Transcendence - Warhammer 40K Fantasy

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Thread: Transcendence

  1. #1
    Master of the Ravenwing Anacron's Avatar
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    Here's a story that looks to be about loyalist Marines at first glance, but all is not as it seems. It's here instead of the Fiction section becuase (a) it's not a concept or an idea, (b) it's not completed fan fiction, and ( c ) it's about Chaos. ^_^

    Transcendence

    PART I: THE SPACE MARINE

    “I agree, but – from our point of view at least – would it not be better to requisition the Guard take care of it? Surely they would be able to handle an incursion like this, given enough of them??

    “Normally, yes, but this time there is apparently something deeper than merely a thirst for chaos and blood. According to the Warmaster’s astropaths, there is something stirring in the Empyrean. They have detected the malign influence of the Lords of Chaos manipulating the plans of the Red Corsairs, and he has decided that – quote – the dedication and incorruptibility of the mighty Astartes – unquote – is called for.?

    Brother-Captain Alasdair Randronoth, commander of the 2nd company of Blood Reavers stood at the plexiglass window of the Chapter Master’s personal chamber, his back to the polluted landscape of Luther Mcintyre stretching off into the distance.

    “Well, alright then. But a whole company, when our resources are stretched to breaking point as it is? I don’t wish to appear a coward, but this problem could be easily handled by a force half the size.?

    “I’m not sure you’re entirely correct there Randronoth? replied the Chapter Master, “because these are not merely traitor marines, they are ostensibly traitor marines being guided and controlled by one of the dread gods of Chaos. And quite apart from that, I’d like to stay on the right side of the Warmaster if at all possible.?

    Randronoth sighed outwardly, but in reality was actually rather pleased. More marines under his command was always welcome, and fighting traitor marines was consistently satisfying. As well as the chance to get off this damned planet for a while. The constant extermination of petty cults, the regular eldar invasions and the ever-present orks meant the last few years of his service were without formidable battle. Here at last was something different – against traitors, no less – that could bring some satisfaction and maybe a worthy adversary.

    “Do we know any more at this minute about expected enemy forces; deployment, number, current position and so forth??

    “Unfortunately not, I know no more than you. No doubt the Warmaster will apprise you of the situation when you reach Katria. I’d like you to be accompanied by Librarian Otal,? – here the Chapter Master put up his hand as Randronoth opened his mouth to speak – “no, I insist. He is only young, and an extended campaign like this would be perfect for him at the moment.?

    Randronoth sighed again, but this time he really meant it. Despite what the Chapter Master had said, Otal was not a neophyte, but had seen a good few campaigns. Only at the rank of lexicanium, Otal was nevertheless quite a proficient psyker, and brought some powerful magics to the battlefield. Randronoth had distaste for the use of psychic power however, believing it no match for sheer brutality and firepower. On top of that, Otal was not exactly a friendly person to get on with. In fact, thought Randronoth, all of the Librarium were rather distant, and he found it difficult talking to any of them. He could only imagine that they thought of his methods what he thought of theirs.

    In fact the truth was much deeper than this, but he did not know it.

    “When do we leave?? he asked, trying to take his mind off spending the next campaign with Otal at his side.

    “Tomorrow? replied the Chapter Master. “You will take Captain Aster and the strike cruiser Sanguinius’ Pride and rendezvous with Warmaster Thanquo’s fleet at Katria. You will be accompanied by Lexicanium Otal and your entire company. Any further questions captain??

    “Only to ask how long this campaign is likely to last.?

    “As long as it takes. You will return when either I recall you, or the Warmaster releases you.?

    Excellent, thought Randronoth. The more time spent off this damned planet the better. Already he was making battle plans and formulating tactics in his head. A veteran of a thousand battles, Randronoth lived and slept conflict. Every moment not in combat was wasted time, time not utilising his skill and cunning, time not doing what he did best. In this respect he was no different to any other of his battle brother in the Blood Reavers, but perhaps they did not feel it as much as he did.

    “Dismissed? said the Chapter Master, intruding into Randronoth’s thoughts of battle. Startled, he could only nod and turn away. He strode down the corridor and towards the armoury, sinking back into his reverie, and hardly noticing Librarian Otal entering the Chapter Master’s chamber behind him.

    ~O~

    The following day the sun had barely risen above the horizon and bathing the fortress-monastery in a warm orange glow when Randronoth and his 2nd company of Blood Reavers departed Luther Mcintyre. They flew up through the turbulent, polluted atmosphere to the defence station in geostationary orbit above the Blood Reaver’s fortress.

