Into Silence: ... Unto the dead

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Into Silence: ... Unto the dead

Post#1 » Jun 26 2015 07:08

Chapter 2 is upon us. What awaits our daring crew? found out in tonight's thrilling episode ... 'Love lost in a hail of gunfire'
(I've decided I'm going to name the post after songs i used to listen to ... don't know why, I'm kinda sleepy :fear: )




I wake up in a room that does not feel like my own. The ground is constantly shaking, I fear that it will tear itself apart. I sit up and try to inspect my surroundings but my concentration alludes me. I hunch over, wrapping my arms around me, my stomach is on fire. I shiver as a sharp pain shoots up my spine causing my head to throb, my body must still be adjusting to the jump.

“I need a drink,” My mouth is so dry, nothing seems to quench my thirst anymore. My voice is almost alien to me as I have developed a sudden dry rasp to my voice in spite of the amount have drank. I rub my hands over my face and sigh, “Who’s there?” I look around the room as I hear a faint moan, but I am alone. Wait, I remember where I am now, this is Hasah’s room. He always was a minimalist, a fascinating being though, so different from the savages like the rest of his kind. Even the wise Akt’ero is like a wildling compared to him. I never thought those creatures felt loss until he became part of my retinue, I guess that’s the beauty of being able to alter your genetics. I need to go back to my room, or at least somewhere with a bit more life to it.

I push myself up, my hooves are shaking. I’m struggling to walk, “How long have I been asleep?” I ask myself as I approach the doors. I suddenly freeze, why is it so quiet? Even in the living quarters there should still be someone around, this ship never sleeps. There is an oddly familiar smell coming from outside, I can’t quite put my finger on it but I definitely know it.

I admit I’m starting to feel a little uneasy, there’s something not right about this. I open the doors only to be blinded by a brilliant white light. As my vision returns I realise I’m stood in a forest, “What the…?” I begin to ask myself but my confusion stops me from finishing. I step back to go back into Hasah’s room but I trip on a log and fall to the ground. Where’s his room gone? Where’s the ship gone? What’s going on? So many questions and yet no answers.

The air is thick making it hard to breath, “Hello! Is … Is anyone there?” I shout to the forest, hoping for something.

Anything.

I get nothing.

I see something in the distance, it’s that cloaked figure. It’s just standing there, watching me. “Who are you? What do you want?” I ask it. It just staring at me. I slowly back away, I can feel the fear inside me growing, it’s like I have a creature growing inside me that will burst out of my stomach at any moment.

I turn to run but the figure is standing in my path. I turn again and there it is, standing there, watching me. My body starts to shake, my heart pumps faster, my breathing is reduced to short sharp breaths. My stomach tightens. I fall to the floor, clenching it as agony shoots through me. It feels like my stomach is being torn from the inside. My vision starts to blur but I can see the figure looming over me.

I feel a hand touch the back of my head, an awesome power emanates from its palm and I feel it flow through me. I begin to violently vomit, there are tiny speckles of purple in it. Am I bleeding? Before I can even find out, more pain erupts in my stomach. I can feel something wriggling inside me.

THERE’S SOMETHING INSIDE ME!

I panic. Every time I try to think of something I feel a pulse of energy flow from the figure’s hand causing me to vomit. An invisible force throws me onto my back, the pain is too much now and all I can do is scream in anguish. My stomach bulges, I hear an ear splitting screech from inside it. A patch of purple begins to stain my shirt as a tiny black spike pierces my flesh from the inside, my flesh is slowly torn open from within.

I can longer scream, the pain is too much.

Finally the creature is free, To! It’s hideous. The sight of it makes me want to tear my eyes out, it shimmers and contorts as if it is trapped between two realities and moves like it is shifting between them. One moment I am face to face with it, a smell of burning carcass washes over me then with the blink of an eye it’s at my feet. It opens its mouth, there are far too many teeth than it should even hold. I feel oddly tranquil as it bites through my hooves, the creature chomps and slurps as it has its first meal. I look up at the figure, which is looking down at me. I look into its hood but only a shadow stares back at me, a cold chill runs through my body as I realise the darkness isn’t a shadow but a void. A nothingness. It is the most terrifying thing I have ever witnessed.

I would gladly face a million of the tiny creature that is currently eating away at my numb body than gaze upon that void for a rai’kan…


***

Hasah ignites his burner, crushes a small red stone in his hand and sprinkles the dust into the open flame, turning it from blue to purple. Hasah closes his eyes and takes a deep breath; his head sways as the smoke fills his lungs causing his head to shoot back and his back to arch. He makes a gagging noise as his quills start to twitch, his eyes burst open and images of multicoloured serpents float around the room. In his head he hears faint whispers, warning him of betrayal and manipulation, a figure cloaked in gold and purple walks across the room and stands in front of him. They exchange looks for a second, neither of them making a sound. Hasah stands and walks round the figure. He is a head and shoulders taller than it and, although there are no distinguishing features, the figure is roughly the size and shape of a human. He reaches out to touch it but as his hands brushes through the corporeal form. It jerks and contorts, its back hunches over and its shins bend adding an extra joint to its legs. The figure’s arms extend and curve into a scythe like blade then disappear, unleashing an ear splitting screech that wakes Hasah from his vision. He looks round the room, the serpents have vanished and the flame of the burner has changed back to an icy blue. Tilah tosses and turns on makeshift bed in the corner.

After coming out of the infirmary Hasah found Tilah stumbling around his wrecked office and so brought him to his room to keep an eye on him, he had given Tilah a drink that had sent him to sleep.

There is a quiet beep from the door, Hasah pulls his robe up over his shoulder and pours water on the burner causing it to hiss and smoke. The door opens and Noran walks in, looking worn out, his long, dirty blonde hair is untidy and there are dark bags under his sharp blue eyes.

“Throne she’s hard work,” He says as he drags his chair, from his room, in and places it next to Tilah.
Hasah cocks his head to the side inquisitively, his rich, blue quills shiver slighty.

“Aeryn, there’s no getting through to her,” Noran answers the unasked question “How’s he doing?” Noran sits down and pours a small cup of recafe from a flask that was stored in his pocket.

Hasah sits down in the middle of the room and wills his lance over to him. He pulls a cloth from his belt, dips the tip in a pot of oil near him and wipes it on the blade. In the blade’s reflection he sees the faint image of the hooded figure looming over his shoulder. Without looking he grabs a knife, with his mind, and launches behind him causing Noran to jump and spill his drink down his lap.

“What the fud was that about?”

Hasah stands up and quickly looks around the room, his lance darting left and right as the fusion’s power cell whines into life.

“Hasah, what are you doing?”

He quickly looks at Noran then lowers his lance, his shoulders sag and he releases a warm, rich scent.

“You’re wound up tight today. Why don’t you go out and have a walk? I’ll keep an eye on him.”

Hasah stares at him and sighs.

“You’ve been locked up in here since the jump began.”

Hasah does not move.

“Go! For throne’s sake!”

Hasah leaves his room and makes his way to the training quarters, as he gets closer the sound of plasma fire gradually gets louder and soon the sound of drone’s flying can be heard.

At the entrance to the training quarter stands a lonely Shas, his white security uniform closely matching that of his normal battle armour. Without saying a word the Tau stands in front of Hasah and blocks his entrance to the room.

“State your name and purpose,” he says as a small drone hovers beside him and scans Hasah.

Hasah tips his head towards his lance then holds out a device that shows his name and security level. The drone begins to beep making the Shas open a file on his wrist mounted console.

“Before your arrival on board the Path Resurgence a request was sent out for there to be a special room, modified to suit your needs. I fail to understand why but it seems that you have friends in high places,” he places a finger and thumb on the device and a room number appears in the print “ Your room is unlocked, place that device in the door to open it. “

Hasah puts the device away, claps his hands together and bows at the firewarrior. The Ke’lshan looks at Hasah in confusion then steps aside for Hasah to enter the quarters.

After he finds his room, he places the device in the door and enters. Inside, the silence strikes him harder than any physical damage ever could; the training room is a big open space with a ring of water in the centre. Inside the circle there is a big rock, which has been rounded off at the top, with a ring of black sand forming the sigil of T’au. Outside the ring of water there are thin, twisted trees with tiny indigo flowers sprouting out along the branches and from out of nowhere a waterfall gently trickles into the stream.

Hasah pulls his arm out the single sleeved robe and walks over to the rock. He places his lance against it, climbs up and, carefully balancing himself, stands on one foot. Breathing slowly he closes his eye and concentrates, he feels the rhythm of his heart pumping as the waterfall suddenly stops. He takes a deep breath and some of the tiny pebbles within the circle rise off the ground, his lance starts to vibrate then floats up into his hand. Still on one foot, he swings the blade over his head and lets the lance slide into his other hand. The pebbles slowly start to rotate round him and soon the water from the fountain trickles round him in the opposite direction, all the while Hasah dances with his lance.

With his eyes closed, Hasah slowly crouches, places a hand on the rock and lifts his feet into air. His balance is thrown off as the ship shudders within the warp. His arm jerks as he balances himself, the tips of his fingers pierce the rock causing tiny cracks to appear around his fingertips. All around the training ground, holographic targets appear and Hasah, without opening his eyes, breaks the circle of rocks and shoots them all down.

***

Aeryn walks over to the cot in her cell and throws herself on it with a sigh of frustration. She closes her eyes and thinks back on her life before, to a time when everything made sense.

The engagement on Oridon had entered its third year and progress had slowed to halt. The stalemate had caused morale to plummet and the commissariat had demonstrated, on more than one occasion, the price to be paid by those who swayed from their obligation to the Emperor. She knew this was their duty and put no further thought towards it.

One morning she had been summoned by the commanding officer, a short and ugly Lord General called Witzor, for the briefing of the new mission. She followed her adjutant, a young handsome fellow called Treva Gafi, through the encampment and bumped into her friend and comrade Captain Allucdia.

“Noran,” she patted him on the back as she approached him “Looking forward to the pompous git’s latest idea?”

“Oh yeah, I go to sleep at night giddy for the morning’s debrief,” He replies sarcastically, his blue eyes twinkle with youth and joy. She had joined the Jackals at the same as him and since then she had formed a special bond with him. She had been by his side as he quickly rose up the ranks to captaincy, and found his company always brightened the miserable meetings.

They finally reached the tent and entered to find they were the last to arrive. Inside were five male officers, all vastly different to the other. Colonel Briat, his wispy, white beard still housing crumbs from his morning breakfast, stood in the corner with his thick hairy arms folded across his barrel chest. He was the commander of the 32nd Percevii Mechanised unit and had manned his trusty Stormsword for sixteen years. Beside him was general Grievaous, his dark eyes pierced the holomap as he searched for possible sniping positons for his scout units. In contrast to his eyes his skin was almost stark white, many of the rank and file soldiers claimed that he and Aeryn were separated at birth but a back hand from her would silence the mutterings.

“Glad to see you finally made it,” Major Rezt says with a clap of his hands. The light blue light shone of his dark, smooth face, casting his eyes in shadow. He was a man built for combat and, armed with his trusty meltagun, had been on the front of many conflict. His powerful silhouette inspired many soldiers to follow him.

“Can we get on with it?” Commissar Lerin asked bluntly, he gave Aeryn a slight nod as he walked up to the table. He adjusted his cap, as he was in the habit of doing, and swiped his power fisted hand through the map. “As I said earlier, the eastern section has been compromised. Morale is at an all-time low, several soldiers were executed yesterday for desertion. Something needs to be done.” He had always had a soft side and it was no secret that he resented his duty when performing disciplinary actions but his people skills had made him excellent at his job. Aeryn had always pitied the man for the irony the Emperor had made his life.

