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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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A few months ago, I wrapped up Venus' Burn, a sizable Warhammer High story. I immediately started work on a sequel, called Bleeding Out, which ended a few weeks back. Now I return to begin posting the threequel: Warhammer High: ROAD TRIP! I hope you enjoy.

Just give me a sec to get started with the dump.
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A quick briefing before we begin. At the end of Bleeding Out, Freya and Alex, Remilia, and Venus and Jake took off for a road trip to Nocturne and Fenris, before college pulls them apart. The story begins a few hours after they dock aboard the warship Iron Tide, the only ship they could find to Nocturne.
Jake gripped the armrest of his seat, nausea pulling at him. “Does it always feel that bad?” he managed.
“Every single time,” Freya groused. She was looking a lot more comfortable, though. “You get used to it.” The four seventeen-year-olds and sixteen-year-old in the party were strapped into seats in one of the officers’ lounges of the patrol frigate Iron Tide. The utilitarian interior of the ship was livened up a bit in the lounge, naturally, with real wood trim on the bar and a variety of entertainments scattered along the walls. All five recent High School grads were looking a bit under the weather, as the effects of Warp transition took their toll. The very few other people in the room were looking much better. But then, on a patrol frigate, Warp transition is a fact of life.
Freya, the most seasoned Warp traveler of the five, levered off of her chair and shoved her restraints aside, shaking her hands. She glanced over the little group as she did so. There was herself, of course. Freya Russ, heiress of the Space Wolves, and de facto Blood Princess of the Fenris system. Her boyfriend, Alex Carlin, was with her. Beside him was her cousin – or sister, really – Remilia Dorn, who had so little interest in the rulership of the Inwit system that she wouldn’t claim it if it fell into her lap, and the heiress of the Imperial Fists. Next to her was Jacob Seager, Jake. He was there as the more-or-less fiancé of passenger five, Venus, the daughter of the Primarch of the Salamander Legion. All five were looking a bit green, save Venus, of course, whose obsidian skin and fiery eyes never changed their hue.
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didnt expect this today.
looks like another day of destroyinig my f5 button.
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Rock on dude. And settle in for a wait. I'm something like fifty pages in.

I halfass NOTHING.
┐( ̄ー ̄)┌
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My body isn't ready!
“All right, kids, on your feet,” Freya instructed, clapping once. “No way to get the Warp Shivers to go away better than a brisk walk. Let’s go, up up up.”
Alex wobbled to his feet, shaking his head. “You say so, babe,” he grumbled. Remilia climbed up too, her superhuman physiology easing her pain.
“So…this is it,” she said, excitement tingeing her voice. She was practically beaming. “We are officially on the way.”
“We are!” Freya said happily. “So…nine days to Nocturne, then a month there.”
Venus smiled, leaning back in her chair. “Home.”
“Terra’s home,” Freya said, then grinned eagerly. “This is still gonna be AWESOME!” she squealed. “Ah, I can’t wait.”
Jake unclipped his restraints, standing and stretching. The tall, pale sixteen-year-old shook off the lingering Warp Shivers, popping his knuckles. “I know!” He grinned broadly, sweeping the room with his eyes. “I’ve never even been on a ship before. I have no idea what to expect.”
“Several days of tedium,” Freya said wryly. They had already sent their stuff up to their rooms, to be deposited and sorted later. They had been on their way down to the lounge when the jump warning came through the PA. “Believe me, you want to spend as much time in the Warp as possible asleep. Which means I, at least, am going to spend as much time in the gym as possible.”
“Sounds good,” Remilia said. “Too bad they don’t have a pool, though,” she said, grinning at Venus.
“I know, I know, but I’ll make do,” Venus said. She was the only swimmer in the group, and was under no impressions about being able to practice that summer, seeing as her immediate surroundings would be nothing but warships and Death Worlds for months.
An officer in a smart white and grey Navy uniform walked up to the little group. He came to a halt several paces off and snapped off a respectful salute. None of the Daughters returned it, though Alex and Jake both glanced over to see if they should. “My Lords and Ladies Primarch, welcome aboard the Iron Tide,” he said, clasping his hands at his back. “I am Lieutenant Commander Haarlan, the ship’s Liaison officer.”
“Commander,” Remilia said, nodding her head in a brief bow. The other teens offered up an assortment of acknowledgements, and Haarlan gestured behind him.
“I’ve been assigned to ensure that your trip to Nocturne is as comfortable as it can be. Is there anything I can do to that end now?” he asked.
“Assure me that that bar serves something I’m old enough to drink,” Venus joked. Haarlan glanced over at her, and his face hardened a bit.
“I’m sure it does, Lady Venus.”
“Well, thank goodness for that,” Jake said, brushing himself down. He looked over at the officer and extended his hand. “Jake Seager. Nice to meet you.”
Haarlan grabbed his hand and shook it briskly. “Welcome aboard, my Lord.”
“Lord?” Jake chuckled. “Thanks, but I’m not-”
“Alex Carlin,” Alex suddenly broke in, cutting his friend off. He shook Haarlan’s hand too, looking pointedly at Jake. “I don’t suppose I could trouble you to show me where the nearest restroom is,” he said to the officer.
“This way, my Lord,” Haarlan said, directing Alex to one side of the room. As soon as Haarlan was out of earshot, Jake turned to the girl, eyebrows up.
“What was that about?”
Venus shrugged, mystified. “No clue.”
“Does he think I’m royalty, too? And Alex?” Jake asked, bewildered.
“I specifically said who each of us was when I put us on the manifest,” Venus said with a shrug. Her shimmering black hair rippled over the thick fabric of her shirt as she did, catching the light over the bar. “Names, titles. He might just be confused.”
“Unless he’s making certain assumptions,” Remilia put in.
Freya shook her head, her red braids bumping off her arms. “Whatever. Who’s thirsty?”
“Aye,” Remilia said, walking straight over the bar. Jake put the question aside. He was going to be here for a while, he could always ask Alex later.
The four teens trooped up to the O-Club lounge’s bar and sat down, as a Lieutenant that looked barely older than they did bustled up, desperately trying to keep a grin off his face. “My Ladies, my Lord, how may I serve you?”
“Hi there, Lieutenant,” Remilia said, running her hands over the smoothed, glossy wood of the bar. “Just a round of waters, I think.”
“Can’t risk something heavier seconds after my first Warp transit,” Jake joked.
“Ah, the first jump, Lord? It’s something you soon forget,” the Lieutenant said. He grabbed a few glasses from behind the counter and started filling them. “It gets so much easier with time.”
“I bet.” Jake lifted his glass, waiting until Alex hurriedly walked up to the bar in time to join the toast. “To the road trip, then?”
“To the road trip,” Freya giggled, clinking her glass with the others. Each teen downed some water and set their glasses down, all solemn ritual.
The Lieutenant beamed. “Well. Let me know if you need anything else, will you?”
“Actually,” Venus asked, leaning forward a bit. “I was wondering how often this ship finds itself serving with the Salamanders, since it apparently makes the rounds between Mars and Nocturne.”
“In battle, my Lady? Never, that I know of,” the young Lieutenant confessed. “In other duties, all the time. As far as I know, however, you’re the first Salamander we’ve had aboard in the flesh.”
Venus blinked. “Then…what other role does the ship serve?”
“The Tide serves as a patrol vessel, ranging ahead of convoys between Nocturne and Sol,” Haarlan said, walking up behind Alex and standing beside the group. “Since that route is so secure, it’s often called upon to ferry VIPs and secure cargo that the normal Mechanicus and Navy convoys can’t carry in a sufficiently timely manner,” he explained, standing at ease next to the bar.
“Something I can get for you, Commander?” the Lieutenant asked brightly, turning to the liaison officer.
The older man didn’t even turn his gaze. “No, Lieutenant,” his voice suddenly a bit more clipped and toneless. The younger man seemed to shrink a bit. Remilia quirked her brow, sensing some history, but kept any questions she may have had to herself.
“I see. Thanks,” Venus said, arriving at the same conclusion. The Liaison officer nodded once.
“Of course. Here,” he said, digging in a pocket, “is my personal vox code. Please do contact me if you need anything else.”
“We will, thanks, Commander,” Remilia said. Haarlan nodded once, then turned on his heel and walked off.
As soon as the senior officer was gone, the Lieutenant behind the bar shook his head. He turned back to his guests, smile back on his face. “Anyone need a refill?”
“A story, I doth detect,” Freya said slyly.
“Nothing that literally every single ship in the fleet doesn’t have from time to time, Madam,” the Lieutenant said ruefully. “Political officers don’t tend to like the junior officers much.”
“So that’s what he does on the weekends, huh,” Freya said drily. “There’s no surprise.”
Jake blinked. “Uh…”
“Political officers are assigned to liaise with the Munitorum directly,” Venus supplied.
“Ah. AH. I…yeah.” Jake swirled his ice, thinking that one over. “Yeah. That would explain it.”
“Well. Anyway,” the Lieutenant said, clearly trying to steer back to smoother ground. “Is there anything else I can get you, my Ladies, Lords?”
“Ah, no thanks,” Remilia said on behalf of the group. “So…what’s your name, anyway?”
The young officer paused, surprised. “Ah…I’m Lieutenant Kines, my Lady. It’s an honor.”
“Thanks.” Remilia glanced over the room, noting how many more people were streaming in. “Is this the time of some get-together?”
“Well…sort of. A lot of the junior officers come by around this time, the first day after a jump. Just a good-luck thing, you know,” Kines said, shrugging nervously. “I assure you that you’re not intruding.”
“Good. Then, I think we’ll stick around, if that’s okay,” she said, tapping the side of her drink with one finger. Kines refilled her glass, then grabbed a few bottles of something for the other officers who were drifting up to the bar.
A member of the ship’s fighter complement wandered up, still in day uniform. “Hey, Chuck, how’s it going?” he asked, dropping onto a stool.
“Eventful. How’s the deck, Commander?” Kines said, sliding a bottle of something down to him.
“Packed. We had something like half again the usual cargo crap,” the pilot said, before the red glare off the mirror behind the bar caught his eyes. He followed the light to its source-
“Hi,” Venus said. The pilot stared for a long moment, shocked, then carefully looked away.
“Greetings, Lady Venus,” the pilot said, his demeanor shifting entirely. Kines shot Venus a tiny grin, glad to have found a conspirator.
Gradually, other officers drifted over, and the vacationers settled in, talking to a few people, being stared at by most others. When the hour came rolling by, Freya glanced meaningfully at her bare wrist. Kines took the hint. “My Lords, Ladies Primarch, if you’d like, the mess is open for dinner now,” he said.
“Excellent. Where to?” Freya asked, standing up.
“It’s two decks directly below us, Madam,” the Lieutenant said. He seemed about to say more when he suddenly cut his eyes left, the smile fading from his face.
Haarlan walked up behind the group, standing at respectful ease until they had all turned around. “Dinner is served, my Lords, Ladies Primarch. Shall we?”
“Ah, just in time,” Remilia said, standing up.
“Thanks, Lieutenant,” Alex said, leaning across the bar to shake Kines’ hand.
“Certainly, Lord Carlin, thanks for coming. And welcome aboard the Iron Tide,” Kines replied.
Alex hurried after his friends, following the political officer out. Once all six were in the corridor outside, Haarlan summoned a lift. As he reached out to press the button, however, Remilia frowned. “Wait, I thought the mess was below us,” she said, as Haarlan tapped the button for the deck above them.
“The officers’ mess is, Lady Remilia, the Captain’s Hall is above us.”
“Exalted company,” Jake murmured.
“Hardly, Lord,” Haarlan said. “Technically, Lady Primarch Venus has authority over the whole convoy.”
Venus laughed aloud. “An illusion I’m glad to dispel,” she chuckled. “I’m not here to assume command.”
He smiled. “I’m sure he knows,” Haarlan said, holding the lift hatch open. “But it would be improper not to let you dine with the ship’s Captain on the first night of the voyage,” he continued.
“Well, thank you, Commander,” Venus said, unconsciously assuming the lead in the little gaggle of people. Some parts of command were easier to remember than others. As they marched up to the entrance of the Captain’s Hall, the pair of formally-dressed Naval Provosts outside clicked their heels together and saluted.
As Haarlan returned the salute formally, Venus tugged her hunter green jacket a bit tighter. “I feel underdressed.”
“I’m sure the Captain wouldn’t mind if you were to pause to change into something more formal,” Haarlan said graciously. Alex and Jake glanced at each other in sudden unease.
“Nah, I didn’t pack anything more formal than this,” Venus decided, pushing the hatch open. Haarlan’s face froze, but he followed the group in, clearly wrong-footed.
The Captain and a few Salamander serfs in formal uniforms were already in the room, discussing something with a man whose clothes suggested membership in the Scholastica Psykana. At the arrival of the party, however, the conversation ceased. The Captain immediately marched up to the group and dropped to one knee before Venus, who skidded to a halt when she saw what was going on.
“My Lady Primarch Venus. I am Captain Roemer of the Iron Tide. It is an honor to have you aboard.”
“Please rise, Captain,” Venus said, annoyance and exasperation buried in her voice. Jake winced. “And thank you for ferrying us to our destination,” she added as Roemer rose to his feet.
Roemer nodded respectfully, though he wisely refrained from saluting, which technically would have been a breach of protocol while none of his guests were in uniform. “I hope you find our military fare to your liking, my Lady,” he said, gesturing to the table and moving to sit down.
Venus didn’t move an inch. When Roemer noticed, he glanced over his shoulder, to see Venus rubbing the bridge of her nose. She looked up at him, lips compressed. “Is this going to be an issue, Captain Roemer?”
The Captain blinked, nervously glancing over at Haarlan. “I beg your pardon, my Lady?”
“Captain, I do appreciate that you’re honored to be transporting us on your ship, really,” Venus said, as her companions shifted or looked at each other awkwardly. “But let me clarify: this is a road trip. We’re going on vacation. So…please, let’s keep things as informal as we feasibly can, all right, Captain?” she asked, smiling to take the edge off.
Roemer stared at Venus for a long moment, then acquiesced. “Very well, Lady Venus, if you insist. However, it would be downright rude of me not to offer you and your guests a dinner suited to your station. In this, I insist.”
Venus nodded her assent, walking over to the table, where the other senior crewers and the psyker had been nervously waiting the entire time. “Of course. Please don’t take this the wrong way, Captain. But I have four years, or more, ahead of me, instructing batch after batch of teachers and classmates not to treat me like a china doll. I’d prefer the summer vacation I enjoy beforehand be free of that sort of thing,” she said, her voice easily slipping into the effortlessly regal inflection of born nobility. “Sorry to disappoint you,” she said warmly, sliding into her seat, and offering up the carefree grin that had melted Jake’s heart in an instant.
Roemer managed a smile of his own, sitting in his seat at the side of the table, next to Venus’ own. Jake quickly slid into the seat at her other hand, while the rest of the party found chairs where they could. One of the serfs, however, leaned across the table to address Venus in person. “I’m glad you were able to make it home, ma’am.”
“Hm?” Venus looked up from her plate to look at the serf, and her jaw dropped. “Isaac? Is that you?”
“Well, you’re about a foot higher, but yes, it’s me,” the aging serf smiled.
“Isaac! It’s good to see you again!” Venus said happily, as she leaned back from the table to allow the servitors to deposit her meal.
“It is, ma’am,” the serf said. He turned to the table and addressed the other guests. “Lord Vulkan appointed me seniormost member of the Salamander contingent aboard. Venus and I,” he added, smiling at her as he said it, “are old sparring buddies. Such as it is.”
“Hah! Even by the time I finished your courses, you could still kick my ass raw,” Venus confessed.
“Bah, you were holding back by the end,” Isaac said, waving off her concerns. As the servitors finished depositing the food, however, he paused respectfully, as Roemer stood and offered his glass to the room.
“My Ladies and Lords, on behalf of the officers and crew of the RHN Iron Tide, SLFG 98, I wish to offer you all the compliments of the vessel. By the behest of her Primarch Ladyship Venus, I’ll only get to do this once, so please,” he added, smiling benignly, “accept my humble gratitude for your presence.”
“Thank you kindly, Captain Roemer,” Venus said, standing and bowing formally, pausing just before her hair dipped into the food. “I look forward to the journey.”
The meal itself went amicably. Remilia and one of the serfs engaged in a conversation about the most recent shifts of Terran politics, while Alex and the psyker – the ship’s Navigator’s assistant – found a common ground in their shared love of scrumball. Jake, meanwhile, was bursting at the seams with questions about their destination. “So, when we arrive, what do we expect? Dock in orbit, or on Prometheus?” he asked eagerly.
“Prometheus station itself,” Isaac said. “We’re going to be offloading substantial amounts of cargo first. Some Martian hardware for the Legion, and a few new satellites.”
“That’s just fine. I can’t wait,” Jake said, grinning to himself as the servitors cleared his plate away and dropped off a plate of something that smelled awesome.
“First time leaving Terra, Lord?” the Captain asked. He held his cup to the side for the servitor to top off with wine.
“First time leaving the atmosphere, really,” Jake said.
“Ah, a Terran born and bred, eh,” Roemer said knowingly. “I had never left Proximus Station until I went off to the officers’ academy.”
“Well, no, my family’s actually Martian by history, at least my father’s side is,” Jake explained, in reference to his Magos grandfather. “But my mothers’ side of the family and I have lived in the hives our whole lives.”
Roemer paused, cup halfway to his lips, glancing the pale young man over. “Ah…a hiver, then?”
Venus very slowly turned to face the Captain, as did Jake himself. “Surely that isn’t an issue, Captain,” Jake said, an instant before Venus could.
“No, no…of course not,” Roemer said hastily. “I simply didn’t know that any members of the Royal family lived in the hives.”
“I’m not a member of the Royal family,” Jake said truthfully.
“Forgive me, Lord, but I’m confused,” one of the officers to Roemer’s side asked, presumably so the Captain himself wouldn’t have to. “What relation do you have to Lady Primarch Venus?”
“He’s my boyfriend, Captain,” Venus supplied. Roemer shook his head again.
“Well, I apologize for my presumptuousness, Lord,” Roemer said. “I must have been misinformed. I was told you were a relative of Lady Misja.”
Jake chuckled self-effacingly. “I’m just some guy from Hive Tetra, Captain.”
“I see.” The Captain just sort of looked at him for a moment, then returned to his food in silence. Venus looked worriedly at her boyfriend, but he was smiling into his dessert.
“Lady Remilia, if I may ask, how did the horrible situation with Lady Morticia resolve?” the ship’s mate asked.
“As well as any teenage girl getting shot can be,” Remilia said heavily. “She’ll make a full recovery.”
“Excellent,” the officer said. “We were all devastated when we heard that she had been hurt.”
“The assassin got twenty years,” Remilia informed him.
“Seems a bit light, really,” the officer noted.
“Twenty years of waiting for release from prison, followed by a lifetime of looking over your shoulder for the Death God and the Night Haunter?” Remilia pointed out. She smirked cruelly. “Sounds like a punishment to me.”
The ship’s mate nodded slowly. “In hindsight, that does sound…just. Well. We’re all glad to hear that she’s going to be all right.”
“So were we, believe me,” Remilia said.
Freya glanced sideways at her down the table, and tapped her finger on the surface once. Remilia nodded agreement.
“Captain, thank you for this excellent dinner,” Venus said, apparently catching the vibe.
“My honor, Lady Venus,” Roemer said, rising to his feet and bowing courteously. “I look forward to having you with us on our journey.”
“My gratitude,” Venus said, the weight of nobility lending the statement gravitas, and bowed formally as the party stood. As they wended their way through the decorated stateroom, she rose and turned a smile to Isaac.
“Isaac, my old friend. Want to pick up where we left off?” she asked, suddenly mischievous.
The serf nodded glumly, plodding over to the hatch after a perfunctory salute to the Captain. “I guess it’s been too long coming, hasn’t it?”
“Far too long,” Venus said cheerfully.
“Well…at least allow an old man his final rest,” the serf said wearily.
“Oh, for goodness’ sake, you’re younger than I am,” Venus said dismissively. Haarlan held the hatch open for the group as they departed, walking by the guards.
“Still, I may need the night to get back into shape,” Isaac said, brushing invisible lint from his spotless black and green uniform.
Venus sighed dramatically. “Oh, if you insist. Be there…say, 1000 tomorrow?”
Isaac finally grinned. “Count on it, Venus.” The group entered the lift, he tapped the button for one of the serfs’ quartering decks. “Wear something durable,” he said under his breath as he got off.
Roemer sat back down, pouring himself another drink. “Well…that was different,” he said to the room.
“Royalty they may be, but kids none the less,” the psyker noted.
“Bah. The consort of Lady Venus isn’t even a noble,” the ship’s mate pointed out. “And such disrespect! A bloody road trip? Do they not know of any civilian lines to carry them to Nocturne? This is a frontline warship!”
“Do you know of any civilian lines to carry them to Nocturne?” the Captain reasoned. “It’s a Death World.”
“Yes, sir,” the mate allowed, “but to divert us like this, then refuse any ceremony, seems ungrateful.”
“How were we diverted, exactly?” Roemer asked. “We were going this way anyway.”
The mate nodded, conceding the point. Roemer continued. “I will admit that I was surprised by the Lady’s friend. How would she even meet a hiver?”
“Nothing wrong with hivers, Captain,” the psyker counseled.
“Well, color me surprised,” Roemer said. “I would have thought the Lady would have chosen someone a bit…classier.”
“You don’t even know the lad,” the psyker said, standing as well. “I am glad, however, to hear that Lady Morticia is on the road to recovery.”
“Yes, that was welcome news,” Roemer said. “Well. We shall have to see how this goes. At least she seemed familiar with Sieur Isaac.”
Haarlan glanced sideways at Venus as the hatch closed. “Have you some history with the man, my Lady?”
“He kicked the shit out of me for seven years,” Venus said with grim humor. Haarlan stared at her, shocked. “He was the unarmed combat instructor my father hired to teach me close quarters combat. I never really took to it like Furia or Farah, but I learned a thing or two.” She turned her smile on Remilia. “I wonder if he’ll find it as easy as it was to throw me over his knee when I’m a foot taller.”
“I…see,” Haarlan said. “Did you know he would be aboard?”
“I’m shocked. I thought he was reassigned to Nocturne itself a long time ago,” Venus said.
“Tomorrow, on Terran Sports Network, the Rematch of the Century!” Alex said, in the voice of a sports announcer. He leaned forward, gesturing to Venus and the now-departed serf. “In one corner, the living volcano, in the other, some guy I just met!”
“Do kindly fuck off,” Venus said sweetly, as Jake and Remilia laughed. Haarlan stared. Freya sniggered behind her hand, muttering something. Venus turned to her and cocked a brow. “Something to add, Freya?”
“No, nothing you didn’t already know,” Freya said, all airs and modesty. Venus’ eyes brightened and narrowed, flooding Freya’s corner of the lift with light.
“Uh huh.” Venus slowly crossed her arms. “That gym’s seeing some trade tomorrow…”
So...any critiques?

