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    53 KB The Times and Trials of Klightus, Part 3 Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:02 No.13444943  
    Klightus moved quickly off the transport, getting out of the way. He was one of the last ones on, and he knew the routine. Last on, first off. Unfortunately, as the Sisters moved about their business, he had no idea what to do. As the Sisters moved with purpose on the Emperor's Wrathful Mercy, he was left looking around blindly.

    Move like you have a purpose ran through his head, old words from many a Sergeant. Now those words seemed hollow. Moving like you had a purpose meant that either you had a purpose, or had a way to pretend that you did. All that he could do as he watched the Sisters move with practiced ease was adjust his pack, desperately hoping that somebody would help him.

    "Lieutenant?" a voice called out. He turned, as a slightly portly cleric approached. "Lieutenant Klightus Gramon?"

    Klightus gave the man the sign of the Aquila, which the cleric dutifully returned.

    "It's good to finally meet you. I'm brother Giselbertus. They told me that you might need some assistance getting to your quarters." Giselbertus seemed amused by this.

    "I thank you for being polite," Klightus mused, mostly to himself. "I p-probably would have stayed here until I s-starved to death."

    That earned a laugh out of Giselbertus and a clap on the shoulder hard enough to rattle teeth. "You will do well, I think. Come, let us be off."
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:04 No.13444957
    The going was slow. Klightus had never been aboard a ship of the Adeptus Ministorum before, had never observed the sheer concentration of symbols of the Emperor that the Ecclesiarchy had bestowed upon it. It took a great deal of time to stop, face each one, and form the aquila. What should have taken an hour took almost three.

    But at last Giselbertus stood in front of one door. "The, ah... Deparmento Munitorum has reportedly sent everything that you will need for your duties. If anything is found to be lacking, you're supposed to send an official request and it will be handled with the utmost expediency."

    A chill went down Klightus' spine. This meant nothing good. But Giselbertus was pushing on. "Your quarters, sadly, serve as your office as well. The Cannoness wished for you to have something more befitting of your station, however this was the best that could be spared on such short notice. I attached a document explaining the peculiarities of our ship to the back of your door, including a map. You may need them for some time."

    "What is g-graced to me, I accept w-with humility." Klightus wasn't sure what else to say. Just from what little Giselbertus said, his head was swimming.

    Then, with a smirk, the cleric opened the door. The sight within made his eyes bug and his heart threaten to stop.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:05 No.13444972
    By size alone, it was large enough to house an entire squad comfortably. Perhaps two, though three would cause infighting. Golden symbols of the Emperor adorned the walls... where he could see them.

    Unfortunately, most of the room was blocked from his field of vision. Numerous tomes were stacked in front of him. Countless data slates piled into a mountain, threatening to collapse at the merest jostle. Flags strewn nearly haphazardly. And even those were hidden by massive stacks of paper, nearly as tall as he was. Some taller.

    "Throne of Holy Terra..."

    "Language," Giselbertus cautioned. "Remember, you're on an Ecclesiarchy vessel."
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:06 No.13444985
    His tone softened as he looked into the room. "But I understand. Much of this is paperwork that you must fill out with as much expediency as possible, to be turned in when we arrive to resupply. I don't know what all is in it, but it apparently deals with your new status. I would offer up one of our Adepts, but I doubt that they would understand much of it." He paused a breath. "I made sure that there was a clear path to your bed, if you hug that bulkhead. I also made sure that nobody put anything on it. Somewhere in here is everything of yours from the Pious Bolt."

    "Th-thank you," Klightus whispered softly. He felt like running away. Or crying. Or... something. Without entire control over himself, he took a step forward, his fingers working the buckles on his pack.

    "Emperor grace you." There was sympathy in Giselbertus' voice.

    "Emperor g-grace us all." Klightus was barely aware of the door closing behind him.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:07 No.13445000
    A rapping at his door made Klightus look up from his work. The only way that this would be anything less than a blessed distraction is if it was more paperwork. His hand had begun to cramp an hour ago and wasn't getting any better. "J-just a m-minute!" Setting form P-IG-S/ORM-SS/DLP-OSG/LT-320DM to the side (why he had to fill out his own promotion paperwork was beyond him) he rose from the bed, shimmied his way along the mountains of paperwork, and finally opened the door.

    A red-haired woman grinned up at him, crossing her hands over her chest in the aquila. "Klightus! How's it going?"

    "Um, g-good." He returned the aquila, that familiar sensation of inferiority creeping over him badly. "And y-y-yourself?"

    "Can't complain," she said cheerfully. There was a pause as she eyed him. "You have no idea who I am, do you?"

    "Forgive m-me," he said quickly, lowering his head and pressing his palms tighter against his chest.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:09 No.13445016
    ...only to be rewarded with a hard slap to the shoulder and a laugh. "Sister Ephrael, silly. Remember me?"

    He looked back up to her with amazement. Of course he remembered Sister Ephrael, but the last time that he saw her she was in armor, her helmet in place, wielding a flamer. And not saying more than one word responses to anything. "Of course! Er... C-c-can I h-help you?"

    "I was thinking more that I could help you." She looked past him and let out a low whistle. "Somebody really doesn't like you, do they?"

    The thought had occurred to him, actually. Three hours ago.

    Reaching down, she picked up a bundle and pushed it into Klightus' hands. "Here, get changed. We don't have a lot of time." With that, she nearly closed the door on his face.

    As he began to unwrap the bundle, she continued speaking through the door. "Sister Cordelia heard that you were getting buried under paperwork. While we understand the necessity of such things-" Her tone said the opposite of her words. "-We know that you're supposed to be serving on the battlefield. You need to keep up with your training. Plus, we thought a break might help clear your mind a bit, especially since we didn't see you at lunch."
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)17:09 No.13445029
    part 3? any suptg archive people fancy posting?
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:11 No.13445044
    Had he missed lunch? There wasn't a chrono in here to tell. Or at least if there was, it was too far hidden to tell. Klightus shook the heavy robes out, blinking as a black jumpsuit fell to the floor. After a moment's hesitation, he began to disrobe. Already a sinking sensation was developing in his gut.

    "So since it's almost time for close quarters training, she told me to come and fetch you." She paused a moment. "You don't talk much, do you?"

    "N-not normally," he confessed. "I'm... surprised, actually. That you, you know, are t-talking as much as you are."

    "Oh?" She paused for a moment, then laughed. "Oh, right. Sorry. When I'm in armor... It's hard to explain, actually. It's like... There's a barrier between me and the world. Everything is filtered. It lets me focus more. Separates me from everything, so I can see the battlefield more clearly, make better decisions. When I suit up, I feel like the Emperor lets me be apart from the heretics around me. From everything but my appointed duties."

    Sister Ephrael laughed a little again. "Kind of like now. I mean, we're talking, but not really. Only instead, I feel like I could say anything, you know? And you might respond, but... It's silly, isn't it?"

    Klightus zipped up the bodysuit, working the seam closed. "Not really. I m-mean... We aren't talking to each other. We're talking to a door. And the door is responding. W-we can say things that we normally wouldn't to another person, because it isn't another person. It's a door."
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:11 No.13445051

    He opened the door, biting his lip apprehensively. Ephrael looked him over for a moment before reaching out to adjust his robes. "We don't have anybody as tall as you aboard the ship, I'm afraid. These were the biggest that we could find that wouldn't risk falling off of you. Some of the other sisters are working on making you a more proper set, all three layers. They're also talking about dying them green to make you feel more at home, but I think red looks good on you." He felt himself blushing and looked away. "Aww, like now!"

    A quick change of subject would hopefully knock her out of the teasing. "W-where d-did you find the bodyglove?"

    "We didn't. We found out by accident that the Kirol Ninth had some when we were fighting alongside them." She smiled at him oddly. "We thought that if you were going to be staying with us, you would be training with us. So some of the other Sisters and myself gathered tokens and performed various blessings in exchange for a suit. It took them a while to get one that would fit you, actually. But the Commander's assistant has a good eye for measurements, or so we're told. How does it fit?"

    They were making robes for him, and had worked to trade for something on his behalf. He found himself looking down with renewed appreciation. He expected to be a burden, but instead they seemed to be welcoming him.

    "A little s-snug," he admitted. "B-but like a pair of boots, it should become used to me in time." He smiled softly, giving her the aquila once again. "Thank you, Sister Ephrael. This is... Thank you."

