I hope you continue with this story. One point... I would go back into more of how he failed to preserve void sheilding.
Thanks folks. I had kinda given up on this, but it seems to be a popular concept. I might start writing it in full in a little while, once i get a few more people's opinions on it.
Come on folks; what do you think!?
"It fits like clothes made out of wasps!"