FFM 31: Warriors' CouncilThe amphitheater is huge, purpose-built to accomodate such gatherings, and proportioned specifically for Astartes. Romanus precedes his escort to the gate. Sergeants Kybrut and Halex march in step a pace behind their captain, impassive in their helmets, but ever vigilant. Though nominally among allies, security may never be taken for granted.FFM 31: Warriors' Council by KreepingSpawn
At the portal the party is halted by guards of another magnitude entirely. The two Red Hunters are signifcantly taller than the Angels Sanguine, true, but their force of presence goes well beyond physical stature. One of them steps forward.
“Captain,” he greets Romanus, making the sign of the aquila across his breastplate. “We are gratified to welcome the Angels Sanguine to this council,” he says formally.
Romanus returns the gesture, “The Angels Sanguine are honoured to be included,” he says.
“You will disarm,” the Red Hunte
FFM 30: TestedBattered, bloody, she pushes herself to her feet and keeps going. The terrain is flat and desolate as far as she can see. A thunderous and dramatic sky glares down toward the horizon, where a red sun is setting.FFM 30: Tested by KreepingSpawn
She mutters through cracked lips.
She stumbles ahead, mindful of the sound of hoofbeats away behind her. She glances back at the dust cloud once, but turning makes her dizzy. She sets her eyes on the crimson solar disk. She hears, but does not listen.
Some time later she falls again. Full length on her front in the soft dust. The hoofbeats grow slowly louder, and slower, until big heavy hooves are tamping the dust before her face. Lying motionless, she slowly recognizes her perdicament, and begins the laborious process of getting up again.
“Give up,” a silky deep voice tells her.
She ignores the speaker, getting to her elbows and curling her knees in under her. Slumping ba
FFM 29: AbsolutionStripped of arms and armour, shackled to the floor, the prisoner still manages to look proud.FFM 29: Absolution by KreepingSpawn
“Chaplain,” he says respectfully, nodding a greeting to Shallum. His voice is profoundly deep, resonant and coarse.
Shallum critiques the prisoner from head to toe. “The crusades have not been kind, World Eater.” His voice is clipped by the vox augmitter in the grille of his skull-faced helmet.
Steel-plated teeth glint in the prisoner’s nasty smile. “Each scar a warrior wears is a badge of honour, chaplain,” he says.
“And the tattoos?” Shallum says, not even trying to hide his disgust. The World Eater’s skin is blanketed in blue-black ink.
The World Eater barks a laugh. He turns his head to show the Angel Sanguine the mark on his left cheek; a heraldic animal, rampant. “This is the only tattoo a needle painted on my flesh,” he sa
FFM 28: SubmarineA bale of sea turtles drifts across the face of the moon, their shadows chasing along the sandy bottom.FFM 28: Submarine by KreepingSpawn
The octopus next door is entertaining in his garden again.
FFM 27: InnovationSati presses her temples in an effort to stave off the impending migrane. “You don’t understand,” she says. “It’s not cut and dry. It’s not black and white.”FFM 27: Innovation by KreepingSpawn
“It is that way to the department,” Hadley says. “We invest in specific outcomes. You proposed a project: you deliver on it, you get funded; you don’t deliver, you don’t get paid.”
“But all the innovations we’ve made-”
“Are not what the investors signed on for. If you cannot give them what they paid for, the deal is off.”
“This is what real science looks like!” Sati says, fighting to retain composure. “We come up with the idea, we develop a plan to get there, but we take all available routes. And maybe we discover a whole new map in the process. But you don’t throw that map away because it’s not your original end-
FFM 25: Cream, No SugarMakela pours the tea. “I’m disappointed,” she says.FFM 25: Cream, No Sugar by KreepingSpawn
Khain bows his ugly head. “My argument was not well formulated, I admit. I got excited. I was not careful with my words.”
“Cream?” she says. “Sugar?”
“Cream, no sugar, please.”
Makela returns the pot to the tray, takes up the little pitcher, and tips a goodly dose of cream into Kain’s cup. She drops one cube into her own cup and stirs it widershins with slow strokes, adds cream, and watches the milky cloud billow up through the dark red tea.
“You must learn to control yourself,” she says mildly.
“Yes, m’lady.” He nods, keeping his eyes downcast.
“Drink your tea.”
The tent is quiet for a time, the only sounds the desert wind rippling the canvas, the occassional clink of cups
FFM 24: Trophy HunterSo it comes to this.FFM 24: Trophy Hunter by KreepingSpawn
The king, wounded, hounded, murdered within sight of his safe realm.
His queens uncertain.
His children living on borrowed time.
What new king may rise here?
Beloved, named, and known, and watched by all the world.
Will he end the same,
butchered in his prime for whim and vanity?
May this trophy haunt you for all your days,
and may those days be many and long.
The king is dead. Long live the king.
FFM 23: Late “Brace for realspace reversion,” a calm mechanical voice calls throughout the ship. “Brace. Brace. Brace.”FFM 23: Late by KreepingSpawn
Eyal startles, backs up a pace, lifts his head like a dog questing for a scent on the breeze.
The ship groans and shudders as it knifes from the raw warp into realspace. The sudden feeling of release is staggering. A pressure he hadn’t realized was weighing down on him suddenly vanishes. The scratching, niggling irritation at the back of his mind is suddenly gone.
He sprints for the bridge.
Braed meets him just outside the blast doors. “Captain Eyal,” he greets the World Eater, saluting fist to heart.
“Captain Braed.” Eyal returns the gesture. He is shaking with anticipation.
“There is blood on your axe, captain,” Braed says.
The World Eater looks down at the chainax
|"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again… if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." ~ Theodore Roosevelt|