“Noted but we need control of that sector, the cultists are gathering there for some unkown reason.” The Lord General replied, his rotund form cast a soft blue in the light.

“Sir I’d like to send some of my men in to reinforce them,” Major ‘Fudding’ Miran, a power hungry Vistrophian said, he was always happy to send his men into death at the slightest chance for recognition.

“Thank you Miran, make sure you wipe those Choas filth from this planet. Now I’ve called his meeting as I have a special mission for Grievaous and Alludia, you two will gather a small strike force and infiltrate the enemy’s command post. We have intel that they have a small command post on the westerly side of the forest located here,” he swiped his hand across the table and the map zoomed in on a forest that sat beside a heavily reinforced village. “Rezt and Briat will attack from the south to create a distraction, and hopefully cause a lot of damage at the same time,” everyone shifts uncomfortably as the joke fell flat “hmmm, yes, you will use this opportunity to enter the base and assassinate the commander. You will be sent documentation shortly giving you all the information you need.”

After the meeting was over Noran and Aeryn went back to his tent and put together a small team for their part in the assault.

“This isn’t going to be easy,” She said as she gave the document another look over.

“Nothing ever is.” Noran replied after he gave a note to Treva, who saluted then left the tent.

“What do you think of the plan?”

“Risky, if we get caught we’re as good as dead. But if we’re successful we’ve cut off one of their heads AND destroyed one of their shield generators which means we can start bombing them.”

*

After the small strike force had been assembled they waited in the parade ground patiently. Riza, the feisty and beautiful flamer, sat on the floor with her back resting against her dull black promethium tanks and lit a lho stick. Varis, the team’s sapper, reached into his pocket and threw a battered box of matches at her. Riza caught them without looking. This had become a running joke between them since she had failed to quit smoking whereas Varis had and he liked to rub it in, she gave him an evil look. Bursht stood with his thick, meaty arms resting on his heavy bolter on his heavy bolter, his stark white hair peppered red by the area’s recent sand storm. Jerun paced back and forth kicking up dust, his ‘lucky’ black fatigues had been patched so many times they matched his heavily scared, dark skinned body.

“How long are we going to be waiting?” Jerun asked as he accidently kicked a small stone into the foot of passing Percevii.

“As long as it takes, it’s no wonder you had your long las taken from you,” Kiiel snaps, she was one of the Jackal’s snipers and made an excellent ‘spotter-shooter’ team with Jerun until his impatience caused him to be ‘demoted’ and forever gaining Kiiel’s fury.

“I don’t like to wait is all, there’s too much to do and little time as it is.”

“You could try to be a little more patient though,” Bursht said “Didn’t your punishment teach you anything?”

“Nope.”

“Clearly,” Kiiel spat. She jumped to attention at the sight of Noran and Aeryn approaching.

“Captain!” Everyone said.

*

They had been debriefed and had waited until the distraction attack had commenced to stage their sneak attack. Both strike forces entered the village. Grievaous was to strike the village manor, the most likely place for the commander to be stationed, and Noran’s crew would split up in order to place bombs at strategic landmarks that would be detonated in sequence to throw the enemy off their trail.

Aeryn darted from one building to its neighbour, her silenced bolt pistol darted left to right as she searched for enemies. Although there was an all-out war outside the village, they did not want their locations known just yet and so everyone was carrying silenced weapons.

Riza trundled behind, her flamer currently extinguished until their presence could be made known. She took the Demo charger from out of her satchel and set the timer to five minutes. “Bomb’s been set.”

“Good,” Noran whispers “That’s our target,” he points to a building across the street then checks his wrist chronometer “Varis should be popping off in a minute, we’ll run as soon as we hear that.”

The team, consisting of Aeryn, Riza, Kiiel and a young scout called Hyat, all noded in the affirmative. Kiiel walked over to the corner and swung her long las round to cover the rest. The explosion went off on schedule and the group ran for the building as Kiiel took down some enemy soldiers that ran out of the surrounding buildings. Riza tossed the bomb to Hyat and ignited her flamer with a worryingly amount of glee. They entered the building to find a small group of soldiers guarding a relay for the shield generator. Aeryn and Noran popped them off in quick succession while Riza ran to the door on the opposite side and stood guard. Hyat ran over to the system and place the Melta on the centre console and they all left for their next target.


Four targets had been successfully destroyed and they were onto their fifth, a munitions bunker, Aeryn, Riza and Noran had made it as Kiiel and Hyat ran to meet the other squad. Noran and Aeryn waited on either side of the entrance while Riza kicked the door open and flooded the room with fire. After the screams, and fire, died down they entered and quickly found their objective. Riza armed her last bomb and walked over to a fuel tank but she hesitated.

“What’s wrong?” Noran asked as he walked over to her.

“This isn’t right,” she replied as she looked at the tanker.

“You’ve got your orders,” Aeryn stated flatly and put a bullet through an enemy soldier’s eye.

“I know but something’s … off.”

“What do you mean?” Noran asked.

“I… can’t put my finger on it.”

The sound of Aeryn’s gun being cocked caused them both to turn round to face her, “This is sounding awfully close to witchcraft.”

Riza turned to face her, shock and disgust force her to drop the bomb, “What the Fud are you talking about?” she said as she stared down the silenced barrel.


“Hello Tialor.”

Aeryn wakes from her dream to find Riza sat on the other side of her cell, her arms folded across her chest.

“Riza, you know you can call me Aeryn. How’ve you been?”

“A lot better for seeing you in here,” she stands up and places a hand on the barrier showing her soot stained palm “at least now you’ll see what it’s like to sit in a cell to fester for months.”

Aeryn sits up and rubs a hand down her face, “Yeah, I’ve got what I deserve. Look, I know it probably won’t mean anything to you but I want to apologise for everything I put you through.”

Riza stares at her silently, her mouth open in shock.
The Future is uncertain. To stagnate is to die!

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Re: Into Silence: ... Unto the dead

Post#2 » Jun 26 2015 08:31

T113-
As always good stuff! :)
Viro’los gu brath!
N.Y.A.B.X.T.T.

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T113
Kroot'Ui
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Posts: 137

Re: Into Silence: ... Unto the dead

Post#3 » Jul 22 2015 02:07

Well well well, it does appear to be that time again. Woo it's been a ride but I've made it to this point. Had a few things get in the way which delayed this post a little but we got there in the end folks. Still don't know why I did it but I'm going to stick with titling each update, because why not? exactly :fear:. So i'm calling this one 'Forgot to be Human'

Hasah gathers the stones and forms intricate patterns as they spin round him. Finally the stones stop spinning as a training droid drops from the ceiling and lands in the centre of the circle. Hasah lets go of his lance, making it gently float down to the floor, and flips off the rock. The droid takes a step forward and snaps its four arms out, releasing blades at the tips of each mechanical limb. Hasah clenches his fists and crouches into a defensive stance. The droid opens its mouth, revealing rows of sharp, twisting spikes.

“I’ve studied the information your kindred gathered and used it to create the droid as per your request; I must say this is a highly irregular training method.”

Memories of, the now deceased, Fio’vre Deitoorik suddenly wash over Hasah as he gazes upon his old friend’s creation.

“To defeat death you must face death.” Hasah replied.

The droid rushes towards him, its top limbs thrusting forward for a head strike while its lower limbs swing round to pincer him. Hasah opens his eyes and flips his hand over in a flamboyant circle; he creates a ball of energy in the palm of his hand and, as the droid gets within reach, pushes it into the droids midsection. The surface of the droid shimmers as its shield system negates the energy causing the power to shoot back into Hasah, throwing him back over the rock.

“The droid will adapt to your fighting style, take due care when training and remember what techniques you’ve used before to defeat it, they won’t work again.”

***

You lie peacefully. Alone. The room is quiet, the air is still and there is a slight scent of cinnamon wafting around. You toss gently in your sleep, unaware of the creature looming over you. It gently strokes a rotting, yellow talon across your smooth, pale blue flesh. You mumble something in your sleep, unaware that the flesh on your cheek has darkened. The creature walks round your cot, chains rattling with every step.

How do you still sleep?

It grabs the sheets and pulls them down, exposing your bare, bony chest. It strokes it’s talon between your ribs, leaving a searing wound that weeps blood and puss. Its body twitches and lunges forward as dry, hoarse retching sounds come from within the hood.

Finally you’re brought out of your comatose state, you stare at the creature but you make no noise, is your silence built on fear? Confusion? You slowly sit up, never taking your eyes from off the creature who moves away from you. You both move as one, as though there is an invisible bar between you. Tiny insects fly around you and some crawl across your face, your eyes twitch but you never stop staring at it, never blinking. A faint gust of wind blows past you, flicking your black and white scalplock across your face and sweeping the hood off the creature.


***
Noran sits with his feet resting on the edge of Tilah’s cot and his hands linked across his stomach. He sighs for the fifteenth time this minute, his eyes feel heavy and so he unscrews his flask to find it is void of content. “Great. Just fudding great!” he curses under his breath “Highly doubt Hasah has anything to drink in here.” He swings his legs off the bed and starts to quietly search the room which only takes him a few minutes due to the lack of content in it. He pulls back the sleeve of his black tunic, the white trim is severely frayed from rubbing against the wrist mounted data slate, and makes a call to Riza. “Come on,” he says in frustration as the call goes answered. He throws his sleeve back down with a sigh and turns to sit back down as the device quietly chimes. “That’s better,” he says then answers the call “Hullo Kaptin Allucdia?” a strange and flamboyant voice says.

“Erm, Noran is fine, I gave up my captaincy years ago.” He replies more than a little confused.

“My pardons, Shas'Vre'Allucdia it is then!”

“That’s not really … Never mind. Is there something I help you with?”

“Yes there is, I believe I can help with the matter of Aeryn Tailor…”

As Noran continues the conversation Tilah starts to twitch in sleep, beads of sweat run down his face.

***

Finally you react, your eyes widen in fear as you stare at yourself. Your clone tilts its head to the side, dust falls from its head and neck as it moves. The ‘you’ that stands looks sickly and old, its skin is ash grey and it’s breathes in short, heavy rasps. It lifts its hand strokes your face, its fingers are skeletal and the fingernails have grown into brittle claws. You gag, like something is stuck in your throat, and your head shoots back. The robed ‘you’ places its bony hands on your cheeks and tiny, thin, violet veins spread across your face. You choke on a swarm of emerald and sapphire insects that fly down your throat and purple tears run down your face from eyes that fade into black, like ink dropped into water. The skin of the creatures hands writhe as something flows down its arms and into your face. You feel tiny chittering insects burrow into your cheeks and crawl up into your eyes. You try to close them, in a meagre attempt to deny what is happening, but the insects burst out of them, their pincers full of thick, black eye flesh.


***

Kassiel sits and rest his elbows on the bar, in the upper ring where the soldiers go to unwind. He flicks a finger in front of his face as soon as the barman looks at him and silently orders his usual drink, the barman nods and places a thick round lump of ice into a small round glass. He pops the cap off of a dusky orange bottle and half fills the glass with a deep scarlet liquid. The bartender slides the drink over to him and Kassiel, even though he has digital credits, flicks the bartender and an old silver coin that was the currency of his old gang back on Terra. He lifts the glass and holds it in front of his face, slowly spinning the liquid around the ice, tiny drops of red seep into the ice making it look like veins in an organ. He slowly lifts the glass up to his mouth and as soon as it touches his lips.