Imma go have some dessert.
Looking good so far, brah.
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Nothing more...specific?

Ah well.

Here's more.
The group arrived back on the deck where they had been before and wandered back into the O-Club. “Who’s up for a nightcap?” Freya asked, breezing through the hatch into the club.
“I’m in,” Alex said. “Something fortifying.” Freya smiled.
Kines was still behind the bar, deftly handing bottles and glasses out to officers crowding around him. The crowd parted before them though, and somehow all five managed to find seats. “Hello, Lieutenant,” Freya said cheerfully.
“Hello, Lady Russ,” Kines said. “What can I get for you?”
“A glass of ice water, a glass of orange juice, an empty glass, and directions to the nearest dartboard,” she said cheerfully. Remilia and Venus exchanged exasperated looks. “I have bets to harvest.”
Kines stared, as did several of the officers around them. “Uh. All right…” he said, slowly filling the order. “There’s a few dartboards in this lounge…over on the far wall,” he said, pointing.
“Superb. I’ll be back a few hundred credits richer,” she proclaimed, taking her glasses and departing.
“You have no idea what you’ve unleashed, my friend,” Remilia said gravely. “Never get between Freya and anything she can turn into a competition.”
“I don’t plan to,” Kines said, back to business. “Anything I can get you, my Lady?”
“Just a soda, I think,” Remilia said. “We have to accommodate the young folk,” she said, waving cheerfully at Jake, the only sixteen-year-old in the room.
“Har har,” Jake grumbled.
Venus tapped a finger on her chin, looking over the selection. “Just an orange too, I think. Then I’m going to watch Freya put seasoned fighter pilots to shame.”
“I need to see this,” Jake said, standing and following his girlfriend across the room.
Freya was holding court, balancing the two full glasses in her hands with the empty one on a vacant stool near a dartboard. A few officers, their expressions balanced between astonished and cautious, watched from the sidelines. “Well?” Freya asked. One fighter pilot stepped forward, dropping a ten-credit coin in the empty cup.
“Sure, I’ll step up,” he said. He grabbed the blue darts and put them on the stool next to the empty cup, hefting the red ones for himself.
“Attaboy,” Freya said, grinning broadly. She downed the orange juice in one gulp, then dropped a coin of her own in the cup, setting the empty cup down beside it. She scooped up the blue darts and waited, eyes narrowed.
Jake crossed his arms and watched, as the pilot took a few practice swings, then unloaded the darts into the board. His aim was above fair, and most struck near the center. Freya nodded slowly, then stepped back. “All right, who’s next?” she asked.
“What? You’re not going, Lady Freya?” the pilot asked.
“Oh, I am, but I go last. Keeps the blood out of the water until the last moment,” she said slyly. “I’ll match any bet you care to place.”
“Oh, words,” the pilot said, though he looked like he wanted to say much more. Several other officers stepped up to try their luck with the red darts, and a few managed to do even better than the first once had. Freya matched each bet, until the empty glass was full of credit chips, coins, candy, and other tokens of wagers. Finally, it was full, and she stepped up to the line as well. She downed the ice water, which had been perspiring in her hand the whole time, and turned to face the board in profile, rolling the darts around in her free hand.
Sorry dude, I'm a tad distracted. Besides, never felt I was qualified to comment on other people's writing beyond pointing out grammar errors and shit (which I haven't seen any of in this case anyway).
It's OK. I just like it when people ask me questions. Even banal questions are more rewarding feedback than anything, really.
She sighted down one dart and let it go, slamming it into the board just above the center bullseye. “Got you,” she said happily, picking up another dart.
“Got what?” Jake asked.
“The range,” she said cheerfully, and her wrist blurred. The other darts slammed into the board like homing missiles, knocking other darts loose and filling the center of the board entirely.
The crowd went silent. Freya made a show of breathing on her nails and wiping them off on her shoulder, as if it were not even a thing. “All too easy. Good game, gentlemen,” she said, picking up the cup and making to walk off.
“Ah ah ah, just a moment, madam,” a voice said from the crowd. All eyes turned to a grizzled-looking Warrant Officer, who had been watching the spectacle since it began. “Put that cup down, if you please.”
“Something wrong, Chief?” Freya asked, a hint of a canine growl in her voice, just…just barely loud enough to hear.
The Warrant glared at the darts on the floor. “One more,” he said. “Horse.”
“Hm. Pair of balls on you, Chief,” Freya said appraisingly. The crowd rumbled, apparently sensing blood.
“Put your money where your confidence is, my Lady, and I will too,” the Warrant said, pulling a blank card from his pocket and swiping it through his reader. He tapped a number in, dropping it on the stool where the cup had been. Freya picked it up and swiped it herself.
Her red eyebrows went up when she saw the number. “Oooh, a risk-taker. I do so approve,” she said, her voice low and thoughtful. She looked up with a calculating gleam in her eye, staring down the challenger. His eyes stayed level, unassuming. She grinned suddenly, displaying her fangs. “You’re on.”
“Good,” he said, grabbing the darts from the board and scooping up the ones from the floor. The crowd took a few hasty steps back. Freya and the Warrant lined up, both turning to face the board in profile. “Whenever you’re ready,” he said.
Freya grinned tightly. “Thanks,” she said quietly, and threw the first dart. It thudded into the very center of the inner bullseye, and the Warrant nodded.
“Sure.” He threw his own, and it knocked Freya’s loose.
Freya nodded, impressed. “Cool. Try this.” She hauled off, sending one deliberately into the very highest point of the board.
The Warrant tossed his own dart, neatly knocking Freya’s out again. “Like this?”
Freya’s eyes narrowed as the crowed oohed and aahed. “Hmm. Hey, this is horse, not score attack, right?”
“That’s right, yeah,” the Warrant said, glancing over his shoulder at her.
“Nifty,” she said, and changed her stance, now facing the board with her left hand. “Try to keep up.” She threw another dart, and it landed dead center of the board.
“Oh, and subterfuge is employed,” the Warrant groused. He turned as well and threw, but the dart clattered off the wall next to the board. The crowd broke out in applause and catcalls, with several dejected officers reluctantly passing their jubilant neighbors coins and cards of their own.
Freya preened, sliding the Warrant’s card into the cup and sticking her hand out. “Good game, Chief,” she said happily.
He sighed, taking her hand. “Good game. I should have specified stance rules.”
“Should have, but you didn’t,” she noted, picking up the remaining darts on the stool and *thunking* them into the board, one by one. “See you next time.” She bounced over to where Jake and Alex were standing in awe. “Kiss,” she instructed leaning out and fluttering her lashes.
Alex pecked her on the check and gathered the empty drink glasses. “Nice job, baby.”
“Was there every any doubt? I mean really?” she asked, walking back to the bar, lucre in hand.
“Not for a moment,” Alex said.
Jake shook his head, squeezing Venus’ hand when he returned to his seat. “I dunno, I think that Warrant might be back for blood tomorrow.”
“Let him come, I can’t be beat at darts,” Freya said proudly.
“Mission accomplished, madam?” Kines asked, rubbing a glass clean.
“Aye aye,” Freya said, placing the cup on the counter.
Kines stared. “Say, that’s impressive,” he said. “I doubt you’ll find so many willing volunteers tomorrow night.”
“You said yourself that there’s other lounges aboard,” she reminded him.
“Well…the staff officers’ lounge and the enlisted lounge, sure,” Kines said.
Freya offered up a feral grin, her eyes glinting in the shifting light of the bar. “Problem solved.”
Alex downed his tonic, washing the bitter taste down with another sip of water. “I think it might be time to turn in, actually,” he said.
Remilia nodded, finishing her own drink. “I think so,” she said reluctantly. She glanced meaningfully over at Venus, who caught the hint and nodded invisibly. Freya, beyond her, did as well, and Remilia stood up. “Well. Thanks for the drink, Lieutenant. I’ll see you all tomorrow,” she said.
“My pleasure, my Lady,” Kines said warmly, waving the group farewell as they packed up to go. Haarlan, who had sat there fielding questions and being glared at by the pilots the entire time, stood up to guide them back to their rooms.
As they exited the lounge and the ambient noise died down, Freya suddenly stopped dead. “Fuck, hang on,” she said, turning back and making for the bar. She jogged across the room, reaching the bar again, looking around for her cup of winnings.
“Ma’am?” Kines asked, pausing.
“The cup. Where did it…ah,” she said, snatching up the money and other prizes. “Almost forgot.”
“Can’t have that,” Kines observed. “Want a bag?”
“Ha! Why not,” Freya said, dumping her gains into the plastic bag Kines offered. She paused before turning away. “Actually…I was wondering. Do you know where I can get an internal deck map?”
“Well, I’m sure Haarlan has one,” Kines said.
“I mean one of my own,” Freya said.
Kines blinked. “Well…no, madam, the vessel’s layout isn’t exactly written down somewhere a boarder could find it,” he said.
“Oh.” Freya cocked her head. “Then…how do new crew get used to the ship’s layout?”
“Extensive training on simulators, and color-coded lines on the decks and bulkheads, ma’am, correlated to the rooms along the corridors,” Kines said. “What are you trying to find?”
“The gym, if there is one,” Freya said.
Kines brightened. “Ah. Deck fifty nine, corridor two. The color code is Green for quarters and recreation. Blue is batteries, Red is command, Yellow is engines and maneuvering. There’s also wall maps in places.”
“Great, thanks,” Freya said, grabbing the bag. “See you tomorrow?”
“Sure, I’ll be here. Sleep well, my Lady,” Kines said, resuming his scrubbing.
Freya rejoined the others, bag in hand. “Can’t leave without my bankroll!” she announced.
“Hah! Hey, can I get some of that? I promised Dad a souvenir,” Jake joked.
“Challenge me tomorrow, and maybe you’ll get some,” Freya said, getting into the lift. Haarlan keyed the deck for their quarters, and they were off. Upon arrival, the group moved to the end of the corridor, and found their rooms had been tidied up in their absence.
“All right, then. My Lords, Ladies, I will see you on the morrow,” Haarlan said. “Breakfast is served from 0600 to 0700, in the Captain’s Hall.”
“Are the enlisted and officers’ messes open other times?” Venus asked, pausing on the threshold of her room.
“I believe so, madam, if you would prefer a later time,” Haarlan said hesitantly.
“Not later, earlier,” Venus said. “I get up much earlier. But hey, that’s all right,” Venus said, noting his expression and misinterpreting it. “I’ll just go to one of the other ones. Good night,” she said, closing her hatch.
“See you all tomorrow,” Remilia said, moving to start her own bathroom rituals.
Freya dropped her bag in the chair by the hatch, heading for the bathroom. “Wow, look at you,” Alex said, pawing through its contents. “There’s gotta be six, seven hundred credits in here.”
“That last bet is a good half of it. I almost feel bad, exerting my absolute dominance over that guy like that,” Freya said casually from the bathroom, before the closing hatch cut her off.
Alex snorted, dropping the bag and surveying the room. It was nicely appointed; it must have served as a VIP room frequently before.
Venus’ room was identical. She finished up in the bathroom and Jake took her place, as she pulled a sleeping shirt on. When Jake was done, he snapped his fingers once and the lights died completely. He made his way over to the bed and slid in, snuggling up next to Venus under the covers. She rested her head on his shoulder, accepting a little kiss on the forehead with a contented sigh. “Day one,” she said.
“Heh. Yeah.” Jake squeezed his arm around her shoulders, grinning. “Man. Nocturne. I can not wait!” he said, nearly giddy.
“I’m happy you’re so excited. I doubt there’ll be much ceremony after the first few days,” she said, closing her eyes so his world wasn’t bright red.
“Which is fine for me, as you know. Are you looking forward to it?” he asked her.
“I am. A few of the ceremonies are just formalities, some are more meaningful.” She thought it over. “Hmm…I guess you can’t actually attend some of them. They’re specific to blood relatives of Dad, and Legionnaires.”
“Oh. Well…all right. I’ll just chill out somewhere. If such a thing is possible on Nocturne,” he joked. She chuckled softly.
“So…I hope you weren’t offended by Roemer’s little Q&A session about your origin story,” she said.
“Nah. I surprise people. I like that,” Jake said. Venus laughed, bringing a smile to Jake’s lips. She hugged him across the chest as she lay on her side, and he tugged his arm free to squeeze her hand. “You don’t think it will happen on Nocturne itself, do you?” he asked.
“Not even once. Believe me, compared to the way so many Nocturneans live, Terran upper hivers live like royalty anyway,” Venus said quietly. “Now…I’ll see you tomorrow, all right?”
Jake squeezed her hand again, then rolled onto his side, facing his back to her, as they had found it was the most comfortable position for someone who lacked her heat tolerance. She lay flat on her back, eyes still shut, and rested, letting the faintest sound of his heartbeat – which her augmented ears could pick up even over the ambient Warp drive noise – lull her to sleep.
Remilia slid her earplugs in and turned the light on, burying herself in her magazine and thinking over the events of the day. The dinner had been enlightening, for sure. She had never met a ship where psykers of lower rank than the Navigator themself was welcome at the Captain’s table. And the complete lack of tension between Roemer and Haarlan could either be good or very bad. A political officer and Captain who got along that well were either trusted comrades – which Kines had hinted wasn’t the case – or toadies.
She sighed in frustration, turning the light off and tossing the holomag onto the table. Either way, it meant an interesting trip, she supposed.
Alex finished up in the bathroom, and emerged to find that the room was already pitch dark. He grinned triumphantly, and quickly doused the lights in the bathroom too, stripping his clothes off and waiting.
Silence. He paused, listening carefully, but she was completely quiet. He stepped forward, wondering if she was even playing their game. Then, the faintest noise, someone shifting their balance on the carpeted deck, caught his ear, directly in front of him.
He nodded. His heart rate spiked. He felt himself harden up as he walked quietly, adrenaline running through his limbs. He moved as silently as he could, not even trying to hide from her senses, but still playing the role. Finally, he paused, a few inches from where he had heard her, and raised his arms slightly.
He heard the sound from behind him, and he glanced over his shoulder. Darkness. Then…suddenly, it was in front of him again, and he felt her hair brush against his outstretched hands. He moved his hands together, and felt the solid racks of muscle along her flanks. She slid into his arms, pressing her entire back against his front, and clasping her hands over his. “Have you ever had sex in the Warp?” he asked, his voice rough and throaty. “Because…my god, you’re about to.”
“Not yet,” she whispered softly. “Show me how.”
And he did.
All dat text, all dose hits on F5
Freya cradled the cup of water she’d brought from the bathroom in her hands, listening to Alex slow down. More than just coming down from the peak, he was relaxing. She hadn’t told him what it sounded like, or that she listened, but she did. She let her super-human senses tell her a story.
His heart was slowing a little, his pulse was quieting. As it did, the tiny movements in his skin from pulsing blood grew less distinct. His skin lightened as his circulation slowed, and his bare chest settled as he took shallower breaths. She waved the light down and watched as his eyelids relaxed. As the adrenaline in his body faded away, the melatonin of late night and endorphins of the afterglow seeped through him, relaxing his muscles and tendons.
She took a sip from her cup, listening. The sound of his breath and heartbeat both slowed, growing more sluggish, as he drifted off to sleep. The muscles in his tongue and jaw tightened, just a tiny bit. She smiled, looking down at his body on the mattress next to her. He was familiar.
She had asked her father once if actual wolves had senses that refined. He had said no; that she and his battle-brothers were even better, and special. They were more than their namesake, and more than human. Freya didn’t know if that was true or not, and probably never would. But she enjoyed them for what they were.
Freya wasn’t a psyker. She couldn’t sense the instant his mind was freed from activity and released into dreams. But she could smell his pheromones, and she could hear his heartbeat as clear as a bell. And when he fell asleep, she smiled to herself again. “I love you,” she whispered, so quietly that even she could barely hear it. He didn’t stir.
>warp sex

If this were standard 40K fiction, I'd be calling "DAEMONS ERR'WHERE" right about now.
Freya drank the rest of the water and cleaned herself off with a handful of tissue. She tossed it in the trash and slipped silently under the covers, pushing her braids out from under her head. Even with the lights off, and the room almost absolutely dark, she could see, just a little. When she played their game, she couldn’t actually see him all that well, in the darkness of a ship cabin; the way she found him was the way she eluded him. She used her hearing, which didn’t need a medium more complex than atmosphere, and even if he was still she could hear him perfectly. When he walked into the room blind, she could catch him. She’d never hurt him, of course. She had vastly more control than that. But she had inherited more than her namesake’s senses and competitive attitude. She was playful, and the thrill of eluding him and letting him catch her – or not – felt better than nearly anything they did afterwards.
She turned her head slightly, and watched his chest expand and contract as he breathed. She could hear the rush of air, and even smell the air he exhaled. She watched his skin darken as his heart pushed blood through him, and lighten as he pulled it back through his veins. The ventilation system of the room pulled the smell of their mating away, replacing it with the flat, sterile air of the ship, and his head tilted towards the air vent slightly.
Freya closed her eyes, and listened to Alex sleep. “Thanks for playing,” she whispered. “Good night, Alex.”
K, that's the end of day one of their trip.

Their ninety-day trip.

Any questions, comments, critiques, anything?
Not much to say except good stuff. Looking forward to the next installment!
Well, either way, I want to talk a bit about my vision of the setting.

The Editor, where you at? I'd love to chat.

The way this is going to work is thus: Ten days in the Warp, thirty on Nocturne, ten in the Warp again, twenty eight on Fenris, then back to Earth for college and so forth. Obviously, I'm stretching times a bit here: a real trip like that could take years.

Since the Daughters are basically the third highest nobles in the galaxy, it's a bit unfair of Venus to expect people to treat her more informally. Especially since Captain Roemer (guess where I stole that name from) answers directly to Vulkan.

The legal drinking age on Terra (and all Navy ships) is 18, though of course little alcohol is served at all on a ship whose job it is to fly ahead of convoys to spring any traps.

Alex is going to start a sports career after they get back to Terra, and he's under no illusions that Freya is going to stay with him after that. She has no idea what she wants to do with life, but it's not be a stay-at-home wife to a rugby player.