    "Don't thank me yet," she said with a grin. "I still get to beat on you with a practice sword."
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:12 No.13445066
    The two of them hurried into the training hall, or at least one of many according to Sister Ephrael. Already, the sisters were practicing, with several Sister Superiors wandering amongst them, correcting them or offering input. It didn't take long for them to retrieve swords, despite several dour glances from both Sisters and Sister Superiors.

    That did nothing to make Klightus feel at ease.

    Despite Sister Ephrael's use of a flamer, she seemed just as comfortable with a sword. Try as he might, Klightus couldn't score a single touch. His left hand moved uselessly, the robes weighed him down.

    "One moment," he muttered, working at the clasps. Finally, the outermost layer of the robes was free, taken in his hand. That was more comfortable. Now he felt better on the balls of his feet. He might be rusty, but as he pointed the practice sword at Sister Ephrael, his confidence was slowly rising.

    Now he was able to more accurately deflect her attacks, and began to score his own tags. Within half an hour, he had surpassed her score. He might have forgotten, but even after years, the body still knew. It just needed reminders. If he kept up at this rate, by the end of the month he would return to his prime.
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)17:14 No.13445090

    Prepare for maximum heart.
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)17:15 No.13445104
    "Sisters!" Sister Superior Cordelia barked out. "Attend to your places for a lesson."

    Sister Ephrael didn't even give Klightus a glance. Almost mid-swing she moved away, quickly assuming her position amongst countless other sisters, kneeling before the Sister Superiors. Which left Klightus standing awkwardly in the back.

    "Lieutenant Gramon, come here." That's just what he wanted, to be trapped in front of all these Sisters under the scrutiny of the Sisters Superior. But there was no denying the request.

    A Sister Superior he didn't recognize addressed the crowd. "As some of you may know, Lieutenant Gramon is to serve as a liaison between the Adeptus Sororitas and the Imperial Guard. He is well versed in the ways of the Guard, and will be studying our methods in order to better facilitate future efforts. Today, he will be helping us in a demonstration and a lesson."

    The Sister kept talking, but Sister Cordelia approached, whispering harshly. "Stand firm, do as you're asked. Though none would doubt the Cannoness, not everybody is welcoming you aboard with open arms. This is a chance to put them at ease." By making him all but tremble with fear. How fair. "Move through the demonstration aptly, put all your effort into it, but don't get too flashy. Focus on martial prowess."
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:17 No.13445117
    With that, she stepped away, leaving Klightus to look upon the sea of faces looking towards him. Well, they were looking at the Sister Superior who was talking, but they might as well have been facing him. He kind of wished that he would have gone to the bathroom earlier.

    "Lieutenant Gramon, would you be so kind as to show us your fencing stance?"

    No time to think about his bladder. Instead, he rose his arms and rolled onto the balls of his feet, as if preparing to face an enemy.

    "It looks a little ridiculous, doesn't it?" There was a room-wide murmur of agreement. "This is the fencing stance of a noble, ladies. Remember, no matter how foolish their stance may be, some nobles are considered the most fearsome opponents you can face with a blade inside the Imperium. Let us take a closer look to see why.

    "First, notice his feet. He stands on them to be prepared for movement. Lunging, disengaging, dodging... These and more are aided by the wide stance and how little of the foot touches the ground. Observe how they face the opponent, not shying away. Higher, see how he points the blade at his enemy. He does not hold it to cleave an enemy. He holds it to parry an attack or to deliver a quick, precision strike. This is not the stance of a chain blade, but of a much more elegant weapon. Now, for the last, and most peculiar aspect of this stance, Novice Lenora will assist by attempting to strike him. Novice! To your position!"
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:18 No.13445132
    Immediately, one of the younger girls bounced to her feet and took a position opposite Klightus. He took the time to tuck his sword and the outer layer of the robes under his arms to give her the aquila. Only when she returned it did he resume his stance. If he was supposed to put on a show for them, he may as well make a show of honor.

    When she moved, she charged. A simple swing made his body react automatically. The robe against her blade, pushing it deeper in as he moved to the side, past her. He spun quickly, tagging her side from behind. A quick flick of the wrist made the practice blade touch her shoulder.

    "As you can see," one of the Sisters Superior called out, "had he so desired, Novice Lenora's head would be removed from her shoulders. A most inconvenient wound indeed. Quick strikes, but with a power blade, still most efficient for their task. Remember, Sisters, should you have to face a noble you will face a foe who relies on physical grace more than power."

    "Sister Solla, may I face him?" Klightus couldn't identify the source of the voice. "As a matter of honor between our duties?"

    "Of course, Sister Plath." As Sister Plath rose, Sister Solla continued speaking. "Lieutenant Klightus was trained as a Combat Medicae, a somewhat lesser version of our own Hosptialers utilized by his home planet's Guardsmen. They are expected to perform all the duties of another Guardsman, including carrying the same amount of gear, while still providing the role of a chirugen... and carrying their gear as well."

    Sister Solla continued speaking, but Sister Plath was in position. They gave each other a salute before taking up their stances. Though, Sister Plath took up a different stance from either Ephrael or Lenora, perhaps due to being a Sister Hospitaler instead of the Orders Militant.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:21 No.13445171
    What surprised him, though, was when she started singing.

    "Beyond eternity,
    Enduring always,
    Are you, the leader of the choir,
    God Emperor of all Mankind!"

    She lunged forward, but stayed out of perfect striking range, making probing strikes. Even still, Klightus' childhood called back to him, of Sister Kandra singing hymns. The Hymn of Marching War, if he remembered correctly.

    "For you Emperor,
    We defend the holy cause,
    Bright Father, gloried in Immortality!"

    Klightus found his voice joining in with hers; though not the singer that she was, they two of them found an easy harmony as well as a ballance between their movements, as if the hymn were guiding them.

    "For you Emperor,
    We defend the holy cause,
    Bright Father, gloried upon that day,
    The earth is shadowed,
    An evil place,
    Those who are wicked shall perish,
    Who do not take what our Master has put forth!"

    Finally, he moved as though to deflect her blow with the robes, only to stab through them. With her vision blocked from his movements, the stab struck true. Sister Plath accepted her defeat in good grace, exchanging the sign of the aquila with him before departing... only for one of the Sister Superiors to motion to another Sister.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:22 No.13445188
    And so the great cycle began. Sister after Sister approached to duel with him. The faces and names became a blur, lost to the sheer weight of numbers. Time and time again, he scored a tag. Fourteen, by his count, earned one on him. The number wasn't due to a lack of skill, either; truth be told, most of them had the edge of skill, but less in the way of fighting somebody who didn't focus on a direct path.

    Of those who tagged him, Sister Nyze was the most memorable. She'd deflected his blade and pushed forward, smacking him in the cheek with a closed fist. It earned her a harsh word from a Sister Superior, but Klightus didn't mind. It kept his ego in check. With how well he was doing, it was almost necessary.

    As the last one stepped away (a gentle touch of his blade to her cheek) Sister Solla addressed the assembled. "There are many reasons why so many of you have failed today. Lieutenant Gramon, what is your opinion?"

    His arms ached. His entire body ached, and the robes felt like they were made of lead. And they wanted him to speak? He drew in a breath, trying to get his heart to still enough.

    "You all are used to opponents w-w-who strike without thought, b-blinded by the light the Emperor shines through y-you. You are unfamiliar with opponents who rely on treachery and d-deceit." Another breath as he tried to think of something else to say. "Y-you all did well, however... You have a radius of attack that you easily c-cross, adapting accordingly. M-my radius is larger, but I compensate with my other hand. If it held a weapon, I w-would have used it many times. This y-you can expect from some n-nobles in combat."
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:24 No.13445216
    "Aptly put," Sister Cordelia said to the crowd. "I encourage you all, if given the opportunity, please ask Lieutenant Gramon for the chance to train against him. As you learn to combat against his style of swordplay, he learns more of our Order. Thusly, we all prosper under the Emperor's watchful eye."

    "You are all dismissed," Sister Solla said. "Bathe and prepare for service."

    Klightus stood at attention, giving them all the sign of the aquila until they left. Only then did he let the exhaustion get the better of him, leaning against the wall, his hands on his thighs. His legs wanted to cramp so badly, and hunger gnawed at him... but he couldn't eat yet. Even if food was being served, he needed time to rest or else it would all come back up later.

    A gentle hand under his chin brought him back to reality. Sister Plath smiled down at him, applying a salve to his swollen cheek from the blow he'd taken. "She struck you well," Plath observed.

