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  1. #1
    Member Herald of Huanchi's Avatar
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    =I= Spy

    =I= Spy

    One. =I= fall

    An Inquisitor should always be prepared for every inevitability. An Inquisitor’s work is never done. ~ Last words of Inquisitor Goltan.



    Re-entry made his teeth hurt. Dahl theorised the ozone layer’s attempts at stalling them from landfall were the cause. A chain reaction of shaking that went from outer hull to the seat he was strapped into, up his spine and into his battered jaw.

    Or, Zealot’s Paradise, as the planet was designated, was the kind of world that just generally got on his wick.

    “Hey Quis,” said a voice belonging to something else that was likely to make his teeth hurt.

    “Knake, please refrain from calling me that,” Dahl replied. “I didn’t work myself nearly to death for this rosette, to be called names. I expect your training was equally as gruelling and therefore you would dislike me referring to you as ‘Vin.’”

    He didn’t turn his head, but even out of the corner of his eye he could see his companion, as animated in her response as usual, even with the safety restraints.

    “’Quis’ Inquisitor, whatever. It’s a term of endearment, between friends. You can’t dislike it that much. Maybe if I batted my eyelashes at you? I mean you can’t see them, but it’s the thought that counts.” Her voice carried the usual feedback from the vox/breather combo, hidden beneath her face mask. The mask was integrated with many other instruments so as to make her job easier. It also meant Dahl didn’t have to see any of her stupid expressions. Although when he was really weary, he sometime thought he could make out the expression in her eyes, even as they were shrouded behind yellowed lenses.

    “Refer to me as Inquisitor, Inquisitor Dahl, or Sir at all times, and I shall return the formality, Vindicare Knake,” Dahl said, determined that was the end of it. He made an effort to check his greying hair and beard were at a length to his standards, straightened his cloak, and meticulously removed any perceived dust from his rosette.

    “Okay, Sir Quis,” the crackle of static not hiding the cheeky mirth from her voice. She did however quickly look away, as Dahl slowly turned his head to scowl. “I just wanted to know how long this hunk of scrap was going to take. I’ve got an itchy trigger finger.” She mimed a gun with one hand, stretching a finger out.

    Dahl unbuckled his restraint and stood. “Yes, even by Adeptus Mechanicus standards, this is slow.” Also any excuse to rid him of the woman, even for a few minutes, was good enough reason. Even now she was annoying him, her legs propped up in a casual manner that still managed to block his access to the rest of the ship.

    “I have it on good authority that those that come out of the Vindicare Temple are not normally as...” He paused to think of the right word.

    “Funny? Amazing? Talented?” Knake tried.

    “Unprofessional.” He knocked her legs aside in one swift motion and marched purposely towards the front of the ship. A sudden bounce of what could only be turbulence caused him to momentarily stagger, but he kept his balance, the shake only intensifying his eyebrow’s angled descent on his nose.

    The Inquisitor banged on the sealed hatch to the cockpit with three precise knocks.

    When there was no answer, impatiently he shouted, “By order of the Inquisition, open this door.” There was silence. Not wanting to be left unaware, and noticing the hatch was not quite as sealed as initially inspected, he immediately went for his pistol.

    “Whats up Quis?”

    Dahl half jumped, half turned, instincts making him point his weapon to the source. Knake, who stood behind him, was already reacting with impossible reflexes, disarming him, the gun in her hand and at his head in seconds.

    The lenses before her eyes darkened fractionally before lighting again. She flipped the gun in her hand so the grip was now pointed at him instead of the barrell.

    “Woops, sorry, reflexes, it happens sometimes. You know how it goes,” she said.

    He snatched the gun away but didn’t scowl. He hated to admit it but she was right. Hadn’t he reacted to her sneaking up on him in a similar manner? He wasn’t used to the light feet of an assassin and so she had taken him by surprise, which showed some merit to her abilities if nothing else. He had learned to subconsciously listen to footsteps coming up behind him, a trick a lot of those in the order had picked up, so as to keep track of allies. But also as an early warning of sneaking enemies.

    He pointed to where the doors didn’t quite meet and muttered, “Help me with this.”

    Knake bent down to pry it open, while Dahl, his back to the adjoining wall, weapon ready for any eventuality, helped her with his free hand. They managed to open it a fraction before the motorised mechanisms took over automatically, the door opening by itself.

