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Title: Mount Ararat
Description: Unification Era Short Story


cypher104 - June 15, 2012 07:46 AM (GMT)
Mount Ararat - A Unification era short story by Cypher104. (1000 words).

The forces of the Emperor were advancing steadily up the east face of Mount Ararat. The Ethnarch of the Caucasus Wastes had ordered this peak to be the final stand for his fanatical troops. The Ethnarch himself had been dead for three days now, yet his loyal forces continued to fight until their dying breath.

The might of the Emperor was approaching, thousands of men of varying genetically-engineered Imperial Army regiments as well as a horde of post-human Thunder Warriors. The massive bearers of the Emperor’s wrath stomped up the incline toward the enemy. The huge powered suits of armour encasing their upper bodies the colour of iron, embellished with the Emperor’s lightning bolt insignia. Legs clad in steel plates, strapped over tough padded breaches. Battle honours, banners and furs flapped in the wind. The Thunder Warriors howled at the enemy as they advanced, clutching oversized bolters, whirling chain axes, swords and massive hammers.

The great Victor of Gaduare, The Butcher of Scandia, The Last Rider, Hero of the Thunder Warriors Arik Taranis lead the charge, the Banner of Lightning clutched in a single massive hand.
‘Forward! Rip them to pieces!’ Arik yelled around him, spittle flecking his lips. Raising his bolter single handed, he sent a salvo of high explosive bolts towards the enemy entrenchments at the summit of the mountain, the flag of the Ethnarch flying above them. Fire rained around the Emperor’s troops as they forged forwards through the maelstrom of death sent from above. Several Geno troopers fell as smoking chunks of flesh as they were caught by an airburst artillery shell. Small yield nuclear detonations could be seen at the base of the mountain, causing squalls of dust to punch the advancing troopers into the rock face they were climbing. Nearing the enemy lines the fire increased, but it was too late now. The howling mass of Thunder Warriors crashed into the emplacements and trenches criss-crossing the peak of Mount Ararat.
Dropping his bolter on it’s leather strap around his chest, Arik punched one of the Ethnarch’s troopers off of his feet before drawing his chainsword, swinging it down to dismember the prone form. The enemy were crudely gene-enhanced warriors, no match for the perfection of fury and death that was a Thunder Warrior. Revving the chainsword to clear the teeth of gore, Arik plunged into the melee. Sweeping the pole of the standard around in his hand Arik plunged the pommel of the shaft into the chest of a Caucasian trooper, ripping it free in a welter of vital fluids. Chainsword churning through bodies left and right, dismembering and decapitating at will, Arik advanced toward the centre of the enemy formation.
Following in the wake of the glorious Thunder Warriors, the Emperor’s Geno regiments had only to deal with the odd survivor of the terrifying assault, punch-daggers quickly ending and enemy that still drew breath.
At the peak of the mountain the enemy held on bitterly to life, Thunder Warriors falling, clutching blackened holes through the powered plate that protected their upper bodies, or flailing at legs that were now missing and scattered down the slope.
Still the Emperor’s warriors came forward, eager to bathe in the fires of battle, faces masks of terror, the Thunder Warriors slew.
Arik pushed past his kinsmen to reach the enemy and lay into them with reckless abandon. Reaching the apex of the mountain, Arik tore at the pole flying the Ethnarch’s flag tearing it from the rock, stabbing The Banner of Lightning into the solid rock, wedging it into the mountain. Turning to look over the carnage he and his men had created, Arik saw steaming blood flowing in great rivers down the slopes, the butchered remains of the Ethnarch’s decimated army and the survivors from the allied Geno regiments, wearily slogging up the hill to gather around the remaining Thunder Warriors rallying at the apex of Mount Ararat.
The Emperor had allocated all of his remaining Thunder Warriors to this attack, only a third remained. Baying like rabid wolves, the Thunder Warriors screamed their victory to the world. Terra was under the control of the Emperor, the last major army on the planet had just been brutally destroyed in just under 9 hours. A mighty victory.

Looking past the base of the mountain Arik saw gleaming, golden figures start to ascend the base of the mountain. ‘Look here! The Custodes come late to the battle! Perhaps it is our Lord, come to admire this last great victory?’ Arik called to his brethren. The flash of bolter fire quickly squashed that thought. Confusion reigned atop Mount Ararat.
What are they shooting at?
The falling Thunder Warriors soon answered that question, the mass reactive projectiles bursting their gene-enhanced bodies from inside their armour, punching straight through the reenforced ceramite cuirasses. ‘Run! They mean to exterminate us!’ Arik screamed, the dread feeling in his stomach confirming that he had long suspected this to be their fate. It was the way of things and so he bore his creator no ill will. The Thunder Warriors were not made to conquer the galaxy, just one world, just Terra, and now they were obsolete. The Thunder Warriors were only ever a distilled form of the worst aspects of human nature, bred for destruction, not the reuniting and rebuilding of a scattered race.

Bolts punched into Arik’s shoulder, his left arm going limp. Running as fast as he could from the charnel house that the top of the mountain had become, he didn’t look back, he dared not. The chugging sounds of bolters followed him as he fled, melting into the whispering wind as he distanced himself from that accursed peak.

History would record Mount Ararat as the last great victory of the Thunder Warriors, uniting all of Terra under the Emperors name. Immortalising the Thunder Warriors as heroes across the Imperium. Yet the truth is darker.

Arik Taranis was dead. A martyred hero to a new Imperium.

cypher104 - June 15, 2012 07:49 AM (GMT)
A short story about the fate of the Thunder Warriors, or Proto-Marines. Saw mention of this event in another post and so I decided to do a bit of writing for it.

C&C appreciated!

malika - June 15, 2012 09:25 AM (GMT)
Nice! I'm digging the choice of location.

It does ask for more. For an event of such importance it seems to end rather abruptly. You have this build-up in the fight scene and then all of a sudden just *blam* Custodes killing Thunder Warriors and then the end of the story.

However, this also seems to add to the shock of the event itself of course...

cypher104 - June 15, 2012 01:18 PM (GMT)
Thanks!

Yeh, I just wanted to start with a 1000 word go at it, trying to get in the style for one of the TGC competitions in the future.

Leaving the Custodes to the end and making it really quick does however leave this story nice and open ended... :D.

Really interested about this era, so I might have to come back to this event in the future, maybe even do a few different versions of this particular moment.

malika - June 15, 2012 01:51 PM (GMT)
The open end is not so much a thing, it's a nice touch. The abruptness of the massacre might seem odd at first, but it's actually nice since it's just as unexpected for the reader as it is for the Thunder Warrior.

QUOTE
So it was that the greatest victory of the Unification of Terra became the end of the Thunder Warriors. Resigned to history as fearless brute warriors that would become the mythical heroes of the Adeptus Astartes.

This paragraph seems a bit forced to me. Maybe rephrase it a bit or something.

cypher104 - June 16, 2012 03:20 AM (GMT)
Cool, thanks, nice to know it's not complete rubbish! :)

QUOTE
This paragraph seems a bit forced to me. Maybe rephrase it a bit or something.

Just a quick rewrite of that paragraph...

History would record Mount Ararat as the last great victory of the Thunder Warriors, uniting all of Terra under the Emperors name. Immortalising the Thunder Warriors as heroes across the Imperium. Yet the truth is darker.

Better, worse? Last tiny sentence just got thrown in on a whim... Not sure if it works.

malika - June 16, 2012 07:29 AM (GMT)
Better! Me likey! :D

cypher104 - June 16, 2012 12:58 PM (GMT)
Awesome thanks, edited the main post.




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