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Title: LCL's Stories

Lord Commander Lucius - January 14, 2012 10:11 PM (GMT)
This will be the base for all the short fiction that i write along with my DA account. So here's the first of my non TGC written tales. C and C welcome as always.

The Oraxes Incident

"This is Oraxes automated distress beacon, please assist. This is…"

Karmine Mitrani was worried. As an orbit-clerk on Oraxes, he had dealt with many members of the Imperial military but this was his first Astartes, and on first impressions alone, it was not going well. The Astartes had disembarked from his craft and thanks to his unique nature; no one on Oraxes had known what to do with him, ending up with him now being dumped on Karmine as the best man for the job. He so far had volunteered his name, Hortas and little else. Apparently the hololiths lied in their portrayals or maybe it was just this one but there seemed to be little that could be seen as angelic. A giant in midnight blue armour, a winged skull emblazoning his shoulder, and what Karmine hoped to be plastacel skulls chained to his armour; if anything Hortas seemed more devil than angel. Despite his lack of knowledge on Astartes legions, a result of Oraxes' isolation from the greater Imperium, Karmine could guess at the legion identity stood before him, the Night Lords. Everything about Hortas fitted with the vague tales of the VIIIth Legion but his eyes, black as jet yet seemingly filled with sadness and loss, he had never seen the like.
"Might I ask for your rank, sir? For my records, you see" Karmine inquired.
"You may. I am hunt-captain of Shriek Claw, also known as 'Sevetar's Blades'."
"Thank you lord", newfound respect entering Karmine's voice. The name Sevetarion Jago, First-Captain of the VIII was well known throughout the emergent Imperium, rarely with good cause and any warrior who answered to him was one to be feared and respected.
"This information worries you, clerk?"
"Honestly, yes lord. Your commander's name is legend; I would be a fool if it did not inspire some trepidation."
"I understand. Nostramo breeds our like from birth."
"Our like, lord?"
Hortas' mouth curled upwards into a half smile. "Yes, our like, clerk. Sevetar is the norm in the VIIIth, rather than the exception. But don't worry, I won't harm you."
"Um, thank you. So what is it you require from myself and Oraxes?"
"We will get to that in a moment, clerk. I await a response from my brothers in orbit. So until then, I think we will talk."

Moments later, Hortas tapped his ear before nodding briefly and sub-vocalising "acknowledged."
"Everything alright, sir?"
"Yes clerk, just my brothers checking in from their respective missions."
He strode towards the viewing ports, silhouetted against the clouds and orange sky behind him. "Impressive view, clerk. I can imagine it does not age."
"No lord, it does not." Karmine wondered briefly where these slightly strange comments were going. But what was the harm of answering?
"So clerk, explain to me your role on this world."
"What do you wish to know?"
"Your title is Orbit-Clerk, correct? What does that entail?"
"Very well then. My role is to catalogue all civilian and military orbital traffic which come to Oraxes. In addition, I am the liaison between the surface authorities and those travellers in orbit."
"I see. So for example, you have records of all Imperial vessels that passed though this system recently, what supplies they took on and their destination." Though he could not see Hortas's face, Karmine sensed his smile. "As an extreme example."
"Yes I suppose so, lord. My records should have that sort of information within. Do you wish to see them?"
"No, that will not be needed. My armour cogniter has already done so. I just wished to check I had found the correct person."
"I…I'm not sure I like that". Karmine sensed his rising annoyance but forced it down. "You could at least have asked permission before doing…whatever you just said."
Glancing at Karmine in the window reflection, Hortas smirked. "Interesting, you did not refer to me as lord just then, emotion breeds disrespect. In answer to your comment, do I look like I ever need to ask permission for anything?"
Something in Hortas' eyes and words warned Karmine to not pursue the matter further. Hortas' next words surprised him though. "Though I need not ask permission, I am not so removed that I do not understand your feelings right now so I…apologise, that is the word yes?"
"Yes that is the word. I…thank you for that, lord. And I suppose that the Emperor's work takes precedence over my feelings."
Again the smirk rose on Hortas's face but this time it seemed less genuine, in Karmine's opinion. "Indeed, clerk. The Emperor's work."
"Have I offended you, lord?"
"No clerk, it is just that I have not thought of myself as doing the Emperor's work in a long while. But no matter."

"Lord, a priority signal coming through for you. From your ship." The signal strength threatened to wipe out Karmine's desk cogniter though it's power.
"Thank you, Karmine. Patch it though to vox channel magenta-epsilon-argent." Hortas tapped his ear, clearly where his comm-bead lay. "This is Hortas."
In a flash of understanding, Karmine realised who was likely to be on the other end of that channel. He didn't feel quite so happy about fielding the signal now.
For a minute or two, the pair stood in silence; Hortas a statuesque silhouette against the window listening to his master, Karmine poised next to his desk, waiting for Hortas to finish. Finally Hortas spoke again.
"No, First-Captain, I think we have what we needed. Shriek Claw will extract momentarily. You can begin the bombardment. Glory to the Warmaster, Hortas out. And as for you clerk, I thank you for your assistance."
With a snap, Karmine's mind finally caught on to Hortas's words "Wait, what did you just say, my lord? About bombardment and the Warmaster"
Hortas turned and stepped towards him, unsheathing his combat knife, his dark eyes boring into Karimine's. "I'm sorry, clerk but this must be done. Croshia sey, little man."