    "I'm g-glad," he said as strongly as he could manage. "They needed to see another w-way to defeat me."

    "I pray that they do not utilize such methods regularly during practice," Sister Solla mused. "I am surprised by you, Lieutenant Gramon. You've earned a great deal of respect this day, and not just from those you fought."
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:25 No.13445229
    "I simply d-did my duty," Klightus said, forming the aquila over his chest as best he could with dead arms.

    "A duty you could have refused," she chided him.

    He shook his head, earning a glare from Sister Plath. "If I am to act as... liaison, they m-must trust me. And that m-must be earned, not bestowed. Though, I f-fear that I am not as physically capable as you."

    "That much is obvious," chimed in Cordelia. She sounded amused. "You will have to miss this service. It is not as grave an insult to not appear due to recuperation than to fall asleep during it. If you wish, we will have it voxed to your quarters."

    "That would b-be appreciated." What he wanted was a pot of recaf, a meal, a week-long nap, and to set mountains of paperwork on fire. Sadly, only one or two were viable, and not the two he wished the most.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:26 No.13445240
    >With the understanding that these files may very well see themselves within the hands of Lord General Militant Prospero Wusterburger, please fill out the following information accurately and succinctly without error.

    >Please take the final numbers provided by form IG-DM/DLG-LV/KJ4-8391/TRB (hereafter 8391/TRB) and apply them to the first blank. Then retrieve the final totals from IG-DM/DLG-FM/5OR-5576/TRB (hereafter 5576/TRB) and apply them to the second blank. Compare the final numbers from IG-DM/DLD-PP/SOQ-4877/TRB (hereafter 4877/TRB) and IG-DM/DLD-WD/SOQ-1376/TRB (hereafter 1376/TRB). Subtract the final numbers of 1376/TRB from the final numbers of 4877/TRB. Should this result in a negative number, please fill out form IG-DM/DLG-87/SOQ-9001/TRE in order to proceed. Once this is done, put the total in the third blank. Divide the numbers gained by filling out form

    A knock at the door broke him of his concentration. "Just a m-moment!" Anything was welcome at this point. Perhaps it was due to how tired he was, but all the numbers and letters were beginning to blur together. Quickly to his feet, he shimmied across the room to the door, tentatively opening it so he didn't hit the person on the other side.

    A woman with augmetic eyes in robes (not the red ones of the Sisters, he noted) greeted him, a covered tray in her hands. "Lieutenant Gramon?" she asked hesitantly. "The Cannoness noticed that you have missed two meals now, and thought it wise to have one delivered."
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:27 No.13445261
    Had he missed another meal? "Thank you," he said graciously, taking the tray. "I d-don't have a chrono, and I... uh..." He glanced back at the paperwork, then back to the woman with an apologetic smile. "Thank y-you."

    "She also suggested that I might be of service to you," to woman said, glancing to the paperwork. "I am Clare Friemann, an Adept for the Ecclesiarchy. Though I am not versed the the ways of the Imperial Guard, I may be able to expeditate some of your work load."

    "Oh?" He blinked in surprise. "Thank you! B-by the mercy of the Emperor, thank you! Um..." He glanced around and spied a chair by the desk, buried under paperwork. "R-right, give me a moment..."

    Klightus shimmied carefully with the tray (pausing in horror when he bumped a stack of data slates in fear that they might tip over) to the bed. Once his hands were clear, the two of them worked in concert to clear the chair, careful not to disrupt the order of the papers.

    He gave her the ones that he had been working on. "Here. This appears to be m-mostly m-math. When y-you finish that, w-we can find something else for you t-t-to do."

    "There is one more thing," Clare added. That made Klightus pause -- temporary additional duties were never a good thing. "The Cannoness would appreciate your company for a private breakfast."

    That made him wince. He'd have to get a chrono and soon. As it stood, he'd have to skip on sleep tonight to make sure he made it. "V-very well. It would b-be an h-h-h... An honor."

    She smiled and began looking over the papers. At least he had a meal.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:29 No.13445284
    The sight that greeted him underneath the tray cover was an appealing one. Reconstituted and cooked grox meat, some sort of thick starch wafer covered with nuts that he couldn't identify, a bowl of some sort of bacterial porridge, two digestive biscuits, and a large sealed cup of what appeared to be tea. Had he gotten this in the Guard, he wouldn't have eaten it -- an obvious precursor to some elaborate prank. As it was, though, he wasn't going to turn down a meal this large from the Sisters.

    The two of them fell into silence as they worked, he content to read a bundle of papers as he ate, her silently working the numbers. He was halfway through the porridge and the starch wafer (which proved to be an excellent scoop which softened nicely thanks to the porridge) when Claire piped up.

    "Lieutenant Gramon?"

    "Klightus," he said absently, absorbed in instructions on how to properly file promotions paperwork. "Just call me Klightus."

    "Yes, Klightus. I believe that I have your annual budget figured up."

    "Hmm?" He hadn't exactly heard her, trying to figure out who his direct superior was supposed to be, exactly.

    "Your annual budget for requisitioning gear from the Departmento Munitorum."

    That broke him from his reprieve. "I h-have a b-budget?" He put the papers aside and rose from the bed. He had to lean on the table to look over her shoulder.


    As his eyes moved to where she pointed, they threatened to bulge out of his skull and his chest felt as if it were compressed to the size of his cup of tea. "Emperor's teeth!"

    Clare recoiled slightly, looking at him as if he might strike her. "Is that not enough? I may be able to find a way to increase it..."

    "N-no!" He looked up to her and put up a hand. "N-no, that's not it at a-all! This... This is... m-more than I've m-m-made since joining the G-Guard. In total." He swallowed, running a hand over his face. "H-h-how?"
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:34 No.13445342
    "Lieutenant Gramon... Klightus, wake up. Klightus..."

    He became slowly aware of his surroundings. Clare standing above him. A half-eaten digestive biscuit in his hand. A cold tray next to him. A stack of papers on his other side. And a rather uncomfortable amount of pain wracking his body.

    "I... I f-fell asleep?" He was having trouble pushing through the fog in his brain.

    "Yes," Clare said. She looked worried. "You were exhausted. I thought you needed it." She paused for a moment, concerned. "It's almost time for your breakfast with the Cannoness."

    Now the fog was gone. He sat upright, blinking the sleep away. "M-my kit. I n-need to shower..."

    She took a step back as he forced himself to his feet. His muscles didn't want to work. "I took the liberty of writing a list of directions to the men's showers. There's baths, but I didn't think you had the time. I also wrote some morning prayers for you that you could say in the shower. They're not quite the same, but they'll work. Also, your robes! Shield robes are waterproof and stain resistant. Just get it a little damp, wipe it off, and it should be dry by the time you get there. Don't forget to shave!"
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:35 No.13445363
    He'd found his pack was fishing out his kit. Pausing, he turned to her, giving her the aquila. "You have b-been a tremendous help, Clare. You should h-have left and slept y-yourself."

    That earned a smile out of her. "It's not a problem. I work second rotation anyway. Oh! You had three visitors, Brother Giselbertus, Sister Bethany, and Sister Amaia. They left when they found you were sleeping. None left any messages. I also left you a list of everything that I did while you were sleeping. It was most educational!"

    He finally got a hold on his kit, though his grip felt weak. "Th-thank you. You can do whatever task you normally would. I have t-to-"

    "Of course," she said, lowering her head and giving him the aquila. "Emperor bless you."

    "And you," he said thankfully before hurrying out the door.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:36 No.13445376
    The shower hadn't lasted as long as he'd of liked, not nearly enough to loosen tight muscles. But he was clean, and so were his robes now. That, at least, saved him some time. Freshly shaven (only one cut, a surprise considering how quickly he'd worked) and good to go, he'd only stopped back at his room to drop off his kit before hurrying to where the directions indicated.

    "You're late," the Cannoness mused more to herself than anything.

    "F-f-forgive me," he muttered quickly, falling to one knee and folding his hands over his chest. "There are m-many symbols of the Holy God Emperor of Mankind a-a-a-"

    "And you had to salute each one." She sounded amused. "I will forgive you for showing proper reverence where it is due." She paused a beat. "And what of Adept Friemann? Should I be upset that she did not leave your room all night?"

    That made him pale, to say the least. "N-no! I-I fell asleep and she... she just kept working as b-best she could! I..."
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:38 No.13445408
    "Relax, Guardsman Gramon... Or, rather, Lieutenant now, isn't it?" She seemed most pleased with herself. "Arise. I am familiar with Clare. She served as an assistant to one of my own Adepts for two years. She finds more joy in her work than any pleasures of the flesh could compare to. And I have no doubt your motives are pure. Please, sit. Share a meal with me."