Freya's scene at the end there is something I wanted to explore: those girls (Cora, Freya, Angela, Venus, and to a lesser extent Isis) with animal traits see the world a bit differently than the rest. I wanted to show how. How did I do?
Venus’s glowing eyes snapped open. She flicked her finger at the bedside table once, and a tiny digital clock blinked on. 0510.
She rolled out of bed, moving silently. The distant background rumble of the ship was all she could hear as she grabbed the clothes she had laid out beforehand and slid into the bathroom, emerging fully dressed. She stuffed a towel and her exercise clothes into a bag and padded over to the hatch, sliding it open and checking that the coast was clear.
It was. She rapped on Remilia’s hatch once, listening.
“Come,” Remilia called out. Venus keyed the hatch and walked in. Remilia was dressed too, and Freya was already shouldering her bag. “Hey, Venus. Ready to go?”
“Sure am. Freya, ready to get your ass kicked?” Venus asked.
“Oh, is that what’s about to happen?” Freya asked, stretching her arms over her head. “Because I thought you were about to check into the phlebotomists’.”
“Maybe, or perhaps I’ll surprise you,” Venus said, low and ominous.
“Hardly, you need to be ambulatory for Isaac,” Freya pointed out.
Venus tsked. “Yeah…oh well. I’ll demolish you later.”
All three girls lifted their bags and walked down the corridor to the lift. Freya punched in the right deck, and they were off.
The guard outside the gym straightened up as he saw the three Royal daughters arrive. “My Ladies Primarch.”
“Provost. Is the gym open?” Remilia asked.
“For you, it is, Madam,” the Provost said, opening the hatch for them. “The women’s’ lockers are on the far right.”
The trio entered the indicated room, quickly changing into their exercise suits, and dispersed throughout the room, starting their own routines. As Remilia set up on a machine in the center of the room, however, Freya paused her own setup. She looked over at her cousin, and mimed running her hands over her forearms.
Remilia was wearing a tank top. The scars on her arms were plainly visible. She caught Freya’s gaze and ruefully shook her head. “People are going to notice. May as well not hide it,” she said under her breath. Freya looked pained, but didn’t reply. It was her choice. She was hardly dressed conservatively herself, anyway, skintight spandex over sports underwear, cut at the mid-thigh and tricep. Any longer, she had found, and running was uncomfortable.
Venus, meanwhile, was loading up a leg lift machine, and noted a few more people drifting into the room. Most looked to be crewers ending their night shifts. A few paused to stare at their guests, but most simply moved to start their own routines, casting only the occasional glance their way. That suited Venus fine.
She worked the machine, thinking. What would she be called upon to do on Nocturne, exactly? She knew that a few ceremonies were going to happen, inevitably, and she was looking forward to one or two. Keeping in mind her father’s desire for her to take a more visible role in the operations of the Royal Estate, she was certain she’d be called upon to make an address, something that she would feel guilty refusing.
Venus leaned back for a moment, pausing to increase the weight on the bar a bit as she did so. “Hmm…what would Mom ask?” she asked aloud.
“Sorry?” a voice replied. She glanced down to see that a Naval crewman was working the machine opposite her.
“Just thinking aloud, Petty Officer,” she said, noting the tattoo on his shoulder. Senior Torpedoman’s Mate.
“All right.” He returned to his own reps, casting a shameful glance at the massive pile of metal on Venus’ stack. She smiled to herself.
With a glance to see what the others were doing – Freya was starting in on her hauler’s circuit, Remilia on free weights – she resumed her musings. There was one part of the trip home that was essentially cut and dried. She would have to appear before the Circle of Masters, for ceremony if nothing else. Fortunately – for him – Jake wouldn’t be able to attend. That was for the Fire-Born. “Or Fire-Seared,” she said, chuckling.
She disentangled from her machine, cricking her back and casting an eye around for a treadmill. Spotting one, she made for it, and smiled broadly as she noted its settings. “Excellent. Treadmills with no sprint settings are shit,” she said, climbing on and thumbing it up.
Freya finished her own run, loping off the treadmill and glancing over the single weights. Finding them dissatisfying, she made instead for a squat rack, and set about assembling a barbell.
A midshipman wandered up, hands in pockets. “You need a spotter, honey?” he asked, clearly not knowing who she was.
Freya clipped several fifty-kilo plates to it, not even bothering to turn and look him in the eye until she slid under the bar. “Not unless you’ve got servos in those noodles attached to your shoulders,” she said, making sure the sailor got a good look at the wolf’s head tattoos on her triceps as she lifted.
His jaw dropped. “Uh…all right then,” he said, backing up a few paces.
Several decks up, the alarm went off in Alex and Freya’s room, and Alex swatted at it. He blearily glanced at the time. “Oh fuck…I hit the hours button wrong,” he groaned as he realized his folly. It was a full hour before he had wanted to get up. “Oh to hell with it,” he grumbled, clambering out of bed and pulling some clothes on.
Jake was awakened by a loud rapping on the hatch. “Whu…who is it?” he asked, noting Venus’ absence. “Who’s there?”
“It’s Alex.”
“The fuck do you want, man, it’s…it’s fucking 0600,” Jake groaned, staring at the clock.
“Uh…sorry, I thought we were gonna get up and…” Alex improvised as he realized his mistake.
“Yeah, at fucking 0700,” Jake said angrily. “I’ll be around, let me sleep.”
“Uh…I’mma hit the gym if you want to come,” Alex said.
Jake glared into the darkness. “No.”
“The girls will be there still,” Alex pointed out.
Several seconds of silence passed. “Damn you,” Jake half-heartedly cursed, flicking the lights up and grabbing some clothes.
Dressed and moderately awake, Jake followed Alex wearily down the corridor. He didn’t really work out much, so he was feeling a bit self-conscious, but he was just tired enough not to care.
The guard outside the gym let them both in, and they changed in the locker room. When Alex walked into the main gym, however, he stopped dead. Jake nearly collided with him.
“What’s up?” Jake asked, peering over the other boy into the room. He caught sight of what was happening in the ring – “Oh. Huh.”
Remilia and Freya were squared off in the boxing ring, and the battle was well under way. The taller, blond Remilia was clearly on the defensive from the redheaded Freya, and several drops of blood were already decorating both girls’ shirts. Several dozen crewers and officers had paused their own routine to watch the blistering exchange.
Freya jerked her head back to dodge a jab from Remilia, then ducked low and lurched forward, slamming three quick punches into Remilia’s ribs. Remilia grimaced and swept her arms aside, brushing a trickle of blood off of her lips. She lunged forward, catching her cousin by surprise, and rammed her knee upwards, trying to catch Freya under the ribcage.
and now cousins kicking the christ out of each other
The spectacle was all the more impressive for its total silence. Freya was clearly holding back a bit, but Remilia wasn’t even trying to, and that was probably the only reason she was even still standing. Freya absorbed a few probing blows from Remilia before turning to her profile and leaning back, as Remilia swung her leg in a vicious lateral kick. Freya caught her cousin and wrenched, sending Remilia to the ground in a heap. She stood back, arms crossed. “Need help?”
“Cram it,” Remilia snarled, rising to her feet and settling into a stance.
Confident that they had drawn every eye in the gym, Jake tapped Alex on the shoulder and jerked his head over to the free weights. Alex nodded, grinning at the rapt attention most of the room was paying to the girls in the ring. Both boys wandered over to the weights, as Jake hesitantly selected one, hefting it.
Venus noticed what the two young men were doing and smiled, watching as Alex instructed Jake in the proper stance for lifting, which he had promised the previous night. Apparently the two had decided that with nothing else to do on a warship for three stretches of ten days each, Jake might as well catch up to the others in terms of fitness.
Meanwhile, Remilia returned to dodging a blizzard of blows from her shorter cousin, putting her longer legs to good use. She pivoted on her heel, driving her elbow towards Freya’s face, expecting her to duck it and open her guard. Instead, Freya just leaned forward a bit, taking the elbow strike on the forehead, and leaned into the next shot, which slammed into Remilia’s flank with bruising force.
Remilia yelped in sudden pain, wobbling back a step. Freya shrugged, all confidence, even as a ribbon of blood worked its way down her forehead. Remilia coughed, checked to make sure that she didn’t have any internal wounds, and put her fists back up.
Freya bared her fangs, feral and bloodthirsty. “Attagirl,” she snarled, and dropped into a crouching stance. Remilia spat a drop of blood onto the mat and advanced, swinging low. Her redheaded cousin dodged sideways, tilting her chest so that the punches rolled off, never taking her eyes off her cousin. Remilia snorted in contempt, sweeping her legs low, trying to knock Freya off her feet. She didn’t even bat an eye, bouncing off her feet, keeping her center of gravity level. Remilia abandoned the tactic, ramming her hand into the ground to act as a fulcrum, and swept her other leg at waist height, catching Freya on the hip and launching her into the ropes. Freya rebounded, bracing her left arm to catch the expected reprisal shot from Remilia, but Remilia wasn’t there. Instead, she had risen to her feet again, and swung another side kick at Freya.
Freya clamped her arm down over Remilia’s leg. “Gotcha,” she barked triumphantly.
Remilia kicked off the ground, slamming her free leg into Freya’s other side. Freya’s eyes glazed over in pain. She gasped, releasing Remilia and sinking to her knees.
“What have you got, now?” Remilia taunted, scrambling back up.
Freya cannoned into her, pinning her to the ropes and slamming both hands into her midsection. Remilia tried to right herself, but Freya ducked low, grabbed her cousin by the thigh and shoulder, and twisted. Remilia flew across the ring and slammed into the mat face-down, stunned. Freya ran after her, fangs bared, a red blur in the air trailing her head like a comet. She skidded to a halt on one knee next to her cousin, eyes bloodshot, and one hand pulled back into an animal claw.
Remilia meekly tapped the mat three times, face still flat on the ground.
Freya’s rough, panting breath was more or less the only sound in the room, as she fought down her instincts. After a few seconds, though, the red film receded from her vision. She grabbed Remilia, jerking her up.
Remilia tottered on her feet, blood oozing from her mouth and from a small abrasion on her shoulder. She focused her eyes on her cousin with effort, her chest heaving. Freya stared her down for a moment before hugging her across the shoulders. “Better luck next time,” the pretty berserker said, carefree.
“My ass,” Remilia said, shrugging her cousin’s arm off. She took a step back and bowed, shaking her blond hair loose from its tie as she did, and Freya mirrored the gesture, to the muted applause of several of the crew in the room.
And this is why you do not fight Freya Russ: she's got just a bit of her father's RIP AND TEAR in her.
“If anyone recorded that,” Freya said cheerfully, vaulting the ropes and landing on the ground below with a grace that belied her vicious behavior moments ago, “he gets to walk back to Terra.” The applauding crewers faltered, unsure if she was joking.
Remilia rolled her eyes, vaulting the ropes too. When she landed, however, she had to stifle a whimper of pain. Freya looked back and cocked her eyebrow. “Yep…definitely a crack,” Remilia muttered darkly.
“Hmm?” Freya grabbed her towel, wiping off the blood and sweat. “What’s up?”
“I definitely cracked an ulna,” Remilia said, cradling her left arm.
“Ah, shit, I’m sorry,” Freya said, gently taking the hand and staring at Remilia’s scarred arm intently. Sure enough, she could already see a little swelling forming under the crosshatched scars on her cousin’s pale skin. “I didn’t mean to.”
“Of course you didn’t, but I should get a cold wrap on that after I shower off. Also,” Remilia said, grabbing her own towel and drying herself off right-handed, “I am starving to death, here. What time is it?”
“Around 0700,” Venus said, walking up. “And damn, Freya, you lost it in there,” she added under her breath.
“How often do I get to fight someone my own level that doesn’t outmass me by a hundred and twenty kilograms?” Freya asked. She caught Venus’ reproachful stare and coughed self-consciously. “Well, I’m sorry if I scared you, but believe me, I was in control.”
“Yeah…sure. Anyway, I, too, am ravenous,” Venus said, glancing around for the boys.
Alex was standing next to Jake, adjusting his grip on the deadweight the taller boy was lifting. “There. Make sure the weight is pushing straight down your legs. Don’t lean, just keep everything below the knee straight.”
“Right,” Jake grunted, lifting from the leg.
“There you go, better. Now…try it twice, no pausing.” Jake did so, sweat running down his neck.
“How many reps, you think, now that I have the stance,” he asked tightly.
“As many as you can without having to stop. Do that many, then rest for a bit, slug some water, and do it again.” Alex returned to his own weights, glancing over to make sure Jake’s form was proper. “Eventually, you’ll be able to do more.”
“Right.” Jake hefted the weight again, then glanced to the side as a flash of familiar red caught his eyes. “Actually…looks like we’re leaving,” he said, noticing all three girls moving for the exit.
“Ah, all right. Set it down, then, move from the legs, not the back,” Alex said, watching as his charge did so. “Great.”
“You guys ready to get some food?” Freya asked, trotting up.
“You bet,” Jake said, setting the weight down and cricking his back. “Hell of a fight up there.”
“Yeah, that was fun,” Freya said, slinging her towel.
“How can you even be breathing after that shot to the side?” Jake asked, rubbing his hands on his towel.
Freya snorted. She pointed at one side of her stomach. “Feel.” Jake blinked, but dutifully pressed his finger against her bare flank. Freya tensed her muscles, and pressed his finger back.
“Holy shit,” he said.
“I’m fine, trust me,” Freya said proudly. “Remilia, however,” she said, glancing at her cousin, who was walking into the shower, “is gonna need a wrap on that arm.”
“Break something?” Alex asked, hefting his stuff.
“Cracked ulna. She’ll be fine by night, trust me,” Freya said.
All three teens made for the restrooms, cleaning up and emerging scrubbed and dressed, awaiting Remilia. Venus emerged a moment later, her damp hair still shimmering under the lights.
Remilia herself walked out a few minutes later, cold wrap in place, and the group walked up to the lifts, a few crewers passing them on the way down to the gym. As they reached the lifts, however, Alex paused.
“You know…I’m curious,” he said. “What do the enlisted mess and the officers’ mess look like?”
“Well, all we’ve seen so far is the Captain’s Hall,” Venus said. “You want to try one of the other ones?”
Alex laughed. “I would just love to see the looks on people’s faces when you three walk into the enlisted mess.”
Jake shook his head. “If you want to do it, go for it.”
Remilia chuckled, clutching her arm to her chest. “Sure, I could use a laugh.”
Alex grinned. “All right.” He tapped the call button and turned to face the others. “Do we know where it is?”
“I do,” Venus said. “I’ve seen the ship’s layout before. Four decks down, four corridors to port.”
“Cool,” Alex said. The hatch split open behind him.
“Ah, there you re, my Lords and Ladies,” Commander Haarlan said, grabbing the hatch and holding it open. “I was wondering where you were.”
“Oh, good morning, Commander,” Venus said brightly. “We were just going to grab some food.”
“Very well,” the Commander said. He inhaled sharply when he saw Freya’s and Remilia’s injuries. “What happened to you two, my Ladies? You both look like you lost a fight!”
“I lost a fight, Freya didn’t,” Remilia admitted. Haarlan looked from one to the other, clearly disconcerted.
“I see…my Ladies, I feel that I must ask if it is appropriate for you two to be fighting one another like that,” Haarlan said.
“It’s a sparring match. People get hurt,” Freya said. “We heal quick. Now…breakfast,” she said. She tapped the button for the enlisted mess’ deck and the lift took off.
“So, Commander, what do you have in mind for today?” Jake asked, as the lift plunged into the decks below.
Haarlan turned to look at him. “Well, we have the limited recreation facilities one expects to find on a patrol ship, but they are suitable for a trip as short as yours. I thought I would show you around them, and then perhaps give you a brief history lesson about the ship itself.”
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“That sounds fun,” Jake said. The hatches parted and the group disembarked. Haarlan noticed what deck they were on, and held up a hand.
“My Ladies, Lords, this is the wrong deck, I think,” he said.
“I thought the mess was on this deck,” Freya said.
“There’s a mess here, Madam, but it’s meant for the enlisted personnel only,” Haarlan explained.
Venus turned to face him, affecting surprise. “Are you saying the food the Navy feeds my father’s Legionary crews isn’t good enough for us?”
Haarlan caught himself before he could snap a reply. “No, my Lady, but the Captain himself has asked me to invite you to a meal in his Hall.”
“Ah.” Venus nodded reluctantly. “Right. Well, that’s fair. We can try the other messes tomorrow. Right guys?”
“Sure,” Freya said, shrugging. “Lead the way, Commander,” she said. Before he could lead them back to the lifts, however, a pair of Naval armsmen emerged from a cross-corridor, both laughing at something.
“The hell she could,” one man boasted.
The other one scoffed. “Clean through the wall, man…oh shit,” he said. He stopped cold as he spotted the cluster of nobility down the hall. His eyes darted to Remilia, then locked on the bulkhead above the group. He snapped to razor-sharp attention. “Good morning, your Highnesses,” he stuttered. The other man went white.
“Good morning, gentlemen,” Freya said, her voice suddenly dropping several decibels. “What were you two just discussing?”
“The outcome of a purely hypothetical fight, my Lady Russ,” the second guard stated immediately. He was sweating bullets.
Freya's face when
Haarlan was opening his mouth to question the man when Freya suddenly moved. She marched down the corridor, brushing past both men and rounding the corner.
“Oh, fuck, they didn’t…” Remilia muttered, jogging after her cousin. “Freya, wait, don’t get mad,” she called after her. The rest of the group hurried to catch up.
“I’m not mad yet,” Freya said under her breath, rounding another corridor and breaking into a quick trot. She hustled down the corridor, pausing outside one of the hatches to the mess. “Let’s see who gets to walk home,” she growled, pushing the hatches open.
The room looked like a theater at that moment, with a whole array of massive holoscreens set against the walls. Most displayed Salamander Legionary icons or Navy flags of varying description, but one didn’t. Not coincidentally, it was also the one that had the attention of most of the room, and the one with a shaky recording of Freya and Remilia sparring on it.
Freya stood in the middle of the hatch, staring up at the projection of herself, as the others caught up. “Oh…fuck,” Remilia said under her breath. She risked a glance sideways at Freya. Her cousin was completely expressionless. That boded poorly.
A few crewmen near the hatch spotted her and rose to attention, or gasped aloud. Others, hearing their reaction, turned to see what was going on, and their reactions spread like ripples through a pond, until only those right under the screen hadn’t noticed Freya’s arrival.
The room was silent. Clearly, the recording had been made and shuttled down to the mess while the girls had been in the shower, and was on its third or fourth loop. Freya took a few silent steps into the room, eyes glued to the display. On the screen, her hands blurred, slamming Remilia’s blows aside. Her eyes flickered as her virtual leg rose to divert a kick. Finally, some frantic whispers caught the attention of whomever was at the controls, because the video paused. The whole room turned to face the Lady Primarch.
Russ took another few steps into the room, and a clearing emerged like magic before her. Her eyes narrowed to slits. “Well…somebody didn’t listen to me,” she whispered.
Venus took a hesitant step towards her, but Remilia’s hand on her shoulder brought her up short. Remilia shook her head, sending her wet blond hair sliding side to side. Venus bit her lip, staring at Freya’s back.
Freya sighed, rubbing her brow wearily. “It’s not even a good recording,” she said aloud. A few nervous titters greeted her announcement, but they were quickly shushed. She stared at the man at the controls, transfixing him from across the massive room. “Needless to say,” she said, her voice carrying over the rows of seated sailors, “if that recording leaves this ship, you do not. Is that clear?”
“Yes, Princess Russ,” the man squeaked.
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Freya looked over her shoulder at Remilia. “Anything to add, Remilia?” she asked.
“It’s not a very good recording,” Remilia said.
“See, that’s what I said,” Freya said. She turned back to the man at the controls. “Have you ever seen a Space Wolf angry? Yes,” she said, cutting over his desperate reply. “Yes, you have.” She gestured up at the paused recording, which was showing Freya savagely throwing her cousin across the ring. “Reflect on this.” She waited long enough for him to delete the recording before turning and walking back through the hatches, closing them behind her.
Haarlan broke the silence. “Lady Primarch Russ…I cannot apologize enough,” he said. His voice and face were pinched with awkwardness and shame. “I promise that the sailor responsible will be held accountable for breaching your privacy.”
“What privacy?” Freya asked. “We were in an open gym.”
Remilia shrugged. “I guess I can’t get too angry either. It’s not like people don’t record their own sparring matches from time to time. I’ve done it.”
“If anything, it goes to show what a huge badass I am,” Freya said airily. Remilia laughed.
“Modest, too.”
“I…am confused, my Ladies. I though from your reaction before that this was angering you,” Haarlan said, flustered.