    Knake leapt back, cart-wheeling over herself, procuring a pistol of her own as she finished in a crouch. Dahl filled the gap she had left, immediately scouring the cockpit from behind the sight of his pistol. The motion looked practiced, as though done thousands of times before.

    “Feth,” Dahl cursed, as in front of him, the pilot’s head lolled to one side as though sleeping. Cables, snaking out of the back of his head, sparked dangerously, but the blackened one writhing on the floor caught his attention.

    “I don’t suppose there’s a helpline for when your pilot malfunctions,” Knake joked, before clapping her hands together as an idea struck. “Oooh! Maybe we could claim a refund.”

    Ignoring her, Dahl examined the fallen cable, before looking back to the man’s head. From the looks of it, the cable had overheated, melting from the inside, before simply snapping. He nodded to where the other end still sat, plugged into a port at the tip of the pilot’s spine. A moment of relief washed over him. It wasn’t a plot by herectics or Emperor knows what else, but simple clumsy failure.

    The moment faded however.

    “Come on,” he said, grabbing her arm and pulling her further back though the small ship.

    “Wait, Dahl, I don’t think our pilot’s in the right state to drive anymore.”

    He turned to look at her sharply. “This is exactly why we should hurry.”

    A sudden intake of breath crackled and he knew she got the picture.

    “Wait, let me get my baby,”

    “What?”

    Knake dashed back through the craft. Unperturbed, Dahl continued with his hastily made plan and not waiting to mess with locks or to appraise the machine spirit, he fired his pistol at a sliding door compartment, which flung open revealing three identical pieces of equipment. He recognised the grav-chutes immediately, thankful for standard template designs meaning he knew exactly where to look.

    Knake reappeared, cradling a long rifle in her arms. He nodded as understanding dawned, before throwing a chute to her. He then began putting one on himself.
    The airlock was easy to open. Wind, heavy with the smell of manufacture, billowed in loudly as they did. Dahl looked out across the expanse of the quickly approaching spires of the city below. If he had to guess, he estimated the pilot had failed just after entering the atmosphere and they had slowly been gliding downwards, picking up speed. He motioned to Knake who nodded before jumping from the craft.

    He waited ten seconds, watching her descent suddenly slow as the grav-chute kicked into motion. He took a deep breath and threw himself out next.
    Or at least that’s what he should have done. Instead he stayed stone still, one hand clutched to the side of the craft like a vice, as fear took him. His breathing increased, becoming more rapid. His jaw clenched painfully, an old wound resurfacing. A knot formed in his stomach.

    He closed his eyes.

    Concentrated.

    The face of his old mentor materialised in his mind.

    The man inclined his head, as if to say, go on then, if you’re going.

    He wrenched his hand from the metal, crossed his arms over his chest, leaned forward, and fell.

    He plummeted downwards.

    Opening his eyes, he rotated himself as best he could and initiated the grav-shute. He slowed down as though hitting a sudden updraft and began to simply descend.

    Descend like an angel.

    Not dead, just sleeping

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  3. #2
    Member Herald of Huanchi's Avatar
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    So this is the first Warhammery (its a word now, shut up) story I've written in a while. ( Heck its the first anything I've written in a while.)
    I managed to wrestle the Forum's formatting demon's to make it somewhat readable after copy-pasting from word, because I always have the same issue where indented text is shuffled to the side and makes everything look like one giant ass wall of text. (If someone knows a better way to format these, for future ref, I'd be grateful.

    Anyhow, I hope you enjoy reading it!

    (I separated this to a different post to make the story more presentable imo. If this isn't allowed/counts as spam/whatever, then I apologise)
    Not dead, just sleeping

  4. #3
    Sir Proofreader Deadstar_MRC's Avatar
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    Firstly on the formatting; If I'm worried about it, I'll sometimes copy what I've written into notepad first, then into the forum reply box, and it sometimes seems to help get rid of problematic formatting. It occasionally results in double line spacing but going back through and clearing a few spaces isn't too tedious.