    His legs didn't want to let him up, but soon enough he found himself in a surprisingly elegant chair.

    "I usually eat with the other Sisters, however there are occasions where I must dine privately with others. The captain of the ship, for example, occasionally requests my presence. There are other times as well... But I get ahead of myself. How do you find your quarters? Are they acceptable?"

    Klightus decided honesty was the better part of valor. "I would n-not know. I... There is s-so much paperwork to be done that I c-cannot even begin to view it fully."

    "Ah, yes. I'd heard about that. A pity. You should have time to finish it all, though, before we reach our next destination. I am told that the... navigator says that it will be about three months before we arrive." She didn't sound like she was fond of the navigator. But then again, Klightus always thought of them virtually being mutants himself. "I also heard of your little... demonstration yesterday. For you to delve into such actions your first day on the ship is surprising."
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:40 No.13445435
    Something about her put Klightus at ease. She had an elegant grace about her, one that almost defied her undoubted proficiency in carrying out the Emperor's wrath. "It w-wasn't my idea in the s-slightest. S-Sister Ephrael brought m-me."

    "Oho! You must have made a good impression on her, then." She paused as a servitor poured a breakfast tea for the both of them. "You made quite the impression all around, I'm told."

    "At a c-cost." He paused, then smiled sheepishly. "I m-missed service."

    That earned a chuckle out of her. "And a meal! I was almost afraid you'd died! Two meals in one day... We can't have that. You've lost weight since the first time that I saw you." That made him blush. Apparently, she had a good memory. "Tell me, did the vox carry the sermon well?"

    He found himself shaking his head. "I am afraid n-not, Cannoness. It was... hard to make everything out. P-perhaps the m-machine spirit is displeased?"

    "I will have it looked into. Ah."
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:42 No.13445473
    Servitors appeared carrying the meal to be laid out before them. It made Klightus think that his head would never recover from the confusion. Poached egg, some sort of toasted starch wafer, a steaming meat that most definitely wasn't grox, juja fruit, some sort of fruit spread for the starch wafer, a sauteed tuber, some sort of pudding he couldn't identify, and a starch cake. Some sort of juice was served with it, the blue coloring lost on him.


    "Ah, yes. Confused, are we?" She laughed a little. "You, my dear boy, are of noble birth, yes? But you have spent much of your adult life serving the Guard. No doubt, you are far from familiar with eating a proper Noble Breakfast these days. This is understandable, perhaps even commended.

    "However, it does me little good. Frequently, when we arrive to a world the Planetary Governor will wish to speak with me. Perhaps even dine with me. I find that accepting these invitations, though completely unnecessary, only aid the Sisterhood in the long run. We are the Daughters of the Emperor, followers of His Divine will. Yet governors are a strange lot, sometimes balking unless placated. Though I will not stop in my mission for any reason, I fighting my way to simply perform it only slows all of us down. Two hours may save us days of drudgery."

    She paused to sip her tea. "Sometimes, there are members of the Guard there. A commander, perhaps, joining us at dinner. Often, they say things which I cam barely comprehend. I have gotten better at understanding the shorthand that the Guard utilizes, however having someone there who can assist me would have advantages. In order for you to do that effectively, you will have to relearn how to eat like a proper noble, and to adjust your body to their meals. So..."
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:44 No.13445499
    She indicated the meal before him. "Twice a week we will dine."

    Klightus found he couldn't argue with her reasoning. She'd learned how to play the game of the nobles to her advantage, and expected him to participate. Great. The last thing that he needed was more talking. But for now, he merely bowed his head and began eating with as much grace as he could remember.

    By the time that he was done, he'd remembered which fork was which and that he needed to take smaller bites. He wasn't in the mess. He could savor the meal, and try to enjoy the finer points of it. The Cannoness seemed content to simply eat in silence, watching him eat. Somehow, he had no doubt that eventually she would begin to point out any mistakes he'd made.

    "How was it?" she asked.

    "Good. Though I m-may need a digestive." He smiled a little. Like this, it was easy to forget who she was.

    "I'll see that you have one." She paused for a moment, tilting her head. "Those robes suit you well."
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)17:44 No.13445505
    >Part 3
    Are parts 1 & 2 available somewhere?
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:44 No.13445508
    That got him blushing a little. "They s-say that they're dying a set g-green."

    "Pity." She set her napkin on her plate, and the servitor moved to retrieve it. "Before you go, there is one more thing that I'd like to ask of you. Is there anything that you wish?"

    That made Klightus think for a moment. But the most pressing issue came to mind faster than he'd thought. "A chrono w-would be m-most appreciated."

    She threw her head back, a laugh escaping her. "Let it be known that Lieutenant Klightus Gramon, of noble birth, was asked on this day for that which he wished, and did respond that his greatest desire was that of a chrono! Oh, I don't know if that speaks more of your strength of character or your fears of sleeping in!" She smiled softly, nodding. "But I approve. I will see that one is delivered to you."

    With that, Klightus rose, forming crossing his hands over his chest. "M-may the Emperor grace you."

    "May He grace you as well."
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)17:47 No.13445521
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)17:49 No.13445556
    Ah. Thanks. Overlooked that somehow.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:50 No.13445560
    By lunch, breakfast had already evacuated him. The Cannoness had a point -- his body was no longer used to such rich food. Not even the digestive helped. But true to her word, a young cleric had delivered a chrono. For once, he was bound and determined not to miss a meal.

    Clare had spent the night to good use, it turned out. A great help indeed. She'd organized a great deal for him, arranging stacks by their apparent order and need. She'd also discovered, much to his surprise, that a great many of them were forms that were only to be used as-needed. Many of which were either requisition forms or forms for after-battle reports. That was something that he was going to need to get used to.

    He'd have to see if he could arrange some sort of storage for those, keeping only a number on-hand. But that could come after lunch, a meal that would hopefully not pass straight through him.

    The ship's version of a mess was familiar enough, but also far different at the same time. He wouldn't go so far as to say it was any less organized, but it was less optimized. Prayers and blessings were played over vox, helping to keep his mind off of how agonizingly slow the line moved.
    >> I don't know if it's my net or 4chan, but posting is becoming a pain Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:52 No.13445595
    But eventually he reached the front of the line, received his meal, and moved off to a table. The lessons he'd learned with the Cannoness were promptly forgotten.

    "Klightus!" A nudge to his shoulder greeted him as much as Sister Ephrael's voice. "Glad you could join us for a change," she teased good naturedly. A pause followed as she looked down at his tray. "Or not. Are you in a rush to get back to your spires of paper?"

    He realized that almost three quarters of his food were already gone. Eat it now, taste it later. "N-no," he said sheepishly. "Old habits d-die hard."

    "Well, relax." She sat down next to him. "Save for the time before lights out, meals are our best time to talk amongst ourselves." With that, she bowed her head and began a quiet prayer to the Emperor. The irony was not lost on Klightus. As soon as she was done, she grinned at him. "Heard you had a helper last night."

    "C-Clare, yes." He found himself smiling. "She's s-saved me a lot of work."

    "Good. Gonna finish it all this millennium?"

    "Hopefully," he said with a smile. "P-perhaps even by t-tomorrow."
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:53 No.13445615
    "That's my boy," Ephrael said, nudging him with her elbow.

    He found himself blushing faintly at that. "W... Why do you care?"

    "Because she adopts people," Sister Amaia said, sitting down across from them. A moment later, Bethany sat down on his other side. "Normally, it's just novices, but she seems to have taken an interest in you." She blew on her porridge. "You'd better watch out."

    "It's nothing like that," Ephrael grumbled.

    "Truly?" Amaia raised a slow eyebrow. "It has nothing to do with your brother?"

    "No!" She shifted indignantly. "It's just... He's going to be serving beside us, training with us, and acting in our interests. I have to know that somebody's watching his back." She looked to Klightus. "Until some of the others actually see you in combat, they'll think you're trying to take advantage of our hospitality. To further your own career of something. I saw you charge after Sister Julianne. I watched you return her to us, with the Simularcrum Imperialis intact. If you were trying to do something like that, you wouldn't try to get yourself killed the way you do."

    "And what makes you think he's trying to get himself killed?"