    On the bridge of the station stood the Chapter Master and the Chief Librarian. They watched as Sanguinius’ Pride slowly manoeuvred away from the docking station and moved majestically toward the huge warp gate, bypassing the queue of patiently waiting freighters and cruisers.

    “I worry about that man,? thought the Chief Librarian out loud. “I sometimes wonder if we did the right thing with him.?

    “Never look back on decisions like that. We made the best choice we could at the time. I believe it was the right choice.?

    The Chief Librarian was silent for a minute. Sanguinius’ Pride disappeared through the warp gate, allowing the long queue of merchant ships to move again.

    “But sending him out on a campaign like this? Surely Captain Kurel would have been a better leader??

    “No, I believe Randronoth will do well here. A taste of his tactics will be perfect for those damn traitors.?

    “Well, you could be right. It’s a risk though.?

    “It is that, but isn’t that what war is all about? I believe he will return successful.?

    The Chief Librarian thought for a minute. “He does have Otal with him after all. I patiently await his heroic return? he said, smiling at the Chapter Master.

    He did not know how wrong he would be.

    All the old Specialist Games resources are currently being uploaded at the Tactical Command forums, and you can find them here: http://www.sg.tacticalwargames.net/fanatic/.

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  3. #2
    Pure Venom. Lordofchange's Avatar
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    I like the setting the scene, but one thing, cut a bit of the dialogue and use action, it draws people in further. But all in all, nice job.
    The only difference between tattooed people and non-tattooed people is that tattooed people are awesome and can kick your ass.
    "War does not determine who is right - only who is left."

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  4. #3
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    Very nice, I personally enjoy your writing style.
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  5. #4
    Master of the Ravenwing Anacron's Avatar
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    I see where you're coming from Lordofchange, but this is only part one of eight. There's a lot more action later, I promise. Speaking of which...

    ACT II: THE STORM BREAKS

    The dark Imperial city shimmered in the oppressive heat of late afternoon. An overcast and grey sky, without a hint of a breeze lay over the scene. A long street, bordered on each side by tall ruined offices, led up to the grand Administratum building, abandoned after weeks of furious guerrilla warfare.

    Lord Kharghill of the Red Corsairs stood outside the main front door of the recently fortified Administratum and surveyed the situation. His forces had been depleted by the Blood Reavers, but he still retained a good few marines and terminators. They had been holed up in this building for days now, having been driven back from their forward posts. However, controlling the building was key to controlling the city – being easily defendable and situated centrally.

    This was the fifth planet he had invaded in as many years, and the Blood Reavers were here again. They had been following his movements recently, but had so far not prevented him in establishing a stranglehold on this far-flung sector of the Imperium. However, something was different this time. The Blood Reavers had abandoned their usual tactics – a combination of ranged fire support and close assault – and were merely assaulting with all they had. And what was worse, it was working. Not expecting to be charged at every street corner, Kharghill had not enough Havocs or ranged weaponry to effectively repel them.

    “Sir; contact! Down the west road, a few blocks from you? crackled his vox-link. At least his local cultists were loyal and reliable. Good scouts too, and lots of them.

    “Explain? replied Kharghill, turning to look. He saw only haze and dust.

    “Blood Reavers, sir. Thousands of them.?

    Kharghill sighed inwardly. Loyal perhaps, but rather dim. “I want exact numbers, armaments, layout and position.? The silence from the vox was almost deafening.

    The humidity was stifling now, and the clouds were blackening. The recent days of sunshine couldn’t last for much longer. As Khargill stared intently down the plasteel-lined avenue, he could make out something behind the smog, appearing as though in a dream. Suddenly he realised the haze was dissipating; he could see the Blood Reavers.

    No tanks, just troops. Although not thousands, certainly hundreds, including ancient dreadnoughts and terminators. Slowly moving forward, with complete disregard for incoming fire. Ignoring the rubble cover, ignoring snap shots from hastily retreating cultists. The day was getting darker, and it was not merely Kharghill’s mood – the clouds were black now, and menacing. Without Kharghill giving an order, his traitor marines were organising the defence. Veterans of thousands of years, they knew exactly where to place themselves. Marines took up firing positions behind the barricades, cultists manned heavy weapons in the windows and Raptors waited for an opportunity to counter-attack. The Administratum had appeared empty a few moments ago; now there was a weapon at every window, and the fortifications round the main steps were covered in marines readying bolters.