Again, Freya's face when
“Eh. It’s hardly the first time,” Freya said. She started back down to the lifts. “Like the time at the opening ceremony for the Startseite Public Center, remember that?” she asked.
“Oh man, I thought Dad was going to blow a circuit,” Remilia said.
Freya noted Haarlan’s bewildered expression. “Listen, I’ll spell it out when we speak with Captain Roemer, all right?”
“As you wish, my Lady,” Haarlan said, still confused. The lift opened, and the party entered, heading up to the Captain’s Hall.
When they arrived, Roemer was standing behind the table, downcast. Several of his senior officers were there as well, and the entire scene reminded Freya of a group of schoolchildren being called o task by a teacher. “My Ladies Russ and Dorn, I offer my sincerest apologies for the misbehavior of my crew this morning,” Roemer began without preamble. “You deserved better than that.”
Remilia spoke up. “Captain, please. We were sparring in an open gym. We’re not angry. To be honest, I kind of expected this.”
“Like I was telling Commander Haarlan, this isn’t the first time this has happened,” Freya said, sitting down at the table. Venus took her place at the head of the rectangular table as she had before, and Jake and Roemer took their seats on either side, Jake feeling out of his depth, and Roemer confused.
“A few years back some paparazzi took a clip of me, Remilia, and Furia sparring in the new gym they opened back home,” Freya continued. She decided to skip the details of what Dorn and Angron had done when they found out. “Seriously, it happens. Don’t take it personally.”
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“I appreciate your generosity, my lady, but it still shouldn’t have happened,” Roemer said, determined to bear some guilt over the incident.
Venus shook her head. “Captain, when you get two athletic women fighting in front of a crowd of sixty men, someone’s going to record it. Let it go,” she said, the vaguest hint of command in her voice.
Roemer sighed, torn. He hadn’t expected leniency to be their choice, but he was relieved that his brief stewardship would not be tarred on the second day as well. “As you wish, Lady Primarch Venus,” he said. “I thank you for your understanding.”
The party dug into breakfast, and Remilia privately concluded that that was for the best. On a ship that size, processed protein bars would have been they could have expected from the enlisted’s mess. The spread of veal, fresh eggs, and baked goods the Captain had laid out was much nicer.
Alex noticed that there were no Salamander serfs aboard this time. Venus noticed the direction of his sight, and arrived at the same conclusion. “Captain, will Sieur Isaac not be joining us?”
“He wanted to make sure that the special cargo that Lord Primarch Vulkan instructed we carry was arranged for expedited offloading,” Roemer explained.
“What is that cargo, exactly?” Venus asked, picking up a bran muffin.
“If I may, Captain?” one of the officers at the table asked. Roemer nodded. “The cargo is a prototype LRMk.15 Punisher, outfitted with a few new Martian upgrades,” the officer explained. “Lord Vulkan volunteered his Legion to test it.”
Ah, Salamanders. Always first in line to test the newest ludicrously powerful piece of weaponry.

Doubly so if it sets things on fire.
“Oh, I see,” Venus said. “Well, I’ll see him later today anyway, I know.”
“Are you sure you want to do that, my Lady?” Haarlan asked in surprise. “After this morning?”
“Bah, if someone wants to record it, I won’t care much. It’s not like there aren’t entire holo archives of me in swim meets,” Venus scoffed. “Besides, he’s had it coming for years.”
Jake swallowed some toast. “What did he do, anyway?”
“Oh, nothing. It’s an old, fuzzy, loving hatred,” Venus said.
“Ah.” Jake tried not to look like he was scarfing the food.
Venus finished her drink and set it down, her eyes narrowing. “Also…we heard something yesterday, Captain Roemer. Is it true that no Salamander besides me has ever set foot aboard?”
“No, my Lady, several Techmarines were present for the ship’s consecration,” Roemer said. “However, none have been aboard since except for brief inspections and cargo loading.”
“Interesting. So…you’ve probably never seen Nocturnean combat techniques up close, have you?” she asked with a grin. “Isaac taught me for years.”
“You know…if bootlegs are going to be an issue…” Jake suggested slowly.
Venus smiled. “I was planning on asking Isaac to record this, actually. No better way to learn your weaknesses than watch yourself get your ass kicked.”
Remilia snorted. “You can bench-press a car.”
“Yeah, but Isaac’s a damn viper.”
Roemer cleared his throat. “If you wish, my Lady, you could just have the gymnasium to yourself and have a servo-skull record the bout.”
“Ooh. Good idea, Captain. We’ll do that, I think,” Venus said, pouncing on the idea. “We have…two and a half hours.”
Alex leaned forward, all business. “What punishments shall we inflict upon people who set it to music?”
“Oh, shut up, Alex,” Venus giggled.
The hour came. Venus and company walked down to the gym, pausing outside the hatch, where small crowds of people were gathering. Most simply wanted to know why they couldn’t go work out, but a few were clearly hoping for a glimpse.
Venus paused behind the crowd, gym bag in hand. She wasn’t carrying the same clothes she had used that morning, Jake noted. She had sent those off for cleaning, and was carrying a few circular containers in the bag instead, plus some green cloth bits. Venus turned to him. “Hey, Jake, hon, can you sit this out? I want to be able to focus.”
Jake nodded solemnly. “All right. Kiss for luck?” he asked.
Venus leaned into him, pressing herself from navel to lips flush with him, and kissed him deeply. “I don’t need luck,” she whispered against his cheek. “I need timing.”
Jake wrapped his arms around her and squeezed her tight. “Knock him dead, baby.”
She half-grinned, all confidence. “I plan to.” She turned and walked down the corridor, parting the crew effortlessly, and disappeared past the guard.
The other party members made for the O-Club, where they had agreed to wait until Venus was done. Upon arrival, Lieutenant Kines welcomed them back to the bar. “Hello once more, my friends, what can I get for you?”
“Just some water, thanks,” Remilia said, sitting down at the bar. Kines filled a glass and passed it to her. As her fingers brushed his, she smiled as his hand lingered. His eyes, however, were locked on her arms, his jaw tight. She glanced down – “…oh. It’s…” she trailed off, pained. The scars on her arms were visible. But then, she was done hiding them. “It’s long done.”
“Good to hear, Lady Remilia,” Kines said quietly, visibly shaking himself. “My sister didn’t stop in time.” Remilia winced, setting her glass down.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Remilia said remorsefully. “And…sorry if I brought back something unpleasant.”
“Thank you, madam,” Kines said.
Alex shifted uncomfortably on his stool. Kines shook himself again, and turned to the others. “What can I get for you, Lord Carlin?”
“Just water. For all of us.”
“Yes, sir,” Kines said, handing some glasses out. “May I ask where Lady Venus is?”
“She’s at the gym,” Jake said, picking up his glass. “She wanted us to go ahead without her.”
Venus stood under the pouring water of the shower, eyes closed. The water wafted into steam where it landed on her skin. The girl wasn’t bathing. She was purging her mind.
Her hands clenched. She lifted them slowly, opening her eyes against the water. The world around her was tinged red. The light from her eyes tinted her vision. She could shield them with contact lenses, and usually did, so that she could look at the world the way normal people saw it. They were completely invisible, so nobody would ever know but her. She had removed them. Now the world looked like it was bathed in blood.
She ran her hands down her arms, crossing her breasts, and digging her fingers into her flesh until it hurt. “The fires of Nocturne burn within me. The hate of the unclean sustains me,” she whispered, repeating the first few lines of the Creed. “I am the paladin that shields the pure. I am the inferno that scours the world. I am the sword that cleaves the unrighteous and the light of the Emperor’s will,” she finished, turning off the water. She listened to the water drain down into the greytanks, dripping away into silence. She sighed. “I am a seventeen-year-old girl and I am gonna fucking die.”
She sighed again and toweled off. She dried her hair, and stood in front of the mirror, applying her wrap. She tucked it off under her back and slid a dark green sports bra over it. After a moment’s thought, Venus grabbed the other container from her bag, and slid a line of bright red makeup across her face. She drew a thick line under one eye, trailing to insignificance over the bridge of her nose, and widening back up under the other eye. She looked at the effect in the mirror and nodded. It looked like her eyes were melting down over her face. Excellent.
She daubed a few more spots over her clothes and skin, then pulled a matching green set of boxing underwear on, spreading a bit more dye over her them. It was the color her eyes were if the glow was absent, and it was slightly iridescent. The effect was such that it looked like she had cracks in her entire front side, from the soles of her feet to the base of her hair. She washed her hands off and glanced over her appearance, finding it appropriately terrifying. “One last touch,” she said, removing the drakeshead necklace from her bag and trying it tight around her left ankle. The ceramite chain could easily handle the stress. She paused as she looked over her reflection, and a smile quirked her painted lips. “Oooh…I know,” she said, grabbing her green drake skin bandana, and tying it off around her head. She carefully tucked her hair under it. “Perfect.”
Venus took a deep breath and walked out into the gym, passing an inactive servoskull that she had brought with her. She carried it to the ring and climbed in.
Isaac was there already, tying some tape over her his fingers. He froze when he spotted Venus. “Oh…my goodness, Venus. You turned into a beautiful young woman since I saw you last.”
“I did,” Venus said. She turned the skull on and carelessly tossed it into the air, letting it hover over the ring. “And…good luck,” she said. The room brightened as her heart rate picked up. The fire in her eyes lit the makeup, and the lines in her face glowed.
“I see…nice touch,” he said quietly. He cricked his neck and flexed his arms, settling into a stance. “How shall we play this?” he asked, shifting his balance experimentally.
“First one to surrender, of course. Or black out,” Venus said. She bent at the waist, settling into a stance.
“Brave girl,” Isaac muttered. He had been a youthful twenty eight when Venus had trained under him first. Now he was pushing forty, and he still moved with a snakelike grace that put a chill through Venus.
“Record,” Venus said loudly, triggering the floating skull. A tiny light blinked to signify its recording status. Isaac smacked his palms together and bowed. Venus mirrored him, and they both settled into stances.
Isaac slowly turned, walking backwards around the ring. Venus followed his movements, watching carefully. He was gauging her. He wasn’t ready for the kill yet, he was checking to see how she had changed. She was a foot taller now. Her defenses would be higher. Her center of gravity was much higher. And she had certainly never worn bloodpaint before.
For those following at home, Bloodpaint isn't actual blood, it's really paint. It has some iron and irridescent plastics in it, so the brighter the light shone on it, the more it looks like fresh blood spread thin. The effect when Venus' eyes are right next to it is basically to make it look like she doesn't have eyes. It looks like she has glowing openings in her skin so you can see her insides, and since her skin is darker than an obsidian chip a thousand feet underground, it basically looks like her body and clothes have been rent open and there's fire pouring out of her. Salamanders wear it to scare the shit out of people.
Isaac paused his circling, inching towards her. Venus tensed her shoulders, raising her hands to navel height. The wiry serf lunged, snapping his hand at Venus’ face. She froze. His knuckles stopped a hairsbreadth from her face. “Give me some credit,” she whispered.
Isaac nodded, then attacked. He opened with a vicious kick across her knees. She took a step back, avoiding it, and advanced, entering his guard. He threw four vicious punches at her stomach, which she either deflected or absorbed. Even as his arms were moving, she launched a counterattack. She jabbed high, then feinted with her left fist and swept her legs as he dodged high. She nicked his shin as he lurched back, but he recovered, stomping his foot down between her legs so hard the mat deformed for an instant.
Venus recoiled, slamming into the back of his legs. Isaac stumbled, off-balance. Venus rose, punching deep from the shoulder, directly into Isaac’s clenched stomach.
The serf stumbled, raising his hands in defense, as Venus slowly rose to her feet. “You’ve learned a few dirty tricks, Venus,” he whispered hoarsely. Venus nodded. She didn’t know if it was the makeup or what, but she was feeling like she hadn’t felt since before Morticia got hurt. The light from her eyes was painful for Isaac to look at directly. Her skin was aflame.
“I’m alive,” she whispered. Her voice was unnervingly deep.
“You feel the fires of our world stir in your heart,” Isaac said, meeting her eyes with effort.
Venus nodded, then charged. She closed the gap with blinding speed, slamming her elbow forward to catch Isaac’s guard. He gripped her arm and redirected her away, bringing his knee up to collide with her stomach. She bent around the blow, and brought her diverted arm up to grip him by the knee, throwing it down. Venus lunged upwards and drove her fist towards Isaac’s face.
He brought his guard up and caught it, wincing at the bone-crushing strength behind her blow. He shook his stinging arm and dodged high, ducking under her follow-up. He threw himself sideways at her, slamming into her with his shoulder. She staggered back, guard up.
Isaac nodded. “Good.”
“Ever the teacher,” she rasped, hot air spilling forth from her lips.
Isaac swung. Venus tilted her head back and let his punch roll off her collarbone. He swung again, a combo of four rapid-fire punches, and she absorbed or deflected them. As he swung again, though, he suddenly lunged, driving a kick into her midsection. She leaped backwards, eyeing his legs.
He advanced again, done holding back. Venus winced as he drove a cruel punch at her neck, which she just barely managed to dodge. He wasn’t relenting, either; he punched again, a vicious blow to her breast that staggered her, and somehow the wiry man got clean past her guard. He got a few punches through to her waist and stomach. Venus nearly gagged.
GymTeacherVsRockMonster.mov, the new TerraTube viral sensation!
She swatted him away, angrily driving a knee strike at his groin. Somehow he managed to pivot away in time, and took the blow on his thigh. The force of it was enough to drive him back a pace, and Venus pounced, swinging her hands like hammers at his ribs and stomach. Finally on the offensive, she drove in relentlessly, forcing him back several paces.
He threw himself backwards, landing in a half-crouch. Before he could even straighten up, though, Venus tensed her legs and lunged. He managed to jerk his head back from the line of flight of her kneecap by a millimeter. He could feel the heat roiling off of her flesh.
She was on him, fists blurring into his guard like hammers. Isaac’s guard bent and flowed around her vicious punches, diverting them away instead of letting them impact. She wasn’t going to tire, though. She was more than human.
Venus suddenly shifted her tactics, driving her left knee at Isaac’s groin again, but stopped short, planting her bare foot on the mat. Isaac tried to sweep the leg out from under her with his own leg, but it was like trying to kick down a hundred-year-old tree; he couldn’t even get it to budge. Suddenly stuck in place, he drove both thumbs at her eyes, trying to blind her. She planted both hands on his suddenly stationary knee and rolled herself forward, slamming her entire body into him with bruising speed.
Isaac slammed into the mat, caught completely by surprise. He tried to roll away, but she was gone. Somehow she was halfway across the ring already, perfectly still. She was resting one knee on the mat, crouching down. Isaac slowly rose to his feet. “Very well done,” he panted. “I completely didn’t see it coming.”
Venus smiled. With the lines of bloodpaint over her lips, the effect was positively daemonic. She rose to her feet in silence. With a few quick steps, she was back in his guard, and the battle resumed.
Isaac kicked high, trying to force her back with his greater height, but it didn’t matter. Venus was fighting like a monster, and even his speed wasn’t saving him now. Every few blows, one got past his guard. Finally, his guard fell aside for an instant, and Venus moved to end it. She crossed once, knocking him back. She followed up with two quick shots to the ribs, and as he bent forward slightly to block another, she slammed her forearm across his chin.
He crumpled, sagging to the mat. Venus stepped back, blinking sweat out of her eyes. “Yield,” she growled.
Isaac glanced up at her, but he was done. He tapped the mat.
Venus closed her eyes for a moment, letting the red mist fade. When she opened them again, she smiled. “A good fight.”
Isaac climbed the ropes, nodding. “Well done, Venus,” he managed, working his jaw. “You’ve improved considerably.”
“Thanks. I’ve been practicing,” she said coyly. “Now…” she stood back and bowed formally. Isaac did as well, and both climbed out of the ring. “Stop recording,” she said as she passed the skull. It fell into her hands.
With a few presses, the recording popped out on a data card. She left it on her bag as she went to clean up.
Ten minutes later, Venus walked into the O-Club. Jake and Alex were back at the dartboard, just killing time. Kines and Haarlan were listening to Remilia and Freya tell stories about growing up in Startseite. All six paused what they were doing as Venus walked in, bag and recording in hand.
“Well? How did it go?” Freya demanded.
Venus offered up a weary grin, wincing as a cut on her lip stretched. “I won. I’ll leave the rest to the tapes.”
“Hah! You kicked his ass,” Freya crowed.
“Maybe,” Venus allowed, sinking onto a stool. “Ooof. You know how you’re not really sore until after you change? Ow.”
“Isaac put you through the grinder?” Remilia asked.
“How did I even live through that as a kid,” Venus groaned.
Jake walked up, smiling eagerly. “How did you, baby?”
“I think I won. I hurt all over, but he fell down first, so, hey,” Venus said modestly. She glanced over at Kines. “Lieutenant, can I get a glass of ice? No water, just ice,” she said.
“Sure, here you are, Lady Venus,” Kines said, passing her a glass. Venus grabbed a chip of ice and held it to her bruised forearm.
“Oooh, that’s better,” she sighed. She glanced over at the rest of the group. “So…what are you guys up to?”
“Jake is scaring the shit out of me at how good at darts he is,” Alex said. “I think Freya might need to take him as an apprentice or something.”
“Excellent,” Venus giggled, drying off her arm. The ice had already melted.
“I’m trying to impress upon Commander Haarlan and Lieutenant Kines here the importance of not letting your aircar rust out,” Freya said. Venus groaned.
“How did you even manage that?”
“I still don’t know,” Freya confessed. She glanced at the clock over the bar. “Who’s hungry?”
“I could kill and eat a sauroch,” Venus said.
Jake nodded. “Yeah, I bet. Think we’ll get to do some of that on Nocturne?”
Venus laughed aloud. “Not if you value your skin. No offense, honey, but the SAND on Nocturne kills people.”
Jake sighed dramatically. “Such is life.”
“If you’d like, my Lady, you could just eat here,” Kines said. “We do serve a little food here.”
“Sounds good,” Venus said. “Do you have menus?”
Kines shrugged. “Well…it’s just one of seven or so flavored protein pars and a few kinds of drinks.”
“I’m sure Captain Roemer would be delighted to have you back for lunch, Lady Venus,” Haarlan pointed out.
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“Thanks, but I don’t want to bother him,” Venus said.
“How exactly does that work?” Jake asked. “Is the food that enlisted men, officers, and staff get different?”
Kines nodded. “Yes, sir.” When Jake didn’t inquire, Kines explained. “The Captain and his staff can request that certain foods be brought aboard for them. Officers are simply allowed a greater variety of what’s served to the enlisted.”
“That doesn’t sound fair,” Jake said. Kines shrugged uncomfortably.
“That’s just how it works. Rank has its privileges.” He set a few bars out on the counter.
Venus grabbed a protein bar and tore it open, biting into it. Her jaw froze mid-chew. “Oh.”
“What’s wrong with me?” Jake asked, gnawing on his own.
“What?” Alex asked.
“I think this actually tastes good compared to the ones they have in the hive,” Jake said.
“There’s a sterling recommendation,” Freya said, eyeing the bars and choosing not to take one. “I’ll pass, thanks, Lieutenant.”
Kines half-smiled. “What can I say? It’s hard to feed a crew of thousands for years at a time with no resupply, ma’am.”
Jake finished his bar and sat down. “So…Lieutenant, how exactly did you wind up a bartender on a warship?”
Kines shrugged. “I lucked out on my entry exams. And I specifically requested it, too. I like it here. What other part of the job has you meeting so many people?”
Venus finished her own bar and tossed the wrapper in the trash. “What do I owe you?” she asked.
“Huh?” Kines blinked. “For what, ma’am?”
“The bar.”
“Er…that was a ration stick, ma’am, they’re free,” Kines said.
Venus tilted her head back. “Oh. Okay, thanks.” She spotted a poster to the side, and quickly turned to it to cover her embarrassment. “What’s that about tonight?”
“Holo night in the tertiary auditorium, my Lady,” Kines said, following her gaze. “They’re playing some holo we picked up on Terra.”
“What’s the holo?” Freya asked.
Kines thought for a moment. “I think it’s some old sports movie or something, ma’am.”
“Oh, cool. Who’s up for it?” Freya asked.
“Not I. I’m gonna need to rest.” Venus said.
Jake and Remilia also opted out. “You and me, then, Alex,” Freya said.
Alex adopted a stern tone. “Promise that you won’t be riffing the entire movie?”
“I hardly ever do that!” Freya proclaimed. Alex stared her down, and she relented. “Often.”
“Right,” Alex chuckled.
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As dinner came, the group trooped up to the Captain’s Hall once more, deciding that it was indeed preferable to eat real food than reconstituted dead people. After the meal, Remilia headed back down to the bar, while Freya and Alex went to see the holo. Venus and Jake stayed in their room, just watching things they had brought with them on their personal slates.
Remilia sat back down at the bar, noting with a smirk that the Warrant from the previous night was hovering around the dartboard, clearly seeking vengeance for his upset last night. Kines walked up to her behind the counter and wiped it down. “Hello again, Madam.”
She accepted the orange soda he had stocked behind the bar with a reluctant grin. “Thanks, but please stop calling me Madam. It makes me feel old.”
“I’m older than you are, my Lady,” Kines pointed out.
“Still, people call my mother that. Call me something else. Please,” Remilia half-pleaded.
“All right then, my Lady,” Kines said, with the ghost of a smile.
Remilia groaned in exasperation.
“Lady Remilia then,” Kines continued.
“Just…Remilia works. It’s my real name, after all,” she pointed out.
“I’m not certain I’m comfortable with addressing you that way, Lady Remilia,” Kines confessed.
“Well, titles weird me out. So. Remilia. Please.” The lanky blond petulantly crossed her arms.
Kines struggled for words for a moment, then gave up. “Yes…Remilia. Man, that’s weird.”
“Well, it’s an Inwit name,” Remilia said with a shrug.
Kines went white. “No! Please, I wasn’t making fun of-”
“Lieutenant.” Remilia grinned behind her bottle. “It was a joke.”