“Hey Kass!” Calurit appears out of nowhere and rests his elbow on the bar, “How’s things?” he cocks his head to the barman but only gets a confused look in return. “Can I have a small Gue’xio please?” he mutters as he fights his embarrassment. The bartender places a napkin on the bar then places a tall thin glass with small blue crystals lining the edge, he the grabs 2 bottles, one a cobalt blue liquid and the other a bright yellow liquid, and pours them both in the glass, making a rich green concoction.

“You sure you can handle that?” Kassiel asks while taking a sip of his T’car, the smoky drink tickling his throat on the way down.

“I’ll be fine,” he sniffs the drink then takes a little sip, crunching on some of the crystals that were stuck to his lip.

“What do you want Cal?” Kassiel finally asks after seeing Calurit open and close his mouth a few times.

“Seen anything or heard anything about this psychic presence?”

Kassiel sighs and puts his drink down, “This again? I thought you’d given up on all that?”

“No, we’re all at risk while there’s a defenceless mind on this ship.”

“Ahhh you’re just over reacting. Don’t forget we have those crazy, weird Ta ma de chou Feh’rins scattered around the outer shell ….” Kassiel stops talking as he realises that he is being ignored. Calurit puts his drink down and walks away from the bar. “Where are you going?” Kassiel shouts after him, but Calurit was already walking out of the room.

***

Hasah flips himself up on his feet and wills his lance into his hand, the droid leaps after him and onto the rock. Hasah flips a switch on the lance and sends energy through the blade at its tip. He swings his lance round as the droid dives into attack but it blocks the blade with one of its limbs and thrusts another into his leg making him wince in pain.

“Battle is an ever changing river, learn to work with the current or be swept under.” Teachings of his old Shaper, Kint’uh Derr’doa, rush through his mind.

Hasah grabs the droid’s blade, pulls it out of his leg and head butts the droid. As it stumbles backwards Hasah’s attention wonders, momentarily, as more forgotten memories assault him.

“I hear you’re quite the fighter, how about you and your kindred…”


Hasah freezes as memory of his first meeting with Tai’rhei hits him. The droid rushes forward and leaps in the air, its right leg swings up and catches him under his beak, knocking him backwards into the stream.

“Is it safe gaining that…”

“Ahhh!!” His memories suddenly stop as his mind is bombarded with the screams of Tilah.

The droid dives towards Hasah, all four limbs are aimed at his head. He holds his hand up and freezes the droid mid-flight then throws it into the rock. He runs for the exit, his lance flies through the air after him.

***

Noran had ended the call by the time Riza appeared and since then the two had been sharing a canteen of recafe in the corner of the room, using a crate that she knew to bring for a table. Riza, who was still coming over the confusion of meeting an elderly and strange looking Tau named Bentu’haha, couldn’t help but smile as the old comrades shared a rare moment between them.

“What’s got you grinning like a little kid?” Noran asks with a raised eyebrow.

“Nothing, just enjoying this little moment of calm. Sometimes forget that we’re human on here.”

Noran stares at her for a second, “So the different species, that make it obvious that you’re a human by the way, make you forget that?”

“Sometimes I wonder how you managed to get to captain,” she jests with a cheeky grin “You’re not the hottest ember on the fire at times.”

Noran catches the glint in her eyes, that little flirtatious sign that someone shows when they’re talking to someone they like, and chuckles to himself “You’re easy to wind up Val.”

She smiles and takes a big drink of the recafe to hide the redness of her cheeks from her old captain. Their conversation is cut short when Tilah starts to murmur in a strange, guttural language.

“What the …” Riza says as they both walk over to the sleeping Tau. Noran places a hand on his shoulder and tries to wake him, but instead of waking his body stiffens. His back starts to arch up, his fingers curl into tiny, blunt claws then spin over, his flesh starts to pale and his jaw clicks. “What’s going on?” Riza asks as she notices frost forming in the corner of the window.

“I… I don’t know,” Noran replies, he puts a blanket over the spasming Tau as his breath starts to mist.

Tilah’s head flicks back with a snap and his mouth opens in a snarling grin, his purple stained tongue flicks out of his mouth then slowly licks his lips. “Thhhherya Hjyt Rrrrroct” he spits out through gritted. Two lines of deep violet run from his forehead, through each eye and end at his cheeks. Tiny insect like legs push through his skin and tear it apart. Riza and Noran step back in horror, not from the agonising sight of flesh being torn and eyes being bisected but from the maniacal and joyous laughter coming from the unconscious Tau.
The Future is uncertain. To stagnate is to die!

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Re: Into Silence: ... Unto the dead

Post#4 » Oct 11 2015 08:54

Sorry that this has been very late. I've started an electrician course, which I'm currently doing alongside a full time job which is 40+ hours a week :(. Anyway enjoy ...

Since the fleet’s last jump, Fio’El’Aang’ma spends most of his time, as he is always one to do, hunching over his desk. He spends most waking moments in an obsessed hunt to uncover the origins of the gue’la’s tau-like weapons. His faithful companion, Feek’ah, hovers over his creator’s shoulder while his less intelligent sibling cleans the dimly lit workshop.

“Sir, you have received a message from Fio’O’Au’taal Xian’Gao Suun,” Feek’ah declares as a small chime emits from the speaker on his underbelly, “He kindly requests... again... that you contact him when you are able to. Would you like me to send him a response?”

“Delete the message,” Aang’ma replies bluntly as his face is bathed in a bright green glow from the plasma cutter.

“But sir, you cannot ignore one of your superiors, especially O’Xian’Gao. After all the help he gave you.”

The Aang’ family were highly regarded for their work in the Empire’s Armoury. For a brief time, his uncle had raised Aang’ma after his parents died from an accidental plasma explosion and was one of the main contributors to the Ion Rifle’s initial creation until it was discovered that they leaked Ion radiation. That coupled with the stress of working on the Mor’tonium, caused him to take his own life. Aang’ma was still young and the tramtic event impacted him. He closed himself off from the rest of the Earth caste and his family heritage of weapons design. Instead he discovered a talent and passion for advance AI and soon was shunning the research assignments, choosing to spend all his time creating synthetic life. His failure to perform resulting in harsh punishment, for none could go on ignoring the need of the Tau’va over personal gain. However the sympathy of Fio’O Xian’Gao had softened his punishment and allowed Aang’ma to, temporarily, working on his AI project.

Aang’ma slams his fist on the desk, tearing the red lensed goggles from his face, “Don’t you dare speak of that to me again!” he snaps, spraying spittle over Feek’ah’s lenses.

“A…Apologies sir, it’s just. You cannot ignore you’re duties again. It will be catastrophic to your livelihood.”

Aang’ma sags and drops the goggles on the floor, Fuun’ay hovers over, picks them up and places them on the desk, “I like O’Shan’Go, he’s old,” he adds before floating away.

“Locking yourself away in here isn’t healthy sir,” Feek’ah states as a projection of Aang’mas brain activity appears on the desk “As you can see your cerebrum readings are erratic, you are of no use to yourself or your work right now.”

Aang’ma opens his mouth to reply but nothing comes out except a deep sigh of defeat. “You’re right, I need to get out of here. I’ve been so hung up on figuring out how those Gue’la Pirates got their hands on our tech I forgot my duties,” He finally admits.

“Shall I send O’Xian’Gao a reply?”

“Yes, tell him I’ll do the talk for the Fio’Las.”

“Very well sir.”

“And Feek’ah. Thanks.”

Fuun’ay looks over to his master and whines like a pup.

“You to Fuunay,” Aang’ma replies with a chuckle.

***
Tilah’s hysterical laughter hits Hasah before he can even reach his room, causing his quills to stiffen and quiver. He braces his staff and pulls the lever of the slingshot rifle back, allowing a thick metal pellet to fall into the chamber. He slowly walks over to the door and leaps into the room as it opens.

“Put that bloody thing down!” Noran yells as he struggles to pin Tilah down, who had fallen into violent spasms “Help us hold him down.”

Hasah drops the lance and grabs Tilah’s flailing legs. Calurit walks over and places his hands on Tialh’s temples while Hasah, Noran and Riza hold him down like they are trying to crucify him to the floor.

“What’s happening to him?” RIza asks, placing her knee on Tilah’s forearm.

“Wish I could tell you! It can’t be possession, Daemons have difficulty interacting with the Tau,” Calurit replies, his light grey eyes start to lull into the back of his head and his hands emit a faint blue glow.

A thick frost covers the viewport of Hasah’s room, the temperature has dropped dramatically. Everyone is shivering as they strain against the unnaturally strong Tau.

“The land that should not exist festers with the dead. Sirens wail the birth of the brood” Calurit says in a rich, resonant voice that doesn’t belong to him. Tialh’s tongue flicks in and out as he draws short, raspy breaths.

“What are you talking about?” Noran asks more than a little confused.

Suddenly Tilah stops, his body stiffens with his limbs out stretched making a “t” shape. Calurit’s hands stop glowing and he staggers momentarily in a heap above TIlah’s head.

“Someone … is trying to … warn us.” Calurit finally answers, whipping blood from his nose. His body aches and his breathing causes him great pain. The message was sent with such violent force that reading it took more strength than the average psyker could handle.

***
After a semi successful raiding run, the Valiant Tide slowly floats back home within the silence. Tiny bursts of light flick on as the thrusters make tiny alterations to the unstable vessel’s flight path. Purtish walks over to a viewport and stares out of the tiny window “Hmmm, that’s odd.”

“What is?” Freha asks from the bench that she is sprawled across like a hyperactive child with nothing to do.

“That planet wasn’t there the last time we passed this way.”

“Maybe it was on a different point of its orbit,” Freha flips her legs over, causing her head to crash on the floor as she rushes over to another viewport.

“No, I’ve mapped every planet in this sector. You know how much of a nurd for detail I can be,” he turns to face her and gives her a cheeky wink.

The young woman blushes, at only 21 Terran standard, she is the youngest member of Purtish’s retinue, having spent most of her life in servitude to the Naga’hi back on Drai’sha, she views every tiny event with childlike awe and fascination.

Her innocence often amuses Purtish and he often enjoys showing her the many wonders of the universe. This venture had started like that, until the discovery of the emerald gas ridden rock had taken away his attention. She spends a short moment staring at the handsome captain, his almost perfect, angular features betrayed by the absence of a nose. In it’s a place is a smooth patch of synth skin marked with light blue, circular symbols. Their shared relationship is mismatched. Where he treats her like a daughter, making it a priority to protect and nurture her, she desires him. To her, he is the one that could show her the universe. Strong, rugged, heroic this man was it all. Purtish is everything her former betrothed was not.

Her former betrothed being Rhy’var Turyk, the young lord meant for a life in the circle. As one of the descendants of the nine humans that had journeyed with the blessed Xandivar on his pilgrimage to Dai’sha, he had become one of the great protectors of Mont’uraun. Freha had a less grand impression. To her, he was nothing but a foolish, clueless boy that had sent her away. She had hated him for ending their pairing and sending her away from her family even though his decision let her experience things she never would have dreamed of.

“I need to tell Ha’in Suy’er’ma,” Purtish rushes out of the room before Freha can even snap out of her reverie, leaving her alone in the cold, silent room with the thoughts of what she left behind. She often tells herself that she would not let her emotions control her, but as the captain left the room, anger erupts out of her in uncontrollable tears.