    The Blood Reavers had stopped, just out of effective range. The haze had disappeared completely, and the air was clear. Kharghill could feel the charged static in the air, as he stood with his lieutenant inside the first barricade.

    “Sir, the defence is ready. Shall I give the order to open fire??

    “No,? said Kharghill, after a pause, “wait.?

    A blinding flash lit up the darkened daylight, immediately followed by a reverberating crash of thunder, echoing throughout the deserted city. At the same time, Kharghill felt a bead of water hit the rear of his head and dribble down the back of his neck into his enhanced daemon armour. The metallic sound of droplets of water pattering off ancient power armour filled the air, but all was drowned out by the next flash of lightning and roar of thunder.

    The ground was quickly turning to mud from the now torrential rain, and still the Blood Reavers had not moved. But then Kharghill noticed movement amongst their ranks; they were advancing slowly through the downpour, chainswords and power swords drawn. He readied his own weapon – an antique bolter-meltagun that was even older than himself.

    He could hear their bloodcurdling battle cries now, and was surprised. Only yesterday their battle cry had been rather different, a standard appraisal of the Emperor. The only similar spine chilling – at least for normal men – battle cry he knew of was the one uttered by the fanatical berserkers of Chaos.

    “Open fire? was all he said into his vox-link, whereupon even the constant thunderclaps were drowned out for an instant. Bolters to the left, right, and behind of him fired as one, joined by the roar of superheated plasma and the chatter of autocannons, firing through the curtain of rain between them and the Blood Reavers.

    Many Blood Reavers fell, but far more just kept coming, now breaking into a sprint through the driving rain. He saw an arm become detached from a body, but its owned just ignored it. The only thing stopping these oncoming warriors was complete destruction – bolter rounds hit and scored deep gashes in armour and flesh alike, but did not seem to cause them pain or inconvenience.

    Kharghill unsheathed his immense daemon axe, Souljacker.

    Before he knew it the Blood Reavers battle line was upon him. Destruction rained down on his defences, and death was rampant among the mêlée. The Blood Reavers fought like men possessed. Furiously slashing left and right amongst, parrying the chainswords and machetes, it was all he could do to stay alive. Never in his time had he faced opponents like this. He guessed (correctly) that these were the veterans of the Blood Reavers, attempting to take him out personally. The regal blue of their armour was splattered with a mix of mud and gore, and in the frequent flashes of lighting he recognised his lieutenant’s ornate armour lying in pieces on the floor. It was leaking blood, soaking the muddy ground with redness.

    Kharghill was gaining the upper hand on his opponents, cutting them down one by one. All around the battle continued, but he could tell his minor victory was not the general trend. The Blood Reavers had annihilated the outer defences, and now the marines were penetrating into the Administratum building itself.

    Before him stood the commander of the Blood Reavers, his power fist clutching the helmet of a Corsair. Kharghill lowered his axe, as those Blood Reavers around him fell back and lowered their weapons. He could hear furious gunshots and fighting from inside, resounding even over the noise of still falling rain clattering off armour.

    Khargill and the commander faced each other across the sodden muddy ground. He knew that only one of them would walk away alive.
    All the old Specialist Games resources are currently being uploaded at the Tactical Command forums, and you can find them here: http://www.sg.tacticalwargames.net/fanatic/.

  6. #5
    Junior Member TheDarkApostle's Avatar
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    Cool story, really like, and I like your style of writhing too
    In my Heaven there is no God.

    Just Maths, Calculates and Logics...

  7. #6
    Master of the Ravenwing Anacron's Avatar
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    I completely forgot I posted Transcendence on this forum. :wacko: Thanks DarkApostle fro dredging this up, here comes part 3 (of eight)...

    ACT III: DREAMS

    Randronoth slept fitfully in his hastily constructed bedchamber in the Administratum building. After the successful sortie against the Red Corsairs a good rest was expected – although a Space Marine never actually needed sleep it was always welcome.

    His dreams were haunted by a figure he had seen before. It was human in appearance, but its eyes glowed with raw power like that of a daemon’s. He could not remember its name, yet he had been taught it as part of his Astartes training.