Chuck Kines' face when
“Well, stop it, you scared the hell out of me,” Kines grumbled.
Remilia looked at him funny. “Why are people on this ship scared of us?”
Kines looked down to the bar. “It was just that one thing.”
“Lieutenant, I’d like to think we were getting along. Why are people aboard so scared of us?” Remilia demanded.
Kines glanced side-to-side, seeking aid from the other people at the bar, but they were studiously ignoring the conversation. Finally, he turned his face back to her. “It’s…more like…caution, ma’am. One word from you could completely ruin any of us…and after this morning…”
“I don’t think Freya was really going to throw anyone off the ship,” Remilia said. “I barely even care. We’re mostly athletes, you know, we get recorded all the time.”
“Yeah, but…still,” Kines said, pained.
Remilia nodded and tried to summon her patience. “All right. Well please…stop walking on eggshells.”
Kines nodded, trying to put it all behind him. “Aye, Madam.” Remilia glared. “Sorry. That sounded like an order.” She giggled.
Jake settled back against the bed, thumbing through the small selection of holos and games he had brought on the dataslate Venus had loaned him. “Hmm…what do you want to watch?”
Venus tapped her finger on her chin. She was reclining on the chair in the corner, reading her own slate. “Want to watch my fight with Isaac?” she asked.
Jake peered over at her. “Sure, if you won’t mind.”
“Why would I mind?”
“Why did you order everyone out of the gym?” Jake reasoned.
“Because I didn’t want distraction.” Venus shrugged. “I don’t mind if you see it now.”
Jake turned his slate off. “Cool, pop it in.”
Venus stood, adjusting the thermostat down to bone-chilling cold for his comfort. She slid the card into her slate and connected it to the larger screen on the wall. Jake shoved the pillows behind him and sat up. Venus stripped her outer clothes off and climbed into bed, settling down against his front side. This was a ritual they had developed after discovering that leaving the room at normal temperatures while they shared a seat was simply too much for Jake. Venus, who was fortunately both immune to and causative of extreme temperatures, was quite happy to act as his heating element. He wrapped his arms around her stomach and pulled her back against him. She relaxed into his arms, clasping her hands over his.
“Play,” Venus called to the distant slate.
The video began, a bit shaky as the skull worked its gyros. Jake caught his first glance of Venus’ outfit from behind as she climbed into the ring. “Damn…hey, Venus, if you feel me popping a boner, please be okay with it, all right?”
She giggled, slapping his leg. “Quiet.”
On screen, she turned around, and Jake’s hands tensed on her stomach as he saw her war paint. “…Holy shit, baby, that’s scary.”
“It’s just some body paint,” Venus said. “But thanks, that’s what it’s for.”
“Promise me that you won’t wear that around the apartment, all right?” Jake asked.
“Every single Halloween,” she promised. Jake groaned.
The fight began. They started circling each other, testing each other’s’ defenses. Isaac moved, striking high, and Jake squeezed his hands as the man’s fist stopped a hair from breaking Venus’ nose. “How did you not flinch?”
“He wasn’t going to hit me, and I didn’t feel like humoring him,” Venus said. They circled a little more, then Isaac kicked her low.
Jake winced. “Cold.”
“Nocturnean martial arts are all about humbling your opponent with pain, then killing the shit out of them,” Venus said smugly. “It’s what you’d expect from people who have had to very literally kill dragons to get meat.”
She punched Isaac, hard, in the stomach. Jake’s eyes widened at the look on her face, but this time he didn’t say anything. “‘I’m alive,’” she said on the screen.
“…You didn’t even talk like that when you were trying to scare off Polazzi,” Jake said quietly.
Venus squeezed his hand, trying to assuage the fear she felt building in his voice. Isaac punched her breast, and Jake felt his testicles try to crawl into his stomach. “…Ow.”
“Yeah, that sucked,” Venus said.
The two of them were dancing, now, just dealing damage and taking it. The flurry of blows she was raining down on Isaac was actually hard for Jake to follow. “I’m glad you’re on my side,” Jake said. Venus winced at the tone of his voice.
On the screen, she somehow flipped over her own knee to ram her entire back into him, sending him sprawling, then flipped feet over head to land in a perfect crouch. “Catlike,” Venus declared.
The fight ended as Venus slammed an arm full across Isaac’s face, sending him back against the ropes. After exchanging a few words, the recording ended. “Stop,” Venus said, and the screen went dark.
“So what did you think?” Venus asked. Jake didn’t reply. He just buried his face in her hair and squeezed her tight.
Venus heard apprehension color her voice. “…I didn’t freak you out with the whole Woman of Steel thing, did I?” Venus asked.
“Huh? No,” Jake said. His voice was muffled by her thick black hair. “No, that doesn’t weird me. I know you’re more than human.” He closed his eyes and laced his fingers with hers. “I think it’s part of why you’re so damn cute,” he whispered. “You can splatter blood on yourself and beat trained men senseless, and still make me feel completely safe.”
She closed her eyes and snuggled back against him, relieved. “So…why did you sound so nervous?”
Jake was quiet for a moment. “I don’t like seeing you hurt.”
“Well, thanks,” she said. “But…you know I’ll be healed by tomorrow.” Jake shook her loose, gingerly climbing out from under her and crouching alongside her.
“Your skin is so dark I can’t even see the bruises…but that looked like blood from here,” he said, gently running his fingers over her cheek. Sure enough, there was a rough spot. “He cut you?”
“I was dumb and dodged wrong. I moved my head directly into his fist, so it hit even harder. Split the skin,” Venus explained.
“Oh.” Jake stared. Her skin was black. An unnatural black, darker than the depths of space. He leaned forward and kissed her next to the wound. “I’ll kiss it better,” he subvocalized. She heard him.
“Hee hee…thanks, Jake,” she whispered back. She closed her eyes and let him explore her face with his lips, finding each tiny bruise or cut and stopping to give her a kiss. “See…this is why I keep you around. You always make me feel better.”
“That’s why? It’s not for visual contrast?” he asked, holding his hand out in front of her eyes. He was so pale that the veins in his arm stood out even under his dark arm hair.
Venus guffawed. She gripped the sheets underneath her, doubling over in laughter. Jake rocked back on his haunches and laughed, too. “What? I’m just saying what we’re both thinking!” She fell sideways on the bed, heaving with mirth.
When she finally recovered enough to talk, she wiped her eyes on the sheets and looked up at him, still tittering. “Wow. You actually went there.”
Jake smiled down at her. “I did.” He rested one hand next to her and leaned down, kissing the visible welt on her collarbone where Isaac’s fist had left a scar. “He really worked you over.”
“Good. He was supposed to,” she said. Without her body to keep him warm, goosebumps were rising on his exposed skin. She started to pull him down, but he squeezed her hand.
“Hey…I’m all right,” he said. “But you…wow. You look like you got tenderized.”
“I did, really. Just no enzymes and spices, you know,” she joked. She pulled her tank top up over her shoulders, leaving her bra on. She guided his hand to where Isaac’s foot had slammed into her shoulder. “Can you not see the bruising?”
“Nope.” His eyes were those of a normal human. Even if Miranda’s Warpsight, Cora’s bird’s eyes, and Freya’s unparalleled senses were better than her own, the glowing red orbs in her head could still see better than any unaugmented human’s eyes ever could. She could see her wounds, and she could see them fading, too. He couldn’t.
“Here,” she said, guiding him to an abrasion on her stomach. He bent over and ran his fingers over her, tickling her. Her stomach muscle rippled as she giggled. “Quit it.”
“Don’t wanna.” He slid his hand over her ribs, pausing when he felt her flinch. “Sorry,” he said. “Here.” He ran his cold fingers over her skin, letting the warmth seep into him. “Better?”
“How are you so cold all the time? I mean, I know we have the AC on, but you’re an iceberg,” Venus said. She gripped his free hand against her flank, warming him up.
“I’m not cold, you’re a furnace,” he said, turning to straddle her. He pulled his hand free, running both of them over her sides. “I don’t need you to help me find this,” he said, running his hands under her bra. He traced his fingers over the faint outline of the vicious bruise on her breast from Isaac’s cheap shot.
She tugged the bra off and dropped it over the side of the bed. “Yeah. That hurt like a bastard.”
Jake leaned down and kissed her, letting the heat from the bruised blood vessels seep into his lips. “All better?”
“No. But that feels good,” she said softly, relaxing into the bed. He kissed his way down her chest, pausing at the base of her ribcage, then worked his way down to her waistline.
“Oh.” Venus’ eyes opened. She glanced down at where Jake was headed. “Huh. That’s odd.”
“What?” he asked, from somewhere below her navel.
Venus propped herself up on one elbow. “I was so relaxed I didn’t even realize we were going to have sex.”
He smiled. “We don’t have to.”
She thought for a moment. “…Sorry, baby.”
He shrugged, surprised at how un-disappointed he was. “It’s your call. If you’re not up to it after all that fighting, I’m okay with it.”
Venus reached down and extended a hand. When he grabbed it, she gently pulled him up to her eye level, and he lay down next to her. “See…that’s the other reason I keep you around,” she said. She wrapped one arm around him, holding him tight. “You’re the sweetest guy I know.”
“It’s a burden,” Jake said heavily.
Venus closed her eyes in mock exasperation. “I know. You’re a martyr, Sieur Seager.” She flicked the lights off as both of them shucked off clothes for bed. “Tomorrow night, though, I should be all rested up.”
“And you’ll sleep like a baby,” Jake promised, splaying his hands over her shoulders and pulling her close. “Now…no, don’t,” he said, catching her hand as she reached to wave the temperature back up. “Leave it cold.”
“You’re freezing.”
“Nah, you keep me warm. My little fire,” he whispered his name for her when nobody else was listening. She smiled, white teeth in the darkness.
“Good night, Jake.”
Down at the O-Club, Remilia tossed down her last water and stood. “Thanks, Lieutenant.” I’ll be seeing you tomorrow.”
“I look forward to it, ma…Remilia. Sorry,” Kines said.
Remilia sighed. “Right. Bye.” She made her way through the room to the lift. As she rose to her own room, she leaned against the wall and wondered.
She didn’t particularly enjoy titles. She had tried to reconcile that with the way she had always strove to surpass and overcome others academically, and justified it to herself by saying that academic achievement was hardly a born right. It was true, too. But here on the ship, she was a noble. A princess. And that wasn’t something she had earned. She had just been born. That was hardly an accomplishment.
The lift opened, and she started to get off. “Where are you going?” Freya asked. Remilia looked up and blinked in surprise.
“Oh…I thought this was the deck we were on,” Remilia said. Alex and Freya got into the lift as a stream of crewers went by outside.
“Naw, holo’s over. And man, that was DUMB,” Freya said. “I want those two hours back.”
>then kill the shit out of them

Another scene I thought would end totally differently. Last one was Remilia and her father not reconciling like I thought they would, this time I thought they'd have sex. When your characters step in and improve your ideas, it's very satisfying.
“Did you riff the entire movie?” Remilia asked.
“Only once. Once! I was restrained!” Freya said indignantly. Alex snorted.
The lift opened on their deck, and the three teens headed for their own rooms. As Alex wandered into the bathroom of their suite, however, Freya halted Remilia from entering her own. “So…the fight. Actions to take?” she asked.
“None. It’s not worth pursuing,” Remilia shrugged. “It’s just a sparring match.”
“Okay.” Freya hugged her cousin good night. “You want to spar again tomorrow?”
“No, I’ve had enough for a while, actually,” Remilia replied.
“Spoilsport,” Freya grumped. She hugged her taller cousin again and nipped her ear. “See you tomorrow.”
link to other threads?
As the trip continued, the little group felt their anticipation grow. The routines stayed largely the same, the people never changed, of course, but the travel leg of the journey was drawing to a close. As the ship slid through the Warp for Nocturne, Jake and Alex found themselves spending more of their time together. Alex tried to teach Jake proper gym technique, while Jake attempted to teach his friend how to not suck at darts. In the seven days from Venus’ bout with Isaac to their arrival in the Nocturne system, they both found themselves making progress. But far too slowly for both their liking, the trip came to an abrupt end.
Venus was reclining in the chair in the corner of the suite watching a holo on her dataslate when the ship’s PA system buzzed to life. “All hands, we are departing the Warp. Please brace for breach.” Venus scooted over to the bed and lay down, as Jake hurriedly gripped the armrests of his own chair. The ship shuddered briefly, and both felt their skin crawl as the Warp parted and spat them out.
“Warp departure successful. All engine crews, to your stations,” the voice overhead commanded. Venus stood up and cracked her knuckles, dispelling the Warp Shivers.
“Uugh,” Jake groaned from the bed. “Forget Kines, that will never be more pleasant.”
“Heh. If you made a career out of it, maybe,” Venus quipped. She pulled a nicer shirt on and slid the hatch open, catching a glimpse of Freya bounding down the hall. “Where you headed?” she called.
“I’m going to go find out how long before we have to get off,” Freya called over her shoulder.
What other threads? I've never posted this story before.
The group assembled in the Captain’s Hall. Roemer himself wasn’t there, of course, since he was needed on the bridge, but the ship’s mate was. “We emerged right on target, my Lords and Ladies. The burn is good, we’ll arrive on Prometheus in six hours,” he explained.
“Awesome!” Freya proclaimed, beaming. “Oh man…what local time will it be when we’re boots-down?”
“Prometheus time is synched to Hesiod, my Lady, so it will be about 0378 local. Nocturne has a twenty six hour day, so it will be late night locally.”
Venus smiled, eyes closed, already picturing her arrival. “Home…I didn’t realize how badly I wanted this until we’re nearly there.”
Jake slid an arm around her waist and squeezed. “I know. I can’t wait to see all the things you’ve talked about.”
“Which entices you more, the walls of fire or the ash deserts the size of continents?” she asked drily.
“Weather that isn’t something a machine farts out,” Jake replied in the same tone.
The hatch swung open, and Haarlan and Roemer walked in, pausing to acknowledge the salutes of the ship’s mate. “My Lords and Ladies Primarch, we are en route,” Roemer said.
“Superb,” Venus said. “ETA of six hours?”
“Possibly, though you may take one of the Aquila shuttles if you wish, and arrive a few hours sooner,” Roemer said. “We will be transporting a few other things that way.”
“Oh…guys?” Venus asked.
“I’m happy with either. I’ll be in no mood for sleep when I arrive either way,” Jake said. Alex nodded his agreement.
“I’ll wait,” Freya said dismissively.
“Me too, I want to have another meal before we go,” Remilia said.
“All right. Looks like we’re waiting, Captain, thanks,” Venus said.
“Very well then, my Lady,” Roemer said. “I would be honored to host you for a final meal before you go.”
“Oh, thanks, Captain,” Venus said, sitting at the table. The rest of the group did so as well, as did the officers, save Remilia.
“Actually, Venus, I’ll be back later, all right? There’s something I want to do before we go pack,” she said.
“You don’t need my permission,” Venus said, divining her cousins’ intent. Remilia smiled nervously.
Far below, the O-Club drained as officers made for their duty stations. Remilia walked into the room and made straight for the bar. Kines was busily cleaning it up and packing it in for dock when he saw her. “Remilia. One for the road?” he asked.
“No thanks, Lieutenant.” Remilia paused, suddenly apprehensive. “I wanted to say thanks.”
“For what?” Kines asked.
“For being the only officer aboard who actually talked to us,” Remilia said. “Everyone else is still too scared. Or worshipful,” she said with disgust.
Kines waved her thanks away. “No problem, Remilia,” he said, still clearly trying to attach an honorific to the name. “And this is hardly goodbye.”
“Huh?” Remilia blinked.
“The Endless, the ship that was supposed to carry you to Fenris, was dispatched to the greenskin fronts. We’ll be carrying you on the next leg of your trip too,” Kines explained. “News came in just when we entered the system. We’ll put in at Nocturne and stay long enough to get the test data for the new tank, then head out. We’ll be there about a month, so you’ll just be coming with us to Fenris since it’s along the route.”
aaaaand I'm spent, thanks for playing. Comments?
What about the prequels?

In chronological order of their occurrence within the series.
Nice read

Did you like the story so far? Want to ask about anything? I sort of assume people have an understanding of the 40K universe here, so ask questions if you want.


Also go get this shit published?
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Also go get this shit published?

I choose life outside of prison.
Ok stop being so sad, keep writing then, and more pron next time
Well, the story's not really going to have sex in it much, since upon rereading my sex scenes in other stories, they're pretty samey.

Assume that Venus and Jake, and Freya and Alex, are perfectly normal, healthy, straight teenagers sharing beds, to that end.

And I think I've figured out what the problem is. I just write too much behind the scenes. I should make smaller threads more often instead of massive, monolithic text dumps. I got spoiled by the first few Emperasque threads having dozens of people in them.

Though I will admit it grates a bit to see so many one-shot quests have so many posters on them when they usually have nothing to do with /tg/, and I write /tg/ a novel with characters they created and I get maybe five people in the thread.
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Victoria and her imagination. Now i going to draw something related to story.

Also can you repost it without the cursor in the middle?
Oh Hell. Just about to pack up and i suddenly notice this. You have me beat again. keep this up until tomorrow and I will post the first part of my story, 'Trip Into Hell' featuring a mass invasion, and poor Julius getting caught up in something he shouldn't.
Loving the story so far. Always been a big fan of your work with Warhammer High.

Also, Bloodpaint sounds friggin awesome.

Navos (DarkMage) is also going to swing by and post part three of the Lioness tomorrow.

Thanks! Funny thing is, it's actually perfectly feasible with modern artificial polymer technology, it's just that it doesn't actually exist as far as I can tell.
Could we get a quick explanation of who's who in the OP pic? I'm not up on my primarchs.
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Left to right, top to bottom.

Farah Mannus. Techy, bubbly, generous, missing hands because her father's attention slipped during a forging. Very close to Venus.

Venus. Spirited, hardcore tech junkie, swimmer. Very kind-hearted, but takes things for granted.

Kelly Curze. Goth, loner, bookish sort. Not very friendly, but smart as a tack.

Cora Corvus. Eye of a bird, extremely persistent and investigative, reserved but friendly.

Morticia. A nice enough kid if she's healthy enough to be out of doors.

Faith Aurellian. Bible-thumper, or she would be if there were bibles. Uptight and elitist, but much smarter than she looks.

The Twins, Alpharia and Omegan. Sneaky, manipulative, prideful, and impossible to trust, and yet still somehow invited to every party.

Roberta Guilliman. Bookish genius, absolute pennypincher, confident to the point that she can accidentally come off as arrogant.

Remilia Dorn. A recovering cutter. Gifted athlete, competitive, all-round nice kid.

Furia. Resident bully, problem smoker, recovering Slide user. Built like a truck.
Victoria. Valley girl. Pushy, oversexed, haughty, elitist, and with a rack that could burn the dark from a blind man's eyes.

Angela. Sweetheart, loving, astonishingly powerful psyker, and the born mediator.

Lyra El'Jonson and WD. Old money. Classy as fuck. Gifted musician, a bit spoiled.

Isis Lupercal. Born leader. Smart as a welt, talented volleyball player, leader of the pack.

Petra. Borderline sociopath, but by nurture not nature. Incredibly intelligent, intimidatingly so.

(Top) Freya Russ. Incredible athlete, complete sweetheart, and also possessing of more raw physical power than any other girl her age on the entire PLANET.

(Bottom) Miranda. A psyker so powerful she puts Navigators to shame, and innocent and naive at the same time, somehow. Resident scholar and all-around wallflower.