Why was she so angry all of a sudden? The Valiant Tide was not in the warp, so her emotions should be in check, and why was she thinking of Him all of a sudden? She collapsed to her knees and threw her head at the wall before her. “Get out ... of my head!” she sobbed at the dull brown wall.

Why was she so angry all of a sudden? The Valiant Tide wasn’t in the warp so her emotions should be in check, and why was she thinking of Him all of a sudden? She collapsed to her knees and threw her head at the wall before her. “Get out … of my head!” she sobbed at the dull brown wall.

***

I sit alone in the middle of a grassy field, the wind blows gently against my bare chest. I look down and see a vertical scar. “That’s new” I say to myself, I poke a finger at it out of morbid curiosity.


“You should leave that alone,” I hear the voice of an old acquaintance behind me, I don’t turn round to see him, I’m too relaxed to move. He eventually walks round and sits in front of me. The Gue’vessa has always been a little bit weird in my opinion, he’s wise like a Por’O yet often states things that get him in trouble. Maybe it’s all an act and he likes to act the fool, maybe he’s naive and his communication skills are terrible, I wouldn’t be surprised though, he’s spent a big part of his adolescent life as a pet of an Ar’Cea outcast. They can be arrogant creatures, even if they possess some of the best wine I’ve tasted.

“How are you feeling?” My friend’s voice snaps me out of my train of thought. He strokes his broken hand through his long, black and white beard, his hand is almost all robotic apart from his index finger and thumb. The strip of black and white hair, that cuts through a clean shaven head, rustles in the wind and his Manchu style moustache dances over his fist.

“Pretty good if I’m honest,” I reply. I stretch my arms up over my head, my bones pop as though they haven’t moved in a long time.

“Do you know where we are?” he asks as he, rather ungracefully, takes his long brown leather coat off. His bare arms are smooth apart from the burn scar at the bottom of his right wrist that appears aggravated and sore.

“No idea but I’m hoping you’ve brought me a picnic, or something to drink at least.” I chuckle and idly scratch at the scar on my chest. He laughs and plays with a triangular pendant around his neck, I believe it was a gift from his Ar’cea master but with the amount of trinkets he has it’s hard to remember what’s what.

“This is both a prison and a sanctuary. We are currently in the warp and for some reason you’ve been attacked by a daemon.”

I stare at him blankly, trying my hardest to stifle my laughter, what the Mont’rak is he talking about? Dee-mohns, Gue’vessa and their ridiculous notion of otherworldly beings.


“You became a conduit for two creatures, I have no idea why since your kind are almost invisible to those in the warp but stranger things have happened.

“Wait ... 2 creatures?”

“I know,” said the familiar voice, in his usual mocking tone.

Is he being sarcastic now? The nerve of him.

“Something or someone was trying to send us a message. A warning of sorts, I believe the daemon wanted to stop that. Neither of them are after possession of you … yet, but I believe the first jump may have induced some latent psyker-like abilities in you. Your mind has been open to all sorts of warp trickery. I believe that both creatures took advantage of that. I had to lock your mind down and seal you in this place.”

“For how long?” What? Why am I playing it cool? I have no idea what is going on!

“We’ll have to wait and see how you are once we’re back in real space. Noran’s put you in a safe place, Hasah is watching over you religiously and there’s a medical team there just in case.”

“And what about you?”

“I’m going to pop in and out to see how you are but I’ll be trying to find the source of the message and fight the daemon that’s suddenly taken an interest in you.”

“So what do I do now? Have you given me any form of entertainment?” I like the open space but the isolation will drive me crazy.

“You won’t be here for long, the real world moves faster than in here,” did he just flicker? That was a little chilling. “Well it looks like my time is up. I’ll be back before you know it friend.”

“Well I guess I’ll be here waiting for you.”

“Yeah I guess you will. I’ll see you soon Tilah.”

“Yeah I’ll see you when you come back Calurit.”

***
Fio’O Au’taal Xian’Gao Suun slowly pours a steaming blue liquid into a black clay cup, then wipes the orange Fio’tek pot and pours another placing it in front of Aang’ma. The two Fio sit, facing each, crossed leg, with a low wooden table between them. They do not speak for a short while, only the hum of Aang’ma’s droids break the silence.

“It’s good to see you again ‘ma, I hope you’re not still closing yourself off from everybody,” Xian’Gao says, concern clearly in his voice.

Aang’ma stares at the beaker in front of him with his hands clamped together. Saying nothing as he twiddles him short, chubby thumbs.

“He has sequestered himself for an unhealthy amount of time. If it wasn’t for the mission to the waystation, he wouldn’t have left the work shop,” Feek’ah answers as he floats over to the senior Fio with Aang’ma’s vitals projected in front of him, “As you can see it has begun to have on effect on his current mental state.”

The old Fio’O places his thumb on the top of his lip and rubs, with his middle finger, the crease between his eyes. He closes his deep sapphire eyes and sighs. “I see you’ve given her a male voice now,” he says to Aang’ma while looking at Feek’ah, “I guess that’s showing progress.”

At that, Aang’ma finally looks up at the one who raised him, his eyes narrow to a burning scowl. “Yes I guess so” he replies sulkily like a scorned child.

“I was always male,” Fuun’ay includes from the corner of the room.

Xian’Gao regards the lifter droid with a mixture of pity and sorrow. To coin the term Artificial Intelligence would be a stretch when it comes to Fuun’ay and Xian’Gao knew that the droid’s stupidity was purposefully programmed. Since taking Aang’ma into his care he noticed the young Fio had an unhealthy angst towards male role models that he brought over from the hatred of his father and the blame Aang’ma placed on him for the death of his mother. Xian’gao had been dear friends with Aang’Fuun and Aang’Feek and it pained him to see the memory of his dear friend treated with such indignity. “Fuun’ay could do with an upgrade ‘Ma, why do you still treat him such disrespect?”

Something inside Aang’ma stirs at the remark. He unclasps his hands and clenches them into fist, pressing them onto his knees, Feek’ah floats over to him and places a small mechanical hand on his shoulder. “Sir, your heartrate has increased 16%, I advise meditative remedies to normalize it.”

“Don’t... talk to me... about ‘Him’,” he says through gritted teeth, the last word said with such venom it could coat an assassin’s blade.

Xian’Gao places his hands on the table, suddenly deadly serious, and leans forward. He replies in a low, calm voice “This isn’t healthy, you’re clinging onto false memories. You’re killing yourself from the inside. Your anger as a child was wrongly directed at your father and you need to realize that none of it was his fault,” he says bluntly, all the charm of the fatherly figure now gone.

“You could be Fio’O by now but I’ve stunted your progress, I know you couldn’t handle the pressure. You hardly keep to your duties as an ‘El, if it wasn’t for your abilities you would have gone back down to ‘Vre.”

“I never asked for this!”

Xian’Gao slams his fist on the table “Life doesn’t revolve around you!”

Aang’ma leans back a little shocked at the sudden outburst from his usually calm master.

“We all have to do our duties for Tau’va!” Xian’Gao continues suddenly calm again “We are all cells that power a great machine. If one of us slacks in our duties then the machine works inefficiently. It’s why I asked you to lecture the fio‘la, to share some of your knowledge on how you built these two.” He points to the two droids, “Will you do as I ask? And I’m not asking as your superior but as the one that raised you as his own.”

Aang’ma swallows hard and then stands. He turns and walks to the door. As it opens, he looks back and says “Yes,” before leaving.
The Future is uncertain. To stagnate is to die!

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Re: Into Silence: ... Unto the dead

Post#5 » Oct 12 2015 10:23

Excellent read sir. Bravo

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Re: Into Silence: ... Unto the dead

Post#6 » Oct 12 2015 05:10

Thank you, glad you enjoyed it and thanks again for helping out with editing it, forgot to say thanks at the beginning of the post :sad:
The Future is uncertain. To stagnate is to die!

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Re: Into Silence: ... Unto the dead

Post#7 » Oct 12 2015 08:54

Excellent entry T113
~Good Hunting

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Re: Into Silence: ... Unto the dead

Post#8 » Oct 12 2015 10:06

Good job mate! Fun read. :)
Viro’los gu brath!
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Re: Into Silence: ... Unto the dead

Post#9 » Nov 27 2015 06:47

Firstly i want to apologise for a mediocre update, I've been preoccupied with this electrician course that I'm on and haven't had the time to go in depth with all the character development that i had planned and since the other story's are being updated now i didn't want to drag it on too much so that we can all roughly keep on track. This post mainly gives each character (Minus Aeryn, who Tauman is graciously dealing with :) ) a little bit of spot light so i can hit my next story point. As always enjoy ...


The bouncer of Degarsh’s establishment drags the, limp body of an unconscious, patron out of the main entrance – by the back of their tattered, brown, leather jacket. The bright lights of the Gue’las recreation/ market area washes over the dimly lit establishment.

“Hey kid, give me a Sneaky Bandit.” Eddorin looks up from the glass he had spent the last minute idly cleaning, while his concentration slipped, and smiles at the familiar, ghoulishly thin, pale face.

“Jerd, haven’t seen you in a while. Where have you been hiding?” He asks as he ladles a clear frothy liquid out of a huge metal pan.

“Oh here and there, I found some … items that no one wanted,” Jerd smiles wickedly as he takes the glass and blows on it to cool the hot beverage. “So naturally I procured them.”

Eddorin places his hands on the bar and chuckles, while shaking his head. His scruffy auburn hair falls over his face as the shaking loosens it from the ponytail it was tied in. “Was there anything you even wanted from it?”

“Not really but idle hands are the daemons work … or whatever it was the Ecclesiarch used to say. That’s one thing I doubt I’ll ever miss from the old hab. Have you seen Kass around?”

“No, not since he gave me this ‘job’. Why?”

“He probably think he’s too good for us now that he’s up there with the blueys.

“What happened to that mission you was supposed to be going on?”

Jerd quickly empties the half full glass and slides it back to Eddorin, signalling for a refill. “Urgh! Tastes like a Tarrellian’s arse. We haven’t been on it yet, gotta wait ‘til we’re out of the warp first and even then I doubt anyone has a gorum clue what’s going on.”

“So you’ve not been given a mission yet?”

“No, Throne kid, do you not how these thing work?”

Eddorin blushes a little then shakes his head. The young 18 year old had only recently reached maturity and was on the list for assignment but, having not really paid any attention to the enrolment papers, was clueless to the non-militant enrolment process.

Jerd sighs and grabs the refilled drink, “There are people here that are capable of fighting but aren’t part of any military organisation. Like me, being from an old gang, I never joined the guard. So when I came here I never really had a team to join but, because I’m known for kickin’ an arse or too in my time, I signed up for military duty for a support role. Basically if they need extra shooters and that, then they call on us nobodies to beef up the ranks. It’s all part of their ‘working for a greater good’ crap they talk about.”

“Sounds a little confusing. Why not just enrol in the military here?”

“Ah that’s too boring. I enjoy my life more when there’s less rules,” He takes a big sip of the drink and winces after swallowing, “At least this way I get to fight every now and then and not have some uptight, noble bash with a silver spoon up their arse breathing down my neck day in day out.”

Eddorin only smiles at the ex-ganger and walks over to another patron wanting a drink. The shabby patron rests a shaky, bandaged hand on the counter, a set of light violet beads are wrapped around his hand and they clack on the wooden bar.

“What can I get you?” Eddorin asks while flipping a dry cloth over his shoulder.

“We are for the one that rots…”

“I’m sorry, what?”

“… He who changes drives us …”

“Look, this is sounding pretty heretical! I need you leave.”

“The broken brotherhood seek to rebuild its empire under false pretences.”