"This is Oraxes automated…"[U][U][U][SIZE=7][SIZE=14]

cypher104 - June 15, 2012 06:28 AM (GMT)
Nice. :)

Lord Commander Lucius - July 16, 2012 09:38 PM (GMT)
New story, this was my entry into the most recent fiction competition on here. Not 100% sure on it, may just be because it's first person.

End of the Laurentine

The stratagem is gripped in darkness, lit by the many surveyor and tactical uplinks situated within. Standing on the walkway crossing above, I observe my fleet officers as they come to the summons, the shadows wreathing me. First comes Valius, master of the battlecrusier Blade of Aeolus, followed by Malton and Thontius of the Avenger and Void Hunter. Albrecht of Solomon and Kalista of Everborn follow, their joint laughter a sound heard rarely in recent days breaks the silence. Behind a gaggle of officers, escort commanders mainly but towering over them, Heydrich of Terra’s Wrath; one of my most dependable if overconfident captains and a powerful force within the Laurentine battlefleet.
With the arrival of Kelton, Master of Fleet Ordnance, Master Astropath Gatmon and Master Navigator Felton, the assemblage is almost complete. All it requires is my presence. I smile as they clamour to take the best places around the table, the petty rivalries and relationships overtaking protocol.
“So, any idea what the old man wants with us?” Valius asks. His desire to belittle me reminds me why he has never risen higher in our ranks, authority grates upon him.
“Just because you command the Blade does not give you the right to disrespect the Admiral, show him some damn respect!” barks Kelton.
“The same respect you show me, Kelton?” Valius laughs briefly.
I sense the tension in the air, my moment has arrived.
“Enough, both of you.” At the sound of my voice, Valius starts before joining the rest at attention. As I talk, the walkway reverberates beneath my feet as I move towards the stairs. “Oh and Valius, if you ever show any of your fellow officers that amount of disrespect again, I will personally make sure you are punished exactly the same as if you were a rating; a bullet to the head.” My smile did not conceal the deadly seriousness in my voice. For once, Valius is cowed; I would be lying if I said I had not enjoyed that. I lean on the table before them.

“So, we are here to consider our place in this war.” I look at them each in turn as I speak, before fixing my gaze on one individual in answer to his snort of derision.
“You say place, I say allegiance.” Valius smirks as he replies.
“Semantics, Valius. You know full well what I mean.” I turn back to the others. “We cannot avoid this moment any longer, we must decide our course. Today, via Gatmon” I gesture to him “I have received two astropathic communiqués, one Imperial, one Horusan.”
“What do they say?” Albrecht asks.
“First, the Imperial. Lord Calvaron calls us to stand with him at Gavius, he asks for our response within the day.
“And…the Horusan?”
“They do not ask us to do anything, just request that we consider the Emperor’s benevolence. An interesting method to bring about treason. Anyone care to comment on this?”
It is Heydrich who responds. “I presume that is a barely-veiled reference to our current position in reserve. They’re your friends Valius, what do you think of their offer?”
Despite his position on the rebellion being well known, it appears I am the only person expecting the accusation. The surprise on Valius’ face showed he certainly did not.
“How dare you! I am no traitor.”
“Save it, nikker. Your family were always anti imperial on Laurenta. Once a traitor, always a traitor.”
“Enough!” I shout. “Valius, the question still stands. What does their message mean?”
“The Emperor,” scorn drips in his voice “abandoned us and insulted our heritage. We served him faithfully and we have been cast aside. The blood we spilt, the ships we’ve lost and for what? Why should we be loyal to a man who cares nothing for us and pisses on our glory. That is what is meant by the Emperor’s benevolence.”
We all stare at him in disbelief momentarily. Thontius speaks, “well that is your opinion, but as far as myself and I imagine, the rest of us are concerned” he looks around to nods,“ the Emperor is our rightful lord, not the turncoat. We are loyal.”

“Thank you Thontius, now to business. I will not force your choice, I am your admiral but I wish for you all to choose freely. However, I will not allow the fleet to fragment; we will all sail for the Emperor or Horus. We stand united, we will not fall divided. Now we must choose, those in favour of loyalty?”
A ripple of “ayes” though as expected Valius remains silent.
“And joining the Warmaster?”
“Just me then, I imagine.”
“So it seems Valius. And those abstaining?”
I am surprised that I am not the only voice now. Thontius, Kalista and Kelton all respond in the affirmative, my words had clearly got to them.
“So we have the question of our next path. We could fragment based on loyalty but I will not allow this. There is a third way, but it is extreme and goes against all oaths we have ever sworn. We must be in agreement for this to be done. Do you trust my judgement on this?”
Thontius smiles, “I think I speak for us all, we trust you sir. You’ve never failed us before.”
“I regret to inform you that here, I do not trust your judgement.”
“Of course it would be you. Valius, a word in private?”

We return to the table.
“I…change my vote.”
“The vote is unanimous. We are committed now.”

In orbit, Gavius orbit station
Heydrich lean to me.
“What did you say to Valius?”
I smile, “I reminded him where his first loyalty lies.”
“Yes, may she endure. Even if we do not.”
He clasps my shoulder briefly. I appreciate the sentiment.
“It is time. Detonate.”
In a rippling motion, a series of new suns flicker in the distance. I watch the death of the fleet through the viewport in silence, my officers observing with me. It is over.

[Chronicler’s Note: The decision of the Laurentine Fleet to scupper itself, while applauded by both sides at the time for their willingness to stick to their principles directly contributed to the collapse of Imperial resistance and the fall of the Aeolus Belt to the forces of the Warmaster.]

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