Hana Khan. Biker chick, also an athlete. Talented with machines and building things, and generally does not give a fuck about the haters.
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Fantastic. When did you make it?
Remilia absorbed that news. “Great! I’m glad to hear it.” She smiled at the young officer. “So…then I guess I will have one for the road.”
Kines reached under the bar and handed her a bottle of sparkling water, and after a covert look around the lounge, grabbed one for himself. Twisting the caps off, both raised their drinks. “To old acquaintance soon forgot?” Kines asked.
Remilia hefted her bottle with a grin. “Too formal. How about ‘goodbye, and I hope to see you soon?’” she asked.
“That works.” Kines and Dorn downed their drinks, and Kines swept them under the bar. “And it’s true. We’ll be having some leave on Nocturne. Not much, since it’s basically hell. I’ve been here dozens of times.”
“Cool. Maybe we’ll see each other,” Remilia said.
Kines smiled. “I would like that.”
Remilia flushed from ears to navel. “Well. Goodbye, Lieutenant. I’ll see you around,” she said, turning away before he could see.
“Goodbye, Lady Remilia,” he called after her. As soon as she was out of sight, he pulled his elbows into his sides in total, absolute triumph.
Venus grabbed the last of her bags and arranged them on the cargo carrier in the Iron Tide’s hangar. A few seconds of hydraulic groaning later, and they were loaded into the lander by the oversized servitor. She stood back and rejoined the others in the bay, and noted with some amusement that Freya was already wearing extreme environment gear.
“Hot already, Freya?” she asked.
Freya gaped. “Look at your bloody planet!” she said, gesturing out the void-sealed hangar at the planet growing in their vision. The entire globe – all of it – was one giant maze of lava, black oceans, grey sands, white and black ash deserts, and craggy, obsidian mountains. “Your planet is made of fire! I’m burning just thinking about it!”
“Your planet has extreme environments too, Freya,” Venus giggled.
“My planet has glaciers and snowfields! Your planet has walls of fire and volcanoes the size of continents!” Freya exclaimed.
“Fenris has wolves the size of small trucks,” Venus pointed out.
“Nocturne has drakes the size of LARGE trucks!” Freya shot back.
Alex held up his hands. “Ladies, ladies, please, your planets are both terrifying. Let’s save judgment until after we reach them both, huh?”
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Bump for the writefags.
Started during last thread, finished several days ago
All right, it looks like either their internets gave out or they wanted revision time.

Either way I can post a bit more in the afternoon.

Now that people have had time to digest my word salad, what do people think.
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well i fucking love it. Keep going.
In start contrast to all the other things /tg/ does?
That's because when you take a good, long look at them, he Angry marines are really dumb.

Funny! But really dumb.

Here we have dozens of authors over the course of three years partaking in a worldbuilding exercise. Something /tg/ does better than anyone else. So it doesn't matter than it's dumb.
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Oh forgive us. We're clearly upsetting you with all our liking things. Let's leave, he obviously has more right to be here than someone actually taking the time to contribute anything but scorn. Carry on Someone else, nothing /tg/ like better than story time.
Yeah it gets read the most once on suptg and 1d4chan. Still gets posted here first since it allows feedback. Also what do you even care? There's enough bandwidth to go around.
Your capslock greatly enhances your arguements and your desire for things not to be written because you don't like them
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>Implying everyone who reads these threads posts
He appears upset. Just hide it and move on if you don't like this. Or you can screw of to capslockistan
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Sometimes it's OK to like dumb things.

Anywho, Ahriman's Aide and DarkMage have both contacted me on the IRC and asked me to keep the thread solvent until they can post the next part of The Lioness and Trip Into Hell's introduction, so that's what I'll do.

The week after the accident had been interesting for Lyra, but not in the way she had expected. Initially, she had thought the press would swarm in like vultures after them, spreading rumors of infighting between the cousins, but that was not the case. Strangely enough, the interest the accident had caused did not come from why it happened, but how.
As the story broke out, rumors began to spread on the usage of outdated model of jetbikes, the flaws of commercial duplicates and how the Imperial Army was beginning to phase out the fleet for more standard wheel bikes. The topic gained publicity as tech priests, politicians and commanders began to argue and discuss if jetbikes were too dangerous to use in these times without further safety protocols being installed.
As none of the three had been injured and the explosion blamed on a simple accident, the press almost entirely dropped their names from their stories as the topic evolved on the future of Jetbikes, referring to them only if needing a recap of the story . She wondered if it had been done on purpose or by sheer luck, but didn’t think much of it. Her mind was already worried about other issues.
One such issue came hours after the accident as her mother stared her down, displeased with her in general. Lyra had been released from medical care as there was no injuries other than some bruising, which had been blamed from the explosion. Few doctors wondered why the bruising was more akin to a fist punch than from an explosion. These few were silenced quickly as Leman Russ was the first to arrive at the hospital. In his own words, he said that unless they needed more medical attention, he wasn’t going to leave his daughter and nieces with some “fangless medicae vultures” to conduct more tests on. Within a few minutes of his arrival, they were released as there was no longer any opposition with the Primarch in the room.
Neither Lion and Dorn could arrive as both had been preoccupied offworld, on mission to the eastern fringes of the Galaxy and were planned to return within two weeks. The car ride home was generally silent as Russ simply stared the three down unrelentingly, making them all uneasy. WD laid on her lap, still asleep from the accident hours ago. She stroked his head gently, hoping he would wake up, but he didn’t.

Remilia was the first to drop off, and simply waved as they left her at her house. Russ had deemed her to be innocent from the whole accident and knew who the culprits were the minute he had walked into the hospital. As they moved away from the Dorn household, Russ finally spoke to them.
“So who threw the first punch?” he asked. Neither girl said a word, choosing silence than incriminate one another. Russ nodded, understanding how it would be. “I see. How noble. Too bad this isn’t the legal system. I don’t need any proof to pass judgement. Freya you are grounded until the end of the year.” Freya was about to object but Lyra cut her off.
“It was my fault uncle, Uncle Russ,” she confessed.
“No, I did it,” Freya blurted right after, and they both stared at eachother, unwilling to back off from their confessions.
Russ chuckled. “I know you are both at fault girls. That is why you both will be punished. Unfortunately Lyra, I am not your father. But when your father returns, he will make sure it is the same.”
“But I did it, Dad. Lyra didn’t do anything” Freya insisted.
“Possibly. But until I know the full story, neither of you are exempt.” Silence followed, as neither wanted to say what had really happened. “I thought as much.” Russ mumbled as they finally arrived to the Johnson estate. The door opened and Lyra stepped out of the gravcar, WD in hand as she walked to her house. Her mother stood by the door, and she could see her angry look.
“Lyra” she heard behind her, and she turned to see Freya run up behind her. She stopped a foot short and stood there. “I just wanted to say... sorry.”
Lyra nodded. “Yeah, me too. I’m sorry Freya.” They shared a smile and Freya backed off.
“I’ll see you at school tomorrow” she stated and walked back to the car. Lyra nodded as she left, turned back to her house and finished the journey to the door. Russ’ limo moved off as she reached her mother.
Florence El’Johnson stared at her daughter and Lyra could not look her mother in the eye. Like all typical Calibanian woman, Florence was tall and lean. She had long black hair and bright green eyes, both made her look more imposing than she really was. She simply stared her daughter down for a few moments, wondering if she would crack under the pressure. She knew Lyra wouldn’t. She was as stubborn as her father.
“Go to your room and change your clothes. I’ll be there soon after.” Without a word, Lyra walked into her house and made her way up the winding staircase. A sense of relief flooded her as she was finally home. The familiar smell of Caliban pine wood calmed her down even further as she arrived at her room’s door.
She walked in and turned on the lights, feeling like she hadn’t been there in ages. She moved over to her bed and laid WD down. She stared at him for a few moments as he slept, wondering what had really happened. She knew she wouldn’t get the answers any time soon, so she decided she better just keep going until she figured stuff out.
Moving to her mirror she took a good look at herself and grumbled. Her school uniform was a complete mess. It was ripped, dirtied, doused and somewhat burned. She removed all her clothing and threw it in a pile, seeing if she could salvage any of it later. She paused and took a look at her half naked self in the mirror. Her face had most of the damage, including a black eye and some bruising around the cheeks. Her throat was red and it hurt to move her neck. Her body in general was in pain. She looked at her hands and noticed that her knuckles had also been bruised from the fight. She sighed as she put a t-shirt and some sweatpants on. Her mother walked in minutes later as she sat beside WD, staring at him.
“What’s wrong with him?” she asked and Lyra shook her head.
“I don’t know. He’s asleep” she whispered, her voice sore from the fight.
Florence walked over to her daughter and handed her an ice pack. “Put that against your eye, it’ll help with the swelling. Now lay down on the bed.”
Lyra did as her mother told, and a second later she felt her mother’s warm hands on her neck, applying some sort of muscle cream. It instantly felt good as she dug her hands into her neck, easing tension and letting the blood flow. Hopefully the cream would help her along the road to recovery as well, but she really didn’t have any doubts. Her mother had studied and practiced medicine on Caliban, and was actually in charge of the Officio Medicae on the planet before she met Lion.
“I spoke with Leman” she said while still massaging her. “He was quite adamant that Freya and yourself were both at fault. And I know he is right. It was obvious the moment you stepped out of the car.” Lyra knew what she was going to say.
“I guess I’m grounded as well?”
“Not yet, no.” This surprised her.
“What? Why?” she asked.
“You wouldn’t get into a physical fight like this unless there was a damn good reason. You might be stubborn like your father, but that also means you aren’t an idiot. Plus, you lost the bike, so I already determined you won’t be going out on your own for a while.” She was right. Lyra had no other modes of transport, so once she got home, she was stuck.
“You going to tell me what happened?” she asked. Lyra didn’t know how to answer that.
“I don’t even know what happened,” Lyra mumbled, telling the truth. She wasn’t sure why she had acted the way she did and it was beginning to annoy her.
“Well, when you feel you can tell me, I’m ready to listen. I doubt your father will be as responsive.”
Lyra wasn’t looking forward to that conversation. “I’ll get back to you later.”
Florence paused and inspected the bruises she had, shaking her head. “Are you and Freya okay now?” she asked.
“Maybe. I think both of us are confused with what happened really.”
Florence nodded. “That’s unfortunate. I hate to see you two drift apart. I also hope this redness around her neck won’t affect your singing.Your voice sounds a bit sore.” Lyra didn’t care at that point about her singing, her head turned and watching WD’s still body. Her mother followed her gaze. “I’ve never seen him sleep before.”
“He does, every once in awhile. Like once or twice a year. I rarely catch him doing it. He gets back up after a couple hours and is back to his normal self.” She paused as a whimper crept into her voice. “Mom, I’m worried about him. This time... I don’t know. I’m afraid he won’t wake up.”
“Give it time, I’m sure he’s fine.” Florence got up from the bed, done applying the muscle cream. “Now, go to sleep. You are going to school tomorrow young lady, accident or not.” Lyra didn’t expect anything different. Her mother left the room, leaving her staring at her sleeping companion with an ice pack on her eye. She was physically exhausted, but her mental state made it so that it was many hours till she did fall asleep.


Be back in a bit.
I enjoyed that.

I like that you got Lyra's mother involved. The mothers are rarely a big part of these threads.
Her school day went as she had expected. All her cousins, even the twins, had asked if she was alright. She offered them no explanation on the events, and said if they wanted one they should go ask Freya. She knew they would get nowhere with her either, but at least they were off her heels. Otherwise, her day was quiet as most of the other students didn’t want to get involved in any Royal drama. She didn’t blame them.
Thus, school went as well as she had expected, which was good. The first day back was usually one of the hardest, and it went by without any incident. Classes had ended and she was walking to the exit when a familiar voice called out to her.
“Lyra, wait.”
She thought she was a bit premature with her success as she turned and faced a familiar face. “Freya. I wanted to talk to you today.”
Like herself, Freya’s face was bruised and in the process of healing. She nodded. “Yeah me too. But it is hard with all that happened and-”
Lyra stopped her by putting her hand over her mouth. She looked around to see if anyone was listening in, then motioned into the nearby classroom. Once inside, she locked the door and closed the shades.
“Lyra, are you alright?” Freya asked, a bit confused by her behavior.
“Just making sure that we can talk in privacy.” Lyra walked over by her cousin and took a deep breath.
“Why would you- oof!”
Half way through her sentence, Lyra moved in and embraced her cousin, giving her one of the strongest hugs she could muster. Freya took a moment, and returned the gesture, chuckling to herself as she began to understand why. As they broke off, she smiled at her as the ice began to melt.
“Hiding your emotions from the rest of the world I see.”
“They would only use it to their advantage” Lyra claimed defensively, her hard exterior returning. “Freya, I want to apologize. I’m sorry about what happened yesterday. I don’t know what came over me.”
“Same. We both screwed up and lost control. And I almost killed you.” Freya said that last part with disgust, and Lyra knew it wasn’t directed to her.
“Well, I kinda had it coming. I said some very, very horrible things. And I want you to know I didn’t mean a word of it.”
“I know.” She paused and looked at her. “Just so we are clear. These mood swings. Does it have to do with some biological clock of yours or...” Lyra gave her the strangest stare and she shut up very quickly. “Guess not.”
“No, I...” Lyra paused, rubbing her eyes. “I don’t know what happened. But I have an idea. Remember when I said I had a dream?” Freya nodded, and Lyra went on to explain what she had actually seen. If anyone needed to know about them, it was Freya. She owed her that much. Several minutes later, Freya just stared in silence, taking it all in before speaking.
“So you think these dreams had something to do with it?” she asked and Lyra shrugged in response.
“Maybe. Not sure. It doesn’t matter anymore. It’s not important.” She looked at her. “What did your father say when I left?”
“He’s pissed. I’m grounded forever. I didn’t tell him anything. I don’t know what to tell him anyway. That I nearly killed you? That I let the beast out? He would be so angry, I’d probably be sent to Fenris after school’s done, isolated for years to come. What about you?”
“Mom’s angry, but wants to understand. I didn’t tell her anything either. Truthfully, I don’t understand. It won’t get better for me though. When dad gets back, he is going to be angry, especially since the bike exploded.”
“What about WD?” Lyra shook her head.
“At home sleeping. I’m going to give it time. Maybe whatever he did to save me just made him really tired. Hopefully he will wake up soon.” She looked at her watch and swore loudly. “We better get going. My mom sent a car to pick me up since I no longer have a bike.” As they both made their way out of the school, Lyra could finally say she had one less issue to worry about.
The rest of the week went as expected for Lyra. With plenty of free time between school work and sleeping, she turned to her passion for music to keep her mind otherwise occupied. It wasn’t strange for her to spend hours every day after school singing in a private studio at her house till her voice hurt. She primarily practiced many different types of genres of music, but lately her mood dictated slow and somber songs. It didn’t help that every time she went to practice, all she could think about was WD.
The strange xeno’s condition had not improved. Every time she walked into her room, she wondered if he was hungry or thirsty. She usually saw him eating, but wondered if he really needed it or he faked it to fit in. The xeno was highly secretive of his inner workings. Even Lion didn’t know how Watchers really worked. Or he didn’t tell her.
In the end, all this speculation only made her more worried. She had to do something instead of standing around like this, but her options were limited. She doubted any doctors on Terra would know anything about Watchers. Even her mother didn’t know anything about them other then they existed. And she was sure WD wasn’t hurt physically, since there was barely a scratch on him. It had to be a mental problem.
Unfortunately, she knew what that meant and wasn’t glad on what needed to be done. There were few psykers she would approach that she called friends. Her father had never brought any of the chapter’s librarians to Terra. Uncle Magnus and Professor Ahriman came to mind, but she wasn’t sure if it would be best to talk to them about a problem they can blow way out of proportions. Miranda was also out of the question since she could easily tell her father everything that would transpire.
Thankfully, there was another psyker that Lyra could approach with relative ease: Angela. Although her powers were not as developed as Miranda, her abilities were quite refined. It also helped that she was actually friendly towards her and the feeling was mutual. Like all her cousins, she enjoyed the winged girl’s company because of her friendly demeanor.
It wasn’t hard to find Angela. There was rarely a time where she wouldn’t be on school’s highest balcony with Cora. Lyra was careful as she opened the door that Friday morning before class as the blinding sunlight made it difficult to see initially. Her eyes adjusted, and sure enough she saw her two cousins sitting near the railing. They both turned to look at her as Lyra waved.
“Lyra! Hey!” shouted Angela seemingly pleased to see her. Cora also smiled and waved as she made her way forward. “You doing better?” she asked.
“Hey. Much better, thank you. Angela, I need your help.” She glanced at Cora. “I rather this not get around, not even among our cousins, alright?” Cora nodded, making a zipper motion over her mouth. She knew that this was the best choice, as asking her to leave could only spread more rumors of something being wrong.
“What can I do for you?” Angela asked curiously. Lyra paused, making sure they were alone, and then removed WD from her bag’s pocket. The tiny alien was still asleep as she showed her cousins.
“He alright?” Cora asked.
“I’m not sure. That’s why I am here. I don’t know if you can, but I need you to read his mind.” Angela looked very unsure as she stared at the tiny alien.
“Uh, well,” she stuttered, “I don’t know if I can. He’s a xeno right? This could be more then I can handle. Did you ask Miranda?”
Lyra frowned, but tried her best to be encouraging to her cousin. “I can’t go to her. Angela, you are the only one who I can trust with this. I wouldn’t have come to you like this unless I had no choice. Please, at least try.”
Angela sighed and then shrugged. “Yeah, alright. What could go wrong?” she said her as she positioned herself by the alien. Lyra kept him steady as her cousin’s hands hovered around the xeno’s head. “I guess we should try to find his skull in there, right?” Angela didn’t wait for an answer, and Lyra suddenly wished she had as she tried to warn her. It was too late as she dipped her fingers into the black hood and shrieked loudly. Instantly she jumped back and began rubbing her hands together furiously.
“What wrong?” Cora asked, looking concerned at her winged cousin.
“I dipped my hands into the hood and I felt incredibly cold. I think I also got shocked while I was in there.” Lyra nodded, knowing full well the experience.
“I tried to warn you but you kinda rushed ahead. I’ve done it a couple times and it always does that. Kinda like a protective field.”
“But the feeling...” Angela muttered, and Lyra was suddenly very interested. “I’ve read minds before, but this is different. It doesn’t feel like the Warp, but something else entirely. It’s... weird.”
“Lets try from the outside, alright?” Lyra proposed, and her cousin nodded. This time positioning her fingers on the outer edges of the hood, she began to concentrate her skills. Closing her eyes, she began to feel her way into the alien’s mind, trying to understand this new sensation that was so totally different from what she was used to.
Another gasp alerted the cousins that something was wrong. Lyra and Cora could only watch as their cousin underwent some terrifying changes. Her hair lifted into the air, spreading out as if there was a current running through them. She opened her eyes and they glowed brightly, a white light with no end. She levitated upwards, a few inches off the ground while her mouth was agape as she seemed to stare beyond Lyra into somewhere else entirely.
Lyra reflexively pulled WD away but couldn’t. She was no longer keeping him steady, as it seemed that whatever had happened made a physical bond between the xeno and her cousin. Cora grabbed Angela by the stomach to pull away with no luck either. Then suddenly, the event ended as the link was broken, both participants fell down. Lyra caught WD and stared at him while Cora got a hold of Angela
Angela groaned as she tried to stand up, her cousins at her side helping her. Lyra wondered if she had pushed her cousin too far. Suddenly, Angela lifted her head and smiled. “Woah, that was so cool.”
“Angela, are you alright?” Cora asked her and the winged girl nodded, seemingly back to her normal self. She motioned them to back off as she stood by her own strength. However, the smile didn’t disappear from her face, which made them feel very confused on the situation.
“What happened?” Lyra asked.
“I’m not sure. Wow, that was definitely different.” Her cousins continued to look at her strangely as she explained. “Usually when I feel the Warp, it’s big but its dark. You don’t get to see everything around you. This new place was not as big but lit up like a city. I felt it all at once, a huge rush of information coming at me. There were others, different from your normal soul. I don’t know who they are but they seemed unsure of my presence. Like I didn’t belong there at all. I felt like I had walked in on a private conversation and everyone was just looking at me. But I did feel one soul very clearly.”
“WD?” Lyra asked anxiously, and Angela nodded.
“I think so. He seemed tired. He was waiting for something to happen. I’m not sure what exactly, but I did see your symbol for a brief moment. The wings and sword?” Lyra nodded, considering the information. This news put her in a better mood, but left her with a bigger mystery.


I'm done for a bit. I got a small part left and then I'm actually out of material ready to post. Hope you guys are liking it so far.
I am.