Eddorin slams the cloth onto the bar and calls the bouncer over.

“What’s wrong lad?” Jerd runs over to the edge of the bar and asks with a concerned look on his face. Eddorin looks at him with an angry look on his face. “What’s got you all riled up?”

Eddorin suddenly looks confused then stares back at the vacant space at the bar.

***

Swoosh the doors to the medical bay slide open, waking Noran from his nap. Calurit walks over to the table, throws his brown leather coat on the back of a chair and sits down with a defeated sigh.

“Still no luck then?” Noran asks handing the psyker a rag, from his pocket, to wipe the blood from his nose.

“Well he’s safe, that’s something. But no, I can’t understand what’s happening. I mean none of this makes sense.” Calurit wipes his nose and stares at the crimson speckles on the white cloth, his head is swimming from the nausea of having to fight his way into an un-receptive mind – his struggle was akin to trying to run through a wall of ceramite. “I’ve been witness to many things in my time and, believe me, some of them haunt me to this day but I can’t imagine the suffering he’s going through.”

“Any idea how it’s happened?”

Calurit leans back in his seat and runs his broken hand through his hair, “My only guess is the device that’s enabled this ship to travel through the immaterium has somehow opened his mind to the warp.”

“Well that would explain the dreams he’s been having.”

“Yes but why has it only happened to him? If that is the reason than surely others would’ve suffered the same fate.”

“…. Your guess is as good as mine,” Noran finally replies after staring blankly at Cal for a short while, “Maybe all the drinking has somehow weakened his resistance?”

***
Bursht approaches the leather punch sack while tightening the black wraps around his fists. “…Now I’m not sure if I heard right but did you say Aeryn’s been having Tau visitors?”

“Yeah. Well, visitor. It’s just the one I believe. She’s become a real mess when I last saw her,” Riza braces herself against the opposite side of the sack.

Thud “What do you,” Thud “Think’s wrong,” Thud “With her?” Bursht punches the sack at a steady pace, his muscles clenching with each punch.

“PTSD?” she throws sack at him unexpectedly but he slides to the side with his arm up at the side of his head, “She’s obviously been through something horrendous for her to turn her back on the Imperium.”

“I wonder … what it was.”

“I don’t think I want to know.”

***
Hasah straightens the sheets on Tilah’s bed for the fifteenth time that hour and then sits, crossed legged, at the end of the bed. He produces a pair of small wooden sticks, that he places into a small porcelain cup, and ignites them with a small flick of his fingers. Dusky violate smoke trickles up from them and the coils of smoke dance around his beak as he draws a deep breath.

His quills suddenly twitch, sending a shiver down his body. He places his hands together in a meditative position and makes a high pitch twittering noise with the top of his jaw. He can feel an unknown presence in the room and, although he cannot detect any malicious intent, he emits a sour scent as a warning to the spectre.

***

I could get used to this, having been born on a waystation this tranquil paradise is far from anything I’ve experienced. Even the plants and trees on the Path are artificial. How long have I been here? Calurit has just left but he said time passes at a slower rate in here so who knows?

“Greetings young one.” A white cloaked figure appears before.

Not entirely sure I want to know the answer to this but I ask anyway, “How did you get in here?”

“I have walked paths that your stretch further than your race’s entire existence and have travelled the stars in search of knowledge that you couldn’t comprehend.”

Well it seems that modesty isn’t lost on him, “What do you want?”

“I come with a warning. Your journey will lead those around you to a land of the dead…”

“…” what am I supposed to say to THAT?

“…Two gods fight for control of the silent kingdom and within the brotherhood there is a slither of hope that is being poisoned by the nine.”


***

Kirshulk’s slumber, in the gestation tank, abruptly ends as the ear splitting whine of the warp opening echoes through the chamber. Soothing flecks of cyan, indigo and violet float into the blinding white reality of the warp-touched room. She fights the agony of waking, before the vessel enters reality, and strokes a bony hand over her chest and feels the warm thumping of her soon to be born offspring. “Soon my child, the many colours of life shall grace your sight and the glory of those bathed in light shall give you great joy,” she taps the tips of her tendrils on her chest to send the message.

Ripples of movement gently caress against her as her gene mate, Rrishnourin, dives into the gel filled tank. He coils his body around her – his bones disconnect whilst in the gelatinous fluid allowing him to move with serpentine grace – and they wrap their tendrils loving around each other’s. “Our time in the blinding depths is over, my bringer of life.”

A warmth, akin to the human emotion they call love, flows through her and the dull grey figure before her lightens slightly, “Our brood is almost with us, my bonded one. I feel the life within me grow strong. How fares our travels thus far?”

“There has been many interactions with the denizens of the blinding depths but contact was never made. I felt an ill power within the ones of the Earth and wind’s vessel but my duty would not allow me to leave my tank.”


A siren blares inside their pod and waves of invisible energy pour into the tank as the Path Resurgence announces its transition back into realspace.
The Future is uncertain. To stagnate is to die!

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Re: Into Silence: ... Unto the dead

Post#10 » Feb 11 2016 05:34

The zone of silence. The scar of the Empire. The lost region devoured by the verminous swarm. The desolate, black void suddenly fills with life as the gigantic Tau vessel emerges into reality, like an assassin stepping out of the shadows. The crew on board hastily perform their duties – from system checks to cleaning the Knarloc pits – and yet one still sleeps. Trapped inside a prison of his own mind, he is joined by a being deeper within the silence.

“Where are you? Your body that is,” I ask. I needed to break the silence, he’s just sat staring at me and it’s creeping me out.

“Close. I will be with you soon,” the Eldar replies with a dark, devilish grin across his face.

Well that isn’t creepy at all. “Can you tell me more about this warning?”

"There is a planet that will ...."

Where the Aun did he go? I look around, the lush green field is rapidly dying and the sky is fading to black.

Darkness. Again, I am surrounded by darkness. I feel a warm, hot breath on the back of my neck and a pungent, rotten smell assaults my sense of smell.

***
Aeryn tosses in her cot, her ‘transition’ into the empire was almost complete but recently she was having nightmares about her past life. One such terror is currently plaguing her slumber.

She is on THAT planet, the crumbled building of the old hab is currently a stand-in for their centre of operations. Morale has been plummeting with every passing day – even the day cycles were becoming erratic due to the hell storm the filthy cultists had conjured. Aeryn glides over to the nearest window and peers out, her squad – Algaren’s 4th scout unit (The new bloods) – sit watching Sergeant Mullarii breakdown their current situation. His short, cropped, silver blonde hair is speckled black, brown and red from the days defensive action and his weathered, sun burnt skin has aged him immensely, Aeryn almost feels sorry for the young soldier. “19 is not an age for that responsibility,” she had told the colonel when she gave Mullarii the promotion – after the squad’s previous sergeant had lost his head to berserk cultist.

“That is why, my dear, you’re going to keep an eye on him. He’s an excellent soldier and he would’ve got the promotion sooner or later anyway,” Colonel Bianne Hastur patted Aeryn on the shoulder and gave her a little wink. Aeryn had always admired Hastur – she was a brilliant soldier, an excellent leader and not too bad on the eyes either. She had a way of defusing tense situations – many of the soldiers joked that she had psychic eyelashes and one flutter of them could send any man into a trance.

Aeryn looks back at the remnants of the squad, she is down to 4 men and reinforcement isn’t due for about 7 hours. Their orders had been followed to completion, they had cleared a path and found a suitable location for the main force to burrow into one of the cult’s main defences but, as they went further in, the enemy was waiting for them. Now cut off from the rest of their unit, Mullarii had received orders to hold the position and wait for the rest to fight their way through.

“We’re going to die here,” Leeron almost sobs, he glances at Aeryn with tear filled eyes. She smiles back at him “Execution would do nothing here,” she mutters to herself as her hand rests on her bolt pistol. “Remember Murt, the God Emperor protects. We are his faithful children and He’s watching over us.”

Leeron suddenly smiles, his grin stretches further than humanly possible. The rest of the squad look at her and smile the same impossible smile that Leeron possesses. Their eyes begin to shine a brilliant white and their mouths open. A shrill, multi-tonal scream resonates round the desolate room and ecstatic laughter bounces down the corridors connected to the room.

Aeryn falls to her knees. Tears run down her face, leaving pale streaks on her dirt covered face. A high pitched whine fills her head, as if a flash bang had detonated in front of her. The screaming squad stand in unison then immediately fall to their knees. Fire erupts from their chests and swiftly engulf their entire body. Aeryn stares in silent horror while their skin bakes. A piercing pain shoots through her head, causing her vision to blur, her heart races and she tries to stand but her legs have become too weak.

From within the fire that possessed Leeron, pale, blue eyes stare at her in fear, like they are staring straight at the soul of a daemon.


Aeryn’s eyes burst open, the holo-walls of her cell display a peaceful, yellow beach looking out to a crisp, blue ocean. The droid – the one she calls Aunty, at her weaker moments – explained this was an image taken from the Tau world known as Au’taal. The image has been displayed frequently towards the end of her treatment to demonstrate the positive outcome of the Tau’va. She looks around her room, half expecting the burning figures to be near her. The room is empty. She slumps down into the bed and releases a big sigh of relief.

“Why can’t I catch a break?” she asks herself.

She lies in her cot, with the sheet pulled over her face, for a few minutes then gets up and splashes some water on her face. With cold, refreshing water dripping down her face she glances up in the mirror. Her amber eyes lock with her reflection, her dilated pupils pulsate when her attention is suddenly drawn away at the sudden appearance of the flaming Mullarii standing behind her.

Her body freezes. No matter how much she wants to move, to turn and face her daemon, her muscles have succumbed to paralysis. A wet, gargling noise sends a shiver through her and when she realises the noise is the creature saying ‘help’ her heart almost stops.

The sudden, high pitched ringing of the door chime attracts her attention and, again, she is alone in the room.

***
The last of the Fio’saal leave the lecture hall and Aang’ma slumps down in his chair. The last mandatory lecture was finally over and Aang’ma could finally relax. “I need my workshop. All that talking has numbed my mind.” He complains to the empty hall. He pulls a scrap piece of paper out of his pocket and begins doodling on the creased parchment. His heavy eyelids begin to fall under the weight of exhaustion. His head bobs down, momentarily, but he snaps back up with a choking inhale of breath.

“To! I have to get out of here.”

He scrunches the paper back into his pocket and presses a button on his wrist mounted data unit.

“Hello?” Fuun’ay’s bellowing, confused voice echoes round the lecture hall.

“Come and collect my stuff,’ Aang’ma orders bluntly.

“What? Who’s ...?”

Aang'ma cuts the communication short with an exasperated sigh. He leaves the room and groggily makes his way to the cantina. “The southern hall on deck 8 should be empty by now.”

He passes a window and pauses to gaze out into the vast silent void of space. From his position he can see the back of the ship as tiny yellow/ white specs float away leaving tiny lineal trails behind them.

“The scout ships have been dispatched, now we shall know what is out there.”

Aang’ma turns to find Fio’O Xian’Gao standing beside him with a steaming cup of tea in his hands.

“What happened to that signal that was discovered before the Path left the safe zone?”

“We lost it, there was severe interference when we picked it up so we couldn’t maintain a strong link.”

“I guess we didn’t send anyone to help then.”

“Unfortunately not. By the time everyone reached the path, the signal was lost and was deemed unimportant in comparison to this mission.”

“And yet I’m supposed to be the cold one.”