    "He's an Ostagarian!" She rolled her eyes. "You need to read more on cults of the Emperor, Sister." Klightus finished his meal and put his hands in his lap. He was content to watch the two talk. "Ostagarians think that all those who remain pure will strengthen the Emperor when they die, and in return, He will grant them true happiness when they join His embrace."
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)17:54 No.13445623
         File1294527271.jpg-(6 KB, 191x234, wow.jpg)
    6 KB

    Yes. Right at this post: >>13445090

    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:54 No.13445630
    Amaia looked at Klightus evenly. "No offense, but if you were just trying to die, you're doing a miserable job of it."

    Klightus felt himself shrinking on the bench. "N-no, I..."

    "See, now you're embarassing him! Besides, that's not the way it works. They have to die striving to complete their duty. See, to them, duty is as important as prayer. Your duty strengthens the Imperium, His holy task, and what He sacrificed Himself for. Humanity." Ephrael paused a beat. "I'm not explaining this properly. If I remember it correctly, and correct me if I get anything wrong Klightus, it's like this..."

    But her words were lost to Klightus at that point. He felt a touch on his leg. His eyes darted to the side, to Sister Bethany smiling at him ever so softly. Her pinky finger intertwined with his under the table. The two of them could debate the finer points of his religious practices all day. He was more than content.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:56 No.13445647
    The afternoon service, dinner, and the evening service seemed to go by as a blur. A chance encounter with Giselbertus lead to almost all the excess paperwork being packed into boxes marked PROPERTY OF THE DEPARTMENTO MUNITORUM and loaded into a storage area. He also put in a request with the captain (apparently neither an official title nor a rank, since the man wasn't with the Imperial Navy) that a "small but respectable" storage area be set aside for him.

    Giselbertus said that the chances were about equal if the request would be granted or denied.

    After evening service, with so much spare room left to him, he decided to take stock of things other than paperwork. The data slates and tomes... he could get to tomorrow. For now, however, he was focused on everything else. The symbology of his new office that had been delivered. (As well as the realization that he'd had a chrono all this time, buried beneath everything else.)

    The thing that drew the most of his attention was his duffel. All of his personals were inside. A book of hymns. A holo pict of Sister Kandra she'd smuggled him as he'd left; Mother and Father had forcibly forbade him from having anything beyond his name that would link him back to his House. A glow-globe that he'd had since he was a child. A proper writing kit, far better than the one the Deparmento Munitorum had provided. The cilice undershirt that a sergeant had forbade him from wearing. An eikon of Saint Kristof Heiligener, who had been raised on Jingur. A book on medicae procedures.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:57 No.13445665
    With a smile, he turned on the glow-globe, setting it on his desk. An old scratch on the surface from when Claus broke his nose cast an odd appearance on the wall. He chuckled at the memory before turning out the lights, the room illuminated only by the glow-globe. It had been an extremely productive day, and tomorrow was only going to look better. He might even be able to get some more fencing in. With that warm thought, he stripped to his shorts and climbed into bed. Time to appreciate his own room the way that a person was supposed to.

    He was just starting to fade off to sleep when the sound of the door opening forced his eyes open. Old habits made him pull the covers up around his chin, an extra layer of protection against a potential bar of soap.

    No bar of soap was thrown. Instead, the glow-globe dimly showed a form in robes creep in, gently closing the door behind them. They moved across the room carefully to the bed. Leaning down to look at him, he finally got a clear look.

    "B-Bethany!" He relaxed, sitting up. "It's p-past lights out for f-first rotation. What are-"

    Her lips on his prevented him from finishing that thought. That was... a good way of telling him exactly why she was here. It didn't last long, though; breaking the kiss, she sat on the edge of the bed, running a gentle hand over the side of his face.

    "Bethany," he murmured quietly, only to be shut up once again. This time, though, she put a hand on his chest and rather forcefully thrust him down on the bed. With a mischievous smile, Bethany moved over him...
    >> Yes, a short post, but I couldn't resist Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)17:58 No.13445678
    ...and across him, sliding underneath the covers. She pulled his arm out and moved against him, her head resting on his chest. After a moment, one of her legs intertwined with his, and her arm reached around his bare stomach. After a moment, she let out a contented sigh.

    Not that it helped make Klightus any less uncomfortable. Soon, though, her breathing changed and her grip on him went slack. Slowly but surely, he found himself becoming more comfortable. Slowly, he found himself relishing this experience
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)18:00 No.13445691
    "Bethany..." He gently shook her shoulder. The fact that the glow-globe had burned out hours ago didn't seem to be helping her any. "Bethany... It's an hour b-before..."

    That seemed to make her lift her head. She looked over at the chrono, blinking. In an hour, the Sisters would be waking. Better to get her back before then so that he didn't meet the business end of a bolter. A hand found itself on his stubble.

    "I, uh..." He took a break, his thumb stroking her neck in the darkness. "I c-could see your face. Until the g-glow-globe went out. As you slept, I m-mean. You l-looked so peaceful and h-happy that... I j-just couldn't sleep." He felt so foolish and stupid saying it out loud.

    But a kiss to his chest, then his chin, and finally his lips told him that his sentimentality wasn't entirely viewed as stupid. They remained like that for several long moments before she slowly, reluctantly made her way over him and out of the bed. Her hand trailed across his chest, his arm, and their hands caught.

    "Don't w-worry," he said softly. "I'll b-be at breakfast. M-maybe also at sword practice."

    That thought seemed to please both of them.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)18:02 No.13445726
    The next two days seemed to fall into a comfortable pattern. He worked on familiarizing himself with the layout of the ship, some training with the Sisters (as much as his body would let him), and his nights with Bethany curled around him. One dinner was spent with the Cannoness. Though his memories were returning, his body was still having the same problems with the food. Oddly, this continued to amuse the Cannoness more than anything.

    It was the fifth day, however, that introduced two more changes to Klightus' life. The first came as he was changing into his robes for afternoon service in the form of a knock on his door.

    "J-just a m-moment." He looked in the mirror to make sure that the robes hung properly on him. He was glad for having two sets now, though he alternated between them. Partially because he didn't want to offend anybody, but partially because everybody said that the red looked better on him. Assured of his appearance, he hurried to the door and opened it.

    "Lieutenant Gra... Ah, I mean, Klightus. Hello." Clare smiled up at him cheerfully... or at least as cheerfully as she could, considering how tired she looked.

    "Clare. It's a p-pleasure to s-see you. Is there... something that I can, ah, do for you?"
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)18:04 No.13445751
    "Um, no." She glanced behind her to a servitor. "It's more... I'm afraid that I have some good news and some bad news." That made his heart sink. "The bad news is that since you've gotten your Guard paperwork squared away, or at least most of it, I'm not sure really which it is, but I'm rambling. Since you have that at least mostly taken care of, there's some paperwork for the Ecclesiarchy that needs taken care of."

    Indeed, the servitor seemed to be carrying a large crate of it. The Administratum was trying to kill him, one page at a time.

    "The good news is that I've been assigned as your assistant in all matters concerning paperwork!" That brought her bright smile back, as much as the bags under her eyes would allow. "It means I'm on first rotation, sure, but it also means that I can learn the war cant of the Guard a bit, and maybe eventually help you out with that!"

    Klightus blinked, her words slowly sinking in. He looked back into his room for a moment before shaking his head. "I c-can't. No." He looked back to her -- she seemed absolutely devastated. "I can't d-do that to you. I'd n-need another desk, another ch... Another chair. I m-mean we can't b-both play the part of officials if one of us is sitting on m-my bed..."
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)18:10 No.13445828
    That brought a smile back to Clare. "We can see if we can get one easily enough. You need it for your duties, after all!" She looked inside, nodding. "Then I'll see if we can get a tapestry to hang there, and then put that flag up there. That way, it would create a division between your bedroom and your office in a way that makes sense. Plus it would give you more of a sense of privacy."

    He blinked, looking around. So far, he hadn't thought about that at all. But it made sense. Already she was trying to make things easier, trying to prove her worth. He couldn't help but smile a little. How often had he tried to do that himself? Wasn't he still trying to do that?

    "Alright. B-bring in the p-paperwork, and if you have time before service starts, f-find a desk and chair for yourself. Then w-we can go through everything after service and g-get started."
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)18:11 No.13445851
    The rest of the day had been spent getting his room up to speed. He had to admit, it had needed a certain feminine eye to make it from purely utilitarian into something that was truly presentable. Clare was even ever so pleased when she found bookshelves that were only in a little need of refurbishing. When asked if they could take them, they Adept in charge seemed more than glad to give them up.