Do continue when you get the time.
something i was meaning to ask during the "Bleeding Out" arc was, how do lorgar and faith fit in in this version, due to the outlawing of religion? what stops him from falling to chaos?
He didn't fall because the Emperor was forewarned that some of his dudes would fall to chaos and killed them before they tainted Lorgar. Lorgar's Minister of Education now. I don't touch either character much.

Faith is just a caricature of the nosy Christian next door, really.
You kept it alive overnight, and so now i will return the favour, with the first part of 'Trip into Hell'

A Chronological note is in order. this story is separate but concurrent with 'Road Trip!', and begins five days before Venus and co leave Nocturne for Fenris.
and so it begins...

The lone planet sat suspended amid the turbulent ocean of the Warp, a beautiful blue and white globe suspended against the mirror universe flowing beneath it. The eddies and flows of the warp rippled unusually softly around the lone planet, as if unwilling to disturb its peaceful solitude. Suddenly an object, a massive object appeared within the warp, cast up from the unknown depths. It did not sail through the empyrean the way other ships did, so much as push its way through like an angry bull Grox. The bow wave of the object flushed out the many void predators which infested the Great Ocean, fleeing from the object’s approach.
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From some unknown depth, a mighty intelligence turned a shard of its attention to the object, and the serene planet. The intelligence was always planning, always scheming, and always looking for another opportunity to play out with the mortal realm. It had done so recently, an unforeseen opportunity which had come close to failure due to the intervention of its great enemy. But that enemy wasn’t here now, wasn’t able to interfere with this new scheme. Here was a chance to wound his foe, spread his taint, and secure a new pawn in the eternal game he played. Here was no ordinary pawn; here was a pawn with very, very good connections, connections which could bring the enemy to his knees. With a faint nudge, the tides of the Warp were shifted, and the object’s path was diverted towards the nearby planet. Another nudge and the dwellers within that object noticed the planet, and began to make preparations. Let the mortals deal with this new threat, while he worked the strings unseen. And so it was that a world was pushed into war…
‘…Port Huron is a beautiful city, and I wish you and your cousins could see it, though Nocturne sounds like a blast. I still aim to meet up with you all at the specified location at the end of our respective tours, and look forward to seeing you all then. Give my best wishes to Rem, Alex, Freya and especially Jake. Make sure you treat him well! I look forward to your next E-letter.’ Julius Pius paused, looked over his E-letter to Venus on his Dataslate, and frowned. It had been several months since school finished, several months since the daughters scattered across the Imperium and he had joined them in their exodus. He was now already nearly halfway across the Imperium, and was now outbound to the thousand worlds of Ultramar. He was sitting outside the Portside Café, a pretty little establishment looking over both the water port and the space port parts of Port Huron, the capital city of the planet Seadelant. On one side was the sparkling sea, on the other the vast shapes of Starships anchored at the Spaceport, like a chain of metal mountains looming over the inner city. The café was almost the mirror image of a certain café on Terra, where he and his friends had gone several times before school ended, and where, a few months ago…no, better not to think about it. He would have to live with his mistakes, but he didn’t want to be reminded of them every few minutes.
He sipped on his Caf, checked his letter several times, smiling to himself at his more, interesting comments. ‘Treat him well’, Venus would smack him one with a comment like that if she was here to read it. He was never one to pry, but those ‘laid vibes’ always got to him, and anyway if any one couple in the ‘royals’ deserved happiness, it was those two, even above his own relationship. He was one of the few who had never judged Jake for his humble roots, as his roots were every bit as humble were his famous father not taken into account, and Jake in turn treated him as a friend. Satisfied with his letter, he finally hit the ‘send’ button. It would be forwarded to the nearby Astropath Guild HQ, where it would be beamed offworld within an hour or two. That was done, now he could finish his drink in peace. He only had another two days here before he would board a transport for Ultramar, and his long lost Mother. What would he do there, what would he think when he finally beheld her final resting place? He didn’t want to think about it, any more than he wanted to think about the circumstances which had led him from Terra, the events which saw him miss graduation and have to stand before a civilian tribunal.
His train of thought was cut short as the Vox in the corner crackled, something cutting over the classical music wafting through the café.
“An unidentified object has dropped out of the Warp approx 240,000 Miles from the Planet, twenty-seven minutes ago. Long ranged probes have been dispatched, and system ships have been mobilised to investigate. We do not, I repeat we do not, know if this is friendly or hostile, and as a precaution we are issuing a blue alert. All citizens should make preparations in the event of further alerts, but there is no need to panic. That is all.” The Vox returned to its normal music, but it was now drowned out by the murmur of voices.
Julius continued to sip on his Caf, but now he didn’t feel up for it. He had a queasy feeling in his gut, that this was no mere accidental translation, something bad was coming, and was once again about to be thrust into something he’d rather aviod. News like that was an unwelcome distraction for him. He had had enough of bad events affecting him and those he considered family, he wanted it all to be over, that damn gunman would be the last time something like that would ever happen. Crushing the empty hardfoam cup in his hand, he left. Hopefully, all things willing, it would be nothing and he could continue his trip in peace.
The Great Ocean was always unnaturally calm around Seadelant, which not only made it into one of the most important waystations between Segmentum Solar and Ultima Segmentum, astride the largest and most stable warp route between the two Segmentums, but also made it into a perfect location to meditate, to drift through the great ocean and clear one’s head, the reason Ahzek Ahriman was there. It helped that it was close to Prospero, and had been brought into compliance by the XVth Legion during the Crusade shortly after Magnus had reclaimed his Legion. The locals, awed by the civility of the Thousand Sons after compliance was achieved and they were liberated from their tyrannical overlords, gladly accepted aid from Prospero in rebuilding their war damaged cities.
The city reminded him greatly of Prospero City, perfectly designed, every building aesthetically pleasing and perfectly fitting into the urban environment. An inner wall separated the more ugly new construction from the remnants of the old city and the Spaceport, and an outer wall in turn separated that from the countryside. The clifflike edifices of docked starships loomed far above the city, though cleverly the city plan meant the vast shadows cast by them did not keep Port Huron permanently wreathed in shadow. Most of the starships were passenger or cargo ships, with a single pair of Sword class Frigates being the only Military ships currently docked there.
The locals were very happy to be hosting the Chief Librarian of the Thousand Sons legion, and in the time he had been here, he had been invited to feasts and meetings, where his every word was treated as sacred gospel, irritating him. He was here to relax, to get away from Prospero and the duties of the head of the Corvidae. He’d already completely rearranged and catalogued the Corvidae Library, explored the hinterlands of Prospero and meditated in the Reflecting Caves beneath the Pyramid of Photep, and yet his mood hadn’t lightened. Finally he had accepted an invitation to travel with the Gladius-class Frigate Hapi to deliver some crystals to the Seadelant Astropathic guild, and when the Frigate had left he had stayed behind.
The big news currently filling the airwaves, and the minds of everyone in the city was this mystery object which only a few hours earlier had debarked from the Great Ocean. He had felt the ripples as it emerged into the material plane, waves of psychic energy gently washing over him, soaking him in excess power. He would have to shed that as soon as he could. Probes had been dispatched to find out what it was, but he could also find out, far more thoroughly and subtly than the devices of the Mechanicum ever could. He needed some sort of distraction, and a way of testing his aetheric connection.
He closed his eyes, recited the Enumerations and freed his body of light from his flesh. He could scout out the orbital intruder far better than the probes and ships, and without any potential inhabitants ever noticing him. Ahriman also hoped to catch a glimpse of things to come as well, even now after all this time he still hadn’t repaired his link to the future, and his powers of scrying were still at their lowest ebb since Aghoru. The lack of connection bothered him, was the Primordial Annihilator still haunting him, even now long after the shooting was done and its plan foiled?
Onwards and upwards he flew. His subtle body soared, effortlessly breaking free of the planet’s gravity and departing into the inky night of space, heading straight towards the distant space object slowly plummeting towards the planet.
The sun was a fading disc of light above him, and he flew ever upwards, spreading his arms like wings as he bathed in the warmth of the invisible currents of energy that permeated every corner of this world. The world below was a faint blue dot, a jewel set against the black curtain of space, at once so fragile and yet so precious.
The space object now loomed before him. As he had expected, it was a Space Hulk, the remnants of asteroids and ships sucked into the Great Ocean and fused together over millennia. There might be old tech from the dark age of technology on board that Hulk, objects the Adeptus Mechanicus would kill to obtain.
Unusually, the Space Hulk was blazing with etheric Energy, far more than it normally should do, and it took a few seconds for it to hit Ahriman what that energy was. It was as crude and powerful as a flamethrower, and every bit as potent, setting the Hulk ablaze aetherically. He had seen that energy before, on many hundreds of battlefields, and as lingering traces on Ullanor. Only one race had that seemingly mindless potency. The Greenskins, the Orks. The galactic plague which could never be totally erased, not matter what the Emperor did. Millions of individual Orks infested the hulk, some manning semi-concealed weapons turrets studding the bow and flanks of the Hulk, others brawling with each other in cavern sized room or marching up and down the kilometres long network of tunnels worming their way through the Hulk. In what appeared to be the Hulk’s command centre, a bevy of massive Nobs and Warbosses poured around a crude screen, showing an image of Seadelant. Unseen, Ahriman looked on in Horror. This was a full on invasion force, the sort rarely seen in Imperial Space since the Crusade ended. The unmanned Navy probes speeding towards the Hulk were dead things, though the operators on the planet’s surface didn’t know it yet.
The unmanned Navy probes speeding towards the Hulk were dead things, though the operators on the planet’s surface didn’t know it yet.
Before his aetheric eyes, the very moment the probes entered the range of the Hulk’s prow Gun batteries, those guns blazed, and one by one the probes were torn apart by the flurry of large calibre shells sent their way. If they didn’t know the hulk was hostile before, they certainly knew it now.
He returned to his physical body so hard several bruises blossomed upon his body. He groaned as his flesh ached with the stress of his body of light’s rushed reintegration. Ahriman used his heqa staff to push himself to his feet. The vox set on the windowsill of his hab crackled into life.
“This is an Urgent update. Our probes have scanned the target; however they were destroyed before the scan could be completed. Enough data was recovered before the probes were destroyed to ascertain the identity of the assailants, and we now regret to inform the identity of the unknown Object as an Ork Space Hulk, which will reach our orbit within a day and a half. Distress calls have been sent, and System Ships and Defence Monitors mobilised. We are upgrading our alert status to Amber, effective immediately.”
Ahriman could barely believe what he had just heard. They expected to take the monster out before it reached the planet! They hadn’t seen the monster with their own two eyes; they had no idea of the storm about to break upon them. The only way they could stop that hulk while it was still in space would be with an entire squadron of Battleships with a few Battle Barges in support, something that was very much absent from Seadelant’s orbit. The planetary defences would be swept aside within a few hours and the Orks would land, in the tens of millions.
He had been taken on a tour of the cities defences, and while they were carefully laid out and capable of defending against a limited drop, they were woefully underequipped for dealing with an invasion of this magnitude. They would need him and his special gifts if they were to survive the onslaught until relief arrived. Ahriman stared at his armour, resting nearby. The last time he’d donned it, it was to hunt a supposed Chaos taint with the Night Haunter. And look where that got him! Was he about to make another such mistake? Even if so, without his insight this planet would fall, and a vital link in the chain holding the Imperium together would be severed. That would aid the Primordial Annihilator far more than anything he could do here. His mind made up, he began to don his battleplate. Once again, Ahzek Ahriman was going to war.
that's it for now, need to do a bit of rewriting for the next scene. Thoughts?
I think it's interesting that you set their activities on the same world. I look forward to seeing how they interact.
im curious about how the changer of ways is planning to thwart the scheme of the great deceiver
All right, back. I want to remind all readers and fellow writefags that the unofficial 4chan writefag channel is #writescribbles on the Rizon network.

Now, we dock on Prometheus.
Well? Spill the writefaggotry already!
Sorry, I'm torn between Muju drawing Venus in another thread and checking the IRC for things.
“I guess so,” Freya said grudgingly. “Do you think I won’t need this?” she asked, poking at her heat gear.
“We’re docking with the space station first, Freya. Go change,” Venus instructed.
“…Oh. Right. Durr,” Freya muttered, running off for the head.
Venus shook her head and sighed. “Anyway! I should tell you guys now what to expect. First things first, there will be a small ceremony when we dock. The serfs there will want to hose down the shuttle with flamers. Trust me, it’ll be fine,” she said, noting Jake’s and Alex’s shock. “It’s just ritual, they’re not going to attack anyone. Next they’ll open the hatches and we’ll come out. I’ll be in the lead, of course, and there will be a few Librarians there, to perform a Ceremony of Officiation, since I’m the reigning member of the Royal Family here in the system. Which is a trifle annoying since I’m sure they’ll barrage me with the administrative stuff, and fucked if I know how to do it,” she grumbled under her breath.
“Well, you can take your time with that since we have a month, right?” Jake asked.
“I think so, yeah.” Venus watched as Freya sprinted back to them. “Much better.”
“Yeah,” Freya panted. She slid back into line. “All right. I have the rest here,” she said, shoving her discarded hot gear into its bag. “When do we dock?”
“Fifteen minutes, for us, two hours for the rest of the ship. We’re going to go ahead on a lander,” Venus said. A thrill of excitement chased itself through her belly as she said it.
Fifteen years. She hadn’t set foot on her homeworld for fifteen years. She could already smell the air.

The hydraulics behind her groaned again, as the passenger compartment of the lander swung open. Venus hefted her day bag. “All right, we’re off.”

A few of the ship’s officers were accompanying them, she noticed, as the group wedged into the compartment. Aside from Haarlan, who had said that he would be joining them only as they docked to liaise with the Salamander Fleetmaster, the ship’s cargomaster was the only guest.

The flight was loud, but mercifully short. The lander shook as it entered the atmosphere of the station, and the volume inside increased as there was suddenly an atmosphere to carry the noises. The noise suddenly died away as the lander’s pilot cut the engines, and the passenger compartment rumbled as the outside of the ship was caked in flames.

“It’s ritual. Honoring the flame and reverence to the Machine Spirits,” Venus explained to her nervous companions. Even as she said it, the flames ceased. After a minute, the compartment creaked open, admitting the stifling fumes of promethium.

Venus immediately stood, stilling her nerves. These were her people. More than just a figurative statement of belonging, it was literal. She was made of the same geneseed as them. She was probably safer here than she had been in her own home on Terra.

She climbed out of the compartment, brushing her layered leather and fiber shirt off. A quintet of armored Marines awaited her at the base of the ramp. Three were helmetless, two wore Psychic Hoods.
The first time in two years that 4chan actually spaces paragraphs properly for me.
One of the three helmetless Marines stepped forth. White heat scars crisscrossed his face, forming the shape of animal wings. He closed his eyes and slowly inclined his head in reverence. “My Princess Venus, Forgedaughter. Welcome home.”
“Thank you, Brother-Captain,” Venus said solemnly. She mirrored his gesture. Behind her, Jake started to dismount the ship as well, but Haarlan caught his wrist, staying him. Jake shot him a questioning look, and Haarlan shook his head, eyes wide.
“Be silent, please. He’s greeting his Princess. This is not our place,” he whispered.
Venus raised her head, and held out one hand, palm up. The two Librarians drew their Power Glaives and ignited them, tapping their pommels against the ground. The two remaining, helmetless Marines knelt, eyes raised to meet hers. She nodded to each in turn, letting them stand or lower their weapons. Silently, all five did. The one in the middle, with the complex tattoos, hefted a tiny green key, and passed it to her. She accepted it, and deftly strung it on the cord that held today’s necklace together. It clanked against the little metal eye she had sculpted.
Suddenly, the scarred Marine beamed. “Venus, my dear girl, it’s been entirely too long!” he proclaimed, holding his arms wide.
“Ir’Sem! I’m so happy to see you!” she squealed, throwing herself into his arms. He lifted her clean off the ground, hugging her with force that would have paralyzed a Kasrkin. “How did you know which lander I would be on?” she asked, eagerly returning the hug.
“Why do you even need to ask?” he said rhetorically, jerking his thumb at the Librarians behind him. “We just had them look for the ship with the little inferno aboard.”
“Oh hush,” she said, playfully smacking his armor as he set her down. “Wow. Well I’m very glad to see you. Oh, you know these guys,” she said, as Haarlan released Jake, and the group climbed down. “You’ve met everyone at parties and such, I think. Jake Seager, Alex Carlin, Freya Russ, Remilia Dorn. Then, the Iron Tide’s representatives, Political Officer Wilhelm Haarlan and Cargomaster Davis Jeorne,” she said, gesturing to them all in turn. “Guys, this is Fourth Company Captain Ir’Sem, one of my father’s oldest friends.”
“An honor, Lord,” Haarlan said, bowing low. Jeorne did as well, and Alex and Jake hastily followed suit. Remilia and Freya, both technically royalty in their own right, simply nodded politely. Haarlan straightened. “It was a delight to ferry Lady Primarch Venus and her guests to you. And that that, I believe, our role here concludes until a month from today, yes?”
“Correct, Officer Haarlan. Thank you for bringing our Princess back to us,” Ir’Sem said with a smile down at the compact girl who was standing beside him. She barely came up to his stomach in his massive suit of armor.
“And you, Lord Seager,” he added, turning to the man he dwarfed. “It’s been a while.”
“It has, my Lord,” Jake said, inclining his head. “I think we met at Venus’ cousin’s birthday party and haven’t seen each other since.”
“Right,” Ir’Sem said. Jeorne stepped up to one of the other helmetless Salamanders and passed him a dataslate, muttering something. The Marine nodded and the two walked off to where the frigate was moving to dock. “Come this way, please,” he said, gesturing to his guests. Haarlan followed the Cargomaster to where the Iron Tide was approaching, while the Librarians and the other Marine followed the teens into the station. “I don’t know if you’ve been informed, yet, Venus, but the people love you, perhaps a bit too much.”
She groaned. “Oh for goodness’ sake, they want me to do the damn speech in public?” Venus asked, instantly catching his meaning.
“They do. Soon.”
“Well…damn it, I can’t say no, can I?” Venus grumped. “So much for my vacation.”
Ir’Sem shrugged, something to see in Power Armor. “It’s only one day. And you DO have a choice, just not one you should even consider,” he said, his voice free of reproach. This was advice, not recrimination.
“I know,” she said contritely. “But I’ll have to rewrite it.”
“Because I thought I would be giving it to the Council of Masters alone, and nobody else,” she grumped. “Now I’ll be addressing a crowd instead.”
“You’ll do fine,” Ir’Sem said dismissively. “Now…you’ll be here for one day, and spend the rest planetside, right?”
“Yep. Do you have a place for us, or should we stay on the ship?” Venus asked, as she followed her guide through the corridors of the station.
“Does the Princess of Nocturne have a place to stay on Nocturne’s control station,” Ir’Sem deadpanned. “Nope, it’s bare corridors for you.” He paused outside an unmarked hatchway. “Here you are.” The hatch swung open, revealing another corridor. The corridor was appointed differently, with overhead lights instead of braziers on the walls for illumination, and the doors had locks next to them. “You’ll be here overnight. Well. It’s night shift now, or there would have been an even bigger reception,” he explained, gesturing to rooms. “If you wish, and I don’t recommend it, you could just fly down now, stay up all day, and then just rest tomorrow night.”
“No, we’ll stay here,” Venus said, directing her friends down the corridor. “It’s got the better view,” she said cheerfully.
“It does. Your ceiling, in the flesh?” Ir’Sem joked.
“I can’t wait. We DO have a view, right?” she asked, as Jake and Alex picked rooms out.
“Well…no, it would be a structural weakness. But you can see the planet through a holocam,” Ir’Sem admitted. “Now…I will see you all in the morning. Sleep well, Princess,” he said, bowing out of the little side-corridor.
So did anyone recognize Ir'Sem, by the by? He was the Marine at the party waaaay back in Meeting Vulkan, nearly a year ago.
I don't think many people can remember back that far.
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Oh well. Onward!
The group dispersed into their rooms, finding them vastly more utilitarian than the rooms aboard the ship had been. Jake dropped his stuff on the floor and fell into the bed, trying to let his tension fade. Venus stared at the hatch to the little corridor, before turning to her lover with a grin that spread from ear to ear. Jake spotted her expression and smiled back. “All fired up?” he asked.
Venus walked over to him and slid her hands under his back, letting the warmth seep into his skin. “As you can plainly see,” she said.
Jake grabbed her shoulders and playfully tossed her onto the bed, rising from it as he did. “Well…I’m not tired, but I could nap before we get up. When do you want to go dirtside?” he asked.
“Ashside,” she corrected. “And…around 0900. So, five hours.” She rose and flicked her finger at the holo control in the corner, wondering if she could bring up a view of the planet.
The room went dark. She scoffed as she tried to reverse it, assuming that she had just triggered the lights instead.
i remembered, but just barely...
Bump for more!
It looks like SE is elsewhere, so I will gladly give the anon's more. here we go again...
The Seadelant military command building was located beside the Governor’s palace at the very top of the hill the city was built upon. Like most of the buildings, it resembled a rounded pyramid with an observation dome on the top. Ahriman all but crashed through the door, briefly acknowledging the existence of the sentries before barging past them, ignoring their admittedly half hearted protests. What mortal would argue with a Marine in Battleplate, who obviously meant business? He reached the main room, patterned on a starship’s command deck with rows of screens above security consoles along the walls and a single massive window overlooking the Spaceport. An image of the Space Hulk was projected on the large Holodesk situated in the centre of the room, with several aides pouring over the fragmentary data the probes recovered. Graf Trakeria, supreme commander of the Seadelant PDF stood there flanked by the Planet’s Senior Astropath and Governor Shroe. Instead of talking about potential invasion scenarios or plans for defending the planet, they were talking about the last load of messages sent out before the distress call, with the Astropath apparently concerned about one outbound for Nocturne of all places. He had no time for that sort of thing; he needed to force some sense into them before they made a mistake which would cost the Imperium dearly.
“Lord Ahriman, we’ve been hoping you would join us. Of all the things that could happen, we had to get a full on Ork Space Hulk bearing down on our planet. What were the chances of that?”
Ahriman needed to cut to the chase, but as gently as possible. He didn’t want to offend them, or simply cut over them and take over. He was no arrogant Word Bearer or Emperor’s Child. “Believe me, there are many worse things that Hulk could have been. A Hellship for one, but that’s beside the point. The point is there’s 50 million Greenskins on that hulk, heading straight for this planet with one aim in mind: conquering and looting this world.”
“50 Million? How do you know exactly?”
“Because I saw them with my own eyes.”
“What do you mean, you…oh. Oh.” He hadn’t advertised his psychic potential to them, but they all had heard of his reputation. They just hadn’t expected it to be demonstrated in such circumstances.
“Yes. I’d like to hear what your plan is for dealing with this invasion. You’re sending the Defence Monitors out at the Hulk?”
“Yes, as well as every system ship we can muster. We would have the two Frigates up there with them, but both are not yet fully refurbished. A blasted shame the Mars Class Battlecruiser Thunder’s Fury left yesterday, else we would get the use of its Nova Cannon against the Green Menace. We don’t want the green scum setting foot upon our world, not in a thousand years. Why, do you have something with that plan?”
“My apologies Madam, but yes I do. Being honest, your plan is stupid. Foolhardy and stupid both.” He ignored the shocked expressions on their faces, and the looks he was getting from those personnel elsewhere in the room. They had to know. “That hulk is several kilometres across and studded in hundreds of guns, and you think your Defence Monitors can hope to destroy it? A great admiral once said that shooting Nova cannons at a Hulk was like ‘Like throwing eggs at a stone wall.’ You have no ability to damage the hulk before it reaches orbit, it’s just too big and powerful. And though the Orbital Defence network is stronger, even that will do little but slow it down. You’d need the combined fire of several Battleships and Battle Barges to destroy it, and I don’t see any around. Fortunately it has no escorting ships with it, so I’d suggest you withdraw the Defence Monitors until relief arrives. No sense in having them destroy themselves and doing little to stop the Hulk. No, the Greenskins can’t be stopped in orbit; they will have to be held here, on the ground, until a real military force can arrive to assist us.” He let that sink in. this was a time for harsh truths, nothing else would suffice.
Governor Shroe glared up at him, or at least tried to. “How can we stop an Ork Invasion on the ground? The total PDF numbers only 100,000, and that’s spread across the entire planet. They’ll get overwhelmed within days!”
“What Guard Regiments are currently here?”
“We have the Caorst XVI Panxers headed to Cadia, and the Belladon thirty-ninth and Tanith fifth ‘Laresals’, both headed to the Sabbat Worlds.”
“A Tanith Regiment, eh?” Tanith had supplied very few Regiments, but every one of them was worth its weight in gold. It was said the Emperor Himself intervened with the commander of the celebrated first regiment, the ‘Ghosts’ was court marshalled for disobeying an order which would have seen most of his regiment destroyed for no gain.
“Lord Ahriman? What would you do if you were in my place?”
Ahriman thought about it for a few seconds, each second stretching to minutes in his mind as he calculated feverishly. With the limited troops they could not hope to fight outside the city, and with those defensive walls… “We hold the outer walls for as long as possible, and when it becomes untenable to hold them any longer we withdraw to the inner walls, and there hold them off until relief forces arrive. Given the importance of Seadelant as the main hub between Segmentum Solar and Ultima Segmentum, I expect relief will arrive within two weeks or so, warp travel time permitting. We only need to hold that long, and with careful force positioning and maximum use of every available resource, I am quite confident we could do that.”
“And what about the civilian population?”
“Evacuate as many as possible on the docked civilian and cargo ships. Have them sent a safe distance away. Everyone else, pull them into the central city. If the outer walls should fall…”
Graf Trakeria and the Governor stared at each other for a few seconds. He could clearly read their auras, fear at the foe bearing down upon them, uncertainty as to what they were to do, and a growing sense of apprehension. This was a situation neither of them had ever expected to be in. Finally Graf Trakeria addressed him.
“Lord Ahriman, we know little of war, or our greenskin foes, but you do. Though this goes against tradition, I wish for you to take my place as supreme commander of the Seadelant defence forces.”
Externally, Ahriman stood impassively. Within, he was conflicted. Though he had wanted them to see sense, he didn’t want them to give him the job of defending the planet…or did he? Pride was something he had removed long ago, reaching that moment of full ego-extinction which allowed him to fight as impassively as a robot. But since the crusade ended, that pride had re-manifested itself, and try as he might; he could not fully remove it. And now he was being offered this, command of an entire world’s defence. What would Lord Magus say to him?
He imagined the crimson king; a supernova made flesh, the very essence of the great ocean coursing through him. He would take the reins; bend every fibre of his being to doing his duty, and saving this world. That made up his mind for him.
“If that is what you wish, fine, I will take command. I’ll need you both though; your troops may be a bit reluctant to take orders from me, and the civilians will need to follow my instructions. Together, we will save this world!”
He could notice the almost imperceptible twitch in his right hand. The fate of this world now rested on his shoulders. A small part of him rejoiced, but that feeling was submerged beneath a tide of. He had work to do, if this world was not to fall under the green tide.