***
Noran passes the rifle back to the young Gue’la and stares down the shooting range.

“Now lad, do you think you could try and hit the target this time?” He says with a sigh. Training was becoming more of a chore than anything else recently. The long period of inaction is slowly taking its toll on the ex-captain and with the Path floating in the middle of unsafe territory a great feeling of unease has been resting on his shoulders. The young man stares at the honour guard and shakily braces the gun against his shoulder.

“That’s it, now look down the scope,” he sarcastically says as if talking to a simpleton.

The young trooper closes one eye and places the other against the scope. Sweat pours down his forehead and onto the scope, blurring the optics. He closes his finger on the trigger of the long las and holds his breath.

“Good, now do it like you was shown and you might just make the las count,” Noran bluntly states.

The soldier eventually pulls the trigger and releases his breath with a sigh. Too afraid to look up at the officer looming over his shoulder, he stares down the kilometer long firing range.

“Fail,”

That one dreaded word he had been hoping he wouldn’t hear. That one word that meant all his training had been for nothing. That one word that would mean all his dreams were to come to nothing. That one word that has now ruined him.

Noran places his magnoculars down beside the young soldier and walks to the door. He places a hand on the door release then turns to face him.

“This isn’t the end you know. We have access to a vast amount of pretty tech that can help a soldier snipe from a long range.”

“Then why did you make me do the test if I could be a sniper either way?”

“Oh you’re not going to be a sniper lad. If you’re going to be representing us humans out there than you need to have the ability to do it with what you was born with. Leave it to the Tau to use their tech. What I meant was there are other options. Come with me.”

The soldier quickly places the rifle on the gun rack behind him and chases Noran out of the firing range. “Where are we going?” he asks while narrowly avoiding a service drone that was hovering at head height.

“I have a friend you should meet.”

***
Aeryn presses her palm on the door activation switch and walks away without looking at her new visitor. “Hi Gi’, what wonder have you got in store for me today?” She asks as she grabs her sleeveless ch’eon’sam and puts it on. She brushes down the black satin like material and closes the buttons that go across the right collar bone. “Are you ok? You’re a little quiet to….” She turns round to fine Calurit standing awkwardly in the doorway, his face glowing bright red. He looks frantically from side to side and grasps at the air as he tries to act nonchalantly.

“Did it not cross your mind to let me know you weren’t my friend?” she asks angrily as she tries to hide her embarrassment.

“How was I to know you was walking around in your bra?”

She opens her mouth to reply but thinks better of it – knowing that it would lead to a dead end. She walks over to her bed, straightens it out and then places a book back on the shelf in the corner. “Haven’t I seen you before?” she finally asks when she realises that Calurit is still awkwardly standing at the doorway.

“Yes, well no, but … maybe. I’ve seen you around the station a few times. You’ve always been with the same people.”

“Yeah well when I first came here I wasn’t the most pleasant person to the locals.” She looks at him and smiles, her cherry red lips curve in a way that reminds Calurit of ripe Illyunar fruit that his Ranger master favoured. He stares mesmerised for a short moment before realising what he was doing.

“Ahem, yes I heard what happened to the Tallerian....” his words trail off when he notices the hateful glare in her eyes at the mention of the xenoes that got her thrown in the modified prison she now called home.

“Hmmmm. Is there something you needed?”

“Yes. I was wondering if you’d like to go for dinner with me. I have something I want to discuss with you.”

“What?”

“I know what you’re trying to hide.”

***
“…and what, please tell me, do you think happens when a certain ‘businessman’ offers patronage to a fellow member of the commonwealth, who he welcomes them into their establishment, which he uses to make a living by the way, and THEN finds that said person cannot afford the incredibly huge tab?” Degarsh questions the battered and bloody guardsman after his bouncer, Zaren, badly beat him up.

"I promise you … I … I can get you the credit!” The soldier weakly pleads to Zaren as his swollen, black eyes have blurred his vision.

“Oi! Over here,” Degarsh clicks his fingers, “you've had plenty of time to cough up the credits Fynne.”

“Bu … But I.” The soldier is interrupted as the door behind Degarsh suddenly opens.

“Sir …” A timid, young man pokes his head around the door.

“What?!” Degarsh snaps at the sudden interruption.

“The collectors have arrived and there is a, err … Guest waiting for you,” Eddorin states as he stares in shock at the beaten soldier.

Degarsh sighs and rubs the bridge of his nose with his meaty thumb and finger, “thanks lad,” he walks towards the door and pushes a cart containing a multitude of service tools over to Zaren. “Make sure the whelp has a … Reminder of his debt to me.”

“Fingers or toes?” Zaren asks with joyful relish.

“Surprise me.”

“I’ll see what I can do.”

“Just don't enjoy it too much, remember he still has a job to do. Otherwise I’ll never get my credits.”

Degarsh straightens his jacket and wipes his forehead with a handkerchief which he then neatly folds and places it in his breast pocket.

In the main room of his bar he notices a small group of people, including Kassiel and Jerd, sitting around a small, wooden table sharing a bottle of Rueric – an amber beverage that has a smoky after taste, it is often added to beers to increase their strength. Degarsh nods at Kassiel and then focuses his attention to the short, stocky Tau adorned in white security armour standing helmetless in the doorway. His black braid neatly rests down the left side of his head, leaving the glossy, white bionic right eye in plain view.

“Shas’ui Vash’ya M’yen Korst’la, to what do I owe the pleasure?” Degarsh asks in an overly friendly tone.

The stalwart firewarrior stands motionless, with his hands behind his back, for a few seconds his eyes staring at the door that Degarsh recently exited. “Derin Garshilk,” Ui’M’yen finally raises his head to look into the hooded brown eyes of the proprietor, “how many times have we been in this situation?”

“And what situation would that be, sir?” Degarsh’s patronising ignorance leaves a bitter taste on the Shas’s tongue.

“I have reports of illegal activities happening in this establishment. There are rumours that gue‘vesa are abandoning their duties, some even going missing, because of said activities.”

Degarsh blatantly fakes a shocked expression, knowing that the Shas struggles to read human facial expressions. “Now I don’t know if I should be more offended or hurt. I merely provide a place for people to relax and unwind after a long day serving the Tau’va.”

“But recreational facilities have been provided throughout the Path Resurgence. There is no need for this place to exist, especially this deep on the lower decks where, conveniently enough, security has difficulty accessing due to the high population count.”

“This place is a familiar slice of home, yes we have all left the Imperium of man but we haven’t forgotten who are. This place provides that little sense of home that they will not find in the communal areas and THAT is why it is built in the heart of the human market region.”

Ui’M’yen stands motionlessly, as if time had ceased around the firewarrior, staring at Degarsh. A pair of scanner drones hover behind him, their white, disk shaped casings rest upon a pair of wireless cameras that get a 360° recording at all times. “Well, since you say nothing illegal takes place on this premises, then I guess you will not object to a sweep of the area.”

Degarsh forces a smile on his face, “By all means Shas’Ui, search away,” he says with an exaggerated bow. With his head lowered he catches Eddorin’s eyes and double winks at him.

Eddorin casually walks over to the bar and cleans the surface with a dry rag that was thrown over his shoulder, as he gets to the centre of the bar he slips his hand underneath a press a small button hidden underneath the wooden surface.

“Well, I have a drink waiting for me so if you’d excuse me Shas’ui. Oh and if there’s anything else you would like, don’t hesitate to ask.”

“Your cooperation is greatly appreciated Garshilk.”

Degarsh smiles at Ui’M’yen then joins Kassiel and the others at their table. He grabs the bottle and pours himself a large drink.

“What was all that about?” Kassiel asks as he watches a droid float over to the bar.

“Nothing that can’t be handled. Now, how goes the collection?”

Kassiel pulls a small object from his coat pocket and shows it to Degarsh. The black, egg shaped ornament is polished to a glossy finish and has orange runes carved into it. “Jerd found this hidden in someone’s locker. Do you think this has something to do with them?”

Degarsh grabs the item and examines it, making sure that Ui’M’yan cannot see, “Hmm it’s hard to say. It looks similar but the runes are not the same language, the bastard cult use a more angular lettering. This is probably a xeno artefact or something.”

***
The Valiant Tide hovers peacefully above its home world Drai’sha. Purtish enters the hall of the honoured one. The huge domed room echoes with his footsteps and the trickles of water from the flumes around the room’s edge. Huge pillars line the walkway in the middle and disappear in the vast depths of the crimson pool beneath.

Purtish walks to the centre of the room and falls to his knees, his folded arms and chin both rest on his chest in respect. Opposite him, atop a great white throne – with a three fingered hand carved into its headrest – sits a tall hooded figure.

“Welcome back child, how fares your travels?” the multi-toned voice is projected from speakers hidden within the pillars.

“There is an anomaly that I request permission to inspect, Th’ra,” Purtish’s voice sounds weak and timid compared to the Th’ra’s.

“And what anomaly is this?” The Th’ra leans forward and places his bony grey hands on the armrest of his throne.

“On our way back from our scavenge I noticed a small … planet that has never been there before.”

“I’m sure it’s nothing,” a human wearing similar robes to the Th’ra walks over and whispers something to him. The human has severe scaring on his face and an eye, with an ‘i’ shape in its pupil, carved into his forehead. The Th’ra nods and focuses his attention back to Purtish. “Very well, I want you and a small team to visit this planet. Destroy it, make sure nothing is left.”

“Surely that’s a little extreme Th’ra, there could be people there to add to our family.”

“I am merely passing on the will of Mont’uraun. You are excused.”

***
Hasah stands at the end of the Tilah’s bed. He watches as his friend twitches and moans in his comatose state. Bio scanners beep in the background and a slight breeze from the room’s ventilation system tickles his slime coated flesh.

He walks over to a hide rug, at the edge of room and sits beside his dismantled fusion lance. He pulls a waxy cloth from a pouch on his belt and begins routine maintenance of the weapon while humming to himself, enjoying his moment of serenity.
The Future is uncertain. To stagnate is to die!

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Posts: 137

Re: Into Silence: ... Unto the dead

Post#11 » Apr 09 2016 06:28

Here's another update to be tossed out into the void.

Enjoy :fear:

Bshhhhhhc, heat waves ripple off the promethean serpent that is snaking its way out of the long barrel of the Assault Flamer. The bright, orange flame coils round the reflective fio’tak figurine and devours its featureless body. The trigger is released, allowing the deadly, scorching ophidian to fully engulf its prey.

Alone she stands in the ring of the rapidly moving figures as they dance around her, darting in and out of cover of varying sizes. The sizzling sound of fio’tak bubbling under the intense heat whistles round her. She closes her eyes and tilts her head up, allowing the scorching heat and the sound of burning material to wash over her. Here, in the fire, she is at peace. In here all matters of life, love, war, religion, all of it mean nothing. Tranquillity and a sense of being is all she knows within the flame, the beautiful destruction has always amused her and of all the weapons she has used, none of them respond to her like that of a flamer. A mythical dragon in rifle form. The cumbersome fuel tank rests on her shapely rear, the strap had been loosened so much that it now hung sideways at her waist, she preferred it this way as it allowed easier control of the fuel lines – even if it did make scrambling a little difficult at times.

She suddenly snaps her head to the side, she senses someone standing outside of the ring of fire – their presence had disturbed the flow of energy the fire emitted. “The door says ‘Do Not Disturb’ can’t you fudding read?” she yells to the hidden arrival.

“Come on Val, I have a little project for you.”

Her anger vanished, as if it had never even been there in the first place. Of all the beings in the universe only He had gotten through her barriers. His charm, his caring nature and his roguishly handsome features had softened her heart and made a permanent imprint there.