    Regarding the story, for not having written in a while you've not lost your touch! I already like Knake, and the rapport she and Dahl share. Just a one-off, or is there more to the story?
    Rabbit; Our Tau community has the talent of figuring out how to turn a feather into a timebomb. Macgyver would be jealous.
    8people; Honey, why is my fluffwars story your shopping list?

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  6. #4
    Member Herald of Huanchi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadstar_MRC View Post
    Firstly on the formatting; If I'm worried about it, I'll sometimes copy what I've written into notepad first, then into the forum reply box, and it sometimes seems to help get rid of problematic formatting. It occasionally results in double line spacing but going back through and clearing a few spaces isn't too tedious.
    Thanks for the tip, I appreciate it.

    I'm glad you like it! I do have more, (the plot having been translated from brain storage to sketchy bullet points on paper) and would love to post it. In fact Two is sitting on my hard drive awaiting appraisal, but I want to sleep on it before I do, make sure it fits with the story I want to tell. (Unlike Da Bandit, who pretty much went wherever he wanted)

    Hopefully I'll have it up tomorrow though.


    I'm glad you like Knake. I initially thought she might be too... eccentric(?) then I remembered the universe I was writing for

    Thanks for reading!
    Not dead, just sleeping

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    Member Herald of Huanchi's Avatar
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    Two. =I= ask the questions

    Surprise is the Inquisitor’s greatest weapon.


    He was nudged awake as something rolled him on his side. Voices buzzed on the periphery of his awareness, as though muffled. He took a sudden explosive intake of breath as though he had stopped. Putrid smoke made him regret it, half choking him.

    “Looks like he’s alive,” a voice said with sudden clarity as the world burst back into being around him.

    Dahl looked around himself. He was laying on a concrete floor in the crossroad walkway between buildings. Looking up at the towering structures made his vision blur and he made to clutch his head. The sudden movement made him wince.

    It was then he noticed the grav-chute on his back.

    Memories flooded back to him in a heartbeat.

    Shouldering the pack off carefully, he looked up once more, tracing where he had flown down. A gargoyle missing its head loomed above, as a replay in his mind, showed him collide with it. A cracked window on the adjacent building was accompanied by him bouncing off of it. He poked a finger at his ribs, bruised not broken, although still painful.

    He began to stand.

    “Hey, hold up fella,” the voice said again, aggressive but jolly. Dahl finally took in the surroundings at ground level. Ten armed guardsmen stood in a ring around him, Lasguns pointed at him. “You don’t get ter invade our airspace and get away with it.”

    Dahl scowled at the owner of the voice. He had a stupid face, Dahl decided, and a small ring pierced his bottom lip.

    “Do you know who I am?” Dahl had meant the question to sound threatening, but his fall had knocked the wind out of him, and it croaked out pathetically.

    “Aha, this bloke’s got memory loss!” Lip-ring shouted, finding it somehow hilarious.

    “That's enough,” another man barked. Dahl recognised him as the sergeant of the squad around him. “Now, keep your hands where I can see them, and tell me what you did to that aircraft.”

    Dahl realised his transport had crashed, as he surmised would happen. He was about to point out his rosette but it seemed to have gone missing during the fall, making asserting his authority a lot more difficult. He added it to his mental checklist as yet another reason to never fly again.

    “The aircraft malfunctioned, necessitating a forced evacuation,” Dahl said calmly, his voice already returning.

    “And you are the only survivor?”

    “As far as I am aware.”

    “How convenient.”

    Dahl gave the sergeant another malice charged scowl.

    “Now, who are you and why shouldn’t I have you charged with undeclared passage and trespass on our world?” The sergeant asked.

    Clever, Dahl thought, he was assuming Dahl was here illegally, perhaps trying to avoid service on another world or some other invented story. Guilty until proven innocent. It was unsurprising as Dahl had come here unannounced.

    “I am Inquisitor Rudrick Dahl, and while your interrogation is admirable, it is, in this instance, unwarranted,” Dahl said, his tone even but loud enough that it carried on the wind, echoing against the buildings. Several Guardsmen shifted awkwardly and he couldn’t help the feeling of smugness at the sound of Lip-ring’s audible gulp.

    The Sergeant hesitated. The Guardsmen’s handbook was likely sparse on what to do when someone announced they had the authority to lawfully send their entire family to death.

    “Do you have any proof?” the Sergeant managed eventually, tripping over his words slightly.

