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This is a story in the works. I'll post up chapters as I finish them, and retouch them as needed. I'm looking for good critiques to help make this as fluffy, as readable, and as enjoyable as possible. I want to use this to help flesh out the Violet Crusade campaign, to help define some special characters of mine, and simply to sharpen up my writing skills if I ever hope to make it as a writer someday. Your time and patience is much appreciated. The prologue is here to offer a taste of what my style will be like. Chapter 1 is mostly finished, I'll be polishing it up and adding to it and should have it up in a few days.
It had grown dark - oppressively so to the lone survivor in the trenches. He looked to his left and to his right, slowly and carefully, clutching his weapon tightly to his chest. To his right a man lay, or at least his mostly-headless corpse. The bloodstained tags still on him were scorched and illegible. The deep violet of his light ceramite armour could still be seen, as well as the bright white "50" on his shoulder plate. To his left was a young woman, face up in the mud, her eyes closed peacefully in the embraces of death. He had known her briefly, when her unit had come in to reinforce his own. She was a pretty little bird, he had thought. She was still beautiful, even in death. The living soldier cast one last sorrowful glance at her before twisting painfully, trying to support himself with his less-injured leg as he looked up over the barbed wire.
He had not spoken or seen any living human in almost 2 days, his only companions those hellish monstrosities across in the horizon who, with their heretical toadies and traitors, who were now advancing upon him. He hazarded several more glances to his left and right. He saw nothing more than bloated corpses and gore-smeared craters, all that was left of the Requiat Bardic Fists 50th Regiment after weeks of shelling and attrition.
So much for holding the line.
Night rapidly slunk in, and the landscape was engulfed in the total dark of Requiati night. The Guardsman picked up his pack, his lasgun, and the last of his provisions, and quietly slunk along the trenches, running perpendicular to the advancing army. From his many furtive glances to his left, the only visual clues he had to the existence of the opposing army were ethereal, ghastly lights. The lights themselves were far more frightening than any daemon or xenos the guardsman might see. Not that he had seen many; he had been in the Guard for only three years, dealing more with traitor Guard than with xenos or the worshipors of Chaos itself.
The scene was extremely quiet. Only the sounds of his combat boots crunching along the dried mud and shrapnel in the trenches blasphemed the stillness of the night. He thought he was making good pace, oblivious to the pain in his legs. In reality, he was almost crippled, and did not realize how heavily he had been leaning against the trench supports until he caught his cheek on a length of barbed wire. He cursed vehemently under his breath, not bothering to inspect his wound. He pulled away from the wall to stay away from the wire, and promptly fell down when he attempted to put his weight, unaided, full on a shrapnel-shredded ankle. He hit the mud hard, and lay there for what seemed like an eternity to the tired, frightened, and tortured young soul.
He stopped breathing as he heard the sounds of boots crunching through barbed wire. He slowly tilted his head upward, and saw a lone Space Marine, in some sort of extremely baroque and immense type of power armour, slowly plodding his way through the trenches. Every step elicited a sickening crunch as the traitor smashed up the bodies of the fallen Guardsmen underfoot. Behind, another Marine also made his way through the graveyard. Neither seemed to notice him at all, and he could see all along the trench that these marines, as well as marines in less massive suits of armour, were all slowly and silently crunching through the line.
His eyes widened under his blood-matted bangs and he froze, not even capable of breathing, as he looked upward still into the face of eternity. The mage-warrior wore armour similar to what the first marine had worn, but he had forgone the tusked helmet, allowing the guardsman to see the entirety of his face. His hair was cleanly cropped, his face pallid and lined like that of a sagely elder. The feature that stood out the most, that managed to rip the guardsman's frightened gaze from the immense, black sword in the Chaos Sorcerer-Lord's hands, were his eyes. There were none. Where eyes full of utter hatred and contempt should have been, there were naught but empty, soulless sockets. Horrific and enthralling, the eyes kept the guardsman frozen in place, even as the daemon blade consumed the essence from his neatly-cleaved body.
The Empty Eyes continued forward unhindered.