“Give it about a minute and there’ll be an opening,” her sixth sense, the ability to calculate the life span of fire, was as finely tuned as ever and 59.76 seconds later the fire on three target dummies extinguished.

Noran sees the gap and enters the inner circle. “Woo it’s hot in here,” he grabs the collar of his loose fitting shirt and fans air onto his face.

Riza turns and removes her glare shades from her soot stained face, beads of sweat trickle from the flesh coloured rings around her eyes and drip from her chin. “Hmmm I wonder why that could,” she places a finger on her chin and makes an exaggerated thinking expression while her beautiful, blue eyes glare at her former captain.

“Now, Now Val that isn’t nice.”

“We both know that I don’t do nice,” she cheekily smiles at Noran then winks as she removes the goggles from her head then seductively ties her hair back. She slowly pushes her chest out, slightly more than she should, hoping to catch his eye.

“W…well … hmmm. Yeah,” he shifts awkwardly on the spot, unsure of where to look, “There’s someone I want you to meet.” He quickly turns, rushes out of the fire and leaves the room.

Riza chuckles to herself and follows Noran. As the flames finally die down, she places the customised Mark III Flamer onto the gun rack and puts the promethium tank back into safe storage, and leaves the room.

Outside, in the hallway of the training quarters, Noran and is stood beside a young, gangly ginger boy. She looks at them both confused, “What’s all this about?” she asks Noran while eying up the boy, who looks like he hasn’t been away from the Mother’s teat for long.

“This is ….. You know what I never got his name. Lad, tell us your name,” he nudges the young soldier with his elbow.

“A … Ayanii. Augustav Ayanii,” Ayanii stutters nervously while staring, smitten, at Riza. Of all the women he had seen in his life with the Gue’vessa, none of them compared to the voluptuous maiden before him. This soot covered saint was beauty personified, a gift from the God-Emperor or whoever it was the ex-Imperials worshipped.

“Ayanii here…” Noran pushes the, almost drooling, man forward “…is going to be your protégé. He can’t aim for shii’ato, so you’re going to show him the ropes and hopefully make a flamer out of him.”

Riza snaps her head up at Noran, a furious expression on her face, “You cannot be fudding serious. Give him to Hauner, at least he’ll be useful in the infirmary!”

Noran nudges his head back, signalling to her that he wants to have a word with her in private. “I know you’ll hate this but the kid wants to fight and I felt sorry for him when he failed all his firing tests, so this is his only option.” His hooded, icy blue eyes gaze into hers. She could tell something was wrong with him as his chiselled, scarred jaw was currently sporting a rough looking blonde coloured stubble. “Come on Valetzi, you’re his last chance to become a soldier.”

Their eyes locked as their stubborn natures fought a war of dominance. His straw coloured hair had fallen out of his queue styled braid and now his short, choppy fringe hangs across his face as he looks down at her.

She sighs as she knows he will not give up, “Fine. I’ll see what I can do,” she turns and faces Ayanii, “You, get that stupid look off your face. If you fudd up in any way you’re in for all kinds of pain!”

***
Home. The word had become a bitter memory to him. His beloved Imperium had chewed him and spat him out. His devotion to the God Emperor had cost him everything! The ecclesiarch had labelled her a witch and a heretic and they took her away from him and he couldn't do anything about it. That day had carved a path he never thought he would walk along, living alongside a Xeno race he once fought against. They had welcomed him and his comrades with open arms and that kindness sparked a feeling of guilt that will never subside. Turning his back on combat roles to focus solely on medical aid was a start though.

"Alright polar, everything seems in working order. Just fight back when you get in a scuffle and you won't suffer like this,” Franklier explains as the light retracts back into his mechanical left arm. “You're too soft on people, that's your problem.”

“I’ll be fine, they were just drunk and in a bad mood. I just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Bursht replies as he examines the bruising on his face in the mirror, a ripe, purple swelling was beginning to form around his left eye.

“More like they were intimidated by your size. How many times have we been here? Some drunkard sees you hulking around and wants to take you down just to feel that slight surge of testosterone flow through them, or worse, they think it will somehow impress some woman they’ve been failing to chat up all night.”

“Yeah you’re probably right … Are you ok?” Bursht could see that something was on the doctor’s mind and this time it wasn’t the dire need to smoke.

“Something got me thinking of home … Well Deenah and Rosaiah anyway. Eight years and the pain still feels fresh sometimes.” Franklier turns his back on the gentle giant of a man and leans over his desk to hide the tears forming from his remaining human eye.

“Has it really been eight years?” Bursht replies with a whistle, “We’ve come a long way since then. We can’t change the past though,”

“Ahem, I know and things seem to be going well for us now. At least we’re not constantly moving from one battlefield to the next.”

“Exactly, and Deenah would be proud of you for throwing down you rifle,” he walks over and places his massive paw like hand on his shoulder, “You’ve been cooping yourself up in here too long, you need to get out more. Let’s go and see if we can drag the others out for a drink, I hear they’ve just sent the scouting ships out so this might very well be the calm before the storm.”

***
Purtish enters the command deck without really realising where he was, the order from the Th’ra had been clawing at his mind since he had left the temple. The swift decision to destroy the planet had surprised him. The Th’ra was usually the most peaceful of the enlightened – This decision would seem normal coming from Ro’in Mok’k, who was known well known for having a ‘shoot first’ attitude. Surey the Th’ra would have wanted him to great the citizens of that world with open arms? Destroying them had no significance, they weren’t a threat to the brotherhood like those currently out in the empty void.

And what of them? The unenlightened set out to destroy what was being built by his masters. They had already interfered with their hunt for food and soon they would fall upon Drai’sha but the Th’ra and the Ha’in seem nonplussed about it. Do they not care that they are the bigger threat? Right now, he can only keep his faith that the great Mont’uraun is looking down on His devoted subjects and His plans for the unenlightened stretch far beyond his own comprehension.

“… Sir?” Freha’s voice finally gets through to him causing him to jump back slightly.

“Sorry Frey, is the ship ready?” He asks only just realising where he was.

"Yes we just need to know where we’re going.”

“…”

Freya leans in close to Purtish so none of the crew could her “is everything ok?”

“Ye… Yes. We’re going to give that mystery planet a visit,” he replies while walking over to his command throne.

“Why? What are we going to do there?” Her question mimicked his own but his loyalty always conquered any doubt that he held but nonetheless he felt uneasy answering her.

“Destroy it.” His head sunk a little causing a shadow to grow over his eyes giving him the appearance of an ancient Terran villain.

***

Cold, the air has suddenly turned freezing cold. The serene meadow has died, the bright warming sun has darkened to a sickly brown and the soft, gentle breeze is now a horrific, bitter gale. I curl up into a ball and squeeze myself tight to warm myself up. My skin is cold like a corpse, my face is dry and sore and as my queue brushes against me it feels like a million tiny blades of razor are slashing my face.

My hands begin to crack and blister, they’re so numb that no longer feel the pain from them. Is this what Calurit was trying to keep me safe from? Is this torment the creation of one of those so called ‘gods’ he spoke of? Rationality is slowly fading on me, being replaced with fear, fear that there are greater powers out there. Fear that science and reason cannot answer to everything.

I hear the moan of creature in the distance, I am not alone in the prison. Death echoes through the empty expanse and more moans join the macabre choir.

I am not alone anymore.

***
Their meal was of a standard expected for the communal dining area – good, not excellent but good – and the conversation had been sparse and awkward. In his head he had a whole set of subjects to talk about but after being in her demanding presence he found it difficult to talk.

She had been happy to be in the company of someone new. He seemed interesting and she found his awkwardness around her oddly comforting. She was used to intimidating men, by no fault of her own, her training had made her an imposing figure and her recovery had brought a lot of that presence back. She had lead most of the conversations – which mainly involved the workings of the empire and the crew of the massive vessel.

He had eventually brought her to the observatory. A big dome shaped window that sat on the outskirts of the communal area. Here members of the commonwealth could relax with a drink while gazing out into the dep expanse of space.

“This seems like a nice spot,” Aeryn says while she drags a chair over from another table. The area wasn’t busy but she didn’t fancy sitting near the group of Fio’s, that were currently discussing XV88 schematics, on the other side.

Calurit reaches out a hand and wills another seat over to them, hoping the psychic display will spark a more interesting conversation but her look of unease quickly destroyed that idea. “What’s wrong?”

“That, what you just did. That witchcraft,” she lifts her hands up to make the sign of the aquilla but hesitates as she realises he is laughing at her. “What’s so funny?”

“I forgot how backwards the Imperium was,” he throws himself onto the chair while wiping a tear from his eye. “Surely by now you’d realise that psychic powers are not some sort of evil power. Granted it’s given to us from an alternate plane of existence that holds some vicious deities and that the power can corrupt the soul but it’s not something to be shunned. If the power is embraced then you can learn to control it, manage it. Fear it and it will destroy you. Ignore it and it will corrupt you.” He suddenly stops talking as he realises she is looking at him as if he is talking in tongues. “Right, close your eyes and cover your ears.”

She reluctantly does as he says and at first she doesn’t hear anything apart from his muffled voice.

“Can you hear me now?”

She slowly nods.

“See, without this ability communication with a deaf and blind person would be close to impossible.”


She pulls her hands down and opens her eyes, “That’s a very specific situation though.”

“I know but it’s a start. Here’s another one, pass me that glow globe.”

She reaches over to the table next to her and grabs an oblong orange device, that is slowly pulsating to imitate a flickering flame, and hands it to him.

“Looks at my eyes,” he brings the light up to his light, grey eyes. “Notice anything?”

“You’re pupils aren’t reacting.”

“Exactly. I’m blind. I use a small portion of my ability to see but not in the sense that most people see. I see everything’s aura and build an image up around that. I can see people for who they truly are.”

“What do you mean?”

“People’s aura shows the things that they try to hide, the things they keep deep down. I can see if people are lying and things like that.”

“Right, so why are you telling me this?”

“Aeryn? What are you doing here? Bursht suddenly appears and throws his big, tree trunk like arms around her, “And why are you with Cal? I thought you commissars hate psykers?”

***
The Future is uncertain. To stagnate is to die!

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Re: Into Silence: ... Unto the dead

Post#12 » Sep 15 2016 05:30

I feel like I have been running for decs, from what? I have no idea. I just fear that if I stop something will get me. The smell is getting too much for me, it smells like something even a rotten corpse would find disgusting. I hear a wet, slapping sound, like cuts of meat being thrown onto a chef’s table, echo around me. So naturally I run, even though my hooves feel like they’re cracked and bleeding.

The light flickers in the corner of my vision, it’s so dull that at first I deny its existence. If it wasn’t for the sensation of familiarity and warmth that I – as odd as it may seem – feel emanating from the light, I would possibly run in the opposite direction.

As I draw closer the light begins to pull at me, invisible hands clutch my limbs and drag me towards it. I feel like I am sinking horizontally, was this a trick? Have I wondered into my own demise? I turn back, in an attempt to free myself, and I see my honour guard, Noran, sat with his Gue’vessa team with some unfamiliar Shas. They appear to be preparing for some sort of engagement. They are sat around a green fire, a putrid fog gathers round them and chokes them all. The shock of watching them choke to death causes me to fall back into the light …

Tilah’s eyes slowly open. The world he once knew has now become a faded blur. He can make out a humanoid shape standing over him, surrounded by bright, white lights. The smell of burnt incense and sterilants fill his sense of smell and the rhythmic beeping of the monitoring equipment flood his hearing.