    Now, however, wasn't the time to be thinking about things like that. Now was the time to nuzzle his head into Bethany's hair. They'd become increasingly comfortable like this. Every night she sneaked into his room, curling around him before falling asleep.

    Until he heard the door open. Old habits, again, die hard, though this time he pulled the covers over Bethany's head. Footsteps padded to the opening between the tapestry and the flag. The light of the glow-globe illuminated a fairly irritated face.

    Amaia marched calmly to the bed, throwing back the blanket. Klightus was frozen in mortal terror. He couldn't even look down to see how Bethany was responding to this. All that he knew was that he was in bed with Amaia's sister, which must have obviously looked far worse than it really was. He hoped. The fact that she just stared at the two of them for a long moment didn't make matters any better.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)18:13 No.13445869
    "Are you two just sleeping?" she asked harshly. He gave her his braves squeak of fear, but felt Bethany's head nod. "Nothing that I should feel particularly wrathful about?" Another squeak, but this time Bethany shook her head.

    "Fine." She stepped back out. Klightus thought she was leaving, but a moment later she returned with a pillow, tossing it onto the far side of the bed. "It's not like a campaign. I haven't been able to sleep well for three days now, thanks to you sneaking out." With that, she climbed over the two of them and laid down.

    This didn't help Klightus relax any, even after both Amaia and Bethany had fallen asleep. Partially because there was a stranger in his bed that could quite easily turn hostile. Partially because he could feel her back on the arm wrapped around Bethany. But also partially because now one of his legs was completely uncovered.

    Emperor, he prayed silently, please let Sister Amaia get used to sleeping alone. Or get me more blankets.
    >> Epilogue Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)18:15 No.13445916
    Klightus slammed his shoulder into the door, helped by three others. The first impact nearly sent them all sprawling, but a Sister joined them. "Novice!" he bellowed loudly. "Get." He paused from an impact that rattled him. "The." The door shuddered with another impact, a howl of fury on the other side. "Block!"

    What the novice lacked in initiative, she made up for in speed. Within moments, the block was in place, allowing them at least a few moments of respite from the savage horde. Klightus looked to the one who helped them, only to find Sister Ephrael moving off.

    Almost immediately, Sister Amaia was upon him, grabbing for his hands. In recent years she'd taken to counting his fingers -- a small ritual to assure herself that he wasn't trying to perform his various duties while injured. Again. He waved her off, though. "Cordelia."

    Amaia put her hand to his chest to stop him, but he pushed on. Everybody was too quiet. He moved quickly to the rest of the squad surrounding the prone form, pushing his way through. The sight that greeted him...
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)18:16 No.13445931
    The Sister Superior hated losing members of her squad. She was willing to sacrifice them in the name of the Emperor, but she'd always hated any loss. She'd provided covering fire for everybody from the first time he'd been in battle with her. When she'd given the order to fall back to the church, the only building with the fortifications to allow them to regroup, she'd once again taken the rear, ensuring that everybody else could get inside. She was the last one through the door...

    ...and had received a round to the face for her loyalty.

    Klightus stepped back, taking a deep breath. He shouldn't let this shake him as much as it was. He couldn't do anything to help her now; she had earned her place with the Emperor. But he could do something for the rest of them. When in doubt, make yourself useful. His hand went to his right ear. "Namah Six-Seven, this is S-Sigma One. Do you copy? Over." He paused a beat, biting his lip.

    "Namah Six-Seven to Sigma One. We read you. What's your status? Over."

    He let go of a breath that he didn't realize he'd been holding. "Sigma One to Namah Six-Seven. We found the bulk of the xenos f-forces in sector t-twelve, just outside the city of Ayin. We have fallen back to a church inside the city p-proper and are under attack. Can you assist? Over."

    "Sigma One, confirm sector? Over."

    "Namah Six-Seven, sector twelve. Over."
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)18:18 No.13445962
    There was a long pause before there was an answer. The voxman sounded worried. "Sigma One, we have no assets in your area that we can commit to engagement, over."

    Oh, no. No, the Commander was trying to let them rot, to let the liason unit die so that he could have more freedom to act as he wished. Klightus' jaw tightened. "Namah Six-Seven. N-need I remind you that I am in direct contact with Inquisitor W-Wiprecht Eigen and speak under his authority. Please inform your commanding officer that I n-need conformation on what assets you can provide, over."

    Each tick of the chrono that went by only fueled his anger that much more. He was putting a lot on a simple hunch. There was the possibility that there were no local assets that could assist. But with each tick, the chances of that being the case drew more and more slim.

    "Sigma One," the voxman said at last. "We can have our Lemun Russ', six Chimeras of troops, and two Hellhounds in your sector within an hour. Over."

    "Namah Six-Seven, may you m-move with the Emperor's guidance. Sigma One out."
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)18:20 No.13445992
    Klightus took a deep breath before touching his left vox-bead. "Klightus Gramon to Inquisitor Wiprecht Eigen."

    "Lieutenant!" The Inquisitor sounded pleased to hear from him. "Have you found the heretics?"

    Klightus had to remind himself once again not to use the Guard war cant. "No, sir. I'm afraid that we have f-failed to find any sign of them. However, we're trapped in a church in Ayin. It does not appear defiled." He looked back towards the door. At least the Guardsmen in his retinue were working on fortifying it. No telling how long it would last, though. "We found the b-bulk of the xenos horde."

    "Show me Ayin on the map," the Inquisitor barked to somebody. Then, back to Klightus. "And the townspeople?"

    "Sent to the Emperor." He heard a noise of displeasure on the other end. "S-S-Sister Superior C-Cordelia has been sent to His Embrace as well." It hurt more to say that out loud than he cared to admit.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)18:22 No.13446013
    "Gah!" Now the Inquisitor was getting upset. "Can the Guard help you?"

    "I h-had to invoke your name, but they are sending armor. An hour, they say."

    "I'm sending forces your way. The Seraphim squads should get there before the rest of us." His voice said that it would take time.

    "The dome is shattered, s-sir. That will be their best entry point into the church."

    "May the Emperor preserve you and grant us speed."

    "Ave Imperator."

    Klightus lowered his hand and took a deep breath. All that they had to do was hold their position until reinforcements arrived. They were, in essence, the bait for a pincer attack. That would work, at least. As he looked around the church, though, he realized it would be harder than just the fighting.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)18:23 No.13446025
    The Sisters, as well as the two novices, were clustered around Cordelia's body. None of them were saying anything. It didn't take much to figure out what was wrong -- their morale was broken. Cordelia had lead the squad for years before he'd even encountered them. She was loved. And now she was gone. Their loss was echoed in the few Guardsmen with them.

    And if they were to have any chance of surviving, of destroying these foul xenos, they needed to pull back together. His mind went back to the Jingur Third. What would the Commissar do? They weren't fleeing or showing cowardice.

    A speech. But that wasn't exactly Klightus' specialty. His brain worked furiously, trying to come up with something, anything that might pull them through this. He reached farther back, to his childhood. What would Sister Kandra do when he lost his will?

    In that, he found his answer. He closed his eyes, and let his voice do the work.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)18:24 No.13446033
    "Praise, Mankind, the Throne of Terra;
    To His feet thy tribute bring.
    Fortified by his dominion;
    Evermore His praises sing:
    Ave Imperator! Ave Imperator!
    Praise to the Immortal Emperor!

    "Praise Him for His grace and favor
    To Humanity in distress.
    Praise Him still the same as ever,
    His sacrifice, we do bless.
    Ave Imperator! Ave Imperator!
    Glorious in His faithfulness!"

    Voices joined him now, resonating within the church as if joined not only by the sisters, but some invisible choir as well.

    "Fatherlike He tends and protects us;
    Well our feeble frame He knows.
    In His hands He gently bears us,
    Rescues us from all our foes.
    Ave Imperator! Ave Imperator!
    Widely yet His wrath flows.

    "Frail as breath on the air we flourish,
    Blows the wind and it is gone;
    But while mortals rise and perish
    Our Emperor lives unchanging on!
    Praise Him, Praise Him, Ave Imperator
    Praise the Immortal God Emperor!

    "Mankind, help us to adore Him;
    Yet behold Him face to face;
    Stars and Void, bow down before Him;
    Dwellers all in time and space.
    Ave Imperator! Ave Imperator!
    Praise with us the Emperor of grace."
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)18:25 No.13446048
    Klightus looked amongst the assembled. The Guardsmen had their hands folded in the aquila, still seemingly lost in the hymn. The Sisters, though, had all joined in. Even Sister Ephrael. Their resolve had returned. Now they stood with purpose.