Done and done. back to the real story now.
Where is The Editor when you need him?
I dunno, I wish he were around.
Oh man.

Under the influence of I know not what...
I have just shown my entire folder of fanart of the Warhammer High stories I've written (and Emerasque) too to my entire family.
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and they reacted thus? (sans Twitlight)

>nauseous rwashoo
even Captcha seems to agree!
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YES!!!! WUNDERBAR, ER IST MEIN TRAUM WAHR!!!!! anyways its good to hear. I would love to see mortica (mortarions daughter) get some time for once. Also would love a little bit of a mini horus heresy ie: isis and the traitors kids gang up on the loyalist kids. Also possibley have Ahrimin and Fabius Bile as the shaperons for the kids? Jokes practicly write themselves >:)
They thought it was hilarious.
Dude, Morticia was the star of my last story.

And Fabius Bile is a teacher at Imperator.

Aaand Ahriman is on sabbatical.
Time to wind this thread down...


Lyra left the duo alone after making sure that her actions hadn’t hurt her cousins. Angela had made it clear for several minutes afterwards that she was fine, only exhilarated from the experience. She kept describing how different it felt, but Lyra wasn’t sure if she understood entirely. She felt like it was trying to explain the concept of color to the blind. Lyra wondered how it would be like to be a psyker, but dismissed the thought as she had more important things to do.
She had to understand what WD was trying to tell her. It seemed it had to do with the chapter’s icon, but that was such a broad topic that Lyra wasn’t sure where to begin. Did it mean a physical construct of the icon itself? Or something that symbolized the idea of the chapter? Maybe it was a person, like her father or Cypher.
She was so caught up in her thoughts that as she entered the main hallway back from her trip to the school’s balcony, she slammed into another student. She groaned, feeling quite foolish, but felt worse as she looked up and saw who she stumbled into.
It was Felix Severus. Most people knew who Felix was, even among the daughters. Son of a nobleman, Felix was one of the few on the student council not being one of her cousins. He was a natural born politician just like his father, and most expected him to be a great leader in the future. To the point that like herself, he began to accompany his father to diplomatic galas in hopes of getting experienced with such matters. They had met, but barely spoke. In truth, it was because he was the only male student at the school that made Lyra flushed to talk to.
He was tall and had wavy black hair, always neatly-combed back. His eyes were of the color amber, and always seemed to be a point of focus when looking at him. That and his square jaw, giving him a very manly look even if he was only seventeen years old. And unlike the majority of students at the school, he made the uniform look good as if he was modeling for it. He smiled, showcasing his pearly white teeth at her before talking.
“Lyra, are you alright?” he asked with a very proper accent. She nodded, seemingly overtaken by his presence around her. Lyra had always had a crush on him, but never found the courage to go after him. A thousand voices began to cry out in her head on how to proceed to best optimize her chances with him.
“I’m fine.” And then silence, as Lyra’s mouth shut down from the pressure. She somehow managed to keep her composure, but little else agreed to her. He nodded slowly.
“That’s good, I was worried I hit you too hard.” More silence followed as they stared at each other. Felix took the reigns of the conversation, which lyra happily obliged. “So, how are you? I heard that accident last week was pretty bad.”
“Oh, you know. It happens.” Lyra wanted to smack herself in the face, but she simply smiled at him, which made him laugh.
“I guess so. You alright though? You seem a bit stressed.”
“Oh, I just have a problem lately with some things. A mystery you can say.”
He rubbed his chin with his hand and nodded. “That’s funny you should mention that. There’s a rumor going around that you might have lost something.”
This snapped Lyra out of her trance as she registered the comment. “A rumor? What do you mean?”
“You haven’t heard I take it. Someone in the school found an object, so my sources say. A small pin with your family’s crest on it. Very tiny, but made of solid gold. When I heard about it myself, all I could think of is you. You didn’t happen to lose anything like that in the accident, did you?”
Lyra paused, as her brain began to analyze what he described. It took her a second when she suddenly realized what he was talking about.
“One second!” she said, smiling and turning around. She took her backpack off and took a look at WD. She hadn’t noticed it before because it was such a small detail. She wanted to curse herself for such a massive oversight though. But it seemed that fate had dropped her a lead. She turned around and nodded at him.
“It is mine! Do you have it? Where is it?” she asked, trying her best to be polite but still find out what he knew. Unfortunately for her, he shrugged.
“Well, my sources just told me that they know someone that knows someone that has a contact with a student that has such an object. You know how it is?” He paused and she nodded slowly. “Well, I’m sure I can find out who has it for you if I begin some investigating. If you want, we can talk about it over dinner?”
She looked at him, realizing what he had just asked. “You want to have dinner... with me?” she stated and he nodded.
“Tomorrow maybe? I can probably find out more about the contact till then?”
The thousand voices went silent at once and then suddenly all yelled at her in unison. “Yes!” she shouted, not realizing it was her after a moment. She calmed herself before proceeding. “Yes, we can have dinner tomorrow night.”
“That’s excellent news! I’ll pick you up at seven?” She nodded. “Good, I’ll see you then. Bye!”
And he walked off. Lyra stood there, watching him leave and then staring at nothing in particular. Her brain began to process what just occurred, and joy began to fill her. Not only did she find a lead to waking up WD, but was also on a date with Felix Severus. A smile on her face was all that she allowed from her usual stone cold temperament.
“So was that what I think that was?” Lyra turned around to the familiar voice of Remilia. The blond girl had somehow managed to sneak up on her, but it wasn’t really hard as she had been staring off after Felix for nearly an entire minute. Lyra smirked and nodded.
“Half. He might have a lead for WD. Apparently one of his sources has a friend who has a friend who might have a contact that might lead me to something of WDs, a pin I gave him years ago. It could be what I’m looking for.”
Remilia stared at Lyra after she had finished, a very confused look on her face. “That’s quite a coincidence.”
“That Felix Severus, someone you have been crushing after for the past year, happens to know about a very special object that belongs to WD and that he might have the sources to get into contact with an individual that might have the item now?”
Lyra paused at that, and shook her head. “No, seems pretty normal. Don’t worry Rem.” She looked at her watch and sighed. “I got to go, need to get to class and prepare some of my work.” Lyra walked off with almost a joyful spring in her step.
Remilia was actually very happy for her cousin. Indeed, there wasn’t many times she saw her smile outside of their group. And Remilia knew how much this date meant for Lyra. It wasn’t in her nature to be suspicious, but something about the entire thing didn’t seem right. Asking Felix directly wouldn’t work, and the confrontation would end poorly on her side. It could easily jeopardize Lyra’s chances with him and her cousin would be furious with them for a very long time.
The only way to find out was simple: gossip. If what Lyra had told her was true, then there was rumors circulating of a pin with Lyra’s crest on it. If there was any validity of these rumors, she would let the matter drop. However, if there was nothing, then she knew that Felix wasn’t telling the entire truth to her cousin. She would need to “convince” him if he was hiding something.
Unfortunately, Remilia was not the type of person that was any good on digging up dirt on people. But she knew who was.
She found her target easily enough in the girl’s washroom, applying makeup like she always did every morning before class. Even though she arrived to school prepped and perfect, she still constantly adjusted her look, seeking something more then she could achieve. She was alone as Remilia walked in, and the other girl smiled.
“Hi Remilia! What can I do for you?”
“Victoria, I need a favor.”


That's all for part two. I need to make a 1d4chan page for the story as well. Any comments? Like it? us authors are always looking for some feedback.
The lack of feedback on what used to be /tg/'s pet project is distantly discouraging to me.

The Editor, are you about? Your feedback is always welcome.

Hah! Using braziers for lighting, but a window is a structural weakness.

Oh nocturnian space stations. I like that.

Oh, and SE, I like Kines. Assuming I'm reading him right, his delight at Remillia seeming to reciprocate his interest/regard reminds me of that happy/nervous/terrified thrill of MAYBE getting a hint that they like you back. Maybe. That takes me back.
>Assuming I'm reading him right, his delight at Remillia seeming to reciprocate his interest/regard reminds me of that happy/nervous/terrified thrill of MAYBE getting a hint that they like you back. Maybe. That takes me back.

That is very much the case. Consider how much his life sucks.

His thoughts: "Oh holy FUCK a daughter of a Primarch is making eye contact with me and enjoying it FUCK YEAH so she used to cut, I can deal with that THE PAYOFF IS WORTH THE RISK"
don't fret, lack of feedback in no way means a lack of interest. i for one don't know what feedback to give. but that doesnt mean that i am not interested.
The best feedback is critical feedback. If that's not in the cards, simple gestures of appreciation mean a lot. Fan art is also fantastic.
this >>19855382 is supposed to link to this >>19855104
also, just thought of possible feedback for you, someone else, i felt that the ship ride went by too quickly.
I hope to God you meant the ride from the Iron Tide to Prometheus Station, and not Terra to Nocturne.

I assume you mean the former. I kept it short because it was short. Just a few minutes. And so loud it was nearly impossible to talk. The ships are described in some of the books; they're so loud that non-Marines with no Lyman's Ear can actually hurt their hearing sitting in them for a while.

Still, you're right. I should expand it. Maybe I will, before I put it on the wiki.

Though he's got to be quite conflicted about the cutting, given what happened to his sister.

That said, that also gives him perhaps more understanding for her than he might otherwise have had. Because when you're young... understanding is hard. And you need all the help you can get.
The room lit up, deep red. She turned to see that the entire bulkhead opposite the wall had filled with an image of Nocturne, far below. Venus’ arms fell. She was enchanted.
Jake propped himself up on one arm, staring at the view. “Incredible.”
“It’s beautiful,” Venus whispered.
Jake sat up and watched the projection. “It’s terrifying.” He looked to his side and saw Venus watching the hologram, enraptured. “Nostalgic?”
“I was too young to remember it,” she said quietly. “I wish I did.” She sat next to him on the bed, and he wrapped an arm around her waist. “I will never…ever get tired of that view.”
Jake didn’t reply. He didn’t feel the need. After nearly five minutes of watching the black, grey, red, and white ball spin, she stood, shrugging off her clothes. “I’m going to rest.”
“Me too,” he said, grabbing clean clothes and setting them aside on his day bag, then making for the bathroom. Venus slid under the sheets of the tiny bed and propped herself up to stare at the planet on the far wall.
When Jake emerged, changed and clean, she was still staring. He slid into the bed and moved to wave off the holo.
“No.” He looked up at her. She was still watching the hologram, eyes unmoving.
“Baby, I’m trying to sleep,” he said.
She finally blinked, looking down at him. “Uh…right. Well. It’ll be there tomorrow.” She settled down on the bed and waved the holo off. Even as Jake drifted into a catnap, however, she stayed wide awake, her heartbeat pounding in her ears.
Absolutely he's conflicted in that regard. I didn't throw that in just because I wanted to.
The next morning, Freya wandered out of her room, yawning. With a bleary look around the corridor, she knocked on Remilia’s hatch. In moments, the taller girl was out of the room, gym clothes on. “Morning. Venus up?”
“Dunno. Wasn’t she supposed to be out here?” Freya asked. Remilia nodded. Freya padded up to Venus’ hatch and knocked, just quiet enough that only Venus would have heard it, if she was up.
Silence. Freya cocked her eyebrow. She pushed on the hatch, nudging it open. She peeked into the crack of the hatch, and saw Jake lying alone in the bed. She searched the tiny room, but her cousin wasn’t there.
“Where is she?” Remilia asked as Freya closed the hatch.
“Not here. Let’s go, maybe she went ahead,” Freya replied. Both girls walked out into the corridor, looking around for a deck map. Pausing a passing serf, they found directions to the serfs’ gym, and headed off.
Venus wasn’t there. She was, at that moment, kneeling in the center of the Pantheon Chamber. The beautiful girl was clad in layered leather and ceramite, each decorated with one of the symbols of a Legionary Company.
Ir’Sem, four other Company Commanders, and the Regent of Nocturne, Lord No’dan, were sitting around the room, along with nearly ten other senior members of the Legion. To an outsider, it probably looked like a trial. It was anything but.
“Daughter of the Forge, I am pleased to see you well,” No’dan said. The ancient Marine leaned forward on his throne, extending an open hand. “My Princess, I understand that you do not come to us to bring leadership…but it still does my heart good to finally meet you.” Venus, still facing the floor and with eyes shut, smiled faintly, feeling tears leak from her eyes.
“You as well, faithful Regent. I am…overjoyed to be home.”
“You think of our world as your home? You live on Terra. You will return there,” No’dan pointed out.
Venus shook her head. Her long black hair swept across her armored back. “Terra is where my house is. Terra is where my mother and father live. Terra is where I was schooled, and where I grew up, and…where I hope to start a family. But Nocturne is my blood and future. I am home,” she said. The tear worked its way down her face, splashing on the bare floor. “I am overjoyed. I do not know why,” she whispered.
No’dan smiled paternally. “Forgedaughter…this is a homecoming. It is to be expected.” Lengthier explanations of geneseed traits and spirituality were unnecessary. If Vulkan had not seen fit to explain, he wouldn’t either.
Venus nodded silently. Her smile never faltered. “I feel that I should say outright that the assumptions I am told so many will reach regarding my companions are largely incorrect.”
“Oh? Well…that is to be expected. Terran and Nocturnean civil law are quite different,” one of the other Company Captains said. He leaned forward, gesturing to the girl on her knees. “If you wish to return your icon to us, now would be the right time.”
Venus rose to her feet, clutching the tiny metal key in one armor-padded hand. She passed it to No’dan, bowing as she did. As he lifted it, however, it clinked against the little metal half-eye on the chain. “You have given,” he began.
“Keep it. Call it a gift,” Venus interrupted. She was beaming from ear to ear. “I may return for the key, though. Some day. And…I hope to do so blessed with a family that can deserve it.”
No’dan nodded, touched by the gesture. “I see. The fellow who accompanied you?”
“I will outlive him by a million years if I outlive him by a day. I care not,” she said, the Old Nocturnean language rolling off of her tongue like she was born speaking it. All of them were speaking the language of the Old Shamans, as befitted the gravity of the assemblage.
Ir’Sem rose as well. “There will be more time for ceremonies later, Forgedaughter. For now…your people await.”
Venus slowly tilted her head down. Another tear escaped her endless red eyes. “And I await them.”
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And on that heartwarming note, I knock off for the day.

Somebody keep this bumped for Ahriman's Aide, please.

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