    Fortunately, an Inquisitor’s job is to be prepared. “May I?” Dahl asked, gesturing to the inside of his cloak, his mouth creasing into a smile to seal the deal, even if his eyes suggested bloody murder.

    The Sergeant nodded nervously, shifting his hold on his rifle. Dahl whipped a scroll from a pocket deep inside his cloak, an ornate seal holding the paper closed. The eyes of the Guardsmen beside the Sergeant momentarily widened as he glimpsed the vast number of grenades the Inquisitor kept clasped around his belt at all times. He nudged his leader and nodded to it.

    Immediately, the Sergeant signalled his squad into a looser ring, each member taking a step back, before he shuffled forward, snatching the scroll, and quickly backpedalling a safe distance.

    Dahl understood their apprehension. Anyone crazy enough to impersonate an Inquisitor would be capable of just about anything. It was lucky for them that he was in fact the real deal. The look of relief on the Sergeant’s face proof of he was right in his assumption.

    “Sorry, Sir,” the Sergeant said, lowering his weapon as he passed the scroll back, saluting immediately as it left his hand. “Only we were not informed of your coming and...” he trailed off, perhaps not wanting to be the one to accuse Dahl of not keeping up his appearance via his missing Rosette.

    “Yes, the unfortunate explosion and my forced landing in a less that convenient place was not how I planned my arrival, I commend your courage either way, soldier,” Dahl said.

    “Thank you Sir, I apologise to how you were treated,” the Sergeant said, as though reading from a script. The man’s eyes could not help move to look down the line at his men. The now trembling Lip-ring his likely target.

    Dahl moved to stand in front of the man, his nose only inches from the other’s. “I will dismiss earlier transgressions but this,” he grabbed the man’s ring, “is not regulation.” With one precise motion, he tore it from the man’s mouth. He half screamed as he tried to keep his composure in front of the Inquisitor, but the blood an obvious sign it hurt.

    “I’m not the only one Sir,” Bloody-lip blabbered in a panic, trying to deflect Dahl’s wrath to someone else. “Wilkins has one, Sir! Convinced me to get one, Sir!”

    Dahl marched down the line, inspecting every man’s lip. “And which of you is Wilkins?”

    “He isn’t here, Inquisitor,” the Sergeant answered, continuing to stare forward, unfazed by the assault on his man.

    “Then where is he?”

    “He never showed up for morning inspection, Sir.”

    Dahl swept over the remaining Guardsmen, daring them to elaborate. When, predictably, none came forward, he ordered they take him to their Commander. The Sergeant shouted his orders, the squad taking up a defensive formation around Dahl. They didn’t move until he did, matching his pace, the Sergant next to him.

    Dahl sensed the tension in him, as though he was ready to throw himself in front of a bullet but would rather the Inquisitor dropped dead.

    A sentiment Dahl was used to when it came to consorting with the rank and file.
    Not dead, just sleeping

  8. #6
    Sir Proofreader Deadstar_MRC's Avatar
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    I thought Grav-chutes were meant to slow you down! Sounds like our inquisitor had a bit of a bumpy ride down

    Also, dead guardsmen and an as yet unaccounted for assassin... Mystery Ahoy!
    Rabbit; Our Tau community has the talent of figuring out how to turn a feather into a timebomb. Macgyver would be jealous.
    8people; Honey, why is my fluffwars story your shopping list?

  9. #7
    Poet of the Deed Captain Corrigan's Avatar
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    Good stuff. Dahl looks a proper nasty-ass Inquisitor with all that business about the lip ring, so it'll be interesting to see him as a protagonist (assuming he is of course).

    One thing I would say from a lore standpoint is that within the Guard itself, there is no standard regulation for things like uniform and piercing. Each regiment sets its own regulations, so unless Dahl is particularly well acquainted with this one regiment its unlikely that he's going to know what's standard and what isn't. I don't know, maybe you're doing that deliberately to show how petty he can be, but its just my thoughts on that.

    Writing-wise, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot to criticise so far. There are one or two minor mistakes with syntax and grammar, but nothing to ruin the flow of the story, and I enjoyed it a lot. +rep for you.

    Damn, now I need to write some more for my Inquisitor...

    -Corrigan

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