    "Sister Ephrael," Amaia barked. "Move Sister Cordelia's remains to the alter! Nyze, Quintilla, move these pews. When they come through the door, they'll move down the hall. Use those to slow them down."

    Klightus, meanwhile, was removing his pack to rummage through it. "Guardsmen!" They hurried over. "Sister Quintilla is a master of timing. Prepare your grenades. She will order one through f-four at specific intervals. When she does, cease fire and throw a frag at the door. Get it as c-close as you can. That's our choke point. Remain in cover, but affix b-bayonets just in case." He looked over his shoulder. "Sister Quintilla! Thirty second delay between grenades!"
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)18:27 No.13446065
    Two bolt pistols, but only three spare magazines. He could have sworn he packed four. "Novices!" They moved, apparently happy for any guidance. He offered each one a bolt pistol and a spare magazine. "Make each shot count. The one with the m-most kills gets the spare mag. When you're out, switch t-to your las." He shoved the spare mag in his pocket and double-checked to make sure his melta pistol was at his hip. That confirmed, he pulled the Hellpistol from his pack and donned it again.

    There was the sound of wood splintering. "To cover," Amaia shouted. Sister Nyze and Quintilla stopped carrying pews (only four, Klightus noted) to run back. Two Guardsmen took the closest positions to the door, only for one to be roughly yanked away by Sister Ephrael.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)18:28 No.13446080
    "You, you! B-behind those pillars!" The two Guardsmen moved quickly, not having to be told twice. Having Ephrael closest to the door made sense: it was hard to charge through a column of flame.

    "Nice to see that you aren't planning on dying," Amaia mused, joining Klightus behind a pillar.

    "C-can't let you die," he said with a smile as he drew the power saber. "Bethany would have my hide."

    As the heavy door began to fall under savage xenos blows, all of them took up aim. "Funny," Amaia mused to herself. "I was going to say the same thing."

    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)18:30 No.13446115
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)18:32 No.13446136

    Nice to see 40k characters with actual personalities.
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)18:41 No.13446262
    Someone needs to put this on 1d4chan
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)18:46 No.13446334
    Kudos on those hymns! Consider those stolen.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)18:56 No.13446465
    Need it in High Gothic?


    Obvious changes for the Emperor and all that. That's the first hymn, at least.
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)19:28 No.13446821
    Excellent work as usual Shy. How long does it take for you to actually write this stuff?
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)19:39 No.13446925
    That depends. First of all, I seem to write faster when I'm posting it "live." If this makes it better or not is beyond me. I've heard arguments both ways.

    The key, though, is how much I'm "feeling" a particular idea. If it's strong and gives me a lot to think about, then I tend to write faster -- again, my first story in this series was written in a little over 24 hours. I had thematically appropriate music on hand, something to reference off of, and a strong idea that wouldn't leave me alone. Klightus was "born" out of some semi-RPing in a Sisters picture thread, after all.

    The last factor is spare time. I still have to do stuff around the house, work, play with the pets, look at threads, deal with friends... You know, live a life outside of writing. That can actually eat up a huge chunk of my time.

    So how long does it take? As long as it takes. A cheap answer, and I apologize for that, but it's the best I can give.
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)19:44 No.13446978

    Seconded. Someone needs to get it on 1d4chan.

    Good Job Shy, this is my favourite of the Klightus series.
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)20:11 No.13447343
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    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)20:12 No.13447362
    Thanks, but I had a few people contributing some really ideas on IRC, so I can't take all the credit.
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)20:51 No.13447894
    Shy, you said this was part 3...how about the other two parts? Are they archived or something? 'Cause we really need to get this stuff on 1d4chan ASAP
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)21:01 No.13447923

    they are all up on suptg
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)21:01 No.13447927
    Somebody else beat you to it.


    Though, you may want to hold off on posting it. Or not, up to you. I still have the final chapter to write, after all.
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)21:28 No.13448166
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    >Another chapter

    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)22:21 No.13448720
    And all those chapters that will surely come before the final one.

    As usual, magnificent work.
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)22:28 No.13448787
    So I could show this to a friend of mine, I put all three parts into a word document (I included the links to these archived threads and credited Shy Guardsman as the author), and the combined Times and Trials of Klightus come out to about 33,000 words, which according to Wikipedia puts it firmly in Novella territory. Good Work Shy Guardsman!
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)23:18 No.13449245

    I didn't save the word file for the first one due to Windows Update, so I had no idea how much it was up to. Wow. I... honestly don't know what to say, other than thank you all for keeping me inspired to keep writing.
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)23:26 No.13449343
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    >mfw when all good things come to an end.

    We need some drawfags in here.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/08/11(Sat)23:55 No.13449644
    I might do more some day, but I have a ton of other projects going on. I'd like to write about other factions, other settings, and stuff that isn't fanfiction. Maybe work on getting an actual novella done that I can try to, you know, publish or some junk.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)00:30 No.13450000
    Love those stories.
    Keep up the good work Shy.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)01:26 No.13450496
    What would it take to get you to write for us more, Shy?
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/09/11(Sun)02:14 No.13450941
    Pay my bills for a month with a chunk of change left over, fix my car, get me a maid, possibly an editor, and I'd totally devote a good 8-12 hours a day, six days a week to writing for /tg/. But since that's pretty much impossible, I wouldn't stress it. I'll write more as I have the time/inclination to, honestly. No sense in holding your breath.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)02:16 No.13450964
    Robbing bank. Be back soon.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/09/11(Sun)03:13 No.13451435
    I... wait, what?

    ...I like my maids to have Russian accents and leggy?
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)03:17 No.13451457
    inb4 attractive version of the nurse from Misery.

    Which would be fine with me, I want more out of you anyway.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/09/11(Sun)03:34 No.13451577
    I'm not sure how I should react to this.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)03:39 No.13451616
    Any way you'd care too. But it would probably make everyone's life easier if you took it as a roundabout way of saying "I like your work."
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)03:45 No.13451662
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    Give me your bank details.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)05:33 No.13452311
    OP you're one huge cocktease, you know that?
    >> helpful comrade 01/09/11(Sun)05:36 No.13452334
    Oh, he knows
    >> Bronymous 01/09/11(Sun)05:41 No.13452366
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    dear god shy guardsman...this is some of the best write faggotry i have ever read. This seriously is some awesome stuff, if you had a paypal account i would give you at least 10 bucks for what I've read tonight.

    Please write more, this is some amazing shit. Although it's not exactly GRIMDARK it has its dark moments and it's d'awww moments. A little extra detail on battles would be nice, but I do enjoy how the story jumps into a situation. Love your style and keep it up!

    >>13445630 dat pinky

    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)05:52 No.13452426
    ...actually yeah I'd paypal $10 for this. I've paid more than that for less-satisfying porn.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/09/11(Sun)06:10 No.13452539
    To me, Grimdark is only Grimdark when you care about what's going on. Epic battles are epic, but the losses are just numbers. When bad things happen to good people that you care about, that's when the darkness really comes. When they know its coming, and stand their ground, that's when it gets grim.

    If I wanted to, I could make this horribly bleak, horribly grimdark. Especially now. Why? Because you've grown to care about Klightus. You've seen him start as nothing, as somebody spit on. You've seen him become truly happy. You've watched him begin the road to becoming somebody important. With all of that, I could make this horribly grimdark.

    I could have him fall into underhive river of toxic sludge and make him mutate horribly, only to walk up to Bethany and accept purification with open arms. I could have all of them captured by Dark Eldar and suffer their ways.

    But I'm still debating the final end. There's a lot of ways that I could go, some of them utterly bleak, some happy. When I sit down to actually write the final chapter, then I'll decide. At this moment, though, I need at least a few days to recharge.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)06:15 No.13452566
    You do have a tendency to kill people in the epilogue, don't you?

    Warhammer mechanics question: Did the canoness wear a helmet?
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/09/11(Sun)06:38 No.13452680
    I've never seen the point, to be honest. If you kill somebody in the epilogue, you don't really give a chance to appreciate the impact their death had on those whose lives they'd touched. At least, if they're the main character. And I don't see the Grimdark universe of 40k offering many funerals outside of special circumstances.

    Like I said, though, I haven't decided how I'm going to end this. The epilogue is always the last thing I write for a reason. I have ideas for the last chapter, yes, but how it ends is largely up to debate.