“Where am I?” his voice is an echo of the strong, confident, smooth talker and major player of the trade sector of the empire he is. Now, with the trauma he recently underwent, his voice is a weak, croaking mess.

"You're safe, we’ve warded off the daemon. You’re in the infirmary,” Calurit’s voice is hoarse, as if he has been talking for Decs without resting. Yet Tilah can sense a lightness to it, like the Gue’vessa is smiling with joy on the inside.

“Something’s changed with you,” Tilah whispers matter-of-factly, he turns and looks in the direction of the dusky brown blur – hoping to be looking directly at him.

“What do you mean?” Calurit asks as he hovers his half mechanical hand over Tilah’s chest. A soft, pale blue light emits from the fleshy part of his hand as he reads his body’s energy flow.

“Your voice has an underlying layer of happiness to it … it’s not like you,” Tilah begins to chuckle but winces at the pain flaring up around his face. “Ow. Why does my face hurt?”

"The ... ‘entity’ that was trying to make its home inside of you caused your body to literally tear itself apart. Luckily you was out for the worst of it.”

"Guess that explains my blurred vision,” Tilah attempts to hide the pain in his voice. Suddenly a heavy object lands on his chest, he looks down and sees a roughly flat, red object with a light blue bowl on top. Something warm and violet rests on his shoulder and the soothing scent of honey and lavender wafts over him. “Hasah, I knew you wouldn’t be too far. Is there anyone else here?”

“It’s only us two,” Calurit replies while Hasah brings a small bowl of iced tea to Tilah’s dry, cracked lips. “Noran and the others have been sent out on a rescue mission.”

The images of Noran and the others sat around the sicky, jade fire flash across Tilah’s mind. A sudden, deep, foreboding feeling lays heavily in his stomach. His face drops as if he had heard some bad news.

“What’s wrong?” Calurit asks, noticing the change in Tilah’s face.

“…”

“Tilah, are you ok?”

“… Death is waiting for them,” Tilah says ominously while staring off into the distance. Somewhere in the back of his mind the vision burns brightly and his concentration turns inwards. Is this a warning? Can his visions ever come true? He does not know the answers but deep down, in his gut, he is starting to believe it could be true.

***

Shas’ui'Vash’ya’Doran’D’Verl wraps his sio’t beads around the butt of his heavy support rail rifle – a larger version of the standard rail rifle specially built to be attached to the XV12 suit which is a lighter, more adaptable version of the XV15 Stealth suit. Although he, like most of his race, is not a suspicious creature he finds that the beads give him a clearer head while aiming the weapon and so always puts them wherever he can on his cumbersome rifle. He glances over the almost empty room and finds comfort in the isolation. His team, known within his caste as Ghost Tear, are on route to a lone moon with an irregular orbiting circle. The anomaly was picked up by the scouting party and had shown signs of life.

“We lost Por’la’Au’taal’Hunz’o’s, already weak, signal 3.7 Decs into their mission to embrace the citizens of the planet to the way of Tau’va,” He can hear Shas’Vre’Vash’ya’Cal’Elan’Ro inform the small Gue’vessa team, that have joined them on the rescue mission, on the other side of the room. Although Ui’Doran has little interest in anything outside of his squad he finds the disjointed group amusing – half of them hold themselves as a team that have seen many battles together while the other half are either inexperienced or, like one man in particular, distanced from the rest as if he has been forced into the squad.

“What of the threat we received?” The Okar Gue’vessa’vre asks as he and his two comrades – a Tsaa’shaal’oru’mi female flamer and a male whose physique resembles the Be’gel – gather around the holo projection.

Even in her armour, Vre’Elan is still shorter than her gue’vessa counterparts, but the giant scar across the right side of her skull serves as a reminder of her commitment and sacrifice, adding weight to her authority as mission leader. “We have a large Retaliation Cadre on standby. Before they can be sent in we need to rescue those held captive and remove the leader of the civilization. Hopefully that will sway the rest into joining the Tau’va.”

“Cut off the serpent’s head,” Bursht’s booming, gravelly voice cuts in before he takes a big bite out of a piece of fruit.

“What?” Shas’Ui’Vash’ya’Mal’Coar’Vesa’B asks as one of his Mal’Coar’Vesa – a small, fist sized sentry drone with mechanical limbs, similar to an arachnid – crawls along his arm.

“It’s an old Terran saying, cut off the head of the serpent and the body will crumble … or it was something similar to that,” Burhst replies while wiping bright, orange juice off his chin – and into his beard at the same time.

“Ken’rai,” The drone suddenly halts and waves its front legs as Lao, one of Ui’Mal’s personal AI, informs her master. To the others her words are nothing but a short, rapid, burst of beeps and clicks.

“Oh,” Ui’Mal replies to his drone and getting irregular looks from the Gue’vessa team.

Ui’Doran activates the anti-gravitic generator on his rifle and rests it against the egg shaped throne he was sitting on. He grabs his dark grey undershirt, which was thrown on the back of his chair, and leaves the two team leaders to discuss the mission details. Once outside the room he throws the top on, covering the giant, deep blue X scar on his chest that was made by his former and current Ta’lissera.

The ship is silent, its stealth generators have been activated and a special fio’tak lines the passageway to nullify any noise. Most of the crew have been replaced with Kor’vessa, another fact that Ui’Doran enjoys about working with Ghost Tear, and the few Tau on board are on the main bridge piloting the ship.

"What are the Gue’vessa like?” Ui’Doran turns towards the source of the melodic, husky voice and smiles as Shas’Ui’Vash’ya’Eldi’Suam leaps down from the service tunnel she was lying in. He tries to force down the urge to laugh as her landing was than graceful as she tripped over her own hooves. She stumbles forward into his arms.

“To! That could've gone smoother,” she bursts into laughter and then clasps Ui’Doran on the shoulder.

He nods and cups the side of her face. The warmth of her skin matches her ferocity in battle and her jovial attitude has always been welcoming to Ui’Doran. They stare at each other for a short while, they have always had a strong connection and intimacy has never been out of the question – even if it has yet to be achieved. He looks back at the door he had just vacated and then presses his three finger to the slit on his forehead and smiles. “They are capable,” he whispers, his hoarse voice carries across the room like a single leaf floating in the wind.

“Well let's hope they're fun to work with, the Ke’lshan group we worked alongside last time were too serious.” She holds her hand out and points down the corridor. “Want to grab something to eat?”

Ui’Doran smiles and nods.

***
Their mission debrief had finished an hour ago and since then the human team has been familiarising themselves with the special insertion equipment. The anti-gravitational jet pack – or ‘Drop Packs’ as the team have come to call them – are small cylindrical back packs that fire a short but powerful burst of energy to soften a fall from a great height. The drop packs have been specially made for rapid stealth insertions for Special Insertion Threat Containment units.

As the majority of the insertion is a free fall, the usage of the Drop Pack is brief enough for most defence systems to either ignore or treat the detection as an anomaly.

Kassiel peers over the edge of the wall and scowls at the rest of the group waiting for him to fail the drop for the seventh time.

“Come on Kass!” Noran yells up some encouragement “the longer you wait up there the harder it’ll be to jump off!” Being a former drop trooper, he had taken to the drop packs as if he had been a using them for years.

Kassiel shakes his head as the 50 foot drop appears to grow before him. The bright orange Fio’tak has been modified to cushion the fall and avoid injury but to Kassiel it resembles the deep fiery pit of some ancient underworld.

“I fudding hate this,” he mutters to himself, his body quivering.

“Just jump already!” Riza teases.

“How about you just Fudd off and shove the jump up your fudding arse!”

“Now, now, no need to get …”

“Val, give him a break. You know what he’s like with heights,” Noran cuts her off with a wave of his hand. His glaring stare is warning enough that she is pushing her luck with her chastising. He’s always too soft on the guys and at times it annoys her.

She quickly glances at Ayanii “How many chances was this incompetent idiot going to have?” she had asked Noran when he had brought him along in the mission. The young lad had failed most military training, and even struggled to work a flamer to her standards, but apparently Franklier had took him under his wing. With the doctor left behind on the Path Noran wanted someone he knew as a replacement.

“Kass, we haven’t got all day!” Noran’s commanding voice snaps her out of her inner rambling. She looks up at the wall, patiently waiting for the vertigo ridden rogue to appear.

Kassiel closes his eyes and takes a few deep breaths to calm his nerves then takes a step forward. His legs have become weak with the pressure of his fear weighing heavily on his shoulders. “Tamade, tamade, tamade, tamade,” he curses with each step as his sluggish gait becomes a rapid dash. He finally opens his eyes and sees the edge drawing closer, the wind brushes against his ginger topknot and knocks it loose. His foot lands on the final stretch of solid surface and he launches himself into the air giving himself over to the unmerciful control of the ship’s artificial gravity.

The purpose of the training exercise is for the group to master the timing of the jump packs ignition. If left too late then their fall would be too rapid causing bones to shatter. Press it too early and they’ll be in the air too long risking detection from any surveillance equipment.

He falls, his eyes water and trails of tears run up his temples. He opens his mouth to scream but the pressure of the air whipping his face forces silence upon him. The giant, almost luminous orange, gaping maw draws closer. He checks his wrist mounted display, the device is blur – as it has been on the last three dive practices – and the reading has become indecipherable to him.

Noran opens his mouth to warn Kassiel that he is reaching the point of activation but he knows that in the long run it will not help him.

Kassiel kicks his feet round and slams his fist against the activation switch on his chest. An invisible wave of anti-gravity energy fires out of the Jump Pack and, with a sigh of relief, he lands on the Fio’tak.

“Don’t … make me … do that again!” he says as his adrenaline winds down.

“Tough luck, you didn’t finish the drop correctly,” Noran states “You need to dump the pack and move as soon as you touch the ground. Stealth is key in this mission, we’re practically out there on our own. We need to avoid any risk of detection, which means no standing around in the open catching our breath.”

***

The scanner retracts back into Franklier’s hand while its reading are projected onto the display on his forearm. The Tau runes slowly turn to gothic as the complete information is translated for the doctor, he scratches his beard while he waits. “I need to get El’Aang’ma to give this a look over. I think the machine spirit is waking up again.” He complains to himself.

Tilah pulls his gown over his bony shoulders and buttons it up along his right collar bone, the once fitted shirt now drowns his skeletal figure. His vision is still yet to fully return, but his head is clear for the first time in what seems like a life time. His rest has been undisturbed by dreams. The cloaked figure no longer haunts him and even his overbearing reliance on alcohol his diminished slightly. “So what’s the diagnosis?”

“Severe malnourishment, trauma to the brain – but we already knew that – vision has been reduced to 25% clarity and a high toxicity reading. Not sure if that’s normal for someone with your … tastes or if it’s due to more recent events.”

Tilah looks in Franklier’s general direction and tilts his head to the side like a curious animal. Hasah, who was silently seated in the corner of the room, suddenly jumps to his feet and grabs his lance.

“What’s going on?” Franklier asks, unaware of the siren wailing somewhere within the Path Resurgence.

Calurit plants himself on the chair beside Tilah’s bed, closes his eyes and places his hands fists together. He projects his conscious – to those with the gift of warp sight would see this taking the form of a deep emerald, serpentine dragon – through the corridors and into the loading bay. “The scout ship that returned,” He relays the information to the others “it was a trap.” In his spectral Form, he witnesses a handful of firewarriors being slaughtered by a stowaway that was hidden aboard the scout ship.
The Future is uncertain. To stagnate is to die!

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