    The battle the previous day had been his personal truimph. His lieutenants and sergeants were sceptical of his new method – and Librarian Otal was positively disapproving – but he had proved them wrong. Instead of letting the enemy come to them, he took the fight to the enemy. He had equipped every squad with close combat weapons, and told them to hurl themselves at the enemy, with complete disregard for tactics and strategy. It had worked – the Red Corsairs had not expected such blatant ferocity, and had fallen back in the face of raw bloodlust, leaving the Blood Reavers in control of the city. Even the Blood Angels would not have been as effective as we were, he had thought to himself.

    The daemon in his dream carried a huge axe inscribed with a symbol he should have recognised. It was covered in rivulets of blood, dripping down onto the daemon’s body. He could almost taste the blood.

    Yesterday he actually did taste blood. He had been at the forefront of the disorganised yet deadly battle line, yelling battle cries and causing the men at his side to overcome their initial apprehension. They had entered into the spirit of battle, and by the end were taking personal gratification in each traitor marine they killed. He and his officers – although Otal was absent – feasted that night with skulls of traitor marines, and he had a prize as well: an exceptionally fine two-handed axe, nearly as large as himself and just as deadly. He had christened it Souljacker, but could not think why. The name seemed appropriate somehow, as though the weapon itself were implanting the suggestion in his mind.

    The daemon was battling invisible enemies. His axe swept this way and that, decapitating and maiming left and right. Although he could not see his enemies, he could see the blood sprays. Randronoth watched this and drooled slightly.

    He had experienced something new yesterday. He had seen comrades taken by the Blood Rage, but this was something different. This was a love of battle, a pride in his methods. He had been pleased by every sweep of his blade, proud of every movement and arc. He never thought he would take satisfaction in destruction, but yesterday he had forgot everything but the hack and slash of battle.

    Randronoth could see the daemon’s enemies now – they were Space Marines, but whether traitor or loyalist he could not tell. The daemon was enjoying the devastation he was wreaking, and revelling in the blood and bodies.

    Randronoth had told his officers last night that they would now become something more than Space Marines. He had said they were standing on the brink of something big – after their successful campaign they would return home as heroes of the sector.

    But the daemon was telling him different. The daemon told him that his future did not lie in the Imperium, but with himself in the warp. The daemon requested his assistance in destruction – he could not take enough skulls by himself.

    Here was a conundrum – should he do what his mind was telling him and complete the annihilation of the Red Corsairs? Or should he follow his heart and the daemon, and take blood? Randronoth knew there was no decision to make, but something was wrong.

    The daemon smiled.

    As a young boy, Randronoth had showed a hint of psychic talent. After his induction as a neophyte into the Blood Reavers, he had been seconded to the Librarium. The librarians had intended to teach him how to control his powers, until they discovered that he didn’t have any. He was merely a latent psyker – he had the gift, but not the skill or desire. He did show promise in battle though, and became a great commander. However, the chief librarian was wary; he knew a mind like that was easy pickings for the Chaos gods.

    Randronoth never knew this though, and had often wondered why the Chapter Master insisted on a powerful librarian accompanying his every battle. The librarian! Here was problem that demanded his immediate attention. Without realising what he was doing, he had risen from his bed and opened the door to the adjoining chamber.

    The daemon was enjoying this. He knew that Randronoth was doomed, but Randronoth evidently didn’t. But then, Randronoth was only a mortal. He knew that what Randronoth was doing now was sealing his own fate.

    He returned from the other bed chamber and lay down again, still dreaming of the daemon. He vaguely wondered why he had blood on his hands. No matter, tomorrow would be here soon. He was looking forward to it immensely. There were no Red Corsairs in the city anymore, but that didn’t matter. In fact, it was probably a good thing – now the close enemy had been annihilated, the city people would emerge from their hiding places and their exile. Their skulls would do instead. He had to keep the daemon satisfied.

    But the daemon had disappeared from his dreams. His dreams were now merely of battle, of killing and murder, of death and destruction. The daemon would be back, but only if he kept his part of the bargain.

    Randronoth awoke early the next morning, remembering nothing of the events of the night but his entire dream. He emerged into the hazy morning sunshine, a new man. He had a new mission, and would be pursuing it with vigour. A thought struck him – he could remember the daemon’s name.

    edit: gee, thanks, Knape97. Evidently someone didn't read my first post in this topic :rolleyes:
    All the old Specialist Games resources are currently being uploaded at the Tactical Command forums, and you can find them here: http://www.sg.tacticalwargames.net/fanatic/.

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