    As for the canoness, I can't rightfully say. I haven't "seen" her in battle. I've only pictured her at camp or on the ship in my mind, so if she wears a helmet when engaging the enemy is beyond me at this point. That said, I can safely say that Bethany and Amaia don't, but that's due to personal preference more than anything. Though Amaia may be changing her tune after seeing Cordelia die. (Something that I regret -- I didn't get to do much with her character, but I liked her.)
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)06:39 No.13452694
    Erm - why did you kill her off then?
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)06:47 No.13452735
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    >Klightus gets purged by his own lover. Klightus and Co. get captured by Dark Eldar.

    Now I'm all depressed simply by the possibility. :(

    WAIT A MINUTE! The Epilogue in the first story takes place much farther along than these stories right? So how can Klightus and Bethany not have a happy.... wait a minute....

    Kill them all off Shy if you have to BUT DON'T TOUCH THEIR DAUGHTER PLEASE ;________;
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)06:52 No.13452769
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    Why, why would you even mention this? Jesus christ it's like asking to get a dagger planted in your vitals letting the writefag know what would hurt the most.

    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)06:57 No.13452805

    I offered him the souls of every other character in the series.

    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)06:57 No.13452809
    Well, if he does an ending too horrible for the taste of /tg/, the last part of Guardsman's Kleightus story will simply get the same treatment as the chaos plants at the of Love Can Bloom. It'll never, ever be mentioned again.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/09/11(Sun)07:03 No.13452858
    The short version? Long-term ramifications that will be explored next time. The medium version? I can't always do what I want, I have to do what's right for the story as a whole. I treat the characters like people. People change. I don't like there being major changes without explanation, and I prefer to show, not tell. This was my version of showing. At least, part of it. The long version will appear in the next story.

    You have just made me a happy writefag. Not by giving me ideas, but by squirming.

    Though I probably won't write it, here's an image to hopefully cheer you up. Imagine a monastery. Golden statues of the Emperor everywhere. Cherubim singing hymns. Light filtering through beautiful stained glass windows, reflecting off the statues, making everything appear to be gold. Imagine an entire Order of Sisters gathered there, some crying. Now imagine Klightus in full dress uniform, including a cape, power saber on his hip, beaming with pride as Bethany walks down the aisle.

    Good night, /tg/.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)07:09 No.13452899
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    For a minute there I thought it was a funeral ;_;

    But now I'm all fuzzy inside. :3
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)07:27 No.13453063
    You are equal parts asshole and saint. I take back everything I once said about writefags.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)07:30 No.13453089
    Twins they are!

    I demand two brides.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)07:34 No.13453123
    They have Christian style weddings 38,000 years from now?

    This all seems similar to a character I played once in DH.
    He was a Guardsman who fell in love with a Sister NPC. Ended up with her being 'punished' by being transferred to a minor shrine of a Saint on the Orders home world as part of the squad of Sisters assigned as guards and caretakers. (All of whom were assigned there as 'punishment' for various similar incidents) Whilst my Guardsman was discharged for his actions and was left in the hands of the Ecclesiarchy for punishment. He was assigned as a Layman.
    Of the said same church.

    Probably the only DH character I had with a happy ending.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)07:35 No.13453136
    No, stop trying to force HERP DERP MUST HAVE BOTH into everything. No fapfics either.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)07:41 No.13453186
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    Did someone just say "Klightus' Delight"?

    'Cause I think I just heard someone say "Klightus' Delight."
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)07:51 No.13453264
    fantasic work!

    did this thread get archived yet?
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)08:02 No.13453344
    Shy's said in every part of this story and almost every thread he's namefagged in that he doesn't do fapfics. If you want one, you're going to have to writefag it yourself.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)08:05 No.13453358
    I am awestruck by your lack of reading comprehension.
    I'm off to bed, this is too much for me.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)08:24 No.13453499
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    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)12:19 No.13455002
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    Gonna ruin the joke and just explain it...it was a reference to Dranon's Delight, a fapfic about Dranon and loli Cultist-chan written by someone other than Cultist-chan's creator. Thus, Klightus's Delight would be another writefag expanding on the possibilities inherent in twin Battle Sisters.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)12:27 No.13455092
    In addition, am I the only one picking up on a possible harem theme? Ephrael, Clare, the Canoness, etc. seem to have a soft spot for our hero.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)12:37 No.13455195
    Well, I really love it so far, though I do hope for a happier ending for our hero and said sister, Shy Guardsmen deffinatly a damn good writefag. Can't wait for more. It's good to see some positive stuff in a grim dark universe.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)13:25 No.13455645
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/09/11(Sun)17:24 No.13458039
    Take it that way if you want, but it's not how I intended it.

    When you're on a ship of 90+% women, honestly, most of your friends and acquaintances are going to be female.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)18:51 No.13458950
    He has a set of twins sleeping in his bed already and you are wandering about harems?
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)20:47 No.13460071
    I'm kinda ashamed it took me this long to think of this question but....

    Why doesn't Bethany talk Shy? Did she injure her vocal chords or something?
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)20:58 No.13460173
    There's been a few mentions of her "vision", I'm thinking it's related to a vow of silence or something.

    What if... what if the first time Klightus hears her speak is when she says "I do"?
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/09/11(Sun)21:01 No.13460200
    You are correct. I've never elaborated for a variety of reasons, but that's essentially the correct answer.

    THAT SAID! Your suggestion is so wonderfully d'awwww that it's now canon. In a soft, almost inaudible whisper. ...I'm a hopeless romantic at heart, what can I say?
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)21:30 No.13460514
    You have just made me the happiest /tg/entleman in the world.
    >> Titanium Man 01/09/11(Sun)21:33 No.13460545

    I'm not even following the story and I like that~

    (It's because I don't know about/care for 40K)
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)21:34 No.13460552
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    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)21:37 No.13460595
    Let us pray that no one takes it upon themselves to do just that.

    It would ruin it. Some things are better left untainted by the rank, horrid odor of fat guys fapping to a fanfic of a fanfic.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)22:20 No.13460983
    ITT: What fa/tg/uys really want.

    In the grim darkness of the 41st millennium, there is only war.

    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)22:23 No.13461004
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    ITP: small typo

    You mean

    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)22:26 No.13461027
    Well, now there's egg all over my face. Mybad. Thanks for correcting me.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)22:29 No.13461058
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    Happens to the best of us, bro. I just caught it so no one got the wrong idea about what you wanted ITT.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)23:04 No.13461458
    Hell yeah!
    >Part 3
    Holy shit! There was a PART TWO!!??!

    >*Rushes to suptg*
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)23:06 No.13461476

    Sure is samefag in here.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)23:08 No.13461501
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    Sure, fine, it's samefag there. Whatever makes you feel. . . wait, why the fuck do you care? What possible motivation could you get out of pointing that out?
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)23:13 No.13461560
    Shy, if you cleaned it up I personally think you could get this published by BL.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/09/11(Sun)23:25 No.13461688
    I'm going to laugh for approximately a minute and a half, then say no.

    I mean, I'd love to, but the chances of it getting published are slim to start with. Add that to the fact that it's already on the web. Add THAT to the fact that it would mean announcing who I really am to folks, giving them a chance to track me down and... that's kind of scary to me. Lastly, I'm not British, I know not how to fake British, I doubt I would survive over there, and they seem to prefer people being over there...

    Honestly, I'm afraid that I'd be setting myself up for heartache. This way, I know what people think instantly.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)23:32 No.13461770
    They accept short-story submissions from all over the world and just from what you've written I can clearly say of right now, you have a far greater grasp of the canon then most of the other authors BL has working for them.

    But yeah, I can see your points.

    But could you imagine the hilarity if one day a /tg/ story was published?
    >> Anonymous 01/10/11(Mon)00:29 No.13462504
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    >read the story
    >interesting, well written and heart warming
    >look at time
    >30 minutes left to do a 2 hour assignment
    Well, shit.
    >> Anonymous 01/10/11(Mon)00:40 No.13462641
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    That's pretty much what happened to me with the first part.
    >> Shy Guardsman 01/10/11(Mon)00:55 No.13462822
    >> Anonymous 01/10/11(Mon)00:56 No.13462832
    And then the Guardsman was an engrossing writer
    >> Anonymous 01/10/11(Mon)01:00 No.13462871
    Take heart, friend. My academic life prospered in great amounts yet I suffered from this indomitable \tg.

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